My girlfriend and I looked at rooms in 4 hotels in Manuel Antonio (2 more expensive, 1 less expensive) before deciding on Villas Nicolas. The receptionist was friendly, parking was convenient, and the room was very nicely furnished for the price. Plus it had great privacy. The pool is nice, though Manuel Antonio is all about the beach anyway...
The restaurant at the Villas Nicolas, El Rancho, is fantastic. I wouldn't describe the menu prices as inexpensive, but they seem reasonable given the quality of the food. We ate there 3 out of 4 nights in Manuel Antonio and had some of the best cocktails, appetizers, meals, and desserts we have ever had, plus the staff of both the villas and restaurant are all very personable. We tried 3 other restaurants in Manuel Antonio throughout our stay and El Rancho was by far our favorite.
The villas have different owners (managed by one set of staff, so it still "feels" like a hotel) and the furnishings/layout vary accordingly - we stayed in two rooms with different decors and I liked each of their styles very much. In both cases the beds were comfortable and the bathrooms were nicely done with large showers. One of the villas we stayed at had a nice, large hammock.
Parking is ample and convenient. We came and went often throughout our stay and the only time we found the parking lot full was when a maintenance worker had parked in the lot; in that case the staff had him move his car very quickly so we could park.
The view from the rooms we stayed at was tropical foliage in one case and foliage plus sea view in another. We didn't see many wild animals at the villas but they were probably around - you're bound to see capuchin monkeys if you go to the beach at Manuel Antonio.
Although you could walk to the beach from Villas Nicolas, it's a bit of a hike - especially on the uphill way back when it's literally a hike. I recommend driving to the beach or taking a cab - walking can be dangerous due to the narrow road, blind curves, and slippery, moss-covered shoulders. Also, don't pay too much for a cab ride to/from the beach - ask the hotel staff what it should cost you!
Here is a tip for any stay at Manuel Antonio: Go to the beach and compare prices on activities before you book them through a hotel, it might save you money.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Villas Nicolas is a small 18 room condominium style hotel.We are located on the Manuel Antonio mountainside overlooking the Pacific Ocean.Our hotel is comprised of 5 rows of terraced rooms (approx 4 rooms per row)surrounded by gardens and jungle....all with oceanviews. Villas Nicolas is designed for the independent traveler who prefers "small & intimate" to the "all inclusive" resort type experience.Our Type 3 suites have full kitchens for those who wish to take advantage of the local produce and fresh fish that this area provides.We offer on site management and all night security. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Villas Nicolas Hotel Manuel Antonio National Park
- Hotel Nicolas
- Villas Nicolas Costa Rica/Manuel Antonio