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“Specific review of El Mirador Bar and Restaurant at the resort”

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Arenas del Mar Beachfront & Rainforest Resort
Ranked #4 of 47 Hotels in Manuel Antonio
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed 22 January 2014

In a previous review of the resort, I should have spent some time reviewing the Bar and Restaurant on the premises.
One needn't leave the resort to enjoy and sumptuous breakfast served poolside unless you choose to sit indoors. however, eating a delicious repast by the pool affords one the unique experience of wonderful service by a very attentive and knowledgeable wait staff, in addition to the local wildlife! The menu is extensive...one begins with freshly squeezed juices...the mango, watermelon,guava,grapefruit....all superb and refreshing! Freshly baked sweet rolls are plentiful...the coffee,well, the coffee is aromatic and served really hot and refills are automatic! The main courses are such that you wish you could eat each...my favorite was the French Toast with berries and nuts...my husband devoured the Eggs,beans and Rice...one could also order eggs anyway....with a side of potatoes that are exceptional!...if you prefer lighter fare, there is always a plate of fresh fruit on the table...but do indulge...just walk it off later on the beach!
Dinners for us were amazing....we were treated to the freshest fish....wonderfully prepared vegetables...lots of great local fare...we are particularly fond of seafood and the shrimps were awesome! Again, excellent wait staff, eager to make your dining experience memorable! The ambience in El Mirador is superb...cool breezes in the evening,soft lighting, great food and wine! We are incredibly lucky to have been there for the Chef's events...each night the meals were spectacular! Local fare prepared with panache!
The Bar, manned by Juan Diego, is a treat without a doubt! He delights in creating wonderful drinks using the freshest herbs and libations! We were never fans of "cilantro" until Juan Diego blended it with Rum,honey, and crushed ice....WOW! The bar is stocked with the very best wines and liquors ....but do yourself a favor and try one of their special creations....!

  • Stayed: November 2013
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2  Thank tsharnick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 21 January 2014

We have visited Arena Del Mar five times in the past five years and have had an excellent experience every time. The staff is exceptional in all respects and will help in any way possible. Spend some time talking with them and you will gain an added perspective on Costa Rica. Spend time walking the property as you will find as much nature and wildlife as you would on a tour. The food in the restaurant is very good, and they will cater to your taste. We have already booked our sixth trip. Splurge on the premium ocean view suite. Pura Vida

Room Tip: The Ocean view premium rooms in building 6 are the best. Building 7 is right over the pool and rest...
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  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank StevenB-cpa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 January 2014

We spent 5 days in this Garden of Eden slice of paradise. From the moment the hotel car service picked us up from the airport to when we had to sadly say goodbye, our entire experience was absolutely perfect. The hotel is set within a private expansive rainforest directly on a picturesque beach. This unique location makes for amazing surprise visits from capuchin monkeys and other exotic wildlife while you're relaxing on the beach or eating lunch at the beachfront restaurant. The rooms and the lobby are situated throughout the rainforest property (i believe they have 11 acres). We got the OCEAN VIEW PREMIUM room (603A) and it was worth every penny. The deck overlooked the entire beach and surrounding rainforest. The deck had 2 very comfy lounge chairs and a love seat. The best part was the private tub on the deck which was perfect for relaxing after a day of exploration in the sun.

Another thing about the location is that you are walking distance from Manuel Antonio Park, which is a nature reserve so there is a ton of wildlife to see there. You want to get a guide to take you through the park (you can get a guide through the hotel or directly at the park) because you won't see anything if you go by yourself. The guides bring telescopes and you can see sloths, monkeys, butterflies, birds and all types of wildlife close up. Put your camera up to the lens and you can get really great close-up pics.

A hugely important factor is that the hotel staff is just incredible. They even specially prepared sandwiches for us when we arrived around midnight since the kitchen was closed. I've been to many resorts with great staff, but the group at Manuel Antonio seem to be a family and they make you feel like you are part of it while you are there. A few standouts were Robin, Bryan and Allan who took special care of us and make this the a truly remarkable experience. But what's really great is that the staff is so helpful and caring without feeling intrusive. It's a perfect balance that I've actually never seen before.

The hotel is also a 5-leaf resort which is evident from the second you arrive. The eco-friendly vibe definitely adds to the experience. Ersel took us on a night hike around the resort grounds and we saw all types of creatures, including the red eyed tree frog. Ersel was so passionate about the rainforest and Arenas Del Mar's mission that it was contagious. You feel like you are part of the conservation efforts when you're staying there.

And the weather in Manuel Antonio is PERFECT. There wasn't even a cloud in the sky the entire 5 days...I learned that rainy season is May-December so we just missed it. Every day was a 10!

The food was pretty good, not great, but definitely decent.

A few warnings, and these are NOT negatives because I can't stress enough how perfect this resort it...1. The property is expansive and hilly. Walking from the beach to our room gave us a good workout. There are many golf carts that will come pick you up in just minutes if you can't or don't want to make the hike, but just wanted to throw that out there.

2. There are not dark shades in the bedroom so I woke up with the sun and the birds every morning around 6am. it was actually pretty cool to watch the sunrise and the rainforest and beach come to life. But if you're like me, and you like to sleep in on vacations, bring a sleep mask. The bed is super comfortable though.

Room Tip: Ocean View Premium is the way to go! It's worth the extra $.
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  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank JenNYC1127
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 January 2014

What a fantastic boutique hotel set within a private and lush rainforest. From the moment we got dropped off at the outdoor reception and boarded a golf cart for the ride to our room, driven by the wonderfully attentive Ariele, we knew we found a home away from home. We were in bldg 3 which was down by the small semi-private beach. While the beach is technically public, it is not easily accessed and very few non-hotel guests, and quite frankly few hotel guests, were there so it was totally relaxing and very serene. We had a 2 room suite with a living room that had a pull-out couch. The unit had 3 balconies with a hot tub which we enjoyed very much. My only complaint is that the pull-out was not very comfortable and somewhat flimsy. It would be fine for children but not so great for a 24 year old man. The hotel staff was AMAZING! Breakfasts were included in our rate and while not a buffet like many other such properties, the food was delicious and plentiful with fruit and juice each day. We ate dinner there several nights and I would say the food was good but not wonderful. It is a bit pricey for Costa Rica but we were happy to just stay at the hotel a few nights. I could go on about how much we loved this resort, and as a very frequent traveler who has been to 40+ countries where we mostly stayed in 5* properties, I can say that Arenas del Mar ranks high on my list of favorite all around hotels. I hope we get back there soon.

Room Tip: We liked being by the small beach for easy access.
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  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank jasper25rocks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 January 2014

Let me start with the words FIRST CLASS. This was my families second visit to this property. This time we went with a group of 21 people. Eleven were children. The service was absolutely
amazing. From the moment we arrived the staff was so wonderful. Alex and Robin remembered all all kids name in the first few days. They made sure that we had ALL of our excursions planned even doing surf lesson last minute for those 11 children. The food was delicious. Each morning at breakfast they offered the freshest fruit. You may NOT ever taste fruit this fresh again. Did I mention the Mahi-Mahi? You have to go just to taste the fish. You won't be disappointed. Alright, the last thing I have to mention were the milk shakes. My kids probably had 3 a day!!!

The private beach came in handy with all of those children. The staff brought us any food or drinks we ordered. Very hands on!!!

I'm going to end this with the name ERSEL. Please google him if you don't believe me. He was one of the most knowledgeable tour guides we have EVER used. He was wonderful with all the children and taught them a lot. We are already planning our next trip to Arenas del Mar!

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank Kheb03
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 January 2014

First of all- go there! Second of all- Go there!

This property is beautiful- of course. I have so much to say that I will only pick out a few top things or you will give up reading....

1. Five star- five leaf. What is five leaf you may ask? It means that those who built and own this property are as concerned about their impact on the planet, the plant and animal life as they are about profit. Really. The evidence is everywhere- We had a tour of the 'back of the hotel' to see how things are done here- no expense has been spared to ensure that biodegradable products are used, that the buildings leave wildlife corridors between them, that everything that is possible to reuse or recycle is reused and recycled. They even have worm compost which is used to create fertilizer for the plant life.

2. The staff are extraordinary- Everyone who interacts with guests behaves SO far beyond what is required it is almost hard to believe it is real- and then someone does yet another thing for you that you never asked for in the most gentle and caring way...anticipating before the need even arises. Back of property staff are as proud of what they do, and clear about its importance as are those who interact with customers. I can't even describe it. It just is everywhere and the experience is felt by the guest.

3. Wildlife- We have seen: hawks, squirrel monkeys, sloths, an agouti, iguanas galore, and that is just on this property. They love it here.

4. Priscilla at the spa. This young Costa Rican woman gave me a world class massage- maybe the best ever- with extra attention and a real sense of how she uses her energy. ASK for HER.

The views, the magnificent beach, the incredible location, the elegant, spacious suite complete with veranda jacuzzii just make it a place you want to stay and BE. However, there is a lot to do nearby and the staff will help you find it.

Our room was 303A and I think it was perfectly located- private, near the pool, beach and cafe, spectacular view and a 30 second golf cart shuttle to the reception/restaurant area. Perfect.

Yes, I liked it here.

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with friends
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7  Thank MerlinW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 January 2014

Perfect location. What more can you ask for, balcony overlooking Paciific sunsets, jacuzzi on the balcony, monkey families playing in the trees, and the sound of the surf! Not bad. Spa service is very good. Dining is excellent

Room Tip: Be careful, figure how loud you want the surf. How far down the cliff you want to be, and see what v...
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  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
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3  Thank rwa1939
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: £259 - £608 (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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