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“Awesome boutique hotel” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Makanda by the Sea

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Makanda by the Sea
4.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Main Road to Manuel Antonio Park, 3 Kilometers, Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica   |  
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Hotel amenities
Spring, Texas
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Awesome boutique hotel”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 21, 2013

Doug & I stayed in Villa #1; everything about it was awesome - view would take your breath away - you see Pacific, rain forest, & beautiful gardens! The bed was comfy & the room was spacious. The breakfast was a treat - pancakes were the best! Everyone at the hotel was very accommodating & friendly. The restaurant was very good & beautiful view of the sunset. The best part about the restaurant was the waiter, Fabion. He was very friendly & personable. He made every meal a treat. I can't wait to go back!

Room Tip: Villa #1 has the best view!
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  • Stayed April 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.
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348 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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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 (66)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Lisbon, Portugal
Level Contributor
352 reviews
107 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 332 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2013

I liked this place last year. Then again was with friends and had less contact with the staff. Sure Leo and Darwin at Reception are nice but even they don't follow through.

Was here last year for my birthday and thought I'd come back. Pool and view is amazing. Unfortunately the general staff is unkind and could care less if you're there. At the pool never a hello, a welcome, a good bye, or an offer to give you the menu. At one point I heard the attendant loudly discussing to another staff member "gringo this and gringo that...." If he doesn't like tourists, then maybe he should quit. Met one of the owners, told her I was back for my birthday. She wished me well. Most other hotels would send an amenity. This hotel has become to "cheap" to even think about that.

Cons: Not 1 amenity. Not a piece of fruit. A welcome back note. Bottle of water. Nothing. Dated and desperately needing a renovation. One of the worst beds ever experience. Lumpy and you wake up with sore back. Unkind staff. Housekeeping came in to clean dishes. Walked in. Did only that and left. No, "hello." No "is there anything else?" No "goodbye". As if angry she had to work. Same at the pool. Staff seemed like they didn't want you there. There's a sign by the safe deposit box. Warning about theft and crime. Maybe a lockbox from 2013 would help. They have an old key lock box that anyone else can have a key to. One afternoon a woman was entering my room from housekeeping. Even though the "do not disturb" sign was on the door. When I opened the door she apologized. Is the crime happening from within? Inside job? Once all is stolen all you'll get is an "I'm sorry." Felt less secure after this. Especially since the staff seems to not like the guests. Also, when your taxi drops you off. They don't allow the taxi to take you to the reception. Even though other cars have access. forcing you to walk a distance on loose gravel in a hot humid climate. They don't even give you a welcome drink upon arrival. A card is given so you can go get it yourself. Sadly the rudest bartender is there to rudely give it to you.

Pros: Location. Pool view. Isolated rooms. Spacious rooms. Plenty of closet space.

This once lovely hotel has gone downhill. Like most hotels in Costa Rica, having been over touristed all they want is the cash. While providing awful ungrateful service. I prefer Mexico where at least they try. They don't seem to care here unfortunately. If you like being ignored and made to feel unwelcomed, then this is your hotel.

Room Tip: Go to another hotel or avoid Costa Rica until they get it together and appreciate the tourist again.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HotelMakanda, General Manager at Makanda by the Sea, responded to this review, April 26, 2013
Dear Amen,
We are so sorry that you did not enjoy your return trip to Makanda. Since our reviews are generally overwhelmingly positive, we were quite surprised by most of your comments and hope travelers will weigh their decision to visit our hotel based on the majority of rave reviews we have received over the last 25 years of operation. However, we do not dismiss any travelers feedback and will certainly address the different issues mentioned in this review so we can take corrective measures where able and continue to do our best to satisfy each and every visitor to our fabulous property. Hotel Makanda was awarded the Tripadvisor 2013 Most Romantic Hotel, so it is ultimately our goal to live up to this prestigious award that other travelers so kindly voted for us at beautiful Makanda by the Sea. Happy Travels to all and Pura Vida!
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Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2013

Stayed in Villa 6 and loved it. Truly a sanctuary with comfort inside and out. Gorgeous veranda with a bit of an ocean view, and surrounded by trees, birds, all sorts of wildlife. A/C inside was worth the occasional respite from humidity. Fabulously appointed room, canopy bed, sitting area, luxury bathroom, kitchen. Look at the site's pictures - it's for real.

Staff seemed really friendly and helpful. Delivered breakfast to us early as we wanted to leave for Manuel Antonio by 7:30.

Loved the small pool area, with infinite view overlooking jungle, and Pacific Ocean framed by luscious foliage. Really good restaurant with about 5-6 tables on the far side of pool, served tasty, decent quality food.

The place feels like a semi-private sanctuary, and with only 13 villas/rooms (I think), the property feels quietly enjoyed and appreciated. We did drive into a few other hotels to check them out; some have more units and are inevitably louder and busier. Given the crowds at Manuel Antonio, it was really refreshing to have such a deluxe home away from home.

All of the hotels along here are high up on the cliffs, only one on this ridge gets some beach front access - but that property involves either walking or driving up and down a lot. While Mariposa has killer views from the restaurant (worth a meal there), I think the rooms are nicer at Makanda.

We'd go back. Not with the kids tho - too quiet for teens. Perfect for couples.

Below, where reviewers click to select ratings in categories, I've put value at average - only because at $400, it's about what you'd expect for that price. If it was $200 for this property, I'd give it an "excellent" in that heading.

Room Tip: With variously located rooms / villas, ask about different views.
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  • Stayed March 2013, 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
    • 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.
Morristown, New Jersey
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2013

The Makanda made our latest trip a "best of" experience. We stayed in Villa #1 which is the one pictured in the photograph. It was exquisite, from the wonderful views, the most comfortable bed (with crisp linens), this well-maintained room was perfect and spacious. Everyone at the facility was more than accommodating, every need attended and every question had a helpful answer. My wife and I have vacationed in many places over the years, our experience at the Makanda by the Sea, the immediate area and the country of Costa Rica was most enjoyable. Have a great time!

  • Stayed April 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.
Alexandria, Virginia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 30, 2013

My boyfriend and I were in Costa Rica and stayed at Hotel Makanda for 5 nights. We loved this place from the moment we arrived. Since there are only 11 rooms in total (max occupancy 2 people per room), you really feel like you are the only people staying there. We can across a few other guests at the pool or en route from our studio, but other than that, you really feel like the place is all yours. Also the fact that is is an adult only resort, doesn't hurt one bit! Our studio # 11 was secluded in the beautiful rainforest and had an AMAZING ocean view. Every morning we woke up, ordered our breakfast and sat on the balcony admiring the wildlife and listening to the sound of waves. The staff at the resort are very helpful and accommodating! They reserved our tours for us and helped us with a minor transportation issue we had. There is a free shuttle to the beach (one way, so you will need to take a taxi back... costs about 5 colones- $10) but totally worth it! The restaurant at the hotel is delicious, they have traditional Costa Rican style food along with burgers, steaks, pizza, etc. We ate there every night, never had a bad dish!
Aside from the sunburn that we both got (I would seriously recommend SPF 50 or higher), our trip to the picturesque Costa Rica was perfect, and we truly feel it was because of Hotel Makanda and their staff!

Room Tip: Studio # 11 had a perfect Ocean View!
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Düsseldorf
Level Contributor
14 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2013

Perfect ocean view. Thats it. Dirt, mould and rust is what we experienced in our studio. What you see on their website is not what you get. Property needs to be renovated. If you like to stay in the Manuel Antonion area we would recommend Si Como No or Gaia.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HotelMakanda, General Manager at Makanda by the Sea, responded to this review, March 12, 2013
Dear Tomtofino,
We once again regret that at the last minute you chose not to stay at our beautiful Tripadivor Voted Most Romantic hotel for whatever reason you decided. As an exception to our normal cancellation policies, we agreed to refund your stay and allow another guest that was enchanted with your Studio to stay with us at Makanda instead. We requested a refund from our bank to yours and have supplied you with the transaction numbers, etc. However, your German bank seems to not agree with our Costa Rican bank, at least according to you. Unfortunately, all we can do is supply the information we get from our bank (we do not have access to your bank information) which we have continued to send to you inspite of your repeated threats to post bad reviews about our hotel because YOUR bank has not credited your refund.
We at Makanda are more than happy to continue to provide the documentation as needed, but in the meantime, we kindly ask other potential guests for Hotel Makanda to please refer to the overwhelming amount of postive reviews and prestigious awards that Makanda by the Sea continues to receive on a regular basis, since at this time we have no other recourse then to defend our actions while this poster can continue to anonymously make claims about our beautiful award winning property at will.
Any questions guests might have, we hope they will feel comfortable in contacting Hotel Makanda directly so we may help you to the best of our abilities to enjoy your Costa Rica vacation!
Sincerely, The Management of Hotel Makanda by the Sea
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
montreal
Level Contributor
78 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 6, 2013 via mobile

For some reason this place does not get the high ranking it deserves. Our room #3 was spectacular. Large wall of glass facing the sea, comfortable sofa and and an attractive floor of black, polished concrete tiles.
Great infinity pool and a very decent restaurant all in a jungle location without noisy neighbours.
Playa Biesanz is an easy 20 min walk away.

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 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
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 Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#7 Luxury Hotel in Manuel Antonio National Park
#11 On the Beach Hotel in Manuel Antonio National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Makanda by the Sea 4.5*
Number of rooms: 11
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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