Serenity Vista Reviews, Cost, Complaints

Serenity Vista

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Serenity VistaSet in a luxurious, tropical residence in the mountain highlands of Panama, Serenity Vista provides low-cost luxury substance abuse treatment. Established by a small expat community of Canadians and Americans, Serenity Vista offers 30, 60 and 90-day residential treatment programs to those from all over the world.

Accommodations and Food

With room for six adult guests, Serenity Vista offers treatment in a very remote, peaceful, home-like environment. Guests have the choice between shared rooms with one other, or private rooms with en suite bathrooms, depending upon occupancy. They are permitted to take walks in the lush gardens and surrounding areas alone.

Meals are prepared by a private chef and eaten communally. They consist of locally grown and sourced fresh produce. Breakfast usually consists of a fruit smoothie, eggs, fruit, bread and muesli, alongside Latin American specialties.

Treatment and Staff

Guests arrive at Serenity Vista from all around the globe. The treatment plans are highly individualized and staff works closely to ensure treatment goals are met. The environment is trusting, guests are allowed some autonomy in moving around alone outdoors, but are asked to return for specific commitments. The average stay is 45 days, but may be as long as 90. Medically monitored detox is not available, and dual diagnosis support only comes through therapy, no psychiatric medication management is available on-site.

A typical day starts with a morning walk around the neighborhood, followed by 12-step meetings at the local clubhouse. The rest of the day is consumed by group sessions and individual therapy. Group therapy focuses on spiritual exploration, integrity, relationships and the four agreements. Optional sessions include art therapy, drama therapy and exercises designed to build a healthy self-esteem. Evenings are available for assignments, movies, or playing with the dog.

Licensed therapists and psychologists lead all the sessions at Serenity Vista.

Extras

Each Tuesday spa day and clients enjoy massages, yoga, as well as time in the pool, hot tub and gym. Meditation on the grounds is also highly encouraged. Weekends include a light schedule of meetings, time for work on assignments and recreational activities in the tropical rainforests.

Codependency recovery, nicotine cessation assistance and sailing are all offered in addition to the outlined program. Guests participate in individual counseling as well as focused process groups to combat these issues.

In Summary

Serenity Vista offers economical treatment in a luxurious environment. Cost varies and is determined by length of stay, and private rooms, but all guests enjoy the benefits of a small, home-like environment. The staff are dedicated and there long-term, which means they can offer the full benefits of the local neighborhoods and culture. A highly structured environment allows guests to build a strong basis for 12-step and therapy-based recovery, which they can carry back to their home countries. Many guests keep in touch and return for visits, updating the staff on their life’s progress and recovery.

Serenity Vista Location

15100 Jaramillo Arriba, Boquete
Chiriqui Province, Republic of Panama

Serenity Vista Cost

$14,850 (30 days). Reach Serenity Vista by phone at (786) 245-4067 or by email at [email protected]. Find Serenity Vista on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube

Do you have a complaint or review of Serenity Vista to add? Use the comments area below to add your Serenity Vista review.

Photo courtesy of Inzay20 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons (resized and cropped)

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10 Comments

  1. Dear Libby,

    Thank you for leaving this review of Serenity Vista. We think of you more often than you would imagine. We are grateful you are part of SV’s extended family.

    There is always a place for you at the dinner table, and in our hearts. One day at a time,

    Jane

  2. Mother of Adult Guest Reviews Serenity Vista.
    First of all, you are putting yourself or your beloved in the hands of two owners and founders who watch and care for each patient with generosity and wit. They are Good People. They are gifted, experienced caregivers who have seen it all and decided to help people in a large, Garden of Eden sort of setting. They are even funny at times. What surprised me most was the amount of attention from 4 or 5 different counselors, all trained in addiction. The shock is there are so many caregivers compared to patients and the benefit is also different styles of therapy. It’s easy to understand why the professional staff is so excellent; they chose to live in Panama and they were hired by John and Jane.
    The way you get well is by interacting with trained people. For comparison of the staff at Serenity Vista, the only other place I know is an established and expensive center north of Manhattan which treated my adult child for almost two months. Unfortunately, the psychologists my daughter saw there were disappointing, unprofessional and generally not helpful.
    Because of good management Serenity Vista’s fees make it possible to stay longer, even though the program is situated in an upscale English-speaking town in Panama. Most humans can’t give up alcohol addiction in 30 days; the brain resists. The reason other places Stateside say 30 days is because insurance company told them so — after 30 they stop paying. No doctor, no scientific study made that decision. If you can stay 45 or 60 or 90 days then the mind’s habits have a chance to change, making re-entry much safer, much easier. The psychological work can bring up painful memories, but the people around you care and are trained and understand. Plus, it’s happening to you in the midst of great physical beauty, the care of nature, and readiness for the next physical activity.
    I believe some addiction programs offer different activities but some essentially offer ‘a room and a bed.’ It makes sense that keeping the guest interested (attention out there) with varied activities and real challenges during the day helps the cure. Hiking, music, art and crafts with goals, sunshine, yoga, writing answers after thought-provoking videos or directed reading. A loving dog to take on beautiful walks, colorful sounds, birds, butterflies all around. Fabulous meals. Meditation alone next to the stream which runs through the private grounds. That’s what guests take for granted on a daily basis. For granted. Then many days have an expected treat: an excursion to swim in a mountain waterfall, to grill fresh fish on a secluded beach; to enjoy a spa and massage; to laugh during drum circle. Evidently, thrills and adrenaline challenges help the mind to change. There are many ways to get well at Serenity Vista.
    Of course, my adult daughter put in the work: after lots of self-examination and tearful insight, real work, talking on the phone with her I could simply hear that she was happier than she’d been in years. The counselors at Serenity Vista helped her plan coming back to the States, and she speaks with them about every day. She said she misses the gourmet food and everyone gathered around the table for meals.
    If you have any doubts, just do yourself a favor and call John or Jane. Or better, just do it.

  3. Serenity vista was the absolute best decision I have ever made in my life! They take unbelievable care of your well being there, and help you get to where you want to be in your sober life. With their amazing and caring counselors, they help to guide you through your demons and lead you on the path to success both in your sobriety and the new lease on life you undertake

    • Dear S,

      We appreciate you taking time to make this review of your addiction treatment at Serenity Vista.

      There is a special joy when a young person completely changes the trajectory of their life from darkness into light. Addiction affects the whole family, and so does recovery. You are a gift and an inspiration.

      Thank you for being part of our SV family. There is always a place for you at our table!

  4. I went to Serenity Vista for my recovery over a year and a half ago. Since then, I can honestly say my life has never been better. I’m not only sober, but very happily sober because I’ve learned healthy ways to handle life’s up and downs without the crutch of addiction. I look back on my time there fondly, especially grateful for the guidance of Jane, John and the other therapists at Serenity Vista. Yes, it’s beautiful! And I still miss sipping coffee there in the morning, while looking up at Panama’s highest mountain peak, filled with gratitude for the beauty, for the folks there, and for another day of sobriety. Thanks Serenity Vista!

    • Dear Anonymous 🙂

      We are still sipping coffee here in the morning, watching the clouds ebb and flow against the Baru Volcano (dormant volcano!)

      Thank you for taking the time to make this review. We are grateful for you being part of the SV family and for the continued service work I can only imagine you are doing for the still suffering alcoholic/addict.

      Our greatest reward is knowing the message of hope is being passed on. Recovery is possible.

  5. I have been sober since 3/25/17 and I feel a lot of gratitude for the first-rate team, program, and amenities at Serenity Vista. This rehab was the best program in the world for me when I needed to save my life from my alcohol and drug addiction. The team there absolutely delivered on the agreements we made when I decided to commit and the outcome has been nothing short of a miracle. In the fog of my addiction and denial cycle I felt lost and hopeless but when I left 45 days later I felt hopeful and clear that the new way of living sober in recovery is right for me. The only thing I would change about my experience there is that I would have stayed longer to realize even more of the personal growth and enjoyment available to anyone willing to work his or her recovery program at Serenity Vista. Accommodations are very comfortable, the property is a private oasis and the meals are prepared with love for the people who get to enjoy it together.

    • Dear Jake,

      Thank you for taking the time to make this review for Serenity Vista. We know you are busy in your amazing new life of sobriety. You are still inspiring our guests when we (anonymously) talk about your life choices after completing rehab. And, I know that you are helping countless others with your service work. Thanks!
      Jane

  6. Last May I was fortunate to be guided into the 45 day program at Serenity Vista. It was very scary at first, realizing that I had to peel the many layers of my addiction and co dependency away. After about a week I settled in and embraced the change and work that was about to happen. The therapists at Serenity Vista were the unbelievable. Every one brought a different set of insite and skill to my recovery process.
    I stayed in shared accommodation in the cute bungalow and feel that having a roommate was instrumental in my journey. Learning patience and compromise. The meals at SV are beautifully prepared but an excellent chef, bringing western and traditional cuisine together. I found I was in need of routine which I found but also had enough spare time to meditate, work on assignments and nap! (Which came few and far between as I recovered! ) Jane and John are very direct, incredibly insiteful, and so kind. I found the AA meetings something to look forward to, hearing other people’s stories, and always found someone to relate to.
    If you are looking to get your life back and start smiling again this is the exact place to start that journey! I will forever be grateful of my stay at Serenity Vista. It has helped me to live the life I dreamed I could.
    Oh and Sieba the pup is a wonderful therapist too!!

    • Dear Libby, thank you for taking the time to make a review. We appreciate hearing from you.

      And we agree Ceiba is a remarkably intuitive and mindful therapist – as only a chocolate labrador retriever could be! She teaches us all joy, and how to stay in the moment.

      One day at a time, recovery is possible. One of our greatest teachings to encourage people not to give up 5 minutes before the miracle happens. Because it will!

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