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“Great 5-night stay in Manuel Antonio”

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Gaia Hotel & Reserve
Ranked #3 of 46 Hotels in Manuel Antonio
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed 6 July 2014

We selected this hotel due to TripAdvisor reviews. I cannot compare to other lodging in Costa Rica, since I had never been to CR before. I also am rating in comparison to other resorts at a similar price point. We estimated that our stay here cost about 20% less than a stay with an equivalent room at a good resort in Hawaii. It also costs half of what the Lizard Island resort in Australia costs - and the Lizard Island resort got 5 stars from us. (So, this is a cost-adjusted 5-star rating.)

We had a Deluxe Suite, which is very large. It was on the 2nd floor of the building, and had access to the roof deck. The room had a living room area, with separated bedroom and large bathroom. The living area had a couch, 2 chairs, coffee table, and square dining table, plus a small balcony with two lounge chairs. The room was very large - we had more than enough space. The bathroom also was quite large.

There was a ton of drawers in the closet space, and a shoe rack, and an area to hang clothes. The only problem was the automatic lights weren't triggering by the door sensors so we had to manually turn them off. We just left them off because there was still ample room to see our things.

The bed was comfortable but I wasn't thrilled with the pillows.

The bathroom had a double-size whirlpool tub with a shower-type enclosure and shower head (along with tub faucet). There were two sinks and enough counter space. A big plus was there were a lot of towel racks. These were great for hanging towels and also all our wet swimsuits and clothes!

The living area couches were not the most comfortable we've sat on, but we did enjoy hanging out there. The lounge chairs, which were repeated on the roof deck, were fabulously comfortable. The chairs had little slide-out side tables for your drink or a snack. The deck chairs were surrounded by a curtain to provide privacy from the other buildings while retaining a fabulous view of the ocean.

The resort is located on a hill. You have a view of the ocean but you are not going to walk to the beach from here. The roads in this area are well-paved but have almost no shoulder so walking is not facilitated at all. The grounds are lovely - the resort is only a few buildings but they have about 18 acres of land. Nearly all the land is completely undeveloped with some trails. The trails have a map and are absolutely worth a hike. Wear mosquito repellant! You can do a guided hike in the morning about 3 days a week. The resort also is doing a Macaw restoration project, and there is a cage with a few of them. About 3 free macaws were loitering outside the cage. While we were there they released a mated pair into the wild and had a party for it. We saw a few of them flying around as well.

The lodge building has a reception area, which is currently sharing space with the business center and gift shop things. I think they are remodeling the reception on the first floor. The restaurant is in the lodge building - you get breakfast and dinner here. The breakfast, included with the room, was excellent. There was always fresh fruit and breads for you to get, plus the menu items. We had nearly all of them and were happy with the selections and preparation. The coffee was good and the fruit juices were great.

We were lazy and ate dinner there every night. Everything we tried was very good. The cocktails also were quite good - we tried a bunch of them and liked all!

The swimming pool is really interesting. There are basically two infinity pools cascading down the hillside with waterfalls connecting them. The pool bar is between and there is a nice little seating area there. There are multiple small decks around the pool. What's neat about the design is that you can often find one of the small decks empty and thus get some serious privacy. One afternoon the group around the pool was quite sociable, but other afternoons everybody did their own thing. We had lunch at the pool one day and it was quite good, and another day we order appetizers, which were excellent (chicken satay and ahi). The mojitos were great, and service attentive.

The housekeeping was excellent, the room and grounds very clean.

They will drive you in golf carts from the main gate, which is at the bottom of the hill, to the main lodge. You can walk if you want - there are stairs. Once at the gate, you can meet tour guides or the hotel shuttle which will take you to the beach. The shuttle leaves the resort at the top of the hour to Mary's, which is a beach vendor who has chairs, can bring food & drinks, etc. (The owner there is very nice!) The shuttle will pick you up at 15 minutes after the hour but you need to ask the folks at Mary's table to radio them so they don't waste gas coming if nobody wants to leave. We were totally confused by the need to call ahead, so now you know.

We did multiple tours - the zipline tour (run by MidWorld), private hike in the national park (with Saul, who also does the hike of the Gaia's trails), mangrove kayaking, and jet skiing on the ocean. All tours were excellent with good guides, good food, and reasonable pricing. The zipline system was exceptionally safe - great guides. And Saul was incredible as a guide. We saw things with him we'd never have noticed on our own. Absolutely you should get a guide to hike in Manuel Antonio.

We agreed we would highly recommend this place for a getaway for which you are not there just for the beach, and for which you aren't bringing kids. The lack of kids was a plus for us (since this was a getaway from our own kids), and the included breakfast and attentive service all made us very happy with the place.

Room Tip: Spring for a suite if you can.
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank JoKnits
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 13 July 2014

Thank you.....thank you......We are overwhelmed by your very comprehensive and extreamly positive review of our resort.

Thank you very much for taking the time to review us and share with other readers on this TripAdvisor forum.

We are certainly thrilled you rated us with 5 stars. As one of only two resorts in the Manuel Antonio area out of 48 with 5 stars, we are truly privileged to have guests such as yourselves.

Please come back and see us again. We are in to mood to spoil you once again.

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Reviewed 30 June 2014

We stayed at Gaia Hotel and Reserve 6/22-6/29/14. We were extremely pleased with the level and quality of service and amenities. First, we were greeted at the airport (SJO) by Milton who made the 3 hour trip to the hotel pleasant. He stopped for lunch and a bathroom break upon our request. Once we arrived at the hotel we were greeted by our personal concierge. We stayed in a deluxe suite with a private roof top terrace. The reflection pool on the terrace, as described on Gaia's website isn't a pool at all, but a blocked off water reserve (that was the only disappointing part of our stay because we were expecting some kind of accessible pool on our terrace). The room was beautiful, clean, and comfortable. Once settled in Alex, our concierge, helped us book our tours and guided us to places around town to eat.
During our stay my husband become violently ill and Alex (and Carlos) called a doctor to the hotel where my husband was cared for in the privacy of our room. The house call was not an additional expense and we appreciated the level of care that was provided.
The food and the drinks at the hotel are not cheap by the food and the drinks are AMAZING! The costa rican breakfast, vanilla pancakes, and mango waffles were my favorite. The costa rican soup, chicken casados, and the seafood pasta were also my favorite. But our most favorite menu item, the beef pastales - YUM! We tried just about everything on the breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus and enjoyed every bite.
The pool is very relaxing and you can't beat the view. The spa services are not cheap but we were very pleased with the quality of services. We had a hot stone, terra, and thai massage during our stay. Milton (who was also our driver) has paws for hands and he put me in a very relaxing state. I would recommend the spa but be willing to spend money.
From the time we arrived to the moment we left, everyone we came in contact with that worked at the resort was extremely friendly, helpful, and made our trip even more relaxing.
The only thing to take note of is this hotel, though within walking distance of a few restaurants, is a 5-7 minute drive from central Manuel Antonio and Quepos. The hotel provides free transportation to MA (small fee to Quepos) until 5pm. After that, you'll need to take a taxi (not cheap, $6 to either town central).

Room Tip: This hotel only has 20 rooms. The smaller rooms (the studio's) are the farthest from the pool, s...
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Melissa D
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 4 July 2014

Thank you so much for your fabulous 5 star review of our resort.

We are so very happy that your overall experience was truly spectacular and the level of service exceeded your expectations.

Our entire staff enjoyed being with you on your holiday and look forward to your return visit in the not too distant future.

Thank you for sharing your experience on this TripAdvisor forum.

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Reviewed 30 June 2014

My girlfriend and I stayed here for six nights in mid to late June and we had an amazing time. For four of those nights we had great weather as long as you get up early you can usually get great weather until sometime in the afternoon where it will usually rain for an hour or so. For two days we had nothing but rain but that's expected with the rainy/transitional season.
Sandy helped us set up transportation to and from the airport in San Jose to Gaia. The drive was around 2 1/2 hrs and cost $185. I would advise you to set up your international flight with the local flight times in mind to save some money the two local airlines are Sansa Air and Nature Air and are considerably cheaper than driving and obviously much faster. But depending on when you arrive you may have to wait for awhile in the airport for local flight.
Despite the cost of the drive the ride there was perfect. Our driver Melgium, who also works in the spa was amazing. Smooth drive and he also made stops for us to grab food and check out some crocodiles. We didn't get Melgium on our drive back to the airport but our return driver was ok. Little bit of a racer but not horrible.
Gaia puts an emphasis on service, from the moment we arrived to the moment we left. The housekeeping staff are ninjas they get in and out of that room and we almost never saw them, even on days when we came back to the room three or four times. Out of the 6 days we only spotted the housekeeping in our room once.They kept the room clean even put our wet clothes through the dryer after a day of rafting for free.
The location of this hotel is also a strength its secluded but not too secluded. The hotel is relaxing but you can reach everything you might want to get to pretty quickly. They provide shuttles to the beach and national park on an hourly basis for free. They have a pretty extensive list of activities to choose from and its convenient because you can charge almost everything to the hotel. The staff is extremely helpful with helping you set up your daily itinerary.
Much thanks to Carlos, Al, and Alex. All of there recommendations for restaurants were on point. I used their recommendations and a combination of Trip Advisor rankings to figure out where to eat. Sometimes you need that local advice. You'll find that Trip Advisor isn't exactly spot on with restaurants some times.
Only disappointing thing was our dining experience at La Luna, the hotel's restaurant. Not that the food wasn't good we just found it to be a bit pricey for the quantity and quality of food that we got. I'd still say its worth trying.
The complimentary breakfast is great. We woke up everyday before our activities and ate a delicious breakfast that's accompanied by a great view. I believe there are six choices for breakfast meals and fresh bread and fruit to eat as well.
As far as the hotel's other services I'm not really sure. I can't say much about the pool because we didn't really spend time there but it looked nice and for the 30 minutes we did use it it was relaxing. We did use the 20 minute complimentary spa service and the spa is very relaxing and it also has a great view. So if you really want a relaxing treatment I would recommend spending the extra money to get a longer spa treatment.
Wifi was pretty on point too. This is one of my biggest pet peeves I hate when a hotel has spotty wifi coverage and passwords and a slow connection. Wifi was fast, no password so if you wanted to setup a Chromecast in the hotel room you could no problems. I was able to stream Netflix with no hiccups. And their wifi coverage is awesome everywhere on their premises as far as I could tell. The connection is fast.
Also much thanks to Jesus for the speedy golf cart rides from the entrance of the hotel to our room. The hotel is on a steep incline so they transport you from the rooms to the entrance. Great vacation ... Thank you Gaia.

Last note I recommend you either bring a lot of small US bills like singles and fives. Or just change some money to colones. As with most vacations with a lot of US travelers you can pay in USD in most places but they will hammer you on that conversion rate nine times out of ten. Also be wary of taxi drivers trying to overcharge you. If you get a good taxi driver that charges you fair prices get that phone number and reuse him.

As they say in Costa Rica ... Pura Vida.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Adam C
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 4 July 2014

Thanking our recent guests for their wonderful review of our Gaia Hotel & Reserve.

It truly means a lot to us and we sincerely appreciate you taking your personal time to share with others on this TripAdvisor forum.

You pretty much said it all when you commented on our service. We begin and end with this and strive every day to provide our guests with a total experience while in residence at Gaia.

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Reviewed 28 June 2014

My boyfriend and I stayed at Gaia for four nights in early May and had a fantastic stay. From the initial contacts through email with Geo and Sandy, to the nature tours with Saul (he's amazing!), to the 2 hour spa treatment with Milton, to the personalized concierge experience with Alcides, everything was purely and simply excellent!! Gaia was kind enough to pick us up from the airport, drop us off at the Saturday morning farmer's market in Quepos, bring our luggage back to the hotel for us and then return to Quepos after lunch to retrieve us so we could check into the hotel at the time they state in all of their information, all for a very small and reasonable fee.

Because this was the beginning of the rainy season, we got a deal by using our Amex card for one night free with the purchase of three nights and stayed in the smallest of all rooms, which actually was not all that small. At no point in time did I ever feel like we were treated as a "discounted" customer due to the deal we took advantage of. As everyone comments on in their reviews and we can attest to as well, the service is extraordinary. We ate at the restaurant on site (all but the last night we were there) and each meal was delicious and well-prepared. The steep, but very doable walks from our room to the restaurant were actually a welcome way to stretch and get my body moving after eating such luxurious meals. The view of the sunset from the dining area was stunning! My only one small complaint was that the live band, who were fantastic, were just a little bit too loud for my tastes at times.

We were hoping to run into one of the owners as many people mention in their reviews. I wanted to let them know just how impressed we were with what they have created, but unfortunately, we never got to meet them. However, we did meet one of the owner's mothers with her cute dog, Tarzan, at breakfast which was really very sweet. They were great ambassadors for Gaia!

I have done many trips were I wanted to keep in perpetual motion, which is very possible with your stay at Gaia because they have activities galore to choose from. However, due to serious health issues, this trip was more about relaxing, storing up energy and creating positive memories. No one at Gaia would have any way of knowing just how important it was to me to have a luxurious time on this short getaway for me. I'd like to thank everyone mentioned above as well as Alexander, Carlos, Fabio, Alber, Jesus, Jeffrey, Randall, Joshua, John B, David, Efren and Jose for making this a wonderfully memorable trip!

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Laurel A
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 30 June 2014

Wow....what a wonderful review by some wonderful guests.

We are truly humbled by the kind words you have said.

The entire staff thanks you and misses you!! Thank you for choosing us and thank you for sharing your experience on this TripAdvisor forum.

Please come back so we can once again share the magic we have created here.

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Reviewed 26 June 2014

My husband and I recently stayed here for our honeymoon, and it was perfect. The staff was so helpful and friendly! All the food was amazing and the rooms very nice! We saw lots of wild animals on the property each day, and the views from our room, the pool, and the restaurant were spectacular! I couldn't see us having more fun anywhere else! We picked a great place and we will definitely be back! We would recommend this hotel to anyone!

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Jessica F
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 30 June 2014

We with to thank our recent honeymoon guests for choosing our Gaia Hotel & Reserve.

We now there are choices out there and we thank them for allowing us to show them an experience of a lifetime.

Thank you for your kind referrals and thank you for sharing on this TripAdvisor forum.

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Reviewed 22 June 2014 via mobile

Loved it! We will definitely be back.
The restaurant is amazing, the service is super attentive, the experience ia totally wonderful.
My wife and I have visited several top-tier hotels in our three visits to Manuel Antonio, and this is the best.
The superlatives abound! Cocktails, restaurant food and service, views, pools, accommodations, cleanliness - everything is excellent. Seriously, just fkucing fantastic. Be sure to book the nature tour.

This is perhaps an overused phrase, but... HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDATION. seriously.

Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
1  Thank SinCabeza
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 30 June 2014

Thank you so very much for your superlative review of our Gaia Hotel & Reserve.

We are truly blessed with our staff and they ore our best kept secret. Without them our mission at Gaia could not be achieved.

Thank you for choosing us and thank you for sharing on this TripAdvisor forum.

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Reviewed 22 June 2014 via mobile

Amazing resort.. Great customer service, the 3 level pool was incredible, rooms were much bigger than expected and even included a jetted tub. free DVDs that were available to borrow from the office, even the gym had great equipment including free weights. I would definitely return and recommend this resort to anyone

Stayed: June 2014, travelled with friends
Thank almorgan24
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 30 June 2014

We are so thrilled our recent guests were happy with their stay with us. Happy indeed also to hear they wish to return.

Having been open now for 8 years, we have countless return guests year after year.

And we certainly would love to count you among those special people in the Gaia family.

Thank you for choosing us and thank you for sharing 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: £179 - £576 (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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