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Arenal Nayara

Our rating

8/10

Price guide

Highlights

- Large, upscale resort
- Family friendly, great range of activities
- Award-winning property
- Excellent variety of activities

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Overview

Arenal Nayara is a large, high-end resort nestled on a hill overlooking the impressive, 5,300 foot high Arenal Volcano in northern Costa Rica. Thanks to its outstanding customer service, its superb offering of activities and cuisine, and its stylish yet supremely comfortable accommodation, this family-friendly property has won a string of prestigious awards over the last few years and has been listed among the top ten hotels in the world by the likes of TripAdvisor, Travel+Leisure and Business Insider. Despite its large proportions, the resort hides its size well amidst beautiful gardens, but that said, no matter how attractive the surroundings, it is a still a large resort with an international feel and will suit travellers at the higher end of the budget spectrum.

There are several levels of accommodation to choose from, from the Casitas Deluxe, to the Rainforest Villas and the 3-bedroom Arenal Villas. All villas are stylish and air conditioned and afford plenty of peace and privacy; they’re designed to complement their natural surroundings and offer captivating views of either the lush rainforest or the volcano itself. Each has its own private balcony and garden area complete with outdoor shower and there’s an indoor en-suite bathroom as well. Amenities include complimentary, environmentally-friendly toiletries, as well as a minibar, tea and coffee making facilities and a flat-screen TV with satellite channels. A daily buffet breakfast, a twice-daily maid service, national and international calls, and daily yoga sessions are also included.

The line-up of activities and excursions is both extensive and diverse, with plenty of choice to cater for all age groups. Some of the many options include walking along suspension bridges through the amazing rainforest canopy, trekking over dried lava fields from the volcano’s 1968 eruption, a visit to a nearby wildlife rescue centre, a night-time frog spotting walk and a white-water rafting expedition to name but a few. Note that for reasons of health and safety, there are age restrictions on some activities.

The hotel has some fantastic on-site facilities to make use of when not out and about exploring the area. The spa is set on a cliff overlooking the rainforest below and makes for a particularly peaceful place to enjoy soothing treatments. There’s also a good range of high-quality gym equipment. There are around half a dozen eateries from the family favourite, Altamira Restaurant, which hosts various themed nights throughout the week, to the lively Asia Luna with its gourmet Asian delicacies, and the casual coffee shop Mi Cafecito. The hotel also has a lovely pool to lounge about in and some scenic walking trails to explore.

Children are welcome, though note that they are not permitted to visit the adjacent adults-only sister property, Nayara Springs. While this is a particularly family-friendly resort, parents are reminded to keep their children under constant adult supervision.

Suggested Itineraries for Arenal Nayara

What customers are saying after travelling with Tourdust

Average Rating

based on 497 reviews

(NaN/5)

  • It was FANTASTIC! Beautifully organised, everything worked like clockwork. We agreed that we had the best support team ever (and we have experience) - all delightful, very professional and nothing was too much bother.

    It clearly couldn't have been a better route, such a wonderful mix of landscapes. And plenty of acclimatisation time. Nonetheless, I was glad of my summit oxygen.

    Kit excellent. Double good mattresses made for most comfortable trek camping ever. Tents v good. Mess tent pretty windproof, which was vital for enjoyment. Best camp loo ever!

    My favourite day was Shira Cathedral. Amazing.

    MissingWilliam M reviewing Kilimanjaro Lemosho Route on 15 April 2020

  • Hi Lisa,

    The safari trip was excellent! The stay, the food and the people were all very nice. We were happy to have Ryan and Stanley as our game drive guides they brought us up close to the animals and Ryan gave very good information throughout.

    Would definitely recommend to friends who are interested in safaris :)

    Also, thanks much for your help, particularly keeping the room for my Brother and his wife they’ve enjoyed the safari very much too!

    Best regards,
    Woan Chyi

    MissingWoan Chyi L reviewing Cape Town & Kruger Safari on 16 October 2019

  • Driver-guide: Very punctual, except for pick up for airport when he was delayed by >30 mins due to road closures. Vehicle very clean and well maintained- plenty of water and supplies of clothing for religious sites, tissues, postcards etc. Very good at understanding what level of conversation we wanted. Happy to stop for paracetamol, supermarket etc. Took us to signal box at railway since we were early (which was very interesting)

    The Walawwa: Lovely place to arrive at and get a bit of rest. Great pool, lovely rooms and food etc. Peaceful oasis so close to town.

    Wilpattu Camp: Wonderful food- really enjoyed trying lots of new things in excellent surroundings.Felt like the place had not been visited much recently (which I don’t think it had due to the terrorist attacks) so our safari guide had been brought up from another park and did not know the park too well- it worked out well though and we saw all the animals we hoped to see so no complaints on that front. We did feel that we should have been told about extra things we could have done- when we commented on the great food on final day we were told that they could have done a cookery demo for us, but it was too late at that point. It worked well for us but clients should probably know that they are likely to have multiple wildlife in their tents (eg frogs)- didn’t bother us at all, but others it might do. We were given a questionnaire to fill in at the end whilst all the staff were standing around, which wasn’t ideal as you felt a bit of pressure! Felt really well looked after here!

    Water Gardens Sigiriya: Beautiful suites with plunge pools- quiet and peaceful with lovely big swimming pool. Food good

    Jungle Beach: Beautiful location on beach. Rooms good. Food a bit limited I would have liked a bit more variety ideally.

    Camellia House: Lovely location- beautiful views. Food OK but service below average- our food orders were wrong a couple of times and even pre-ordered food was delayed. Tea factory tour was only an hour and that was the main reason to be here. It was interesting but quite brief seeing it was the main attraction according to our itinerary. Also, we were taken there in a minibus which didn’t have seatbelts on all seats and was quite smelly- not up to the standard of the usual transportation. Rooms were described as having panoramic views- one did have amazing views but the other one definitely didn’t.

    Galle Face: Lovely old hotel- but it did have some problems (leaking ceiling and ‘smuts’ coming out of air conditioning.) Weather very bad (spectacular storms). It was a shame the street food tour couldn’t take place but totally understandable given the weather, however we enjoyed our dinner here and free drinks/canopes!). Good choice at breakfast.

    MissingPippa R reviewing Sri Lanka Highlights - Classic on 30 September 2019

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