Kelly is trying to transform a b-n-b into a holistic retreat center in Costa Rica

January 16, 2009

I might have mentioned before that I have moved to Nosara, Costa Rica, in order to transform a beach-side bed and breakfast into a eco-conscious, spiritual, healing retreat center (and yes, I am still writing about Alternative Recreation for the SF Examiner!)  Thus, I introduce Nosara Retreat Center.  For basic details and some photos please visit:


 (Please note that part of my job is to re-do the website, so please be patient with the current websites!)


I will start with what is already here, and then what we envision within the next year.  And then you tell me, if you think you might want to be part of this in some way…


What is…


  • I do not need to describe just how beautiful it is here. A natural orgasm.    I will borrow a camera and take some photos soon.
  • Two-minute walk to the perfect swimmer’s, yoga, T’ai Chi, jogging, horse-back-riding, fishing beach with little to no coral/shells—soft but solid sand—few people.  You can even cliff-climb here! (And just a beach away is a world-famous surfing beach!)
  • Charming hippie bungalows; precious decor
  • Bonfire pit (which can be used for a sweat lodge pit)
  • Mel Gibson is our neighbor and he has his own one-person helicopter and likes to fly around the jungle (he is a freak!)
  • Campgrounds
  • Individual herbal bath set-up
  • Massage room
  • Washing machine
  • Outdoor pavilion for yoga (and ecstatic dance coming soon!)
  • Our immediate neighbors include a surfing school, a couple posh resorts, a few cafes, a pulperia, kayaks, boats, ATVs (quad bikes), art gallery and dance club, yoga institute, lots of alternative medicine practitioners and surfers.
  • A puppy named Petuca and a female cat named Tom.
  • Hammocks
  • Yoga classes



What will be…


  • WiFi
  • Renovated kitchen
  • Water systems (Gray and Catchment)
  • Natural pool
  • Roof platform
  • Human Resources Team—cook, housekeeper, maintenance/landscaping, “team management” (this is Deborah, Michael and I), bookkeeper
  • Pound system
  • More native plants (with signs to identify plants)
  • Organic garden/herb garden
  • A/c in the office
  • Electric front gate
  • Paved roads/parking
  • Renovate/up-scale facilities/re-paint
  • Guard dog
  • Movie night (dvd, projector, screen, etc.)
  • More paths around the property
  • Community center area
  • Programs to assist the local economy (micro-loans and whatnot)
  • Recycling station
  • Compost
  • Art/crafts workshop, gallery and library
  • Kayaks, boats
  • 12 step meetings
  • More rooms
  • Improve linens/décor/furniture/curtains
  • Safes (for each room)
  • Bikes
  • ATV’s
  • Separate bathroom in main house
  • Printer
  • Healing conferences

·        Colonic cleaning station

·        Café/juice bar

·        Satellite TV

·        Permaculture teacher/Woofers

·        Fast growing coconut trees/more fruit trees

·        Fountain/koi pond

·        Eco-cabins



Kelly’s Specific Additions

  • nightly activities that feed the mind/body/soul—board game night, drum circle, bon fire, music jam, poetry night, meditation, etc. (not much night life here but no worries, we have already met two DJs!!!)
  • daily yoga/ T’ai Chi/Qi Gong
  • volleyball on the beach
  • boogie boards
  • snorkel equipment
  • community pot lucks
  • Ecstatic dance on Sundays (this is my church!)
  • Mud baths
  • Regular visiting healers and practitioners
  • Watsu
  • Full-moon, harvest, spiritual events
  • Microwave
  • Zen rock garden


The overall plan is that we will ride out the dry season (until April) as a bed and breakfast, and then during the rainy season cultivate our local community events and nightly activities.  Hope to have full-on retreats here by next dry season (late November.)  There is already a writer’s retreat “LET THE CRAZY CHILD WRITE WITH CLIVE MATSON”
( scheduled in Feb. for two weeks, and next Tuesday, we have a Tico Aryuvedic Practitioner (trained in India, practiced in France for years, and then his guru told him to return to Costa Rica) visiting to scope out the place for his sessions—I am told, he has quite a following down here.


So I am just putting this out there in case you have any ideas as to organizing/leading your own retreat, or if you might like to do a work-trade, or you just want to come hang out in Paradise for a little while.  Keep in mind, I  flew from SFO to Miami for less than $100 USD, and then found RT airfare to Costa Rica from Miami for only $200 USD and the cost of living here is super cheap.  Americans/Canadians do not need a visa for 90 days—just a return ticket.


And for those of you that repeatedly tell me I am living your dream…well, now is your chance!!!  (You know who you are!)  Please email me at if you are interested in discussing future retreats or a visit.



Kelly of the Pattersons


One Response to “Kelly is trying to transform a b-n-b into a holistic retreat center in Costa Rica”

  1. Sara Firman Says:

    Hello Kelly – Just had more time to browse your site and the links (came across you through a Google alert on Watsu). Great vision.

    You’re also the second place I’ve come across in the last couple of days as I started thinking about permaculture-style natural pools and how these should be part of all eco-spa ventures.

    You’ll see that I write a blog on visioning spa retreats that are truly sustainable (challenging as that might be). I’d love to feature your project as it goes along.

    Can we talk more? Would love to visit some time – the Missouri Ozarks is COLD right now.

    Glad to have discovered you.

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