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“A Little Bit of Paradise”
Review of Hotel Moana

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Hotel Moana
Ranked #3 of 8 Hotels in Mal Pais
Reviewed 21 February 2008

We booked Moana Lodge after seeing some positive reviews on this site. It was even better than we expected! Aidan and Vicki are just wonderful and truly care about this lovely place and really went out of their way to make our stay memorable. The rooms look brand new and everything is sparkling clean. The pool was spotless, cleaned daily. There are several outdoor areas to relax and I spent two days of my trip just happily hanging out by the pool. Breakfast is great, with home-baked muffins, fresh fruit, eggs, delecious coffee and lots of variety. Aidan recommended several places for dinner, each of which were terrific and inexpensive. The lodge is abundant with wildlife - we saw lots of birds, monkeys, iguanas right from our room. There is lots to do in this area - hiking, kayaking, canopy tours, surfing. One thing to remember is that the road is not paved, so it's dusty. However, there were no bugs and the water is clean, which was very important to me. Aidan has great plans for the place, including a restaurant and honeymoon suite which should
be fantastic. One more thing - we had a medical problem with which Aidan was extremely helpful, turning a potential nightmare into an easy solution. I recommend Moana Lodge without reservations(make them today!)

  • Stayed: January 2008, travelled as a couple
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Thank nancycrystals
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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298 - 304 of 424 reviews

Reviewed 28 January 2008

It started by my wife and I seeking peace, adventure and surfing. This simple criteria led us to Mal Pais, Costa Rica (after months of research, of course). It didn't take much to find that people were enamored with the Moana Lodge, in particular, the proprietors, Aidan & Vicky. Context is important, so I should note that I've stayed in some rather extraordinary places (Kura Hulanda/Curacao, Kira Wira/Serengeti, Parker/Palm Springs) and even main stay places like the Four Seasons/Berlin. While all of them were fantastic, it is service and personal attention that sets ML apart....it is an authenticity that cannot be captured in the larger/swanky properties. I should note that we weren't looking for a "One & Only" or a 5-star luxury resort....we wanted creature comforts, but more importantly we wanted something truly unique and a place where we could really get to know Mal Pais and the area (we were there for 9 days). ML has 6-8 rooms (I cannot remember) with a GREAT pool area and an outdoor community area where a fresh breakfast is served every morning. With so few people at the property, it often seemed like we had the place to ourselves…and they were booked. I won’t go into the details of the property…the pics on the website are accurate and I’m uploading my own. The only other place we considered in the area was Flor Blanca…it is 500-600. per night and we would be hanging out with the same people where I live now…I know because we went out for drinks there and everyone seemed to be from CA. Kinda boring, in my humble opinion…albeit very nice and right on the beach (ML is a 5-min walk). Prior to our trip, I had many questions and requests ranging from champagne in the room, surf lessons, how to get around, fishing and the like. Aidan took care of everything in advance, and more…they even cooked up the fish we caught for us one evening with a nice side dish. I’d highly recommend travel by ATV…they have them for rent at the property…much more fun to get around than a car if there are two of you. It is dusty on the dirt roads…but the dirt is worth it. We rented one for the entire week in lieu of a car. The only downside was that they serve only breakfast at the hotel, but in hindsight, there were so many great places to hit around the area, it forced us to check them all out….or for dinner “in”…hop on the ATV or arrange for delivery. All-in-all, it was the greatest little find…I’m the type that never goes back to a place twice…but I’ll be back to see my friends at the ML and to partake in the adventures in the area.

  • Stayed: January 2008, travelled as a couple
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Thank fromOC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 December 2007

We found about Moana Lodge from this website and so we had pretty high expectations. As soon as we arrived we were recieved very warmly by the staff and were in our room in no-time. The hotel had everything it promotes on its website and all the employees as well as the owners (Vicky & Aidan) were extremely helpful.
Apart from the excellent stay, Vicky was kind enough to take my camera charger (that I forgot) back to San Jose to be mial by to me. (Thank you Vicky!!).
The hotel included a great breakfast, wireless access a beautiful pool & jacuzzi. They helped us with last minute arragement for Canoping and recomended outstanding restaurants.
All I can say is that if you visit Mal Pais, Moana Lodge is the place to go.

  • Stayed: November 2007, travelled as a couple
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Thank fpdapesada
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 December 2007

My girlfriend and I had a wonderful stay at Moana in November. Having visited New York and Chicago on the same trip Mal Pais was a sharp but welcome contrast. The area is an unspoiled stretch of the coastline where you can enjoy a laid back tranquil holiday.

We found Moana Lodge to be a welcoming, relatively well equipped and thoughfully arranged retreat. The owner was particularly knowledgeable and had a genuine appreciation of the surroundings which helped to enhance our stay.

There are some lovely restaurants in the vicinity which can be reached easily by a short taxi ride or for the more adventurous by quad bike. The beaches are plentiful and very private. I'm not a surfer but this seemed to be a popular activity in the area. Personally I can thoroughly recommend Mal Pais, and if I were to return I would certainly stay at Moana Lodge again!

  • Stayed: November 2007, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank HJagdev
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 December 2007

We loved our time in Mal Pais, Costa Rica, much owing to the fact that the Moana Lodge was such a friendly and warm place to stay.
This was our first vacation together, and we had an amazing adventurous time! We went during the very end of rainy season. And only got one day of rain. Most days had a mixture of sun and cloud.
Both Aidan & Vicky were super cool, and treated us like family.

Highlights:
Breakfast Every Morning- I don't drink coffee but I fell in love with the freshly brewed bevy's every morning. Fresh Fruit, Smoothies, and a different breakfast everyday, it was a great way to start the day. Breakfast was a great opportunity to get to know what the other guests of the hotel got up to the day before, and a place to deliberate over what you're going to do that day.

Rooms:
Were cozy and cool. AC was working fine when we were there. We didn't need to use it much, because it cooled the room super quick.

Service: 5 out of 5.
Aidan was so helpful throughout our stay. He suggested places to eat, places to go, and helped to arrange our fishing tour and zip line tour. Both him & Vicky invited us and all the guests to enjoy a communal barbeque, where fresh fish (caught that day) and Cheecheroni's (pork fat) were on the menu. Both hotel guests and Aidan & Vicki's friends broke bread and drank together, all making for a great night!

Food:
The Restaurants around St. Teresa, & Mal Pais were plentiful and excellent. Every recomendation found in "the guide book" was spot on. The Best places we ate at were Mary's, Soda Piero del Mar (right across the road). When we arrived- early November- unfortunately not everything was open.

Recommendations:
Absolutely get an ATV (Quad) for the duration of your stay. This is the funnest and easiest way to get around. Makes driving on the most ridiculous roads fun and fast.
Eat the Fish. It's fresh and it's plentiful. Amberjack, Tuna, & the Snapper were awesome!
Ziplining is a must.
Fishing was a great experience. Gorobo the fisherman knows how to catch some serious fish. We had no experience, and we caught plenty.

We didn't use the pool or jacuzzi, (although both seemed nice) because we were too busy swimming iand surfing, and exploring the Ocean. We didn't travel thousands of miles to lie around the hotel.
Overall we had a great time. Yeah, sure, there are some rules, but in no way did we feel they impinged on our stay. And although we would never do the same trip twice, I would recommend the Moana with absolutely no reservations.

  • Stayed: November 2007, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank TOexplorer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 December 2007

Moana Lodge takes pride in the rooms and the grounds and both were immaculately clean. There is no real ocean view and Mal Pais, Santa Theresa, Montezuma as much of Costa Rica are pretty well Americanized. This area is great for the restaurants, the nightlife, Santa Theresa beach (might be best in Costa Rica), and is fun to explore as each town and area is usually spread out along the road near the coast.
The book with the rules in it might be a bit over the top... but the reccomendations on restaurants, nightlife, and activities are over the top too and were spot on allowing us to have a great time.

Stayed: December 2007
Thank f00die4life
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 December 2007

My wife and I stayed at the Moana Lodge for six days in November. Our stay was extremely pleasant. I am surprised to read the recent reviews complaining about food, the beach, and the pool.

Here is what you can expect:

Moana Property: Comfortable beds, AC in your room and beautifully surrounded by trees, birds, and greenery. The Breakfast included every morning was great, hot Costa Rican coffee, juices, and something different to eat every morning. I think its hilarious that an earlier review complains about the cold Jacuzzi, but please, if you go all the way to Costa Rica to sit in a Jacuzzi, you must be nuts. There are plenty of other things to enjoy, may I suggest the beautiful beaches, tide pools, waterfalls, fishing, surfing, shall I go on……

Beach: it’s at most a 5 minute walk, and although it is rocky you can still enjoy it. If you are looking for a sandy beach for surf or swim, its only a 5 minute quad ride to Playa El Carmen. My wife and I walked there a few times, the walk was enjoyable and we even saw monkeys in trees along the way. In addition, there are plenty of beaches to explore that are very near by. We walked a lot, but if you don’t like walking, I would recommend renting a quad to get around.

Food: There are plenty of food options. There is great little place on the beach directly in front of the Moana. The hotel staff will suggest places you can eat at, again you can walk to many of them, take a quad, or they will call a cab for you, which is very inexpensive. Just ask the staff and they will make a great recommendation.

Things to do: Zip lining over the canopy, Fishing (wife and I caught yellow fin tuna), Quad ride to Montezuma where you can enjoy beautiful waterfalls, Surfing, Horseback riding on the beach, Visit Isla Tortuga, Relax on the Beach, Eat great food.

I would highly recommend this hotel to anyone. The location is great, the grounds are well maintained, and above all, the owners Aidan and Vicki are extremely helpful and friendly. They were very nice and helped us with everything that we needed.
If you are searching for a place to stay in Costa Rica, stop looking, you have found your spot. Check out some of the pictures I have posted.

  • Stayed: November 2007, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank nsvacation
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Moana

Address: 1.5 kilometers to the south, Playa Carmen, Mal Pais 60111, Costa Rica
Region: 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: £52 - £98 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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