Arenas del Mar Beachfront & Rainforest Resort
What We Love
- The magical combination of beach and rain forest
- Popular with both honeymooners and families
- Ocean breeze–paired treatments at Las Brisas Wellness Center
- Sunset cocktails at El Mirador Bar—try the famous tico sours
- Long strolls along the white sand Espadilla and Playitas beaches
What To Know
- Free WiFi
- It’s a three-hour drive from San Jose
- Monkeys and raccoons regularly raid the decks
- The resort’s concrete buildings aren’t the most stylish
- Rainy season is from May to November, but showers typically happen at night
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Kids Club
- Parking On Site
Down-to-earth eco-chic comes standard at this 11-acre rain-forest-and-beach resort with a conscience. A go-to hideaway for adventure-seeking, luxury-loving travelers, Arenas del Mar harmoniously mixes creature comforts with authentic experience, without disturbing its pristine Pacific coast location. The setting is one of the resort’s greatest assets, and each of the 38 rooms and suites has a spectacular view of either the rain forest or one of two white sand beaches on the Pacific. Adding to the mix are perks such as high-speed Internet, flat-screen TVs, coffeemakers and organic toiletries in the spacious marble and mosaic bathrooms. The real showstoppers, however, are the inviting private decks. For the best views—and wraparound terraces with private hot tubs—choose the beautiful Ocean Breeze Suites. Foodwise, it’s a feast. Arenas del Mar showcases local specialties with a seasonal twist, as well as standard international fare—mango strudel with ice cream, perhaps? The Mirador restaurant fittingly features plenty of fresh fish and, with a lofty position above Espadilla Beach, provides a spectacular spot for watching the sunset. There’s a more casual café next to Playitas Beach that serves breakfast and lunch and organic, shade-grown coffee from Finca Rosa Blanca, Arena del Mar’s sister property. After a day of outdoor pursuits (take your pick from kayaking, ziplining, whitewater rafting and more), unwind with an algae and clay wrap or a cappuccino scrub at Las Brisas Wellness Center. Or, for a different sort of wellness, take the Easy Being Green tour with the resort’s sustainability coordinator, who will explain the resort’s environmental program and its commitment to the local community.
In the Area
Take in Manuel Antonio National Park’s sparkling white sand beaches, clear waters, coastal rain forest and mangrove swamp, all filled with abundant wildlife: 109 mammal species and 184 types of bird. With more than 856 species of bird, Costa Rica is a birdwatcher’s paradise. Head out early in the morning with a naturalist guide and spot tanagers, euphonias, flycatchers, robins, woodpeckers and myriad other exotic birds. Be gutsy and head out into the nature reserve surrounding Arenas del Mar at night. You might spot snakes, spiders, opossums and owls – a one-of-a-kind chance to experience the thrill of seeing nocturnal wildlife in its natural habitat. The resort offers one of Costa Rica’s coolest boat trips; marvel at islands with jagged rock formations, towering cliffs and nesting grounds that are home to 16 species of marine bird. The cruise is best at sunset, when the sky turns multihued. Fly through the very top of the rain forest canopy on a ziplining tour, filled with animal sightings. Don’t miss the Tarzan Swing!
How to Get There
I spent a few days at this magnificent, exotic resort. The rooms (like suites) had two bedrooms and were very well appointed. Drinks and food, coffee in the mini bar was free and the views were fabulous. The resort opens up into the famed Manuel Antonio beach sprawl.
The staff make this place exceptional. Always smiling and helpful.
There is a wide variety of food (gluten free, vegetarian included) at the two restaurants, an infinity pool and a second one for kids to splash about.
The resort is built on a steep craggy hill slope so one uses golf carts to get around. The more energetic can walk! Howler and capuccino monkeys are around to make the place look even more exotic.
Absolutely loved the place and will return for sure.
Overall a great experience...staff is super friendly and nice. Restaurant food is excellent. Rooms and views are fantastic. swimming pools could be a bit bigger. property is right outside Manuel Antonio state park. there are monkeys, iguanas on the property...only hotel with a private beach option.
are the hotel is on the hill would not recommend for handicapped travelers. though hotel has golf carts to go around from them main lobby to rooms area.
As far as the room goes, on the positive side the air con was good helped by the ceiling fan, the bed was large and comfortable as were the pillows and there were good bedside lights for reading. A couple of negative points were that the wardrobe seemed small for the two people the room accommodated and though the shower room was large it did not have aircon or a magnifying mirror for shaving. In fact, the only mirror in the bedroom was on the back of the shower room door and the lighting in there was not particularly good. However, there was a great balcony overlooking the Pacific with a couple of seats and a table, a small sink, a fridge containing complementary drinks and snacks - 3 free beers a day, 2 herbal drinks that tasted better than they looked and some packets of locally produced snacks. There was also a coffee machine, kettle, coffee and four types of tea plus some milk. The fridge is inside a locked cupboard to make it monkey proof. During our stay we were visited by white faces capuchins on the balcony and woken by howlers at 5.30. In the restaurants the food was good but with no breakfast buffet just individual choices from the menu, if you have an early start, it’s best to pre-order the day before. For lunchtime food down at the beachside there was a good choice and for dinner in the evening there seemed to be less choice but the quality was good. The main restaurant near reception has a wonderful view over the bay at breakfast time but in the evening the plain walls and low ceiling height seem a bit stark. Water and towels are provided at both beaches and there are toilets at smaller one where the lower pool and restaurant are situated. The pool outside the main restaurant and bar has the same great view over the bay. As we were setting off for an early morning visit staff at reception offered us a reusable, filled water bottle to borrow. If you intend to visit Manual Antonio National Park be aware that it is very busy, compared to other national parks. Go as early as you can either with a guide or alone (check opening times when you’re there) and you can see a lot of wildlife.
I truly cannot day enough great things about this resort.
The location is great, you get the perfect mix of rainforest and beach for which you have the option of private beach (Playitas) or public beach (Espadilla) - we preferred Playitas. The walk into town is not easy but you can take a shuttle for a small fee, or walk up the massive hill if you wish. We took the shuttle there and walked back, which was doable though hot. Also unique to this hotel is that you can walk along the public beach all the way to the Manuel Antonio National Park entrance, a 20-25 minute walk. We walked through the park without a guide and found that sufficient, but you can also get a guide through the hotel.
The staff are AMAZING! So friendly, helpful and accommodating. Truly wonderful people.
The resort is on a hill which makes for amazing views but the walk can be tiring. We walked up and down between the main ‘lodge’ and beaches most of the time, but they have golf carts available 24/7 if you ever need or want a ride so not to worry.
We stayed in an Ocean Breeze Suit and Ocean View Superior room during our week stay. The suit was a splurge and sooo nice. The room was perfectly sized and also with an amazing view. We were not disappointed with either.
The food at the resort was all very good, as were the cocktails. You can eat at the main restaurant or during theme nights on the beach. Highly recommend the Street Food night on the beach. Also take advantage of the cocktail class if you like a good cocktail.
Finally, and this may not always happen, but we saw more wildlife at the resort than we did in any park - monkeys, sloth, iguanas, etc. Very cool. Oh, and there are little Halloween crabs scurrying around everywhere at night, if you hear rustling in the bushes :)
Choose this resort and enjoy!!!
We are still here but after reading a few bad reviews I thought I would comment before we leave .
After reading some of the reviews we were a bit wary of our arrival .
How wrong could we be We are on day five of a seven night trip . The holiday has been fantastic the staff could not do enough for you . Nothing is to much trouble . They remember your drinks order when you sit down for dinner from the first night to introducing us to Honeyrum and knowing that this is our nightcap .
Don’t be put off by any bad reviews the hotel is great the staff our welcoming and go out of their way to help you . One day the lift was broken down to the pool and they took my friend through the kitchen as she is on a mobility scooter to make sure she didn’t miss out on the pool .
If we ever return to Tenerife this is where we will come back to thank you Arenas del Mar