Pros

  • Upscale boutique surrounded by mangroves and tropical gardens
  • Beachfront location offers incredible views of Culebra Bay and the Papagayo Peninsula
  • Chic rooms feature contemporary decor and thoughtful amenities
  • Tranquil pool surrounded by cabanas and cushioned loungers
  • Two restaurants serving a variety of fresh seafood dishes
  • Gorgeous spa with outdoor treatment rooms
  • Fitness center has modern equipment
  • Extensive indoor/outdoor meeting and event space
  • 20-minute drive from the airport
  • Free Wi-Fi and parking
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Cons

  • Rooms don’t have ocean views
  • In-room bug spray has to be purchased
  • Pool typically plays techno music (pro for some)
  • Fitness center is small for a property of this caliber
  • Wi-Fi can be spotty
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Bottom Line

When El Mangroove opened in 2014, the upscale boutique asserted itself as one of the premier properties on the Papagayo Peninsula. Set amid 15 acres of beachfront mangroves, the hotel has a stunning natural setting and a secluded feel. The 85 rooms are thoughtfully designed, featuring hammocks, minibars, and rainfall showers. Amenities are top-notch, including two restaurants, a stunning outdoor spa, a modern fitness center, and an upbeat pool area. The major drawbacks? Rooms don’t overlook the water, Wi-Fi can be spotty, and many guests feel prices are too high for the quality offered. For more tried-and-true luxury, guests can check out the Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Resort across the bay, though rates are more expensive.

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Things You Should Know About El Mangroove, Autograph Collection

Also Known As

  • El Mangroove by Enjoy Hotels

Address

Papagayo Bay, Playa Panama, Province of Guanacaste, Costa Rica

Website

Oyster Hotel Review

El Mangroove, Autograph Collection

Scene

Upscale boutique that has a South Beach design mixed with Costa Rican atmosphere

If you’re ever deciding between a tranquil Central American getaway and a trendy South Beach vacation, El Mangroove might be the perfect compromise. An architecturally stunning property with a peaceful atmosphere, El Mangroove also has a hip chicness about it that is completely different from its neighbors. This is the kind of place where upbeat music plays throughout the property (with changing moods for daytime and nighttime), bikini-clad thirtysomethings lounge around poolside cabanas, and bartenders craft custom cocktails at the open-air restaurant.  

Guests first arrive to a sleek roofed structure with textured bamboo ceilings and billowy hanging lanterns, which then leads to the open-air lobby. The lobby is simple but stylish, featuring an armless white sectional, rocking chairs, and coffee tables made of tree stumps. Fresh flowers, white oblong light fixtures, and a stone wall add to the feeling of sophistication. Though a majority of guests are couples, the hotel sees plenty of vacationing families.   

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Location

On Playa Panama, directly across from the Papagayo Peninsula 

Though it’s advertised that El Mangroove is located on the Papagayo Peninsula, it’s actually across from it. But its location means guests are only a 20-minute drive from the airport in Liberia, compared to Papagayo's 45 minutes. The hotel is also located on pretty Playa Panama, next to the lake-like waters of Culebra Bay. El Mangroove’s location is also convenient for travelers who’d like to explore the surrounding beach towns of Playas del Coco or Playa Hermosa, as they're 25 minutes and 10 minutes away by car, respectively. Rincon de la Vieja National Park and Palo Verde National Park are both about a 90-minute drive from the property. There's free parking at the hotel for guests.   

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Rooms

Chic rooms with contemporary decor and thoughtful amenities 

The 85 rooms are undeniably chic, featuring contemporary furnishings and eco-inspired elements. All rooms are suites, in that they have separate bedrooms and living spaces. They have earth-tone walls, light wood furniture, stone flooring, and white bedding. Rooms are equipped with modern amenities such as 42-inch flat-screen TVs, iHome docking stations, Cuisinart coffeemakers, and minibars stocked with snacks, soda, and beer. Bug spray, reusable water bottles, his and hers flip flops, and plush cotton bathrobes are also in the rooms, but guests have to pay for them. 

Bathrooms are luxuriously appointed, with marble rainfall showers and large walk-in closets stocked with robes, irons and ironing boards, electronic safes, and full-length mirrors. One notable bathroom is in the Root Suite Superior, where a massive two-person shower opens up to the balcony, creating an indoor/outdoor feel. 

Although they don’t have ocean views, balconies at El Mangroove are large and overlook the surrounding mangroves. Suite balconies have neat hanging wicker swings or cushioned chairs. However, instead of a designated outdoor balcony, Bark Suites (standard rooms) have living rooms with hammocks. 

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Features

A gorgeous pool and outdoor spa are noteworthy features 

The gorgeous rectangular pool at El Mangroove is a relaxing spot surrounded by green-and-white-striped lounge chairs and a few cabanas. The cabanas are available for daily rental, and are equipped with a small sectional sofa, a flat-screen TV, and a mini-fridge. Poolside service is also available. Note that some guests find the upbeat techno music that plays around the pool to be annoying.

Playa Panama, the public beach in front of El Mangroove, is a gorgeous stretch of sand that overlooks the Papagayo Peninsula. The placid waters of Culebra Bay are ideal for swimming, kayaking, and stand-up paddleboarding. Since it’s a public beach, the hotel can’t set up lounge chairs directly on the sand, but there is a lounge area between the pool and ocean.  

The spa at El Mangroove is noteworthy, as its primarily located outdoors and has treatment rooms set in the middle of the mangroves. There are a wide array of treatment options, including massages, body wraps, and facials. Adjacent to the spa is the modern (albeit small) fitness center, which is equipped with Matrix treadmills and ellipticals, one weight machine, and free weights.

El Mangroove has over 25,000 square feet of meeting and event space, spread amongst 11 venues. It’s a popular wedding destination, but company conferences and family reunions are also held here. There's also free Wi-Fi, but it tends to be spotty on the farthest reaches of the property.   

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All-Inclusive / Food

A casual poolside restaurant and a fine dining restaurant serving fresh seafood

El Mangroove has two restaurants, the upscale Makoko and more casual Matiss. Makoko, located just off the lobby, is the hotel’s fine dining restaurant with a farm-to-table philosophy. It serves breakfast and dinner, but also has a bar menu for small bites and drinks throughout the day. Breakfast is served buffet-style, and includes typical offerings of omelets, fruit, and fresh pastries. Some room rates include breakfast. For dinner, Makoko offers an international menu with an emphasis on fresh seafood. 

Matiss is the poolside restaurant open for lunch and dinner. The menu consists of casual eats such as tacos, ceviche, burgers, and pizza. The restaurant itself has a laid-back beachy vibe, and features a thatched roof, sand floor, and a pool table.  

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Best Rates

Amenities

  • Air Conditioner

  • Airport Transportation

  • Babysitting Services

  • Balcony / Terrace / Patio

  • Basic Television

  • Beach

  • Beauty / Hair Salon

  • Business Center

  • Cabanas

  • Cable

  • Concierge

  • Cribs

  • Dry Cleaning

  • Fitness Center

  • Full Kitchen

  • Internet

  • Kids Allowed

  • Kids Club

  • Laundry

  • Meeting / Conference Rooms

  • Mini Bar (with liquor)

  • Pool

  • Poolside Drink Service

  • Rental Car Service Desk Onsite

  • Room Service

  • Separate Bedroom / Living Room Space

  • Spa

  • Supervised Kids Activities

Disclaimer: This content was accurate at the time the hotel was reviewed. Please check our partner sites when booking to verify that details are still correct.