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“One of the best hotels in Manuel Antonio” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Arenas del Mar Beachfront and Rainforest Resort, Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

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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 Value
Broomfield, Colorado, United States
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“One of the best hotels in Manuel Antonio”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2013

Our family (including children 9 & 10) stayed here at the end of March. Unfortunately, that was Spring Break time AND their local holiday (4 day weekend over Easter) and the areas are packed with people. Our hotel was not 'packed' even though it was full but the staff were very worn out after weeks of having their peak travel period. That didn't stop them from being wonderful but there was one server and one restaurant (on the beach) that took longer than even Costa Rica time :)

This hotel is one of the very few ON THE BEACH. Most of the rooms though are higher up on the cliff. But they have staff on golf carts to take you everywhere - if you need it. While the walks are not long, they can be steep especially depending on your location. This also means that this hotel is not easily accessible to other spots in Manuel Antonio. You would have to walk a very steep incline of a half mile to get to the main road. That keeps many folks inside the resort or relying on other transportation. I was very glad we had our own car! But even then, it is not just a walk to your car! When you check in, you park your car and THEN they take you by golf cart deeper into the resort.

The hotel lobby is open air and has a nice bar. It looks out to one of the pools (pools are small but still great) and to the breakfast restaurant. There is a tiny gift shop which carries things you can get on the main street for twice as much (of course). The hotel has a 'spa' but it really is only a couple of massage rooms. They were lovely and overlooked the ocean and the staff there was awesome - but don't expect a large fancy spa. My kids even got a 'Nemo' massage for $45 each. And yes, they charge you everything in dollars :)

The staff is just amazing. They all get to know your names and will call you by name throughout your stay. They will do anything you need and with a smile. Nothing is a 'burden' because they are there to be at your service.

The hotel is VERY safe. They have guard posts, especially at the beaches to make sure only hotel guests are using the facilities. While they can't prevent anyone from using the beach, they do keep an eye on who is using the beach chairs and hammocks so there were plenty to use. At the main beach that has the beach restaurant near the 2nd pool, they even have an animal expert with a telescope to show you hidden animals and answer questions. The beach restaurant was so good but we did have exceptionally long waits here. I did mention it the 2nd time we went, but it still was slow. Luckily I was there to read my book and enjoy the beach so it wasn't a big deal but to wait 1 1/2 hours for lunch can get long, especially with kids. You are on the beach though so you can swim, sit in the hammock, or look at the animals while you wait. My favorite dish was the Playitas Chicken Salad - no mayo, just a chicken breast on very fresh vegetables including Avocado. The homeade chips, sandwiches and wraps were also a hit with our family. They even managed to make some 'off menu' items for the kids.

The rooms were not as big as I expected for the price. We had an Ocean View Premium suite. I notice now they have the square footage on their site for this room (but not for the others?) - the living area is 215sf with a pull out full sized sofa. Our kids were able to use this but if they were any bigger, it would have been uncomfortable. And once the pull out sofa is out, there is no where to sit but outside (not a bad thing!) They do supply you with a coffee maker and fabulous local coffee along with real milk and a couple local snacks (milk was awesome, snacks were just ok). The bedroom had a king bed with a nightstand and tv and that is all that fit in there. Both rooms opened up to a large deck 330sf that had a comfortable patio couch and some chairs. The 'living' space was outdoors more than indoors. There was also a hot tub on the deck which I was most excited about but it was 100 degrees when we visited so we didn't use it! There are monkeys here but they typically come out in the morning. Beware, they will take things off your patio - and yes, they will visit you if you leave your door open. There are two bathrooms - one had a shower, sink and toilet but the 'master' was very large with a big rain shower, toilet, bidet, large counter, and stool to get ready. I did have some cough syrup that leaked onto a towel and I left the towel on the sink for 10 minutes and I came back to a trail of ants! We were on the 3rd floor and we did tell them but housekeeping pretty much said we were in a jungle - so there. So keep all food and drinks and sticky medicines sealed!! The room was too small for the very large pricetag in my opinion and while I would return to the resort, I would look at different room options.

Breakfast is included and the food is fabulous. Plenty to eat even though the main dishes may look small compared to American restaurants, they were the perfect amount to eat and they supplemented everything with juice, coffee, pastries, and fresh fruit! While the pancakes with ginger-mango-coconut are fabulous, I preferred getting the protein dishes since they served pastries with breakfast. Our favorite was the breakfast burrito but I also really liked the gallo pinto (typical dish).

The hotel offers tours of the area but we opted to explore on our own. We went to the national park and walked along the beach to get there and back. It was about a mile walk and it was HOT but it was very pretty. On the way back to the hotel, we bought some fresh fruit smoothies at a store (coconut banana - yum!) and that was perfect to keep us cool and refreshed. I would not recommend walking if you have very young children or a stroller. Our children were ok but even they were quite worn out!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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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 (249)
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2013

Our final destination for our honeymoon this was perfection - an idyllic location on the hill-top with two beaches, a mere beach walk from Manuel Antonio Reserve (or car ride if you prefer), plenty to see in the grounds with Squirrel Monkeys, Sloths, Iguanas etc.

Our room on the first floor of building 6 had a beautiful ocean view and private balcony with free Tico Snacks!

The grounds are hilly, perfect for a bracing walk or use the golf-carts driven by the fantastic staff.

No problem was too big or too small. Everything worked around us - excellent! Food was lovely, as was learning to make tortillas. Well done!

  • Stayed June 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boca Raton, Florida
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 29, 2013

We have stayed at many hotels around the world and Arenas has the best service I have ever had. A golf cart takes you anywhere on the hotel grounds. The night prior to checking out we spoke to Ariel, one of the employees, if we can have breakfast at 6:00 am. The kitchen only opens at 7:00 but he made it happen. He took our orders the night before. We had fresh fruit, fresh juice, coffee, tea, eggs.... everything!!! We stayed in a suite overlooking the ocean. Sunrise was an awesome experience. the hotel has 2 beaches.

  • Stayed June 2013, 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.
Cayuga S, Manager at Arenas del Mar Beachfront and Rainforest Resort, Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica, responded to this review, July 3, 2013
Dear Hammy333,
greetings from Manuel Antonio in Costa Rica. Thank you for taking the time to share your service experience at Arenas del Mar on Tripadvisor. Our staff gets very excited to receive this kind of feedback and they provide this service to our guest "con mucho gusto" (with a lot of pleasure). While we have a great rain forest location and are privileged to have direct access to two beautiful beaches from our resort, we understand that it all comes down to service. We hope that you will become of our many repeat guests and that we can welcome you again with us real soon.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 28, 2013

This is a special place to stay. The rooms are so beautiful. The property is peaceful. You feel a million miles away from whatever you were hoping to get away from. The staff was kind, caring, and very great at their jobs. In the past when we went to Costa Rica, we would run around every where. This place you don't want to leave. The decks on the rooms with whirlpool tubs are amazing. Plus the food is really great. And we developed a bit of an addiction to the monkey business :). The drinks are so good. They have beds on the pretty much private beach. The other beach you can surf at. A lot of wild life to be seen on the property if you take some time to explore.
The hotel may seem pricey compared to other places. But you get what you pay for. This place was one of the nicest I have experienced in my travels.

  • Stayed April 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stuart, Florida
Top Contributor
68 reviews 68 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 27, 2013

I slept great EVERY night, this bed was one of my top 3 ever!!!! The staff was great, breakfast was fabulous (included), the resort was top notch!!! My only complaint was the drive from the road to the resort! I did not like that drive at all; I understand it's quite a hill, but it could be smoothed out rather than being a "drop off" from the road. Everyone at this resort really cared about us! Liset (?) in the gift shop was sooo patient, caring, and sweet; she spent a lot of time with me until I found just the right shirts, souvenirs, and CD. The parking pavilion could use some ceiling fans, but the staff there was very attentive, they even noticed my husband forgot to put on proper shoes for our zip line tour, which allowed him time to go back and change before our guide arrived.

We arranged all tours through the resort, which made it very easy on us. They also offer some activities there which I wish I had had time to do. The wait staff was great, they were timely and attentive. The rooms were very very clean. It was nice being in the rainforest, and on the beach, plus there's two pools on the property.

I would HIGHLY recommend this resort; it was our introduction to Costa Rica, and probably couldn't have been better!!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Atlantis
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 26, 2013

My spouse and son and I shared a Garden Superior room for four nights.
ROOM: spacious, well-appointed, quiet, clean. Peaceful and alluring environment!
FACILITIES: beautiful tropical-setting lobby, bar, pool and restaurant, surrounded by forest and the Pacific Ocean. Restaurant elegant but informal, fine food with both traditional and fusion menu choices.
HOTEL STAFF: professional, complete, warm, aiming to please. The even have on-site naturalists to explain what you see on the grounds.
LOCATION: two idyllic beaches and lush rain forest. I loved to hike the short trail through the forest. I saw almost the same kinds of wildlife (monkeys, sloths, snakes, birds, iguanas) on the resort's property as I did on a guided tour of the neighboring Manuel Antonio National Park.

  • Stayed June 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
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USA
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 26, 2013

My husband surprisingly picked this hotel for me and my little one to stay in.. Upon arrival the staff was very helpful towards getting us into our rooms since we had taken a long 4 hr bus ride. We had a perfect view of the ocean, the patio was very cozy and the bed was perfect. Lets just say, we slept well. Early morning I ordered room service and the presentation made us feel special and I was happy to see my child eat "ALL" his food since he is extremely picky! A Plus! The staff suggested a child friendly beach for my little one and drove us their, 2 mins. It was perfect. Overall, the staff has been very catering to us especially my little one. The food here is very good, their mix drinks were the best I've had. And "The atmosphere was perfect" although there weren't any kids here.

Room Tip: Our room was on the second floor. The first building next to the front desk/concierge after passing...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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

Also Known As:
Arenas Del Mar Beachfront And Rainforest Resort, Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica Manuel Antonio National Park
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 Top resorts Hotel in Manuel Antonio National Park
#2 Luxury Hotel in Manuel Antonio National Park
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Manuel Antonio National Park
#3 Romantic 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*
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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