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Reviewed 16 July 2010

Take it from a tired, beat-up backpacker just off the bus in a brand-new town, looking for comfort, cleanliness, quiet, and a good night’s sleep on a hostel budget. I was most pleasantly surprised—indeed, astonished-- with the accommodations and the wonderful, chill-out ambience of this well-appointed and attentively managed establishment. In fact, I was so pleased, I wound up staying a couple days longer than I had intended. I had a room to myself with A/C (which I didn’t really need and didn’t use), a dresser, a pedestal fan, and a nice clean bathroom that I shared with the manager, which was no problem for me. (Hot water would have been nice, but it appears that in CR you can get that only in the fanciest hotels for at least five times what I paid for this room.) My bed had a solid, comfortable mattress; sheets were clean and not so threadbare as what you tend to find in most hostels. Kitchen was open and airy and just off from my room. Though I didn’t do any serious cooking myself, there was plenty of stuff there for me to do it with had I wanted to. And every morning there was a nice pot of coffee already made by the manager there by the time I was up.

At least other two features set this place apart for me from all the other hostels I’ve stayed at. First, there was the huge common area (which they call the “Rancho”)— with a soaring, conical roof that came to a point like a giant witch’s hat, and hammocks and daybeds and rocking chairs spread all around, and a ping pong table and yet another kitchen. I enjoyed hanging out there in the evenings just chilling, and reading, and socializing with the other folks that were there—and sometimes just staring up at that witch’s hat ceiling and pondering why it could seem so unprepossessing on the outside yet so cavernous on the inside... :-) Whenever I wasn’t sleeping or hanging out in the kitchen with the other guests, the Rancho was my favorite place to be.

The second feature was the manager/proprietor herself-- Miriam is her name. From the moment I set foot on the premises until the moment I (reluctantly) departed, she treated me with such graciousness and such concern for my comfort that I felt as if I were a member of her family. She goes out of her way to engage her guests and to make them feel at home. And Miriam’s knowledge of the area, including good, reasonable places to eat, things to do, tours to book, places to go, and even the bus schedules, never steered me wrong. And whenever I was hanging out in any of the hostel’s common areas and happened to see Miriam passing through, I never failed to notice out of the corner of my eye her straightening up this or adjusting that along her way. Such devotion to detail in a hostel I have never seen in all my travels! I’m sure that if I had ever had a problem with my own accommodations there, Miriam would have done her absolute, level best to fix it on the spot.

Suffice it to say that, should I ever have the good fortune to visit Tamarindo again, I’ll definitely be looking forward to staying at this lovely hostel while I’m there. It was truly a pleasure!

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled solo
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Thank ye0c0mic0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 March 2010

Pura Vida Hostel was a decent place to stay. The owners were nice people. However, I was not convinced that it was the best place or deal in Tamarindo. A/C was optional if you paid $5 more a night (the hostel next door, La Botella de Leche, had A/C in every room). The bathroom in the private room was not that clean.

Still, the good: the room was large and the bed very, very comfortable. Quiet time after 11 did happen, so it was a great place to get rest after a day at the beach. The common area set up was the best part - comfortable hammocks and rocking chairs, clean outdoor kitchens, TV and one computer with internet. A good hostel for lounging, and a ten minute walk from the main part of town, so away from noise and such.

And I loved their dog.

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank pbhas85
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 February 2010

This is a great hostel if you're on a budget but still looking for a nice, clean, welcoming place to stay and hang out. The operators, Markus and Sarah were super friendly and helpful with anything I needed. It has lots of hammocks and comfy chairs, a kitchen for making food, even a computer with internet access. The room and bed were clean, comfortable and equipped with a fan which sufficed well. It's pretty close to the town and the beach but still quiet and peaceful. Met a lot of great people while staying there - good place to socialize and chill.

  • Stayed: April 2009, travelled solo
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Thank travelxplorer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 November 2009

A great hostel experience, there was three of us so we got our own private room with a bathroom. Great areas for cooking, lounging, napping and eating. Marcus and Sarah (owners) are amazingly nice and fun. It's a perfect distance from downtown to get to everything but also not to be on the main drag away from a lot of the noise. Anyone going to tamarindo should stay here!

  • Stayed: November 2009, travelled with friends
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Thank isfein
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 October 2009

Pura Vida Hostel was wonderful. A little off of the main drag so when you wanted to relax, it wasn´t hard. And when you wanted to go to the bars or dancing, it was a short 5 min. walk away. The commons area was very cool. A giant lounge area with hammocks, chairs, beds, and tables all covered by a huge bamboo roof. It was really cool. Also, free coffee. The owners were super cool and so was the hostel dog, Makai. You should really visit this hostel if you go to Tamarindo.

  • Stayed: October 2009, travelled with friends
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Thank MrZerg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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