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Asclepios Wellness & Healing Retreat 3.5

Alajuela, Province of Alajuela, Costa Rica

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Review Summary

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  • Good location that feels rural without being too far from civilization
  • Beautiful pool overlooking green hillsides
  • Complete spa with exceptional amenities such as a hammam and various hydrotherapy treatments
  • Stylish, modern rooms


  • No room TVs or Internet (a pro for some)
  • Not much variety offered in restaurant
  • Not much within walking distance
  • No air-conditioning and no screens on windows (bugs get in)

Bottom Line

The upper-middle-range Asclepios bills itself as a wellness center rather than a hotel, though it successfully incorporates elements of both. Located in the hills near the Central Valley town of Alajuela, it’s conveniently close to the airport but worlds away from the hustle and bustle of downtown San Jose. A full spa, fitness center, outdoor pool, and organic restaurant all lie on spacious grounds amidst a lush landscape. Every one of its 12 comfortable and stylish rooms has a different theme, and all overlook hillsides planted with coffee and sugarcane. Guests looking for a spa retreat on comfortable grounds will find it here -- but there's not much else around the property.

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A tech-free wellness hotel with a wonderful spa

Envisioned as a wellness center and healing retreat, Asclepios caters to spa-goers, as well as travelers seeking stylish digs and fabulous natural surroundings. It’s easy to see why Asclepios has such a broad appeal, as it oozes style and sophistication at every turn. From the main entrance, a stone-lined corridor leads to the attractive dining room, graced with chandeliers and Louis XV-inspired Philippe Starck plastic armchairs. It has outdoor seating on a breezy patio overlooking an artificial waterfall and the relaxing pool -- the pool itself sits on a bluff overlooking the green surroundings. A hillside on the opposite end of a ravine is planted with coffee and sugarcane.

The front desk is immediately to the right as you enter the main building. It features minimalist decor but nonetheless has some colorful touches. It also has a small but well-stocked gift shop.

The rooms, housed in a two-story whitewashed building encased in siding created with recycled newspaper and concrete, overlook the same canyon and are stylishly decorated with various themes. Those on the second floor are white inside and open to lovely balconies in both the bedroom and bathroom. They also have names inspired by Greek mythology. (George Clooney has stayed in the second-floor Eros Suite). Rooms on the ground floor open to well-manicured lawns and have spiritual themes (names include Indra, a Hindu god, and The Shaman).

The rest of the property contains a modern lounge area, a large fitness center spread out on two floors, and a full spa that includes a hammam and various hydrotherapy treatments such as Scottish and Vichy showers, a flotation chamber, and Kneipp bath. The lounge is the only place on the property where Wi-Fi (free) is available. It also has a computer for guest use. The idea is to get guests away from their daily routine, and this includes disconnecting from the modern world to get in touch with the natural surroundings.


About 20 minutes from Juan Santamaria International Airport, near the Central Valley town of Alajuela

Asclepios is right outside the town of Alajuela, along a quiet two-lane road. It fronts a ravine with coffee and sugarcane plantations on the opposite side. There's not much around in the way of finding anything to do on foot, but the point of this place is relaxation, after all.

It's about a 20-minute drive from San Jose’s international airport to the surrounding countryside where Asclepios is.

  • 20-minute drive to Juan Santamaria International Airport
  • 35-minute drive to Pavas airport (domestic flights)
  • 30-minute drive to Valle del Sol Golf Course
  • 33-minute drive to National Theater
  • 33-minute drive to Poás Volcano National Park
  • 35-minute drive to National Museum
  • 55-minute drive to Braulio Carrillo National Park
  • 72-minute drive to Jacó
  • 73-minute drive to Irazú Volcano National Park
  • 2-hour drive to Arenal Volcano National Park


Tech-free rooms with private outdoor space

There are only 12 rooms here, and each one feels like a work of art and has unique artistic flourishes pertaining to its theme. Rooms on the ground floor have eastern spiritual themes, and rooms on the second floor have minimalist style and have names relating to Greek mythology. All rooms have walk-in showers, and the Eros Suite (where George Clooney stayed) has a soaking tub and a four-poster bed. Guests should keep in mind that the rooms are tech-free -- no TVs or Internet.

  • All rooms have lovely views and a private patio or balcony.
  • High ceilings in second-floor rooms
  • Bathrooms have walk-in showers and oversized trough or bowl sinks.
  • Ceiling fans (no air-conditioning)
  • Comfortable robes
  • No TV or Internet


It's all about the spa here, though the outdoor pool is fantastic, too.

  • Full spa with dry sauna, hammam, hydrotherapy treatments, and much more
  • Pool with wood deck surround overlooks coffee and sugarcane plantations
  • Cool lounge with Wi-Fi
  • Well-equipped, two-floor fitness center
  • Spacious grounds for relaxing outdoors
  • Lobby gift shop
  • Restaurant serves vegetarian and organic meals (among other things)
  • View full list of amenities

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