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“Avoid this like the plague!” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Cabinas Playa Las Manchas

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Cabinas Playa Las Manchas
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Montezuma, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #19 of 19 Hotels in Montezuma
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Avoid this like the plague!”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2009

We unfortunately ended up here in March 2009 and it was undoubtedly the worst place we stayed at during our travels through Costa Rica, Mexico and Cuba – and we stayed in a lot of places. Firstly the one good point. It is positioned right on the beach about 20 minutes walk from Montezuma although the rather lively sea and the riptide need great respect.

This place may have changed titles and owners over the past few years but in our brochure at the date above it is referred to as Playa Las Manchas Beach Hotel and at this time seems to be run by an Italian family. A hotel it is not. Downmarket hostel would be a complement. Any form of welcome is non existent, totally negative, almost like you were interrupting them. Even though there were a group of people hanging round in reception no help was offered with our luggage and we had to drag them over gravel pathways to the room. The buildings, which maybe were nice at one time, are now a ramshackle group of huts that have obviously not been touched (by paint or money) for years.

The rooms are dark and awful (a small mirror would have been a luxury) with windows sealed with duck tape (to stop the ants coming in – or some of them) and the choice of using dark sheets can hide a multitude of sins. You share a shower/toilet with 5 other rooms and a sign (the only sign with any information) asks you to please not put toilet paper down the toilet - think about that when you’re sharing with five other rooms! Breakfast is served in the sometimes restaurant but it is the smallest breakfast you have ever seen - and don’t ask for a second cup of coffee! There are of course no fridges in the rooms and the communal one we were shown was nicely warm, old and disgusting. Remember you are twenty minutes walk from the town and they close this restaurant at 4pm every day and do not open at all on Mondays but of course there is no sign in the rooms to inform you of this. There is nowhere else to eat locally.

However the worst thing about this place is how it is run, or not run. These people should not be allowed anywhere near the hospitality business. They seem to operate it as a private club for their Italian friends and family and treat their guests as irritations. We witnessed a Scandinavian couple being shown rooms by a bare chested male with a fag hanging out of his mouth who dropped ash all over the place. They left with disgust (actually they looked rather sick) on their faces and obviously the owners could not care less if people stayed there or not. There is absolutely no form of customer courtesy, care or service and just witness the owners and friends looking after themselves at breakfast while the guests wait to be served by a single hard working woman who cleans as well (sometimes). Please do not encourage these people by staying here, they need to be out of business just ASAP. There are normally plenty of OK rooms available in Montezuma itself where you can also eat when you want to.

With dusty Montezuma you’ll either love it or hate it but don’t get sick or have an accident as there is no immediate medical care whatsoever. As we were spending UK pounds sterling we found Costa Rica to be expensive particularly as they price everything in US dollars but then convert it to their own currency (at their chosen daily exchange rate) when you pay. You find out what everything cost when the credit card bills come in. Everyone seems to be holding their hand out for money – little forest trails, orchid gardens, butterfly gardens, waterfalls - they all want money. Their excuse is that this stops them having to cut down the forests which may be true but look forward to being treated as a resource. The biggest rip off however is the ‘InBio Parque’ outside San Jose – six dollars for locals and a huge TWENTY THREE dollars for tourists (you easily find it by looking for all the disgusted Japanese, American and British tourists milling around outside wondering what else to do with their day after refusing to be exploited). Be prepared.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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5 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    2.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    2.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3 of 5 stars
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2009

The cabins are decent, and each room has a fan. The biggest advantage the place has is that it is located right across the street from a nice little beach. The ocean does have a fairly intense tide, but as long as you stay mindful of the rocks that border the beach, you should be fine. Plus, come March, the water is warm and wonderful to swim in.

The owner was very nice when we stayed there, helping us set up a canopy tour and a snorkeling trip. They cleaned the rooms while we were there, though the schedule they had for cleaning was rather irregular.

The most important thing to remember is that these cabins are for people willing to rough it a bit. There is no air conditioning, so someone who doesn't handle heat well might have trouble staying here. It is also a 20-25 minute walk from town, which our group actually liked, but others might have a problem with it. When you're there, you do feel a bit secluded, but that seclusion includes a beach, which makes up for it.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2009

Merripossa is by far the nicest of the 3 cabins, with the other double coming in second. The large building is probably the worst and it is furtherest from the beach, though it is still comfortable enough. Your in the jungle, so expect bugs and critters, but nothing too terrible (atleast not in the dry season). The restaurant was good, but they only served breakfast and lunch and the service was lousy. The town of Montezuma is about a 20-30 minute walk north, which can be a pain in the heat, especially on the rough dirt roads. The beach across from the hotel is very pretty, but it is rocky with strong currents making it difficult for amateur swimmers. The staff wasn't particularly helpful, but they were nice enough. The wildlife can be a little loud at night and the heat can make it difficult to sleep if that is something that would bother you. I would strongly recommend getting a group large enough to rent an entire cabin as opposed to just one room (our group actually rented the whole hotel).

  • Stayed March 2009
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2007

Please do not go here!!!! The website looks great, but the pictures lie. It is not on the beach, it is next to a small farm with roosters that keep you up all night, dogs that bark all day, and a bar with locals who party in the evening.
The "beach" accross the street is dangerous! I got caught in a rip tide that almost killed me. I watched 6 other people get caught in the same rip tide after I told them not to go in the water. I later found out that people die here every year.
The rooms are dingy at best with cold showers and concrete floors.
The manager is a nut case. After we left the hotel, he tracked us down at night and told us that he was going to get his friend the police cheif to take us to jail if we did not come back to his hotel. Scarey!!! I am not exaggerating here...this place is a nightmare. Try the much better and less expensive Montezuma Paradise!

  • Liked — nothing
  • Disliked — the crazy manager and the deadly beach
  • Tips/Secrets — do not go here
  • Stayed December 2006, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 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.
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Additional Information about Cabinas Playa Las Manchas

Address: Montezuma, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Montezuma
Hotel Style:
Ranked #19 of 19 Hotels in Montezuma
Number of rooms: 3
Also Known As:
Cabinas Playa Las Manchas Hotel Montezuma

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