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“Real deal beach gem” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Harmony Hotel Nosara

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Harmony Hotel Nosara
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Guiones Beach, Nosara 5233, Costa Rica   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #4 of 21 Hotels in Nosara
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Richmond, VA
Level Contributor
64 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
“Real deal beach gem”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2012

This is the real deal, beach gem resort. Nestled far from the main airport (SJO), you need to make a concerted effort to get to Nosara. We drove nearly five hours from SJO by toll highway 27 (worth it for a smoother ride) and then by back roads...not worth it AT ALL if you are arriving at night like we were - if your flight gets in after 2:30pm I suggest you stay at a hotel in San Jose or at the ALoft hotel - Starwood Property- which is right near the Avis and National/Alamo rental car area (so you may secure your rental car which takes awhile and then get a good night's rest before making the drive).

Nosara turns out to be a huge ex-pat community. We had the pleasure of having a couple of conversations with Robin of "Robin's" which is a great local restaurant within walking distance which serves organic food offerings and homemade ice cream and sorbet (I enjoyed the "Coffee to Die For" ice cream and a veggie burger.) Robin is an American from Washington, D.C. who has lived in France, Russia, Botswana and Japan to name a few. We later saw her on the beach and she was so friendly and helpful with places to go and with helping us plan our journey on to Nicaragua.

Harmony's juice bar with organic espresso drinks is worth a visit. Lots of lush surroundings for a chill atmosphere make this a memorable place. The Harmony flow yoga class at 8:30am was nice but not as challenging/leveled as you might expect from a yoga class. Seek other yoga options at the Nosara Yoga Institute or the newer Yoga place just past Robin's.

Harmony's food is great. The complimentary breakfast offers plenty of options, and feels very civilized. I love that they call the traditional American egg dish the "Gringo" breakfast for the name alone prompted me to try something else! Before dinner we each had a speciality cocktail (I tried their ginger infused vodka which was very nice) while we played backgammon at the bar. For dinner we sampled from the sushi menu for our appetizers and then both tried some of the Tico specialities for our mains. We rounded out dinner by splitting their Flourless chocolate cake with Coffee ice cream (and coffee chips - just like chocolate chips only so much more delicious!) One of the best desserts I have ever had!

Ok - now to some realities about the rooms. Our room smelled musty - serious "camp cabin" smell. But I let it go because you have to realize it's relative to the location you are in. Also, be prepared that, with the lovely weather and near constant pleasant breeze, you will feel more like you are in a 4-star cabin than in a traditional hotel. We stayed in room 22 which is connected (shared wall) with room 23. Both are "bungalows" which is the 2nd tier price point. From what I saw, room 26 would be a much better option as it is a stand alone room. We shared a wall with a 20-something honeymooner couple and lived every moment of their non-stop mission to stay in their room as much as possible on their honeymoon. I wouldn't say that the walls are paper thin by any means, it's more that you have open windows with screens on them and you inevitably hear the noises you would so rather not hear. Another lack of privacy between rooms 22/23 is that your outdoor showers literally share the same wall, so if both rooms are showering at the same time you might as well have a conversation with one another you are so uncomfortably close.

Ok - let's round it back off with a positive. The location is safe - we arrived on a Saturday evening after the restaurant had closed and ended up walking across the street and we met another couple staying at Harmony and ended up walking together to the Nosara Beach hostel (bring a flashlight or headlamp to help you navigate the dirt roads on foot at night) for a really mellow outdoor party that culminated in fireworks! The vibe feels so chill and friendly here - still a true travel gem worth visiting.

The beach is just a 5 minute walk from the property. Easy. I wouldn't say the beach is as picturesque as ones you might find in the Caribbean, but it makes up for it in authenticity. Hanging out there at sunset you will find couples walking their dogs, families building a fire, and surfers riding their "dinner plate." It's the real deal.

Welcome to CR - big sky country. Well worth a visit.

Room Tip: Aim for room 26. Or one of the bungalows that is not attached to any other room.
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  • Stayed November 2012, 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
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303 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (77)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
23 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 15, 2012

I found the hotel to be very mediocre. There didn’t appear to be any better options, but for the price of the place, I expected a lot nicer. I stayed here while going to Safari Surf School, and it was not worth the upgrade cost. The pool area was very nice, and the drinks were good. The rooms were a nice size and the beds were very comfortable. The décor was outdated, the bathroom was very gross, and there was no privacy since the curtains didn’t cover much of the window and most rooms are on a main path. Additionally the outdoor shower on the deck (again no privacy from the main path) had a bees nest in it, so you couldn’t spend time out there, and there were cockroaches in the bathroom at night that come out of the drains. There were also no TVs (not a big deal, but lesser hotels did have them), and very sporadic internet. The service was friendly but VERY slow. Breakfast usually lasted well over an hour which is tough when we had morning surf classes we were trying to make it to.

If this were a hotel back home, I would not be giving it even a 3 star review, but I judged it on a curve considering where it was and since it was the nicest looking of all the options. I think if we were in the area again, we would rent a house.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cayuga S, Manager at Harmony Hotel Nosara, responded to this review, November 23, 2012
Dear
Thank you for taking the time so give us some feedback on your recent stay. We are sorry to hear that we did not meet your expectations but wish you would have pointed out some of the problems you experienced during your stay with us so we would have had a chance to correct them on the spot. Thanks for pointing out the positive things like the pool, beds and drinks. We noticed that you stayed with us in April and you would be happy to hear that since then we have created 100% privacy on all the outdoor showers for the bungalows. This was a frequent comment from guests and we carefully listen to feedback from our guests in order to take action. You would love the new experience. Since April, we have also improved the Wifi connections at the hotel. Still no TVs as this is part of the concept of disconnecting. In terms of the bathrooms, we have not had problems with cockroaches and you might have mistaken the noise at night with Halloween Crabs that typically start to move up from the beach in April. Be assured that we are very proud of the cleanliness in our rooms and have a great housekeeping department that has been applauded several times by guests on Tripadvisor. Once again, thanks for pointing out the friendliness of our staff. As you can see, most of your feedback has already been implemented so we hope to have you back for another set of surf lessons next year.
Saludos from Nosara.
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Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level Contributor
16 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2012

I stayed at the Harmony with my friend in June 2012 for a week. It is my personal favorite of all time. It is small yet luxurious and super eco-friendly. Decor I would describe as modern with a retro twist. The staff are very friendly and attentive, know you by face and name. Food is excellent. All meals were terrific, with my favorites being the smoothies, margaritas, and sushi. We spent most of our time surfing with Safari Surf school which is located right next to the hotel (and is really great!), or by the pool. We did a lot of poolside eating and napping- service poolside was great. There were a good amount of people staying there but it was never loud or hectic. My favorite part of the rooms was the private patio with an outdoor rain shower-um hello I want one. The mint shampoo in the rooms was pretty awesome too. AC worked great.

Location is wonderful. It is right next to the beach- like most hotels in CR it is set back from the beach for environmental preservation reasons but there is a path from the hotel to the beach and is about as close as you can get. Grounds are lush, tropical, and very well maintained. Playa Guiones is a spectacular white sand beach with a great consistent surf break. Didn't get to the yoga classes although we were offered 2 free classes when we checked in- next time!

Sadly when my friend and I tried to book our return trip in October for this upcoming Jan the Harmony was already full- sigh, looks like everyone knows how awesome it is. So make your reservations well in advance!

  • Stayed June 2012, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boca de Nosara, Guanacaste, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
15 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2012

The Harmony Hotel is the most posh and elegant resort *on* Guiones Beach, in Nosara, Costa Rica... an exquisitely divine visit awaits you! Nosara is now my home and I have been living here for the past five years. however, my family has vacationed here for many many years, we used to stay at the Villa Taipei, before it became the Harmony Hotel, and I have since spent a few nights at the Harmony, every time has been a luxuriant stay...

I enjoy visiting the Harmony for Sushi, their dinner menu and the natural fizzy drinks are top notch as well as the choices available, fresh from their gardens, oh and the Desserts - are DIVINE... As I am a regular attendee of the yoga classes at the Healing Center, I decided to bring my small group of new Yoga Teachers for our celebratory dinner, to commend their finishing of our 216 hour Hatha Yoga Certification ~ Nosarananda dot com

After a yoga class at the Harmony, it is a pleasure to hang out at the Juice Bar and have smoothie and home baked carrot cake. The Villa Taipei was purchased by the Johnson family and refined to sophisticated taste with chillaxing atmosphere, based on a true love story... lovely to read this story on their website

Restaurant is usually open until 10pm.. call ahead to confirm in low season - I often stop in just for dessert, tooooo good!!

If you are passing through Nosara, the Harmony Hotel and Resort is definitely not one to be missed!

Room Tip: the Bungalows are my first choice - with the BEST proximity to Guiones beach, outdoor showers, priva...
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  • Stayed December 2011, 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.
Ventura, California
Level Contributor
16 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 13, 2012

Just returned from my 5th visit to this charming piece of heaven in Playa Guiones. As always, the bungalow was wonderful with an updated outside shower so you can shower under the stars if you wish. The hotel is as sustainable as it can be including bamboo straws for drinks and food sourced locally including veggies, fish, and chicken. The meals are delicious and the full menu breakfast is included in the hotel rate.....you can catch coffee as early as you want, spend a few hours surfing on the beach and return for a grand breakfast. The staff is friendly, warm and anxious to speak english with you and you leave with more friends than you came with. The hotel has reintroduced mostly native plants and the bird and animal life abound. Lots of local side trips make this destination and interesting one if you want to go outside the normal tourist areas in Costa Rica.

If there is a downside its that there is no nightlife in this quiet jungle beach community, so bring books and a special friend.

Room Tip: The bungalows have more privacy than the standard rooms and I prefer them. During the green season...
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  • Stayed October 2012, 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 9, 2012

My best friend and I spent 8 days at Harmony to relax, surf and catchup and we couldn't have hoped for anything better. The hotel was so quiet we had the pool to ourselves each day and the staff couldn't have been more attentive, they are so welcoming and friendly. We surfed at Coconut Harrys with Cristian (recommend him, he's awesome and very patient) and chilled out at the hotel. The hotel has some exercise classes and there is a fitness place just across the road so you can do a class every day if you want too.

We ate mostly at the hotel, as the food at Harmony is incredible, so fresh and delicious, and I can't rate it highly enough. We also ate and few times at Beach Dog Cafe - you need to try the muffins! If you're looking to surf, unwind and relax you must go to Harmony!

Room Tip: We had a coconut room with an outside shower (room 24), it was great.
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  • Stayed September 2012, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LA
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2012

My husband and I checked into the Harmony for the last week of our 2 1/2 month stay in Costa Rica. We loved it. What a treat!

The hotel is perfectly simple and elegant, with beautiful grounds and pool, terrific fitness classes, and friendly service. The beds are super comfortable, with soft linens. It's just a short walk to Playa Guiones, rated one of the top 10 beginner surfer beaches on earth. The yoga is super mellow, but the open air studio surrounded by greenery is very nice and calming. I LOVE Fit2Rip, the circuit training class with Angie. It kicked my butt! Hardest class I've ever taken.

I enjoyed many meals at the Juice Bar, pretty much the only place in town that serves fresh greens -- arugula, chard -- and from their own garden, to boot. The main restaurant is also very solid, with lovely ambiance at night.

The hotel is pricey, but we got a Green Season discount that made it quite affordable, including a delicious daily a la carte breakfast (coffee/tea, fruit plate, fruit juice, AND pancakes or scrumptious egg dish), as well as two sushi dinners. The sushi isn't the best in terms of taste or creativity, but it's the only place in town that has it. We liked the rainbow roll and the ceviche roll.

Everyone there was super friendly and went out of their way to make our stay the best. We were very impressed, in particular, with Samuel at the front desk and Bolivar at the bar. If you dine at the restaurant in the evening, don't forget to ask for Kevin!

  • Stayed August 2012, 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cayuga S, Manager at Harmony Hotel Nosara, responded to this review, October 8, 2012
Dear
Greetings from Guiones Beach in Costa Rica. Thank you for your thorough review of your stay at the Harmony Hotel. We are sure it will be very helpful for future guests thinking about staying with us. Thanks for pointing out all the great “hotel” features such as the comfortable beds, the grounds and pool, the great food and the friendly service by our staff. We think you hit it on the nail though by pointing out how Nosara is the place to learn how to surf, relax and do some great yoga (and yes, get your butt kicked by Angie if you would like to…). We will work on the sushi and make sure that next time you come it is up to par with the breakfast and the food at the juice bar. By the way, we just started a new hydroponic agriculture project and the first fresh produce should be ready in a week or so. So more fresh greens coming up on the menu soon. We look forward to your next visit.
Pura Vida,
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Additional Information about Harmony Hotel Nosara

Address: Guiones Beach, Nosara 5233, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Nosara
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 21 Hotels in Nosara
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Harmony Hotel Nosara 4*
Number of rooms: 24
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Harmony Hotel is the perfect combination of low-key luxury, nature, wellness and sustainability. Situated on Guiones Beach in Nosara, Costa Rica, a spot well renowned for its beautiful surroundings and impressive surf, this is an excellent place to unwind, relax and get in tune with your natural rhythm. The Harmony Hotel is part of the Cayuga Collection of Sustainable Luxury Hotels and Lodges. ... more   less 
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