This was our first trip to CR and we stayed at this gem for the first 5 days. We were completely blown away by this resort, the staff, the location, etc. We then stayed at Si Como No for 2 nights so we were able to compare two resorts in the area...
Staff - we cannot say enough wonderful things about the Arenas del Mar staff. The manager was very friendly and was often visiting with guests to make sure everything was perfect. All staff were accommodating, professional, friendly, and knowledgeable. Everyone was truly "at your service" and greeted you with a smile.
Food - although breakfast was good, we prefer a breakfast buffet over plated table service so that we can enjoy a variety of food on vacation. We never ate at the main restaurant for lunch or dinner. We did eat at Playitas twice and it was delicious. We loved the beachside dining as well as the beach service!
Drinks - happy hour was everyday from 5:30-6:30p and included local beers and cocktails with house liquor. There wasn't anything exceptional about happy hour for us as most of the guests did not come and the drinks were not overly strong. We loved the beach service for beer/cocktails during the day.
Location - the prime location and "private" beach is what sets this resort apart. There are no private beaches in CR but this is as close as you will get because it is quite a hike for non-resort guests. The majority of resorts in the area are high on the cliffs which offers a great view but you have to shuttle to the beach. There are golf carts to take you around the resort which is necessary because the steep hills. There is also easy access to another beach which you can walk down to the Manuel Antonioni national park. Do not expect to be able to walk to other restaurants, bars, etc from the resort.
Amenities - there are two pools although we did not see anyone use the one near the lobby/restaurant. The pool was refreshing but nothing spectacular. But you don't notice when you have the beautiful beach nearby! We stayed in building 2 which was very near to the beach and our room was great. We especially loved the balcony for morning coffee (delicious!) and watching the monkeys, lizards, etc. There was always plenty of lounge chairs at the beach which was a nice as we've experienced issues with availability at other resorts in the past.
Miscellaneous - wireless Internet was available in the room which was great. The local staff's knowledge of the rainforest was incredible and almost every interaction/golf cart ride was a mini tour! Don't be afraid to ask questions. Taxis (or the hotel van) are a must to/from this resort as it is a hike from the resort to the main road to catch a city bus. I would bring a small, soft-sided cooler on our next trip so that we could purchase our own beer and bring it to the beach. The resort overall was very, very quiet, even in the restaurant/bar areas, we would have loved a little salsa/merengue music to add to the ambiance. There were only 2 children at the resort, it was mostly couples.
We would definitely stay here again in the future and recommend this to anyone staying in the Manuel Antonio area. Our entire experience was excellent!
- 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