If Manuel Antonio National Park is on your list to see in Costa Rica, you’ll want to stay in Quepos or Manuel Antonio Finca to access the park. There are plenty of hostels and hotels to cater to every budget, but we found that the proximity to the park made Hotel San Bada stand out above the rest. You literally can’t get any closer as the hotel property sits right at the edge of Manuel Antonio, one of the most visited parks in Costa Rica and one of the most biodiverse parks on the planet!
Hotel San Bada
Price: From $148/night
Rooms: The rooms were comfortable and spacious, with air conditioning, coffee, a wardrobe and a safe. A small balcony allowed us to sit and listen to the howler monkeys in the mornings. The balconies do face a housing complex, but the thick vegetation outside kept it from being an eyesore. The bathrooms were a little outdated and you could definitely tell they had seen numerous repairs and remodels over the years as there were about seven different styles of tile used!
Hotel Property: Again, the layers of remodel are evident in very different architectural and decorative styles throughout the hotel. The main building is my favorite because the arches of the hallways, the bright yellow color and the three domes at the top are reminiscent of old Indian forts. The family pool area is what you see as soon as you exit the lobby building, and it’s very impressive with a footbridge, waterfalls, a swim up bar and a hot tub in the corner. Another adults-only pool is on the roof of the main building with another bar area and a gorgeous view no matter which direction you look (beach one way and national park the other)!
There is a spa on site, as well as a gym. The restaurant is open for every meal, and complimentary breakfast is served in the back room of the restaurant. If we stayed there again, we would probably skip the breakfast for another restaurant we found which was easily our favorite in all of Costa Rica, El Patio de Cafe Milagro.
Location: You literally cannot stay any closer to Manuel Antonio National Park! The property sits on the edge of the park, so walking out the front gates of the hotel puts you right at the entrance gates to the park. Although we had a rental car, we still found this to be very convenient because the little parking available in the area was very overpriced.
A very short walk the other direction will get you to the public beach, where there are a few shops and restaurants. Be sure to check out a beach towel from the front desk to take with you!
In Conclusion: Hotel San Bada is a great destination for families and couples with its fun pool areas, spa and restaurant. It has all the amenities you would expect of a chain with the intimate quirks of a family run hotel. While definitely not a budget hotel, its proximity to the national park and the beach is what puts it at the top of our list for a home base in Manuel Antonio!
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