El Mangroove, Marriott Autograph Collection, Resort & Spa
What We Love
- Modern, comfy units feature open-air living rooms with quirky local art and hammocks
- The culinary director of on-site Makoko restaurant is the former head chef at Barbecoa, Jamie Oliver’s Michelin-starred restaurant in London
- The outdoor center at the beach rents light-up paddleboards for sunset journeys
- The mixologist nails the cocktails; don’t miss the Porn Star, a bubbly passion fruit and vanilla vodka concoction
What To Know
- The property opened in February 2014
- December through April is dry season: brown landscape, no rain. May through November is green but can be wet
- Although the hotel is only 20 minutes from the Liberia airport, adventurous guests should rent cars
- Pulsating electro house music gives the place a South Beach vibe
- READ MORE: Find your perfect Costa Rica vacation
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Kids Club
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
Perched beside a mangrove wetland on the chocolate sand shores of Playa Panama, El Mangroove is 17 acres of pure sexy (think in-room pleasure kits and free condoms). The whimsical resort features 85 sleek units, two mouthwatering restaurants, a spa, a gym and a long, cabana-flanked swimming pool, all dreamed up by It architect Ronald Zürcher. Aside from carnal pursuits, the focus is on food and drink. By day, the Matiss restaurant offers light and playful dishes in an oceanfront sandbox setting. By night, spectacular cocktails are stirred up in the pulsating, open-air lounge before some truly epic feasts. Try the Worcester glazed short rib with apple-jalapeño puree and rosemary breadcrumbs, but save room for the fierce chocolate cheesecake for dessert.
In the Area
Ensconced between the opulent Pagagayo Peninsula and the bustling Playa del Coco, Playa Panama offers a tranquil setting to swim, kayak, snorkel, paddleboard, bike, boat and hike. It’s also a great base to fly through trees and explore volcanoes. Golfers will be well served by the nearby Arnold Palmer signature golf course, and serious scuba divers shouldn’t miss a trip to the shark-friendly Bat Islands. For an urban adventure and hiking combo, try the Santa Rosa National Park & Liberia City Tour.
How to Get There
Shout out to the whole Mangroove team! From our driver (Carlos) to check out with Kattia, we felt so well-cared for and pampered! Hostess Mailynn went out of her way to arrange a very special celebratory dinner, engaging Chef Thomas to prepare exceptional delights: mango cerviche with cilantro micro greens, flakey flavorful sea bass, and a dessert plate of beautifully arranged mouth-watering sweet fruit. All watching the most awe inspiring sunset over the bay!
I had the opportunity to visit for the first time 2 well renowned hotels in Guanacaste Costa Rica. I found this mixed sand beach with some touch of locally yet glamorous and chic decor. El Mangroove was full of surprises starting at the check in process and coming along with excellent customer service by the staff who escorted me to my unique decor room. A cocoon waiting for me to shower made me feel jungleish yet glamorous. I spent the sunset at the pool and deck area with fresh infused fruity water and music from the bar. The next day we did kayaking and had the amazing opportunity of meeting with Executive Chef Walter Palma who took the time to show the menu and not only that but we tasted altogether few dishes, among them Ceviche de pulpo ohlalala exquisite and local drinks plus some signature Dish of the day "Gallos de Camaron " . Chef Palma rocks and his team did their best to makes us feel special. Our hostess asked for my name and exclaimed You were the ones I was missing to meet which surprised me and made me feel amazing. My stay was flawless and even they were busy I got a late check out. Signature collection hotel with a mixed of elements from an amazing country. What an experience.
Goofy pay to lay by the pool, one whole side of long pool are “cabanas” $250 per day. Lost our reservation. Pay $3 for a sugar straw. Maintenance of gardens and outsides of buildings lacking ie paint nicks, pool bath gross, cockroach on stairs. Slow restaurant service.Turned all lights off as we got our dessert at night in restaurant. Closet hangers old style attached to rod like you would steal them. Several replacement key cards needed. Lovely beach location with trees and shade. Smart lotion and soap dispensers.
How do we love El Mangroove? Let us count the ways. Was it the kind and generous staff who made each and every moment of our stay special? Was it the wonderful Marriott Titanium upgrade to the most amazing suite overlooking the ocean? Was it the spectacular food at the two restaurants? (Hint: don’t miss the fish tacos, grilled or fried, with the mouthwatering papaya salsa) Was it the beautiful live music that serenaded our dinners on multiple nights? Was it the exquisite, calm bay that we kayaked on, sometimes twice a day, going to a deserted stretch of the beach? Was it the quiet beautiful volcanic sand beach? Was it the nightly turn-down service goodies? I can’t name the one thing because sometimes the energy and vibration of a place, and the graciousness of the staff, all merge together to create an exquisite feeling of care, nurturing and relaxation. We’ve spent many years traveling to different tropical locations trying to find a place that resonated with us and we’ve finally found it — El Mangroove just feels like home to us now.
TripAdvisor is a bit like Yelp. All reviews are contextual and tell more about the person writing the review than the place being reviewed. My wife and I have to laugh in retrospect reading the reviewers who complained endlessly about things like the beach being public (all beaches in Costa Rica are public), “as much dirt as sand,” and the place being “boring.” Those reviewers are the the wrong fit for this resort, and would probably be more at home somewhere else.
With much gratitude to all the staff who made our stay so special: Ivan, the concierge who checked in on us almost every day, the reception folks who were so kind, Eduardo the El Mangroove manager who surprised us with a dish of coconut ceviche (amazing), Amanda, one of the restaurant hostesses who surprised us with a special dessert decorated with a going away message on our last night, Marco who attended to the kayak rentals each day and was so kind to us and introduced us to the tasty tamarind fruits growing abundantly on the trees that lined the beach. Jadi (Gabriella) and the other waiters who made each meal so special.
This is the perfect place for someone who wants a laid back vacation, a true “pura vida” experience, where the place you are staying is comfortable, relatively quiet and peaceful, and the water in the bay is gentle, perfect for kayaking, paddleboarding or swimming every day. We didn’t go anywhere because we just loved our little routine of kayaking to our deserted beach, but we heard lots of people loved the trips to see caves, snorkel, and enjoy fishing and beach hopping.
We originally booked five days here followed by five days at the new W Reserva Conchal, about an hour south. We loved the El Mangroove so much we cut our W stay short and spent the last two nights back at the place we love. We can’t wait to return!
Staff are lovely - so helpful & cheery. Resort is beautiful- well designed, compared to some around here. Today staff arranged a private boat trip for wildlife & snorkelling and our guide, Andre, was charming, attentive & knowledgeable as was the boat's skipper. My only grouse is that the food, particularly breakfast, is geared to US tastes - sugary bread, no decent brown bread & no plain yogurt,just sugar packed stuff, scrambled eggs pre-loaded with sausage & sugar loaded cereals. But staff so accommodating - plain yogurt found (used only for cooking etc). The wildlife all around is breathtaking. A perfect location after days travelling around Monte Verde.