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“Beautiful, Relaxing, just plain old Great!”
Review of Makanda by the Sea

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Makanda by the Sea
Ranked #16 of 46 Hotels in Manuel Antonio
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed 3 May 2012

I have a lot of reviews to do for our 5 night trip to Manuel Antonio but I wanted to do this one first because we loved Makanda so much. We stayed two nights here, two nights at Arenas del Mar and one night in SJ. For us, an early 40s couple with no kids looking for a relaxing, beautiful, authentic, unpretentious but upscalish experience, Arenas del Mar didn't even come close (I'll be doing a review of that as well) and was a lot more expensive.

We had Villa #1 - it is a gorgeous, huge room with a kitchen, massive closet and great living area including a hammock and huge sliding doors that open to let the outside in. This villa doesn't have a balcony, but it does have an absolutely amazing (AMAZING) view. We talked to others who had monkeys on their balconies quite a lot so it's a trade off as this villa is a lot bigger than another we saw (#6) but we were happy with our choice. Oh - and the bed was super, super comfy.

Breakfast is brought to the room and is fresh and yummy (they could improve how they bring it so it's a bit hotter). The food at the poolside restaurant is excellent and only second to the fantastic drinks.

The whole poolside area is gorgeous. The infinity pool with the amazing view over the jungle and ocean was crazy cool. There's just little better than lounging around (or in!) the pool with a drink enjoying the sunset and the monkeys that come to play in the trees.

All the staff was excellent. The only slight blip we had was being told one tour would pick up at 10 but when I called at 9:10am for breakfast and checked on the time for the tour it was actually 9:30 causing a bit of a rush but it all worked out in the end.

It's hard to really convey the experience at Makanda but we really wished that we had spent all four nights in Manuel Antonio at Makanda and when we return wouldn't think of staying anywhere else.

Room Tip: Deluxe Suite #1 doesn't get as much wildlife, but the views are exceptional.
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  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank hezzer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 20 April 2012

My wife and I stayed in a villa at Hotel Makanda for three nights during an 11 day vacation to Costa Rica in early March. It is a truly wonderful place to stay and would be an ideal location for a honeymoon. The setting with the balconies overlooking the jungle and ocean beyond is simply superb and the balcony was a great place for breakfast. On our last morning there we had two Titi monkeys peering at us from the edge of the roof while we were eating breakfast(we did not feed them). They were very cute and it was the first time we saw the Titi monkeys while we in the Manual Antonio area. Breakfasts were delicious every day. We ate at the Sunspot Bar and Grill twice, once for lunch and once for dinner and both times it was quite good and we were practically alone. The hike down to the beach was fun and we enjoyed the beach even though I managed to lose my glasses when a big wave hit me from behind. The staff at the hotel were all cordial and helpful, particularly Leo at the front desk and Luis, the gate man. Although the Manual Antonio-Quepos area is pretty crowded with tourists you never really know that when you stay at Hotel Makanda. We're not sure we will return to the area but if we do come back to the Manual Antonio-Quepos area this is where we'll stay. It just doesn't get any better than this.

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank RLMskier
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 April 2012

Travelled to Manuel Antonio on several occasions. You can't beat the location and beaches.
Always wanted to stay at Makanda. In the past would come up from the beach and dip into their awesome pool and enjoy drinks with a sunset.

Rooms offer privacy and open verandas. Was kindly upgraded to a villa and enjoyed a large room, bathroom, comfortable lounging areas, and low key and attentive service. A bit dated as most hotels seem to be in this area, but nothing of poor taste as you might find in Hawaii. Hotel is walkable to main and more secluded beaches. Also a nice walk to the main road. There are many options in Manuel Antonio. What I like about Makanda is the location and the fact the let the "guest" be a guest. The energy of the hotel allows you to ease into a wonderful vacation. Could easily have stayed longer.

Can't beat the sunsets framed by beautiful trees. Food is great and breakfasts were plentiful.
Had a bit of a rough time traveling in Nicaragua and had no doubt my escape to Manuel Antonio would relieve my memories from the week before. Thanks Leo and Darian for a great stay.

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with friends
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1  Thank A M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 April 2012

My husband and I visited Makanda By the Sea in March 2012 for 8 days. We had the best vacation imaginable. Leo from reservations helped us plan our trip and was extremely accomodating during our stay. Leo answered my daily emails prior to our trip and assisted us in every way possible. Darwin also from reservations was excellent and helped us chose restaurants and daily adventures. The hotel is designed so that your room is in a private setting with an amazing jungle setting. We enjoyed daily sunsets from our room. The food from the restaurant was fresh and beyond our expectation. We are still craving our homemade daily breakfast delivered to our room. Makanda is all about service and getting an incredible Costa Rican experience. We also truly enjoyed all of the wild life and beaches surrounding Makanda. You really do have it all right there!

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank khesch273
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 April 2012

Makanda by the Sea is a slice of heaven, hidden in the jungle hillside. The breakfast was incredible as monkey's joined us on our lanai. The swimming pool is the perfect temperature, and the poolside food was delicious. The rooms are exquisitely decorated, in a tropical and comfortable decor. The beds are so comfortable that it's difficult to want to get up and explore.

Room Tip: We stayed in room 7 and 8. Room 8 was very nice, below the pool, with a separate bedroom and a king...
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  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank kimkauai
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 April 2012

We loved this hotel! Villa 11 was amazingly perfect and secluded.
The breakfasts in bed was such a nice touch and the food was beyond good!
We had dinner in the resto which was tasty and also loved the pool and hottub.
Nice smoothies by the pool too!
It was a not to crazy walk to MA beach and then a 50 cent busride back easily. Also we loved the private beach as it was a cool trek to get there and we could swim without bringing a whole lot of stuff to guard.
We loved this area so much. It felt like a different trip from Arenal and Monteverde, which were also amazing...so the diversitiy was great.
This hotel was difficult to say anything negative about. Internet by the pool too and a free drink upon arrival were nice touches too as well as coffee in the room.
Aww, i miss it!

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Cynthia S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 April 2012

We just got back from a seven day stay at Makanda and LOVED it. First time to Costa Rica, the last day white faced monkeys were peeking over the roof at us about 10 feet from us! The staff was very helpful. The room was generally comfortable (the bed and pillows were fairly hard, though I tend to expect this with foreign travel.) We stayed in Villa #10-- very private and a beautiful view of the ocean.

As others have mentioned, the light comes in in the AM, but we like to get up early. The full refrigerator was nice to have in the villa, and the kitchen was sufficient, though we didn't cook. Everything was clean well taken care of.

The breakfasts were very good-- great fruit juice, fresh fruit, choices enough to keep us both happy.

The staff was very helpful, the service was great, and if we needed anything it was taken care of rapidly.

We did three tours -- spice farm, ATVs, and tour of the park, the hotel set them up and they all did well. My wife booked a massage in the room, though, and the masseusse never showed up! She was an outside person the hotel booked, so I don't blame it on the hotel... but I wouldn't recommend that service.

If you are motivated and in good shape, you can walk from there to places. It is steep and hot and humid, so dress comfortably and be prepared to sweat... even if you don't walk far. I think from the driveway to the top of the hill was a steep 600 meters or so, and there were several restaurants nearby and some shops and a supermarket, at the top of that it was flat. Walking into Quepos was harder, we did it only once (over 3 miles and hilly) but Quepos seemed more for the locals... Gran Escape was well worth it though. You could get a taxi ride anyplace you wanted too.

We were there the first week of April, just transitioning into rainy season, so it was nice most of the time but it rained every day (sometimes at night, and usually only a short time) so I think going earlier would be better.

Luis at the front gate was helpful, calling us after we asked to let us know when sloth and monkeys were around.

Because the property is small with 11 villas/studios, the pool was generally quiet... one day we had it to ourselves! And the pool, too, was clean, and well kept up, and nice.

The restaurant was very good... better than many of the local restaurants.

Room Tip: Villa #10 was perfect for us, and the one they chose to feature in Fodor's guide, though I don...
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  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank MeT1nT2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Makanda by the Sea

Address: Main Road to Manuel Antonio Park | 800 meters from Plaza Vista, Manuel Antonio 60601, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Manuel Antonio
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#4 Green Hotel in Manuel Antonio
#7 Luxury Hotel in Manuel Antonio
#10 Spa Hotel in Manuel Antonio
#10 On the Beach Hotel in Manuel Antonio
Price Range: £178 - £339 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Makanda by the Sea 4.5*
Number of rooms: 27
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Makanda By the Sea is 12 acres of wildlife sanctuary, 100 meters above the ocean. Our fully equipped Villas and Studios are carefully placed in rainforest gardens with spectacular views of the sixty mile coastline. Hotel Makanda is the ideal location for guests wishing to experience “romance in nature”, dazzling sunset views and our personalized boutique hotel ambiance. Offering gourmet cuisine, first class service, and close to Manuel Antonio Park, Spas, Restaurants, Tours and Beaches. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Makanda By The Sea Hotel Manuel Antonio National Park
Makanda By The Sea Costa Rica/Manuel Antonio

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