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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
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Amazing Experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2013

My husband and I stayed here on our honeymoon in July of 2010.

I cannot say enough good things about this resort! Our experience was incredible. I would go back 100 times and not tire of it. This place is a true slice of paradise.

{The Food}.
It was amazing! We stayed here for ten days and ate almost every single one of our meals here. The breakfast was incredible. Delicious fruits and hot entrees. Lunch was awesome. We ate at the restaurant on the beach and also ordered room service several times. The food was always completely on point. Dinner was great. Very good options to choose from. The steaks were extremely good. My husband and I are "food people" and we can both agree that this food was really great!

{Room}
Our room was amazing. We had a full ocean view and could hear the waves crashing loudly every night. The bathroom was huge and luxurious. The bed was comfortable. Everything was immaculately clean.

{Facilities}
Everything was in great working order. The walk to the beach was incredibly short, but if you didn't want to walk the golf carts will pick you up in no more than 2 minutes! My husband and I each had two massages, and they were both excellent! The spa was done very well, and the masseuses were excellent. The beach was clean and there were always plenty of towels right there!

Again. I cannot recommend this place highly enough. The staff was always going out of their way to remember special little touches. We plan on making a trip back here again someday. It was perfect.

Room Tip: We stayed in 503a. The staff told us that this was "the very best room", because it is the...
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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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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 (278)
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English first
New York City, New York
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2013

A friend and I stayed at Arenas Del Mar back in April, and honestly it made the trip for us! This place is fantastic. We like to stay at nicer hotels that still advocate the local culture and beauty- which is the best asset of this hotel. They bring luxury and eco-friendly practice together in one wonderful setting. Let alone the location is absolutely wonderful and one of the few locations in the area to have beach front property. We made friends with the staff - who went out of their way to help us and I loved the Local Surf Shop team ! Alex - you are the best! The breakfast was delicious, each morning fresh juice and new options.

If you want to wander down the beach and explore the town its very easy to walk. At night the beach makes for a wonderful setting with the Moon providing light and guidance.

Highly recommend and would love to return!

Room Tip: Ask if you can be upgraded! We were very lucky and ended up in the suite. Was absolutely wonderful.
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  • Stayed April 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
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Boston, Massachusetts
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2013

My husband and I travelled to Manuel Antonio National Park and stayed at Arenas del Mar for three nights in august. We truly enjoyed our stay from the second we drove in to the property. Every single staff member we encountered was genuinely friendly and very eager to help make our stay better in any way possible. Everyone seems to remember who you are, your names and conversations you have already had with them. They really engage in the guests and get to know them. Here are some highlights about the hotel from our observations:

Grounds -
Very unique, beautiful, naturally situated hotel. we loved being in the middle of the forest but right on the beach. the beach is spectacular but there are large waves so be careful. they have a flag system that will warn you about conditions. the beach was never crowded. we swam a lot in the pool down by the beach since we stayed on that side of the resort. there is a nice snack bar to get drinks and food down by the pool/beach as well. one of the highlights of our stay was swimming in the beach side pool around 4pm when a troupe of white faced cappuchin monkeys were finding some dinner. they were swinging from to tree to tree right next to the pool so we had an up close view of them chomping on their dinner. be ware of raccoons and monkeys stealing food from your fridge. they provide locks for a reason!

food -
the food was delicious in our opinion. the breakfast in costa rica was a highlight of the trip and especially at arenas del mar. they start you out with some fruit and fresh baked pastries/bread which is a nice treat. then you get to order off a breakfast menu and you get a full breakfast. definitely one of the very top included breakfasts we have ever had at a hotel. the service was excellent.

room -
the room had a nice balcony space to enjoy the outside which included a tico bar. the bathroom was large and nice. i slept well in the beds. the only complaint is that the rooms seemed a little dark. there just weren't many windows the way they were designed which is good for sleeping. we didn't spend much time in the room anyways so the room was fine. the room isnt the most spectacular thing we have ever stayed in but we felt other aspects of the hotel more than compensate and its a very adequate room. we had a middle of the scale room.

activities -
there is a lot to do in this area. we walked down the beach to the manuel antonio national park. this is a must see. it was a long walk in total. we did a hike within the park as well and went swimming at a gorgeous beach. the tours seem expensive but if you want door to door service it might be for you. we like to explore and do our own thing. we did take a kayak tour to the mangroves at islas damas which was quite spectacular. the guide that arenas del mar set us up with was top of the line. he pointed out so many things and provided us with lots of information about costa rica in general. we also swam a lot in the pool and hung out at the beach.

general-
as i mentioned before the staff is amazing here. they go above and beyond to make you comfortable. its hard to explain but they have this seamless organization and communication that a lot of hotels really lack. its hard to put into words but they seem to communicate with each other at a very high level to ensure the best possible vacation for you. they anticipate your needs and everything is just really easy. the hotel is extremely well run and everyone is so happy and friendly to be around. while we were staying, there were a lot of families at the hotel. the kids were so cute and well behaved and seemed so engaged with the surroundings and activities. id imagine this is a great place to bring a family. its one of those rare places that is family and couple friendly it does both very well.

even though the hotel was at full capacity, the pool/beach never felt over crowded, the service did not suffer one bit and the hotel was still nice and quiet. we highly recommend this hotel based on location to the surrounding activities, direct access to a nearly private beach, amazing service, delicious food and beautiful grounds.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Richmond, Virginia, United States
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2013

So, this was our last stop on our 10th anniversary CR tour. We drove down from Paquera to Quepos and it took about 3 hours by car. We arrived in a torrential down pour and there were no lights at all!! The power had been knocked out by the wind/rain. We were somewhat confused, but once the flashlights came out from the parking staff, we were on our way to the reception. The staff from the front end to the main lobby were all very nice and helpful. The whole process with seamless and we had no issues. We stayed 3 nights total and our first two nights we had a first floor room. Okay, the room was amazing!! It had an outdoor hot tub, sitting area, wet bar, fridge with snacks, nice big king bed, spacious and decked out bathroom and a walk in closet. Now, on the flip side of that, there was no view of the ocean from the bottom floor. So, take that for what it's worth. We had dinner the first night at the hotel, which was a little pricey. The presentation is very fancy and my dinner was delicious. I had Sea Bass Tico style while my wife had the mahi mahi Peruvian style. She's a hard critic and she came away underwhelmed. They also had a sushi station which was a nice touch, but that was just for that night. We encountered the same wait staff all our 3 days (they worked all the time!) and all were very friendly, professional, attentive and curtious. The upper pool was nice with a view and had several sitting areas overlooking the ocean/beach. We eventually were moved to a second level room on our last night, which was on the jungle side, but did have a balcony with a great view. The room was much the same with the amenities and comfort. Also make sure you get to the 5:30pm-6:30pm happy hour....very worth it. The lower pool/beach area also was very nice with a resaturant and more seculded beach. It was also nice that the resort was only about 30 minute walk from Manuel Antonio.You can also book a tour guide through the hotel but it's more than the $20/$25 you can pay a guide down at the park entrance. All in all, this was a great hotel and we would definitely stay there again. Great experience.

Room Tip: If you want a view of the ocean, make sure you stay in the rooms with an 02, or 03. The 01A/B rooms...
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  • Stayed August 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.
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2013

We just spent a week in Manuel Antonio at the Arenas del Mar hotel and resort. The hotel rooms are at the top of a cliff in the Rainforest overlooking the Pacific Ocean offering beautiful views of the area. The rooms are clean, large and beautifully appointed. My wife and I stayed in a suite which included a large veranda with a hot tub, large sliding glass doors with screens so you can open the doors up, turn off the AC and get a fresh open ocean breeze blowing through your room. The property is deep in the forest with wildlife all around. Monkeys and sloths all over the area as well as the Costa Rican exotic birds.
The hotel staff were always friendly, available and focused on us having a wonderful time. The staff run electric golf carts all around the property, to and from the two beach areas and the hotel restaurants. We also found the hotel very helpful with booking tours. We did a jet ski/snorkel tour, a white water rafting day and surfing all booked through the hotel and charged to the room. This made the excursions effortless and without having to worry about becoming prey to the local tourist hunters.
The food at both restaurants on the property was fresh and very good. The service was excellent. Each night there was a happy hour at the main bar which got the evening started off just right as we left the property to eat at the local restaurants (transportation was available with the hotel shuttle service also charged directly to the room....very convenient).
All in all If I was to return to Manuel Antonio, I would definitely stay here again.

Room Tip: The superior suites in building 6 or 5 on the 3rd floors are beautiful and near to the main restaura...
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  • Stayed August 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charlotte, North Carolina
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2013

The first thing we saw when we walked into the open air lobby was locals selling jewelry on card tables. The second thing was the pool which is right there... next to the open air restaurant which gets unbearably hot even at night. The beaches do not have white sands and if you go to the larger beach, there are people waiting to harass you with surf lessons or to sell you more things.
The food was the worst we had on our stay there and after the first night opted out of dining there at all. Though we did book the romantic dinner on our last night and they forgot about it. While scrambling to figure something out, they offered us complimentary drinks... and then charged us for them!
The only bright spot in this trip would be the room. We got the suite and it was beautiful. The balconies are not private, however... They're in plain sight of the other balconies so the outdoor (and only) bathtub is rather pointless.
For the price, I recommend going to a different beach all together as this was the only within (very steep) walking distance of the beach.
Altogether, we were very disappointed, which is a shame as it was our honeymoon.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
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, August 11, 2013
Dear KelliP,
thank you for taking the time to share your review on Tripadvisor. Your feedback on your stay is very valuable for us. We are devastated to hear that you had a disappointing experience at our resort and would like to apologize for not being able to provide the experience that you expected and we are known for. It seems like it all started when you arrived. When you refer to the locals selling jewelry in the lobby, we probably failed to explain that this is our way to support local artisans of the area as part of our sustainability program. We are sorry for the disappointing dinner the first night. This is certainly not the norm and we wish you would have given us a second chance. Thanks for your comment about the suite and you enjoyed that part of your stay. Maybe your expectations of the Costa Rica beach experience were not what we are able to deliver. There are very few Caribbean style white sand beaches in the country. Most of our guests enjoy the resort's location in the middle of the forest that allows for wildlife viewing from your room and the access to the two secluded "wild" beaches with tropical vegetation. It is a bit of a walk (or a short golf cart ride) down to the beach from some of the rooms, but the way the resort is spread out and some rooms (like yours) are set on a cliff make the experience so special. There is of course no excuse for the service failures that you experienced during your stay and we once again apologize sincerely. We will take your comments very seriously and work hard on making sure that all the details get done right. Thanks again. All the best.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2013

Arenas gave my wife and I everything we could have wanted in our honeymoon. The staff was by far the most outstanding part of the hotel, as they were all incredibly friendly, helpful, and just fun to talk to. They genuinely enjoyed sitting down and striking up conversation with guests, and their commitment to making you feel comfortable is incredible (such as their use of golf carts to drive you anywhere you want on the grounds if you don't want to walk the hills). The food at the restaurant is fantastic, especially the breakfasts which are included, however it is an easy taxi ride to dozens of other places if you feel like venturing off the hotel's property. During the day you can walk along the beach to Manuel Antonio's beach area and the national park entrance, which is fun but much more crowded with tourists than the hotel's private Playitas beach. If you are considering doing the private dinner on the beach one night, I would highly recommend it as it was one of the highlights of our week. Also, the tour guides they are connected with are fantastic for any excursions you book through them (we did the mangrove kayak tour and the horseback riding to the waterfalls).

I would go back to Arenas del Mar anytime, it's just a shame we had to leave.

  • Stayed August 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 Luxury Hotel in Manuel Antonio National Park
#2 Spa Hotel in Manuel Antonio National Park
#2 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*
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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