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“We almost could not believe our eyes!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Hotel Moana

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Hotel Moana
Ranked #4 of 9 Hotels in Mal Pais
Certificate of Excellence
Washington, D.C.
Level Contributor
2 reviews
“We almost could not believe our eyes!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 7, 2010

My husband and I traveled to Malpais for the first leg of our belated honeymoon. We chose Moana Lodge based on the excellent reviews of the hotel -- and the area -- on TripAdvisor. We were certainly not disappointed. Moana is a fantastic value and a perfect getaway. We splurged on the Honeymoon Suite, which was actually VERY reasonably priced for what you get: panoramic ocean view, two private sitting porches (one with outdoor shower), jacuzzi, TV, A/C, and breakfast included -- and this isn't the usual buffet hotel breakfast, but real, traditional Costa Rican breakfasts with fresh fruit and juice. The staff is really friendly and was even patient with me practicing my terrible Spanish (as most Costa Ricans were). The other rooms also seemed very nice based on what we could tell and what other guests said - the two rooms right below the honeymoon suite seemed to be a particularly good value, as they appeared to have an ocean view as well. The new restaurant, the Papaya Lounge, is really incredible, and again, a great value for what you are getting. It also has a panoramic ocean view that rivals the honeymoon suite's! And the pool is wonderful! Highly recommend a poolside massage!

A couple of things to keep in mind if you stay here: You will need to be prepared to pay for tours and some other incidentals in cash. There are only two ATMs in town, so just be prepared. I would definitely recommend renting a 4x4. You can also rent ATVs from the hotel. Moana is located down a dirt road, a bit of a dusty walk from the town. This is actually a plus, because it seems like the areas right around Playas Santa Teresa and Carmen is getting a bit noisy with nightlife. But you may want to drive to the beach, to Montezuma, or to a different restaurant (highly recommend Mary's down the street and the Bakery in town). I would also bring a pair of ear plugs...when we were there, there was this traveling bass machine -- literally a van with a speaker system on top of it -- blasting music around the town. This is completely not the fault of the hotel management, and really didn't detract from our experience. I just wished I had ear plugs! I bet something will be done about it soon.

Overall, we would highly recommend Moana Lodge! Great for honeymooners, couples, families, and groups of friends alike.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank DistrictCouple
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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413 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
USA
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 4, 2010

We felt like we landed in paradise when we visited Moana Lodge in Costa Rica. The lodging is extraordinary and the stunning setting is matched in beauty by its owners and servers who are more than happy to ensure that your visit is one to remember. We were lucky enough to enough their Papaya Lounge on New Years eve. The food was above four stars and the views are simply breathe taking. You won't be disappointed when you book either a room and/or a meal at this hidden gem!

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank jraeUsa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Arlington Virginia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 3, 2010

Mal Pais is a quiet little beach town in Costa Rica that is growing up a little bit. Moana Lodge provides a nice option for travelers that want to step up their accommodations. Why not... the price is right. The rooms and entire grounds are very well kept. The staff is helpful. The new restaurant has an amazing ambiance and view. It's sure to become a local attraction for those that want a nice evening out. Not only are the rooms nice, but we found ourselves lounging around the pool more than usual. When the sunshine on the beach gets to be too much, it is nice to have this retreat. The only hitches we ran into were with the differentiation between what must be paid for with credit card and and cash upon check-out. Get real clear on this so you are not caught off guard. Also, the shuttle that was arrived for us never showed up. The hotel owner found us another ride, but we still missed our flight. This totally sucked. Be sure to confirm any reservations that are important to you. While in Mal Pais I highly recommend riding an ATV into Montezuma. I don't recommend eating at the Soda on the beach across from Moana.

Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank gallegos32
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 1, 2010

I can't say enough good things about Moana Lodge!
Aidan and Vicky, the owners, are extremely helpful, warm, and welcoming. Ruth, the receptionist, shows the same warmth and always has a smile on her face.
The rooms (we stayed in both the honeymoon suite and deluxe room) were very clean and extremely comfortable. The honeymoon suite offers the most amazing views and goes above and beyond in offering a place to unwind.
The pool was a welcomed relief from the heat of the sun and sand. If you can splurge on a poolside massage, it's well worth it!
Each morning, breakfast was served at the hilltop restaurant and was always fresh and delicious. Mal Pais has many great restaurants to choose from for dinner, but the one at Moana Lodge serves some of the best fresh fish we had on our trip- and you can't beat the view!
On our next trip to Mal Pais, we will definitely go back to Moana Lodge!

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank SDGirl76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 30, 2009

we had a superb stay at Moana Lodge. From the moment we arrived we were superbly taken care of from Aidian's introduction to all the information in the pack provided.

The new restaurant is truly a magnificent place with an incredible view and atmosphere, and the food was out of this world. Truly world class quality in a small corner of Costa Rica.

We enjoyed every moment of our stay despite the constant rain, so keep up the fabulous work Aidan and Vicky!

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Philippa8Uk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leeds
Level Contributor
3 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 30, 2009

Moana Lodge came highly recommended on Trip Advisor and we are really glad we chose to stay there during our 2 weeks in Costa Rica. Aidan and Vicki were wonderful hosts and made us feel so welcome. They were always helpful and quick to arrange any transport or trips that we needed. The rooms were decorated in an African theme and very clean. The view from the brand new restaurant/ bar was spectacular - perfect for watching the sun set over Mal Pais beach. The freshly cooked breakfasts were delicious and there was a different choice everyday. We would love to make a return visit as 5 nights just werent enough!!

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Jetsquirrel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tullamore
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 15, 2009

We stayed at Moana Lodge for the last 4 nights of our honeymoon. It was the perfect ending to the perfect holiday. We stayed at the honeymoon suite, a new room built into the side of a hill. It has one of the best views we have seen just about at any hotel we have stayed at. The room is wonderfully appointed with a huge comfy bed and a window that makes you feel you are outside with the monkeys and birds. The sunsets over the pacific are incredible and we enjoyed these from the jacuzzi in the bathroom and the balcony. Aidan is a fantastic and welcoming host. Unfortunately we did not get to meet his wife Vicky and the girls. We did however spend some time with Sandra the dog who was great company. She even came with us to a beach club one night. Aidan armed us with all the local knowledge that we needed to really enjoy our stay in Malpais. Playa Carmen is only a few minutes away where the commercial centre is located. There are some amazing beaches in Malpais and around. Playa Hermosa is beautiful. On our last evening we were lucky enough to have been the 1st guests at the restaurant in Moana Lodge which is being run by French Chef Sebastien and his wife. It was a perfect evening with fine dining at its best and the monst wonderful sunset to enjoy. We would also like to mention all the other staff who work at Moana Lodge. They were great especially the 2 ladies who prepare a wonderful breakfast every morning and then restore order to the fantastic bedrooms. Well Done!

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
Helpful?
Thank TullamoreMichelle
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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