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Reviewed September 28, 2012

My wife and I just returned from a week stay at Arenas del Mar in Manuel Antonio. Never been treated so well by such a wonderful, helpful staff at such a beautiful location. A one-of-a-kind vacation including excellent food, wonderful scenery, great views of native wildlife and plants. I haven't seen my wife that relaxed and comfortable in years. Kudos to Danny at the bar, Roscoe, Allen, Pedro and Minor. Their service and genuine friendship is to be commended. I would recommend this place to anyone and plan on going back!

Room Tip: All have spectacular ocean views. Stay closer to the reception if you like the bar/restaurant/poo/, rooms closer to the bottom of the hill if you like being on the beach/pool/lunch.
  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Rob K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 25, 2012

Just left the Arenas Del Mar last night and this was without a doubt our best hotel experience in a long time. Besides the extraordinary location (forest AND beach), the staff is the most impressive feature of this hotel. So many people are eager to fulfill any wish you may have or shuttle you around the forest property. Even checkout was trouble-free -no hidden fees or any bad surprises. The rooms and the views are fantastic and the beaches immaculate. We had a wonderful holiday.

  • Stayed: September 2012
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1  Thank DelMar_Resident
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 21, 2012

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.

Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
3  Thank veyarestaxa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cayuga S, Manager at Arenas del Mar Beachfront & Rainforest Resort, responded to this reviewResponded September 24, 2012

Dear Carrie,
Greetings from Manuel Antonio. Thank you for your kind review of Arenas del Mar. We should be the one writing a review about your stay with us and how much we learned from you, how we loved your food and how much we enjoyed having you with us. We will plan for another Guest Chef Event for next year and it would be great if you could bring your kids that time. Next month Chip Roman is coming in from Philadelphia (Mica, ELA and Blackfish Restaurants) on the second event and we hope it will be the same kind of success. We are sure that your review will be helpful for future guests as you share many good ideas. No real need for A/C although it is available, walks on the beach to Manuel Antonio National Park right from the hotel and of course the interaction with our staff that makes a world of a difference. Thanks again for the great meals you cooked for us and our guests, they were also “perfectos”. See you in 2013. Have a great season in Anguilla.
Saludos,

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 19, 2012

Many hotels here have a ocean view. Ocean view from 100s of feet above the ocean on the steep mountainous coastline here. Beach access for most of the hotels here is not close.
Arenas Del Mar has both, rooms high above the beach with great views and also rooms just steps from the beach. Actually they have access to two beaches. One small private beach and one larger public beach that extends to Manuel Antonio National Park. If you stay here be sure to spend some time to get to know the employees here. If you don't, you are missing out on a great bunch of people. They are all so great. The people at the front desk, the people at the bar and resturant, the people driving the carts up and down the steep hills between the entrance and rooms, the dudes giving surf lessons on the beach and feeding you fresh coconut. Even the security personnel. And make sure that you share some crunchy minty tasting live termites with Erzzzzkle. Have no idea how to spell his name.

Room Tip: We stayed in one of their basic rooms and it was just fine. Most of the rooms were much bigger with huge balconies and hot tubs.
  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank azjmr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cayuga S, Manager at Arenas del Mar Beachfront & Rainforest Resort, responded to this reviewResponded September 22, 2012

Dear,

Thank you for your great Tripadvisor review of Arenas del Mar. We think your review will be very helpful for guests looking to make a decision where to stay in Manuel Antonio. Being the only luxury hotel right at the beach is a great plus and our guests really value this feature a lot. It is easy to walk along the Espadilla beach to the Manuel Antonio National Park. This is why we call ourselves a “Beachfront” Resort, right? A special thanks for your nice comments about our staff. Yes, by getting to know the staff, you take your vacation experience to a different level. We encourage our guests to not only stay at our hotel, but to really “Experience, Learn and Connect” with the locals and the culture. You did it. Don’t miss the complimentary tortilla making tour. Our guide Ersel (now you got the spelling) is happy to share his extensive knowledge of the flora and fauna with you and yes, if you are very adventurous… you can have a taste of the rainforest as well. Otherwise, we recommend fresh seafood and local fare at our two restaurants. Come back soon and once again thank you for such a great review. Greetings form Costa Rica.

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Reviewed September 18, 2012

My girlfriend and I have been to Costa Rica for 4 years for a girls trip with spa and nature in mind and this by far was the best trip. We went on the Culinary Experience with Chef Carrie Bogar and took part in her cooking class. This was a great experience. She made (designed) dinner for us for 3 nights that was out of this world. The package consisted of (3) 5 course meals, rum tasting, wine tasting, tortilla cooking, vanilla tour, excursions and delicious breakfast every morning.. From the moment you entered the lush grounds of this resort, you feel like you are one with nature and the ocean. The service is above any that I have experieced before. Ella at the front desk was so friendly and professional and even arranged dance lessons with Roger on the night of Costa Rica's Independence Day celebration, along with Sergio and Kevin. Ersel was a great tour guide and escorted us to the Hanging Bridges and waterfalls. He is very knowledgable and enthusiatic about his job and this shows through his great personality. Bernard the driver was very informative also and made us feel safe taking us to and from our destinations. William, Danny and Luis in the restaurant also spoiled us with our special requests and drinks. Really gave us the VIP treatment. Alex and Brian were always helpful with arranging our pickups from pools, to reception area to restaurants to beaches. Roger took us to the Manuel Antonio park and gave us the tour there, also great and knowledgable. The beach there was beautiful and and the waves were just the right size for swimming and body surfing. Ella also booked us the Catamarin trip - we were fortunate to see a baby and moma whale. We went snorkeling, saw hundreds of fish, had lunch and played music with Thomas. The Tortilla cooking tour was very informative and we made Tortillas with Elsia and Heiler and learned about their facilities and mission statements. The pool down by the ocean was always kept nice and clean and the restaurant and bar there served declicious food. You could eat down by the beach or up by the pool. Delicious Mahi-Mahi wrap and Bar-b-que chicken pizza and frozen drinks tropical drinks. Room: We had a Ocean View Premium room which was just breathtaking: we had a wrap-around balcony that had views from three sides and a jacuzzi tub which was so comfortable to lay in and look at the sky filled with thousands of twinkling stars (note: turn off all your lights) with the waves crashing below us. The bed and linens were just devine. You just melted in and never wanted to leave. The shower - oh my gosh -- we never wanted to get out. SPA: We were spoiled again and received treatments every night. Each was just as relaxing as the first. It's nice to do this in the early evening as sometimes it would rain and make it even that much more pleasurable. Each therapist was really open to our needs and customized each service to fit us personally. This company has really created a family environment which is evident of the employees and the way they treat their visitors. We never wanted to leave and will return for many years.
Keep up the good work!

Room Tip: Choose any of the Ocean view rooms -- you have great views and hear the crashing of the waves.
  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with friends
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2  Thank cindy w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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