Members Recommend
Excellent 3786 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 3786 Reviews
Honeymoon Destination
Reviewed 2 days ago

Where can I even begin about Nayara? From the moment we arrived we were greeted with spectacular staff, that were kind and patient with us! We were giving wonderful cocktails and a private ride to our Casita! The views at this resort can not be beaten! We have seen birds, MANY tropical plants and even a sloth! The restaurants that are offered are delicious, make great for a wonderful honeymoon experience! From the Nostalgia wine bar, to the beautiful Amor Loco, you cannot go wrong with this place! The pools have swim up bars (be sure to ask for Roy, he is a phenomenal bar tender), are heated and have ample amount of relaxing spots near by! We also received the best massages at the Nayara Gardens Spa, my masseuse Norma is a miracle worker with those hot stones! In our room we received complementary champagne and fruit as well as rose pedals and decorations and nightly turn down service! Today is our last day and we are so very sad to leave! We will definitely be back with our loved ones! Thank you for an amazing honeymoon experience! PURA VIDA

Where dreams come true
Reviewed 4 days ago

How do you describe Nayara? If you want to experience one of the most romantic hotels in the world, visit Nayara. The resort is so intimate. There are pockets of pools surrounded by lush vegetation. There is wildlife all around. There are beautiful restaurants. The rooms are stunning. The bed is so comfortable and the shower is beautiful. The service is impeccable. We would be standing on the path looking for sloths and someone would always stop to help you look. Also, there was always golf carts driving by asking if you would like a ride. Everyone we met was extremely professional and very kind, but I would like to give a special thank you to the staff at Mis Amores. Chino, Addy, Gregory, Carlos, Alasandro, Robert and Luis made our stay extra special. We looked forward to breakfast there each morning to see everyone. They each made the start to our day extra special. Plus, most of our dinners were there because we have never been to a restaurant where the staff went so beyond above and beyond that they brought tears of gratitude and overwhelming emotion to us. I've never been anywhere where we felt so special. I will always be so grateful to the kindness and sincerity they gave us, and did I mention the best dinner we've ever had. You can tell the staff is so passionate about food. It was delicious! Thanks again to you all. I will never forget the kindness you showed us!

20th Anniversary trip
Reviewed 4 days ago

The decision to return to Nayara for our 20th Anniversary was one of the best decisions ever. The resort was as beautiful as the first time we visited in 2015. We stayed in Casita 12 and it was perfect for us. But our anniversary...that day was special. We scheduled the Unforgettable Nayara couples massage for mid morning. It did not disappoint, the massage therapists were great. Turning to goo comes to mind...lol. We also scheduled the private dining experience that evening, the atmosphere was great, the food was fantastic, and we couldn't have asked for a better waiter than Luis. When we returned to our room that evening, there was a towel swan display with a trail to the porch jacuzi tub filled with hot water and rose pedals. Just outstanding customer service. So...hint hint. If you are celebrating a milestone anniversary and want to really go big...this is my recommendation.

Near Paradise!
Reviewed 4 days ago

One of the finest resort properties we have ever visited. The setting is beautiful looking out to the Arenal Volcano. The casita accommodations are simple but very nice and well maintained. All the amenities including the pools, restaurants, wine bar, coffee shop and transportation services are excellent and enjoyable. But Nayara's greatest asset is its employees! From the front desk and restaurant staffs to the doormen and chambermaids, all are extremely well trained and totally focused on making our stay so enjoyable. Nayara and its staff are Pure Vida!

Put simply....absolutely bliss!
Reviewed 6 days ago

Just returned from a stay at Nayara Springs. We were welcomed with a cold glass of bubbles by a wonderful host called Karina, nothing was too much trouble and we were made to feel really important. Staued in one of the villas so had our very own thermal hot spa, which was not overlooked. Amazing variety for breakfast which you can enjoy in one of the many on-site restaurants, or have it delivered to your room to enjoy in private. The hotel is a quiet hotel, so whilst they have no policy as such on loud music, it is not encouraged. We would definitely recommend this hotel if you are looking for that little bit of luxury in an amazing setting.