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All reviewsjunior suitepapaya loungesanta teresastandard roomcosta ricahanging bedsspectacular viewsocean viewour honeymoonhotel groundsevery morningin townincluded breakfastoutdoor showerwatch the sunsetshort drivesmall hotel
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Reviewed 20 February 2012

We headed to Mal Pais for two nights coming from Tamarindo. We were invited to stay at a friend's shack on the beach and when we arrived we decided it was two rustic for us. We were lucky to get a suite at Moana and found it to be a wonderful haven in a dusty, fun surfing village.

The room was large and well thought out with a separate living room. The bathroom was enormous with an out door shower. Attention to detail was evident everywhere.

Yes there are stairs but the view is worth it !

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled with family
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Thank bobbaer1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 February 2012

My husband and I happened upon this gem after we spent one night at another place that had great people but not the greatest accommodations. Initially we only booked one night because we were unsure of our plans, but we quickly fell in love with this place and stayed for three more nights. The room was perfect - everything was extremely clean, the bed was comfortable, the AC worked great, the shower was perfect after a day at the beach, and the setting is a true jungle - with monkeys who visit on occasion! But what really makes this place is the restaurant. For starters, the view is breathtaking. It is a magnificent place to see nearly the entire Malpais/Santa Teresa coastline. We planned our days around going to this restaurant - I couldn't believe the huge delicious breakfast selections were included in the room rate that was already very reasonable! And then there is no better place to view the sunset with a cocktail in hand! And the cocktails are terrific - don't miss the Mojitos, Caprihina's, and I forget the name of the delicious Tropical version of the Mojito, but you don't want to miss that either (though you might not remember its name afterward either)! Dinner was delicious as well - a unique tapas menu that will not disappoint. And we thoroughly enjoyed the chocolate fondu on our last night. The hotel staff were also lovely. I really enjoyed the bartender - he's great, and the lady owner was so sweet! It was nice to stay at a place with an actual Costa Rican owner!

I really have nothing bad to say about the Moana Lodge. It was truly perfect for us. I have read other reviews about the stairs - yes, there are stairs, but, seriously. If you are not physically impaired (in which case I imagine the lodge could accommodate you in some way), a few steps through the beautiful jungle-gounds is quite pleasant. The lodge is also a short distance outside of downtown, which makes for a beautiful beach-walk or a not so pleasant dust-walk into town (or a quick drive). The road is dusty and has some bumps, but the longer we stayed the more I realized that the road is a necessary part of Malpais' wonderful character. I miss it - enjoy your time in Malpais!

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled with family
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Thank Kate8000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 February 2012

Great little hotel away from the center of Mal Pais. Great staff, interesting rooms, good value. But beware there are many (94) steps to the top of the hotel where the ocean view rooms and the restaurant are located. Not for anyone with physical limitations.

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank pjl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 February 2012

Im 31 yrs old, male. Canadian from Toronto, Canada. We spent 3 nights at Moana Lodge for my honeymoon recently Feb 2012. We had one of the Junior Suites (The Toucan) The room was mind boggling. Very clean. A beautiful lounge/couch area next to bedroom, both having unreal sunset views over the trees, perched on the mountainside. The Junior Suite had high ceilings. Cool African inspiried art pieces. White washed walls. Solid hardwood floors. Nice flat screen. Amazing bathroom with secluded outdoor shower. Great service. Very quiet. Lots of stairs to tackle from the Parking, but well worth it. The room was very hot during the day, but the air conditioning powered through it.

It was a 15-20 hike along dusty dirt road into the main town/beach area for Playa el Carmen/Santa Teresa if you dont have a car or ATV. A good 5 minute drive on bumpy road, but that's standard in the south.

Nice quiet secluded pool, with more than enough seating/chez lounges. Didnt hit the jacuzzi, or use the poolside bar, but they do a cool honour system with cold beer fridge near the pool.

The Papaya lounge (restaurant part of and perched above the individual units) was even higher with even more spectacular views over the pacific - great tapas style dinner menu, again great Staff. Super clean and modern decor and couch areas for drinks. Unreal breakfasts included in cost of room. Fresh juice each day. Great Gaillo Pinto, eggs, sweet options etc.

Room Tip: Junior Suite. See comments above.
  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Andrew_reeves
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 February 2012

We arrived in Mal Pais a little clueless but thankfully we stumbled upon the best accommodation in the area. We were on a surf trip. Moana Lodge is spectacular from start to finish. It offers the best views by far, luxury rooms, staff that go out of their way to ensure everything is to your satisfaction and a fantastic restaurant. We went zip lining , horse riding on the beach, the best surf, yoga, ... All activities were booked through the hotel where they ensured we were with the best tour companies ..... They really were of a high standard. Vicky, one of the owners, booked us a pampering day near the end of the holiday where we got great massages & manicures.

I loved climbing up to the restaurant for breakfast in the morning where we'd start the day surrounded by lush jungle with a view of the spectacular Pacific ocean all while we sipped our great Costa Rican coffee. In the evening we'd sit out by the bar catching the sunset over a few great cocktails from Mike.....very romantic. The design of the bar lends such a tranquil chilled out vibe. The food in the restaurant was excellent, my favourite being the Yellow Finned Tuna.......cooked to perfection.
The owners, Aidan &Vicky, are very hands on and really are a lovely couple who make you feel extremely welcome.
In summary, you'd be mad not to check this place out.........

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Brenda W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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