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“A Little Piece of Heaven on Earth” 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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Denver, Colorado
1 review
“A Little Piece of Heaven on Earth”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2012

Just returned from a stay in Costa Rica; we planned a beachfront visit at the end of an adventure trip. Arenas Del Mar was the perfect capper to an awesome experience! The grounds are clean, stunning and sparkling; the staff charming, well-informed, and eager to help. The hotel clings on the cliffs overhanging the sea and abounds with wildlife. Sloths, howler monkeys, and iguanas are common sights. We stayed in an Ocean Breeze Suite in Building #5, waking every morning to the crashing of the waves and sweet breezes. It's well-worth the cost for a cushy suite! The staff members make an effort to learn names and preferences are are absolute joys as people. The restaurants are plush; at the beachside Playitas nothing beats being served a delicious meal at your table that is literally ON the beach! They are justifiably proud of the resort's exceptional strides toward ecological sustainability, and made our stay a truly memorable one. I would LOVE to be so lucky to stay again at this exceptional resort - Bravo!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 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
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1,006 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    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 (307)
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English first
Mexico City
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2012

The first thing that comes to my mind when thinking on Arenas del Mar is great service, eventough they have all other features covered (facilities, location, food) they truly go an extra mile to make sure your stay with them is pleasant (e.g. we were a bit late for our flight back to San Jose and as soon as the girls in the lobby noticed this, they prepared a whole, yummy breakfast to take with us on the way to the airport -fruit, juice, coffee and recently baked bread).
Being located right in the middle of Manuel Antonio Park, you will have access to one almost private beach (Playitas) and to Playa Espadilla Norte as well as to the exhuberant rainforest and nature just getting out of your room. To make the experience better, hotel's food is great, healthy and tasty!. The other most shocking fact about this hotel is their real committment to sustainability and to people. I guess the reason why guests feel so welcomed is because staff is truly happy working there. The team is like a family and it is refreshing and inspiring to see how they are treated (we were lucky enough to share the 5th anniversary toast and celebration with the staff)... Están haciendo un excelente trabajo equipo de Arenas del Mar, les agradecemos el servicio y atenciones recibidas durante nuestra estadía (Alfonso y Rosa, de Mexico)

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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
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Tamarindo, Guanacaste, Costa Rica
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2012

One of the most beatifull hotels arround the all cental pacific if you want to enjoy of most famous and amazing flora y fauna of the area comming together with the most high quality level of personal service that you can get!!! ..they have also the most delicious meals you can think about everything was just great!!! The staff just became a great friends with me, they are just an unforgettable people that make you spend an unforgettable experience during all your stay there!! And if you also enjoy surfing this is a great place to do it, really good waves all the time and also many other great beaches nearby to surf that you can visit just to try othes really nice waves arround the area!!! So much thanks to all of them for giving me one of the most memorable times i ever had!!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
    • 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
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Philadelphia PA
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2012

Full disclousure: I've met the primary owner two times at cocktail parties over the past 12 years. We went there at his suggestion. I have no financial interest in this and this is our (my wife and me) true opinion of this resort:

We had an absolutely wonderful time at Arenas Del Mar this week! We don't normally take a "beach vacation" and it was great to have such a relaxing, beautiful and hospitable place to be, with no deadlines or stress.

Your staff deserve high praise. They were lovely, competent and dedicated, and struck the perfect balance between being attentive and respecting our privacy. One of our servers,Yahaira, was especially delightful, as was David. They really took care of us, as did Laura in the Spa. They said that they all feel the management treats them very well, and in turn it makes them want to do their best for the guests. We also had an absolutely wonderful young tour guide, Roger, who took us through the national park along with a Swiss couple; he was so knowledgeable and a great ambassador for the country. All of them worried that their English was not good enough, but we found them easy to understand and eager to converse. There were others who were also excellent, but I am unfortunately not remembering their names. Last but not least, David Calderone (driver from San Jose) was great! He gave us a nice "tour" across the country on our way back to the airport.

The room (really a suite) on the beach was one of the best I've ever been in. Especially fun was the daily show as the monkey tribe came through the trees right in front of us!

I have been asked by numerous friends and neighbors about the resort, and at least one family is going to investigate visiting over Christmas. The website is great and I've passed that link along to them.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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
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Lafayette, Colorado
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2012

Stayed at Arenas del Mar and loved it. Our room overlooked the ocean and it was huge! Loved the jacuzzi in the balcony and relaxing on the lounge chairs listening to the sound of the waves.
The Tico Bar (free minibar filled with Costa Rican specialties) was a really cool touch.
Had lunch on the private beach and it was great. Of course, had the ceviche.
Did the sustainability tour at the hotel (free) and it was really interesting to see all the things the hotel does to be green. It was fun to get a behind-the-scenes view.
The hotel is quite removed from the main road so you'll have to take a taxi if you want to go into town but that also adds to the experience!
Saw monkeys on the trees bythe pool: cappuchin and ti-ti plus lots of iguanas.
Overall a great place to stay!

  • Stayed October 2012
    • 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Westerly, Rhode Island
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2012

Arenas del Mar was not our originally planned central Pacific hotel, but after being drastically disappointed by our first destination (see Clandestino Beach Resort review), we made a quick decision to travel further south to Manuel Antonio National Park. Frustrated by our first pick because it had awesome reviews on TripAdvisor, we selected a "Fodor's Choice" on a whim and hoped for the best. The staff was pleasant and helpful. Being the off-season, we were lucky to book a room on such short notice (with a great deal!). We ended up with a suite which included a living area, private porch with a beautiful ocean-view and two-person jacuzzi, as well as the most comfortable king-sized bed I have ever slept in. We slept with the glass doors open with screens that latched so animals couldn't sneak in, and fell asleep to the ocean waves and jungle sounds. Service was unbelievable, as every staff member greeted you with a smile and asked what they could do for you. Golf cart rides were convenient being the hills are very steep, even to walk. Both beaches were beautiful and abundant with wild life. We saw lizards, crabs, tropical birds, monkeys (a lot of monkeys!), armadillos, and raccoons. We did have a few crabs in the room throughout our stay. Good thing I wasn't afraid of them and easily escorted them back to the outdoors. Latches on the screen doors were necessary since we were on the first floor and the raccoons tried to break in several times a day. I liked the animal visits so it didn't bother me at all. The couples massage we booked at the spa was amazing as well as reasonably priced. I can't rave enough about the food!! Breakfast is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. They have a complementary breakfast, and the first meal of the day is traditionally a large meal in Costa Rica. You get coffee, fresh fruit juice, fresh cut fruit, 3 different types of breads that change every morning, and a main meal (like pancakes with bananas and cashews). So good. It was my favorite meal of the day. We also had lunch at Playitas Snack Bar and the hotel restaurant multiple times and loved everything. It's so fresh. The grounds are beautiful, food is tasty, and the service is wonderful. I can't wait to go back.

Room Tip: Upgrade to a suite. It's so worth it.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Cayuga S, Manager at Arenas del Mar Beachfront and Rainforest Resort, Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica, responded to this review, November 20, 2012
Dear
Warm greetings from Arenas del Mar and Manuel Antonio. Thank you very much for your nice and detailed review of your recent stay with us. We are happy that we were able to turn things around for you on your Costa Rican Vacation. Thanks for pointing out all the great hotel features as the comfortable king size bed, the Jacuzzi with a view (yes, you are right it is worth the upgrade to a suite) and especially the food. I am sure your comments on the wildlife that is very present at our resort as we are located in the rainforest next to two secluded beaches will be very helpful for future guests. We are glad that you can’t wait to come back. Your positive feedback is a great motivation for all the staff at Arenas del Mar. Thank you very much.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Yardley, Pennsylvania
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 2, 2012

Imagine following a winding road, uphill, through tropical flora and fauna, feeling the warm embrace of the air, listening to the sound of birds calling and inhaling the scent of the ocean…. at the top of the hill, you come to an oasis, tucked away and so beautifully constructed that it fits naturally into it's surroundings…that describes my introduction to Arenas Del Mar! Arenas Del Mar is a sumptuous paradise of a resort with onsite access to two lovely beaches, a swimming pool, spa and two tasty restaurants. I was fortunate to be there the week of a chef event with Chef Chip Roman of Philadelphia and got to enjoy three exciting evenings of specially prepared meals. Each meal highlighted local flavors and spices including fish caught in the morning by Chef Roman himself! Aside from the meals prepared by the Chef, the food was delicious. The dining areas are outdoors with beach views (so you don't miss a moment of the splendor surrounding you!) and are well covered and easily converted in case of inclement weather. The menus are short and sweet focusing on serving fresh local fare.

It is apparent that every inch of Arenas Del Mar was perfectly planned taking into consideration the natural beauty of the area. The entire hotel was built with sustainability in mind and just flows into it's surroundings….the Iguanas, Sloths, Capuchins, etc. clearly are not disturbed by it's presence! I stayed in a room with a breathtaking ocean view that felt like a secluded bungalow and included a spacious bathroom with a magnificent shower and an ever useful bidet. The staff at Arenas Del Mar is outstanding…genuinely gracious and incredibly accommodating. I inquired about local yoga classes and within an hour was scheduled for a private class right there at the hotel! Almost anything you desire is yours for the asking and when you leave you will feel like you truly have new friends.

I visited during the "green" season and was so thrilled by the whole experience that I was undaunted by the rain. The warm tropical air made it comfortable enough to get out and explore…to hike through a rainforest, go ziplining, visit a local town, etc. The trip was a superb escape that left me with many fond memories. I'm looking forward to visiting again someday!

Room Tip: Note that some rooms have jacuzzi on their balconies while others do not...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 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 2
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 ( Wi-Fi ) 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
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Manuel Antonio National Park
#2 Luxury Hotel in Manuel Antonio National Park
#2 Spa 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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