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“Wonderful place!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Nayara Resort Spa & Gardens

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Nayara Resort Spa & Gardens
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Lake Arrowhead, California
Level Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Wonderful place!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 19, 2010

We especially loved the resort's wine bar and spa! Beautiful grounds, rooms are elegant with great views of the volcano, service is outstanding, and the food is some of the best we had in Costa Rica! I had a hot stone massage and a hydrating facial by a former Tabacon masseuse---she knew what she was doing!! It was heaven! And even better was the price! I will recommend this to anyone who is looking for a small, elegant, boutique hotel in the La Fortuna area.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank mtnluvr18
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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Charleston, South Carolina
Level Contributor
30 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 16, 2010

This place is great. After driving four hours from Liberia, we arrived to a beautiful setting and hospitable staff. The hotel setting is very lush and the individual casitas are very private and luxurious. Number 30 was at the top of the hill and very private and had a great view of the volcano. Though, there are a few more rooms under construction next door, the work nor workers were an inconvenience. The breakfast buffet (included) was awesome and lunch and dinner were also good--be sure to reserve a table for dinner with a view of the volcano. Although this seemed a popular destination for couples, the staff was very accommodating to my 9-yr-old son, allowing him to play with the resident macaws, parrots and rabbits; and they also quickly set up a full twin size bed for him upon our arrival. The pool and swim up bar are also very nice.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank chugginsone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 15, 2010

My husband and I stayed at Arenal Nayara for three nights in August during our honeymoon trip to Costa Rica. We were upgraded to a Nayara Suite for our stay so we were really excited to arrive! The room was nice except that mosquitos could get in through the shower area and the air conditioner shut off completely when you left the room so that when you return, the room is hot. The view from the room and the deck jacuzzi were great! The restaurant was absolutely horrible. Overpriced meals with frozen vegetables and the waitstaff were slow, rude, and always got the order wrong. We ate at the restaurant the first night and the next two days went into town to eat elsewhere. I had a massage and facial at the Arenal Nayara spa - I would recommend saving your money as the services are not really worth it. We went to Tabacon hot springs for the day, which I would 100% recommend. The food at Tabacon was wonderful and so were the hot springs. After we returned home, we realized that the hotel overcharged us for transportation to the airport by almost $50 and still have not corrected this mischarge. I would NOT recommend this hotel at all.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
12 Thank hab53
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
azaragovia, Owner at Nayara Resort Spa & Gardens, responded to this review, August 18, 2010
We are very saddened that this guest followed through on his threat to write a malicious review that would purposely tarnish every aspect of our hotel if we did not give in to his demands, which we felt were not justified. Unfortunately, many of the things that he writes about are simply untrue. We believe that this guest was trying to be destructive rather than following the philosophy of Trip Advisor which is to provide objective reviews to other members.
As a way of background, this guest was charged $155 by the transportation company for a transfer from the Four Seasons Resort in Peninsula Papagayo to Nayara. He felt that he should have been charged only $115, which is the promotional fare between the Liberia Airport and Nayara (which is a significantly shorter distance). We contacted the transportation company and they responded that the charges were fair given that the going rate from the Four Seasons to Arenal is currently $200. He also complained that he was charged an additional $10 to take him at 2 AM back from Nayara to the Liberia Airport. When we explained the above situation to the guest, he threatened to purposely write a disparaging review that would tarnish the hotel’s reputation unless we reimbursed him the difference.
We have never had a negative review regarding our air conditioning units, which are brand new and state-of-the-art. It is true that we have an energy management system that turns the air-conditioning unit off when everybody has left the room, but we do that because we pride ourselves on practicing sustainable tourism. Furthermore, if a guest does not wish for the air-conditioning to shut off, all he has to do is leave one of the key cards inserted in the slot. We are an environmentally conscious hotel which strives to minimize damage to the surrounding delicate rainforest ecosystem. We try to cover all aspects including reforestation, water conserving low-flow plumbing, and energy-efficient lighting.
Regarding his second complaint about having mosquitoes in the room, this is a situation that we have never encountered since we opened our doors more than two years ago.
We were further taken aback by his comment about our spa, which is an area where we always and consistently receive only rave reviews. As for our cuisine, which he also complains about, we were equally surprised since a few months ago we were fortunate to recruit a highly recognized executive chef and have been receiving excellent reviews since.
We are a small high-end boutique hotel with 40 bungalow-type rooms, providing quality, well-paid jobs to over 70 local people who derive their livelihood from the hotel. This is a ratio of almost 2 employees per room. We assign to our maids fewer rooms than what is typical in comparable luxury hotels so we can ensure absolute cleanliness, guess care and service. Our top priority is, and always has been, the complete satisfaction of our guests.

Angelo Zaragovia
President of the Board
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Richmond, Virginia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 15, 2010

The hotel, grounds, and rooms were beautiful. Great swim up pool bar. The wine bar was a lot of fun. Great views of the volcano, La Fortuna is a neat little town. The Eco zip lines were a lot of fun and worth doing. The vulcano hike while might be good it's pretty much waste of time when it's too cloudy to see anything. The Tabacon Springs were really neat and worth seeing. The hot mineral water felt great.

  • Stayed August 2010, 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 brad813
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 14, 2010

Like most of the other reviews we had a great time at Arenal. Check in was quick and friendly. We got fresh juice and cold towels while we waited for our room and then a ride to our room. The room was amazing, the outdoor deck with its jacuzzi and lounge chairs overlooking the volcano was exactly what the website showed and what we hoped it would be. And the animal towels were a fun surprise.

The wine bar is a must-go-to. Comfortable and clean with a great selection and a really friendly bartender, we went back a few times. And try the mushroom appetizer, it's fantastic.

The pool is a little small but you're not really there for that so we didn't care too much. The birds on the property will come right up to you and were a cool touch. The bunnies running the grounds too.

We booked trips when we got there and they were friendly but did charge a premium for booking through them. Luckily we had done a lot of research before and knew what the companies charged if you went directly through them so Arenal basically matched those prices when we raised that.

Free breakfast was also a bonus and was very good. The service was great.

Overall a great stay. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Elinason
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
208 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 144 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 12, 2010

We stayed here for the last 3 nights on our honeymoon July 3 - July 6. We've been waiting to post a review because it really bothers us to say negative things...we don't usually complain much and are generally easy to please. However, we had numerous problems (and I mean lots of mishaps) with this resort and were pretty disappointed. Although it is unlikely, maybe we were just very unlucky...but after doing thorough research and reading the very positive reviews we had high expectations, especially since it was one of the more expensive hotels in the area. Overall, our stay was still nice because we don't tend to let things ruin our vacation and our honeymoon was a special time for us, but some of the issues we dealt with were very inconvenient, so maybe we can help other people avoid them in the future. This is going to be a long but detailed review!

I'll start with the positives:
**The resort property and rooms are beautiful and it's in a spectacular location with great views of Arenal volcano. The resort's surroundings are not as lush or natural looking as some of the other places we saw in Costa Rica (such as Arenas del Mar in Manuel Antonio...rainforest everywhere!), but there are gorgeous flowers all over the property and all plants and pathways are well-maintained. Although it's on the inactive side of the volcano, we were still able to hear and feel it erupt from our room which was amazing! We could also see it puffing smoke during the day. One night there was an eruption so powerful that several people said the lava flowed on the inactive side. We missed this particular event, but we did see red lava flowing on the active side and it was incredible...highly recommend driving to the active side one night!
**Another great thing was the complimentary buffet breakfast that is served every morning. They offer a wide variety of fresh fruits, breads, cereal, rice and beans, and other options that change daily (eggs, bacon, omelettes, etc.). There is plenty to choose from...you definitely won't go hungry!
**Each room is an individual casita. We had a regular, deluxe room and were placed in Casita #19 (VERY unlucky...I'll explain why in the following paragraph of negatives). It was very large, spacious, and beautiful. It had a king-size bed, high ceilings, a small table with 2 chairs, indoor shower, outdoor shower, and a patio with jacuzzi and 2 chairs.

Now for the negatives:
**Check-in was very difficult. When we arrived, the man at the front desk could not seem to find our reservation. Despite us having confirmation papers and emails for proof, he was still convinced that we hadn't made a reservation! He kept asking, "Are you sure?" And each time we politely responded, "Yes." and showed him the papers once again. He eventually managed to find our reservation. Everything seemed very unorganized and we felt as if they were blaming us for the mishap. We were so glad we remembered to pack our reservation papers and information!
**We were placed in Casita #19. Like I said before, maybe we were just unlucky...but we had so many problems with this room! I'll list them below:
--**It's not nearly as quiet as some of the others. It's located right between the pool area and lobby/restaurant area. At night we often heard loud music and people, making it difficult for light sleepers. It also doesn't help that the birds with clipped wings on the property are VERY loud all day long, so sleeping in and napping is easily interrupted.
--**Also, you cannot see the volcano as well from this porch because of the plants that obstruct the view. The peak is still visible but not a full view like the photos on their website show.
--**We kept having problems with our room key not working and instead of just giving us another one, the people at the front desk kept re-activating the same one...it became an on-going joke for us that every time we left our room we would head straight to the front desk to re-activate our key so we could get back in.
--**The worst part of all was the VERY foul sewage smell coming from the indoor shower every time we used it. We have no idea what it was, but it was terrible and corrupted the entire room for several hours after each time. Everything else was minimal compared to this. In fact, this was the only thing we bothered to complain about because it was just unbearable! On our second day, we notified the front desk and they said they'd have a maintenance person look at it, but nothing was ever done. We hoped they would at least apologize and either place us in another room or offer us a discount of some sort...but nothing. Luckily we had an outdoor shower, but during rainy season the mosquitoes are often bad at certain times of the day. We managed, but we were disappointed with how they handled it.
**Although the breakfast buffet was great, the restaurant staff were not. The food on the buffet is self-serve but the waiters take care of the beverages. The lady who waited on us almost every day was very polite but got our drink order wrong every time. We can understand if it was a misunderstanding once, but it happened every day...it was a little odd.
**I don't suggest booking any tours through the hotel. They use a tour company called Jacamar that was much more expensive than many other companies in the area. I'm glad we did some shopping around. We saved $60 on a full-day tour we did through Pura Vida tour company and loved it. We also booked the Sky Trek tour through Pura Vida and saved $30. They're located in downtown La Fortuna next to the central park area.
**The last problem we had was another VERY big one. Before our trip, we had booked and paid for one of the hotel's drivers to take us one-way to the San Jose airport on our last morning. It was $100 and once again, we had paperwork and emails (thank goodness!). They tried to overcharge us by charging us double ($200) for two-ways. Their explanation made no sense...they said their driver picked us up from San Jose on July 4. When I responded, "No...that would make no sense...we flew NatureAir from Quepos to La Fortuna on July 3 where we took a taxi to the hotel..." the man at the front desk apologized and reimbursed us for the extra $100 they overcharged us for. It was very strange. I'm not sure how they made that mistake...the dates didn't even make sense since we stayed the night at Arenal Nayara on July 3.

We had a great time in Costa Rica. This resort was beautiful and in a great location, but we felt it was a bit expensive (especially with the problems we had!) and lacked the charm that other cheaper hotels in the area seem to have. I hope this review helps other people. If you choose to stay here then like I said, don't forget your confirmation papers and any emails you have, and I would recommend avoiding Casita #19! Feel free to message me for more info.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
12 Thank Katherine D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
azaragovia, Manager at Nayara Resort Spa & Gardens, responded to this review, August 16, 2010
We at Arenal Nayara Hotel & Gardens take it very seriously, and are very concerned whenever we are not able to meet any of our guests’ highest expectations, something we strive for at all times.

The safety and well-being of our guests is our priority. We only work with the top government-certified tour operators with full-coverage insurance for all type of activities. We require that these companies employ accredited tour guides and to offer first class service on transportation and meals. Although there may be a difference in price, we truly believe that safety comes first and that certified, knowledgeable guides and prime service will make up for that difference.

The Arenal area was hit by unusually strong storms this month causing the foul odor coming out of the shower drainage that this guest mentions in his review. We have since revamped our drainage system to avoid this problem in the future.

We have also changed the electronic key card system to avoid any problems when accessing the rooms.

We are closely supervising our front desk, accounting, and restaurant personnel to make sure that inconveniences like the ones this guest went through do not happen again.

We take every comment and complaint very seriously. We appreciate all constructive criticism so that we can learn from it and improve our service. Again, we regret that you were not satisfied with your stay at Nayara and apologize for any and all inconveniences you may have had. Please feel free to contact me personally if there are any other issues you wish to discuss. Our priority is the complete satisfaction of our guests.


Freddy Obando
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 12, 2010

Wer looking forward to staying at this hotel for 3 nights as a special part of our tour. Grounds, accommodation and food are fabulous BUT.....................................On arrival the booking we had made and paid for in February had not been entered properly and the room was double booked. The manager spoke to us and was very apologetic. He proposed to find accommodation in a nearby hotel which he assured us was of equal quality. In addition to this he offered a complementary dinner and spa treatment for us. Having travelled for 9 hours and being exhausted we accepted this in good faith.
The Volcanolodge hotel was clearly of a much lower standard ( and accordingly charges less). On our return to Arenal Nayara the following day we explained to the receptionist that we weren't interested in spa treatments and would prefer to exchange the offer for another dinner. We also pointed out the considerable price difference between the two hotels and explained that we would like the difference of $100 to be refunded as we had paid in advance. At first the receptionist argued that we had only been offered a dinner for one or a spa treatment and that the price of the volcanolodge was $144 plus tax so the difference was not as big as we were suggesting. At this point we asked to speak to the manager again. He was unavailable but agreed to see us the next day. So we were left unsure of the situation.

The next day the manager avoided us. When we came to check out some additional costs, which we hadn't incurred, had been added to our bill. This was corrected when challenged. $60 had been credited for the cheaper night's stay at Volcano lodge and we were given the second night's dinner on the house.

On return to the UK we rechecked Volcao Lodge prices and found they were $95 per night including tax and breakfast, not the $144 plus tax which the receptionist had claimed. (ie it was a difference of $100 as we had pointed out)

We have three concerns.

1. The booking was made and paid for well in advance (February) and was not correctly registered.
2. Inadequate compensation for the inconvenience and distress.
3. Dishonest financial compensation for alternative accommodation and poor customer service.

As stated the hotel is wonderful! but it is so difficult to recommend after this disappointing service. We would not want anyone else to have a similar experience.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
10 Thank davo102
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
azaragovia, Owner at Nayara Resort Spa & Gardens, responded to this review, August 18, 2010
We apologize for the inconvenience this guest had to go through because of our overbooking mistake. We understand her frustration and are taking very careful measures so that this error does not happen again.

At the time this guest left the hotel, she stated that she was very satisfied with the compensation she received at the hotel as well as with her overall stay at Arenal Nayara Spa & Gardens. Nonetheless, once she returned home, she felt that the overbooking mistake had not been properly resolved and requested additional compensation, advising us that she would write an unfavorable Trip Advisor review if her request was not met.

Here at Arenal Nayara Spa & Gardens we strive to meet our guests’ highest expectations. We appreciate our guest’s reviews and take very seriously any criticism so that we can learn from it and improve our service.

We have earned a high qualification as a resort in Costa Rica based only on the positive recognition of our guests.


Angelo Zaragovia
President
Board of Directors
Info@arenalnayara.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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 Romantic Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#1 Family 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 & 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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