Nayara Resort Spa & Gardens
What We Love
- Close-up views of the famous Arenal Volcano
- Guestrooms are enormous
- Private outdoor shower and jacuzzi tub on the terrace
- Open-air spa with coffee scrubs and volcanic mud wraps
- The management regularly sprays for bugs, so the mosquito problem is not nearly as bad as at other rain forest properties in Costa Rica
- Free international calls, WiFi and laptops for guest use
What To Know
- Volcano views can often be obscured by clouds and rain
- The area’s rainy season is from May to November
- Handicap Accessible
- Parking On Site
Secluded Costa Rican retreat with an open-air spa, swim-up pool bar and volcano vistas
About 56 miles northwest of the capital, San José, the 5,358-foot Arenal Volcano juts up from a dense tropical landscape that acts as a kind of natural playground for visitors, with natural hot springs, zip-lines through untrammeled jungles, and plenty of hiking. At the center of it all is the Nayara Hotel, Spa & Gardens, heralded as one of the best retreats of its kind in Costa Rica, and certainly the most romantic. The 50 free-standing bungalows are set on a hillside with sweeping views (when the frequent rains have abated, that is). The large air-conditioned units (the smallest is 855 square feet) carry on the tropical-luxe feel with lots of dark wood and pops of rich color on the walls and in the fabrics. Flowers and birds festoon the outdoor decks, where you can swing in a hammock or soak up the views in your private outdoor bathtub built for two. Some units also have outdoor showers surrounded by stone walls. The restaurant, Altamira, set under a huge thatched palapa roof with surrounding stone patios, sticks mostly to Costa Rican basics. The breakfast buffet is ample, and for dinner there’s the churrasco steak washed down with local beers. The hotel pool has a swim-up bar underneath a palapa roof—a handy retreat when rain showers come to visit. There’s also an open-air spa, where mud treatments incorporate ash from the Arenal Volcano.
In the Area
The hotel runs its own guided volcano tour, which includes an easy hike on the Toucans Trail, traversing the rain forest and crossing over a 1992 lava flow. If you’re lucky you’ll see red lava flowing in the distance. The tour includes an optional stop at a mineral hot spring. This nearby family-run natural hot springs (in manmade pools) does not allow more than 100 visitors at a time, keeping the place mellow. It’s especially spellbinding at night, with soft lighting and the rain forest chirping around you. Rio Sarapiqui is a rafting river near Arenal. The river has its own character, from relaxing to rapid whitewater, depending on the seasonal rainfall. Any way you do it, a rafting trip is one of the best ways to get immersed in the overwhelming rain forests of Costa Rica. Take a horseback ride to the La Fortuna waterfall. The ride takes an hour, and once there you can take a swim at the base of the falling waters. Take a full day to go on an 8-hour excursion through Tenorio Volcano National Park. The five-mile hike leads you to natural mud baths and hot springs, and the final destination, the crystal blue Rio Celeste waterfall.
How to Get There
Nayara Springs is an intoxicating, beautiful dream you don't want to wake up from. This adorable resort is nestled in the heart of the rainforest. Your mouth will drop and you will instantly turn into the heart shaped eyes emoji the moment you arrive to check in.
You will be greeted by the nicest, most genuine staff. Not the staff that is like "This is my job and I have to be nice to you." But the staff that authentically welcomes you to their home, their country and truly values and encompasses what hospitality should be like. We were greeted by Manrique and trust me when I say you will want to put him in a little box and put him in your pocket to cheer you up on a rainy day. He is so incredibly kind. We stayed at Nayara for our honeymoon and Manrique upgraded our room to a Villa!! What a pleasant, unexpected surprise!They took us on a tour via golf cart of their manicured property and my soul leapt with admiration. The groundskeeper must be a wizard because I have no idea how he maintains the integrity of Nayara. Whomever he is, keep him!! Ha.
Our Villa was pristine! So clean and spacious. We had a plunge pool which is an all natural, warm mineral fed pool, no chlorine! The bed was so comfortable we could of slept in it all day if it wasn't for the Costa Rican alarm clock (howler monkeys) bellowing at 530am. We didn't mind, we thought it was quite magical.
The food at Nayara is delicious! They have many Costa Rican dishes as well as American style cuisines for sensitive tummies, so fear not. My husband ate lamb, chicken and filet, while I dined on as many seafood entree's as they would serve me. Very fresh.
Do not miss the morning breakfast buffet, this is not your average buffet!! The scenery is beautiful and the variety of food and fresh fruits will have you longing for it the next day.
The coffee....oh my gosh, the coffee. Incredible! We bought two packages and I know we will be purchasing more!
Our favorite dinner spot was Amor Loco. Delicious dinner with amazing ambiance and a live acoustic guitarist. Heaven.
Although Nayara is a 5 Star boutique hotel, it was pretty casual as far as attire goes. I wore long sundresses with flat sandals in the evening for most dinners. So, don't feel pressured to grab your heels. The property is quite hilly, if I were wearing heels there is no doubt I would of had to remove them to walk around barefoot instead.
You can easily call for a golf cart to shuttle you around. That's the easiest way getting to and from restaurants. The property is somewhat of a maze with narrow paths and lots of places to turn, we got lost trying to find our villa one day.
Trust me when I say you will want to stay longer than 2nights. That's all we had and I literally cried when we had to leave to go to an all inclusive resort along the coast.
You need a minimum of 4 nights here. You will want to enjoy your Villa, the food, the staff and the rainforest.
Staying at Nayara was a soul enriching experience. It's unlike anywhere I've ever seen. We were fortunate enough to meet the owners of Nayara during our stay and they are the sweetest, most down to earth couple who invest their time at their property, they invest in their staff, and are indredibly humble. One morning at breakfast they greeted every table, not as the owners, but as people who work for the hotel. They asked us, "How can we improve our hotel?" "How did you hear about us?" "Is there anything we can do to enhance your visit?" Fantastic ownership!! And it shows in your staff, they all love being there. We know, because we asked.
This is a property that's worth your time, your money, and all your special occasions!!! Do not hesitate to book your stay, we are already talking about when we can come back to this captivating resort!
Thank you Nayara Springs for hosting us on our fairytale
honeymoon. You have nourished our souls. We will see you again!
This was a great hotel. It rained one out of the three days we were there which wasn’t too bad so we were able to get activities done all but one day. It was so much to do at the hotel with the animals pools restaurants and just walking around and hikes. The animals birds and atmosphere work great. Post by two most all adventures. Great time in the rain forest.
We loved our stay at the Nayara.
Louis checked us in, and was incredibly friendly and helpful, and we soon leant this was the same with all the staff you encounter here.
We were granted an upgrade on check in as we were celebrating a special anniversary, and wow, what a room!
We saw plenty of wildlife whilst staying at the Nayara, and enjoyed their early morning wildlife tour around the grounds.
The breakfasts were fantastic, with a wide range of choice, and we even elected to eat at the hotel every night, which we all enjoyed.
If you want to stay at a hotel, where all the staff go out of their way to ensure you are having a fantastic time, and are friendly and engaging, book the Nayara.
Thank you for a fantastic 3 nights, we will be back.....