Arenas Del Mar Beach And Nature Resort Rating: 4.0 Pearls
Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

Oyster Review Summary

Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators

Pros

  • Access to two beautiful beaches, Playita and Playa Espadilla
  • All rooms have large terraces
  • Lush, beautiful grounds with diverse wildlife
  • Stunning ocean views from the main pool area
  • Eco-friendly property built in harmony with nature
  • Free in-room Internet (both Wi-Fi and wired)
  • Excellent on-site restaurant, El Mirador

Cons

  • Smaller rooms than its luxury competitors
  • Bathrooms less luxurious than luxury competitors'
  • Steep, sprawling property difficult to walk around

Bottom Line

Arenas del Mar is proof that staying at an eco-resort doesn't mean roughing it: Its 38 contemporary rooms are among the nicest in Manuel Antonio, its restaurant is excellent, and its public spaces embody rustic luxury. The property's lush rainforest, two beautiful white-sand beaches on site -- a rarity in the area -- and diverse wildlife allow guests to truly connect with the nature that the resort's design so painstakingly preserved. But the 11-acre property is steep, so you'll need to call for a hotel golf cart to go just about anywhere.

Oyster Awards

We investigate in person.
Like your mother-in-law.

Categories

, , ,

Oyster Hotel Photos

View All 9 Albums

Customers Who Viewed Arenas Del Mar Beach And Nature Resort Also Viewed

JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort & Spa
23% viewed
JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort & Spa
Guanacaste, Costa Rica
Hilton Papagayo Costa Rica Resort & Spa
20% viewed
Hilton Papagayo Costa Rica Resort & Spa
Guanacaste, Costa Rica
Hotel Riu Guanacaste
17% viewed
Hotel Riu Guanacaste
Guanacaste, Costa Rica

Oyster Hotel Review

 Scene

Eco-friendly rustic luxe, on the beach

The beach
The beach

Guests get their first introduction to Arenas del Mar's impressive natural setting the moment they arrive at the hotel: After receiving damp cloths and drinks at a small open-air reception area, they'll get driven in a golf cart up a steep, winding road surrounded by lush rainforest. By the time they arrive at the open-air lobby, which looks like a large beach hut, complete with wooden support poles and a straw roof, they might have already seen some bit of wildlife, like an iguana, a sloth, or a white-faced capuchin monkey. And that's no accident -- Arenas del Mar went to great lengths not to disrupt the surrounding ecosystem. For example, before constructing the hotel, developers studied the native monkeys and built in areas that wouldn't interfere with their daily routes.

It's not just the design that's eco-friendly: Initiatives like solar panels, an underground electricity system, and chlorine-free ionization system in the pools allow the resort to respect the environment in its daily operations.

But the hotel's most impressive feature just might be it's access to two beautiful, white-sand beaches. Arenas del Mar has the best beach access in Manuel Antonio: It's under a five-minute golf cart ride to the sand, and the beaches are far superior to those at Los Altos and Buena Vista Luxury Villas.

 Location

Adjacent to Manuel Antonio National Park and fronting two beaches

This beachfront resort is set on an 11-acre property in Manuel Antonio and a few miles south of a slightly larger town, Quepos. The entrance to Manuel Antonio National Park -- home to spectacular preserved rainforest, exotic wildlife, and several perfect white-sand beaches -- is a short drive away.

Manuel Antonio National Park is one of the smallest national parks in Costa Rica, and one of the most popular with tourists. Its lush forests are full of howler monkeys, white-faced capuchin monkeys, sloths, tucans, parrots, and more, and line gorgeous stretches of perfect white sand. (Namely: Playa Espadilla Sur, an uncrowded beach that occasionally has rough surf; Playa Manuel Antonio, the park's most popular beach, with tidal pools and good snorkeling; and Playa Puerto Escondido, which has a blowhole in the rocks that shoots up water at high tide.) Just about every sort of outdoor activity is available in or near Manuel Antonio: hiking, snorkeling, scuba diving, water sports, boating, horeseback riding, waterfall rappelling, canopy safaris...the list goes on.

  • 3-hour drive from San José (about $5 on a local bus; $40 using a shuttle service such as Gray Line, Interbus, or EasyRide; $120 for a taxi; or $170 for a private shuttle)
  • 5-minute golf cart ride to on-site Playitas, a small, clothing-optional white-sand beach (although we didn't note any nudity when we visited)
  • 5-minute golf cart ride to Playa Espadilla, a long, active beach outside of the park stretching most of the distance between Punta Quepos and Cathedral Point
  • 15-minute drive to Manuel Antonio National Park entrance
  • 10-minute drive to Quepos
  • 1-hour drive to Jacó, a party-friendly beach town to the north
  • 1-hour drive to Playa Uvita, a stunning beach to the south located in Marina Bellena National Park, where you can watch humpback whales between December and April
  • 4-hour drive to Corcovado National Park, one of the country's best --and most remote --National Parks, with untouched beaches and diverse wildlife
  • 5-hour drive to La Fortuna/Arenal

 Rooms

Contemporary decor and large terraces

Ocean View Premium Suite
Ocean View Premium Suite

All rooms include:

Room types:

  • Ocean Breeze Superior Rooms: King bed; terrace with rainforest or partial ocean views
  • Ocean View Superior Rooms: King bed; DVD player; microwave; cordless phone; iPod dock; terrace with ocean views
  • Rainforest Suites: King bed; separate living area with pull-out sofa; outdoor terrace with Jacuzzi and rainforest or partial ocean views
  • Ocean Breeze Suite: King bed, separate living area with pull-out sofa; terrace with Jacuzzi and rainforest or partial ocean views
  • Ocean View Premium Suite: King bed; separate living area with pull-out sofa; two bathrooms; DVD player; microwave; wireless phone; iPod dock; terrace with Jacuzzi and ocean views
  • Connecting rooms: 1,650 square feet; two bedrooms with king beds; separate living area with pull-out sofa; two terraces; three full bathrooms; ocean or rainforest views

 Features

A small spa, two swimming pools and access to two beaches

  • Las Brisas Spa is open daily 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and offers massages ($45 to $130); facials ($60 to $110); wraps and scrubs ($75 to $120); and manicures and pedicures ($35 to $50)
  • Two swimming pools: one near the lobby, with great ocean views; one next to Playitas Restaurant and Bar, near Playitas Beach
  • Acess to two beaches: Playitas, a lovely clothing-optional beach, and Espadilla, the longest beach in Manuel Antonio area

 Food

A seafood restaurant and a beachside bar

  • El Mirador: Serves breakfast and dinner; open 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. daily
  • Playitas Restaurant and Bar: Beachside bar serving sandwiches, sushi, salads, hamburgers and pizzas; open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily

 Bottom Line

Arenas del Mar is proof that staying at an eco-resort doesn't mean roughing it: Its 38 contemporary rooms are among the nicest in Manuel Antonio, its restaurant is excellent, and its public spaces embody rustic luxury. The property's lush rainforest, two beautiful white-sand beaches on site -- a rarity in the area -- and diverse wildlife allow guests to truly connect with the nature that the resort's design so painstakingly preserved. But the 11-acre property is steep, so you'll need to call for a hotel golf cart to go just about anywhere.

Things You Should Know About Arenas Del Mar Beach And Nature Resort

Address

  • Manuel Antonio, Quepos, 00000, CR

Room Types

  • Connecting Room
  • Ocean Breeze Suite
  • Ocean Breeze Superior Room
  • Ocean View Premium Suite
  • Ocean View Superior Room
  • Rainforest Suite

Find the Lowest Price - Enter Dates

Check-in
Check-out
Guests
  Compare rates on dozens of sites
 AVG/NIGHT 
Hotels.com  
Expedia.com  
Tingo.com  
Booking.com  
Travelocity  
Otel.com  
Priceline.com  
CheapTickets.com  

All About Oyster

You Can't Return a Bad Vacation.

Our special investigators visit, photograph, review and rate each hotel. We uncover the truth, before it's "uh-oh" time.

Go undercover with an Oyster Investigator The Today Show
Go Undercover with an Oyster Investigator
See 70 Videos of Oyster on TV

Nearby Hotels to Consider

Buena Vista Luxury Villas
Los Altos Beach Resort
Hotel La Mariposa
Gaia Hotel And Reserve

Hotel Features

Number of Rooms: 38
Pool: Yes
Fitness Center: Yes
Spa: Yes
Internet Access: Yes
Cribs: Yes
Jacuzzi (in room): Yes
View All

Hotel Information

Location: Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
Address: Manuel Antonio, Quepos, 00000, CR
(See Map)
Loading Live Rates
Loading...