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“Pura vida ! A magnificent Costa Rican experience !” 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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GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Savannah, Georgia
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Pura vida ! A magnificent Costa Rican experience !”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 15, 2014

We visited in early February '14 and experienced perfect beach weather. No rain, a light ocean breeze and highs in the low 90s. The Ocean water was warm and refreshing. We arrived by limo transfer (arranged by Swiss Travel Service) from San Jose, a 3 to 3.5 hour drive (with a couple of sightseeing stops). The new highway 27 going West was excellent and the connecting "Costanera" highway 34 along the waterfront was in great shape. Upon arrival, down a very steep drive to the welcome hut we were greeted with a smile and a chilled moist towel. Used the clean and well maintained restroom facilities there and a driver promptly took us and our luggage up another steep hill to the reception building by golf cart. Immediately we were greeted by Manager Gabriel and beautiful Jeimy with a couple of glasses of their delicious fruit cocktail then off to our water view suite. We spent 3 nights / 4 days and cannot say enough about the excellent service from everyone in the hotel. The hotel staff is young, handsome, efficient and most of all, warm and caring. The young shift manager, Gabriel and the young and beautiful lady "Guest Experience Manager", Estibaliz are both friendly and stay on top of things every minute. Tours conducted by Sergio, Rodbin and Ersel were excellent. We received prompt and efficient help from Ariel and Christian with needs like rides by golf cart to and from the "La Playita" private beach. The restaurant staff served a nice variety of local foods and a continental selection. Breakfast was a real treat ! A couple of Spa treatments, a Cappuccino Rub for my wife and a fantastic leg massage for myself from a very professional and beautiful masseuse were an added plus. Ocean views from the pool deck and restaurant during the day and amazing starry nights make this corner of the world a very special destination. The well maintained hotel is an eco-lodge and while the architecture does not stand out as anything special, the room/suite and the hotel grounds were very clean and comfortable. The hotel has a small and fabulous private beach "La Playita" and easy access to the public beach near by. The Manuel Antonio National Park is a short drive away, but we were not impressed with what was billed as a "Rain Forest Experience" tour through the park. Our hotel guide, Ersel was fantastic and very knowledgeable, however, the main trail is highly traveled and does not give him much to work with. Did manage to see a few monkeys, one sleeping sloth, a few interesting and harmless bugs, a few resting bats, a family of raccoons by the beach and only a couple of birds (woodpeckers). We actually were able to see more interesting wildlife around the hotel grounds. I would not waste time going to the National Park with a tour guide, but do not miss a tour with Ersel on at least one of his many other tours. One evening dinner on the beach was OK, but the "Calypso Band" was terrible and actually spoiled the evening for us. The cost of the stay was moderately high, but worth every penny. We highly recommend this destination in Costa Rica and plan to go back some day.

Room Tip: Ocean view rooms are worth the price.
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  • Stayed February 2014, 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.
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1,181 reviews from our community

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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
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Philadelphia
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2014 via mobile

This was the best vacation getaway ever! The setting is so beautiful, the wildlife and natural vegetation are beyond explanation but most of all the staff were caring, attentive, friendly. They were really happy we came and made us feel like their family. In fact, we were invited to a daily work out routine with the resort management every morning of our stay. The food was really wonderful-- fresh, healthy, flavorful and creative. We ate breakfast, lunch and almost all of our dinners at the resort every day. The Mirador Restaurant is set overlooking the beach and within the rainforest. I loved every part of our experience. We already plan to return next year.

Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Top Contributor
143 reviews 143 reviews
36 hotel reviews
Reviews in 46 cities Reviews in 46 cities
87 helpful votes 87 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 13, 2014

What a great resort! It was by far the nicest resort we saw in this area. It is spread out over many acres of beachfront property with two restaurants/bars, two pools and two beaches.
We stayed in the ocean breeze suites which was very spacious had a lovely porch overlooking the beach and was next to the most private of the 2 beaches. The beach bar/restaurant was next to us but this was not a loud place...very quiet and pretty on the beach. There was also a small but very nice pool next to our building as well. The staff was very friendly and helpful and picked you up in golf carts any time you needed to get around the resort or to the entrance to pick up transportation. The other beach abuts the public beach and has a beautiful one mile stretch of sand with lovely sunsets. You can walk down the beach to the town of Manuel Antonio with its little cafes and local shops. You can enter the National Park without being in a tour group and this is definitely the thing to do. The tour was a waste of money. You can walk the path to the beach with everyone else and view the wildlife that everyone stops to see. You do not need a guide to point out a few spiders and bugs. We did not see that much wildlife even with our guide. We saw more at the resort! At all times I felt very safe and the staff made sure your every needs were taken care of. I would highly recommend this resort and hope to return soon!

Room Tip: We loved the ocean breeze suites! But be sure to ask for a second floor.
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  • Stayed February 2014, 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 2
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, February 14, 2014
Dear Neannie,
greetings from hot and sunny Manuel Antonio. We are very thankful that you took the time to write such a wonderful review about your stay with us at Arenas del Mar. While we don't think we are a "perfect" resort quite yet, we try very hard to exceed the expectations of our guests with our service, food and tours. We are very happy that you enjoyed your stay with us and had the chance to see so much wildlife right at Arenas del Mar. Thanks for pointing out how easy it is to walk along the beach to the Manuel Antonio National Park. Our location is definitely a great priveledge and hard to beat. We are excited tohear that you are talking about a possible return. We would love to have you with us again real soon. All the best,
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Morristown, New Jersey
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2014

This is my second 8 day visit to Arenas del Mar, my first was back in August of 2010. This trip seemed even more magical than the last. Though the scenery didn't change (as it shouldn't) the enmities of the resort were drastically improved. There were many more things to do inside the resort now than before.

The hotel is a short walk from Manuel Antonio, one of the most popular surf town on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. There are tons of things to do in Manuel Antonio, surfing, wind-sailing, and my favorite, wave running. You have never been wave running until you have seen the cliff coasts of Manuel Antonio and Arenas del Mar.

The food at Arenas del Mar was exquisite, don't be surprised after your vacation when any home or restaurant meal makes your cringe. The food here is possibly some of the best I've ate at a resort. My favorite part is the flexibility of the food. Want some tuna sushimi for breakfast? Sure, go right ahead, the waiters and chefs want you to have the best time.

The environment of the hotel is probably one of the best parts about it. Arenas del Mar is located in the Class 2 Protection zone of the Manuel Antonio National Park. Class 2 is the closest you can get to an undisturbed Class 1 Rain forest. This means that you get to see tons of animals, specifically monkeys, birds and lizards.

There is much to be said about Arenas del Mar, however if I could sum it up in one word it would be "Paradise". It is such a great time and all of the staff are amazing. It is one of, if not, the best Resort in Costa Rica.

Room Tip: The villas by the playitas are great for families, while the upper villas by the reception are for p...
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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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
168 reviews 168 reviews
88 hotel reviews
Reviews in 71 cities Reviews in 71 cities
404 helpful votes 404 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2014

This was our second visit to Arenas del Mar and we rarely repeat a vacation because so often the second time can be a let down. No let down at Arenas. I booked sort of late directly with Ronny in reservations (1-877 number) and he was so helpful in finding nice oceanfront accommodations for 5 nights...we were in building number 5 with excellent views from both second floor ocean breeze and even better in third floor oceanfront. Highly recommend top floor in any building and we like bldg. 4 for maximum privacy (not straight on views) or 5 which we stayed in this time for the views. The rooms are very nicely appointed, sparkling clean and it is all about the terrace complete with jacuzzi. From the welcome to departure the staff are so friendly and helpful. When you exit or arrive the property you are driven in golf cart to reception. On each and every golf cart drive in and out of property the staff always is pleasant and they are on the lookout to find some wildlife to show you and also like to find out about you. They are all so nice...we especially enjoy Robin (name may be spelled slightly different) and he remembered us from 4 years ago. Breakfast is NOT buffet and frankly I prefer that to a buffet that sits out for hours and people pile plates full, half of which they eat...also the insect problem. We enjoyed the breakfasts....lunch at the beach was always good and good service. Dinner was also nice and you can ask for a table by the pool which has way more atmosphere than the more inside dining room. We also took the tour to Manual Antonio park with the in-house guide Ersel. Excellent guide and given we did this last time with a guide we found here on TA I can compare our experiences. Ersel made this so interesting and even though it was a "group" tour there were only six people . Upon return to the hotel they had a nice spread of fresh fruit etc. Well worth the cost of the trip...which was less expensive than private and way more interesting for us. Recommend this trip. Also the spa...great at the end of the day. Had massage with Priscilla and she is excellent. Took some time to look at a few other places in the area including Los Altos and La Gaia and they did not compare at all with Arenas...if you are coming this far...stay in a place that is IN the jungle and looks different than someplace back home. We so enjoyed the late afternoon visit of the moneys...really fun and so close.
In summary we would return again. Of course not everything in any place is perfect...some technical problems with jacuzzi which were fixed. I would caution that each and every time you want to leave at night you will need either the hotel van (depends on availability) or a taxi with the fixed rate of $10 per trip...that does add up but its fun to try some of the various restaurants. We did venture to Quepos and did not find it worth the trip. Frankly the best place to be is right at Arenas...pools are so nice. Some people prefer buildings 1-3 which are down by the beach and feel more "family friendly" down there...a fair amount of kids in the pool and toys around etc. We like buildings 4-5 for views and quiet...but Arenas is mostly a quiet place. You can also walk easily to town from the Espadilla Beach (there is a path that goes there) and that was fun to go in late morning and have lunch in town and have a look around. All in all a great vacation in a very nice small hotel...

Room Tip: book directly with hotel or at least be in communication as to which building etc. per room recommen...
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  • Stayed January 2014, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2014

One of the best resort hotels I have ever stayed in. Everything was amazing. The room (suite) with a wonderful view of the Pacific, a private jacuzzi in the private patio and lovely bathroom en suite. There are 2 swimming pools as well as two beaches with food and beverage service. The hotel layout makes it island like. The staff is wonderful. Second morning my first name was used by everyone. The town, Manuel Antonio is a short ride but it can be a pass. Food at the resort was very good as well as the service. Great stay and good hiking in the national park thats near by. Loads of sloths and monkeys on the walks.

Room Tip: Corner view suite.
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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.
Vallejo, CA
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2014

We spent the first 2 nights of our Costa Rican trip at Arenas Del Mar. From the greeting at the car port to the good bye at the reception desk we had a truly wonderful experience. The staff were continuously generous and provided us with an amazing experience. Our Ocean Breeze room was beautiful and we were able to fall asleep to the crashing waves.

The restaurants were convenient (timing and location) and the food was amazing. Great interpretations of local specialities.

Room Tip: Ocean Breeze rooms are a great option. They have both rainforest and beach views. They are located...
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  • Stayed January 2014, 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 Spa Hotel in Manuel Antonio National Park
#1 Green Hotel in Manuel Antonio National Park
#1 Luxury Hotel in Manuel Antonio National Park
#1 Top resorts 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*
Number of rooms: 38
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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