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“Wow, wow and wow-wow-wow! What an amazing honeymoon!?”

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Arenas del Mar Beachfront & Rainforest Resort
Ranked #4 of 46 Hotels in Manuel Antonio
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed February 15, 2013

We stayed for 11 nights which is a long stay for this resort, and we would have happily stayed longer as everything is perfect! I cannot recommend this resort enough!!


Service is second to none here. The staff are all so helpful and friendly, and nothing is too much. Pretty much every member of staff we met made our honeymoon the best it could be. In particular, we would regularly chat to:
Gabriel, Ronny, Laura and Elaine (front of house / white shirts)
Alex, Brandon, Wilberth, Rodbin, Sergio and Paul (carrito drivers / green shirts)
Danier (night security / brown shirt)
Ramiro, Minor, Kenner, Pedro and Julio (bar/restaurant staff / light blue shirts)
Roger (guide / brown shirt)
Leo (management / navy blue shirts)
and there is so many I've missed (my list of names is written elsewhere)


OK. So this place is not cheap, but what you get for your money is great value. The resort is very eco-friendly earning them 5 leafs, and with a 5 star service/hotel rating, that makes them a 7 star resort - the only one in Costa Rica (I think). Pretty much everything in the resort is recycled and this does not come cheap to do, so the money you pay for the room is vital in helping them continue to be eco-friendly and therefore preserve the rainforest and the nature in it. Even the water is 100% pure, and the pool only has the minimum requirement in it!
Furthermore, you do get a wonderful breakfast included in the price (which you can request takeaway if you're off on an early morning tour) with a daily stocked fridge with a few snacks and free phone calls from your room (international as well!)


Rooms are very clean and well-presented. There is enough storage for clothes/etc and we had packed enough clothes for 3 weeks even though we were only there 11 nights - all this was put away and the suitcases hidden from view. We were in room 302b to start with which I am guessing is an Ocean Breeze standard room - the view was of the Playitas beach, and you could hear the sound of ocean waves at night. I would recommend that you do lock the cupboard door to the fridge as we heard many a story of guests losing their snacks to raccoons. We had no problems with mosquitoes at this resort either, but we were heavily covered in repellent most days and nights - the wildlife does do a good job at keeping the population of mosquitoes down though ;o)
After 302b, we were upgraded for free to 203a for our last 4 nights! This Ocean View suite was amazing with some much floor space, two sinks in the master ensuite, additional shower room, sitting room, jacuzzi on the balcony and large sofa. The view was fantastic from the room, but I personally wouldn't spend the extra money on this room for a couple as the extra space was unnecessary for our needs - plus, 302b was actually so much more private!


The location is perfect. Right on the beach, one (kinda private) beach called Playitas and then access to beach that connects to Manuel Antonio National Park called Espadillas. With the resort in the rainforest you can actually see many of the animals you can see at the National Park with some of rarest animals like a Mono Titi (red back squirrel monkey) which we only saw on the drive down the very steep road to Arenas del Mar. You only have to stay by the main restaurant/bar called El Mirador for an hour or two to see at least one Capuchin (white faced monkey), and at night you can often hear the howlers. Oh, and look out for your breakfast if you eat by the pool - an iguana jumped up onto the table while my wife and I were eating; had to grab our plates just before he got his chops around it! *lol*


We had a couples massage at Las Brisas and it was fantastic and well worth it - very relaxing!

Room Tip: We stayed in 302b (Ocean Breeze Room) and 203a (Ocean View Suite). Both were fantastic, but personal...
  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank PhilAI
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,121 - 1,127 of 1,835 reviews

Reviewed February 13, 2013

From the time we arrived we were treated like royalty. The hotel is built on the side of a hill going down to the ocean, and our taxi took us down about half way on a tortuous road to the entrance, where were greeted warmly, provided with refreshing cold water. A three seated golf cart took us further down to the lobby, where we took care of the formalities. Throughout our stay, several of the staff assisted us with questions we had.
We were shown to our room, 602B, which is a standard sea view, no Jacuzzi (we don’t use them). Our luggage was already there. We had a clear view of the ocean, and could hear the surf clearly.
The bathroom is very roomy with a huge shower, a welcome change to the very small shower we had endured for our 7 day cruise from Panama (see my review of that cruise separately (coming soon). The sink was in a small counter, and the toilet was beside a bidet.
Of special note, the complimentary wifi was the absolute best I have ever experienced in a hotel at any price.
The bed was super comfy. There was TV, DVD player, remote controlled air conditioning and ceiling fan, and a sliding door leading out to a large deck overlooking the ocean. On the deck was a wet bar including a fridge with some complementary items in it. There was plenty of space for luggage, as well as a safe.
Near the lobby is a pool with beautiful views out over the ocean. Also a bar and a small gift shop. A small reading area is well stocked with books. The dining room features tables inside and a few around the pool. Breakfast (included) and dinner is served here. The area is visited frequently by large iguanas and white faced monkeys. Howlers were heard, and even seen once.
Breakfast was good, and lunch down at Playitas Beach was also very good. The special dinner on Saturday night (also offered on Thursday) was also very good. But the one dinner we had up in the regular restaurant was average. We ate out the third night, which was planned.
TIP: If you are here on a Saturday or a Thursday, definitely take dinner down on the beach. It is a wonderful setting and the food was really great. Tiki lamps lit the way to tables under the palms with little candles on them. My wife said, “Cloth napkins on the beach! How can you beat this?”
With a short golf cart ride, we were down at Playitas Beach, a small but beautiful beach at the bottom of the hill. The restaurant (and bar) here serves lunch, and on Saturdays and Thursdays, dinner as well, in a tiki lit beach area with outside tables. There is a pool here also. A security person is on hand to watch things, but the beach is a long ways from a public entry, so there are few non-guests. Showers and rest rooms are available.
While there were a few families here, it is most suited for couples. There are many restaurants within a short taxi ride. We ate dinner here twice, and lunch twice. We ate two meals out; El Avion, and Kapi Kapi, reviewed separately (coming soon).
This is really a special place. We saw lots of different birds, iguanas, and two sloths. The people here are very friendly and helpful with taxi’s, rides, advice, etc., as well as general conversation. They are quick to point out observed wild life. A very nice, relaxing, upscale place to get away from it all.
Pictures here are very representative of what you will find, so I won't add any more. Recommend whole heartedly.

Room Tip: TIP: If you are here on a Saturday or Thursday, be sure to take dinner on the beach. Beautiful and...
  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank CaliforniaBillJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 3, 2013

Truly a well designed beautiful resort. With Ocean on one side and the secondary forest on the other, it is a very restful and tranquil place to stay. They have their own private beach and beautiful shady trees where you can spend your whole afternoon eating lunch and enjoying the views...And the hospitality was amazing. Everybody knows your name and are concerned about your comfort. Very charming staff. Free phone calls, even international. No charge for food & drinks in refrigerator. Private balcony. Loved this resort very much.

Room Tip: Because this is a hot and humid area, the bathrooms can smell a little musty.
  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with family
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Thank LisaMUsa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 2, 2013

We traveled to Costa Rica for the first time in June 2012 and stayed at Arenas del Mar and we could not have been more pleased. This eco-friendly, boutique hotel is tucked into the jungle on the beach.

If you appreciate wildlife like our family does, wildlife is abundant here. On the property, we saw sloths, coati, howler and capuchin monkeys, raccoons, agoudi, iguana and much more. The hotel owners have done an amazing job of providing a hotel with first class amenities while respecting the natural surroundings. We truly appreciated this.

The staff was incredibly friendly and helpful. They were great about pointing out animals to us in the trees, many of which we would not have seen without their trained eye. The food was amazing and our room was incredibly comfortable with a lovely hot tub on the balcony overlooking one of several pools. I think we had the most fun enjoying the monkeys on our porch and the baby sloth that came down from it's tree.

We highly recommend a surfing lesson from Alex and his brother. They give lessons by the hotel. Our 8 year old daughter had a blast and has not stopped asking when we can go back.

The hotel's location is great with proximity to Manuel Antonias Park and many other activities.
If you rent a car, we suggest renting a GPS too. It saved us.

We are planning our next trip to Arenas del Mar soon and cannot praise this "gem" enough. Thanks to Arenas del Mar, our first trip to Costa Rica far exceeded our expectations. Like some other reviewers, we are almost reluctant to let others know how wonderful Arenas del Mar is. We would like to keep it our little secret.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank Ann C
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 February 13, 2013

Greetings from Manuel Antonio. Thanks for sharing your experience at Arenas del Mar Beachfront and Rainforest Resort on Tripadvisor and not keeping it as your secret (-: Your review will be very helpful for guests looking for a vacation in Costa Rica that combines wildlife viewing, adventure activities, rainforest exploration and beach time. As you pointed out, our resort is in a privileged location within walking distance of Manuel Antonio National Park so that all of the above can be found within walking distance of your room. Thank you for pointing out our efforts to respect the natural environment where we operate. We were first hotel to receive the highest possible score of 5 Stars for Luxury and 5 Leaves for Sustainability from the Costa Rica Tourism Board. We are especially excited that you are already planning your next stay with us. Just let us know if we can assist you in any way. We have great green season values available for the months to come. We look forward to having you and your family back with us real soon.
Saludos from sunny Costa Rica,

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 2, 2013

Really can't add any more superlative comments to those already made on Trip Advisor.

We stayed here in January this year for 6 nights & found it to be one of the most relaxing places in the world that we have ever been. The staff were just wonderful & we received the impression that the kindness, respect & willingness to make a perfect vacation for us was much more than just a job for them. Add to that the amazing location of this resort & you have heaven! Manuel Antonio beach must be on the world's top 10 list & hotel guests have direct access to it.

The only fly in my ointment is that Costa Rica is not easy to get to from the UK (& Manuel Antonio even more so). It will almost certainly involve at least one flight connection, if not two, to get to San Jose & then another flight to Quepos or a long car journey. And don't mention the CR road system!! If you plan on hiring a car, the GPS is unreliable at best & although the available maps appear more than adequate, there are little or no roads actually named with the numbers shown on the maps. As a result anticipated journey times are frustratingly extended by wrong turns & detours.

Room Tip: Top floor of the buildings near reception overlooking the ocean. You will have stairs to climb (no...
  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank foolonthehill2005
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 2, 2013

I recently stayed at the Arenas del Mar and was totally captivated from the moment I arrived. This hotel has worked hard to gain a good reputation as one of the best hotels in the area, if not Costa Rica. It is small and spacious with only 38 rooms all located within the rainforest. My third floor room, overlooking the beach, felt as if it was in the treetops. At night I could hear ocean waves lapping and in the morning I was awakened to the melodious sounds of the tropical birds.
The service is superb, all the staff goes out of their way to help you and have a vast knowledge of the local fauna and flora. Gabriel and Rodbin were especially helpful as was Jonathan one of the managers. The food is fairly simple and all a la carte, my favourite place to eat was on the beach. There are also a number of restaurants outside the resort. The Spa is well worth a visit, especially if you choose their 'in house' massage.
This is an Eco-tourism resort and situated in its own private reserve. All types of monkeys, sloths and birdlife can be seen amongst the lush tropical trees. There is a small private beach, which leads to an expansive beach, where you can take a 30 minute walk to the Manuel Antonia National Park., alternatively you can take a taxi for around £5 ($8).This hotel is not for people who want a lively holiday - it is quiet, romantic and unpretentious.If you have problem with climbing hills they have golf buggies to take you to your room, however request a room close to the reception if you are worried.
This is a charming place to visit and a way to enjoy the best of Costa Rica's Eco-tourism and friendly hospitality.

Room Tip: Third floor, overlooking the ocean
  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled solo
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Thank ButterflyWarwick21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 30, 2013

This was our first trip to CR and we stayed at this gem for the first 5 days. We were completely blown away by this resort, the staff, the location, etc. We then stayed at Si Como No for 2 nights so we were able to compare two resorts in the area...

Staff - we cannot say enough wonderful things about the Arenas del Mar staff. The manager was very friendly and was often visiting with guests to make sure everything was perfect. All staff were accommodating, professional, friendly, and knowledgeable. Everyone was truly "at your service" and greeted you with a smile.

Food - although breakfast was good, we prefer a breakfast buffet over plated table service so that we can enjoy a variety of food on vacation. We never ate at the main restaurant for lunch or dinner. We did eat at Playitas twice and it was delicious. We loved the beachside dining as well as the beach service!

Drinks - happy hour was everyday from 5:30-6:30p and included local beers and cocktails with house liquor. There wasn't anything exceptional about happy hour for us as most of the guests did not come and the drinks were not overly strong. We loved the beach service for beer/cocktails during the day.

Location - the prime location and "private" beach is what sets this resort apart. There are no private beaches in CR but this is as close as you will get because it is quite a hike for non-resort guests. The majority of resorts in the area are high on the cliffs which offers a great view but you have to shuttle to the beach. There are golf carts to take you around the resort which is necessary because the steep hills. There is also easy access to another beach which you can walk down to the Manuel Antonioni national park. Do not expect to be able to walk to other restaurants, bars, etc from the resort.

Amenities - there are two pools although we did not see anyone use the one near the lobby/restaurant. The pool was refreshing but nothing spectacular. But you don't notice when you have the beautiful beach nearby! We stayed in building 2 which was very near to the beach and our room was great. We especially loved the balcony for morning coffee (delicious!) and watching the monkeys, lizards, etc. There was always plenty of lounge chairs at the beach which was a nice as we've experienced issues with availability at other resorts in the past.

Miscellaneous - wireless Internet was available in the room which was great. The local staff's knowledge of the rainforest was incredible and almost every interaction/golf cart ride was a mini tour! Don't be afraid to ask questions. Taxis (or the hotel van) are a must to/from this resort as it is a hike from the resort to the main road to catch a city bus. I would bring a small, soft-sided cooler on our next trip so that we could purchase our own beer and bring it to the beach. The resort overall was very, very quiet, even in the restaurant/bar areas, we would have loved a little salsa/merengue music to add to the ambiance. There were only 2 children at the resort, it was mostly couples.

We would definitely stay here again in the future and recommend this to anyone staying in the Manuel Antonio area. Our entire experience was excellent!

Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
Thank Jbar5858
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
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: $272 - $1,003 (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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Arenas Del Mar Beachfront & Rainforest Resort Costa Rica/Manuel Antonio

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