I would give this property five stars if certain changes were made. We stayed here three nights.
The property itself is beautiful. Golf carts are necessary to get around but the drivers all carry walkie talkies so when you request a ride you get one within minutes. The drivers were the friendliest employees (Ariel, Paul, Rodvin, Wilber, Brandon, Sergio and Alex: Pura Vida!) It never rained so it wasn't an issue. Not sure what the wait would be like if it was raining.
There is direct access to a private beach which is why many people stay here. We noticed that the two pools were almost always empty and the private beach was being used more often. There was a gentleman working for the property using a machete to cut off the tops of coconuts and offering coconut water with straws to the guests, really nice touch. The property has security guards at both beaches. They will call for a cart when needed.
The public beach is nice to watch surfers. The sunsets are magnificent.
We took two tours using a private guide through the property. If you choose to take a tour request Ersel Aguilar. He is a professional, intelligent, passionate guide.
We hiked through Manuel Antonio Park on the first tour and the property includes fresh fruit plates and drinks at the restaurant when you return. The hanging bridge tour (truly fantastic bridges, views, waterfalls with a swimming area with the clearest cleanest water) includes a full lunch for two when you return. Well worth the money.
We are birders and love all flora and fauna (in the park we saw a slaty tail trogon, panama flycatcher, hummingbirds, double toothed kite hawk, black crown tityra, hourglass frog, jesus christ lizard, yellow crowned night heron, blue grey taninget, sloths, blue morpho butterfly). The pictures we took were extraordinary.
The spa is five star. We had a couples massages on Valentines day and individual massages the following day. Request Andrea for your massages. Priscilla, if Andrea is not available.
We stayed in Building 5, third floor and it was very easy to walk to the main building, the pool by the front desk and the beach. We also hiked through the property.
We were disappointed with the size of the room (ocean view). It was big enough for a king bed and not much more. The balcony had no breeze and only two chairs (no lounge) and no table.
There is a mini fridge filled with 'Costa Rican snacks= junk food and fruit juice). No waters were given complimentary which is ridiculous. They could keep all the sugary snacks and drinks and just fill the fridge with bottled water.
The property offers happy hour at the bar in the main reception area which is very nice.
For $450 a night the rooms should be larger. The bathroom is as large as the bedroom: the shower is 6 ft X 7 ft. which is huge. There is only a single sink, a toilet and bidet. The door stopper is by the toilet so you have to be careful not to hit your foot on it.
We asked if we could pay more for a larger room but they were completely booked, so if you want larger accommodations make sure you book a suite in advance. It will be worth the money if you like space to move.
The bed is comfortable. The sheets are good quality. The pillows are comfortable.
The air conditioner works well. There is a ceiling fan as well.
The bird watching from the balcony with the ocean in the background is magical. There is no breeze from the ocean because the room is too high (bldg 5) so if you want a breeze request a room by the ocean at a lower part of the property.
This property says they are eco friendly and take pride in the fact that they are.
So it was very surprising when we took breakfast to go for our hanging bridges tour to see they use styrofoam containers. Really?
Breakfast is included in the rate and we were pleased with the quality of food offered. We ate breakfast by the pool overlooking the ocean.
We ate lunch in the restaurant by the beach and it was very good.
On my birthday they brought a slice of cake with birthday wishes written on the plate to our room which was very appreciated.
The basic changes that need to be made are:
service; the staff at the front desk needs more training. Ronny was very helpful and friendly.
we asked for change of $50 (for Colones) and they didn't have it at the front desk!
they did finally get it and brought it to us down by the beach where we were having lunch
some of the staff at the restaurant need more training
value: the size of the room for the price paid was too small
complimentary waters should be provided at this price point
internet: the internet was spotty at best; not working at all other times
beach and pool lounges: rock hard, no cushions offered back wrenching.
While our observations are subjective we strongly feel some changes need to be made in order for us to give this property five stars.
management: there needs to be availability of management for the guests
We would like to thank all the drivers mentioned above for their gracious and kind interactions with us throughout our stay. They really did make a difference in the enjoyment of our time at Arenas del Mar. Pura Vida!
- 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