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Arenas del Mar Beachfront & Rainforest Resort
Ranked #4 of 46 Hotels in Manuel Antonio
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed 16 April 2012

We loved our 4 nights at Arenas del Mar. The hotel was our last stop in a 2 week vacation for our anniversary. We took a few tours from the hotel but the property itself is worth just taking time to enjoy. We stayed in more than one room and my husband's favorite was the one we had right by the beach, but I loved the suite the last night we had. We stayed at first in the Ocean Breeze superior room and the balcony was great to relax on and have your morning coffee. We awoke each morning to the sounds of the waves crashing on the beach. We had problems with our second room's air conditioner. They tried to fix it and then moved us to another room when it was impossible to fix. I was happy they moved us next door instead of going down the steps again. It was one of the Ocean View Suites. Both spots had their advantages. The Ocean View room we stayed at was close enough to walk to the restaurant and the spa. The private beach was a short downhill walk and we used the shuttle to come back up. When we were in the building on the beach we used the shuttle for our meals but the beach was easy access. We saw some monkeys at the beach. We went on the hanging bridges tour and enjoyed that and the massage that I had was a much needed one after all the hiking, kayaking, and snorkeling we did. The swedish massage was great. We thoroughly enjoyed all the staff and would come back to the hotel again. I liked the activities they had every night in the lobby area. The internet service was fast and efficient and the free international calling was a great option because my cell phone would not work in the area and I needed to call home during our stay several times. I would recommend this hotel if you are in the Manuel Antonio area. The beach access, the huge trees on the property make the temperatures at the beach so nice to enjoy. We loved having our lunch right on the beach and their service was impeccable. It was a pricey place to stay but we were on our anniversary and had saved up for it. The reviews here helped me choose this hotel and they were spot on! Thanks to those who wrote about the hotel. We loved the staff! Our excursions were the Catamaran Kayak/Snorkel tour, and the Rainmaker tour. We had a couples Swedish Massage and wish that we had time for the guided National Park tour but decided to spend a day in the lounge chairs at the beach and playing in the waves instead of doing that tour. We met a lot of great people there! We were there the week after Easter so were happy that some of the crowds we heard about the week prior had gone.

Room Tip: Try the beach side buildings if you want to spend more time there or the buildings close to the lobb...
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  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank ohiowills
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 16 April 2012

The staff was truly world class. The kindest and most welcoming people that I have ever met anywhere. The rooms and hotel location was wonderful. The food was very good. The only issue with the property is the driveway. The concrete driveway is falling apart which gives the hotel a rundown appearance when you first arrive. They will literally have to shut the hotel down to rebuild the driveway but it needs to be on their To Do list soon. All in all it is one of my favorite hotels in the world and it is best best staff that I have ever experienced.

Room Tip: Ask for building 1 room 2a or 2a&b if you have your kids with you as well. This puts you right...
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  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank Ron J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 April 2012

Stunning location, wonderfully organised, great service, good food, large very comfortable suites, beautiful gardens (with resident wildlife), and an almost private beach with all the facilities: for a beach side holiday this place has it all, with style and elegance but without the stuffiness of many top end resorts.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Berdewelle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 April 2012

I just returned from a few days here with my 12 year old son. We are both mad about wildlife and nature, which is why we decided to try Costa Rica but I also like a high degree of creature comforts.
Equally I felt conscious that in a country like Costa Rica I wanted a hotel that was eco-friendly and where our stay wasn't taking water or other precious resources away from the local community. The Arenas del Mar has the highest eco rating in Costa Rica - an accolade that the staff are all very proud about and was a perfect choice on all counts.

We had an Oceanview suite (with jacuzzi on the balcony and spectacular sea views), which although not luxurious was very comfortable with excellent aircon and lovely high threadcount sheets. There is twice daily housekeeping and a Ticobar with daily replenished soft drinks and snacks which you are welcome to have at no charge. Wifi is patchy but I was still on UK time and found that first thing in the morning the signal and availability was fine!

The heat (in April) was intense with very high humidity so I cannot emphasise enough what a pleasure it was to get back to a suite with good aircon! But do keep the French windows closed at all times - the Capuchin monkeys are fearless and will try to get into your room if they can!

Service throughout our stay was kind, friendly and genuine.

We only ever ate breakfast and dinner in the hotel (it was too hot to eat lunch as well) and the meals were fine. Prices for us were pretty low - especially if you consider the position of this place. I highly recommend the non alcohol cocktail they offer which has fresh pineapple, mint and coconut cream in it - absolutely delicious.

The wildlife? Fabulous and exciting. On property there is already a lot to see - many sloths (including a mother and her baby), monkeys and iguanas plus a lot of birdlife. We went out with Roger, the hotel's nature guide, on an early morning bird tour on the property and to a neighbouring area (30 mins' drive) called Hanging Bridges. The latter was wonderful: jewel-coloured poison dart frogs and the terrifyingly venomous Fer de Lance snake plus loads of exotic birds including toucans, owls and hummingbiords. The guides out here have a terrific eye and I highly recommend you take guided trips for two reasons: i) to see a lot and ii) as reassurance as I was rather scared of the poisonous snakes, having frightenedd myself about them in advance by extensively researching the wildlife in preparation for the trip.

The nearby national park Manuel Antonio is a disappointment after the Hanging Bridges or the hotel's own gardens and was overrun bystudents on Spring break, shouting and screeching every time they saw a monkey. I would avoid.

I would highly recommend this resort for a few days and would definitely consider returning and will certainly go back to Costa Rica, which was a lovely country with charming people.

Final recommendation - fly between San Jose and Quepos. We few using Sansa - an excellent service - that takes a mere 20 minutes instead of a 3 hour drive.

Room Tip: We were top floor in building 4. My one gripe is I found the path at night (to get to the restaurant...
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  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank TM99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GuestserviceADM, Manager at Arenas del Mar Beachfront & Rainforest Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 16 April 2012

Dear TM99,

Thank you for taking the time to write this detailed review of our Arenas del Mar Beachfront and Rainforest Resort in Manuel Antonio. With your review, you put a big smile on our faces as we are excited to hear so much positive feedback. It is great to read reviews where guests “really get the idea of what we are about”: You pointed it all out. Sustainability at its highest level, but with the creature comforts – Friendly and genuine service, but without the stuffiness of other resorts – easy access to wildlife viewing and private beaches, without having to deal with the crowds. Thank you also about your kind words of Costa Ricans in general. We would love to have you back with your son real soon.
Saludos,

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 April 2012

We try to travel to Manuel Antonio once a year and this is the nicest hotel and best location so far. MA has many nice hotels but most of them aren't this close to the beach. They have free boogie boards for guests at Playitas Beach. Espadilla Beach has them and a long board as well. The hotel can also arrange to have someone in town bring you a nicer board for around $25 a day. Playitas Beach does have some large rocks that get barely submerged at high tide so make sure to ask the lifeguard where they are. He even volunteered to give me hand signals if I was getting close to them. And when I got out of the water he gave me a fresh coconut to drink.

The biggest thing that would keep me from returning is they can't guarantee a reservation for a specific room. I loved the location of our building right in front of Playalitas Beach, but our balcony/jacuzzi had very little privacy during the day as it faced a snack bar by the pool and walkway to the beach.

Room Tip: The biggest thing that would keep me from returning is they can't guarantee a reservation for a...
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  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank druiddation
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 April 2012

We spent five nights here with our two sons (7 and 12). The location is great and the water clear and warm but big waves so not really safe for the children unless you watch them. There is a lifeguard on duty and he was quick to act when an older lady got knocked down by a few waves in quick succession. The rooms were spacious, clean, comfortable and quiet. We saw a cool snake outside our room and watched as it disappeared into its habitat. The people make this place. Roger, the guide, Alexander and Robin who zip you around in the buggies were all incredibly friendly, helpful and genuine in wanting to make our holiday special. My children loved them and they were great with the kids. We ventured up the steep road to the main highway in the sunshine and had a lovely meal at Cafe Milagro and some powerful margaritas. There are lots of nice restaurants on the highway and you can organise transport from the hotel. $10 each way in an air-conditioned, comfortable van. We also visited the Manuel Antonio National Park which is close by but extremely crowded. Having said that we still saw a lot of wildlife but the air was heavy with the smell of DEET. You absolutely do not need to bring heavy duty insect repellant to Costa Rica. We were here for six weeks travelling throughout the country and did not need DEET once. You most certainly do not need it in Manuel Antonio. The breakfasts were nice but we did not like the lunches and went out to other spots. The staff noticed when we left our meals and asked why and in the two instances where there was an issue, they removed the item from our bill and asked for ways to improve. The resort is genuine about its intentions to please and accommodate you and we would definitely go back.

Room Tip: Our room was down by the beach near the swimming pool. We had to walk up to breakfast and it was a...
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  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled with family
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3  Thank MuriwaiLot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 April 2012

My family of 5 (3 kids 10-17) just returned from a week at the Arenas del Mar. This resort is incredible. We had an ocean view suite, with a connecting room. It provided us with 3 bedrooms, and 3 bathrooms. We were to comfortably be together in one room, or we could spread out and have our own space. The decks are very nice to spend time on - have a snack, watch the monkeys, or the waves in the ocean. The city of Manuel Antonio is a popular resort town, and the local beach can get very crowded. The Arenas, though, has a private beach that takes you away from all the crowds and noise. There are very helpful staff wiling to get you a lounge chair, drink, snack, or show you the baby sloth in the tree. If the riptide is too strong at the moment, there are two different pools you can swim in. It is wonderful how the resort is built into the rainforest - trees are growing through the restaurant. It feels very natural, compared to a perfectly manicured and fake resort in Palm Springs. I wondered if a week would be too long there, but we were all sad to leave when we did. We hope to return there soon!

Room Tip: We were in Building 7, right next to the restaurant. Nice to be close for the meals, not a problem...
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  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank NWFamilyTraveler
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:
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Manuel Antonio
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Centre 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: £270 - £617 (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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