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“Perfect Place to Get Away”

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Nayara Resort Spa & Gardens
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Buffalo, NY
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Perfect Place to Get Away”
Reviewed 22 February 2014

My husband and I visited Nayara for the first part of our 10-day stay in Costa Rica. We were drawn to the area because of the Arenal Volcano, which the resort promised amazing views of - and delivered on.

As we arrived on the day of our second anniversary, the hotel made special arrangements to decorate our bed with a nice welcome. We also received champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries, and later in the week the dining staff dropped off a lovely decorated cake in celebration of our milestone.

The room was great, complete with a canopy bed and outdoor shower. The porch had a two-person hammock and spa tub - very romantic. The view from our room was stunning. Most days the clouds parted and we could see the Arenal Volcano as clear as day. We also had the pleasure of having a dead-on view of a macaw, who perched above the pond each morning greeting us as we got ready for our daily excursions. It was one of the best rooms we've stayed in during our travels. The only complaint was that the bed was a little stiff, but I suspect this is a Costa Rican thing as the other resort we stayed at (also 5-Star) had a stiff bed as well.

The hotel grounds are lovely. The pond is particularly nice, although there is nowhere to sit and enjoy the view aside from the cobblestone path. The pool was small, but nicely decorated and the drinks/food was great. Here and there you can find hidden areas with hot tubs on the property to enjoy a romantic evening. The landscaping was gorgeous as well.

We payed a visit to the hotel spa and received a couples chocolate massage. It was a great massage and the girls were very professional, but let me warn you… these massages are not for the body conscious. Costa Rican massage therapists go all out, so let them know if you don't feel comfortable with them massaging a certain part of your body beforehand.

The food at Nayara was great and there was a large selection. I am a Vegan and there were a few things on the menu that I could order without having to alter. That being said, the staff is willing to accommodate any dietary requests. I highly recommend the guacamole that is made to your liking right at your table. We ordered it every night.

The hotel took care of planning all of our excursions for us, which was nice. We took a tour of the Rio Celeste, which is a gorgeous teal blue river and waterfall hike through a national park. We also took a volcano base tour with views of Lake Arenal, a half-day waterfall repelling tour (so much fun!), and a half-day at Tabcon Hot Springs (a must!). All of the tour guides are from a local company and very professional. We actually had the same wonderful guy a few times during our stay.

I would recommend Nayara as a wonderful place to stay in the Arenal region… quite possibly the best place to stay. One of the reasons we chose this resort was based on it's TripAdvisor reviews and it didn't disappoint.

Room Tip: We stayed in Room #4, which was close to the dining area and situated next to the pond (although you...
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Nicole H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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New York City, New York
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 February 2014

We stayed in a Casita Deluxe for 4 nights during August 2013 and were overall pleased with the experience. We had exceptionally high expectations given the recent ranking of the hotel by T&L as one of the top 5 in the world, and for the most part, our expectations were met - the setting, grounds, and the casita were all stunningly beautiful, and spotlessly clean, but there were just a couple minor areas for improvement.

Upon arrival, we were warmly greeted at check in, and escorted to our casita...which was located directly next to a construction zone. I should mention, when we asked the next day to move, staff was gracious and moved us without even a second thought, but not quite sure why we were placed next to a construction zone in the first place if other rooms were available.

Other minor issues we had:
- The resort has clearly outgrown the pool, as they have continued to construct rooms. There are only a handful of chairs around the pool, and I can't imagine more than 10-15 people could comfortably fit in the pool.
- Food and service in the main restaurant was good, occasionally very good, but not 5 star. Generally, at dinner, the dishes were well-presented and prepared, but not exceptional. Breakfast was of good quality, and offered a decent variety, but did not compare to the breakfast spread offered at 4-5 star resorts we have visited worldwide. We enjoyed breakfast much more at the Marriott Los Suenos, which offered a truly impressive spread in terms of quality and quantity. Also, two of our four mornings, we had to ask multiple times for basic items (Coffee, silverware etc).

Overall, our expectations were extremely high, and for the most part, they were met. But when one is expecting the #4 resort in the world, it is easy to look at every detail in a critical manner. We definitely enjoyed our time at Nayara, but found ourselves spending 2 of our 4 days at The Springs to enjoy the Hot Springs and the other facilities, which we truly enjoyed. I would consider staying at either Nayara or the Springs the next time I return to Arenal.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank NYTraveler2071
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jairo Q, Manager at Nayara Resort Spa & Gardens, responded to this review, 22 February 2014
Dear valued Guest,

I wanted to take this opportunity to personally apologize for not meeting your expectations. Please know that we strive to deliver flawless service and unforgettable experiences to our guests and I am saddened that we did not meet our goal during your visit.
I want you and future guests to know that there has been no construction activity at our property since we opened last December Nayara Springs our sister property. Thanks for your feedback about our pool amenities. I want to make sure you and future guests are aware that we have added on the lawn next to the pool, wooden hot tubs fed by natural mineral hot springs. We have also built an adult-only lap pool overlooking a natural reserve within our property. The good news is that there is now plenty of available seating in all of these three areas.
Finally, you will be glad to know that we have revamped and upgraded or hot and cold buffet breakfast and have been receiving very good reviews about our new breakfast offerings. Thanks for making us aware about the problem you experienced with our service at breakfast, we have brought you comment to our food and beverage staff and will be immediately reinforcing or standards.
Again thank you for your comments and I hope you give us the opportunity to serve you again.

Sincerely,
Jairo Quesada
Director of Services
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Green Cove Springs, Florida
Level 6 Contributor
108 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 83 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 February 2014

Not a perfect five. Our expectations were for perfection because of all of the glowing accolades on Trip Advisor and in the major travel magazines. We spent six days and nights in a Nayara Suite. Certainly this is a wonderful and gorgeous property, but there were a few issues which shave tenths of points in scoring.

First the negatives: Our first evening, we went to the Altamira restaurant for dinner. We both ordered one of the specials, Chateaubriand. The atmosphere was great, service excellent, appetizers wonderful. The entree was terrible; just plain tough and not a good taste. We sent the plates back and they were replaced with tornadoes of beef which was somewhat better, but still not great. The cost of the entrees was taken off of the bill. One other dinner at Altamira got our mixed reviews.

We then returned to our suite to learn the lesson of the "white box". Just inside the entry doorway is a white box on the wall. You insert your key card into a slot in the box and it turns your electricity on. When you leave, you take the key out and your room is without any power. This being our first day, plus the fact that we went to dinner during daylight, there were no lights burning, I forgot to take the key out (my wife had hers in her purse). When we returned to the suite, we found that the "turn-down" maid had removed our room key from the white box and confiscated it! I know they are very eco-supportive, but couldn't they have left the key on the table by the door. I had to go down to the front desk the next day for a replacement key.

Considering the Nayara Suite is 1100+ square feet, there is no comfortable indoor place to sit other than on the bed itself. To escape the heat and humidity, we occasionally wanted to spend a bit of time indoors. The two chairs provided are typical stiff style chairs for a table or desk. Even a Holiday Inn will have a padded lounge chair or love seat.

Before leaving home, we booked an excursion to a hot springs. It was confirmed via e-mail. On the morning of the trip, we went to the lobby awaiting our departure. The staff questioned us as to why we were waiting. We told them. They had no record. The ball had been dropped. A phone call quickly got us entry to our destination and were handed the voucher. We were then on our own for transportation. They would call us a cab. Really!

The Positives: Again the grounds are magnificent. The staff is courteous and friendly at every turn. Other than Altamira (the main dining) the food was excellent. We ate at Sushi Amor, the Kali Kali pool bar and mostly frequently enjoyed the tapas at the Nostalgia Wine Bar. The two young men who run the wine bar are outstanding.

We booked the "Sol y Luna" private romantic dinner. I can't recommend that enough. It was an unforgettable romantic evening. We were picked up at our suite and driven via golf cart to a private bungalow decorated with candles, rose pedals and more candles. The table is situated on a private balcony overlooking the forest. You have a private chef (who cooks by flashlight so as to not ruin the atmosphere) and one waitress to attend to all your needs; and they did! Romantic music plays. Outstanding service and excellent food.

We had breakfast every day at either Altamira or the Amore Loco restaurant in the Villa's section. Altamira is strictly buffet but has the wider selection. Amore Loco has sit-down menu service. Both were good but the omelettes were better at the latter.

Dual outdoor showers . . . need more be said?

Carlota - the hotel's large red parrot is fun to watch and interact with. During one of our poolside lunches Carlota swooped right down next to me and picked up my small side of guacamole in a corn tortilla bowl up and began eating. I spent the next ten minute breaking it into smaller pieces while avoiding her large beak - she does bite! An entertaining bird, she is free-flying and all over the grounds - a bit of a show-off ;-)

The Jacuzzi on the deck. It worked well and was totally private - my wife loved it!!

The Spa - My wife enjoys spas at home and when we travel. She feels that this is the best spa she has ever experienced and enjoyed quite a number of treatments - the chocolate massage and collagen facial in particular.

Final thoughts:
Six days and nights and we got to see the summit of the Arenal Volcano only one afternoon for about 2 hours. We were told we were lucky to get that. The plethora of online volcano photos can be misleading.

Following the "white box" policy means that your room will remain quite humid during the day. Swimsuits, towel, clothes, etc. won't dry out. The bathroom has an electric towel heater which we used as a drying aid while the power was on.

Much of the design of the resort is form over function. The visuals are astounding. Does it work? Is it comfortable?

In six days there, we were never once greeted by a manager. A big deal - no. However, in view of the service issues above, it would have been appreciated. Final score - four point five (we round up).

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank deisenstein
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jairo Q, Manager at Nayara Resort Spa & Gardens, responded to this review, 22 February 2014
Dear Valued Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to write such an extensive review about your stay at Nayara. We appreciate so much that in spite of the issues you experienced during your stay you still felt that we deserved to get trip advisor's top rating.

We take great pride in our commitment to being green. We try very hard to demonstrate that a world class boutique hotel like Nayara can successfully include the highest levels of sustainability, rigorous standards in environmental stewardship and social responsibility . As part of this philosophy we recently installed in all rooms a unit that automatically shuts off power when guests remove their key from the unit slot. Having said that we respect our guests decision whether or not to shut off power when they leave their room . I want to apologize on behalf of our housekeeping staff for having removed your key from the unit. We have addressed this issue with the entire staff to make sure it never happens again .
I am also terribly sorry that neither I, nor our general manager had the opportunity to meet you in person during your recent stay. Please accept our apologies for this oversight. We are happy that in spite of the issues above you enjoyed the rest of your experience. Again, on behalf of the entire Nayara family I want to thank you for your generous review of Nayara, we hope to have an opportunity to serve you again.
Sincerely,

Jairo Quesada
Director of Services
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Glennallen, Alaska
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 February 2014

While we were checking in the reception desk asked if we were celebrating anything special and we said in a few days it was my husband's birthday, but didn't think anything of it, because we would be leaving before then. They said our room would be ready in about 10 minutes. When we walked in they had red roses and a birthday card on the bed as well as a bottle of champagne. We had sushi for dinner and afterward they brought out a cake. This was a total surprise to all of us. The hotel, garden, and pools are beautiful. They rooms are breathtaking with total privacy on your deck with a jacuzzi, and hammock, and 2 lounger chairs. The staff went out of their way to make everything perfect. We picked the best in LaFortuna.

Room Tip: We had the deluxe room with breakfast included and it was perfect.
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank 685Linda22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Venice, CA
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 February 2014

Nayara is fabulous. The grounds are beautiful. The rooms are gorgeous and look out onto amazing vistas. Total privacy, no need to keep the drapes closed unless you want to keep out the light. The food is outstanding. The staff is friendly, courteous, well informed about all aspects of the location and options for tours. I never heard anything from another bungalow, felt I was all alone in my very private space. The weather was lovely, some rain, but then sun, then rain but always warm, not too humid. It was a lovely vacation and I would recommend this hotel to all. Great value considering the level of service, food, room, etc. Loved the outdoor shower, large, full of plants, stone, etc. Can't imagine why anyone would use the indoor one, but?? The outdoor jacuzzi bath on the large balcony was also a treat. Don't miss the zipline, it is a wonderful, exciting experience staffed by a well trained, careful, and fun group of folks. Noticed one reviewer felt overage at 60 but we are 70 and that wasn't an issue at all. A wide range of ages were present during our stay.

Room Tip: My guess is that they are all wonderful. We read to ask for a volcano view which we got but looks li...
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank PatSnyder194
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boston, Massachusetts
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviewed 19 February 2014

My husband and I stayed here for a few nights during our honeymoon and the staff really made us feel special. The service is personalized, and they help arrange ANYTHING you need/want. The rooms were VERY clean (amazing what kind of animals they can create with the towels) and HUGE! the hammock outside the room was so nice, being able to lay there and see the volcano. We started off the day with the buffet breakfast, which was delicious and then would usually go lay out by the pool in the Spring Villa's area. One day we went to the Hot Springs just 10 minutes from the Hotel (they arranged transportation and pick up), and the next day we went zip-lining (we did Ecoglide) which we loved. We got a couples massage which was nice. We tried each restaurant at the hotel, and also the wine bar, which was really cool and set up in a way that you could serve yourself.

The property is gorgeous! especially the bridge walk connecting the Springs Villa to the rest of the hotel. Really has that rain forest feel (which the outdoor showers give as well!)

OVERALL AMAZING EXPERIENCE! I hope we come back soon :)

Room Tip: We stayed in a suite and asked for one with a volcano view. Also the property is on a hill, so if yo...
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank BVays
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
spokane
Level 5 Contributor
61 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 February 2014

We recently stayed here for 3 nights. We had a wonderful experience despite some rain. The room was great with a beautiful view of the volcano. The food was good and the service was great. The new villas are over the top wonderful.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank cbw643
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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, Arenal Volcano National Park, La Fortuna de San Carlos 21007, Costa Rica (Formerly Arenal Nayara Hotel & Gardens)
Phone Number:
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Alajuela > Arenal Volcano National Park > La Fortuna de San Carlos
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre 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 Luxury Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#2 Spa 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 Spa & 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 on 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/La Fortuna De San Carlos

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