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.
- 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