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“This place lived up to and exceeded the great reviews” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Nayara Resort Spa & Gardens

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Nayara Resort Spa & Gardens
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“This place lived up to and exceeded the great reviews”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 August 2010

My girlfriend is spending 5 weeks in Costa Rica studying Spanish. I decided to visit for a few days. I looked online at all of the hotels in the Arenal area, where we wanted to go. Clearly, the reviews made Nayara sound like the best choice. I read the great reviews and the very few bad reviews and decided that Nayara was worth trying. I consider myself to be a discerning traveler and diner, so I was worried that people might have just gone easy on the hotel in their reviews. I was keeping an open mind.

But from the first minute we arrived to when we left 4 days later, our stay was absolutely fantastic. This was honestly one of the best hotels I've ever stayed in. The rooms are huge. I got a regular room and we had a huge wrap-around deck with an outdoor jacuzzi, a hammock, outdoor chairs overlooking the rainforest and the volcano (you could hear it rumble from the room, very cool!). We had an enclosed garden and outdoor shower. The room felt spacious, exotic, and romantic.

Everyone at the hotel was extremely helpful. They helped us arrange some hiking tours, which I highly recommend, and they all seemed legitimately happy to make our vacation as enjoyable as possible.

I had read bad things about the food. The truth is (and everyone my girlfriend talks to confirms this), you don't come to Costa Rica for the food. In general, the food here is good, but no 5-star dining. I thought, in that context, the hotel's food was good. The free breakfast was great. They had a huge spread for being included. And lunch and dinner were fun. Not 5-star, but definitely tasty. I highly recommend the fish ceviche, which was actually 5-star delicious.

Also, the pool with jacuzzi jets and the swim up bar were a lot of fun. The pina coladas were great.

In general, the atmosphere was great. We felt like we were at a resort at times, but our room was so big with so many options for things to do (sit outside, sit in the hot tub, take an outside shower together, an inside shower, watch TV, etc) that we felt like we had our own little paradise.

One thing I will say is that there will be a few bugs in the rooms and outside the rooms (this was a subject of concern in some of the negative reviews). Everything is extremely clean, but you're staying next to a rainforest, so there will be insects around. This is something that is unavoidable. There is nothing the hotel could have done about this, and it's something that will happen anywhere in Costa Rica. It didn't affect our trip at all, but you just have to be ready for the occasional moths, mosquitos, or ants.

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank mdwass
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
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English first
jersey city
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 August 2010

NAYARA EXCEEDED ALL EXPECTATIONS.
I was cautious about this trip, but needed something different. This trip was a surprise for hubby's 40th birthday. The biggest surprise was how beautiful, wonderful, excellent and peaceful this warm weather trip was - we're snowboarders, near 20 years. tattooed snowboarders. Except for frequent visits with family in nevada, we don't do warm weather trips. Ever. BOTTOM LINE: WE ADORED NAYARA and arenal area. we're already planning to return this april!

I booked accommodations through Nayara, and purchased my airfare separately. we did not go anywhere else in costa rica, as many people do, so I did not need a tour company, or anything elaborate. correspondence with Nayara was very easy and pleasant. they arranged airport transfers for us, we did not rent a car. for our future trip, we are contemplating a few nights in a national park in the south pacific region, then Nayara. We plan on using the same transfer company with Nayara's assistance.

The entire staff was simply gracious. I arranged some some tours/spa in advance, but at check in, your representative may offer to help you with tours. *please don't feel like he is trying to make a sale. if you want to do nothing but sit at the pool, just tell him. the arenal region is often for adventure. most people are there for excursions as well as romance and relaxation. in fact, at the pool and at the wine bar, you'll meet other guests and right away exchange stories about what tours you have taken, what you have planned, etc. Its great if you find like minded travelers! Nayara staff is awesome about making changes for you. we added a tour and had to change our spa times. no problem. we really enjoyed and recommend the rio celeste hike (great 3-4 hour hike! wear hiking boots or good trail shoes) and canyoneering. since it was the rainy season, we did not opt for the night lava viewing hikes, day volcano hikes etc. this is why we plan on going back so soon. we're not done!
good to know - computers for use in the lobby and wine bar, wi-fi in lobby and wine bar, and free phone calls from the lobby! the staff will help you make phone calls if needed. we had a issue with our new camera, and we we're having trouble dialing from the computer, so a staff member gave us a phone and got us connected with the company right away.

current reviews complain of construction noise, we heard nothing. just the relaxing sounds of the forest, perfect for falling asleep in the hammock.

Our casita - very clean and very comfy and very big. It was very private with 2 balconies, surrounded by humming birds feeding from the flowering plants and trees. The outdoor shower is such a nice touch! Our casita was situated slightly uphill on the property, so sitting on one of our balconies was like being up in a tree house! Each morning we would go out with the camera to spot wild life. If you love flora, bring your best lenses. tropical flowers all around. Some of the pictures on the website are older, the grounds are currently super lush and unbelievably gorgeous!

Please bring your appetite to Costa Rica. Nayara's breakfast is excellent and filling, as is customary. Hubby and I enjoy all cuisines, and appreciate a non-american breakfast, so we really looked forward to our gallo pinto y platanos in the morning. If the thought of tamales, empanadas, yucca, beef stew, etc for breakfast doesn't excite you, don't worry, there's a great omelet station, cereal, yogurt, lots of fresh fruit and baked goods, and a different pancake/ waffle type offering as well as breakfast meats each morning, and all beverages. dinner at the restaurant was wonderful. A nightly theme menu is offered, but we did not order it. Instead, a few nights we orders from the regular menu, and one night from the tapas menu. Everything we ordered was great. Large portions, fresh and just yummy. Delightful service. And, very important, very decent wine. Not a wine drinker? Imperial. I'm not a light-ish beer drinker - tasty and very clean, perfect on a humid night with some grilled meat!

The spa - all treatments were relaxing, the facility is lovely, like being in a treehouse. Very professional staff. We had a few different massages and wraps during our stay. Hubby is more of a spa hound than I am, he recommends hot stone. I prefer a light back massage paired with a wrap. After your treatment you can opt to add on the jacuzzi. very lovely!

finally, please do not be swayed by a nearby, comparable price-point, hot springs resort. I booked day passes for tabacon with lunch and spa treatments. although the springs/gardens were large and beautiful, we were greeted by a very rude host. Although the spa was accommodating, we again received terrible treatment at the restaurant during lunch, and again at the pool bar. this place was a zoo. if you want packs of kids screaming around the waterside, go to disney.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank jlamanna73
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Antonio, Texas
Level Contributor
11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 August 2010

Words cannot beging to describe how wonderful Nayara is. This was our first stop on our honeymoon and it was incredible. We checked in after a 3 hour drive from San Jose. Upon check in, we were given warm towels and some kind of delicious fresh juice. Because it was our honeymoon, they upgraded us from the Casita Deluxe to a Casita Nayara Suite! We were shuttled away on the golf cart to our Suite and we were amazed. The Suite is octoganal, with a wall in the middle separating the bedroom from the bathroom. The bathroom had two vanities, a glass enclosed shower with two shower heads (the kind that rain down on you), two closets and an entrance to the outdoor shower (also with two shower heads)! The bedroom had a comfy king size bed, flat screen tv, table and chairs and the most amazing view ever. On our deck were two big chairs to relax, another small table and chairs and a jacuzzi tub. This room was by far the nicest and most luxurious we've ever stayed in. One point to note, we were in the last Casita at the top of the hill (#30) and they were still building next to us. This didnt bother us in the least. Construction didn't start until about 8am and they were usually done by 4pm, if not before. I realize this may bother some, especially if you had paid for the Casita Suite, but we were perfectly happy with our upgrade and none of the construction or any of the workers bothered us a bit. The resort is not huge, but everything is situated so it seems like you are all alone with the Volcano. The lush plants are placed just so, the Casita's staggered throughout, you have plenty of privacy.

The restaurant on site was wonderful. Each night they have a special menu you can choose from or you can order from the regular menu. Everything we ate was delicious! You must try the Tres Leches!!! The breakfast buffet every morning had a wide selection and again, the food was amazing.

We were able to enjoy the spa at the resort as well and it was superb.

The staff at Nayara are top notch. From the people at the front desk, to our maid who made us cute towel animals daily, to the wait staff and bar tenders and ladies at the spa and everyone in between. This place is first class all the way!

Another plus, they have four lap tops set up in the main reception area so you can check email, etc. and they have free phone calls to the US on the phones in reception.

And they, like so many in Costa Rica, are Eco-Friendly. The best part of this is the light system. When you enter the room you put your room card in a slot and it turns on the lights. When you leave your room, you remove the key card and the lights go off. Great way to conserve and never lose your room key!

In short, we loved it here and we cannot wait to go back.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank cmb1975
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington DC, District of Columbia, USA
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 August 2010

The hotel is located about 2-2.5 hrs from the airport in San Jose, and that car ride is well worth the trip. Our driver picked us up ($100 fee for two of us) and offered us water and made sure we were ok during the trip, also offered information on Costa Rica along the way, even though it was pick black (we were picked up at 10:00 PM). When we got there the staff was wonderful and again offered us drinks and quickly showed us right to our room. Well, a room is an understatement, the pictures on their site were some how not beautiful enough, large bed, beautiful rooms, balcony with a hammock, two leather chairs, and a jacuzzi. There was even an additional outdoor showers. The restaurant on site is amazing and the included breakfast was always delicious and well stocked (buffet). The wine bar was great, though a little pricey. The pool was amazing and the bar was great as well. At both the wine bar and pool bar, the bartenders were nice enough to bring snacks out to everyone from time to time. The hotel also offered complementary shuttles to the town and rides back. Overall, an amazing trip and well worth checking out if you are headed to Costa Rica!

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank JoshR2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Philadelphia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 July 2010

We absolutely loved our stay at Nayara!! My boyfriend and I traveled to Costa Rica for two weeks and stayed at six different hotels/resorts. Nayara was the best! The views from our room were amazing. Every morning we woke up to a sunny view of the volcano! The rooms were amazing with an outdoor shower (indoor too, of course!) and hot tub on our large outdoor deck. I was really excited about the wine bar, and the pool was beautiful. My favorite part of our stay was just walking around the hotel grounds and looking at all of the flowers and butterflies. The restaurant was reasonably priced and the food was excellent. The staff was so friendly and helpful! It is definitely a memorable experience to stay at Nayara...we didn't want to leave!

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Shlump2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 July 2010

PROS
- The balcony is incredible, with lush vegetation, humming birds, and the spectacular view. The privacy is perfect for romance and relaxation.
- The view of the volcano from the deck is spectacular and really worth staying here.
- The nayara suite was eco-chic, clean, and well laid out.
- The double shower headed outdoor shower is a huge perk (why bother showering inside - although that shower is great too with duel rainfall shower heads).
- The great detail and care of the landscaping... the flowers and plants were abundant, lush, bright colored, and a joy to walk through everyday. They even have signs with the names of different plants and flowers.
- Spa is clean, new, and beautiful and more affordable than most.
- Couples massage, facials, and jacuzzi experience was great and only $300
- Self-service wine bar is easy, no-fuss, fun, and something special to remember
- Pool/hot tub bar has awesome fresh fruit drinks and a very sweet bartender
- You leave feeling like you experienced a stay that was unique and off the beaten path
- Mini bar was reasonably priced and had good selection

NEUTRAL
- Food was very tasty and fresh
- Pool's temperature is that of a hot tub

CONS
- There is a lot of construction at the back and in the front of the hotel and visually it can be off putting
- The tried to put us in a room next to construction with a view of the green tarp and construction site, which we thought was unprofessional and unacceptable. Try to confirm that you will not be place near the construction before you go...
- At the gym, are only 2 treadmills, 1 eliptical, 1 bike (in terms of cardio machines) with no music and air conditioning. We never had to wait for machines, but seems like that could be a problem at popular times.
- Service is hit or miss and they dropped the ball on arranging one of our outings. They fixed it but things are not seamless the way they are at 5 star resorts
- Servers are also a mixed bag, some are great and very helpful and others seemed unfriendly

  • Stayed June 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank WannaGetAway1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Jose, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
37 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 July 2010

Following Tripadvisor´s positive feedback, we´ve decide to visit one of the many hotels at the Northern Zone, La Fortuna Costa Rica.
We´ve arrived around 6pm after 3 hours driving form San Jose. The first impression was good, and the staff welcome was admirable. They offer us a warm towel and a little glass of cold fruits cocktail.
After that, Esteban takes us on the golf´s cart to our Suite #38.
The suite was very clean, well-dressed and spacious (one king size bed). That night we´ve decided to join some hot springs and call the reception desk who pleasant listed many options to do that.
Once we arrived from Tabacon (another great place to stay), the key card of the room doesn’t work so, we called reception desk and Esteban comes in less than 10 minutes. He gives us another key card.
That night we take dinner at the hotel´s restaurant serving at the room. Food and price was okay. Only the 40 minutes waiting time wasn’t good– we were really hungry and they told us just wait for 20 minutes.
At night the room has some noisy sounds because the roof I guess. It´s made with bamboo or similar material.
The next day, buffet breakfast was acceptable. We take some massages at the Spa too, they were good but a little noisy because the people at the downstairs’ Jacuzzi.
That day, we´ve request some late check out and once we came from the Spa the key card doesn’t work (again). It was raining a lot so we decided to call reception desk for help. Andres told us - someone will come to help us and open the room quickly. But 25 minutes later nobody shows up…
At the end of our stay we need some help with the baggage; the same thing: we called reception desk and they told us to wait, but nobody shows up after 25 minutes… we walked.
So, my impression was; place, food and most of the people are good. But maybe some few others don’t really take care of you or your valuable time.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank SEOCharlie
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, La Fortuna de San Carlos, Arenal Volcano National Park 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 Spa Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#2 Luxury 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 & 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 in 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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