by Courtney Elko
Located next to Manual Antonio National Park (it’s the closest hotel to the park) and in the small beach town of Quepos, Hotel San Bada is everything you want your Costa Rican hotel to be. It has an open-air feel, and wildlife can always be spotted.
There is a large family pool visible as soon as you enter the property, and kids will love the waterslide and waterfall splash pad. Keep an eye out for roaming lizards, birds or monkeys that may be passing through as well. Parents will love the adults-only pool and bar area on the sixth floor, and the hotel offers a family adventure tour that includes riding an ATV, horseback riding and swimming in a waterfall. With Manual Antonio National Park only steps away, kids will love searching the jungle for slothes, monkeys, birds and other wildlife as they walk the long trail to the private park beach with calm waters and soft sand. A public beach is also only a short distance away from the hotel and offers more surfing opportunities, as the waters are more rough there.
The guestrooms feature wood dÃ©cor, air conditioning and balconies overlooking the jungle or Pacific Ocean. The open-air restaurant offers breakfast, lunch and dinner and no one will be disappointed at meals.
Our Editor Loves
- Waterslide at the family pool
- Next to Manual Antonio National Park
- Walk to the beach
- Horse Back Riding
- Water Sports
- Free Breakfast
- Free Wi-Fi
- Kids' Pool
- Onsite Dining
Find the Best Price for Your Stay
All of the guestrooms feature air conditioning, a balcony, mini-fridge and free Wi-Fi. Because of your promxitity to the rainforest, the area is humid and wet clothes can have difficulty drying in the guestrooms, even with the air conditioning on.
Two queen beds are featured in these guestrooms, along with a mini-fridge and a balcony with garden or jungle views. Rocking chairs can be found on the balcony, too. Electronic outlets (American standard) are also easily accessible next to the beds. The large bathrooms feature a stand-up rain shower. No bathtub.
Pacific Ocean views are featured in the deluxe guestrooms, which have two queens or one king bed. The large bathroom features a rain shower and a Jacuzzi tub.
Partial Pacific Ocean and jungle views are featured in these guestrooms with two double beds or a king bed. Bathtubs are available in some of these guestrooms.
The suites, which are most suitable for couples (great for grandparents traveling with the family), feature a king bed, large sofa and Jacuzzi tub.
This hotel is right at the Manuel Antonio national park boundary. It's literally the last private place on the right before the entrance gate. (If driving in and touts stop you to offer parking for the national park, just say you are going to San Bada and they will leave you alone.) So it's location is excellent.
In fact, when we got into our room we saw a sloth in clear view hanging from a tree right outside our balcony! Also the next day, at 5 am we were woken up by the yells of Howler monkeys in the same trees. When we couldn't sleep after that and sat on our balcony they came quite close up to check us out! We also saw Capuchin monkeys at the hotel. If you want to be close to wildlife, this is it! But be careful what you wish for...
The swimming pool was nice, and the reception staff was excellent. They arranged for a park guide to come pick us up right in the hotel lobby. Also when our rental car suddenly had a flat tire they called the rental agency for us so someone would come by and fix the tire while we had some fun time at the beach. That beach is only a 5-6 minute walk from the hotel.
The hotel room was OK. It was clean and roomy, and the bathroom was also big enough for a family of 4. The beds could have been slightly bigger though, they were just a bit smaller than queen size. Also the air-conditioning unit smelled very moldy and could have used a cleaning. Luckily the smell got better after a while.
Breakfast was excellent and sumptuous, with eggs, omelets made to order, pancakes, bread and Costa Rican staples.
All in all we had a great stay, and can recommend this hotel.
by Randy B
If your goal is to visit the exceptional national park in Manuel Antonio this is the hotel for you. It is literally at the main entrance to the park and you can buy park admission tickets in the lobby. The hotel also gives you direct access to beach. On the grounds are two pools, one for adults only. Also, two excellent restaurants plus casual eating in the top floor bar. Access to the rest of Manuel Antonio and Quepos is easy, either by car, bus or taxi. Tours will pick you up at the front door of the hotel, so taking advantage of all the attractions the region has to offer only takes a short walk to the hotel lobby.
The main outdoor pool located on the ground level features a waterslide and bridge that kids will love. Lounge chairs and tables with umbrellas surround the pool area, which you'll see as soon as you enter the hotel. A splash pad waterfall is also great fun for the kids. An adults-only, outdoor pool is available on the sixth floor.
A public beach with ocean waves and white sands is located a short walk away from the hotel. There is hotel access to the beach trail which runs behind a few buildings before you have to cross a street to reach the sand. Food and beach vendors can also be found on the public beach if you wanted to rent an umbrella or purchase a snack.
Manuel Antonio National Park
The national park enterance is literally next door to the hotel and allows for exceptional access. The hotel and park entrance are feet away from each other. Families can take a guided tour inside the park, or walk through the rainforest yourself while keeping an eye out for monkeys, sloth, deer, crab, birds, raccoons and so much more. The trail to the private beach area can be rocky at times and there is a wooded plank portion to the trail as well.
It is a bit of a walk to the beach, maybe 15 or 20 minutes. Or it could take an hour or two depending how many times you stop along the way to see the wildlife. The private beach, which closes at 4 p.m., features white sands and calm waters that are perfect for families. There are picnic tables shaded by trees and restrooms and changing rooms are nearby. Be mindful of leaving your bags unattended on the beach, as curious monkeys are known to steal bags and take them high into the trees looking for food. They throw anything that's not food.
This 1.5-hour horseback riding and waterfalls tour is fully operated by the hotel. An experienced guide will take families through the jungle on an ATV through small villages and back country. Hop on a horse or continue on with the ATV and visit four waterfalls where you can swim. Enjoy a traditional Costa Rican lunch before heading back to the hotel. The Mulguri Adventure is an additional cost of $100 for adults and $50 for children under 11 years old. Other tours like zip-lining, snorkeling, jet skiing, fishing, surfing, rafting and tours of Manual Antonio Park can also be set up by the hotel.
This open-air restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. The buffet breakfast of fruit, eggs, pancakes, breads and other items is included in your room rate. Families will love the local food options like rice and beans and seafood on the lunch and dinner menus, as well.
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
Complimentary Wi-Fi is available to guests.
Complimentary parking is available to guests in an open lot.
A large percentage of the staff speak English at Hotel San Bada.
A small fitness center is located on the second floor. Guests will find cardio and weight machines.
The Art of Smart Timing
Tourist season is in December. Rainy or green season for Quepos, where Hotel San Bada is located, runs from about April to mid-November. Dry season runs from December to March.
San Jose International Airport is about two and half hours away from Hotel San Bada and Daniel Oduber International Airport in the Guanacaste region is about four hours away from the hotel. A car is needed to reach the hotel from either of the international airports, however, the hotel will provide transportation to and from the airport for a fee.
Once you've arrived, families can easily walk to town, the beach, restaurants and shops in the small town of Quepos. But if you plan to venture further outside of town or would like to see other parts of Costa Rica, a rental car is needed. Taxis are also easily accessible.
For Mom and Dad
The sixth floor offers a beautiful outdoor, adults-only pool overlooking Manual Antontio National Park.
Perezoso Snack Bar
Located on the adults-only sixth floor, light snacks and cocktails are offered at this open-air bar located next to the adults-only pool. Parents can enjoy a cocktail while overlooking the breathtaking views of Manual Antonio National Park directly below.
Sana Spa features a sauna and steam room, couple's massage room and a manicure and pedicure room.