Staying in Manuel Antonio
Costa Rica’s Pacific coast is one of the country’s most popular areas, but perhaps the most beautiful beaches and ocean views are in Manuel Antonio. With the town of Quepos acting as its hub, the area blends white-sand beaches, deep-blue ocean hues, and dense, hilly rainforest into one captivating environment. And with the beauty of Manuel Antonio National Park at your doorstep, you’ll have plenty to keep you occupied.
If you’re going to splurge on accommodation, this region is the place to do it! Because the area is particularly stunning, it’s popular for weddings and honeymoons in Costa Rica, meaning there are plenty of boutique options and luxurious resorts. Take full advantage of the scenic region by choosing lodging that offers perks like fine-dining restaurants, private beaches, wraparound balconies with ocean views, private pools and Jacuzzis, full-service spas, or interactive experiences like yoga and cooking classes.
Check out kimkim’s recommendations for the best luxury hotels in Manuel Antonio.
Los Altos Resort
Enjoy the views at Los Altos Resort, set on the hillside overlooking the ocean and jungle. Suites and penthouses feel like complete apartments, with separate bedrooms, full kitchens, dining areas, and large balconies. All have views of the ocean or jungle (or both), plus air conditioning, flatscreen TVs, 24/7 concierge support, and the option for private-chef dinners. Some units can fit up to eight people, so Los Altos is a good option for family accommodation in Manuel Antonio.
The resort offers quite a few amenities, including an outdoor infinity pool with a bar, a full-service spa, a gym and fitness center, and a private, secluded beach. The resort will provide everything you might need at the beach, such as lounge chairs, towels, drinks, snacks, kayaks, boogie boards, etc. You’ll also find yoga classes, hiking trails, and cooking classes to learn how to make those delicious Costa Rican dishes.
There are three restaurants on-site, with Karolas Restaurant & Pool Bar being the main eatery, catering to dietary preferences like kosher and vegetarian. If you want to switch it up, you can enjoy a meal at the Samui Thai Restaurant or Enso Sushi Restaurant.
Arenas del Mar Beachfront & Rainforest Resort
There are many luxury lodging options in Manuel Antonio, but if any option has earned that reputation, it’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, flatscreen TVs, and plush bedding. Upgrade to suites for perks like outdoor jacuzzis and indoor tiled showers with rainfall showerheads.
Since you’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. Head to the Las Brisas Wellness Center for spa treatments like massages and facials for extra pampering.
Arenas del Mar’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.
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.
Gaia Hotel & Reserve
For a luxury adults-only experience, you have Gaia Hotel & Reserve, a metropolitan modernist dream that somehow makes its unique architecture work in the Costa Rican jungle. Located in the forest on its own private nature reserve, the hotel features 20 luxury units with stone showers and king beds covered with 500-thread count sheets. All are bright and warm, but to truly make it luxury, we recommended upgrading to suites or villas—some have private outdoor hot tubs and sundecks.
You can head to the property’s La Luna Restaurant for fine dining with seafood dishes like mahi-mahi and tuna, plus a daily happy hour and extensive wine list. Relax in one of the outdoor pools and soaking tubs, including a terraced swimming pool that effortlessly merges romance, style, and functionality. Other features include a fitness center, a full-service spa, a swim-up bar, and nature trails.
Hotel Makanda By The Sea
Another adults-only option, Hotel Makanda By The Sea joins the other 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, eclectic dishes and a daily happy hour in an atmospheric garden. It’s common 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, sofas, and/or kitchenettes. Regardless of what room you choose, you’ll receive stylish, trendy, and modern comfort with authentic Costa Rican charm.