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Gaia Hotel & Reserve
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Reviewed June 22, 2013

When it comes to a luxury hotel it's all about the details that makes the difference between good and great. Gaia nails all the details that makes this such a great hotel. From the moment I arrived I was impressed when one of the the owners, David Fleming, met us at the entrance of the hotel. This was not unique to us, but something they do to most guests to show they value them and want them to have the best stay possible. Other details I really appreciated were a cold towel and drink waiting for me upon arrival, a complimentary 20 minute massage that was excellent, a free hour long tour of their beautiful reserve, umbrellas every where you look to ensure you're not caught in the rain and the included breakfast which was fantastic. This wasn't some cheap buffet, it was a meal selection off the menu that was delicious and a great variety of options.

I stayed in a suite which was clean, roomy and very comfortable. They use high quality bedding for a restful sleep, a private coverd patio to relax while enjoying the amazing views and a very spacious and luxurious bathroom, which included a huge jacuzzi tub. What I really appreciatd was when they brought an actual quality mattress my guest, instead of having them stay on a regular uncomfortable pull-out couch.

Gaia isn't just a great choice in Manuel Antonio, it's the only choice if you want a guaranteed amazing hotel experience. Between the white faced monkeys, sloth and toucans outside my door, I hardly saw the need to go else where to see animals. Thank you David Fleming and your partners for doing such an excellent job with creating this bit of paradise in Manuel Antonio. I hope to return in the near future!

Room Tip: You're going to a rainforest so don't shy away from staying here during the low/rainy season. Although there was rain, overall we had some great weather and appreciated how much more quiet the whole area was. You will also get the best rates at this time.
  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Newyorker2LA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tommy-Farrell, Owner at Gaia Hotel & Reserve, responded to this reviewResponded June 23, 2013

I am willing to say here that our recent guests' review of our hotel is truly humbling to the owners and the entire staff.

We thank you so much first of all for choosing Gaia Hotel & Reserve and counting us among your greatest experiences.

We said from the beginning when establishing Gaia during the building phase in 2005/2006 that we would only create Gaia if we could bring 5 star elegance and luxury to the Manuel Antonio area. But this had to be combined with a no attitude atmosphere. That is, Barefoot Luxury in the Rainforest.

You came to experience luxury and came away with that including the best service and friendly attitude imaginable.

Thank you for sharing the MAGIC that is created everyday at Gaia........Barefoot luxury....flip-flops very welcome.

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Reviewed June 20, 2013

Costa rica prides itself on being eco-friendly. Unfortunately many eco-friendly hotels lack luxury. Gaia is the exception to that rule. We were greeted by reception and taken to a beautiful suite. The room had a separate bedroom, living room and huge jacuzzi in the bathroom. The food here is absolutely amazing. The dining area overlooks the forests of costa rica. Beautiful and romantic. Every couple was honeymooning except us. Enough said.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Raquel E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tommy-Farrell, Owner at Gaia Hotel & Reserve, responded to this reviewResponded June 21, 2013

Our recent guests are so wonderful to write such a fantastic review of our Gaia Hotel & Reserve.

We do indeed pride ourselves in being very aware of our natural surroundings and take the necessary steps to ensure that the nature we enjoy all around us is preserved for generations to come.
We not only do it for our hotel but instruct our local staff to translate that into their own surroundings where they live. In our opinion being sustainable is not a choice any more, it is an obligation.

This, combined with 5 star luxury and romance, makes Gaia the perfect vacation stop for so many adults.

Thank you for sharing your experience with other readers on this TripAdvisor forum.

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Reviewed June 18, 2013

This place is amazing. The pictures do not do it justice! The food is wonderful. We did not have one bad meal. Breakfast is awesome and the staff is great! Shuttle to take you to town and back until 4:30 was great! I'd been shopping for Lizano sauce and coffee to bring back home and our concierge, Andres, went and got them for me! He booked everything we wanted to do and filled our room with coffee and cokes for us! He was awesome! I can't say enough about this place! Slept like babies after our daily adventures.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Misty G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tommy-Farrell, Owner at Gaia Hotel & Reserve, responded to this reviewResponded June 30, 2013

Thanking our recent guests for their amazing review of our Gaia Hotel & Reserve.

We are thrilled you enjoyed our service and welcome you back in the very near future. It is guests like you that make the total experience of having created this resort so worthwhile.

Thank you for your comments on this TripAdvisor forum.

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Reviewed June 16, 2013

We stayed at Gaia for 5 days and had an amazing time. Everything was taken care of with the upmost attention to detail. The adventure tours and all transportation to the adventure as well from San Jose airport was handled through the hotel. We NEVER had to worry about anything, 'it was all taken care of.' The food and the staff were professional and very friendly. If you need anything or have any questions Alex and Sandy at the front desk will take care of you. The pool bar was so relaxing. The drinks are great and the view is spectacular. I would recommend the pineapple jalapeno margarita. Josh will make you any wonderful cocktail!
The stone massage was absolutely the highlight of spa treatments. I would recommend the 1 1/2 hour time for this treatment!

If you are looking for a beautiful location, stress free vacation with 5 star service, Gaia is the place.
Thanks to all the staff for taking such good care of use while on our vacation!!!

Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
Thank Kim W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tommy-Farrell, Owner at Gaia Hotel & Reserve, responded to this reviewResponded June 17, 2013

Thanking our recent guests for sharing their holiday time with us and choosing Gaia Hotel & Reserve.
The entire staff already miss you!

We are thrilled that our service and ambiance met you expectations and that your time with us was memorable and relaxing.

We love all of our staff and they are all family to us. That translates into our guests then being part of the entire Gaia family.

Thank you for sharing your wonderful experience on this TripAdvisor forum.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 12, 2013

My wife and I just returned from our honeymoon at Gaia Hotel and Reserve. I am floating on clound 9 right now! We spent 5 nights at the hotel and were blow away by the service, view and food.

First of all the service was incredible.

Fabio and Alexander at the concierge/front desk made any question, request or transaction apprear seamless. Fabio's bright welcome and enthusiasm perfectly complements Alexander's cool/calm demeanor. If you have a question about an activity, Fabio will get you onboard with his friendly cheer. If any problem arises, Alexander's relaxed and knowlegeable personality seem to make any issue effortlessly dissapear with the snap of his finger.

We had several "pool days" when we just needed to relax all day recouperating from the wedding. The cherry on top of these pool days was Joshua's poolside service. Joshua seemed to know exactly what we needed before we even asked for it. When we got in the pool he laid out fresh towels on our chairs for our return. When he noticed me walking to me room for sunscreen, he asked me if I needed anything and revealed a selection of 10 varieties of sunscreen. The best part of Joshua's service was his Mango/Berry and Banana/Blackberry smoothies. We ordered at least 2 of them every time we went to the pool. And of course right as we finished them, Joshua came walking along the side of the pool to collect the glasses so we didn't have to move from our floating chairs.

At the restaurant, the food was incredible, the view was stunning and the service was top notch. I have to recognize Aldo for being our favorite of the restaurant staff. His humble and warm demeanor made our dining experience superb. His timing was perfect as he checked on us the perfect amount. Too much and it would have been bothersome and distracting. Too little and we would have felt neglected. Aldo has mastered this skill. The volume, speed and tone of his voice were perfect as well. He never shouted nor spoke too softly, didn't rush through things nor did he linger too much, and his tone was never stressed or lethargic, always calm and ready to serve you.

Another impressive act of service was when the General Manager and part owner Boris happened to be hanging around the front office, heard we were going into town and offered to give us a ride into town and down to Manuel Antonio National Park for a day at the beach. My wife and I noticed when he was walking around the local bakery, that many of the customers knew him and he was friendly with everyone. This man is obviously immersed and a great contributor to his community, rather than just being the boss at a nice hotel. The fact that he took time out of his day to give us a ride and chat with us and the locals showed his true colors and revealed that the great service and a friendly attitude flows up and down the chain of command at the hotel.

Secondly we get to the view/atmosphere. Gaia Hotel and Reserve is a clean/modern style hotel set on top of a steep hill overlooking the rainforest with the beach and the ocean just over the next hill and off in the distance was a river delta at the foot of a range of peaks with clouds/fog rolling down the the mountains to the delta below. We enjoyed this view every time we looked out out balcony, ate at the restaurant, floated in the infinity pool, or drank coffee on the top deck of the suite. we arrived in costa rica and to the hotel by night, so the first morning when the sun rose at 5:15 I was blown away when I first looked out the window. My wife described me like a child waking her up on christmas morning saying, "you gotta come see this." As far as the rooms are concerned, the bathroom was by far the best room in the house. Every other room was simple, clean, comfortable and luxurious, but the bathroom takes the cake. With the massive jaccuzi tub, windows opening up to a view of the rainforest and mountains, and the candlelight dimming sconces, the bathroom is a kindom of is own. if I were to have one complaint (very minor) it would have been the room key lock requiring some manipulation for it to work. the first night we got our room key and were standing outside the room for a good 10 min before we figured out the you had to bend the room key up and pull it out slowly to get it to work. Slightly annoying, but nothing major.

We stayed at the end of May which is the beginning of rainy season. I HIGHLY recommend this time of year if you want to relax because the weather is beautifully sunny from 5:15am to 2:00pm and guaranteed to rain from 2pm to 8pm every day. The reason I say it is good for relaxing is that is plenty of time for sun related activities (pool, beach, etc.) and then the afternoon/evening is a perfect time for a little siesta, massage, or meal. The added bonus to this time of year is that no one is there! the hotel was at about 50% capacity so there was always a table at the restaurant available, only one other couple (or sometimes none) at the pool and drivers available at a moment's notice. I think this played a part in the quality of service we recieved.

Lastly the food was the best I have ever had. Top choices for breakfast are the Costa Rican Breakfast, or the Vanilla Mango Pancakes. For lunch the Mango Tuna Wrap is incredible (my wife ordered it three days in a row) and I loved the seafood risotto. Dinner's top choices for us were the ginger and planko tuna and above all the Grouper Papillote is the best dish on the menu.

I will be writing a separate review of the La Luna restaurant to give it the credit it deserves.

To all the staff at Gaia, I thank you for an amazing honeymoon, I wish we could have stayed longer, and hopefully can return someday.

Pura Vida,

Ryan and Jessica
Houston, TX

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Ryan R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tommy-Farrell, Owner at Gaia Hotel & Reserve, responded to this reviewResponded June 13, 2013

We are so very very happy that your experience with us here at Gaia was so wonderful!

Thank you for sharing your honeymoon experience with us. We understand there might be choices out there in the Manuel Antonio area but in your case you chose the best of the best.

Your documentation of your stay at Gaia is heartwarming to our entire staff and for this we thank you.

I guess our motto holds true for you thumbs down: More than you expect and all that you deserve.

Thank you for sharing with other readers on this TripAdvisor forum.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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