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“An Amazing, Relaxing Place”
Review of Hotel Moana

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Hotel Moana
Ranked #3 of 8 Hotels in Mal Pais
Certificate of Excellence
cleveland, ohio
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“An Amazing, Relaxing Place”
Reviewed 26 March 2008

My fiancee and I stayed at Moana Lodge for a week in mid-March and had an amazing time!! The area was beautiful and relaxing - there was so much to see and do if you wanted to. Moana Lodge was also one of the best places I've ever stayed. The rooms were exactly as described and hotel grounds were lovely. But most importantly, the owners and staff were accommodating and went out of their ways to plan tours or lessons if we so desired. Another nice thing about the lodge was the size of it. Like most hotels in the area, it had a select number of rooms, which allowed us to actually get to know other guests. And to top everything off, the staff made the guests breakfast every morning - and not just a continental breakfast, but a full out delicious breakfast.

I would and do highly recommend both Mal Pais AND Moana Lodge to family and friends. We would definitely (and hope to) stay there again in the future.

  • Liked — the scenery and the friendliness of staff!
  • Disliked — Length of transportation to and from Mal Pais
  • Stayed March 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank abbyphotodesign
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (71)
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English first
NY
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 March 2008

My husband and I just returned from the Moana Lodge and I can't find enough great things to say about it! Even though it's a hotel, it felt like staying with friends. The proprietors, Adian and Vicki were the best hosts! They were so hospitable, and the grounds were such a relaxing and beautiful oasis.

We spent 3 nights at the Moana and, even though we had planned to continue traveling on throughout Costa Rica, we loved the Moana so much we asked to stay!

Activities -- Adain and Vicki were so helpful in arranging any activity we were interested in trying (we did surfing, the canopy zipline tour, hiked to and swam in Montezuma falls, spent a day at Isla Tortuga, and explored the beaches of Malpais, Playa Carmen, and Playa Hermosa. I heard fishing is also a popular activity there).

Grounds -- The guestrooms set into trees around the beautifully landscaped property. They served breakfast every morning in the kitchen pavillion, and there were hummingbirds to greet us and the sounds of monkeys down the hill at the mango tree. There were also lime and starfruit trees...

The pool area was so relaxing! There were hanging/floating beds where I could have stayed for days. As previous posts have stated, the jacuzzi is not a 'hot' jacuzzi, but when you get to Costa Rica and feel the outside temperature, that makes sense. The pool area does officially shut down at 9:30, but the sun rises there at 6 and you've had such an active day, you find you've passed out by 10 every night anyway! An earlier post here said something about loud music until the early hours, but since the pool area shuts down by then, that poster seemed to me like someone who hadn't actually stayed on this property....hmmmmm....(if you want to party later than that, there are plenty of bars/reggae/dance night things going on just down the road, but believe me, you'll be passed out by then)

Location -- Even though Malpais/Playa Carmen/Santa Theresa are considered different towns, they all felt like one town to us, nothing is very far away from each other. We had a rental car, most other people rented ATV's while in town (which they said was fun -- the roads are bumpy and the ATV's absorb the shock better than the car, the roads are really dusty, but can be a fun adventure if you're up to it). Santa Teresa can feel 'crowded' with surfers, dust, etc., so we were happy to stay a little outside of that.

Restaurants -- There was a really helpful guidebook in the room on the different restaurants in town. Our favorites were 1) Las Brisas in Santa Teresa (inventive fish dishes), 2) Mary's (great pizzas etc) in Malpais, 3) a hostel in Santa Teresa, called Venga, just past Pizza Tomate, had surprisingly really fresh food, and also 4) Playa de Artistes in Montezuma, where we had a romantic dinner after a day hiking the Montezuma Falls. We watched a few sunsets at Soda Piedras del Mar, right on the water across the road from the Moana, where the service is not the nicest, but the sunset view and price can't be beat (we had 2 entrees and 3 beers for $16, including tip).

While we were at the Moana we observed lots of return visitors, that really spoke volumes. We're not usually ones to revisit the same place twice, but as I've noticed others have stated here, I may have to rethink that policy after discovering the Moana! Aidan and Vicki went out of their way to make sure our visit was fantastic, we loved our time there. All of the thougthful touches made it the best trip we've had in years. Thanks, Moana!

  • Liked — hospitality, beautiful hotel, food, great town
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed March 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank Fieldtripper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 March 2008

Just got back from 8 nights at the Moana Lodge where the hubby and I had one of the best vacations. This hotel is truly remarkable - it is beautifully kept, authentic, charming and with the best staff imaginable. I cannot imagine staying anywhere else in the area.

From the time we started researching the trip, Aidan and Vicki were the most responsive and helpful property owners via email. We knew they were buttoned up and professional and we were not disappointed.

When we got there, we couldn't have been more pleased. On the surface, the hotel looks exactly as it looked on the website but it is the personal warmth and attention by Aidan, Vicki, Sandra, Lisette (Chi Chi!), Maria and Adolfo ithat TRULY makes Moana the special gem that it is. This is something that you cannot capture on a website - you have to experience it firsthand to understand.

Everyone was beyond helpful from coordinating surf lessons and ATV rentals to humoring us (mostly me) when we wanted to practice our terrible Spanish! (Thank you Vicki and Lisette for that!) :o)

Every part of this hotel from the rooms to the pool were immaculate. The room decor is simple and beautiful with AC systems that work quickly and efficiently. The pool is clean and beautifully maintained. Breakfast was one of the best parts of the day - the staff was SO nice and kind and all the guests sat together and talked about what they had done the day before and it gave everyone a great sense of community. We also loved breakfast because the hummingbirds are out in full effect and are so beautiful.

We cannot say enough wonderful things about this hotel - you just have to experience it for yourself!!!!! Hope you do - you will not be disappointed.

  • Liked — Couldn't pinpoint just one thing - it was all good.
  • Stayed March 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank kikiboo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington
1 review
Reviewed 20 March 2008

What more can we say than our stay at the Moana Lodge was wonderful! We were welcomed by the staff, who were very professional and personable.

The rooms were great! They were clean and well maintained! I never once felt uncomfortable or unsafe. Comfortable beds, hot water, air conditioning and cozy. Breakfast was offered daily and was wonderfully prepared.

The grounds were well maintained and it was nice to not be staying at a large resort. It is across the street from the beach and a short walk to the town and to surrounding beaches. This is what I imagined when I think about Costa Rica!

The whole vacation we felt like we were in a secluded, quiet getaway. We think it is suitable for people of all ages. I would recommend it to anyone and look forward to returning in the future. Thanks again to the staff that made our trip unforgettable.

  • Liked — Atmosphere and cleanliness
  • Disliked — The dirt roads and the taxi rides.
  • Stayed March 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank sharee03
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Austin, TX
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 March 2008

Well, we just got back from a five night stay at the Moana Lodge in Mal Pais and it was wonderful. My wife and I were on our honeymoon and it could not have been better. (Except for a three hour delay in Houston) We arrived a day late to the Moana, but Aidan and Vicky did their best to make all the travel quirks go away. The hotel was exactly as it appears in photos from their website as well as photos from other travelers. This is a small boutique style hotel, not some huge resort. The facilities are clean, well kept, and are not in anyway over-stated on their website. I just read the most recent post on the Moana and it is a load of crap. The review refers to all night parties that go on all week....well, we stayed Tuesday night through Saturday night and the only party we had with the owners was on Saturday and we ended the fun at 11:30pm. Not once was I awakened from noise or partying. I don't think that person actually stayed at the Moana, if you get my drift.
The great thing about this place is the fact that it is a Mom and Pop hotel. The fact that the owners want their guests to feel like they are at a home away from home is one the best things about this place. Aidan made sure that we got to do everything we wanted to do and gave us lots of valuable information that saved us time and money throughout our visit. If anyone visits Mal Pais you must understand that this is not downtown NY or Los Angeles, this is a remote coastal surfing village that takes a 35 minute plane ride and an hour in a Taxi to get from San Jose, Costa Rica. The roads are dirt, therefore there is a whole lot of dust to contend with during the dry season and I am sure a whole lot of mud during the wet season. We spent 4 days on a quad with bandannas and sunglasses on to keep the dust out. I wouldn't have had it any other way. Dusts keeps the old stuffy people out of Mal Pais. The average age of the tourists was probably 35, but their was a pretty broad scope of folks from 18 to 80.
We talked to a lot of people that were staying at a lot of places and I don't think I would ever need to stay anywhere but the Moana Lodge when we go back and we will be back. There was a couple that was staying at the lodge that was just there 8 weeks ago! Talk about repeat business!!! This not a beach hotel! The beach is about a 10 minute walk and no big deal to get to. If you want a fancy hotel with lots of asphalt and a huge property to stay on, go stay at a Marriott. If you want a small, clean, nicely staffed, good breakfast, great little pool, awesome view, wonderful landscaped bed and breakfast, then head down to one of the prettiest places on earth and stay at the Moana Lodge!! Feel free to contact me with questions.

  • Liked — The hospitality
  • Disliked — The taxi ride from Tambor
  • Stayed March 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank Mightybiscuits
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bellingham, WA
1 review
Reviewed 19 March 2008

We've stayed at many of the hotels and houses in Mal Pais, and this was one of the best. It was nice to be able to rent a quad from the hotel. The staff were very good; courteous and nice. The rooms were exquisitely clean. Being up the hill somewhat off the road was nice for security and less dust, as they're re-doing the road in Mal Pais and Santa Teresa. The owners knew who the best taxis were and booked our outings for us. The room had a fridge and a safe, which was nice too.

Stayed March 2008
Helpful?
Thank DrDenis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Montréal
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 19 March 2008

We reserved at the Moana Lodge at the last minute.

We did not know the Moana Lodge before we noticed the beautiful shots on the net. Their web site is very professional and accurate.

Are the photos better than reality?

Reality is in fact better than the photos...our stay at the Moana Lodge was over and beyond our expectations!

This was our second time in Costa Rica. We do love this country and for its "Pura Vida" style of living.

We had the Leopard like "casita" for 5 nights in a wonderful area, a very intimate and creative spot.

The owners Vicky and Aidan were perfect hosts - professional and distinguished - and the Moana Lodge is a very quite, tranquil and peaceful oasis located in the true nature with a panoramic view to the Pacific ocean.

We would strongly recommend the Moana Lodge to all our friends.

Indeed, nature, peace and tranquillity go with consciousness.

We sincerely hope that Costa Rica and the Moana Lodge will preserve their state of mind and protect themselves from negative tourists or jealous competitors.

Perfection and excellence are gifts originally given to everybody. But it takes the will and concern to be developed.

Thanks again Vicky and Aidan...you got it !

  • Liked — peace and tranquillity
  • Disliked — dusty roads...but this part of the Pura Vida living-style in CR
  • Stayed March 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank Kaisen01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Moana

Property: Hotel Moana
Address: Mal Pais, 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 (Based on Average Rates): £
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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