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“Best Resort EVER!” 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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Dinner+$100 spa Credit
McKinney, Texas
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Best Resort EVER!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2012

My fiance and I had the best time in Costa Rica. We loved Nayara!! From the moment you walk in it is beautiful. Everyone is so friendly and happy to help with anything you may need. We arrived early and the front desk informed us if we waited till about 3pm we would have a better view of Arenal. Casita #5 has the best view of the volcano!! The food was delicious, the guacomole was perfect at dinner. We loved the white water rafting, zipline and hot springs. I would recommend this resort for couples... It is a nice place for two to get away and relax.

Room Tip: Room # 5 is amazing!!! Great view of Arenal. The only reason I gave the sleep quality an average wa...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    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 (579)
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Kings Park, New York
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2012

My husband and I stayed here for three nights during our honeymoon. We were exhausted upon our arrival, having traveled over 5 hours to get to the hotel, so we were thrilled to be greeted by the most friendly and enthusiastic staff. Throughout our stay, the service continued to be excellent, whether it was at the restaurant, the spa, or even from maintenance.

The grounds were beautiful -- lush and jungly but very carefully landscaped, and the room we stayed in was amazing. The outdoor shower (which I was a little unsure about at first), huge bathroom and terrace with jacuzzi were all beautifully decorated and were cleaned very thouroughly every day. The only downside was the very uncomfortable furniture in the sitting room -- we opted to sit on the bed when watching TV and never really used this space.

The food in the restaurant was good albeit pricey, and the massages we had at the onsite spa were some of the best we've ever had. The staff was also very helpful for us in booking excursions, and we thoroughly enjoyed both of the excursions that the hotel recommended for us.

So why I am giving this hotel four stars instead of five? The main disappointment was that the whole hotel was just a little inauthentic for me. The website describes the hotel as both a resort and a luxury boutique hotel, but it is definitely more resort than boutique hotel. We probably met about 10-15 other couples during our 3 night stay, and they were all also on their honeymoons, which detracted from the experience somehow. Also, I don't really think you get a flavor of the Costa Rican culture from being there because you are so far from town. We would have liked this hotel more if we felt that our experience was a little less cookie cutter and a little more local. Bottom line, it is a fantastic place, just make sure it is the right one for you!

Room Tip: Although the hotel's website says "All of our Casitas are beautiful free-standing bungalows...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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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London, England
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
76 helpful votes 76 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 25, 2012

I nearly didn't book at Nayara at all - I sent them an email specifically enquiring if by booking directly with the hotel, they could match the more competitive rates offered on online booking sites - and reservations ("Johnny") merely responded with a curt, standard email reminding me of their standard price and attaching a form to fill in. Strangely, once booked (via ebookers), the hotel switched into helpful mode with thoughtful replies (from "Carlos") to various questions I emailed.

The hotel's own transit from San Jose airport at USD140 is competitive with independent private car transfers and for the 3-4 hour journey is good value. Nice driver in clean, 4WD car.

Itinerary planning:
Two nights was sufficient (with Monteverde to follow). The SkyTram/Sky Trek zip wire is well worth doing. As is the Eco Thermales thermal springs. The hotel-recommended Arenal Volcano Tour that preceded the springs was over-billed - more a walk to a nice view spot. On the way back, everyone in the minibus had to fill out feedback forms in front of the guide who had been repetitive and uninspiring so we had to write nice things even though we were all disappointed.

A few things just to manage expectations:

- You can't walk into town - it's a short drive in if you want other restaurants in the evening.

- The hotel casitas (rooms) are large with balconies directly onto forest. They are mostly delightful. They are quite densely packed together, but the connecting paths are cleverly landscaped and the overall layout is staggered so you can barely see neighbouring balconies - it's not a full 'hideway' resort but this is reflected in the price.

- The casitas are beautifully and simply appointed but would benefit from at least one item of upholstered furniture for comfort. All the seating in the room and balcony is unforgiving bare hardwood.

- The wi-fi in the rooms was broken (at least in the two casitas our party was occupying) - something the hotel management seemed to have a longstanding awareness of, claiming it was difficult to get working properly. Other much more spread out properties have sufficient access points to deliver a wifi signal without the need to go to reception to get a connection so I'm sure this is fixable.

- Unfortunately, the main restaurant is sandwiched between a fairly busy reception pavilion (with slighty manic management) and the main car park (which is visible and audible when eating). This is a shame as it somewhat breaks the calm 'magic spell' of being in the remote foothills of the volcano.

-Food in the main restaurant was mostly good (but not the best hotel food in CR) and predictably pricey for the captive audience. The inclusion of a sushi restaurant seemed an odd novelty. The wine bar (staffed by helpful Jonathan - there are a few Jonathan's there) was more useful, serving a very small range of very large plates of tapas!

So overall, still a lovely place, a recommendation and I would go back. Just be aware of some limitations.

PS the Mystery Of The Third Tap (faucet) - hot, cold and ???? feeding the single outlet shower remains...

Room Tip: Some casitas have a side balcony as well as a main balcony but I'm not sure it makes much differ...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Jorge G, Manager at Nayara Hotel, Spa & Gardens, responded to this review, December 29, 2012
Dear valued guest,

I would like to thank you for sharing your recent experience at Nayara.
After reading your comments I would like to extend an apology for the encounter you experienced during the reservations process. Please know that I have discussed this at length with the team and took proactive measures to avoid these types of situations in the future, on the other hand I was glad to learn that Carlos was able to accommodate your needs during that process.
I personally consider a tour guest’s comments as the best way to improve ourselves and definitely will work on the other points you mentioned.
On behalf of the entire Nayara team we look forward to serve you again in the near future.

Sincerely,

Jorge Gutierrez
Resident Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 24, 2012 via mobile

Gorgeous setting, perfect service, beautiful private cabanas with deck with private jacuzzi. Amazing gardens, fantastic spa and the whole premises very well maintained. Great sushi restaurant (although somehow overpriced), gorgeous wine bar with outside terrace for fine dining. Pool area with great cocktail bar. Super friendly and helpful staff ( sometimes too much focussing on the US clients and fishing for tips). Almost perfect and absolutely no better place to stay in La Fortuna. And of course, all of this does have a price, but worth it.

Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 24, 2012 via mobile

This is the summun of luxury from the moment you step up in your transfer van. Staff are super dedicated, the tours are of top level. We recommend Edwin and the canopy tour. The people staying there are lovely, its a very social place. We did find it on the expensive side. But good things are never cheap, just be aware that money goes quickly when you have a great sushi bar, an amazing wine bar and a world class open air spa. Perfect for a honeymoon or if you need to fix your marriage. The laundry did ruin my favorite t shirts which they put in the dryer and the staff is pushing too hard on the tips. For the record, they has 13% tax and 10% tip. You don't need to leave extra. But we loved it there, go on spoil yourself, you are worth it.

Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jorge G, Manager at Nayara Hotel, Spa & Gardens, responded to this review, December 29, 2012
Dear valued guest,

Thank you for sharing about your experience at Nayara.
I want to take the opportunity to apologize the situation that happened with your shirt; in regards to your comment, the gratuity is unacceptable since we ensure the compensation of all of our colleagues across the board is competitive within the area and above the government range; most of the team has worked at Nayara for a considerable amount of time because of that. The matter has been addressed with the entire team.
Should you like to discuss this further please do not hesitate to contact me.

Sincerely,

Jorge Gutierrez
Resident Manager.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 24, 2012

The vibrancy of Costa Rica...the culture, the people, the colors, the food....they all come alive at the Nayara. All in all, the property and staff represented the best of Costa Rica. Food was good and plentiful, the grounds were amazing...lush and colorful, the accommodations were luxurious and restful, and the staff were incredibly professional yet friendly and eager to please. All in all, our 3 nights were the start of an incredible journey in CR which enabled us to experience the wonders of the rain forest and get to know a little about the local area and the communities. The Nayara booked our excursions each day and we were not disappointed with the volcano and waterfall hikes, the rafting trips down the river, the intensity of the zip lines, and capping it all off with some down time at the mineral baths. We could not have found a better place to stay!

Room Tip: Splurge on a suite...well worth it...an oasis of private calm and beauty. The hammock on the deck a...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, PA
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 23, 2012 via mobile

My husband and I stayed at Nayara for two nights and loved the experience. Our room was beautiful and felt very secluded. We loved the happy hour and the sushi restaurant, and I had a fantastic mud mask facial at the spa. The staff are extremely friendly and very professional. They helped organize tours for us and called the airline for us several times to chase down a missing piece of luggage. We would stay at this hotel again in a heartbeat - it is top class!

Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
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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 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
#1 Luxury Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Nayara Hotel, Spa & Gardens 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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