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Hotel Nahua 3.0

Tamarindo, Province of Guanacaste, Costa Rica

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Review Summary

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  • Budget-friendly hotel with above-average style
  • Walking distance to downtown restaurants, bars, and the beach 
  • Clean, well kept rooms -- some with full kitchens 
  • Beautiful pool surrounded by lounge chairs 
  • Popular health-food cafe, La Bodega, on-site 
  • Gracious, helpful owner who lives on the premises
  • Free Wi-Fi 


  • Rooms are dark and desperately need more lighting 
  • Hotel is located on a hill, guests will encounter lots of stairs 
  • Health Cafe isn’t open during the off season (May to November) 

Bottom Line

Both affordable and stylish, Hotel Nahua delivers more than the average mid-range option. Nahua’s 10 clean rooms have a simple industrial chic vibe with poured concrete floors and crisp white bedding. There’s an on-site health cafe, a beautiful pool, and free Wi-Fi, plus the hotel’s hands-on owner is always available to help guests during their stay. Hotel Nahua’s quiet location is ideal for travelers who want to be within walking distance of the beach and downtown Tamarindo, but don’t mind being slightly removed from the center of the action. Rooms could definitely use more lighting, and we wish the on-site restaurant was open year-round, but for the price, you’ll be hard pressed to find better value in Tamarindo. It’s worth comparison shopping with Hotel Pasatiempo across the street, which has warmly decorated rooms but is typically pricier.  

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Tranquil, hilly property that attracts all kinds of travelers 

Hotel Nahua is difficult to spot from the street -- its faded front sign is typically shrouded by leafy greenery. A tiny hill leads to the property's reception office, where the hotel’s owner, Gabriela, is always available to help guests with whatever they need. Up a few stairs from the lobby, the hotel’s 10 rooms are dispersed across the hilly property. The atmosphere throughout is quiet, save for the local monkeys who often swing through the trees. Nahua attracts all kinds of guests, from young backpacker types to older couples and families, but the atmosphere always remains peaceful. Even the property's pretty rectangular pool remains calm and uncrowded. Be sure to note that Hotel Nahua is located on a hill, so guests will encounter plenty of stairs across the property, meaning it isn’t the best option for those with limited mobility.  


Just off Tamarindo's main drag, close to shops, bars, restaurants, and the beach 

Located on a quiet side street, Hotel Nahua sits just off Tamarindo’s main drag. Due to the area's rapid expansion, many hotels, restaurants, and bars have popped up in the surrounding blocks, so guests don’t need to travel far for food and other necessities. Downtown surf shops and restaurants are within a 10-minute stroll, and there are several beach entrances within a five-minute walk, too.  

Tamarindo is a popular beach town centrally located along Guanacaste’s coast. It attracts year-round crowds with its incredible beach, plethora of surf shops, and international variety of bars and restaurants. Tamarindo is popular with young Americans and Canadians, particularly party-hardy backpacker types. The town is built-up and touristy, and some travelers find it inauthentic. (The area is so popular with North Americans that Ticos have taken to calling it “Tamagringo.”) The roads leading to Tamarindo are among Guanacaste’s best, so road trippers needn’t anticipate any problems along the major highways. The closest international airport is Daniel Oduber Quiros in Liberia, about an hour and 25-minute drive. 


Clean, spacious, and streamlined with industrial style -- some with full kitchens 

Rooms at Nahua have a streamlined, industrial chic vibe. Poured concrete floors and light gray walls give rooms a modern feel, and white bedding keeps the aesthetic simple and fresh. Tiny but stylish bathrooms are outfitted with round vessel sinks and glass-enclosed shower stalls. Most rooms have vaulted ceilings, which lends them a larger and more spacious feel. In-room amenities include flat screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, mini-fridges, and electronic safes. All units also have small front patios with plastic table-and-chair sets. However, one serious drawback to Nahua’s rooms is their lack of light. Rooms receive lots of natural light from their front and back windows and sliding glass entry doors, but when the curtains are drawn, rooms become dim, and the provided lights don’t illuminate well enough. 

Categories span from Double Rooms for double occupancy to Family Rooms that can accommodate up to six people. Plus Apartment units offer full kitchens. The Monkey Suite, located at the top of the property’s hill, has a gorgeous outdoor balcony where local monkeys often like to hangout. 


A small pool, free Wi-Fi, and a seasonal cafe 

While it's not loaded with features, Hotel Nahua does offer a few extras that enhance its charm. The pool at Hotel Nahua is a long, skinny rectangular shape and is surrounded by a patio and lounge chairs. It’s a quiet space that receives direct sunlight from morning until mid-afternoon, and it’s hardly ever crowded. Behind the pool is a covered patio that serves as a communal gathering place. Many guests hang out on the cushioned chairs and connect to the hotel’s free Wi-Fi, though it also works in the rooms. The on-site health cafe, La Bodgea, serves breakfast and light lunch, plus it stocks organic groceries. It’s popular with guests and locals, but unfortunately it was closed for the season during out visit. La Bodega only opens for the high season -- December through April. 

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