Manuel Antonio is known for its amazing ocean views and plentiful wildlife. Depending on where you stay, you can wake up to monkeys calling outside your room or see sunset from your terrace. In this post, we’ll give you some insight into choosing hotels in Manuel Antonio. We’ll give background on how the town is set up as well as specific hotel recommendations for all budgets.
In our more than seven years living on the central Pacific coast, we have had the opportunity to stay at, tour, or get direct feedback from our clients about all the hotels on this list. We hope it helps you narrow down the choices.
Town Set Up
Manuel Antonio is a medium-sized tourist town located next to the small city of Quepos. Some people talk about Manuel Antonio and Quepos interchangeably, but they are two separate areas.
Quepos is where many locals live. It has a bustling downtown with grocery stores, lots of shops, local restaurants, and a bus station. Quepos can be loud and isn’t very scenic so most hotels and vacation rentals are located in Manuel Antonio.
To get to Manuel Antonio, you have to pass through Quepos. From downtown Quepos, you’ll go up a steep rainforest-covered hill. Everything in Manuel Antonio is clustered along this one main road.
The paved road running through town is only about 6 km (3.7 miles). The beginning (as you’re going up the hill) has some hotels and a few restaurants. More businesses are found towards the top of the hill where it is fairly flat. This area also has some of the best ocean views.
As you go down the other side of the hill, there are a few more options for accommodations.
The road eventually flattens out near the main beach. This area tends to be busy, with beachgoers and people going to the national park. It has a handful of restaurants, a couple of small grocery stores, and souvenir stands.
Soon after that, the road dead-ends near Manuel Antonio National Park. Most of the accommodations in this area near the park and beach are budget options. This area can be nice to stay in, since it is relatively easy to get around on foot.
Hotels in Manuel Antonio
Below we give our recommendations for hotels in Manuel Antonio. They are listed from high end to budget.
Note that Manuel Antonio is one of the more expensive destinations in Costa Rica.
Arenas del Mar Beachfront & Rainforest Resort
Arenas del Mar is a luxury boutique hotel with around 40 rooms. This is one of the few hotels in Manuel Antonio right on the beach. Set on a quiet side road, about a five-minute drive to the main area of town, the property is surrounded by rainforest. Accommodations range from nicely equipped rooms to ocean-view suites with an outdoor hot tub. Arenas del Mar is known for its excellent service. $400-1,200/night. Check Rates and Availability Here.
Gaia Hotel and Nature Resort
This is another very nice boutique hotel in Manuel Antonio. It has its own private nature reserve so feels immersed in the jungle. The Gaia is located towards the beginning of the road in Manuel Antonio. This makes it a little farther from the beach and national park, but also more private. The Gaia is adults-only but allows kids 13 and older. Rooms and larger villas range from $225-1,300/night. Check Rates and Availability Here.
Si Como No Resort & Wildlife Refuge
Si Como No is a popular resort in a good location near the top of the hill on the main road. Several restaurants and stores are within walking distance, and it’s only about a five-minute drive to the beach and national park. Si Como No has beautiful, lush grounds that attract a lot of wildlife. Many of the rooms have a wonderful ocean view. A highlight is the pool with swim-up bar and fun waterslide for the kids. The resort has a small nature reserve and butterfly garden across the street. 45 rooms in total, ranging from standards with jungle views to ocean-views suite. Our family stayed here recently and enjoyed it. $300-500/night. Check Rates and Availability Here.
Los Altos Resort
This is a large resort at the top of the hill, right off the main road, so in a good location for accessing restaurants and amenities. Los Altos offers spacious, fully-equipped, condo-style units. The facility is very nice and has an infinity pool and restaurant. Most rooms have an ocean view. The beach is a short drive away. $375-1,000/night. Check Rates and Availability Here.
Parador Resort and Spa
Parador Resort and Spa is a popular resort set in a secluded location. It’s on a hillside point overlooking the ocean at the end of a quiet side road. The property is set in lush rainforest and has some easy-to-walk trails onsite, but wildlife is plentiful all around. This is a larger hotel for the area, with around 120 rooms, and multiple pools and restaurants. Although the Parador is farther from the main beach, it is within walking distance to a calm cove (Playa Biesanz). The Parador is a good option for families. $200-700/night. Check Rates and Availability Here.
Shana By the Beach Residence and Spa
Shana By the Beach is in a similar location to Parador Resort. This hotel has a larger feel. It is set back from the beach, but only a short walk to Playa Biesanz. Rooms are larger and have modern finishes. The hotel has a nice pool area and good on-site restaurant. $200-800/night. Check Rates and Availability Here.
Buena Vista Beach Villas
Buena Vista Beach Villas is a newer oceanfront hotel. It has a unique location right on the main beach in town. Here, you can walk to the sand from your doorstep or hear the waves from your terrace. There are only a handful of villas, so it has an intimate feel. A fun beachside restaurant and tiki bar fronts the hotel. $100-300/night. Check Rates and Availability Here.
Costa Verde is an excellent mid-range option in Manuel Antonio. The property is spread out, with a mix of rooms and bungalows set in thick rainforest. It sits high on a bluff so some rooms have sweeping ocean views and great sunsets. The hotel has a rustic feel, with a Costa Rican touch. For those looking for a unique stay, Costa Verde has a couple of rooms built out of old airplanes! A lot of wildlife can be seen in the thick jungle around the property, especially monkeys. $100-400/night. Check Rates and Availability Here.
Hotel La Mariposa
Hotel La Mariposa is a 62-room hotel in a great location. From high on the hill in Manuel Antonio, you can enjoy panoramic ocean views. Rooms are simple, but comfortable. La Mariposa has an infinity pool, pool bar, and restaurant on-site. $150-350/night. Check Rates and Availability Here.
Hotel Plaza Yara
Hotel Plaza Yara is a popular mid-range option. It is located on the inland side, towards the beginning of the main road in town. Rooms are clean and spacious, with a jungle view. The property has a couple of small pools and a jacuzzi underneath the palm trees. Hotel Plaza Yara is an excellent value for the area at $120-200/night. Check Rates and Availability Here.
La Posada Jungle Bungalows
La Posada has simple rooms and a couple of freestanding houses. It is located right next to the national park entrance, down by the beach. Since this area is at sea level and set back, it doesn’t have views, but it is one of the few hotels within walking distance to the beach and amenities. Because it is near the national park and backed by thick forest, you also can see a lot of wildlife. $80-185/night. Check Rates and Availability Here.
El Faro Beach Hotel
This is an ultra-modern hotel set high on a hill near the national park entrance. Since the rooms are made from shipping containers, they have a unique shape. Rooms are basic but comfortable. Since it’s so high up, the property has nice ocean views. $90-200/night. Check Rates and Availability Here.
Millennium Manuel Antonio
Millennium Manuel Antonio is also very close to the gate for the national park so walking distance to some restaurants, grocery stores, and the beach. The property is inviting, with welcoming hosts. Has a small, but nice, pool area. $100-165/night. Check Rates and Availability Here.
Hotel Villa Prats
Hotel Villa Prats offers super simple private rooms on the walking path between the main beach and national park entrance. The rooms are basic, but clean, have A/C, and are very affordable. We stayed there years ago when we were backpacking and enjoyed it. $65-105/night. Check Rates and Availability Here.
Hotel Manuel Antonio
Hotel Manuel Antonio is traditional-style small hotel in an excellent location. It is at the end of the road in town, right across the street from the beach. The rooms are clean and simple, with a close ocean view. $70-120. Check Rates and Availability Here.
For a hostel, there’s Plinio. Hostel Plinio has been around for years. It draws visitors from all over the world with its laid-back vibe and open, jungle feel. Has a pool and sometimes live music. Bed in a shared dorm, $12/night. Private rooms, $25-75/night. Check Rates and Availability Here.
Have a question about hotels in Manuel Antonio? Ask us below.
Looking for more information to plan your trip to Costa Rica? Check out these posts:
7 Off-the-Beaten Things to Do Near Manuel Antonio: Discover a far-off chocolate tour, lesser-known nature reserves, and other fun things to do in the area.
Vacation Rentals in Costa Rica: Safety and What to Look for – If you’re thinking about staying in an Airbnb, read this post for some insider tips.
La Fortuna Hotel Guide: If you’re planning a stop in La Fortuna/Arenal, check out our hotel guide for accommodation options in that area.
I’d like to recommend the Selina hotels for budget travellers and backpackers. There’s a few of them around Costa Rica and they do a great monthly option called colive where you can stay at 3 different Selina hotels each month for a set price, depending on the type of room (shared dorm, micro, standard or suite). I had a standard room with private bathroom for $1080 a month. The micro (no private bathroom) is around $650, then dorms are less than $400!
Hi Claire, Glad you had a good experience at Selina. A lot of people like them. Unfortunately, we’ve heard some not so great things (to be broad, having to do with social responsibility) about some of their other locations around the country so that’s why they’re not on this list. Not something that most travelers would be aware of. But, yes, a lot of people like staying with them since they’re affordable and offer a lot of things to do. Thanks for commenting!
Hello, I read your reviews of hotels and resorts in the Manueal Antonio area. You definitely missed the best one!!!!! Tulemar Resort. With 33 acres, a semi-private beach, Sloth institute and many other amenities hosted by wonderful concierges, you missed the premier location. Makes me wonder if your reviews are driven by kick-backs from businesses you list. I did use your sight to make selections in the La Fortuna area. Kevin
Hi Kevin, Yes, Tulemar is really nice. But it is a little more like vacation rentals since many of the units are privately owned. This is a hotel guide so that is why we did not include it. We did include Buena Vista Beach Villas, though, which is another hotel that Tulemar owns.
Our list is based on our years of dealing with hotels in Manuel Antonio. The travel agency side of our business often sends people to Manuel Antonio so we get direct feedback from our clients. We have also stayed at several of the hotels ourselves and got to experience the properties and customer service.
It’s true that we do make a small commission if someone reserves a stay through one of the links in this post (at no extra cost to them), but right now, that’s all through booking.com . This helps us keep working on our website and providing free content to people. Basically all hotels in Manuel Antonio are on there anyway, so we just recommend whichever ones we think are the best options.
As we said before, these are the hotels we usually send clients too. We also get some backstory about different hotels just by living here. Hope that gives you a better idea of where our recommendations come from.
You didn’t mention hôtel San Bada. It’s a great location right next to the park, beautiful pool with swim up bar, 5 min walk to beach. Includes breakfast in rates. Beautiful property and decent pricing
Jenn and Matt, went to Manuel Antonio just today on vacation. There’s a large Number of imposters posing as park rangers before you actually get to the park. They pressure you and require you to pay money to enter or to use their service as guides into the park. It’s very convincing and I saw quite a few people being lured into it. We almost did ourselves. It’s something that the local Police should address, and visitors need to know about.
Hi Matt, Sorry, we missed this comment from a long time ago. Yes, the people who stand in the middle of the road to try to get you to park in their lot or use their guide services are a problem. This has been a problem for a while now. We aren’t sure why the local police or municipality don’t shut them down. We do warn people about this in our post on Manuel Antonio National Park (https://www.twoweeksincostarica.com/manuel-antonio-national-park/).
What about Jungle Beach and their houses in Manuel Antonio?
Hi Shaun, We have not checked out Jungle Beach in several years, but last we knew, it wasn’t the nicest option. There are better choices in that price range. Unless something has changed..
I am looking for a mid range condo, apartment or hotel with a kitchen for my husband, myself and our 14 year old son. We would like a pool and would like to be within close walking distance to a grocery store and a few restaurants. Ideally around the cafe milgaro area on the hill?? Any suggestions would be much appreciated. Thank you!
Hi Andrea, Yes, near Cafe Milagro would be good or near the soccer field a little before that. There’s a small neighborhood behind the soccer field with some vacation rentals. This is also a good spot since it’s near Super Josef grocery store and a handful of restaurants. Hope that helps!
Hi – loving this site as we start planning a trip for Jan 2023. Someone mentioned looking to stay at The Falls at Manuel Antonio to us, any insight, thoughts or views on it?
Hi Josh, We have never stayed there ourselves but have heard good things about the Falls. Some travel agencies send clients there. It’s in a good location near the top of the hill in town.
Thanks so much for your incredibly useful website. Have you heard anything about Verde Mar? Location seems pretty good.
Hi Jennifer, Verde Mar doesn’t have the best reputation. It’s in a great location right on the beach but we have heard a lot of complaints about the quality of rooms and the staff.
Hi Jenn and Matt
I am booking a two week trip to Costa Rica in January of 2023 with my husband and 8 year old. Your website has been very informative and is much appreciated. We would like a combination of beach and rainforest. My plan thus far is to spend time in Manuel Antonio and the La Fortuna areas. Do you recommend staying at one before the other? I am also debating on a hotel vs. airbnb mostly because of having access to a washing machine at an airbnb. Are there locations in Costa Rica to do laundry if we were to stay in hotels.
Hi Jill, Glad our site has been helpful!
We usually recommend doing La Fortuna first then ending at the beach. But it doesn’t really matter in terms of travel time.
Hotels usually offer laundry service. Most hotels charge a reasonable fee, but some of the high-end ones can be quite expensive. Agreed, Airbnbs are nice in this regard. We often stay in them too because of laundry.
Hope that helps and your family has a great trip!
My husband and I (we are both seniors, fairly fit but somewhat lazy) are planning our first trip to Costa Rica for January or February 2023. Your website and book have been very helpful at this point. But I’m not sure if an itinerary I’ve come up with is too ambitious. We have at least two weeks. It would be San Jose airport to Alajuela or Grecia, then Arenal/La Fortuna, then south to Manuel Antonio and further to Ballena. And back to San Jose. We will rent a car. Is this doable? We like wildlife, beaches, comfort, and low key areas. I’d appreciate any feedback.
Hi Katherine, That itinerary is definitely possible with two weeks. The drives between those destinations are reasonable and you will have at least 4 nights in the major destinations so you shouldn’t feel too rushed. It is about a 4 hour drive back to San Jose from the Uvita/Dominical area so just keep that in mind for if you will need another airport stay at the end.
Hi Leslie, Manuel Antonio and Puerto Viejo are both nice for a first-time visit and good spots for fishing and hiking. The snorkeling in the Puerto Viejo area is usually pretty good too, as long as the ocean currents are okay when you’re there. Snorkeling isn’t great in Manuel Antonio, but you could always do a day trip south to Uvita and take a snorkel tour at Cano Island. One thing to keep in mind is that MA and Puerto Viejo are several hours from each other so you will probably want to plan an overnight somewhere in between. Around San Jose is a good central option. Hope you have a great anniversary trip!