We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Good Place and Great People” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Cabinas Las Arenas

Cabinas Las Arenas
Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
Cabinas Las Arenas
Washington
1 review
“Good Place and Great People”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 2, 2008

We received exceptional service from this hotel. We were upset and stressed after our stuff was stolen from the bus, and the management at Cabinas Las Arenes went out of their way to help us. They were extremely kind and understanding, and we would definitely go back.

  • Liked — The service
  • Disliked — No A.C.
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank jasdance
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

23 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    7
    8
    3
    1
    4
See reviews for
3
7
3
Business
0
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room Tips
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Florida, USA
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 9, 2008

The other reviews are all correct in saying that Cabinas Las Arenas is a basic, no frills kind of place. Whether that is a good or bad thing all depends on your outlook (and budget) and what you are looking for in Costa Rica. I did a lot of research online before deciding to book our stay at this hotel. My husband and I are in our early 30s and we stayed in a "suite" room at Cabinas Las Arenas (had a TV and small fridge). My husband really wanted to surf in Costa Rica and I wanted to stay somewhere relaxing and centrally located so that we could go on some different day trips (like Isla Tortuga and Manuel Antonio Park) and have various activities nearby (like Canopy Tour and shopping/restaurants). This hotel satisfied both of those requirements. That being said, there were a few drawbacks that I'd like to mention... first of all, during our stay the waves were bigger than normal and even the more "expert" surfers weren't going out very much (we saw several walking back with broken boards)-- my husband ended up surfing in Jaco. Secondly, I had read that the hotel was about 5km from Jaco so I figured maybe we could walk into town instead of relying on taxis or public transportation... it might be 5km if you drew a straight line on a map from Playa Hermosa to Jaco but the narrow road has lots of twists and turns (and no path to walk on) and getting to and from Jaco proved more difficult than we realized it would be (public transportation in Costa Rica is pretty unreliable so we ended up taking taxis most of the time-- at about $5 each way). I also thought that not having A/C would be ok but in retrospect I wish we'd stayed somewhere that had it (and also a pool)-- the nights were cool and we did have a ceiling fan, but if you wanted to rest during the day it was often hot and uncomfortable... and not having windows that you can close means that you have to put up with all the outside noise (if it's hearing the ocean then it's nice, but if you have to hear drunk surfers at 2am then it's not so great). So, part of me wishes we'd spent a bit more money and stayed somewhere slightly nicer with a pool and A/C, but the activities that the area has to offer are kind of expensive ($50 each for canopy tour, $100 round trip for the ride to Manuel Antonio, $100 each for Isla Tortuga trip) so that adds up and if you're on a budget I think it's probably better to stay in a cheaper place and spend your money on the fun things (day trips, shopping, dining, etc). On the positive side, I'm REALLY glad we stayed in Playa Hermosa and NOT in Jaco. It's nice to go to Jaco and walk around during the day, go shopping, eat out, etc... but it is kind of a seedy place and I wouldn't have wanted to stay in a hotel there or go out at night (we talked to some people who did and they said the late night noise was even worse there than at our hotel). Also, the people at Cabinas Las Arenas (the manager Roger, Carlos from the restaurant and Loukas from the surf shop) were all extremely nice as was everyone in Playa Hermosa (our favorite hangout was Rippers which is just a short walk away-- we played pool and had beer there almost every night). My only other regret from this trip was that we stayed 6 days in Playa Hermosa. I think that's a bit long unless all you want to do is surf. Like I said, we took some nice day trips but I think it would have been better if we'd divided our time between Playa Hermosa and somewhere else (like maybe Arenales volano area). I'm giving this place 2 stars... it could use a little bit of fixing up (the photos make it look nicer than it really is), but overall it wasn't bad.

  • Liked — the location and the interaction with local people (nice staff at hotel/restaurant and nearby places)
  • Disliked — more basic than I thought it would be-- unless you are a young surfer on a budget then I'd recommend spending a little extra money to stay in a nicer place
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank floridian_traveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Playa Hermosa hotels

Cypress, California
Level Contributor
15 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 21, 2008

It's very important to know what you're getting into when booking a room at Cabinas Las Arenas. The hotel is very basic and even rustic. It's really aimed at surfers and those more interested in the flora and fauna of the Costa Rican coast than the amenities of the hotel. The rooms do not have actual windows, just mesh to keep the mossies. The rooms all have running water and the showers have "suicide" shower heads (electrically warmed water).
The cafe is great. They sell the normal casado, which is really great and pretty reasonably priced. The only problem I found with the cafe is the complete absence of cerveza! Evidently the hotel has no beer license.

The Good: Warm, helpful owner and manager, great surf 50 yards from your door, relaxed atmosphere.

The Bad: Not much privacy, no beer.

The Bottom Line: If you're a young person traveling with buddies, Cabinas Las Arenas is great. If you're looking for a convenient location to stay while accomplishing your main goal of surfing, look no further. However, if you're an older adult traveling with a spouse, you'll likely be happier up the road at Terraza Del Pacifico.

  • Liked — On Playa Hermosa; proximity to world-class beach break.
  • Disliked — Very rustic rooms. Great for sleeping but not much else.
  • Stayed November 2007, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank ianbob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Louis, Missouri
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 18, 2008

We got to the hotel at 1am and there wasn't anyone around. I had told someone that would would be arriving really late. We had to drive until we found a bar open and they let us use the phone to wake up the manager. He told us which room we were in and we drove back and went to sleep.
The next morning he asked us our names and asked me for our reservation number. He acted like he didn't even know I was coming and I had even emailed the owner of the hotel before leaving the country to make sure he had our reservation, He did.
The owner was out of the country and the manager was running the show on his own and I really don't think he could handle it on his own. (He seemed a little too preoccupied hanging with friends and his girldfriend.)
Also that morning he asked me for the key so he could make a copy and I gave it him and when we came back there was somebody else going into our room. We found the manager and he told us that he moved us to a different room (which was now not ocean view!) which meant he moved all of our clothes which were out, my toiletries.... Thats pretty weird!
Anyway, he said he would move us back when that person moved out the next day but he never did.
We always had to ask for clean towels and our bathroom did not get cleaned at all. The toilet also leaked the whole week and we never had a hot shower because our electric shower head was broken and he said that he would have it fixed by the end of the day...it never got fixed during our stay.
I would never stay at this hotel or recommend for anyone. You would honestly be better off camping!

Stayed February 2008
Helpful?
1 Thank kateseyer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, Ca
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 20, 2007

Before I begin, let me say I've worked in 4 and 5 star hotels for years, and served as concierge for a private millionaire's club in Hawaii. Let's say I know good service when I see it, but I'm not so stupid as to expect more than what I paid for.

I was very attracted to the pictures of Cabinas Las Arenas online, it fit all my expectations of a low budget beach shack: no a/c, no hot water, no room service...and $20/person/night, perfect! But one look at the rooms, especially in comparison to our 4-star digs in at the Occidental El Toucan in Arenal, and my partner said, "No way-Jose!" Instead, we chose Claritas, and soon realized it was all a big mistake.

I suggested we drive over to Playa Hermosa and see if we could find a room, and lo! My buddy recognised the Cabinas, and after a delicious (and inexpensive) lunch there, we inquired about a room. We were in luck! The owner, Roger Chun, took a liking to us (I'm from Hawaii, and surfers like that), and gave us a huge room for $15/each/night. Yes, there's no hot water, but cold showers are so refreshing when your sweating all the time. We pulled our Rav4 into the protected parking area, and Roger let us know all the guys hanging around his place were cool, which meant they'd watch our backs. In Hawaii, we call it Ohana, and I was glad for some of it in Costa Rica, because up till then, I had nothing but bad things to say about snooty Tikos working in the tourist industry (what is up with that?).

Playa Hermosa is literally 8 minutes away from Jaco, but it might as well be 800 light years away. If Jaco is hell, Playa Hermosa is heaven. You can lay out on the beach without being accosted by beach bums and trinket sellers, and you can jump into the surf without fear that your stuff won't be there when you return (people on the beach actually watch over your stuff, unlike in Jaco, where they think it's funny if you're wandering around crying). And what incredible waves, don't let the rip-tide warnings keep you from body surfing, the bottom is all sand, no rocks anywhere, and you can always ask a surfer to watch out for you, or give you advice. They are all very friendly, and sweet. And surf lessons can be had for the asking.

Did I mention that practically everyone we met there spoke perfect English. Imagine that...

Roger is usually out on his Pipa board, skimming down the backwash to backflip into the water, if you can't find him in the office, or his house, which is the one closest to the water (what a life!). Unlike the "Just who the hell do you think you are?" attitudes we got elsewhere in CR, Roger jumped off his board and came trotting up the beach as soon as we waved him over. Now that's my kind of service!

We needed wifi, so Roger directed us to the Backyard Hotel Cafe three doors south. Nice girls behind the counter, and wicked high speed access. The surf is not 100 yards from your table, serving up a photo perfect view of wave riders cutting curls, and the most centered sunsets in CR. Order the pizza burrito with a beer ($5), and you are one happy camper. The Backyard has a nice disco area with big screen projection TV, which would probably rock, if they brought in a DJ, or a band.

Like almost everyplace you stay at in CR, Roger takes plastic. There aren't many public payphones (that work) in PH, but Roger will let you use his cell for free, when you can track him down! The guys at the cafe will help you if he's not around.

Roger Chun @ Cabinas Las Arenas
www.cabinaslasarenas.com
506-643-7013 cell
210-764-5675 fax

Stayed February 2007
Helpful?
5 Thank Johnzane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Playa Hermosa
0.0 mi away
Jaco Laguna Resort & Beach Club
0.0 mi away
Hotel Tramonto
Hotel Tramonto
#22 of 44 in Jaco
3.5 of 5 bubbles 124 reviews
0.0 mi away
Terraza del Pacifico
Terraza del Pacifico
#4 of 5 in Playa Hermosa
3.0 of 5 bubbles 184 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
0.0 mi away
Hotel Fuego del Sol
Hotel Fuego del Sol
#5 of 5 in Playa Hermosa
3.0 of 5 bubbles 147 reviews
0.0 mi away
Las Brisas Resort and Villas
Las Brisas Resort and Villas
#1 of 8 in Playa Hermosa
4.5 of 5 bubbles 131 reviews
0.0 mi away
Room2Board Hostel and Surf School
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Cabinas Las Arenas? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Cabinas Las Arenas

Property: Cabinas Las Arenas
Address: 400 meters south of school Pochotal | Garabito, Playa Hermosa 4023, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Playa Hermosa
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #10 of 15 Specialty Lodging in Playa Hermosa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2 star — Cabinas Las Arenas 2*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
For the greatest surfing in Costa Rica come to Cabinas las Arenas, on the beach at Playa Hermosa. Enjoy the best surfing beach in Costa Rica and surf the great waves only 50 yards from your room. Our affordable beachfront hotel, restaurant and surf shop are waiting for you. The hotel has 10 rooms all with their own private bathrooms. Each unit can easily accommodate up to 4 people. Waiting for you. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Cabinas Las Arenas Hotel Playa Hermosa
Cabinas Las Arenas Costa Rica/Playa Hermosa

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing