I stayed at this hotel with three teenagers and a grandma who is not exactly a spring chicken. We were all blown away with the hotel, both in terms of the physical plant, but also (and especially) with the attitude of the people who work there.
First, the setting. It is around 5 miles out of La Fortuna, in the direction of the Arenal Volcano and Lake Arenal. The road is paved and in good repair, although the driveway to the hotel includes a 300 meter rugged dirt portion. With car (we had one, and I would recommend it), travel into town was trivially easy. The hotel itself is on a hill, with the cabins above the lobby and restaurant. They have carts that can take people up and down the hill at no charge, which came in handy when grandma was fatigued. The grounds are beautifully landscaped, and the view of the volcano is stunning. The only disappointment is that the hotel is not on the lava side, but you can't have everything.
The rooms are spectacular. I started my stay wondering why an outdoor shower was a desirable thing, and I finished it wondering how I will ever live without one. The view of the steaming volcano out the picture window from your bed was spectacular. The beds were comfortable. The mod TV was lovely. As was the superclean mod bath. The air conditioning was very effective and cooled the room down within 5 minutes or so of turning it on. I didn't try the jacuzzi on the terrace.
Our room rate included breakfast, which was hearty and delicious. Omelettes cooked to order. Gallo pinto. Maduros. Breakfast meats. Baked goods. And delicious fruits, juices, and coffee. It rendered lunch largely unnecessary. And the restaurant staff was friendly and attentive. We ate two dinners there as well, and found the food to be fresh and tasty, the prices reasonable, and the staff just as friendly as they were at dinner.
The staff was, without question, the most friendly and gracious staff I have ever experienced. From the welcome drink when we arrived to the bottles of water for the road when we left, we felt pampered, catered to, and cared for at all times. Delightfully, we did not have the sense that we were being nickle-and-dimed for services that, by rights should be included in the room rate. At the Nayara, these things were, in fact, included. Grandma whiled away some hours surfing the internet for free on the laptops provided in the lobby and eating the delicious fruit set out there. She reports that every half hour or so, someone would come by to check on her, see if she needed anything, and bring her juice or coffee. It was rainy season when we stayed. I soon noticed racks of umbrellas scattered throughout the property on an honor system. In fact, there were a couple of umbrellas sitting outside our cabins, so we could freely walk around the property without worrying about forgetting an umbrella.
The pool is smallish and very warm. But it is perfect for sitting in and eating or drinking at the tables that are embedded into it. There are no hot springs on site, but there are several choices nearby. Having not used the spa, I can't comment on it. Having used the attended parking, I can say it was a terrific thing to know that my car and its contents were safe, and to also know that I had access to the vehicle at all times without having to wait for a valet.
In short, I felt that this was the perfect hotel. Comfortable. Attentive. Luxorious. And not leaving me with a feeling that my wallet was suffering death by a thousand paper cuts. If you can work the Nayara into your travel plans, do it. It is a lovely, lovely place to stay.
- 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