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“Best. Hotel. Ever.” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Nayara Resort Spa & Gardens

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Nayara Resort Spa & Gardens
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Madison, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Best. Hotel. Ever.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 25, 2009

As a previous review said: believe the hype. This place is good. My wife and I went here for our honeymoon, and our expectations were exceeded.

Check-in was great. They greet you with a tropical drink and a cool towel. The reception area sets the tone with its decor and ambience. All the paperwork was prearranged. We were given time to relax, a quick tour, and we were on our way to the room, where the staff had quickly assembled some fresh fruits and champagne for us (complimentary for honeymooners).

The service is always with a smile. The omnipresent Jonathan was fantastic. But the rest of the staff is very courteous and very friendly as well. I planned all of our outings using the web prior to arrival, so I didn't interact with the concierge in that respect. However, I did use the concierge services to ask for help with directions, places to eat, and smaller outings. I was never disappointed and they were very helpful. They can also call ahead each day to confirm your activities, even if you didn't reserve them through the hotel.

The rooms are the best I've ever stayed in. I consider them better than the boutique hotel we stayed in during the latter half of our trip (see my other reviews). Each room is a little casita; very private and exclusive. There's several feet of space and plentiful landscaping between every casita, so noise and privacy are never a problem. The view from the balcony is awesome; the volcano is right in front of you, and the landscaping in front of you is gorgeous. Each balcony also has a private jacuzzi - very nice. Now, some casitas are further from the pool/reception area and afford more privacy. But we spoke with two couples that had casitas near the pool area and they had no problems with the layout. The decor of the rooms is very much in tune with the surroundings. Beautiful wood beams line the ceiling, the wood floors are superb, excellent colors, outdoor shower in the garden, etc. It was a delight to wake up and see the room every morning.

The food was great. The breakfasts are fantastic. If you're looking for french toast and pancakes, you might be disappointed. Personally, I found the selection of cooked plantain, black beans and rice, omlettes made to order, and other local specialties to be delightful. And the fruits are the ripest you will ever find. The papaya juice is a must have every day. We only at one evening meal at the restaurant; it was good, but not the best we had during our honeymoon. But I can't really pass judgement since we ate most evening meals at the "sodas" in town. (I highly suggest these - cheap, quick and good).

We never used the spa, but other couples we spoke to said it was great.

In sum, I highly recommend this property to anyone looking for a secluded getaway. I will definitely come back one day.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank TFlexx47
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Cincinnati, Ohio
Level Contributor
80 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 22, 2009

This place is paradise ! Nayara Hotel completely exceeded our expectations from the very beginning. The casitas & grounds were absolutely gorgeous. I loved the pool and the swim up bar. The staff was great, especially the renowned Jonathan that everyone mentions (he's extremely enthusiastic, helpful and sweet). My spa treatments were like no other, listening to the birds and the breeze blowing through the trees while getting an amazing Volanic Mud massage, it was the best (thank you Isabelle !)
If you're planning a trip to Costa Rica (especially if you'll be visiting Arenal) then you must not look any further ! You must stay at this hotel ... you will NOT be disappointed !

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank SDBarber
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, IL
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 21, 2009

Had a great experience at this hotel. I wasn't sure what to expect as this was the first stop on a week-long Costa Rican vacation but Arenal Nayara set the bar high. The staff was friendly and helpful and the food was good/solid. The grounds were amazing. I believe the hotel was full when I was there but it didn't seem crowded at all. The pool is heated and very relaxing with a swim-up bar and there's free Internet in the lobby. The rooms are truly amazing. Mine had a clear view of the volcano with seating and a jacuzzi on the patio. The rooms are very spacious and include air conditioning, flat screen TV, an indoor shower, outdoor shower and separate bathroom.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank JackieChicago
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kansas City, Missouri
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 19, 2009

We stayed at Arenal Nayara Hotel & Gardens for a week and it was more than we could have even imagined. Jonathan at the service desk greeted us with a welcome drink as soon as we arrived and showed us to our beautiful room.

THE ROOM: As everyone has said, the rooms are fantastic. You basically get an individual cabin with a view of the volcano. The deck has two lounge chairs and a hot tub that is very private. The room itself has a large queen bed, an ipod dock, TV, A/C, a huge vanity and sink, an outdoor shower, and indoor shower. The room is beyond description and you should check out my pictures to get a feel for it.

THE SERVICE: All of the staff from the cleaning staff to the people at the desk were very nice. I just cannot describe how nice the people of Costa Rica are. Jonathan helped us with any questions we had and set up many tours for us.

THE FOOD: The food is also very good. We had breakfast and dinner included in our price and both were excellent. The breakfast has tons of options with omelets, fresh fruit, and typical Costa Rican food. The dinner has a menu with a variety of foods from soups, to salads, to fish, to chicken and beef. Further, about every other day there was a themed night at dinner with a special menu.

THE TOURS: We were very active during our vacation and did many tours. My favorite was the class 4 rapids which the hotel booked through Desafio tours. Stanley and Figo were awesome tour guides. My wife's favorite tour was the hike of Rio Celeste which was a beautiful hike of a dormant volcano where the water a beautiful blue-green color and we also so a waterfall. All in all, the tours were all great and I never heard anyone at the hotel complain about a tour.

THE POOL: The pool was very refreshing at the end of long day of hiking or rafting. It is heated and has three tabletops and a swimup bar. The drinks are very reasonable with mixed drinks being $5 and they are all made from scratch and beer being around $2.50. We also had the bar food a couple of times and the sandwiches were very good. Both bartenders were very nice and excellent and spoke perfect English as did the whole hotel.

We cannot not express how awesome and beautiful this hotel and the Arenal area is. We met a couple staying at Tabacon and they came over to Arenal to grab drinks and stated that Nayara was hands down better and is half the price. If you are coming to the Arenal area you have to stay here or you will be dissapointed.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank bowler456
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Geneva, Switzerland
Level Contributor
10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 14, 2009

We are just finishing a 2.5 week trip to Costa Rica. We have stayed in some truely amazing properties but Nayara was our favorite. Our room (an individual cabin) was simply stunning. We were lucky enough to get probably the best room in the resort. It was extremely private with an uninterupted view of the volcano. We stayed 3 nights and, being jetlagged, we got up every morning at 5.30am. For the first few hours every day we got completely clear views of the volcano right from our balcony where we sat in our very comfortable leather recliners having our morning coffee. Priceless!

We ate only breakfast and lunch at the hotel but the food was great and the breakfast in particular was exceptional, must be the best in CR. The staff were fabulous and we were particularly impressed with the great service provided by Johanna (dining room) and Francisco (of the golf cart!). We also loved the pet rabbits they kept in the gardens, very cute. They even came visiting us on our balcony a couple of times. As others have mentioned, each room has a hot tub on the balcony and an an indoor and outdoor shower in a beautiful courtyard filled with plants. Also the comfiest bed of our trip (mnay hotels seemed to favour the hard bed, but not this one) and the linens were high quality and luxurious.

We were so happy we chose Nayara and would unhesitatingly recommend it to anyone looking for a great hotel around Arenal.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Tabitha22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
McLean, VA
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 12, 2009

Arenal Nayara is an absolutely fabulous, first class resort. My girlfriend and I spent three nights in a lush bungalow that looked out onto the Arenal Volcano - an active volcano. The view we (and every other resident) had must rank among the best in the country.

Think of the bungalows as little houses - each with a yard and separate enough from your neighbor that you feel almost alone. The rooms (besides the view) are amazing. There is a hot tub on every porch along with two wonderfully comfortable chairs from which you can watch the sun rise over the volcano. Each bungalow has two showers - one indoor (with a screen so you can feel like you're outside) and then one that's actually outside. Rooms are quiet and large - unless you're staying with a group of six or seven, you'll have more room than you can possibly want. The whole place is a romantic's dream - it literally does not get any better (if it does, I'd love to hear about it...)

The staff was terrific - quick, courteous, and well-versed in providing superior accomodations. We were greeted with a glass of fresh tropical fruit punch (not the store-bought variety) and given a few bottles of water when we left for Monteverde. The pool, though small, was beautiful and the bartender (Jimmy) was a great guy who patiently helped me with my Spanish. My girlfriend is fluent, so that came in very handy, but they always like to see people try to learn the language. The staff is fluent in English as well (as is the case for most in the hospitality industry across the country). The hotel offers free high speed internet access on two laptops in the lounge - very convenient.

We booked our tours, etc. through Latin Destinations (an incredibly well-run company that was always on time and on the ball), but the hotel offers to put together tours for you as well. These are reasonable priced, so have no fear there - and the tours are worth it! Arenal itself is amazing - touring the active volcano, swimming in the hot springs, and traveling to the La Fortuna waterfall were incredible experiences (just make sure that you have some super bug spray and sun screen).

At night, when the pool lights are off, you can see the smoldering fires at the top of the volcano - truly an amazing sight!

The one slight (and I do mean slight) drawback was the food - it was delicious, no question about it, but it was a bit repetitive and though not quite expensive, cost a little too much for what was on your plate. On the plus side, we felt that we ate well and didn't feel the need to venture into town to scavenge around (we also didn't rent a car). Also, the restaurant staff cares for three cute rabbits - an amusing sight when you're sitting down for a romantic dinner.

Contrary to our experience at the Hotel Brittania in San Jose, this place was phenomenal. If you have the opportunity, don't miss out on this amazing place!

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank JamminMcLean_VA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Jersey
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 12, 2009

My husband and I just spend the first 4 days of our honeymoon here and we loved it. We spent a few days just hanging out at the pool bar with Jimmy and he was great to talk to. The pool is beautiful and it's heated which makes it enjoyable at night but a little too warm on a 90 degree day! Fransisco was also very friendly to us during our stay. We did the sky trek and sky tram tour which was really fun and also the volcano hike and hot springs tour. The view from the room was incredible, we stayed in a regular room not the suite and I would say unless you really want complete privacy a suite is not worth the extra money. All amenities are the same and I think you're just paying to be farther from the pool/restaurant area. We were in room 17 which was right next to the pool and we found it to be really convenient. There are only 25 casitas so it's never crowded or loud. This is a great resort for relaxing and taking advantage of the beautiful landscape in the Arenal area - I would definitely recommend it!

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank jva2005
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, La Fortuna de San Carlos, Arenal Volcano National Park 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 Luxury Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#2 Spa 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 & 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 in 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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