With a cloak of rainforest on Costa Rica‘s Pacific coast, Manuel Antonio is a nature lover’s dream. Here you’ll find a national park where trees tremble with vibrant birdlife, capuchin monkeys and the odd, three-toed sloth. With backpacker hotels, secluded mountain retreats and luxurious beachfront condos, your accommodation needs and desires are covered for a visit to this tropical paradise. Here’s our guide to the best hotels in Manuel Antonio, bookable with Culture Trip.
Arenas del Mar is the only luxury resort in Manuel Antonio with a beachfront location. Here hammocks are strung between palms and loungers are footsteps from your room; you’ll be able to see sloths and monkeys swinging between the trees. The luxury suites and rooms come with balconies overlooking the Pacific, rainfall showers, and minibars stocked with local snacks and drinks.
Set in 15 acres (6ha) of pristine jungle, the adults-only Gaia Hotel is a natural getaway where five-star boutique luxury is served in an ecofriendly atmosphere. The grounds are a former nature reserve, and flora and fauna fill the space between luxurious rooms. Don’t be surprised if you see parrots drinking from one of the waterfall swimming pools, orchids lining the pathways or the odd sloth moving through the trees. The rooms have a natural feel with wood floors and rainfall showers.
Weddings on a clifftop helipad, a suite in a Boeing fuselage, and a bar in an old cargo plane; Hotel Costa Verde isn’t your average boutique hotel. There’s nothing standard about the standard rooms, either, with Balinese furniture and private balconies overlooking the jungle to the horizon. Bungalows come with kitchenettes, and the adults-only studios at Verde II share a stunning cliffside pool. The top choice rooms, however, are the 727 Fuselage Home and Cockpit Cottage, both of which have been crafted from the shell of a plane.
Those looking for a budget escape while staying close to the beach should look no further than Mono Azul. Simple rooms are all ensuite and range from a straightforward bed and bathroom, to the light and airy Blue Money Villa with a full kitchen, three bedrooms and a living room. Blue’s Restaurant & Bar is a destination in itself, serving delicious tacos and towering burgers and jumping with live music at the weekend.
Perched on Punta Quepos promontory, overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Hotel Parador has beautiful views from the pool, restaurant terrace and private balconies. Mid-range in price, this eco-resort doesn’t skimp on the indulgent touches. It’s easy to elevate your stay to a five-star extravaganza by booking one of the adults-only suites with a jetted tub in the bathroom and private jacuzzi on the terrace. Though a stay in one of the standard rooms overlooking the rainforest isn’t exactly slumming it. The gourmet restaurant serves local dishes with artistic precision.
Si Como No seamlessly blends nature, luxury and fun in one place. Set in verdant jungle terraces, ecofriendly rooms look over the green canopy to the sparkling ocean. It’s all about getting in touch with nature here, so “no television” is a proud feature of each room. That doesn’t mean this place is boring, though, as the swimming pool comes with a wiggly waterslide. This resort also doubles as a wildlife refuge, meaning sloths, butterflies and bearded dragons might all make an appearance on your private balcony.
On the main road in Manuel Antonio, Villas Nicolas is in the heart of the action. Restaurants, shops and bars are all within strolling distance and the beach is 15 minutes down the hill. Rooms come with elegant, Balinese-style furniture, private balconies or jungle terraces, and kitchenettes. Superior suites have a dedicated living space, kitchens, a dining table and hammock on the terrace overlooking the jungle. If you don’t fancy cooking, there’s a classy yet rustic restaurant, and snacks available from the pool bar throughout the day.
This boutique hotel is located on the mountain slopes. There are 25 rooms and suites, so the service feels personal and you’re never fighting for a spot by the pool, or for a seat at the sky lounge. The atmospheric Bat Cave bar serves an extensive wine list and delicious cocktails. Rooms are spacious, sleek and modern with touches of rustic charm in the form of dark wood furniture and colorful wall art.
Brimming with Costa Rican charm, La Mariposa is one of the oldest establishments in Manuel Antonio National Park. The hilltop views are best enjoyed from one of the two infinity pools, or from the al fresco dining terrace at the restaurant. All rooms come with floor-to-ceiling glass doors that slide open onto a balcony with stunning sea and jungle views. If you want independence, opt for a one-bedroom apartment with a full kitchen or studio with a kitchenette.
A series of five-star suites with spacious living rooms and kitchens make up Los Altos Resort. They become more lavish as you move up the building: the penthouse holds up to eight guests in split-level luxury. In the hotel grounds, an infinity pool overlooks the Pacific Ocean and the spa takes care of your wellness needs. The hiking trails of the national park are on your doorstep and it’s a short walk to a secluded slice of beach.
For centrally located luxury that won’t break the bank, stay at The Falls. You’re a short stroll from the shops and restaurants of Manuel Antonio, yet the rooms are surrounded by lush jungle. Wooden ceilings and hammocks strung up on the veranda give a boho-chic feel. Days can be spent by the pool, or hiking through the wildlife filled forest to the nearby secluded waterfalls.
Life at the lodge is all about switching off from the modern world and getting to know the exotic wildlife that passes through. Forget about chlorine-filled hotel pools, the way to cool off in the mountains is under the jungle waterfall. Natural plunge pools are also dotted around the well-maintained hiking trails in the area. Although it’s a 60-minute 4×4 ride to Manuel Antonio, the views will knock your socks off.
Designed with digital nomads in mind, Selina has a communal office space with sunny, canopy views. But, of course, it’s time with the laptop closed that thrills most here – salute the sunset with evening yoga on the wellness deck or spend your time off at the surf spots found along the Pacific coast. There are rooms for all budgets; book an eight-bed dorm if you’re bargain hunting, or a deluxe ensuite double for privacy. The onsite bar is known throughout town, serving craft beer and encouraging barefoot dancing.
This adults-only hotel is perched in a pristine Pacific cove. Luxurious suites come with ocean views through floor-to-ceiling windows which open onto spacious, private terraces. The most lavish suite comes with a private pool, while the standard option, the junior jacuzzi suite, is still an opulent affair with a jetted tub and hardwood floors. There’s a gourmet restaurant with a sunset terrace and a spa with a complement of treatments.
Looking for more places to stay in Costa Rica? Check into one of the top-rated hotels in San José, the country’s bustling capital city, or take a trip to the quintessential seaside town of Jacó, offering adventure sports and national parks teeming with wildlife, and stay at a palm tree lined Jacó resort facing the Pacific ocean. Wherever your itinerary takes you, be sure to book your stay with Culture Trip.
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