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“Makanda was amazing! Everything we had hoped it would be ...” 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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Baltimore, Maryland
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
“Makanda was amazing! Everything we had hoped it would be ...”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2006

Like another reviewer said, I also loved Makanda by the Sea so much that I feel it is necessary to give them an excellent review. Out of the three hotels we stayed in during our 10-day trip to Costa Rica, Makanda was our favorite hotel by far. The rooms were beautiful and had everything we needed. We stayed in Villa 5 and really appreciated the fully-stocked kitchen, the great selection of television channels, the beautiful view and balcony, and also the yummy bath products that were refilled everyday. Every morning we enjoyed watching a large troupe of monkeys make their way toward our balcony, and of course the amazing breakfasts were also something to look forward to in the mornings. My favorite was the pancakes with banana coconut toppings and also the fresh fruit juice.

As to the grounds, the pool is beautiful and has a great view of the ocean and surrounding areas. I also recommend making the trek (and boy is it a trek going back up to the hotel) to the beach. It is very secluded and beautiful.

The restaurant, Sunspot Grill, at Makanda by the Sea is also not to be missed. We ate dinner there almost every night and couldn't believe how delicious and fresh their fish was. Their desserts are also wonderful. Everyone on the wait staff was so hospitable and nice as well. In fact everyone in general, from the front desk staff to the person who monitors the front gate, was very gracious and nice to us our entire stay.

One thing I would also like to comment on is the safety of the place. There are signs EVERYWHERE reminding people to lock their doors and keep a close eye on their belongings, and the hotel makes it clear that it is the individual's responsibility to keep tabs on his/her things Let's face it people, it's Costa Rica and things have been known to happen, so please take their warnings to heart. From everything we could see, the security here was great, and even at night we saw people keeping an eye on the parking lots and just perusing the grounds in general to make sure everything was safe. We felt completely safe and at ease at Makanda, and we would return to this hotel in a heartbeat! It really was one of the most relaxing and romantic hotels we have visited.

  • Stayed June 2006
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 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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332 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 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (59)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2006

We loved this hotel for our honeymoon! The staff is WONDERFUL. We chatted with the American owners several times and they are nice, too. We called every morning and had breakfast delivered to our room. The order was always correct, the food hot...fresh mango and papaya every morning!

We always felt safe here as there's a "guard" at the front of the drive.

The room was bright, spacious and comfortable. The balcony was perfect for afternoon naps in the hammock or morning coffee.

Beautiful and fragrant flowers everywhere...the reception area, the rooms, the paths, the restaurant.

This hotel is the ONLY place we saw monkeys. We didn't see them on the canopy tour, at El Avion, in the National Park..only here! And one morning the howler monkies woke us up EARLY. But the sun wakes ya up around 5:30 AM anyway.

The pool area was very clean. The only one complaint I have is too much Bob Marley. I'd rather hear Costa Rican music, not Jamaican music. Oh, well.

I would definitely stay here again and would definitely recommend this hotel to any couple.

Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Virginia Beach, VA
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 27, 2006

Since it helped us to decide where to stay in Manuel Antonio by reading all the reviews on tripadvisor, we are returning the favor by adding our opinion.
We stayed for 3 nights at Makanda by the sea in the middle of May, 2006. We had Studio #4. It was the most private/serene/romantic hotel we have ever stayed. This is the resort that you do not want to leave. The room had a unique décor. There was a huge live flower arrangement on the table. The whole back wall is windows – the view is breathtaking.
We did have some minor problems which were addressed immediately (somehow it did not bother us much): the phone did not work one morning- so my husband had to go to the reception to order our breakfast in the room, the a/c was making some strange noise one night.
We saw some monkeys passing every day, some beautiful colorful birds.
We loved the infinity pool. Every evening we would meet other couples at the pool. It was fun to hear their stories.
We ate almost all our meals at the hotel during our stay. My husband loved the beef stake (grass fed meat). All tables had fresh lilies and candles on them. It was very romantic. I cannot say that Costa Rica has the best tasting food. It was just OK for me except Breakfast (it was something I was looking for every morning – very yummy). But I can say that this hotel had better tasting food than anywhere we ate in Costa Rica.
We hiked down to see the beach, but it appeared to me just average, I liked to hang around the pool more and watch the jungle life and the ocean from there. It was the most relaxing hotel.

Costa Rica is not really the safest place. We met a guy that was mugged in Jaco beach,, and then we heard a story about a guy renting a surf board in Manuel Antonio and leaving his cell phone with the guy who rented the surf board to him, and when he came back – his cell phone was stolen by the same guy’s friends, so he had to buy it from them for $100 (it all happened in one week while we were in Costa Rica). I felt like I always had to watch for my stuff. By the end of this vacation (which lasted 8 days), I was ready to go back to the States. I thought that Costa Rican people were trying to take advantage of American tourists by double charging for everything and always reminding to tip for even a small favor (however, 10% service charge is included on all the service bills). My expectations were maybe too high for this country and they were not met. I have never been in the country like this, and I have been in many countries ( I grew up in Lithuania).I don’t think we will be returning to Costa Rica, but if we were, we would definitely stay at Makanda by the sea Hotel.

  • Stayed May 2006
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 4, 2006

Our last three nights in Costa Rica were spent at Makanda by the Sea. It is truly like being in paradise all by yourself. Room 11 and pool area were beautiful and the views were breathtaking. The walk to the beach was well worth it. The walk back back up is a "killer". The breakfasts served in your room were very tasty and filling. We did have dinner and a late lunch there and it was good, but we enjoyed ourslves more at El Avion just down the way., The high light of our stay was watching the pack of monkeys that played just outside our room. I again thank Melissa's for her prompt and friendly emails.

Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Palo Alto, CA
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2006

We stayed in a studio at Makanda for 3 nights during our trip to Costa Rica. The view was gorgeous. It was very private, which is something that was hard to find at other hotels. The breakfasts are the best we have ever had at any hotel anywhere and it was great having breakfast delivered to our studio in the mornings. The only downside is the long walk to the beach. Perhaps they should provide a shuttle service that ferrys their guests to the beach to make things easier.

  • Stayed May 2006
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boulder, Colorado
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2006

I stayed at Makanda by the Sea just before Christmas of 2005 (approx Dec 14 - 21). I never wrote a review and now feel BAD that I hadn't. I see some of these reviews saying that Makanda has no soul and people are let down. I believe that reviewers and travelers must understand what you are getting into when you travel to another country.

Our experience was no less than perfect. The views were beautiful, food - exceptional, rooms - immaculate, and the service was as personal as you can get. WONDERFUL!!!! The staff was extremely accomadating from booking activities, information, pointing out wildlife, and providing amnentiies that weren't even asked for but made our vacation a truly wonderful experience.

The grounds are intimate and lush wish foliage and wildlife. There is more soul here than many of the travels I have ever experienced. The grounds were under construction with the owners new house but obviously temporary. It is down a huge hill not in the immediate resort where you don't even know its there. WHO WOULDN'T WANT TO BUILD THERE HOME THERE, I was jealous.

Like I said the staff and service was wonderful from beginning to end. We even attended their private holiday party they invited us to. It had free food, transportation, drinks and entertainment. Besides that the staff went out of its way to personal know us and in turn we got to know them. The owners even offered us a ride to Manuel Antonio Beach one morining.

As far as security, you are in another country. Few countries operate like the US espeecially to foreigners. I know that I do NOT want to stay at a resort that has guards walking around or barb wire fences surrounding it. Things happen and thats unfortunate but I know that the people at Makanda would do anything to ensure their guests safety. The environement is very peaceful but like anywhere take precautions.

If you want a resort with all the soul in life, you've found it. If you want a huge corporate zoo with kids running around the pool, this is not the place for you.

take care all and safe travels...thank you all at Makanda and my apologies for not writing this sooner. miss you all

Jessie Campbell
Denver, CO

  • Stayed December 2005
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
A TripAdvisor Member
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 23, 2006

My new wife and I stayed at Makanda from May 8th to the 14th. We stayed in Villa 7 which is located below the Sun deck by the pool. We had read many reviews about Makanda, some good some bad. All and all we had a great stay at the Makanda. My only complaint was walking more steps in a week than we had all year. Remember folks this is Costa Rica, not Hawaii. This a 3rd world country and not for the faint of heart. The service at the restaurant was great and the poolside service was above and beyond; including frozen towels to cool off and small servings of ice cream. We would have liked to see a little more wildlife (Monkeys and Sloths). In reading all the reviews that rated Makanda poorly I believe some people are snotty "international travellers" who think that any hotel staff needs to bow down and thank them for gracings the hotel with their presence. I had a great time with the staff including the grounds crew, who did a great job keeping the Makanda beautiful, not to mention always pointing out weird creatures for us to see. If your going to Makanda tell Manuel I said hello. He is the smiley character with the Machete. We would definately go back to Makanda. Last word of advice; if you are frightened by bugs, crabs or lizards this place may not be for you. If you are looking for adventure Costa Rica definately offers a variety of exciting tours. We really reccommend the ATV tour in the rain forest....Very Cool! Good luck and happy travelling.

  • Stayed May 2006
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
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 Luxury Hotel in Manuel Antonio National Park
#8 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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