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Reviewed October 14, 2012

Just returned from a week long stay at the Arenas Del Mar property in Quepos, Costa Rica. Went there with two other couples. Couldn't wait to share our wonderful experience with return and future travelers. Everything was wonderful at this beachfront/rainforest property. The location was like being on a Fantasy Island. The staff were amazing and fun. William Bernie, Ariel, et al., treated us like favorite family members. The food and specialty drinks were fantastic. Food presentation, quality and taste were excellent. Again the staff, who seem to be there 24-7 were so good natured and eager to help. The view of the Pacific and Manuel Antonio National Park from the lovely room made the decision to go out and do anything difficult. The bed and pillows were very comfortable. Our balcony with the semi circular hot tub is a delightful touch. The second pool and secluded restaurant at beach level were very much enjoyed. the beachfront chaises made vegging out an addiction. Whatever we wanted to do off-property was arranged by the front desk, and all the details were exact. The property is well maintained and kept very clean. Tucked back into the hill overlooking the Pacific we were treated to many sightings of monkeys (and serenaded by the uber-cool Howler Monkeys daily), as well as sloths, aguti, iguana, birds, etc., etc. Took advantage of the spa on site and was not disappointed. First rate treatments and affordable. There is a small shop behind registration that had local handicrafts. We compared prices when we visited the town of Quepos and the shop's prices were very competitive. The property is delightful and the staff are off-the-chart professional and accommodating. Off property we did some deep sea fishing (1 blue marlin, 3 sailfish, 3 Mahi-Mahi - thank you Captain Franklin and first mate, Jackson on the Big Eye 2), We did a rainforsest tour to a waterfall and swimming hole with Ersel (Arenas Del Mar ecologist), We went river rapids rafting and had a ball. Can't wait to return to Arenas Del Mar with more friends and family.

Date of stay: October 2012
  • Trip type: Traveled with friends
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3  Thank travelbug3806
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 12, 2012

I just spent 2 nights at Arenas and it was wonderful. As I was driven from the welcome pavilion to the reception area, I was immediately enveloped by the exotic surroundings and the warmth and friendliness of my driver, Ariel. Once at reception, I was greeted with a refreshing welcome drink and more smiles and friendly, efficient service.

I stayed in an Ocean View Premium Suite and it was beautiful! Comfortable living area and King sized bed; both rooms with huge glass sliding doors out to the large deck with hot tub and really comfy chairs, which overlooked the Pacific. The bed was heavenly - sooo soft but no backache in the morning!! The wi-fi connection was strong in the bedroom and on the deck but not in the living room.

The food was very good, with attention to excellent service and presentation. The wine selections were Chilean and Argentinian with one French label. Eating at Playitas Restaurant on the beach was relaxing and the ceviche, delicious. My waiter, Luis, was very nice and so gracious.

The tortilla tour gave us the opportunity to make and sample the local Tico tortillas and learn about some of the history of the hotel and ecosystem of the grounds. The dancing lessons in the evening by the bar were fun.

All of the staff seemed genuinely happy to be there:, friendly people who were eager to make my stay with them as pleasant as possible. It is a gorgeous property in a beautiful setting and I look forward to returning.

Date of stay: October 2012
  • Trip type: Traveled with family
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4  Thank Wanderlusting_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 8, 2012

We honeymooned at Arenas del Mar in the first part of August and had a fantastic time. We stayed in an Ocean View Premium Suite down by the private beach, with a view of the beach and one of the pools. The room was spacious and comfortable, and we made use of the deck hot tub which was very relaxing. There were chip-type snacks and drinks provided daily, which added a local flavor. There was wifi internet provided in the suite, but of note it only worked adequately in the main sitting area; the internet was extremely weak and spotty in the bedroom or on the deck.

The grounds were beautiful and we had many animal sightings, including geckos, iguanas, monkeys and sloths. Early one morning, from the restaurant deck, we spotted a pod of humpback whales swimming very close to shore. We would definitely recommend bringing binoculars if you have them! The waves at the private beach were too rough for swimming, and on many mornings the "no swimming" flag was up. We did enjoy sitting at the beach and walking in the water. The grounds are quite hilly, but the golf carts were readily available and we occasionally walked for some extra exercise.

We ate most of our meals at the hotel restaurant. The breakfasts were included and tasty, with a variety of fruit and choice of a hot entree. We particularly enjoyed the french toast with mangos and bananas. The dinners were good but not spectacular, and somewhat high priced. We took advantage of the happy hour half-priced drinks.

We took several excursions from the hotel, and enjoyed them all. The guide Ersel lead our tours of Manuel Antonio National Park and the Hanging Bridges and Waterfalls, and was extremely knowledgeable and excited about showing us the diversity of Costa Rican wildlife.

For those worried about traveling to Costa RIca in the "rainy season," the weather did not dampen our enjoyment. The mornings and early afternoons were sunny, and it predictably rained in the late afternoon and evening, leading to some spectacular thunder and lightening storms.

Thanks to everyone at Arenas del Mar! We had a great time and would love to return!

Date of stay: August 2012
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
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Thank Kim W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 8, 2012

We had a simply fantastic honeymoon at Arenas Del Mar. Our room was absolutely beautiful, with a great view of the beach and one of the pools. The hotel staff was extremely friendly. Our nature guide, Ersel, really knew his stuff, and went out of his way to make sure that we got to see as much of the Costa Rican wildlife as possible. We would highly recommend Arenas del Mar.

Room tip: We chose the top level room, and were very pleased with it.
Date of stay: August 2012
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Andy W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 2, 2012

You know it's been a great hotel experience when you find yourself getting teary eyed at the end of your stay. True, Arenas Del Mar was our last stop of what had been an amazing trip - but the hotel experience more than exceeded our expectations, making it very hard to leave!

My friend and I booked through a Snique Away deal for a "ocean breeze" room. We expected to maybe see a sliver of the ocean, given other descriptions of the breeze rooms. We were pleasantly surprised to walk into our room and discover a huge balcony looking directly out to the ocean and the far end of Manuel Antonio. We loved the coffee bar and free snacks in-room set up on the balcony, and the oversized chairs that were perfect for reading at the end of the day or watching the gekkos on the balcony ceiling at night!

As others have noted, you often need a golf cart to get from one place to another on the property - but that is because the property is huge! It also allows for the hotel to be both on the beach and overlooking the beach with great views :) We also didn't mind sometimes walking the hills, as the hotel is embedded in the jungle and full of iguanas, monkeys and sloths for spotting.

We did a tour of Manuel Antonio park through the hotel. While more expensive than negotiating your own rate at the park entrance, we appreciated the ease of transportation to the park and the extensive knowledge of our guide. Traveling to the park also made us appreciate the tranquility and remoted feel of the hotel. The park entrance has lots of vendors, day visitors at the beach, crowds for the park - but Arenas Del Mar sits just 5 minutes down the road and feels a world away.

The only drawback we experienced was the one restaurant on property. It was not easy to get to other restaurants (up a big hill), so we ate at the hotel restaurant both nights. We had steak served raw, which we sent back (and still came out near raw). We both had fish the second night which was tasty, but for the price of the meal I expected more. If I were to return (and I hope someday I do!) I would make the effort to leave for dinner. That said, the included breakfast at the same restaurant was delicious.

Room tip: Rooms on upper floors and/or facing away from the jungle looked to have nicer patios / balconies.
Date of stay: August 2012
  • Trip type: Traveled with friends
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3  Thank Bolie11
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 October 8, 2012

Dear
Thank you for your very thorough review of your stay at Arenas del Mar. First of all, we would like to apologize for the mistake with your meal at the restaurant the first night. We are happy to hear though, that you enjoyed your other meal as well as breakfast. Thanks for pointing out the great features of our hotel such as the beach access and wildlife that can be seen all over the property. We are glad you enjoyed the room experience with the balcony and views of the Manuel Antonio National Park as well as the little details such as the Tico Bar with the snacks. Thanks for pointing out the quality of the tour to the national park that we arrange for you. You are right that you might be getting the tour for a few dollars less at the entrance of the park, but the quality of guide and personalized experience is well worth the extra money. At least that is what most of our guests tell us. Happy that you picked up on our theme of “pura vida” and we hope to have you back in Costa Rica and at Arenas del Mar real soon.
Greetings from Manuel Antonio.

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