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“Hands Down the Best Resort We Have Ever Stayed At”

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Arenas del Mar Beachfront & Rainforest Resort
Ranked #4 of 46 Hotels in Manuel Antonio
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed 14 November 2013

Wow that is all I can say. I have stayed at other top notch resorts Nayara in Costa Rica, Victoria House and Chaa Creek in Belize, Butler Service numerous times at Sandals and some European trips and all of those trips together don't add up to my 5 nights at Arenas Del Mar.

The staff is out of this world and everyone that works there is on the same page. It would seem that there mission statement is to to always give more than expected. I never had an experience where someone gave me less than 110% enthusaism / customer service. Alan at the front desk helped me look for tree frogs at 5:00 am and got completly muddy doing it, did not seem to bother him at all. I mentioned I wanted to see a snake and Ruben in landscaping found me a boa constrictor than went to the trouble to find me and let me hold it and put it back into nature. I am sorry I forgot the lady who made the drinks but let me tell you she did her job with passion and was very nice to talk to, she saw me leaving for an excursion at 5:30am and made me and my wife coffee to go exactly how we liked it without asking, she remembered exactly that i like milk and sugar. The guys who drive the golf cart were awsome they alwasy made a point to stop and let me take pictures of wildlife at time they took us to a new wildlife spotting or helped us look for wildlife (we even saw a very young sloth that was a highlite because only our driver had seen it up until that point). What I really liked is the staff seemed to care about us and made us feel welcome they opened up to us showed us pictures on their phones of things they have seen, also helped with our Spanish and never laughed when we mispronounced something. It is important to understand that no need of Spanish is needed at the resort EVERYONE speaks better than average English and nothing is lost in translation. Finally I mentioned that I like to drink coconut water and guess what within 5 minutes I had 3 fresh coconuts. Nowhere else

The wildlife at the resort is awsome. We saw about 5 sloths on the grounds, an ant eater, a boa constrictor, a brown vine snake, monkeys every day all day (white faced, squirrel and howler monkeys), toucans right at the entrance, iguanas, lizzards, crabs, hermit crabs, and numerous birds). On two days we saw whales and not just blow holes but whales leaping out of the water, or whale tails. We saw way more wildlife than we did at Manuel Antonio.

The beach was rough and we brought snorkel gear but no way could we snorkel off the beach. The beach itself was very clean and well groomed. The water is warm but the waves tossed us around.

The room we had was right next to the reastraunt / pool. We were in room 301. Easy to get to the beach and we enjoyed the golf carts up to the main area. Our room was spacious, the bed super comfy, the view from the deck awsome. The bathroom was my only issue I mentioned on the survey it was a little dark and could use a stronger wattage lightbulb (really have to be picky for this to be my issue). The shower was always warm water and had great pressure (the floor gets wet from the spray).

Did 3 tours with Ersol from the hotel. He is great and very passionate. This was my vacation and I was super excited to go out looking for wildlife but I date say Ersol matched my excitment. He has tremendous knowledge about birds and other animals. We went to Carrara and found the Scarlett Mcaws, did the morning birdwatch and found an ant eater, did Manuel Antonio it was a slow day but he gave us lots of information and pointed out some neat bugs. Did the early morning birdwatch which was fun. The best thing was Ersol kept a typed log for me of what we saw, this is something I will keep forever. As soon as I got home I researched all the birds we saw. My interest in birds started out minimal...show me some cool stuff and lets go, by the end of my trip I was out at 5:00 am looking for birds on my own. We spent alot of time with Ersol and he was easy to be around and was fun to talk with. We were very comfortable with Ersol as our guide. I can see myself going back to Costa Rica next year and if I do will book a tour with Ersol every single day.

We went to Nayara after Arenas Del Mar and I can say in all honesty that Arenas Del Mar was the highlight of our Costa Rican vacation.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank warrend6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 12 November 2013

Arenas Del Mar "Buenissimo!!

What an Amazing slice of heaven on earth this "carbon zero" rainforest beach resort. Truly nature in balance with business of tourism.! Our room was fabulous and the service exceptional.

Arenas Del Mar is not just a resort tucked away in the jungle, it is a magical place where the people who tend to your needs while on vacation, treat you more like family and friends than customers or clients. My health system, Holy redeemer, is in the process of reevaluating every service we provide in health care focusing on customer service and providing a positive experience for the patient. The staff at Arenas Del Mar takes customer service to a whole new level. Jorge, the general manager, is an amazing individual who is respected and revered by his staff and his employers. You can tell when someone leads by example and makes his employees want to be the best they can be. He made sure that each and everyone who was staying at the resort received personalized attention. One evening I commented on our way to dinner that the candles around the pool were such a nice touch. That evening upon our return to our room, Ariel, the bell boy had filled out jacuzzi tub and outfitted the room with candles and flowers creating an amazing ambiance. I don't know who overheard the comment and who was truly responsible for that surprise at our room, but I suspect that all of the staff work relentlessly to make each persons stay individualized and special. Kudos to Jorge for being the leader and role model that he is!

So what is there to do at this place???
EAT EAT and EAT. We were fortunate to be present for one of the resorts celebrity chef events. Top Chef contender Jason Chicinoski of Ela in Philadelphia provided three evenings of delicious and artfully presented dishes. Don't know how he did it as he was on the beach in the afternoon and by 7 we were eating 5 course gourmet meals. He visited the local markets and Villa Vanilla, an organic spice farm and intertwined the delicacies of Costa Rica into his dishes. I could live on his lobster bisque! Had I not been walking the hills, beaches and doing a vigorous daily workout with Jorge and Ersel, I likely would be returning to the USA with a few more pounds on board. We cannot wait to go to Ela upon our return to Philadelphia and I encourage you to try it too. I head their Sunday brunch is a great way to become introduce to the cuisine.

I have to say that in all of my years of travel and people that I have met, Ersel, the naturalist, is hands down the nicest most genuinely happy individual on the planet. His love of life, his passion for the planet and all of it's creatures is so inspiring. His knowledge of Costa Rica and it's many ecosystems makes him indispensable to Arenas Del Mar. This 26 yo has truly learned to live in the moment. He started every morning 6:30 AM workout with "Everyday is a great day!" and form his heart of hearts he means it.

Walking up and down the hills and up and down the hills again to end up on a stretch of beach sprinkled with volcanic rock structures at the edge of the rainforest preserve IS heaven on earth. Living in balance and harmony with the white faced monkeys, iguanas, poisonous dart frogs, squirrel monkeys and so many beautiful and harmonious birds is a true testament to the visionaries of Arenas Del Mar. They have created a sanctuary for humans to live in equilibrium with nature.

"Everyday is a great day !!" A Blissful existence is our birthright!

Buenisimo

Room Tip: Building 3 is close to the beach with amazing view, Building 7 has a spectacular view of the public...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Beth444444
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 November 2013

We cannot say enough good things about Arenas Del Mar! We were down in October 2013 for our Honeymoon. Beautiful location with easy access to the beach and jungle right outside your room. We saw numerous monkeys, sloths, and an anteater just walking around. Food is delicious but pricey for Central America- much cheaper local food abounds nearby. Quepos is an easy $10 cab ride- Manuel Antonio is even closer and also walkable down the beach. Staff were very helpful in recommending more affordable local restaurants nearby. Resort is steep but staff is great about giving you a ride in a golf cart wherever you need to go on site. All the staff were super friendly and helpful and knew our names by the second day... they even called Sansa Air for us the day before we left to help sort out an issue we were having. Special thanks to Rodbin, Alex, and Alan- but really the entire staff made the trip! October was the end of the wet season but we had great weather most of the time- we got the occassional thunder storm in the afternoon and rain pretty regularly at night but plenty of time for the beach each day.

We are already thinking about the next time we can come out!

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank C0l0nelF0rbin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 November 2013

Arenas del Mar has the best of both worlds, natural beauty combined with accommodation and staff worthy of a 5 star property rating. The staff went out of their way to be helpful and made sure we were able to relax and engage with local tour companies who offered amazing experiences for novice and experienced folks alike. Imagine repelling under waterfalls, zip-lining through the jungle, a relaxing day on the ocean spotting dolphins, turtles, and swimming with schools of fish just to name a few. The property has 2 pools and easy access to 2 beaches. The private beach offers a beach-side waiter service which confirms the notion of being on vacation! The suites are spacious, the decor very appealing and the views are speculator. The locals (the wild life that is) and humans co-habit in this idyllic resort with the integrity of this special place uncompromised. It was an absolute pleasure to stay at Arenas del Mar.
Linda
Haverford PA

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank linda116715
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 November 2013

We just got back from our vacation at CR staying at the Arenas del Mar hotel. We can't say enough good things about this hotel and staff. Everyone one was extremely helpful and accomodating. There were 2 options of views: beach or overlooking the Pacific Ocean. We choose the later and what spectacular views! We appreciated how the hotel is eco-friendly to the extent as to not disrupt the nature surrounding this hotel. We never waited for anything. The staff anticipated our every need such as taxi's a golf cart ride to the beach, a drink on the beach, extra towels or umbrellas when it rained.
A perfect time!!
Charlotte/Tom Suspenski, Haverford, PA

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank charlotte1203
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 November 2013

From the moment we pulled into the driveway, I knew I was in for an incredible experience. Every staff member greeted us with a smile and the place was immaculate. The views of the ocean from the rooms and from breakfast on the deck were breathtaking. The hotel arranged for all of our excursions -- including an exhilarating zip-lining experience and a guided tour of the rainforest -- and made everything easy. We told them what we wanted to do, and everything was taken care of. The food at the hotel was delicious, including everything from comfort food to authentic Costa Rican dishes. As for the rooms, I can't say enough -- they were incredible...comfortable, spacious, and luxurious, but still had the feeling of the rainforest inside. One of my everlasting memories will be watching the sunset from the balcony with a glass of wine. It's easy to see why "pura vida" isn't just a catch phrase...it's a way of life in Costa Rica and that is especially true at Arenas del Mar. I couldn't possibly recommend it higher!

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled with friends
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4  Thank msiegel629
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 reviewResponded 4 November 2013

Dear MSiegel629,
greetings from Arenas del Mar Beachfront and Rain forest Resort in Manuel Antonio. Thank you for your wonderful review and pointing out how amazing your stay was. We are happy to hear that you were able to feel the Pura Vida feeling. It seems like you were able to create the perfect mix of relaxation (watching the sunset with a glass of wine from your balcony) and activities and tours (canopy, kayak, horseback riding, etc) during your stay. We were especially happy to hear that you liked the combination of comfort foods, Costa Rican dishes and some fine dining options in our menu. During the next two weeks, we have more guests chefs coming to the resort and will be able to further increase the food quality at Arenas del Mar. Thanks for pointing out the great views. We are the only luxury hotel in Manuel Antonio to combine Ocean views with direct beach access and the possibility to walk to the National Park. We hope to have you back with us real soon. All the best.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 October 2013

We did a great multisport trip with Bike Arenal and wanted to then spend a few days relaxing at on a beach. Arenas del Mar was the perfect choice. The beach was beautiful. The amenities were perfect and the manager explained that the goal of the hotel was to give us a perfect experience and they certainly did.

Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
Thank 65Edward
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 Spa Hotel in Manuel Antonio
#2 Green Hotel in Manuel Antonio
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Manuel Antonio
#3 Luxury Hotel in Manuel Antonio
Price Range: £284 - £794 (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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