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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 Values 2015
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
30 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“perfect everything”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2013

This is probably the most amazing hotel I've ever been to. The grounds, rooms, and beach are beautiful, quiet, and comfortable. There are tons of giant iguanas hanging around and at times troops of monkeys romping around (early in the morning, aka 6am, we saw about 15 monkeys swinging through the trees in front of our room then parading across the roof of the reception area and restaurant. I also saw an iguana literally steal a croissant from someone's breakfast table by the pool…although I think there was a little boy who set it out as bait and encouraged the iguana to come get it.
The staff here is SO friendly and accommodating. Yes, you need a golf cart to take you down to the beach (if your room is at the top of the hill), but there are always several at the reception area waiting to take you down. The beach is beautiful, private, classy (wicker beach chairs!) and there were always chairs available (even though the hotel was at capacity). The beach service and service at the restaurant close to the beach is pretty slow, but that's the only complaint I have about this place.
We stayed in an ocean view superior room in building seven (at the very top of the hill next to the pool/restaurant/reception area…there are 6 buildings that are planted going down the hill) which I loved because our room was on the top level and above all the other buildings so there was complete privacy (which lended itself quite nicely to naked sunbathing on our balcony!). The room was beautifully furnished and the mattresses were SO comfortable. While the room itself isn't huge, the wrap-around balcony with amazing ocean views was GREAT. There's a sink, countertop, coffee maker, mini fridge, comfy couches and a mini table outside on the balcony. They restock the mini fridge with fun local snacks and beverages every day…which is included in the price!
The food at the restaurant is good but the dinner menu doesn't have very many options for people who don't like seafood.
I was so pleasantly surprised by the fact that the breakfast, which is included, was NOT a buffet, but in fact you're given a menu with a ton of options, all of which are DELICIOUS.
I wouldn't recommend the spa because it's really expensive and my mani/pedi didn't last very long.
Also, if you're thinking of doing the candlelit dinner on the beach when it's offered, don't. It isn't well lit, there aren't very many menu choices, and there's fist-sized crabs running around (which I found to be terrifying). The service was also pretty slow for that meal.
All in all, this was the most amazing hotel I've ever been to. It definitely has the best location of all the other hotels in the area. I will totally be back one day!!

Room Tip: Go for the ocean view superior room. Totally worth the extra money. The view of the ocean was fabulo...
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  • Stayed March 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
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1,312 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 (416)
Date | Rating
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English first
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2013

We loved this place! Staff was extremely accommodating. Our "room" which was really 2 rooms with 1 large bath and 1 small one, was perfect for our family - including 2 teens. We had a large balcony as well looking out at the beach, the trees, sometimes full with monkeys, and partial ocean view. We loved being able to walk right out to the beach. (there are rooms up by the restaurant and main building as well). Food was good and concierge was great. So many things to do in the area and then come back and chill. Great vacation spot!

  • Stayed March 2013, 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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St. Petersburg, Florida
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 5, 2013

This was a wonderful place. We had capuccin monkeys playing outside our balcony and the waves crashing. The employees were kind and courteous. I honestly could have stayed forever. Only negative was that the menu wasn't exactly kid-friendly, but they seemed willing to modify anything to suit even picky eaters (such as my pescavarian, salad- and sauce-hating kid).

Room Tip: The pool and rooms further from the hotel lobby seem more child-friendly. There are stairs and no el...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
121 reviews
75 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 5, 2013

We booked this hotel solely because it is one of the few hotels, if not only, with direct beach access. We are so glad we chose this hotel! Although the ride into the property was a little scary, were pleasantly surprised upon check in. You really feel like you are in the middle of the rainforest. We saw many monkeys, sloths, lizards and birds during our stay. The rooms were large and comfortable. Breakfast was excellent...we especially loved the fresh fruit juices. Happy hour is great, as is the spa. We can't wait to go back!!

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 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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Escazu, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
142 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 110 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 2, 2013

From the moment we got to the resort we felt special :-) The staff knew our names before we even checked in!
The grounds are lush and green, the hotel is located on the beach and the rooms on the hill so you get the best of both worlds, beach and amazing views! The hotel concierge helped us with everything, including taking our bags to our room while we were at the beach enjoying lunch.
We were in room 502A which was amazing! It had a king size bed and a fold out couch the beds were so comfy!!! It also had huge balcony over looking the ocean with beautiful furniture AND a Jacuzzi tub.
The food at the restaurant was amazing every time and the service was wonderful too.
We really didn't do much other then relax at the hotel, we didn't need to go anywhere because we had everything we wanted.
The private beach was awesome! There was beach service as well which I rarely encounter, even at luxury hotels... Arenas served us on the beach without a fuss, in fact they were happy to help us in any way.
My friend and I really enjoyed staying here, she is from Seattle and this was a great costa rican vacation for her and a awesome staycation for me :-)
I plan on returning with my husband in May for a romantic getaway
Shout outs to the golf cart drivers: Robin, Brandon, Alexander and a couple more I forget. Wilber for showing us our room, the waiters Julio and William. As well as Andrea at the spa for a relaxing cappuccino scrub.
See you all soon!
Nicole & Jessica

Room Tip: all our great
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  • Stayed March 2013, 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
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, April 3, 2013
Dear cabobunny,
thank you for taking the time to write such a great review about your stay at Arenas del Mar Beachfront and Rainforest Resort in Manuel Antonio. We are happy that as a "local" you were able to show off the "best of Costa Rica" to your friend from Seattle. Thanks for all the nice mentions of our staff. This is very motivating and rewarding for them. You very well pointed out that at our hotel we have the best of both worlds: direct beach access and spectacular views. We think you could add to that the setting in the middle of the rain forest with great wildlife watching in your room or at the beach... the best of three worlds? We look forward to your return with your husband. This time of the year our resort becomes very popular with romantic travelers and honeymooners. Thanks again and see you soon.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston
Level Contributor
67 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2013

I’m 5 months late with this review, but I hope someone will still find it helpful. My husband and I had the best time at Arenas del Mar and we highly recommend the resort. From the food to the facilities to the photo ops, everything was wonderful and quite familial because we bonded with the staff and other guests. While there was no dearth of activities in the Quepos/Manuel Antonio area such as ziplining, fishing, etc, we wanted a stress-free, slow-paced and relaxing vacation, and Arenas provided the perfect environment.

The service was outstanding, as everyone was very accommodating and solicitous of our comfort, but never intrusive. From our shuttle driver Bernie to Priscilla and Laura, the masseuses for our couples massage, the staff sought to enhance our stay at Arenas. Most of the staff who worked directly with the guests spoke excellent English, and those who did not always had a smile on their faces, ready to find someone who did speak English if we had questions.

The food at El Mirador on site compared favorably to some of the better restaurants we’ve frequented. If you go with local specialties you will not be disappointed. My husband thought that his grass-fed tenderloin beef filet was muy delicioso. Another night, we shared a tamarind-glazed half chicken and loved that sweet-salty glaze, although the breast tended to be on the dry side. However our favorite standout dish was the Octopus and Avocado Cocktail appetizer. The octopus was tender and the lemon and olive oil marinade tasted so light and refreshing that I could not help drinking it from the martini glass in which it was served.

Breakfast, included with the room rate, was superb. Fresh juices, fruit and pastries were available every morning and all the selections we had were excellent. In particular, I could eat the unique, sweet and salty Costa Rican bacon every day to the detriment of my arteries. My only complaint would be that the coffee could be better, since we prefer our coffee strong like espresso or cappuccino. Ironically the decaf coffee was great since it was strong!

Our room was an air-conditioned Ocean View Superior room, which had an outdoor terrace with mini-fridge, microwave and coffee-maker. Although the room was a standard size, the bathroom was luxurious, with an enormous walk-in shower that gave the feeling of showering outdoors. Since our building was closest to the lobby/bar/restaurant we had a short walk to dinner, but a 5-minute walk downhill to the private beach, then uphill back to our room. Amidst the glorious trees, vegetation and monkeys jumping from tree to tree, we had no issues with walking and there was always a staff member who would take us in a golf cart if we really needed it.

At the private beach we could lounge on the chaises and read, take photographs of the idyllic setting and drink piña coladas or other alcoholic and non-alcoholic concoctions from Playitas, the casual lunch bar/restaurant set near the beach. One day we watched white-faced monkeys swinging from the trees and frolicking across the grounds in front of Playitas. Another day a staff member alerted us to a 2-toed sloth wedged in between branches of a tree near the beach. It was snoozing away, curled in a typical sloth-like position. In fact, we would never have spotted the sloths if the staff did not point them out. One morning after breakfast another staff member standing on the ground floor yelled “sloth” as a group of us stood on the 3rd floor balcony of our building. The 3-toed sloth was so close we could almost reach out, with the aid of a 10-foot ladder, and touch him. What a treat to watch him for the next half hour climbing ever so slowly up a limb, eat a leaf, climb down the limb and climb up another, eat another leaf, and repeat again. We drew a crowd as other resort guests came to see what we were watching. So close, and we would not have seen him, if the staff member had not alerted us.

Arenas del Mar is located perfectly with the jungle setting on one side and the beach on the other. We could return for another relaxing, idyllic vacation any time.

  • 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 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.
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 30, 2013

First time in Costa Rica and Arenas Del Mar made for a fabulous hotel stay. Everything was very clean and although it took a while to get acclimated to the tropical weather, the air conditioning in the rooms made it easy to sleep. The best part was the private beach where you can lay on a shady hammock or couch-bed right In front of the waves. The attentative staff will also bring you drinks and food right to you on the beach. The area is in th mountains and hilly so they drive you around in golf cart size electric cars in case you aren't up for the walk. Another hightlight was the naturalist guide, Ersel. He was really good at spotting the animals and like most of the staff nice to talk to and eager to help tourists understand the ways of Costa Rica. Amazing place I highly recommend.

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 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
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

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 Green Hotel in Manuel Antonio National Park
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Manuel Antonio National Park
#1 Spa Hotel in Manuel Antonio National Park
#1 Luxury Hotel in Manuel Antonio National Park
#3 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, our hotel has 38 rooms with exclusive beach and nature views, 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. As well, we are proud to be the first Costa Rican luxury hotel to have been awarded the Five Sustainability Leaf Award and a Five Star Award. With this stunning location and a myriad of personalized services, on-property activities and land and water-based tours catered for honeymooning couples and families alike, 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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