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“What a view!”
Review of Makanda by the Sea

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Makanda by the Sea
Ranked #15 of 46 Hotels in Manuel Antonio
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed 5 December 2011

This is our second time at Makanda and it's always a great experience, from the staff to their location, this is truly the best in Manuel Antonio. Thanks

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank rogerlmendez
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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352 - 356 of 592 reviews

Reviewed 1 December 2011

I can honestly say I have never been to a place like Makanda by the Sea... and boy have I visited a lot of places! The hotel is absolutely beautiful nestled within the Costa Rican jungle. The villas are spacious! We stayed in Villa #8 which was not the room we originally reserved, we reserved a Villa with a king bed but were told that the air conditioning had broken in that room so they moved us to Villa 8 with 2 double beds. Leo at the Front Desk sent us a bottle of champagne to make up for the mishap. He also tried to move us to another Villa with a king bed and I noticed that the sound of the waves crashing was replaced with cars driving by and we decided to stay in Villa 8. Unfortunately my husband and I do not drink and nothing else was sent in its place. Oh well. The Villas have a full kitchen, bedroom/living room, bathroom, closet and a large balcony with seating, dining and a hammock to relax and listen to the birds, monkeys and the ocean. Teak on the ceiling, furniture and practically everywhere. However, if you plan on sleeping in..Makanda by the Sea is not for you... there are no drapes and the sun was shining at 5:30 a.m. I also experienced a wake-up call at 5 a.m. one morning from a Howler Monkey. Not the sweetest way to wake up, but it’s what you can expect when you're in the middle of the jungle. Breakfast is on a first come first serve basis, so if you plan on leaving for an excursion early the next morning don't forget to place your order early the day before. It was always very tasty and punctual... but if you're like my husband and like to have a very large meal for breakfast, they make a big deal about ordering more than one entree per person. The restaurant by the pool is spectacular! They chef even sent over a soup for us to try which was delicious. Nicely presented, very tasty large portions (ask for a box and put leftovers in the fridge - you can thank me later). Have dinner at Mar Azul and El Avion on other evening just before sunset and enjoy the view. Getting to and from the Villa is a bit of a hike. The trail to the beach is as treacherous (and steep) as others say. Totally worth it, but there are definitely other beaches in Manuel Antonio that are just as beautiful and easier to get to. Oh and you can't beat free internet and international calls from the office. Overall Makanda by the Sea was fantastic and definitely built for the adventurous!

Room Tip: Request a room far from the road, otherwise you will hear cars passing by opposed to waves crashing.
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  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank oxoxathenaxoxo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 November 2011

With our first time traveling outside of the country together, Costa Rica was an EXCELLENT choice of destinations... In my overall opinion, I think a trip like this really allows you to gauge your travel barriers. Such as, we now know that while traveling foreign countries we will settle for sleeping arrangements along the lines of hostels or beach motels.

Hotel Makanda was an excellent choice for our honeymoon. Even though we traveled in the middle of the wet season, it was still an unbelievable experience.

Residing in villa 10, we received room service at least once a day and we were waited on hand and foot. The restaurant and bar staff not only made delicious food/drinks, but offered advice when we posed any kind of questions.

A few fair warnings:
There was some kind of stink coming out of our drainage system in villa 10. I'm guessing a sewage backup from the other villas, not sure, but it smelled quite a bit. It provided a good bit of humor when I was blamed for stinking the entire villa up our second day at the hotel by my wife.
When my wife and I arrived in San Jose we expected to have a car from the hotel waiting to pick us up, but the hotel had a miscommunication within its staff and we were left to fend for ourselves. We were overwhelmed by the numerous people speaking in Spanish, approaching us outside the airport, trying to get us to take their taxis. Among all the bustle, we gave up and hopped in a car with no air-condition, where the windows didn't roll up, and a man who spoke very little English was driving. Among our jokes that we may end up having our livers removed and bodies discarded... The driver was very nice and tried to teach us some Spanish along the way. We arrived safely to Makanda right around three hours later. The taxi cost was right around $160 ( 79776.00 colon). Looking back on it, we would now take a bus from San Jose to Quepos.

Every day for the 9 days we were there, it rained in the afternoon. We did go during rainy season though, so this was expected. The rain actually turned out to be a nice cool-down from the day, and sort of romantic. There's nothing like spending the afternoon in the villa during a rainstorm. The sounds that a real rain forest makes sounds like a sort of apocalypse.

Activities that we took advantage of included: horseback riding, zip-lining, hiking, laying out/surfing on the beaches, touring the Manuel Antonio national park, and a couples massage in our villa on the balcony. With any activities involving going through a jungle or park, I would recommend just sucking it up and paying for a tour guide. I can imagine it being easy to get lost or just not get the full experience without a guide. The hotel provides you with all of the information about local activities.


With our honeymoon coming to a close, we arranged our method of transportation from the Hotel... Sad... Sad day... With a short plane ride booked for departure from Makanda to San Jose, we were all set! Alas, the plane ride was not booked for 10:30am, but private transportation for nearly double the cost. I had agreed on the $144 trip back to San Jose, but it was not booked properly. I agreed to pay the original amount of $144, towards a taxi back into San Jose... A few awkward conversations and stare downs later, the gentleman at the front desk confirmed with the manager that one them had faulted the plans and that they would pay the remainder of the costs. The taxi driver took an alternate ride back into San Jose, which gave us a great opportunity to see some of the other beaches North of Quepos. Jaco Beach looked and sounded like an amazing adventure.

We both agreed that owning some farm land in Costa Rica would be a perfect life investment in the future.

I'd recommend this establishment to anyone touring the area... Make an asserted effort to buy your groceries and drinks prior to settling into our comfy room. It'll save you quite a bit of money throughout your stay. The Costa rican coffee that they provide, however, is great! We still crave it to this day.

Also, yes, the couch is made of concrete, but its still comfortable. The bed is heavenly as well. If you have problems sleeping with loud foreign sounds, bring some sort of medication.

The view from the room is unbelievable. Trail leading down to the private beach... A lot of fun to hike.

Cheers

Room Tip: Villa 10 seemed like it was a little more private than the surrounding villas. Highest up and furthe...
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  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank Conrad G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 November 2011

This place was fabulous. Adorable villas nestled in the jungle. There were so many terrific places to choose in MA and I'm so glad we chose here. Exactly what we were looking for. I loved the concept of our own little villa (we had #11) where we can relax and enjoy the scenery. This trip was for some adventure and relaxation and we definitely got both. The resort is very clean and well maintained. Daily breakfast was terrific. So glad we did not have to venture out for breakfast. The pool was pretty too, and overlooks the sea. The restaurant food and drinks were excellent as well. The staff is friendly. I honestly can't think of a single complaint, not even a little one. This was our first trip to CR and we loved Makanda as well as MA. I could go on and on. Since we were looking for a place that is more than just a hotel room, a place we could just relax, this was exactly what we needed.

  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank MagnoliaBlossom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 November 2011

We stayed here for a few nights during our holidays in Costa Rica to chill out and recharge for the remainder of our holidays. The location is absolutely fantastic and the rooms are fantastic albeit a bit on the expensive side. In exhange you get a great view and we were treated on a group of cappucino monkey passing by through the trees.

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Benny_Lava
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
#9 Spa Hotel in Manuel Antonio
#10 On the Beach Hotel in Manuel Antonio
Price Range: $382 - $607 (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

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