Need to know
Noon, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 3pm.
Double rooms from $129.50, excluding tax at 13 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional resort fee of $20.00 per room per night prior to arrival.
Rates usually include breakfast, but not the US$20 resort fee, which covers WiFi, parking and things like bicycle hire.
Watersports junkies can get a serious hit at El Mangroove – as well as two boats, the hotel can provide snorkelling equipment, paddleboards, kayaks and waveboards.
At the hotel
Spa, steam room and hammam, public beach, WiFi throughout, 24-hour gym, kids club, bicycles and watersports equipment to borrow. In rooms: TV, iPod dock, minibar, and tea- and coffee-making facilities. Most suites have hammocks and some have a kitchen or private plunge pool.
Our favourite rooms
If your budget is of the blow-out variety, go for El Mangle, for its direct beach access, private plunge pool, Pacific panoramas and the services of your own chef. Otherwise, ease into the Central American pace of life by ensuring your room has a hammock; you’ll be grateful for it come siesta time.
There’s a lengthy family-friendly pool with sunloungers and parasols, or guests can make the most of the poolside butler service and have drinks delivered to their private cabana. Kids (and big kids) are kept entertained by the foam noodles, frisbees and beach balls on loan.
The open-air spa cabanas mean you can have massages out amid the mangroves; there’s also a steam room, outdoor relaxation areas with Jacuzzis and fitness classes on offer.
Calling all twitchers: Costa Rica is basically one big birding ground, and Guanacaste Province alone is home to hundreds of species – so bring your binoculars.
All of the communal areas are suitable for wheelchair users, and four bedrooms have been specially adapted.
All ages welcome. Extra beds and cots can be added, and some rooms can interconnect. Babysitting is available from US$30 an hour, with two days’ notice.
Babies and up.
Certain rooms can be made to interconnect.
There’s a kids club – packed with toys, books and Play-Doh – for children aged four and older; the hours are 8.30am to 12 noon, and 1.30pm to 4.30pm.
There are plenty of opportunities to burn up energy before bedtime: little Smiths will love learning how to snorkel, kayak and paddleboard.
There is no lifeguard on duty at the pool. Foam noodles, frisbees and beach balls are on hand to be borrowed.
The restaurants have dedicated menus for children, and staff will be happy to set up highchairs, and heat milk and meals.
Available with two days’ notice. There’s a three-hour minimum and it costs US$30 an hour for one child and $35 an hour for two.
No need to pack
Baby bedlinen, black-out blinds, soft toys, games, toys, crayons, paints, paper, DVDs, armbands, books and play mats. There are even iPads on loan.
All bathrooms in communal areas have baby-changing facilities.
The hotel sources 95 per cent of its produce from local fishermen and farmers, and is big on recycling and tree-planting. Local materials were used in the construction. El Mangroove hosts summer English camps for the area’s schoolchildren.