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
By far, this is the BEST place to stay in this area of Costa Rica. You will not be disappointed. We travel as a family and as a couple and this place has won our hearts. From the amazing concierge, who make notes on each guest with a friendly smile, to wait staff (Jason Lara, Nelson, Bryan, Stiven, Luis, and so many more). The housekeeping staff are very responsive to individual preferences and go above and beyond to make sure each and every persons home needs are met. The staff for resort transportation are so much more than a ride to your desired area. They are informative, friendly guides as well! I had mentioned on our first stay here my desires to see a sloth and every single staff was informed and I was sought out and brought to where I could see one up close!!
If you have ANY issues, I mean ANYTHING at all, the entire staff will go above and beyond to help you achieve happiness. This makes the difference between a good, great, or phenomenal vacation. So much so, this is our 3rd time here and we are returning in March with our teenage kids.
The beach staff is very attentive when you are in the water, and offer you ice water when they feel you have been a while without hydrating.
Sadly this time Eduardo was on vacation while we were here but he came to the resort to see us and personally make sure we knew we were missed since our past visit. Again. Above and beyond.
The pools and common areas are always clean. The dining is literally 5 star material. Allergies and food preferences are taken seriously and accommodated. We eat all of our meals here despite the opportunity for multiple dining options offsite. No matter if it’s your first time here or not, you will feel like you are with family (the ones you actually enjoy being with lol)
The views and wildlife are the best in the area. We have been to this area 6 times now so we know! There is NEVER a shortage of available loungers or tables. There are 2 pools and 2-yes 2 beach areas to choose from as well as walking/running trails and on site activities like cocktail making, tortilla making, nature walks and so much more.
Come to Arenas Del Mar. You won’t be disappointed!
Despite traveling extensively for the last 25 years, this is my first online review of anything. To be frank, I don't have lots of time to engage in marketing for hotels, restaurants, etc. But I feel compelled to share my thoughts about this hotel. This is our third time staying here (which says a lot) and every time my expectations have been exceeded. The hotel is stunning, the rooms beautiful appointed with reclaimed teak wood (very green resort) and the beds are extremely comfortable. The staff is exceptional and importantly, well treated by management. Make for happy and fully engaged "workers".
The food is wonderful. In fact, it os so good that we invariably eat here every night even though there is a plethora of great restaurants within walking distance.
I had a significant problem with a foot injury and the staff made sure I got exactly what I needed to start healing. Nothing is seen as an inconvenience. Everyone seems to just want to ensure you are having the best vacation for you - recognizing that we all have different wants and needs.
I really can't say enough about how wonderful it is to stay here. We have already booked to come back in March with our teenage children.
The staff was friendly, helpful, and caring which made us feel very welcome and safe. Everyone was very knowledgeable of plants and animals, which they enjoyed sharing. Their environmental preservation and sustainability is truly a role model for the world. It was a gift to find this special place taken care of with loving hands. Our limited ability to speak Spanish was not a problem.