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“Love, Adventure and Romance in the Rainforest”

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Nayara Resort Spa & Gardens
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
3 reviews
“Love, Adventure and Romance in the Rainforest”
Reviewed May 15, 2011

My husband and I spent 5 days in Arenal/La Fortuna, Costa Rica less than a week ago. Even though it was the rainy season, we were fortunate to have great weather for 98% of our trip. We decided to stay at the Arenal Nayara Hotel & Gardens ("Nayara") based on the reviews on Trip Advisor. From the very beginning, we found the staff at The Nayara to be professional, accomodating and really committed to making sure we would thoroughly enjoy our stay.

We arrived at San Jose airport on 5/3/11 and booked a private shuttle van through the Arenal Nayara. Our driver, Fernando, met us right outside of customs at San Jose airport and was an absolute delight. The shuttle was new, clean, roomy, comfortable and air conditioned. Having Fernando as our driver was an unexpected and deligthful occurrence. He showed us sloths and other wildlife during our 3 hour commute and shared a great deal of wonderful information with us regarding the region. It was a pleasure to see the country through the eyes of someone who loved it so much! If you book a shuttle van through the resort, ask for Fernando.

When we checked in, we were met at the shuttle by one of the front desk staff. Everyone at the front desk was welcoming. We were offered batidas and a warm towel infused with aromatherapeutic herbs. Very nice after a long drive. The check-in was a breeze and in less than 10 minutes we were in a golf cart on our way to our suite.

The grounds of the resort are amazingly lush and full of exotic flora and fauna. It is kept incredibly clean and was beautifully designed. The Nayara is a small resort, which we prefer, but it has more than enough to offer. The Nayara doesn't overwhelm the natural surroundings, but rather compliments it.

We booked a Nayara suite for our stay and was assigned to Suite 30. At first, we didn't like the fact that we were further back on the property. However once we walked into our suite and saw the degree of privacy that we had in this location, we were very pleased. The Nayara suite was absolutely gorgeous. The Nayara suite included a canopy bed; indoor eating area; lovely hand carved wood furnishings throughout; his and hers vanities; a gorgeous overhead double head shower; a romantic outdoor shower garden with showers for two; ample storage and closetry; a bar area and fridge; a wraparound porch with an outdoor jacuzzi, hammock, outdoor eating area and lounge chairs for 2 overlooking a private backyard with an array of beautiful exotic plants and flowers. It was everything they advertised on the Nayara site and more. And the view....We had a complete unobstructed view of Arenal volcano. The pictures do not capture the grandeur of this volcano and the beauty of this resort and the Arenal region.

We enjoyed the complimentary breakfast every day and took advantage of the room service in the evenings. The food was very good - especially the breakfast - but the selections were somewhat limited. We ate in town during most of our stay and thoroughly enjoyed the lovely places we dined at. The room service menu was extremely limited. We ended up ordering the cheeseburger and fries with maduros and guacamole, which were all AMAZING. On the last night of our stay, our room service order was not to our expectations. The staff were very apologetic and willing to make it right. The restaurant manager even personally came and apologized to us while we were checking out the following morning. Something we were not expecting, but appreciated. Another example of the degree of pride the staff at The Nayara has in their work and the level of commitment they share to offering the best service to their guests.

We were disappointed that the restaurants, bars and room service were only open until 10 pm. Since the resort is not centrally located in town, it would be nice to have the option to order room service or, visit the bar later than 10 pm. We are a younger married couple, not party people, but do not necessarily like to turn in as early as 10 pm. We remedied this by shopping at the supermercado in La Fortuna. We were able to purchase wine, ingredients for mixed drinks, snacks, etc for only $60 USD in town. We visited La Fortuna almost every day during our trip and found everything we needed there. We really enjoyed interacting with the Costa Rican people and enjoying the things they enjoy. We never felt unsafe and loved the people.

If you need to go into town, all you have to do is ring the front desk and they will call a red taxi for you. The taxi generally arrives in 10 minutes and is a $10 USD fare into town. Since I am of Central American descent, it was easy for me to communicate with the drivers, staff at The Nayara and the locals. However, other guests who did not speak Spanish found it very easy to also get around and communicate. We visited the La Fortuna waterfall, Arenal Natura Park and other sites during our stay. The resort will also coordinate tours for guests, but we decided to explore on our own.

In addition, the resort offers free wi-fi throughout the property and free calls to the U.S. at reception. A fantastic plus and what we expect of resorts of this caliber.

We are already planning our next trip back to The Nayara next year and are bringing a group of adult couples and relatives with us. After seeing all of the photos and hearing how wonderful our trip was, everyone wanted to join us on our next trip.

This was our first trip to Costa Rica and Arenal. Honestly, my husband and I could not recommend a better place to stay if you are in the Arenal region than The Nayara. You will not be disappointed. We can't wait to go back!

Thank you everyone at The Nayara for making our stay so incredible. We look forward to seeing you again in 2012!

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank Jacquelin036
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Oak Hill, VA
Level Contributor
47 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
Reviewed May 13, 2011

We stayed in casita 17 which is a standard room, but there was nothing standard about it. It was hugh with high ceilings, large bathroom, huge inside and outside shower, hammock, chairs and jacuzzi on deck and an unobstructed view of the volcano.

My favorite part was the outside shower and I now think we will have to have this in our home we are building. Another nice touch was the great magnifying mirror which I used for my make-up and putting in contacts.

The only negative and it is minor, is that the compressor for the air-conditioner was loud. We could even hear the one next door when ours was not running.

Please leave tips for the maids. I think people forget to do this. They do an outstanding job. Loved the unique towel art.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Nikki4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thousand Oaks, CA
Level Contributor
106 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
Reviewed May 13, 2011

It's hard to add anything not already in the reviews. We stayed in the Nayara Suite (number 37). We loved the bathroom and outdoor shower so much, we want to figure out how to do something similar in our next house! This property is a showcase, the room smelled like a spa every day!

The spa was amazing, we had two hot stone massages they were that good. The food was outstanding with lots of selection and specials almost every day. The quantity and quality was perfect.

The service.. so great. From JC and Johanna our servers to the swim up and wine bar to the front desk cancelling our tour one hour prior ( it was pouring) , to scheduling our drivers and suggesting other things to do.

The pool was great, almost like a big jacuzzi with a swim up bar and food service. The grounds are beautiful with frogs, bunnies, parrots, birds, butterflies and firefly's at night!. It's very peaceful and relaxing.

A few things to know about Arenal, the drive around the lake ( we came from Liberia) is long. The roads are actually well paved it's just a long haul. It rains a lot. We had two days of almost full rain so come prepared. Many of you activities will be in the rain. They get 15 feet a year average so you will more likely have rain than not. We did NOT have any bug issues which was surprising and refreshing. It's cooler than the beach but very comfortable while very humid. It will feel a little damp everywhere ( sheets, towels, etc). We went to Tabacon and liked it a lot. The fee is for 2 days and it's not busy in the am as the tours drop off after noon. It's a very cool experience and you can get great pics if you have a waterproof camera.

This hotel is truly a gem, it's well taken care of and the staff is excellent. They seem to really enjoy being there and are very happy to have you as part of their day.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank bryandshan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
5 reviews
Reviewed May 11, 2011

We spent five nights here and couldn't stop talking about how lucky we were to find this place. We went to The Springs and Tabacon to compare. They were also gorgeous, but much more touristy. Nayara has a quaint feel and the staff goes out of their way to make you feel special. The food was good and the grounds were amazing. We were overjoyed to return each day to our private bungalo where we would sit on our balcony and listen to the sounds of the enveloping jungle as we reminisced about our excursions and the wonderful people throughout the area. We will return here and hope this spectacular resort is experienced by other travelers looking for something that truly captures the essence of being in the jungle with exquisite service and comforts.

  • Stayed May 2011
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Helpful?
Thank Thedulin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
2 reviews
Reviewed May 9, 2011

My husband and I celebrated our 10 year anniversary at Nayara and it was absolutely perfect. We booked the romantic package and were able to customize it with the SkyTrek Zip Line adventure and two spa treatments. Both were amazing. We arrived the first night after a long drive and were greeted with cool towels and papaya juice. Our room was absolutely beautiful. We had a Nayara Suite and it was the most amazing "room" we have ever stayed in. I wasn't feeling well after our long trip and my husband asked if we could have dinner in our room and it was no problem. I thought they may give us a problem, because dinners were included in our package, but not room service and they didn't hesitate for a minute. I was instantly impressed. I will say if you get even a little bit of motion sickness be sure to take medicine, because the trip to Nayara is quite long and the roads are very winding. It is well worth it though. I also enjoyed being able to call home (the U.S.) for free to check on my kids. That was wonderful. The view from our suite #28 was one of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen. My husband and I loved to have coffee on the deck and watch the clouds lift over the volcano every morning. It was truly heavenly. The best part of our stay was hands down the romantic dinner included in our package. I won't go into detail, because I don't want to spoil it for other couples, but it is something I will remember for the rest of my life. I highly highly recommend booking the romantic package. I thought it was very reasonable and well worth it. This trip was definitely a 2nd honeymoon for us and I can't thank Nayara enough for completely relaxing two busy people from DC and helping us fall in love all over again. Muchas Gracias!

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank CarieD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
2 reviews
Reviewed May 8, 2011

This place was amazing, romantic and relaxing. Clean, spacious, one-of-a-kind rooms offer spectacular volcano views from a tropical garden setting. The staff was exceptionally friendly and helpful. The Breakfast, Lunches & Dinners we had there were some of the best during our stay in Costa Rica. We enjoyed the wine bar each night before dinner, where we enjoyed sampling Latin American wines among others. After our afternoon at the spa getting massages and facials, my husband and I forgot about our day jobs.
Gina & Sean - Pittsburgh, PA

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank coffeeberries
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
76 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
Reviewed May 8, 2011

This is an amazing hotel, and we enjoyed our time there. But there were so many familes in the hotel, and it ruined our honeymoon stay. Nayara is sold as the most romantic hotel in costa rica... which is at odds with the amount of familes staying.

When we arrived at the pool on the first day, there was a child vomiting in the bushes next to us... not the hotel's fault but not exactly a honeymoon experience!

The rooms are amazing though, the food great, the view phenomenal and teh spa is perfect. Shame about the one thing that let it down from what you expect it to be!

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Jackster79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Nayara Resort Spa & Gardens

Property: Nayara Resort Spa & Gardens
Address: 6 KM West la Fortuna Town, Arenal Volcano National Park, La Fortuna de San Carlos 21007, Costa Rica (Formerly Arenal Nayara Hotel & Gardens)
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Alajuela > Arenal Volcano National Park > La Fortuna de San Carlos
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#1 Romantic Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#2 Spa Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#2 Luxury Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#3 Green Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#5 Business Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Nayara Resort Spa & Gardens 4.5*
Number of rooms: 50
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Arenal Nayara Hotel Spa & Gardens is a five star luxury boutique hotel that is widely recognized for providing premium luxury amenities and ultra-personalized service at surprisingly affordable rates. Located on the outskirts of the amazing Arenal Volcano, Arenal Nayara is an oasis of tranquility, where guests can experience a profound and organic immersion with nature, while living in luxury at the same time. Surrounded by lush tropical rainforest, each one of our 50 spacious casitas (bungalows) provide an exclusive, ultra-luxurious retreat. Each expansive casita (ranging from 855 to 1905 square feet) includes a secluded garden with an outdoor shower and a beautiful terrace overlooking the volcano with a private, intimate Jacuzzi for two. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Arenal Nayara Hotel And Gardens
Arenal Nayara Hotel Gardens
Nayara Resort Spa & Gardens Costa Rica/Arenal Volcano National Park

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