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“our favorite honeymoon spot”
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 23 September 2006

My new husband and I stayed here on the second day of our honeymoon in CR. Of the four hotels we stayed in, this was by far our favorite. The staff was amazing, super low-key, and very accomodating. We were able to talk to the owners for a few minutes in the spa, SUPER nice people (and so lucky). The breakfasts in the room are much better than I expected (and most are hot) the french toast with bananas and coconut is to die for, and the fresh juice is different everyday and always delicious. Our room was one of the older ones with the Japanese garden (which is nothing special) but we thought it was amazing, and our view was spectacular. they leave fresh flowers around the room every day and clean all of your breakfast dishes. The beach is a treck (took 15 minutes walking slowly) but is beautiful and great to experience once. The pool is really warm and has an amazing view, and the Sunspot cafe or whatever is right next to it. You can eat your dinner next to the rainforest and the food is expensive but good (dessert is amazing). Overall we had a great experience at Makanda and wished we decided to spend the whole trip here (my husband HAD to see Tamarindo). Oh, and be sure to do the zipline tour and Manuel Antonio tour, both were great. Oh, and go in the off season; the weather is mild, it hardly rains, and the hotels (including Makanda) are WAY cheaper!!

  • Stayed: August 2006, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank tavyheather
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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470 - 476 of 592 reviews

Reviewed 14 August 2006

Makanda by the Sea is a great place to stay. My husband and I just got back yesterday from staying there 4nights/3 days. From first contact, Melissa (the lady who takes reservations at the hotel) was very friendly. I made last minute reservations (less than a week before our visit) and she even offerred a last minute discount of 10%.

We stayed in Villa #7 which was really nice. It was a large one bedroom villa with a/c. It was very comfortable. The housekeeper did an excellent job, cleaning the room every day and restocking the bathroom toiletries (which are a nice treat!). The only drawback were the amount of stairs to climb everytime you left your villa. But the great breakfast, inlcuded in the price, was a nice bonus.

When we got there, Victor the man at the reception desk, was very friendly and helpful.

The first night we stayed there, we ate at Makanda's restaurant, which was okay. Our waiter was really helpful and attentive. He even showed us a shortcut to our villa from the pool (so we didn't have to climb as many steps). The pool area was nice and clean and the temperature of the water was comfortable. It's nice that they only serve about 25 people at one time at the whole hotel. You often have the pool almost to yourself!

We didn't see Monkeys at the hotel until our 3rd day there. They woke us up in the morning and were hanging out about 20 yeards from our villa. That was really neat to see (We didn't even see monkeys at Manuel Antonio!) . On our last day, we were dropped off at the front by our tour driver and when walking back to our villa, a staff member stopped us and pointed out the sloth sleeping in the tree just above us. That was really nice of him to go above and beyond his job and show us that.

It is true - there are always a lot of staff around to look after you and your valuables, which makes you feel safe (but utlimately it is your own responsibility, as the signs say). But just like traveling to almost any country or city in the world - you should always take the normal precautions with your valuable and you shouldn't have any problems. My husband and I didn't carry anything we could handle loosing. We would carry smaller amounts of cash, one credit card for each of us, copies of our passports, and our driver's licenses. All other credit cards, passports, cash, and electronics were kept in the safe.

I would definately recommend Makanda to my friends and family.

  • Stayed: August 2006, travelled as a couple
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11  Thank TravelSuz123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 August 2006

My husband and I just returned from our honeymoon where we began our stay at Makanda by the Sea. This place was so unbelievable!! The room was absolutley amazing with a gorgeous view, fresh flowers all aound the room, the greatest infinity pool I have ever encountered and superb service. There are no children allowed which is so catering to honeymooners. Our patio was totally private (suite 3) which is also catering to honeymooners and breakfast is brought to your room every morning. I highly recommend this hotel to anyone especially honeymooners!

6  Thank JennSjodin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 July 2006

During my trip to Costa Rica I spent 2 nights in Villa 1 at Makanda. From the second I walked in I was amazed. The villa is all open, with the bed surrounded by mosquito netting. There is a hammock at one end with a clear view of the Pacific Ocean. There is a kitchenette and a lockable closet and safe. Since it is wide open there is no A/C but the ocean breeze helps a lot. Because it is open you get some "visitors" into your room. We had a few insects, but several Geckos moved in and nested in our luggage. Keep your bags closed in order to avoid having to do a lot more laundry (when I say nesting - they used a few of our shirts as bathrooms). The staff was nice and helpful. And the howler monkeys provide wake up calls in the morning.

The hotel has a private beach. This is not a sand beach but a rocky one. Need to use the tide charts to find the best time to go into the water. The hike down to the beach is long, many many steps in thr jungle. Along the way to the beach we saw black iguana and spider monkeys. The beach is weathered not well maintained. There were hundreds of crabs and a lot of bird life. If you want to hang on the beach go to the beautiful beaches of the national park. There is a small beach down the road from Makanda. I forget the name, you can walk there - very quiet and we saw a troop of white faced monkeys there.

We had a few problems during our stay. The wine in the mini-bar was old and must have been standing up for a long time - the corks were dried and unable to be opened. Not a huge deal - just meant having to wait for room service to bring the food. The pool and dining room are next to each other. The service is a little slow and the food was average, not what you would expect for the cash. (the lunch Quesadilla was great). The view from the dining room is limited, you only can see a sliver of the ocea the pool view is better). During dinner we had a lot of ants constantly getting onto the table. The doors work on metal keys not keycards. We had 3 keys to get into our room and 2 keys to get into our closet. A bit much to lug around on vacation. the road the hotel is on is under a lot of construction - making for bumpy van rides in and out.

Despite its few minor set backs and its lack of creature comforts, Villa 1 at Makanda by the sea may be one of the nicest rooms I have been lucky enough to stay in.

  • Stayed: June 2006, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank JohnT.tn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 July 2006

Like another reviewer said, I also loved Makanda by the Sea so much that I feel it is necessary to give them an excellent review. Out of the three hotels we stayed in during our 10-day trip to Costa Rica, Makanda was our favorite hotel by far. The rooms were beautiful and had everything we needed. We stayed in Villa 5 and really appreciated the fully-stocked kitchen, the great selection of television channels, the beautiful view and balcony, and also the yummy bath products that were refilled everyday. Every morning we enjoyed watching a large troupe of monkeys make their way toward our balcony, and of course the amazing breakfasts were also something to look forward to in the mornings. My favorite was the pancakes with banana coconut toppings and also the fresh fruit juice.

As to the grounds, the pool is beautiful and has a great view of the ocean and surrounding areas. I also recommend making the trek (and boy is it a trek going back up to the hotel) to the beach. It is very secluded and beautiful.

The restaurant, Sunspot Grill, at Makanda by the Sea is also not to be missed. We ate dinner there almost every night and couldn't believe how delicious and fresh their fish was. Their desserts are also wonderful. Everyone on the wait staff was so hospitable and nice as well. In fact everyone in general, from the front desk staff to the person who monitors the front gate, was very gracious and nice to us our entire stay.

One thing I would also like to comment on is the safety of the place. There are signs EVERYWHERE reminding people to lock their doors and keep a close eye on their belongings, and the hotel makes it clear that it is the individual's responsibility to keep tabs on his/her things Let's face it people, it's Costa Rica and things have been known to happen, so please take their warnings to heart. From everything we could see, the security here was great, and even at night we saw people keeping an eye on the parking lots and just perusing the grounds in general to make sure everything was safe. We felt completely safe and at ease at Makanda, and we would return to this hotel in a heartbeat! It really was one of the most relaxing and romantic hotels we have visited.

  • Stayed: June 2006
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5  Thank Gamero
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
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Reviewed 10 July 2006

We loved this hotel for our honeymoon! The staff is WONDERFUL. We chatted with the American owners several times and they are nice, too. We called every morning and had breakfast delivered to our room. The order was always correct, the food hot...fresh mango and papaya every morning!

We always felt safe here as there's a "guard" at the front of the drive.

The room was bright, spacious and comfortable. The balcony was perfect for afternoon naps in the hammock or morning coffee.

Beautiful and fragrant flowers everywhere...the reception area, the rooms, the paths, the restaurant.

This hotel is the ONLY place we saw monkeys. We didn't see them on the canopy tour, at El Avion, in the National Park..only here! And one morning the howler monkies woke us up EARLY. But the sun wakes ya up around 5:30 AM anyway.

The pool area was very clean. The only one complaint I have is too much Bob Marley. I'd rather hear Costa Rican music, not Jamaican music. Oh, well.

I would definitely stay here again and would definitely recommend this hotel to any couple.

11  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 June 2006

Since it helped us to decide where to stay in Manuel Antonio by reading all the reviews on tripadvisor, we are returning the favor by adding our opinion.
We stayed for 3 nights at Makanda by the sea in the middle of May, 2006. We had Studio #4. It was the most private/serene/romantic hotel we have ever stayed. This is the resort that you do not want to leave. The room had a unique décor. There was a huge live flower arrangement on the table. The whole back wall is windows – the view is breathtaking.
We did have some minor problems which were addressed immediately (somehow it did not bother us much): the phone did not work one morning- so my husband had to go to the reception to order our breakfast in the room, the a/c was making some strange noise one night.
We saw some monkeys passing every day, some beautiful colorful birds.
We loved the infinity pool. Every evening we would meet other couples at the pool. It was fun to hear their stories.
We ate almost all our meals at the hotel during our stay. My husband loved the beef stake (grass fed meat). All tables had fresh lilies and candles on them. It was very romantic. I cannot say that Costa Rica has the best tasting food. It was just OK for me except Breakfast (it was something I was looking for every morning – very yummy). But I can say that this hotel had better tasting food than anywhere we ate in Costa Rica.
We hiked down to see the beach, but it appeared to me just average, I liked to hang around the pool more and watch the jungle life and the ocean from there. It was the most relaxing hotel.

Costa Rica is not really the safest place. We met a guy that was mugged in Jaco beach,, and then we heard a story about a guy renting a surf board in Manuel Antonio and leaving his cell phone with the guy who rented the surf board to him, and when he came back – his cell phone was stolen by the same guy’s friends, so he had to buy it from them for $100 (it all happened in one week while we were in Costa Rica). I felt like I always had to watch for my stuff. By the end of this vacation (which lasted 8 days), I was ready to go back to the States. I thought that Costa Rican people were trying to take advantage of American tourists by double charging for everything and always reminding to tip for even a small favor (however, 10% service charge is included on all the service bills). My expectations were maybe too high for this country and they were not met. I have never been in the country like this, and I have been in many countries ( I grew up in Lithuania).I don’t think we will be returning to Costa Rica, but if we were, we would definitely stay at Makanda by the sea Hotel.

  • Stayed: May 2006
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5  Thank TravellerVA
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: £214 - £340 (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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