Four family-friendly restaurants serve everything from barbecue to brick oven pizza
Four-minute drive to entrance of Manuel Antonio National Park
Gorgeous views of the sun setting over the Pacific Ocean from the adult-only pool
Free Wi-Fi, parking, and on-call shuttle to restaurants
27-minute walk to Manuel Antonio National Park entrance
Charge for breakfast
Restaurant decor and marketing can seem cheesy or aggressive to some
Some rooms require a slight walk uphill and are far from the pools
Not all rooms have ocean views; past complaints of cleanliness issues
Three of the restaurants are off-site
Hotel Costa Verde and its three off-site restaurants are a bit of an anomaly in otherwise low-key Manuel Antonio. Banners, billboards, and a roadside cargo plane turned restaurant look ridiculous or fun, depending on who you ask. The 20-acre, upper-mid-range resort borders Manuel Antonio National Park, but doesn't offer private beach access. Rates are low for ordinary rooms with few frills, but go up for units with kitchens and beach views, and way up for a 717 Fuselage airplane that's been converted into a one-of-a-kind luxury suite with two bathrooms and gorgeous ocean views from the cockpit. There are three swimming pools; the adult-only pool has the best ocean views and a bar. Wi-Fi, breakfast, and parking are included with the room price. The similarly priced Karahe Hotel is also low-frills but offers direct beach access.
When driving down Route 618 towards Manuel Antonio National Park, Hotel Costa Verde is hard to miss. The resort and it's three off-site restaurants are owned by an American and market much more aggressively than competing properties. You'll notice yellow signs with bubble letters on the side of the road, banners hanging over route 618, and a prominently displayed former cargo plane used in the Iran Contra affair that's been turned into a corny restaurant. Vans of tourists pull over to take photos of themselves in the cockpit. At the hotel, 20 acres of hilly garden grounds border Manuel Antonio National Park, so the scene is more natural and quiet, with regular monkey sightings. Past guests have complained that the resort's motto of "Still more monkeys than people" doesn't really ring true.
The front desk is located in a small bungalow-style building with a wood porch set with rocking chairs and tables. Inside, maps of the area and wood chandeliers add ambience. Anaconda restaurant is about a one-minute walk from the lobby and offers ocean views from the covered outdoor dining room. An anaconda skin hangs above the entrance and a snake head is carved into a railing, but it should be noted that anacondas aren't found in Costa Rica, so it's more gimmicky than authentic -- kind of the overall vibe all around.
Hotel Costa Verde provides large rooms with kitchenettes that attract families and an adult-only room block and pool for couples. Some rooms are an uphill trek from the on-site Anaconda restaurant and family pools, though that's a common occurrence at many properties. La Cantina BBQ is built across the street from the hotel, while El Avión and El Wagon restaurants are about a five-minute walk from the hotel entrance. On-call shuttle vans are available to take guests to the restaurants, but not the beach or national park.
On 20 hilly acres bordering Manuel Antonio National Park
Like the majority of hotels in Manuel Antonio, Hotel Costa Verde is located on the hillside off of Route 618 that dead ends at the beach in front of Manuel Antonio National Park. The hotel doesn't provide beach access, but it does share a border from behind with the national park, so there are beautiful views of thick jungle and animal sightings. It's about a 30-minute walk (uphill on the way back) to the entrance of Manuel Antonio National Park and beach, but less than a five-minute drive. Quepos is about a 10-minute drive from the resort and it's a two-and-a-half hour drive to the international airport in San José. Ample parking at the resort is free.
Efficiencies, apartments, rooms, and an airplane with various views and frills
There are 75 different rooms divided into six different sections of the 20-acre resort, including one building that doesn't allow children. Overall, the units are clean and well-maintained, though past guests have complained about everything from lack of towels to ants. Wi-Fi is free and fast, thanks to boosters scattered throughout the property. Some rooms require uphill walks and are a bit of a trek from some of the facilities. Ocean views aren't promised, unless you book an upgrade to a Studio Plus. These rooms are spacious and include a kitchenette with a refrigerator, electric range, coffeemaker, and cooking gear. A wood dining room table and wood beds carved with swan details look elegant. There's a living room and furnished balcony with almost uninterrupted views of the Pacific Ocean.
Efficiency Rooms are scattered throughout the grounds; some overlook the parking lot area and can pick up street noise. Wood interiors and small kitchenettes are nice touches. Single sinks and showers make up the bathrooms. All rooms have both ceiling fans and air-conditioning. Flat-screen TVs include cable channels, some in English.
For something truly unique, check out the refurbished and vintage 1965 Boeing 727 airframe, once owned by South Africa Air. Today, its interiors have been decked out with teak wood and sits on a hill so that it looks like its in-flight. The cockpit has been turned into a bathroom, but still has the pilot and co-pilot chairs and awesome views of the jungle and Pacific Ocean in the distance. Private, furnished balconies sit on both sides of the plane and there are two bedrooms and a full kitchen.
Note that there are five Single rooms available for walk-ins that aren't listed on the website.
Hotel Costa Verde has four restaurants, though just one of them, Anaconda, is on-site. Breakfast and lunch (breakfast only in the low season) are served a la carte with dishes like salads, wraps, eggs, and pastas. La Cantina BBQ, across the street, serves wood-fired grilled seafood, meats, and a variety of appetizers and cocktails for dinner only. El Wagon is a cute spot for family-friendly fare like wood fired pizzas, hot dogs, and nachos for lunch and dinner. Colorful mosaic tiles of jungle animals line the floor and the pizza oven is on full display. El Avión is next door to El Wagon. It's a bit tacky to have a former cargo plane used in the Iran Contra affair so prominently displayed in a country that doesn't even have an official military, but it's popular for photo ops and has nice beach views. The lunch and dinner menu is pub-style.
Parking and Wi-Fi are freebies. There's a stocked gift shop underneath the lobby that sells snacks, souvenirs, and toiletries. Lockers and showers are available for guests who have to check out but want to spend more time by the pool before a flight.
There are three outdoor pools at Hotel Costa Verde, but the best pool is easily the one adjacent to the adult-only room block. Views of Manuel Antonio, the beach, and the Pacific Ocean are absolutely stunning and sunsets are hard to beat. There are ample sun loungers, a cute bar, and white umbrellas. A small family pool is located in the back of the property and doesn't have any views; its kidney shaped and has a few plastic sun loungers. There's a third larger pool, for families, at the front of the property. This one has a square shape and is mostly surrounded by planted vegetation, but does have an ocean view.
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