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Arenas del Mar Beachfront & Rainforest Resort
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Reviews (1,979)
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Reviewed February 9, 2014

This is my second 8 day visit to Arenas del Mar, my first was back in August of 2010. This trip seemed even more magical than the last. Though the scenery didn't change (as it shouldn't) the enmities of the resort were drastically improved. There were many more things to do inside the resort now than before.

The hotel is a short walk from Manuel Antonio, one of the most popular surf town on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. There are tons of things to do in Manuel Antonio, surfing, wind-sailing, and my favorite, wave running. You have never been wave running until you have seen the cliff coasts of Manuel Antonio and Arenas del Mar.

The food at Arenas del Mar was exquisite, don't be surprised after your vacation when any home or restaurant meal makes your cringe. The food here is possibly some of the best I've ate at a resort. My favorite part is the flexibility of the food. Want some tuna sushimi for breakfast? Sure, go right ahead, the waiters and chefs want you to have the best time.

The environment of the hotel is probably one of the best parts about it. Arenas del Mar is located in the Class 2 Protection zone of the Manuel Antonio National Park. Class 2 is the closest you can get to an undisturbed Class 1 Rain forest. This means that you get to see tons of animals, specifically monkeys, birds and lizards.

There is much to be said about Arenas del Mar, however if I could sum it up in one word it would be "Paradise". It is such a great time and all of the staff are amazing. It is one of, if not, the best Resort in Costa Rica.

Room Tip: The villas by the playitas are great for families, while the upper villas by the reception are for peace and quiet.
  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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3  Thank Cole S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 8, 2014

This was our second visit to Arenas del Mar and we rarely repeat a vacation because so often the second time can be a let down. No let down at Arenas. I booked sort of late directly with Ronny in reservations (1-877 number) and he was so helpful in finding nice oceanfront accommodations for 5 nights...we were in building number 5 with excellent views from both second floor ocean breeze and even better in third floor oceanfront. Highly recommend top floor in any building and we like bldg. 4 for maximum privacy (not straight on views) or 5 which we stayed in this time for the views. The rooms are very nicely appointed, sparkling clean and it is all about the terrace complete with jacuzzi. From the welcome to departure the staff are so friendly and helpful. When you exit or arrive the property you are driven in golf cart to reception. On each and every golf cart drive in and out of property the staff always is pleasant and they are on the lookout to find some wildlife to show you and also like to find out about you. They are all so nice...we especially enjoy Robin (name may be spelled slightly different) and he remembered us from 4 years ago. Breakfast is NOT buffet and frankly I prefer that to a buffet that sits out for hours and people pile plates full, half of which they eat...also the insect problem. We enjoyed the breakfasts....lunch at the beach was always good and good service. Dinner was also nice and you can ask for a table by the pool which has way more atmosphere than the more inside dining room. We also took the tour to Manual Antonio park with the in-house guide Ersel. Excellent guide and given we did this last time with a guide we found here on TA I can compare our experiences. Ersel made this so interesting and even though it was a "group" tour there were only six people . Upon return to the hotel they had a nice spread of fresh fruit etc. Well worth the cost of the trip...which was less expensive than private and way more interesting for us. Recommend this trip. Also the spa...great at the end of the day. Had massage with Priscilla and she is excellent. Took some time to look at a few other places in the area including Los Altos and La Gaia and they did not compare at all with Arenas...if you are coming this far...stay in a place that is IN the jungle and looks different than someplace back home. We so enjoyed the late afternoon visit of the moneys...really fun and so close.
In summary we would return again. Of course not everything in any place is perfect...some technical problems with jacuzzi which were fixed. I would caution that each and every time you want to leave at night you will need either the hotel van (depends on availability) or a taxi with the fixed rate of $10 per trip...that does add up but its fun to try some of the various restaurants. We did venture to Quepos and did not find it worth the trip. Frankly the best place to be is right at Arenas...pools are so nice. Some people prefer buildings 1-3 which are down by the beach and feel more "family friendly" down there...a fair amount of kids in the pool and toys around etc. We like buildings 4-5 for views and quiet...but Arenas is mostly a quiet place. You can also walk easily to town from the Espadilla Beach (there is a path that goes there) and that was fun to go in late morning and have lunch in town and have a look around. All in all a great vacation in a very nice small hotel...

Room Tip: book directly with hotel or at least be in communication as to which building etc. per room recommendation on TA...Bldg. 1-3 down by beach and 4-7 much higher and nearer to restaurant etc. Go for top floor
  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with family
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2  Thank gene
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 8, 2014

One of the best resort hotels I have ever stayed in. Everything was amazing. The room (suite) with a wonderful view of the Pacific, a private jacuzzi in the private patio and lovely bathroom en suite. There are 2 swimming pools as well as two beaches with food and beverage service. The hotel layout makes it island like. The staff is wonderful. Second morning my first name was used by everyone. The town, Manuel Antonio is a short ride but it can be a pass. Food at the resort was very good as well as the service. Great stay and good hiking in the national park thats near by. Loads of sloths and monkeys on the walks.

Room Tip: Corner view suite.
  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Alan B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 6, 2014

We spent the first 2 nights of our Costa Rican trip at Arenas Del Mar. From the greeting at the car port to the good bye at the reception desk we had a truly wonderful experience. The staff were continuously generous and provided us with an amazing experience. Our Ocean Breeze room was beautiful and we were able to fall asleep to the crashing waves.

The restaurants were convenient (timing and location) and the food was amazing. Great interpretations of local specialities.

Room Tip: Ocean Breeze rooms are a great option. They have both rainforest and beach views. They are located very close to the 'private' beach and make it easy to run down to the ocean and back up to change or rest in your room. The open air porch is a lovely oasis and perfect for a couple.
  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank MyrraJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 5, 2014

We stayed here for a week for our honeymoon and absolutely loved it. Sloths, monkeys, exotic birds and other animals were right on the property making it as good as being at the nearby national park.

However, the staff and quality build of the resort and rooms is really what makes Arenas Del Mar special, and a classy resort. Bellman are a phone call away to bring room service or transport you from one area to the next via new, quiet and comfortable golf carts, and always with a smile.

The ocean view room we had was exceptional, very spacious and comfortable with cool air conditioning and nice furnishings.

Food, be it the two dining option on the property and room service was above average. The one area we hoped had better options was room service. The menu there was pretty limited, so I found myself ordering hamburgers when we dined in. BTW, Manuel Antonio has a slew of restaurants in the area, and it is worth dining off the resort for variety, both in tastes and price.

Booking activities was very easy with the staff on-site. The tours offered always came with pick-up and drop-off service and make it convenient.

Would book Arenas Del Mar again. Highly recommended.

Room Tip: Go for the Ocean View and a higher level if budget allows so you can see past the jungle trees and grab a view of the Pacific Ocean.
  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Ian Jr 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 8, 2014

Dear IC,
thank you for your wonderful review of your recent honeymoon stay at Arenas del Mar. We loved having you stay with us and are happy that we were able to exceed your expectations. We feel that our resort is a great destination for honeymooners seeking high quality accomodations, fun adventures and activities as well as beachfront relaxation; and of course great food and drinks. We agree that the wildlife around the hotel grounds are just as good as in Manuel Antonio National Park and that every golf cart ride or walk on property might turn into a mini tour of the local flora and fauna. Thank you for the feedback on room service. We are currently working on upgrading our room service menu so that you will have more and better options. Thanks also for pointing out how you liked our service and the friendliness of the staff. We feel that this is one of the most important concepts of hospitality. We hope to see you again soon for an aniversary celebration. Saludos and Pura Vida.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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