FrontRunners August 2014: TRAVEL
Costa Rica’s once-bubbling Arenal Volcano may have run dry in recent years, but the geothermic springs it produces remain as warm as ever. Nayara Springs (www.nayarasprings.com)—a 16-villa resort set along a rain-forested ravine near the volcano’s base—is the Arenal region’s newest and most luxurious portal to the natural steam baths.
Opened in December, the resort shares several of its many hot springs with its nearby sister property, Nayara Hotel Spa and Gardens. Unique to Nayara Springs, however, are expansive villas outfitted with canopy beds, outdoor rain showers, and greenstone-lined plunge pools (fed by hot springs, naturally). The resort is also home to a spa, a poolside café, and a fine-dining restaurant.
Guests who venture from the comfort of their private sanctuaries can explore the nearby Arenal Volcano National Park, which is home to raccoon-like coatis, white-headed capuchin monkeys, and three-toed sloths. For a safari experience closer to home, Nayara Springs’ resident macaw, Carlotta, is a regular fixture at the resort’s two swimming pools.