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Arenas Del Mar Beach And Nature Resort 4.0

Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

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This hotel has undergone significant renovations since our visit.
We will update our photos and review as soon as we can.

Review Summary

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  • 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


  • 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.

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Eco-friendly rustic luxe, on 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.


Adjacent to Manuel Antonio National Park and fronting two beaches

Map of Arenas Del Mar Beach And Nature Resort

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


Contemporary decor and large terraces

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


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


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

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Punta Quepos, Province of Puntarenas 311-6350, Costa Rica


5 (062) 777-2777

Room Types

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

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