This hotel was absolutely perfect for our honeymoon (and would be perfect for any trip). Everything about the hotel and our trip was absolutely perfect. The views from the hotel are spectacular and they are one of the few hotels in MA with direct access to the beach.
But what made our trip even more incredible was the unbelievably friendly, kind and helpful staff. While every single person deserves to be mentioned because they are all wonderful and helpful, there were two people who seemed to go even further above and beyond everyone else -- Ariel and Minor.
Ariel helped us with our bags when we arrived and was one of the "golf cart drivers" around the resort. From the moment we arrived, he made us feel like family -- chatting with us about anything and everything, giving us tips on things to do, talking to us about Costa Rican culture, and generally making us feel so warm and welcome.
Minor was our server for breakfast on the first day and for our private dinner on the beach on our last night. He was warm and friendly and we enjoyed chatting with him during both breakfast and dinner. He made our last night truly unforgettable. He also noticed a bad cough I had and went out of his way (without a request from me!) to make me a pot of his special tea with ginger, honey, and lemon. It was wonderful and truly made me feel better. More than the tea was the kindness -- the fact that he was so kind and caring to first notice I wasn't well and then to go out of his way to make me the tea. It was probably a small thing in his eyes but it meant the world to me.
It is certainly the staff that makes Arenas Del Mar a place that will bring my husband and I (and certainly many other travelers) back to Manuel Antonio and to this particular hotel. I cannot say enough positive things about every single person we encountered.
In addition to the incredible staff, the grounds are absolutely amazing. You feel like you are in the middle of the rainforest itself -- with lizards, monkeys, crabs, birds and tons of other animals within steps of you all the time. The daily breakfast was delicious and having breakfast by the pool overlooking the ocean was a daily highlight for us. Easy access to one private beach and one semi-private beach that connects to the main public beach was also a huge bonus.
I would recommend that you try a couple of restaurants outside of the hotel -- it's wonderful to get off the resort (though a bit difficult as you either need a car or you have to cab) and the restaurants are quite good. We went to Café Milagro for dinner once and coffee twice. Their coffee is fantastic and they have a cute back garden as well as a front patio where you sit and enjoy it. The dinner was also delicious. We also went to Mar Luna -- a beautiful place to watch the sunset, if you aren't there during the green (rainy) season as we were! We heard people saying lots of good things about several other restaurants, too, so definitely do your research on the options.
If you are going to Manuel Antonio, I would highly recommend this resort. There are a plethora of hotel options and it can be confusing and overwhelming to make a choice before you see the town, but once we arrived, I realized that we had made the best choice and was thrilled.
Thank you, thank you, thank you to all the wonderful people at Arenas Del Mar who made our trip and honeymoon wonderful, relaxing, and unforgettable! We will certainly be back!
- 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