Review: El Mangroove, Autograph Collection


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Panama beach in Costa Rica’s northwest corner is home to the trendy El Mangroove, an Autograph Collection Hotel. El Mangroove sits on 17 acres of lush, tropical grounds and takes its name from its location in the dense mangrove forest on the chocolate sand shores of Playa Panama.

Wherever you decide to stay, book via our luxury travel concierge. We offer free upgrades, free breakfasts, and free perks at hotels, including Four Seasons, Aman, Belmond, Hyatt, Ritz-Carlton, Marriott, InterContinental, and more. You also get your usual Marriott Bonvoy, Hyatt, Hilton, and other loyalty points and status benefits when you book with our concierge.


Situated between the Papagayo Peninsula (where you will find the Hyatt Andaz and the Four Seasons) and the bustling Playa del Coco, Playa Panama offers tranquil waters ideal for swimming, snorkeling, and paddleboarding. Golfers are well served by the nearby Arnold Palmer signature golf course, and scuba divers should try the shark-friendly Bat Islands.

Style & Character

This eco-sensitive property promises “20 minutes from touchdown to sand” as it is the closest resort to Liberia International Airport. This means that you can be lazing in the Presidential Suite in under half an hour and enjoying its plunge pool and direct beach access.


This luxury beach boutique hotel has 85 sleek suites which offer a boho-chic vibe. These modern, comfy rooms feature open-air living rooms with quirky local art. They bring the outside in with their outdoor lanai, which offers the perfect place to relax on comfy chairs and hammocks.

Service & Facilities

The sprawling pool and chocolate sand beach area are stylish and flanked by an array of poolside lounges. The poolside cabanas are equipped with flat-screen TVs, fully-stocked minibars, and an exclusive concierge who will serve you whatever you want. For something a bit different, the outdoor center at the beach will rent you light-up paddleboards for sunset journeys.

This hotel is great all year round. December to April is the dry season where you are virtually guaranteed no rain, but the landscape can get a little parched. May to November is a mix of sunshine and showers making the countryside a lurid green, but you do risk occasionally getting drenched before the sun comes out!

Food & Drink

Feast on the sensational gastronomy of the elegant Makako and casual Matiss restaurants, which are overseen by world-class Executive Chef Sebastian La Rocca, who is the former head chef at Barbecoa, Jamie Oliver’s Michelin-starred restaurant in London. During the day, try the light bites offered by the Matiss restaurant in an oceanfront sandbox setting. As the evening approaches, this open-air lounge offers stylish dining and cocktails to beating tunes. Recommended dishes include the Worcester glazed short rib with apple-jalapeño puree and rosemary breadcrumbs and the chocolate cheesecake for dessert.

Start the night by chilling at the bar, enjoy the scene, and watch how the sun fades. With a live DJ and a mixologist who will mix you killer cocktails, the nights at El Mangroove will soothe your soul! Watch out for the beach night barefoot events, full moon parties, and cocktail star-watching.


Relaxing at this beach-side hang-out is easy. An onsite spa will relax you before you hit the gourmet restaurants and enjoy the thumping tunes from the live DJ. The house music, sun-soaking, moon-gazing, and decadent lifestyle make El Mangrove feel like South Beach in Costa Rica – it is THE place to see and be seen.

El Mangroove features in our best luxury resorts in Papagayo.

Note: Benefits offered correct at the time of writing but may be amended at discretion of the vendor. Posts may be sponsored by the proprietor or brand being appraised. All opinions remain our own & are in no way influenced.