A review of Nayara Springs Hotel, Costa Rica

I hope everyone had a wonderful New Year. I can’t believe it’s 2023 – I still feel like it’s 2009. Despite the fact it’s a new year, I still have plenty of posts to catch up on from 2022 and I’m interrupting my England autumn/winter series with my first post from Costa Rica which I visited back in November.

It was late, it was raining, it was dark, I was travel sick, I was tired, I was just so ready for the journey to stop and to reach the destination. Clearly my face gave me away as the receptionist suggested we come back for the welcome drink and briefing the next day, sending us straight to our room.

I opened the door. I wasn’t tired, or grumpy, or feeling sick anymore. Instead I couldn’t stop smiling – at this amazing hotel in this insane location – and as I dipped my toes in the pool I said a little thank you for being lucky enough to be able to visit somewhere like this.

Nayara Springs was spectacular, and that little slice of the Costa Rican jungle will always have a fond place in my heart, so it felt the perfect post to kick off my Costa Rica series – lots more posts are on their way over the next few months.


Location

Nayara Springs is located a 3hr drive north of San Jose airport, where all international flights arrive. It’s part of a complex of 3 hotels – Nayara Gardens, Nayara Springs and Nayara Tented Camp. Bizarrely after we booked we discovered my parents had stayed at Nayara Gardens back in 2016!

The closest town to the hotel is La Fortuna, just a 10 minute drive away. La Fortuna is the gateway town to one of Costa Rica’s most popular areas – Arenal National Park, home to the famous Arenal Volcano. It’s in the middle of the country so is also surrounded by primary and secondary rainforest on all sides meaning it’s also perfect for wildlife hunting. It also means the weather is super variable – we had days of sun and days of 15hr downpours that meant we couldn’t leave our villa!

Arenal Volcano


Accommodation

There are no words other than wow for the accommodation. All accommodation at Nayara Springs are villas with private pools and the same layout. The bed is huge and comfortable, the seating area lovely, and the bathroom dreamy with both a HUGE indoor double shower and an outdoor double shower too.

Lovely bedroom and sitting area
Huge shower and through to second part of the bathroom

But the real star is the terrace. Each villa comes with its own lounge bed, hammock, table and chairs plus a gorgeous private pool set right up close with the rainforest. The water in the pools is from the natural volcanic springs so is hot, but there are taps so you can run it cold. No treatment is given to the water, it’s just changed every 3 days with new natural spring water.

Wow!


Food and Drink

The hotel has multiple places to eat and drink. We didn’t have a bad meal whilst staying here and were really impressed with the variety on offer, from local Costa Rican food all the way to Sushi.

The restaurants on site are:

  • Mis Amores – Italian with the most amazing pizzas
  • 2x swim up pool bars – typical quick food (burgers etc)
  • Amor Loco – Fine dining
  • La Terraza – Local Costa Rican and Central American
  • Asia Luna – Asian (sushi, woks, curry)
  • Ayla – Mediterranean and Middle Eastern
  • Nostalgia – Spanish Tapas and wine tasting
The most amazing wine ‘vending machine’ in Nostalgia

Breakfast is included in the room rate, but all other meals have to be paid for as additional. The food was good value, but the drinks were expensive – totally worth it though as the cocktails were amazing.


Amenities and Experiences

There are a number of amenities and experiences within the hotel grounds. There are 2 walking trails where you can spot a large variety of wildlife, as well as a jungle hanging bridge for epic views out across the canopy.

On the hanging bridge

There is also a guided nature walk at 6am every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The hotel also runs cooking classes, rum tastings, wine tastings, cocktail making and yoga/exercise classes.

And a cute lizard

A huge infinity pool lies at the top of the property, giving spectacular views out to Arenal Volcano (when you can see it – we had cloud cover for every day of our stay and it only cleared for one afternoon). I’d been on ‘volcano watch’ every day and it was an ongoing joke trying to spot it. It took until our penultimate day to actually get a shot of it!

Volcano views

The hotel offers 4 other pools as well and an insane spa, voted one of the top 100 in the world. The massages were amazing and all are offered in the complete bliss of a jungle hut overlooking the rainforest. On top of that, some huge thermal baths with volcanic spring water are also available to use. Dreamy.

In the thermal springs

The hotel also offers some wonderful experiences off of the property, including but not limited to hikes around Arenal National Park, kayaking on Lake Arenal, zip lining through the jungle and wildlife tours aplenty.

Living the Pura Vida at Lake Arenal


So what do you think of Nayara Springs? I had the best time here and really didn’t want to leave! Although on writing this up I realise all my husband seems to have done all holiday is take photos of me from behind in my hat haaa – poor guy! Thanks so much for reading everyone – lots more Costa Rica adventures on their way. Stay safe and happy travelling!

51 Comments

  1. Costa Rica sounds and looks marvelous, Hannah 🙂 I love the pool, the views, the lake, and the hanging bridge, as well. Thanks for sharing your adventures, my dear friend.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Oh my gosh! Mike and I have to book a trip. Nayara Springs looks and sounds amazing, Hannah. We would probably never leave the resort for all there is to see there, though, we would also enjoy the national park. Thanks so much for sharing this with us. Happy 2023!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I thought that looked like Arenal! I love that area, though we were only there for a day and didn’t stay here. Looks like amazing accommodations! I can’t wait to read more about your trip.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much John, and yes I feel like an outdoor shower means you know you’re on holiday because in England it would be unthinkable haha! We had an amazing stay and were very sad to have to leave!

      Like

  4. Wow the Nayara Springs Resort looks AMAZING! I loved visiting that area of Costa Rica. We stayed in a small family run hotel, but did get out to the volcano for a small hike and also a park with hanging bridges. Definitely a place you could return to!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s such an incredible hotel, we had a magical stay there. Ahh it’s great you visited the area too, I also did the lava fields hike and the hanging bridges too so you’ll see photos from those activities coming up soon 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I only got a taste of Costa Rica when I visited in 2018…and by no means did I stay in a beautiful hotel as yours! Nayara Springs Hotel is the definition of paradise, and you’re fortunate you finally got to see the iconic volcano on the penultimate day– sounds like the Arenal Volcano is as elusive as Mt. Fuji in Japan! All the same, a beautiful stay with gorgeous, lush vegetation, delicious food and drink, and hopefully much-warmer weather than in your native England!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh the weathr was so much warmer than in England, although true to form it did rain every day for us and on 2 of the days we couldn’t leave the hotel as it was raining so badly. But that’s not a problem when the hotel is beautiful – such a lovely place to stay 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. This place is absolutely stunning! I’m not surprised you didn’t want to leave; I wouldn’t have either. Your husband did a great job as cameraman; these pictures are gorgeous.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Wow, the Nayara Springs Resort looks like a perfect place where to disconnect from the world and connect with nature. Can’t wait to read more about your trip to Costa Rica! Thanks for sharing and I hope your week is going well 🙂 Aiva xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It really was, you’re so right. There’s something very special about waking to the sound of the jungle and then seeing monkeys, squirrels, toucans, turkeys and much more from your terrace as you sit there! 🙂 Thanks so much for reading Aiva and hope you’re having a good weekend xx

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh my god! I’m booking my flight to Costa Rica right now!! Not only the surroundings look stunning – I’d loove to visit Costa Rica – but this hotel is on a whole other level! It just seems absolutely perfect! Thanks for the recommendation, I will definitely keep this place in mind !

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Absolutely gorgeous. Too bad it was so far from the airport. On that note, I’m curious how long a flight that was for you from England. Can’t have been short. Still, any amount of time in the air appears to be worth it for a stay there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah the airport isn’t well located in Costa Rica to get to the main areas to visit – it’s in the middle of the country so it’s a 3-5hr drive to get to beach or jungle. It was a 13hr flight and then the drive – door to door it took us 21 hours. But so worth it to get to visit this small slice of paradise 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Not the kind of post you want to read in your lunch hour! Haha. Back to work imminently and I would much rather be there in Costa Rica. It looks stunning! Definitely somewhere I’ll have to consider visiting 🙂
    I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the Costa Rica posts!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. What an amazing break, I can see why the first look at the room had you smiling. It’s a beauty. So much greenery and beauty around the resort, it looks a real escape.

    Love the wine vending machine; there’s an idea for the list of things I fancy when I’m in my own place!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Oh my … your bedroom in Nayara Springs was indeed absolutely amazing! How did you manage to ever leave this place to explore Costa Rica (I would have been very happy with the 15hr downpours 😄). Everything looks lovely … the food, the drinks (wow!) and you with your hat! Looking forward to read more about your visit to Costa Rica.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t really know how we managed to leave to be honest – but we weren’t at all upset about the monsoon rain. Actually on 2 days I explored solo as my husband just wanted to stay in the pool and read, who can blame him really. Hopefully the next few Costa Rica posts will feature not just the back of my head hehe 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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