Nayara Gardens, Arenal Volcano National Park

Boutique jungle lodge Nayara Gardens really makes the most of its captivating surroundings whilst weaving in countless five-star notes. Think volcanic mud wraps at the spa and a sushi bar and lounge with rich Costa Rican influences. The authentic, airy casitas make for the perfect remedy after a day of tropical escapades and awe-inspiring views of the hotel’s pièce de résistance, the Arenal volcano, make an appearance whichever way you turn.


Like many of the best spots in Costa Rica, Nayara Gardens is fairly remote. A 3-hour drive from Juan Santamaria Airport, the hotel is situated near the rural city of La Fortuna in the northern inland province of Alajuela. Transport options are available from the hotel to take you to nearby La Fortuna where you can sample even more local cuisine and further immerse yourself in the Costa Rican culture.

Your room

50 spacious casitas and villas are scattered across the hotel’s expansive landscaped gardens and each offers a truly paradisiacal retreat. All overlook the volcano and are decorated in rich colours that complement the luscious green gardens and rainforests and the vibrantly coloured wildlife and flora. Just in case you need further persuasion, each casita also houses an indoor and outdoor shower, secluded garden, inviting hammock and jacuzzi for two. Sold.

Why we like it

Despite its remote location, Nayara Gardens pulls out all the stops to ensure guests have a truly luxurious experience. iPod docking stations, spa products sourced from the surrounding gardens and over 30 different wines are available at the Nostalgia Wine Bar, to name but three. Once night falls and birdsong ceases, take residence in your private Jacuzzi and look out for the plumes of smoke spiralling from the mouth of the Arenal volcano, listening to the chirruping of the rainforest’s cicadas. Total bliss.