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Costa Rica Yoga Spa
Ranked #3 of 22 Hotels in Nosara
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed October 9, 2013

The food Is amazing and healthy. A huge selection of fresh and raw cuisine. Breath work, Yoga and more! The programs they offer are life altering! The energy of the jungle, with an amazing ocean view. I highly recommend the place and the people who make it amazing!

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank John S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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160 - 166 of 243 reviews

Reviewed September 7, 2013

I arrived at the Yoga Spa and was immediately impressed with the greeting from Darin and Shena at reception. I went up to do Iboga and was feeling pretty nervous about the whole thing until speaking to them upon which i was quickly put at ease.
I am shown to a frankly beautiful room with a balcony overlooking the ocean. The ensuite was large and modern and the room itself was tastefully decorated. It was apparent that some thought had gone into the design.
Following my check-in we do yoga in an outdoor studio, again overlooking the lush green jungle and ocean. This was fantastic, excellent teacher in an incredible setting.
When the time came to begin the iboga session I felt relaxed and ready. As the session commenced I felt calm and well looked after. I began to realise that this Iboga was an awesome substance indeed.. It felt like my brain was being swept clean as I sank deeper into what can only be described as an intense but fairly enjoyable lucid dream like state.
My reasons for doing Iboga were for a very mild social anxiety I have had for years. Whilst the experience didn't give me too much insight into my past (as mentioned in many other people's reviews), it has made a massive impact on my mind state. As I write this 1 week after finishing the treatment I am noticeably calmer and clearer than before. Both my mind and body feel as though they are functioning at a very optimal level. I read somewhere that somebody had likened the experience to being retuned by a master tuning fork. I would say this is a pretty accurate description of how I feel too.
I left the Yoga Spa feeling rejuvenated and ready to jump back into life mode again. A very pleasant, gentle yet deeply humbling and profound experience.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled solo
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1  Thank oliver d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 26, 2013

I took a yoga teacher training with Ashley Ludman and Rebecca Kovacs and it was an amazing experience! The training and the place exceeded my expectations. Ashley and Rebecca are two of the best yoga instructors I have even seen and I feel very lucky for the opportunity to take this training with them. Costa Rica Yoga Spa is a beautiful place and their staff makes you feel like family. They will do anything to make you feel welcome, comfortable and safe. I am taking wonderful and unforgettable memories with me and hope I come back soon!

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled solo
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1  Thank mmurriet22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 14, 2013

Part of the Cure

Despite what the peddlers I have encountered over the past year of being an expat south of the US border may think, the life of the American gringo is not exactly a dream. We get raised by parents that are more busy making ends meet; we are pushed through ineffective public schooling; we take out entirely too many student loans to attend any college even at a state school and we have to take remedial classes that cost extra to get the skills to attend college in the first place; things we should have learned in public school; we get a job we don’t quite love to pay that bill off; we get married and if we are part of the 49%, our marriages survive otherwise it’s a divorce and additional legal fees to pay; we have more bills to pay; if it is a government job, the funding is being cut and maybe a credit card covers a few months until we land on our feet; we thought this would be paid off in our 30s, but the bills have quadrupled; so there is no time to think about what we eat or even to look around, we’re working to pay those damn bills and now we have kids; we zoom the kids down to Mickey D’s and shove burgers in their mouths and products in their hands because the commercials tell them that this is happiness and the cycle continues with the hope that one day, we will get what they promised…some kind of reprieve like that 401K or Social Security check…but wait, the economy went south due to a economic bust that are happening now at a more rapid rate and there is nothing left in those accounts …so we are set back some more…so like our kid’s gerbil in its $9.99 wheel from PetSmart, we scramble to pay those bills to raise those kids so they can do it again….this is the dream.

And what about the nightmare? The one we can’t wake up from. A doctor’s appointment; the doctor finds something, a lump, high blood sugar, blood pressure pushing the roof and says the 2 words that stop you dead in your tracks,

“You’re sick.”

And our insurance policy (if we have one) now scrambles to find a million one reasons why they can’t pay you the money that you have spent years paying in.

We hear this; we think it’s a dream, but it’s not; it’s not even reality TV. This is our life, our American life…I saw this clearly when I lived in the States, where I spent my last couple years in hospital rooms due a loved one’s terminal cancer. When that loved one died, I ran as far South as I could, Bolivia to be exact; I ran for my life; I ran to find something different than my cultural dream.

On my journey south, I have found just that….people creating a different dream; People that have turned their lives upside down to build a life different than American corporate culture cookie cutter mold. I have met restaurateurs who only serve locally grown food; I have met builders who only use the earth at their feet; I have met people who have given up cars and on my latest adventure on top of a hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Nosara, Costa Rica, I have found a group of people who are looking at different ways to heal. This place is called Costa Rica Yoga Spa.

Costa Rica Yoga Spa is owned by Darin McBaratney. A few years ago, Darin was surfing in the Costa Rica waves when suddenly the group he was surfing with and him were caught in an red algae bloom, which is a phenomena that happens when red algae grows at an exponential rate for reasons that can be either part of nature’s course or sometimes man made. Whatever the case was, Darin was caught in this tide and when he got out of the water that day, he knew right away that something was different, something was wrong. He went back home to the States to the doctor to find out what it was…but the first doctor couldn’t tell him, nor the second or third…when he had exhausted every doctor in the US, he headed overseas…Holland, Austria, no doctor could help him. He did this for two years while his health continued to deteriorate at a rapid rate…because the doctors didn’t know what it was, they misdiagnosed him on more than one occasion; Many threw him under the title of Fibromyalgia, a disease many criticize as a myth and excuse to keep American housewives as the system wants them to be…sedate, doped up and stuck to TV; another label they tried to shove him under was Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, another disorder that some say is just an excuse to provide pharmaceutical companies the money they need to keep their corporate boards rolling in leer jets and big yachts.

None of the labels fit Darin and he knew it; he kept searching for an answer despite that his life was caving in due to his ailing health; his marriage unraveled; he had to rent the guest house of a friend, so the friend could help him with all the work it takes in the US to be sick, which, trust me, I have seen first hand, being sick in the US is a full time job; he had to let go of his company that he owned and employed 15 other people. It got to the point that the only thing that might be able to cure him was looking down the barrel of a gun.

Then, by some fluke, he began to explore the options in alternative health. He sought out a kinesologist in San Luis Obispo named Anno Kurkereian and he brought her 32 pages of what he had found by Googling herbs. After 10 minutes in discussion, it took her 10 minutes to correctly diagnose Darin with Red Algae Ciguatera. Once he was correctly diagnosed, Anno and Darin were able to construct a treatment program that addressed the disease holistically rather than throwing him another pill. With applied kinesiology, plant medicine, and holistic practices such as yoga and acupuncture, Darin was able to return to the life he led before that fateful day in the surf.

This experience, needless to say, changed Darin’s course in life. He took the land he had bought in Costa Rica years ago and began to develop it into what it is today, Costa Rica Yoga Spa. One might expect to find this spa on the hills above Los Angeles with its lush vegetation and its view of the sea; however, this is no spa built for corporate consumption, so Lululemon and Prana are not what is important here; instead of profit and a false sense of prestige, this spa is about health and that doesn’t mean it’s a great place to pop pills.

What is does mean is it is a place that allows for someone to explore their own health outside the American medical paradigm of take two pills and if that doesn’t work, take four more. Instead, clients can fill out an intensive questionnaire and expert staff will sit down and design an individualized plan to bring each client back to optimal health. Services range from Message Therapy to Chinese Meridian Medicine to discussions on how to change one’s diet. It is also a great place to do a retreat. Each retreat is led by only the best experts in the field and retreats range from yoga teacher training to iboga natural healing experiences. Then, there is the food. Each meal is made with the most organic ingredients that allows each guest to get the most nutrition necessary to get on a course to health and what is even better is the meals are included in the price of the room. And finally, it is a place to rest and have fun. Hammocks drape the grounds in case someone needs an emergency nap and daily activities are provided such as surfing treks, watching sea turtles hatch and going on a wildlife search. In the end, Costa Rica Yoga Spa is a great place for a person, inside and out.

Costa Rica Yoga Spa, another example of this new kind of dream that I keep seeing as an American expat gone south. A dream to unlearn the unhealthy living that many first world dwellers suffer from; a dream for anyone willing to achieve optimal health and with that health comes happiness and if everyone were happier, think of the effect? Just think…every living thing happy…do we dare to dream?

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled solo
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13  Thank Rgurley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 28, 2013

After a few days in Tamarindo surfing, a friend and I needed to take a break from the tourist targeting hustle of the city, so we got online and looked up some places in Nosara which we heard great things about. We called CRYS to see if they had any availability- thank goodness they did, and we were down there that evening.

The energy of the grounds that CRYS sits on is incredible, and you won't miss it soon as you step out of the car. It's life-giving, peaceful and calm and it's no surprise that it's in a blue zone. Couple that with a staff of some of the coolest, friendliest, and most sincere people who love what they do, and a facility that is so clean and well-kept, and thoughtfully built from start to finish for rest and rejuvenation and opportunity to connect with this incredible part of the world, and you have yourself one of the most incredible gems in the world. Words don't do it justice, but I try. You will be inclined to take your shoes off and never put them back on from the moment you get there.

Let's talk food. A combo between fresh ingredients and incredible chefs make for the best, most savory food. I've traveled the world many times over for work in many places in some of the finest dining, and the food made in the open kitchen here blew me away at every meal, breakfast lunch and dinner. They stick to the best local ingredients and it shows in every bite, and has you forgetting about the gross meat of Safeway and fast food in the US very fast. Dining happens on large communal tables overlooking the incredible view of CRYS. It does not get any better. Their wine selection is excellent!

I got acupuncture with Javier while I was there- he is incredible at what he does. I have had acupuncture with many different docs and he's the best I've seen. He is smart, and knows everything under the moon about the body. He understood my issues, and was able to answer all of my questions, and reflected on his own time how to address my issues before our session. Among one of a few issues, I had an allergic reaction while in CR, and couldn't pinpoint what was causing it. He didn't require a full hour of treatment, and just wanted to test a couple things on me to see if he could figure out what the cause of the problem was. We were able to identify it, and he didn't ask or pressure an hour session at all. One needle in the right spot for 10 minutes had my reaction going away. In an hour session, I learned so much about my body and some persistent underlying problems. After an hour of sitting next to me for the whole treatment (most acupuncture docs seem to walk away), he took time to continue to answer my questions and empower me by writing an entire sheet of notes for a cleanse that he recommended for my liver, which we determined is full of toxins. He is straight shooting, to the point, serious about what he does, and a respectful, solid man. Wish I could take him to my town so he can treat my fam and friends too.

Thanks be to Javier, Lisa, and everyone at CRYS for such a great few kickass awesome days of retreating and rejuvenating on these life-giving grounds in a beautiful part of Costa Rica. It was the highlight of our 10 day trip to Costa Rica. Looking forward to going back one day.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank o_trip13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 22, 2013

The Costa Rica Yoga Spa did things for me I never thought imaginable. Turning a seven-day trip into the most important time of my life. I was unsure what the Iboga was capable of. Costa Rica Yoga Spa was able to help me experience it. The staff there seemed more like a family that I was now part of. Amazing organic meals with fresh juice made three times a day. After just one night there I felt very comfortable so I decided to start my Iboga treatment. All preparation was comprehensive and handled in a professional manner. Before this ritual cleanse is administered an intention must be set. Mine being to escape my nicotine addiction. As I was starting my treatment I continued to focus on my intention, quit nicotine. After two days of intense spiritual and physical cleansing I was completely relieved of my addiction. I also felt that my body had been cleaned out, basically reset. My mental palate had been completely brought back to its original state of mind. The most amazing part is that there has been no withdraw symptoms. Costa Rica Yoga Spa created a place that I was able to let go of things I didn’t even know I was holding on too. Making me feel better than I ever have both in my body and mind.

Thank you for helping me

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled solo
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1  Thank DevinP663
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 21, 2013

I feel awful that I have yet to give an (amazing) review of CRYS, but....what a special place. The moment you set foot at the yoga spa, you feel welcome. It isn't a hotel, it isn't a resort - it's a home away from home. Everyone there makes you feel like family and I never once felt "alone" even though I was traveling solo. Surfing with Tony was a blast (he helped me stand up my first day out!), and yoga with Ashely and Rebecca was truly life-changing physically and spiritually. Lisa and Kristin couldn't have been more welcoming as staff and I came to consider them to be true friends. I was also lucky enough to spend my time there when Jill and Ben were around. I have never met two more generous and kind souls in my life. OH! and the food... let me tell you... I didn't have ONE bad meal. In fact, I still crave those plantains weekly. So, basically, I can't think of one negative thing to say about CRYS, and if you are even the slightest bit interested in traveling alone, I would say this is a great place to do that. The only down side was leaving (yes, I cried). Thank you to everyone there and I miss you all!

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled solo
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1  Thank Danielle G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Costa Rica Yoga Spa

Address: 300 meters south of the Rio Montana, Nosara 05233, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Nosara
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Spa Hotel in Nosara
#2 Green Hotel in Nosara
#5 Romantic Hotel in Nosara
#6 Family Hotel in Nosara
Price Range: $442 - $528 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Costa Rica Yoga Spa 3*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
At Costa Rica Yoga Spa , we believe the good life begins with a balance of the mind, body, and spirit. Whether you're looking to find fun and adventure, deepen your practice of yoga, or simply begin your path to renewal and rediscovery, you'll find an abundance of ways to do this and much more. This will occur at our location atop a jungle riviera overlooking awe-inspiring jungle canopy and Pacific Ocean views. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Costa Rica Yoga Hotel Nosara

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