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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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Warwick, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Resort full of Charm”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 2, 2013

I recently stayed at the Arenas del Mar and was totally captivated from the moment I arrived. This hotel has worked hard to gain a good reputation as one of the best hotels in the area, if not Costa Rica. It is small and spacious with only 38 rooms all located within the rainforest. My third floor room, overlooking the beach, felt as if it was in the treetops. At night I could hear ocean waves lapping and in the morning I was awakened to the melodious sounds of the tropical birds.
The service is superb, all the staff goes out of their way to help you and have a vast knowledge of the local fauna and flora. Gabriel and Rodbin were especially helpful as was Jonathan one of the managers. The food is fairly simple and all a la carte, my favourite place to eat was on the beach. There are also a number of restaurants outside the resort. The Spa is well worth a visit, especially if you choose their 'in house' massage.
This is an Eco-tourism resort and situated in its own private reserve. All types of monkeys, sloths and birdlife can be seen amongst the lush tropical trees. There is a small private beach, which leads to an expansive beach, where you can take a 30 minute walk to the Manuel Antonia National Park., alternatively you can take a taxi for around £5 ($8).This hotel is not for people who want a lively holiday - it is quiet, romantic and unpretentious.If you have problem with climbing hills they have golf buggies to take you to your room, however request a room close to the reception if you are worried.
This is a charming place to visit and a way to enjoy the best of Costa Rica's Eco-tourism and friendly hospitality.

Room Tip: Third floor, overlooking the ocean
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
    • 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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1,017 reviews from our community

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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 (311)
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English first
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2013 via mobile

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!

Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Keller, Texas
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2013

We stayed in an Ocean Breeze Superior room for 5 nights. Both the room and bathroom are quite small. No bath tub and just a single sink and small mirror. We had just come from a very spacious suite at the Nayara in Arenal and I won't lie my husband and I were both disappointed with the room at the Arenas. We thought about upgrading to a bigger suite but realized that would be an addition $200 - 300 more each night. The good news is that the bed and linens were very comfortable and we were able to get a great night sleep and the room was always very clean. Breakfast was great but we were never informed that they don't start serving until 7am which is a problem when you are booked for early morning excursions. We were told after the fact that we could "pre-order" a breakfast if we needed one earlier. So we did that for the following day to eat at the bar @6:30am. 6:30a passed and no one was to be seen at the bar. Finally a front desk staff member inquired if they could help. They passed along the information and someone from the restaurant came to the bar looked around the register and found our "pre- order" still taped to the keyboard. Food came out @ 6:55 we inhaled it and left for our excursion @7 am. Both the upper and lower pool have beautiful views but the upper pool had a total of 5 lounge chairs and the lower pool 2 lounge chairs. Do they not want people hanging out pool side? The pool towels provided were something you would find at a Hampton Inn not a "Deluxe" hotel. The sad thing is no one even used the upper pool, probably because of the lack of chairs and service. The afternoon we used the upper pool we were never offered food or beverage service. My husband would go to the bar each time. Again not the service you expect when you pay for luxury. Service at the beach/lower pool was better but the 2 chairs were always occupied so we had to settle for club chairs located in the shade under the trees. Dinner was very good and we absolutely loved Luis! What a pleasure it was to meet him!The resort is located in a remote part of the coast on a hill side so it requires golf carts to get around and all of the drivers were great! Brandon & Rodbin were our favorites. Very helpful and always looking to make sure you were enjoying your stay. The resort is lovely with beach access into town but access to anywhere else requires a cab or private car and you will pay about $5 - 10 each way to access some of the other local restaurants for dining. The beach walk is a great way to get into the "beach "part of Manuel Antonio and probably a 20 minute walk to the entrance of Manuel Antonio National Park.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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
    • 4 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, February 8, 2013
Dear,
Greetings from Manuel Antonio. Thank you for your review. We appreciate your candid feedback as well as your praise for our staff members and your appreciation for the beauty and privileged location of our hotel. In Costa Rica you will find most rooms to be much smaller in beachfront and rainforest locations (like Manuel Antonio) than in the center of the country (like Arenal) where most hotels are built former pastures. We are working on some changes in the configuration of the rooms to make them more spacious and comfortable. Many guest that are into the outdoor adventures and beach experience, often choose those more economical rooms and others that plan to spend more time in the room, splurge and go for the suites. Our website has good descriptions on what room fits with what kind of traveler interests. We are happy to hear though that you enjoyed a good night’s sleep and that you found the rooms very clean and comfortable.
We are very sorry about the service failure for your early morning breakfast. That is an operational mistake on our side and will be corrected immediately. The lack of beach chairs at the pool happened during the holiday season due to the fact that we had many families stay with us and they were moved to the beach to accommodate our guests there. As of today, we have added enough additional beach chairs so that problem has been solved. We are happy that you enjoyed your dinners and we agree that Luis is a delightful person working in our restaurant. He will be very happy to hear your nice comment about him. Thanks for pointing out the ease of getting to the National Park by walking along the beach. An important benefit of our great beachfront location. Once again, we apologize that things were not 100 percent during your stay, but we are happy to hear that you enjoyed your vacation and hope to have you back with us in the near future. That will be our opportunity to make up for some of the glitches and truly exceed your expectations. Thanks again
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nj
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2013

I almost hate to write this because I want to keep this place the hidden gem that it is! I've stayed in places, good and bad, all over the world and this place ranks right up there near the top. Everything, from the staff to the grounds to the beach were spectacular. The rooms, however, were otherworldly. Just over the top. So good that I actually tried to book an extra day but couldn't get the flight changed.
My only reason for not giving it 5 stars was the food. While the breakfasts were great and lunch was delicious they dropped the ball on our dinners. I had to send my surf and turf back and my son was less than thrilled w his filet. They were very apologetic and took my meal off of the bill w out my even asking and the service was great at all meals.

Room Tip: The A rooms are amazing! B's are smaller but still very nice.
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  • Stayed January 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2013

We stayed for four nights and had a great time. We had a spacious sea breeze room right by the beach. The beach is pristine and pretty much exclusive. The whole hotel is spread out in its own tropical rain forest with golf carts for the weary to get around. The restaurant, whilst sometimes a bit quiet, has an amazing view out over the bay and is way above the standard of the rest of the town. I cannot recommend it enough.

  • Stayed December 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orlando
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2013

Wonderful hotel by the ocean! Amazing service! We had an apartment to ourselves and we were by the beach. Lots of wildlife around, great food. Loved the views from the restaurant area. I think the best place in the Manuel Antonio area!

Room Tip: 2 distinct areas - down by the beach or up near the restaurant/activities, depending on which you ar...
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Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
new york
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2013

Arenas del Mar provided luxury amenities, ideal location, and superlative service. Book your stay here with confidence. The hotel has a philosophy - learning, connection, experience, and relaxation, and it delivers! My husband and I stayed for three nights.

LOCATION: This is the ONLY hotel in M.A. with DIRECT BEACH ACCESS. Other hotels provide "shuttles" to the beach, and bring you to the busy center of town to access it. At Arenas del Mar you can walk out of your room and onto the beach. It's the most northern end of the long chain of beaches in M.A. so it's pristine and quiet, and you can walk the entire length of the beach if you wish - into town or even into the national park. I love the beach and water, so for two days we walked the entire length of the M.A. beaches, stopping at times and negotiating for chairs and umbrella, usually for two hours (US$6.) It was ideal. The section of the beach that the hotel fronts is lovely, and you can just stay there, where the hotel provides chairs, tables, an infinity pool, and an outdoor restaurant. You don't have to "pack up" to go to the beach! Request a room at Playitas Beach.

SERVICE: You are an individual at the hotel - it has only 38 rooms, and a staff of nearly 100! I don't need someone to fluff my pillow and keep my water glass full, although of course they do. The high level of service emphasizes CONNECTION, one of the hotel's goals. You get to know the cart drivers, the waiters, the tour guides, the receptionists. They will share with your their knowledge and love for their country. If you are interested, you will get to know about their families, and their dreams for the future. We opted for the free "tortilla tour". With Roger you go to the outdoor, covered staff cafeteria, and make tortillas with the staff "Mama", Dona Lisa. Then you enjoy them with her, your guide, and whichever staff members are around. What a lovely way to make a connection. Another example of service: When we checked in my husband mentioned that he likes tamales for breakfast. Laura our host said that tamales were not available for breakfast, but if my husband likes tamales, she'll get some. We had forgotten about it, and then one afternoon after an long day on the beach, we returned to our room, went to mix a drink, and there in our room refrigerator were four gorgeous tamales! We had them for dinner on our balcony.

LEARNING: It seems as if everyone is a naturalist. We asked our lunchtime (at Playitas Beach Restaurant) waiter William what type of tree we were sitting under. Not only did he identify the almond tree, he bent down and picked up three big pods - one immature, one maturing, and one with an almond inside!

RELAXATION: With perfect location, impeccable service, making new friends, and learning about your environment, relaxation naturally follows. We had a perfect stay at Arenas del Mar, and we believe that it's THE hotel of choice in Manuel Antonio.

Room Tip: Request a room on Playitas Beach for easiest beach access, an infinity pool, and outdoor restaurant.
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  • Stayed January 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 2
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, January 25, 2013
Dear
Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! We loved your review of your stay at Arenas del Mar Beachfront and Rainforest Resort. You really understood what we are all about. Finding that symbiosis between Luxury and Sustainability through the concept of Experience, Learn, Connect & Relax. We hope your review inspires many future guests to take part in the activities that we offer and connect with the local culture. Oh, and thanks for mentioning the part on the only hotel in Manuel Antonio with DIRECT beach access. We hope you come back soon.
All the best,
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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 Spa Hotel in Manuel Antonio National Park
#1 Top resorts 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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