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“An Incredible Stay at an Incredible Place” 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
Houston, Texas
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“An Incredible Stay at an Incredible Place”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2013

I don't know where to begin, except to say that my wife and I have stayed in many nice places in many different locations over the past few years, but we NEVER have stayed at a place with the level of beauty, luxury, and hospitality that we experienced at Nayara. We were there for our honeymoon, and it was an amazing experience.

My wife and I stayed for eight days at Nayara in November, 2012. We were greeted the first night by Jorge, the manager of the resort, at the sushi bar. He bought us a glass of wine and let us know that we were very welcome at his resort. He also told us that, since we were staying for eight nights (which I imagine is a longer than usual stay), that if we had any special food requests he would accommodate them. However, we are both laid back people and the food was incredible, so this was never an issue.

We purchased the Honeymoon package, which I highly recommend if you can afford it. It includes a free meal a day on the grounds, spa treatments, a stay in one of the suites, several excursions, and a private dinner, among many other things.

I'm not going to go on for too long because most of the other posts mention the highlights (jacuzzi on the balcony with a view of the volcano, wine bar, incredible food at the Altamira restaurant, wine bar, and sushi restaurant), and instead I will mention the things that personally made the trip amazing for us.

My birthday was during our stay there, and so we scheduled the private dinner included with our package for that evening. My wife wrote the hotel in advance trying to see if they could make a special "lucuma" cake for my birthday cake. Lucuma is a Peruvian fruit and makes for some super good deserts, especially cakes. Well, apparently it's very difficult to find. Carlos, my wife's contact, had the fruit FLOWN IN from Peru and prepared by the chefs for our meal. This was an incredible gesture. We were not charged for it, and it really was a great touch. Karla waited on us for our meal and was very kind and professional, we enjoyed her service. Finally, Juan Carlos, a member of the wait staff who prepares fresh table-side guacamole and flambee deserts that are incredible, brought us fresh guacamole from the restaurant. We were in the restaurant the night before this private dinner, and we had mentioned to JC that we loved his guacamole--he offered to bring it across the resort to our meal. The next night he delivered it personally, right in the middle of what was probably a busy dinner service. This is the type of treatment that is just not typical in most places, hardly anywhere.

Johnny in reception also made our stay great. He spoke to me at length about the hotel, Costa Rica, and many other things during our stay. In general, with Johnny and many of the other staff members, you got the feeling that they genuinely wished for you to have a great stay--that they derive a personal satisfaction from your happiness. It goes beyond just proving a job in a service industry, they truly create relationships with you while you are there.

I do want to mention that wifi is not available in many of the rooms, due to the challenges of being in the middle of the rainforest. However, I made a comment to Johnny and he was able to run a cable and set up a router with internet in our suite within an hour. It was great to be able to get online from the room after thinking that perhaps we would only have access from the grounds in the main areas.

Finally, I want to mention Elquin and Josue and the great service at the wine bar. In addition to running the wine bar and explaining the different types of wines, Elquin creates two different wine pairing meals. They consist of five courses and five types of wine, and are wonderful. The wine bar in general is great touch to the resort and we loved spending our evenings there.

I know I'm forgetting others, but everyone really was great. Esteban was always very kind when he saw us in reception and always seemed interested in our plans each day. The level of service, once again was simply incomparable to anywhere else.

I would go back in a heartbeat, and can't wait until the next time we find the opportunity to go back to Nayara. If you are considering booking a trip here at all, don't wait any longer. It's all worth it.

  • 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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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
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Vancouver Island, Canada
Top Contributor
91 reviews 91 reviews
35 hotel reviews
Reviews in 46 cities Reviews in 46 cities
90 helpful votes 90 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2013

I don't even know where to start in reviewing this hotel. From the moment we arrived we were treated like VIP guests. We were celebrating our annivesary and arrived to our room with rose pedals on the bed and a happy anniversrary banner. We were quite tired from the trip in getting there, and decided we would just grab a bite in their restaurant, assuming it would be typical "hotel" food. The chefs special was chateaubriand and we both were completely blown away at how amazing it was. One of our top three best meals ever, anywhere! That night they had a wonderful sazz player at the restaurant, and the entire experience was magical. The restaurant is in an open air setting and was very romantic and the service was better than most high end places we've been to in North America or anywhere in the world for that matter. They have a sommelier who has travelled around the world and has vast knowledge in wines. The staff are almost all native Costa Ricans and are very well trained on customer service, yet they have a natural warmth to them, and sincerely care about your happiness. Our room was beautiful with a completely private deck with a two person jaccuzzi tub on it, and hammock and two very comfortable chaise lounge chairs. My husbands favourite part of the room was the private outdoor shower. Such decadence. The grounds of the hotel are spectacular. I'm not sure how many rooms are there, but they are all situated so each one is completely private and interspersed on the property are little oasises with private loungers and hot tubs to enjoy. There is a pool with a swim up bar, and the best surprise was getting in the pool to find the water nice and warm. They have a wine bar on site and a japanese restaurant as well, but we ate at the main restaurant all three nights we were there. The breakfastas are included and were unreal. Everything you could think of was there; you could have custom made eggs, best bacon ever, local cheeses, freshly squeezed juices and french pressed Britt coffee. We decided to go exploring one day and they even have pre-wrapped sandwiches, fruit and fresh granola bars to take along with you. They even remind you to take a towel with you, if they see you're leaving without one. The service was really top notch. They arrange tours for you, and take care of all the details. We really didn't want to leave after three nights, and would go back there in a heartbeat. The price was on the higher end, but we considered this our treat and do not regret it for a moment.

  • Stayed January 2013, 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2013

We stayed four nights at the Nayara Hotel during our recent honeymoon. From the minute we walked in to the reception area, we were in amazement. The hotel and grounds are beautiful beyond words, the staff friendly and attentive...every detail is accounted for. Jonathan at the reception area was helpful and friendly - we loved him. The rooms are private and have all the amenities - we LOVED the private balcony, outdoor shower and jacuzzi tub. The welcome drink with the wonderful resident manager was unexpected but very nice - it was fun to meet other new guests. We ate at Sushi Amor - definitely try the plantain sushi and tried the wine pairing dinner which was a bit pricey but fun for food and wine lovers. We loved the small pours of wine at the wine bar - so much fun! Breakfasts were amazing and copious. The turndown service was really great - a small bottle of water and chocolates are always welcome! The pool is intimate and clean, and we loved the resident macaw. We decided to have a massage at the spa one day and my husband said it was the best he's ever had in his life - we couldn't pass up the opportunity for a massage that looked out onto a tropical forest. From our balcony we saw an iguana, hummingbirds....this was just the perfect way to start out our honeymoon. We couldn't have asked for more!

  • Stayed January 2013, 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.
Palo Alto, California
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2013

We went there on a family tour but our son and his fiance traveled with us and the staff treated them as if this were there honeymoon. The rooms are large and luxourious. On a good day you can see the Arenal volcano. The porch and has a jacuzzi and everywhere you are private and surrounded by the lush rain forest. The food was very good. There is Internet near and in the main facility and no TV but you don;t need that on a romantic getaway. Although you can no longer climb on the volanco there are tons of great things to see and do--active and just looking. We had a maasage at the spa that was as good as I get at home.

  • Stayed December 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dublin, Ireland
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2013

My husband and I were recommended this hotel by Tracey in naturewalk travel and we are glad she did. We have travelled to a few destinations around the world and this was by far the best hotel we have ever stayed at.We had a long journey getting there but it was well worth it. From the moment we got there we were treated like royalty. The grounds are beautiful, the food in the restaurant delicious, so much so that we ate there every night for our 6 night stay. The staff were friendly and professional. Just to name a few Randall, Elquin, Byron, Abel and JC for his tremendous guacamole. Thanks to you all and keep up the good work, we will definely be back:-)
Donal and Joanne Hurley

  • Stayed January 2013, 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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San Francisco, California
Top Contributor
69 reviews 69 reviews
45 hotel reviews
Reviews in 41 cities Reviews in 41 cities
61 helpful votes 61 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2013

WOW! This place rocks. The people are fantastic, the rooms are out of this world and the whole environment is great. A very special place. The pool is a bit small but we never had an issue getting chairs and they said they are adding a new pool and restaurant. Easy to get to town and the local attractions. The staff could not be more helpful. The breakfast is very good, and the restaurant is very nice as well for dinner. The made at your able Guacamole was the best we ever had. The weather in this area can be touch and go since it is near the big Volcano but lots to do and see. The highlight of our trip.

  • Stayed January 2013, 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2013

This was the 2nd hotel we stayed in for our 2 week honeymoon in Costa Rica. We were here from December 20-23, 2012.

Nayara is a honeymooners' paradise, to say the least.

From the moment we checked in (which was at about 10pm due to the most gut-wrenching, white-knuckle 4-hour drive from Siquirres that my amazing husband navigated that night) we knew this place was top-notch. Not only did we receive a refreshing cold towel and a lovely fruit drink upon arriving, but they actually even prepared for us two delicious salads because they were afraid we didn't have a chance to eat dinner! And no charge! How amazing is that?! It's not even an all inclusive! They also left us a small bottle of champagne the first night and a full-sized bottle of champagne the second night! For checkout they left us with a cute little wrapped gift of granola bars (I'm not sure if this is what they give to everyone but this was one of my favourite things to take for lunch! How did they know?) We truly felt special at Nayara.

The food at both the sushi bar and Altamira was excellent. Dinners were a little pricey but absolutely delicious and worth every penny! As another poster mentioned, the selection for breakfast was so extensive and many items (sandwiches, granola bars, etc.) were even prepackaged (easy to take for lunch) - they even give you a bag so you don't have to feel like a criminal taking from the breakfast buffet!

The rooms are wonderful as well - our first room was close to the pool, so it was a bit noisy but we mentioned it to the staff the next day and were immediately moved to a much more quiet and secluded room. We adored the private jacuzzi tub and the entire dark wood balcony space. Birds were everywhere. The bed was comfortable and spacious. The iPod/iPhone docking station was a nice touch.

We spent some time at the pool, which was nice and warm, but the hot tubs were truly great! A recommendation: instead of paying $$ to go to the hot springs at Tabacon or other hotels, save your money! There is a public hot spring just past Tabacon hotel that is free to use (look for the yellow gate). Watch your step - some of those waterfalls are pretty powerful!

Unfortunately the entire time we were there the weather was very wet, misty, foggy, rainy...we didn't get a chance to see the Arenal volcano and we had a VERY soggy hike at Rio Celeste (the water wasn't as blue due to the weather but it was still a great hike and I highly recommend it), but still the atmosphere was super romantic and a great mid-way point for our honeymoon.

NB: if you're driving to Nayara, it's very easy to miss the signage - you have to turn off from the main road from La Fortuna and drive about 5 minutes on a very potholed, dirt road before you reach the hotel. If you're coming from the opposite direction, you don't even see any signage, so don't miss it! We passed the entrance a few times before catching it. Keep your eyes peeled, especially at night!

Room Tip: We wound up at #19 - close enough to the action, yet private and far enough away from the noise
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
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 Family Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#1 Luxury Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#1 Romantic Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#1 Spa 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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