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“The friendliest service”

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Arenas del Mar Beachfront & Rainforest Resort
Ranked #4 of 46 Hotels in Manuel Antonio
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
San Jose, Costa Rica
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“The friendliest service”
Reviewed May 13, 2014

Really impressed with the actitude shown by the entire staff. They made us feel most welcomed all the time. People in Costa Rica are known to be warm and friendly, the people from Arena del Mar are extra special. Will be going back for sure.

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Jjimenez1308
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (576)
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Baltimore, Maryland
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed May 12, 2014

Arenas Del Mar was amazing from start to finish! From the moment we pulled up we were greeted with the warmest smiles. It was really late and all of our kids were exhausted! They took all of our bags to our rooms and set up a table in their restaurant for us to eat something. The food was delicious and the service outstanding!! The rooms were huge and clean and beautiful!! Everyone who works here couldn't be nicer! They knew us all by name and were so helpful and made our stay so enjoyable and fun!! The beach was beautiful, the pools were fun and the wildlife was amazing!!! They would help us find great places to eat and even take us there! I can't say enough wonderful things about this hotel and the staff. Robin, one of our favorites, even gave us beautiful hand crafted gifts when we left. We can't wait to go back!!!! The best place to stay in Costa Rica!!!!!!

Room Tip: All the rooms are awesome. They take you anywhere on their golf carts!
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank Andisue14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Palm, Pennsylvania
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed May 12, 2014

I work at a resort so I understand the importance of great service. It can make or break your hotel stay. At Arenas Del Mar, it made it! They have this way of treating you as if you are the only person at the resort and that you are the most important person there. They always remember your name, what you like to do. If you scheduled a trip through the hotel, they remember. They treat with this warmth that makes you feel as if you are a member of their family. Thank you to everyone who made our stay as wonderful as it was. Pura Vida my new friends.

Room Tip: The only negative was the location of our room, which we grew to overlook. We were in 101-B which h...
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  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Karen L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grand Rapids, MI
Level 5 Contributor
60 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 103 helpful votes
Reviewed May 12, 2014

It really kills me to give Arenas del Mar only 3 stars because I really wanted to love this place. It was the resort I was the most excited about staying at and the one I spent the most time researching. (I am very well-traveled, have very reasonable expectations and do a ton of research before I go to a place, which is why I thought I had chosen well.)

Let me preface my review by saying that there are many great aspects of this hotel. First, the staff and service are second to none. The staff is absolutely lovely, kind, accommodating, and prompt. They also went out of their way on several occasions to help point out animals on the property, which we really appreciated. In fact, we saw more wildlife on the property than we did on our 4 hour guided tour through the park!

Also, I'm surprised by how many average reviews there are of the food. I thought the food was outstanding! It was very fresh, well-presented, and tasty. The seafood was especially delicious. We ate their for breakfasts, 2 lunches and 2 dinners and were never disappointed. The only negative I'll say with regard to the food is that it's pretty pricey. Lunch for a family of 4 (with my two kids splitting a dish, my husband and I each getting a wrap, and a plate of chips/salsa) was $80! We had a car while there and went out for several lunches and dinners instead of eating in everyday because of the price, not the quality of the food.

The pools are small, but nice temperatures and clean. Yes, it's a hike to get to them or the beach, but we didn't mind the walk or the golf cart ride. Frankly, we usually walked and found it a good way to burn a few calories. :-) It was no big deal for us, but if you have health problems or mobility problems, I can see it being an issue.

I'm not normally one to give poor reviews for small things, nor am I one to complain. But I gave this hotel a 3 star rating because of the poor housekeeping and the maintenance of the rooms. We had a family of 4, so we were in an oceanfront premium suite because it was the only room big enough for all of us. The room was spacious, but in extreme need of maintenance. The paint was peeling off the walls and ceilings, especially in the bathrooms, the tile in the bathrooms were completely molded and covered in mildew, and the rooms weren't clean...at all, which is a deal breaker for me. There were several days when I came in as the housekeeper was leaving and there would be live and dead bugs all over the floor that she supposedly just cleaned. There was also a lizard in our room. We didn't so much mind that because we figured it would eat the bugs that the cleaning people left behind! I understand that this is the jungle and that this is an eco-friendly resort (i.e., no pesticides) and that critters come with the territory to a certain extent and I'm okay with that. However, if things wander in a few hours after the housekeeper has left, that's one thing. If there's still bugs on the floor when the housekeeper left 30 seconds ago, that's quite another thing.

More disturbing that all of that, though, was the fact that we ordered room service one night, as did someone else in the building and the dishes sat outside on the stoop for well over 24 hours! That was unbelievable to me. Doesn't a hotel in a jungle want to deter bugs from coming into the building?! It got to be a running joke each day with my family..."let's take bets on whether the dirty dishes will still be sitting outside when we come back today!"

For the price we paid for our room (well over $400/night for low season), the rooms should be pristine, dishes should be removed within a couple hours from outside the room, and paint/tile shouldn't be molded and peeling. Imagine my surprise when I learned that the resort had only been open for 6.5 years! It looked like it had been open for 20. I understand that humidity can wreak havoc on these materials, but for these prices, it should be cleaned or replaced more regularly.

Overall, the negatives weren't enough to outweigh the positives of the location, the beach, the wildlife on the property, the staff, and the great food. But I was disappointed with the lack of cleanliness and upkeep of the rooms and think it should be better cared for when people are paying those sorts of prices. For comparison, we also stayed at Silencio del Campo in Arenal during our stay and that, for me, was a wonderful little hotel for less than half the price. It was spotlessly clean and well-maintained.

I still would recommend this hotel to others, though, if Arenas del Mar replaces the bathroom/bedroom tile and does a little clean up around the buildings.

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank SquatchGR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leeds, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
276 reviews
108 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 156 helpful votes
Reviewed May 10, 2014

The experience begins with being driven down a very steep drive to the first reception point, a high covered "gazebo", where you will be offered cold towels and water, toilets, and comfortable seats while you wait briefly for a golf cart and friendly driver to take you down and up through the forest, pointing out wild life as you travel, to the main reception.

This is also the lobby, bar, lounge, Mirador restaurant, and upper pool area, with a view down to the beach towards Manuel Antonio Park. The lobby is where entertainment - salsa lessons, wildlife presentation, etc happen. Some rooms are in three floor blocks here, and others in blocks at the lower Playitas Beach area, again accessed by steep drive and golf cart. Playitas has a daytime bar and food area.

Rooms have varying sizes and facilities, but all have good a/c, bathrooms (rather dimly lit) with circular walk in shower +toiletries, large comfortable beds, in room safe, iron and board, free wifi. All have large balconies with ceiling fans, comfortable chairs, fridge with free soft drinks and snacks and milk daily, coffee and machine, and sink. Some balconies have a jacuzzi. The balcony cupboard has a key to guard against the raccoons' potential night visits. All telephone calls, including international, are free.

Food was beautifully presented, a modern Costa Rican cuisine, and delicious. See Mirador Restaurant for more comments. Breakfasts are included and begin with fresh squeezed daily fruit juice and a plate of prepared fruit before a choice of main dish.

All staff were very helpful and friendly, and always knew who you were and what you were doing. We did nature tours with both Hannia and Ersel. We enjoyed their enthusiasm and knowledge. Ersel's talk and presentation about sloths, and later his expert spotting and information at the Manuel Antonio Nature Park, were great.

We had a problem with our room which they worked to resolve and the managers were all very visible and accessible. A very well staffed, run and smooth staff team and where everyone seemed to enjoy their work.

Whilst you could easily spend all your time at the resort, we enjoyed going our locally and seeing some of the local life. The resort will either order you a taxi or send you in one of their a/c vans, and, in the latter case, put the charge on your account. You can walk from the resort along the beach to Manuel Antonio village but a lift back at night is better.

Rip currents are present, so swimming should be carefully considered. On their own Playitas Beach, the resort has a lifeguard.. Both that and the access to the public beach have a full time resort security guard.

Playitas has a lovely pool, with some shade during parts of the day, unlike the pool near the lobby. Both pools have buoyancy aids and buckets and spades for children.

Altogether a lovely "treat" experience, in one of the country's most expensive resorts.

Room Tip: This is a very steep site, though the golf carts help. There are no lifts and most rooms have extern...
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  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank FandRD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed May 8, 2014 via mobile

I have never written a review as I feel like enough other people do, however, I feel it would be a shame not to give this resort the accolades it deserves. From the minute we arrived we were treated with such genuine respect and a great "pura vida" attitude. We were a bit cranky after a 4 hour drive from monte verde, however, one look at the beautiful view from the beautiful property, and our moods were instantly transformed. Everyone is super nice and willing to help. We come from San Francisco, the mecca of restaurants on the west coast, and are very critical and particular about our dining experiences. The dinner we had was truly one of the best we've ever had. It was original, unique, fresh and just incredible. We had planned on going into town for other meals to add some diversity, but had no desire to give up an incredible (and so affordable) culinary experience. A big salute to the owner, management, and most especially to the staff for executing the vision of this wonderful resort.

Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
4 Thank Vimi V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Trumbull, Connecticut
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed May 8, 2014

Even though my family and I travel often, I have never written a review on tripadvisor. However, after recently returning from what was probably the best hotel experience I have had, I decided to write a review. My husband and I spent 4 nights at Arenas del Mar, after spending 3 nights at the Guanacaste Marriott and 2 nights at the Tabacon Resort in Arenal. Both of those hotels were beautiful and we had a great time. But we definitely saved the best for last! We arrived in the late evening (after a 6 1/2 hour drive) to the security gate, and were taken by a golf cart to our beautiful room, which had an outdoor hot tub, a mini bar filled with free snacks, and very comfortable beds. We were told to enjoy our dinner before we even officially checked in. The dinner was delicious (try the mushroom risotto and chocolate lava cake, you won't be disappointed). The breakfasts, which are included, were the best. From the plate of fresh fruit, a different fresh squeezed juice every morning, and a full Costa Rican or American breakfast, you won't leave hungry. The property has beautiful foliage. It has it's own private beach and 2 pools. Keep your eyes open, and you might see monkeys, lizards, snakes, birds, sloths, and toucans. We took 2 tours conducted by guides employed by the hotel. We went with Hannia to the national forest and with Ersel on a bird tour on the hotel property. They were excellent guides and extremely knowledgeable (loved Ersel's bird calls). The entire staff at this boutique hotel are so friendly and helpful (including drying our hiking boots that were soaked from getting caught in the rain in the rainforest, helping us speak spanish, and teaching us to make tortillas). We had a problem with the room safe and someone was at our room within 5 minutes of our call. Golf carts were used on the property and always available to drive us up the hill when we didn't want to walk. I can't think of anything this hotel lacks or needs to improve. We will definitely visit Costa Rica again, which is an amazing country, and stay at Arenas del Mar.

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Honey1952
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

Property: 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
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
#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 (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
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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Also Known As:
Arenas Del Mar Beachfront & Rainforest Resort Costa Rica/Manuel Antonio

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