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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
Hartford, Connecticut
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Manual Antonio Vacation”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 8, 2014

My wife and I spent 4 nights at Arenas Del Mar in Manual Antonio March 1-6 2014.
We stayed in a Garden Unit by the Lower Pool area.
I am 60 years old and have done a fair amount of traveling. This hotel is by far one of our best experiences.
Architecturally the hotel was well thought out. It is carved into the jungle to allow the maximum wildlife experience. Manual Antonio National Park is adjacent to the property, but to be honest we saw much more wildlife at the hotel. Monkeys, Sloths, Birds, etc. The Hotel also has several expert guides that will take you anywhere you wish and also provide information on site.
Beaches in Costa Rica are 100 percent public. Arenas del Mar has direct access to 2 spectacular locations that were very private and safe.
I saw several of the other 5 star hotels we had investigated and although I'm sure their quality is comparable, the arena location is by far the best.
The food was excellent. Dinners were gourmet style equal to 4 star Northeast USA Restaurants. I found prices very reasonable based on the quality.
At the end of the day a successful business is based on its people and this is where Arena del Mar was head and shoulders above anywhere I have ever stayed.
Whether it be the wait staff, the guides, the golf cart drivers or front desk personnel. It was clear that there was nothing more important than a guest having a pleasant experience. It was very common for personnel to call you out by name and ask how everything was going. My wife and I had wonderful conversations with several on site employees and quite frankly by the end of our stay it was similar to saying good bye to friends. With any evaluation it is always good to provide feedback for improvement. At the end of my stay I spoke with a manager Gabriel and my only advise to him was on their Website. I felt that the Website did not depict the quality of the Hotel. Had the Frommer's review not have been so positive I may have chosen elsewhere.
Gary & Christine - Connecticut, USA

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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976 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
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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 (294)
Date | Rating
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English first
Colorado Springs, Colorado
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 8, 2014

Talk about being one with nature! Awesome views! Perfecto staff! Great food! The staff was always helpful with activities and pointing out local wildlife! Loved hearing the waves at night. The rooms and beds were very comfortable! We would definitely come back!

  • Stayed March 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
    • 4 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.
Lemont, Illinois
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 6, 2014

Don't be mislead by the use of "base camp"! This really is a very beautiful hotel with a great staff. The hotel has a couple of naturalists onsite (Ersel and Anya) that are passionate about their work and can't do enough to help you see things you want to see. The hotel also sets up trips to Manuel Antonio and other nearby areas. What the hotel doesn't have, they work with other vendors in the area to make sure you experience everything you want to see/do.

There are two beaches, a large public beach, where you can take surf lessons, and a smaller private beach. A nice bar is located at the private beach. Also a couple of pools on site.

Our room was one of the ocean breeze suites and was very sapcious. A whirlpool is located on the deck. We had a very nice view of the ocean. Two bathrooms, small refrigerator, flat screen t.v. in bedroom. Wi-fi access throughout hotel grounds.

The lodge actually occupies some 11 acres and has several trails you can utilize. Vegetation is cleared from the immediate area of the rooms, probably to discourage "critters" from "visiting", but even so, be sure to keep your patio doors closed and locked. One of the couples in our group was visited by a racoon, who knew how to open the cabinet that contained the refrigerator and subsequently opened the fridge and virtually cleaned out everything. He did leave the money on the counter behind!!!

The only downside was the food! We felt the food was a bit pricey and service in the restaurant was slow. Room service hamburger and fries for $12 was really good.

Not sure about the value as this was part of another great prepaid package we arranged through Vaya Adventures and the hotel prices don't seem to be posted on the hotel website.

I used the term "base camp" as we actually spent very little time at the hotel, rather we took advantage of the various side trips, all of which were associated with the hotel or arranged through the excellent concierge staff. Having said that, I think this is a great hotel for folks who want to simply relax by a nice pool or enjoy a private beach and for sure it is an awesome “base camp”! Purda vida!!

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with friends
    • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hanover, New Hampshire
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2014

My wife and I travel a fair amount. This country and hotel was by far one of the greatest places we have ever stayed. From the accommodations to the friendliness of the team members it was top notch. The service was impeccable. Everyone there could not do enough to help you from the concierges to the cooks. The food was great, rooms spacious and beautiful with great views, activities were fun. Manuel Antonio is a little beach town adjacent to the National Park. The location of the hotel was great and near both. The trails from the hotel beach to the lobby and rooms are very steep. We walked every day, but there are golf carts non stop if you need a ride up or down. The food at the restaurants was excellent. Fresh fish (and I mean fresh!!!) was available at lunch and dinner along with local fruits and vegetables. We never used the spa because we were too busy with all of the activities the area has to offer. The concierges were extremely helpful setting up tours and restaurant reservations. The nature guides were great and informative. Ask for Aracel. He is extremely knowledgeable and a great tour guide for the park. The beach was beautiful and quiet. If you want busy, just walk a mile down to the beach town and you can find surf lessons, parasailing and beach vendors. When you are downtown have lunch and order the fish tacos. So good. Have fun if you go, because there is no way you won't.

Room Tip: Rooms down by the beach are great. There is a pool, restaurant and quiet beach. Views aren't as...
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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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edmonton, Alberta
Top Contributor
79 reviews 79 reviews
43 hotel reviews
Reviews in 52 cities Reviews in 52 cities
68 helpful votes 68 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2014

We stayed here for four nights while we visited the National Park, etc. The hotel has a beautiful property which they work hard to preserve for the wildlife, which is very nice to see.
We were given a room upgrade, which literally never happens for us, so that was exciting. We had a huge terrace with an amazing view of the beach.
A few points to note-the included breakfast is ordered off a menu. My husband asked for a bit of yoghurt one morning, and he was told there would be an extra charge for that, even though yoghurt was part of another item on the menu. So, we thought for a property like this, presumably higher end, that was a bit nickel and dime.
Also, aside from the included breakfast, I wouldn't recommend the hotel restaurant for any other meals. We just weren't very impressed.
At this hotel, our impression was that any service had an additional charge. They will shuttle you out to the main road, where you need to get to if you want to eat anywhere but the hotel. But the shuttle is not complimentary. And, you can walk, but it is quite a hike, and probably not even safe after dark.
Our impression of the whole area was one of massive over development, which is really sad. They are trying to preserve this little bit of wilderness, these fragile species, and right at the edge of the park there is just frenzied development, restaurants, bars, etc. Just not right. We will not go back.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2014

Our stay at Arenas del Mar was a high point of our 5 week vacation in Costa Rica. My husband and I were very impressed with the friendly, knowledgeable, and well-trained staff at the resort.

We enjoyed eating at the El Mirador restaurant on the premises and enjoyed the beautiful view from our table. Breakfast was included with the room and very delicious. One night they served dinner on the beach - white tablecloths, the sound of the ocean, and torch lights created a very special atmosphere. Even if you aren't an overnight guest at Arenas de Mar, I highly recommend you make reservations to eat at the restaurant and/or sign up for the beachfront dinner.

Pool service was attentive and made sure guests' needs and desires were met. We found our room to be meticulously clean, tastefully decorated, replete with amenities, and the bed and pillows were very comfortable. We enjoyed an ocean view, and although the standard room was not large, we had plenty of storage space, a good sized bathroom, and a beautiful balcony that served as our living room.

Because the resort is on a steep hill, you have the option of being transported to and from the beach, restaurant, or room, by a golf-like cart. The service was prompt and the drivers drew our attention to animals and flora on the premises. You will probably see as much at Arenas del Mar as in M.A. Park.

One last note. The resort has a beautiful private beach, however, the drawback for kids is the strong riptide. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay and highly recommend Arenas del Mar. What a fabulous, romantic place!

  • 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
2 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2014

This place is pure paradise. The staff is absolutely wonderful, courteous and friendly and they make this place spectacular. It is the most beautiful resort I've ever been to.
The food is delicious. If you want the best of both worlds, to be in the rainforest jungle and beachfront, this is the place.
I would go back in a heartbeat.

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