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“Great place to stay” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Moana

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Hotel Moana
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Mal Pais, Mal Pais 0000, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #4 of 9 Hotels in Mal Pais
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Coldwater
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“Great place to stay”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2014

I enjoyed my stay at Moana Lodge. The hotel was clean, the rooms were beautifully decorated, the hotel was surrounded by lots of greenery and the staff was always very helpful when I needed anything or had questions. Actually, I'd say they went out of there way to be helpful. The location was perfect for what I was looking for (close to my friends wedding, close to the beach and only a 15 minute walk along the beach to get to town). The internet connection was better than I thought it would be which is pretty important because I needed to check in with the office and I was able to make Skype calls without any problems. One night I lounged by the pool in only a bathing suit from just before sunset until an hour after sunset without even one mosquito bit. Usually I'm the first person to get bitten so I was happily surprised. I'm not sure if it is like this all year round but it was nice to have it while I was there.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled solo
    • 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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339 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    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 (57)
Date | Rating
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English first
Mountain View, CA
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2014

This place is outstanding. The rooms was great, the pool beautiful. The views from the restaurant were excellent. I really enjoyed staying here and I highly recommend it. The staff and management are also super-friendly and helpful.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled solo
    • 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.
Calgary, Canada
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2014

Just stayed at the newly available Casa Moana. This is a separate private house affiliated with Moana Lodge. Awesome house and location. There were 10 people in our party and there was lots of space in this house. The pool is great along with the upper covered patio. The road up to the house is very rough and a 4x4 is recommended. You need to drive a short distance (5 minutes) to access a good swimming beach. The house is located up on a hill and is very private and away from the dust. Highly recommend a stay at Casa Moana.

  • Stayed December 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
    • 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.
Bristol, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2014

We stayed in Moana at the end of a busy two week holiday in Costa Rica. We wanted to have a little treat at the end of our holiday and stayed in Moana for 5 nights.
What a wonderful place. It was exactly as we had hoped. It's a lovely mixture of peaceful surroundings, a nearby beach (5 minute walk), stunning views (sunsets were incredible from the restaurant) as well as activites (e.g.surfing) if you want. The hotel itself is beautifully hidden amongst the trees and therefore seems really considerate to the surrounding nature.
The rooms are great - lovely and spacious with big showers. The staff are also great - Bruno was particularly helpful however. He just seemed to run everything so efficently and smoothly.
The food at the restaurant was really good too. We loved the fact that it was served as tapas so that we could sample lots of different dishes.
I have such fond memories of Moana - it really is a special place.

  • Stayed December 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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Bartlett, Illinois
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2013

We stayed at the Moana Lodge for the last leg of our honeymoon and it was by far our favorite place. The suite was goregous, the food was amazing and the service made us feel right at home. The staff went above and beyond to ensure we had a once and a lifetime experience. If you are visiting beauitful Mal Pais, we highly recommend staying at the Moana Lodge.

Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
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Atlanta, Georgia
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2013

My wife and I spent five nights at Moana Lodge before Christmas and the night of Christmas. Our first night we splurged for the honeymoon suite. It was awesome. Spacious, great view, amazingly comfortable bed, nice design, cool tub, and a place to relax and sun bathe. The next four nights were spent in a standard room (Mono) right next to the pool. Although much smaller and less luxurious than the honeymoon suite, it was just right for us with plenty of room to unpack, large shower, etc. the pool was small but nice - my wife swam laps in it one morning. We loved the breakfasts and thought the servings were more than enough for one person. We found the service to be excellent. Bruno was exceptional and went out of his way to help us, gave us great advice, and made us feel well taken care of. While we were there we noticed several guests making demands of Bruno and his staff that we thought were over the top and in some cases unreasonable. But Bruno took it all in stride and worked hard to cater to the guests' needs as much as humanly possible. My wife and I actually enjoyed the stairs. There really aren't that many steps and of course the amazing view from the restaurant is totally worth it. Think of it as a way to work off breakfast. We found Moana Lodge even in high season at full price to be an excellent value especially with the included breakfast and we would definitely stay at this hotel again. Thanks for everything Bruno- you and your staff did a great job.

Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
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Rome, Italy
Top Contributor
132 reviews 132 reviews
43 hotel reviews
Reviews in 61 cities Reviews in 61 cities
98 helpful votes 98 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 25, 2013

Mal Pais is a stunning and wild place in the great country of Costa Rica, this place is definitely worth a visit if you're touring. The ocean is great and the nature is really astonishing.

We decided to stay at the Moana because we're trying to stay in high-quality places, but this was the only place we were disappointed to stay in Costa Rica.

The other issue is stairs. The hotel extension is built on a hill so there's a LOT of them.
The website says that, right, but stay in one of the suites means that you've to to a lot of steps to go out and back to your room. The staff helped us with the luggage (of course...) but it was very tiring to go up and down every time,

This leads to the main big problem of this place: service.
The Moana asks for a high-level four-stars rate, but don't offer the proper service. Not because of the staff, very kind starting from Bruno the "manager", but for the organization.

We booked our visit just after the reopening of the Moana after the rain season. I've to say that, unlike other places we visited in the same period, we payed a full rate, but we weren't given a full service.

During our stay the hotel was full of staff repairing things: light in the pools, cleaning plants. Even the Jacuzzi was stopped during one day, so we couldn't use it.

I think that if you open a hotel after a closing period, you've to do all the maintenance work BEFORE the guests arrive, not during their stay.

It was very uncomfortable to stay in the pool while four people (without uniforms or similar dressing, only workers) were going around fixing this or that thing, plugging and unplugging power cords or thinks like that.

The breakfast too was very poor, a small buffet with only drinks, just one dish of the main meal (we were asked to pay for some additional fruit!). And of course to go to the restaurant you've to do another round of stairs.

The service problems became really serious at nigh, because the restaurant was closed, the bar was closed and even the reception was closed by 5pm! This means that if you've a problem after 5pm you don't have just to call, but go down the stairs and ring the bell!

This is not a four-star service, but a B&B one.

During one night we've had a issue with our air conditioner, and it was raining. And we should have go all the way down the stairs to ring a bell to call someone.

Why don't connect the staff house phone directly to the rooms?? It was really unbelievable.
We resolved the situation (air toot cold), by moving the bed... disappointing.

The place is really stunning and even the views from the hills are, but it absolutely not worth the price you pay. We payed LESS in Costa Rica for a WAY MORE five-star service, and that's put things into perspective.

I'd like to talk with the owners (who write a lot about them and how good they are in the hotel dossier in the room...) but I was even more disappointed knowing that they're moving to Ireland, leaving the hotel just to Bruno...

I really wish him good luck, but there's a lot to do to transform this place in a real luxury hotel. Until then, they've really to lower their rates, or maybe only open when they're really ready.

Room Tip: Don't take a suite, or be prepared for a long step up.
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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, January 29, 2014
Sorry to hear that your stay didn’t live up to your expectations. Unfortunately there is a lot of steps but the view at the top of those steps is unique to Moana. When we bought the property we felt that we needed to develop and share that view with our guests, but that meant that we have to build steps and that was the compromise. We don’t disguise this fact and we even include on both the website and on the confirmation email to which you would have seen. I asked our manager, Bruno, if you brought this problem to his attention during your stay, and he said you hadn’t, if you had we could have suggested you a lower room or another hotel. I always encourage guests to voice their discomforts while they’re in the hotel, that way we can try to rectify the problem and ensure a better experience for all concerned.
Regarding your issue about our star rating and service, were not a 4 star hotel as you suggest but we have been assessed to be a 3.5 star rating with the Costa Rican Tourist board. Unfortunately the night your AC unit was giving trouble was the evening the restaurant was closed and the only way to contact staff is through the intercom at the front desk on that evening. I take on board your point about the suite phones not connected to the staff house and I will look into seeing if this can be done as it makes sense.
I apologise about the work that was taking place during your stay. While I don’t wish to excuse us for the problem, I should explain as to why it was conducted in November. During rainy season a lot of work cannot be done, (painting, varnishing etc) and this work had been scheduled to be done in early November when it’s dry and the hotel is at about 30% occupancy. The company for the Jacuzzi and pool lights could only come on that day as they are based in San Jose, but thankfully they found the problem with the Jacuzzi and had it functioning within a few hours. I was away at the time and its fair to say that Bruno isn’t as experienced as myself on how to deal with issues such as these. I’ve now explained to him on how to manage the maintenance people more efficiently and he now knows how to avoid this in the future by having the work done when the guests are out of the hotel, so my apologies for that. Again I wish you had expressed your lack of satisfaction at the time, because I completely agree with you and would have had them moved at once and we could have looked after you.
I’m unsure as to why you believed that breakfast is a buffet breakfast? It has never been so Im not sure as to why you were led to believe it was and on the website it clearly states the type of breakfast on offer. There are 6 breakfast choices for guests to order off each day with a further 4 choices that guests can upgrade to for an extra $3/4. We do this in order to provide a varied choice of breakfast for guests on longer stays.
Sorry that things didn’t go as smoothly as they should have during your stay with us but we hope that if you return again soon and we can make an amends for those issues.
Warm Regards, Aidan
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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:
#2 Family Hotel in Mal Pais
#4 Romantic Hotel in Mal Pais
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel Moana 3*
Number of rooms: 10
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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