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Samasati Retreat and Rainforest Sanctuary 3.0

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Province of Limon, Costa Rica

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Breathtaking mountain views over looking Playa Negra and Puerto Viejo
  • Inexpensive meditation and yoga classes offered in the early morning and evenings
  • Buffets three times a day with light vegetarian, Caribbean fusion, chicken and fish options
  • Big free breakfast buffet includes eggs, fruits both whole and cut, oatmeal, cereal, pastries, tea, coffee and juice
  • Wood bungalows have hammocks on private terraces
  • Outdoor hot tub and yoga pavilion
  • Free 15-minute shuttle transports guests to the beach daily
  • Massage services available
  • Colorful and plentiful floral and towel displays adorn beds on arrival
  • Free Wi-Fi in public area (turned off at night)

Cons

  • No phones, TVs, or Wi-Fi in the rooms (Wi-Fi turns off at night)
  • No pool 
  • A flashlight is necessary to navigate around the grounds after dark
  • Uneven stones may be hard to walk on for some
  • Uphill hiking is required to access certain bungalows and may be strenuous for some
  • Some guests complain about bug sightings inside bungalows (common in Costa Rica)
  • Lunch and dinner buffets not included

Bottom Line

It's hard to find an experience quite like the one offered at the three-pearl Samasati Retreat and Rainforest in Hone Creek, Puerto Viejo. With a peak position atop a mountain with scenic views overlooking the town of Puerto Viejo and Playa Negra below, guests occupying the 10 bungalows and private houses are totally surrounded by the high trees and lush greenery of undisturbed rain forest with monkeys and sloths. Bungalows here are all comfortably sized with private verandas and sweeping views of Samasati's gardens. The tranquil and self-sufficient hotel offers three buffet-style meals a day (including a free breakfast), all of which are healthy, vegetarian-friendly, and made from locally grown foods. Unfortunately, there isn't a pool and the rustic ambience (no TVs and limited Wi-Fi) isn't for everyone. Samasati's early morning and evening yoga and meditation classes are the hotel's high points. This is a popular spot for yoga teacher trainings. 

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Scene

A secluded oasis ideal for people who want to unwind, unplug, recharge and be still with nature

When it comes to the immersion factor of Puerto Viejo hotels, Samasati Retreat and Rainforest Sanctuary is in a league of its own. To even reach the entrance of the isolated oasis means a trip off the beaten path. A 4x4 truck meets guests at the waiting area at the base of the mountain before driving up its steep, gravely terrain. Five minutes later, they're in the heart of thick, green (almost untouched) rain forest with breathtaking views of the city of Puerto Viejo down below. The ambience here is quiet with the occasional sounds of nature's creatures -- such as monkeys, sloths, frogs, and exotic birds -- carrying on about their lives in the trees and bushes all around. The nights here are quite dark, so flashlights are necessary to navigate through the stony roads and hilly pathways. As evidenced by the open air yoga and meditation stations, massage table, and hike-friendly paths and trails, vacationers here often intentionally seek out Samasati's tranquil energy and emphasis on mental, spiritual, and physical wellness. Yoga teacher trainings and workshops often rent out the entire property. 

Location

Built on a mountain in a secluded area of Hone Creek, right outside Puerto Viejo

One of the benefits of the self-contained Samasati Retreat and Rainforest Sanctuary is that it feels like it's in the middle of nowhere. There are no neighboring hotel guests and excess tourist noise because it's perched at the top of a mountain in Hone Creek, a small community a 13-minute drive away from Puerto Viejo's busy town center. The top of Samasati offers sweeping views of Puerto Viejo and Playa Negra beach, which is easily accessible by the hotel's free shuttle. 

  • 9-minute drive to Cahuita National Park
  • 20-minute drive to Parada Jaguar Rescue Center
  • 30-minute drive to Gandoca Manzanillo National Wildlife Refuge
  • 4-hour drive to Juan Santamaria International Airport

Rooms

Homey bungalows with private balconies and breathtaking mountaintop views

Like many hotels in the Puerto Viejo area, Samasati Retreat and Forest Sanctuary is comprised of 10 wooden casitas/bungalows and guest houses. Each includes a private terrace set with a hanging hammock and gorgeous views of the garden, Playa Negra, and the town center way down below. Some bungalows require an uphill climb to reach. Bungalows are comfortably sized and include king, queen, full, or single beds. Windows have screens (but bugs still find their way inside). Tidy private bathrooms include hot water and wide patio doors that let in lots of light. Staff decorates furniture and bedding with elaborate fresh flowers and towels folded into animal figurines. Built-in closets hold a safe, large fan, and a few hangers. A free bottle of water is included, faucet water is only good for brushing teeth. Various pathways and plenty of greenery provide significant distance between neighboring bungalows for added privacy. The focus here is on nature and spirituality, so there aren't any phones, TVs, or Wi-Fi in the rooms. 

Features

Three full meals, whirlpool, and massage services 

As an enclave with limited access to the rest of Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Samasati Retreat and Rainforest Sanctuary provides (almost) everything guests need to completely forget about the outside world. While it lacks a proper pool, there is a whirlpool in the midst of the hotel's vegetation and a free shuttle to Playa Negra Beach. There are spa services on-site, with a menu that rotates throughout the year according to the guest therapist at the time. Inexpensive early morning and evening yoga and meditation sessions are offered daily with Samasati's resident yogi. Since the rain forest retreat is located so far from the plethora of restaurants down in central Puerto Viejo, Samasati's breakfast, lunch, and dinner buffets are a win. All of the meals on the daily-changing menus are healthy -- plates are Caribbean fusion and vegetarian-friendly with chicken and fish options -- and made with locally grown products, though only breakfast is free. The breakfast buffet is especially large, offering eggs, fruits both whole and cut, oatmeal, cereal, pastries, tea, coffee, juice and more. On the downside, Samasati is so committed to creating an escapist, nature-centric environment that the already limited Wi-Fi shuts off at a certain time each evening. 

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Address

Carbon 1, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa Rica

Also Known As

  • Samasati Nature Retreat