Seven-minute trek to Biesanz Beach (uphill on the way back)
Extremely limited Wi-Fi in rooms
Kids under 16 not allowed (a pro for some)
Pool is small
Over two miles to Manuel Antonio National Park
Issimo Suites Boutique Hotel and Spa is a small, upscale property that's a strong contender for most romantic in Manuel Antonio. All of the rooms are suites and include jetted tubs, ocean views, and minibars. Issimo Restaurant serves a free, luxe breakfast buffet and Italian favorites for lunch and dinner, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The pool is on the small side, but it's open 24 hours and there's an adjacent bar for sunset cocktails. Kids under the age of 16 aren't allowed. Families should check out neighboring Shana Hotel for a larger pool and family-friendly atmosphere.
Stunning Pacific Ocean views and romantic ambience
This is a smaller boutique hotel that caters exclusively to couples (kids under 16 aren't allowed) so the overall ambiance is sophisticated, quiet, and serene. There's a small reception desk near the entrance, that leads to a covered wooden deck that houses a plush sofa and then tablecloth topped tables at Issimo restaurant, which overlooks thick green jungle and the mighty Pacific Ocean. Guests access their suites up an elegant stone staircase near the reception desk, as there's no elevator here. Statues of frogs and decorative seashells add some local flavor. The owners are Italian, which is evident from the hotel's name and overall European-chic vibe.
Issimo Suites' location has its pros and cons. The setting is peaceful and idyllic, just a seven-minute walk to the entrance of Biesanz Beach on a paved road, then another five minutes through a jungle path to the sand. However, the walk back is almost completely uphill, making it difficult for guests with mobility issues. Manuel Antonio National Park and Beach are about a 10-minute drive or bus ride away. The hotel's nearest neighbors are Shana Hotel and La Mansion Inn. Though the paved road in front of the hotel dead ends at Parador Resort, there's a fair bit of car traffic from people visiting hotels and the beach. Walking should be done with care. Uncovered, free parking is available in front of the property.
Each of the 13 suites at this property is a little bit different in terms of decor and layout but all come standard with a king bed, air-conditioning, jetted tub surrounded by natural stone, minibar, flat-screen TV, and microwave. The Royal Suite is the nicest, and most expensive option, complete with a full European kitchen and private terrace with a small pool and hot tub. Laminate hardwood floors, white walls, and L-shaped sofas round out the rooms. Most have private or shared balconies, but some don't. However, views of the Pacific Ocean and prevalent through large windows. Wi-Fi ranges from spotty to non-existent.
Free breakfast buffet, small pool, spa, and Italian restaurant
This is a small, intimate property so the features are on the smaller side -- but crowding isn't a problem. Issimo Restaurant is a crowd pleaser, with almost uninterrupted views of the Pacific Ocean and jungle, along with tapas, ceviche, and a selection of wines for lunch and dinner. The free breakfast buffet is better than usual with an egg station. Guests can book couples massages, facials, or nail services in the small spa. A bar is set up in the late afternoon next to the sophisticated pool. Wi-Fi is free in the public areas, but difficult to access in the rooms.
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