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Arenas del Mar Beachfront and Rainforest Resort, Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Charlotte, North Carolina
Level Contributor
84 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 120 helpful votes
“Nightmare”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 July 2014

I normally would have given this resort a 4-5 rating. The rooms are night, the setting is lovely, the food is quite good. However, our last day at the resort was hard to forget and left a lasting negative impression. Each day at the resort, we had visited a baby sloth who had spent the prior 2-3 days napping in a tree next to the reception area. On the final day, we saw a group of staff members around the tree watching a huge boa constrictor stalk the baby sloth. I was distressed by this and asked if something might be done to save the vulnerable baby sloth. The staff members laughed at me and patronizingly tried to explain to me that "its nature." I have to see suffering and death on a daily basis at work and really didn't need to experience this "nature" on my vacation. I was disgusted by the reaction of the staff and was left with a horrible memory of this resort. Despite all of the nice things about it, I won't ever go back.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
7 Thank CatieGC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GuestserviceADM, Manager at Arenas del Mar Beachfront and Rainforest Resort, Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica, responded to this review, 17 July 2014
Dear Catie,
On behalf of all of our team at Arenas Del Mar, we regret having provoked this bad memory about your stay with us. Even if there is a natural “circle of life” that we deeply respect as part of our sustainability philosophy, there is a greater respect that we like to pay to our visiting guests. We would also like to let you know that Arenas Del Mar does work with several animal shelters that cure, house and release wildlife who have been hurt. Please accept our sincere apology since we did not intend to patronize you or make you feel uncomfortable in any way possible. We are also happy to let you know that, fortunately, after a couple of hours, the boa desisted and the baby sloth is still alive. Again, we are sorry for this inconvenience.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,727 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 (549)
Date | Rating
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English first
Boca Raton, Florida
Level Contributor
30 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 July 2014

We just returned from a wonderful visit to Costa Rica. It is a beautiful country, and is distinguished by the warmth of its people.

One of the high points was absolutely our 3 night stay at Arenas Del Mar. The only "downside" was we had to depart. The resort is distinguished by its location directly on beach. The dense jungle property is navigated by carts driven by the efficient and friendly staff. Whenever the transportation on the extensive ground is needed, the response is immediate. The entire staff is warm and caring.

Arenas is luxurious and casual at the same time. As one could expect at a resort at this level, the food and service were extraordinarily good.

This is luxury in an exotic location, and deserves the highest recommendation.

Room Tip: Stay in the rooms near the beach for immediate access.
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank jeffreylk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Agoura Hills, California
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 July 2014

Our family of 4 (2 adults, 2 kids 13yrs & 15yrs) stayed here for 5 nights in July, 2014. We had a wonderful experience and I would absolutely recommend this hotel to others! Our rooms were beautiful, the staff was so friendly and nice, the beach is amazing, the food wonderful, and we saw more animals here than we did at the Manuel Antonio National Park! Monkeys, sloths, iguanas, birds, etc - they live in this resort and it is really a cool place. It is close to town and excursions - we had busy mornings out doing things and spent our afternoons on the gorgeous beach watching monkeys in the trees. Such a great place to stay! Our only issue was the wifi was slow, so if you are planning on doing any work (unfortunately we always have work on vacation), just know it will take longer than you expect.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Michelle8879
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
24 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 July 2014

My partner and I are new to the idea of staying at resorts--we often like to rent a condo or cabin and fend for ourselves. But we splurged and decided to go for the full-service vacation experience on our most recent trip to Costa Rica, and we are so glad that we did! Arenas del Mar was the final stop on our trip, and it was a perfect way to finish our week. The site itself is beautiful--breathtaking views at breakfast and dinner, a gorgeous secluded beach, rooms tucked into the greenspace to take advantage of shade and the local wildlife (monkeys made a regular trip by our balcony every day around 3:30). The staff is perfection, from check-in to check-out. They are professional, friendly, and will help you with anything you need. It felt weird and self-indulgent to have to call for a golf cart to pick us up for dinner or breakfast (the property is steep as it slopes down to the seashore), but it never seemed like it was any trouble and the service was quick and seemingly effortless. We had an early check-out on our last day, and the staff arranged for us to have full breakfasts and coffee to go before we departed! The food at breakfast and dinner is quite good (I especially loved the breakfasts) and the "Tico Bar" with free snacks is a great idea. The only suggestion I would make is to have the beachfront bar open a bit later (past 5)--it would let people have a different, more casual dinner option if they chose to do so. But that is a small quibble with a great place--a place I would love to return to in the future!

Room Tip: If you are going to spend most of your time on the beach, don't splurge on the big rooms (the on...
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank TMaxATL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Plano, Texas
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 July 2014

We recently returned from a 2 night stay at Arenas del Mar. The road down to the hotel is a little scary if you are driving yourself (very steep), but once you arrive the fears are soon forgotten. You and your luggage are whisked away via golf cart from the arrival area up a steep, curvy road. Our driver was very friendly and pointed out everything to us, trails, paths to the beach, restaurants, wildlife etc. Once we arrived at the top, where the hotel itself is actually located, we entered a beautiful breezy lobby where we were greeted with cool towels and a welcome drink. Our room (603b) was on the smaller side, but was on the third floor and had a gorgeous view, as well as a wet bar (stocked with complimentary beverages and snacks) and comfy chairs on our balcony. If you don't plan on spending loads of time in your room, then this type room is more than sufficient. Lovely huge shower with outstanding water pressure. We were lulled to sleep each night by the sound of ocean waves. Sigh. We had no problem with our tours picking us up from the hotel. We booked our own tours through Manuel Antonio Expeditions and El Sanctuario Canopy Tours and were very happy with their service! We had an extremely early morning pickup and the hotel was so accommodating, they prepared us a full breakfast at 5:45 am, well before the restaurant opened. The food is very good at breakfast (included) and the dinners were outstanding. The restaurant is designed around the existing trees, so both nights we saw a raccoon climbing up and down. Highly recommend the charred octopus appetizer and the snook (river fish) entree. So good we ordered the same thing both nights. Can't say enough about the friendly staff. Oh, and if you visit the National Park, you can easily walk back to the hotel, which is about 20-25 minutes straight down the beach. You do have to walk up and down paths to reach either beach (public down one side, private with restaurant and pool down the other side).

Room Tip: Recommend springing for the ocean view. The larger rooms have private jacuzzis on the large deck...
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank texfoodmom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Winston Salem, North Carolina
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 July 2014

Let me start by saying that I have traveled the world and stayed in many resorts over the past 30 years. I can honestly say that the level of service from the staff at Arenas Del Mar along with the beautiful resort, is by far the best I have experienced, EVER. There was never a time where any staff member was not more than pleasant to speak with and work with. I am pretty sure they don't know the meaning of "no" or "we cant do that". They treated us like royalty every day at all times. They accommodated us for everything we needed including having a physician come to our room and provide stitches to my mother when she accidentally fell and cut her head on one of our excursions. The rooms were fabulous. Well maintained, clean, and exceptionally comfortable. There is a private beach with beautiful rocks and waves. There are monkeys and other animals on the property. They were fun to watch and if you couldn't find what you wanted to see, the staff would take you to find one. The food at Arenas Del Mar was exceptional. Fresh fruit at breakfast every morning along with an unbelievable menu. The drinks are made well and you don't feel like you are being cheated with watered down sugary drinks like some other resorts I have visited. If you want to leave and experience Costa Rica, the staff will make everything happen for you and provided us with fantastic guides and trips. We could not have asked for a better vacation and we will certainly be back. I highly recommend Arenas Del Mar.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank T_Gupton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
106 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 113 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 July 2014

This was my third trip to Manuel Antonio, and Arenas del Mar is by far the best place to stay! It's pricey but it is really worth it. When I first contacted Francinie in reservations, I knew I made the right choice. She handled all of our requests and answered all of our questions promptly and professionally. All the reviews talk about the amazing staff and they lived up to all of the accolades! Friendly, professional, hard working and efficient. The rooms are immaculate, the laundry service was perfect and the complimentary mini bar is a plus. All the buildings have their own advantages but all blend into the property and are visited by the incredible wildlife. We spent the entire week at Arenas and saw all three monkey species, sloth, Fiery-Bellier Aracari, Mot Mot, a variety of tanagers, woodpeckers, Tent Maker Bats, crabs, lizards and even a Kinkajou!!!…seriously a dream check list of sightings and all within the first 2 days!! There are 38 rooms but it never felt crowded. We quite often had the pool to ourselves and the beaches felt private and safe, too. The food is great, and is served with a smile. Luis and Harold remembered our likes and dislikes and made us feel like we were regulars at our favorite restaurant. Georgette is a great bartender and accommodated any request we had for a unique drink. Ersel is a extraordinary nature guide. His enthusiasim was contagious and he pointed out animals I would have walked right by without him. He even showed us a Kinkajou and a Potoo! Rodbin seemed to do everything at Arenas and was always there to take care of us. Everyone, including Andres, Allen, Sergio, Pedro and Heiner, all really made our trip special. Seriously, the entire staff work so hard, they are there after you go to bed and are in the restaurant first thing in the morning. I enjoyed talking to them on our golf cart rides or while watching the ever present sloth at reception. Kudos to the people that hire and train the staff because EVERYONE is great. I recommend you take the time to talk with them as they take pride in talking about their country and it is a great way to learn more about their culture.

If I could make a suggestion to the hotel, the only things I would recommend them to consider is add some appetizers to their Happy Hour and also have a Happy Hour down at the Playitas bar. The dinner menu does feel limited if you spend more than a few days so a daily special would be nice. Also, a beach BBQ once or twice a week would be nice….some fish tacos at their private beach would be perfect!

I would highly recommend this resort to anyone going to Costa Rica as it has something for everyone. I look forward to going back as soon as possible.

Pura VIda!

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank NOSNED
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 and Rainforest Resort, Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

Property: Arenas del Mar Beachfront and Rainforest Resort, Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
Address: Punta Quepos, Manuel Antonio National Park 311-6350, 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 and Rainforest Resort, Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica 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 And Rainforest Resort, Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica Manuel Antonio National Park

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