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
- Eco friendly
- Free WiFi
- 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
Our family (two adults and two kids, age 4 and 7) stayed five nights at Arenas in february. We had a fantastic time there. We stayed two nights in the ocean view premium (penthouse) and three nights in a ocean view breeze - both in the upper part of the resort. We had a fantastic time!!
The resort was full but it did not at all seem crowded. Was actually wondering where people would go during the day as pools, beach etc. felt almost empty (which was great). Guess a lot of the guests would go on tours leaving the resort almost empty during the day.
The resort feels very tranquil - not a lot of noise. Very dedicated to sustainability - pura vida:-)
Rooms are spacious and with fantastic views and also very clean.
The two pools are fairly small, but who needs more. They both work fine, but the one near the reception has fantastic views.
The a la carte breakfast is super and in general the food is really good. Also, they have great vegetarian options.
The private beach is beautiful, but the waves where a little to tough for our kids, so we preferred the public beach.
The private beach has a restaurant serving really good lunch. At the public beach they have a small beach bar which also serves a few lunch items, e.g. burgers, chicken sticks - simple, but good.
Tried the spa once and it was a wonderful experience.
Staff in general very serviceminded and helpful.
We tried the tortilla making class, the night jungle tour and the sustainability tour - all onsite and super nice. Also, we went to Manuel Antonio national park on a private tour booked through the hotel. Our guide, bernie, was simply amazing and super patient with our two boys - a fantastic experience with lots of wildlife!!
The wildlife at the resort is also amazing - you will see different types of monkeys, sloths, iguanes and much more right at the hotel.
Our only complaint is on the ambience in the two restaurants in the evenings: Lightning is not good (too harsh - both in the restaurant and at the beach) - and also walls etc. in the restaurant seems very white and minimalistic...music could also be improved.
Having stayed in many of the other Cayuga Hotels in Costa Rica this one is really not up to the other properties of their portfolio.
Tired decor, average food and no ambiance cannot help this hotel. If you have kids this may suit you (it does have a dedicated room showing cartoons but no lounge area!?) still for those wanting a relaxed quiet break, best to avoid.
I just returned from a wonderful trip to Costa Rica with my husband and new baby. We had an amazing stay at the Arenas Del Mar resort. The staff was amazing and very accommodating. Everyone always greeted us with warm smiles and asked if we needed anything extra for the baby. When we were running low on diapers, the front desk arranged to have some delivered to our room from the market in town, all while we were eating dinner! The beach and beach front pool were very clean and very relaxing. There was plenty of shade cover to keep our little guy out of the direct sun while still enjoying gorgeous beach views. We did a wonderful tour of Manuel Antonio Park with a private guide named Ely. He was enthusiastic and very knowledgeable. He went at our pace, happily stopping and taking breaks so we could tend to the baby. It was well-worth the cost of a private guide to be able to see so many animals in their natural habitat. Thank you to everyone at Arenas Del Mar. It was an absolutely perfect vacation!
Wonderfully relaxing last stop on our holiday. Loved the semi-private beach, no shortage of sun loungers, also hammocks, swings, easy chairs available. Uncrowded, we practically had the beach to ourselves on our first evening around 1730. Attentive staff on the beach and everywhere else in the hotel and grounds, service could not be faulted. We enjoyed a seafood bbq at the beach restaurant and wished it was open every evening of our stay. We did the on-site night walk and tortilla making and both were fun and well worthwhile. Pink blossoms falling into the pools looked pretty and the iguanas seemed to like eating the flowers. We saw two sloths outside our room, monkeys overhead in the trees and tiny crabs on the beach. Courtesy golf carts were really useful as it is a steep site. Minibar, laundry, telephone calls and breakfast are all included. We were in 402B, an ocean view superior room which was fine though surprisingly small; it incorporated a large balcony with a great view of the private beach but unfortunately the rest of the bay was obstructed by the next room's balcony jutting out beyond ours. Concierge service was excellent and gave us a brilliant suggestion for dinner out on our last evening - Ronny's Place. We thoroughly enjoyed our time at this hotel and wish we could have stayed longer. Highly recommended.
We stayed here for 3 nights at the start of our honeymoon in Costa Rica. The hotel is situated a km from the nearest town (Manuel Antonio) you can walk back but very steep to walk there. There are plenty of restaurants to choose from in the town. The hotel have a minibus that you can book or they will book you a taxi that costs about $8.
The hotel uses golf buggies to get around as it is so steep which always come quickly. There are 2 pools and access to 2 beaches (one private) but at the main beach the hotel offers sun beds, drinks etc. and you can walk to the local town down the beach.
The rooms are spacious, with big balconies and ours had a good sea view. They offer Costa Rican snacks and beer for free in the mini bar and all the water is filtered (you can borrow water bottles).
The breakfast is the best we have had - a la carte and a great choice. We only ate in the restaurant once for the seafood night but again the food was lovely. There is happy hour every night with reasonably priced wine, beer and cocktails.
The grounds are lovely. Get up early and you can see lots of monkeys, sloths, Toucans and Iguanas and loads of beautiful birds (bring your binoculars!)
This hotel is used allot by families and is great for kids. As a couple therefore you may want to avoid the American school holidays!!
The service was exemplary and every staff member went out of their way to be helpful and friendly.
Definitely recommend for a great luxury beach hotel!