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Pranamar Villas and Yoga Retreat
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Reviewed August 27, 2013

After a perfect week at Pranamar in Aug 2012 (see my review from last year, titled ‘Perfection!’, Aug 23rd 2013; read first, as this review simply adds on to last year’s review), I decided to return to Pranamar in Aug 2013 as part of a 30-person yoga retreat. I spent the entire year growing ever excited about my return, but as I got closer to the date of the Yoga Retreat, I began to worry that Pranamar would not be as magical as the previous year. Well, that was wasted time worrying!! Even at full capacity, Pranamar is still Heaven On Earth … and here’s why:

The location is unparalleled. Small bungalows (for up to 2 people) and villas (for up to 4 people) are brilliantly located within the natural flora of Costa Rica. Just yards away from the ocean front, the sounds of the surf and wildlife (birds with amazing songs and howler monkeys for starters) serve as a musical symphony for Pranamar’s unique setting.

The staff are nothing short of amazing! How do they manage to learn everyone’s name by the end of the first day? Your wish is their command, no matter how large or how small – from arranging ATV rentals to booking restaurant reservations, the staff at the Reception desk are always happily willing to help. The same is true for the restaurant/bar staff; they know you’re preferences and dietary restrictions by the end of day two (if not sooner). By the third morning, Melissa (so sweet and beautiful!!) had my steamed soy latte ready for me when I walked into the restaurant at 6:20 every morning.

The food is an epicurean delight!! Last year, I was an Omnivore and ordered off the menu at breakfast and dinner each day. This year, I returned to Pranamar as a Vegan, and found the food to still be fresh, delicious and imaginative (so many restaurants that do not cater to Vegans make very little effort for their Vegan menu options – NOT so at Pranamar). Since we were a large group, breakfast and dinner were served buffet-style – and we were a hungry crowd. If we ran out of something, the kitchen quickly refilled the platters. The variety offered was catered to all tastes – Omnivores, Vegetarians, Vegans, diary-free, gulten-free, etc. Not once during the week did I hear a single individual complain about the quality of the food, or the lack of food. Truth be told, I’m willing to bet some in the group gained a few pounds, although nearly everyone admitted it was the healthiest they’d eaten in years.

Our yoga retreat package included a one-hour massage. Again, everyone raved about their massage therapist (mine was Sonya – tiny, yet powerful!!). The location of the massage hut next to the beach entrance is pure genius; the sound of the waves were so mesmerizing that many of us ‘zoned-out’ or fell asleep while on the table. The massages were such a huge success that nearly everyone in the group booked a second (and even third) massage during the week.

The Yoga Shala is open on 3 sides, and sits about 60 yards from the ocean. With 2 yoga classes offered each day during our retreat, we spent a lot of time here. What yoga student doesn’t dream of hearing cues like ‘turn to the pool’, ‘turn to the ocean’ or ‘turn to the jungle’ while moving around the mat?!?

But here’s the BEST thing I can say about Pranamar – will I return for a third visit. ABSOLUTELY!!

Hugs and kisses to the Pranamar owners and staff; you have a true gift for creating the perfect vacation.

PS - as for the negative reviews you see here on Trip Advisor for Pranamar. Keep one thing in mind when you read them - some people are NEVER happy. 'Nuff said.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank LittleDolores
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 21, 2013

I stayed at the Pranamar villas for a yoga retreat this August (2013). It was love at first sight upon arrival. The setting is beyond anything I could have ever imagined, a beautiful lush jungle setting tucks the villas and bungalows in a peaceful location. The ocean waves are heard from anywhere in the resort. I stayed in the Kula House (sleeps 7) and absolutely loved it! I also had my own bungalow for the last night, both accommodations were stellar. The showers were absolutely incredible in the villas, outdoor and very exotic feeling. The staff was one of the best services I have ever experienced, they were more than willing to accommodate on anything, including setting up any excursion or activity desired. Not only that but they were truly genuine people that shared their love and joy of Costa Rica with the guests. I really felt as if I was welcomed with open arms into the Pranamar family. I could go on FOREVER about how special this place was. I highly recommend whether you are a yogi or just looking for a relaxing vacation to swim, surf, play and explore, Pranamar has something for everyone.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Kaela B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
pranamar, Owner at Pranamar Villas and Yoga Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded August 27, 2013

Dear Happy Guest!
Thank you so much for this recent review. I'm delighted that you loved your stay and the MOST important thing is that you felt taken care of and that my beautiful Pranamar Family welcomed you with open arms! I do work with the best of the best!
So thank you for taking the time to share your experience and for complimenting the people who work at Pranamar. As the owner, i know that the most important part of a successful hotel is the authenticity of kindness of the staff.
Come back, come back, come back! Namaste!
Susan Money, Owner

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 6, 2013

This hotel is just the perfect place. The architectural design of the rooms is awesome and the outdoors showers are incredible. The pools are super comfortable and very near to the rooms, which is great. And if this is not enough, the restaurants has one of the best food in Costa Rica, everything we ordered was served perfectly.

Room Tip: Villa 6 near the pool is very well located.
  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Adrián O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
pranamar, Owner at Pranamar Villas and Yoga Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded August 7, 2013

Dear Just Perfect.,

Well we think you are also "just perfect"...really, thank you for your lovely review and for your kind words, and most importantly: you were so much fun!
Don't be a stranger here, come back and visit and share your beautiful smile with all of us again.

Much love,

Susan Money (Owner)

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 25, 2013

This review is rather late (I was here in January of 2012) but I was thinking of taking a nice beach holiday this coming December and thoguht immediately of coming back to Pranamar. I travel a lot and this will be the FIRST place I have been to more than once..which shows how much I loved it.

I will break my review up into 3 sections: Grounds, Food, and beach

Grounds: Absolutely stunning. Surrounded by trees you really feel secluded and tranquil here. It was so relaxing. The place is perfectly clean and landscapped. The Yoga studio is right in the middle of the grounds with a fantastic view of the ocean in front of you. The pool is a perfect size, 2 levels as serene as can be with trees providing shade from the great Costa Rican sun.

You walk further away from the bungalows and you come to a great sandy area with hammocks, a bar, and more great trees :) The hammocks were great -I read, napped, and best of all was alone the entire 4 days I was there. As in no one was in the hammocks exept me! I really felt like I was the only guest at the place even though there were other guests I met in the restaurant.

Further from the hammocks a few steps away is the beach. The sand and ocean were fantastic. The water was very warm, waves were great, and again I rarely saw other signs of life. Such a relaxing, 'exactly what a beach getaway should be' vacation. Looking from the beach towards Pranamar you see all the trees blending with the bungalows making this place a hidden gem.

Food: I will keep this short. Everything was absolutely delicious. Everything.

Beach: Well I already covered this but, again, was great. Not Caribbean tourquoise water, but who needs that when the water is warm and the waves are great and you are ALONE. :)

This place is definitely off the beaten path but so SO worth it. I am excited to come back! Thank you guys for such an amazing experience!

I didn't read the comments for the less than excellent reviews..and to be honest, I dont care to because those people are crazy. Nothing about this place deserves less than excellent.

Room Tip: I had a Garden Bungalow..not sure which one but I had an Ocean View and it was great. All bungalows looked great, though.
  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank joe h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
pranamar, Owner at Pranamar Villas and Yoga Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded July 27, 2013

Dear Incredible guest,

Wow wow wow! I think we need you to come work for us as our public relations person. Thank you for a descriptive, warm and loving detail of Pranamar. Honestly, as a hotel owner, you dream of reviews like this.

I do hope that you are able to come back and we can share a healthy smoothie together. We really appreciate you taking the time to write such a complete review!

Again, big thanks!

Susan Money, Owner

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 5, 2013

My husband I were part of a surf/yoga retreat in Santa Teresa and Pranamar was where we stayed. We had the Garden Bungalow which was very spacious and there were days and nights when we really appreciated the A/C!

We visited in late June (the rainy season) and everything was green and lush. The grounds are beautiful and the landscaping is truly a work of art. The beach directly in front of the property is pretty to view, but it's unsafe to swim. You have to travel a bit north/south to go swimming/surfing safely. Not a pain at all, just something to be aware of...

The yoga shala was amazing! Lots of room to spread out and practice. It was unique to be in a pose and feel the cross-breeze and hear the local birds chirping.

The bar/kitchen staff are GREAT and the meals were scrumptious! As retreat participants, our meals were pre-planned and were, for the most part, very healthy. I'm a healthy eater normally so I found them to be delicious! I looked forward to the banana pancakes every morning and my husband loved the coconut-crusted french toast. The fish was so fresh and some of the vegetarian options were so creative!

The front office staff were very accommodating. We needed help with a refund and also adding tips and cab fares to our overall bill. They made it easy for us!

If you're considering a surf/SUP/yoga retreat at Pranamar, be sure to visit Vajra Sol Yoga Adventures' website and their FB and tripadvisor pages to get a better perspective. It was an experience we'll never forget!

Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
Thank Ingoodtaste0106
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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