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“Amazing View, Pura Vida.” 5 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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Hotel amenities
Trussville, Alabama
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Amazing View, Pura Vida.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2008

We arrived at Makanda around 5:00 pm local time. We were immediately met at the property gate by Jorge who works for the security staff. It was raining (which is does every day in CR) so he had someone take us via golf cart to the office where we met Leo, who was the best host we could have hoped for. Leo escorted us to our room and provided us with imfornation about the restaurant, beach, and the area in general. We had already exchanged e-mails with Leo so we knew about the tours that were available in the area. We told Leo what we wanted to do and he arranged everything including pickup and payment, it was so convenient just to add the tour charges to the room and not have to worry about it.

We stayed in studio 4, the view was amazing. Our front window was a full view of the surrounding jungle and a fantastic view of the pacific ocean. One of my goals for the visit was to see monkeys. Every day we saw white faced monkeys and on the last day they were actually eating the fruit off of the tree right outside of our room! It was awesome. Our bed was also out of this world, the sheets were of the highest thread count I've ever slept on and Gloria from the housekeeping staff made the bed every day and decorated it with fresh flowers.

The first night we ate dinner at the Sunspot, it was very good. I had beef and my husband had the tuna, it was great. I also recommend the Cesar salad, one of the best I've ever had. The breakfast in the room was also terrific, fresh fruit, pancakes, just delicious.

We just got home today and had to hurry and write my review, I'll post pictures later... I haven't even downloaded them yet.

We loved everything and if we ever get the chance to go back without the kids, we'll definately stay at Makanda again.

One word of caution, the beach is very pretty, but it's quite a hike down the steps and back. You want to make sure you're up for the hike before you go. It was a great little trip thru the jungle, but we were gasping for breath when we finally got back to the room.

  • Liked — Amazing View, Amazing Host, Amazing pool & hot tub.
  • Disliked — Trek down to the beach.
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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305 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 (52)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Chicago, IL
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2008

We stayed in both the deluxe studio #11 and standard studio #3. The studio's in general were a little more rundown than all the more pricier rooms. It seems like the studio's didn't get as much of the renovations as some of the other more expensive rooms got, such as newer flooring, tiles, paint job. So if youre staying in anything above a studio it might be worth your money, but the studio's themselves needed some work.

We also had some issues with insects which is kind of expected in this area. I imagine all the hotels in the manuel antonio rain forest area have this issue to varying degrees. Normally it was an occasional ant or spider, but once we found a big cockroach in the bathroom. Our friends in studio #2 had issues with some kind of insects in their bed as they woke up with tiny red bites all over their leg. Not sure if other hotels would've been better sealed from insects.

Location is remote and the pool is one of the nicest. There aren't that many guests around so you feel like you have to place to yourself. The area is decently landscaped but I was definitely more impressed with Si Como No's common areas. It was very well constructed with manicured walkways between rooms and pools, whereas in Makanda you had to walk down a dark road at times within the hotel property to get to the office or pool.

The pool staff was great, provided towels and cushions right away. The check-in staff along with the check-in office was very minimal and looked like a 1-2 star hotel. The check-in service wasn't that impressive, they just did their job but didn't really provide any great service above and beyond giving you your key and taking your key back at checkout.

I'd probably stay at Si Como No if I went back for the same price range.

  • Stayed July 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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London
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 4, 2008

Arrived there after a week on the carribbean coast. I was expecting it to be lovely but no where near as lovely as what we found when we got there...everything was spotless and the rooms were a brilliant size. The views were unparralelled anywhere in Manuel Antonio and on top of this we got an upgrade to a Villa as a result of a Boiler problem in a studio. We spent 6 nights in the most comfortable bed i've ever slept in, finding it hard to adjust now i'm back in my own. Pool is gorgeous and the wildlife is everywhere...saw 3 types of monkey while staying here, on top of the butterflies, lizards and nyumerous birds...more animals than the national park. Overall we enjoyed this hotel 100% and would (and have) recommend it to all my friends. Would recommend hiring a car for a holiday down here, as taxi drivers know its an upmarket hotel and tend to set their own prices. Althought he hotel does offer a shuttle to top of Hill for free. Good touch. And its quiet, with only 11 rooms there was rarely more than 2 couples by the pool at anyone time..Paradise!

It's AMAZING...go!!

  • Liked — Views
  • Disliked — Can't sleep in my inferior bed at home now i've been in theirs!!
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 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.
MD
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2008

The view from our room is the cover picture of our album. It is simply gorgeous - bannana tree right in front of the porch. Beautiful ocean view. We stayed in Villa #7. It's an easy hike to the pool. The open shower is way cool - you'll love it. Housekeeping leaves towels in shapes - swans, teddy bears, hearts - very cute.

It was great to be in a couples only place - we left our two kids home for our anniversary trip.

Monkeys came right down to the pool one afternoon - it was very exciting. We also saw them cross the monkey bridge one morning as we were waiting for our tour bus.

The hotel is down a long bumpy road and requires a taxi - which is about $7 each way to the beach.

Infinity pool is great; as is the pool side restaurant.

We walked down the steps to the beach at low tide. We weren't sure if we should turn around or not because we didn't know how far. We were brave and went all the way down. It was easier coming back up than we expected. The beach is black and rocky - no umbrellas or chairs - and nobody else around - if there was an emergency - you would be out of luck - but we were glad we went on the adventure - the kids loved the rocks and coral that we picked up on the beach.

  • Liked — Spacious room - gorgeous views
  • Disliked — long bumpy taxi rides - pretty far from the strip
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 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.
Minneapolis, MN
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2008

If you want to be pampered and get a taste of luxury, Makanda by the Sea is the place! Great staff, excellent food and beautiful views! Be sure to get your walk in during the morning, lots of monkeys and birds to be seen in their natural habitat. Great location for adventure too, definitely check out the National Park.

  • Liked — Luxury
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 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.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2008

What a wonderful place! A perfect place for romance and relaxation. We stayed in Studio 9 and it was excellent. It's like we were plunked down in the jungle, but with plenty of amenities. We sat on our terrace every morning with our coffee viewing the ocean and watching the birds, iguanas and butterflies pass by. One morning we saw an entire troupe of squirrel monkeys go right by on the tree branches- apparently this is very rare and we were so excited. The rooms are spacious, the pool was a delight- great place to just read and relax while taking in the beautiful view and to watch the wildlife around us. We did a couple tours which the staff handled for us. The staff was friendly- especially the guys at the restaurant. Some of the food at the restaurant was amazing- in particular, the Cuban pulled pork quesadilla (lunch) and the grilled squid appetizer (dinner). I would highly recommend this hotel!

  • Stayed July 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 4, 2008

We stayed in Villa 10- King sized very comfortable bed, huge wrap around comfortable couch, TV with cable, large kitchenette, nice bathroom with great toiletries. The best part about this hotel was the balcony. Very large, comfortable chairs on the balcony along with a table and chairs and a hammock. As soon as we got there a few Squirrel monkeys came to visit us. We also saw White faced monkies from our balcony. The view of the ocean is OK- no view of MA park. It was a perfect spot for the sunset- we had front row seats, unobstructed view of the most gorgeous sunsets!
We didn't use the pool, didn't appeal much to us. Ate lunch at the poolside restaurant which got great views in travel books. We thought it was ok, very expensive.
They serve you breakfast in your room, it was pretty good. The beach accessed from inside the hotel grounds is not appealing at all, besides, it was a steep 10 minute walk though a path in the jungle to get there. There was another beach down the road past La Mansion Inn and past the new condos being built called Playa Besanz (sp?) that we went to- 20 minute at the most from Makanda - beautiful water and sand and you can snorkel- if you go, bring water shoes. Almost the entire floor of the water is large stones.
This hotel is a 10-15 minute cab ride from MA park- that is where we really enjoyed the beaches although they were a bit of a hike to get there and there is almost no beach during high tide, MA beach is the most gorgeous beach with the clearest water.

Animals on the property were abundant...saw tons of iguanas, two sloths pointed out by the nice man at the front gate two different times, and lots of monkeys.

They took us by golf cart to La Mariposa for dinner/drinks one night (Tuesdays their one and only restaurant is closed) which was a nice service. We were floored by the the fantastic view here and the pool area...I think I would stay there next.

  • Liked — The balcony
  • Disliked — food, little to do outside of room on hotel grounds
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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:
#6 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*
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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