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“Cannot Wait to Return with my Wife!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Nayara Hotel, Spa & Gardens

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Nayara Hotel, Spa & Gardens
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   6 KM Oeste de Fortuna | Arenal volcano National Park, La Fortuna de San Carlos, Arenal Volcano National Park 33021, Costa Rica (Formerly Arenal Nayara Hotel & Gardens)   |  
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Melbourne, Florida
Top Contributor
73 reviews 73 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
“Cannot Wait to Return with my Wife!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 15, 2011

I booked two nights here after hearing about a special deal that would be available during my time in Costa Rica. My actual stay was September 2010. I was traveling with my adult son, a brother, my sister, and my elderly mother. We loved Arenal Nayara!! The accommodations were excellent and the food was fantastic. You have great views of the volcano from most rooms and especially the pool with a swim-up bar. All rooms have a hot-tub/bath and hammock on an outside deck. There is also an outside shower on the opposite side of the room (as well as an inside shower). My mother has trouble walking so the golf cart transportation around the entire complex was much needed. We also took advantage of the Wine Bar during our stay. I would recommend this hotel for couples looking for a romantic get-away even though it was also great for my family.

Room Tip: Book the superior rooms for an unobstructed view of the volcano.
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  • Stayed January 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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2,138 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (633)
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English first
Allentown, PA
2 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 14, 2011

TRANSPORT
We flew into the San Jose airport and used the transfer service recommended by the hotel for our long, windy, bumpy trip to Arenal. Our driver, Norman, was personable and informative. We stopped for coffee along the way and a bathroom break. We were glad that we used the transfer service as driving the windy roads may have been a little stressful after our long travel day. It took about 2.5 hours to reach the hotel and the cost was $110 plus optional tip.

ARRIVAL/ROOM
Upon arrival the staff at Nayara was very friendly. We had elected to book the Nayara Hideaway package with the most basic room. The package included one dinner, an excursion of our choice, a trip to the Ecothermales hot springs and a couples' massage. I was nervous about booking the most basic room but we were in no way disappointed. It had all the amenities as promised including volcano views (which we never did get to see because of rain/mist). The rooms had great wifi internet which we were not expecting. We were in 21 which was very close to the lobby and pool. Although the construction on the new Sushi restaurant was a bit of an interruption we know that it is almost complete so it shouldn't affect many visitors moving forward.

DINING
On the first night we had dinner at the hotel restaurant. Everything we had was very good - I was not anticipating this as the reviews had all been so-so. Being that it came with our package we didn't notice the prices but bottled water and 2 beers did run us $25 USD. We elected to drink bottled water the first two days to ease ourselves into the water but after that drank tap water everywhere and ran into no problems. Although we changed money over into Colognes at the airport we found very little need for it being that throughout Costa Rica they widely accept the US dollar. Breakfast at the hotel was just great - also included. We have become obsessed with the Lazano sauce - try it on your rice and beans!

We also used the pool bar and wine bar while there. Both bars have their own menus and we took advantage of these at lunch time. The staff at the pool bar - Johnny and Renaldo were very personable and attentive. They kept us coming back! To offset some of the cost of alcohol at the hotel we did venture to Super Mega in La Fortuna for some beer and snacks. In addition, we brought some power bars and nuts from home to hold us over on excursions.

We chose to venture out into La Fortuna for dinner at Don Rufinos as we saw it recommended on trip advisor. We had a great meal - try the Marlin Ceviche! The cab ride was a flat rate of $10 USD each way. The gift shops in town are open until about 10pm.

SPA
We had the volcanic couples mud massage that came with our package. Very nice, relaxing and professional!

EXCURSIONS
We highly recommend the Sky Tram and Trek. We had a blast - staff was super and quite an adventure. Others who had Zip Lined in other places in Costa Rica said it was some of the best.

We also did the hanging bridges tour which got crowded and slow paced for us but still very informative regarding the area's vegetation, insects and birds.

ECOTHERMALES
Great very personal experience - definitely add the meal to your package once you get there. It was delicious and a good value. They have a full bar and nice locker facilities. The hotel provided shuttle service to and from for us.

All in all, the staff was really what made Nayara so exceptional. They noted that the owners treat them very well which is good to hear - when you are spending a lot of money you like to know that the people who make your trip special are also happy. The staff said this isn't typical at other properties in the area. I think this is likely a reflection of why the staff is so great to the guests at Nayara.

We can't wait to come back with friends and family!

Room Tip: You do not need to pay extra for the suites, the Casitas have every amenity in a smaller space! Grea...
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Westminster, MD
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 13, 2011

Hotel Nayara was the most amazing place! It was set in the foothills of the volcano and was surrounded by such a beautiful landscape. The restaurant - great food, friendly staff, variety and an awesome breakfast! The pool - relaxing and the drinks at the pool bar were goooood! The hotel - so clean, so well-designed, so relaxing, so nice! Our room - best of the best! Amazing view of the volcano and all the amenities you could dream of. The professionalism of the staff was top notch. It was so easy to coordinate activities; they managed it all. The service was above and beyond. Recommend!

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Atlanta
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 12, 2011

This hotel is every bit as beautiful as the other reviewers have described. What a wonderful way to start the day - walking to breakfast in such a lush and beautiful landscape!

We flew into San Jose and rode 2 1/2 hours to the hotel - long and bumpy the whole way. Walked into a gorgeous lobby with very friendly staff - definitely a relief! They drove us to our room and even though I did so much research and knew what to expect, it was amazing. SO SPACIOUS!! I can't decide what part is my favorite - the large indoor shower with the best rainfall showerhead, the beautiful and private outdoor shower (though it was a bit chilly - of course I had try it and it was great), or just waking up to the sounds of the birds and the view of the volcano!

Breakfast was included and was terrific. Huge buffet, lots of choices, typical Costa Rican food along with American staples (eggs, bacon, breads and pastries, fruit)... Dinner was just OK.

Location was as good as any. It is off of the main road down a bumpy path, but most of the nicer hotels are as well.

Oh - and free phone calls to the US and free internet (4 laptops in the lobby) are a nice treat!

I defintiely recommend this hotel to anyone coming to this area! The staff is incredibly friendly and helpful, and the hotel is so beautiful and romantic. What a wonderful way to start our Costa Rican adventure!!

Room Tip: We had room 17 - close to lobby, restaurant, pool and jacuzzis (although the rooms each have a jacuz...
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Menlo Park, CA
Top Contributor
89 reviews 89 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2011

If you are looking for a gorgeous place that feels as if you are the only couple at the resort, then this is your stop. The staff are incredibly personable and attentive and the grounds are unreal. There are multiple hot tubs, a spa, and a pool complete with swim up bar. The bungalos are just beautiful, though they are a bit stingy with the towels. We had an indoor shower, an outdoor shower and yet another tub on our balcony. Comfy beds, flat screen and DTV (which we pretty much ignored because there is so much to do and see). In the restaurant, the food is good and the staff are wonderful. Ask and you shall receive. Occasionally, think and you shall receive. Free WiFi and phone calls from the lobby. Incredible place.

Room Tip: You HAVE to try this place. Enough said.
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Huntington Woods, Michigan
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2011

My wife and I stayed here in December 2011 for 3 nights. We had room 2 with a view of the volcano. The room was clean and spacious. The outside patio with hammock and hot tub, as well as the outside shower on the other side of the villa, were private and as good as advertised. After 16 years of marriage, this was a great way to start our second honeymoon. Customer service was fantastic. Kudos to all of the staff, who always were friendly and had good suggestions when asked.
For an inexpensive place to eat in town, try the empanadas at the Rain Forest Coffeeshop (not affiliated with Rain Forest Cafe). It looks like a cafe, but their food was wonderful. Loved the hiking trip to Rio Celeste. It was a challenging, all-day trip, but was one of the highlights of our week.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kansas City, Missouri
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 7, 2011

Choosing Nayara for our 9 day trip to Costa Rica proved to be the vacation of a lifetime. The grounds/rooms at the hotel are stunning and clean, the staff are so helpful, and there were little perks around every corner that made us feel like we were getting the most of our money.

Perks/Accolades:
Our experiences at the spa were incredible. On two occasions, the employees at the spa even ordered complimentary snacks for us at the end of our treatments (chocolate covered strawberries with tea one day; fresh fruit and white wine another). Also, although many of the women who work at the spa appear small, don't be fooled...they are strong! We both got some of the best massages we've ever had. Highly recommend the Aloe Wrap, the Jacuzzi Milk Bath, and the Coffee Scrub.

Deybis and Carlos were very helpful to us in getting our excursions booked before we even arrived and facilitating changes in our schedules after we got there. I highly recommend the Sky Trek/Tram Excursion. Coming from someone who is terrified of heights, it is so worth it and was likely the highlight of our trip! We also really enjoyed the Combination Tour with Pedro from Jacamar Tours, though found the evening at Ecotermales to be a bit of a letdown (might try Tabacon next time). The Night Forest Walk at the Eco Center was also a treat.

Finally, on a more personal note, I need to take a moment to recognize Jonathan and Ever in the lobby. My husband was badly injured (though okay now) due to an incident of gross negligence on the part of another local hotel that we visited for a day. Both of these men were so incredibly helpful to us during the last day of our vacation, as we negotiated issues related to reimbursement for the medical bills, insurance, etc. Jonathan had extra pillows and room service delivered to our room to make my husband comfortable and truly went above and beyond anything I have ever experienced from a hotel employee to help us out.

Cons:
While we really enjoyed our balcony jacuzzi, we noticed a sulfur scent coming from the jets whenever we tried to use them. We ended up just leaving them off because it wasn't a huge deal. The middle hot tub by the pool has steps that are really slick for some reason. Be careful! Also, we tried the spa hot tub one day and it was actually a bit too hot. I meant to mention this feedback to the front desk but forgot.

Tips about the hotel/La Fortuna:
The hotel also operates a shuttle to La Fortuna for employees and guests 2-4 times each day. All you have to do is let them know you want to get on one of the shuttles, and this will save you a cab fare one way (cab fare from Nayara to La Fortuna is generally $8 to $11 and the ride is about 10 minutes)

Certain areas of this hotel require a bit of walking (though they do have golf carts available). This was great for us since we are both relatively active and enjoyed the morning walks in the fresh air. However, if you are have physical limitations, it may be necessary to request a room closer to the lobby.

We found the wines in the wine bar to be a bit pricey (generally $8-9 dollars for a full glass, half of that for half a glass, or you can get just a sample of two sips for about $1.50-$2.00). Tapas in the wine bar were great! Highly recommend the Ceviche and the yucca fries!

We really loved the breakfast at the hotel, though their best shines through when you stick with the local dishes (i.e., rice and beans, plantains, fresh fruit). I heard some people were disappointed with the meals but wonder if this was because they were expecting a typical American breakfast that tastes the same as it does in America. Also, all coffee is freshly French-pressed. We also went into town several times to try various places (highly recommend Soda Viquez, Don Rufino, and Rain Forest Cafe; did not care for Lava Lounge or Soda La Parada).

There is a mini-bar in each room and prices were relatively decent (i.e., $1.50 for water; $0.50 to $2.00 for many snacks; there is also beer and wine, though the wine was about $20 at bottle).

La Fortuna is relatively safe to walk around in, especially during the day. We bought some wine ($14 for a bottle of nice Chilean Wine) and soft drinks at one of the grocery stores to take back to the hotel with us.

Take time to just sit out on your balcony one day. We were lucky enough to see several parakeets, a toucan, and other beautiful birds. Our balcony felt very private.

Be sure to bring ponchos with you to Costa Rica regardless of when you go and arrive with a flexible attitude about the rain. It rains quite a bit, even during the dry season. However, it is very refreshing and the quality of the clean air is amazing.

In sum, I will admit that I carefully combed Trip Advisor before booking this hotel because we previously experienced a disappointing honeymoon at an all-inclusive resort in Jamaica. This hotel far exceeded our expectations in many capacities and we would highly recommend it to anyone. They definitely deserve the awards they have received! I certainly hope we can return at some point.

Room Tip: We were in room #25 with a king bed and an excellent view of the volcano! It was very quiet and we c...
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Nayara Hotel, Spa & Gardens

Address: 6 KM Oeste de Fortuna | Arenal volcano National Park, La Fortuna de San Carlos, Arenal Volcano National Park 33021, Costa Rica (Formerly Arenal Nayara Hotel & Gardens)
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Alajuela > Arenal Volcano National Park > La Fortuna de San Carlos
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Spa Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#1 Luxury Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#1 Family Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#1 Romantic Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#6 Business Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Nayara Hotel, Spa & Gardens 5*
Number of rooms: 50
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Arenal Nayara Hotel & Gardens is a five star luxury boutique hotel that is widely recognized for providing premium luxury amenities and ultra-personalized service at surprisingly affordable rates. Located in the outskirts of the amazing Arenal Volcano, Arenal Nayara is an oasis of tranquility, where guests can experience a profound and organic immersion with nature, while living in luxury at the same time. Surrounded by lush tropical rainforest, each one of our 50 spacious casitas (bungalows) provide an exclusive, ultra-luxurious retreat. Each expansive casita (ranging from 855 to 1905 square feet) includes a secluded garden with an outdoor shower and a beautiful terrace overlooking the volcano with a private, intimate Jacuzzi for two. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Arenal Nayara Hotel And Gardens
Arenal Nayara Hotel Gardens
Nayara Hotel, Spa & Gardens Costa Rica/Arenal Volcano National Park

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