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“Bob and Nancy Manitoba Canada” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Moana

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Hotel Moana
Ranked #3 of 9 Hotels in Mal Pais
Certificate of Excellence
Lac du Bonnet, Canada
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Bob and Nancy Manitoba Canada”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 2, 2014

While wintering in Tamarindo Costa Rica we took a short trip with friends to Mal Pais and Santa Teresa. We picked the Moana Lodge based on reviews we saw online. The hotel offers breath taking views and a beautiful pool area. On arrival we were told that our reserved cabin had a problem so we were put in a Junior Suite for our first nigh at no additional charge. The view was amazing which compensated for the number of stairs we had to climb. The staff were very friendly and " Cheeky " looked after all our needs during our stay.
The Papaya restaurant offered an excellent selection for both breakfast, dinner and the sunset from the restaurant was spectacular. We will definitely return.

Room Tip: Deluxe room worth the upgrade.
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank bob c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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394 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (68)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Hollis, New Hampshire
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2014

An enjoyable lodge with clean updated rooms. We stayed up above the tree line in one of the suites and it was perfect. Great views, etc. I would stay here again definitely. Staff was friendly and worked well for you.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank SteveNewHamp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Avon, North Carolina
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2014

I want to first say that Hotel Moana was the best place we stayed during our first trip to Costa Rica. It is nestled in a mountain ridge overlooking the ocean with breathtaking views from the restaurant for breakfast and dinner. We liked that it wasn't in the center of town: off the beaten path just enough but within walking distance of the great beach across the street and alternate restaurants. The hotel is intimate with a great pool and an bar operating off the honor system; loved it. The hotel staff is friendly and takes every necessary step to ensure your stay is nothing short of excellent. Bruno, the hotel's manager is a down-to-earth, genuine guy who assisted us in navigating Mal Pais and daily outdoor activities. Unfortunately, we were involved in a ATV accident our last night in Mal Pais. Bruno got wind of the situation and met us at the clinic! We wouldn't have gotten where we needed to without Bruno. Although we ended our vacation short, I would HIGHLY recommend Hotel Moana to ANYONE, especially couples. We will return someday! A huge thanks to Bruno and the rest of the staff!

Room Tip: The deluxe rooms were very nice but I think the standard rooms are just as nice if you don't nee...
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank MilaAlbie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars 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
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Michael C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pewaukee, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars 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
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      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 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars 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
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      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 stars 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
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Intlmutt
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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