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“Elegance is an Understatement” 5 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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New York City, New York
1 review
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Elegance is an Understatement”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2013

Arenas Del Mar – What else can I say but WOW?!?! As a traveler who has had extensive experiences both internationally and domestically I can honestly say that I have not stayed in a finer or more welcoming resort. From the warm waters of the Pacific, the outstanding mix of food and wine, to the friendly and likable staff – I never wanted to go back home to Manhattan. For reader convenience, I have broken the below review down into four distinct categories: Resort ambiance, quality of dining, accessibility (both for travel to the resort and away for available excursions), and friendliness of staff.

Resort Ambiance –
Overall, I was specifically impressed with this aspect of my stay at the resort. Management did a terrific job of designing a resort that offers great spaces for kids to enjoy the beaches and pools while still maintaining adequate seclusion for couples wishing to enjoy more of each other’s company. The ocean and rain-forest views from all around the resort, including many of the rooms, are second to none!

Quality of Dining –
As a traveler who does not particularly enjoy Central American cuisine, I was a bit nervous about what I would eat before I arrived. To my delight, the resort’s chefs were able to prepare many typical American foods with just enough Central American ‘flavor’ to make me feel like I was trying something new. Keep in mind if Central American food is what you would prefer, then based on the rest of my group’s stay I can tell you that you won’t be disappointed. This mix of food would also be terrific for families traveling with small children who might also prefer food they are more accustomed to.

Accessibility –
As someone who lives and works in Manhattan, I know that traveling is not always as quick or easy as we all wish it were. This was not the case in going to Costa Rica. It was a very easy flight and I was very impressed with the overall accessibility of the resort in that they do everything from sending drivers to the airport upon request, to shuttling you around in golf carts once you arrive. The golf carts are available to avoid walking up any steep hills, as the terrain is somewhat mountainous. The carts usually arrive within a few moments of your request and the drivers are more than happy to take you wherever you would like to go within the grounds.

Friendliness of Staff –
The staff at Arenas Del Mar were incredible. By the end of the week it seemed like everyone knew me by name and always had a smile on their face when they saw me. They were all incredibly helpful and willing to go out of their way to make the guests happy. One morning my group was running late for an excursion and the waiter had the chef prepare breakfast to go boxes for all of us so we could make our excursion on time. I know this seems simple, but at a resort as nice as Arenas, it’s the simple things that really set it apart.

Overall, I had an outstanding time at Arenas and cannot recommend it highly enough. The Resort, food, beaches, and staff were all absolutely outstanding and I truly never wanted to leave. My girlfriend is already busy planning our next trip and it cannot come soon enough – 5 Stars!!!

  • 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
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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, September 27, 2013
Dear Matt G,
warm greetings from Arenas del Mar Beachfront and Rainforest Resort. Wow, what a review. thanks. Very complete and it seems like you were really able to get down to the essence of the experience at our resort. We are sure this review is very helpful for many future guests. We know that we have probably one of the best locations in the country combining incredible views with beachfront access and being located in the middle of a tropical rain forest. But the little details make the difference as you pointed out. And that comes from our staff that is proud to host you and share their culture with visitors from abroad. We will continue to work hard to further impress our clients and of course you and your girlfriend when you come back to Arenas del Mar soon. All the best and thanks again.
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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 (298)
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English first
New York City, New York
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2013

I have to say I was disappointed by this hotel. All of the reviews had be excited but when we compared it to the other hotels we stayed at in Costa Rica this one just missed the mark in a few ways.

The positives are that it is one of if not the only hotel in Quepos that is right on the bach which was a nice plus. There are two pools which was also a nice bonus.
Our room seemed clean enough and the beds were very comfortable. One key thing to note is that they DO have black out curtains which was a godsend given the sun comes up so early in Costa Rica.

We enjoyed our afternoon visit by a little cheeky monkey who was out hunting for treats left by other guests on their balconies.

The staff at the hotel are very friendly especially the guys that drive you around in the golf carts.

The negatives would be 1) the food at the hotel is ok. There is nothing wrong with it but its just ok. Nothing we ate was delicoius but it wasn't horrible either. 2) the bathrooms are a bit dated -perhaps it was just the color scheme? 3) no fitness center

Because the hotel is close to the beach you have to walk up and down the hills or take a golf cart to get around. Your car is left at the main gate so its not very convenient to pop out at night to a nearby restaurant or bar as we didn't want to drink and drive.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
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, September 26, 2013
Dear Islander 005,
we would like to sincerely thank you for taking the time to write this review. While we love the reviews that are named Paradise, Beautiful Resort and Pure Indulgence, we know that we can learn a lot from constructive criticism like yours. First of all, thanks for the nice comments on our beachfront and rain forest location as well as the friendliness of the staff. We are sorry that the food did not quite meet your expectations. We are currently working on a new menu to be implemented in November that should really impress you on a future visit. We were a bit surprised about the comments of the blackout. All of our bedrooms have blackout curtains and allow for sleeping in. Not sure what happened there. You will also be happy that by December 1st, all the bathrooms of the hotels will be remodeled and like new. Please come back in 2014 to check them out. Once again, thanks for the great feedback. All the best.
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1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2013 via mobile

Arenas del Mar was one of the best resorts we've ever had the pleasure of staying. From the moment of our arrival to the checkout a week later, we were treated like royalty. The staff was amazing, learning all of our names by the 2nd day. The food was delicious and the chef would even take special requests. There were 5 people in our party, 4 adults and a 12 year old boy and we all had the greatest time. The resort is in the rainforest, and on a beautiful private beach. The rooms are very large and decorated impeccably with incredible views of the Pacific Ocean. There were a variety of excursions near by like zip lining, learning to surf, etc. when we weren't enjoying the pool, beach and Manuel Antonio Park. We can't wait to go back and we are recommending it to all our friends.

  • Stayed August 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
chicago
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 22, 2013

We recently got back from Costa Rica, and stayed at this resort for 4 nights. The hotel is absolutely beautiful, the staff goes above and beyond, and the location could not be any better. The rainforest is outside your doorstep, and the beach is a short walk down the hill. Food was fantastic for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Great happy hour every night! We saw monkeys, sloths, lizards, butterflies, etc every day on this resort. We were traveling with my sister, brother in law, and new nephew (1 yr old). The hotel staff was very warm, welcoming, and truly made this resort feel like home. They were fantastic!!!!! We cannot wait to go back:)

Room Tip: The upgraded rooms are worth the $ especially if traveling with a family of 3 or more. The decks we...
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  • Stayed September 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 21, 2013 via mobile

We stayed here for 2 nights on out 7 night trip. We spent the week in 3 locations, Playa Hermosa in Guanacaste, Hotel Royal Corin in La Fortuna and Arenas Del Mar near Manuel Antonio National Park. In retrospect we would have given up the 2 days in Playa Hermosa to spend 2 extra days in Arenas Del Mar.

This was a beautiful hotel in a beautiful part of the country. It was a 5 hour drive from Arenal Volcano (la Fortuna). We were tired upon our arrival but we greeted with smiles and great attitutudes. The hotel is about 5 mins off the main road. You park in the lot and they call a golf cart down to pick you up.

On our ride up to reception in the golf cart, our driver Paul stopped to show us a sloth! The while looking at the sloth another staff member pointed out a closer sloth! We had spent 4 days looking for wild life (we saw howler monkeys and a coati on our way to La Fortuna) but this was the first time that we actually shared the same environment with the wild life. It was amazing.

Check in was easy then another ride in the cart to our room. We had room #302b. It was somewhat small but nice. The balcony had an ocean view. There was a small pool below and the smaller beach was a short walk away. They have a larger pool near reception and a larger beach which can be accessed via golf cart.

Golf carts were available 24 hours to take you back to the car or to the beach etc. We walked to reception and the bar when we could to work off some of our meals. It's a small hike but not too bad.

Breakfast was good. We ordered ceviche (a little salty) and sliders ( a burger cut into 4 pieces for $12). The food was ok, on par with Costa Rican standards. Drinks were $6 and good.

We purchased a mango at one of the fruit stands and our bartender graciously cut it up for us! Service was impeccable.

The lotion provided in the room was a little smelly and the towels a little worn. Other than that

  • Stayed September 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 21, 2013

Small details make the biggest impression for me, so when we drove through the lobby of the Arenas del Mar I knew we would not be disappointed. We splurged the last night of our vacation and since my husband wanted to go to the Antonio Manuel National Park this hotel was the perfect fit. The grounds, the private beach, pools, restaurants, staff, service and food were all 5 stars. We spent most of our time at the private beach. We swam, took pictures of monkeys and had lunch on the beach. Dinner and dessert were delicious. Happy hour at the bar had a calypso band and yummy interesting cocktails. My son was a huge fan of the chocolate shake!
The room was AMAZING! We booked on hotels.com and somehow received an upgrade. We did not complain. Our deck had a sunken in Jacuzzi with 180 degree views. Heaven! You are transported all around the property in electric carts. Loved the smoothie upon check-in, nice touch.
Book this hotel...you will not be disappointed. Congrats to the staff for making such a memorable experience!

  • 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
2 reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2013

Put this vacation on your bucket list! Picturesque property where the rainforest meets the Pacific Ocean. A breathtaking view overlooking the ocean. Surrounded by natural rainforest wildlife. The resort is top-shelf. The staff makes you feel welcome from the minute you arrive. It would be impossible for them to be more accommodating. The food was always fresh and delicious. My kids aged 9, 11 and 12 and are picky eaters. They loved the food! The rooms are spacious, clean and comfortable. The pools were refreshing and the beach access was super convenient. The waves crashing so close to the room was extremely relaxing. The staff arranged outings to a hanging bridges tour and to zip lining. I can’t emphasize enough what a fun, care-free, safe, active and educational adventure vacation this was for my family of 5. The memories are priceless. We rate Arenas Del Mar 5 stars, 5 leaves and 5 smiles!!

  • 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 6
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 Spa Hotel in Manuel Antonio National Park
#2 Luxury 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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