Travel Blog - The Retreat - Costa Rica
Our Founder and Managing Director, Stella, headed off to the stunning island of Costa Rica to experience The Retreat and here's what she says:
Costa Rica has been on my hit list for a while now so when I heard about Diana Stobo and her new luxury wellness retreat in Costa Rica I had to arrange a visit.
The country has a tag line or slogan which is “Pura Vida” meaning Pure Life. You see it everywhere and the people embody it with a deep love and respect of nature and their beautiful country.
“Pura Vida Paradise” is what I thought of The Retreat. The nature, the food, the intention – all pure and beautiful. I fell in love with the place and dreamt of spending a couple of months there at some point in my life. Here are my personal highlights:
Diana is the heart and soul of The Retreat and has found a way to transfer her passion for healthy and happy living to her team so they can deliver her vision. She comes from California from where she built a successful detox food & supplement business after having to heal herself from serious health issues. She did this by switching her lifestyle from taking prescribed medication to healing herself through food.
The Small & Meaningful Touches
Diana’s vision is to provide a nurturing environment where her guests can be healed, rejuvenate, lose a few pounds or just relax and she certainly did that with me. I arrived with a streaming cold and exhausted – all I wanted to do was go to bed and forego dinner. They knew I would wake up jet lagged & hungry in the middle of the night, so prepared a beautiful fruit place that they put in my room which I consumed with gratitude at 3.00 am. My morning beverage was a healing cup of fresh ginger & turmeric tea with raw honey – again presented with love and without asking for it by Diana’s right hand – Heather. These are the small touches that made me feel I was staying with friends in their beautiful home and made a huge difference. This attention to detail transcends to the decor and the building. A small Ganesha in a corner adorned with beads, beautiful worry beads hanging over the tables in the eating area, the shelves in the lounge filled with inspiring and uplifting books, local organic shampoo and shower gel in the bathrooms....
Two yoga classes a day are a great indulgence and luxury for me and the gorgeous yoga teacher, Maria Ferandez, is very intuitive and will adjust the class to suit your needs rather than follow a fixed formula. Instead of the usual energetic flow class in the morning after I arrived, we did hip openers and breathwork to open up my body after the long flight and help me with my cold. I fell into a lovely comfortable routine of seeing her twice a day and working on different parts of my body.
I am at heart a foodie. I have no dislikes except for processed food but I have been called a food snob by those closest to me as I am uncompromising about consuming fresh, and wherever possible, organic tasty food. My high expectations were exceeded and I felt lighter and my sinuses cleared up after a couple of days largely driven by the healing food on offer. I never felt deprived or hungry – in fact I felt indulged with freshly made nut milks, cacao chia pudding full of antioxidants, salads with sumptuous dressings. I did also enjoy freshly ground Costa Rican coffee in the morning and a glass of wine on some evenings so it wasn’t all detox for me at all and I still felt energised.
Why you should go
First of all, if you want big and flashy and stiff service, don’t go here. It is luxurious in a classy, understated and personal way. Go if you are exhausted and need to be looked after. Go if you love yoga and can get the chance to practice in an upmarket retreat. Go if you want to detox (they can do that too). Go if you just want to take a breath and relax and enjoy the beautiful location and some Pura Vida!