My husband and I had the pleasure of a four-night stay at Gaia in early November. We had wonderful weather the whole time, with only a couple of brief showers in the late afternoon or early evening, and plenty of sun early in the day. Although I am a seasoned traveller, I usually don't get the chance to stay at such an upscale location. Thanks to a great travelzoo deal, my husband and I got to experience this first-class resort. Every aspect of the service at Gaia was exceptional - front desk/concierge, restaurant and bar, housekeeping, and spa. We had expected to be staying in a studio room as described by our travelzoo deal, but were pleasantly surprised upon arrival to find that we had been upgraded to an ocean view suite. We especially enjoyed watching the spectacular sunsets from our balcony (I even watched from the sliding window over the tub/shower one night). The breakfasts, which are included, were wonderful, and the afternoon tapas, at about $3 per plate, were a great deal and even more enjoyable when served at the in-pool bar. We ate dinner at La Luna two of the four nights, including a three course dinner with wine that was part of our package. The package dinner had a somewhat limited menu compared to the regular dinner menu with tiny-sized dessert options, but was delicious nonetheless. We dined with another couple, with each couple receiving a bottle of wine. Since I was the only regular wine drinker at the table, Aldo nicely allowed me to take one of the two bottles (unopened) with me. The other two nights, we dined at local restaurants, taking a cab at $7 each way (the Gaia drivers are only available until 4:30 pm each day). We had drinks and dinner at El Avion one night (we knew not to expect much from the food, but the airplane bar and the breathtaking sunset views made it worthwhile). On the reccommendation of several people, we also had dinner at Raphael's Terrazos. The food and service were both great (this restaurant mostly serves seafood, which was clearly extremely fresh), and it definitely has a more relaxed vibe with a clientele that was a mix of tourists and locals the night we were there. Two couples massages (one regular and one hot-stone) were included in our package, and both were wonderful (and the shower in the changing room was a bonus). We spent one day at the beach and rented our chairs from Mary's, as suggested by Gaia, and at $10 for two chaises, an umbrella and a table for the whole day, the price couldn't be beat. The attendant at Mary's, Ray, also took care of our belongings when we took a walk and called the driver from Gaia when we were ready to leave. You can have drinks or food delivered to you on the beach, but the prices were outrageously expensive, so we walked to one of the little grocery stores along the main drag and bought beer and snacks for a fraction of the price. Our guide for our Manuel Antonio reserve tour was Dennis, who was fantastic - knowledgeable, polite, well-spoken and extremely accomodating. Don't forget to take or wear your bathing suits and take towels on your Manuel Antonio tour, as there are three beautiful, sparsely populated beaches in the park where you ask your guide to wait while you take a swim, or linger at the end of your tour. We also did the Midworld canopy tour, which we loved except for the fact that since we were two of the few in our group who didn't do the Superman line, we ended up having to wait an extra hour and a half for the bulk of the group to finish (we would have gone back for more beach time that afternoon if we had returned at the expected time). Midland did send us a free photo cd of our adventures as a bit of compensation. The only negative from our stay at Gaia (aside from the fact that the rooms would benefit from a better quality of hair dryer) was a very cheeky iguana on the pool deck outside our room - it bit my toe (not seriously, but hard enough to draw blood) while we were having our afternoon drinks, and apparently had bitten another woman earlier in the day and climbed/jumped on the lap of another woman while she was laying on a chaise on the same deck the next day! None of us were highly upset about the iguana incidents, but clearly Gaia needs to trap and relocate the little bugger!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Gaia Hotel, Manuel Antonio's only 5-star resort and dining. Bask in our infinity-edge pools, dash Aveda bath salts into your Jacuzzi and relax enjoying the jungle and ocean views. Rooms feature A/C, cable, flat screen TVs, portable phones, home entertainment units, internet connectivity, coffee-maker, mini-bar, safety box, hairdryer, 24/7 room service and full spa services. Your personal valet sees to your needs, and our Nature Guide hosts an exclusive tour of our 12-acre Nature Reserve. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Gaia Hotel And Reserve
- Gaia Hotel & Reserve Costa Rica/Manuel Antonio National Park