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Arenas del Mar Beachfront and Rainforest Resort, Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
delaware
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“THE GREAT ESCAPE”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 2, 2014

My husband and I just returned on January 21, 2014 from the Paradise on Earth. This resort was outstanding. The customer service was the best that we have ever experienced in our 17 yrs of travel. The customer service including free ipads to use during your stay (definitely a surprise) with free wi-fi and internet access. We forgot our camara at home, so the resort loaned us a camara for the entire week, then burned a disk on the last night of our stay (free). We also rented a car and needed a flash night to park at night time. We were walking from our car to the main pick up area and was eaten alive by large red ants. They immediately gave use ice for our feet and legs, then loaned us a flash light for the remaining of our stay to avoid the ants. They even offered to park our rental car if needed to avoid walking across the dirt parking lot. We went on a tour of the rain forest and did not bring binoculars and to our surprise, once again, the resort loaned us some binoculors for the week.
The resort was quiet, very few children, peaceful and relaxing. No vendors on the beach trying to sell any products. The beach was private and within walking distance for hotel guest only. Local residents could share the beach, but they seemed to give us the privacy that we were seeking. They provided towels and chairs on the beach with a monitor for watching private items.
We had a small room that had all the basic amenities including a balcony with outside fridge, ceiling fan, and wet bar. We spent hours on the balcony enjoying the breeze, sound of the ocean, and peace and quiet.
The breakfast was included with the fee for the resort, this applied to everybody. Every morning we had a fruit of the day, pastry, juice and choice of a breakfast. It was delicious. We did not eat dinner or lunch at the resort since we had a car, but my husband did order a burger for room service and he was satisfied.
House keeping was great. Our room stayed clean all the time. We would leave for a few hours, then return to a clean room everytime. Always had fresh towels and linen without asking. Housekeeping was non-intrusive, polite, kind and respectful of personal items.
Here are some warning, not pertaining to resort but to Costa Rica in general. There is an exit tax of $29 per person that has to be paid at the airport before checking into airline. This was a surprise since no one mention this requirement upon entering the country. Also be careful of the rental car companies. We rented our vehicle online through Budget. Decline the insurance since our credit card gave us full coverage. My husband is military so we have USAA auto insurance and credit card, and they provide international coverage for all their soldiers. I even called to make sure we had the correct coverage before declining the insurance at budget. When we got our car at budget, we were told that we had to buy the "special liability insurance" for an additional $16 per day. If we did not buy the insurance then they would place a $3000.00 hold on our credit card. After arguing for over 1 hour we bought the insurance. I contacted the credit card company for a full refund of the additional charges.
Would not purchase room directly from resort. We got a better deal at Bookit.com, so shop around for good deals. Definitley rent a car, since not much to do in town. We did go on the Canopy which including zip lining with Canopy Safari. It was the most fun I have had in a long time on an exercusion. Toured the Manual Antonio Rainforest National Park which was a lot of walking but well worth it. The guide was great.
Over all the vacation was wonderful. We had seen sloth, tree monkeys, bats, white frogs, ect. This trip was most definitely worth it. We are planning to return next year to the same resort for peace and relaxation.
I promised to mention some staff members names: Elaine, Arial, William, Excel.
Puda Vidia

Eugene &Betty, Delaware Ohio

Room Tip: recommend request ocean view larger rooms.
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank BETTY M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,727 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (549)
Date | Rating
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English first
Edmonds, Washington
Level Contributor
22 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 1, 2014

Loved our time at Arenas Del Mar. It was really a beautiful place and we loved our private deck and tiled whirlpool. It was exactly what we needed after nearly a week at another resort in the deep jungle. Helpful staff and clean property. We enjoyed the Caputian monkeys on our deck and did see a sloth twice on the property. Loved the beach, the beachfront bar and dining and the pools.
LOVED the air-conditioning and were thankful for the golf carts to haul us up from our beachfront room to the main lodge.
We did feel that the food was not as great as it could have and should have been for such a nice resort. It just needs to be stepped up a bit to match the beauty and elegance of the hotel. We loved the fish selections but other selections were a bit lacking.
We also felt a bit "locked in" because of the inability to leave the property without getting a cab. It was not an easy walk nor was it safe to climb the rocks to get to the other beaches or Manuel Antonio. Just be aware that you will have to cab it out or they can golf cart you to and from the beach walk.
Overall we were thrilled with Arenas Del Mar and enjoyed our stay immensely.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank vangoghbouvier
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Woodinville, Washington
Level Contributor
25 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 1, 2014

Stayed 4 days/ 3 nights at this perfect resort. You arrive at the greeting area and are whisked by golf cart to reception and your room if needed. Hilly property, so good walking and birds/animals to see as you walk [including the 2 toed sloth just outside our landing]. Rooms and views are great, but the service and friendliness of the staff are spectacular. I practice my espagnol whenever I travel and the staff were great in gentle corrections and improvement. Food at the restaurant [we had breakfast included] was a bit expensive but high quality and served well. Felt very ecofriendly overall, recycling expected. We spent a day in the park [get a guide, they know where the animals are] and went into the city of Manuel Antonio by bus [an interesting walk, average lunch, not much to see]. Had a tour at a cocoa/vanilla/ spice plantation [very interesting even though the vanilla orchids weren't in bloom] and mangrove kayaked [the easiest we have ever done, good birds]. Will try another hotel of the Cayuga Collection when next we visit CR.

Room Tip: Not sure you can choose a room beforehand. We stayed in bldg 7 2nd floor. Bldgs 1-4 are down by the...
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Fred D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Succasunna, New Jersey
Level Contributor
342 reviews
45 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 133 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 1, 2014 via mobile

This is our 4th stay at Arenas Del Mar. We obviously love it. We don't think there is another property in the area that combines all the features that we enjoy here so much.

pros: small only 36 rooms, best private beach with lots of trees to shade the sun and still close to the water. You can easily walk to both beaches. The Playitas bar and cafe on the beach that caters to all your needs. The grounds are very natural and full of wildlife. The staff is tremendous and can't do enough for you.being right next to Manual Antonio nature preserve, you can walk there by beach, 1 mile pleasant walk. Very secluded location away from the hubbub of the main road. Still just a few minute drive to all the restaurants in the area.

On a bluff over the ocean, you get great views of the jungle and ocean. The property faces south, so you get the sunrise and sunset.

Cons: not much night life, but you can hit the bars and restaurants on the main road. While the El Mirador Restaurant is much improved, you should venture out yo other restaurants in the area for sunset views.

Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank fnct
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orangeburg, South Carolina
Level Contributor
373 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 135 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 28, 2014

Sensational ocean view, always cheerful staff, very good food, right above the beach. Great room.
Ample activities arranged by the resort. Or just relax on their beautiful private beach. Too far to walk into the town and other resorts -$10 cab for two people each way. Not really anything to do in the town of Manuel Antonio itself, except for the many restaurants (don't miss La Luna at sunset -5:30 every day.). The best dinner we had was at El Mirador at the resort, though. Great 4 night stay.

Room Tip: 703A was amazing.
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank mmcgannon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 28, 2014

Worth every last penny. One of the most spectacular views of a beach you will ever see. You are literally IN the rainforest! From the second you arrive, you are made to feel special and welcome. The rooms are beautiful! I wish I could've taken the bathroom home with me. I really enjoyed my outdoor hot tub in the evenings after dinner. Every morning I got up early and ran the the beach to the opening of the Rainforest. I felt completely safe. The staff will go above and beyond to make sure you are happy. I felt guilty every day I would come into my room- the maids would fold up all my clothes as if I hadn't even unpacked! The cleanest resort I've ever stayed in. I cannot say enough about the staff- they will make you feel like you are part of a family. You have to ask Diego to make you a special cocktail- you won't be disappointed! Go on the tour of the Biodynamic Vanilla farm they offer, it is awesome! This is the ONLY place I will ever want to stay in Costa Rica, I enjoyed it that much!!! The one thing I'd say is to try and avoid the bottom floored rooms if you are afraid of raccoons. They have thumbs, and can open doors! They broke into my room and raided my fridge, and even tried to come in at night while I was sleeping! I'm not afraid of animals so it didn't bother me...they are almost domesticated over there. I tried to shoo them off, and they looked at me like I was crazy, and very slowly sauntered off! Also, you're on the side of a mountain, so if you have trouble walking, you might have issues, although they have golf carts and I'm sure would take you wherever you needed to go. Don't be scared to go during the rainy season. It doesn't rain that much, and that's just time you can nap or drink at the bar!

Room Tip: Request higher floor rooms to avoid raccoons!
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank neylandgirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
19 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 28, 2014

Just got back from our second trip to Costa Rica and Arenas del Mar. We never repeat vacations, but Arenas del Mar was such a delight the first time, we had to go back - and we were not disappointed. What sets this hotel apart is its impeccable service. The staff is among the friendliest and most professional that we've encountered in our travels. When we arrived, we were greeted by name and welcomed back by Rodbin, whom we met last year. We were glad to see and be remembered by many friendly faces - special shout-out to Ariel! We were upgraded to a stunning top-floor ocean-view suite with outdoor tub down by Playitas (my POV: splurge on a nice room by the beach - it's worth it!). Both beaches adjacent to the resort were as beautiful as we recalled from our previous trip here. Other reviewers' comments re rough surf at Playitas are correct; the beach is well-signed with warnings and there is a lifeguard on duty, but exercise caution. A new addition to the beach this year were comfortable outdoor cushions to enjoy. Capuchin monkeys, iguanas, and sloths can all be found on the property (don't feed any of the animals!!). Take a night hike with one of the guides - you'll be amazed at what you discover surrounding you. Arenas del Mar is a great base to explore Manuel Antonio National Park - it's a lovely walk down the beach and right to the park. Stop at Balu's on the way for a delicious casado and happy hour all day. Note that there's no need to hire a guide at Manuel Antonio - just follow the hordes pointing up at the trees. We also discovered Playa Biesanz on this trip, a 5-minute drive away towards Parador. We rented a kayak from Lenin on the beach ($40 covered a 2-person kayak, fins, and Lenin watching our stuff) and snorkled for hours along the reef. It's beautiful. Cafe Milagro up the hill is a great spot for dinner (live music, local craft beer, yummy jerk chicken, carrot cake to die for). There's another nice lunch/dinner spot whose name I can't recall - it is by the Blue Monkey Inn (ask the front desk at Arenas). They did a great "Saltin" and a delicious bbq'd red snapper. Gabriel at the front desk recommended a wonderful tour for us on our way back to San Jose - it is the Jungle Crocodile Safari (sounds cheesy, but it's awesome). This boat tour along the Tarcoles River showcases lots of crocs to be sure, but the real highlights were the amazing birds we were able to spot. It was relaxing, interesting, and beautiful. We also made the rather long drive to Los Quetzales National Park (2.5 hours 1 way), but did not spot much wildlife there at all. All in all, highly recommend splurging a bit on this very special place. Thank you team at Arenas del Mar for a wonderful stay!

Room Tip: Pick a room by Playitas for easy access to the beautiful beach. Staying in a suite is worth it.
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank psudopoddy
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 and Rainforest Resort, Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

Property: Arenas del Mar Beachfront and Rainforest Resort, Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
Address: Punta Quepos, Manuel Antonio National Park 311-6350, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Manuel Antonio National Park
Amenities:
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 National Park
#2 Spa Hotel in Manuel Antonio National Park
#2 Green Hotel in Manuel Antonio National Park
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Manuel Antonio National Park
#3 Luxury Hotel in Manuel Antonio National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Arenas del Mar Beachfront and Rainforest Resort, Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica 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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Also Known As:
Arenas Del Mar Beachfront And Rainforest Resort, Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica Manuel Antonio National Park

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