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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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New York City, New York
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Fantastic Staff”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2013

Just got back from Costa Rica and stayed at this wonderful hotel. My wife and I stayed in 3 different rooms over 4 nights at this facility and, frankly, they were hit and miss. Room 403 had a bed, that's it. 401 was fantastic - sea view, large jacuzzi (which we never used, but it was impressive all the same), room for a table and separate seating area. 501 was not quite as nice but had a jet for a shower. Enough of the quibbling - the staff was fantastic and bent over backwards to assist - and did so with a smile on their faces. The beach access was ideal - there was access to a "private" beach (locals could technically get to it, but it was not easy) and a public beach.

We took signed up for two tours, one to the Manuel Antonio reserve. It was okay, but expensive, especially in light of the fact that over the course of our stay we saw nearly every animal (and then some) on the property itself! I HIGHLY recommend the bird tour which takes place on the property. It cost $25 and was an exceptional value. We were the only 2 on the tour and the 1 1/2 hour tour lasted 3 hours. We saw over 25 birds (including a rare juvenile red footed booby - apparently blown off course), 3 types of monkeys, 2 & 3 toed sloths and innumerable lizards.

And did I mention the beach....

One other very small downside - the food was only fair at the hotel (but we found some good food at the Gaia hotel).

I'd give this place an extra 1/2 star but that's not possible here.

  • Stayed July 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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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    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 (297)
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English first
New York City, New York
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2013

Arenas del Mar is nothing less than perfect. My boyfriend and I decided to spend the second part of our week long vacation at a more upscale location but it was very important to me that it was 'sustainable' as well. This hotel has everything from luxury to sustainability. I didn't realize it was possible to combine both but the sustainability tour around the property with Francisco truly brought this to light. I learned so much and plan to take all of these teachings back to my life in NYC. Our room was spectacular - highly recommend 101A. Each about ten feet apart, our view went like this: huge, luxurious bed -- beautiful balcony -- big jacuzzi on the balcony -- warm, well lit swimming pool, sandy private beach. Literally, all at our fingertips. We didn't have to bring anything anywhere either - towels were always waiting for us and food, drinks, and tours were charged to our room. The staff were phenomenal. I wish I could name them all but every single one treated us like we were kings - and it was genuine too. Francisco was the perfect tour guide, filled with laughter, passion, excitement, and knowledge. Tortilla making was so much fun with him and Mama Elisa. Rodbin and all of guest services were incredible as were the entire kitchen staff. Breakfast was so memorable, eating with animals and having our orders practically memorized by our servers (they remembered to bring my boyfriend's Equals with his iced coffee each morning!). This was the first hotel I have ever stayed at where I didn't think of leaving. The property is stunning and filled with wildlife, including iguanas that lived right outside our window. We had one particular favorite who we even named - he greeted us each morning with a smile! The bathrooms were beautiful and the toiletries that are provided, including the mango body lotion, smell delicious. The food in the restaurant and the drinks at the bar were unique and so tasty. I loved the red snapper and one night they didn't have it... but they ordered it so I could have it on my last night. By far the best piece of fish I have ever eaten. Their welcome drink is so good - I ordered it mixed with Costa Rican rum for the rest of my stay! The only "bad" thing was when a very large spider appeared in our room. I've never screamed so loudly in my life - but Leo, the manager of guest services, came to our room within (what appeared to be) seconds to remove it. We ended up joking around about it and he actually checked around for others upon my terrified request. Surprisingly, I didn't think about the spider again. There are many, many nice hotels out there but Arenas del Mar is truly something special. The combination of luxury and sustainability with top class service made our vacation perfect. Huge thanks to everyone there - we highly recommend anyone stay here on your vacation to Manuel Antonio!

Room Tip: 101A was perfect. Ground level, perfect view of the beach and pool, amazing jacuzzi tub, so much spa...
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  • Stayed July 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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Chicago, IL
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2013

We spent two nights at Arenas del Mar at the end of our June visit to Costa Rica. The area, grounds and beach were beautiful; wildlife was everywhere and added to the experience; the service was excellent! It was a nice walk down the beach to get into town. The only disappointment for the price was our room. We stayed in a Garden Room which was clean and had a nice outdoor sitting area to relax and enjoy the peacefulness of the area; aside from that, the room was small and very average - nothing but a bed, 2 nightstands and a TV could fit in the room. Not a great value for the price. If we stayed there again, it would not be for the value of the room itself.

  • Stayed June 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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No. Weare NH
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2013

Not one beautiful beach, but two! Be sure to take a surf lesson with Alex.
Hotel staff could not possibly have been more accommodating or the room and view more beautiful. Breakfast was perfect each morning.
It's remote, so bring some snacks and drinks for the mini-fridge. Though you likely will not want to leave, there is a tiny beach town at the end of Espadilla Beach that's fun to walk to.

Room Tip: Buildings I-III will be closer to the water [Playitas Beach] and to that swimming pool, however, it...
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  • Stayed July 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tulsa, Ok
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2013

It's hard to put our trip into words. We loved Arenas Del Mar! Upon arriving, Rodbin (who we adore) showed us a baby sloth that had fallen from a tree. Rodbin had put the baby back into a tree but was able to pull the tree down and show us the sloth face to face. A real treat for the kids (and me)! I made the "mistake" of asking if lactose free milk was available at the resorts. Before we had finished the check in process, Rodbin had arranged for it to be delivered to our room from the Manuel Antonio grocery store. Our entire stay, the staff was amazing. They all took the time to learn our names and their service made our trip so much more enjoyable. Rodbin, Luis, Brandon, and so many more made our stay wonderful (I wish I could remember all their names)

The resort itself is amazing. Nestled inside the rainforest but on the beach makes it the perfect idyllic setting. The wildlife was astounding. We saw sloths, squirrel monkeys, white faced monkeys, howler monkeys, Jesus Christ lizards, iguanas, halloween crabs, snakes, frogs, hermit crabs, butterflies, etc on a daily basis. The layout of the resort couldn't have been better.

We stayed in Rooms 503A & 503B. We had an amazing view of the ocean. We could hear the ocean waves crashing in with the patio doors closed and the air conditioner on. It was perfection. The beds in the room were the absolutely most comfortable, I've ever slept on in a hotel. The large patio on 503A was wonderful. We had a hottub for two, chairs with a footstool and a daybed with all sorts of large comfortable pillows. The bathrooms were huge and had great shampoo and conditioner! Each day housekeeping would leave some native Costa Rican snacks, called Tico Snacks. This was a huge hit with the kids!

The resorts two swimming pools are great. Especially the one near the beach. The beach was great with very comfortable chairs and wonderful foam beds. I took several naps out there! The ocean was too rough to swim in for my little kiddos but we enjoyed the sand, view and sound.

Breakfast, lunch and happy hour was constantly wonderful. You must try a local favorite drink called Guaro & Fresca, I loved it. Dinner was good but we did try all sorts of local Manuel Antonio places.

The spa was very nice. I really enjoyed my massage. Concierge was very helpful in booking our excursions. We did the guided tour of the national park, zip lining, butterfly garden, tortilla making (Mama Lisa was great) and a boat outting. All were with wonderful vendors.

We traveled during June 2013. While this is technically rainy season, I was pleasantly surprised to have mostly beautiful days. The few thunderstorms we did have were in late afternoon/ early evening and oh-so-relaxing.

In short, I can't wait to go back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Room Tip: 503 had a great view of the ocean!
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  • Stayed June 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
10 helpful votes 10 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.
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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 Top resorts Hotel in Manuel Antonio National Park
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Manuel Antonio National Park
#2 Luxury Hotel in Manuel Antonio National Park
#2 Spa 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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Also Known As:
Arenas Del Mar Beachfront And Rainforest Resort, Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica Manuel Antonio National Park

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