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“A fabulous view”
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
Billings, Montana
Level 5 Contributor
91 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
“A fabulous view”
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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Helpful?
1 Thank RLMskier
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (102)
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Lisbon, Portugal
Level 6 Contributor
479 reviews
128 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 409 helpful votes
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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Helpful?
1 Thank A M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
new york
Level 3 Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
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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Helpful?
1 Thank khesch273
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kirkland, Washington
Level 5 Contributor
87 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
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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Helpful?
1 Thank kimkauai
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
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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Helpful?
Thank Cynthia S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 6 Contributor
118 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank MeT1nT2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Margate City, New Jersey
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 28 March 2012

My boyfriend and I just returned from a week at Makanda, and miss it already. This Hotel is one of the nicest places we have ever been. You feel as though you are in a private jungle retreat. The staff was amazing, and go above and beyond to make you feel comfortable. The rooms are all secluded from one another and all have a gorgeous view of the jungle and ocean. Be prepared to do some walking. It is on a hillside so you are constantly walking up and down steps and inclines. This did not bother us at all, but I can see how it might bother others!

The only negative was the beach. We are beach people and when we walked the steep path down to the beach, and I mean STEEP, it was a little disapointing! Don't get me wrong...BEAUTIFUL, but not somewhere we would want to spend the day. We were well aware of this before choosing this hotel. We chose to take the daily 10am shuttle to the Manuel Antonio beach that is provided by the hotel. I only put this in my review, so that if you are looking for a beachfront resort look elsewhere. The infinity pool is a good replacement. We ended up there each evening to watch the amazing sunsets and the monkies playing in the tree tops. It was a nice way to end a nice long day at the beach or relax after an excursion.

We saw two different species of monkies as well as iguanas, a really scary prehistoric grasshopper, and a huge toad right on our doorstep. No matter what time of the day we were leaving the room, I always made my boyfriend go first...it became sort of a joke. You never knew what little animal may be waiting to say hello.

We can't say enough about the views and the grounds...just breathtaking! Just look at the photos I attatched.

The hotel delivers breakfast to your room every morning, on your schedule..very nice touch!We tried everything offered and everything was delicious. The banana-coconut pancakes/french toast were unbelievable!

Costa Rica in itself is a beautiful country, with warm smiling people. We tried many of the nearby restaurants, which all offered the freshest fish. We decided that the best mahi- mahi & red snapper were prepared at Bamboo Jam...which also provided us with some entertainment, it was salsa night! We don't salsa, but it looks fun and is fun to watch people who can! The best ceviche we had was at Raphael's Terraca. But, every restaraunt we went to was very good and resonably priced.

If your looking for a quiet getaway, and want to feel you are alone in paradise...this is the place!

We will definately be returning, no doubt about it!

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Tina S
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

Property: Makanda by the Sea
Address: Main Road to Manuel Antonio Park | 800 meters from Plaza Vista, Manuel Antonio, 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 On the Beach Hotel in Manuel Antonio
#10 Spa Hotel in Manuel Antonio
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
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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