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“The only place worth staying for the beach in Manuel Antonio”

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Arenas del Mar Beachfront & Rainforest Resort
Ranked #4 of 46 Hotels in Manuel Antonio
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Boston
2 reviews
“The only place worth staying for the beach in Manuel Antonio”
Reviewed 21 March 2010

It's not inexpensive but it is worth every penny. The property, rooms and amenities are phenomenal here and the staff couldn't be more friendly and accomodating. But what you don't know until you get there is that this is the _only_ hotel that is actually on the beach. And what a beach is is! Spectacular sand, sun and waves, not to mention clean, not crowded, plenty of shade trees and no one selling you anything. And many of the types of animals you can see in the neighboring wildlife preserve also live on the property - in 5 days we saw capuchins, squirrel monkeys, several sloths (even a juvenile), an anteater, an agouti, and a huge variety of lizards and birds.

The complimentary breakfasts were really excellent. Dinners weren't flawless (service problem one night, overcooked fish another) but were always very good.

We stayed in 2 ocean view rooms while we were there and both were really fabulous, though the standard size is maybe a little small. Fortunately the weather was fantastic (HOT - 90-95 every day with high humidity, fortunately there's a sea breeze) so we could occupy the balcony with its seating area and minibar. However, the first room were assigned (which we immediately got moved from) had no real view of the water and all you could really see was a broken tree and an air conditioning unit. I think it was room 302B, so beware!

All in, I would give them a score of 95 out of 100 - we will absolutely be back!

  • Stayed March 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank TravelXine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Massachusetts
Level 4 Contributor
15 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 March 2010

My family- myself, husband, and 17 yr old daughter recently vacationed in Costa Rica and Belize. Our first 6 nights were spent at Arenas Del Mar. Everyone at this resort was very professional and very friendly. We stood in an "ocean breeze suite" in an end unit with a view of Playitas beach. The room was large with a large bathroom and very clean. Hotel staff drive you around in golf carts- to the beaches, parking lot or even main reception & restaurant. The staff that drove the golf carts were all very friendly and personable. They will stop to point out animals, sloths, etc. if you ask them to. The staff in both restaurants were also very friendly. Playitas beach is a beautiful small, secluded beach. We really enjoyed the warm water and great waves! If you want calmer surf I would advise going to the larger neighboring beach- Playa Espadilla. I really had wanted to see the wildlife- monkeys, sloths, toucans and we were lucky to see the white faced capuchin monkeys during our first full day at Playitas beach! We were able to get some great pictures as there were many of them in the trees overhead. We also saw quite a few sloths, with one in a tree right outside of our room. We got to see Toucans during our horseback riding excursion with Finca Valmy Tours which we booked at the hotel. I would really recommend this and also the Canopy Safari tour that we also booked thru the hotel. Both were excellent! The food at the restaurants were good and we had no complaints. The prices were pretty reasonable, particularly the drinks compared to other places that we have stayed at. The hotel is located in a beautiful, peaceful area and only a short taxi ride away from the center of Manuel Antonio. We didn't want to leave and definitely hope to return soon!

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled with family
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2 Thank traveljunky037
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 10 March 2010

Perfection with exception!

Overall the experience was almost perfect. The location is perfect with great beach. Big waves fun to body surf. Walking distance down beach to Manuel Antonio. The animals at the resort were incredible! Sloths everywhere. Lots of iguanas and other lizards as well as birds and monkeys.

The food was amazing! You don't need to go off resort but you must go to kopi kopi. 5 star food at 2 star price! Prices for food are relatively cheap although you over pay for the water and soda.

Hands down nicest most helpful staff. Golf carts always available to shuttle you up and down hill. Never had to wait more than a few minutes for shuttle.

Now here is the one problem that hacked the wife and I off. When they clean the room, the staff turns off the AC! We hiked for 5 hours and came back to a very hot room! They also left door to balcony open worsening the problem. One day we went out to breakfast and I left a do not disturb sign out. Someone entered the room and turned off the ac. The manager told me the staff are told to do that to save energy. I paid for an expensive room and I want it cold especially because there are no other cold areas except a tiny store. I may never go back because of that which is a shame! They need to stop that. It may sound picky until you burst into flames from the heat.

  • Stayed February 2010
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Helpful?
Thank acgold64
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 3 March 2010

Our stay at Arenas Del Mar was a dream come true. Everything about the room was wonderful - the views, the bed, the patio, the jacuzzi, the outdoor chairs - everything. We stayed for 4 nights and ate all 4 meals at the hotel because the food was so good. To name a few of our favorites - the Mahi Mahi, the Shrimp, the traditional Costa Rica rice and beans, amazing French Toast with local fresh fruit, and many more. Everyone on the staff was extremely helpful and over-the-top nice. They all seemed personally committed to ensuring that our trip was enjoyable.

The views from the private beach were not to be believed - I kept taking pictures because I didn't think anyone from home would believe how gorgeous it was! The spa was also a dream - I had a facial and my boyfriend had a massage, and we both really enjoyed it.

I can't say enough nice things about this hotel (and everyone we met there). We are already planning another visit to Arena Del Mar.

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled as a couple
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1 Thank Annabelle6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Beavercreek, OH
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 2 March 2010

Amazing staff, beautiful beach and outstanding rooms. Planning to stay there next visit to Cost Rica. You will not be disappointed with Arenas del Mar.

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled as a couple
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1 Thank ChilliinCR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, Illinois
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 28 February 2010

We absolutely loved Arenas Del Mar. All of the staff - security guards, waiters, cart drivers, and front desk - were unbelievable. They, along with the awesome and unique beachfront location, make this hotel a great choice in Manuel Antonio.

Our room, while slightly small, still had a huge comfy bed, a big balcony with an amazing (!) view of the ocean, and a nice bathroom.

The food was outstanding; they were very accommodating of dietary restrictions (one of us is vegan, which they prepared a special meal for more than once!). The beaches were well-kept and tranquil.

While we appreciated the service of being carted around in electric carts, we preferred to walk around their grounds, which despite being a bit of a hike sometimes, allowed us to take in more of the natural surroundings.

We also went on an guided hike of the Manuel Antonio Reserve, organized by Arenas Del Mar. The guide was awesome, and the group was small - both of which made for an unforgettable experience. And being picked up and dropped off at your hotel is a nice bonus.

If you're looking for a special place to stay in an already special place of the world, Arenas Del Mar will not disappoint.

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank acjcoc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Raleigh, NC
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 February 2010

What a fantastic resort! The people were wonderful and very friendly. The room was immaculate and very comfortable! We arrived early that morning and were able to get into our room by 10 am. The food was excellent! The breakfast was complementary and the Costa Rican dishes were delicious. The staff worked very long hours but they always had a smile on their face and went out of their way to provide exceptional service! There are no cars at the hotel but the guys that drove the golf carts were always there to give people rides. Ersel was fantastic! He is the resident naturalist and we took a wonderful early morning bird tours with him. He knows his birds and we saw so many different species. It was awesome! He also guided on a very informative tour through Manuel Antonio National Park that I would strongly recommend. He knew the paths to take to avoid the crowds and where the cool animals and birds were. He was awesome and very nice!! Service was excellent at this hotel! We could not have found a better place and we definitely plan to go back!

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank littlolsimmo
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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