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“A Great Place For Couples” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Moana

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Hotel Moana
Mal Pais, Mal Pais 0000, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #4 of 10 hotels in Mal Pais
Cincinnati, Ohio
Top Contributor
70 reviews 70 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“A Great Place For Couples”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2013

We just got back from our trip in Costa Rica and had to tell all about the Moana Lodge.
Mal Pais is a very dusty place this time of year. If you eat outside in town you will have to contend with a cloud of dust with your food. I tell you this because, as we drove into town before finding the hotel I was worried how the hotel would be. As it turns out, the hotel is nicely situated on top of the hill away from the dust.

We reserved the most modest of the rooms available. It was clean and comfortable with nice decor. Pool was almost outside our door but still secluded via landscaping.

The staff and owners went out of their way to make sure we all were happy. Always available for our request. We were leaving at 4:00am and they came by that night to say bye and to give us a breakfast to go (never had that happen before).

The resturant was on the very top of the hill with a GREAT view of the ocean. I wish I could say the food was as wonderful as everything else but it had a lot to be desired.

We wanted to ride horses and they set that up for the next day. Horses were on the premises and were well taken care of. Two hour ride was only $40 each (thats a deal).

This was one of our favorite places we stayed in Costa Rica

Room Tip: Small rooms no walk to the pool. Deluxe rooms view of ocean, easy walk to restaurant.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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310 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (51)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Orlando, Florida, United States
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2013

A quiet room in the tree tops overlooking the Pacific Ocean during sunset! We had a great time at the Moana Lodge. A short drive to restaurants, market, shopping and the beach. The uniqueness of the rooms is a selling point, and worth the rate. We would stay here again in a heartbeat.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Miami
Top Contributor
67 reviews 67 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2013

I was hesitant to stay at a boutique hotel but what a pleasant surprise.

We stayed in a junior suite and the honeymoon suite. Both with incredible views and decorated just right. Wood floors and nice touches by owners. breakfast at moana was included in price and it was fantastic. Only down side are the many stairs but they disclosed this so no surprise there. Owner operated so lots of passion involved. From what we saw the best boutique hotel around.

if you are wondering which is the best beach around worry no more. Its playa hermosa in santa teresa. Worth the 15 minute ride for beautiful sandy soft beach. have fun!

Room Tip: The suite and jr suite are incredible!
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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tuscaloosa, AL
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2013

We had the pleasure of staying in the Deluxe Suite the weekend of Christmas 2012. The place is amazing, with beautiful views tucked away on a jungle mountainside. The suite has a lovely bathroom with a large tub that is surrounded by windows and looks out over the Mal Pais beaches. A comfortable bed and a well stocked mini bar round out a perfect room. Mike the bartender was always ready with a drink and a smile at The Papaya Lounge. The staff was always working in the background to ensure the property was clean and well taken care of. Aiden and Vicky, the owners, went out of their way to ensure that we were taken care of. Vicky was always quick with a smile and a "Hola!" She was always helpful in setting up a tour and even recommended a wonderful Argentinian steakhouse when we got back to San Jose. A++

Room Tip: If you can handle the steps, go for a deluxe or junior suite. A good value for the quality of the ro...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Toronto, Canada
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2013

We stayed at Moana for five nights in early December. We read tons of hotel reviews and did a lot of research on different parts of Costa Rica before settling on Moana. It turned out to be a fantastic place. The restaurant (with a view!) was great - high quality ingredients and attention to detail. It was closed between breakfast and dinner, however, so if you want an afternoon drink it's going to be a beer from the minibar. The rooms are really clean and comfortable with great showers.

The owners are really friendly and helpful. It's obvious that they love what they do. The area is absolutely gorgeous and being off the beaten path made it worth the effort to get to.

Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Washington, D.C.
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2012

We (a family of three) stayed for 5 nights over Xmas 2012 in the Moana Lodge. It was a wonderful experience. All the staff is terrific, beginning with the owners, Aidan and Vicky. Our spacious and attractive room was lovely with an amazing view. We enjoyed breaksfast (fabulous banana bread french toast), drinks, and all our dinners in the Papaya Lounge, which has a spectacular view of that area of the Nicoya Pennisula. We saw many beautiful birds, lizards, iguanas, and monkeys. We took various trips (with helpful arranging from the hotel) to Isla Tortuga and several different playas. You do have to climb steps to get to your room and/or the restaurant but after a few days, it isn't a big deal. If you are renting a car, we recommend that you get an SUV and a GPS because the roads aren't great, even in the dry season. A truly great vacation that we hope to repeat!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Montreal, Canada
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2012

This hotel is absolutely beautiful. We stayed in a lower room that didn't have a view, however, it was beautifully decorated and had all the amenities that we needed and more - including wifi, a hammock on the front porch, a beautiful rain shower, a/c and a well stocked mini-bar. The view from the restaurant was stunning. All the food that we ordered at the restaurant was delicious and the bar/restaurant service was wonderful. It really pains us, however, to have to report that security was not what it should have been for such a nice place. It may have been an isolated incident, but our room was broken into within the first 3 hours of our arrival at the hotel, while we were up at the restaurant having a wonderful romantic dinner. Not only was our room broken into but the robbers broke into the room's safe. Fortunately, the robbers did not take our passports, which we responsibly (we thought) left in the safe. However they did abscond with cash and our rental GPS from the safe as well as a backpack and both our pairs of hiking shoes from the room. We came to an agreement with the owners about compensation for our three-night stay, which we decided to continue despite the incident. I am happy to report that the owners took immediate action with the local police and also notified the neighbourhood watch of the area. However, the incident definitely put a huge damper on our trip and damaged our opinion of the hotel.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
moanamanager, Owner at Hotel Moana, responded to this review, December 17, 2012
This was an utterly disappointing incident that occurred during your stay and like yourself we were very frustrated and angered by it. This was the first time anything like this has ever occurred in our hotel where thieves had the equipment to break into a safe. The break in occurred between 7-8pm while there was a watchman on duty and 4 people in the room next door to yours, which would further prove that these guys knew what they were doing. The police informed us that sadly over ten other hotels and rental homes in the area were also robbed during that week. They concluded that it an organised group of professional thieves from out of town that had been operating in the area.
To my knowledge we were the only hotel that went public about it. We did this because instead of hiding the fact that this occurred we really wanted to catch and prevent this happening ever again. If you check the neighborhood watch page on Facebook for Mal Pais you’ll see how we tried to catch the people responsible. We went public about the break in the hope that we could bring it to the attention of the locals and put an end to these people and the loss and stress that they bring upon the town, this is not something that we can ignore.
We hope by going to the police in Cobano twice, once to report the theft and on a second occasion to look through mug shots in the hope of catching them that more locals will do the same and put an end to these people. As you mentioned we also compensated you $250 for the loss of cash that you incurred in the gesture of our regret of the episode. This was a no win situation and something that the police could do nothing about. Unfortunately we have no control over certain things in life and sometimes things like this happens and its truly unfortunate but it is fair to say it can happen anywhere in the world. I’m glad you saw that and continued to enjoy your stay with us and the town of Mal Pais.
In our case we tried to do everything possible that we could to prevent this happening again and also making a right from a wrong which Michael your partner agreed with. Thankfully now these people seemed to have moved on and that will be the end of it.
Regards, Aidan
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Additional Information about Hotel Moana

Address: Mal Pais, Mal Pais 0000, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Mal Pais
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#3 Family Hotel in Mal Pais
#4 Romantic Hotel in Mal Pais
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hotel Moana is a small luxurious ocean view hotel nestled amongst a rich backdrop of wildlife and jungle. Inspired by Africa for its choice of décor, the beautiful rooms offer tranquility and comfort to all of our guests. Enjoy being served breakfast while you gaze out over the Pacific Ocean. Later hang out at the wonderful pool area and fall asleep on a suspended day bed while the waves crash in the background, paradise awaits! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Moana Hotel Mal Pais
Hotel Moana Costa Rica/Mal Pais

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