Full Disclosure-I visited Arenas del Mar as a Chef as part of the Guest Chef Series (see Cindy W.'s review below). I can not wait to return to this incredible place. After a scenic two hour drive from San Jose (in a very comfortable van) with a short break to get a drink and see the Crocodile Bridge, we arrived just after sunset and were greeted at an open-air reception area. Cool towels, Coconut-Cucumber Juice and friendly smiles immediately relaxed us. We then took a short ride in the eco-friendly golf carts to the lobby. We were escorted to our room and shown around. Beautiful and spotless. A balcony stretched along the entire length of the suite allowed great views of the two beaches. A large outdoor jacuzzi on one side and lounge chairs along both sides. Mini bar stocked with soft drinks and Tico snacks changed daily. AC throughout but we preferred to keep the doors open to be awakened by the incredible sound of the crashing surf.
Woke up early and watched the sun rise. Sounds of nature. Short walk up the paths to the early coffee served poolside. Walk on the beach. Wonderful breakfast-eggs, fresh tropical fruits, baked treats (bread pudding my favorite). Just walking on the trails throughout the property enabled you to see sloths, monkeys, iguanas, basilisks, and so many birds.
Guided hike with Roger through the Manuel Antonio Park was great. His scope showed us so many different things (up close and personal). After the leisurely hike, we ended up at the beach and took a refreshing swim in the ocean. Lunches were enjoyed on the smaller beach-with one of the two pools nearby. Fresh squeezed lemonade with basil and shrimp and avocado salad with crisp plantains were enjoyed with my feet in the sand. Couples massage at the spa was perfect-strong hands and peaceful surroundings. And finally, the staff. Everyone was so warm, helpful, genuine. Addressed guests by name. Learned your tastes quickly. Brought you to see animals that you might have missed. Attempted to teach me some Spanish, which I will work on. Just great-every single aspect. Very romantic but can't wait to return and share the experience with our children.
- 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 And Rainforest Resort, Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica Manuel Antonio National Park