Arenas del Mar is a small, stylish beach hotel set in an 11 acre private forest reserve close to the Manuel Antonio National Park, and the only hotel in the area with direct beach access.
The Parador is an expansive complex of guest accommodation, leisure facilities and restaurants designed in a Mediterranean style, partly inspired by the Spanish ‘paradores’ (albeit on a larger scale).
The setting in a lush forest attracts a variety of visiting wildlife — it's not uncommon to spot iguanas basking in the sunshine on the pathways or the occasional sloth in the trees above you. In more elevated areas of the resort you can also enjoy superb views of the Pacific Ocean.
The property has won several awards for its focus on sustainable tourism and provides a luxurious retreat for those looking to immerse themselves in Costa Rica's wildlife without having a negative impact on the local environment.
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Accommodation at the hotel comprises both rooms and suites spanning several different categories. All are comfortable and furnished in a modern style, offering air conditioning and access to a terrace or balcony. Guest rooms are housed in four separate buildings and offer ocean, jungle or garden views from a balcony or terrace. The suite categories are situated in a separate ‘ocean vista’ building, and have more expansive balconies and Jacuzzis as well as access to a separate adults-only infinity pool and Jacuzzi.
The majority of quality hotels in Manuel Antonio are located on the steep cliffside leading into the town, meaning they don't have immediate access to the main centre and beach. This does however give them a feeling of tranquility, as well as sweeping ocean views. Guests at the Parador have the added advantage of being able to access to a small beach just a ten minute walk away, as well as a complimentary shuttle into the town should you wish to try the restaurants and beaches there.
Food and drink
A good choice of dining options awaits guests at the Parador, with four restaurants to choose from on site serving local and international cuisine. La Galeria is where ample breakfasts are served (including a 'design-your-own omelette' station), transforming into a fine dining restaurant in the evening with wonderful ocean views and live piano music. El Quijote is a more informal option, serving buffet food for evening meals, with children under 12 eating for free. Both main swimming pools also have their own restaurants serving lunch and drinks, and there are two further bars in addition to these poolside options.
Some of the guest rooms have two queen size beds or can be connected to cater for families. A number of the suites can also be rented together for families or larger groups. There's a family pool in addition to the two adult-only pools to ensure children can also enjoy the resort's facilities, and a babysitting service is available.
The suites are unsuitable for families with young children due to the design of the balustrades. Some other room categories do also have balustrades which are slightly below the recommended height, as do some of the walkways around the Premium Building. Please take care when moving around this area. We recommend ground floor rooms for very young children.
Facilities and activities
The extensive range of facilities on offer at the Parador is one of the main draws of the hotel. These include three swimming pools overlooking the ocean — two adult-only infinity pools and a family pool with a swim-up bar and terrace restaurant. A tennis court, spa and fitness centre can be found within the hotel's grounds, as well as nearly 750 metres of nature trails to explore through the rainforest. Complimentary Wi-Fi is available throughout the resort and a shuttle service is offered to the beaches in Manuel Antonio.
Environmental and social responsibility
Parador works to its own sustainable tourism policy to ensure it helps to preserve Costa Rica's wildlife and natural resources. It has won several awards over the years in recognition of its efforts. The resort also works with a number of non-profit organisations focused on conservation and social issues.
Although one of the larger beach hotels we offer in Costa Rica, the Parador remains one of our favourite options due to its excellent facilities and proximity to the beach and jungle.
Places & hotels on the map
Alternative places to stay nearby
Where possible, we like to offer a range of accommodation for each stop of your trip, chosen by our specialists as some of their favourite places to stay. To help you make the right choice, we give each property a rating based on its facilities and service, but we also look for hotels with distinct character or a location that can’t be bettered.
Located on the main road into Manuel Antonio, the Si Como No offers friendly and relaxed accommodation with excellent facilities, especially for families.
Located just off the main road between Quepos and Manuel Antonio National Park, Makanda By the Sea consists of 12 acres of sanctuary, 350 feet above the ocean.