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“Great hotel - great stuff - great location” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Arena Blanca

Hotel Arena Blanca
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Hotel Arena Blanca
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   150 meters east off the end of the beach, Playa Carrillo, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #7 of 7 Hotels in Playa Carrillo
17 reviews 17 reviews
13 hotel reviews
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
“Great hotel - great stuff - great location”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2009

We stayed in the Arena Blanca Hotel in Playa Carrillo for 4 nights at the end of our Costa Rica trip. We have seen so many great locations and also some other hotels and lodges on our tour by car through this lovely country. But this combination (location, stuff and hotel) was the best of all at all events.
The first impression when arriving in Playa Carillo is the long, wide, coconut-palm-lined and lovely beach. There never have been more than 5-10 people on this beach on working days. It´s the right place to simply relax and enjoy the sea.
The hotel is located a few hundred metres away from the end of this great beach. Teo junior and his team are friendly and helpful hosts. They try to make your stay as perfect as possible. If any question appears (eg. re recommended trips, restaurants, bars, ...) or if you want to reserve a trip or something like that (eg. sea turtles watching) Teo always is the right guy to talk with. The breakfast is delicious aswell. The rooms are clean and roomy. We recommend this hotel and location warmly to everyone visiting Costa Rica and Nicoya Peninsula!!

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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6 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    2.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2009

We are a Norwegian family of four, mummy, daddy and two boys – aged 9mnths and four years old. We travelled in Costa Rica for five weeks. Our first stop was Samara, and thanks to bad planning and good luck we ended up at the Arena Blanca and stayed there for two weeks (28th of December – leaving 9th of January).

We arrived with plane, (Sansa Airlines), landing at Carillo beach. The owners daughter Carolina picked us up, and later on drove us to Samara for shopping (mummy had forgotten her bikini..). We were totally jetlagged and overwhelmed, babies crying and on top of all we managed to loose Carolinas phonenumber. As we were searching desperately for a taxi she just came driving down the road, like an angel, and picked us up. She just thought she might check up on us. Coming to Arena Blanca that night felt like coming to a safe haven.

We loved the place from day one. It’s a perfect place for a family with small children. The hotel is built so that everything is within sight. The staff is wonderful – creating a friendly atmosphere and giving our children a lot of attention. We woke up at sunrise every morning, hearing and seeing all the tropical animals, monkeys, iguanas, birds, gekkos. And the dog Max was a nice and friendly attraction in itself.

The restaurant was great and the food was lovely. The bar was also a nice place to hang out, for both grown ups and children! The hotel is seated close to the beach, but the dirtroad was not suitable for a pram, so Carolina drove us down there every morning and picked us up at lunchtime. The beach was perfect with the palms giving shadow for the hammocks that Steven puts up for the guest from Arena Blanca. Steven serves cold beer and sodas and he even made us a coconut drink directly from the tree.

One of the main attractions of the area is turtles nesting and hatching. Teo and his wife drove us to one of the beaches, and we actually saved little turtlebabies from the sun. It was a great experience. Arena Blanca also recommended us a combined fishing and whale-watching trip which we went on. We caught a nice mackerel and even got to see a whale close up.

All in all we had a fantastic time at this place that is a really good buy!! Arena Blanca is a beautiful hotel, but it is Teo the owner, his family and the staff that makes it truly special.

  • Stayed January 2009, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Arlington, YX
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2009

We spent a week with Teo (the owner) and staff, and had the most wonderful time you could imagine. My wife, daughter, and family friend and her two children spent two weeks in Costa Rica, we flew into Liberia, and got a shuttle bus to take us the two hour drive down to Playa Carillo. From the minute we arrived at the Arena Blanca, they treated us like family, showed us around town. Teo, would load the 6 of us in his Trooper, and run us up the mountain to watch the sunset, pick us up in town, after a shopping excursion.. he even took us out to Mel Gibson's beach, and spent a couple of hours watching us play in the sand. I can not speak highly enough of the staff at the Arena Blanca either, truly wonderful, always helpful, friendly, and just the nicest people you could ever meet. The hotel was nice, not fancy, but quite comfortable, and clean. They even gave us an extra room at no charge for our two teenage girls traveling with us..

Security while not obviously needed was impressive at the Blanca, Max the hotel boxer pup , checked us out on arrival. and then kept a close eye on the place at night. (the girls loved playing with him as well) The gates to the outside were locked when the bar closed down.

This is not the place to go if you are looking for nightlife, occasionally the hotel bar would be busy with locals and friends of Teo, but for the most part its a quiet hideaway spot. Carillo is one of the most beautiful places in the world, but it is quite isolated and remote, two or three small dining places, one shop, and a few houses. Great for just watching wildlife, howler monkeys, sea turtles, crocodiles, and birds birds birds......

Back to the hotel, the food was fantastic, and freshly prepared at all times. "Typical Food" is the standard Costa Rican cuisine, and is wonderful. The Arena Blanca does it fantastically as well, the fish is awesome, steaks delicious, and chicken wonderful. Morning started everyday with Gallo Pinto, a delicious mix of rice and black beans, seasoned with the only Costa Rican condiment Lizano sauce (we have become addicted, and make it most Sunday mornings around here) Great pancakes, eggs, steak, sausage, bacon.. and the most flavorful fruits possible.. We never made it for lunch at the hotel, but dinner every night became a treat we looked forward too.

If you ever want to get away from the world, and see one of the most beautiful places on earth. Try Costa Rica, and if you want to see the real Costa Rica, you must try the Arena Blanca.

Thanks Teo!!!!

Ron M
Arlington TX
Stayed July 08

  • Stayed July 2008, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Arena Blanca

Address: 150 meters east off the end of the beach, Playa Carrillo, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Playa Carrillo
Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 7 Hotels in Playa Carrillo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel Arena Blanca 3*
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hotel Arena Blanca is situated in Playa Carrillo, in the province of Guanacaste, scarcely 150 meters from the beach. Carrillo is one of the cleanest and most beautiful beaches of Costa Rica; it is a place where you can find peace and relaxation. Howling monkeys, iguanas, deer and birds singing accompany your breakfast, lunch or dinner in our restaurant with international food. On the weekends you can enjoy live music at the bar. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Arena Blanca Guanacaste, Costa Rica

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