Introducing The Retreat: A Wellness Oasis in the Costa Rican Rainforest
September 29, 2020 by Allison Reiber DiLiegro
A new Costa Rican wellness oasis, The Retreat invites guests to find health and tranquility while surrounded by harmony. Set on a high-vibrational crystal mountain that overlooks a rainforest valley and the Pacific Ocean, the setting is charged with an energy that inspires renewal. With the ocean breeze on the skin and the rainforest sounds humming in the air, the stresses of everyday life seem to unlock.
The project was brought to life by Diana Stobo, an award-winning author, celebrity chef, and wellness coach. After crafting a health program that healed herself from illness, she went on to guide countless people on their journey to better health and wellness. It was her dream to create a “Heaven on Earth” where guests can relax, move, be true to themselves, eat fabulous food, and feel that life was good. Diana’s wellness concept centers around healthy eating, human connection, gentle movement, and fun.
Fun comes easy at The Retreat. There are two saltwater swimming pools with sweeping views, a yoga studio, a meditation deck, river swings, jungle paths to explore, and an organic farm where guests can get their hands dirty. Dining at The Retreat is a delicious, delightful experience, with colorful, beautifully plated meals packed with wholesome goodness. The cuisine is primarily plant-based (while offering sustainably raised fish, fowl, beef, lamb), made with fresh, organic produce primarily grown on property. Anything The Retreat does not grow is sourced from local organic farmers. Every dish is grain-free, gluten-free, and dairy-free (with occasional goat yogurt and cheese), with no refined sweeteners. It sources its low acidic coffee beans from its nearby Organic Coffee Planation. For many, the clean, non-GMO diet delivers immediate results: higher energy, sharper focus, clearer skin, and so much more. Yet for those who prefer to unwind with a glass of wine or refreshing cocktail during your stay, The Retreat offers an Organic Wine Bar and Garden Cocktail Bar. There is also an Organic Tea Bar.
The heart of the property is the 8,000-square-foot Vida Mia Healing Center and Spa. The spa is helmed by Dr. Vinod Balakrishnan, an Ayurvedic doctor and holistic healer formerly with Taj Hotels. Dr. Balakrishnan spent years living in the high Himalayas, where he studied yoga and spiritual sciences. Now, he brings his integrative medicine concept, rooted in Ayurvedic science, yoga, naturopathy, and conventional medicine, to craft custom wellness programs that detox, destress, and rejuvenate. A range of all-inclusive wellness programs are on offer, each customized to suit individual guests. Packages include a seven-night Ayurveda Balancing, a five-night Emotional Healing, a seven-night Fitness Reboot, a seven-night Luxury Spa Healing, and more. As wellness is the focus, the property is for guests 16 and over.
A highlight is the The Naked Challenge Signature Detox, Diana’s signature program. Based on the results of thousands of clients over the years, the Naked Challenge helps guests to lose “10 pounds in 10 days.” The program includes daily hikes and yoga classes, four massages, five infrared sauna therapies, the signature detox menu, and more. The 10-day experience gives guests the time to feel results and come away with the knowledge needed for long-lasting results.
When the day is done, serene guest rooms provide a soothing sanctuary for calming the mind and body. The 13 rooms, each named for the plants grown on the property’s farm, feature plush bedding, raw organic amenities, outdoor spaces, and a palette of whites and neutrals with pops of color for a tropical feel. Deluxe Rooms are set back against the mountain, with a private patio or deck, and views of the mountain landscape, the valley, and the ocean. The Premium Rooms are larger, with expansive views of the valley and the Pacific, best enjoyed from chair swings on the balcony. Two Spa Collection rooms offer deep soaking tubs and views from the king-sized beds and the spacious balcony with chair swings. The King Suite features a spacious covered balcony with views of the valley and the ocean. Some rooms come with air conditioning, while others are best for those who love sleeping with the ocean breeze.
While it’s easy to hole up in the spa, this is Costa Rica, after all. Guests are welcome to join excursions into the spectacular natural surroundings. There’s a nature hike down the crystal mountain, where one might spot white-faced monkeys, the occasional sloth, or a white-nosed pizote. Guests rave about the trip to La Paz, with three stunning waterfalls, a butterfly garden, and a range of tree frogs, monkeys, snakes, and sloths. Surfers and beach-lovers can spend the day at Jaco Beach, a world-class surf destination, for some waves, some beach time, or a surf lesson. And that’s just scratching the surface.
The Retreat is perched high in Alajuela, a 40-minute drive from San Jose International Airport, which offers direct flights from New York, LA, Atlanta, and more than 40 other destinations. The valley region was voted to have one of the best climates in the world by the National Geographic Society. December through May is dry season, sunny and warm with a cool breeze over the ocean and spectacular sunsets. May through August has sunny mornings, and some afternoon showers that typically range from 10 minutes to two hours. September to November has lush foliage, sunny mornings, and afternoon clouds. It’s a beautiful, cozy time for going inward.
Barrio Jesús de Atenas
Costa Rica: +506 2106 3900
USA/Canada: +1 833 760 4242