Asclepios Wellness & Healing Retreat

Asclepios Wellness & Healing Retreat

En el baño de la habitación.. No era la única 🙄
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Aphrodite room
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About

4.0
#1 of 1 special resort in Alajuela
4.2 of 5 bubbles
Location
4.5 of 5 bubbles
Cleanliness
4.1 of 5 bubbles
Service
3.7 of 5 bubbles
Value
Asclepios (honoring the Greek God of Health) is located in Alajuela, Costa Rica and offers its guests 12 rooms which evoke the most important medical traditions of the world, together with a regulated ionized swimming pool, amphitheatre, fitness center, exercise pavilion, sauna, hammam, nature paths, 6 treatment lodges, a relaxation room and a Conference room.We are located on the edge of a tropical forest with views of the surrounding sugar cane and coffee plantations, mountains and volcanoes.We work with a team of selected holistic practitioners and highly skilled spa therapists. We have put together a great understanding and passion for physical, emotional and spiritual health resulting in great wellbeing.Asclepios also seeks to educate in environmental appreciation and conservation. It is built in siding and brick, two sustainable materials. We use thermal solar collectors and take advantage of natural ventilation and natural lighting. Wild life has been preserved and our primary and secondary forests have been untouched. Our quest is to restore the person’s whole being to its natural state of balance, by correcting such diverse factors as improper diet, sedentary lifestyle, lack of a correct oxygenation, negative thought patterns and their emotional impact, and the lack of rest or restorative sleep, among others.We do this by five Special Wellness Programs that include Detoxification and Revitalization Programs, Stress and Weight Management and the Spa Experience Program.A la carte: Naturopathy, Meditation, Pranayamas, Acupuntura, Floral Therapy, Vichy and Scottish Showers; Kneipp, Shiatsu, Shirodhara, Yoga, Reiki, Tai chi…And, as health also includes your palate: bioenergetic gastronomy, where you can rediscover the original flavors of vegetables, fruits and fish.
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Property amenities
Free parking
Free internet
Pool
Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room
Free breakfast
Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly )
Spa
Non-smoking hotel
Parking
Wifi
Hot bath
Outdoor pool
Restaurant
Laundry service
Room features
Room service
Room types
Non-smoking rooms
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HOTEL STYLE
Boutique
Mid-range
157Reviews3Q+A32Room tips
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Detailed Reviews
TripSJO wrote a review Aug 2021
Piedades, Costa Rica165 contributions85 helpful votes
4.0 of 5 bubbles
This wellness Spa is just that, a place to get away from it all. If you need internet and wi-fi 24/7 because you just cannot let it go or you have to keep a communication line with work, then this is not the place for you. Yes, the internet is pretty much non-existent in the rooms but for me it was such a detox moment to be able to have 2 days and nights without constantly looking at that darn screen. Mind you, I would check when I was by the pool or the main area/restaurant but it was good enough for me.

Pluses: the silence, the massage wow!, the pool, the room, loved the soaps and shampoos they have there. And while due to Covid right now they have some rooms closed off, and there's less staff, it didn't bother me at all. The restaurant is also more limited right now again due to Covid, but we tried every option of main entrees and desserts and none disappointed.

Negatives: the glass door to the shower needs serious maintenance (it kept getting stuck). My room was Aphrodite! Loved it really and only had. that issue. All the other rooms seem just as lovely. If you are traveling from out of town/country, its a short 15 min ride to Alajuela downtown. Plenty of everything there...restaurants, cafes, supermarkets, etc etc etc.
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Date of stay: August 2021
4.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
4.0 of 5 bubblesService
Room Tip: Aphrodite is the last one on the 2nd floor so we loved that.
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Candace P wrote a review Aug 2012
Cleveland, OH176 contributions74 helpful votes
3.0 of 5 bubbles
I had a lovely experience here – mostly because I was traveling solo, stayed four nights (a perfect amount of time in my opinion) and was happy having the time to read, work, relax, with nominal interruptions. Having traveled alone, I would say Asclepios creates a pretty perfect environment for this. This IS nothing going on, so you don’t feel like you are missing out on anything; the pace is unhurried; it’s not an environment where you socialize with the few other guests that may be there (although you ‘can’); and their surroundings are really quite beautiful and relaxing. It’s a quick trip from the San Jose airport, and I was met by a friendly representative, just after exiting the airport; he radioed to my driver, and I was at the resort within about 20 minutes. The driver was extremely nice, spoke English well, and gave me some information on the area. Check in was easy – just a quick form to fill out for the spa (I did laugh because at the bottom it indicated that any sexual advances while undergoing spa treatments would not be tolerated), and the hotel, and I was off to my room.

It’s a small property with a beautiful main facility, housing the restaurant, reception area, offices, gym, common room (ONLY area with Wi-Fi). Just outside there is the pool area, with chaises. The rooms stand on one side of the pool, the spa facilities and yoga studio on the other. My room was Psyche (just one letter off!), and was on the second floor. It had a small porch looking out into the countryside. It was extremely spacious and very modern/Grecian. It is equipped with two twin beds, writing desk, large wardrobe; the bathroom with dual sinks and a large open shower. There is no minibar or other food/beverage option, other than a carafe of water that was placed in the room each day. I will say – bring snacks. The granola bars I brought saved me on many occasions. While you can always ask a member of the staff for something, there are really no snacks – only formal meal times, and they are at set times in the day. Other than that, the room was perfect; well, a bath tub would have made it perfect. I think some rooms may have these, and it’s worth it as it gets chilly at night.

Even though I had a good time, for what I was after, there are some definite highs and lows to this property. There is an impression that there is “a way” to do things here. There is a time to eat. And when you eat, you sit in the dining room or just outside at a table (not poolside). There is only a limited amount of foods/meals. Wine is not automatically offered (you have to ask for a menu), and, no matter when you order it, it’s not brought out until your meal is ready. However, I will say, the staff wants you happy so just express what you want. Wi-fi is only to be used in the community room (and you cannot get a signal in your room – although I could in the restaurant). As others mentioned there is no coffee served, though a good variety of teas and smoothies are available. It feels a bit cult-ish, although I do not use that in a negative way – you just kind of understand there are ways they like things done, but I found it more amusing than anything.

STAFF – extremely warm and friendly. You don’t a lot of them, but Carlos and Pablo are amazing. They were constantly providing water at the pool, excellent service at the restaurant, and tried to be as helpful as possible. As I’ve experienced elsewhere in Costa Rica, the staff was not overly gregarious; rather, they were polite, and if you made an effort, then they would open up a bit more. I got the impression several times that they make an effort to know you, your name, your itinerary, your likes and dislikes while there – staff I had never met knew what spa treatments I was getting that day – and that was nice. In the times I had a hiccup with my appointment times, they went out of their way to accommodate me. When I left, I generally felt I would be missed – really warm people there.

TREATMENTS – I found most of my treatments just “okay” to slightly below average. I tried to choose things others had enjoyed, and a few that I thought would be interesting/relaxing/etc. **Stone Massage – skip it; This is always hit or miss for me, but I wanted to try it here. It was fine for the first half, but it ended ten minutes early, and the last half felt a bit frantic and disorganized. I would book massage here again, just not this one. **Naturopathy – My counselor was an hour late, I was informed, due to traffic. It ended up being more like 90 minutes, but this was perfectly fine with me, as I had no problem occupying myself with other things. I didn’t realize until after the appointment that I had been meeting with Marisia, the owner. She is a charismatic, confident woman. My appointment was again, just okay. If you have specific nutritional concerns, this may be for you; for me, it was more of a therapy session, and again, she has very specific ideas about food, medications, supplements, life, etc; I was open to listening, but this may not be for some. **Hammam – Interesting experience. I was with two other people, which surprised me – so wear a swim suit. You go into the steamy room for 15 minutes, plunge into a pool, come out and sit in a relaxation area for 15 minutes, then 15 more in the steam. It was a relaxing experience. However 15 minutes in the steam started to actually cause me anxiety because it was SO difficult to breathe – the other two people in there had the same issues. However, they don’t lock you in there, so just go out if it’s too much! **Body Wrap – Terrible would be one way to describe it; and a waste of money would be another. I was told to lie on a table; there was no ‘choosing’ what treatment I wanted (as stated in the menu); clay was put only on certain areas of my body (which made no logical sense). I was wrapped in the plastic. Then the therapist just left the room indefinitely. The clay part took all of ten minutes at the most. She came in 20 later and said “Your treatment is over!” I probably looked at her like she was nuts. Then she asked me to stand up (keep in mind I’m still wrapped in plastic and was now standing, holding one hand over my chest and trying not to slip on the wet floor); she cleaned the table while I stood there uncomfortable, then told me I was to shower myself off when she left. The only “shower” was 3 shower heads Above the table, so basically you have to slide back onto the table, get the plastic off, and try to take a horizontal shower, while the bed is sliding around everywhere. Humorous, but that’s about it. **Reiki – I was informed that the person coming in to do the reiki was from Spain; and when he arrived (about an hour early) I happened to be in the community room and he guided me to a website where he told me to look at the (many, many) types of reiki and try to pick a few (he spoke very little English). This was like picking a needle in a haystack – I had zero idea how to do this, so I glanced at it but decided I would let him choose for the most part. My experience isn’t really fit to print here, but all I have to say is that it was odd, and not for the faint of heart. If you want a better idea, google tantic reiki (Note: do not do this at work, or when children are present; also not a good idea if you are easily shocked.) That’s all I’m going to say about that. **Life Coaching – this was the only thing I very much enjoyed, and it was the thing I almost cancelled. The therapist was an expat from the U.S., and was extremely laid back, insightful, and friendly. She uses a lot of different techniques and I found this to be one of the best sessions of this kind I’ve ever had. My session was with Natalie G, who works with Inner Balance in Escazu.

ACTIVITIES – **Volcano: Good; my guide and I went to the Poas Volcano – it’s a national park. I would have been much happier being dropped off and left to explore on my own – there are very clear trails everywhere and there’s not an abundance of things to see – that’s what I would recommend asking if you plan to go. However, after he informed me he was taking me to breakfast because he knew the food at my place was “terrible”. I immediately loved him. He took me to Fredo Fresas and it was the best food I had the entire stay! Definitely plan on asking for a meal stop! **Yoga : Good, challenging, and in a beautiful studio on site. Ask when in the week they are planning group classes, because they are far less expensive. Although I almost cancelled by $45 solo class my last day there, it ended up being awesome! Tamara is a great instructor – challenging and helpful, so I’m glad I ended up doing it. **Go for a Walk: Just across the street there is the most beautiful cemetery and a lovely plantation that you can roam around, walk through, and just generally explore. The cemetery was literally magical.

FOOD – I was well aware of the food controversy going into this trip, however I like to eat vegetarian and I figured – how bad can it be? I’d like to say that maybe I just didn’t order the right thing, but the fact is that this is not a ‘restaurant’ and it is definitely not Costa Rican food. It is a kitchen that serves a set number of dishes that – to me – made odd sense in terms of overall health, wellness or nutrition. As many have said, the salads and the soups are solid. I had a great onion and almond soup, and a very good arugula salad (I hope you like nuts because they are in everything. I do.). The entrees were generally disappointing. I wanted to give it a chance, but it was difficult. The snapper I ordered the first night was abysmally overcooked to the point that the skin was rendering off of it in those pools of fleshy globs that occur when fish is not cooked properly. I knew this was fine, just unappetizing, but the taste was extremely bland, even when I applied salt. The vegetables were undercooked and unseasoned. Next I tried vegetarian – the black bean and yucca burger. This was – hands down – the worst thing I have ever eaten at any establishment. The “burger” turned out to be three, runny, soggy patties the texture of a thick smoothie, piled on a plate with some mango and lettuce. I ate it because I was starving. I could go on, but suffice to say some other diners there seemed to like their meals because I heard them say so. But I have a hard time believing it. The stuff I did like – smoothies, juices, salads and soups, and dessert. The single entrée I had that I liked best was the eggplant stuffed with mozzarella. It was basically gooey fresh mozzarella with pesto on a plate. Again, I have no idea how this was overtly healthy, since it was swimming in oil, but it tasted good! The food is nothing you can’t get past, if you choose wisely, but there are No other options around, so just make sure this is for you.

OTHER – Dress casual, pack light. There is no obvious dress code, and you are pretty isolated from everything. Bring something heavier for nighttime, as it can get chilly and there is no A/C or heat in the rooms. I had zero problems with bugs overall.

I would probably come back here, if the price was right, but it would have to be extremely right. As it was, I came at the shoulder season in August, and I loved the way it was sunny in the morning and rained in the afternoon. All in all, an interesting, relaxing place; just be pretty certain it’s what you are looking for. And if I did return, I would spend my money on things like the sauna, Hammam, yoga and other activities that I enjoyed best and that turned out to be the least expensive.
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Date of stay: August 2012
4.0 of 5 bubblesValue
4.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
4.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
4.0 of 5 bubblesService
3.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Trip type: Travelled solo
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Linleela325 wrote a review Jul 2011
Longmeadow, Massachusetts44 contributions15 helpful votes
4.0 of 5 bubbles
I was waiting to write my review because of a dispute with my bill that I had hoped to be resolved by now but.... First let me say the place is absolutely beautiful. The grounds were perfectly thought out and fit into the countryside beautifully. The decor of the entire place was also perfectly done with delights everywhere you looked. The staff was very friendly although I was disappointed that Marisia was away on vacation. We enjoyed the restaurant but agree with other reviewers that having the same menu for lunch and dinner got a little old. My daughter and I elected to have a couple of meals off site so that we could experience the food of Costa Rica which we both loved. We had no problems with bugs and found the rooms comfortable with the ceiling fans. All in all a lovely, peaceful place to rest and relax. Now for my only caveat. I have a problem with the bill. My daughter and I signed up for 2 classes - aqua fit and Tibetan Rites. We signed up for the group rate and were charged for the couples rate; a difference of $40.00. I have sent two emails asking that this issue be resolved and have not received a reply. Prior to my arrival at Asclepios every email that I sent was promptly responded to, most within 24 hours. Considering the good service we had while we were there and prior to our arrival, this lack of response has put a pall over an otherwise delightful vacation.
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Date of stay: June 2011
3.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
4.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Trip type: Travelled with family
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Bucket Lister wrote a review Feb 2020
Beverly, Massachusetts242 contributions92 helpful votes
+1
2.0 of 5 bubbles
So, everything negative you read in reviews is true. This place lacks serious hospitality management, in a country where tourism is the majority of its income. The front desk did their best to accommodate, but it was clear that the rest were not managed or trained . Breakfast, as stated in other reviews, was minimal. The waitress completely messed up my coffee request, which took too long, and eventually brought me curdled milk for it. I later saw her cleaning my room, which explained a lot, but she didn’t do that very well either.
The food at dinner was okay, but not as described on the menu, and the vegetables were overcooked and not fresh.

I had a lot of trouble getting hot water in my shower on several occasions.

The jacuzzi was fine since I asked well ahead to have it turned on. Yes, the pool was ice cold, but I liked that in the heat.

The place was nearly empty, which I found very nice, but I can’t imagine how the staff could handle any more guests. Attention to detail is NOT a strength . Some reviewers ask why there are so few guests here; it’s pretty obvious that, while the place is beautiful and the rooms are nicely done, the service is hopeless. It is not cheap, but you are paying for the grounds and the rooms, and that’s it.
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Date of stay: February 2020Trip type: Travelled solo
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Leonardo G wrote a review May 2024
Escazu, Costa Rica11 contributions16 helpful votes
1.0 of 5 bubbles
It was a terrible experience. The massage was fine but, after that, the sauna had not been previously warmed, so we had to wait half an hour. After the sauna, same story: the jacuzzi had not been turned on, so we had to use it with cold water. Finally, the food was so, but so bad, that we did not eat it at all. The soup tasted like warm water. Unsavory salmon, vegetables did not even have salt, peper or butter, it was so bad that even though we had already paid for it, we did not eat it and had to go to another restaurant to eat.
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Date of stay: May 2024
1.0 of 5 bubblesValue
4.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
4.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
2.0 of 5 bubblesService
Trip type: Travelled with family
Room Tip: Don´t go, don´t go. Don´t go (unless you are masochistic).
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Jesus Z wrote a review Sep 2023
1 contribution
1.0 of 5 bubbles
My my wife and I pay for overnight stay when we arrive. It was a single person in charge of the property , everything with no lights no real restaurant nothing in the room, not even a coffee maker and the worst part. you have to spend the night all by your self in the property just with a single guard, no lighting, no way to communicate with the owner or the people in charge because if you ask the owner Marissia something she will block you from WhatsApp

terrible experience we decided it was unsafe to spend the night alone in such a big property and we look for a for a different place to spend the night, of course we lost the money because she never answered our messages

No hot water, aggressive dogs running free in the property that almost bite my wife

The worst experience in our years of traveling around the world

NOT RECOMMEND…….
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Date of stay: September 2023
1.0 of 5 bubblesValue
3.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
1.0 of 5 bubblesService
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Room Tip: Don’t go
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Kristhel E wrote a review Feb 2023
San Rafael de Escazu, Costa Rica3 contributions1 helpful vote
1.0 of 5 bubbles
The place is beautiful. However, the service provided by the owner is terrible. I had to ask the day before if the appointment was confirmed because she didn't even plan for us to arrive. If I hadn't confirmed, I would have shown up and found the place closed. Don't sit on the hammock over the pool, my husband sat down and the rope broke, and he fell into the pool. Luckily, he wasn't hurt and his phone was water-resistant. When I told the owner about the incident, her response was just "Oh, ok. She didn’t worried if he was hurt." When it came time to pay, I wasn't allowed to use my credit card because "it didn't work", which wasn't true. This place is definitely poorly managed by someone who doesn't care about the business or the staff. I must mention that the staff provided excellent service.
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Date of stay: February 2023Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Travelotta2010 wrote a review Jun 2011
Atlanta6 contributions27 helpful votes
2.0 of 5 bubbles
A friend and I recently stayed at this place for a long Memorial Day weekend. Our first day of arrival was a breath of fresh air. We were greated by a warm and friendly young male who checked us in and escorted us to our room; the facilities, while bare, seemed understated chic; and the food selection seemed okay. After this day, things went downhill....fast. To highlight, the following aspects of our trip were unacceptable:

(i) We were charged for fees that we were told would be included, such as hotel transfers from the airport
(ii) The resort has no air conditioning, which makes for very hot and uncomfortable nights, especially because there are no screens on the windows and doors. So, if you want to get fresh air, you'll have to contend with various species of insects and bugs. Because of the no-screen issue, we kept all doors and windows closed throughout the duration of our stay; however, we still had to deal with a lot of bugs that somehow entered our room (e.g., mosquitos, evidenced by my 15 bites; an assortment of flies and spiders). On the last night, my friend found a two-inch cockroach on her pillow, which prompted her to head over to the airport about 10 hours before her flight was scheduled to depart.
(iii) With about three exceptions, the wait staff who I encountered had ghostly vibes and were not as accomodating as you would expect given the few guests they had to support. For example, when told that I prefer my fish well done, one waiter exclaimed that "that is not how we cook it here."
(iv) Speaking of the food: The lunch and dinner menus are identical, which means after spending a few days at the resort, we sampled everything on the menu (because there are so few items from which to chose). The food is very bland, served in tiny portions and my meat and fish were always undercooked, which left me hungry each night. The resort does not offer snacks for purchase; so we had to travel outside the resort for food when our stomachs just couldn't take it anymore (circa day 3). That trip was, to say the least, a big scary considering the surrounding areas didn't seem safe. Oh and if you decide to purchase the $12 pankcakes for breakfast (yes, $12...for 3 "pancakes") be sure you like them, as there are no refunds for unedible concoctions. The pancakes were more like thick weird-tasting crepes, and even though I couldn't stomach to eat them, I was charged for them, just like I was charged for hotel transfers that were supposed to be included with my stay.

Fool me once, shame on you. You'll never fool me again. Prospective vacationers, you've been warned. Vacation at this place at your own risk.
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Date of stay: May 2011
1.0 of 5 bubblesValue
2.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
1.0 of 5 bubblesService
1.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Trip type: Travelled with friends
Room Tip: Go to another resort
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Scott T wrote a review Feb 2012
Toronto, Canada12 contributions19 helpful votes
2.0 of 5 bubbles
We spent four nights here in January 2012. We had hoped for a wonderful experience but didn't get what we expected.

The view from the rooms is stunning, and the rooms are beautiful with folding doors opening one full wall to the outside which is great. Although with only sheer curtains, the room was blazing bright at 6 am making it impossible to sleep in. The grounds themselves are very minimal, mostly just grass. The pool is beautiful, but runs about 75 degress, so too cold for me (or anyone else when I was there). The jacuzzi runs about 85 degrees.

The staff are attentive, but it's a bit over the top at times, bordering on annoying. Still, the staff are customer oriented and try their best to make the stay pleasant given what they have to work with.

The restaurant is very limited with only 5 non vegitarian dishes on the menu, and the same menu at lunch and dinner. Only one dish did not involve fish, so I ate a lot of chicken there. I'm not a huge seafood fan, and steamed fish doesn't do it for me. And this is the crux of the issue here, the place is not about pampering you, it's about healthy. So while they talk about gourmet food they offer little selection and what they do offer is boring. A dinner would be a marinated fried chicken breast with a dozen or so green beans. Dessert would be soemthing like a half a strawberry and a quarter of a mango with three pieces of a parchment kind of pastry. I will say the salads were incredible. The continental breakfast was typically 2 orange segments and 2 or 3 slices of pinapple and papaya, wiht a half a glass of a smoothie.

We had quite a discussion about coffee as apparently the owner doesn't believe in it and won t' serve it. Our waiter, who was wonderful, went to bat for us and we did end up getting coffee as did everyone else there that weekend. But I never saw that waiter again. I asked about him, and the front desk swore he was not fired but I do worry about the poor man who worked so hard to make his guests happy.

The other waiter, Carlos, was excellent and really made the resort. Without him I can't imagine what our time there would have been like. He brought life to what otherwise seemed like a long term care facility.

Did I mention that the only alcohol they serve is a local wine which I found undrinkable? Nothing else. The only choices for beverage at all were tea, wine and smoothies. You couldn't even get a glass of juice and of course milk is impossible.

My wife did several treatments and found them to be fine, good, but nothing special, nothing you couldn't get at any other spa in Costa Rica, or a better version of at home. Although there are some treatments not offered at spas that may interest some.

All in all, the point is that this is not a spa. On reviewing the website again, it never lies, but it really doesn't properly convey that this is not a place to come for fun, it's a place to come if you want to do a program like Detox or weight control or some such thing.

So in the end, unless there is a service you really want that only they offer, you would be far better off to go to a spa retreat. There is a spa about 10 miles away with similar views, nature trails, organic foods and many treatments where you can feel pampered and spoiled rather than like you are recovering from surgery. If however you really want a wellness retreat I will say that this place is beautiful and the staff are very attentive and caring, so you may find what you want here.
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Date of stay: January 2012
2.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
4.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
4.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
4.0 of 5 bubblesService
2.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Room Tip: The upper floor rooms such as Eros and |Zeus are quieter.
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Elizabeth H wrote a review Jan 2014
London, United Kingdom12 contributions12 helpful votes
1.0 of 5 bubbles
My friend and I chose Asclepios for a quick, one-night stay on our way from Arenal to San Jose airport. Rather than try to make the 2.5 hour drive from Arenal early in the morning to catch our flights, we booked Asclepios through Jetsetter, believing that it would be a tranquil place to rest and cap off a great trip. Unfortunately, we had no idea that this would be the WORST HOTEL we've ever encountered.

We arrived after sunset around 7:30 PM. We were greeted by the night receptionist, who meant well but struggled to communicate with us in both English and Spanish. He briskly showed us to our room without offering to help us with our bags and with very little explanation about hotel amenities and services. (Minor point: As another reviewer mentioned, we were also not offered any welcome refreshment or towel.) We inquired about the restaurant and were told it was closing at 8:30 PM (very odd hours for dinner!). We quickly dropped our things in the room and went to the restaurant.

For dinner, we were one of only two sets of diners. Otherwise, the property seemed totally empty. We had to seat ourselves and look for menus. The same gentleman who checked us in was also doing double-duty as our server. In fact, he was the only front-of-house staff member we interfaced with the entire evening. He was not knowledgable about the menu and failed to answer simple questions such as the chef's preferred temperature for the salmon (this is usually addressed in most restaurants). We ordered a bottle of wine, which I ended up having to pour and taste myself - the server had left the room. After taking our order, he brought us a few meager bread rolls (each the size of a golf ball) with 5 dime-sized pieces of butter. My friend had to ask for salt to be brought to the table as there was none readily available.

As we waited for our food, I noticed a large, black blob on the wall behind my friend's seat. Since it was dark, I asked my friend to shine her flashlight on the object. Lo and behold, there was a giant spider (about 2 inches wide) encased in the glass wall above her head. We discovered several more spiders and bugs on the walls around us. We quickly relocated to a table in the center of the restaurant. When we pointed out the bugs to the server, he laughed and remarked that the spider is dead and has been back there for TWO YEARS. Why this hasn't been fixed in two years of operation is beyond me.

Our entrees were not impressive. My salmon was actually oven-roasted (it was listed as "grilled). It was completely overcooked and drenched in a watery maple sauce. My friend's chicken salad was totally inedible. I understand that Asclepios tries to prepare a health-conscious menu. But healthy eating does not have to mean badly cooked, bland food.

During the meal, I noticed that our server curiously locked the door to the kitchen every time he exited the dining room. I've never seen behavior like this in any other restaurant I encountered, either in Costa Rica or any other country.

To salvage the meal, I ordered a chocolate fondant cake with berry coulis. The cake was either store-bought or baked hours/days earlier and warmed in the oven. The bottom of the cake was totally burnt - I felt like I was eating a hockey puck.

Despite the lackluster dinner, my friend and I were still in high spirits from the rest of our trip, so we opted to stay and enjoy the rest of our bottle of wine. At about 9:15, our server asked us to leave so he could close up. We began to gather our belongings, then noticed that the server/receptionist had turned off all of the lights in the adjoining lobby, leaving us mostly in the dark. Confused, we asked him if he was closing the restaurant or the whole lobby building, and he informed us that he himself was leaving for the night. We protested that we had to grab our bags from the car outside, so he escorted us to our car (still keeping the lights off and forcing us to wander in the dark). He stood to the side (again not offering to help) as we gathered our things and locked the car. As soon as we wheeled our bags through the lobby he locked us out of the lobby building and promptly left.

We tried to laugh off the whole experience since we were planning on leaving early the next morning and wouldn't stay long, but things only got worse. Though the room furnishings were adorable, I discovered even more large spiders (ranging from 1-3 inches in diameter) all over the walls. Knowing that the sole staff member had left for the night, we knew we couldn't call for bug spray or a mosquito net.

The final straw came when we both started to smell smoke coming from outside the room. Slightly nervous, we called every internal number listed on the property directory, from the front desk to the late night help line. Each time we called, we received no answer. I even tried calling from my cell phone rather than the room phone - no response. We also didn't have internet access in our room to look up additional phone numbers.

Our nervousness grew to panic, so with little choice my friend called 911. The fire department understood our complaints but had extensive difficulty in locating the hotel. My friend and I felt unsafe staying the night in a hotel with no support staff and, eerily, no other guests, so we packed our bags, informed the fire department, and left.

On our way to the car, we ran into a security guard. We explained our concerns about the smoke, bugs, inability to get ahold of any staff, and lack of internet. He laughed off each of our complaints and said, "That's how it is!" as if we weren't the first to complain. We handed him our room key, got in the car, and drove off. The security guard wouldn't even let us exit through the lobby building; we had to walk around the hotel and climb up an adjoining hill in the dark.

All in all, I believe our negative experience was mostly due to mismanagement. The sole front-of-house staff member had good intentions, but was obviously overworked (pulling double duty as server AND receptionist) and not well-trained. Another reviewer suggested Asclepios is trying to cut corners - I wholeheartedly agree with this. Whether it be a hostel, B&B, hotel chain, wellness retreat (yes, I have stayed in one before) or luxury resort, I have NEVER been left alone for the night without someone manning the front desk. Asclepios is clearly trying to avoid paying an overnight receptionist. To leave guests without a front-of-house staff during the night is absolutely irresponsible and unprofessional. The owner needs to spend less time decorating the property and more time learning the basic tenants of good customer service: Communication, Accessibility, Cleanliness, and Quality. Asclepios currently offers none of these. Even if it chooses to advertise itself as a wellness retreat as opposed to a hotel (as the owner noted in comments for previous reviews), impeccable customer service should still be primary focus.

HIGH POINTS:
- Convenient location 20 minutes away from San Jose airport.
- Appealing, modern design in both the lobby building and in our room.
- The pool and jacuzzi looked lovely, but we didn't have time to go in.
- We had a nice bottle of organic, local cabernet sauvignon.

LOW POINTS:
- Very little "local" character in both the hotel decor and restaurant menu. If you're looking for an authentic Costa Rica experience, you won't find it here.
- Hours are insanely inconvenient. Restaurant closed early for dinner and the entire front building locks down at 9 PM.
- No wifi/internet access
- Other hotels we stayed at in Costa Rica had bug sightings, but Asclepios seemed downright overrun with bugs
- Did I mention lack of sufficiently trained front-of-house staff?

BOTTOM LINE:
- I would NEVER recommend this place to friends or family, and would only send my worst enemy here. I strongly encourage you to consider other options in the San Jose area. I've worked in fine dining, event planning and customer service for over 10 years, and was appalled by the experience.
Read more
Date of stay: January 2014
1.0 of 5 bubblesValue
1.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
2.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
1.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
1.0 of 5 bubblesService
1.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Trip type: Travelled with friends
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
LKalvelage asked a question Dec 2015
Vancouver, Canada1 contribution
How far away is the beach and what is the available transportation?
Answer from Geovaldo Granados
Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica5 contributions
Asclepios is not a beach hotel. It is perfect for regeneration and relaxation. However, you may book a day trip to Jaco for more adventures or beach if you like to include that in your stay. The drive should take 1 1/2 hours max to Jaco. There are day tours you can book or you may rent a car and drive yourself. It is an easy drive. I hope that note assists and feel free to ask any other question you may have. Pura Vida!!!
Leonardo G wrote a tip May 2024
Escazu, Costa Rica11 contributions16 helpful votes
1.0 of 5 bubbles
"Don´t go, don´t go. Don´t go (unless you are masochistic)."
Read full review
Jesus Z wrote a tip Sep 2023
1 contribution
1.0 of 5 bubbles
"Don’t go "
Read full review
TripSJO wrote a tip Aug 2021
Piedades, Costa Rica165 contributions85 helpful votes
4.0 of 5 bubbles
"Aphrodite is the last one on the 2nd floor so we loved that."
Read full review
Kathy janke wrote a tip Sep 2019
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"There is no bad room, I visited several"
Read full review
barefootninja wrote a tip Oct 2018
127 contributions36 helpful votes
3.0 of 5 bubbles
"Choose the second floor"
Read full review
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ALSO KNOWN AS
asclepios wellness & healing retreat hotel alajuela, asclepios wellness and healing retreat
LOCATION
Costa RicaProvince of AlajuelaAlajuela
NUMBER OF ROOMS
12
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Asclepios Wellness & Healing Retreat - UPDATED 2024 Reviews & Photos

Frequently Asked Questions about Asclepios Wellness & Healing Retreat
Which popular attractions are close to Asclepios Wellness & Healing Retreat?
Nearby attractions include Rescate Wildlife Rescue Center (3.5 km), Our Lady of the Pillar Cathedral (4.5 km), and Juan Santamaria Historical Cultural Museum (4.4 km).
What are some of the property amenities at Asclepios Wellness & Healing Retreat?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include free breakfast, a pool, and an on-site restaurant.
What food & drink options are available at Asclepios Wellness & Healing Retreat?
Guests can enjoy free breakfast and an on-site restaurant during their stay.
Is parking available at Asclepios Wellness & Healing Retreat?
Yes, free parking is available to guests.
What are some restaurants close to Asclepios Wellness & Healing Retreat?
Conveniently located restaurants include Ragu, Spaghetti Factory, City Mall, Alajuela, and Taj Mahal - An Ethnic Indian Restaurant.
Are there opportunities to exercise at Asclepios Wellness & Healing Retreat?
Yes, guests have access to a pool and a fitness centre during their stay.
Are pets allowed at Asclepios Wellness & Healing Retreat?
Yes, pets are typically allowed, but it's always best to call ahead to confirm.
Is Asclepios Wellness & Healing Retreat accessible?
Yes, it offers wheelchair access, reduced mobility rooms, and facilities for disabled guests. For specific enquiries, we recommend calling ahead to confirm.
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