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“Horrible Experience!! Do not stay here!!” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Makanda by the Sea

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Makanda by the Sea
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Main Road to Manuel Antonio Park, 3 Kilometers, Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica   |  
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Austin, Texas
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Horrible Experience!! Do not stay here!!”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 27, 2012

Makanda was the only hotel in Costa Rica who charged our credit card the full amount in advance. We reached this place late in the night. The check-in took a while and they put us in a villa. The lights in the villa did not work to begin with. Someone had to come and fix the lights which took 30-40 mins. We were tired from the drive from Arenal and called the restaurant on the hotel property. They told us not to come as it was raining and the place was under water, so we ordered on the phone. It took more than an hour for our food to come and quality was so horrible, I almost puked. I am a vegetarian and the pizza they made was burnt badly. We were pretty bummed and tried to get some sleep. All night, there were these fruits dropping on our villa and making really loud noise..forget relaxing, we hardly could sleep even for a minute.I also got some skin allergy dont know from what at this place, my guess is some insect bites. We decided to move to another hotel due to this and asked for our money back for the rest of 2 days that we were not going to saty there. They charged us $300 for one horrible night here!! and never gave us the rest of the money back. Its been 4 months.Finally, we called our credit card compnay to dispute this charge against Makanda.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HotelMakanda, Guest Relations Manager at Makanda by the Sea, responded to this review, November 14, 2012
Dear Potential Guests of Hotel Makanda by the Sea,
We normally appreciate guest feedback as a way to maintain or even improve the quality of the guest experience when staying at Hotel Makanda.
However, most of the facts of this particular review are not accurate, and although it is not our policy to refund prepaid reservations, in this case we felt it was in the best interest of the hotel and our other guests to make an acception with these folks.
According to our bank records, the refund was given to these travelers already. Unfortunately, they apparently still felt the need to try to damage Makanda's reputation.
We sincerely hope other travelers considering a stay at Hotel Makanda by the Sea will read the overwhelming number of excellent reviews our hotel has received, including at Tripadvisor Excellence Award for 2012, and reach their own decision regarding a potential stay at our beautiful property!
We look forward to hosting you soon in Paradise!
Jules, Client Services at Hotel Makanda by the Sea
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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294 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 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (47)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
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English first
Los Angeles, California
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 17, 2012

My GF and I were wandering around Manuel Antonio looking for a place to crash for the night, after looking (and then running away) about 3 other places we saw the Makanda entrance and were intrigued. The guy at reception was so great, he showed us one of the suites avail which was GORGEOUS, exactly the aesthetic the snobby angelino in me loves and then offered us a fantastic deal since it's low season. I couldn't have been happier with our amazingly beautiful room and the FABULOUS service. Our room was spotless, and thoughtful. Everything we needed was there, and the views are just to die for. We went and had some drinks at the pool and the bartender (Rasta?) was so wonderful and took such great care of us, and gave us some seriously amazing restaurant recos. I can not wait to come back to this hotel and stay for longer than one night!

  • Stayed October 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bristol, Tennessee
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 12, 2012

Our stay in Manuel Antonio couldn't have been more perfect! This boutique hotel is gated and small. You feel as though you are amongst the few elite that are allowed to enjoy such beauty and service.
Our villa was sitting above lush jungle, with a perfect view of the Pacific. The entire front of the villa was glass, with large sliding doors to let the sounds and fragrances in. As we relaxed in our hammock, we truly forgot everything and became one with nature! The villa offered us everything we could want for a romantic anniversary. Privacy, comfort, kitchen, amazing views and AMAZING VIEWS! WOW!
We awoke each morning to the brilliance of the ocean glistening directly in front of us, and watched each evening as the sky changed colors with the setting of the sun. Our canopied, king bed was romance personified. Housekeeping ensured that we had a special animal on our bed to greet us when we returned each day. Flower petals were spread over the bed and used to give our creatures character. Lovely touch. Thank you Makanda Housekeeping for your time in giving our stay just one more perfect touch.
The kitchen was open and airy, with pacific blue tile and wood. It all blended naturally to the vista around us. The only requirement for cooking a great meal, was the food, but with the great food offered at the restaurant or by room service, we found no need to spend anytime cooking. The step-down living room was large enough to entertain several new friends in comfort. The furnishings were just enough and nicely laid out. The colors of the room were in keeping with the splendid hues laid out before us.
We really liked the two entrances to the villa. The first opens into a private small garden, with a landing leading to another door to the room itself. We were able to remove our shoes and leave the umbrella there without bringing them inside or leaving them to the elements outside.
The restaurant is set by the pool and very romantic. The draped area offers you, both shelter from the occasional rain shower and intimacy for that special dinner. Our chef was Randall and he was extremely accommodating. Thanks Randall, for your special drink you prepared just for me! Delicious!!! Great food and great company was the theme of our meals at Makanda.
The infinity pool transitioned to jungle without any disruption. It is set down a hillside, and surrounded by tropical flora a fauna. Birds, geckos and butterflies seem to love the property as much as we did, as there was always some show that these beautiful creatures were putting on for us.
Everyone at Makanda by the Sea became like a friend to us during our stay. We were treated warmly and with great respect.
For anyone considering this property, please don't hesitate. It is a special place and will remain in your memory long after you have returned back to the real world!
Gracias Amigos at Makanda by the Sea...

Room Tip: go to the beach that is located just before you get to Makanda. The turn-off is on the left and you...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Jose, Costa Rica
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2012

My wife and I stayed at Makanda by the Sea for our belated honeymoon back in April 2012. The hotel is laid out nicely with very private cabinas scattered in the jungle. They have a very nice infinity pool overlooking jungle and ocean. The food was good. The service was a little casual and the staff, while helpful, was not very courteous and at times hard to locate... They have a 'private' beach that's about a 15 minute walk, but don't be fooled, its VERY steep... I would definitely recommend this hotel to a friend, but I do think its a little expensive! Overall, I enjoyed my stay. I especially liked that they deliver the delicious breakfast to your room... That is a nice touch.

Room Tip: I would avoid Villa 5, it's closest to the road. You can hear cars, passers-by and occassionall...
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tampa, Florida
Top Contributor
73 reviews 73 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2012

We just returned from a four night jungle and beach adventure near Manuel Antonio National Park in Costa Rica!! We did not think we could top our last adventure but WE DID!! Central America has become our new destination of choice because of the non stop and or excellent connections from Orlando Florida. We have health issues and have a tighter budget now and sometimes really enjoy those creature comforts in the hot jungle. This beautiful boutique hotel has the most amazing jungle and beach views. the villas are large and fully equipped with everything you could possibly need. The concierge fellows were fabulous with their suggestions and took my personal requests to heart. You can enjoy extreme sports like zip lining and sport fishing to wonderful quiet jungle hikes in the park, horseback riding beach or jungle forest or just a slow boat tour into the mangroves for peace and animal viewing!! All of these activities are at your door step!! The transportation across Costa Rica is much improves from years ago and there are some reasonable local airfares to get you to all corners. Makanda was the perfect getaway and the staff exceptional. Thank you to all of you and especially Leo, Darwin and Randall the most famous margarita maker south of any border!! ALl the best LIddy and Mitch C. Tampa, florida

Room Tip: Lots of steps but worth it!!!
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  • Stayed September 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Monica, California
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2012

My wife and I just got back from our trip to CR and stayed 4 nights at Makanda. We stayed in Studio #3 which was smaller than the villas, but still a nice sized room with an amazing view. Makanda is a great balance of both tropical rainforest and air conditioning. There are a few luxury hotels in the area and I wouldn't classify Makanda as luxurious but an eco-boutique. We went to eat at some of the other nice hotels to get a feel for a possible return trip and found places like Gaia and Arenas Del Mar to be much nicer but for different reasons. A couple of dislikes about Makanda would include the pool and restaurant area. It comes off as a few canopy tents put together with faded purple and green curtains from circa 1996. Even on the hotel website the hotel comes off that way, but thought maybe it was just the lack of updating their website. Several things about the hotel could use an update. While still keeping that Costa Rican charm, this is a strong reason that I booked this hotel over the more modernized luxury hotels. We enjoyed the complimentary breakfast every morning from the comfort of our own room. Another plus is that you rarely run in to other guests giving you the feeling of the upmost privacy. Overall, the staff was great and extremely helpful. If you're looking for 5 star luxury stay somewhere else, but if you're looking for a balance of tropical rainforest with private villas and A/C, stay at Makanda.

  • Stayed August 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Porter ranch, ca
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2012

We LOVED our stay here!! We just came home and miss Makanda already!!
We stayed in room #10 and had wildlife galore! Randall at the Sunspot restaurant is someone you will treasure like family. He really has a great heart and goes up of his way to make sure you are happy.
It is quiet and peaceful at night and the views are just spectacular. We plan to come back in February. I cannot say enough. Breakfast included in your room each day....heavenly.
Thank you Makanda!!

  • Stayed July 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Makanda by the Sea

Address: Main Road to Manuel Antonio Park, 3 Kilometers, Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Manuel Antonio National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Manuel Antonio National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Makanda by the Sea 3.5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Makanda By the Sea is 12 acres of wildlife sanctuary, 100 meters above the ocean. Our fully equipped Villas and Studios are carefully placed in rainforest gardens with spectacular views of the sixty mile coastline. Hotel Makanda is the ideal location for guests wishing to experience “romance in nature”, dazzling sunset views and our personalized boutique hotel ambiance. Offering gourmet cuisine, first class service, and close to Manuel Antonio Park, Spas, Restaurants, Tours and Beaches. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Makanda By The Sea Hotel Manuel Antonio National Park
Makanda By The Sea Costa Rica/Manuel Antonio National Park

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