After reading a recent cover story about Costa Rica in the New York Times Travel section, I was surprised that the Gaia Resort wasn't mentioned in the listings for the Quepos/Manuel Antonio area. After spending my first ever visit there during early March, I couldn't imagine a better place to be while the rest of the Northeast dealt with yet another snowstorm.
Beautifully situated on the cliffs overlooking the coast and just off the major road between Quepos & Manuel Antonio, one feels a world away from it all, yet you're only a few minutes cab ride from most of the area's attractions. Manuel Antonio park is just down the road a few miles & Quepos is within walking distance if you don't mind walking along the busy main road.
The resort itself maintains a green philosophy with recycling used for many of their internal systems and even an onsite compost area for the myriad (and beautiful) gardens that seem to envelop the entire site. There's also a 16 acre nature preserve just down the hill from the main resort that presents a good place to begin exploring the biodiversity that makes Costa Rica so interesting. Just a note to birders: this is one of the best places in the world to see an amazing variety of bird species (there are 51 species of hummingbirds alone).
I really liked the juxtaposition of luxe touches like 500 count Egyptian linens & Ayurveda bath products set against a modern, almost Eastern feeling backdrop of local Cocolobo dark wood & natural stone. The staff provided some of the best service I have ever experienced. Warm, helpful and full of good humor they created the complete vibe of an easy-going paradise. There's an excellent lounge/restaurant at the top of the resort (Luna) where locals & visitors alike gather to watch the sunset each night from one of the best vantage points in the area. I could go on about the infinity pool that flows through several levels, the wonderful breakfast that are included with the rooms and the concierges that are a step ahead at providing whatever you might be interested in pursuing that day (canopy tours, sunset cruises, mangrove expeditions, naturalists to accompany a birding hike in nearby Manuel Antonio Park, etc.) but you get the idea. I heartily recommend the Gaia Resort for many reasons but the most compelling is this is what a vacation is supposed to be.
- 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