Our family's trip to Manuel Antonio was perfect thanks to our stay at Arenas del Mar. I have only good things to say about this wonderful, beautiful, spectacular hotel with warm and friendly staff.
Every day started with a delicious breakfast including fresh fruit, an assortment of yummy pastries, fresh bread, and a main course--eggs, bacon, sausage, etc. Then we would usually spend the day at Playitas or Espadilla beach and at the hotel's pool down by the beach. We would usually have a snack for lunch--the nachos are delicious--and then go to happy hour for tasty cocktails (smoothies for the kids). We followed up with dinner at their restaurant. While dinner could be pricey, all the food we had at the hotel was good and it was convenient for our family with young kids. My husband and I both enjoyed the local plate on the dinner menu (can't remember the name but includes grilled chicken, beans, rice, plantains, etc.). Our four year old and almost two year old were a bit pickier at dinner but enjoyed grilled chicken and fresh veggies.
The two things that stand out about our stay at Arenas are 1) the wildlife all around you and 2) the staff. We weren't in the right place to see monkeys the first day at Arenas, but the next day, the staff actually called us and sent a cart to our room when the monkeys showed up at the beach/pool area around 4, a time they always come to the beach. From that day on, we saw sloths, monkeys, iguanas, hermit crabs, lizards, butterflies, and birds every day. That made our trip soooo worth it. Our girls loved it!!!! And it was so easy because the animals were right there on the property so we didn't have to go on a trek looking for them. We actually preferred seeing the animals at the hotel than at Manuel Antonio Park, where we spent one day, because the animals at the park were so used to people that they were more aggressive when they didn't get what they wanted--thanks to ignorant tourists feeding them candy and other inappropriate food.
The other highlight of Arenas, as others have pointed out, was the staff. Everyone was wonderful and so kind with our kids. Everyone knew our girls' names and engaged them in conversation about their adventures. I hate to give names because I forgot many of them, but I have to give a shout out to Robbie, who introduced us to the property, Victor and Leonardo, who drove us around the property a lot and were funny with the kids. Also hi to Carla, our wonderful waitress, who the girls loved. Everyone was amazing, though. The front desk helped me set up ziplining with my 4 year old, the bartender recommended scrumptious tropical drinks, another driver (wish I remembered his name) stopped while we were driving to Espadilla beach and had no problem waiting as we came across about 20 monkeys (2 different kinds) swinging through the trees and we stopped to take pictures. All the wait staff were kind and patient with our rambunctious kids at mealtime as well. I also had a hot stone massage at the spa with Natalie and it was great.
It was a truly memorable experience and our family hopes we can go back soon!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
December 23, 2010
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Thank you for your wonderful review about your stay at Arenas Del Mar. We are very happy that you had such a wonderful vacation experience at our hotel. Besides all the nice things you said about service and food quality, we are happy to hear your appreciation about the wildlife.
Ever since the construction, we have worked very hard to keep the nature intact around the resort. We advise our guests not to feed the wild animals and employees know that if they feed the animals it will affect tremendously. Sustainability is very important to us and we want to make sure that many more families like yours are able to enjoy the natural beauty and biodiversity of the rainforest in Manuel Antonio. We hope you come back someday soon and wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.