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“Absolutely Perfect!” 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
edmond ok
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Absolutely Perfect!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2010

I was so impressed at the quality and attention to detail at this wonderful "Garden of Eden". We grandparents travelled with extended family with a young 2-1/2 year old. The location is safe and the grounds so beautiful! Our casitas were stunning and immaculate -a real paradise!
My biggest impression was made when a scrumptious Birthday cake was made for my son's 33rd Birthday. I had barely mentioned it when arriving-that's why I would highly recommend this hotel if you are looking for that "extra special experience" on your trip.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled with family
    • 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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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 (564)
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English first
St. Louis, MO
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2010

Upon arrival at Arenal Nayara the service began to impress us. We had hired a driver to take us from San Jose to La Fortuna and were weary from a long day of tavel but forgot everything when we walked into the lobby. The hotel is decorated in a beautiful Balianese style and the open air lobby is gorgeous. We were greeted with smoothies and fresh towels as Angie began to check us in. When we arrived at our casita (#18) we were disappointed to see that we had 2 queen beds but so impressed by the room it was hard to focus on anything other than how wonderful it was. We spoke with Angie and the next day they moved us to casita #17, a king suite.

The rooms are spacious and with both an indoor and outdoor shower as well as a tub on the balcony we really could not have asked for anything more. The beds are comfortable although not as plush as those at a larger chain. Arenal Nayara offers authentic Costa Rica but with a touch of luxury and pampering. We had an A/C unit in our room but never turned it on. We slept with the glass doors open and the temperature was perfect with the balcony air coming in. The housekeeping staff did a great job and we were amused daily with towel animals and flower petals... from snakes to elephants every detail was filled with the pride the staff takes in caring for the visitors.

Unfortunately it rained all 3 days of our stay so we didn't see Arenal or the erruptions but the view from the casita was still wonderful and it would have been amazing had the clouds lifted. We did the Sky Trek and Hike to Rio Celeste and HIGHLY recommend doing these even with the cooler temperatures and rain. Afterall... you're in the rainforest in Costa Rica! Both trips were great and worth the price.

The restaurant at Arenal Nayara was delicious and on par with what I would expect from a 4 star restaurant in the US. The staff is attentive and does everything they can to ensure a wonderful experience. We had the ceviche, mussels, casado (traditional Costa Rican plate -- this was the best we had in the country!), several desserts, and seafood paella. We were very impressed with every dish. Each night there is a special 3 course menu for $25/pp, we did that for the paella night and were impressed by the large skillet of fresh paella brought to our table. We also enjoyed eating off of the regular menu and were pleasently surprised at the unexpected touches like an amouse bouche and palate cleanser between courses. Breakfast is buffet style with a made to order egg station and again, delicious. I had fried platains, rice & beans w/cilatro, fresh fruit, and a fried egg every morning. The smoothies, juices, and cocktails are so fresh and also a great price ($1.50 for smoothie, $4 for a cocktail).

I have high expectations when I travel and I have to say that the staff at Arenal Nayara exceeded each and every one. We will absolutely be returning to Costa Rica and Arenal Nayara will continue to be on our "must visit" list.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 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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irvine,ca
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2010

If youre going to splurge on your Costa Rica vacation and youre going to visit Arenal/La Fortuna, this is THE place to stay! The atmosphere is tropical, the vibe is kind of a younger adults crowd, and we really felt we got our moneys worth here. The service is awesome, the views from the hotel of the volcano (when its not cloudy or raining) are great! The breakfast buffet every morning was delicious! Its only about 10 min from local hot springs and 15 min ride to the waterfall. This hotel offers many opportunities to explore the city and excursion packages. Theres a heated pool with a swim up bar (with a generous bartender). The view of the jungle from our porch was really neat, and we had total privacy --with a hottub on our porch too! We really enjoyed our stay here, it was recommended to us by another couple, and we want to recommend it to others! Stay at this hotel--its great!!

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 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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Houston
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2010

My wife and I came here for our honeymoon after hearing all the rave reviews and realizing how cheap flights to Costa Rica were. We had chosen to stay for 7 days and had chosen a package which included round trip transportation. Upon landing about 15 minutes early we didn't see our transportation there and were bombarded by people wanting to give us a ride. I was a bit flustered as my phone didn't seem to be working but a Tico used his cell and called the hotel to find the driver(who had been waiting in a parking garage until the scheduled arrival.

Despite that, our driver was AMAZING! He told us all about Costa Rica, showed us different things along the way, stopped to take pictures of wildlife for us, etc. He really made us at ease and was the first highlight of our experience.

When we got to the hotel we were greeted and given the cool towel and fruit juice(the best ever). Staff was extremely nice and we were shown to our casita which I think must have been one of the premium ones(despite not being charged for it). We had a private balcony unlike some of the other ones and a great location tucked away near the back.

The interior is beautiful and very well done. I love the sink and the colored glass, the outdoor shower, the private balcony bathtub. It truly was heaven on earth. It wasn't long before we were given chocolate covered strawberries and champagne as a greeting gift.

The cleaning staff deserves a very special nod as they always worked hard to clean our place and put out the different towel animals. We were sure to tip them every other day.

The food was surprisingly good most nights. They had a theme every night in which you could pay a set price for 3 courses and tea/coffee. We chose this most nights as it was the best value. The automatically added tip caught us off guard as we never quite knew how to tip despite researching it.

One note about the service was that quality varied greatly throughout our 7 days. We tipped well, stayed there for 7 days(apparently longer than most by many days), and yet we would get good service from one staff member one day and average service from the same staff member another day. There were a couple members which we never got good service from and some which ALWAYS gave great service. Benecio the pool bartender is superb and very friendly. We started tipping much less towards the end of the stay as the service really seemed to fall down.

The front desk staff is above and beyond excellent. They helped us book trips, they worked with me despite the fact that I left my credit card at home on accident and even helped us rearrange transportation.

The excursions they offer through their partnership with tour outfits are excellent and the quality was always first class(though we don't recommend the sunset lake boat tour-bit boring)

If we could make one suggestion it would be to only stay a few days and then move on. We got very bored being in the same place and even considered trying to fly back to the states early. The front desk even commented how they had never seen a bill as large as ours before.

Arenal Nayara is great for about 3-4 days max. After that things get a bit stir crazy.

Some other minor negatives- our private balcony had land and a sloping hill with vegetation behind it. Some days, workers would be doing things behind there without giving any notice. Considering we are on our honeymoon, the hotel makes a point to emphasize privacy with curtains around the outdoor tub and the private balcony, notice should be given if workers are going to be poking around by our balcony.

The first day we went to town the free shuttle told us they would be back at a certain time. They never came back and we were forced to take a cab.

The Spa service isn't worth the money. Save it for when you get back to the states and find a good place.

There was a family next to us with little kids the first couple days. They were extremely loud. I would advise all families with little ones to choose another location as this is so much better suited and geared towards couples and romance and quiet.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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NYC
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2010

Excellent - location, rooms, facilities, grounds and service. The rooms are spacious (stand alone units). Both indoor and outdoor showers and an outdoor jacuzzi. The staff was extremely professional and helpful in planning activities around the area. Highly recommend this property.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled with family
    • 4 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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New York, NY
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2010

Stayed in casita #1. It's really close to the pool (about 10ft away) but well hidden by the shrubs and greenery. Also has a good, head on view of the volcano, however if you don't like the noises of kids splashing by the pool, you'd probably be better served staying in some other casita. There was construction going nearby but we couldn't hear anything. Either they build things real quiet in Costa Rica or the builders were on vacation also!

The style of the hotel is amazing. You get your own private house, with a private entrance, patio, and jacuzzi. Very well designed inside, with a Polynesian feel to it. They seriously need to reduce the number of light switches as it takes forever every night to figure out what controls what. Loved the outdoor shower -- what an awesome idea!

The staff is very friendly and accommodating. We accidentally forgot our camera at the Tabacon hotel and Jonathan arranged to have somebody bring the camera to us that very same day - for free! This honestly has been one of the best if not the best service we've seen anywhere, simply outstanding.

The grounds are very well maintained. They have 2 Macaws living by the restaurant (Olga & Lee, they are a couple) and 2 parrots. Plus 2 more rabbits who have thus far somehow managed to avoid being eaten by the hawks overhead.

The restaurant dinner is pretty cheap ($25pp prix fixe), with a free breakfast buffet. I wish they had more variety day to day but food was good otherwise. Marlin ceviche was really good, as were the BBQ pork ribs.

If we ever come back to CR, we will definitely stay here again. Very highly recommended!

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wellington, New Zealand
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2010

Consistent with the other reviews on Trip Advisor, my wife and I loved this hotel. We booked a "deluxe" room for 4 nights (one of the cheaper rooms), and it was perfect.

The only slight let down was the restaurant. The breakfasts were fine, but dinners were not great. Very average quality, and we prefered both of our meals at restarants in town (the place next to Burger King was good, as was Don Rafino's).

Don't let this discourage you from booking in here though , it's a great hotel with fantastic service, and the room was one of the best we've ever booked. And really - who books a hotel for the restaurant anyway. Enjoy.

Stayed January 2010, 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 Spa Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#1 Family Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#1 Luxury 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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