we like to hike and relax eat good food talk with the locals and walk the beauty way
Essence has completed online and offline ID verification.
Learn more »
Essence is amazing. After two weeks of traveling up and down Costa Rica's Pacific Coast, this experience was more than we could have asked for. The staff was friendly, helpful and skilled, the location was breathtaking, and we left feeling refreshed and eager to visit again. We really appreciated Essence's emphasis on health and wellness. The vegetarian meals, prepared by their very talented and friendly chef, were the culinary highlight of our trip and appealed to hardcore vegetarians and omnivores alike. Yoga with Melissa was truly delightful and enlightening. The location is sublime, the people are friendly and soulful. If you are looking for a soul-nourishing retreat removed from the touristy mega resorts that flank Arenal, and would like to experience pampering without breaking the bank, you need to visit Essence Arenal.
This was a wonderful place with a great vibe and even better staff. The food was delicious and the chef was kind and accommodating. He even went out of his way to prepare us a lunch after getting back from an exhausting hike. And on arrival the first day we were exhausted and he made us coffee (which was VERY much appreciated). Melissa was able to fit both of us in for a massage and it was worth every penny. She does a wonderful job and is kind/accommodating as well. The only bad thing I would say is that our room was very noisy. I could hear everything from the rooms beside us as well as from the kitchen which was directly across from us. The room also smelled like mildew. However, I suppose this is a rather common problem when it rains every day. We had wet clothes that made this problem worse because despite hanging them on the line outside, they wouldn't dry because there was too much moisture in the air. Slightly irritating but it did not effect the overall experience here. I would 100% recommend this place to others and would also return here again. If you stay here, I would also highly recommend the family style dinners at night. I wasn't sure about it at first, but the chef does a great job of helping everyone feel comfortable and involved. The food is delicious, reasonably priced, and it amazed me that the chef could come up with so many wonderful vegetarian options each day. Hands down the best food we had in Costa Rica.... and we traveled to several different areas. Thank you for a wonderful stay!
Night's 2-4 in Costa Rica: Essence Arenal is a cute place with multiple rooms far on a dirt road (30 min drive) past Arenal Volcano. Every morning and evening they have family dinners with one meal for a price-they welcomed us the first night with a yummy dinner. The staff was all very friendly, kind, and helpful! During our stay here, we hiked around Arenal National Park, kayaked the lake, hung out in the local area of Tabacon Hot Springs (for free), and walked around Essene Arenal's cute farm and swam in their pond. And yes, all this while raining! They have a regular macaw bird visitor and during our stay we saw Howler monkey's just in the tree's in the back (it took me two days to figure out that the awful dying wail was them!) The Essence Arenal hot tub was a nice treat and they even built a fire to help dry our wet shoes (note, once you get wet, you will stay wet!). The only minor problems here were the abundance of bugs in the room (for the place is in the jungle) and the hot water problems (lack of and then one second burning hot, the next freezing cold, and then no more hot water...) Other than that, great place to stay while exploring the Arenal area!
Essence was the most wonderful accommodation. I have backpacked across North America and never experienced such beauty as I saw in the rainforest at Arenal. The staff at Essence was wonderful and friendly, the guests who you can dine with each night are from all over the world and have great stories, and the room was exactly what we needed! We did yoga on two occasions with Melissa at 6:30am with a lake, rainforest and finca view, got caught in a downpour in the freshwater swimming pool up by the Farm, and walked each evening through El Castillo and up the hill to Essence. We heard monkeys, saw a variety of birds, and loved the constant sightings of horses and cows grazing in the area. This is actually the most beautiful place in the world! We will be back soon and will no doubt recommend to all our friends coming to Costa Rica!! Also, get a massage with Melissa and eat there for every meal you can! Seriously, I might quit my job and move there to volunteer.
Great place, nice people. Breakfast was great! The roads to get here are pretty rough, but if you have a car you'll be fine going in and out of town. They recommended going to the public, free tabacon hot springs which were great!
We had a great stay at Essence Arenal! It was such a treat to stay on their property which included a nice hike to a sustainable farm. Dinner was also delicious! We left wishing we had more time there.
We just spent 2 days at Essence, kicking off our week in Costa Rica. The accommodations were perfect, the surroundings were gorgeous and the hosts were friendly, helpful and incredibly nice. The three of us staying are all vegan, and they gladly made adjustment to the dinner and breakfast options to accommodate our dietary needs.
We wanted to stay longer, and will definitely be back to stay again in the future.
A great, off-the-beaten track, hostel option for exploring the Arenal area, if you want to avoid the bustle of La Fortuna and the pricey resorts. High in the hill-town of El Castillo, (you definitely need 4WD to manage the steep, bumpy road up) it offers spectacular views of the barren, north side of the volcano and Lake Arenal. Very friendly staff are a mix of Ticos and international volunteers who work on the hostel’s organic farm a short walk away. Abundant wildlife nearby include a resident scarlet macaw and a visiting troop of howler monkeys. Yummy vegetarian meals are served family-style, with different international cuisine for dinner each night. Our safari tent, containing a queen and single bunk bed, was spare, but clean and warm. We took nearby day-hikes on a local stream and up the road to a waterfall. Contemplating the clouds burning off the volcano during 6:30 AM yoga led by warm, thoughtful instructor Melissa was a peaceful way to start the day in a beautiful setting.
Cet endroit vous offrira une expérience hors du commun, du yoga matinal aux séances de cuisines participatives, tout y est conçu pour que vous vous sentiez connectés directement dans la nature.
This place will offer you a unique experience, from the early yoga session to the participative kitchen session, every thing is conceived so you'll feel directly connected to the surrounding nature.
I'm sure I will get back there, thank you Niko and Melissa.
Un staff super sympat : bon esprit ! Mes enfants et moi même avons passé un super séjour ! Superbe spot en pleine nature ! Je recommande chaleureusement !!!