Members Recommend
Excellent 3715 Reviews
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This Hotel meets our standards
Our editors have been here and it has met our standards

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


  •  Eco friendly
  •  Handicap-accessible
  •  Parking On Site
  •  Pool
  •  Restaurant
  •  Spa
Disclaimer: This content was accurate at the time the hotel was reviewed. Please check our partner sites when booking to verify that details are still correct.
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Secluded Costa Rican retreat with an open-air spa, swim-up pool bar and volcano vistas

The Lowdown

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 Resort Spa & Gardens
7 km West from La Fortuna Town Road 142
La Fortuna, 00000 Costa Rica


5.0 Excellent 3715 Reviews
Oh My!
Reviewed 8 hours ago

Just do it. First class all the way. Multiple pools on the property. Multiple great restaurants on the property. Just delightful stay.
If you cannot walk easily, there were some hills to get to our room. We do not and enjoyed the exercise. There are golf carts to get you around however.

A lovely stay!
Reviewed 10 hours ago

We stayed in this great hotel in December and would thoroughly recommend it. We relaxed here in between trips to Mistico hanging bridges where we had a wonderful guide called Bernardo. The rooms are huge and absolutely stunning including an outdoor shower and jacuzzi. The breakfast was lovely and there is a good choice of restaurants for th evening. The staff are all excellent.

Magical experience.
Reviewed 2 days ago

Every time I have the opportunity to travel and know my country more I realize the beautiful country where I live and how lucky I am.
So I decided to go with my two small children to visit Arenal.
My daughter loves spas and I immediately wanted to know the Nayara Hotel, about which I have spoken wonders.
Start the day with an exquisite home made breakfast , in such a magical place, in front of the perfect cone of the Arenal Volcano, simply priceless.
And this was only at breakfast, the unrestricted pool area for children is super beautiful, amazing gardens, fish ponds, surround by any place to the hotel.
The tour of the hotel is impressive, the hotel is camouflaged between nature and adapts to it in a way that is almost perfect.
Its thermal waters invite you to simply relax and forget all the problems, so if you want to "disconnect" in one of the most beautiful places in Costa Rica, Nayara is the magical place that will make you enjoy every minute of your stay.
And not to mention the food, we ate at the Asian restaurant, the sushi was delicious, I saw my daughter enjoy it like never before.

The handmade organic chocolate produced in the area that we ate for dessert, had a very special flavor.

But the best of all, was the service, since I got out of my car in the parking lot with a bag on one arm, my son raised and my daughter on the other hand, passed 5 seconds and the boy who drives a golf card came to offer me a ride at the entrance of the hotel.
Thank you Frederic and Nikolaos for such kind attention for me and my children, as well as for the rest of the staff that gave us a unique experience in Nayara.
In this opportunity I did not have time to stay but soon I want to live the experience of spending a night among the forest and the comfort of a room adapted with all the comfort to him.

5 stars in every way
Reviewed 2 days ago

We highly recommend the Nayara Resort Spa & Gardens especially for anyone who has food sensitivities or allergies. The wait staff and chefs took great care to ensure we had variety and healthy options at every meal. The resort is lush and filled with amazing wildlife. The staff is courteous and helpful. Diversity was welcomed.

Excellent hotel
Reviewed 2 days ago

Food and service excellent. Staff friendly, helpful and polite and always cheerful. Nice range of pools including quiet pool and shaded areas. More walks like armadillo walk would be good but it doesn’t seem to be used much. Very steep gradients. Superb hotel and struggling for and negatives