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“Not my cup of Costa Rican coffee!”
Review of Hotel Moana

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Hotel Moana
Ranked #3 of 8 Hotels in Mal Pais
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423 reviews from our community

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1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 27 June 2007

The Moana Lodge was a great place for me and my mother to stay. The hotel offers many tours and activities and the owners are eager to set you up for fun. They really want you to enjoy the area.

The owners, Vicki and Aidan, make the hotel comfortable and homey. Aidan gave excellent reccomendations and knows the area through and through. The housekeeping staff were friendly and kind, they liked thier jobs and made extra efforts to assist and help us with everything.

The views are stunning and Aidan is adding on and making the Moana bigger and better every day. Please go and see this wonderful place and make new friends with this great couple!
Watch monkeys! Swim in the ocean! Eat great food! Go! Go! Go!

Jessica Davis
Sacramento, California USA

  • Liked — The owners and staff
  • Disliked — The transportation to and from the main town area
  • Stayed June 2007, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1 Thank jess7777777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sarasota, Florida
Level 6 Contributor
64 reviews
53 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 110 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 June 2007

We stayed at Moana for 3 nights in the middle of our CR vacation. This was our first trip to Mal Pais so we really didn't know what to expect! We immediately fell in love with the feel of Moana. The grounds are beautiful and the rooms are so comfortable. The pool area is great and very relaxing. The included breakfast was simple but very good.
The owners, Aidan and Vicky, were very nice. Aidan would even come and get us if there was wildlife to see and told us all about the area. They felt like instant friends. They liked spending a lot of time talking with all of their guestsand getting everyone together.

There was one negative to our experience and I hesitate even to write about it because to some it may not be a big deal, however, I think it is worth noting. While we were there, the owners invited us to a party that they were throwing for one of their staff members. Upon inviting us (and the other guests) they mentioned that we would have to chip in about $6 per person to help pay for the food and drinks. I thought this to be a little tacky to invite us to a party and then charge us but we thought it would be fun so we joined in. We had a lot of fun with the group. They grilled up some pork on their new BBQ and had rice and tortillas. My fiancee brought some beer and the other guests brought a bottle of rum. It was fun and we were glad that we participated. It was very laid back, definitely nothing fancy which was great.
However, they asked that we washed the dishes! I have to say, this was the first time that I paid over $100 a night at a hotel and had to wash dishes My fiancee and I spent about 20 minutes washing and drying a huge stack of dishes.
Here was the kicker though... when we went to settle our bill, Aidan charged us $15 per person plus a few extra bucks for drinks! I thought this to be extremely tacky and way more than necessary to "chip in". We could have gone out for a really nice dinner for a total of $40.
Again, this may not bother some people but when I go on vacation, I don't expect to wash dishes at a hotel nor do I expect to pay for a party. It is eveident by the other reviews that eiether this has never happened before or if it has, no one has minded! To be honest, we would not stay here again but I wanted to give it a good review because I feel that this may be an isolated incident.

  • Liked — The grounds and the comfy rooms.
  • Disliked — Washing dishes and paying for a party that we were invited to.
  • Stayed June 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
8 Thank NoleGirl0923
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
moanamanager, Manager at Hotel Moana, responded to this review, 22 June 2007
Thank you for your kind review. Regarding the party this was unfortunately my mistake as Manager to allow the staff to host a party. The reason I permitted the staff to host their small party early in the afternoon and on this one occasion, was because it was for our maid who in her 19 years had never had a birthday party held before in her honour, coupled to the fact that they wanted to have it in our new BBQ area which they have worked hard to build over the last 3 months.
Though it was a staff party I felt it would be rude to exclude our guests so I asked them if they would like to join the staff in their celebrations. The only intention of the party was to bring everybody in the hotel together and not to profiteer.
Since I, being management, wasn’t throwing this particular party I made the point to the guests that the staff had actually paid for the party out of their own earnings. So if the guests would like share the experience of a traditional Costa Rican party I asked them to contribute toward the cost of the food and cocktails that the staff had bought for the party.
Noelgirl was not charged by the hotel but asked to pitch in for her share of the party costs. The reason I asked the guests to pay for their share was because I felt it was unfair to expect the staff to pay for the food and cocktails consumed by the guests. If it was a party I was throwing in the hotel grounds and there was guests present I would have invited them along and would not have charged them, but in this case there was a difference and this is where we made a mistake.
Noelgirl was only charged for the beers that her partner drank from the bar which was separate to the party. As for the figure I had inaccurately given her on the cost the day before, this rose mainly because on the day of the party the other guests and her partner wanted to have rum cocktails available.
I also thought it was fair, and this was my personal decision again, to ask everybody to pitch in with the cleaning, as I felt it would be unjust to ask the staff who had done all the cooking, to now clean up for everybody on their time off. In the end the cleaning was done by everybody involved and it was a big team effort, which was nice.
If it was a restaurant we were running we would have a set price on a menu, but this was a one off celebration and unfortunately it ran higher in terms of cost than expected. And naturally it was restaurant we’d also clean up afterwards but this was a private birthday party and it was something that wasn’t planned out in much advance.
In a way this became a catch 22 situation, if we didn’t ask the guests, they might have been upset about being omitted, but we decided to ask them along, and as it was a communal party we said that everybody should pay equally and help out equally, but this proved to be a problem for some so we have decided not to allow this to happen again.
We have learned from our mistake on this occasion and we see that these types of events can get complicated. I’ve have responded to Noelgirl via email to offer my apologies and to give her a full explanation.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 June 2007

For those of you looking for an ideal location, great room (great rooms...check the website...FANTASTIC), open air kitchen, humourous & accommodating staff - a home away from home, this is the place.

I had booked here for the first few days thinking I would "upgrade" to the Milarepa who could accommodate me only 3 days after my arrival in Mal Pais/Santa Teresa. My mistake! I couldn't cancel this second booking without paying a penalty of the full stay. However from 2 horrid nights at The MIlarepa, and the owners inability to offer a reasonable rate for cancellation, I decided to cut my losses/pay the full amount just to get out of there! I biked down to Aiden to see if he had room for me for the remainder of my 2 week stay. The Moana is the upgrade! Thank God I switched back. My vacation was amazing.

Aiden and Vicky are so great. They'll tell you which restaurants to try, hook you up with surf lessons, show you the good part of the waterfalls in Montezuma, tell you all the ins & outs of the town and make sure you are a happy traveler!

Thanks again to The Moana Lodge, wish I was still there!

  • Liked — price, staff, pool, location
  • Stayed April 2007, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
4 Thank soloadventure
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
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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