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“First Class Boutique Hotel with a Ecologically Minded Design”

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Gaia Hotel & Reserve
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Needham Massachusetts
2 reviews
“First Class Boutique Hotel with a Ecologically Minded Design”
Reviewed December 8, 2009

The Gaia Hotel and Reserve in Manuel Antonio Costa Rica is an award winning 20 room Boutique Hotel that has been designed with comfort, luxury and the environment in mind. The Hotel is about 3 years old. It is an adults only Hotel. It is beautifully situated in a protected reserve on a hillside in Costa Rica with beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean and the surrounding landscape. There are over 70 friendly staff to cater to your every need. You are greeted with a cool towel and freshly squeezed tropical fruit juice upon your arrival. Fresh Costa Rican fruit is presented at every opportunity for your enjoyment. The rooms are impecably clean, very spacious and comfortable. A complimentary hotel shuttle service is available to take you to and from local destinations around Quepos and Manuel Antonio. The staff has already determined the best in excursion companies and will arrange anything you need to do. The spa is first class and guests of Gaia enjoy a 25% discount on spa services. The food is fresh and delicious. Bottled water is available, but the water at the hotel was fine to drink. We especially enjoyed lounging in one of the cascading pools overlooking the panoramic views. A pool bar and attendant is ready to serve up delicous tropical coktails or food at your request. We traveled the first week in December which is the beginning of thier summer season. I recommend this time as the island, including the excursions were not too crowded but the weather was very sunny and hot (although humid - many bad hair days:) You can take a quick 20 minute flight from San Jose or drive the 3 hours to the Hotel. I suggest the flight to save time, but be advised it is a small 12 seat plane. The beach is beautiful, the water warm and it abuts the National Park which is brimming with wildlife. I suggest going on a guided tour of the park - you will see much more than if you hike it by yourself. In addition the guides all carry high powered telescopes from which you can take close up photos of the animals with your digital camera. It is well worth it - Our guide seemed to have eyes in the back of his head - he saw everything from the largest monkey to the smallest bug! Lastly, I can not say enough about how freindly the Costa Rican people were. They truly are happy to have you there visiting thier country and a very proud of it's beauty.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank cmacgowan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
New York, NY
Level Contributor
24 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed December 5, 2009

I stayed at Gaia for two nights & absolutely loved it. I thought it was excellent value for money. The staff was extremely friendly & hospitable (& I left CR with a huge crush on Cristian, who shuttled me around the hotel as needed). The restaurant was beautiful & the food there was amazing. The servers there were very attentive (especially Desmond). My spa treatment was extremely relaxing & my masseuse (Laura) was so nice. My room was comfortable & spacious. The housekeeping staff kept the room impeccably clean. Aveda products, free shuttle service to & from airport & MA Natl Park, ice water in a thermos bottle on my nightstand each evening, golf umbrellas in the room in case of rain were all really nice perks / amenities.
My stay at Gaia was an extremely pleasurable one and I felt totally spoiled the whole time I was there. I would never stay elsewhere during future trips to Quepos / Manuel Antonio.

  • Liked — beautiful room, lovely restaurant, proximity to tour locations, friendly & attentive staff
  • Stayed November 2009, traveled with friends
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1 Thank danielle_1027
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed December 3, 2009

My husband & I stayed at Hotel Gaia in November 2009. We are very seasoned travellers and we would highly recommend this hotel. The room was spacious, comfortable - very Zen like in its decor. I had a need for some medical attention while there and the staff not only organized for a doctor to visit me in the room, but also arranged for a pharmacy to deliver the prescription! There were a couple of misunderstandings with the staff in regard to booking tours. However, when brought to the attention of the management, an immediate and acceptable explanation were offered. It is clear that the owners/managers are dedicated to providing exceptional service to their guests. It is worth a visit!

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank gracie1126
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NYC
1 review
Reviewed December 1, 2009

My biggest fear is that I will not do the Gaia justice with this review! Located on a private nature preserve atop a cliff overlooking the ocean and the mountains the resort goes the extra step to "preserve" the peace and tranquility of the property by only allowing cars at the base of the property, guests are shuttled (at their whim) via silent electric golf carts, ensuring no cars (noise, fumes, etc) detract from the quality of your experience.

And that is really the key to everything at the Gaia, the quality of your experience! Upon check-in we were given a tour of the property and amenities and ushered to our "room"...which we were delighted to learn had been upgraded to a three story, two bedroom luxury villa with a porch and rooftop deck with a shallow reflecting pool. The ear to ear grin on our guides face as he saw our shocked faces was unforgettable!

And the experience just got better and better, whatever the request, the whim, the need it was met with adept attention to detail and commitment to helping us get the most out of our experience. The tours we booked through the resort were amazing, always small groups and truly fun, intelligent and safe guides.

But, with all that said, what really made the Gaia so very exceptional to us, was that this resort is as beautiful on the inside as it is on the outside. It is hard to say a resort with such exacting standards and attention to detail is unpretentious and down to earth but Gaia manages both effortlessly. The people who work here will hold a special place in our memories of this trip. You are not a room number here, you are a family member, a vibe that was definitely felt amongst our fellow guests where fast friendships formed over shared experiences and yummy cocktails and tapas.

Go, enjoy.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank ihearttravel2009Nyc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles
Level Contributor
12 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed November 29, 2009

My wife and I picked Gaia for 4 of our 7 nights in CR based largely on reviews here. We weren't disappointed. The steep hillside location was a pleasant surprise, and our room (321) had a fabulous private roof-top balcony and another jungle-facing balcony where we were visited by white-faced monkeys during the first evening's thunder storm. Magical. The rooms were large and nice, if a bit strangely laid out (a front sitting room with views, while the large bedroom is inboard on the hill, with no view). The king bed was outstanding, all was quiet for sleep, and the bathroom was large with double sinks. The strange, rickety tub and shower combo required a step up a rather dangerous, shaky step arrangement that, like a lot of things in CR, wouldn't pass muster in the developed world (law suits waiting to happen), but it wasn't something that detracted significantly from our stay. I couldn't imagine the elderly handling CR vacations in general, though, and this hotel was no exception. The pools were small, but the hotel was never crowded, and the views of circling vultures from the hill-top pools was better than most beaches I've been on.

The food at La Luna we rated as good to very good. To put that in perspective, I use a sliding scale for food in destinations most Americans classify as "beach resorts" because as a foodie I always find that the food in beach resorts is at least a full cut or 2 below what you might expect in the best true foodie destinations such as San Francisco, Napa/Sonoma, or Europe. On this scale, very good is about the best food we've ever had in beach resort areas like Hawaii (poor to good) Grand Cayman (good to very good), or Florida (poor to very good). Thus, Gaia's food can't touch excellence, but it was satisfying.

We found the service to be uniformly very good, but not quite excellent. As in almost all but the very finest restaurants these days, one invariably finds oneself left alone at just the moment you have a need for something or other. And, despite profuse promises of instant golf cart transport up and down the hill whenever needed, we always found ourselves greeted by puzzled looks and waits when we requested one. Similar response with the "free shuttles to anywhere local" that were advertised. We did end up getting a ride into town with the principle owner, Boris, which was appreciated. No problems or complaints with the service, just giving some observations for the benefit of other travelers.

We did enjoy the reserve the hotel sits on, it was quite large and we never got to see more than a little.

In summary, we really liked the hotel and would not hesitate to return. I give it 4/5 stars because there is no option to give 4 and a half stars (my real rating). To give 5 stars would indicate it was as good as the best I've ever stayed in, and that's very hard to justify for any hotel.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Vanguard52
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 review, December 4, 2009
As one of the owners of Gaia Hotel & Reserve, I want to thank this guest for taking the time to express his overall satisfaction with Gaia in terms of our location, restaurant and staff. We always strive to improve our service to our distinguished guests so as to maintain our 5-star rating. The mention of the complimentary shuttle issue happens on occasion when our chauffeur is occupied with other guests. In that case, as was with the case mentioned, one of the owners or general manager is notified immediately of our guests request and we quickly arrange to transport the guests to their desired location ourselves. This for us is one of the more pleasurable aspects of running our hotel....spending time and getting to know our guests.
We sincerely hope upon this guests return visit to us we can achieve for him the extra half star to achieve a full 5-star rating.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, CA
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed November 29, 2009

I was sure glad to be staying at the Gaia Hotel after visiting Manuel Antonio park (which by the way, we didn't like at all... Check out my review of the park: http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g309289-d1432154-r50157409-Manuel_Antonio_National_Park-Quepos_Province_of_Puntarenas.html)

The hotel property was modern, clean, truly luxurious (not fake luxurious, very close to the standards of the Ritz and Four Seasons). The service was very genuine, although at times a bit shaky (like forgetting small things that should come with your order). However, they were all definitely very eager to please. I think, if the hotel wanted to get to the level of perfection, they should hire an ex-Four Seasons employee to get their service up to the level of a true 5-star hotel.

We stayed at one of their suites (called "Suite-Special" on their website). It was quite spacious, comfortable, and tastefully decorated. Hardwood floors were a nice touch. I liked the fact that you have a patio attached to your room with 2 lounge chairs PLUS a private rooftop patio where you can get sun or have your breakfast.

Bathroom was very spacious, with 2 double sinks. We weren't too crazy about the shower/tub set-up with a step up which was a bit awkward. They did provide a ton on hooks to hang your towels, swimsuits, etc. to dry. One of those things you really appreciate in a humid climate.

The hotel was about 10 minutes to the beach and they provide complimentary transportation from 8 am - 4:30 pm. I was so glad this hotel was away from the craziness of the park... As one of the guests put it "It was a zoo".

I would say that the saving grace of our trip to Manuel Antonio is the Gaia hotel. Would definitely recommend this hotel to those who are looking for luxurious accommodations close to the standards of the Ritz or the Four Seasons.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank jatienza
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
1 review
Reviewed November 24, 2009

This is my first Trip Advisor Review and I was compelled to write because of our stay at Gaia. My husband surprised me with a trip to Costa Rica for our third wedding anniversary. We stayed at Hotel Gaia from 10/28/09 to 11/2/09 and it was incredible. Although it was rainy season we had great weather during the day but it would surely rain at night.

The thing that made this hotel so so so incredible was the staff - everyone was welcoming and accommodating. They catered to our every desire. We were welcomed by the receptionist with great fruity frozen drinks and we were treated to a floral arraigement in honor of our anniversary - these were just two examples that showed their attention to detail. My husband in advance of our arrival alerted the hotel to my severe food allergies ( ie. nuts, bananas and sea food) and everyone seemed to be aware of them and made accommodations without reminders. The breakfast selections were awesome and my favorite was the local dish and my husband enjoyed the sun dried tomato fritta. The pizzas were great. Omar and Christopher 1 and Chrisopher 2 and Miguel were awesome - thank you making it a great trip.

Don't get me wrong the hotel was very chic and modern - it was without question a beautiful place. It had the perfect balance between nature and luxury. I watched monkeys swinging in the trees while I took my shower in the wonderfully appointed slate bathroom. We loved our suite - it was huge!!! when we opened the partition that separated the bedroom from the living room we were able to see the trees from our bed.

The view from the restaurant was simply breath taking - in the mornings we would watch the birds (eagels or hawks ) gather and fly amongst the treetops

The design of the pools gave us a lot of privacy and room to play in the water and to swim laps The resort was so beautiful it was difficult to leave even for day trips.

Gaia is no more than 10 minutes away from town or Manuel Antonio Park and it was even closer to other attractions. The hotel drivers will take you there during the day time and will transport you to and from the local airport (Quepos). The driver who took us to the airport stayed until we were all checked in to ensure that we would not have any problems.

We can not wait to return .

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Cookie038
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

Property: Gaia Hotel & Reserve
Address: Km 2.7 Carretera Quepos a Manuel Antonio, Manuel Antonio National Park 6350, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Manuel Antonio National Park
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 Green Hotel in Manuel Antonio National Park
#1 Spa Hotel in Manuel Antonio National Park
#2 Luxury Hotel in Manuel Antonio National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
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 National Park

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