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“Great for a romantic vacation!” 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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Austin, TX
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Great for a romantic vacation!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We only stayed here one night, but wow was this place spectacular! We were in room 3 and the room was extraordinary. We had a porch with a view of the ocean and the entire front wall were windows to the same view. It reminded me of a modern bungalow in the jungle. I just wish they invested in the beach property and provided chairs and umbrellas. It's a long steep walk, so a little more comfort at the beach would have been lovely. Also, I would recommend booking here if you intend to have a car, as you will otherwise need to walk up a very steep and windy road to get to the main road to try different restaurants and such. Taxis are very expensive (one charged us the equivalent of $8 to take us about 1/2 mile). Overall a wonderful place!

Stayed February 2015, traveled as a couple
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319 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 (54)
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English first
Los Angeles
Top Contributor
85 reviews 85 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 40 cities Reviews in 40 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

After 20 years big changes at Makanda.

This is our third year in a row at Makanda and we’ve found it our home away from home. It simply keeps getting better as we know more about Manuel Antonio and coming each year it seems we do less and relax more which is really the purpose of our year-end trip.

It’s interesting reading other perspectives on Trip Advisor, we all have different likes and dislikes. One of the main attractions we have to Makanda from the very first trip is that you are in a very bustling tourist spot but smack in the middle of it you have an 11 acre property with 11 villas. If you want a lot of interaction with other guests you likely will not find it here. Perhaps a bit at the pool or restaurant. The beauty of Makanda is the “oh so relaxed vibe”, no lobbies with big groups going out on tours for the day. Makanda is definitely for the discerning traveler who likes a place where the beauty of nature is abundant.

Nature abound at Makanda, you will see and hear monkeys, woodpeckers, lemurs and other wildlife on the property. On our first trip we went to Manuel Antonio Park (crowded, hustlers, not our style) to see all the animals, we saw nothing notable and everything was right on our property. Just sit on the hammock on your deck at Makanda and you are bound to see cool animals (no worries they keep their distance).

The big news on this trip and word around town is that Makanda is doing a complete remodel including putting in private pools for the villas. The reception office is COMPLETELY remodeled and looks so cool, the old office was very dated and the new reception really hits the mark, lots of local materials mixed with a hip vibe.

We had a chance to peek into one of the first villas that has been remodeled. It’s a very modern and slick look. The materials are top notch; carved wood doors lead you in with nice light marble floors. Pleasing wall finishes. The pool was not complete nor was the lower unit. We stayed in this unit (#8) on our first trip and it has been expanded to include 2 bedrooms. The lower unit will have the pool and the upper unit will have access via a staircase. Great for a group who wants to share the two villas, perhaps a bit awkward if you are the upper unit and there are strangers below you since you will be using the pool outside their windows.

The original owners that built it 20 years ago did such a marvelous job. While staying in the villa you had a connection to the jungle and it was really the jungle that was the star and the accommodations melded very well with the environment. I will miss the old Makanda, ahead of it’s time 20 years ago and in need of an eventual refresh (in spite of excellent care and maintenance over the years).

We’ve booked one of the new villas for end of 2015 and look forward to experiencing the new Makanda.

I should note that I found the outdoor chairs an odd choice, we already had them in our villa this trip which was updated a bit with new AC, lighting and kitchen amenities to match the newly updated villas. The chairs belong inside; while comfortable they are a velour fabric. In hot climates the last thing you want to sit on outside is this type of fabric. IMO the only fabric that belongs outside is 100% solution dyed acrylic (namely Sunbrella fabric and the likes). It can get wet and stand up to the humidity and ocean elements. These are the same chairs in the office reception which are very appropriate in that application.

Lastly, since making three trips I wanted to comment on all the stairs. YES, there are lots of stairs. If you are unable to climb stairs you are fairly limited at Makanda since it is built on a hillside and goes all the way down to the ocean (about ¼ mile down). We love Makanda because we get a lot of exercise going up and down the stairs. We tend to eat more on vacation and it keeps it balanced.

The stairs down to the private beach have been vastly improved and it is much easier now. Going back up will get you huffing and puffing. If you are not quite in shape to do it take it in smaller increments. Go ¼ of the way up and rest, ½ rest, ¾ rest. This trip we did it each day and a few times walked non stop up and a few times rested in quarters. My heart rate was way high jamming all the way up. Doing it in increments keeps your heart rate more steady and probably better for most unless you are an athlete!

As far as being remote, it really is not. We always have a car but you don’t need one. The road goes right up to the main road in Manuel Antonio and is a 10 minute walk. Right at the top is Emilio’s restaurant, The Falafel Bar and Café Milagro (these three are some of the best in MA and there are others very close). The restaurant at Makanda is also very good and the staff, Christopher, Melanie and Juan Carlos all a gem, sweet genuine Ticos!

Leo in the office is always there to make sure everything is running right and goes out of his way to help you with any of your needs. I learned that Leo has been with Makanda for 10 years and he really “gets” the property, he was proud of it before and beaming now that changes are a foot! Great ambassador for Makanda.

Note on safety since I read other posts. I feel 100% safe at Makanda. As soon as the sun goes down guards are posted in strategic places. There are motion sensor lights and cameras as well. They monitor which guests are on or off property and I believe when you are not in your villa the guards are keeping a watchful eye. The property seems fairly insulated to me but I am sure they keep up with aggressive security initiatives to assure safety to the exclusive clientele that visit this special property.

Oh, and I do have to admit . . . I was taking a shower one day and a monkey popped his head up and was watching me through a high window. I think he was amused at what I was doing. He did not stay long, wish he stayed longer, way cute those monkeys!

  • Stayed December 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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St. Petersburg, Russia
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

I left Makanda hotel 2 weeks ago. It was a great trip. Maybe, it was the best one! I enjoyed myself, excellent location, the breakfast was great and the scenery was amazing. Staff were incredibly helpful, nice and efficient; especially in a place where customer service seems not to be a primary concern of the service industry, they really stood out. Superb views from our private pool, interior in hotel fresh and qualitative, tide up ideally.I would definitely stay again if I'm fortunate enough to pay a return visit to the city.Rest in this hotel was remembered as something very comfortable, fresh, cozy. Thanks a lot to the hotel staff!

  • Stayed January 2015, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
Linthicum, MD
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 weeks ago

Had a grea lunch at the Makanda Hotel poolside restuauint today. Even saw a sloth climbing down a tree which made it even more special. Beautiful location, excellent and very personable service, as well as a nice view.

  • Stayed January 2015, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Krasnoyarsk, Russia
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 weeks ago

Everything about this hotel is amazing and I highly recommend going if you haven't been already!
We had a great week stay here last weekend. Now the hotel after the renovation and looks incredibly cool! We choose the hotel for guest reviews and photos, but were not sure that by the time of our arrival, the hotel will restore.
And, when we arrived we could not believe their eyes! Renovated hotel looks enchanting! All repairs careful attention to detail. The comfort starts upon arrival. Helpful polite reception and all staff are so friendly.
The rooms are spacious with very comfortable beds and have lovely décor. You are greeted every day with a different towel critter on you bed that always makes us grin. There are fridges and safes in the rooms. We had a fabulous private pool. It was a pleasant surprise.
I would like to note that the Wi-Fi works great anywhere
They have a great delicious cuisine and the service was excellent. Variety of dishes is impressive.
The hotel is on a hill and have a gorgeous view of the ocean and real jungle around you. I've never seen so close to monkeys, sloths and other exotic animals. Feel like a hero of advertising "Bounty", because it is a tropical paradise!
This place was magical! From the spectacular ambiance…
It was an unforgettable vacation, full relax, good mood and happiness.
Never tire of saying thanks to the excellent staff Makanda Hotel and definitely will be back soon!

  • Stayed January 2015, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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.
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2015

A beautiful hotel on a hill overlooking the ocean, surrounded by jungle. We had luxury renovated villa, well-designed, with comfortable bed and a private pool. There is free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel. Also there is a very nice private beach, with not many people. The restaurant serves excellent food and drinks, in large portions. The food, which was offered in the hotel was way better than in most of restaurants in town. Number of animals is higher than in National Park, there are several species of monkeys, sloths, toucans and colibri. We have also seen whales swimming in our bay.
We felt very comfortable as there was very professional, attentive and friendly staff in the hotel. Most importantly, we felt really safe here.
This is a great place for a honeymoon or romantic getaway.
We will definitely come here again!

Stayed January 2015, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2015

Amazing luxury hotel in Manuel Antonio. Hotel after the reconstruction. Comfortable rooms. Great food. Magic ocean view. It was really cool to wake up and see toucans and monkeys outside the window every morning. Highly recommend!!!

  • Stayed January 2015, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
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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:
#5 Luxury Hotel in Manuel Antonio National Park
#7 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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