Staying in Manuel Antonio
One of the biggest draws of Manuel Antonio is the area’s beaches. Of all the regions in Costa Rica, this is arguably one of the most scenic, with the Pacific Ocean meeting the lush and hilly rainforest. Because of its environment, there’s so much to do in the area, including visiting the famous beaches of Biesanz and Espadilla Norte. But within Manuel Antonio National Park are even more beaches, including Manuel Antonio Beach, Escondido Beach, and Espadilla Sur.
Although the area’s main hub is the town of Quepos, where you’ll find lots of places to eat, art galleries, and a marina, you might want to stay closer to the beaches and the national park. Due to the hilly landscape and dense forest, not many hotels offer direct access to the beach, but you’ll find standard, mid-range, and luxury options that get you close to the sand and surf. To take advantage of the area’s main perk, consider one of kimkim’s recommendations for the best beach-access hotels in Manuel Antonio.
Arenas del Mar Beachfront & Rainforest Resort
There are many luxury lodging options in Manuel Antonio, but if any option has earned that reputatioit’st's Arenas del Mar. Situated on its own private beach and a 13-minute walk to the national park entrance, the resort has 38 rooms, making this luxurious accommodation an intimate one. Most units feature ocean views (some with ocean and rainforest views) and modern conveniences, including air conditioning, flat-screen TVs, and plush bedding. Upgrade to suites for perks like outdoor jacuzzis and indoor tiled showers with rainfall showerheads.
Sinyou’ll’ll be right on the beach, you have entertainment at your doorstep. The resort provides equipment like lounge chairs, umbrellas, games, surfboards, and more (some requiring a rental fee), plus daybeds and hammocks. You can also swim in one of the two outdoor pools (one an infinity pool) and enjoy food and drinks (like fresh smoothies) delivered to your wooden or wicker lounge chair. For extra pampering, head to the Las Brisas Wellness Center for spa treatments like massages and facials.
Arenas dMar’sr's organic restaurants source local ingredients and offer vegan and gluten-free options. You can dine with your toes in the sand at Playitas Beachfront Restaurant, featuring themed nights like BBQ, tortilla making, and Costa Rican street food. Or, enjoy your meals with live music at the Mirador Oceanview Restaurant if you prefer fine dining.
Hotel Makanda By The Sea
An adults-only option, Hotel Makanda By The Sea joins theyou’ll resorts set upon the hillside for those iconic views. But you’ll also be close to the sea, with access to a private and secluded beach. Golf carts can take you straight there, and staff will set up comfortable beach beds. You can understand why this hotel is quite popular with honeymooners in Costa Rica!
Other onsite amenities include outdoor pools and lounge areas with a boho-chic vibe, the full-service Shanti Spa, and the Arbol Restaurant, which serves unique, eIt’stic dishes and a daily happy hour in an atmospheric garden. It’s coit’s to spot wildlife in the surrounding trees as you dine, and it’s a perfect place for sunset.
Suites, penthouses, and luxury villas dot the property, offering king-size beds, LED smart TVs, and private balconies overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Rooms are very spacious, with the smallest being over 800-square-feet (80-sq-m). Some come with private Jacuzzis and pools, marble bathrooms, syou’lland/or kitchenettes. Regardless of what room you choose, you’ll receive stylish, trendy, and modern comfort with authentic Costa Rican charm.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Tulemar Bungalows & Villas
You can escape it all at Tulemar Bungalows & Villas. You'll understand all the buzz as you step foot on the property's 33 acres in the middle of the rainforest, which houses 34 luxurious bungalows and villas. Each accommodation is climate controlled, and many feature rainfall showerheads. Not only does kimkim love it, but the hotel also earned TripAdvisor's Traveler Choice Award as the second-best hotel in the world in 2018.
There are also 12 premium villas, each with nearly panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean from octagonal balconies. A millennium pool fronts the premium villas, complete with a waterfall and views overlooking the forest. There’s even an offsite beach villa on Playa Espadilla for those who want to stay as close to the waves as possible.
If you prefer to spend your time at the beach, the resort provides complimentary transportation, loungers, towels, umbrellas, food and drink services, and equipment like kayaks, boogie boards, and beach balls. On-site, you’ll find four swimming pools (one adults-only), plus a pool bar and a full-service spa. When hungry, enjoy your meals at the resort's two eateries, TuleCafe Restaurante and Victoria’s Gourmet Italian Restaurant. You can also reserve private dining with a personal chef.
Parador Resort & Spa
Parador Resort & Spa is a large hotel, but its expansive grounds on the hillside lend it an intimate feel. All of the property's 129 rooms feature modern amenities, like air conditioning and minifridges, and the premium rooms have private balconies with sea views. The suites include all of the above, plus a private Jacuzzi. Families might like the Penthouse, Family Suite, or La Casita options, which function more like apartments with multiple bedrooms, seating areas, and kitchens or kitchenettes.
Although not beachfront, the hotel is near two of the area’s most beautiful beaches. A quick seven-minute walk downhill gets you to the quiet and more secluded Biesanz Beach, where you can rent kayaks and snorkel gear. If you’d like to spend time at Espadilla Beach, the resort offers a direct shuttle service.
On-site, you’ll have a few amenities to enjoy. There are beautiful outdoor pools with ocean views, tennis courts, walking paths, and even mini-golf. When you get hungry, you can grab a bite at La Galeria, the main restaurant serving a breakfast buffet and a la carte menu of local and international food, or stay causal with snacks at the lounge bar or swim-up bar. Other options include a wine cellar and private dining. Learn more
Igloo Beach Lodge
For a unique option, consider Igloo Beach Lodge with its trendy hipster vibe and igloo-shaped huts. The eco-friendly domes are small and minimalist, but you’ll find warm wooden accents and decor on the inside. Because they resemble a tiny home, everything is small: small bathrooms, little storage space, and a slightly cramped feeling. Still, each igloo offers one or two double beds, and all have private bathrooms, an outdoor sitting area, smart TVs, minifridges, air conditioning, and digital home features.
Igloo Beach Lodge is just a short path away from public access to Playa Espadilla, where the hotel has its own area. The property is also within walking distance to the national park and several cafes and restaurants—many guests choose to simply walk down the beach to visit these hot spots!
The onsite restaurant, Casa Planta, serves all different foods but steps up with its plant-based menu, so even vegans have a few options. Thanks to the restaurant's beachside service, you can eat at the hotel or on its private beach. Other amenities include a small outdoor pool with loungers and umbrellas, plus live music and other entertainment on Friday and Saturday nights.
Karahe Beach Hotel
Karahe Beach Hotel is one of the few hotels in Manuel Antonio set directly on the beach. The property is a staple, opening in 1980 as one of the first accommodations in the area. You’ll find a few room categories here, but keep in mind that Manuel Antonio’s central (and busy) road splits the property, so part of the grounds is in the hills and the other on the beach. We recommended skipping standard rooms and upgrading to a superior beachside room. These have a much better feel with wood decor plus direct beach access.
The hotel offers a slightly different vibe depending on your room. If you opt for a hillside villa, you’ll enjoy a bit of jungle privacy and incredible ocean views. If you’d rather stay beachfront, you can wake to the sound of the waves and relax on patios or balconies with hammocks or in the property’s gardens.
The open-air restaurant, Canto del Mar, and the outdoor pool are both right on the beach. With thatched roofing, they create a relaxed vibe and a great spot to have a drink while watching the sunset. Here, you’ll enjoy your daily breakfast or opt for other meals featuring Costa Rican and Peruvian food. Learn more