From the time we arrived we were treated like royalty. The hotel is built on the side of a hill going down to the ocean, and our taxi took us down about half way on a tortuous road to the entrance, where were greeted warmly, provided with refreshing cold water. A three seated golf cart took us further down to the lobby, where we took care of the formalities. Throughout our stay, several of the staff assisted us with questions we had.
We were shown to our room, 602B, which is a standard sea view, no Jacuzzi (we don’t use them). Our luggage was already there. We had a clear view of the ocean, and could hear the surf clearly.
The bathroom is very roomy with a huge shower, a welcome change to the very small shower we had endured for our 7 day cruise from Panama (see my review of that cruise separately (coming soon). The sink was in a small counter, and the toilet was beside a bidet.
Of special note, the complimentary wifi was the absolute best I have ever experienced in a hotel at any price.
The bed was super comfy. There was TV, DVD player, remote controlled air conditioning and ceiling fan, and a sliding door leading out to a large deck overlooking the ocean. On the deck was a wet bar including a fridge with some complementary items in it. There was plenty of space for luggage, as well as a safe.
Near the lobby is a pool with beautiful views out over the ocean. Also a bar and a small gift shop. A small reading area is well stocked with books. The dining room features tables inside and a few around the pool. Breakfast (included) and dinner is served here. The area is visited frequently by large iguanas and white faced monkeys. Howlers were heard, and even seen once.
Breakfast was good, and lunch down at Playitas Beach was also very good. The special dinner on Saturday night (also offered on Thursday) was also very good. But the one dinner we had up in the regular restaurant was average. We ate out the third night, which was planned.
TIP: If you are here on a Saturday or a Thursday, definitely take dinner down on the beach. It is a wonderful setting and the food was really great. Tiki lamps lit the way to tables under the palms with little candles on them. My wife said, “Cloth napkins on the beach! How can you beat this?”
With a short golf cart ride, we were down at Playitas Beach, a small but beautiful beach at the bottom of the hill. The restaurant (and bar) here serves lunch, and on Saturdays and Thursdays, dinner as well, in a tiki lit beach area with outside tables. There is a pool here also. A security person is on hand to watch things, but the beach is a long ways from a public entry, so there are few non-guests. Showers and rest rooms are available.
While there were a few families here, it is most suited for couples. There are many restaurants within a short taxi ride. We ate dinner here twice, and lunch twice. We ate two meals out; El Avion, and Kapi Kapi, reviewed separately (coming soon).
This is really a special place. We saw lots of different birds, iguanas, and two sloths. The people here are very friendly and helpful with taxi’s, rides, advice, etc., as well as general conversation. They are quick to point out observed wild life. A very nice, relaxing, upscale place to get away from it all.
Pictures here are very representative of what you will find, so I won't add any more. Recommend whole heartedly.
- 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