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.
- 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