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“Home away from Home in the Jungle”
Review of Cabinas Manolo

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Cabinas Manolo
Ranked #7 of 22 Drake Bay B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed May 11, 2014

A friend and I stayed a Manolo's for 4 nights and opted for the all inclusive package which included two full day tours (Corcovado and Diving at Isla Cano), meals and boarding.

The room itself was spotless, tastefully decorated and NOT HUMID. We had our own patio and hammock area shares withe the room next to us. The meals were delicious and the trips beautifully organised, save for our guide that was clearly suffering from a severe hungover which was actually quite funny.

We would highly recommend Cabinas Manolo, staying with Roxanna and Sergio was an absolute treat,both super friendly and happy to help us with all our queries to make our stay as pleasurable as possible. The place had a great ambiance and really embodied the PURA VIDA spirit.

Room Tip: A fan is more than enough, you do not need Aircon!
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  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled with friends
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Thank Carole K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed May 9, 2014

Cabinas Manolo is leased from the owners by an Italian person who is fantastic and very friendly. They have renovated and painted this place and it is quite nice looking, however, they did not pay attention to what is really important in an overnight stay. They had no mattress cover so the fitted sheet kept bunching up and would not stay on the mattress, so you ended up sleeping on the mattress itself. The mattress was medium quality. The towels were old and raggedy and there was no water pressure and it took forever to rinse off from your shower. Lumpy pillows.. The website makes it look a lot nicer than what it is in reality.The price should have alerted me. I would have gladly paid $20.00 more per night to have better linens and towels. Even though it was in the middle of town it was very quiet at night. No air circulation. Needed to use very noisy fan.. The breakfast was terrible and the staff in the restaurant looked put out because we were there. I had to get up twice to ask for the menu. We were all very disappointed. I have been all over Costa Rica over the last 14 years and, honestly, this was my first complaint.

  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled with family
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1  Thank Tolomuco
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rosanna U, Gerente at Cabinas Manolo, responded to this reviewResponded May 10, 2014

Dear Guest,

thanks for taking your time to write a review.

First of all, I would like to remark something very important to us:

1) as written in other reviews, we are always very attentive to any special need or request from our guests, which means that whenever a problem or complain arise during the stay, we are more than happy to sort it out immediately, offering the best solution possible HERE, not only the best answer possible on Tripadvisor.

2) we have been running this place since 8 months only, as you say we are improving the place step by step but not confusing the priorities. First we had to deal with more important issues on our priority list (definitively not painting),and we are now in process of making more improvements, not always compatible with high season, full occupancy and with the intrinsic difficulties of living in a remote place.

Given the above specifications, I honestly don't understand why you didn't express your discomfort directly to us, giving us the possibility to relocate you in a different room or to solve these big issues with the mattress cover, the pillow and an ordinary fan (we can't be responsible even for hot weather and, just to be precise, Drake Bay is always pretty fresh at night) while you were still here.

Most of the linen and towels have been bought in February, we wash them every day, that's the most important thing when you are paying a few dollars to sleep in a clean, remote place in the jungle where the quality of water is not ideal for washing and where no other shop than 2 supermarkets is available. So in order to get new stuff, you need at least 2 days off (1 day travelling). Even so, I would have been happy to help you, had you ever mentioned anything to us.

Regarding the restaurant:

- we serve 3 types of breakfast, the Continental, the Tico and the American in order to meet everybody's tastes and preferences. Bread is homemade, fresh fruit is served with Continental and American, scrambles or fried eggs are upon your choice, abundant coffee and tea is available, butter and marmelade have no special secrets to be revealed so, I would have really appreciated a more detailed description than "terrible breakfast" just to know hat we are "kindly" asked to improve according to you.

- We honestly never take into consideration reviews based on "impressions" (they looked like..., I heard...,it seemed.... etc.) especially when referring to people as nothing is more clarifying than speaking to each other, even in a different language. The staff in the restaurant is always helpful and accomodating, nobody has ever got bored about showing the menu when requested or, even worse, about having people there. If you had to ask twice, it is because they were busy, especially for breakfast in the morning. This is an easy-going place and if you expect a 5 stars service when paying a small amount of money, it's definitively not your place.
Our staff goes often beyond their job, working on special occasions desserts or offering special dishes and details.

Finally, I take this opportunity to exhort our guests, who really would like us to improve, to report their feedback openly to us instead of "writing a posteriori". We would be more than happy to share a coffee time to speak firendly about their suggestions or to read their evaluation on the Quality form available in the room and in the reception.

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Reviewed May 5, 2014

We visited Drake Bay and Corcovado National park this past March 2014 and we used Cabinas Manolo as our base for the whole trip.

The place is neat and clean and the staff always attentive. They organized all our local tours and sure we were not disappointed.

The best part was to wake up to the macaws and lots of other birds singing.

The visit to Corcovado National Park was wonderful, as we had the chance to stay overnight at La Serena Ranger station...but the surroundings of the Cabinas Manolo were as beautiful...just short hikes around the hotel and we found beautiful beaches, lots of birds, specially red Macaws, everywhere...awesome.

The horseback adventure was just magical..!

This area of the country is for sure a must for people with adventurous blood..not for the "relax, cocktail in hand by the pool" kind of tourist. No swimming pools or "party" ambiance here..just Nature at its best.

The beaches are unspoiled and hardly you see people here...

Bring good hiking boots, sunscreen,bug spray and a decent hat and you are good to go.

Thanks to Cabinas Manolo for their constant attention. We will be back!

Room Tip: the rooms facing the open mountains were best...could see lots of birds from our hammocks.
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  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled with family
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1  Thank ileana Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 30, 2014

We booked a 4 night package at manolo (snorkeling at cano island, rainforest trip corcovado and horse riding). Already the boat trip from Sierpe to Drake was a fantastic experience (endless river and rainforest). We booked a room for 3 person (there was actually space for 5). It was clean and spacious. The beds are equipped with mosquito nets and in front of the room there is a small patio with hammocks. We booked full board, so all meals were included. Breakfast was really nice, made with love. We especially liked the pancakes. Every night they served a great dinner with fruit juice. The reception was very friendly and helpful. We liked all tours, the guides are good and we saw a lot of animals. The horse riding was great. We were riding in a river to the waterfall and then back to the beach. The horses are healthy and very calm. The main beach is very close downhill. There is another small beach (Playa Cocalito) even nicer, about 30min walk, where you can watch the sunset. I liked Manolo and Drake Bay a lot. Its a very calm place, friendly people, great beaches, great nature. It felt like in paradise!

  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Antje F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 29, 2014

We made reservations for Cabinas Manolo in September 2013 for our April 2014 stay and for our two-night guided trip to Corcovado National Park, all made directly through Cabinas Manolo. Initially our quote for the two night trip to Corcovado was $390 per person for two people, but the price went down to $335.00 per person when we changed the reservation to three people. Unbeknownst to us until the day prior to our departure for Corcovado was the fact that another couple were coming to Corcovado with us and would share our guide. We were initially told that they would be with us just for the day trip and that they would not be spending the night. Then at the orientation meeting a few hours later, we found out that they were coming for one overnight. While this couple were very fine companions for the trip, we were disturbed to find out about this arrangement. We discussed it with Cabinas Manolo management and explained that we thought we were having a private guide (this is the most commonplace situation for overnight trips based on my experience at Corcovado). The management did not apologize for adding more people to what we thought was "our trip". I mentioned to the management that the price per person went down when 3 people were in the group, so how much does it go down further if 5 people are on the trip. I was told that it does not go down. I asked if there is a limit to the number of people they send on an overnight trip and was told that 6 would be the limit. Word to the wise: If you want a private trip you should be forewarned to explicitly request and have confirmed in writing that you are expecting to have a private guide. As I mentioned the couple who joined us were fine people, but their presence did affect our two night trip in at least one important way. With a two night trip, you actually get one full day in Corcovado to be spent as you and the guide discuss. However as the other couple stayed only one night, we all had to adjust our itinerary and lunch to take them to the boat that was picking them up at 1:00pm, right in the middle of our full day in Corcovado. That was unsatisfactory in my opinion as we could have been on a different hike with our lunch in backpack rather than going back to the boat and waiting for more than hour while we ate lunch and waited for the boat to come pick them up. In other words, their return schedule dictated the plan of the day for all of us.

We had an excellent guide arranged through Cabinas Manolo, who was extremely knowledgable of the flora and fauna and was particularly keen on the birds. He had no say as to group size or what constituted a group. One other note: If you go on the Corcovado overnight, be sure to request bunk room accommodations at Sirena Ranger Station, which is what we had. You should not expect anything but the most basic accommodation which is fine as you will be in a remote outpost within Corcovado.

Despite the above, we would recommend Cabinas Manolo to other Drake Bay/Corcovado travelers, but be aware of what you are reserving and be explicit about your wishes. Stan

Room Tip: Room 3 is a nice room for families as it is divided into two room areas. Room 4 is even another v...
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  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled with family
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Thank stan F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rosanna U, Gerente at Cabinas Manolo, responded to this reviewResponded April 30, 2014

Dear Stan,

first of all we thank you for taking the time to write such a detailed review and for defining our place "a good place to stay".

Regarding the Overnight I feel sorry about your comments as we already discussed it during your stay and I already told you that this tour is not a private tour. The cost for a private tour would be much higher due to a private boat. There's no mention on having a private trip on our website either (http://www.cabinasmanolo.com/tours_en.htm ) . You thought it but you never actually paid for a private excursion.

I also would like to mention that your price was for 3days/2nights in Corcovado and that you were alone on the second and third day, thanks to our arrangements to have everybody happy in full high season.

So, I agree with you in exhorting people reading the review to be clear about their wishes during the booking process as we will be more than happy to arrange private or customized tours.

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Reviewed April 22, 2014

Cabinas Manolo is a great place to stay in Drake Bay. The staff is really friendly and helpful and their tour guide is THE BEST (Javier).
We were traveling 2 couples and stayed for 3 nights in a family room at Manolo. The room was large with one queen bed and 3 twins (this was the only drawback).
For the first day we've scheduled the Corcovado day trip and spent 8 hours walking through the jungle and looking at all the amazing animals that live there. Javier showed us sloths, all 4 kinds of monkeys (squirrel , spider, howler and the capuchin monkey), 2 tapirs, several collared peccaries, snakes, lizards and many birds that I can't remember their names.. We had breakfast and lunch as part of the Corcovado day trip.
On the second day we've scheduled the Cano Island snorkeling tour. The way to Cano was beautiful, we even saw several spotted dolphins swimming by our boat. The snorkeling was great with good visibility. We saw all kind of fish but the amazing part was when we saw several white tip reef sharks, a large school of mackerel swimming by and a hawksbill sea turtle that emerged to the surface right next to us. We had breakfast and lunch as part of the snorkeling trip.
Cabinas Manolo is located really close to the center of the town, where you can find restaurants, supermarket and the beach. We were looking for less crowded and remote beach and got directions from one of Manolos staff for the best beach there. The beach was located half an hour walk from Manolo through a jungle but was totally worth the walk. We saw monkeys right by the beach !!
Over all, I would definitely recommend Cabinas Manolo for your stay at Drake Bay!
In general, you haven't experienced the real Costa Rica if you haven't been to Drake Bay..

Stayed: April 2014, traveled with friends
Thank Bunichka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 22, 2014

We stayed for 3 nights over Easter weekend and this was one of the better places we stayed in Costa Rica, especially if factoring in the "bang for the buck" parameter. A private room for the 4 of us was only $80 per night and it even got us a private porch with a hammock and a seating area.
The tours they organized were spectacular and it is really helpful that we didn't have to shop around. The guides were knowledgeable and spoke good English, these tours are must if you make it all the way to Drake Bay.
We drove to Drake Bay because we missed the last Sierpe boat and the road is really not that bad (given of course it was the end of the dry season and the rivers were very shallow). When we called to notify that we are late Rosanna was helpful in calming us down about the road and said that if we can't make the last river crossing (the widest), they will come and pick us up.
The one disappointment was the restaurant as it serves the regular Costa Rica fare which leaves a lot to be desired for... However the local supermarket is very close as well as Curt's place and Drake's Kitchen which both served us good meals.

Go visit Drake Bay, it is so worth the trip! Thanks Manolo for the great experience!

Room Tip: We stayed in room #3 which is the room in the picture... it was good but I assume all the rooms look...
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  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled with friends
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1  Thank wacko_654
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Cabinas Manolo

Address: Drake Bay | Drake Bay downtown, Drake Bay, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Osa Peninsula > Drake Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 22 B&Bs / Inns in Drake Bay
Price Range: $22 - $38 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — Cabinas Manolo 2*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Cabinas Manolo is located in downtown Drake Bay at 250 meters from the beach. Cabinas Manolo is run by a Costarican family, so it is much easier for us to make you feel like in home. We offer a personalized service. Cabinas Manolo is like a home away from home. The restaurant has a wide variety of delicious and tasty dishes every day. Vegetarian and special diets can be accommodated. Tours: We offer tours to Corcovado National Park, Caño Island, dolphins and whale watch, horseback rides, kayaks, mangrove tours, night hike tour, sport fish and other tours around the zone. Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Cabinas Manolo Costa Rica/Drake Bay

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