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“Highly recommended” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel San Bada

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Hotel San Bada
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Next to Manuel Antonio National Park Entrance | Manuel Antonio Beach, Manuel Antonio National Park 6350, Costa Rica   |  
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Columbia, Maryland
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Highly recommended”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

We just returned from a lovely stay at Hotel San Bada. The hotel is larger than hotels we typically stay in, however, as it was not at full occupancy we still got the quiet and relaxing experience were looking for. Our room was spacious and beautifully located on the 4th floor with a spectacular view. The hotel is in a perfect location for Manuel Antonio National Park and for the beach, there are plenty of restaurants and bars nearby and also a shuttle bus into Quepos if you want to travel further afield. We found all of the staff at the hotel very friendly and helpful. As other reviewers mentioned, some public areas of the hotel were a little shabby but I put this down to the unforgiving climate in Costa Rica and as everywhere was spotlessly clean I did not find this a problem.

San Bada may not be the cheapest hotel in the area but it is worth the extra expense for a first class experience.

Room Tip: Higher floors have a better view of the jungle, ocean and sunsets.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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.
SanBada C, Manager at Hotel San Bada, responded to this review, May 25, 2013
Dear Guest!

Thank you very much for staying at our Hotel and for sharing your experience with others in this forum.

We are glad that you enjoyed your vacations in our Hotel and that you experienced the pura vida friendship from our staff.

Thanks for choosing our Superior Room, for other tripadvisor readers, the Hotel have 4 rooms categories, standard, superior, deluxe and suites. For the travelers that choose standard rooms with garden or jungle view (ocean view can be appreciated up at the terrace bar, or rooftop pool open for all guests), the superior rooms have partial ocean view, deluxe and suites have full ocean view.

In May we are doing our annual maintenance work to satisfy all our guest needs and new improvements for the comfort of each guest that stays at our Paradise!

Thanks again a lot for your kind words and we hope to host you again in Paradise!

Sincerely,

Your friends at Hotel San Bada
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402 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (123)
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Chicago, Illinois
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 12, 2013

We just returned from a disappoining stay at Hotel San Bada. I was suprised to hear that the hotel had been opened just 2 years ago as the run down appearance of the room, pool and common areas led me to believe the hotel had been in decline for many more. This is clearly a managment issue as the staff was obviously not well trained for servicing guests and maintaining the property. We were awakened in our room by maintenance staff at 8am who decided to loudly work on roof outside our room.

Pros
- Proximity to park & beach
- Polite staff
- Breakfast included
- Rooftop deck and pool

Cons
- Shabby maintenance of pool, rooms and common areas
- Service at pool was nearly non existent. Why have a swim up bar if you are not going to staff it properly?
- Gym was in state of disrepair- ladder set up in middle of room, exposed electical box, air conditioning not turned on so it felt like a sauna
- Walkway to beach feels like walking thru the slums
- Happy hour on 6th floor included only a few select drinks and were half the size of the drinks served in the restaurant
- Fridge in rooms so loud it awakened us throughout the night
- Low quality/lumpy mattress

I am confused as to how this hotel could have possibly received positive reviews considering the high end rates. Absolutely not worth the cost!!!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SanBada C, General Manager at Hotel San Bada, responded to this review, March 24, 2013
Dear lisaod725,

Thank you for your feedback! We apologize that you did not experience the personal touch and enchant of our Hotel.

We appreciate your time for the points mentioned in order to improve, however there are certain points that we feel are not accurate. Your comment regarding our staff and certain things with the maintenance work is unfounded or lacks of basis, we think that this review was written with the purpose to harm instead of been a constructive feedback.

Let me explain you why we sustain our position, our staff is well trained by different Costa Rica tourism specialists schools, most of our staff have from 10 to 15 years working in top notch hotels in Costa Rica, daily we perform our operations meeting with the head staff of each department, and more important all the staff working in San Bada feels happy and proud to work in an environment of good principles and values.

As mentioned in your review, you said you were awakened by our maintenance team, well this point is very important, as it contradicts your comment that the Hotel is run down. According to certain periods of time, we have to work with the maintenance, depending on the weather and the availability of the rooms. That day our maintenance team, start working at 9:30 (not at 8:00am) and they stopped immediately when you reported the noise.

Also it is important that you have to consider that we are next to Manuel Antonio National Park, that means that each hour many leaves fall into the property and pool, we have one person in charge of the daily pool cleaning and maintenance, but it is impossible to restrain leaves to fall into the pool and the pool attendant to dispose them all right away. In the other hand, our poolbar hour is from 10:00am to 6:00pm, open daily, we are not sure why you found it closed, or even not reported this issue to us during your stay.

At the time you entered to the gym, our maintenance team were there installing an air con, that is why there was a ladder, and the noise you “hear” at the room. That was put there for a specific purpose and we are particular intrigue how you looked the ladder if your still were at your room awakened.

With the fridge we put in your room a bigger fridge than normal, to give you more space to keep things refrigerated, however we do feel sorry that our good intention was the opposite.

Anyway thank you for your time, and we appreciate your kind words regarding our location, staff, breakfast (costarican typical buffet) and the most amazing rooftop deck, pool and Bar in Manuel Antonio, with incredible ocean and sunset views. We want to apologize again and express you that we always give our best and honest effort to satisfy all our guests and share a remarkable experience at the most beautiful beach in Costa Rica!

We want to tell all our Tripadvisor readers that if there is a way we can make your stay better, we kindly ask that you inform us while you are in the hotel, as we are more than happy to accommodate you in any way that we can.

Warm regards,

Your friends at Hotel San Bada
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Toronto
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2013

Visited March 1-5th, as a couple new to Costa Rica. After staying at other hotels later on in our trip, I can confidently say that nothing compares to hotel san bada! We were delighted with the value of our trip - $1008 USD for a 4 night package with national park tour & catamaran tour for 2 people (transport included).

What set's it apart from the others:

1. The staff were incredibly attentive and positive - they helped with special requests to fill coolers with ice, always had a friendly smile, offering towels etc. Upon arrival they were expecting me by name, saying "hello, I'm the one who arranged your transfer! welcome".

2. Special details - entering our hotel room we discovered complementary fruit dish in the fridge!

3. Amazing spa! With great value compared to some of the other spas/resorts we looked at, a 50minute massage was $65 inclusive of tax. we had a couples massage in a stunning room, looking into the jungle with beautiful silk pillows around.

4. By far the LARGEST most impressive pool in all of manuel antonio. It's got a wickedly fast slide, waterfalls worthy of "sports illustrated swimsuit issue" photo shoots, and if that isn't enough, the 6th floor adult pool is great area too!

5. Rooms were well appointed with beautiful bathrooms that had waterfall shower head! Compared to the other bathrooms we came across in costa rica, the cleanliness, lack of mold, and size were impressive. Just a note - pretty much everywhere in costa rica, the plumbing system is not as developed as north america, so you are aksed to put toilet paper in trash basket beside the toilet - a bit odd to get used to.

6. Complementary breakfast each morning was amazing! Buffet was always well stocked, with rotating options (ham, bacon, sausage on different days etc). The omelet station was delicious - they work so hard over the hot pans, don't forget to tip! From local food (rice, plantains etc), to the more typical options for picky north americans/children (yogurt, cereal, toast), you are totally blown away! Breakfast served 7am-10am, but they are ready a bit earlier if you need to head out early for a tour etc.

7. Proximity to beach is great! Understand that there are no real "on the beach" hotels in manuel antonio, but this is the closest. There is a little alley way connecting the property, along a 3 minute walk to the beach. Not ideal in dark night, but fine during the day. The view you get from the 6th floor of the coast is spectacular, so instead of other hotels that are perched in the cliff with serious hike to the beach, you get a view and proximity!

8. Meals are huge and delicious! The appetizer salads are a legitimate meal for an adult. Most full entrees can be shared between 2 people. We LOVED the carbonara pasta (surprisingly this dish was really good!), shrimp, fish taco (note this is a HUGE taco, really more of a salad because a bit hard to eat), the chicken wrap with onion rings for lunch.

9. Filtered water by the first floor elevator was a life saver! While we regularly drank normal tap water, it was greatly appreciated to have a place to easily fill water bottles for our time away from the hotel. It was cold, saved money, and was nice touch.

While our time at San Bada was perfect, I would say there are few considerations you should know when staying there:

Despite being popular dry season, the hotel wasn't too busy. While this was great for a few quiet moments, it would have been nice to see a few more young adults around - we were bombarded with a tour busy of elderly Israeli tourists for one night, but otherwise there were no more than 2-3 couples within site at any time around the resort. During happy hour on the 6th floor deck we visited 2 times and didn't find more than 1-2 people having a drink - not quite the social atmosphere we were hoping for. But music was great, staff always present and fresh towels handy whenever needed.

Also, the 6th floor lounge area had a great view, and very well appointed wicker furniture/cabanas however the cushions were regularly wet due to rain and very faded. It would have looked stunning when the hotel first opened, but since then the climate has caused the deck to severely peel and faded the cushions. Again, relatively small items, but when everything else is so excellent things like that tend to stick out.

I would ABSOLUTELY go back to San Bada - and recommend it for groups of all sizes/interests. It's the largest, most advanced and trustworthy option in manuel antonio. And it's 15 feet from the national park entrance!

Room Tip: We were 3rd floor and couldn't see the ocean through the trees, but this wasn't an issue. I...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
SanBada C, General Manager at Hotel San Bada, responded to this review, March 27, 2013
Dear Guest!

Thank you for your recent stay at our Hotel and for your detailed review on our property. We are glad that a lot of travellers will find it useful. We do appreciate the good words and we will consider the areas where we can improve.

We appreciate a lot the 9 points you mentioned in your review:

1. Our attentive staffIf highly striving for customer service.
2. Special coplimentary surprises for guests staying longer.
3. Our spa considered the most beautiful spa in Manuel Antonio.
4. Our family pool with waterslide, cascades and wetbar, 400sqm of fresh water, and our adults pool located at the 6th floor of the Hotel with impresive ocean and sunset views with a bar service.

5. Despite our location right next to the jungle of Manuel Antonio National Park, we are pleased to know that you found your room clean and lack of mold I(which is a hard thing to do specially at Manuel Antonio, with all the vegetation surrounding the Hotel). Each bathroom has a tub with shower head for all the needs, and in our Suite Rooms you will find jacuzzi tub.

6. Our complimentary buffet breakfast has a variety of options, refill of coffee and juice, "breakfast is the most important meal of the day".

7 LOCATION!! along with the service are the two most important advantages that our Hotel has in contrast to others, based in our daily guest experience, we have many happy guests onsite because they would not imagine that when we sell our location right next to the National Park entrance and close to the public beach, we really mean it, and that enables all our guests to walk during their vacations to the attractions rather than driving, paying for taxi, or taking a shared bus. You will enjoy your vacations comfortable and without worries.

8. FOOD!! Thank your for your kind words. Yes we are proud of our chefs they are the most skilled and experienced in the area, besides our menu they can cook any special requests our guests might have, our philosophy is delicious food at great honest prices.

9. As part of our enviromental sustainable program we invite guests to use less plastic botles and instead we provide for free a dispenser of water where they can refill with their own liquid containers.

Thank you very much again for staying with us! and we hope to see you again! In the meanwhile, we are more than happy to assist you.

Warm regards,

Your friends at Hotel San Bada
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Durham, North Carolina
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 6, 2013

Hotel San Bada is in a very convenient location, right next to the entrance to the Manuel Antonio National Park. It is also within walking distance to the local shops and restaurants, in addition to being a 5 minute walk from the beach. The hotel room was very nice, with all amenities. The staff was very friendly and helpful. The restaurant was not wonderful, but acceptable. There are better places to eat within walking distance.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SanBada C, Manager at Hotel San Bada, responded to this review, March 10, 2013
Dear Guest!

Thank you for sharing your experience with others in T.A. and for your recent stay at our Resort!

We are proud that you enjoyed your vacations and you loved the fact that our Hotel is right next to Manuel Antonio National Park and 150mts walking distance from the beach. We hope next time your experience at Congo Restaurant will be wonderful.

Thank you again for your time and we hope to host you again in the near future.

Warm regards,

Your friends at Hotel San Bada
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape May Court House, New Jersey
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 6, 2013

Stayed at this resort hotel w/ my buddy for 2 nights during our trek up and down the Central Pacific coast of CR. We wanted to wing it on this trip so we asked a local bartender on the beach in MA for a referral and he pointed us towards San Bada. Western/beach facing rooms are pricey @ $300/night but we wanted a view & amenities. We got just that. Keep in mind that most "beach front hotels" in CR are set back a bit from the ocean, especially in Manuel Antonio. We had a 5 minute walk to the beach, but the elevated views from our 10th floor room were stunning.

The hotel seemed quiet during our 2 days there. There are 2 pools. The rooftop pool is small, but has a private bar that caters to adults and has ample seating and gorgeous views from the top of the hotel. It's definately a couples locale & view since some of the many seats are chaise lounge chairs/cabanas. You won't find many other comparable views of the sunset in CR than you'll find at this resort. La Mariposa in MA & Vista de Olas in Mal Pais (Guanacaste province) are similar, but this view is equally beautiful. The main pool is sprawling and includes numerous waterfalls over faux caves. There is a large concrete slide and overarching walkway, hot tub & pool-side swimup bar. The only negative here is that I'd be careful using the slide. My buddy & I both tried it twice and the quick turn in the structure can flip you over which can give you whiplash. I was kinda shocked at how scarey this slide was since it's super quick. If you're not spry enough to flip yourself over, avoid the slide at all costs. It's not the smoothest ride at the end :(

The staff & amenities set this hotel apart from most. The front desk staff & maids are 5 star all around. The maid knocked on our door the first night to give us candy. I don't care if you're sucking up....the effort alone is a bonus in my book. Customer service is #1 w/ me since I run a service business.

Overall, this is a large & beautiful property in MA. The entire staff are awesome! The roof top pool bartender made us the best LI Iced Teas. We saw him again at breakfast and he was equally as friendly with handshakes & hugs. Great location at the base of the national park & along the breathtaking Central Pacific Coast!

Room Tip: I think all rooms are ocean front, but if not....don't settle for anything less :)
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SanBada C, Manager at Hotel San Bada, responded to this review, March 10, 2013
Dear Guest!

Thank you for your great review and for staying at our Resort!

We appreciate your kind words praising our staff service and overall our Hotel amenities and facilities. Our priviledge location door to door to Manuel Antonio National Park and close to the beach, lets our guests to enjoy their vacations more freely walking and not worrying about driving. Also our location enables guests reserving Superior (partial ocean view) or Deluxe room (full ocean view) the most incredibles views to the ocean... Also for other rooms we have a deck on the 6th floor open to all the guests with the best ocean views, an aerial pool and snack bar.

The slide is the greatest attraction in our family pool for kids and adults, we appreciate your feedback and we will let other guests to use the waterslide by first reading carefully our waterslide instructions.

Thanks again for your great review, and we hope to host you again in the near future!

Pura vida!

Your friends at Hotel San Bada
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Kingston, Canada
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2013

Dear Travelers,

This is quite a place. My son and I stayed on Feb. 24 and 25, 2013.

Adrianna at the front dest was very kind and efficient. She advised us of their fine restaurant and many others in town. She also let us know about the Quepos parade that was the highlight of our trip.

The manager on duty, Cristian, was extremely helpful in sorting out an error made by Visa on my account. He went out of his way to ensure prompt correction.

These two fine people made our stay perfect.

The hotel is beautiful and quiet. The rooms are huge and spotless. The location is excellent.

Thanks,

Room Tip: DId not use spa.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
SanBada C, Manager at Hotel San Bada, responded to this review, March 10, 2013
Dear Guest!

Thank your for your time and letting others know your recent experience at our Resort!

We are happy that our staff were helpful and attentive during your stay, we strive to provide the best service possible to all our guest and we are glad that at this time we did our job smoothly.

Thanks a lot for mentioning the priviledge spot where the Hotel is located, we do feel happy that all our guests enjoy its convenience by walking to the public beach in a matter of couple minutes or visiting early in the morning after breakfast the National Park for a short walk or laying there at the beach all the day.

We hope to see you and welcome you back in the near future!

Sincerely,

Your friends at Hotel San Bada
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, Colorado
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2013

We stayed at Hotel San Bada for a week and had an excellent time. The hotel provided excellent service. Our room was on the second floor and looked out onto the park. The staff did an ourstanding job in making us feel welcome, like we were old friends. In particular, Leo, Maykel, and Juan also stopped to talk to us and make sure we were enjoying our stay.

The hotel provides an excellent breakfast every day. We also had lunch and dinner. Service and food were great.

We booked several excursions for zip lines, rafting, and a tour of the national park through the hotel. All three were outstanding. If you plan to go through the park, make sure to get a guide. The zip line company, Mid-World, did a super job, and I would recommend using.

Make sure to head to the rooftop and watch the sunset. Incredible views. Juan will take care of you. Try his mango margaritas. Yumo. If you plan to go to the beach, make sure to look for Alejendro. He will set you up with loungers and an umbrella.

I cannot say enough about how hard the staff works at San Bada to make sure your stay is nothing short of perfect. I've read previous reviews about low water pressure/lack of hot water. This was NOT an issue, in fact the water pressure was better than home.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
SanBada C, General Manager at Hotel San Bada, responded to this review, March 30, 2013
Dear Patrick!

Wow! First of all we want to thank you for nice review and for the amazing photo of the sunset from our rooftop posted and shared with other Tripadvisor readers.

We feel very thankful by our guest’s comments, and particularly the photo you uploaded made us think that in effect we are working in Paradise!

Thank you for sharing with others that your experience during your stay at our Hotel was fantastic, for pointing out our staff initiative to strive for great customer service, for our delicious CostaRican buffet breakfast, and for the Perezoso Bar, located at the 6th floor with ocean and daily sunset views!

We are happy that you proof to others that the water difficulties we had in the past are something inexistent, and that more important we are still using greeheat, which uses the heat generated by the air con, to heat the water, in one word we are doing our job to help the nature and being sustainable.

Thank you again for your comments and we look forward to welcoming you back in the future.

Sincerely,

Your friends at Hotel San Bada
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Additional Information about Hotel San Bada

Address: Next to Manuel Antonio National Park Entrance | Manuel Antonio Beach, Manuel Antonio National Park 6350, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Manuel Antonio National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#6 Spa Hotel in Manuel Antonio National Park
#9 On the Beach Hotel in Manuel Antonio National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel San Bada 3.5*
Number of rooms: 67
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hotel San Bada brand new Hotel located right next to Manuel Antonio National Park entrance, and a few steps to Manuel Antonio Beach, Costa Rica.Rooms with National Park jungle and ocean view balconies. Discover the wildlife from your balcony and listen to the ocean. The biggest pool in the area with water slide, waterfalls and a pool bar. A private pool for adults at the terrace, with ocean and jungle view, perfect sunset spot! Our amenities:-Restaurant-Access to the public beach-Pool bar-Power generator in case of electricity shortout-Elevator-Biggest pool-Kids pool-Adults pool with ocean view-Snack Bar-WiFi-Free spacious parking, no driving needed once you are at the resort, everything is in walking distance. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel San Bada Costa Rica/Manuel Antonio National Park

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