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“Beautiful but did not see all five stars”

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Gaia Hotel & Reserve
Ranked #3 of 46 Hotels in Manuel Antonio
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed December 1, 2008

My husband and I just returned from five nights at Gaia, and we have many good things to say about the hotel. We had a wonderful time and were impressed with the hotel but did not find it up to five star standards.

Room: Our room was spacious and beautiful and had a great view of the rainforest. The room was kept very clean, and the turn-down service was lovely. We were surprised not to find slippers and an ironing board and iron in the room, as we thought they were required in five star hotels. The biggest inconvenience, however, was the shower / tub combo. I have never visited a five star hotel without a separate tub and shower, and Gaia's combination of jacuzzi tub with shower was particularly dangerous. I slipped getting in or out of the shower three separate times, even though I was being very careful and we had towels on the floor to prevent us from slipping.

Staff / Excursions: The staff was exceptionally friendly, knowledgable, and professional. They helped us book a variety of excursions and even did research to help us with unusual excursion requests. They really could not have been more helpful. The cart and van drivers were also great. William, the naturalist / guide that works with the hotel, is amazing. He is so knowledgable that we wish he could have been the guide on every tour we took! We learned so much from him and saw every monkey and sloth in the jungle. :)

Food: We were pretty unimpressed with the food, and we are food lovers. Breakfast was by far the best meal, and the service in the morning seemed more coordinated. Tapas were also good, as were the cocktails (thank you Stephen!). Although the menu items always sounded great, we were disappointed with the quality of the food when it arrived, even when we did receive what we ordered. My order was confused on a number of occasions, and the waiters did not seem to communicate with each other at all. Gaia needs to hire a captain or experienced waiter to make the service in the dining room more coordinated -- it was so confused as to be quite comical by the time we left. Room service was good except that they did not bring water. This made no sense to me, unless the hotel is trying to get you to buy the water from the mini-bar. That is pretty tacky, especially since water has been free at every five star hotel (and even some with fewer starts) where we have stayed.

Pool / Grounds: The reserve is beautiful, and we recommend taking the morning tour. The pool, however, is poorly designed. There is very little seating, and you actually have to wade through the pool to get to some of the seating. There is pretty much no pool service whatsoever, which was quite a shock at a hotel claiming five stars. There was no one to bring your towels to your chair, take drink orders, etc. I am not even sure how that would be accomplished with him having to wade through the pool to get to you. Not well thought out. We found it more relaxing to lay and read in our room instead, but this option lacks the sun and scenery.

Would I recommend staying at Gaia? Definitely. It is a beautiful hotel with an excellent staff. We stayed in a medium-sized room that was pretty much right for the price. I just think if you spend a lot of money on one of the more expensive suites and expect a five star experience, you are destined to be disappointed.

  • Stayed: November 2008, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank curlyjoeNJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed November 30, 2008

I have never been more overwhelmed and impressed by a hotel in all of my travels.

My wife and I have just returned from our honeymoon in Costa Rica. We stayed at two hotels, Hotel Gaia in Manuel Antonio and Hotel Punta Islita in Playa Carillo. Just to prove that I am not easily impressed, you can read my scathing review of Hotel Punta Islita.

Hote Gaia exceeded all of our expectations. This is a truly 5-star resort in every way. The staff is so professional, courteous and attentive. The food was AMAZING and so reasonably priced. The rooms had a beatiful boutique feel.

We had the pleasure of meeting the hotel's owner who was so kind. His passion for his hotel was very evident and this passion is clearly contagious with the entire staff.

The hotel is very well maintaned. The place is spotless. The staff is always cleaning. In fact, the owner told us that every room is completely redone every 6 months to maintain that clean, new look.

I would recommend Hotel Gaia to anyone who is considering travelling to Costa Rica. In fact, I would recommend Hotel Gaia to anyone who is looking for a travel destination. With Hotel Gaia, the hotel is the main attraction and Costa Rica just happens to be the backdrop.

  • Stayed: November 2008, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank HonestCorey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 23, 2008

My husband and I spent three wonderful days at the Gaia near Quepos in November, 2007. We were with three other couples and all of us truly enjoyed the property, the staff and Quepos. The reception staff was very helpful in booking our transportation to and from San Jose, arranging for us to go on a rain forrest adventure with zip lines.

We had an incredible room with a view of the rain forrest canopy. I awakened one morning to the song of a bird and quietly went out on my balcony with my binoculars to watch the birds, a sloth - who did what sloths do best, just hang around and a family of monkees.

One day was spent at the multi-level pool enjoying lunch and drinks while floating around the pool in the rain. Danny, the wonderful bartender/server/driver told us much about the Ticos and area of Quepos.

I would definitely go back to Costa Rica just to stay at Gaia.

2  Thank LauraSmigi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 16, 2008

For our 25th Wedding Anniversary, I wanted to book only 5 star properties. Gaia was the third stop on our trip and a 5 star hotel all the way.. and what a place to stay and complete our vist to Costa Rica. We had a Deluxe Suite with rooftop terrace along with the Gourmet Food and Wine Package. We could not have been more pleased. The accommodations were excellent and the food WONDERFUL. If you book this package and go away hungry, you only have yourself to blame. The rooftop terrace was wonderful, unfortunely the weather did not allow use to enjoy it as much as we would have liked, luckly there was also a terrace just off the suite that allowed us to enjoy the outside without getting wet! But what a wonderful surprise when we were enjoying our Tapas and cocktails on the covered terrace, when we saw the Squirrel Monkeys right in front of us! This hotel is so quaint and the owners wonderful. We felt so welcome here just like we were family.

We also met the Chief, and what wonder food he prepares. I was initially concerned about the Gourmet Food and Wine package, as I am not a big seafood lover, but the menu was extensive and had something for everyone. We did not have anything we did not enjoy!! The Ribeye here was better than another well known 5 star hotel we stayed at during our trip and the Mahi Mahi (one seafood I enjoy) was mouth watering. The staff was so kind and helpful. I cannot say enough about our experience. We highly recommend this place, and will stay here again when we return to Costa Rica. To the owners, we wish you the best, you have a wonderful hotel and made us feel very special!!

We were also luck to see Howler, White Face and the Squirrel Monkeys on our vist to the Manuel Antonio National Park!!!

Stayed: October 2008
1  Thank GandLlovestotravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 15, 2008

We spent two nights at Gaia. Chose it, in part, because of TripAdvisor reviews. Rooms are spacious and elegant. Great views. We chose a suite with a rooftop terrace. That was probably unnecessary.

Shower/jacuzzi tub combo was neat, though the jets were weak. You can open window while in the shower and see the view over the terrace.

WiFi didn't work in our room (not sure they really have it) but there were ethernet jacks that worked just fine.

Spa was great - we got a couples massage.

Staff was very helpful.

Restaurant is excellent, with stunning view.

Long drive from Alajuela.

I did a few blog posts about our trip on my Albany Lawyer blog (Google: "Albany Lawyer Costa Rica"). Not sure if tripadvisor will allow the url, but:

http://albany-lawyer.blogspot.com/2008/11/costa-rica-some-thoughts.html

  • Stayed: November 2008, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank wredlich
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 14, 2008

My fiance and I stayed at Gaia for 3 days/2 nights in Feb 2008 and had a great time. The staff was great and very friendly, the grounds were beautiful and the food was great and cheap. When we checked in they said they had actually overbooked for our second night and the only room they had left was a three level, 2 bedroom "room". They offered this to us at a deep discount and we took it. It was way too much for just the two of us but it was amazing. We actually met one of the owners while we were there and he was very friendly very personable.

We came to Gaia after spending 4 nights in Jaco Beach and wish we spent more time in Quepos, at Gaia - it was so much nicer.

We found Gaia on slh.com and loved our time there and would recommend it very highly.

  • Stayed: February 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank JonoJohnson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 9, 2008

We just got back from GAIA and I have to say it is an Amazing Place, high amongst the tree tops of the jungle over looking the Pacific Ocean. This is a 5 Star property in a prime location with views that go on into the sunset. The staff is very friendly and always greats you with a smile. The Spa staff is excellent not only with their personalities, but have magic healing hands, this is a must do at least 3 days of your stay. I would recommend this to anyone who is looking to do a spa vacation as well as anyone who appreciates the finer things in life while on an ECO adventure in Costa Rica. Our suite was wonderful with beautiful ECO furnishings, flat screen TV, and a very cold AC which can be a good thing when the jungle temps get hot and all you want to do is have a drink and cool the body down. The dining room had fabulous views of the ocean and jungle while serving you the best meals of your trip. The car service is fantastic too, they met us at the Quepos airport and took us to the hotel and everyday we had them take us to one of the local towns and scheduled a pickup for later that day. Just another benifit added to a perfect stay the GAIA Hotel and Reserve.

  • Stayed: October 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank Tabern
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Gaia Hotel & Reserve

Address: Km 2.7 Carretera Quepos a Manuel Antonio, Manuel Antonio 6350, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Manuel Antonio
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Spa Hotel in Manuel Antonio
#1 Green Hotel in Manuel Antonio
#2 Luxury Hotel in Manuel Antonio
Price Range: $233 - $509 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Gaia Hotel & Reserve 4.5*
Number of rooms: 22
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Gaia Hotel, Manuel Antonio's only 5-star resort and dining. Bask in our infinity-edge pools, dash Aveda bath salts into your Jacuzzi and relax enjoying the jungle and ocean views. Rooms feature A/C, cable, flat screen TVs, portable phones, home entertainment units, internet connectivity, coffee-maker, mini-bar, safety box, hairdryer, 24/7 room service and full spa services. Your personal valet sees to your needs, and our Nature Guide hosts an exclusive tour of our 12-acre Nature Reserve. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Gaia Hotel And Reserve
Gaia Hotel & Reserve Costa Rica/Manuel Antonio

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