Pros

  • Located amid shops, restaurants, and services in downtown Manuel Antonio
  • Seven-minute drive to Playa Espadilla and Manuel Antonio National Park
  • Small outdoor pool is charming and intimate
  • Cheerful rooms with flat-screen TVs, mini-fridges, and air-conditioning
  • Free hot breakfast served on an open-air terrace
  • Wi-Fi is free in all common areas
  • Free off-street parking (limited)
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Cons

  • Spotty in-room Wi-Fi
  • Thin walls means noise can be an issue
  • No bar on-site (a pro for some)
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Bottom Line

Situated on the low-key downtown strip in the center of Manuel Antonio, the three-pearl Hotel Mandarina is central to essential services and the town’s most popular restaurants and bars. The hotel offers a number of common amenities, including an outdoor pool and an open-air space where free hot breakfast is served daily. All 12 rooms are designed with a distinctly tico (Costa Rican) decor, plus come with mini-fridges, flat-screen TVs, and air-conditioning. However, the walls between some rooms are paper thin and the lack of reliable in-room Wi-Fi can prove frustrating. The nearby Hotel Colina offers lusher grounds, a larger pool, and a happening restaurant/bar for lower night rates.

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Amenities

  • Internet
  • Pool

Oyster Hotel Review

Hotel Mandarina

Scene

Tiny budget hotel with a relaxed vibe 

Like many smaller budget hotels in Manuel Antonio, Hotel Mandarina is rustic and quaint with a distinct dose of traditional Costa Rican charm. Dark, locally sourced wood, overgrown vegetation, and multi-level room layouts all provide a feeling of coziness and intimacy. The grounds are built on a narrow tract of land that leads sharply downhill off the main road, which helps to provide the illusion of seclusion. Butterflies, tropical birds, and monkeys freely roam the property. The lack of an on-site bar, the multiple beds in most rooms, and the property’s budget nature all mean guests are likely to be families seeking a clean, basic place to bed down at night after exploring Manuel Antonio, one of Costa Rica’s most popular national parks, by day.

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Location

On a moderately trafficked thoroughfare in downtown Manuel Antonio

The hotel’s narrow entrance and pint-sized check-in desk mean that it’s easy to miss, especially among the many budget hotels along the main strip in Manuel Antonio. The location is convenient, however, to numerous markets, restaurants, and tour providers which are all within a five-minute walk. A cheap public bus circuit runs near the front of the property as well. Manuel Antonio National Park is a seven-minute drive away. Juan Santamaria International (SJO) Airport is roughly three hours away by car. The hotel can arrange for paid shuttle bus service, which is often far cheaper, safer, and more convenient than renting a car at the airport. For couples and solo travelers, small charter flights can be an affordable alternative to get to/from Manuel Antonio and the city of San Jose.

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Rooms

Rustic rooms with flat-screen TVs, mini-fridges, and air-conditioning -- but spotty Wi-Fi

Rooms are clean and modestly sized with a decor that blends modern hotel elements with more traditional Costa Rican design like Spanish-tile flooring, dark wood furniture, and pops of Caribbean-inspired color. Entry-level Standard Rooms are cozy, ground-level units with a single bed. Studio Rooms upgrade to approximately 50-percent more floor space and some offer sofa sleepers. The One-Bedroom Apartment is a large, suite-style unit with separate living and sleeping areas, plus a kitchen and dining room. Every room category features modern amenities, including flat-screen TVs, air-conditioning, and mini-fridges. Wi-Fi is only advertised in the hotel’s common areas. However, we were able to find a spotty signal in some rooms on our visit. Bathrooms are basic and modestly sized, plus generic shower amenities are provided (hairdryers are available on request). Two Studio Rooms feature large, open-air showers. Thin walls between rooms means that noise can be bothersome. 

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Features

An outdoor pool and an open-air terrace with free hot breakfast daily

As a tiny budget property, the list of common amenities here is short. The outdoor pool is small but clean and well-maintained. A handful of lounge chairs ring the space, and the surrounding tropical vegetation provides shade and a sense that it’s set further back from the main road than it is. The adjacent terrace holds a handful of dining sets and an open-air kitchen where staff serve a hot, free breakfast daily. Guests can select from several menu options each morning, but there’s always a Western-friendly option (think bacon and eggs) and an authentic Costa Rican alternative (usually eggs with fresh fruit and gallo pinto). A small game room at the rear of the property houses a billiard table and a ping-pong table. Wi-Fi is free and reliable in all common areas. Free off-street parking is available in a small off-street lot.

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Best Rates

Amenities

  • Air Conditioner

  • Basic Television

  • Cable

  • Free Breakfast

  • Full Kitchen

  • Gameroom / Arcade

  • Internet

  • Kids Allowed

  • Laundry

  • Pool

  • Separate Bedroom / Living Room Space

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.