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Arenas del Mar Beachfront & Rainforest Resort
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Reviews (2,002)
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Reviewed April 28, 2010

maybe it is because i really needed time away from home. maybe it is because i was so looking forward to visiting costa rica and i had heard so much about it. but i think it was the most beautiful place in the world. the kids did not want to leave anymore, and neither did we. we spent two wonderful weeks at arenas del mar. we got to know the surroundings, and appreciate the country but also got the know the staff and the resort quite well. they are wonderful people, providing best service, and always making you feel very special. what was different about the staff was the fact that they knew how to help as if they were the host and respectful friend, and not the employee. the food was outstanding with such a large selection and excellent quality of organic dishes, that the meals outside the resort made us only miss the hotel more... animals, jungle. ocean, pools, trips, tours, high adrenaline adventures, and then each afternoon coming back to the resort... just perfect. maybe the cleaning girls could do a better job daily. a little bit sloppy for my taste, and i am not talking about the ecology choice, which i understand and deeply appreciate. the spa was very very nice too. i miss the place already and we are most definitely planing to go back soon. silvia, good luck with your wonderful job you are doing there for the sustainability aspect of the resort! my girls hope our trees planted there are growing well :)

  • Stayed: March 2010, traveled with family
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Thank simfny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 24, 2010

Nice new resort on the cliffs of ocean. The resort has 2 beaches, we only made it to one. The staff is so friendly! The rooms are really nice. We rented a suite and next time I would probably just get a regular room. The living room part of the suite has no a/c, and it was hot ! You couldn't really use the room. The deck was nice with a hot tub and nice views. It looked like all the rooms had nice views, so that's another reason I would just get a regular room. Two slight drawbacks, the resort is hard to get around (hills) and also hard to enter/leave. Overall it is beautiful, the rooms are nice and there were monkeys,snakes, sloths and birds galore. We had a great experience with our guide, Leo Rodriguez [--]. Leo was awesome!!! He drove us all around the country (which was great, less driving stress!), gave us suggestions on what to do and took us to the best places. He is super knowledgable about EVERYTHING!! animals, birds, plants, insects, the economy, etc.. He is extremely professional, nice new clean van, speaks english, french and spanish and he is fun! We are definitely calling Leo again next time we come to Costa Rica. I will recommend him to all my familiy and friends. We also went to Arenal. Loved that hotel, Nayara Arenal (seperate review). Email me if you have any questions.

Stayed: April 2010, traveled as a couple
2  Thank cheryl5418
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 23, 2010

We stayed at the end of a busy trip to the Galapagos and Arenal, and it was a terrific place in which to wind down with our two kids. Service is brilliant, especially the cart drivers Luis and Jorge and Victor (the resort is built on a hill going down to the beach, so unless you have bags of energy cart use is frequent). The rooms are excellent - we had a suite joined onto a standard room, and there was heaps of space with large decks, bathrooms, and good general facilities. It also takes its green credentials seriously too.

The public areas are very good - there is a small, kind of private beach (not technically private but inaccessible to others), with a pool, and a very good bar/restaurant open for lunch. This is easily the best option - good value, consistently well executed, simpler dishes with local and international food.

At the 'top' of the hill is the main bar, restaurant, reception, shop, and internet facility with another pool. The breakfasts are excellent - again, local options and well-known stuff - but dinner was annoyingly over-elaborate. I don't go to Costa Rica to have balsamic reduction smears across my plate.

All around are the natural forest and well-maintained grounds - on our final morning we saw capuchin monkeys, Pancho the big iguana, a baby sloth, and that was par for the course.

Once you are 'in' AdM, it's a long way 'out'. The road up to the main road between Quepos and Manuel Antonio is a 20-25 minute very steep walk. We took a taxi and/or the resort bus to town/restaurants a couple of times - figure on $10 each way. You can get to MA 'village' walking along the Espadilla beach (20 minute stroll).

On the upper road, Raphael's Terrazas was an excellent recommendation from the staff, great seafood, and a meal in Quepos at Gran Escape was better than we expected. Vast portions. Avoid Cafe del Mar in MA - laughably poor except for a quick drink as you come out of the national park.

The beaches can have a treacherous undertow and rip current - there are boogie boards to borrow, and cold water to drink, toilets and towels and a beach patrol to look after your stuff at Espadilla and at the 'private' beach, Playitas.

Overall, highly recommend MA and the Arenas del Mar. We'd go back, and it's a long way from London.

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled with family
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1  Thank T5isHell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 20, 2010

Last June, my sister and I, both recent college grads, were looking for a place to stay. We booked a flight, and booked the Arenas Del Mar resort for 5 nights. As advertised on their website at the time they claimed "Free Transportation from Airport" which turns out that they don't. As we called to compalin about this disconnect, and had to find our own transport to the resort from airport(3hr drive, but beautiful and scenic-recommend shuttle service over plane!) We had called a few weeks ahead to complain about this, and upon arrival were upgraded to an oceanside villa with a jacuzzi on the imensely large deck for the entire duration of our stay. That is what Arenas Del Mar was about the entire duration of our stay. SATISFYING THE GUEST. The staff were helpful, friendly, and ever facility was pristinely clean. Everything about the resort MADE our vacation. I recommend this place without a thought. If you are travelling to Costa Rica, you MUST stay at this place. It is a sustainable resort nestled snuggly in the rainforest. They even gave us a laptop (no charge necessary) to use in our villa.

  • Stayed: June 2009, traveled with friends
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Thank amo929
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 18, 2010

On my recent trip to Costa Rica, I spent one week at Arenas Del Mar. I traveled along, seeking for a quiet place to relax while experiencing Costa Rican rich wildlife and enjoying the ocean. Resort fulfilled all my expectations far and beyond. Excellent location off the main track, resort is nested in the middle of the forest with a strong focus on preserving nature and sustainability programmes - buildings and trees are inevitably intertwined, animals are roaming around resort’s grounds, monkeys, sloths, iguanas, geckos, even little crabs get a right of a way. By its existence, resort does not disturb the nature, but co-exists with it in a peaceful respectful manner. Despite resort being totally sold out while I was there, I never felt it. Even in busy season, it has the ambient atmosphere, quiet and calm. Arenas Del Mar is not only a hotel but rather a destination in itself offering everything you need for a comfortable stay and a wonderful experience, good restaurant, numerous activities options, local guides on site, beaches, forest – all you need without involving a taxi or going to town for food places.

Seven of the hotel buildings are spaced out on a hillside with a main lobby, spa, shop and main restaurant El Mirador at the top. Excellent resort planning, for walking around its grounds offers a perfect opportunity for wildlife spotting which is abundant all around. There are also nature trails within the resort that could be great for wildlife viewing or just for a relaxing walk in the shade. And if you are tired of walking, there are golf carts readily available to take you anywhere throughout the resort’s grounds. Resort has its own secluded beach, Playitas, with lounge chairs, towels ready for use, and near by Playitas Restaurant and Bar that offers lunch menu and drinks. Attentive restaurant’s staff meets all your wishes – should you like to dine on the beach or simply order a drink. Resort has also an access to a large public beach, Playa Espadilla, which is adjacent to Manuel Antonio National Park. It is a great attraction when choosing Arenas Del Mar for a stay. Without involving transfers or taxis, you can stroll from your room down to the beach and then walk to a national park, enjoying views along the way and making the most out of your experience. I definitely made the most out of it walking to park almost every day!

Main restaurant El Mirador offers creative comprehensive menu, very reasonably priced with options for local flavours, seafood, meat dishes, as well as vegetarian choices. Food is interesting enough that in my seven days stay I did not have an urge to go off-site for eating. Often in the evenings, dining experience is enhanced by life music or dance performances, a window to a local culture.

Hotel rooms are clean, fresh, tastefully decorated, all with fantastic views of ocean or forest. Every room has a large balcony/deck. I spent many hours sitting reading there while listening to the sounds of the ocean. Unforgettable experience! Resort’s staff is worth mentioning, too. Professional, friendly, very attentive, they project high service standards which is greatly appreciated. English language is well spoken throughout the resort; hotel staff will always try their best to make you feel comfortable and well taken care of.

Indeed, being at Arenas Del Mar was a song for my soul. I would definitely recommend this resort to those enjoying nature experiences while appreciating a comfort of a small unique five-star resort at the same time. Traveling along, with a partner or the entire family with children, this resort is a gem!

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled solo
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1  Thank box145
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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