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“Room lacking, but wildlife sightings were great”

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Arenas del Mar Beachfront & Rainforest Resort
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Memphis
Level Contributor
18 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Room lacking, but wildlife sightings were great”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 October 2013

The Pros: (1) We saw all three species of monkeys that live in the area - howler, squirrel, and white faced. We saw enormous iguanas and a sloth move so quickly to get out of a thunderstorm that we initially thought that he was a monkey! We also saw snakes and baselisk lizards by the pool. Very cool. (2) The grounds are nice at this resort. The actual resort is located way off of the main road. It is secluded and private and guests are really in the forest. There are no cars on site. Guests either walk or call for a golf cart to navigate the steep paths. (3) Restaurant food was pretty tasty - sea bass truly delicious. (4) The entrance to Manuel Antonio Park is a 20-30 minute walk up the beach. We did not have to call for a taxi or anything to get to the park or the restaurants over by the park. Very pleasant walk. Try the yellowfin at Marlin's. (5) Staff very nice people.

The Cons: (1) Our room was really, really small. We had been in La Fortuna for the previous 4 nights, and our room there was like a condo. Our room in Arenas del Mar was about the size of a budget hotel in Paris or London. A few feet of clearance on either side of the bed, and that was it for the bedroom. The sitting area was outside, along with the wet bar and mini fridge. Bathroom was okay, but the water pressure was not great. Scented toilet paper! There was a small flat screen on the wall, but you had to watch TV in bed. I know, I know, you don't go to a rainforest resort to watch TV. Unless, of course, there is a torrential, unending downpour and the US Open is on. (2) Drinks were expensive. On the first night, there was a very heavy rainstorm and we did not want to venture out. We went to the restaurant, and they tried to seat us near a family with two in high chairs and another couple with a baby. I asked to be moved away from the children, and they moved as a little. One kid got up and was touching and rearranging the stemware at an unoccupied table, and the parents were not doing anything about it, and the staff did not step in. I understand that it is not the responsibility of the staff to step in and control another guest's ill-behaved brood, but it did not do much for the atmosphere. We decided to drink away the presence of the bratty children, and it was a very large tab indeed. (3) No TV in the bar (Federer was playing!) (4) Calling for ice from room service was a pain. They would usually bring ice in a legitimate ice bucket, but a few times they came with a margarita glass of ice. Enough for one-and-a-half mixed drinks. Not okay. (5) I felt that there was a bit of a rip-off going on with regard to the tour guides. We were told by the concierge that we could get a guided tour for $60 USD per person to go through the park. We booked it for 7:00 am the next morning. We later went down to the town, and booked a tour for $30 USD per person for the same thing. From what I could determine, all of the guides cooperate. When one person sees something cool, he whistles and everyone on the path can come look. Don't be afraid to go off resort for things like this.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Memphispubcrawler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cayuga S, Manager at Arenas del Mar Beachfront & Rainforest Resort, responded to this review, 22 October 2013
Dear Memphispubcrawler (quite a Tripadvisor name!!!),
greetings from Arenas del Mar. First of all, thank you very much for your constructive feedback on your stay with us in early September. We appreciate the great comments about our unique location in the rain forest with walking access along to the beach to the National Park and were were happy that you found our food and especially the sea bass to be spectacular. Thank you. To address some of the areas that you pointed out that need room for improvement. As you noted, the rooms are laid out to spend as much time as possible outside on the terraces enjoying the warm temperatures, spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean and the monkeys and birds that are ever present at the resort. We understand though that due to bad weather (especially in the months of September and October which is the height of our rainy season) the area cannot be used all the time. If you are a guest that is looking to spend more time in your room, we suggest you opt for a suite that has a living area in a separate room. The superior rooms work very well for guests that are looking for an active stays with many tours and adventures. We are sorry you were not able to see all the games of the US Open. We believe that keeping the public areas TV free is a plus, though for very special occasions, we have set up a screen for our guests. Early September is still a time when we have many families stay with us and we understand that this can sometimes create conflict with couples that are looking for more peace and quiet. We try to manage this very carefully. We will take immediate action on improving the way we deliver ice and watching for kids touching silverware on tables. In terms of the guides, we would like to clarify that we do not "rip" anybody off at the hotel. The rates for a tour booked at the hotel with a private guide from Arenas del Mar (Ersel has been mentioned in many previous TA reviews) are a bit more expensive, but our tour provides a much superior experience than going with guides that hang out at the entrance of the Park. We strongly advise you not to go with those guides as we have received various complaints from previous guests. Once again, thanks for your feedback and we hope that the positive memories of your stay with us outweigh the details that you mention in the cons category. All the best.
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1,763 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (561)
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English first
Washington, DC
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 October 2013

I want to provide candid feedback on our experience at Arenas del Mar, so that other travelers will not be as disappointed as we were. Your hotel bills itself as luxury, and it, frankly, is not. For a budget traveler or a basic traveler, it is fine and the location is clearly a selling point (though Manuel Antonio is a VERY touristy area that I would not choose to visit again). We found the hotel to be outdated and musty -- in need of new furniture and heavy exterior cleaning. The beachfront restaurant had dirty furniture and overused plasticware. The rooms were ok and the bedding was clean and comfortable but the tiling and flooring and bathrooms could be vastly improved. Again it was basic, not luxury. The common areas were not appealing. The restaurant food was terrible and highly overpriced.

I don't know how this hotel has the reviews it does from Trip Advisor, Expedia and Travel and Leisure. We were fresh off a stay of a true luxury resort in Costa Rica and our experiences were literally night and day. Maybe it was just an expectations problem, but I do not think any traveler looking for luxury accommodations would be satisfied with this experience.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank lymtravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cayuga S, Manager at Arenas del Mar Beachfront & Rainforest Resort, responded to this review, 22 October 2013
Dear Lymtravels,
thank you for taking the time to write your candid review about your stay at our hotel. First of all, we are very sorry that we were not able to meet your expectations. To receive a review like yours after 13 perfect scores is very frustrating for all of us here at the hotel. But at the same time, we see an opportunity in this and if you don't mind, we would like to get a bit more feedback from you directly on how we can improve. We often find that the definitions of luxury and the expectations of our guests vary quite a bit based on their likes and preferences. If you send us a note to hans@cayugaonline.com, we will try and set up a phone call to find out more. We promise to work hard to fix the things you will point out to us. Thanks again.
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BOSTON
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 October 2013

This resort was fabulous. I would recommend staying in a superior room for the extra room with an ocean view. You are greeted on arrival with a delicious smoothy, so nice!
You really feel like you are in the tropics, the resort has done a wonderful job keeping the natural landscape intact and lots of iguanas, monkeys, tropical birds and other assorted visitors.
And the food is unbelievable - fresh fruit, vegetables, fish.... We ate all our meals onsite, it was so good!!

  • Stayed November 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank MRJSP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Yardley, Pennsylvania
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 October 2013

Our family of six spent a week at Arenas del Mar at the end of August. It is hands down the best vacation we have ever had!! Everything from the accommodations to the amazing staff were top notch and made this trip memorable. Ersel and Brandon, just to name a few, made us all feel so special. They remembered all of our names and always went out of their way to cater to our every need. We loved spending time at the little beach- chairs were set up for us and the pool and restaurant are just a few feet away. My fair skin especially liked being able to sit in the shade while the kids were in the water or playing in the sand! You will surely not regret your stay at Arenas del Mar.

Room Tip: We LOVED our room -703!! The views are unbeatable!!!
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
1 Thank jillluke
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Amstelveen
Level Contributor
24 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 October 2013

Staff:

Very friendly, very helpful, they knew our names within a day ! Even doing something extra is not too much to ask. We stayed her for our honeymoon for five nights and one night I asked them to put candles on our balcony, fill the Jacuzzi and put a bottle of champagne on ice outside. No extra charge other than for the bottle of Champagne.

Rooms:

We had book and Ocean view room but got upgraded to a suite when we arrived. The Suite was clean, the bathroom was maybe a little out dated (but I understood they are renovating those as we speak) and the ocean view balcony we had was big (with Jacuzzi) and had a stunning view.

Restaurant:

The restaurant is ok and I guess if yo stay away from wine it is not too expensive. The choice on the menu is maybe a little limited compared to what they serve at the beach bar during lunch but everything we had tasted good. It would be nice if it would be possible to have dinner in the poolbar so that this gives you the option of ordering a pizza for dinner rather than having one for lunch.

ECO-Hotel:

Well the hotel promotes itself as promoting the environment. I also do believe that that is truelly their mission, and here I would like to offer some suggestions:

- When we arrived in our suite, the door to the balcony was open, both air conditioning units were on, as well as the ceiling fans.... not very eco
- As in any hotels you now-a-days see have the signs about recycling your towels. We put them up to dry every day as we do not need an new towel every day...... And yet they got changed every day
- The hotel promotes not feeding the animals and I do beleive that that is a good thing. Feeding monkeys will only lead into increasingly agressiveness towards humans. Yet an one point we saw hotel staff luring monkeys with food. Ok they did not hand over the food but the fact they learn them to come onto hotel grounds as there may be some food out there is not a good thing. I reported this to the reception and they took immediate action..... I hope the message came through....

SPA;

We took a couple massage for about 50 min and paid about 160 USD. Although the massage was nice I think this is a bit overpriced....

Overall:
The hotel may look a bit steep compared to others in the area but it is very very well worth booking this hotel. We had an amazing end of our honeymoon due to the hotel's location, views and service.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank WouterAmstelveen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Newport News, Virginia
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 October 2013

This resort was great! The views were spectacular! I visited with my Mom, sister and 2 aunts and we all had a great time. The breakfast was delicious! Our rooms were comfortable and everyone at the hotel was very friendly and accommidating. The dinner and lunches were good, not much of a selection when it came to Tico food but they had good choices. A little pricey for dinner...but we opted to go out on the town with recommendations from the staff for authentic Tico food which was great! The hotel drove us one night and the other they set up a taxi ride for us. The hotel is on a mountain and there are hills on premesis, but if you cannot walk up these steep inclines, they have 24 hr service to pick you up in a golf-cart! We went on a sustainability tour and tortilla making tour which was so cool! Would definitely go again!

Room Tip: My sister and I stayed in an ocean view room which was amazing! We woke up to the sound of the ocean...
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
2 Thank Jackie M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 October 2013 via mobile

We enjoyed our 2012 visit so much we decided to return to paradise one more time, and hopefully many more in the future too.
By far this resort is the best we have visited. The rooms are large and luxurious. Staff is remarkably friendly, knowledgable and remember your name from first time you meet them, some even from last year! You can be as lazy and relaxed as you want to be, under the palms on the beach, or adventurous as your body will allow. This year we zip-lined, kayaked thru the mangroves, visited a butterfly garden and went whale watching on jet skis! Also, As a former science teacher, really enjoyed the Sustainability tour of the resort itself and the extreme measures they take to earn and keep their 5 Leaf, like stars, environmental awards. Of course left time every other day, and most afternoons, for our daily rejuvenation on the beach. This place is way far and above "Top of the class". Will definitely be back, can't wait!

  • Stayed September 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank lcowhig
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cayuga S, Manager at Arenas del Mar Beachfront & Rainforest Resort, responded to this review, 11 October 2013
Dear Ichowig,
greetings from Manuel Antonio and Arenas del Mar. It was a great pleasure to have you back for a second visit this year. We appreciate your nice comments about your second stay with us. Thanks for your nice words about our sustainability program at the hotel. We are very proud to be Costa Rica's first hotel that achieved 5 Stars AND 5 Sustainability Leaves. And of course, there is nothing like our beach just a few steps from our room. I am glad you left time for some beach time every day. We very much look forward to your next visit with us. All the best,
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Additional Information about Arenas del Mar Beachfront & Rainforest Resort

Property: Arenas del Mar Beachfront & Rainforest Resort
Address: Punta Quepos, Manuel Antonio National Park 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 National Park
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 National Park
#2 Green Hotel in Manuel Antonio National Park
#2 Spa Hotel in Manuel Antonio National Park
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Manuel Antonio National Park
#3 Luxury Hotel in Manuel Antonio National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
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 National Park

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