At Manuel Antonio, we stayed 3 nights at Si Como No, which was awesome.
The hotel sits on top of a hill overlooking the jungle and sea and the property has a general use pool and an adult pool with a swim up bar. The whole property was covered with jungle which had plenty of wildlife in it. There were no TVs in the rooms, but they had small cinema on the property which showed films each night. We never ended up using it, but it looked nice.
The staff were all very helpful and were bilingual so no problems communicating.
The room was really nice – a split level with comfortable bed, sink & fridge and bathroom on the raised section. On the lower level was a built in couch facing the balcony, providing beautiful unobstructed sea views. It was very quiet and we spent each night hanging out on the balcony listening to the waves.
We arrived in the afternoon, so by the time we were checked in it was time for happy hour which runs from 4-7pm. We spent our first afternoon enjoying happy hour in the adult pool. We had a very good bartender and we were introduced to the local liquor, Guaro, in the form of 2 really excellent drinks – Guaro Sour and Guaroparina (I’m not sure of the spelling of that one, which was made with brown sugar and looked like mud, but tasted great). We saw a troop of capuchin monkeys in the trees next to the pool.
We then walked up the road to a restaurant called El Avion, which was an old transport plane shot down by the Sandinistas which was cut up and transported to Costa Rica. The bar was in the fuselage and the rest of the tables were on or under the wings. Unlike a lot of gimmicky sort of restaurants, the food there was excellent. Had one of the best steaks I’d ever had and my wife’s whole red snapper was also excellent.
The next day we had the breakfast buffet at the hotel. The food was really good food – they had an omelet stations and we especially loved the plantains. We discovered the local sauce called Salsa Lizano which we ended up putting on everything (we bought a big bottle of it when we got back). The restaurant had a perfect sea and jungle view and while we were at breakfast a troop of young squirrel monkeys came through, including one that came into the restaurant.
That day we took trip arranged by the hotel to a vanilla plantation called Villa Vanilla which was really good. They also grew cocoa, cinnamon, allspice and pepper and we got to try it all.
That night we went on a night nature walk through the forest near the property which was included in the Groupon/Travel by Jen package. It was cool, but we didn’t see much except tree frogs and some sleeping birds.
The next morning we walked back down the road towards Quepos and took a left at the first intersection, which put us on a road that took us down to the beach below the hotel (it’s a long walk). We ended up on a deserted beach which we walked on until we reached the entrance to the national park. We hired a guide to take us through the park, which was useful because it turns out to be really hard to spot the wildlife without the guide, who knew where to look and had a telescope. The park is quite small and crowded on the route from the main entrance to Manuel Antonio beach. Fact is there are so many groups with guides stopped on the main road through the park that if you wanted to do this on the cheap, you could bring binoculars and just look wherever the guides are pointing the groups. We saw more capuchin and squirrel monkeys, a sleeping howler monkey and both two & three toed sloths. Turns out the sloths hang out very high up in the trees. The pictures I took of the sloths and the howler monkey were all extreme zoom or through the telescope.
There were three beaches in the park and at the main beach we saw some wildlife all to close – some more capuchin monkeys and there were raccoons all over the beach which were stealing stuff right out of people’s hands. I had to wrestle my backpack away from one. For that reason we never ended up swimming at the beach there. We hiked all the trails, then took a bus back to the hotel. There’s really only one road, so any bus leaving Manuel Antonio (or Quepos to Manuel Antonio) passes Si Como No, making it really easy to get around.
We were sad to leave Si Como No and if we ever went go back to that part of Costa Rica we wouldn’t stay anywhere else.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Si Como No Resort Spa & Wildlife Refuge is a central-Pacific coast resort in the jungle-covered hills just above Manuel Antonio National Park. It’s barefoot luxury with a pura vida vibe, perfect for families and couples who love the beach, tropical adventures, spa, pools, superb dining and four-star accommodations. This award-winning eco-design nature resort & spa offers its guest its own signature version of "barefoot luxury." Panoramic views are yours to enjoy from beautiful balconies looking down from the most idyllic hilltop in the area. Enjoy nearby beaches, Manuel Antonio National Park and the hotel’s private Wildlife Refuge and Butterfly Atrium, adjacent to the property. Renown for warm, friendly service, guests can choose from two excellent restaurants, guided nature and adventure tours plus shopping, fabulous nightlife and our own private cinema. And for Costa Rica weddings and honeymoons, this is where life memories are made, one tropical sunset at a time. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Si Como No Hotel
- Si Como No Costa Rica
- Hotel Si Como No Costa Rica/Manuel Antonio National Park