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“Comfort amidst jungle...a perfect combination” 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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Top Contributor
161 reviews 161 reviews
87 hotel reviews
Reviews in 71 cities Reviews in 71 cities
372 helpful votes 372 helpful votes
“Comfort amidst jungle...a perfect combination”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2010

After much research on TA and elsewhere we selected Arenas del Mar based on location near water and the consistently great reviews. We were not disappointed. Booked directly with the hotel and communication was very efficient. We booked a Premium Suite and were in building 4 which is totally private...possibily not the straightaway view as from building 7 but we preferred it because it was not right at the pool restaurant and reception area and therefore the terrace was very private. I believe the room was 403A. For a smaller room 403B had some view and also very private. The room was just as expected but be prepared that in any of the suite type rooms the sitting area in not air conditioned and many have sofa beds (for families) and it is really too hot so they bring in a very large a/c unit which does work but very noisy. There is talk of air conditioning the whole unit which probably should have been done when being built. The terraces are just beautiful and jacuzzi really nice. It was a great room and although very expensive worth it for the view and space.
Service at the hotel from the golf cart drivers to wait staff at the restaurant was very good as well as reception. We did receive some incorrect info on certain things at the reception but it worked out fine...one reception staff member was less than welcoming but most were very professional.
Spa experience very good...Paloma for massage one of the best I have ever had. Restaurant was good...it was very hot when we were there with not much wind so I must say I found it pretty hot in there and preferred to have a table by the pool which they set up about three for breakfast and dinner. Dinners were excellent ...breakfast buffet was okay but not the selection I was expecting.. Arenas del Mar is a great choice for your stay in Manual Antonio...very quiet and relaxing in a low key way while still offering everything you could want. There was a mix of families, couples and others staying there...I personally think the pool etc. is more geared to adults and most of the families were gone all day. The small beach area is nice for sitting under a tree and reading.....too many waves for serious swimming but beautiful. I know some people prefer the buildings closer to the water ie 1/2/3 but honestly the views are pretty blocked and I was glad we had not requested that area. We highly recommend this hotel.

  • Stayed January 2010
    • 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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1,062 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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English first
Maryland
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 13, 2010

My twin sister and I chose Costa Rica as the destination this year's annual birthday trip. We worked with an excellent travel agent in Costa Rica and I asked for two nights at a hotel on a beautiful beach. The agent booked us at the Arenas del Mar. We were in building 7 and had a beautiful view of the beach. Although the room was small, the bathroom was very nice and the bed was very comfortable bed. We enjoy walking so the short trip to the beach wasn't a problem for us. We found the staff very friendly and the service pretty good.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Raleigh, NC
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2010

My wife and I stayed 5 nights in late January (blg #7, 3rd floor, Ocean View Superior)and had a sensational time. Building 7 is right adjacent to pool, main restaurant, spa and reception. This is at the top of the hill and has unbelievable views) Beautiful resort, great staff, great beaches and great wildlife. We thought the food was way above average and the prices were reasonable considering what you pay elsewhere. (Example: We stayed at the Westin Regina in Cabo San Lucas in Jan 2002 and paid $14 for a hamburger at the pool bar....)
Excellent breakfast was included each day. This included a very nice continental along with a choice from the regular breakfast menu. I'm a little surprised at some of the comments saying the food was average. We didn't find that to be the case.
The main roads of this area are good but once you leave them be aware. This is rugged terrain but it's part of the charm. The resort, and all of the hotels in this area, are a short drive from the Quepos airstrip. Do yourself a favor and take a cab. It's easier and most places you need to get to are not far.
My wife and I ate at Ronny's and Si Como No. Ronnys has a great view of the water but as far as restaurant atmosphere there really is none. It's a very informal, local joint with good food. We both had the caribbean lobster dinner for $28 american dollars. Reasonable price, I thought. Ronny's is a bit of a ride and quite a bit off the main road. The thing is, at Arenas Del Mar, from almost every location, you have a stunning view of the water so the big deal of Ronny's may be a little disappointing to some.
Si Como No, right on the main road towards Manuel Antonio Park, is a beautiful resort with two restaurants. We ate at the more formal one (the name escapes me...) and had a great dinner. I had the red snapper, the whole fish grilled, for around $16 american dollars. A bargain. My wife had the filet mignon and it was good, too. Although, I would tend to stick with seafood in this area. The beef may not be up to some peoples standards.
We took the 1/2 day sailing trip and it was great. The snorkling was ok, not great but the trip was real nice. We also did the horseback riding, inland to the waterfall, and had a great time, too.
We liked this area for what it wasn't. Meaning you'll see no big megaresorts, no Hilton's, no Marriott's and no Hyatt's. You won't see any golf resorts, 24 hour fitness centers or huge casinos. You on vacation but you still get the feeling you're amongst the locals.
Also, and this is big, you will find no one trying to sell you anything other than maybe a cab ride. We've been to Mexico, Jamaica, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. In Mexico it was a timshare, Jamaica it someone's 10 yr old sister. You get the idea. You won't get that here.
We will make a return trip to this area. It was that good.
As far as getting there? We flew from Raleigh, NC non stop to Miami. Then non stop to San Jose, CR. Then a simple 20 minute flight on Sansa Air to Quepos airstrip. It's harder to get to some of caribbean islands compared to this.

  • Stayed January 2010, 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.
Chicago
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 1, 2010

Very beautiful hotel. More wildlife on hotel grounds than at the national park. Many different types of monkeys, also sloth and baby sloth. Hotel was incomparable. Rooms were beautiful with very comfortable beds. Outside jacuzzi tub. Staff was amazing. Very helpful in making our trip the best it could be. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled with friends
    • 4 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.
Succasunna, New Jersey
Top Contributor
190 reviews 190 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 71 cities Reviews in 71 cities
73 helpful votes 73 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2010

From the moment we we arrived we were greeted with a very friendly and caring staff. We stayed for a week and were sad to have to leave.

The hotel sits on a low bluff over the beach, with easy access ( 3 minute walk ) to two beaches on the property. The larger beach stretches all the way to the Manual Antonio Park entrance. The second beach is secluded, and has a beach bar and bathrooms as well as a small fresh water pool. It is perfect to sit under the palm and other trees and watch the water and wild life that surrounds the area. We saw white faced monkeys and sloths while on the beach.

The entire resort is only 38 rooms and is set in a wonderful park setting and blends into the surrounding area. Our room was a standard room . It had a huge deck with ceiling fan and looked right out to the water ( room 702b ). There are 40 staff members on duty at any one time. There is a second pool at the main reception. The entire facility is open air and there are 7 small buildings that the room are located in. You feel like you are in a remote location the middle of a tropical jungle.

While at the resort we also saw Howler monkeys and other wildlife. We saw more animals at the hotel than we saw at the Manual Antonio park. All kinds of lizards and iguanas as well.

The staff is one of the best features. They will do anything to make your stay perfect. They are friendly and caring. It is not often I remember hotel staff names, but at this hotel how could you not. To name just a few; Robin, Mikey, Davey, Jeffrey, Maria. Great professionals.

This hotel has just been open two years. A few refinements would go a long way to rivaling a Four Seasons. While drinks and food are very reasonable priced, they need a bit more selection and leeway to innovate based on guest preferences.

There are 4 or 5 very nearby places to eat when you want to get out of the hotel. You are a short drive to the towns of Quespos and Manual Antonio.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
philadelphia, pa
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2010

Arenas Del Mar has it all: gorgeous rooms with fabulous views, indigenous wildlife on the property, clean beautiful beaches, very good food and the best staff we have encountered anywhere in the world. We never wanted to leave the property...altho we did tour the rainforest.
Just to give you an idea of how wonderful this place is: my husband wanted to surprise me with something romantic for our anniversary. The staff totally enjoyed helping him plan a private dinner for the two of us on the beach with luminarias lining the way to the table set with roses and candles. What a moment of a lifetime!
We echo the thoughts of many other posts about great beds, great service, and an unbelievable location at the intersection of rainforest, ocean, beaches and cliffs.
We will definitely return!

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kalamazoo, Michigan
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2010

My husband and I just returned from our 6 night stay at Arenas del Mar and are already planning a return trip. Our room was beautiful and we loved getting up every morning to have coffee on the balcony in the company of the local wildlife. The bed was incredibly comfortable and the A/C was terrific at night as it was quite warm and humid during our stay. We saw all of the promised wildlife on the property (capuchin monkeys, squirrel monkeys, howler monkeys, sloths, geckos, iguanas) and to be honest our trip to Manuel Antonio was anti-climatic. I would recommend foregoing the guided tour and instead grab a day pack and spend the day at beach #3 which was beautiful and tranquil and without the wild surf of Playitas beach. Speaking of the beach, the surf can be quite rough and there were many riptide warnings posted. However, the water was very warm and swimming was a pleasure - especially during low tide.

I agree with other posters that the food was just so-so although surprisingly I thought the lunches at the Playitas restuarant were better than the dinners at the Mirador. The free breakfast was also quite good with a full menu. It is not easy to get off the property - a taxi is definitely required. We did not avail ourselves of the golf cart services on the property but instead used the hill climbing as aerobic exercise...

The staff were all delightful and accomodating. My husband and I enjoyed practicing our Spanish with them and they were all very happy to help us add to our vocabulary. That said, everyone also spoke serviceable English so no worries if you don't have any Spanish.

There was wi-fi internet access available. I was unable to connect from our room but got a very strong signal in the public areas - including the Playitas beach.

Trips worth taking off the property: Dinner at Ronny's (go before sunset and you'll enjoy a spectacular show) and the Villa Vanilla Spice Tour.

I can't imagine a better place to stay in Manuel Antonio...

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 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 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 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*
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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