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 flamboyant 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 mini-bars" with complimentary local snacks. Bathrooms are spacious, with round, glass-brick shower stalls, and some rooms have mosaic-tiled hot tubs on their terraces. Amenities include two pools and a spa, 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.


  • best of both worlds: luxury and eco-consciousness
  • best beach access in Manuel Antonio
  • wonderful bird-watching and wildlife viewing
  • beach with surf lessons and lifeguard


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


Green, Service, Views
On the beach
Casual Chic


Phones: -2777–2777 | 888-240–0280-in U.S.


38 rooms, 10 suites
Rate Includes: Free breakfast

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