Arenas Del Mar was the last place we stayed during our two week trip around Costa Rica and I can safely say that it was by far the best overall. The resort is small and cosy, more of a boutique-style, and even though it was at 90% capacity it had a very private feel to it. The room we had was an Ocean Breeze Superior. It was comfortable with a nice big balcony looking out onto the tree canopy and with a view of the beach. The resort is built on a rocky headland between Espadilla Beach and Playitas Beach. So it is a steep climb to the rooms and the restaurant from the beach, pool and cafe area, but there are golf carts to pick you up if you need them. The beauty of this design is that you get the best of both worlds - a clifftop view of the coast and direct access to the beach. I think this is the only place in Manuel Antonio that offers this. The food in the restaurant and cafe was pretty good, although it was a little overpriced, particularly the wine. We also found the portion sizes in the cafe quite small, more of a snack than a meal (but at meal prices).
We spent a lot of our time on Playitas Beach which is smaller and more private than Espadilla. It has strong waves but it's great for energetic swimming at high tide and there are also bodyboards for guests to use which are great fun. There are two pools but we only used the one at Playitas. It was small but refreshing.
The staff were all very friendly and helpful and we enjoyed chatting with them. They were always very courteous when serving us.
We can also recommend the spa which was great!
As for tours, we were 'all toured out' by the time we reached Manuel Antonio but we did have a guided tour of the national park. It was ok, but compared with other national park tours in Costa Rica it was a let down. And it was also hugely overpriced at $50 each for a group walking tour. It would be better to walk down Espadilla Beach to the park and pay the $10 entry fee from there. The beaches are nice there too - good for swimming. But we actually saw a lot more wildlife at Arenas Del Mar - a troop of capuchin monkeys, tons of iguanas, sloths, Jesus Christ lizards, you name it... and we woke up to the sound of howler monkeys a few times which was magical.
All in all a great place to stay - highly recommended!
- 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