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“Highly recommended in Manuel Antonio Area” 4 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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London UK
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“Highly recommended in Manuel Antonio Area”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2014

We spent two nights here and generally enjoyed our stay. The staff are super-helpful and attentive; even the owner seems to be frequently around and very warm. The service is very slick, especially in the restaurant, which had the most fantastic views out towards the ocean.

Whilst the hotel restaurant was slightly underwhelming for breakfast, the quality of the lunch and dinners was brilliant - and also good value. Not sure that the live music is either appreciated or required.

Rooms are good, with extremely comfortable beds. Only quibble? If we're paying upwards of $350 a night, we sort of expect some form of shower gel and not a cheap bar of soap.

Never made to it to the gym and whilst there is a pool complex on site (2 pools that are on top of one other), it is only for cooling-down in and not for hard-core swimming. The spa offers a complimentary 20-minute session, and other therapies were very good value.

If you're looking to stay in this area, this is a very safe and convenient place to stay. The views are spectacular from the hotel and the spa well worth using. Just bring your own shower gel(!)

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 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, April 19, 2014
Thanking our recent guests for taking the time to write a review on this TripAdvisor forum.

We would like to make mention that the choice of bathroom amenities whether it be bar soap or shower gel is purely a subjective choice.
We provide the highest quality bath brand amenities from England and it seems to suit the majority of our guests.

We provide live music in our La Luna Restaurant during Tapas and dinner. We have been noted to have the very best Latin music in the entire area and feel this is a necessary part of the whole Costa Rica experience when staying at Gaia.

Thank you again for your comments.
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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)
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English first
Princeton, New Jersey
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2014

We stayed there in July 2013, beginning of the rainy season (it only rained in the morning and at night). The property is beautiful, and the service was outstanding! They go above and beyond to satisfy the customer. My husband is very difficult to please, but he had no complaints at all!
The staff was very friendly and professional, they make sure that you have nothing to worry about and just enjoy your stay.Our personal concierge was Alex- he did a great job!
We had a truly amazing experience and definitely would love to come again. This place is very romantic, so it's best for couples. By the way, the food/drinks at Gaia (La Luna) is the best! Try the spa as well to get a great massage and a steam room.

  • Stayed July 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 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, April 19, 2014
Thanking our guests from last year for having taken the time to share with others on this TripAdvisor forum.

Indeed, the Green Season which is from May 1 to Dec. 15 is a bit overrated in term of the amount of "rain" we get.......

It is a great value season in terms of price and all the features and amenities are always the same and at our guests disposal.

We look forward to your return visit and hope to share with you once again the magic we have created.
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Norwalk, Connecticut
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 11, 2014

My husband and I recently returned from an amazing vacation in Costa Rica. We were so pleasantly surprised by our stay at Gaia that I was inspired to write my first ever Trip Advisor review. We actually booked Gaia after reading so many other wonderful reviews, and I am pleased to say that Gaia exceeded our expectations. The hotel is beautiful, and the rooms are spacious, clean and comfortable. But by far the greatest part of our stay was the wonderful and extremely kind, helpful and knowledgeable hotel staff. From the moment we arrived to the moment we left we met wonderful people who went above and beyond to ensure that our experience was top notch. We were even assigned a personal concierge, Alcides, to ensure that we were able to experience all of the wonderful activities that Manual Antonio has to offer. From the walk of Gaia's private reserve, to white water rafting, to a visit to the national park and the butterfly gardens, every excursion was coordinated for us (booking, transportation, tickets, and private guides) so that we didn't have to think about anything - we just needed to show up ready to have a great time! While there are far too many highlights to write about all, the below are certainly worth noting:

1. It was incredible that the owners of Gaia take such a vested interest in preserving the wildlife around the hotel. The hotel sits on a private reserve which serves as a sanctuary for so many beautiful animals and plants, and guests are able to go on private guided tours in the morning (I would highly recommend this, but wanted to note that it is not an easy AM stroll on account of the steep terrain, and you definitely want to have your coffee before you go). We had the opportunity to go with Saul, who was knowledgeable and a great guide. We were lucky to have him as our guide for the National Park as well. He took his time to ensure we saw and learned as much as possible, and got great photos. Gaia is also in the midst of a project to reintroduce scarlet macaws back into Manuel Antonio, which was inspiring and very interesting to see.

2. The service! I have never been to a hotel that provides even close to the level of service, attention, and customized care that is offered at Gaia. The pool bar offers 24 hour service, and was always a fun place to relax after a day of activities. Joshua and Diego provided excellent service, made great drinks ( I would recommend the guaro sour), and were so much fun to talk to – after only a few minutes it felt like we were hanging out with old friends. The Luna restaurant is beautiful, and offers stunning views of Manuel Antonio. David provided excellent service, and breakfast (which is included and delicious) and dinner was always great. We even had a chance to meet one of the owners, David, who was warm and welcoming. On our second to last day, I realized that I was out of contact solution, and Alcides offered to send someone into town to pick it up for us so that we didn’t have to worry or make an extra trip, and it was waiting for me when I got back from white water rafting. My only regret is that I did not take advantage of the free spa service, but I heard it was well worth it.

3. Convenience. From the golf carts which are ready to take you wherever you need to go, to the car service offered to and from the National Park, you literally do not have to worry about a thing. We even had a car service drive us to San Jose for our return home, which included a much needed souvenir shopping stop. Before going to Costa Rica, my husband and I were in Europe. It’s not a perfect comparison, but in Europe we felt like we were running everywhere to make sure we got to see everything, time it perfectly, buy tickets, battle the metro, etc. Here, you do not need to stress because the hotel staff will help ensure you get to do everything on your list and then some. Each day we booked at least two activities, yet I am sitting on my couch now writing this review and feel as if I just returned from a spa vacation.

In summary, I would highly recommend this hotel. It’s a bit more expensive than some other options, but the experience makes it priceless, and an amazing value in spite of the expense. A big thank you to Gaia for making our trip so special, and something we will always remember.

  • Stayed April 2014, 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 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, April 19, 2014
Wonderful review of our hotel by wonderful guests.

Thank you so much for sharing your incredible experience with others on this TripAdvisor forum.

We look forward to your return visit so we can once again share the magic that we have created here at Gaia Hotel & Reserve.
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New York City, New York
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 11, 2014

We liked this hotel a lot and are giving it a 5 because of the beautiful grounds, the good service, and the excellent food (the breakfasts - which are included - are ridiculously good). Definitely take advantage of the private jungle (we hiked it every day and saw amazing wildlife; definitely better than going to the national park). Also take advantage of the fact that you have a shuttle to take you to Quepos, Manuel Antonio and the beach (although the driver wasn't the best). The spa is definitely worth going to - do yourself a favor and ask for Melania for a leg rub after hiking.

We stayed one night in a suite and the rest in a studio. The suite was spectacular. The studio was small and had only semi-private outdoor space. It would be hard to justify paying their full price for it.

Here were our few issues: One time they didn't clean our room when we asked which was a bummer. The service at the restaurant was sometimes a little slow and once we didn't get our correct order.

A few pieces of advice for the hotel: put some chairs outside of the reception area (where you wait for the golf cart). The TVs in the room (especially the studio) need to be bigger. Offer a night tour of the reserve in addition to the morning one.

Overall, gotta give Gaia a 5, we had a great stay there and would go back again.

  • Stayed March 2014, 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
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, April 19, 2014
Thanking our recent guests for their 5 star review of our hotel.

We have noted your comments on suggestions and have brought them to the attention of the proper departments.

We are thrilled your overall stay at our resort was to your liking.

Thank you for having chosen Gaia Hotel & Reserve.
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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 7, 2014

Setting is nice, staff is lovely, great spa...but it's closer to a 2.5 than a three. The rooms are MUCH MUCH smaller than they appear and while nicely finished, are less than practical. There is no refrigerator other than the minibar, which is quite mini and charges a small fortune for water, which you have to buy. All the time. Nothing left in the room for you, nothing at bedtime, if you want water, you pay. And you drink a lot of it, given the climate. There are some very odd things -- would have loved a long soak in the tub, but it was so huge you could never get more than two-three inches of water in it. Tub and shower are combined but require steps and some gymnastics to climb in and out...while trying not to slip.

Food is ok, but limited options. Lots of good, fresh fruit, but most entrees were sweetened (somehow....) and few good vegetables -- most seemed canned. Would have been ok for a day or two, but by day three of a week's stay we were desperate for change.

One visit to the beach was enough (NOT Gaia's control, but if you are going to a beach resort, important to know). It's a good drive away from the hotel and even though we went at sunrise, by 9-10am it was crowded and filled with people hawking trinkets. My 25-year-old daughter was not comfortable there the one time she went alone. Again -- this isn't anything Gaia can manage, but don't expect quiet days near the ocean.

The spa and excursions were excellent -- as good as any high end resort. Which I guess is the root of our somewhat disappointing experience --- it is in the Preferred Hotel Group which usually has outstanding places. Aspects of Gaia are very good but over all, key expectations were lacking.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
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, April 11, 2014
We are quite surprised and disappointed in this guests review. And we question why it took 5 months to write the review.
In any case, it is certainly a review that is questionable in it's overall subjective content.

We can assure you that all of our vegetables are fresh and never canned. I disagree with the limited menu comment as we have a very extensive dinner menu of fish, meats, chicken, vegetarian, vegan etc. In total, 42 dishes from which to choose.

It is obvious that our recent guest expected more that what we could deliver for them and for this we are truly apologetic. We wish we could have provided a refrigerator in the room but we were not asked to do so and this is the first we are hearing of it.
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Victoria, Canada
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2014

We heard that the hotel was nice and restaurant was good but imagine our surprise when we arrive for a family Christmas dinner to a lovely open air restaurant with a view and a small band playing soft music. The food and atmosphere was perfect. My best ever Christmas dinner memory. Thank you!

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 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, April 11, 2014
Gaia Hotel & Reserve and our La Luna Restaurant are what memories are all about and we are thrilled that we made your Christmas 2013 special and memorable.

Thank you for your very kind words and thank you for sharing with others on this TripAdvisor forum.
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Indianapolis,IN
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 5, 2014 via mobile

I am now on vacation in Belize and catching up on giving some reviews. I plan all our trips a large part on reviews so I know people appreciate it. What sticks out first for me at Gaii is the food. OMG! A buffet of all the most pleasurable flavors especially for an American. Breakfast was a real treat with large trays of fresh fruit and trays of a variety of fresh homemade pastries being passed by for your taking whenever you want. But the menu is literally enormous and the quality is superb. Your every request they try to please you with. We love the contemporary deco rooms. Gorgeous view, private balcony. Our vacation package included $400 to be used in the Spa and my husband and I used every penny. The Spa is as high end as any in the US and the staff are incredible. We had 2 massages, 2 pedicures, a facial and a mud wrap. Don't be intimidated by the usage of the golf cart to leave the resort. No problem. It sits right in a preserve and you can hike up to the top of another large hill through the jungle. We couldn't make it to the tip where they say the view is breathtaking that day and how we wish we had. The pools are so beautiful with a bar right in the middle and the feel of being (safely) on the tip of the hill with only you and the pool at the edge. The staff ends up feeling like family after a few days. Another great memory is that One night I craved a good American hamburger - I LOVE fresh fish and trying local food,but that craving took over and we got room service late at night and the hamburger was large, hot, juicy on the best bun... Heaven. :) We would love to go back if the price was right again. Oh yes, and one of the owners had his Mother there and we loved watching him cater to her the owners are so personable, we are glad they were there. We love you, Gaii.

Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
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, April 6, 2014
We love your recent review of our Gaia Hotel & Reserve even though you stayed with us last year.

Thank you so much for remembering us and recalling your wonderful experience with other readers on this TripAdvisor forum.

Looking forward to a return visit on your side......we miss you!!
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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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