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“Nature, beauty, lodging, and staff at its best”

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Arenas del Mar Beachfront & Rainforest Resort
Ranked #4 of 46 Hotels in Manuel Antonio
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Conroe, TX
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Nature, beauty, lodging, and staff at its best”
Reviewed 10 March 2009

My wife and I stayed for 1 week in an Ocean view Suite (Room 103). The suite was pristine and had all of the comforts of an upscale resort. I can't speak enough of the staff. This was by far the most professional and fun loving group that sincerely enjoys their jobs. The hotel amenities were beautiful, especially the Playitas beach and pool. Although we went as a couple this could easily be a family friendly resort. We plan a trip next year with our 5 children. As expected, we paid handsomely for all the comforts and pampering, but it was well worth it without any regrets.

When we looked at the resort few photos were available so I added several. Please feel free to contact me at drmakaplan@yahoo.com if you have any questions.


Do:
- go fishing
- drink the tropical Sangria's
- use lots of sunscreen
- ask for Davy as your waiter
- use the safe
Don’t:
- bring AMEX travelers checks. Your signature must be absolutely perfect for acceptance.
- just eat at the resorts...get out there (Ronny's Place, Mia Luna)
- Drive from San Jose

  • Stayed February 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank drmakaplan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (581)
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English first
Dallas, Texas
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 March 2009

My boyfriend and I just spent 4 nights at the lovely Arenas Del Mar and can't quit talking about how much we loved it. We went to Manuel Antonio after 3 nights at the Tabacon Spa which we loved as well. Immediately upon enterering the Arenas, we were delighted. It is a smaller property (38 rooms I believe) and very understated but elegant. First, the people that worked there are fabulous. I wish I could remember names, but the front desk was so accomodating, the bartenders and waiters so nice and fun, the golf cart drivers helping us find wildlife everywhere ( you wait a maximum of 2 minutes when you need the cart)...everyone so very nice, funny and excited for you to love their country. We travel quite a bit and you don't find this everywhere. Other than the people, we loved the fact that this hotel had beach access (most others do not). The smaller beach has the pool and beach side restaurant... it was so pretty and relaxing. But, having access to the larger beach was great as well because we walked down to Manuel Antonio, went for morning runs, etc.
The rooms are very nice though small (my only complaint...no room to really unpack). The views beautiful. We were in room 702B and we really liked being close to the reception. We moved to 502A and though it was a suite which was lovely, it did not have the view. The lower the first number, the lower down on the hill you are.
The issue the reviewer before had with children may be because of spring break. We saw one child the whole time we were there and found the resort very romantic, but not too much so...a group of girls together, families, whatever..all would be comfortable. As a couple looking to spend quality time together, it was very romantic, but fun.
We loved the Arenas, Manuel Antonio and very much want to go back. P.S. if you do a tour of the park, get a guide for sure. Juan was great and we would recommend. He is on the forum under natureguide.
If you want a lovely, though not cheap hotel with beach access, do not hesitate to book the Arenas del Mar.

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank txtvler2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington, DC area
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 March 2009

Arenas del Mar is a beautiful resort right by Manuel Antonio Park. It is one of the few resorts there that has direct beach access. My husband and I especially liked the seculuded Espadilla Beach. White-faced capuchin monkeys hung out in the trees right next to the beach.

The nature program at the resort was excellent. It was not inexpensive, as guests pay for every hike, bird walk, etc. However, the naturalist, Juan Pablo, is knowledgeable and very accomodating. When the night hike was already filled on our last night, he took us out separately later in the evening.

I think it is important, however, to know that the resort is definitely a family resort., even though it is not listed as such on the website. But more than half the guests were there as families with mostly school age children. As a result, the restaurant was sometimes noisy. Sometimes, we could also hear children in the suite next door. This is not meant as a criticism of the resort, but I would not recommend it for couples looking for a romantic retreat.

  • Stayed February 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank rteacher
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sebastopol, California
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 February 2009

My partner and I came to help celebrate his 50th birthday and we spent 6 nights here. I had stayed in two other premium resorts in this area in years past and am pleased to report that Arenas del Mar was (by far) the best! The hotel was well designed and built with quality materials and should endure as the top resort in the area. The biggest plus is that it is the only premium resort with direct beach access (no taxi cabs or long hikes to get to the beach).
I had some concerns about the hotel building right off of the previously secluded gay section of the beach (it also has a short trail to the main beach as well), but the hotel guests and the gay population who gather at the north end get along very amicably (as you would expect from well-heeled hotel guests). To their credit, the hotel built a nice sanitary facility for the public, as well as a more upscale one for their guests on the beach. The hotel catered to us and we felt very welcomed & comfortable there. As a matter of fact, I would recommend this as the ideal resort for gay travellers (who can afford it, of course).
The main restaurant was quite good, but I recommended that they expand their dinner menu for guests who stay more than a few days. Service was very good throughout the facility the staff know how to please without being obsequious.

  • Liked — The high quality of rooms and beach access
  • Disliked — limited dinner menu
  • Stayed January 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank Marc1958
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ks
Level 6 Contributor
78 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 February 2009

We just returned from Costa Rica and on our trip we stayed 3 nights at Arenas del Mar. The hotel is excellent and I would highly recommend it!
We stayed in room 602B and the view was beautiful and our room looked exactly like the photos. The cleaning service was excellent, the bed comfortable and the bathroom spacious. The only complaint I would have is very minor--the pillows are pretty stuffed so not as comfortable.
We spent a few days on the beach and eating at Playitas restaurant. The food was delicous and very reasonable! I would recommend the Gallos, nachos, and fish & chips. The drinks were cold and yummy. The only minor complaint is that at times the service was slow. I know we are on Tico time, but as we liked our cervezas--they were slow in coming.
We also ate at the main restaurant twice...the food was good there as well except for calamari. I would recommend their seafood risotto!
We too saw lots of wildlife right there in the 11 acres--pezote (coatis), racoons, lizards, and white-faced cappuchin monkeys! It was awesome to lay on the beach and have the monkeys playing right by us. As the other reviews mentioned--you can walk the beach into Manuel Antonio beaches--about 1 mile walk. The beach at the hotel was better than the park beaches as it was more secluded, beautiful and you had the Playitas food/bar to serve you whereas in MA no food or drink allowed.
Only other comment--since it is secluded, you do have to catch a taxi into town (about 8$ each way). We had a great taxi driver who spoke good english Marco Castillo cell number [-])
The hotel offers 2 computers for free internet service as well as laptops for rental. The concierge was nice--not too pushy for their trips. They offere a guided tour of MA with rides to & from, park fees etc for $50 per person. I would tell you to take a taxi, pay the park fee and you can hire a guide at the inside entrance for $20 per person. You can save some $ that way. We did it and our guide was great!

  • Liked — The beach and grounds
  • Disliked — pillows
  • Stayed January 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank Rockyell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pennsylvania
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 4 February 2009

Arenas Del Mar provided the perfect anniversary celebration. The staff is the best. The suites are magnificent; the beaches awesome; the food local, fresh and perfect. We cannot adequately describe our satisfaction with this eco hotel. Worth every penny.......The Bennetts

  • Liked — The setting, beach access, great rooms, service, food
  • Disliked — There was nothing that we did not like.
  • Stayed January 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank Lamallady
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Akron, Ohio
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 January 2009

We just got back from staying at Arenas del mar for 4 nights, and we actually stayed in 3 different rooms, so I can give some info on the different suites available. The place is great, we had a fantastic time and did not want to leave.
The food is good, the service is great, and most service people speak english well. We most enjoyed the playitas snack bar at the beach, loved the food, and again the staff is great. 2 of the 3 days we ate on the beach we saw multiple white faced monkeys--better than the overflowed tourist groups at manuel antonio national park where we saw no monkeys. The beach is relatively private, although is more busy on the weekends, and locals sell cheap beverages and food on the weekends. Breakfast is free, coffee and food-good. We really didn't eat dinner there, we had room service one night, and really didn't enjoy it, so we went out. Ronny's is great-I highly recommend it, as well as the sunspot bar and grill at makanda by the sea.
The beaches: we walked to both beaches, sometimes we took a cart back to our room, if I was too hot or lazy to walk. Going to the beaches is all down hill, so it's not a big deal. The carts are quick when you do have to get one, so I don't know why people have complained, and Victor often the driver is wonderful! We also walked the beach to get to the park.
For the rooms:
I wouldn't recommend a rainforest suite, if you do have one, you want 501A NOT B. If doesn't offer much of a view or privacy. The view is more of the staircases. The room is nice inside and the jacuzzi tub too, but their is a definite lack of privacy.
We were happy we were going to a ocean view suite our last night, which I paid full price for...you get what you pay for! It was absolutely fabulous we stayed in 503A, has a fantastic view, privacy, spacious balcony, 2 bathrooms, and a living area. Any rooms on the higher floors have great ocean views.
We stayed in 601 our 1st night, we added an extra night at the last minute at a lower rate (also an ocean suite). It wasn't as nice as 503, nor the view, but it still was great.
Wildlife- we saw several white faced monkeys, on our last day heading to the parking lot, we saw the endangered squirrel monkeys, and also saw a 2 toed sloth on the road out and of course birds. In the park we also saw a couple of sloths, the beaches are very beautiful there, but honestly I feel bad for he animals living in the park because their are so many tourists, electrical wires, and we heard construction (saws and hammers) not really what we were hoping for.
We also like arenas because it recycles, and makes an effort to sustains wildlife.
We stayed at the springs resort in arenal the 1st part of the trip- one word- magnificent

  • Stayed January 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank lala7756
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

Property: 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 Luxury Hotel in Manuel Antonio
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Manuel Antonio
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

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