*As seen in The Logbook
Dedicated to hosting one-of-a-kind retreats for guests with a taste for the extraordinary, VIDA by Selina is a retreat centre with a purpose. A solemn goal of transforming their guests into the greatest possible version of themselves in an environment that offers the best of eco-tourism.
“When people feel alive and connected to others, they create a positive impact on the planet,” says co-founder Edward Zaydelman who founded VIDA twelve years ago, “When you feel good you naturally want to create a healthy environment around yourself, affecting the people and your small part of the planet.”
THE BIRTH OF A GREAT IDEA
When Ed and his family moved to Costa Rica, they were in search of land to create a unique retreat centre to help bring their wellness vision to life. It became open to the public in 2012 and partnered with Selina hotels in 2018 to join its new Lighthouse Collective, which is a collective of similarly focussed retreat centres.
“I grew up in New York City,” Ed tells us, “And my professional background was major event production and management ranging from events with seven thousand people to boutique gatherings for performers like P.Diddy and Britney Spears. The pressure and stress involved was taking a toll on my body and I knew a change was needed.”
Rebounding from the fast paced event industry of NYC, Ed explains that he turned to integrative medicine for body and mind wellness which led him to the decision to follow his passions. These passions still included event management but were now combined with his newly discovered interest in health and wellness.
“What I do now was born from a deep desire to prototype a better, more abundant way to live,” he says, “That can focus on true wellness, longevity and quality of life.”
The next few years were invested in meeting top doctors, healers and practitioners of various wellness modalities while visiting the top wellness centres around the world. In 2015, he launched Experience Vida, a boutique Event and Retreat company. Then, in 2018, just three years later, Selina Hotels came in and partnered with them to create and operate VIDA by Selina, in Costa Rica.
“This was a major milestone,” he says, “From here I set out to create something that I had wanted to do for a long time. Helping entrepreneurs and teachers in the retreat by sharing some of the knowledge I had gained over 18 years in the event business. Retreat Lab became a yearly course and a live event which did just that.”
Overlooking the ocean and nestled just below the cloud forest of the Montes de Oro, Vida sets on 65 acres of pristine land in the quiet seaside town of Miramar.
A ninety minute drive from the San Jose Airport and close to a wide array of popular destinations and eco-adventure attractions, including some of the top beaches in the country, as well as Cloud Forests and Rivers, the location is concurrently secluded but not isolated. And, for beach lovers, it is only a ten minute drive from the Costa Rica Yacht Club which allows easy access to the secluded white sand islands of the Gulf of Nicoya.
Vida is an off-the-grid property away from the bustling hubbub of civilization and offers the perfect place for retreats and meditation, surrounded by forest animals, chirping birds and the sound of the wind.
There are 30 spacious, five metre tall glamping bell tents on site and while most of them can sleep two people they also offer triple occupancy tents, allowing them to host up to 90 people per event. For larger events, Vida can expand to hold up to 250 people and even provide accommodation for staff members to get a good night sleep on site. Generally, for events, guests stay for up to a week to get the full experience.
“These tents allow our guests to be the most connected to nature,” Ed says, “They are comfortable and yet feel a sense of adventure that we always want to convey at Vida. The tepees are spacious and allow you to disconnect from the ordinary aspects of life. You’re close to nature but have the creature comforts of mattresses and great showers.”
All the materials used for construction are eco-friendly and inspired from the surrounding areas of the property. The main material used is wood, sourced from local trees and bamboo as it is a very sturdy and attractive material. Some areas are built with cement out of necessity, but this doesn’t damage the natural look and feel of the property.
“We are located in a mountainous area overlooking the coast, so we have a mixture of beach and mountain vegetation surrounding us,” Ed says, “There are rivers around the area as well as lush natural areas. Inside our property, there is a huge banyan tree which we call the Vida tree, and this is where we conduct several ceremonies and events.”
The location is also alive with animals and some of the animals that can be spotted and definitely heard in the area includes the howler monkeys, a lot of birds, ant eaters and sloths who are fantastic at just hanging around and chilling out.
“We also have a full permaculture system with over five hundred exotic fruit trees,” Ed says, “Which encourages many insects to visit the site which in turn attracts more animals to visit.”
At Vida, there is a team of 12-15 people working on the property. However, if there is a request for a big event, their staffing can adjust in order to best accommodate their guests. Their staff are fully trained to the Selina standard and follow the Standard Operating Procedures which all of the Selina locations around the world adhere to.
“These are very well regulated and standardized throughout all the properties including Vida,” Ed says, adding, “Each employee is instructed through the use of manuals and checklists on how to maintain the general standards of cleanliness and hygiene in our site. Training all staff on procedures and protocol is naturally of the utmost importance to the success and comfort of our guests.”
Understanding that we live in a hyper-connected world, Ed explains that they provide guests with high-speed internet connection that is accessible throughout the property.
“Our main rancho offers laptop friendly working space for those busier guests to work from,” he says, ”We also have put power points on the main rancho and inside all guest tepees so that their devices never run out of battery.“
THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND:
Vida is a retreat centre and mainly works with groups of ten people or more that are looking to host special events. Partnering with a variety of teachers, mentors, yogis and people in the wellness industry to offer their guests exceptional programming and a worthwhile stay.
“Each group no matter the size and length of time is a unique production for us, so we take pride in both the small and big details to make this a one of a kind experience. We are here to co-create this with you,” Ed Zaydelman, Co-Founder
PRICE. Prices start from $110 USD per person per night and includes double occupancy accommodation in their glamping tents, three meals a day and snacks from their delicious, organic farm-to-table restaurant.
ADDRESS: VIDA by Selina, Miramar, Puntarenas, Costa Rica
TELEPHONE NUMBER: +1 (646) 496-8106