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Reviewed 11 June 2016 via mobile

As we plan our upcoming vacation, we are having trouble finding something that will provide us with as amazing of an experience as what we receive at Prana back in August 2014.

Mark and Jon were responsive and accommodating and we finalized the details of our trip.

Upon arrival, they recommended a great local restaurant on route from the airport to the villa. Costa Rica has made many improvements to the highway system and it was an easy drive.

upon arrival we received 5 star service the entire time. They started our day every morning with an amazing breakfast and the. Helped us schedule activities with local companies- from horseback riding on the beach, to a rainforest hike, to exploring local markets, and of course with massages on site.

Truly a one of a kind experience with great hosts!

Stayed: August 2015, travelled as a couple
Thank Laura V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 May 2016

We stayed at Prana Rainforest Retreat at the beginning of our trip and our only regret is that we didn’t stay longer. This is, by far, the most relaxing place we have ever stayed in. The guest villa is absolutely perfect. It is very spacious, offers full privacy (including the pool and garden area), great relaxing rainforest views and sounds all around, huge rain shower and many other “small” and nice things that made our stay wonderful (such as mini fridge, coffee machine, water cooler, sitting area, TV, beautiful decoration, AC).
To top it all, Mark and Jon are the most amazing hosts. From the first mail we sent, through our stay and up until the end of our trip to CR they where always available with tips and suggestions about the area (and the rest of the country), all of which were customized to our preferences and turned out great. In addition, the fresh breakfast they make is absolutely gourmet.
In conclusion, every little thing about this place is top notch. If you are in the area, don’t even think about going somewhere else!

  • Stayed: April 2016, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank etay b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 March 2016

We just returned from a week at Prana Rainforest Retreat. This is, by most measures, the nicest place that we have ever stayed. But, it is probably not for everyone.

There are a few things that prospective guests should know. First, the road to the resort is challenging: steep, curved, and partially unpaved. We rented a 4WD mini-SUV, and it was more than adequate for the task. I was very comfortable navigating the roads to get here after a few days, but this is not a location for squeamish drivers.

Second, couples should know themselves before booking. Are you really comfortable staying in a place all by yourself without other guests?

Third, are you looking for a beach vacation? The beaches here are nearby and wonderful, but getting there is a bit of a jaunt (figure 10-15 minutes each way). If easy beach access is important, there are better choices.

But, if you're looking for an isolated rainforest retreat, then this is the perfect destination. The photographs on the website do not do the place justice. It is visually stunning. It is quite spacious (larger than we had expected based on the photos), and the lay-out, furnishings, and decorations are magnificent. We have never stayed in a more tranquil spot.

Mark and Jon are clearly dedicated to making their guests' experience special. They are available for anything, and they are solicitious yet respectful of their guests' privacy and space. We had a couple of special requests that were dettly and graciously handled. And the breakfasts were healthy and delicious!

If looking for a place to relax and retreat, we cannot think of a better place!

A few tips about the immediate area:

1) It was not as buggy as we had expected. Although we brought spray, we seldom used it.

2) When visiting local restaurants, make a reservation even if not necessary; we noticed that the prime tables are set aside for parties who reserved tables in advance.

3) Listen to the hosts' suggestions on restaurants - they never steered us wrong.

4) Rent a 4WD vehicle - you will not regret it!

5) When driving anywhere, add at least 50% to the estimated travel time. That formula seemed to work well pretty much anywhere we went.

Room Tip: only one to choose!
  • Stayed: March 2016, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank Dan B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
pranaspa, Owner at Prana Rainforest Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded 2 April 2016

Dan, what a kind review about your stay with us. We really appreciate you taking the time to reflect on your visit here at the retreat and thanks so much for all of your kind words.
It really was wonderful to have you and Linda here.
I hope it is alright that I add a bit to your helpful descriptions that you included in your post regarding cars and driving.
Those of you who have stayed with us in the past know that the drive between the main road in and the retreat had been a bit of a challenge.
After working with the city government for five years, we got then to pave the road all the way back to our property.
From the airport in San Jose and all the way to the retreat is now modern and paved.
Now only the driveway leading to our front gate is unpaved which leaves our property green and natural, and so only having about 100 feet of unpaved access and it is very smooth and level.
While we do suggest that guests rent a four wheel drive vehicle for Costa Rica in general, by no means do you need one to get to the retreat.
Many of our guests use a smaller two wheel drive car and zero have had any issues.
Once again, from the airport in San Jose and all the way to the retreat is modern and paved.
Many of our guests come to Costa Rica in order to have a vacation that includes touring the area and visiting some of the more adventerous destinations and we do tell them that an SUV with high clearance is a must.
If you prefer to not take the trourist vans to your advenure excursions, or spend the day at the non-commercial end of the Manuel Antonio beach, then again, yes, an SUV is wonderful to have.
As for beach access, I would like to mention that 95% of all the hotels and vacation rentals are here in Manuel Antonio are up on the hills above the ocean, and not down on the beach.
This is how Manuel Antonio is geographically.
This is what makes Mauel Antonio unique in the Central Pacific Coast of Costa Rica.
Almost all of us are perched up here on the hills that meet the ocean below and give us our unique environment.
There are a few hotels around the tourist entrance to the National Park, but again, the vast majority are up here on the hills, so yes, it takes a walk, hike, or short drive to get to the beach.
What we do have here at Prana that 99% of the properties here do not have is direct access on the border of the National Park.
It is a part of the park that has no human presence, so it is pristine and full of wildlife seldom encountered on the tourists trails.
As I write this on my computer I am looking out over the park, and met with an ocean breeze coming up our jungle canyon through the rainforest and all in front of me is Manuel Antonio National Park.
The beach is close enough to hear the waves crashing when they are big, the restaurants, shops and nightlife are three minutes away, but the monkeys swing by having no idea that the "real world" is just around the bend.
Dan, I hope you don't mind that I took your helpful points and expanded upon them. Just like you, I wanted everyone to know as much as possible about our place, so thanks again for that.
We will love to have you back, and hope we get the chance to host you and Linda again!
The long dry season seems to be finishing up. The first rains are happening, there seems to be flowers on every tree and the waterfalls are starting to fill up again.
Have a wonderful Spring.
Pura Vida.

Mark.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 March 2016 via mobile

Prana Rainforest Retreat is exactly what I think of when I dream of an ideal vacation villa. It is beautiful, private, relaxing, and has friendly service, delicious meals and exquisite details in furnishings and architecture.

Mark and John were so sweet, attentive and Mark is a wonderful cook! They had great suggestions for local activities, like riding horses on the beach, and also gave us great massages in the jungle platform.

Easily the highlight of our Costa Rican adventure.

Stayed: March 2016, travelled as a couple
Thank Dusty H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 March 2016

To say that this place is wonderful is an understatement. The property is stunning, quiet, and off the beaten path for ultimate privacy. Mark and Jon made the trip! They were wonderful hosts, providing thorough information on the area, best beaches and food, as well as helped book excursions for fishing and other activities. Breakfast everyday was always delicious and healthy, and the massages received were awesome. It was really beautiful to make up every morning and do yoga in the rainforest too, and also just hang below in the bungalow to watch and listen to the wildlife. Overall, one of the best times and experiences, and my husband and I can't wait to go back!

  • Stayed: February 2016, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank laurensutter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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