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“Wow” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Gaia Hotel & Reserve

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Gaia Hotel & Reserve
4.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Km 2.7 Carretera Quepos a Manuel Antonio, Manuel Antonio National Park 6350, Costa Rica   |  
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Los Angeles
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Wow”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2013

At the last minute, we changed our plan and decided to check our Manuel Antonio. After having a mixed experience at our last hotel, we decided to splurge. And it's worth it. You park the car at the base of a hill, and you are taken by golf cart to the resort. After a trip uphill, you are greeted by wonderful check in staff and taken on a tour of the premises. The pool is the best part - 5 levels, waterfalls, floaty chairs, monkeys, views. And they make a mean smoothie at the pool bar. The restaurant is excellent as well, with views to the ocean over the entire Manuel Antonio area. The rooms are large and comfortable, with down pillows and comforters. This place is well worth the money. We didn't take a tour of the onsite preserve, but I assume that would be great as well.

Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tommy-Farrell, Owner at Gaia Hotel & Reserve, responded to this review, March 24, 2013
The Wow factor indeed!

We are thrilled you had such a great time at our Gaia hotel. Thank you for deciding to come and spend some time with us. We always love to spoil our guests with the unexpected.

At Gaia, it's more than you expect and all that you deserve.

Please do come back and visit us. And thank you for sharing your experience with others on this TripAdvisor forum.
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849 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 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 (139)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Flagstaff, Arizona, United States
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2013

We had a fantastic time at Gaia. The rooms were luxurious, the cascading pool perched on the hill breathtaking, but most memorable was the happy hour. Live music and Guaro sours while we watched the sunset every night! Adults only so that was nice. The food was delicious, the fesh fruit and home baked goodies each morning gave us a lot to look forward to! Coffee and boats in the distance, ahhhh, spectacular. We especially enjoyed meeting the owners, the Frenchie Tory Fiona whom resides there, and watching the local iguanas bask in the sun poolside.

Room Tip: Hmmm, there are only 20 rooms here. Not sure you can go wrong...
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  • Stayed February 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.
Tommy-Farrell, Owner at Gaia Hotel & Reserve, responded to this review, March 16, 2013
We are so very happy that you had such a wonderful time at our Gaia Hotel & Reserve.

There is fun around the pools, at the sunset tapas hour, at the restaurant, at the fitness center, at the spa etc.

Every aspect of Gaia is geared to having a fun time in the most tranquil surroundings of the rainforest overlooking the vast Pacific Ocean.

Thank you so much for coming to Gaia and thank you for sharing your wonderful experience on this TripAdvisor forum. Please come back.....you are very welcome!
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Seattle, Washington
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

My wife and I stayed here on our honeymoon and it was a perfect place to stay while in Manuel Antonio. We had a spa credit and we used every bit of it. The couples massages were terrific and the facilities were excellent. The restaurant at Gaia - La Luna - had great breakfasts (get the frittata) and dinners were excellent as well. They helped us with activities arrangements and the guided hike in Manuel Antonio National Park, the Gaia Reserve, and the horseback riding were all excellent. We had a beautiful room with a private rooftop deck, but we didn't use it much because we were out and about every day. I would be very excited to stay here again.

Room Tip: The rooms at Gaia on most websites were quite pricey. We got a great deal including the spa credit g...
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  • Stayed March 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.
Tommy-Farrell, Owner at Gaia Hotel & Reserve, responded to this review, March 15, 2013
We want to thank our recent guests for choosing Gaia for their honeymoon.

Indeed, booking directly on our website entitles our guests the luxury of saving us the cost of travel agent fees and those fees are passed directly onto our guests.

And we are pleased you were able to use the generous spa credit in our current special.

You mentioned you want to come back. Please do! We now have numerous guests that come back year after year and allow us to spoil them all over again.

Thank you for sharing your wonderful experience on this TripAdvisor forum.
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Boston, Massachusetts
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 7, 2013

My husband and I spent 4 nights in February 2013 at Gaia Hotel & Reserve. We had an amazing time enjoying the beauty of the resort and all the fabulous amenities the resort has to offer. We would highly recommend this hotel to anyone looking for a relaxing, pampered, luxurious Costa Rican escape in Manuel Antonio :) Below are our thoughts on the specific aspects of the hotel:

Accommodations: We found the guest rooms at Gaia to be very comfortable. The first two nights of our stay we were in a Studio, which is the least expensive room that Gaia offers. Even being the least expensive, we found this room to be very spacious and very comfortable. Some reviewers have mentioned the rooms decor being too "cold" and the bathroom layout awkward, but we didn't feel that way at all- rather the decor just feels fresh, clean and minimal (in a good way!). The room was a quick walk to the pool area but also felt private as we had a little shared patio area that looked out onto the terrain in front of our room. Our second two nights we moved into a Suite, and even though we liked our first room - we LOVED our second room. It was more the two times the size of the studio, it had a large walk in bathroom with jacuzzi tub, and a little private deck area outside with two day beds to enjoy a cocktail. If you can afford the Suite, I would definitely recommend splurging for it, because it was amazing!

Hotel Grounds: Gaia is a truly gorgeous property- from the moment you arrive to the reception building, you get a glimpse into the property's true beauty. All the buildings are painted a clean, crisp white and the guest rooms are split into a number of smaller buildings, which was very nice since it gives Gaia that nice boutique hotel feel. The grounds were immaculate- always clean, never a leaf or branch out of place. My hands down favorite part of Gaia was the pool area... a four tier infinity pool with different seating areas at each level. The top level was our favorite, mainly because there was a bartender there ;) - but also because of the fantastic view out to the ocean. I spent most of my days in the pool/by the pool, and I couldn't imagine a place I would rather have been! The only very small negative I have about the grounds would be the spa- while it is a beautiful spa (and very reasonably priced), I wish they would have had a locker room area or an area where my husband and I could have gone to use a hot tub before our treatment. Other than that one minor complainant, Gaia's grounds were stunning and perfect.

Food & Drink: We loved the restaurant at Gaia. Breakfast is included with the room rate and it is great- a large menu with lots of options, fresh fruit, coffee/juice, and fresh baked goods. The servers are really sweet and accommodating- and if they do a good job, remember to leave them a tip even though your meal is "free" because they work very hard :) We also LOVED (yes, all caps was necessary for that) the 2 for 1 "Happy Hour" up at the restaurant from 3-6pm everyday. It was such a great deal- 2 drinks for the price of 1, and a great menu of tapas - each only $2 or $3. Not only was the food and drink a great price, but the restaurant had the most insanely amazing view of the sunset. 3 out of our 4 nights at Gaia we watched the sunset from our table, wich an amazing view and great drinks. We also had dinner at the restaurant one night. It was very good - my tuna was to die for!

Other Notes:
- I definitely recommend the spa. Even though I mentioned that I would have loved a locked room, it doesn't detract from the services they offer. Ask for Juan Carlos if you like a good massage- he is amazing!
- We booked a Zipling (through MidWorld ZipLining) and Catamaran Cruise through the hotel and would highly recommend both.
- There is a gym at the hotel, and even though the equipment is a bit outdated, it still works fine for those people wishing to workout everyday.

Overall we couldn't be happier with our stay. We had a wonderful time and felt very welcomed by the staff. During our visit we had the chance to meet two of the owners of the hotel- Chris and Borris. Both were super friendly and made a point to ask how we were enjoying our stay. It was so nice to see they are invested in their guests experience at their property. Chris & Borris, thank you for creating such a wonderful hotel! We will certainly be back again.

Room Tip: The studio is totally fine, but if you can afford a suite- go for it! The extra space and private ba...
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  • Stayed February 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.
Tommy-Farrell, Owner at Gaia Hotel & Reserve, responded to this review, March 10, 2013
Well, we are so humbled by our recent guests review of our property here at Gaia Hotel & Reserve.

Very comprehensive and it indeed tells the full story. And we agree with everything that was said!

Having re-read the review several times, I have nothing more to add except that we truly appreciate the time our guest took to share with others their wonderful experience.

Please come back! We have your suite waiting for you.
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Birmingham, Alabama
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 6, 2013

Nestled high up in the mountains of Manuel Antonia in Costa Rica, is the beautiful Gaia Hotel. With its tranquil beauty,breathtaking views, cascading pools and interesting nature hikes, this hotel is a haven of it's own. The rooms are spacious and the beds are comfortable. The food menu is varied and delicious (my favorite being the local fruits, pastries and coffee offered at breakfast), the shuttle buses take to you to where you want to go, but what makes this hotel so special and enjoyable, are the staff. They are friendly, professional and extremely attentive, striving to take care of your every need. Fabio, our personal concierge was very efficient and knowledgeable. One of the highlights of my visit was my time at the Spa. I highly recommend the reflexology and body massage by Juan Carlos - what a relaxing treat!
Tip of the trip: Don't forget to take bug spray for the hikes and being outdoors at night.

Room Tip: Our sea facing room was wonderful.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tommy-Farrell, Owner at Gaia Hotel & Reserve, responded to this review, March 10, 2013
I want to thank our recent guests for taking their personal time to share their thoughts with others on this TripAdvisor forum.

We are indeed all about luxury with a definite smile. Our personal concierges are always around to help our guests with activities and local knowledge.

And our spa staff are second to none in the area with some having been trained outside of Costa Rica .

We look forward to your return visit when we can again spoil you beyond your wildest imagination!
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Heredia, Costa Rica
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2013

All the service is simply excellent but the beautiful installations are incredible awesome! You feel all the comfort in the middle of the forest. It has been one of the most wonderful experiences in my whole life. If you want to rest, enjoy of the real food and get a very good experience GAIA has everything for it. For sure I will be back. I do not want to die before I experience such a good trip

  • Stayed March 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tommy-Farrell, Owner at Gaia Hotel & Reserve, responded to this review, March 10, 2013
We are over the top pleased that you had such a wonderful time at Gaia Hotel & Reserve.

Our guests can do everything from zip line tours to kayak tours to mangrove tours to simply resting and doing nothing by one of our 3 tiered infinity pools.

Thank you for visiting us and taking the time to share your experience on TripAdvisor.
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London
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2013

We've just got back home from our trip to Costa Rica where we spent 10 nights at Gaia

This hotel has lots of potential but unfortunately our experience did not meet the very high expectations we had from reading reviews on trip advisor

The good stuff
Location and setting is stunning. There are amazing views everywhere and one of our favourite things every day was to watch the beautiful sunset over the ocean

Staff were very friendly, and went out of their way to make sure we had everything we needed. Special call outs to Fabio, Andres and Jose at the front desk.

Dining - the breakfasts were great. We had a couple of dinners at the restaurant and both were excellent, especially the fresh fish. The tapas were also great - the ceviche is to die for!

Spa - The spa was AMAZING - we had 2 couples massages and one pedicure between us - which were all just fantastic



The not so good stuff

Damp/ mould - there is a serious damp problem in one of the rooms we stayed in. The room smelled pretty strongly of mould, and there were patches of damp on some of the walls. Unpacking our things at home - they all reek of this mouldy smell - and that's not even taking into account the health risks

Bathrooms - The bathrooms were poorly designed, and the workmanship in some cases was poor. For example, rather than having standard shower screens (like you get in Europe), they had some custom made poorly fitted screens, which really lowered the tone. We upgraded to a deluxe suite for 4 nights of our stay, and the jacuzzi in our bathroom was plasticky / had seen better days, with bits of mildew in places, and we did not feel very comfortable sitting in it as a result!

Other issues
- we moved room twice (our choice, because we decided on a last minute upgrade) and each time we were told that our luggage had been moved, but when we got to the room it wasn't there
- the room key cards kept breaking. If they lasted more than 24 days we were very lucky!! This was a little annoying especially as the front desk is a bit of a trek away
- constant phone calls - we kept being disturbed by phone calls at slightly odd times - this was a little annoying
- whilst the breakfasts in the restaurant were great - we felt they were a bit stingy with the fruit. We kept having to ask for more if we wanted it, and got bored of doing that after a while
- service in restaurant was a bit patchy at times, even when very few tables were occupied
- the bed in one of the rooms we stayed in (the deluxe suite) was pretty saggy in the middle. We asked for this to be fixed and they did something to make it better, but it still wasn't great.
- We had a private roof top terrace in our deluxe suite, and wanted to use it one evening. However, no one could figure out how to turn the lights on (despite best efforts from all concerned) - it seems that the light switches had been removed despite there being lights there.


All in all, we enjoyed our trip very much, but our experience at Gaia did not live up to expectations/ the awards etc. Perhaps if we had stayed when the property was newer we would have had a better experience.

Room Tip: 242 (ocean view studio) has a serious mould / damp problem 322 (deluxe studio) has a saggy bed
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tommy-Farrell, Owner at Gaia Hotel & Reserve, responded to this review, March 5, 2013
I must say we are very surprised and disappointed in some of the aspects of our recent guests review of our hotel.
The design of our bathrooms was indeed conceived from a European design firm and we have won numerous awards for the final product. There are several designs implemented depending on the particular room and we have never heard of comments that were anything short of glowing.

And we urge our guests to please keep the windows and doors to the rooms completely closed. Otherwise, being in the rainforest, it is natural that a bit of mildew would develop. Our state of the art air conditioning system on the property was specially selected to combat any moisture in the rooms but this can only be achieved with the windows in the closed position.

We appreciate your very kind words on our staff and general ambiance of the hotel.

And we were happy to have given you complimentary upgrades at no additional charge when we had an empty room available.

Thank you for coming to Gaia and writing on this TripAdvisor forum.
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Additional Information about Gaia Hotel & Reserve

Address: Km 2.7 Carretera Quepos a Manuel Antonio, Manuel Antonio National Park 6350, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Manuel Antonio National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Spa Hotel in Manuel Antonio National Park
#2 Luxury Hotel in Manuel Antonio National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Gaia Hotel & Reserve 4.5*
Number of rooms: 20
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

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