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“The Perfect Honeymoon!”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Makanda by the Sea

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Makanda by the Sea
Certificate of Excellence
Cedar Falls, Iowa
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
“The Perfect Honeymoon!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 31, 2011

My husband and I honeymooned in Costa Rica and couldn't have stayed at a better resort!! Small and intimate (13? 14? rooms total ) with a friendly staff, clean/large rooms and amazing views!! If you're looking to stay away from the feel of a large resort, Makanda is perfect and Quepos offers fun day or half-day excursions, which the staff was extremely knowledgable about. Breakfast was my favorite meal...be sure to order the French toast! Loved everything about staying here!

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Brittany7911
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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508 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 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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South Pasadena
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 17, 2011

A couple days at the Makanda by the Sea will reinvigorate you and yours! This little gem of a luxury hotel is the perfect spot for a getaway- very attentive staff who will respect your privacy as well- no need to leave your suite and the pool-side restaurant is superior.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank DrBradSouthPasadena
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
20 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 11, 2011

Makanda-by-the-sea hotel is truly paradise. We stayed here for 3 nights and it was honestly a struggle to ever leave the grounds! This was our "splurge" stay of the trip and was worth every penny.
Despite being their most basic offer, our "studio" room was spacious and beautiful, with an awesome bathroom and a king-sized bed and a couch looking out to our balcony.
The private balcony had a tremendous view of the sea and was the perfect place to sit and watch the sunset every night. Another guest pointed out to me - correctly - that while every hotel in Manuel Antonio has sea view, they are not all situated facing the right direction for the sunset! Makanda was the first one built in its location in 1985, thereby assuring the best location in the area!
The in-room breakfast was fantastic (some of the best french toast!). Happy hour 2-for-1 drinks by the pool was great! The level of service in general was outstanding - particularly by Max at the bar and Leo the manager. We could have stayed at the infinity pool forever. Every day we saw tree sloths and iguanas, and at night we were lulled to sleep by the sounds of tree frogs and cicadas.
Because this is an adults-only hotel, there are only a few guests and you are sure to make friends with the other couples by the pool. We had a car, but still were able to walk 15 minutes to several good restaurants nearby.
A definite recommendation - don't stay anywhere else!!

Room Tip: All rooms are great, even the smallest least expensive ones!
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
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    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank mg1305
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
west orange
Level Contributor
17 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 10, 2011

The staff of this hotel could not have been more friendly and helpful, especially Leo and Darwin at the front desk and Jorge in the restaurant. We had a wonderful three day stay in a gorgeous exotic setting. Only one caveat: do not walk down to their private beach unless you're in really good health. It is a hike!

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank janthek
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dresden, Germany
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 30, 2011

We stayed in family for 2 nights at Makanda and it was wonderful. Our room was perfect with the generous bathroom and the kitchen area. Of course not to forget the stunning view over Pacific. Wow! It was so relaxing and the breakfast was perfect. The restaurant is also very good, with nice cocktails and delicious food. The staff is very friendly and very helpful. We did not like the private beach but Manuel Antonio Nationalpark is not far and has a beautiful beach.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank limartini
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auburn, California
Level Contributor
49 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 9, 2011

Very private, clean, and right in the middle of the jungle, birds, sloths and great service.
Jorge was very helpful.. What a view!!!!! Great pool atmosphere...thank you.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank DonandJai
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Scottsdale
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 31, 2011

My wife and I spent the first four nights of our honeymoon in a different area of Costa Rica but wanted to come early so we showed up a day early. We were able to check in early to Villa 6 and it was simply incredible. There is a review on here from March about the decor being old and outdated (she also said she was looking out over the Atlantic so...) but I would have to say the complete opposite. If anything their website photography doesn't do the property justice as their photos seem to be duplicated and not completely accurate, in a good way. Our room was far nicer than we expected and we had pretty high expectations. We had a great view overlooking the ocean down below, with all the sounds and beauty of the jungle at the same time.
Breakfast was great each morning if not ill timed. First morning they had a small mix up and forgot us but they did a good job fixing it, second morning they showed up 30 minutes early while we were sleeping. No big deal but I'm sure some other guests would probably blow their stack over it. Every employee at Makanda is really, really nice and seems to care to make sure you not only love Makanda but Costa Rica. And not in that "nice because it's their job" but the nice that is genuine.
The pool is amazing, service is not what you expect in America but then you're not in America. You need to prompt them for more drinks at the pool, and in general anything you need. They are great and attentive when you ask but they are not trying to ring up a big bill for a bigger tip. It's 10% autograt on the bill and they even cross out the Propina (tip) line on the check so you don't add more...? Umm...awesome. Very honest but know going into it that in general Costa Rica (not just Makanda) is just on a different level of service. Not better, not worse, just different. Food did come out quickly and we absolutely loved everything they served (2 lunches and one dinner (had the whole place to ourselves in the middle of a rainstorm!). We had a great time chatting with the servers all week who all again had great attitudes and loved talking about Costa Rica, "Pura Vida" and the history of Manuel Antonio.

Houskeeping was amazing each day as well. With breakfast each morning in your room the dishes pile up but they were clean, put away and everything restocked before we came back in the early afternoon each day. Very efficient.

Isabel and Elena gave us couples massages that left us both pretty amazed. My wife gets spas fairly regularily and she immediately and continually states it was the best spa she's ever had anywhere.

The beach is down a trail through the jungle and to a private (kind of) beach. It's a bit rocky but definately beautiful and usually you have it all to yourself. The hike back up is bound to leave you sweating but that's why they have a pool with an infinity edge that drops off into the jungle while overlooking the ocean. Seriously, it's amazing. Who cares what color the tile is on the pool.

The location is perfect, just a bit off the main road into Manual Antonio. The hotel provided a shuttle each day to the beach or the Park (don't get a wildlife guide at the park. We spotted slothes, monkeys, birds, lizards on our own. Save the dough.) There are hotels and restaurants all over place a short cab ride away.

Overall, I really can't say enough good things about the hotel. I manage a 4 diamond property hotel in Scottsale, AZ and probably look at things a little differntly than most people and can't think of many things that even could have been better. Their genuine service is truly special, something you cannot train, but rather have to find in the hiring process. They've done a great job in this regard and I'll definately be recommending this place to anyone headed that way, and hopefully, to a return trip sometime soon.

Room Tip: Email the hotel directly. Very friendly.
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  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Bohicad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Makanda by the Sea

Property: Makanda by the Sea
Address: Main Road to Manuel Antonio Park | 800 meters from Plaza Vista, Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Manuel Antonio National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#8 Luxury Hotel in Manuel Antonio National Park
#10 Spa Hotel in Manuel Antonio National Park
#13 On the Beach Hotel in Manuel Antonio National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Makanda by the Sea 4.5*
Number of rooms: 27
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Makanda By the Sea is 12 acres of wildlife sanctuary, 100 meters above the ocean. Our fully equipped Villas and Studios are carefully placed in rainforest gardens with spectacular views of the sixty mile coastline. Hotel Makanda is the ideal location for guests wishing to experience “romance in nature”, dazzling sunset views and our personalized boutique hotel ambiance. Offering gourmet cuisine, first class service, and close to Manuel Antonio Park, Spas, Restaurants, Tours and Beaches. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Makanda By The Sea Hotel Manuel Antonio National Park
Makanda By The Sea Costa Rica/Manuel Antonio National Park

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