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“Exceeded Our Expectations!”

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Arenas del Mar Beachfront & Rainforest Resort
Ranked #4 of 46 Hotels in Manuel Antonio
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed April 27, 2011

It took 3 planes and a taxi to get to Arenas Del Mar but well worth it once we arrived. My wife was very pleased we did not decide to drive the 3 hours to the resort. BTW, the price was the same to fly as it was to be driven. In San Jose, we took Sansa Air to Quepos. We chose Sansa due to the fact we could walk to their gate from main terminal. We were worried about short connection time and Sansa was vocal in their pre-boarding arrival time, which was not the case when we arrived. I wouldn’t want to be late but it appeared very relaxed when we arrived at check in.

The immigration and custom lines were long so I asked one of the guards and showing our tickets for the next flight, he was very kind to move us to the front of the line and we were out of the airport in 10 minutes, of course we carried on!

After landing on an airstrip carved out of the jungle we were picked up by prearranged transportation by Arenas Del Mar (ADM). It was $25.00 for one way 15 minute ride and worth it to have someone waiting for us, driver even stopped at a store so we could purchase a case of water (we learned later that it was unnecessary).

ADM is beautiful, sitting on a bluff above two spectacular beaches. There is plenty of space but the hotel takes a minimal footprint on the land. There are seven buildings overall holding 32 rooms. It appeared to me not to be a bad location for any one of them. We were in building 7 closest to the lobby and main restaurant. Our room 703B was very nice with large bathroom, sleeping area and great deck with a wet bar, microwave, coffeemaker and refrigerator. We did not have a Jacuzzi in our room as many others did however I don’t believe we would have used it anyway.

The lower numbered buildings seem to be surrounded by more foliage and more jungle like; I liked the way that they looked. The other advantage was the easy walk to the beach. Our building had the most privacy and the best views of the ocean. I think the best room is 703A, which I got to see during guest change. 2 bath, living room, and deck to die for! Truly a room where you could walk around in your underwear and not worry about privacy!! Jajaja

Due to some of the relaxed inclines of the property and the sun, most staff members travel by electric carts. Everyone also carries radios, so all you have to do is ask any one of the plentiful friendly staff to call you a cart. We never waited more than a couple of minutes for one to go by and give us a lift to anywhere we wanted to go on the property.

There are two beaches, two small pools and two restaurants. One beach to the right is somewhat secluded form the outside world. The beach bar restaurant, small pool and 4 of the lower numbered buildings are here. This is a lovely place to relax, on this jungle laden beach were the only traffic is that of the many species of wildlife.

The other beach to the left of the property is much larger and much more public. From the entrance to this beach it’s just a 20 minute walk to Manual Antonio and the Park.

The food: we consider ourselves foodies and have traveled to many countries. We also understand the burden of providing great food in somewhat remote locations. ADM handled the culinary aspect of our requirements admirably. Good amount of choices (since we did not venture out for dinners) and they always had a few specials each night as well. Everything was well prepared and presented, we were pleased with everything we ate; fish, meat, deserts and casado, there were also a few theme nights were different specialties were prepared in the dinning room. Some nights there was live music and once or twice a presentation on wildlife.

Breakfast was equally good; nice buffet of fruits, fresh juices, pastry and cereals followed by your choice of a hot entree from the menu. Breakfast and dinner were served in the main dining room just off the lobby area. * note; on Sundays you can make your own tortillas!

Lunch, when not walking into town and eating at Marlin’s, was served on the beach. Good selection of beach appropriate fare, of course sitting under a tree by the beautiful beach watching monkeys swing by wasn’t bad!!

The staff: These people work really hard and were very proud of their resort. Every question or request was responded to with a smile, pura vida and mucho gusto. Many learned our names after a couple of days and some just went out of their way to make sure we were happy.

My wife and I share the same birthday and we celebrated at ADM. On the night of our birthday, many of the staff and the musical trio came to our table and sang happy birthday to us..oh, they sang it twice, once for each of us. It was hilarious to see the servers pounding wine buckets as drums and then presented us with a complimentary chocolate cake..ahh yummy!

On the night after our birthday, one of the spa staff members made us homemade rice pudding, what a sweet gesture and sweet treat. One specific night I had a very special need that required special attention, staff member Nury Solano stopped everything she was doing to make sure I was taken care of. She stayed with the process until it’s conclusion to ensure I was completely cared for and my needs were met, this task required her to leave the building in a driving nighttime rainforest rainstorm. Something my wife and I will not soon forget.

Nury’s actions and the actions from the rest of the staff is testimony to the level of service they are committed to giving, there’s no wonder why they get such great reviews.

Walking the beach to Manual Antonio, we stopped along the way a few times to ask directions, mostly to assure my wife we were not lost. Always, everyone we asked would step aside to give us detailed instructions on how to walk straight down the beach. The town is quite small maybe a few blocks or so with vendors, shops and beach side restaurants.

Here you will find the entrance to the park; $10 US dollars will get you in. There are many locals perched outside to offer their services as guides. On the day we went into the park it was very crowded and we chose not to have a guide. We were happy we did, we just listened to guides talking and pointed out different things. I would guess if it wasn’t crowded and didn’t have the opportunity to eavesdrop, we may have missed some details about plants and some of the smaller species of animals. Here you can also find Manual Antonio beach one of the most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica.

From local encounters, the people of Costa Rica are truly friendly and pride themselves in showing their hospitality to visitors. In Manual Antonio you will find a colorful collage of tourism, bohemian lifestyle and a communion with nature that is expressed in their philosophy on life as Pura Vida.

Room Tip: 703A has most privacy and best views
  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank john b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,419 - 1,425 of 1,835 reviews

Reviewed April 20, 2011

We cannot compliment enough the Country of Costa Rica, it's People and of course Mr. Jampol and the Arenas Del Mar Beachfront Resort. This resort exceeded all our expectations, however, from the other Trip Advisor reviews, exceeding expectationsfrom this hotel is the reason we chose the resort. We traveled to Manual Antonio with our two children ages 11 and 8. Although it was a long trip, the moment we stepped on the grounds of the Arenas Del Mar we knew we were on vacation.

We have traveled extensively and found that the Arenas Del Mar can rival any hotel or beach resort with regards rooms, location, food, design, activities and of course service. I believe those are the categories Conde Nast Traveler Magazine rates hotels and resorts on; thinking maybe they haven't found their way to Arenas Del Mar. I will tell you that for those looking for the uber luxurious hotel/resort (ie. David Copperfield's Musha Cay Resort in the Bahamas), Arenas is not that place, however Arenas Del Mar provides you with, in my opinoin, much more.

Rooms: Rooms are tasteful with a hint of eco-friendly rustic. Well designed and thought out. Our family of 4 were extremely comfortable in the suite and the panoramic terrace was unreal. The king size bed was extremely comfortable and allowed us to sleep in every morning, only to awakened by the sounds of the Pacific against the shoreline. Our room was on the upper floor, which I would highly recommend.

Location: The resort location is amazing, plopped in the middle of the rainforest, nestled on the hilltop, and right on the beach, does not get much better. As you arrive and take the golf cart up to the resort itself, the rainforest provides you with just a small feeling of what is to come next. Each building provides the guests with views that rival the Monterey Peninsula or the Amalfi Coast. The wildlife within the resort is like being at the zoo. Our kids were enamored with the monkeys, the sloths and lizard friends all on the grounds. So much wildlife right on the property that going to Manual Antonio National Park was erased from our to do list. Although hilly terrain limits exhausted guests the ease of getting around the property, the golf cart transportation was efficient and effective throughout our stay.

Food: The food at the Arenas Del Mar was excellent. Two restaurants provide a variety of choices morning, noon and night. The breakfast (included in nightly rate) every morning included fresh fruit, juices, pastries and a made to order full American breakfast, more than anyone could ask. Lunch at the beach is what we did most days when not on excursions. The flavors and freshness of each entree we experienced were delightful. We ate dinner at Mirador twice and our experience was as good as any other restuarant we experienced in the Manual Antonio area.

Activities: With younger children, we limited our activities or "experiences" to every other day. The Concierge was excellent in assisting us with scheduling all of our experiecces during our stay. Zip Line with Canopy Safari Tours out of this world, more than just Zip Lining, Horseback Riding in the rainforest with Valentin on his family farm at Finca Valmy Tours was my 8 year olds favorite thing ever and this 8 year old has experienced a lot. Surf lessons, and an amazing rainforest hike over to Basanez Beach with Ersol, the hotel's resident wildlife and rainforest expert. Such a unique tour that allowed each of use to experience the beauty of Costa Rica as well as nature at it's best. Once we arrrived at Basanez Beach, taking a kayak out to a snorkeling spot was icing on the cake. Lots of fish, until the jet ski tour showed up. Typical Americanos. The beaches at the Arenas Del Mar are unique, access to two beaches is fairly simple. We spent the majority of our time at Playitas Beach which is more private, although the public does sneak over at low tide. The Pacific surf was tough on the kids but keep them close to shore and they can experience the enjoyment of body surfing and boogie boarding. The Resort has boogie boards and numerous sand toys for kids. Beach sand is not Grace Bay or Seven Mile Beach (white powder sugar stuff you find in the Caribbean), but still very nice and both walkable and good running surface for a morning jog. Pools small but two of them and both never more than 5 or 6 people in each. Perfect temperature in each.

Staff: The staff at Arenas Del Mar treated us like we were an extension to their family. Danny Boy and the others were a joy to get to know and we could not have felt more comfortable. Never an empty glass of water or adult beverage, which is difficult with me. Always working to see what each staff member could do better to make our stay more enjoyable. A novel idea when you are on vacation. Maid service kept our room clean and tidy each day.

In summary, a vacation that will be remembered by all and the Arenas Del Mar made it that. I cannot imagine a vacation that provided us with the relaxation of a typical beach vacation coupled with "experiences of a lifetime", Now that is tough to match. BRAVO.

Stayed: March 2011, traveled with family
7  Thank MAS41
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ElGrandote, Owner at Arenas del Mar Beachfront & Rainforest Resort, responded to this reviewResponded April 26, 2011

Dear MAS41; Thank you so much for your wonderful and extremely gratifying review of our small beachfront hotel. This is certainly more flattering knowing your profound knowledge of the hospitality industry and your obvious ability to make comparisons to other hotels of our size and location. Like many hotels in Costa Rica, sustainability is woven into the fabric of our company, but sustainability also includes the need to meet our client's expectations for quality, value and service. To hear that we succeeded in doing so on your vacation is very satisfying and makes the many years of hardship building Arenas Del Mar completely worth it. Danny and all of our staff are enthusiastic and are part of the family: this is where real service to the client stands out, when you have a staff that genuinely believes in the company and our efforts to be socially responsible, environmentally sustainable and experience driven. All of us, the general manager, the other owners, and all of our employees are always involved personally in every detail and try to always remember that our guests' vacation is something precious and infrequent and our goal is to make it the best and most memorable experience they have had while traveling. Of course, the paradise that surrounds Arenas Del Mar does a lot of the work; the myriad animals, the rainforest, the 85 degree ocean water just minutes from any room and the wonderful vibe that comes from very corner of the grounds.
Again, thanks for your very generous and ebullient comments, it was a real pleasure to meet you and to host you and your family and friends at Arenas Del Mar. Please be sure to let us know when yo are returning (we hope soon).

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 19, 2011

The hotel is situated in the middle of the rain forest, so there were iguanas at the pool, monkeys, birds, and sloths in the treetops on the hotel property, and so many other types of wildlife accessible from the hotel. The rooms are of an average size with a large bathroom and shower. When we arrived, we were welcomed with a cocktail and then taken to our room. After several minutes in the room, we were greeted by 3 racoons who knew how to turn a key to get to the mini refrigerator on the patio and steal some sugar packets. The racoons and monkey will steal any food left in the open. You can access the beach a short walk from the main hotel and a longer walk to the main entrance to Manuel Antonio National park. There free Internet in the lobby (it did not work in room) and there is a happy hour every evening with great drinks at half price. The main restaurant is convenient and good. The staff is very friendly and helpful. Organized trips may be arranged with the hotel and the resident guide is fantastic. If you like nature and luxury, this is the place for you.

  • Stayed: November 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank kimjim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 15, 2011

We stayed at this property for the second time in January 2011. I am happy to say that the experience was as good as the first time. The hotel staff go out of their way to make you feel welcome and tend to your needs.

I actually felt that the quality of the food improved from a year earlier.

Will probably stay here again next year. While I would like to try a different spot, I am having a heard time finding one that provides the level of service, location and access to other places to see and go out for dinner.

Room Tip: 3rd floor - building by reception area.
  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank fnct
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 9, 2011

My husband and I stayed in an ocean view premium suite with our 8 year old son. The room was gorgeous and spacious and the bed is very comfortable. The best part was the balcony, which offers magnificent ocean views. We saw monkeys, sloths, and iguanas every day. We heard other travelers say they did not see these animals on their hotel properties, so this must be unique to Arenas del Mar. I can't say enough about the friendly and courteous staff, especially Victor. The staff arranged for our flight and transfer to and from San Jose as well as booked our excursions. They made everything so easy. The hotel has two beaches, which can be reached in about 10 minutes walk, or you can ride in a golf cart. It was on these walks when we would find ourselves surrounded by whiteface or squirrel monkeys flying through the trees. We were there during the wet season, but since the rain always fell in the evening it never interfered with our day at the beach or adventure/sightseeing excursions. I recommend the hot stone message at the spa. We loved our Costa Rica trip, and I know a huge part of this was where we stayed.

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled with family
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Thank BTGC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 8, 2011

My wife and I stayed during our honeymoon. Such an amazing place. Our taxi dropped us off at the front gate and it's all golf carts from there, never another car while you are on property. The private beach is amazing. Breakfast was great. Most of all, the staff was a thrill to be with and around. They really know how to treat guests, especially Esteban! My wife and I will def be returning!

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank drudalton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 5, 2011

The Arenas del Mar was hands-down the best hotel either one of us have ever stayed at. The room was fantastic.The private beach is UNBELIEVABLE and the waves are so much fun. Free beach toys for all! The staff was very friendly and helpful, they really made us feel welcomed. The food was great and reasonably priced too. The combination of their location right on the beach, the accommodations, the omnipresent wildlife, their commitment to sustainability, and the genuinely friendly staff makes Arenas del Mar a true knockout. I would recommend this hotel to anyone and everyone looking for an unforgettable Costa Rican experience.

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank mark_kammerer
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 & Rainforest Resort

Address: Punta Quepos, Manuel Antonio 60601, Costa Rica (Formerly Arenas del Mar Beachfront and Rainforest Resort, Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica)
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Manuel Antonio
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
#2 Spa Hotel in Manuel Antonio
#2 Green Hotel in Manuel Antonio
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Manuel Antonio
#3 Luxury Hotel in Manuel Antonio
Price Range: $273 - $1,001 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Arenas del Mar Beachfront & Rainforest Resort 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, our hotel has 38 rooms with exclusive beach and nature views, 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. As well, we are proud to be the first Costa Rican luxury hotel to have been awarded the Five Sustainability Leaf Award and a Five Star Award. With this stunning location and a myriad of personalized services, on-property activities and land and water-based tours catered for honeymooning couples and families alike, 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 & Rainforest Resort Costa Rica/Manuel Antonio

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