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“Fabulous hosts, fabulous place, a birdwatcher's paradise”
Review of Manoas

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Manoas
Ranked #2 of 41 Specialty Lodging in Uvita
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed May 3, 2009

Perhaps the best place we have ever stayed for combining amenities, privacy, helpful and welcoming hosts, great staff, and a superb location. Guests stay in villas with well-equipped kitchen, outdoor furniture on a patio with a great view of the river, a barbecue, and jacuzzi. Paul and Sarah are extremely helpful, knowledgeable, and willing. They manage the rare feat of being there when needed, and being invisible when not. Sarah is a professional chef, and runs a great restaurant. And talk about being pampered-our laundry was done, the villas were spotless, and there is nothing like the jungle noises at night.

Highlights for us were swimming in the swimming holes, snorkeling in Uvita, and the wildlife. We are both biologists, and amazed by the birds. Over 400 species are reported in the region, and we saw over 100 of them while sitting on our patio having our morning coffee. The stretch of coast from Ochajal to Dominical and just inland reported 370 species on the last birdcount, the third highest total worldwide. The property is bordered by wildlife preserves, and there is everything from gardens, to second growth, to first growth.

We'd recommend a 4WD for getting around on the backroads. The property is isolated so a car is essential. There is lots to see and do within an hour's drive.

  • Stayed: April 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank Fruitfly54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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78 - 84 of 117 reviews

Reviewed May 3, 2009

If you're visiting Costa Rica and intending to get away from it all, and explore the natural beauty of this country in an atmosphere that hasn't been overwhelmed by the tourist industry. This is the place.

Located about 3km on off the main road on a dirt road, lies your villa complete with kitchen, sitting room, and extremely comfortable bedroom. The villa is immaculate and meticulously maintained throughout your stay.

You can explore the abundant wildlife that resides outside your door. The sounds of howler monkeys will greet you each morning while countless species of exotic birds and butterflies surround you.

Binoculars are a must. Any professional or amature photographer will be beside themselves grasping each opportunity to capture the surrounding flora and fauna.

After a morning hike, take a short ride to the shore and enjoy the Whale's Tale Beach. The water is warm and inviting and the view in every direction is postcard worthy.
Or just chill out with a good book on your patio and hop into your private jacuzzi for a luxurious retreat.

If all of this is not enough. why not reserve a table at the Chef's Table located steps from your villa and enjoy a spectacular meal prepared by Gourmet Chef Sarah Loftus. Be prepared to experience a meal comparable to any 5 star restaurant in Paris.
You'll have a hard time reminding yourself that you're in a tropical forest.

Sarah and Paul are fantastic hosts and these two seasoned travelers will be returning again and again.

  • Stayed: April 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank jtontheroad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 10, 2009

My friend and I stayed for 3 nights at the Villas de las Aves and it was absolutely amazing!!! It is such a beautiful location and such a relaxing get away! Paul and Sarah are so friendly and accomodating. The villas have everything you need and more. The staff is all very friendly. The grounds are gorgeous and very well maintained. This is the perfect place to relax. There are great beaches close by. The restaurant on site, "The Chef's Table" serves amazing food for great value. Sarah is an amazing chef and it is a great dining experience!

I would recommend this piece of paradise to anyone who wants a relaxing vacation. It far surpassed our expectations and made our trip to Costa Rica a truly enjoyable experience!

  • Stayed: March 2009, traveled with friends
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Thank TravellingTudy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 25, 2009

This place is unbelievable. We stayed for 5 nights in February. The 1st 4 we were in the 1-bedroom villa and had to move to the two bedroom for the last night because the one bedroom was booked. I can't say enough about these accomodations...they are beautifully decorated and have everything you could possibly need and if there is something you don't have just ask Paul or Sarah and they can probably get it for you. The kitchen was great...we used it every day for breakfast and some dinners. We were only able to eat dinner at the Chef's Table on Sunday and Monday...WOW what a treat for your pallette. Sarah is the most amazing chef. Even if you don't stay in the villas you MUST eat at the Chef's Table...5 STAR gourmet meal...beautifully prepared and presented.

Paul and Sarah are wonderful hosts. They make you feel like the villas are your home. Paul stopped by one morning and gave us 5 fresh eggs that he had just collected from his chickens. The farm is great...hike up there some morning when Julianna is feeding the animals and let her show you around...really a fun girl to talk to. Beware of the female donkey though. She reached down and bit my toe when I wasn't looking! Sarah's birds are so beautiful...she'll give you a tour of them if you ask. The swimming hole up the river is fun to visit as are all the beaches close by...You can find lots of sand dollars on the whale's tail during low tide. The zip line tour at Hacienda Baru was excellent. It's not as big as some of the others, but the guides are very knowledgable and it was very educational...we saw lots of wildlife there. The birds at villas de las aves were beautiful...even saw some toucans.

Bottom Line...Visit Villa de las Aves...you will not be disappointed. The villas, hot tubs, pool, river view, patios, hammocks, birds, wildlife...and the FOOD at the Chefs Table can't be beat! You get all of this presented by very gracious hosts for an incredibly reasonable price. We will definitely stay here again if we are ever back in Uvita! Thank you SO MUCH Paul and Sarah...you guys are the best!

  • Stayed: February 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank goofienewfielover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 16, 2009

I would like to thank Paul and Sarah for their incredible hospitality during our stay at Villas De Las Aves. Like so many other guests at the Villas it was the highlight of our trip to Costa Rica. We stayed for two nights and spent the entire flight home talking about how next time we would stay for at least a week - a month - if not more! We spent four nights at Manuel Antonio and enjoyed the hustle-bustle of the tourist area, but the real fun started when we drove into the Jungle to Villas De Las Aves. The estate is located above Uvita, about a ten minute drive on a mountain road. It is a perfect destination to enjoy the southern pacific region of Costa Rica. Paul and Sarah have built a beautiful resort, consisting of three major villas. We were lucky enough to enjoy the outcome of this labor. We stayed at the Villa Paloma, (two story villa, set-up for two people). Villa Paloma is self-contained with everything you need for an extended stay - full kitchen with all the cooking utensils, a beautiful bathroom with an indoor and outdoor shower, a full wrap-around upper deck, and an upstairs bedroom with giant windows and a ceiling fan. Also, if you are not too blissed-out with the sounds of the jungle, a Direct-TV satellite connection with 150+ channels.

There is also a patio area with an outdoor dining table and two comfortable lounge chairs, used extensively for viewing the abundant wildlife and birds. Our favorite perk was the outdoor hot tub. We were able to watch the stars and the fireflies and toast our good fortune. Perfect for a late night soak. All of this said, it does not even begin to describe the decorator touches that Paul and Sarah have added to the villas. My favorites include the concrete wall finish in the bathroom (exposed aggregate pebbles), and the bamboo slat and beam finish on the bedroom ceiling and lower surface of the wrap around deck. Kris and I both said that we wished we could have spent the entire day at the villa soaking in the sights and sounds of the jungle.

The main building includes the Chef's Table, Sarah's highly rated gourmet kitchen. We enjoyed the Monday night barbeque, which included short-ribs , a great salad and homemade ice cream. Everyone dining with us was in a great mood, which made for a very pleasant experience. Just another reason not to leave the estate. Also make sure to ask Sarah to view the Parrot Haven. Wonderful birds.

During our short stay we enjoyed the Marino Ballena Beach National Park (whale's tail). Make sure you time it to watch the tide come in. Fantastic. Uvita is small but does include the best supermarket we found in the southern pacific region. Compared to shopping in Quepos, Uvita includes everything the traveler might need.

We grabbed a bunch of brochures and currently we are handing them out to our family and friends. Paul and Sarah - thank you. We will always have fond memories of Villas De Las Aves.

  • Stayed: March 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank GlennHill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 15, 2009

Every now than then we travel to a resort that far exceeds our expectations, such as in the case at Villas del las Aves.
Traveling in Costa Rica over the past four years we have learned not to be surprised, but was delighted to find this charming resort 2km up the Uvita River.
The villas located on the hill overlooking the beautiful landscape with the river as the focal point was not only beautiful but abundant with wildlife and wonderfully peaceful except the sounds of nature. Our villa left nothing to desire with full kitchen, bath, large bedroom and lots of space outdoors including lounge chairs, hammock, fire grid/grill and a hot tub for the days end.
We used our kitchen every day and took big meals at the Chef's Table. The restaurant was wonderful. We experienced the caliber of food and service you would hardly expect. Fresh organic cooking with a contemporary menu of local ingredients were outstanding and would have been gladly served at any five star resort.
Last but not least, the staff. Sara and Paul obviously took nothing for granted when creating this "Nirvana". Their attention to detail and willingness to make our experience memorable was truly a pleasure. The entire staff energetically looked after any need.
There are many things to do in and around the resort. We found walking up the river to the peaceful swimming hole, enjoying the farm animals, swimming in the pool, hot tubing, driving up the mountain for the sunset and eating Sara's wonderful cooking our favorite.
Our advice. grab a four wheel drive, hiking shoes, some casual clothes and GO FOR IT!!

George and Pattie
Hilton Head, SC

  • Stayed: February 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank HHISC45
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 14, 2009

My wife and I just returned from Costa Rica, after what might have been the perfect vacation. Villas de las Aves was a big part of that. We came across the website and fell in love with the place, and it was even better in person. Sarah and Paul are incredibly nice, and went out of their way to make us feel at home. We even got to know their menagerie of animals, many of them rescues, from dogs to exotic birds to even pigs on their farm.

If you're going to Costa Rica, face it, you're not going because you want to see a city, so get away from San Jose and explore. Those with a sense of adventure, but who still have an appreciation for service, quality and ambience, will love this place. The drive to Uvita is gorgeous, through beautiful mountain scenery. Villas de las Aves is a perfect launching point for exploring the area. It sits at an interesting intersection of luxury and wilderness, with amenities you would not find elsewhere (especially at such a reasonable price), yet nestled in a tropical forest, where you can take in the raw and wild natural beauty and interact with its wildlife. (It helps to have a respect for the original inhabitants, whether exotic birds or even insects.) It is quiet (other than the cicadas, which are ubiquitous in the rain forest), secluded, and very safe. If you like water, there's an immaculate pool, a river on the grounds with a great swimming hole, numerous incredible beaches just minutes away (including Playa Ventana, which must be one of the most beautiful in the country), several nice waterfalls within minutes, and of course the jacuzzi to come home to. There is plenty to do, such as horseback riding to the Nauyaca waterfalls, zipline tours, etc - all of which Sarah and Paul will happily arrange for you. The grounds are beautiful, and the girls who clean the villa are completely honest, hardworking, and even do laundry for you.

A few tips: You will need a 4wd vehicle to enjoy the area (roads to the beaches, waterfalls, and even up to the villas are unpaved and often steep). Do NOT miss an opportunity to eat at the Chef's Table. We are normally all about cheap local food, but Sarah is incredibly talented, and the same meal (or not even as good) anywhere in the States would cost 2-3x as much. That's one of the best meals we've had anywhere.

We loved our stay at Villas de las Aves. It was a refreshing break from everyday life, an incredible romantic escape, and a great base for our adventures.

  • Stayed: February 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank we_want_warm_weather
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Manoas

Address: La Union Road, Uvita 60504, Costa Rica (Formerly Villas de las Aves)
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Uvita
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 41 Specialty Lodging in Uvita
Price Range: $66 - $166 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Manoas 3*
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Manoas (Formerly Villas De Las Aves) has undergone an extensive renovation. We now offer a large 4 bedroom, 4 bathroom house with gourmet kitchen, laundry room with washer & dryer, lounge/TV area and open air dining area all overlooking the river. We also offer both one bedroom & 2 Bedroom villas with kitchen, lounge, TV, washer & dryer, private jacuzzi and sundeck. All villas are fully air conditioned and close to the pool. WiFi is available throughout the property. Private parking is located right next to each house. Staff are onsite. ***A new addition to the property, are 4 luxury Safari tents. Each tent is complete with a luxurious King sized bed, full bathroom, and viewing deck with lounge chairs and shade umbrella. The camping tents offer an accommodation that is just as comfortable as the villas, but brings you a step closer to the jungle around you. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Manoas Costa Rica/Uvita

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