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“Another fantastic trip and stay in Costa Rica”
Review of Hotel Moana

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Hotel Moana
Ranked #3 of 8 Hotels in Mal Pais
Reviewed July 18, 2011

Thanks Aiden and Vicky for graciously hosting myself (again) and my family. The four of us had a fantastic time and seeing all the new amenities since I was last there was incredible. Good on both of you for providing beautiful rooms, great service...incredible food & drink at the Papaya Lounge and for the the couple of nights in our 2 weeks stay we just wanted to rest - THANK YOU for the 'movie room'/telescope for star gazing.

Papaya Lounge Restaurant - go here even if you are staying in the neighboring town of Santa Teresa. The distance is not far and really...if you are eating as you should be in these neighboring towns (with great food) you could use the walk (or bike it...take a cab if your alcohol levels are peaking). Here's the trick: plan a dinner night there...then make sure you go back for their breakfasts. So good. So, so good.

I realize many of the reviews state the location of Mal Pais in relation to Santa Teresa. Personally I prefer staying in Mal pais...I can walk, or bike up to the surf spots in the heart of the town (cross roads where Mal pais and Santa Teresa meet), I can access the jungle road south of Mal Pais by foot if we didn't arrange a car rental and most of all with the nicest people running the hotel there were no issues if we wanted to get somewhere for a day.

Hotel staff - perfect. Food - so good I was asking for recipes. Drinks - too good: I don't dare try and recreate at home for fear of causing myself major disappointment. Rooms...still stellar. Thanks again for a lovely, zero stress vacation!

I really couldn't wait to get out of Samara and get my famjam down to Mal Pais.

  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled with friends
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Thank soloadventure
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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208 - 214 of 423 reviews

Reviewed July 18, 2011

we began our 10-day vacation in costa rica in mal pais at the moana lodge, and in hindsight, would have been more than happy to have stayed there for the entire trip. definitely worth the drive off (or literally, on) the beaten path. gorgeous beaches, breathtaking views, and a most comfortable overall hotel experience. the food at the lodge is the best available in mal pais, as evident by the visiting celebrities you are likely to see there on any given night. highly recommend stopping by for a drink to watch the sunset, or an early morning breakfast (which is included in the room rate). the staff is very personable and takes a highly vested interested in the well-being of all guests. very accommodating in providing travel arrangements (cars, 4-wheelers, boats, etc.) and gave great recommendations for other hotels and cities throughout the country. would, without a doubt, stay there again in the future. this hidden treasure lived up to, and beyond, its billing. no trip to the peninsula is complete without a night - or several - at the moana lodge.

  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank bigalfro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 7, 2011

This lovely hotel has great-sized, comfortable rooms with amazing views out to sea over the jungle canopy. It was great to retreat back to after a dusty day out and about. We'd sit on the balcony, beer in hand and watch the sun set over the sea. The restaurant was great, serving a great selection of international food which again, made a lovely treat from the more rustic places out and about in malpais. And it was so nice to eat 'al fresco' and looking out over the amazing view.The kids were well catered for too, and the junior suite was spacious enough for our family of four for almost two weeks.

Every time we drove up to moana lodge we congratulated ourselves that we'd managed to make such a good choice - and the howler monkeys that greeted us from the trees above the car park every night seemed to agree.

  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled with family
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Thank TravellingBilsbys
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
moanamanager, Owner at Hotel Moana, responded to this reviewResponded June 9, 2011

Thank you for coming all this way from the UK and giving us a try and for letting us know your thoughts. We allways try to ensure that our guest's have a perfect stay and so were delighted that you enjoyed it here with us in Mal Pais. We hope see you back soon, Aidan and Vicky

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 6, 2011

We stayed at the Moana Lodge for our last 2 nights on our trip to Costa Rica. We stayed in the Junior Suite 1 night and the Master Suite our 2nd night. Both were VERY comfortable and had the best beds we stayed in. I almost did not want to leave the rooms which is hard to say when visiting CR. The owner Aidan was very friendly and accommodating as well the rest of the staff. The restaurant has one of the best views in Mal Pais and we spent a whole night from happy hour through dinner there. Our waiter, Mike, was fantastic and helped make our evening a memorable one. Breakfast in the morning is included and had some great options for just about anyone. I had a plantain or banana bread french toast, which was unique and wonderful. The Moana is a unique and wonderful place to stay, I would highly recommend staying there if you get the chance. Thank you Aidan for the hospitality!

Room Tip: The Suites are great
  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank rado_Brian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 14, 2011

My husband, 21 year old daughter and myself had a great stay at the Moana Lodge. We lloved every minute here, from the delicious breakfasts every morning to relaxing on the swinging beds by the pool. The owners, Aiden and Vickie were so nice and helped us out with anything we needed. We were bummed about them not serving dinner the nights we were there, but they contacted us ahead of time and told us that they were not going to do dinners for a couple weeks because things were so slow for them right then. They graciously said that we could opt out of our stay and they would understand, but we wanted to still stay there and we are glad we did.
We only stayed in the standard room, which was still nice(1 queen bed and single bed) with bathroom, but next time we will get in one of the suites which are cool. They are decorated real nice and the view you would get from the suites would be great of the ocean. Our view was the trees and pretty plants, located near the pool which was great. And those swinging beds by the pool are the best---so relaxing!
The big plus for Moana Lodge is the location. During the dry season there is lots and lots and lots of DUST and DIRT and this place is located back off from the road where you do not get that dust flying everywhere-we were glad about that.
I do want to mention the help at the lodge-from the nice pregnant girl(who is due any time), the server at breakfast time, and the pool guy---they were all so very nice and made our stay really great.
We have NOTHING negative to say about Moana Lodge.

Room Tip: Get the suites for the ocean view
Stayed: May 2011
Thank SHERRY1953
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 9, 2011

We had a reservation in a different hotel nearby but were not thrilled when we arrived. So we decided to check out some other places in the area, and happened upon the Moana Lodge. We drove up to the reception area and were greeted by the owner, who was happy to show us 2 rooms.

The rooms were nicely decorated, spacious, clean, and unique. We decided to stay immediately, as the price was also fair. The rooms had strong A/C, nice African-style furniture, comfortable beds, nice showers. Free WiFi internet too.

The owner Aidan, mentioned that they had a bar and restaurant on site, built on the side of the mountain, above the rooms. We decided to go up for a drink and check out the menu. The owner also offered travel advice and route suggestions when we ventured out, which were very helpful.

The view from the restaurant is spectacular. You can see the whole horizon. It is a nice place to view the sunset. It is also a nice place to have your breakfast. The restaurant is open-air.

They had a few special dishes for the day, in addition to the extensive selection on the regular menu. So we decided to have dinner there. I had a Watermelon and Prosciutto salad first, then a delicious, fresh, Mojarra Frita (Fried whole Red Snapper) . I have had this dish many times, in a few different countries, but this was one of the best I have had. We were impressed with the quality of the ingredients, and with the presentation of the food. My friend Tommy had a Filet Mignon in a mushroom sauce with fresh vegetables. They offered some nice Chilean and Argentinean wines. We had fruit and marshmallow fondue for dessert. The international staff was friendly, professional and helpful.

Both Tommy and I are from New York City, and have traveled extensively, so we are not easily impressed. But we both agreed that they got everything right at the restaurant. We looked forward to breakfast, which was also fresh, tasty and well-presented. The drinks at the bar were also made well.

The pool is nice, and has 2 hanging beds next to it, which was a nice spot to relax, and a nice touch. The place was quiet the whole time we were there, so it was relaxing.

I do not have anything negative to say about the Moana Lodge, and I will definitely stay there the next time I am in Mal Pais. And I have to go back, because my wife has seen the photos and she wants to stay there!! Check out their website. I think its moanalodge.com. There's a video on it.

  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled with friends
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Thank Christian T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 8, 2011

My husband and I stayed in a junior suite for 3 nights in March. We ferried across to Paquera with our rental 4x4 and drove to Mal Pais. Roads turn to dirt after Cobano and the last half hour is hard going but we found the hotel no problem. Word of warning - to get the amazing views of the ocean/sunset you have to climb lots of steps to the suites and restaurant - 100% worth it though! The junior suites are very spacious and comfortable and the AC was a god send. Cable TV and free WiFi are nice touches and we enjoyed sipping beers on our balcony while watching the sunset! We ate in the restaurant all 3 nights mainly because of the location of the hotel - the hotel felt a little isolated and after a day of exploring we didn't really want to brave the road again for food! Luckily the food and service on site were excellent so we didn't feel like we were hard done by! If you want a bit of luxury and are prepared to brave the Costa Rican roads to get there then Moana Lodge could be just what you're looking for.

Room Tip: Upgrade to a junior suite to get the awesome views
  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank raelarder1976
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Moana

Address: Mal Pais, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Mal Pais
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#2 Family Hotel in Mal Pais
#4 Romantic Hotel in Mal Pais
Price Range: $70 - $137 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel Moana 3.5*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hotel Moana is a small luxurious ocean view hotel nestled amongst a rich backdrop of wildlife and jungle. Inspired by Africa for its choice of décor, the beautiful rooms offer tranquility and comfort to all of our guests. Enjoy being served breakfast while you gaze out over the Pacific Ocean. Later hang out at the wonderful pool area and fall asleep on a suspended day bed while the waves crash in the background, paradise awaits! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Moana Hotel Mal Pais
Hotel Moana Costa Rica/Mal Pais

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