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“Spectacular view”
Review of La Mariposa Hotel

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La Mariposa Hotel
Certificate of Excellence
Milwaukee, WI
Level Contributor
68 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Spectacular view”
Reviewed 12 April 2009

Stayed only one night, in the penthouse, due to unexpectedly checking out of another hotel. The penthouse is private and located away from all of the other rooms. You have a HUGE private balcony with a spectacular view of the ocean. There is even a hot tub on the balcony if you desire to soak. There hotel has two pools and an outdoor restaurant and bar. Breakfast buffet is included in the price. If your desire is more of a local flair, do not stay in Manual Antonio. It felt a fair amount like being in a resort in Florida. But, from what I understand, this is sort of the flavor of Manual Antonio in general, so it is not a strike against the Mariposa. The penthouse was rather pricey, so less of a value than I would expect for the price.

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank MGMWi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Miami Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
42 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 April 2009

My best friend and I spent 3 nights at La Mariposa at the end of March 2009- we had spent our previous 5 days in Montezuma, a much less touristy part of Costa Rica. We booked La Mariposa based on it's mention in "1000 places to see before you die."
#1)The view was breathtaking from both the pool and our room which made the stay worthwhile. However, the staff was very unfriendly which was a trend I noticed in the other places we stayed in Costa Rica as well. They were also very unhelpful as far as recommending tours, etc, unless we wanted to book through the hotel which was much more expensive. Furthermore, they refused to accept my travelers cheques on the last day after I had already signed them over to the hotel because of concern about the signature. They were incredibly rude about this circumstance and it really detracted from my entire vacation. (I'm a doctor and usually sign just a sloppy signature and I hadn't been paying attention to the way I had signed the original signature.)
The food was also terrible. However, the view made these negative aspects less important.

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank kkoz99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Winter Park, Florida
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 April 2009

My partner and I stayed at La Mariposa for four nights at the end of March.

Pros: The views are breathtaking, The rooms were very clean and attractive. The breakfast was delicious. The staff were extremely hardworking. The management gave us great recommendations for places to eat and day activities to enjoy. The pools are over the top!

My partner suffers from an uncommon medical issue which can lead to severe dehydration/ heart problems. When we arrived at the hotel, she was experiencing one of these episodes. It was unbelievable how responsive the hotel management was! They quickly checked us in and had a doctor and two assistants at our room in about thirty minutes. The doctor was absolutely amazing. He quickly and accurately assessed what the problem was and what needed to be done. He gave her a total of three IV bags and did an EKG and stayed with her for about two and a half hours until she was completely stabilized. He was attentive, respectful and very skilled. Guess what the total bill was? $350.00 !!! I told him that the co-pay for services that he performed would be higher than that in the U.S.!

One thing I want to mention is that the only way to get to the higher floors is by walking up an outside curving lattice - like staircase. Beware: if you have a fear of heights or vertigo, those rooms are not for you.

Cons: The air conditioning is programmed so that it can only be lowered to a certain degree. The lowest reads "18 Celsius" (Which would be 64.4 Fahrenheit.) There is NO WAY those rooms cooled down that far. We are from Florida and are very sensitive to temperature. I would guess that the rooms (we stayed in two different ones) only cooled down to about 80 degrees Fahrenheit - at best. The management tinkered with the air conditioners every time we complained. I kept repeating that it was a program issue, to no avail. We finally gave up and just tried to stay out of the very humid room as much as possible. Interestingly, we happened to speak to two other couples who were staying there who had the same issue and were very frustrated as well.

The management people were mostly very accomodating and polite except for two notable exceptions. One was a woman named Lisa and the other was an older woman who was there in the mornings at the desk. While they smiled and even acted obsequious at times, I caught them on at least three or four occasions rolling their eyes at each other, whispering and giggling after guests had requested something or made a comment about something and then had walked away. This is highly unprofessional and insulting behavior. These two women are obviously burned out.

All in all, it was mostly very good.

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Hannah128
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Arlington, Virginia
Level Contributor
11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 March 2009

We spent 4 nights at La Mariposa. I booked thru American Express and paid for a premier suite with kitchenette for $305 a night not including taxes. After an exhausting 3 hour trip of driving from San Jose to Manual Antonio --we arrived at the hotel and were given a room (not a suite ) that they said was new. We looked at the room and it was at night and we could not see the view but the room was laid out strange and didn't look very comfortabe. (See picture of room). I insisted that we see a room that I thought we paid for---a suite with a kitchenette and the guy at the front desk found one and it looked okay until we got in it and the air conditioning didnt work, the sheets on the hard bed were extremely old, the kitchenette was not functional and the closet and bathroom were not clean. Needless to say we were not happy.
In the morning we went to the front desk to see if they had a better room and they said no---so we looked again at the first room we saw and decided to move into it since we still had 3 more days there. The view was definitely great and the travertine floors and bathroom very nice too. Its just that the lay out was wierd to us. The bathroom sink was in the middle of the room and there was no closet or drawers for clothes. Everything was out in the open.
After awhile we actually started to embrace the room due to the view and the fact that they had cable internet. The breakfast in the morning was great especially the omelettes. One of our better dinners was at their restaurant Le Papillon. We really enjoyed the pools, the sunsets and the great location of the hotel.
We loved the Manual Antonio area and will definitely be back. However, we will not stay at the hotel. We will go back to the restaurant and have drinks at sunset.

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank FallsChurchJordi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Massachusetts
Level Contributor
34 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 216 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 March 2009

We spent the week of February 14-21 at the Hotel La Mariposa in the Manuel Antonio/Quepos area of Costa Rica. We traveled as a group of five, two couples and our college aged son. This was our first visit to Costa Rica, as we usually vacation at Pacific resorts in Mexico. We hope it will not be our last, as we simply had a wonderful time.

Deciding to stay at Hotel La Mariposa was a great decision. I based my options on personal research. La Mariposa is a gorgeous charming property, consisting of approximately 60 rooms in several buildings. We elected to stay in a Premier Ocean room and we were very pleased with our choice. I had read that it paid to get an upgraded room. It is worth the extra money. Our room was built into the hillside, affording a spectacular view overlooking Manual Antonio National Park and the coastline. In fact, La Mariposa is located upon the highest elevation in Manual Antonio, and it boasts the most impressive view of the area.

Our spacious room had floor to ceiling windows on two sides, overlooking the coast and the rainforest below. It had a beautiful balcony. Some premier rooms have kitchenettes – we were lucky enough to have one, so we had use of a fridge, coffee maker, sink and microwave – never used the stove! It was cleaned daily and we always had plenty of fresh room towels and beach towels.

Hotel Amenities - The hotel has many lovely amenities. The pool area, with several infinity pools and a spacious hot tub, is most attractive. There are several bars located in this area as well. The open air restaurant and the view it offers of the rainforest and coastline is truly spectacular. While eating breakfast in the restaurant, we commented daily, that we felt as if we were living in a picture postcard. The pool and bar area becomes quite busy at sunset each evening. Hotel patrons gather here to see the beautiful sight unfold. Others, not staying at the hotel are also drawn to this area, enjoying a cocktail, as they join in the magic of the moment. A fine gift shop is also located on the property.

Location - The location of La Mariposa, in the Quepos/Manuel Antonio area is excellent. It is the first property on a dirt road just off the main winding connecting road from Quepos to Manuel Antonio. There were many properties further past the Mariposa down this same dirt road. It is a short walk to the bus stop from the hotel. The local bus ran constantly from Quepos to Manuel Antonio and back. The buses are new and the cost is about .40¢. Taxies into Quepos, Manuel Antonio, or local restaurants ran approximately $5.00. We found the walk to the beach, down the dirt road and onto the beach to the public beach with amenities, was too much for us. The hotel provided a shuttle four times a day, or we took the bus if our timing wasn’t right for the shuttle. We saved our walking for along the beach. There were also many restaurants within walking distance of La Mariposa.

Breakfast - We ate breakfast at the hotel daily. It is included in the cost of the room. The breakfast is a buffet, running from approximately 7:00-10:30. The buffet offers plenty of perfectly ripe fresh fruit, cereal, yogurt, eggs any style or omelets made to order, bacon, sausage, home fries, fried bananas, beads, pastries, and black beans and rice. Everything was always very fresh and well stocked. Service was excellent. Breakfast is served in the open air restaurant, overlooking the coastline.

Beach - We spent many days on the beach which we found to be beautiful. This public beach is located just outside Manuel Antonio National Park. There are loungers, umbrellas and tables available for a fee. Vendors travel the beach selling their wares along with delivering cold drinks on order. They are very eager to please and very polite. Our favorite was the doughnut man. The beach is great for long walks, swimming, body surfing in the afternoon, and for just enjoying the local flavor. There are several restaurants and shops across the street from the beach, along with artisan stalls lined up and down the street, heading toward the entrance to Manuel Antonio. It is a very colorful area.

Transportation from the airport - The Quepos/ Manuel Antonio area is approximately three hours, by van, from the San Jose airport. Air shuttles are also available in order to shorten the trip. We decided upon land transportation. We contacted La Mariposa, and they made the arrangements for us. The cost is $160 one way, $320 round trip. Yahaira Mora Arias, sales consultant at the Hotel La Mariposa, is wonderful to deal with. You can e-mail her easily, through the hotel’s web site. She is prompt to respond. She is a delightful young lady that I had the pleasure to say hello to upon arrival.

Hotel Employees - We found all employees at the Hotel La Mariposa to be extremely friendly, helpful, and courteous. From the front desk staff, to the waiters during breakfast, bartenders, maintenance workers, etc.; service, in all areas, was excellent throughout our stay. All staff should be commended for their wonderful attitude and work ethic. A special thanks to Daniel, Pedro, and Lisa.

Activities - When not on the beach, we took part in several area tours. Tours can be booked right at the hotel desk, or there are booking desks and brochures available in the beach area. We did most of our arrangements right through the hotel desk as prices seemed to be about the same. Pick-up was right at the hotel. We participated in the zip line tour, white river rafting on the Naranjo River, the ATV tour to Rainmaker, and of course our own walking tour through Manuel Antonio. Our son and friend also did a two tank scuba dive. All tours were very enjoyable.

Restaurants - We ate at a variety of restaurants. There are so many to choose from all within a very short distance from the hotel or in Quepos that we ran out of nights. There are a variety of price ranges to choose from. Our favorite was Kapi Kapi with incredible food. Here we all selected a different appetizer to share. The portions were large so we all got a taste. The meals were also generously sized so we got to sample quite a few different flavors. We sent our compliments to the chef, and following the meal he came over to greet us- quite a nice gentleman. Our second favorite restaurant was Mar Luna for good beef and seafood. We also enjoyed Barba Roja.

Do be careful walking on the road at night. It is quite dark and sidewalks are limited and the pavement is narrow. The area next to the pavement is uneven. We walked when restaurants were a short distance away, and took a cab when the walk was a bit longer.

Wildlife - The wildlife in this area is amazing; however there seems to be no pattern to when you will see troops of monkeys, a sloth, etc. Walking down the road past the Mariposa towards the beach around 5:30 the first evening, we saw roughly 50 monkeys in the tress above our heads, as well as crossing the road on the monkey rope crossings. We never saw them in this area again when we repeated our walk in the morning and evening. One day, walking along the beach, a troop of approximately 30 monkeys crossed through the trees adjacent to the beach. Another day in the park I saw at least 50 monkeys in several areas, especially by the main beach. Repeating this walk another day, there was not a monkey in sight. At the hotel pool area, several evenings during sunset, a number of monkeys jumped from tree to tree above our heads, attempting to steal the show. And, much to our delight, monkeys appeared on the roof top below our unit, the day we were checking out. We could hear the Howler Monkeys each morning from our balcony. Two slots were often seen in the trees by the pool and in front of the hotel property. Beautiful colorful birds are abundant, along with the most striking butterflies. The wildlife adds a magical touch to this area.


In summary, our trip to the Quepos/Manuel Antonio area was fantastic. Our stay at Hotel La Mariposa was like “living in a picture post card”. I hope we have the opportunity to return again in the future.

  • Stayed February 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank School's Out 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kansas City
Level Contributor
66 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 120 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 February 2009

Hotel Mariposa does have to have one of the best sunset views in town. The infinity pool adds to the ambience of the sunset. A couple of monkeys came down to the pool one afternoon and I watched in amazement as multiple tourists stood feet away snapping flash photos and feeding them. This is not allowed in any of the National Parks and clearly should not be allowed elsewhere. When I mentioned that flash photos should not be allowed to the bartender, he simply shrugged his shoulders. These are the very monkeys that are listed as endangered and are a large part of what makes the country special for tourists like us. Please, if you do stay here, ask the hotel management to adhere to the same regulations that the parks use all of the animals. I personally will not be a guest at a hotel that is not doing it's part to protect the ecosysteme. (On an aside, the restaurant there serves French cuisine and is generally not recommended from reviewers or travel books.)

  • Stayed February 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank khot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brooklyn, New York
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 February 2009

Just got back from a one-week vacation at La Mariposa. I think the reviews on this site are pretty accurate- this hotel might have the best views in Manuel Antonio. It's positioned on the top of the hill overlooking both the Manuel Antonio beach and Quepos Bay. I don't believe that hotels to the south of this one were able to get such amazing sunset views like Mariposa at this time of the year. Even if you don't stay here, come for the sunsets without a doubt!

Anyway, my wife and I somehow managed to book a room through hotels.com, two weeks before the trip. We booked a Standard Ocean View Room (room 25). The room was perfectly fine for us. We actually were surprised that the room had a satellite television, as we were preparing for no tv at all. I believe only a few rooms in this hotel have the TV. It was a bonus in a room already equipped with an as-promised gorgeous view from our terrace.

Other notes on the room. Some people like firm beds, we particularly didn't love the firmness of ours. Their actually was another single bed in the room that was way more comfortable than the queen. Also the A/C unit occasionally would make loud noises and spit out water...this happened only two nights out of the six nights we were there. Just an FYI on that.

The pools are amazing here. Some of the nicest pools I've ever been in. When you combine an infinite pool, with an expansive view, with warm water, and beautiful landscaping on the pool grounds you've got the ingredients for perfection. Plus it's really cool when the squirrel monkeys come by!

The free breakfast was adequate. Omlettes, fresh fruit, juices, etc. This is exactly what we expected. We didn't eat lunch at the hotel, but we had dinner the first night there. I had a steak which was quite good, my wife's mahi mahi wasn't as good as others we had later in the trip, but still not bad. Overall drinks and food are definitely a bit pricey at this hotel. In fact, we were thinking we would be getting bargain prices at the restaurants throughout our trip in the Manuel Antonio area, as we have had when we've travelled to Mexico and Thailand, but the prices everywhere we went were as expensive as prices we pay in NYC. I guess since it's 100% tourism, the restaurants here have caught on.

The staff is very friendly and accommodating. My only two complaints on this measure is that while friendly, front desk doesn't seem to be that knowledgeable on some of the tours we took. They can give you a nice overview on which tours are available, but sometimes they aren't helpful in describing what to really expect. We took a private horseback riding tour at Marlboro Ranch. We loved it, but the guide barely spoke any English. Since I know a little Spanish it was fine for us, but some might not like that. That would have been nice info to know beforehand. There were a couple of other instances where they didn't give us the helpful advice that you expect from other trained concierges. The other thing to be aware of us wake-up calls are a little erratic at this hotel, two mornings they were 10 minutes late on the call, one morning 4 minutes. I don't know why this is, but just something to be aware of.

One more thing, I think Mariposa is very family friendly. We personally don't have any kids, but the kids we saw seemed to have a blast with the pool and the monkey and sloth visits. Maybe it was the week we went (Presidents week), but if you are a couple looking for a quiet adults-only romantic retreat you can forget about that at Mariposa.

Overall, we loved our experience at Mariposa, and would come back in a heartbeat.

  • Stayed February 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank dmarcus1977
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about La Mariposa Hotel

Property: La Mariposa Hotel
Address: Manuel Antonio Beach, Manuel Antonio National Park 60601, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Manuel Antonio National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#8 On the Beach Hotel in Manuel Antonio National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3.5 star — La Mariposa Hotel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 63
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set in one of the most magnificent settings in the world, Hotel La Mariposa stands majestically a top the highest point in Manuel Antonio and is best known for its award-winning 360 degree view overlooking the blue waters of the Pacific Ocean and the Manuel Antonio National Park, in Costa Rica. Nature and luxury flawlessly combine with 63 well-appointed rooms in a Spanish-Mediterranean architectural design and tropical gardens with walkways and trails meticulously landscaped to reflect the natural beauty of Costa Rica's abundant plant and wildlife. Experience the stunning magic of the legendary Manuel Antonio sunsets while sipping a tropical cocktail at our "Sunset Bar and Lounge," while dining in our world-class international restaurant "Le Papillon" With over 38 years experience, our personalized service and unforgettable views have made La Mariposa a top choice for the most discriminating travellers, who relish both its intimacy and magnificence. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
La Mariposa Costa Rica
La Mariposa Hotel Costa Rica/Manuel Antonio National Park

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