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Gaia Hotel & Reserve
Ranked #3 of 46 Hotels in Manuel Antonio
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed 7 April 2014

Setting is nice, staff is lovely, great spa...but it's closer to a 2.5 than a three. The rooms are MUCH MUCH smaller than they appear and while nicely finished, are less than practical. There is no refrigerator other than the minibar, which is quite mini and charges a small fortune for water, which you have to buy. All the time. Nothing left in the room for you, nothing at bedtime, if you want water, you pay. And you drink a lot of it, given the climate. There are some very odd things -- would have loved a long soak in the tub, but it was so huge you could never get more than two-three inches of water in it. Tub and shower are combined but require steps and some gymnastics to climb in and out...while trying not to slip.

Food is ok, but limited options. Lots of good, fresh fruit, but most entrees were sweetened (somehow....) and few good vegetables -- most seemed canned. Would have been ok for a day or two, but by day three of a week's stay we were desperate for change.

One visit to the beach was enough (NOT Gaia's control, but if you are going to a beach resort, important to know). It's a good drive away from the hotel and even though we went at sunrise, by 9-10am it was crowded and filled with people hawking trinkets. My 25-year-old daughter was not comfortable there the one time she went alone. Again -- this isn't anything Gaia can manage, but don't expect quiet days near the ocean.

The spa and excursions were excellent -- as good as any high end resort. Which I guess is the root of our somewhat disappointing experience --- it is in the Preferred Hotel Group which usually has outstanding places. Aspects of Gaia are very good but over all, key expectations were lacking.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled with family
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9  Thank TheVoyageNeverEnds
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 reviewResponded 11 April 2014

We are quite surprised and disappointed in this guests review. And we question why it took 5 months to write the review.
In any case, it is certainly a review that is questionable in it's overall subjective content.

We can assure you that all of our vegetables are fresh and never canned. I disagree with the limited menu comment as we have a very extensive dinner menu of fish, meats, chicken, vegetarian, vegan etc. In total, 42 dishes from which to choose.

It is obvious that our recent guest expected more that what we could deliver for them and for this we are truly apologetic. We wish we could have provided a refrigerator in the room but we were not asked to do so and this is the first we are hearing of it.

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746 - 752 of 1,588 reviews

Reviewed 6 April 2014

We heard that the hotel was nice and restaurant was good but imagine our surprise when we arrive for a family Christmas dinner to a lovely open air restaurant with a view and a small band playing soft music. The food and atmosphere was perfect. My best ever Christmas dinner memory. Thank you!

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Valarie11
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 reviewResponded 11 April 2014

Gaia Hotel & Reserve and our La Luna Restaurant are what memories are all about and we are thrilled that we made your Christmas 2013 special and memorable.

Thank you for your very kind words and thank you for sharing with others on this TripAdvisor forum.

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Reviewed 5 April 2014

I am now on vacation in Belize and catching up on giving some reviews. I plan all our trips a large part on reviews so I know people appreciate it. What sticks out first for me at Gaii is the food. OMG! A buffet of all the most pleasurable flavors especially for an American. Breakfast was a real treat with large trays of fresh fruit and trays of a variety of fresh homemade pastries being passed by for your taking whenever you want. But the menu is literally enormous and the quality is superb. Your every request they try to please you with. We love the contemporary deco rooms. Gorgeous view, private balcony. Our vacation package included $400 to be used in the Spa and my husband and I used every penny. The Spa is as high end as any in the US and the staff are incredible. We had 2 massages, 2 pedicures, a facial and a mud wrap. Don't be intimidated by the usage of the golf cart to leave the resort. No problem. It sits right in a preserve and you can hike up to the top of another large hill through the jungle. We couldn't make it to the tip where they say the view is breathtaking that day and how we wish we had. The pools are so beautiful with a bar right in the middle and the feel of being (safely) on the tip of the hill with only you and the pool at the edge. The staff ends up feeling like family after a few days. Another great memory is that One night I craved a good American hamburger - I LOVE fresh fish and trying local food,but that craving took over and we got room service late at night and the hamburger was large, hot, juicy on the best bun... Heaven. :) We would love to go back if the price was right again. Oh yes, and one of the owners had his Mother there and we loved watching him cater to her the owners are so personable, we are glad they were there. We love you, Gaii.

Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
1  Thank chapjan
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 reviewResponded 6 April 2014

We love your recent review of our Gaia Hotel & Reserve even though you stayed with us last year.

Thank you so much for remembering us and recalling your wonderful experience with other readers on this TripAdvisor forum.

Looking forward to a return visit on your side......we miss you!!

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Reviewed 4 April 2014

My wife and I stayed for five nights on the second half of our trip. The hotel is perched on top of a steep hill with great views from multi-level pools and their restaurant. Overall experience was great and the staff is all very friendly and helpful. Our room was not one with a view (142?) but it was clean and spacious, and we weren’t there to sit in the room anyway. The hotel arranged a guide for the park that was 100% worth it and they drove us to the entrance. They also have an arrangement with an equipment provider on the main public beach for chairs, food, etc., which is great. The food at the hotel was good, but not outstanding. Town isn’t far and is totally worth wandering around. There are a bunch of little “sodas” and some slightly more upscale places if a “soda” is too daring. The hotel is surrounded by other hotels and restaurants, though being perched on a steep hill, walking isn’t a great option. No doubt, if we had asked they would have driven us wherever we wanted.

Room Tip: 141 and 142 are not rooms with views
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  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Patrick121
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 reviewResponded 6 April 2014

Thank you for your wonderful review of our Gaia Hotel & Reserve.

We are happy you enjoyed your stay with us and thankful you shared your experience with other readers on this TripAdvisor forum.

Your room chosen provides views of the jungle. Other rooms on the property provide views of the mountains and Pacific Ocean.

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Reviewed 3 April 2014

We stayed four days at Gaia and enjoyed the whole visit. Our room was at the lower price end (which isn't exactly low) but it was comfortable, spotless, and met our needs - once we learned how to work the modernistic light switches. The La Luna restaurant served the best food of any hotel on our trip; we'll write a separate review of the restaurant since it is open to non-guests. Facilities are very nice, high up on a hill some distance from the beach. (If you are looking for a close-up ocean view from your room, Gaia isn't the place.) The multi-level, infinity pool was a pleasant place to relax in the afternoon. Gaia gives all guests a free tour of their nature reserve (OK but not great), and a complementary massage (not great, but again it was free...). The nature reserve includes a very large cage (about three stories tall) where macaws, either injured or former pets, are retrained so that they may be returned to the wild. We talked to one of the owners at lunch one day and he told us all about this project.

Most of all, however, it was the staff that made Gaia outstanding. Everyone in the office was exceptionally professional, courteous, and helpful. Every activity or event they arranged for us went exactly as planned. One thing stands out - the day we left we had an early flight out of Quepos before breakfast hour, yet we were served a full breakfast from the menu in our room at 5:30 in the morning. Not every hotel would do that!

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank chandulla
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 reviewResponded 6 April 2014

Thank you for your 5 star review of our Gaia Hotel & Reserve.

And thank you for choosing us. We are glad you did.

Your review of our hotel on this TripAdvisor forum means a lot to us. Thank you for sharing your wonderful experience.

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Reviewed 3 April 2014

I did not actually stay at the hotel. If the hotel is anything like the spa services it should be great!

They do spa services on Sunday which is great!

Had a wonderful hot stone massage, body wrap and facial.

The staff was wonderful and professional, and the rates were extremely reasonable. They had special on the services for $140. Truly one of the best massages I have ever had.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with family
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Thank TammarieSmith
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 reviewResponded 6 April 2014

Thanking or recent guests for choosing our Terra Spa for their special experience.

We have won numerous awards including the Best Spa in Manuel Antonio.

Please come back and see us when again in Manuel Antonio.

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Reviewed 3 April 2014

We have Just returned from Gaia where my wife and I enjoyed an incredible 6 night stay with our two children (ages 13 and 15). We picked Gaia in large part because of all of the positive reviews on TripAdvisor and I am pleased to report that everything we read is absolutely true. While the hotel itself is beautiful and boasts wonderful views and sunsets over looking the Pacific Coast, it is really the staff that sets it apart.

Everyone you encounter at the property could not be friendlier and they all go out of their way to make sure you have a great experience. It is all of the little things that they do that make all the difference. Almost all of the staff members remember your names and greet you warmly. While everyone was great there were two people in particular that helped make our vacation so special. Alcino, the concierge, helped me arrange the perfect, active vacation that I wanted for our family. He set up zip lining, a sunset cruise on a catamaran, whitewater rafting and a private tour of Manual Antonio Park ( the private tour is a must by the way as you really won't see as much of the wild life without a guide). All of his recommendations, including restaurants were spot on.

And at the end of everyday's adventure, we looked forward to returning to the Gaia pools to watch the sunset and to enjoy a drink served by the pool bartender, David. When not serving up killer cocktails or telling us more about Costa Rica , David kept his eyes peeled for exotic wildlife and would call my kids over to see when monkeys or sloths wandered into the nearby trees. He was great.

We absolutely loved our vacation in Costa Rica and could not have been more pleased with our decision to stay at Gaia.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with family
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2  Thank Brad L
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 reviewResponded 6 April 2014

And on our side we are thrilled that you chose us for your recent vacation with your family.

We are so happy your expectations were exceeded and every aspect of your wishes were fulfilled.

Thank you for sharing your wonderful experience on this TripAdvisor forum.

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Additional Information about Gaia Hotel & Reserve

Address: Km 2.7 Carretera Quepos a Manuel Antonio, Manuel Antonio 6350, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Manuel Antonio
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre 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 Spa Hotel in Manuel Antonio
#1 Green Hotel in Manuel Antonio
#2 Luxury Hotel in Manuel Antonio
Price Range: £175 - £384 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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

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