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“The best place ever!!” 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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1 review
“The best place ever!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 26, 2013

This place has the best service ever and most beautiful views! Words can't describe how great the place is! Everyone was so nice and they give you complimentary massages and food throughout the day! Seriously amazing!!

  • Stayed September 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
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, September 28, 2013
Wonderful guests and we thank you for your wonderful review.

It was our pleasure to spoil you and give you all that you expected and then some.

At Gaia, it is not the ordinary resort with the routine expectations. We provide you with what you expect and so much more. Extra added values are yours to enjoy and it is our responsibility to make sure your experience here is beyond your wildest imagination.

Thank you so much for experiencing what the magic of Gaia is all about.

And thank you for sharing your wonderful experience on this TripAdvisor forum.
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954 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 (162)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Boston, Massachusetts
1 review
127 helpful votes 127 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 26, 2013

The experience my family and friends had at Gaia can only be described as a nightmare. It is such a long story that it would probably be impossible to follow without bullet points:

• To start with, my mother and I are very reputable people. I'm a third-year law student and my mother is a hospital executive, in her 60s. Between us, we've stayed dozens of luxury hotels across the world, from Johannesburg to London to Montreal to Martinique. We are also African-American, which I truly, truly hope had nothing to do with this shameful incident.
• On this occasion, we were traveling from the States with friends to visit their daughter, who had just begun a research position in one of the rain forests outside San Jose. The hotel they were staying at had no vacancies, so we booked a studio at nearby Gaia.
• Our experience was "off" from the beginning. Not only were there surveillance cameras EVERYWHERE, but staff was standing by almost every couple of feet as well. What initially seemed like friendly service started to become controlling and obnoxious. For instance, our first night there my mom made a passing comment to our waiter about her fish being dry. We were pleasantly surprised that he gave us 50% of the meal...until our concierge spoke to us after dinner and made my mom sign a release, keeping her from commenting about the meal online!!!
• One night, my friend came over the hotel to pick me up so we could head to a local bar. The front desk approached and out of nowhere told me that I could not have guests overnight, and if I wanted to have a guest past 11pm I'd have to get "permission from management"... (Yes, PERMISSION). I told them that she had her own hotel and definitely wasn't staying the night. I also asked them to go ahead and get "permission" for us, which they did. She ended up leaving shortly after anyway, because we decided we were too tired to go out. The next night we finally made it out, while our parents stayed at the hotel restaurant and had drinks. We got back a bit after 11 and texted them saying we were in. They came down to drop my mom off at the room and to pick up their daughter before heading back to their place.
• Almost as soon as they got to the room, someone appeared AT OUR DOOR to tell us, again, that we could not have guests stay the night. Why they thought we were trying to cram five adults into one studio in the first place is completely beyond me. Our friends left immediately, but we were, very reasonably, upset at this level of harassment. We called the front desk to complain and were transferred to the owner of the hotel, who promptly told us if we didn't like the rules we could leave the hotel! He also said our “behavior” was unacceptable (What behavior? Complaining? Staying there? Having friends we were traveling with stop by the room? ... As I said, we’re very well-traveled, reputable people. We would have never behaved in a way deserving this). The conversation turned so nasty that I recorded part of what he was saying on my iPhone!
• The next morning we were headed out to a catamaran tour when our concierge told us that we had until 11am to vacate our room. We were completely floored. My mom and I felt so uncomfortable that, on the way back from our excursion, we called the local tourism police, who met us at Gaia. I'd never been so happy to see the police in my life! They accompanied us to our room to help us pack our stuff and stayed with us until we left. Before we did, however, we made sure to give the owner a piece of our mind! We told him that we would be following up on this horrible mistreatment with the U.S. consulate, the Costa Rican Tourism Bureau, and online.

I still can't believe this happened. And if I hadn't taken that video I probably would have written the whole thing off as a horrible dream. Unfortunately it wasn't. What a miserable experience. Thankfully though it didn’t ruin our stay…Costa Rica was otherwise a lovely country.

Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 127
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
borism1, Owner at Gaia Hotel & Reserve, responded to this review, September 27, 2013
This is simply not acceptable that Tripadvisor should be part of people that try to blackmail clients. These people were not even charged for the last two nights in order to get them out of the hotel. They yelled and screamed at our staff, even in front of other clients and they demanded that if they had to leave we needed to give them back the money for all their expenses in the hotel for the previous 4 days or they would write comments about us. We don't accept blackmails and particularly when they start playing the reverse discrimination card which I immediately told them not to talk to me that way, since I had defended equality causes for sexual alternative lifestyles, people of different races and more so than any, income inequality. It is unacceptable that should be going on and at this point I demand from Tripadvisor any and all information regarding the logs for these clients in order to preserve their viability as a legitimate platform for the exchange of opinions. All the other evaluations should clearly indicate where the problems really is and we, at this point are not willing to continue being bothered by a legal issue similar to the canadian event currently under way. One of the three partners - Boris V. Marchegiani
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Miami, Florida
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 25, 2013

Where do I begin???
From the moment we checked in, I was in love. The property is beautiful, the views are stunning, food is delicious, and service couldn't be better. If you need a place to just relax, wine and dine, and enjoy your significant other then look no more. The sunsets where beautiful from the pool and restaurant. The rooms where clean, modern, and beautiful. The bed was so comfy it was hard to avoid ordering breakfast in bed! We saw monkeys, sloths, tucans, iguanas...more wildlife then the national park! My husband and I have traveled the world and I don't think I've ever been so impressed by the service and quality of what Gaia offers! The spa was amazing and relaxing too. If you even thought you wanted something next thing you know its there! The service is incredible and the staff couldn't have been anymore hospitable! We will be back sooner then later, no doubt!

  • Stayed September 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
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, September 26, 2013
The entire staff is over the top thrilled that you enjoyed yourself so immensely....

As a 5 star luxury boutique hotel, Gaia certainly sets itself apart not only locally but in the entire Central American region.

This is proven by the numerous awards we have won ....competing against 7 nations including Mexico.

We can not wait for your return. Our staff already miss you and are looking forward to spoiling you once again in our little slice of paradise.

Thank you for sharing your wonderful experience on this TripAdvisor forum.
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Sparta, Tennessee
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2013

I have never been waited on so much. Everything was perfect. Sunset view from the restaurant was gorgeous. I could not find anything wrong with this place, food and drinks was delicious the best we had on the whole trip. Can't wait to go back.

  • Stayed September 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.
Tommy-Farrell, Owner at Gaia Hotel & Reserve, responded to this review, September 25, 2013
It appears our spoiling technique worked with our recent guests.

We do love to spoil our guests with all that they expect and all that they deserve.

We are thrilled you choose Gaia for your recent holiday and look forward to your return visit. Give us the opportunity to spoil you once again.

And thank you for sharing your wonderful experience with others on this TripAdvisor forum.
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Salt Lake City, Utah
Top Contributor
80 reviews 80 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2013

We stayed at the Gaia as a splurge based on it being number 1 rated by TA for the Manuel Antonio area. From the get go the service, room, grounds, and especially the staff were top notch. Boris, the GM/Owner personally greeted us and checked on us throughout our stay. It is a small 20 room boutique hotel overlooking the Manuel Antonio park and ocean.

Pros
Staff really take care of you from checkin to checkout
Food is really high quality and reasonable for price
Rooms are large and upgraded quality
Nice waterfall pool
Not crowded, at least when we went.
Nice guided jungle tour by certified guide.
Shuttle to local attractions
WIFi all areas available

Cons
Beaches of Manuel Antonio are nice but water is a little murkey..
Gaia nature trail could use some foot path improvements.

Room Tip: Gaia hotel uses Sael for their hotel nature tour as well for the Manuel Antonil park tour. Use Sael...
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 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
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, September 24, 2013
Thank you so very much for the Wow factor recognition.

And we love your very well stated pros for our property. As for the cons, well we like to keep our reserve as natural as possible without introducing concrete or asphalt on our walkways.

Situated on the Gaia grounds, the nature reserve is set in 14 pristine acres of natural trees and wildlife. It is a natural corridor for migration during the various seasons of the year.
And we thank you for your kind comment on the complimentary guided tour we present to our guests every morning.

thank you for sharing your experience on this TripAdvisor forum and we would love to count you among our repeat guests.
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San Francisco, California
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 22, 2013

There's no doubt after having visited Gaia that this place is a beautiful hotel with great service in a gorgeous location. The Deluxe Suite was quite lovely with a nice comfy bed, cozy living room, cute patio overlooking the jungle and a larger deck with "reflecting" pool on the roof. The location is unbeatable with a breathtaking view of the jungle and ocean beyond. On many occasions, we were able to see sloths, birds and other wildlife direct from our window.

Be sure to take advantage of Raul - the naturalist who will take you on a hike through their nature preserve. He will point out amazing things and give you a great perspective of the land.
The hotel is close to the beautiful Manuel Antonio park and Quepos - a great little town to explore for the true Costa Rican cultural experience.

All of the staff are quite friendly and go out of their way to make you happy. As we were told, "you're the boss - whatever you want." The spa, while small, is adequate with friendly staff and great masseurs. The pool, with it's many levels and overlooking the jungle, is unparalleled. With the numerous levels - you often feel as if you have the pool to yourself.

The complaints we have, albeit goofy and small, are that (1) don't plan on taking a relaxing bath with the huge and uncomfortable grip tape lining the bottom of the tub (2) with only one restaurant on the grounds, we were disappointed with all of the Americanized food selections and little of the Latin-influenced / customary Costa Rican foods (3) The "reflecting" pool and deck on the top of the Deluxe suite isn't what many would expect. At only 3 inches of water - the reflecting pool is not really useful and simply blocks you from catching a little better view down into the jungle. Further, it's not as secluded as you may want - but I must say the overall view is totally worth it!

In the end, we would definitely go back.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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, September 23, 2013
We are thrilled you gave us a 5 star review.

Thank you so much for taking the time to write a review and sharing on this TripAdvisor forum.

Our 3 tiered infinity pool is indeed a crown please as is the level of service by our staff. At Gaia, you are the boss and every detail of your stay with us is taken very seriously.

We want to give you everything you you expect and all that you deserve.
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Toronto, Canada
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 21, 2013

My wife and I spent 4 days here in September 2013. It was an amazing time, the service was absolutely incredible. The food was quite good (though not amazing), and the resort area was kept spotless and had incredible views. The bar service was also great, Diego makes a fantastic 'pinajalapeno margarita' that was delicious. The spa was good but not fantastic, but we definitely had good massages. Very young vibe, not a ton of older couples, mostly on the younger side.

My wife says that all the (almost 100% male) staff were also very attractive. I can't comment!

We'll definitely be back.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Tommy-Farrell, Owner at Gaia Hotel & Reserve, responded to this review, September 23, 2013
Thanking our recent guests for taking the time to write a review of our hotel.

Indeed, we have given you a 5 star experience which is what we set out to do.

We are thrilled you have a wonderful time and hope to see you in the not too distant future. We would love to count you among our numerous return guests.
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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 Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#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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