Fodor's Expert Review Arenas del Mar Beachfront and Nature Resort

El Parador road at far west end of Playa Espadilla, Manuel Antonio, Puntarenas, 60601, Costa Rica

On hillsides sloping down to two pristine, almost-deserted beaches, chic and elegant rooms are decorated with gorgeous natural fabrics and local art and have huge private terraces with comfortable outdoor seating. From the base of the hill, guests are transported by electric golf cart up winding pathways to the carbon-neutral property. Rooms have fully stocked "Tico minibars" with complimentary local snacks and beverages. Bathrooms are spacious, with round, glass-brick shower stalls, and suites have mosaic-tiled hot tubs on their terraces. Amenities include two pools and a spa, free yoga and exercise classes, and the surrounding forest is alive with wildlife. It's not uncommon to be visited by a monkey at your breakfast table. The main restaurant is practically in the trees, and the menu is innovative and ambitious, and includes some popular gluten-free dishes. There's also a more casual daytime restaurant at the lower pool nearest the beach. The hotel offers free tortilla-making classes, nature hikes, and sustainability tours that give a behind-the-scenes look at how this five-star resort earned the five-leaves award for its green practices.

PROS

  • best of both worlds: luxury and eco-consciousness
  • free shuttle, minibar, and laundry service
  • wonderful bird-watching and wildlife viewing
  • beach with surf lessons and lifeguard

CONS

  • very steep paths and stairs
  • humidity can leave bathrooms somewhat musty
  • pricey

QUICK FACTS

Resort
Green, Service, Views
Casual
Beachfront
Design
$$$$

HOTEL INFO

Phones: 888-240–0280-in U.S. | 2104–0589

HOTEL DETAILS

37 rooms
Rate Includes: Free Breakfast

What’s Nearby