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“Second time's also a charm” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Nayara Hotel, Spa & Gardens

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Nayara Hotel, Spa & Gardens
4.5 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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Dinner+$100 spa Credit
Ann Arbor, MI
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
“Second time's also a charm”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2012

My husband and I spent five nights at Nayara this November. It was our second visit and, if possible, even better than the first. It's an absolute oasis, where I unplug like nowhere I've ever been. The grounds are lush and gorgeous, but if anything sets Nayara apart from the crowd, it's the service. The staff - from resort manager Jorge to servers and porters - is simply impeccable. They're clearly invested in the success of the resort and take incredible pride in their jobs. (A special shout out to Juan Carlos and Keillor, both of whom demonstrated such care and good humor.)

I spent my birthday there, and with the volcano as backdrop and the staff spoiling me with a birthday cake, it was one of the best ever. (Keillor's pretending not to believe I am as old as I am didn't hurt a bit either.)

The place has changed since our last visit, most notably with the opening of the sushi restaurant on the property. In addition, the demographic seemed to skew younger than last time, but that may be the effect of going in the off-season when rates were a little lower. We were a little concerned it was becoming a bit more of a party place, but that didn't bear out.

There was construction going on while we were there, which put a bit of a dent in our solitude. However, Jorge was gracious and responsive about moving us to another casita further away from the noise. His commitment to guest satisfaction is unparalleled.

Speaking of construction, it looks like Nayara is undergoing a massive expansion - I believe it's doubling its current number of casitas (45, I think right now.) One of my favorite things about Nayara is that it never feels crowded, like some resorts. It was rare to find anyone else in the gorgeous jacuzzis and while the pool was sometimes busy, it was never so much so that it felt unappealing. In truth I'm a little concerned that a big increase in guest load will change all that, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

There's also a huge increase in price coming in 2013 - nearly 20% higher than at present. I'm worried that'll price it out of our range, when we would like to keep coming back for as long as we can. In fairness to Nayara, though, this still places them lower than some of the fancy resorts surrounding them, but it may be too rich for our blood.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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 (554)
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English first
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2012

Wow this place is amazing!! From the grounds, room, pool, spa, food and the hotel staff. It is simply amazing!!! We stayed 3 nights and it was not long enough. We are planning our next trip back to spend a whole week.

  • Stayed November 2012, 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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Little Rock, Arkansas
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 29, 2012

Nayara Hotel is a nice retreat. We were greeted upon arrival with cool clothes scented with vanilla and mint. Very refreshing. Check-in was easy and we arrived early and they were able to give us 1 of the 2 rooms then. They assisted us with tours. We enjoyed the pool bar some. The breakfast buffet in the morning was great! Only disasspointment was, we had requested a king bed at the time of reservations and we received a room with two doubles, but did not mention it as we arrived early. I was amazed on the amount of children staying there though, which I did not expect. I don't think it's appropriate for children to be in a pool where there is a swim up bar and patrons smoking. I would think families would enjoy a more kid friendly atmosphere, but that's just me.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami, Florida
Top Contributor
79 reviews 79 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
62 helpful votes 62 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 28, 2012

I could not have imagined a better place to escape from Thanksgiving dysfunction. The property is absolutely gorgeous. It is lush landscape gives you the feeling you are actually in a jungle paradise. Each stateroom is privately situated within this tropical growth so you are enclosed by nature giving you perfect privacy to enjoy your outdoor jacuzzi. My favorite was the outdoor shower that I used every single day. We gave ourselves spa treatments that were just superb. The spa facilities are literally in the middle of the forest with open treatment rooms that just make the experience even better. All of the staff is very courteous, friendly and helpful. We had the breakfast buffet included as part of our package it did not regret it one bit since the Chef changed up the menu daily. Nayara has it all; truly number one. What a treat.

Room Tip: We were told that the staterooms further up the hill away from the main common areas are perfectly d...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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.
Flagstaff, AZ
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 27, 2012

My husband and I stayed in Nayara for 3 nights on our honeymoon after a very long travel day coming all the way from Belize. Nayara was exactly what we needed; welcoming staff, delicious fruit drink upon arrival, bellman driving us right to our room with a quick tour of the grounds, and much much more! The room was beautiful and minimally decorated, outdoor shower is awesome, and they even had a complimentary bottle of champagne waiting for us in our room because it was our honeymoon! If that wasnt enough, the manager of the hotel Jorge personally invited us to meet him for a drink on him while we were there. Nayara staff makes you feel at home.
The Wine bar was a fun experience and the man working there was extremely knowledgable and friendly.
The breakfast was MORE than enough with a huge selection for everyone, not stingy at all like we experienced at other hotels.
Yes internet only worked in the main parts of the hotel, but come on you're on vacation the internet shouldnt be your main concern. I notice everyone is always on their iPads or iPhones and losing out on the experience of what vacation is about!
My only disappointment with the room was that the volcano view was totally blocked by a tree, and they advertise that each room has a volcano view. We were in Room 10 so make sure your view is actually of the volcano and not blocked by a tree.

Room Tip: Ask about the volcano view
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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.
Boston, Massachusetts
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 26, 2012

This was our second of three hotels for our Costa Rican honeymoon. We arrived from a very isolated, quiet place and proceeded from Nayara to a very commercialized/busy resort on the beach. Nayara was the perfect mix of having things to do, people interaction and having quiet alone time when needed.

Our Octagonal bungalow was spacious, clean and had a lot of great features including an outdoor shower, a view of the volcano and a dense vegetation to give a sense that you're not right next to another bungalow.

The food and service at the restaurant were great. We were able to try a lot of different things at our convenience. The ground are very interesting with paths through the property where you can run into hammocks, a fish pond, the wine bar, the pool and the spa. The wine bar is a great feature and has an automated wine dispenser so you can try some new varieties (a little expensive though..).

We did the volcano hike and hot springs excursion and really enjoyed it. The rest of the time we were at the pool or relaxing on our bungalow porch - or inside when it was hot.

I do recommend this place as a great get away with a ton to do, amazing volcano views and generally good service and food.

With that said, I always like to note some things that weren't great in my reviews, and why I did not give a 5. Small annoyances - there is a parrot that hangs out at the pool and squawks every ten seconds. It's a nice touch, but makes dozing off impossible. Also, the staff uses golf carts on the paths and you have to constantly move over. We were almost hit one time. And the wifi signal in our room was usually too weak to use. The other bungalows are really close.. and you can hear conversations from your porch.

And unfortunately, there was a menu omission that caused me to get extremely sick from a food allergy. The one time I didn't mention my fish allergy we ordered the "meat and cheese" dish at the wine bar, which apparently came with salmon. The initial reaction was defensiveness from the staff but they did eventually offer up a doctor if needed (my wife was talking to them because i was unable to). I had a hotel representative call me at home, after I noted this in my online survey, to apologize and offer to cover our food and beverage expenses. They also noted they are changing their procedures and menu so it doesn't happen again. I was surprised to hear from them and appreciated their sincere concern and apologies.

Take away the food allergy and you can see that my annoyances are small compared to the positives!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Weston, Connecticut
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2012

My husband, two children (ages 14 and 17) and I just returned from the most glorious vacation at the Nayara Hotel. The stay bent over backwards to make sure we had everything we needed, from snacks when we arrived at the airport, to water to bug spray! The landscaping, private pathways and fountains created an atmosphere that was tranquil and serene. Our drive from Liberia Airport took about 3 hours, but the time flew because of driver was so knowledgeable about the country and educated us on so many interesting facts. Once we arrived, we were greeted with smiles and fresh towels. Our room, which contained two queens, easily accommodated a small twin that they brought in as well. The configuration of the room is perfect for families because the beds are separated by a huge wall where the showers (indoor and out), closets, etc are located. We did not feel we were tripping over each other in the slightest bit! The complimentary breakfast kept us going well into the afternoon and it was varied every day! We ate at every restaurant and also ventured into Fortuna, which is a quick, ten dollar cab ride to sample the local cuisine and shop. The sushi was delicious as well as the casual food poolside. We took four tours(ziplining with Sky-Trek, the Rio Celeste Hike, trip to the Hot Springs and Horseback Riding to the Waterfall) that were arranged through the hotel and they were first rate. The Rio Celeste is long and physically demanding, but we saw the most spectacular views and our guide was superb! We all agreed that this was one of the best vacations we have ever had. We are seasoned travelers and would say that Nayara is comparable to, if not exceeding world class resorts such as The Four Seasons or the Ritz Carlton! Yet, it offers the scale of a boutique hotel with first class amenities. I would recommend Nayara to couples of any age or for families traveling with teenagers. The hotel does not seem that conducive to young children and the activities in and around the Arenal region are suited for older children. It is a great location for seeing the sites in around the Arenal Volcano Region.

  • Stayed November 2012, 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
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 Luxury Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#1 Romantic Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#1 Family Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#1 Spa Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Nayara Hotel, Spa & Gardens 4.5*
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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