Pranamar Villas

»Heaven on earth next to the waves«

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Visitors from around the world agree that this resort hotel might be the best that Costa Rica has to offer. Its peaceful and secluded location make this family-run paradise a place designed to relax the mind. If walking down the flower and palm tree lined garden path doesn’t already make you feel like you’re floating over heavenly ground, the daily, inspiring morning yoga sessions will definitely do the trick.

  • What we love
  • Nancy’s daily inspirational yoga classes
  • The chemical-free saltwater swimming pool
  • The sunset ocean view from the open, wooden-floor yoga shala
  • The ocean breeze felt while lounging in the comfy hammocks between the palm trees
  • Meeting the local community in the morning yoga classes
  • What to know
  • The resort places great value on sustainability and consciousness
  • Bring your active gear: there is a wide array of activities to do
  • Best time is late November through April for guaranteed sunny skies
  • Bring your friends and share the Kula House (sleeps up to 7 persons)
  • Look at the white board for any kind of events such as ayurveda classes, yoga with live music, full moon chanting, dance lessons, ...
  • Why go
  • To spoil yourself incredibly
  • The best yoga teachers from the US host their intimate retreats here
  • The stunning villas and bungalows
  • For a great mix of yoga and surf

The amiable team of founders Susan Money and Greg Mullins, both US Americans, makes sure that everything runs smoothly on a daily basis. They are very approachable and always happy to have a chat thus making their guests feel part of the family and greater community. Pranamar Villas is their dream, their vision, and it makes them happy to see you enjoy this manifestation of paradise on earth.

A very important part of the team is Nancy Goodfellow, Susan’s daughter. She is responsible for the yoga retreat program here at Pranamar Villas and also teaches the yoga classes almost every morning. She surprises beginners and advanced yogis alike with interesting yogic themes and creative sequences. Her classes are inspired by the uplifting and precise alignment-focused style of Anusara-Hatha as well as her longtime Ashtanga practice. Many students find deeper connection and certainly some kind of awakening in the practice here! Not only is the wood-floored open shala with the ocean view one of the most beautiful settings to get onto the mat, but Nancy manages to create a loving atmosphere that makes everyone feel welcome.
The twice-weekly advanced morning sessions (9AM, Wednesday and Saturday) can be quite sweaty and take even seasoned yogis into poses that they never thought they could do - so if you are just starting with yoga join the all-levels regular morning sessions (9AM on all other days of the week) in which everyone receives proper assistance and instruction. Another nice treat are the slow flow classes taught in the afternoons (4PM every day of the week). These are timed to finish just when the sun sets over the ocean. Free community meditation classes take place once a week (11AM, Wednesday). Classes are open to the public. When booking a vacation at Pranamar Villas, guests can opt for packages that include unlimited yoga or the popular yoga and surf package. Packages also include a massage treatment.

Apart from Nancy’s and a couple of wonderful alternating guest teachers’ classes that run frequently all season, you can find some of the most sought-after yoga teachers from the US for their intimate retreats here. Anusara luminary Sianna Sherman comes here every year for her Mythic Yoga Flow retreat and yogi-musician MC Yogi with his wife Amanda Giacomini offer their popular Dream Yoga Vacation here. Other teachers check in here with their groups for specially designed surf and yoga retreats. Usually, these are possible to join and bookable through Pranamar Villas or the hosting teacher. The waves in Playa Hermosa are generally more mellow than the steeper ones in Santa Teresa hence attracting less competitive crowds and longboarders.

You find lots of visitors from California at Pranamar Villas and also Canadians seem to be frequent visitors. Along with the the local expat community, members of which regularly show up for yoga classes, a yummy fresh salad lunch or for a post-surf smoothie, they give Pranamar an international feel.

The accommodation here is a dream. You can pick between six elegant villas built with hardwoods and bamboo and three spacious bungalows built in pinewood. The mostly wooden interior gives all the rooms a grand look with the right mix of snugness. Amenities include your own fridge and coffee maker for indulging in the famous Costa Rican coffee. The two oceanfront luxury villas and the kula house each also include a full kitchen. Most bungalows and all villas have open-air bathrooms with luxurious granite stone tubs. The private terraces and decks, the majestic king-size beds, and the handcrafted Indonesian decorations make for just the right mix of comfort, style, warmth, and love to detail.
Also worth mentioning is the opportunity to book massages with certified therapists. Treatments can be enjoyed on massage tables right under the palm trees. To completely escape from a busy mind, take a cushion and sit on the meditation deck directly on the beach and dive into your meditation practice.

The in-house, bamboo-roofed restaurant, “Buddha-Eyes” is one of the best restaurants in the area. The restaurant serves delicious, Asian-inspired food for breakfast, lunch and dinner and the chefs are committed to creating dishes that are mostly vegetarian. However, you’ll always find fresh fish and seafood on the menu.

Pranamar Villas has won many awards such as Tripadvisor’s “Traveler’s choice 2012” and the “Certificate of Excellence 2012” and deservedly so.

About the area: Playa Hermosa

Pranamar is located at Playa Hermosa, close to the southernmost tip of the Nicoya Peninsula. About 4 km away from the busy surfer-crowded town of Santa Teresa/Mal Pais, Playa Hermosa offers a relaxed vibe. It’s fun to take a car into Santa Teresa to check out some local artist galleries, cafes, and farmer’s markets.

It may seem like a long journey from San Jose airport to the Nicoya peninsula, but it’s doable by public transportation, car rental, or having it all arranged by the savvy staff of Pranamar. Plan at least a half day by road from San Jose, or choose to take a domestic flight into Tambor which is the closest airport on the Nicoya Peninsula with only an hour and a half driving distance to Playa Hermosa.

The best time to visit is late November through April for guaranteed sunny skies. From May through August, expect clear skies in the morning and rain in the afternoon. During this green season, rain can sometimes come in bursts very strongly.
September and October are Costa Rica’s rainiest months, with rainfall lasting nearly all day.

Image credit: Pranamar Villas

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