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Jschuh82 Apr 8th, 2010 08:12 PM

Costa Rica - Hotels in Manuel Antonio

My fiance and I are honeymooning in Costa Rica in June. We're staying at Arenal for 3 nights (at Lost Iguana) and then Manuel Antonio for about 5 nights before staying closer tot he airport for our final two nights. First off, does it make more sense to spend more time in MA rather than Arenal b/c of ability to hang out on the beach?

I'm also looking for hotel advice. For at least 2 of the nights in MA, I want to use my Amex points. However, only some hotels allow to pay with points. I plan on staying at Arenas del Mar or Buena Vista Villas for the other nights. Here are the hotels I'm between:

- La Mansion
- La Mariposa
- Parador
- Villas Lirio
- Hotel Blyblos

Anyone stayed at these and have anything to recommend? Gaia is also on the list but is a lot of points so we'd have to pay part of the stay.

Thanks in advance for your help!

qwovadis Apr 9th, 2010 05:46 AM

La Mariposa ocean view rooms best of your choices

qwovadis Apr 9th, 2010 05:47 AM

I prefer

for the beach to hang

better than Arenal for that...

qwovadis Apr 9th, 2010 05:48 AM

might also for your airport night a little over an hour away awesome romantic HM hotel...

volcanogirl Apr 9th, 2010 06:15 AM

I think it depend on how much time you want to spend on the beach. Three nights in Manuel Antonio would be about right for me, and I adore Arenal.

RAC Apr 9th, 2010 06:38 AM

I would do 4 and 4. There's a lot more to do in the Arenal area than there is in Manuel Antonio.

hipvirgochick Apr 9th, 2010 08:18 AM

I would also do 4 and 4.

volcanogirl Apr 9th, 2010 08:30 AM

I think 4 and 4 is a good balance.

hipvirgochick Apr 9th, 2010 09:18 AM

I met a couple honeymooning last year and they absolutely loved Finca Rosa Blanca. Not sure if it fits into your budget for 2 nights but might be worth the splurge.

Jschuh82 Apr 9th, 2010 10:42 AM

Thanks guys. If we do stay 2 nights closer to the airport, any activities to recommend? Also, anyone have advice on the hotels I mentioned above? All have some good, some bad tripadvisor reviews...

hipvirgochick Apr 9th, 2010 10:52 AM

I don't have any experience with those hotels so I can't comment...I do know that La Mansion often has deals on

There are some great tours from San Jose that combine different things like Poas, Doka Coffee and La Paz Waterfalls if that interest you. I highly recommend a rafting trip on the Pacuare.

Jschuh82 Apr 9th, 2010 11:09 AM

Cool. Is the rafting OK for beginners? I've rafted a few times, but my fiance never has. I wouldn't call myself skilled as I've always been with a guide.

hipvirgochick Apr 9th, 2010 11:28 AM

Yes, the rafting is ok for beginners. It can be intense at times, but tons of fun! The Pacuare is rated one of the top 10 in the world to raft (by National Geographic) and a great experience! You will be with a guide in a 6 person raft. Highly recommend Rios Tropicales. They also have an overnight package with a lodge right on the river.

volcanogirl Apr 9th, 2010 11:43 AM

We stayed across the street from Mariposa; I can tell you that it's in a very good location. We were able to walk to Barba Roja, Salsipuedes, Cafe Agua Azul, and Cafe Milagro from there. I would expect it to have great views. I've heard the rooms are a little outdated but haven't stayed there personally so can't give you a first hand account.

We done the Doka, La Paz, and Poas tours and really enjoyed them. I think the rafting is a good rec. too. You might consider Xandari or Peace Lodge for your last nights - both very honeymoonish.

ParkerSunshine Apr 12th, 2010 08:57 AM

I understand if your points don't work here but I HIGHLY suggest for honeymooner's to stay when in MA at Issimo Suites. This place is amazing with great views, great rooms. The hotel is small and really caters to their guests. They also provide a free shuttle to take you to MA beach every day. I have heard good things about La Mariposa too, which is very close to Issimo Suites. I also recommend NOT having to change hotels in both areas bc you just want to unpack and be settled and not have to deal with check-in/out times. There are probably alot more hotel choices that would use your points in Arenal then in MA.

Check out my blog "older posts" to read my specific reviews about places to eat, things to do.

I too thought I needed less time in Arenal in order to head to the beach in MA but I was wrong, Arenal is awesome!

Jschuh82 Apr 15th, 2010 05:17 PM

Has anyone stayed at Arenal Nayara?

volcanogirl Apr 15th, 2010 07:01 PM

We haven't, but it gets consistently good reviews.

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