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“Tropical, rainforest, interesting hotel” 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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Hamilton, Bermuda
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Tropical, rainforest, interesting hotel”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2012 via mobile

Tropical setting, our room was totally private with hammock and jacuzzi. The room is splendid with wooden floors, four poster bed, outside shower, it really looks like picture.

Very friendly, helpful and professional. We arrived in tipping rain and had a lake cruise booked that Afternoon. The chap booking us in offered to cancel it for us, no charge etc as the weather was so rainy. Great service.

We ate at the main restaurant which was reasonably priced given the wonderful hotel! Good filling fajitas which were needed after zip lining in the morning. Ate on both our nights stay at sushi amor, which is advert in itself for the place with great cervice and sushi.

Also got a free drink on our first night, and met the on site manager. Nice touch.

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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2,066 reviews from our community

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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 (601)
Date | Rating
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Sacramento, California
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
35 hotel reviews
Reviews in 42 cities Reviews in 42 cities
93 helpful votes 93 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2012

All of the reviews are dead on...almost too good to be true. My husband and I traveled to CR and stayed at Nayara in Oct. 2012. Some construction going on at a nearby unit was our only complaint. For the price you pay to stay at Nayara it's almost unbelievable. If this property were in any other country it would be WAY more expensive. Please stay here, you will not regret it. Email prior to your stay and request a unit with a view of the volcano - unforgettable. The hot tub on the decking was so fantastic. After our 5 night stay I think I was permanently pruney from being in it so much. We rented a car a drove from San Jose, not too bad of a drive. Having the car was nice, no guided tours for us. We took ourselves wherever we wanted to go. A small fridge in the unit made it possible to purchase drinks and snacks so that we were not bothered to leave our room at all. Absolute luxurious feeling when using the outdoor shower, or laying in the hammock. Internet is spotty - but really? Who cares.

Please book a spa treatment. My husband and I did a couples volcanic mud massage - the first treatment of the day, so the massage artists were rested and excited for the day. Romantic - listening to the wind while mud is slathered and massaged into your body. Then a nice romantic ending - showering the mud off of each others bodies. :) So relaxing and so beautiful.

You can see animals jumping about in the trees from the comfort of the hot tub on the deck of your hut! We had a super high-powered lens - so zooming in a little and identifying those animals was so FUN!

CR was a location we never planned to travel to. We typically go against the grain and travel to places no one has heard of... But we are so glad we went to CR and experienced the green beauty of the country.

Stay at Nayara - no regrets. Talking birds, staff who are truly happy in their jobs. Hot tubs, beautiful views. Romantic luxury and good food! Breakfast is awesome too. Lots of fun little quirks that you just have to experience for yourself.

TIP: go check out the caves - Venado Caves. Best experience - crawling, climbing, getting soaking wet. So fun and so unique. Do it!

Room Tip: Email a week or 2 prior to your arrival - request a room with a fantastic view of the volcano.
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  • Stayed October 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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London, England, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2012

From the second we arrived we knew it was going to be a wonderful experience. The staff could not be friendlier or more helpful. Nothing is too much trouble and the service is first class. The view from our room was jaw-dropping and the cabins feel so wonderfully private - you feel as if you are the only two people there. The room was large, well designed and very comfortable. We ate at all three restaurants and the food was excellent. We had spa treatments which were amazing - simply bliss to have a massage with your other half in the open air room, with the noises of the rainforest as a soundtrack. We'd highly recommend this hotel.
Other things to do...
We went into La Fortuna one evening and had cocktails and food at the Lava Lounge - again, great service and food. We also did a few excursions - the bike ride around Lake Arenal was brilliant, especially if you're interested in seeing lots of birds & other wildlife. My husband did the ziplining and came back grinning from ear to ear! The only disappointing trip was the "hike" up the volcano (a package deal including time at a hot springs and dinner at the springs hotel) - in truth it was more of a gentle stroll along a path, with a brief stop for a photo opportunity (and you have a better view from your room at Nayara!) - the hot springs afterwards were nice but the food at the hotel (The Springs) was the only average meal we had in our entire stay in Costa Rica.

Room Tip: We stayed in room 17 and had a fantastic view and great privacy.
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  • Stayed December 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kamloops, Canada
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2012

There is not much else to stay about this hotel that has not already been said. It is spectacular! The grounds, the rooms, the staff, the restaurant - all 5 stars. The only thing I wish is that we spent more than 3 nights here, as we were so busy with all the activities in Arenal that we never got to experience all aspects of the hotel fully (ie: the pool, the private hot tubs around the resort, etc). We did have a massage as it was our honeymoon which was very good and professional. Sure, there is no internet in the rooms, but really this should not be a big problem if you are looking to get away from it all at a resort like this in Costa Rica. Wifi is available in parts of the hotel as well as free laptops for use in the lobby if you really need internet access. This resort caters to romance and couples, and is worthy of the accolades it has received.
In my opinion it is a steal for the price, although we booked a package that is now marked up by $250 since we booked. Still reasonable imo.

Book this place, you will not be disappointed.

  • Stayed December 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
McKinney, Texas
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
37 reviews 37 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
93 helpful votes 93 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.
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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 Luxury Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#1 Spa Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#1 Family Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#2 Top resorts 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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