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All reviews juice bar cute town friendly and personable staff grand entrance single room with a shared bathroom costa rica the salt water pool buffet style open air experience level espresso drinks enjoy life rooms are comfortable pura vida fish options beautiful facility retreat group
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Reviewed July 19, 2018

I booked a Surf + Spanish package with Bodhi Tree. Late June early July. Traveled solo.

Short story:
A bucket list vacation that lived up to all I'd hoped for and more. Rooms were clean, comfortable, nice outdoor shower, etc. Grounds were gorgeous. The pool was large, clean, beautifully landscaped and never crowded (late june/early july). The food was great and healthy. Staff was fantastic and went above and beyond to be helpful. Transportation to beach & town was available whenever I needed. Staff was very helpful with arranging any tours that were requested. Highly recommended. I traveled solo but always felt safe. Bugs were never an issue - brought bug spray and never used it. One note if you are considering staying here: If you have difficulty climbing stairs you might want to look elsewhere. There are about 70 steps from the entrance to the level where reception, dining, rooms etc are. I was up and down them at least 3 times a day (one guest joked about the “Bodhi booty” from climbing the steps). Personally, it just added to a brilliant experience for me, but that may not be the case for everyone.

Long story:
After sending an inquiry to Bodhi Tree regarding availability, I got a reply back from Alfredo and for the next few days we emailed back and forth while he patiently and thoroughly answered all my questions and helped me arrange my surf and Spanish package with Bodhi Tree Resort. Many thanks to Alfredo you made it easy. My package included accommodation, all meals (two of which would be at nearby restaurants with my surf instructor), daily surf lessons, daily Spanish lessons with the Nosara Spanish Institute, and 1 yoga session per day. (I ended up not taking advantage of the yoga because surf and Spanish lessons took up most of the day and I wanted the rest of my daylight time to relax at the pool. (sunset was around 6 pm). I did attend one of Jon’s TRX classes … wow … I really wish I lived nearby – I could really benefit from regular sessions w/ Jon!

My stay was late June early July. Officially rainy season in CR. My experience was this: it did rain every day, pretty hard, sometimes thunder and lightning, but generally it was late afternoon for about 2 hours or less. For me it did not interfere, but depending on what activities you are doing it possibly could. Yoga shalas are all covered so I don’t expect yoga would be affected. My surf lessons were always in the morning and it never rained. My Spanish lessons were in the afternoon, but indoors, so no big deal. I got caught twice in town during a downpour, but thankfully Robin’s is a nice place to grab an ice cream and wait out the rain. It was quite humid, temps were mid-80s.

First day:
American Airlines botched my flight in and lost my baggage, so I missed my whole first day at Bodhi. Thankfully Bodhi arranged for my transportation and I managed to get a message to my driver (Angelo) that my pickup from Liberia airport would be around 10:30 pm rather than mid-day. I traveled from the airport to Bodhi in the dark and slept most of the way. Most of the 2-hour drive was on paved roads but the last 30 minutes were unpaved roads with lots of potholes ... there is no left-side / right-side driving, just avoid the potholes ... it was fun actually. I arrived so late (well after midnight) that I had to be taken to my room by security staff and I did my actual check-in the next morning.

I informed staff at reception about my lost baggage and they took my info and handled getting my bag delivered from American. I also had a note waiting for me from my surf instructor, Jesse, that he'd meet me there in an hour for my first surf lesson. So a quick stop for some fresh fruit breakfast and off I went to surf.

Regarding surfing:
I had never surfed before and learning to surf was a bucket list item for me. Jesse made it happen! A great instructor and great guy - patient, knowledgeable, encouraging, and has an impressive list of certifications. I took a five minute ride on the "Bodhi Bus" (thanks Manuel!) to the beach every morning to meet Jesse. We'd choose a board, hit the beach, stretch, "read the news" and then hit the water. Waves were good size (I'd guess about 6 feet on the days I was there) but I stuck with the baby waves as I was learning. I had 8 lessons and tried 3 different size boards. Got up every day (short rides, but still got up!) and it was incredibly fun. Thank you Jesse!! Beach is gorgeous, sandy and gradual. My package included a professional photographer for one surf session, and although I was never in some huge wave curl.... the photos came out great (thanks Enric).

Regarding Food:
If you are looking for donuts and pastries for breakfast, you’ll need to go elsewhere. The meals here were all delicious, healthy, beautifully plated and graciously served. While I understand meals at Bodhi are often buffet style, there were not enough guests at the resort the week I was there to warrant a full buffet, so meals were ordered from an ala carte menu. I was free to order as many items as I wanted, and I often asked for “just a small taste of …” just to have the ability to try some different dishes. Thanks to the chef (sorry I didn’t get to meet you) and to the all the ladies who graciously took my orders, served my meals and followed up on anything else I might need… Wendy, Michelle, Doriam and Tania (I’m probably forgetting someone … If so thanks to you too).

Part of my package included two meals out with Jesse at local restaurants. One day we preceded dinner with a beer and sunset at Playa Pelada (gorgeous sunset) followed by dinner at Rancho Tico (great food). The second meal we went to the north end of Playa Guiones for a beer and sunset. Also beautiful. Then dinner at Pacifico Azul. Great meal again. We shared Tartar Atun for an appetizer. So delicious!!

Regarding the Bodhi Tree bar:
A pretty decent selection of spirits, plus wine and beer (I’m a new fan of Imperial – wish I could find it at home). The music selection at the bar was great – I often found myself shazamming a song so I could add it to my collection. Music volume was appropriate – never too loud for conversation. After dinner I’d generally sit at the bar, have a cocktail and either work on my Spanish homework, chat with other guests or chat with the bartender Ervin. Ervin was such a gentleman. He patiently helped me as I struggled with my broken Spanish to talk with him about our days, our families, etc. I was visiting CR for the first time and was traveling solo. Ervin truly made me feel welcome and comfortable. My friend – I cannot thank you enough and I do hope to see you again.

Regarding the accommodation and the grounds:
More than I could ever ask for. I had a queen bungalow with balcony and private bath (I loved the outdoor shower!). View from balcony was lush and tropical. Room was clean & comfortable. Room had a small mini-fridge. No TV (yay!). No hair-dryer (apparently available upon request but I brought my own). My bungalow had two queen beds, two desks (one with fridge on it), two desk chairs and closet space appropriate to two (or 4). What would have been helpful was a bedside table for accessories (books, glasses, drink bottle, etc,) however in my bungalow there was no room for a side table. Not a big deal just a very minor inconvenience. I had a mid-level bungalow so it was not a steep walk from room to dining area/pool. I saw and heard a few howler monkeys every day – pretty cool. The paths and grounds and pool area are all full of tropical plants and flowers. Positively gorgeous. Fountains and streams made it all the more relaxing. The salt water pool was great. (Definitely long enough to do laps if that’s your interest). I took a relaxing swim/float every day after my surf lesson, and again later after Spanish class. I often had the pool to myself.

Regarding staff at reception:
helpful, friendly, polite, and accommodating in every way. They helped get my lost baggage from the airline, made arrangements for waterfall tour and turtle tour. Called Bodhi bus whenever I needed a ride to the beach or town. Anything I needed they were ready and happy to help.

Regarding Spanish Lessons at Nosara Spanish Institute (NSI):
My previous Spanish language experience was three years in high school (many many years ago) plus I’ve spent the last 2 years working on my own with on-line lessons like “Spanish with Paul” and Pimsleur. NSI provided a written assessment test prior to starting classes so they could place me in a class appropriate to my level. In addition to my written assessment, I also took a “walk-in” class the Friday before my week-long lessons began during which an oral assessment was done. By chance I ended up with a private class with Julio because for that particular week there were no other students at my level. Granted you can’t learn a lot in one week, but Julio covered a lot and it was a great opportunity to practice speaking out loud with someone. It also gave me a little more confidence to take my Spanish into the real world and actually talk with the people I encountered during my day. I wish I’d had a few months because I’m sure I’d see some real improvement. Thanks Nadia, Julio & Broc. It was a great experience.

Regarding town:
Guiones is a very small town. A market, a couple surf shops, a real estate shop, car rental place, couple restaurants, couple gift shops, ice cream shop, the Nosara Spanish Institute … and that’s about it. My kind of town. If you prefer a fast paced city this is not the place for you, but if you want to chill with the locals and just relax … you’ll feel at home.

Regarding Tours:
I did the waterfall Tour. I rode with Francisco - it was just the two of us. Apparently they had some issue with their van so they asked “would I mind going on an ATV?” What a great opportunity!!. Lucky for me! it was like a two-for-one! So fun! I got to see some things we would have missed in a car or van (like the chain bridge!!). Once parked at the start of the trail, we gathered up our lunch and headed off. On our walk in Francisco pointed out many native species of trees, plants, birds etc. A beautiful walk and informative too! We went on a Sunday so there were a few people at the waterfall/ swimming hole when we got there (maybe 12-15 people) but people were spread out enough that it didn’t feel crowded. The swimming hole was fairly small but definitely deep enough and big enough for a swim. It was really great and worth it. Thanks Francisco – I really enjoyed our afternoon.

I also did the tour to Ostional to see the Olive Ridley Sea Turtles lay their eggs. Bodhi needed 5 people to make the trip, and there were only 4 of us, so they made arrangements with a nearby inn who were also taking a group to pick us up on their way. It was about a half hour drive. We got there a little later than we should have – there were turtle tracks all over from the sea to the nesting area, but no turtles in sight. We walked a very long way down the beach and FINALLY saw one turtle that had just laid her eggs and was making her way back to the sea. It was incredible to watch. While I wish I had seen more turtles, she made it worthwhile. I think we arrived about an hour after sunrise. Had we been there at sunrise I imagine we’d have seen dozens.

If anyone is still reading … I’m almost done...

Last but not least, regarding transport to and from Liberia Airport.

Vans were comfortable and air conditioned. On my way to Bodhi it was dark and I mostly slept so not much to say. On my ride to the airport on my last day we left with plenty of time to spare. My driver (sorry I forget your name) patiently answered my broken-Spanish questions about things we passed or towns we drove through. He slowed down for me to take photos when he saw I had my camera at the ready, and even took a 5-minute detour to show me a cool park with iguana in Filadelfia de Guanacaste. It was like the cherry on top of an already perfect vacation.

To everyone at Bodhi Tree, Bodhi Del Mar surf, and any of their associated tour people I had the great fortune to meet, espero que nos veamos pronto. Thank you, and Namaste.

  • Stayed: June 2018, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank Rope-Swinger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cory E, Manager at The Bodhi Tree Yoga Resort, responded to this reviewResponded July 24, 2018

Hola Rope-Swinger,

Wow, where do I even start? The fact that you took the time to be so thorough and mentioned so many names is incredible and greatly appreciated. This is a perfect review and I know it will help a lot of future guests to fully understand everything you need to know about Bodhi Tree and Nosara so a huge pura vida to you!!

We are so very happy that you had such a great trip and a great experience! Customers like yourself is the reason we keep pushing through everyday and try to be the absolute best that we can be.

From all of the staff at Bodhi Tree, gracias over and over again!

We hope that we get to see you again.

Pura Vida,

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed July 18, 2018

Outstanding property in every sense. Beautiful lush grounds, excellent service, incredible yoga instructors and shalas. The juice bar is out of this world, and so is Yami who runs it. Diego and Jose, from guest services, were also super helpful. The buffet food is very good, could improve a bit.

Room Tip: Get a room with shared bathroom, great saving opportunity.
Stayed: July 2018, travelled with friends
Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank Santiagobl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cory E, Manager at The Bodhi Tree Yoga Resort, responded to this reviewResponded July 24, 2018

Hola Santiago,

Gracias for putting these lovely words into a review. We are so glad that the staff treated you so well and that you enjoyed your stay. I also want to thank you for the constructive feedback, we will work on the things that need improving and hopefully when you return you will notice the difference.

Pura Vida,

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed July 5, 2018

Our time at Bodhi Tree was a reunion for 10 girlfriends from all over the U.S., and as the lead organizer I did my due diligence before suggesting this as our venue. The experience at Bodhi Tree exceeded all expectations. Our accommodations were so comfortable - spacious rooms, incredibly comfy beds, beautiful outdoor showers, high-efficiency AC for sleeping comfort. Four of us were in the Bodhi House, and having the private pool there was a great delight. The food was AMAZING! Healthy, fresh, and absolutely delicious. I can't say enough about the spirit of the people who are staffing Bodhi Tree. With warmth, graciousness, and beauty, everyone - from Diego and Melanie and their team in reservations to Sophia and her team in the food and beverages realm to the team of shuttle drivers and the guys who gave out the bikes to the security and cleaning teams - everyone made sure that we had all that we needed or wanted when we needed it. Nothing was ever lacking. As we were not a retreat per se, we took several of the community yoga classes. I have decades of yoga studies and training, and I have to say that the teachers I had the pleasure of taking classes with at Bodhi Tree were some of the best I've ever experienced. That was an amazing surprise, and reason in itself to return. The place is breathtakingly beautiful, the pool gorgeous and refreshing, spa treatments were very good and rejuvenating, and excursions to the beaches were a blast - awesome bodysurfing! Welcoming energy was palpable everywhere. Thank you all at Bodhi Tree for an incredibly memorable reunion! I can't wait to return to your beautiful place and country.

Stayed: June 2018
1  Thank Susan D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cory E, Manager at The Bodhi Tree Yoga Resort, responded to this reviewResponded July 24, 2018

Hola Susan,

The team at Bodhi Tree are all so happy that we could do our part to make your experience so great! It is reviews like this that keep us striving for greatness and keep doing everything that we can so that our guests leave with a smiles on their faces.

A thousand thank you's for taking the time to voice your opinions.

We hope that we are lucky enough to host you all again.

Pura Vida,


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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed July 2, 2018

Incredible staff and service, tastiest food in town with wonderful rooms. I will always remember my stay here and the awesome people involved, loved every minute I will be back soon!! Thank you Bodhi Tree Yoga Resort.

  • Stayed: June 2018, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Ismail E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed July 1, 2018 via mobile

Im not one to give easy 5/5 for hotels but this one deserves it.

Service: 5/5 : Excellent service, the staff from breakfast-dinner are nice, easy going, efficient and make you understand the reasoning behind what “pura vida” life in Costa Rica really means. Yoga shalas are beautiful and worth meditating or going to see.

Food: 5/5: gluten free, dairy free, healthy options for everyone. Buffet is free if you have your bracelet upon check in (dont lose it!) and worthwhile. They do not have midday snacks, but they leave out bread and butter if you really crave some food. They also have a juice bar where you can eat as well if necessary.

Rooms: 5/5: beautiful rooms with character - outdoor showers and bathrooms (yesss) which makes you appreciate the heat and sound of jungle life. AC is possible if you need it.

Access: 4/5: here is where I would put a lower grade as it is NOT easy access for people with difficulties walking. It does require a bit of some work out to walk from room to lobby etc. Many stairs, many hills. But then, the staff is very helpful and can help you move around if needed.

Easy access to the beach through either bicycles or shuttle. Lots of tours and activities offered if you are feeling adventurous!!

I recommend and will be coming back! Thank you Bodhi Tree. Namaste.

Stayed: June 2018, travelled with friends
1  Thank EmmaBannana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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