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See the Wildlife at Gaia Hotel & Reserve

Posted: Sep. 25th, 2008  |  By James Rothaar
Luxury Hotels: The idyllically inspiring tropical haven of Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica, is enhanced immeasurably by the presence of the award-winning Gaia Hotel & Reserve on Quepos Beach. The lavish adults-only boutique hotel is in a setting that includes a private rainforest, a backdrop of volcanic mountains, and the Pacific Ocean. The exotic blending of a rainforest into a five-star luxury resort makes the Gaia H&R a venture of exotic pleasures and adventures for discerning vacationing adults.

Amenities and pleasantries are ever flowing, as guests are welcomed heartily with in-room food and drinks upon arriving. A personal concierge is assigned to each guestroom to ensure ultimate satisfaction. The personal concierge is a signature service of the Gaia that savvy visitors will utilize to their full advantage for citywide preferential treatment.

There is so much to do that a little help in coordinating and navigating comes in handy. A tour of the Manuel Antonio National Park is a must. It is the area's main attraction with sights and adventures to see and experience for days. Scuba diving, snorkeling, deep-sea fishing, sea kayaking, river rafting, surfing, and parasailing are some of the water-related activities available, while horseback riding along the beach, mountain biking or hiking through mountain-range trails are additional adventures to experience. For those inclined toward a somewhat slower activity level, there are canopy tours, dolphin tours, and sailboat charters too.

Welcome to the jungle! Formerly known as the Jardin Gaia, the hotel's vast private nature reserve was a refuge of extraordinary ecological proportions from 1989 to 2000. What began as a botanical garden transformed into a nature reserve set up to foster the continuance of the indigenous animal and plant life. Although the official project is closed, the garden remains hallowed grounds continuing to serve as a preservation station for the flora and fauna of Manuel Antonio. On the lighter side, the sighting of the local squirrel monkeys is a daily delight for guests from their terraces.

The resort's restaurant, La Luna, serves up a diverse continental menu with distinct local flavors and accents. The Terra Spa at the Gaia, which looks out into lush foliage of the garden, features an array of soothing body treatments for both couples and individuals. There also is a full gym with personal trainers and yoga classes. There are two large swimming pools on the premises-on different levels-that are connected by a waterfall. All that is Manuel Antonio, the volcanic mountains, the city, and the Pacific Ocean, can be seen from the pool area.

There are seven levels of guestrooms at the Gaia that range from two-bedroom villas with 2,000 square feet of living space to studio-level guestrooms of 350 square feet. The two-bedroom villas are palatial with a living and dining rooms, three flat-screen televisions, a Jacuzzi for four, two home entertainment centers, Internet access, two sofa beds, a mini bar, and natural wood and stone floors. There are two terraces, a bedroom terrace and a 500-square-foot rooftop terrace that looks out onto the reserve and the Pacific Ocean.

The Gaia Hotel & Reserve's pedigree is easily researchable. Manuel Antonio's only bona fide five-star accommodations is a member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World and listed in the prestigious Condé Nast Johansen hotel guide. The Gaia also is the 2007 and 2008 World Traveler Awards winner as the Leading Boutique Hotel in Costa Rica, and the 2008 winner of the Leading Green Hotel in Central America. CNN Headline News featured the Gaia as one of the newest hot spots for A-list celebrities and jetsetters.

The white sands of Quespos Beach and the blue waters of the Pacific Ocean make Manuel Antonio a destination extraordinaire. The accommodations at the Gaia Hotel & Reserve make it all even better.

For LxM James Rothaar
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