Spent 5 nights at Byblos (pronounced Bee-Blos). Very good mid-price range hotel in the center of the Manuel Antonio area. Several things in walking distance- ATM machine, several restaurants, and nice coffee shop (Cafe Milagro). We even walked to Manuel Antonio Park/beach area one day (about a mile or so) but usually took the bus there (about $0.22 each way, runs every 30 minutes).
We didn't bother with a rental car. We paid for a transfer to and from San Jose (email@example.com). They have very nice LARGE vans and traveling with our driver (Rubier) was a pleasure. The roads were not as bad as I expected from other reviews - but then again I did grow up in Alabama!
Phone calls to USA were reasonable direct from the room (if you don't talk much), about $0.50 a minute. We had a deluxe room with an ocean view. It was on the top level and had a decent view of the ocean but somewhat obstructed by trees. The entire staff was very nice and helpful when we asked questions.
The hotel courtyard appears to be in the path of the daily monkey migrations. Every morning right after daylight the monkeys moved through the grounds and late afternoon they came back through. One day there were two sloths in a tree right outside our room. I did not expect this much wildlife activity when we checked in. One afternoon our waiter saw a Toucan about 100 yards away at the edge of the grounds. I could hear it but only saw the limb shake- not be bird.
Met one of the American owners (Sari?) when we checked in. Heard girls squealing and thought someone found a snake- but the noise was caused by the owner and owner's daughter. The daughter had just gotten engaged and was showing her new ring to her mom.
The owner was very friendly and gave us several recommendations for restaurants within walking distance. It was funny- after naming a few she also stated (almost as an after-thought) that the food at Byblos was good (which it is). She definitely was not trying to push their restaurants!
We really enjoyed dining at Agua Azul. Probably the best and freshest seafood I've ever had, but a bit more expensive than most restaurants in the area (but similar to a nice dinner in Atlanta). Beautiful view of the Pacific. Dinner for two with a nice bottle of wine was about $100 total. You would be hard pressed to spend $100 at most other restaurants in the area. You can go to any restaurant wearing beach attire- everything is casual. We also liked Barba Roja- also had a great view of sunsets.
The hotel has two restaurants- one down by the pool and one inside the sports bar. The prices are moderate by hotel standards (about $8 for sandwich plates, $12-$15 for dinners). Beer appears to be a good deal at the hotel, less than $2 for Costa Rican beer (and it tastes good!). Mixed drinks are more, in the $4 - $7 range. Cooked-to-order Breakfast is included with your room and is very good with several choices. Their pizza was also good.
Last comment. If you book a room at Byblos, do it with a service like Expedia- you get a much better rate than if you book it directly with the hotel ($116/night versus $176/night for same room).
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Hotel Byblos offers all the amenities and comforts of a three-star boutique resort, while conserving the essence of jungle style lodging. All rooms are spacious offering ample views of the local Wildlife and Garden Areas or Pacific Ocean. Accommodations feature air conditioning, telephone, cable TV, safe box, hair dryer, mini-refrigerator, microwave and coffeemaker. Free gated parking and wireless internet access is available, as well as our poolside Bistro Pizzeria, Billfish Sportsbar and air conditioned Casino. Close to all tours, attractions, spas and local restaurants. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Byblos Resort And Casino
- Byblos Hotel Manuel Antonio National Park
- Byblos Resort & Casino Costa Rica/Manuel Antonio