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“a perfect "10"”
Review of Gingerbread Hotel

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Gingerbread Hotel
Ranked #3 of 12 Nuevo Arenal B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
lenox, ma
Level Contributor
33 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“a perfect "10"”
Reviewed 3 March 2010

we were in Quepos and met some people who told us about this place. we changed our plans and drove 5 hours to get there. It was worth the effort - the room was great, the host - Eyal, was amazing in his warmth and hospitality, and the food - just superb! I have travelled much around the world, mostly on business - so have been subjected to some very fine meals in top restaurants. I have to honestly say that this is in my top 10 best dinners I have ever had!
We are coming back next year, for longer. Loved it.

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Eiran G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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134 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (34)
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English first
Gesher Haziv, Israel
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 October 2009

We got there not knowing what was there. We said we'd check it out and then decide. Well, we stayed 3 nights and if we had more time might have stayed more. The rooms are great , comfortable, clean and very attractive. The food was absolutely outstanding. Every night Ayal prepared something from his wonderful repetoire. We were astounded
each time. What a place.!! Definitely go there. The only drawback is the distance from the sights, but with a car it's managable. .

  • Stayed September 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank prbraun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Moravia
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 July 2009

We didn't stay at the hotel - we just went for the food. The atmosphere is not that of a fancy restaurant. It is more that of a hang out place; a bunch of people who know each other chatting at the bar, a big group out on the patio etc. It makes for a bit of a noisy place. The chef Eyal will come to your table and explain the days menu (changes daily). The portion sizes are really large and meant for sharing. We never made it past the appetizers.

We had a salad (lettuce, cherry tomatoes, mango, cucumber) with tuna (a tuna steak cooked on the outside and raw in the middle with some kind of rub and then sliced and placed in the salad). I don't know what the dressing was slightly spicy and was perfect for the tuna and nicely offset by the sweet of the mango. $15

We also had a plate of mushrooms (4 different kinds) done in a white sauce with garlic and parmesan and little fingers of garlic bread on the side. $11

To drink we had a somewhat sub-par merlot, but it was alright and only $6.

The chef came by when we had finished the appetizers and we had to concede we didn't have room for a main dish if we were going to eat desert (priorities). So for desert my wife had a chocolate chip cheesecake (fairly light and fluffy as far as cheesecakes go - nice and creamy) with a raspberry sauce. I had the "boca negra" which is a chocolate brownie type cake covered with vanilla ice cream, raspberry sauce and a passion fruit sauce (including some of the seeds - which are awesome). All-in-all decadent.

I can only compare it to what I know. I'm originally from Toronto and this food is on par with anything you can get in the city: Canoe, Bymark, Scaramouche etc. Definitely world class.

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ticoben
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
58 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 April 2009

Gingerbread was the best food in Costa Rica by a long stretch. Eyal makes some wonderful dishes, great wines and superb breakfasts. The rooms were just perfect, very comfortable and spotless. The company in the bar/restaurant was fun and we found interesting places to go that we otherwise would not have. We only intended to stay one night, but stayed two - the food alone was worth it. We wished we would have stayed much longer!!

The only (slight) downside is that the area is not the best. You need to travel to get to the volcano, it is no big deal though. There are plenty of interesting things to get to nearby.

I'd *highly* recommend staying and eating here. In fact, go out of your way to go here, you will not be disappointed!!!

  • Stayed February 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank jamieosh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Panton, VT
Level Contributor
24 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 April 2009

My wife and I spent the month of February in Costa Rica and loved every minute. ...I did get my fill of pinto gallo, and after 6 days of rice and beans, 3 meals a day, I was intent on finding something more interesting. I noted the Lonely Planet's recommendation of Gingerbread and we headed down from the cordillera to Nuevo Arenal for a couple nights.
If you enjoy adventurous cooking this hotel/restaurant is world class and very possibly the best restaurant in Costa Rica. The owner Eyal Ben-Menachem is very self assured, but don't be put off... he's the real thing. His cooking was delicious and interesting and adventurous.
The hotel is 3 rooms with another 1 or 2 planned for the future. The hotel is a bit pricey, but not unreasonable.
If you consider great food one of the delights of traveling make sure to visit Eyal.

  • Stayed February 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Panton_VTJ_paul
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Athens, Georgia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 January 2009

My father and I were on a trip this summer and were "winging it" as far as hotel reservations, etc. went. On the recommendation of a friend in Monte Verde, we set out for Lake Arenal and the Gingerbread Hotel.

When we finally made it, late that night, we gratefully accepted the only room they had left. It was spotlessly clean and would have made the pickiest traveler proud.

After putting down our bags, we headed back downstairs belly's rumbling. The food was absolutely amazing (the owner/chef is a culinary institute trained chef). Eyal was out greeting people in the lobby and was very attentive to all of his guests. He really treated you like a friend he had not seen in a long time. It really felt like you were staying the night at a friend's home.

Did I mention the bar was well stocked with a great selection of beers and wine or liquors if you preferred. There was also a selection of cigars available if you were interested.

The next morning, after a great night’s sleep and hot showers, we were greeted with a breakfast of homemade breads, homemade jams and jellies, fresh local fruit and great coffee. Eyal gave us some great pointers of “off the beaten track” places to explore and made sure we were all set with directions before we left.

I honestly cannot say enough about our experience here. This is the kind of place you have to share, but hate to (since they only have three rooms  and you want to keep it to yourself)! I see they have a website now. Check it out of you want to see more photos, etc.

  • Liked — Everything was great
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed July 2008
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank dawgfan24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Gingerbread Hotel

Property: Gingerbread Hotel
Address: 1Km Este Del Gimnasio | Nuevo Arenal de Tlaran, Nuevo Arenal 00000, Costa Rica
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Nuevo Arenal
Amenities:
Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 12 B&Bs / Inns in Nuevo Arenal
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — Gingerbread Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Gingerbread was conceived as a place for people to experience a unique accommodation and dining atmosphere like no other on the shores of Lake Arenal. We excel at combining the comforts of home with contemporary fine dining. Our unique rooms offer all that you would expect, full baths with hot showers, air conditioning, satellite TV and wireless service. Private porches with a pair of wooden lounging chairs are perfect for relaxing while watching the sunset. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Gingerbread Hotel Costa Rica/Nuevo Arenal

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