Bungalows and some rooms are across the street from the beach
Past complaints of lax housekeeping
For beach lovers, Karahe Hotel is one of the best mid-range bets in Manuel Antonio, as its one of the few properties with direct, private access to Playa Espadilla and is a 13-minute walk to Manuel Antonio Beach and National Park. It's best to think of this hotel as two properties, with the cheaper rooms, Bungalows, and lobby built on a steep hillside, and the more expensive rooms, tiered pool, and restaurant located in front of the beach across the street. Jungle grounds are lush and natural, with iguanas, monkeys, and sloths as regular visitors. Remember, you get what you pay for with room decor and location.
A mid-range property with ocean views and rare private access to the beach
Karahe Hotel is popular with couples and families who demand fast beach access on their tropical vacation. The property is divided into two distinct parts. The older, more affordable Bungalows (misleadingly called Villas on the website) sit at the very top of the property. These have the best ocean views but require climbing over 100 uphill steps to get there. A small block of Standard Rooms are located next to the lobby, which is directly in front of a small parking lot and busy Route 618. The lobby has some worn seating options and the reception desk, along with tour information and crafts for sale. Across the street is a gated parking lot and a three-story building with Beachfront and Beachfront Superior rooms. The first two floors overlook the garden grounds, which include a butterfly garden and a pretty tiered pool. It's difficult to see the public beach due to a wooden gate and the restaurant, but views from the third floor are nice. Monkeys are regularly seen and heard near the Bungalows, while a sloth and iguanas call the garden by the beach home.
Within walking distance to Manuel Antonio National Park
Karahe Hotel has a prime location on Route 618, within a 13-minute walk of the Manuel Antonio National Park and Beach, but removed from the overly touristy areas and crowds. Best of all, it offers private access to the public Playa Espadilla, a rarity in Manuel Antonio. Parking is free both in front of the lobby and in a gated lot near the street. Guests must use their room keys to access the beach and get the gate code from reception staff.
Cheaper rooms on the hillside, and nicer rooms near the beach
There are four types of rooms available at Karahe Hotel, and each is dramatically different. The most basic option is the Standard block of rooms built next to the lobby and overlooking the street. These are barebones and offer few frills: just a bed, shower in the bathroom, air conditioner, and basic nightstand and closet space -- some have distant ocean views. Slightly pricier are the Bungalows, located up a steep hill. These offer more charm than the Standard rooms, and fantastic ocean views, plus a much better chance of seeing monkeys and toucans, as the jungle is just behind them. Air-conditioning, furnished terraces, small kitchenettes, and bathrooms with showers are standard. Across the street, close to the beach, are the Beachfront and Beachfront Superior rooms. Beachfront rooms are located on the first two floors and come standard with furnished balconies, flat-screen TVs, and bathtub/shower combos. The third floor provides the nicest and most expensive option: Beachfront Superior. These are nicely decorated with fresh white bedding, a modern armchair, and furnished balconies overlooking the ocean and beach. Wi-Fi is spotty to nonexistent in most of the rooms.
Beach access, swimming pool, cute restaurant, and a boring free breakfast
The highlight of this property is private access to the public beach, along with free lounge chairs, towels, and drinks service. Boogie boards are available to rent, too. There's a cute swimming pool with a tiered, unheated hot tub that provides water for the waterfall. Day passes are available for those who want to use the pool and beach, but not spend the night. The beach-facing, open-air restaurant is located between the pool and the sand. Guests get a free, but basic, breakfast of strong coffee, toast, scrambled eggs, and beans and rice. Lunch and dinner are much more inspired, with everything from sushi to specialty pastas, but prices are a bit high. At night, the ambience is downright romantic, with lit candles and the sound of the crashing waves. Wi-Fi is free, but the strongest signal is found in the lobby.