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“Just Wow” 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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Special Offer
Dinner+$100 spa Credit
Austin, Texas
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Just Wow”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2013

What a great place and the folks were great. This is how a place should be run. The employees were great and very friendly. We didnt get in until late at night but they still made sure we had dinner and were talking care of. Just have to say it one more time....Wow !!

Room Tip: I dont think the place has a bad room
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  • Stayed May 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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 (578)
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Houston, Texas
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2013

Nayara is exceptionally beautiful. Had the Nayara Suite with dinner included and stayed for four nights. We noticed after night 2 that we were getting charged for random fees after dinner (aside from drinks) and the most we spent was roughly $40 so we never questioned it. If I could change one thing about this option is that they include drink prices for the meal. Sushi bar was EXCELLENT!

My husband and I both got food poisoning on night 3. We think it was from the free champagne we had because everyone else around us at the pool bar ate the same lunch as us and never got sick. It didn't ruin our stay since we had a great view from bed.

Easy access to Sky Trek and town. Customer service was great and always greeted you with "Hola or Pura Vida".

Tip for those traveling soon, request a room away from the construction. We were woken up several mornings to the sound of construction noise. Room #35.

Room Tip: Room #35 seemed private enough at the top
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jairo Q, Manager at Nayara Hotel, Spa & Gardens, responded to this review, June 4, 2013
Dear valued guest,

Thanks for taking time to share your recent experience at Nayara.
With regard to the $40 you were charged at dinner time, I double checked your final bill and found out it was only for the drinks that you pointed out were not included in your special package.
I apologize for the confusion this caused and will make sure that going forward we do a better job explaining these additional charges.
Regarding our Manager event where we serve complimentary hors d'oeuvres and Champagne to our guests, I want you and future guests to be reassured that we source only the highest quality Champagne and sparkling wines and continuously monitor their quality. Until now we have received only top reviews on our Champagne and sparkling wine offerings, but we will be even more vigilant based on your comment.
I was very happy to learn that none of the above issues marred your experience at Nayara, and I sincerely hope that you will give us the opportunity to serve you again in the future.

Sincerely,

Jairo Quesada
Director of Services
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington D.C.
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2013

From every indication we expected the Nayara Hotel Spa & Gardens (Arenal Nayara) to be exceptional. Well, it far exceeded our expectations. From the onset we found a welcoming and accomodating experience. Upon arrival we were we greeted with 'Red' or 'White' wine while we were being checked-in. A delightful suite awaited us as we were shuttled to our room. The advertised suite was as pictured on the website and in the brochures. The bed was adorned with toweled figures and rose petals . Our suite had an awesome line of sight to the volcano and we were fortunate to have great weather for fantastic views. The good weather also lent itself to the incredible outdoor showering (simply enchanting!).The service was impeccable and the staff attentive. Even room service was treated with special handling. We were treated to a delectable Birthday cake to celebrate our May birthday. A major plus was the breakfast buffet. Again the staff was on point and made the 'buffet' experience more like table service with the freshest coffee and selection of natural juices. I'd read in some reveiws, the food was just o.k. We found the meals very appetizing and fairly priced. "Juan Carlos you are priceless and we will never forget you"! The property was wonderful to explore and reminded me of a botanical garden. The plant life and trees were all labeled giving you an educational as well as a nurturing experience. The pool area was intimate and amazingly never crowded. The strategically placed whirlpools around the pool area was a nice addition. All the excellent rating reviews on this property, including TA, are well earned and well deserved. Arenal Nayara is definitely one to experience, and one we plan to re-visit...only next time, we will make it a longer stay!

  • Stayed May 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami, Florida
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 31, 2013

In May 2013, a group of 10 people stayed at Nayara for a long weekend to celebrate a birthday. What a wonderful experience!

Starting with the booking... Debyis, our booking agent, pre-arranged our excursions and basically planned our entire weekend. With perfection! Each excursion, each day, was perfect in timing. The companies they booked us with were very professional and timely. They provided "above expectation" service and were fun and happy to be around.

Upon arrival, the staff greeted us at the curb and offered us freshly squeezed fruit juice or wine. They were all smiles, which was great because the drive from San Jose airport was nearly 3 hours. Though, we stopped in San Ramon for a delicious lunch... can't blame anyone but ourselves :)

The rooms were beautiful, each with a gorgeous view. Unfortunately, the king suite over-looked the spa and only had a very small, obstructed view of the volcano Arenal. The birthday couple were placed in the wrong room, but were offered comps to make up for it since the hotel was completely sold out. The staff was incredibly friendly, helpful, and willing to serve.

The grounds were impeccable, there wasn't a cobweb, cockroach, piece of garbage, anything. Aside from amazing Carlota, the gorgeous Macaw, who likes to greet guests with a loud "¡Hola!" The pool is beautiful with a large swim up bar and excellent Mojitos and fruity cocktails. There are 3 hidden Jacuzzi's near the pool, 1 near the spa, and a beautiful Koi pond. 2 restaurants, one is a sushi themed restaurant, the other is the main hotel restaurant (which was our favorite). They also offer the most DELICIOUS buffet breakfast each morning with an omelet station and delicious, homemade granola bars to take with your on your excursions. When dining, ask for Juan Carlos, he is such a great man, very friendly!

Now for more details on the excursions. They booked us for an evening of relaxation following our long flights and car ride in from San Jose. We went to the beautiful Ecotermales hot springs. Very quiet and relaxing, best suited for adults only. Cocktails, hot springs, and relaxation. The perfect evening. The second day, they arranged for a private Zip-lining tour with Sky Trek and Sky Tram tour company. Our guides Stephen and Giovanni were fabulous and tons of fun. I have been on 2 other zip lining excursions (one in Costa Rica) and this was, by far, the best tour I have ever been on. Absolutely amazing! The rest of the day, following our zip-lining, we relaxed by the pool. The next day was action packed with a wonderful guided walk to the base of La Fortuna Waterfall. A breathtaking view and very cool and refreshing. We then went on a white water river rafting tour with class 2 and 3 rapids. It was a little scary at first, but manageable for everyone and so much fun! We were treated to a delicious pre-rafting snack of freshly cut fruit. At the end of the rafting tour, we were taken to a private ranch and treated to a authentic Costa Rican lunch with delicious black beans, rice, green papaya piccadillo, steak and chicken and a fruit juice blended beverage. Followed by strong, delicious Costa Rican coffee. Finally, we were given a brief tour of the sugar cane fields and a treat of sugar can juice and sugar cane alcohol (shhh, our secret). What a day. Our last day of excursions was a mid-afternoon ATV ride into the rainforest. Fun, but super muddy. Take a change of clothes and be sure to request laundry and drying so you don't go home with wet clothes because NOTHING dries in Costa Rica.

What a weekend. I would go here again and again and again. I intend to go back soon and would highly recommend the Nayara Hotel and Spa. AMAZING! The topping on the cake was our spa treatments. The Thai combo massage was excellent and the swedish massage was just want was needed after a weekend of activities.

We saw other hotels, Tabacan, El Silencio, Baldi, Arenal Volcano Lodge... NONE of them could put a candle to the Nayara Hotel and Spa. It was amazing and worth every penny!!

A couple tips:
1. Be sure to ask to have any wet clothes cleaned or, at least dried, prior to traveling home.
2. Be sure to take $60 cash to the airport as the Costa Rican government requires it to depart the country.

Room Tip: If a view is important be sure to specify a view. If a large master bed suite is important, be sure...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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.
Jackson
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 31, 2013

From the welcome cocktail, the service, the grounds, the room and especially the view and food, I cannot imagine there is anywhere else to stay in La Fortuna that would surpass Nayara. They literally did not miss a beat. We booked the adventure package which was worth it because we didn't have to worry about a thing, Nayara took care of every single detail. Carlos wears many hats and we loved his spirit and fancy guacamole making skills. They found out it was our honeymoon while we were being driven by golf cart to our 'bungalow' and sent over a complimentary bottle of champagne.
If this is within your budget, look no further because if you don't stay here, you'll wish you had.
Thanks to the great staff for making our stay in La Fortuna unforgettable!

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tulsa, Oklahoma
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 31, 2013

Customer service was exceptional, the best we've ever experienced anywhere! The grounds were gorgeous with unique garden pathways that were just delightful! The rooms were very spacious with a beautiful secluded patio area (we had a view of the volcano) and a beautiful outdoor shower area which was also amazing!!!!!!! The restaurant staff provided service that was over the top and we thoroughly enjoyed the food and beverages. We had such a marvelous time in Costa Rica that we plan to return and our hotel of choice will be "Nayara"!!!

Room Tip: I don't think there is a bad room there; we especially liked the room with a volcano view; howev...
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  • Stayed May 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.
Tampa
Top Contributor
124 reviews 124 reviews
36 hotel reviews
Reviews in 50 cities Reviews in 50 cities
98 helpful votes 98 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 30, 2013

We found this hotel on TA and were very glad for it. Our expectations were very high with the high TA rating and the recent Travel and Leisure magazine rating. We used their airport transportation pick up from Liberia airport. I'm sure we could have rented a car and driven but I did not think the roads were well marked and appreciated being driven. Also our driver pointed our many birds and monkeys on the way to the hotel that we never would have seen on our own. He also had a great place to stop for lunch and a clean bathroom. We did not regret our decision to have someone else do the driving.

We booked months in advance and requested a room with a king bed and a view of Arenal. My disappointment in checking into a room with double beds and a rainforest view was replaced with happiness that they were able to find us a room with a king bed. (it had a volcano view too but this was a romantic trip and the double bed was not going to cut it).

The rooms are well-appointed and tastefully designed. We opted for the Nayara Suite and were given 48 which had a great view of the volcano and the aforementioned king bed. We LOVED the outdoor shower and the jacuzzi on the deck. (bring your own bubble bath if you're inclined).
We also really enjoyed the hammock and listening to the birds (and other mystery critters) in the morning.
Our first morning we awoke to a large swarm of bees that appeared to be nesting in a seed pod in a palm tree right by our jacuzzi and we were unable to enjoy or coffee on the deck. One call to the front desk and they quickly sent two men, one with a machete to cut down the seed pod and dispatch of the bee problem. We enjoyed the plentiful and good coffee provided in the room on our patio.

Also the first morning, I was awoken by the jungle noises very early and thought we left the door open but we had indeed shut it. This is definitely a place to enjoy the noises but if you are a light sleeper you may want to bring earplugs. I used my iphone to record a 20 minute voice memo outside of the birdsong to enjoy back at home. It was very restful.

We left the hotel only once, to take the Hanging Bridges tour. It was amazing and I will review Jacamar Tours separately. Our guide, Jose, was amazing. It was just my husband and me and I appreciated that they did not cancel the tour b/c it was just the two of us, but gave us a private tour. He spent 4 hours pointing out the wildlife and the plants. Yes, I suppose one could go on the tour without a guide but you'd miss the history of CR that Jose gave us, the detailed descriptions of the animals, birds, and plants that were in abundance. It was a highlight of our trip and well worth the money.

The food at the hotel far exceeded my expectations based on reviews of TA. We really enjoyed both Sushi Amor and also Altimira. We had a package that included dinner but I found the prices to be extremely reasonable even without the package. We had Sushi and also the Lomo Saltado and a Peruvian chicken rice dish at Sushi Amor that were divine. We also had the pleasure of sitting at the sushi bar so we could see them make our food. They have happy hour from 4-6 at Sushi Amor. Two for One drinks and everyone else was camped out on the outdoor area, which can be somewhat awkward to eat so we ate alone inside at the sushi bar and chatted up the chefs and enjoyed local TV and conversation. The meat empanadas were also delicious.

Breakfast has already been discussed on TA but we did enjoy that the buffet changed every day, was always fresh and the made to order eggs were fantastic. We enjoyed Huevos Rancheros.
You can ask for a breakfast cocktail although it was not really "advertised". This is the kind of hotel where if you want anything, just ask for it, and they will say "con mucho gusto".

Speaking of breakfast cocktails, the minibar was very inexpensive and had a small bottle of champagne for $6 which is important to me as on vacation, I always start my day with a glass of bubbly. One day we noticed the housekeeping had forgotten to replenish my champagne so we called down to the front desk and they were going to bring one up, but they did not. We returned to our room after dinner and saw we did not have any, so we called again for the small room-service bottle. They apologized profusely and sent someone right away with not only a small bottle (chilled on ice, in a bucket, no less) but also a large, regular-sized bottle "compliments of the house" to make up for their delay. What a classy gesture that I very much appreciated, for something that really was not a big deal. But that was a nice touch.
Oreos at the minbar are only 50 cents and other items were also very reasonable.
Laundry was also incredibly inexpensive for hotel service, although we did not use it.

Dinner at Altimira was delicious. I enjoyed a heart of palm salad, my husband had the tortilla soup. Both were great. Then I had tilapia w/ a jalepeno sauce and he had a tamale. My tilapia tasted nothing like they do here in the US. It was delectable! Dessert was also delicious. Their tres leches cake was so good that the next night, I was too full for dessert but I brought a piece back to our room to enjoy for breakfast coffee!
They do themes and had a Costa Rican buffet but the menu was still available so the next night I also ordered a fresh seafood dish. We also really enjoyed the tableside guacamole which I also brought back to our room to eat later. I was skeptical that it was the best in the world but it really is.
our spa appointment got screwed up. We stopped by to make an appointment for a couples massage the next day and the woman there did not speak English and my Spanish was apparently inadequate so she put me on the phone with someone to make the appt for the next day at 1030. We showed up, and the lady at the spa assumed we screwed up our days, which we did not since we had to check out the next day. So they asked us to come back in an hour since they had no immediate availability as our appointments had not been made I guess. We were a little put off by the lackadaisical attitude of the spa worker. Just "I'm very sorry, can you come back?" Well it was our last day and we had planned our day around these appointments so we were a little miffed. Then she says "Did they tell you about the construction?"
They are doing construction near the spa. Thankfully they took a lunch break that coincided with our spa treatment and the noise was just during part of our treatment. So double-check your massage appointments.
I enjoyed my hot stones massage and my husband had a deep tissue massage. We also had reflexology which was good.
They are adding their own hot springs, and another category of rooms so be aware that there is construction during the week.
The jacuzzis around the property were nice. We were there while the hotel was full and it showed at the pool area. One afternoon we were going to go to the pool and the swim up bar but it was full. So we hung out drinking at Sushi Amor. I heard they are adding a new pool, with the construction.
Jairo the director of services invites everyone to Sushi Amor for a drink and to chat and make sure you are happy and that is a really nice touch. Very personal. We saw him often on premises making sure everything was going smoothly.
The staff is fantastic. As we were leaving, the lady who checked us out gave us 4 bottles of water and 2 moist towlettes and a hug. It was a super nice touch.
I've read the furniture outside is uncomfortable. I took some of the extra towels and used one on the lounge chair as padding and rolled one for my back and that worked well. The hammock is great!
Drinks were very reasonably priced. Randall at the pool bar took great care of us. The Nayara Star was only $7 which is what most of the drinks were priced somewhere in there. The wine at dinner was reasonably priced. We went to the wine bar once. If there is live music at Altimira, go! It's really good and adds to the atmosphere. We only saw the top of the volcano once in the morning but that was enough. Even in clouds it's beautiful. We also loved that they have a telescope stationed around the resort so you can see closer up.
We've heard there is a small airport you can fly to on a connection through Liberia to save the trip by car. I have not researched it yet but I would do that next time.
We would return and would recommend, it was a fantastic place to stay.

  • Stayed May 2013, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jairo Q, Manager at Nayara Hotel, Spa & Gardens, responded to this review, June 2, 2013
Dear valued Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to do such an extensive and complete review of our hotel. We sincerely apologize for the mix up that occurred with your reservation at our Spa which caused for you to have to wait more than 20 minutes for your treatment.
We will reinforce our procedures with our Spa staff and will do our best to ensure that similar situations do not occur with future guests.
Again thank you for your comments and I hope you will give us the opportunity to serve you again.

Sincerely,

Jairo Quesada
Director of Services
Report response as inappropriate
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 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
#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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