Hotel La MariposaManuel Antonio, Costa Rica
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When you arrive at La Mariposa, it's hard to imagine the breathtaking beauty that awaits you beyond the unassuming front desk. There's no real lobby here, just a small front desk tucked into an alcove at the hotel's entrance. But after check-in, you can continue through the adjacent open-air restaurant (oddly the only way to get down to pool deck below), where you're greeted by sweeping 180-degree views of the Pacific Ocean and the lush foliage below.
One level below the restaurant, the pool deck is the epicenter of the hotel. The narrow infinity pool curves around the property, and from inside the pool it looks as if the pool water flows right into the ocean -- a pool actually deserving of the term "infinity edge." There's also a large, in-ground hot tub, around which lounge chairs are circled during the day. Nearby, a pool bar (complete with another small pool, though not big enough for swimming) serves delicious cocktails and lunch food during the day. Upstairs, there's yet a second pool bar with its own pool. It's a small pool, but again the infinity edge flows beautifully into the ocean. This is no grand resort, and yet in a small space they've managed to pack several impressive, well-planned pools and bars.
Just before sunset, the small tables at the upper pool bar fill up as guests take advantage of last call -- and the views. Below, other guests are gathered around the main pool, cameras in hand, marveling at the sunset together and positioning themselves for the best possible photos to bring home.
Set atop the highest point in Manuel Antonio, three miles south of Quepos and steps away from the Manuel Antonio National Park entrance
La Mariposa offers some of the best views in the area due to its location on an elevated point in Manuel Antonio, three miles south of Quepos. The hotel is surrounded by a lush rainforest a few minutes' drive from the renowned Manuel Antonio beaches and to most of the attractions in the area. Stunning Manuel Antonio National Park and its exotic wildlife and plants are less than a mile away.
For the price, the rooms aren't bad. They're not the best we saw in Manuel Antonio, but they're spacious and clean, and the beds are comfortable, if not the most attractive. And while our shower wasn't the newest or most stylish we'd seen either, the bathroom was clean overall and functional. Most of the rooms have sweeping, wonderful views of the ocean (and the surrounding scenery) from a reasonably large balcony.
All rooms include:
- Free Wi-Fi
- Flat-screen TV and DVD player
- Small safe (not big enough for most laptops)
- Bathroom with sink, toilet, and shower (but no tubs)
- Standard Garden View: Two double beds; balcony with a garden view
- Standard Partial Ocean View: One queen or two double beds; private terrace with partial ocean views
- Full Ocean View Room: One king or two queen beds; private terrace; kitchenettes (only in some rooms); panoramic ocean views
- Premier Ocean View Room: One king or two queen beds; private terrace; kitchenettes (only in some rooms); beach and park views
- Double Connecting Room: Each room has a king bed and a private bathroom; the larger room has a sitting area and a private terrace; beach and rainforest views
- Penthouse Suite: One king bed; private deck with Jacuzzi; national park and ocean views
Not many features to speak of, but the pools and pool bars make up for that
A few steps away is a pool bar with a mini pool, which guests can sit in as they sip cocktails (though it's not big enough to swim in). Upstairs is another pool bar with a small pool attached, and this one has an infinity edge that seamlessly "flows" in the Pacific.
- The pool bars serve cocktails and casual fare (burgers, fish sandwiches) from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
- There's no spa but the hotel can arrange for someone to come to the hotel
- Shuttle to the beach leaves at 8 a.m., 10 a.m., 2 p.m., and 4 p.m.
- Next to the restaurant is a desktop computer with internet that can be used for free. No printer, but the front desk can print documents that you e-mail to them.
The one on-site restaurant has unbelievable ocean views, but the food is nothing special.
The hotel's restaurant is completely open on three sides, and the views (the hotel is perched up high) are absolutely incredible. Every guest should consider dining here once (preferably at sunset). But it isn't inexpensive, and it's very common for guests to head elsewhere for lunch and dinner. A modest breakfast buffet is included for guests, so that's a good point at which to enjoy the views (and because guests need to walk through the restaurant to get around, you don't need to dine here to stop and snap a few photos).
- Restaurant serves international cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner from 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.
- There are plenty of better, cheaper options not far from the property.
- The breakfast buffet -- included in the room rate -- is decent, though nothing to write home about.
- The pool bars serve decently-priced, delicious lunch fare from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
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Things You Should Know About Hotel La Mariposa
AddressManuel Antonio Beach, Province of Puntarenas 6350, Costa Rica
- Double Connecting Room
- Full Ocean View Room
- Penthouse Suite
- Premier Ocean Room
- Standard Garden View Room
- Standard Ocean View Room