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“So glad that we chose Makanda.”
Review of Makanda by the Sea

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Makanda by the Sea
Ranked #16 of 46 Hotels in Manuel Antonio
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed June 2, 2006

We stayed in a studio at Makanda for 3 nights during our trip to Costa Rica. The view was gorgeous. It was very private, which is something that was hard to find at other hotels. The breakfasts are the best we have ever had at any hotel anywhere and it was great having breakfast delivered to our studio in the mornings. The only downside is the long walk to the beach. Perhaps they should provide a shuttle service that ferrys their guests to the beach to make things easier.

  • Stayed: May 2006
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3  Thank wondrousbella
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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460 - 466 of 562 reviews

Reviewed May 25, 2006

I stayed at Makanda by the Sea just before Christmas of 2005 (approx Dec 14 - 21). I never wrote a review and now feel BAD that I hadn't. I see some of these reviews saying that Makanda has no soul and people are let down. I believe that reviewers and travelers must understand what you are getting into when you travel to another country.

Our experience was no less than perfect. The views were beautiful, food - exceptional, rooms - immaculate, and the service was as personal as you can get. WONDERFUL!!!! The staff was extremely accomadating from booking activities, information, pointing out wildlife, and providing amnentiies that weren't even asked for but made our vacation a truly wonderful experience.

The grounds are intimate and lush wish foliage and wildlife. There is more soul here than many of the travels I have ever experienced. The grounds were under construction with the owners new house but obviously temporary. It is down a huge hill not in the immediate resort where you don't even know its there. WHO WOULDN'T WANT TO BUILD THERE HOME THERE, I was jealous.

Like I said the staff and service was wonderful from beginning to end. We even attended their private holiday party they invited us to. It had free food, transportation, drinks and entertainment. Besides that the staff went out of its way to personal know us and in turn we got to know them. The owners even offered us a ride to Manuel Antonio Beach one morining.

As far as security, you are in another country. Few countries operate like the US espeecially to foreigners. I know that I do NOT want to stay at a resort that has guards walking around or barb wire fences surrounding it. Things happen and thats unfortunate but I know that the people at Makanda would do anything to ensure their guests safety. The environement is very peaceful but like anywhere take precautions.

If you want a resort with all the soul in life, you've found it. If you want a huge corporate zoo with kids running around the pool, this is not the place for you.

take care all and safe travels...thank you all at Makanda and my apologies for not writing this sooner. miss you all

Jessie Campbell
Denver, CO

  • Stayed: December 2005
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4  Thank campbyj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Atlanta, GA
111
Reviewed May 22, 2006

My new wife and I stayed at Makanda from May 8th to the 14th. We stayed in Villa 7 which is located below the Sun deck by the pool. We had read many reviews about Makanda, some good some bad. All and all we had a great stay at the Makanda. My only complaint was walking more steps in a week than we had all year. Remember folks this is Costa Rica, not Hawaii. This a 3rd world country and not for the faint of heart. The service at the restaurant was great and the poolside service was above and beyond; including frozen towels to cool off and small servings of ice cream. We would have liked to see a little more wildlife (Monkeys and Sloths). In reading all the reviews that rated Makanda poorly I believe some people are snotty "international travellers" who think that any hotel staff needs to bow down and thank them for gracings the hotel with their presence. I had a great time with the staff including the grounds crew, who did a great job keeping the Makanda beautiful, not to mention always pointing out weird creatures for us to see. If your going to Makanda tell Manuel I said hello. He is the smiley character with the Machete. We would definately go back to Makanda. Last word of advice; if you are frightened by bugs, crabs or lizards this place may not be for you. If you are looking for adventure Costa Rica definately offers a variety of exciting tours. We really reccommend the ATV tour in the rain forest....Very Cool! Good luck and happy travelling.

  • Stayed: May 2006
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11  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Tampa, FL
122
Reviewed May 14, 2006

Makanda by the Sea is by far the worst resort I have ever stayed at. It is equivalent to a one-star American hotel. I wouldn't recommend this place to anyone. We were extremely disappointed with this resort!!! If you want a relaxing enjoyable vacation at a nice resort, I would not recommend this place.

22  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 12, 2006

My husband and I began our stay at Makanda the day after our wedding in another part of Costa Rica. Although we picked this place for a honeymoon stay sight unseen, we were very pleased. We were concerned to hear about what happened to the guests mentioned in another review, especially when we stayed there around the same time, but we had none of the same problems.

Entering the studio was a great way to begin our honeymoon. I think it was studio 2. The view was breathtaking and the flowers on the bed were a great touch. We had a fantastic time just enjoying the room during our first evening there, drinking champagne and sitting on the deck in the adorable bamboo-print bathrobes provided by the hotel.

The quality of the bath products (shampoo, lotion, etc.) was another great touch. They smelled fantastic and I would have bought full bottles of them if they had been sold in a gift shop. We also enjoyed the shaped towels and flowers that took a different pattern in our room each day.

The breakfasts delivered to our room each morning were a great way to start the day. You had a couple of choices for the meal and each one we tried was good. The hotel is beautiful and we saw lots of birds, sloths and monkeys. The restaurant was tasty and the infinity pool was fun to hang out in. We also loved the little private beach that was a short jungle hike down a hill from the hotel.

We enjoyed playing CDs in our room and weren't disturbed by any loud activity or music coming from any other studios or villas.

Our only complaint was that the hotel is far from any other restaurants or other activities -- but that is kind of how Manuel Antonio is set up. Most of the nice hotels are sort of isolated. It made things a bit more of a hassle when we wanted to explore but it wasn't that big a deal.

Next time we come to Costa Rica we'll probably go somewhere a little less touristy and with a lot more going on than Manual Antonio. But we came here because we wanted a romantic, honeymoon-type spot and this was definitely it.

It you are looking for a beautiful, romantic place to stay in Manual Antonio, I highly suggest this place. If you are looking for a diverse area with a lot going on around you, I suggest you look at other areas of the country.

  • Stayed: March 2006
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6  Thank basscat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 12, 2006

My girlfriend and I stayed at Studio 9 for 3 nights in March 2006. The Makanda rests on a hillside with an amazing view of the ocean below. You will be surrounded by lush forest...with howler monkeys, sloths, etc., etc. The infinity pool would make the most anxious person "chill out." It was all truly amazing. The location of the hotel in MA, while a little off the beaten track, puts you only a short drive to the beach...but very close to a few good restaurants, fun bars, etc. The room was nice for CR standards (but don't expect to be blown away)...we had a wonderful view off of an extended balcony, no bug issues, and plenty of "creature encounters" which kept us alert. All and all, nice. While the staff is cordial / professional, they definitely do not go out of their way to comfort you. In fact, except for receiving breakfast in the morning, you are basiclly left alone. Nevertheless, this was fine for us...you sort of get a sense of being "alone in the jungle." The restaurant (while we saw the rave reviews) was simply OK to us. They actually totally forgot my meal all together...oh well, at least there was plenty to drink. In their defense, however, they were very embarassed. In summary, I would recommend Makdanda...we had an exciting time in Manuel Antonio, and the Makanda was a near perfect headquarters. While we may try another place next time to "mix it up", no doubt that we will return at some point.


  • Stayed: March 2006
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3  Thank morevacation
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 29, 2006

My new husband and I just returned from our honeymoon at Makanda By The Sea where we stayed for 5 nights. We could have gone anywhere in the world and had been considering Santorini, Greece or the Fiji Islands.....We definitely chose the Right Place for our Honeymoon. This hotel was Beautiful, Romantic, and Exclusive.

We arrived in the middle of the night, after a 3.5 hr drive from SJO. When we got to our room we were greeted by our pre-ordered champagne and a fruit basket, that was just amazing, at about midnight on 4/23. Our bed was covered with a heart made of flowers and flowers were in the bathroom and on the dining table. And there were even two candles ready to be lit!! The manager had left us a written note wishing us a wonderful stay and letting us know how to order our breakfast in the morning. We have never felt greeted more warmly by a hotel and We have never enjoyed a bottle of champagne more that we did that night.

In the morning we awoke to the sounds of the surf and the jungle. We stayed in studio 4. We found the Coffee, “Cafe Milagro”, made a pot in our little kitchenette and enjoyed every sip as we watched and listened to our first day begin!

We took heed of the warnings posted by another traveler and made sure that our room was locked and our valuables in the safe at all times. With these precautions we had absolutely no incidence. Also, there are signs clearly posted to lock things up. One sign is right by the safe and another in the room information and also at the front desk. The door had a regular lock and a deadbolt. I felt very safe.

I looked forward to the maid’s service each day to see what she would do with the flowers. Every day she did something different and it was such fun. On our last day she made swans out of the towels and put flowers on them....Our only problem was that then the towels were so pretty we didn't want to mess them up!

We loved the pool and the restaurant. The infinity pool surrounded by the jungle was serene and The food was glorious. My husband couldn't get enough of their smoked trout bocas and I just loved the trout entre and the hummus bocas. I also discovered the kaipirina **smile** YUM! They made them so good.....but....the restaurant was so good to us that one day when I asked for a shot of the sugar cane liquor that was in them, because I couldn’t taste the alcohol....well I am not sure but I think they started making them a little stronger for me!! THEY WERE SO GOOD TO US!

The Breakfast, included with the room was wonderful. My husband really liked the omelets and I loved the french toast with the coconut banana topping. We felt like we were eating all the time. In fact we got so much food for breakfast that we started putting our leftovers in the fridge and munching on them in the afternoons by the pool.

Oh I almost forgot the animals!! Amazing!! One afternoon around 3 pm a whole family of about 30 capuchin monkeys passed right by our balcony, literally right in front of our faces!! Apparently the bananas on the tree next to the villa next door to us were ripe and the whole family was headed that way. It was just incredible!! One morning I went to the office early to check on a tour and Jules asked me if I would like to see something wonderful. She took me into her apartment and right out of her window was a Motmot. I never heard of a Motmot before, but it is a beautiful bird! We also saw a Toucan by the pool on one afternoon and we heard the howler monkeys everyday, though we did not see one at the hotel.

This was a relaxing vacation for us so we spent a lot of time at the hotel or at the beach (not the beach at the hotel though, it is a long walk down to the beach....and we just never made it that far). We only booked two activities. We chose the Manuel Antonio National Park Tour and the Titi Canopy Tour.....Both were great! We did the Park tour on our second day and were glad we did it early. For four hours we walked around the park and saw every animal we had hoped to see on our trip, Capuchin monkeys, Howler monkeys, squirrel monkeys and 3 toed sloths. After taking the tour we were better at spotting animals on our own knowing what sounds to listen for helped us to find many more animals.
We were also very happy with the Titi Canopy tour. It is a shorter tour, only 2.5 hours, about, and it was done very professionally. We had a blast zip lining through the trees to 14 platforms and we bought the cd pictures to go along with it.

I just cant say enough good things about Manuel Antoinio, Makanda, and this Jungle Paradise. We almost cancelled and went somewhere else because of the negative posts on here. I Am SO GLAD that we didn't!! It was Idyllic and I now understand "Pura Vida". We will return here again and we will recommend Makanda to our friends without hesitation.

Happy Travels
Mr. and Mrs. Kanellis

7  Thank sindie2010
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

Address: Main Road to Manuel Antonio Park | 800 meters from Plaza Vista, Manuel Antonio 60601, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Manuel Antonio
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:
#4 Green Hotel in Manuel Antonio
#7 Luxury Hotel in Manuel Antonio
#10 On the Beach Hotel in Manuel Antonio
#10 Spa Hotel in Manuel Antonio
Price Range: $242 - $449 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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

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