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“Our Costa Rican Highlight”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Hotel Moana

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Hotel Moana
Ranked #3 of 9 Hotels in Mal Pais
Certificate of Excellence
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Our Costa Rican Highlight”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 24, 2014

Moana Lodge was a spectacular experience, and a highlight, for both my wife and I during our 2 week stay in Costa Rica from March 21 to the 24th, 2014. We had previously stayed in hotels in Quepos and Jaco, which were both comfortable and pleasant, but nothing close to Moana Lodge.

It takes 30 minutes driving over a semi-bumpy unpaved/paved road from Montezuma to get to Moana Lodge. After driving up their driveway, we walked up to the office and were greeted by the  hotel manager Bruno, and his assistant Marianno. Bruno and Marianno were both absolutely exceptional in their customer service; they were always accessible, polite, informative, and genuinely interested assisting and talking to their patrons. Bruno assisted us in planning our Zipline tour (also amazing), recommending the beautiful walk along the beach to Santa Teresa, and promptly helping us with any requests we had. Also, Bruno and Marianno do double duty and work up in the restaurant in the evening; nice to see passionate, hardworking, dedicated young men providing fantastic Customer Service.

The property is beautiful: it sits on the side of a mountain facing the ocean, which makes the experience watching the sunset from the restaurants patio, exceptionally beautiful and romantic. The grounds were clean and well kept. The pool area was very well taken care of.  During our last night in Costa Rica, we stayed in a "highly rated" chain hotel in San Jose, the pool was atrocious, leaves and algea everywhere, really gross. Moana Loadge's pool clean, no leaves, pristine. It just shows the amount of care and respect the staff has for their workplace. Also, cool to see an honesty bar next to the pool and hammock beds (so comfortable and relaxing).

The rooms were beautiful, comfortable, and had everything we needed: air conditioner, safe, stocked fridge, blow dryer, and the BEST bathroom/shower of any place we had stayed. It was so nice to have a real shower with nice hot water. My wife and I slept amazingly well in the rooms, with no disturbances from our neighbours or the outside. Anything we needed, the staff was quick to action. Just wonderful service. 

Lastly, the restaurant: The Papaya Lounge. We are going to write a separate review strictly for the restaurant, but. I have to mention it here. It's true that there are roughly 80 steps to get to the restaurant, so if your lazy, lack the desire to exercise, or have health issues, this may be a tedious experience; but if you are willing to take the minute and a half walk to the restaurant, you will treated to a fantastic dining experience: the food, the view, the service, the dining area, the music, and the drinks, all excellent and delivered with care and attention. Every morning we were treated to a delicious breakfast which came included with our stay. Great way to start the day!

Moana Lodge is about a 10/15 minute drive from Santa Teresa, so it's a bit of a walk along a dusty road. We suggest using a taxi or renting Atv's if you need to get around; especially since you probably will end up drinking some Imperial beers while you are out and about. 

Again, without bias, Moana Lodge is a true treasure in Costa Rica/southern Nicoya Penninsula. Without a doubt, we will make sure to return to Moana Lodge; quite a compliment since Costa Rica has so many other tourist destinations. 

Again, thank you to all those involved in maintaining the hotels integrity and leaving us with such fond memories of Mal Pais. Keep up the fantastic work! 

Sincerely,

Michael Costa

Room Tip: The higher up the mountain, the better view of the Ocean you get.
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Michael C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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417 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (71)
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English first
Pewaukee, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 23, 2014

We travel often and I never write a review because I don't want to relive the negatives because there always are some, not here! Hotel Moana was wonderful, the only problem being we didn't stay long enough. Yes, there are a lot of stairs leading up to the suites but, I would have climbed more just for the view. The room was spacious, clean, and comfortable. William meet us upon our arrival and couldn't have been more helpful getting up settled in our room.
The hotel manager, Bruno is worth his weight in gold helpful, courteous, and knowledgable about the area and tours. Every adventure and restaurant he recommended was perfect! He was always accessible. Harvin and Marianno were perfect in their roles.
The two dogs on the property Lulu and Frankie were perfect additions to the staff at the Hotel Moana.
If you are traveling to Mal Pais please don't miss staying at this wonderful hotel!

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank rover1046
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 23, 2014

I just spent 5 days at the Moana Lodge. Bruno's the man! He's hilarious…especially with the two dogs - Franky and Lulu. It's adorable how Bruno is in love with the two of them.

Anyways, as soon as we got there, he made us feel welcome and was happy to help us plan our days in Mal Pais and Santa Teresa. The day trips he planned for us are trips I'll remember forever. The 2 waterfalls at Montezuma changed my life. Canopy zip lining was hilarious and fun and I got to feel like Superman. Surfing was great. Isla tortuga…ay, que hermosa!

The views from our Junior suite were fantastic. The pool was fun and relaxing. The restaurant was great.

The worst part about the Moana Lodge was leaving. I was very sad to leave Bruno, Harvin, Chiqui, William and the dogs.

This place is the bomb. I love the southern Nicoya. I miss it every day!

Gracias por todos, Moana, especialmente para su amistad durante la semana.

-Chris

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Christopher S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Moscow, Russia
Level Contributor
17 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 22, 2014

From start to finish, the experience at Moana was excellent. Bruno took great care of all the details, the rooms are comfortable and luxurious, without unnecessary frills, and the views from the upstairs rooms and restaurant/bar are fantastic (not to mention the nice breeze). Keep in mind it's a couple of km from the main Santa Teresa strip, but the peace & quiet is nice, it keeps the dust down, and as long as you have transport, it's not a problem at all. The pool is great for a refreshing dip, and the honour bar is a nice touch!

Room Tip: The Jr Suites up on the hill near the restaurant are fantastic, with great open-air views.
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Intlmutt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 22, 2014

We stayed in the junior suite for 2 nights quite a climb (6?flights) - - but the balcony view was worth it !

Bruno the manager was wearing many hats (front desk -waiter -bartender) because of staffing issues, . Even in this difficult situation everything ran smoothly. And he went out of his way to help us return our rental car and arrange airport transfer.

We had dinner at the hotel (1 more flight up)
It was a beautiful setting and great food.

Room Tip: Junior suite worth the price for the great view!
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank maryinmn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bellingham, Washington
Level Contributor
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 14, 2014

We had a wonderful time at Hotel Moana. It was an incredibly peaceful, beautiful, exotic, and enchanting retreat for us. We stayed in a Jr. Suite (for 2 weeks) with our 2 children and had plenty of room for all of us. The jr. suite was spacious, inviting, accommodating and beautiful. We had a nice little view of the water from our balcony and it was peaceful to sit and watch the sunsets. We all enjoyed swimming in the refreshing pool and lounging in the swinging beds (poolside). The restaurant had incredible 180+ degree view of Mal Pais, Santa Teresa, the beaches, and surrounding jungle. Great place to check the surf. The food was delicious. We really enjoyed having our breakfast include with our stay. Most of all, we really enjoyed the helpful, courteous, and friendly staff. Bruno was incredible at answering our questions and providing insight about the surrounding area. Everyone was very accommodating and helpful if any issues arose. We highly recommend Hotel Moana and will certainly return on our next trip to Mal Pais/Santa Teresa.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Todd E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 7, 2014 via mobile

We stayed in the exquisite junior suite for 6 nights with incredible views, especially at sunset. The decor is clean lined, minimalistic with a bohemian flair, which is perfect for a beach getaway. We had dinner most nights at The Papaya Lounge, the restaurant on the premises, and found the food to be tasty, creative and the view breathtaking! The service at the hotel and restaurant is superb. Bruno, the hotel manager, creates the most delicious mojitos, caipirinhas and daiquiris. Both Bruno and Chiqui were accommodating and happy to assist us in all our daily adventures. Definitely recommend renting a quad or a jeep during your stay in Mal Pais. The pool is also lovely and relaxing with an honesty bar that's a plus. We loved the tranquility and privacy of this hotel and would love to come back sooner than later!

Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Denisewasmer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Moana

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): $
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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