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“The worst part was leaving” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Arenas del Mar Beachfront and Rainforest Resort, Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

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Arenas del Mar Beachfront and Rainforest Resort, Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
4.5 of 5 Resort   |   Punta Quepos, Manuel Antonio National Park 311-6350, Costa Rica   |  
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Stay four - pay three
North Augusta, South Carolina
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“The worst part was leaving”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2011

My wife and I spent our honeymoon at Arenas del Mar and we weren't disappointed at all. When I planned it, I was looking for a place that was beyond just somewhere to sleep but also not the super-pretentious and stuffy luxury resort that keeps you locked up in their compound. I also wanted to find somewhere where my wife and I could experience the local culture, get to know the people, and get a taste of what life is like there. Arenas del Mar did just that.

We loved our room. It was quite large with a very comfortable bed. We stayed in an Ocean View Premium Suite. If you're lucky, you'll get the room we had: 703A. Everytime we mentioned which room we were in to the staff, they all said it was the best room they offer, and I couldn't agree more. The view was amazing, especially from our balcony hot tub. All of the facilities were great. The pools were well maintained and clean and offered great views as well. The main restaurant (for breakfast and dinner) was open air and had a delicious menu. The lunch restaurant near the beach was relaxed and comfortable (think casual beach front cafe) but still offered great service and menu options. The tours they offered were all enticing, and when you finally decided which to take, the arrangements were as easy as picking up a phone and letting the front desk know which you wanted.

By far, the greatest asset that Arenas del Mar has is their staff. Sorry if I misspell any of their names, but some need to be mentioned. Ersel was an awesome tour guide of Manuel Antonio. He offered great insights to the local wildlife and ecology and helped us appreciate where we were staying even more. Carlos was our waiter when I arranged for a honeymoon dinner on our balcony and he was great at making our evening special. Alexandra was always a joy to see hosting the restaurant and seemed to genuinely enjoy seeing us. Jeffery, I wish he could come here where my wife and I live and bartend at our local place. Always great to talk to and treated you like regulars, if not, family. There were many many more that made our stay there memorable. It was also great knowing that they were all local to the Quepos area and took great pride in their local heritage. It really was the staff that made our trip so wonderful. We hope to come back again someday.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,067 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (328)
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English first
Virginia, Arizona, Iraq
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2011

I am perplexed as to why this hotel is even in the top 5. The rooms were unremarkable. They were quite small and not very decorative, like the large and lovely rooms at La Mansion. The view was unremarkable, and we did not have a tub on the front porch. The resort was too large. You had to wait for a buggy to take you anywhere. The food wasn't good, and of course, the alcohol was watered down. I was mostly saddened by the quality of the rooms and the grounds after being at La Mansion. It is like day and night, which leaves me wondering how La Mansion got #11. I think the reverse should be true. The breakast bar was disgusting by the way. The pools were average.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
GuestserviceADM, General Manager at Arenas del Mar Beachfront and Rainforest Resort, Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica, responded to this review, August 1, 2011
Dear Sweet_N_Itchy_Feet,
Thank you for your review of your stay. We are sad to hear that we did not meet your expectations during your stay as everything seems to have gone wrong. We are surprised to hear this as we never got any feedback from you during your stay and we find your strong recommendations for a neighboring hotel in the are somewhat strange. But just like with all guest feedback, we will review our operations carefully and make sure we constantly improve the guest experience at our hotel.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Geneva, Switzerland
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2011

Beautiful hotel in a forest and overhanging the ocean. During the breakfast, you can watch monkeys and racoons. Verry nice staff. For the nature lovers, i definitely recommend to book an excursion in the NP Manuel Antonio, very close to the hotel.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sussex, England
Top Contributor
164 reviews 164 reviews
47 hotel reviews
Reviews in 63 cities Reviews in 63 cities
99 helpful votes 99 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2011

We stayed here for four nights in April to celelbrate my husband's 60th birthday. After emailing the hotel we decided to book an ocean view superior room. The views from our room were spectacular, the position excellent quite close to the main buildings which we wanted and we had a nice large balcony which we enjoyed. However the room itself was disappointing. There was hardly any storage for our clothes and we had only travelled hand luggage with minimal clothing. We had to keep most of our clothes in our bags which is never ideal and the whole room felt very cramped indeed, especially for the price paid.

On two morning as we had trips planned we requested an early breakfast which we were told was no problem and would be waiting for us adjacent to the restaurant. When we arrived nothing was ready and we were not expected, although the staff tried to get us our coffee and pastries etc as quickly as they could.

We so enjoyed exploring the beautiful grounds and forest around the hotel and seeing the wildlife. The hotel operates a buggy system to get around the site,. This would have been OK except that on two occasions we had a long wait for a buggy, on one occasion we waited over 15 minutes to get back from the beach.

We enjoyed our meals at the hotel and ate dinner in the restaurant each evening which was very good.

On the whole our stay was very enjoyable.

Room Tip: The blocks nearer to the main building/restaurant have the best sea views
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  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Apex, North Carolina
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2011

This is an amazing hotel! The grounds are like a wildlife park - monkeys and sloths were plentiful. The staff is what truly makes this hotel magical. They are genuinely warm and gracious in ever way possible. The hotel is very luxurious and beautiful with amazing access to two beaches also. I would highly recommend this hotel...... don't miss it!

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Riverhead, New York
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2011

Absolutely beautiful! We stayed here for the last week of our two week honeymoon in Costa Rica. It is the best of both worlds- the beautiful beaches and the rainforest! Monkeys, sloths, and wildlife everywhere! We loved everything about it and have no complaints! The food and drinks are delicious! The staff is friendly and warm! The whole place is well maintained and gorgeous! Thank you for making our honeymoon so memorable!

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2011

Our family of 12 (including cousins and grandparents) just spent 7 nights at this hotel and had a wonderful time. The rooms are pleasant with spacious decks, most which include hot tubs. Our room felt like a treehouse since our deck was surrounded by lush tropical trees and vegetation. Many times we spotted monkeys in the trees. We could also see the ocean through the trees. Beautiful! The rooms also have refrigerators that they fill with free snacks and water every day. They change up the snacks so that you don't get bored with them.

The best thing about the hotel is the staff, all of whom were very friendly, professional, and accommodating. They talked and joked around with us, helped us with anything we needed, and by the end of the trip we felt like they were our friends.

The food was very good (lots of fresh tuna and sea bass, delicious steak, good soups, and a kids menu that even my very picky 8 year old enjoyed). The pools are nice (but on the simple, smaller side) and it's one of the only hotels in the area where you can eat right on the beach (for lunch only - breakfast and dinner is in another part of the hotel, by a pool with a beautiful view of the ocean).

While we were at the hotel we had many animal sightings - monkeys swinging from tree to tree, raccoons (a couple of them actually opened up the door to our room and snuck snacks out of our fridge - make sure to keep your doors locked when you're not right there!), frogs, and even sloths.

The only complaint we had (but not enough to knock it down a star) is that it's kind of isolated - you have to take a car into town or to any restaurant other than the hotels (unless you want to walk a very long and steep road for at least 25 minutes, which is fun once in a while but not every time you want to go out). Since you're pretty stuck without a car, it would be nice if the hotel offered a free (or cheap) shuttle service to other places in Manuel Antonio, but it's $20 round trip no matter where you want to go, even to a taco place that takes only a few minutes by car! We were surprised by this - the car service would have been more money than the tacos at a place called Sanchos which we heard was great. We never went to Sanchos because we couldn't justify the car fee (we did go out, but to nicer places and with more of the family members so that we could split the car).

But other than the car fee, the hotel is very nice and I don't think anyone can go wrong choosing it for their stay in Manuel Antonio.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Arenas del Mar Beachfront and Rainforest Resort, Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

Address: Punta Quepos, Manuel Antonio National Park 311-6350, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Manuel Antonio National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Manuel Antonio National Park
#1 Spa Hotel in Manuel Antonio National Park
#1 Luxury Hotel in Manuel Antonio National Park
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Manuel Antonio National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Arenas del Mar Beachfront and Rainforest Resort, Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica 4.5*
Number of rooms: 38
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located within walking distance of Manuel Antonio National Park, Arenas Del Mar is an extraordinary beachfront and rainforest resort catering to travelers looking for more than the typical luxury hotel experience. Stunning, luxurious, and sustainable, this hotel has 38 rooms with exclusive beach and nature views as it is nestled in eleven acres of rainforest with private trails and two tree-shaded white sand beaches. Unique among the hotels in Manuel Antonio, our carbon neutral property offers sustainable, luxurious lodging—the first Costa Rican luxury hotel to be awarded the Five Sustainability Leaf Award and a Five Star Award. Arenas Del Mar is the perfect base for exploring on your Manuel Antonio vacation. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Arenas Del Mar Beachfront And Rainforest Resort, Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica Manuel Antonio National Park

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