Where To Stay In Manuel Antonio (Honest Review Of The Best Hotels)

Numerous accommodation options are available in Manuel Antonio because this place receives a lot of tourists. However, I’ve had the best experience at The Shana Hotel. It is by far the best option for families, and they have beach access via a trail onsite. Expect to see tons of monkeys and sloths here, too. 

Manuel Antonio (MA) in Costa Rica has been rated among the world’s most beautiful national parks. So a lot of tourists come here. 

When you ask the locals, they’d easily recommend Tulemar Hotel as the best place to stay. It’s trendy but pricey. My husband and I checked it out. 

It sure looks nice, but many people, like me, don’t like the cancellation policy for the price. It is little wonder that many people look at Airbnb options for staying in Manuel Antonio

In this article, I have reviewed seven of the best hotels and accommodation options in Manuel Antonio that are definitely worth the shot. 

I’ll show you how much it currently costs per night in these places and the quality of services you can expect from each of them.

Key Takeaways

  • We absolutely and strongly recommend Shana By The Beach as the best place to stay in Manuel Antonio, especially for families.
  • If you’re on a seriously tight budget, consider the La Posada Jungle Bungalows.
  • If you want luxury, the Arenas del Mar Beachfront & Rainforest Resort is your best bet. 
  • To pick the best option, focus on the availability of resorts, reviews on food, the views, access to see animals or wildlife generally, and the cost per night as it works for your budget.
  • It makes sense to have a rental car, as the main road in MA is not really walkable.

Best Places To Stay In Manuel Antonio: Compared

In case you’re in a hurry and need to make a decision quickly, I have prepared the table below to point you to the top hotel options to be reviewed in this guide, the budget, the location, and why I recommend them.

Places to stay Location Budget/per nightWhy I recommend
Shana By The Beach Residence and SpaRuta Puerto Quepos,

Next Line Manuel Antonio,

Quepos Provincia de Puntarenas

$300 – $400Best overall
Arenas del Mar Beachfront & Rainforest ResortJunction 4.6km Route 618 turn right onto Rd to Arenas Del Mar, Puntarenas Province, Manuel Antonio $400 – $1,200High luxury accommodation option in MA
Parador Resort and Spa9RWJ+WM8, Manuel Antonio Norte, Puntarenas Province, Quepos.$300A good choice for families
Si Como No Resort & Wildlife RefugeKilometer 4 to National Park, Provincia de Puntarenas, Quepos.$350 – $400Has a pool with a swim-up bar and a fun waterslide for the kids.
La Posada Jungle BungalowsContiguo A La Entrada Del Parque Nacional Next to the National Park, Manuel Antonio, Quepos.$120 – $200The best option if you’re on a tight budget
La Mariposa Hotel100 metros SE de Plaza Vista, Manuel Antonio, Quepos, Puntarenas Province, Manuel Antonio$250 – $350Spanish-Mediterranean architecture, Great views
Hotel Verde Mar9RVX+GCH, Provincia de Puntarenas, Quepos, Costa Rica$95 – $120It is a simple, clean hotel at a cheap price.

 

Read on to get the full details of my experience in these locations to know what you’re genuinely going to get from staying in any of these accommodation options.

1. Shana By the Beach Residence and Spa

  • Budget: $300 – $400

The Shanaa charmingly place to stay in Manuel Antonio, especially on a budget with kids.  

If you’re lucky to stay in the big room at the top of the main building, you will see the beautiful ocean from there. In our case, the balcony was a bit small, but we had large glass doors that let us enjoy the view. 

The hotel has two swimming pools: one for adults and one for families, with a bar in between. The dining area can get quite busy and loud, like a cafeteria, but you can also eat near the better bar. 

The food here is yummy and not too expensive. The breakfast buffet is delicious! The Shana is a lively place with lots of families and music playing at the bar. 

I see that many reviews also talk good about the staff. I can tell you that’s true! They were all friendly and helpful. There’s a big hill you have to climb or go down to get from the rooms to the restaurant and pool, but there’s always a golf cart to take you. 

The walk down to Biesanz Beach is excellent, although it’s a bit steep coming back up. The beach can get crowded, but it’s suitable for swimming. There are vendors selling chairs, kayak/SUP rentals, and food and drinks. 

Overall, I’m pretty confident you’ll like the Shana.

What I Like about this place

  • Newer looking resort near the ocean. 
  • Capuchin monkeys arrived every morning on our balcony and neighboring balconies. 
  • Direct access to Biesanz beach. It is an excellent path down from the hotel.
  • Enjoyable live music at the restaurant.

What I don’t like about this place

  • I wish the balcony furniture were newer and more comfortable. (This was a standard issue at all the places we stayed during our trip around Costa Rica, anyway)

2. Arenas del Mar Beachfront & Rainforest Resort

  • Budget:  $400 – $1,200

Arenas del Mar Beachfront & Rainforest Resort is a much more luxurious option for staying in Manuel Antonio.  But the major highlight for many visitors is the spotting of monkeys, sloths, and macaws from the pool, which was terrific due to the beautiful natural surroundings and stunning views.

The pools in this place are gorgeous, although there isn’t a hot tub, and the ocean water is rough, so it wasn’t ideal for young children. I got a tremendous one-hour massage for $113, which was a good deal.

The suite is fabulous and spacious, with a premium ocean view. It has a sitting area, a coffee station, and a fridge stocked with complimentary snacks and drinks. The balcony is enormous and has a jacuzzi with a full sea view. 

The only downside of the Arenas del Mar Beachfront & Rainforest Resort is the lack of privacy with the jacuzzi due to design flaws in the screening. Still, overall, it’s a resort you’d love. 

What I Like about this place

  • You can’t beat the beach access. 
  • There are tons of monkeys and birds to see. 
  • I loved the free boogie boards, and one included laundry service.

What I don’t like about this place

  • It is not for people on a romantic getaway who need alone time because families likely visit this place.

3. Parador Resort and Spa

  • Budget: $300

The wildlife around the Parador Resort and Spa Hotel is fantastic. You’ll see a variety of birds, sloths, monkeys, and iguanas freely roaming around the hotel and along the Monkey trail.

The breakfast is decent, especially the omelet station. The food at the pool bar for lunch is average, I must confess, but the dinner options at the Galleria restaurant were better, and the sushi restaurant was excellent.

The hotel provides a free scheduled shuttle service to the beautiful Manuel Antonio beach. The local beach is a bit of a trek from the hotel, but it’s pleasant enough, and the local sun-bed sellers are friendly.

There are plenty of activities for kids of all ages at the hotel. 

Meanwhile, If you want to go to Manuel Antonio town or Quepos from this hotel, it’s too far to walk and the roads are narrow. Taxis charge a ridiculous $10 to drive a short distance. So, if you’re without a rental car, it can be hard to get off the property. 

What I Like about this place

  • Service is amazing
  • Food is excellent and not much more expensive than in-town, given the hotel’s prices include the 13% tax and service, whereas most restaurants in town don’t.
  • The room and grounds are fantastic.
  • There are lots of things to do on-site, including the pools, mini golf, monkey trail, game room

What I don’t like about this place

  • The pools, while lovely, are way too hot. It’s not refreshing at all, and past about 11 a.m., there is absolutely no shade.
  • Not a party theme
  • It’s hard to get off the property without a car. 

4. Si Como No Resort & Wildlife Refuge

  • Budget: $350 – $400
  • Contact:  (506) 2777-0777

I have always heard that rooms at the famous Si Como No Resort & Wildlife Refuge look old, but our ocean-view room with a balcony was lovely.

The resort is a 5-10 minute drive from the park entrance. Parking there seems a bit iffy, so I suggest taking the hotel shuttle. 

Pro Tip: 

  • The shuttle to and from the park and beach was handy, and the frequency seemed reasonable. But make sure you get tickets in advance for the parks. 

Concerning food here, the menu could be more extensive, but the food was good, and the service was attentive.

Meanwhile, there are monkeys, parrots, macaws, toucans, and lots of birds, which is lovely. You might not see everything listed, but you may be lucky! 

Also, make time to visit the nearby Butterfly Sanctuary; it’s a pleasant surprise.

What I Like about this place

  • The views (A+),
  • Breakfast is included, which is good.
  • Butterfly conservatory included in hotel price (small/15/20 min walkthrough across the street from the hotel)
  • Distance is close to Manuel Antonio Park and Quepos Beach.

What I don’t like about this place

  • There are no TVs in the rooms, but it’s clearly stated on the hotel’s website.
  • Dining at both restaurants, especially the seafood one, is costly for what you get. 
  • For families with a budget, I recommend exploring restaurants walkable down the road for better and more affordable lunch/dinner options. 

5. La Posada Jungle Bungalows

  • Budget: $120 – $200
  • Contact:  011-506-2777-1446 

Before your trip, you might have considered staying at pricier places, but if you decide to stay at La Posada Jungle Bungalows, you’ll be able to use the extra money for another day of fun. 

It’s one of the most affordable places to stay in MA> 

Even while cheap, the rooms were clean and cool with air conditioning, and the beds were comfy. 

The location was perfect, with the park nearby and the beach just a short walk away. 

Outside the rooms, there’s a courtyard surrounded by a jungle where you could sit and have breakfast while watching monkeys, birds, lizards, and butterflies.

What I Like about this place

  • It is very close to Manuel Antonio Park. You’re literally next to it
  • Pet friendly
  • Friendly staff with helpful recommendations
  • Breakfast included. There’s not a lot of variety, but an excellent base before you head to the park.

What I don’t like about this place

  • Parking is a mess. The hotel technically has two spots, but they’re not easy to get in and out of and are usually blocked by tourists and your buses. I would not recommend driving.
  • Fragile walls so you can hear all of your neighbors
  • There is no backup generator for when the electricity (and AC!) goes out

6. La Mariposa Hotel

  • Budget: $250 – $350
  • Contact: 1-800-572-6440

La Mariposa Hotel offers stunning views, especially from the restaurant, but it’s quite a hike to get anywhere because it’s located on a steep hill. 

Since it’s high up in the jungle, it’s not easy to get to the beach. Transportation is provided only four times a day. The food here is pricey but tasty, although there aren’t many traditional Costa Rican dishes. The rooms vary in quality, with some nicer than others. 

The infinity pool has a beautiful view of the ocean and jungle. There is only one small elevator that goes up to the second floor. 

The hotel rooms have good views, but bugs can get in through the door cracks. The balconies are spacious, and the hotel offers many excursions that are easy to sign up for. However, the guided tour to the national park is not worth it; it’s hot and tiring, and you don’t see many animals. 

Surfing lessons offered by the hotel are great; they teach you how to surf and provide all the necessary gear. The sun is powerful here, so wear plenty of sunscreen and stay in the shade if you’re not used to it. 

What I Like about this place

  • You can’t beat the 360 view of the ocean and sunset. 
  • Some regular parrots and monkeys say hi at the pool area.
  • The service and food here are fantastic.
  • There are many local stores across the street from the entrance gate.
  • Free Parking

What I don’t like about this place

  • Many people say the beds here are too firm, and we hate to confirm, but it’s true. 
  • A mile-ish from the beach, but it’s all downhill, which means you have to walk back up

7. Hotel Verde Mar

  • Budget: $95 – $120
  • Contact: 011- 506- 2 – 777- 2122 or 011- 506- 2- 777- 1805.

If you’re looking for a simple, clean hotel in Manuel Antonio that won’t break the bank, the Hotel Verde Mar is the one for you! 

The location is excellent, the staff are friendly, and the pool and breakfast café are delightful. Just remember to bring your washcloth, soap, and shampoo! 

It’s a quick walk to the beach, making swimming easy. The building is well-kept, away from the hustle and bustle of Manuel Antonio tours, but still a short walk to restaurants, making it incredibly relaxing.

In general, I’d recommend this hotel if you’re okay with fewer amenities and are willing to update some areas. 

So that you know, there’s no TV here. Because of the beach and nearby rainforest, everything tends to be damp all the time. 

For some, the convenience of staying here with kids outweighs these issues, but it’s essential to manage your expectations before deciding if this is the right place for you.

What I Like about this place

  • Direct beach access 
  • Walkable to the National Park entrance
  • Small, reasonably-priced cafe on site for breakfast and lunch (closed on Monday for lunch)
  • Friendly staff

What I don’t like about this place

  • They only provided one room key, so it was a bit of a pain if you’re working with a traveling buddy.
  • There is no TV or phone in the room. 
  • There is no laundry service, but the hotel across the street will do it for a price (around $5 per kilo.)

Final Verdict

If you’re looking for a nice place to stay in Manuel Antonio, it won’t take too long for you to find one that matches your taste and budget. 

This is because there are many options.

For example, the Si No Como Resort is a solid one. The views are amazing, and the rooms are spacious, with little balconies. We liked that there’s also an adult-only pool and bar if the couples do not have kids. 

Parador Hotel is equally an excellent option. However, it is often fully booked because many tourists rush to this place like hot noodles. This speaks a lot about how good the place is. 

Overall, I recommend Shana. Although the beach was busy compared to other spots on the coast, I still had enough room to enjoy it. 

If you want an accommodation option that will give you lots of wildlife to see, good access to the beach and pool, cost-friendly, complimentary breakfast plus sumptuous meals, a great spa, and humble staff, the Shana is a solid choice. 

This is no promotion, but I’m glad to tell you it met all our review criteria. 

In the comment section, please let me know what you think of these places, which one suits you best, and why. 

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About 

Born in California, Michelle traveled extensively through the USA and Europe before moving to South Florida during the pandemic. Her career in Marketing has taken her all across the world. Her favorite country is France but she'll never turn down a beach vacation!

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