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“A beach house find, terrific value, lovely garden, tiny but serves a purpose...cosy” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Magic Moon Beach House & Bungalow

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Magic Moon Beach House & Bungalow
100m south of Hotel Banana Azul, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca 2543, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Ireland
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“A beach house find, terrific value, lovely garden, tiny but serves a purpose...cosy”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 28, 2010

Self Catering not a hotel. Everywhere was booked up when we arrived, we wanted to stay in Banana Azul but they too were booked up, but they let us know about this place. We had no option but were thrilled with the find, very cheap and a perfect base. Beach is at end of the garden across dirt road, not too spectacular but very handy and not crowded- most time we were only ones there. Banana azul is two minutes away. Taxi or hire bikes to get around. We loved it, kept costs down by filling fridge and we could then splurge on VIP accomodation elsewhere in C.R i.e Peace Lodge.
House is very very small, but has porch so extended living area and cool as there is only a fan in the accomodation. Sea breeze is lovely we stayed in Sept 08 and weather great. Would definately recommend and was nicer than some hotels we stayed in...but that is another story!!

Only downside crime was a concern, nothing happened to us but conscious to ensure gate was always locked, and we kept everything in the safe. Best Taxi driver Sandro, if at all possible try to find him and let him know Ireland says hi!!!!!!

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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21 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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English first
Herradura, Costa Rica
Top Contributor
83 reviews 83 reviews
33 hotel reviews
Reviews in 45 cities Reviews in 45 cities
75 helpful votes 75 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 5, 2010

We loved Magic Moon house! Checked in at Banana Azul and were taken to the house by the caretaker, Susanna. We were shown the ins and outs of the place, then left to relax. The house had three bedrooms (2 up, 1 down), an awesome deck overlooking the gorgeous property, kitchen, 2 bathrooms......Beach across the street. Gate to keep out any uninvited people. The house has no AC, but the fans in the bedroom kept it cool, and the deck always had a welcoming breeze. Towels were plentiful in the bathrooms, and the maid who cleaned one time while we were there was great and super nice. I highly recommend staying here, SOOO much better than staying at a hotel.

  • Stayed May 2010
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bend, Oregon
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2010

The bungalow was beautiful! We stayed there for 5 days. It's not fancy, it's not five star, but that's not what we were after. Everything was a little rickety and old, but we didn't have any problems at all. We didn't really use the kitchen, we just stored beer, water, and snacks in the fridge. The bed was comfortable. We slept with the windows open and used the mosquito net. I was fairly afraid of bugs at night since the windows didn't have any screens, but we didn't have many problems. I did see one tick & one roach...but hey, you're in Costa Rica, so I didn't think that was too bad.
The grounds were absolutely beautiful! We spent a lot of time hanging out in the hammock. The beach is just feet away and Banana Azul is a very short walk. We ate many meals at Banana Azul and the food was fantastic! In fact, we didn't have a bad meal the whole time we were in Puerto Viejo.
The first morning that we woke up, there was the cutest little puppy at our doorstep! She belonged to the neighbors, but she came to see us almost everyday and I would have taken her home if I could have. We named her NuNu, and give her a scratch from us if you happen to see her there!
All in all, we would definitely recommend the bungalow for young, adventure loving couples like us. It's not fancy but if you just need a place to crash, then this is the place for you. I loved that it gave us more privacy than Banana Azul, yet we had the benefit of using all the amenities there. We love Magic Moon!

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jombang, Indonesia
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 9, 2009

I stayed at the Magic Moon Bungalow with my boyfriend for two nights because we could only stay at Banana Azul for four nights. Coming from Banana Azul makes going to MMB kind of a let down. While the front porch view and gardens were absolutely spectacular, inside was kind of dark and depressing. Because there are only wood shutters you have to open them up to get any light in the bedroom. In addition, our first night there we saw two large spiders on the wall of the bedroom (probably wolf spiders) and then we we got in bed we had to brush off many tiny spiders from the sheets. We tucked in the mosquito net and hoped for the best. I think that the place may have not had any guests for a week or two and I noticed that the bug repellant needed changing. The second night was not so bad. If these things had not been the case I'm sure we would have had a different experience (it is Costa Rica and the Carribean after all, there are going to be bugs if people aren't there to scare them off). I could see how, minus the spiders, this could be a special place as all of the comments in the guest book were very positive.

Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
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HUNTLEY
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2009

My group of 4 (two couples) spent 10 days at Magic Moon Beach House. Plenty of room for 4 people, 3 bedrooms and plenty of lounging space, not to mention the beauty of the beach right across the road. We had some problems with rain leakage (due to unseasonal rain deluge), but the caretakers, Susannah and Renee, were great at taking care of things. Plus we had our own cleaning person and gardener every other day we were there. The photos on the web site do not do the house justice. Brand new floor fans have been added since the previous review, though we seldom needed them. The ocean breezes cooled the house nicely.
There was the added benefit of having the staff at Banana Azul (just up the road) on hand to arrange tours, serve food, and just help with any problems. They could not have been nicer, even allowing us to park our rental car on their premises for security.
If you are looking for 4 star hotel accommodations, this is not for you. If you are looking for beauty, comfort, great people and great location, Magic Moon beach house will certainly please you.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2009

We stayed in the small bungalow with one bedroom. My daughter (10), my husband and I felt really at home here. The house was clean with everything we needed. The bathroom and kitchen were totally functional and the beds were comfortable. The living area on the front deck was amazing with a lovely view of the landscaped garden and the sound of the waves crashing beyond. The house was just around the corner from Banana Azul where we ate when we didn't cook our own meals. Puerto Viejo is a short 20 minute walk on the beach where there are restaurants, nightlife, shopping and grocery stores (whatever you want). We were picked up right at our front gate when we booked tours. We also used the public transit system which is inexpensive, clean and very efficient. Check out the Sloth Rescue Mission (easily accessible by bus or taxi).

  • Stayed December 2008, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2008

Formerly from NYC, my husband and I live in the Central Valley in Costa Rica. Another NYC'er was coming for a visit and my husband and I were looking for a beach vacation for for us all. We heard a lot about Puerto Viejo and thought we would give it a shot.

We were hoping to stay at Banana Azul but unfortunately it was booked and since they manage this property they suggested it to us.

Overall we had a wonderful experience, but there are some things you should know before staying here.

Pros:

1. Location, location, location - probably no more than 50 meters to the beach

2. Porch, porch, porch - other than sleeping or going to the beach or town, all of our time was spent on the spacious porch which came with a couch, some chairs, a hammack, and a pass through window to the kitchen . . . NICE!!!

3. Property - the grounds really make you feel like you are in Costa Rica. Lush fruit trees, and palm trees and plenty of room to roam around

4. The view. Sitting on the porch you can see and hear the ocean. Nothing beats that

5. Electric gate - very convenient especially when it is raining. . .you can drive right up and not have to get out and get soaked

6. Pet friendly - my dog Flaca loved it as much as we did

7. Outdoor shower - while it wasn't enclosed, I believe it was just intended to be a rinse off shower after the beach, I actually showered there a few times as the water temp was just right

8. Washer and dryer - that was great to bring clean clothes home, I just wish there were some directions on how to use the washer as it was all in

9. Maid service 3x during my 1 week stay

10. Wifi

11. I believe their website says there is cable TV (but when we arrived the TV was in the closet not plugged into anything and we never bothered to figure out where it should go so we never watched anything . . . but we never missed it as there were much better things to do)

12. Great support from the Management company (the staff at the Banana Azul hotel just down the road). They were very attentive to our requests. Also, anything you did at or through the hotel they charged to our "account" so we never needed money when we were there.

13. No need for a car. 20-25 minute walk to town along the beach or a 2,000 colones (approx. $4.00) cab ride to town.


Cons:

1. Water temperature in the shower - it was virtually impossible to keep the shower warm for the entire time. On the hope we have more hot water, we waited at least 20-25 minutes between showers for any chance to have any hot water and we found this out the hard way. So you need to start early for everyone to be ready on time

2. Sky lights in the upstairs bedrooms - while in theory this sounds great. . you can stare at the stars from bed, it is not so great when the sun shines in at the crack of dawn . . . literally!! I am a light sleeper and was awake every morning with the sun. I know CR is an early to bed early to rise kind of place, but that is just a bit too early for me. I wish there was a way to cover them at night. Although they are very helpful for during daylight hours as we never had to turn on any lights

3. The house needs better circulation/ceiling fans. There were small fans in each bedroom (one quite rusty looking with no protective covering) but that really wasn't enough to cool us off in the afternoons when we came back from our walk. What they really need in the bedrooms especially, as well as on the porch, are either ceiling fans or other fans mounted to the wall that circulate. The only way I could stay cool in my room was to have the fan blowing directly on me the entire night.

4. While the house comes with a large kitchen, I felt as though many of the utensils and some other items that were included were old and while not actually rusty, things that I would have thrown away in my own home. I live in CR so I was able to bring a few things with me like a blender to make smoothies, spices etc. . . but if you are coming from another country, I doubt you will be traveling with that. To be honest, had I known, I would have brought more with me. I have rented vacation homes before and the kitchens were stocked with spices, condiments, coffee, sugar, napkins, paper towels, aluminum foil, zip lock bags etc. . .this place had no amenities like that. Glasses, dishes, tupperwear and things like that were in abundance but you would still be missing a great many things to cook a full meal. In the end, we really never took advantage of the kitchen other than to make a few smoothies and a place to store my dog's food and the wine we brought with us (But the refrigerator did have an ice maker and water in the door which was quite a plus!!)

5. Since I live in CR I am very familiar with the creepy crawlers in the house but there were a lot of the tiny ants in the kitchen. Thankfully I don't have them where I live but they need to address them better.

6. Be sure to let them know if you are allergic to cats. For most of our stay there was a cat on the property, usually meowing for food. . . boy could that cat eat. There was cat food in the laundry room for it and one day there was none left so we gave it some of our dog food and it scarfed that up too. Just an FYI!!

7. While there is a safe for small items such as your passport, money, cameras and cell phones, there was no place to store larger items like laptops. We had three with us and we had to lug 20 lbs of computers back and forth to the Banana Azul every day where they graciously stored them for us.


In the end, none of these things were deal breakers and we REALLY enjoyed our stay (with the exception of being a bit too hot on occasion) and I would recommend Magic Moon to anyone. I just think it is worth knowing a few things before staying there.

We were only 3 people, and we rented it because there was a separate bedroom and bathroom downstairs so everyone had some privacy, but it can comfortably sleep 6. King bed in the master bedroom, two twin beds in the other upstairs bedroom and the downstairs bedroom can be configured with either bunk beds or a full size futon.

If you are looking for the ultimate in luxury, then this isn't it (although my husband would disagree . . . but then again, he thinks camping is luxury ;-)) but for a lovely beach vacation in the a great area (Playa Negra, just 1.5 km from the center of Puerto Viejo) close to a number of amazing restaurants (Loco Natural, Chili Rojo, Peace & Love to name a few) in a spacious house basically right on the beach, then this is a great deal.

Since I only live about 5 hours away by car, my husband and I will definitely be back. Probably not at Magic Moon's large beach house, as it is too large for just the two of us, but we might be next door at their smaller bungalow.

In the end, Puerto Viejo in general is not for everyone, as I don't think any accomodations anywhere would be considered the ultimate in luxury, but it is a very laid back town, with very nice people and some amazing food. PURA VIDA!!

  • Liked — Location to the beach
  • Disliked — No AC or ceiling fans; not the best circulation
  • Stayed August 2008
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Magic Moon Beach House & Bungalow

Address: 100m south of Hotel Banana Azul, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca 2543, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Limon > Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #22 of 66 Specialty lodging in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A magical and peaceful place on the Caribbean Sea of Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica. The Magic Moon Beach House is set in a spacious tropical garden just steps from the quiet beach.For those who don't like to compromise on their vacation, this big beach house has two stories. Upstairs, it comes with a master bedroom with a king size bed and 1 other bedroom with a queen size bed. The bathroom is located between the two bed rooms. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Magic Moon Beach House & Bungalow Costa Rica/Limon

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