Pura Vida Hotel

Pura Vida Hotel

Tuetal Sur 4km North of SJO International Airport, Alajuela 20101 Costa Rica
Our casita
Traveller (674)
Pura Vida Patio
Room & Suite (201)
Dining area for breakfast 7:30am to 9:30am or dinner service (only with advanced reservations) at 7:30pm
Dining (139)
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About

5.0
#1 of 16 small hotels in Alajuela
4.6 of 5 bubbles
Location
4.9 of 5 bubbles
Cleanliness
4.8 of 5 bubbles
Service
4.7 of 5 bubbles
Value
This award is our highest recognition and is presented annually to the top 1% of businesses across select categories.
The Pura Vida Hotel is located 4km north of the SJO International airport - we provide a free taxi pickup for international arrivals. Breakfast is included and an excellent dinner is available with reservations (or late meals for late arrivals). Touring services include car rentals delivered here, private vans and as much touring advice as you wish - we are experts on Costa Rica. We have arrangements with Alamo Car Rental for deals on car rentals. Our idea is simply that this is a place we would like to stay at when we travel.
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Property amenities
Free parking
Free High Speed Internet (WiFi)
Free breakfast
Airport transportation
Baggage storage
Concierge
24-hour check-in
Express check-in / check-out
Secured parking
Wifi
Restaurant
Breakfast available
Special diet menus
Car hire
Taxi service
Currency exchange
Non-smoking hotel
Outdoor furniture
Shared lounge / TV area
Sun terrace
Private check-in / check-out
Laundry service
Room features
Housekeeping
Private balcony
Safe
Private bathrooms
Coffee / tea maker
Kitchenette
Sofa bed
Walk-in shower
Tile / marble floor
Refrigerator
Bath / shower
Hair dryer
Room types
Mountain view
Non-smoking rooms
Suites
Family rooms
Good to know
HOTEL STYLE
Family
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish, Vietnamese
5.0
5.0 of 5 bubbles1,098 reviews
Reviews summary
This summary was created by AI, based on recent reviews.
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Nestled close to the airport, Pura Vida Hotel is celebrated for its affordability and enchanting atmosphere, complete with wildlife-filled lush gardens. The casitas receive high marks for cleanliness and spaciousness, providing a serene and comfortable retreat. Guests have praised the delicious food and personalized services, such as pre-arranged meals and taxis, which contribute to the hotel's exceptional service reputation. With its well-decorated accommodations and tranquil environment, the hotel offers a slice of paradise that resonates with travelers.
Atmosphere
Enchanting
Rooms
Comfortable
Value
Affordable
Cleanliness
Spotless
Service
Attentive
Amenities
Relaxing

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Detailed Reviews
Claire wrote a review Jan 2020
Calgary
+1
5.0 of 5 bubbles
For the last night of our stay in Costa Rica, we chose the Pura Vida Hotel in Alajuela. Our flight was leaving at noon the next day, giving us plenty of time in the morning to return the rental car. It is a mere 10, maximum 15 minute drive to the airport and even if you are not with a rental, transfer to the airport can easily be arranged.

When travelling anywhere in the world, I tend to shun Western type hotel chains as I feel that the accommodation should be part of the local travel experience. So if you, like us, are looking for a place to stay out of convenience overnight before a flight the next day, there are certainly a plethora of the typical generic airport options available such as Hampton Inn, Marriott, etc. But why? You can stay in a utterly boring hotel room, vs. Pura Vida Hotel which is set in a beautiful garden and run by two terrific hosts and wonderful staff. There are rooms in the main building and also individual hacienda type accommodations scattered about their beautiful garden. Although they do not have an official restaurant per say, upon request the owners do a terrific job of cooking up a wonderful tasty meal with local ingredients and Vietnamese inspired flavours. It was a great place with tons of personality and charm, and a wonderful way to spend our last night. Breakfast was also amazing, with beautiful fresh fruits, yogurt/granola, bread pudding and eggs to order.

Not to be misled, although this is a great option for ‘the close to the airport last night in Costa Rica,’ it is also a wonderful place to stay longer and to use as a base for a few days for activities in the area.

We arrived around noon the day before and had a few hours to fill. Two highly recommended activities: the “Zoo Avenue,” about 15 minutes drive away, which is a beautiful rehabilitation facility for many Costa Rican and other wildlife. Great way to spend a couple of hours. Also, do try Jalapeño restaurant in ‘downtown’ Alajuela. Not a tourist in sight save for us (always a good sign!) and filled to the brim with locals. Delicious local food at great prices and with wonderful local atmosphere.
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Date of stay: January 2020
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
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.
Response from alajuelanorth, Manager at Pura Vida Hotel
Responded Jan 8, 2020
Thanks so much for spending the time to review us, much appreciated that you exactly captured the idea we had when we started this venture many years ago. I do hope we can see you back here in the future, Berni
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janejo wrote a review May 2022
Westerlo, New York
5.0 of 5 bubbles
This was the third time my husband and I had the pleasure of staying at Pura Vida Hotel, and if will definitely not be the last! The first two times, we stayed the night before leaving Costa Rica to be near the airport. This 3rd time, we decided to stay the first night we arrived, and 2 nights at the end of our trip.
I cannot say enough good things about how happy staying here makes me! The accommodations are individual casitas, all beautifully decorated and impeccably clean, complete with a fridge, coffee maker, outdoor area for lounging, all set in a stunning Botanical Garden!
Berni and Nhi, the owners, are a delight to be around, and are helpful with anything you may need.
If you have a very early morning flight out, they provide you with a bag full of breakfast goodies! This was the first time we were there for the delectable breakfast that is included with your stay, starting with a beautifully arranged fruit platter, followed by yogurt and granola, and finally their signature bread pudding.
We always get a car when coming to Costa Rica, and Berni was able to set that up for us, having the car delivered to us at Pura Vida, and picked up when we were done, eliminating the time spent getting and dropping our car at the airport.
I could go on and on why this is the place to stay (Waterfall Gardens a short 1 hour drive away made our last day extra special) just trust me. STAY HERE!
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Date of stay: March 2022
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
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.
Response from Berni , Owner at Pura Vida Hotel
Responded May 11, 2022
Well Jane, thanks so much for taking the time for your detailed review. A pleasure having you here and see you back next time - after all this is all we do (trying to make it a place we'd also like to stay at) :-))
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baleen2 wrote a review Feb 2020
Edmonton, Canada
5.0 of 5 bubbles
This was our second trip to Costa Rica and second stay with Berni and Nhi . It was like staying with family. Wonderful staff, accommodations, and food. Berni also helped arrange a rental car for us at a great rate to be delivered to us at his hotel the morning after we landed. The garden is full of well marked paths through a wonderful display of the trees, flowers, and bushes they have planted making it a very nature like visit. The food is prepared by Nhi who is a chef and therefore the meals are fantastic with all fresh local ingredients.
We will be visiting them all at Pura Vida Hotel on our next visit for sure.
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Date of stay: January 2020
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
Room Tip: Each room is very private. We stayed in the Mariposa and Toucan. Very quiet with sitting area...
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.
Response from alajuelanorth, Manager at Pura Vida Hotel
Responded Feb 15, 2020
Thanks for coming and coming back another time and for spending a moment to write a review. We look forward to seeing you back here next time - Alamo also appreciates the comments on the car service. See you back here next time, Berni
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Emily T wrote a review Jun 2022
Chicago, Illinois
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Pura Vida hotel was a true gem in Alajuela - absolutely stay here if you need an airport stopover, or even for longer to really experience the Central Valley. We stayed here for one night after arriving in San Jose airport late. The only disappointment here is that our visit to Pura Vida hotel was too short!

Even though our visit was quick, we felt instantly like we were “in Costa Rica”. The owners were out of town when we visited, but no matter, Jose was accommodating, friendly, warm, and helpful. We took a long cab ride through Alajuela traffic to get there, and feared we would have to fight the same thing to get dinner. However, Jose helped us Uber Eats from Jalapeños (a great restaurant), and we enjoyed dinner in the restaurant area.

We LOVED our room - the Volcano studio - the bathroom was huge, the beds very comfortable, and we woke up to a beautiful view from our balcony. Like I said, the only regret was not staying longer.

Our included breakfast the next morning was fantastic. We got to admire the lovely grounds and garden, and were accompanied by their large and peaceful dogs. We are not dog people, yet even we enjoyed Bandito sitting their calmly next to our table. We had fresh fruit, yogurt and granola, and a delicious local pastry. You could also order eggs and bacon for an added charge. Jose accommodated our need for a slightly earlier breakfast time as well.

This is a must stop and we will definitely stay there again if we are lucky enough to return to Costa Rica!
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Date of stay: June 2022Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Room Tip: Volcano suite was lovely!
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.
Response from Berni , Owner at Pura Vida Hotel
Responded Jun 29, 2022
Thanks for the nice review and sorry we were out on our vacation that night but happy to hear that Jose & Xinia took good care of you. We hope you are "lucky enough to return", bon voyage.
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Gypsy-Wanderer3 wrote a review Feb 2020
Fairfax, Virginia
5.0 of 5 bubbles
We always look forward to staying at Pura Vida’s tropical oasis when we arrive in San Jose and spend a few days there before flying back home. Berni is the source of all knowledge on Costa Rica and his deal to have your rental car delivered to the hotel and picked up there at the end of the trip, makes life so much easier! Before, renting a car in Costa Rica was a nightmare, now it is a joy. We love the breakfasts with their beautiful display of tropical fruits and no visit is complete without having Chef Nhi prepare a scrumptious dinner for us. Jose and Alberto are also delightful. I wish I didn’t have to wait until next year to go back.
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Date of stay: February 2020
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
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.
Jill Shannon wrote a review Jun 2023
Uvita, Costa Rica
5.0 of 5 bubbles
We often stay at the Pura Vida Hotel, because it checks all the boxes: Rooms are individual cabinas surrounded by gorgeous gardens; it is quiet and yet just about 15 minutes to the airport in San Jose; it is very clean with comfortable beds; and Berni and everyone there are very fun and friendly. The rates also include a nice breakfast with a huge array of tropical fruit along with yogurt, granola, and something like bread pudding. Those who appreciate plants and flowers will love how the garden includes information about the many unique tropical plants. Those who love dogs will appreciate their two sweet and big dogs that help you feel very safe and protected behind those walls.
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Date of stay: April 2023
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
4.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
Trip 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.
Response from Berni , Owner at Pura Vida Hotel
Responded Jun 25, 2023
Thanks Jill, we appreciate you coming back time and again! Tahnks for taking the time to review also, Berni
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TripPlannerJaneR wrote a review Feb 2020
5.0 of 5 bubbles
I can't recommend Pura Vida enough as a place to start your Costa Rica adventure. We were looking for somewhere comfortable, near the airport that would give us a proper introduction to Costa Rica and it was perfect. We stayed in the Toucan casita which we loved (we are a family of four). The beds are comfortable, it's beautifully decorated with indigenous artworks, the bathroom is enormous and the huge windows look onto the beautiful tropical gardens. All the casitas look lovely and all have hammocks and places to sit out.
The gardens are wonderful. Berni and Nhi have put information next to the plants and trees so you learn loads just by walking about. Best of all is breakfast, which our eldest described as the best he's ever had. I won't describe it or it will spoil the surprise but it's out of this world.
Berni could not have been more helpful or informative. If we're able to come back to Costa Rica we will definitely return to Pura Vida.
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Date of stay: February 2020Trip 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.
Jake wrote a review Apr 2022
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Berni was an amazing source of help and information from the moment we began planning our trip to Costa Rica during October 2021. The grounds are spacious and full of interesting vegetation. The bungalow we stayed in was very clean, organized and well furnished - with amazing food options unique to each day and evening. We did not have a chance to meet Berni's partner, although she cooked us delicious gluten free, fresh food options per-request and they even had wine and champagne for us to take back to our room after dinner. There are 2 dogs on the property and they are the sweetest goodboys ever. Berni was even helpful with getting us in touch with our host in Puerto Vallejo, which was certainly above and beyond the call of duty. In essence, we felt that they truly wanted our trip to be special and helped arrange early transportation a few times. We hope to return to Costa Rica soon and will absolutely make Pura Vida an essential place to recharge again.
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Date of stay: October 2021
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
Room Tip: Every unit is quiet, removed from others, and unique. You can't go wrong with any of the...
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.
Response from Berni , Owner at Pura Vida Hotel
Responded Apr 2, 2022
Gee wiz!! Thanks for the nice review, we do appreciate that - our simple idea was from the beginning make "a place we'd like to stay at" because when we travel those are the things we'd hope for too. Thanks so much for coming, Berni
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vegetarian-girl wrote a review Nov 2022
Austin, Texas
5.0 of 5 bubbles
We stayed 1 evening after a week of turtle conservation & loved meeting the most easy-going & lovely owners & staying on their beautiful property. The room was well-appointed & very spacious, the location convenient, & they packed us breakfast boxes to go for the early flight.
Of greater importance, the owners have much heart & are supportive of their community, encouraging guests to value & do the same. A worthy encounter.
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Date of stay: September 2022Trip 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.
Response from Berni , Owner at Pura Vida Hotel
Responded Nov 11, 2022
Thanks so much for the review - and like all worthy encounters the feeling was mutual. Bon voyage! Berni
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Lisa V wrote a review Mar 2021
5.0 of 5 bubbles
We are so happy our friends told us about the Pura Vida Hotel. Once you stay, you'll be telling all your friends too, just like we are now!
While we stayed at other places that are nice before, now we only go to Pura Vida.

Not a single bad thing to report, and so much good!
It is close to the airport and includes a free airport transfer when you arrive.
The individual casitas are very nice, spacious, and well kept, in a garden oasis property. You'd never know you were in the city.

The breakfast is awesome with abundant fresh fruit, yoghurt and granola, home baked loaf, fresh fruit juice. If you want other things like eggs, bacon, toast, etc, it's available.

The hosts, Bernie and Nhi, are great people and super helpful with anything you can think of + a big sense of humour. Bernie helped us with touring ideas and arrangements, and getting our car fixed.

For those of us who live here long term, you can leave your car safe and secure at the hotel when you exit the country for a trip, which makes life so much easier.

I highly recommend staying at the Pura Vida Hotel. You won't regret it.
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Date of stay: March 2021
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
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.
Response from Berni , Owner at Pura Vida Hotel
Responded Apr 19, 2021
So glad we could be of assistance. We modelled the experience at the Pura Vida on the idea of "a place we'd like to stay". Looks like it worked for you guys (always wish I knew who wrote a review?) - but thanks for writing it anyways! Thanks for coming.
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Answer from alajuelanorth
Alajuela4,182 contributions32 helpful votes
The rapid test/antigen is available without appointment at Labin Labs about 5 mins from the hotel. We do however recommend an appointment if you have a tight schedule or a plane to catch. They will also do housecalls. For specific questions on transport can you email me at the hotel, Berni
Dominic B asked a question Feb 2021
tucson13 contributions4 helpful votes
IS there a pool and also a bar or lounge
Answer from alajuelanorth
Alajuela4,182 contributions32 helpful votes
No pool but we have beer and wine in our open restaurant area
Answer from alajuelanorth
Alajuela4,182 contributions32 helpful votes
No problem, there is no smoking in the casitas or the decks that are enclosed in any way but you can in the open areas away from the casitas.
Answer from alajuelanorth
Alajuela4,182 contributions32 helpful votes
Hello, Perhaps . . . what will the teacher be saying? Berni
Answer from alajuelanorth
Alajuela4,182 contributions32 helpful votes
Hi we are the Pura Vida Hotel - the website is puravidahotel . com - there is no problem viewing the web site anywhere that we know? You can email us directly at info @ puravidahotel . com if you are still having problems? Where are you trying to access this web site? Berni
Lisa S wrote a tip May 2024
Tucson, Arizona36 contributions5 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Many steps to casita possibly. Ask for a more accessible casita if you might have difficulty with carrying luggage"
Read full review
Scott G wrote a tip May 2024
Harpswell, Maine8 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Great escape near the airport!"
Read full review
Francie2014 wrote a tip Apr 2024
Baltimore, Maryland4 contributions1 helpful vote
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Definitely stay here. The hotel is very convenient to the airport, and Berni and his wife are perfect hosts."
Read full review
Marion B wrote a tip Mar 2024
5 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Just ask Berni in advance about anything and he will try to sort it for you. "
Read full review
FnuLnu wrote a tip Mar 2024
Knoxville, Tennessee148 contributions73 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Pura Vida is in the city, but it is literally in a garden."
Read full review
Not the right property for you?
There are more places to choose from in the Alajuela area.
PRICE RANGE
C$147 - C$213 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
ALSO KNOWN AS
pura vida alajuela, hotel pura vida
LOCATION
Costa RicaProvince of AlajuelaAlajuela
NUMBER OF ROOMS
6
Prices are the average nightly price provided by our partners and may not include all taxes and fees. Taxes and fees that are shown are estimates only. Please see our partners for more details.
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Pura Vida Hotel - UPDATED 2024 Prices, Reviews & Photos

Frequently Asked Questions about Pura Vida Hotel
Which popular attractions are close to Pura Vida Hotel?
Nearby attractions include Rescate Wildlife Rescue Center (5.8 km), Azteca Tours (4.6 km), and Our Lady of the Pillar Cathedral (2.0 km).
What are some of the property amenities at Pura Vida Hotel?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include free wifi, free breakfast, and an on-site restaurant.
Which room amenities are available at Pura Vida Hotel?
Top room amenities include a kitchenette, a refrigerator, and a view of the mountains.
What food & drink options are available at Pura Vida Hotel?
Guests can enjoy free breakfast and an on-site restaurant during their stay.
Is parking available at Pura Vida Hotel?
Yes, free parking and secured parking are available to guests.
What are some restaurants close to Pura Vida Hotel?
Conveniently located restaurants include Ragu, Taj Mahal, and Spaghetti Factory, City Mall, Alajuela.
Does Pura Vida Hotel have airport transportation?
Yes, Pura Vida Hotel offers airport transportation for guests. We recommend calling ahead to confirm details.
Which languages are spoken by the staff at Pura Vida Hotel?
The staff speaks multiple languages, including English, Spanish, and Vietnamese.
Does Pura Vida Hotel have any great views?
Yes, guests often enjoy the mountain view available here.
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