San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

The full spoiling at Manuel Antonio’s Gaia

There are plenty of good reasons to stay at the 5-star luxury resort Gaia Hotel & Reserve in Manuel Antonio. The incredible rooms and breathtaking views, the astonishing level of personalized service, the amazing spa. But regardless of your expectations, one thing is for sure. 

“You are definitely going to be spoiled,” said reservations and sales manager Sandy Schmidt.

The adults-only hotel has taken the concept of spoiling guests and turned it into an art form with a firm commitment to service and luxury. The boutique hotel has only 28 rooms, but employs 60 employees year-round, dedicated to catering to your every need.

“Anything that a guest can possibly want, we either have or will go and get,” said food and beverage manager Marlon Fernández. “We want to have whatever it is the customer wants. If they want pizza, we will bring pizza.”

Each room comes with a personal concierge, tasked with giving each guest exactly what he is looking for. The staff will learn your name and they will remember where you’re from. The owners of the hotel take turns being on-site so that they can greet guests personally. From planning tours to arranging free transportation into town, the staff at Gaia will bend over backwards to make your stay as perfect as possible.  

Gaia Hotel 2

The deluxe suite.

Lindsay Fendt

While the service is what makes Gaia stand out, the amenities at the hotel are undeniably impressive.  The rooms are huge, the smallest being a 350-square-foot, one-room king, and the largest a whopping 2,000 square-foot villa with three floors including a rooftop patio.

The hotel has a full gym with personal trainers for hire and a comprehensive spa.  The spa offers 80 different types of massages, facials, beauty treatments and just about any other spa-related thing you can think of. Included in the price of the rooms is a mini-spa treatment, but, fair warning, 20 minutes under the hands of one Gaia’s expert masseurs will leave you wanting more.

The hotel’s simple, contemporary design reflects its motto, “the 5-star hotel without the attitude.” The interiors are luxurious and tasteful, but not ostentatious. Mostly, Gaia lets the scenery do the talking. Situated on a hill overlooking the ocean and approximately 12 acres of jungle reserve, the views from the hotel are breathtaking. Most of the rooms have a view, but everyone has the opportunity to catch a glimpse of paradise from the pool or the restaurant. 

Guests wanting more than distant jungle views can take a complimentary tour through the Gaia reserve. While the area does not have the same wildlife density as Manuel Antonio National Park up the road, it is not unheard of for a sloth or a squirrel monkey to materialize during a tour. Even if you don’t get to see animals, the knowledgeable guides will still give you plenty of interesting facts about the surrounding area.

Like most good things, Gaia comes with a hefty price tag.  A room runs between $270 and $1,200 a night depending on the season and type, but you don’t need deep pockets to enjoy Gaia in other ways. The spa is open to the public and offers competitive rates. 

La Luna, the hotel’s restaurant, is also open to the public. While the restaurant definitely has its share of expensive entrees, from 3-6 p.m. every day it also offers more modestly priced options, including fairly sizeable tapas for as little as $2.50.

With all of the luxuries and services Gaia offers, at the end of the day the only thing that matters is that each visitor leaves with a smile.

“No guest leaves without being satisfied,” said Schmidt. “Everyone is going to leave with a positive experience, even if that means we have to pay for them to go to another hotel.”

Going there:  

Gaia Hotel is located on the main road in Manuel Antonio. The hotel has a shuttle that runs between Quepos and Manuel Antonio National Park daily. The hotel can also arrange transportation from San José.  The rooms cost between $270 and $1,200 per night depending on the season. Visit for more information.

Contact Lindsay Fendt at

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