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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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Green Season Value
Bethesda, Maryland
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“The Best of the Best”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 21, 2012

We have stayed at Arenas del Mar three times and have already reserved our room for next year. Arenas Del Mar is an exceptional resort located between Quepos and Manuel Antonio National Park. The resort overlooks the ocean with two beaches. The staff is extra-ordinarily attentive to guests, and they go out of their way to help guests in all situations.
The best guide (Roger is numero Uno) and best driver (Bernie is numero Uno) have eagle eyes and can spot just about any type of wildlife you wish to see. Definitely ask for them if you go on a tour. For us the best tours are Hacienda Baru, Rainmaker (where there are also hanging bridges), and the early morning bird tour with Roger.
We have found over the past few years that the Manuel Antonio National Park tour is not worth it compared to other tours. The park is overly crowded with one group of people there just for the beach and others for birds and wildlife. It is unbelievable the numbers of people making noise while others are trying to bird watch. There is nothing that you can see at the park that you would not see on the three tours I mentioned above.
All of the waiters/waitresses provide excellent service although we do have an affinity for Luis. Minor, William, Yahaira, David, and Amparro are close behind. Ramero and Diego, two trainees with years of experience at other restaurants, were also extremely helpful.
The reception area staff, particularly Alan, Sergio, Lara, Alexander, Romdben, and so many others treated us as if we were royalty.
The restaurant, Mirador, provides a variety of food. The Tuna Tataki appetizer and Casado with Sea Bass were extremely good. The tuna poke for lunch is also very good.
Introduce yourself to the staff and get to know them as it will pay off.
The only fault we have with Arena Del Mar is that they eliminated their breakfast buffet a few years ago. They still have a variety that you can order from the menu, which is all included in the price. The buffet was great because it allowed us to have only exactly what we wanted, and as much as we wanted, which was fresh fruit every morning.
Nevertheless, the place is great, and you will not be disappointed.

Room Tip: splurge for the premium ocean view with hot tub.
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  • Stayed December 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 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.
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875 people have reviewed this hotel

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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 (249)
Date | Rating
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English first
Chicago, Illinois
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 20, 2012

This was our first stop on a weeklong trip to Costa Rica. WOW, this place is amazing. The property is gorgeous, a mini paradise tucked in the rainforest. The rooms are beautifully appointed, very comfortable beds, a/c, lovely bathrooms and porches and they give free internet and international calls which is unheard of. The service is great and were very helpful in choosing day excursions. The restaurant and bar are in a lovely setting and the food in large part is quite good. We had two dinners and a lunch at the hotel. Lunch was actually our favorite meal with the Tuna poki. The private beach at the hotel is wonderful, warm water and a nice secluded area. Manuel Antonio is a very touristy town and quite built up but at Arenas you have no idea what is going on. It is a quiet paradise, I can not say enough good things about it. We would love to return.

  • Stayed December 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 Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Brookline, Massachusetts
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 15, 2012

Like many reviewers, we were in Costa Rica for our honeymoon, and were sent to Arenas del Mar as part of a package tour. And like many reviewers, we found it to be the absolute greatest location we visited during our trip.

From the bed (a Simmons Beautyrest World Class, if you're wondering - the best I've ever slept in) to the food (breakfast > lunch > dinner) to the drinks ($5-6 normally, 1/2-price at the bar from 5:30-6:30pm) to the people, everything about Arenas del Mar is *the best*. There's nature all around you: the beach is steps from your door (a rarity in Manuel Antonio), there are animals everywhere you look, and the waves gently lull you to sleep at night. The water is warm and inviting, the sunsets are gorgeous, and everyone seems to want you to have a good time. It was without a doubt the best way for us to end our honeymoon, and left us craving more.

Be aware that howler monkeys may wake you early in the morning. But that's the price you pay for spending a few days in paradise.

Room Tip: There are no bad rooms.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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.
Doylestown, Pennsylvania
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 15, 2012

A lovely, (eco-friendly - proving that being eco conscious doesn't mean you have to give up on comfort, nor amenities; it's all about choices) piece of perfection! What an exceptional place, with an exceptional staff to go along with it! The restaurants were excellent, right down to the beautiful presentation of the entrees on the plates! I love seafood and veggies, my husband is a steak and potatoes guy, and we were both extremely pleased by the many varied choices on the menus. Each morning, breakfast came with a delicious selection of local sweet breads, and local fruit. Lunch: (I loved the veggie wrap!) was beach side, and delightful! Dinners were of the five star caliber, and the staff was knowledgeable and friendly (loved them!). Our trip was in early November and the weather was perfect! Sunny mornings, that sometimes would wind down with a soft relaxing tropical shower. Aaahhhh...what a nice end to the day. Ours was a romantic getaway. We were looking for a quiet little spot by the ocean, where we could unwind, enjoy quiet dinners, walking on the beach and taking in as much, or as little, of any "touristy thing to do" that we wanted. This was such a perfect choice for us!! While we didn't feel the need to leave this relaxing and romantic oasis at all, we did take in zip lining (although, I was terrified... it was thrilling; I'm sure that it helped that my husband was so at ease about it), and a tour of the nearby national park. Both trips were extremely enjoyable and well run, and we were glad that we did them. The staff at the front desk was always eager to help us in the planning and booking of these excursions, and the staff as a whole was always readily available to help us with anything else that we needed. We can not say enough wonderful things about them! Our room was extremely clean, comfortable, and spacious. We had a wonderful deck (with a tub) that overlooked the ocean allowing us to be lulled by the sound of the waves as we slept. Another exciting aspect of our trip was seeing quiet a bit of wild life right on the resort grounds. During our stay, we had regular sightings of white faced monkeys, Iguanas and various other lizards, two and three toed sloth (one mother sloth had her baby tucked tight to her belly - such a wonderful thing to see), and one morning revealed the tracks of a female sea turtle who had a very special task to accomplish before heading back into the sea. Our stay was special and so was the staff. (Ask Danny for his signature cocktail "Danny's Fruity Passion" Delicious!) We really got to know them and appreciated their commitment to making our stay so memorable. We look forward to coming back, with our teenage kids, on a family vacation - I'm sure that trip will involve white water rafting and other equally exciting activities. This is now "our" getaway destination, as a couple, and I'm sure, will prove to be a destination of choice when we getaway as a family.
Also worth mentioning - the grounds of the resort are extremely clean, and extremely safe.
To the Staff: Thank you for a wonderfully memorable vacation!
Sincerely,
John & Rochelle (Rachel)

  • Stayed November 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 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.
Maryland
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 13, 2012

I cannot say enough about the overall excellence of this property. It is comfortable, beautiful and brings you amazingly close to nature. My 10 year old son and husband loved playing in the waves of the Pacific while I could relax on the shaded part of the pristine and uncrowded beach. We all enjoyed the pools and the food. Sloths, monkeys and lizards abound. We really did not need to leave the property; we saw more animals and got much closer to them then we did going to the National Park! The food was great and the STAFF IS TREMENDOUS! I have never stayed at a place where people were so genuinely kind and considerate. This is true for everyone we met in Costa Rica. It is a special place. It was so great to see the staff as excited about seeing the animals as we were. Costa Rica is a place to be proud of and the unpretentious way the residents show that pride is really touching. I want to especially thank Elaine at the Front Desk. She was poised, perceptive, attentive and took such good care of us. She is a treasure. Everyone working in the restaurants were also just so wonderful. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

Room Tip: The large beachfront rooms are absolutely perfect. Wonderfully huge balcony with a deep jacuzzi and...
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  • Stayed December 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
College Station, Texas
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 4, 2012

This eco-property is in an excellent location with great views and great service. We were very pleased with the quality of the staff at the hotel (all from local communities) and the food was consistently first class. The rooms were very comfortable with great views of the ocean. Recommend the rooms with a bath on the patio.

Notably: The locally-sourced coffee was very high quality - could taste the difference.

Room Tip: Recommend the rooms with a bath on the patio.
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with friends
    • 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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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, December 7, 2012
Dear kingjn,
Greetings from sunny Manuel Antonio. Thank you for your concise and to the point review of Arenas del Mar. We are happy that you enjoyed the very privileged location of rainforest and beachfront access. You are right; the rooms with the Jacuzzi tub on the patio are the best. But most importantly, we are happy that you had a great service experience with our local staff and that you enjoyed our locally sourced food. We just expanded our hydroponics program. Thanks for the great comments on the coffee. We source it at another hotel of the Cayuga Collection of Sustainable Luxury Hotels and Lodges – Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation Inn located near San Jose. It does make a difference to buy from small, local organic roasters. We hope to have you back with us again soon. Happy Holidays.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tempe
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 3, 2012

12 of us recently stayed at Arenas del Mar for a week and every one of us left delighted with our experience. I was personally impressed with the eco-friendly features of the property. The General Manager, Robin, gave me a tour of their recycling/composting area and nursery. The rooms themselves are super comfortable. Everyone raved about their bed - I normally have a horrible time sleeping but could hardly keep my eyes open after my head hit the pillow.

I noticed one of the other reviewers complained about the hotel being remote from the road and parking lot. This is one of the best features of the hotel!!!. Upon entering or leaving the property you always encountered wildlife - howler monkeys, sloth, white faced monkeys, Halloween crab, raccoon, guinea pig like rodents, huge iguana, jesus christ lizards....we saw more there than at the national park.

My absolute favorite thing was the Playitas (little private beach). We spent several lazy days lounging on the wicker chairs, sipping fruity drinks and playing in the waves. Nothing can quite compare.

Room Tip: Rooms in 700 and 600 are closer to the front desk, restaurant and bar and are much more convenient...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
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

Also Known As:
Arenas Del Mar Beachfront And Rainforest Resort, Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica Manuel Antonio National Park
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
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Manuel Antonio National Park
#2 Luxury Hotel in Manuel Antonio National Park
#3 Romantic 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*
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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