This review might be useful for families travelling with young children. We recently travelled to Costa Rica with our almost 2 yr old. After looking at our options online and reading about where to stay we decided on Manuel Antonio and it was indeed a picture perfect location. The resort itself was welcoming and there are a few things I'll point out based on our experiences:
Entry to Resort: We rented a car (highly recommended) and the parking lot to the car is a short golf cart drive away from the resort. The only thing is that you'll have to remember all the things you need to take on your way out of the room. If you forget something like we did, it takes time to go back up to the resort and back to the car.
Childcare: We did the mid world zipline canopy tour + superman (totally awesome) and it was possible since one of the hotel staff members was kind enough to watch our son for a few hours for an hourly fee. He was well taken care of and we felt safe dropping him off with her. She had done this for other guests and was willing to get us a reference if we needed it.
Room: We got the premium suite with the wrap around balcony. I'm knocking off one star since we were promised a premium suite on the top floor when we made the reservation(3rd floor) and ended up getting the same room on the second floor. We had a few more trees in our view than the room on the top. It should be made clear during reservation. Room itself was comfortable and the furniture, decor and amenities were awesome. If you can, stock up on a few essentials for the baby in the fridge as it came handy for our picky toddler (bread, cheese, healthy snacks, yogurt etc)
Beach - very close by. Staff will take you there on golf carts. There is plenty of lounge chairs. We did lunch on the beach and enjoyed it. Will help if there are some kind of play toys around as our toddler was getting restless and tried to get sand everywhere. Plenty of towels available. Don't leave your child unattended at any time...water can get choppy at times and can easily drag you in . Really nice relaxing environment and there was a lifeguard on duty when we were there.
Tours: Hotel will help you book the tours but if you can call up the tour companies ahead of time and decide which one you want to go with. We went hiking to the manuel antonio national park (easy 20min hike). Park right next to the MA park and watch out for the guys along the way who will try to stop you to get you to park in lots further away. We also did the mangrove tour with lunch at the end. It was perfect with our toddler- saw monkeys and other birds/animals along the boat tour. We also took the tortilla making tour.Hotel staff were very accomodative and put up with my son's antics!.
Food: We mostly ate at the hotel and enjoyed the food. Breakfast as many ppl have pointed out was delicious (we are vegetarian) and they had several options for us as well. It was a bit scary to see several bees at our table especially around the fruit drinks - would be helpful if they had lidsof some sort to close it. Lunch and Dinner were also customized and we ordered room service on a few occasions.
Spa: This was one thing that fell short for me. We got the deep tissue and swedish and both were at best average. I had specified areas where I'd like more focus during the massage on the sign up sheet but at the end did not feel like it was worth it. No soothing music, no aromatic oils or stress relieving techniques. Of course everyone in the spa were really nice. For close to a hundred bucks, I might try another spa next time.
On our way out - we had an early flight. Special thanks to the hotel staff for having to-go breakfast boxes for the three of us ready to go. We enjoyed our stay!!
- Also Known As:
- Arenas Del Mar Beachfront And Rainforest Resort, Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica Manuel Antonio National Park
- 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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