Nayara Springs opened in December 2013, a select, adult-only development of 35 villas set in tropical gardens within sight of Arenal Volcano. Villas provide spacious accommodation of the highest quality, each with a 4-poster bed, indoor and outdoor relaxation areas, lavish bathroom, outdoor shower and pool fed by a hot spring. Amenities include WiFi, TV with DVD/CD player, iPod dock, minibar and hot drinks maker. Each villa is serviced twice a day.
At the heart of the complex are the large pool, piano lounge and bar, spa and yoga pavilion. There's a terrace, ideally positioned for watching birds including toucans and hummingbirds in the trees, and the resident red macaw, Carlota. The pool-side restaurant, Amor Loco, is open for lunch and dinner, serving gourmet cuisine in a club-like setting complete with purple velvet armchairs, highly polished tables and walls adorned with period photographs. Light lunches can be eaten on the terrace by the pool. You can use the restaurants and bars of the adjoining sister property, Nayara Hotel Spa and Gardens, which has restaurants offering sushi, tapas and Costa Rican options, and a choice of bars.
Days can be filled with activities such as hiking, horse riding, white water rafting and zip-lining, combined with ample time to take things easy at the hotel. The hotel's quality is demonstrated by its being voted No.1 in the Best Hotels & Resorts in Central South America 2014 by Conde Nast Traveller readers.
Open: Nayara Springs is open all year.
Location: Nayara Springs is in lush gardens surrounded by jungle bordering Arenal Volcano National Park. You enter via a footbridge from its sister hotel, Nayara Hotel and Spa. The nearest town is La Fortuna de San Carlos, a 10-minute drive away. San Jose airport is about 3-hours away.
Rooms: There are 35 villas offering spacious and private air conditioned accommodation, screened by lush vegetation. They have 4-poster beds, flat-screen TV, DVD and CD player, WiFi, i-Home audio system, bathroom with toiletries, outdoor shower, living area with a daybed, writing desk and stationary, safe and hairdryer. Outside there's a terrace with a daybed, table and chairs and spring-fed plunge pool.
Activities: Lots of activities are available in Arenal Volcano National Park, including guided nature walks, bird watching in the hotel gardens, hiking, take the canopy tour which consists of 12 platforms and 10 zip lines, climbing, mountain biking, horse riding, white water rafting and fishing. You can take a tour of a local coffee plantation and relax in thermal springs.
Facilities: The hotel has a large infinity pool, expansive terrace, informal piano bar and lounge, an indoor restaurant open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and a poolside terrace for outdoor dining. The spa has individual treatment pavilions for massages, facials, body wraps and scrubs and special treatment programmes for couples, outdoor showers, sauna and steam rooms. There are 3 Jacuzzi in secluded spots in the gardens, and a yoga pavilion for private and group sessions. Guests are welcome to use the facilities of the sister hotel next door, Nayara Hotel Spa and Gardens, which include several restaurants and bars. There is a laundry service.
Dining: Meals are eaten at individual tables in the restaurants and terrace.
Children: The minimum age at Nayara Springs is 18 years.
Health: Costa Rica has only a low risk of malaria.
Communication: There is WiFi internet access throughout the hotel, including in villas.
"Very expensive but very good! Service was excellent and the food always good. This is a 6 star resort! The rooms are of an excellent size and the personal plunge pool is a slight. The free laundry when travelling is very helpful. Could not fault it in any way."