The thought of escaping into the heart of the Costa Rican Rainforest immediately conjures up images of living off of basic essentials; sacrificing comfort for experience and essentially roughing it for most people. But at the Nayara Hotel, Spa and Gardens, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Nayara is an oasis of tranquility set amongst 15 acres of lush tropical gardens and verdant rain forest that provides a uniquely natural experience without sacrificing any of the comforts you require. In fact, Nayara takes luxury hospitality to the next level providing guests the opportunity to enjoy the best in authentic Costa Rican hospitality.
Located between the town of Fortuna and the Arenal Volcano National Park, Nayara Hotel, Spa & Gardens boasts 44 spacious, free-standing casitas (bungalows), all with clear, breathtaking views of the imposing and still active Arenal volcano – one of the few remaining in the world. Ensuring all guests enjoy a sense of place and take advantage of the privacy the individual casitas affords, all of the private outdoor terraces are outfitted with Jacuzzi tubs overlooking the volcano – setting the stage for a relaxing and romantic retreat. This of course would help to explain why TripAdvisor just ranked Nayara as the “Most romantic hotel in all of Central and South America,” in addition to “ One of the top five most romantic hotels in the World.”
Each of the 44 casitas at Nayara has been designed to provide the utmost in comfort and style while maintaining close contact with the natural surroundings. High ceilings and large sliding glass doors opening onto the terrace to one side of the casita and a private outdoor shower to the other allow for plenty of natural light to fill the large suite-size bungalows. Plush king size beds, flat screen televisions and marble bathrooms with rainforest showers and double marble covered vanities complete the luxurious accommodations. If there wasn’t so much to enjoy outside of the casita, one would ever need to leave.
From the moment guests arrive they quickly understand why both the hotel and Costa Ricans in general are known for their hospitality. As all guests are greeted with cold, refreshing eucalyptus towels and tropical fruit juice, the near two to one staff to guest ratio quickly becomes evident. Its tropical grounds woven with rich gardens and vibrant vegetation create the perfect setting to rest and enjoy the surrounding nature. Wicker hammocks and wooden-barrel Jacuzzi tubs are hidden throughout the property providing secret escapes for couples to immerse themselves in the surrounding nature. A large pool area with a swim up wet bar provides an ideal place to relax and recharge after enjoying one of the many activities available in the area. Although Nayara is a zen-like paradise, it is also a perfect base from which to enjoy the plethora of active pursuits for which Costa Rica is famous. From white water rafting, hiking, mountain biking and volcano treks to horseback riding, ATV tours and thermal hot springs, the Nayara team can arrange whatever suits your interests.
For those whose getaway goals simply include unwinding and rejuvenating - with a whole lot of pampering mixed in - may choose to spend a good amount of their time enjoying the Nayara Spa delicately set right within the rainforest offering an extra dose of peace and serenity. You will hear the sounds of birds, flowing water and a whispering breeze all around you in harmony. Everything has been designed to allow your body and soul to be completely immersed in the surroundings. Open-air treatment rooms play host to an array of therapeutic and transforming treatments which include the signature “Hot Volcanic Mud Massage” and the “Chocolate Body Scrub” – both of which use ingredients indigenous to the region enhancing the overall experience and connection to the locale.
The indulgence continues from mind and body to the palate where guests enjoy Nayara’s open-air Altamira restaurant serving three meals daily. The day starts with a lavish, complimentary breakfast overlooking the volcano complete with both hot and cold items and continues throughout the day into lunch and dinner. Serving “International Fare,” Altamira’s menu offers a variety of fresh fish and seafood, as well as oversized portions of quality meats; all with a touch of local bold flavors and traditional accompaniments such as fried plantains and coconut rice. Witness the healthy and hearty fish tacos or the daily choice of ceviche.
Although the hanging lanterns and candlelit tables offer a satisfyingly soothing dining environment, couples looking for a little more intimacy opt for Nayara’s “Romantic Dinners.” Served in a select private setting around the property, whether a hidden garden nook or private terrace, a personal chef caters to the couples’ culinary needs for the evening, leaving of course the moonlight, wine and fresh flowers to do the rest.
After dinner, whether in Altamira or otherwise, the Nostalgia Wine Bar is perfect for a nightcap. A specially imported Italian wine dispenser offers a selection of both Latin American and European wines – either to enjoy a taste, half glass or full glass. The variety of vino is complemented by a tasty menu of tapas should a light snack be desired.
Just a two to three hour drive from either San Jose or Liberia airports, Nayara is the kind of place you can do a great deal from or be completely content never leaving. The oversized Casita Deluxe starts at $199 per night while the slightly larger Nayara Suite is available at $350 per night. For more information or reservations, please visit www.arenalnayara.com.