Romantic, peaceful, jungle setting
600 Metros Noreste La Fortuna de San Carlos 866-311-1197 www.arenalnayara.com
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At a Glance
Set at the base of the Arenal Volcano, this secluded, adults-only lodge offers quiet, natural surroundings and excellent service.
- The open-air spa pavilions, which allow guests to relax to the sounds of birds and the occasional rain shower
- Complimentary amenities like room service breakfast (served on one’s private patio), laundry and the minibar
- The nest-like loungers at the pool
Set deep in the jungle canopy, the peaceful Nayara Springs hotel sits in the shadow of the Arenal Volcano, which soars 5,000 feet high and dominates the skyline. While it was once the most active volcano in Costa Rica, the now relatively quiet landmark is one of the main reasons to visit the area and provides a constant reminder of the contrasting beauty and power of nature.
Guests arrive at Nayara Spa & Gardens, the Springs’ sister hotel, before taking a golf cart up the hill and across a bridge to the more exclusive resort (just a two-minute walk away). Nayara Springs is geared towards couples and families with older children (kids under 18 are not allowed), and the serene atmosphere is immediately felt. The hotel boasts 16 villas, each with a private garden, an outdoor shower and a terrace with a Jacuzzi (fed by natural hot springs). Each room also features air conditioning, a TV and there is WiFi throughout the entire property.
Because of Nayara’s jungle setting, birds can be heard from almost anywhere on the property, providing a welcome soundtrack to your stay. Most of the activities engage the environment including the volcano tour or horseback ride to La Fortuna waterfall; the spa features dozens of delightful treatments that incorporate local traditions and ingredients, like the volcanic mud massage. Aside from the spa, wellness-seekers can enjoy daily yoga lessons, the resort’s small but well-equipped gym or afternoons spent leisurely by the pool.
While the resort emanates a soothing vibe, the décor provides a punch of color and personality. The villas feature an eclectic mish-mash of décor, with zebra-print footstools, crystal chandeliers and vibrant woven hammocks adding flair to the charming resort. The Springs’ restaurant, Amor Loco, is decorated with plush purple chairs and Moroccan-inspired side tables and features live music nightly. But dining options are not limited to the one restaurant, as guests can dine at any of the three restaurants at the Spa & Gardens. Sushi Amor serves Japanese fare in a vibrant space, Altamira focuses on traditional Costa Rican dishes and Nostalgia Wine & Tapas Bar offers an extensive list of Latin American and Spanish wines.
Who Should Stay
It’s not as over-the-top luxury as the Four Seasons, but Nayara is unique in that it offers a magical experience for those looking to embrace their surroundings and the local culture. It is a great option for couples seeking a boutique experience, alone time and excellent service.