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“Luxury, ocean, and rainforest all in one!”

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Arenas del Mar Beachfront & Rainforest Resort
Ranked #4 of 46 Hotels in Manuel Antonio
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed July 22, 2009

We thoroughly enjoyed our 4 night stay here. We arrived by shuttle and were dropped off under a big pavilion in the woods/rainforest. The security guard called for a golf cart to have us transported to the lobby area. As we drove up to the lobby area, the cart driver talked about the hotel, the area, and he pointed out a sloth for us right in front of the lobby area. When we checked in, we were offered a delicious welcome drink. The property is quite hilly, so we were again transported by cart to our room. Let me add, that we thoroughly enjoyed the little cart rides throughout our stay. The cart drivers were very friendly and informative, and we never had to wait more than a minute for a ride. That being said, we occasionally walked to the lobby, as well. Our ocean view suite was very spacious including a long hallway, an area with a table, bar and refrigerator, big bathroom, two sitting areas on the deck along with a Jacuzzi. TThe balconies from our room, 201, faced the pool area and the spot where the carts stopped. It was all very entertaining for the two of us (friends.) A couple might prefer another room. We enjoyed the pool, and the two beach areas are beautiful. Be warned that there are rip tides in the area. We ate at both the main restaurant and the pool restaurant. The food was fine, but not outstanding. The breakfast, however, was wonderful. A variety of fruits and pastries were served buffet style. In addition, there are a variety of yummy items that can be ordered from the menu. We both ordered something different each day and were never disappointed. One morning, we went to the spa, and my friend and I agreed that our massages were amazing – highly recommended. After the spa, we sat by the pool area finishing another complementary drink (from the spa) and the white faced monkeys put on quite a show for us! They came really close to us. Even a mother with a baby on her back came within 8-10 feet of us. Unfortunately, I didn’t have my camera with me. Who would have known I would have needed my camera for a spa trip! As for wildlife, the tour arranged by the hotel to the Manual Antonio Park was fabulous! We had a great guide, and we saw more wildlife on this tour than any where else during our Costa Rica trip. We even saw a sloth crawling on the ground (they only come down from their trees once a week!) The hotel is very concerned about the environment and is eco-friendly. We can highly recommend this great hotel!

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Tree
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,620 - 1,626 of 1,853 reviews

Reviewed July 20, 2009

The Arenas del Mar is fantastic - luxurious, friendly, with every facility and service. The restaurant was excellent, but you'll get more food at a cheaper price at one of the restaurants on the main road. There are two small pools - one near the main block, and one down at the beach. It is deep in a forest setting with abundant monkeys, sloths, birds and insects. It also has a small, semi-private beach and access onto the longer sweep of white sand to Manuel Antonio and the national park (about a 20 minute walk along the beach to the gate). It is committed to its environmental ethos and this approach impressively underpins much of the hotel's operations. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled with family
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1  Thank Spencerswood
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 19, 2009

We cannot begin to say enough about how fantastic this hotel was. From the amazing staff (Vincent, Leonardo, Stewart, Diego, Erica, Alejandro, Michael and everyone else who made this such a fantastic place to stay) to the beautiful grounds to the sloths and monkeys in the trees. The rooms were immaculate and what you'd expect from a five star resort. There's just too much to rave about. Please feel free to contact with any questions. We'd be more than happy to share our experiences and opinions. Suffice it to say, you will not go wrong with Arenas del Mar.

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Mcjsn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 15, 2009

The Arenas Del Mar gets it. They just simply do it right. Beautiful updated rooms with amazing patios and wonderful views. Spacious, unique and very well run. In fact, at our exit survey we were asked "What one reason would you return to Arenas del Mar?", and my wife wrote, simply, "Staff". The staff was so well trained and so friendly...and sincerely so. They really did make the experience unique from simply a "very nice becachfront hotel".

I'm not entirely sure if the "Nature/Eco Resort" is the best marketing on their part. It seems to me like truly green activists would be disappointed because, while the hotel certainly does seem to be sincerely concerned about sustainability and about reducing their footprint, it is still a modern resort with all the footprint that comes with that and it isnt exactly a green trailblazer. And, yet, I would think some travelers might be concerned about the "Nature/Eco" thing, thinking that the place will reek of patchouli and that they will share their rooms with bugs. To be perfectly honest: the place is perfect for people like my wife and I that like to feel better about ourselves because we recycle and like the idea of staying at a green-conscious hotel, but certainly don't want to rough it and want our comfort. You know, Obama-yuppies. (Hey, I'm just saying...!)

Anyway, hope that isn't too cynical. Honestly, their efforts were unmistakable and truly admirable...I guess I just wanted to speak to temper expectations (or fears) on both sides (those who are truly green activists and those concerned that it will be a hippie commune).

There is a wonderful vibe around arenas del mar, and it seemed like the the guests couldnt help but introducing themselves and making friends, because we all seemed completely aware that we were experiencing something truly special, both at this hotel and, obviously, at Costa Rica in general.

I certainly, highly recommend the Arenas del Mar. Pura Vida!

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank viachicago22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GuestserviceADM, Owner at Arenas del Mar Beachfront & Rainforest Resort, responded to this reviewResponded July 30, 2009

Dear viachicago22,

Thank you so much for taking the time to write about us and in particular for your insightful question about our footprint and sustainability. We built the hotel based on a truly sustainable model which includes numerous unique achievements, such as 100% endemic species of plants and trees, a treatment plant for “black water” from which the effluent is used to irrigate plants in our summer, underground cabling to protect the fauna, solar water heating throughout the project, ionized pool water which uses no chemicals and so on. When we talk about “green”, we have to take into account the impact and the ramifications of our efforts while still providing employment, local consumption of food and products, training and education, involvement in our community and all of this requires income to continue our mission. Our niche is the luxury market and we must provide the services that our clients require. However, like our sister hotels, Lapa Rios and Finca Rosa Blanca, we are dedicated to all four aspects of responsible tourism; biological, architectural, social and educational practices. We are truly green activists as are the owners and that is what primarily motivated them to build this hotel in this way, but its financial viability is essential to continue paying the bills while leading the way in this kind of tourism. As you said, the image of sustainable tourism used to be platforms in the jungle, no hot water, solar generated electrical energy, and many other low impact ways of enjoying nature. However, through technology and study of the long term impacts we have learned a lot about this profile. For instance, in Costa Rica, 90% of our electricity is produced by hydroelectric power, which makes using the grid more efficient and less impactful than a series of lead/acid inversion batteries connected to a solar panel. Again, thanks for your concerns and comments, it is really nice to have guests who think and question these kinds of issues. On our web site you can access the page on sustainability and read some of our achievements and policies regarding sustainability.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 15, 2009

There is much to like about this hotel and all the other positive reviews are spot on. The beach must be one of my top 5 favorites ever. The staff is super friendly and accomodating. The grounds are gorgeous. The restaurants are very competent, in fact the management offered to have the chef prepare a special meal for us on our last night, -- it was superb. The bar staff make great drinks. Loaner laptops and free wi-fi is typical of how far they go to please their guests. With only one note of caution, I would absolutely stay here again.

So, the caution: when booking your rooms, unless you are booking a suite, be aware that some of the rooms are on the small side. The suites are very spacious, but any room ending with the letter B, will be smaller than we expected, for the price. By the end of our 6-night stay, we had figured out how to stow everything, and were quite comfortable. Never the less, the size of our room was not up to the standard of comparable resorts.

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled with family
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1  Thank ThadZer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 11, 2009

We loved the private beaches, the lush grounds, the friendly staff, and the wildlife. It was great to see monkeys and birds in the nearby trees. Our room was just steps away from one of the private beaches (but if you wanted to walk to the public beach, it was just a nice walk away). The Pacific Ocean is warm here, and the wildlife preserve (Manual Antonio National Park) is nearby, making this area pretty much a (neo)tropical paradise.

  • Stayed: June 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank EcoTouristTraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 30, 2009

My husband and I just returned from a fabulous 6 night stay at Arenas del Mar to celebrate our anniversary and my birthday. I read the reviews on Trip Advisor and did not experience anything similar to any of the previous negative reviews.

One of the main reasons for booking this resort was the fact that it has direct beach access because many hotels do not offer this in Costa Rica. There are two lovely beaches which are both down the hill, but it is not a problem if you don't mind walking five minutes downhill or calling for a cart. I loved the fact that there were not autos on the property - only goflcarts driven by the friendliest staff who are available for you 24 hours a day. We never waited more than a few minutes for a cart. Victor, Diego and all of the other bellman always greeted you with a smile and always stopped to point out wildlife when they saw it. The beauty of this hotel is that is built into the hillside with beach access. With that, comes steep terrain, but that only adds to the intrigue of the property.

The rooms are clean, stylish and spacious for the two of us. We stayed in an ocean breeze suite on the third floor and had a quaint view of the ocean through the trees. I suppose the best views of the ocean would be the 2nd and 3rd floor rooms in buildings 6 & 7, but even if you don't stay in those buildings you get the feeling you are among the trees in one of the most beautiful rain forests you'll ever see! I was a huge fan of the mini bar situated on our expansive patio where I made coffed every morning, listened to the waves crashing below and watched for monkeys, sloths and birds. A totally mesmerizing experience!

Upon arrival, we were notified our room did not have A/C due to a recent storm, however after two nights, the manager moved us to another room once one came available. I trust that the management did the best they could under the circumstances, and in the meantime, we were given a portable A/C unit which was so-so. Yes, this was a bit of an inconvenience, but it certainly did not hinder my experience or opionion of this resort.

The social and evnironmental responsibilty of the staff and management of this property is to be commended. Pablo, the resident naturalist, is well educated on the local wildlife and ecosystems. You must book your tour of Manuel Antonio through the hotel. In fact, all excursions (white water rafting, canopy/zip line, and Manuel Antonio park) we booked through the hotel were top-notch. We normally don't book these things through resorts, but after asking around town. we learned that the hotel's vendors were all recommended as the best in town. Rafting - Amigos del Rio; Canopy - Safari Canopy.

We ate about 50% of our meals at the hotel and were thoroughly impressed with the variety, quality and value. All waiters spoke very good English and were eager to please.

I highly recomomend this resort to those who seek a luxurious, peaceful, romantic spiked with some outdoor adventure.

  • Stayed: June 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank AZnumber9
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
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 Green Hotel in Manuel Antonio
#2 Spa Hotel in Manuel Antonio
#3 Luxury Hotel in Manuel Antonio
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Manuel Antonio
Price Range: $424 - $1,088 (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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Also Known As:
Arenas Del Mar Beachfront & Rainforest Resort Costa Rica/Manuel Antonio

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