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arenal manoa patio 
 - Costa Rica

Arenal Manoa

Arenal Manoa

Destination: Arenal

At a Glance

    • Spacious and cozy bungalows
    • Pool plus wet bar with a nightly happy hour? I'm there

A half mile down a dirt road, tucked away in the Arenal countryside you'll encounter the sprawling resort village known as Hotel Arenal Manoa. So large, it has 80 secluded bungalows, 2 pools, a restaurant, a spa and its own dairy farm. So large that after checking in and receiving your complimentary fruit punch cocktail, the front desk will call for transport to guide you on a brief tour en route to your bungalow.

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Rooms

Manoa must have designed its bungalows with the idea that one size fits all because there is only one type despite the 80 bungalows. It's hard to complain though, when the rooms are spacious, the beds are comfortable and every room manages to have an impeccable view of the volcano from the back patio. Inside the bungalows, the rooms are furnished with dark wood bed frames that match the desk and dresser. Pictures of heliconia hang above the beds while a real fern grows in the built-in planter inside oversized bathroom. In addition, the rooms have WiFi, lock boxes, and flat screen TVs with cable. Doubles are $170.

Restaurant

The breakfast and dinner buffets are filling, but not something you'd want to put on Instagram. The Lunch menu however, had a little more culinary flare cooking up a chicken Florentine on a bed of mashed potatoes and grilled vegetables that was both artistic and tasty.

Amenities & Services

The pool found in back near the restaurant is magnificent. It's actually more like three connected pools and a Jacuzzi surrounding a wet bar – where they have a nightly happy hour with 2 for 1 drinks. On the other side of the hotel, near reception, you'll find a second bar and the thermal pool. Pumped from a nearby well, the mineral waters in the pool range between 90 to 97 degrees. Aesthetically, it leaves much to be desired; the faux landscaped waterfall is freckled with mineral deposits.

A little pampering is easy to find at Manoa. The Spa provides a variety of services from aromatherapy, to reflexology, to a traditional Swedish massage. Prices range between $45 and $85 for individual treatments while packages range between $100 and $230. 

Tours of the farm are available daily at 2 p.m., but make sure to book the tour in advance. The tour takes guests along Palmitos trail leading through the farm's ornamental flower fields and into the ranch where Manoa's farmers keeps the sheep, pigs, chicken, and cows. Along the way guests will learn about the history of the farm and the cow milking process.

Arenal Manoa in Pictures