We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“ATV roads”
Review of Hotel Moana

Best prices for -
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 4 more sites!
Hotel Moana
Ranked #3 of 8 Hotels in Mal Pais
Reviewed 6 March 2008

very remote, good place to go on atv's, breakfasts good, few good restaurants, 2 familys in our group came up missing money; the manager has a key that can access your safe. The day this happened, both the owner and his fiance were off the property. The guy on duty we felt asked too many questions about who was with who. One person missed 3 100.00 bills

  • Stayed: February 2008, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank retiredbum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
moanamanager, Owner/Manger at Hotel Moana, responded to this reviewResponded 14 March 2008

This claim of theft we found very skeptical from the outset. After a satisfactory and indebt check on revising the running of the day in question, and studying the emails the accusers sent back and forth we found too many holes found in their claims that simply didn’t add up.
And as owner and manager I fully dismiss the allegation against our front desk manager with wholehearted conviction.
I have good reason to reject their claims as these guests left on a sour note and made disgraceful and hurtful comments towards my wife on check out because the hotel was unable to accept Travelers Cheques in payment. They then had to pay by credit card which incurred an extra 4.7% extra charge. This resulted in them saying that they would reverse the charge on the card for their stay when they returned home, quote ‘I’m not going to pay a single dime for my holiday’.
The first mention of any theft taking place was made 10 days after the guest left the hotel. Then two days after that, there was a second claim of theft made. The thefts supposedly took place during the day when they were in the hotel. This is quite impossible, as our manger never had reason to enter the rooms and open their safes. He could not have done so without being seen by the guests as the rooms in question are off the pool where they spent the entire day.
The woman who claims to have had $300 stolen decided to pay her bill in cash on check out, so I have to ask why wasn’t the missing money noticed then, or reported to the police, or us?
Furthermore, what they’ve also omitted from their review is that the claimed amount in writing in an email to us, was short $400 not $300. The figure of the missing $400 adds up close to what her bill was, $442, which would account for the four missing $100 bills.
Regarding the amount of the second theft, we were never given one, nor did they ever report this to us directly, which seemed very odd.
After speaking to many people and piers regarding these guests I am sorry to say that all the evidence and experience I had of them convinces me that they just want to find a way out of paying for their stay. We wait to see if the room charge made by card will be returned as threatened.
I do not wish anybody to go through what we experienced here with these people and they shall never be welcome to return to Moana.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review
Reviews (425)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Language

295 - 299 of 425 reviews

Reviewed 3 March 2008

I recently stayed at Moana Lodge for five nights, and our experience there exceeded my expectations! I rely heavily on Tripadvisor in choosing accomodations, and shortly before I left for Moana, a couple of reviews left me slightly unsure about a few issues; namely the location of the lodge, access to restaurants, amenities, and a swimmable beach, and certain "rules" that previous guests had problems with. Having stayed at Moana however, I now realize that none of these things were an issue for me or my travel partner.

Upon arriving at Moana Lodge, we were greeted by Vicki, one of the two friendly owners. She showed us around the property and then to our beautiful deluxe room, which we stayed in for the first two nights. The deluxe room was stunning -- everything from the bed to the bathroom area was tastefully decorated. From our porch, we had a great view of the lush gardens and even the ocean in the distance. For the remainder of our stay at Moana we were in a standard room; though more simple than the deluxe room, it was still very nice. The only real difference was that the room was smaller, with regular beds (as opposed to four poster) and there was no mini fridge (but there is a fridge in the common area). Not a big deal at all -- besides, we didn't spend much time in our room anyway.

Breakfast every morning was something we always looked forward to. It was always delicious and a great start to our day. The food in general in the area was a great surprise to us, as there were so many options of places to eat, each offering a variety of different cuisines. I really didn't imagine I would eat as well as I did during our time in Mal Pais/Santa Teresa. For a quick, cheap, simple meal, Piedra del Mar is right across the street from Moana. While the food is average and the service isn't great, the location is stunning -- right on the beach with a great view of interesting rock formations. For something a little more interesting, I'd recommend Beija Flor which is about a 5 minute walk from Moana (left as you are leaving the driveway). It is a little more expensive by Costa Rican standards (though still relatively cheap for what it was), but it was one of the best meals I've ever had... including meals eaten here in Canada. The guide provided in your room at Moana was very helpful in selecting places to eat. We also found that asking other tourists was a great way to find tried and tested dining options.

The location was perhaps our biggest hesitation in choosing Moana and though it wasn't directly on a swimmable beach (though I never tried), I had no problem with the location -- and we never even rented a car or an ATV. We walked everywhere with the exception of a couple cheap taxis when we were too tired to walk, and it was never a problem for us. In fact, I found this a great way to see the area and to check out local dining options. We spent most of our days at Playa Carmen, which was at most a 15 minute walk away. You can walk there along the road, or better, along the beach, so I can't complain about that. We were planning to rent an ATV, but after spending a day there we decided it wasn't necessary. Sure a car or ATV would come in handy if you plan on travelling around more, or if you don't like to walk much, but we really had no problem getting around by foot!

As for the rules that previous guests mentioned, we never had a problem with them. The rules pertaining to outside alcohol and the pool/jacuzzi hours were never an issue with us, and we didn't find the owners to be uptight about enforcing them either. On the contrary, I found the atmosphere at Moana very relaxing. Some people had complained about the jacuzzi being cold, but honestly, I probably wouldn't have used it had it been hot given the daily temperatures and humidity in Costa Rica. I found the jacuzzi to be very refreshing, with a great view of the gardens and even a bit of the ocean.

Overall I was very impressed with Moana Lodge, and I would recommend it to friends. Vicki and Aiden, as well as all of the staff, were very welcoming and friendly. They seemed genuinely interested in what we were up to, and were helpful in providing advice about the area. We planned a couple of activities and the staff were able to make all of the arrangement for us, which is a bonus when you are on vacation. The hotel and grounds are beautiful and well cared for, and I fell in love with the surrounding areas of Mal Pais and Santa Teresa.

My advice for anyone thinking about visiting Moana Lodge is to read their website and do your research. Everything you need to know is provided on the website -- from location, area beaches, amenities, payment options, currency, etc. I believe the site was very accurate in providing all of this information. so be sure to check it out before you go. So long as you have done your homework, you shouldn't run into any surprises!

All in all, having seen and heard about many other accomodation options in Mal Pais/Santa Teresa, if you are looking for a little more luxury in an otherwise basic community, Moana Lodge is a great value and a great place to stay! Loved the hotel, the people, the food, and the area. I will be back!

  • Stayed: February 2008, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Thank WanderingFever
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 March 2008

We stayed at Moana Lodge in mid January, 2008. We had a wonderful time - totally relaxing and laid back. The staff are very friendly and efficient. I want to add a comment about the lack of proximity to a usable beach. This is simply not true; you just need to have a minimum sense of adventure. If you walk across the road and through the grounds of the adjacent inn you end up coming to a rocky beach. Hang a right when you get to that beach and head toward Santa Teresa and you will enjoy an absolutely stunning walk that quickly brings you to a wide sweeping beach fringed by palms. Along the way there are rock pools that at low tide make fantastic "hot tubs." The 20-minute beach walk back and forth was a highlight of our trip.

Stayed: January 2008
Thank iamjenks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 February 2008

We booked Moana Lodge after seeing some positive reviews on this site. It was even better than we expected! Aidan and Vicki are just wonderful and truly care about this lovely place and really went out of their way to make our stay memorable. The rooms look brand new and everything is sparkling clean. The pool was spotless, cleaned daily. There are several outdoor areas to relax and I spent two days of my trip just happily hanging out by the pool. Breakfast is great, with home-baked muffins, fresh fruit, eggs, delecious coffee and lots of variety. Aidan recommended several places for dinner, each of which were terrific and inexpensive. The lodge is abundant with wildlife - we saw lots of birds, monkeys, iguanas right from our room. There is lots to do in this area - hiking, kayaking, canopy tours, surfing. One thing to remember is that the road is not paved, so it's dusty. However, there were no bugs and the water is clean, which was very important to me. Aidan has great plans for the place, including a restaurant and honeymoon suite which should
be fantastic. One more thing - we had a medical problem with which Aidan was extremely helpful, turning a potential nightmare into an easy solution. I recommend Moana Lodge without reservations(make them today!)

  • Stayed: January 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Thank nancycrystals
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 January 2008

It started by my wife and I seeking peace, adventure and surfing. This simple criteria led us to Mal Pais, Costa Rica (after months of research, of course). It didn't take much to find that people were enamored with the Moana Lodge, in particular, the proprietors, Aidan & Vicky. Context is important, so I should note that I've stayed in some rather extraordinary places (Kura Hulanda/Curacao, Kira Wira/Serengeti, Parker/Palm Springs) and even main stay places like the Four Seasons/Berlin. While all of them were fantastic, it is service and personal attention that sets ML apart....it is an authenticity that cannot be captured in the larger/swanky properties. I should note that we weren't looking for a "One & Only" or a 5-star luxury resort....we wanted creature comforts, but more importantly we wanted something truly unique and a place where we could really get to know Mal Pais and the area (we were there for 9 days). ML has 6-8 rooms (I cannot remember) with a GREAT pool area and an outdoor community area where a fresh breakfast is served every morning. With so few people at the property, it often seemed like we had the place to ourselves…and they were booked. I won’t go into the details of the property…the pics on the website are accurate and I’m uploading my own. The only other place we considered in the area was Flor Blanca…it is 500-600. per night and we would be hanging out with the same people where I live now…I know because we went out for drinks there and everyone seemed to be from CA. Kinda boring, in my humble opinion…albeit very nice and right on the beach (ML is a 5-min walk). Prior to our trip, I had many questions and requests ranging from champagne in the room, surf lessons, how to get around, fishing and the like. Aidan took care of everything in advance, and more…they even cooked up the fish we caught for us one evening with a nice side dish. I’d highly recommend travel by ATV…they have them for rent at the property…much more fun to get around than a car if there are two of you. It is dusty on the dirt roads…but the dirt is worth it. We rented one for the entire week in lieu of a car. The only downside was that they serve only breakfast at the hotel, but in hindsight, there were so many great places to hit around the area, it forced us to check them all out….or for dinner “in”…hop on the ATV or arrange for delivery. All-in-all, it was the greatest little find…I’m the type that never goes back to a place twice…but I’ll be back to see my friends at the ML and to partake in the adventures in the area.

  • Stayed: January 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Thank fromOC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Mal Pais
0.2 km away
Hotel Vista de Olas
Hotel Vista de Olas
#1 of 8 in Mal Pais
519 reviews
0.4 km away
Indigo Yoga Surf Resort
Indigo Yoga Surf Resort
#7 of 8 in Mal Pais
41 reviews
2.5 km away
Hotel Tropico Latino
Hotel Tropico Latino
#2 of 27 in Santa Teresa
585 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
1.5 km away
Hotel The Place
Hotel The Place
#5 of 8 in Mal Pais
173 reviews
1.4 km away
Hotel Oasis
Hotel Oasis
#4 of 8 in Mal Pais
149 reviews
0.8 km away
Blue Jay Lodge
Blue Jay Lodge
#6 of 8 in Mal Pais
116 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Hotel Moana? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Hotel Moana

Address: 1.5 kilometers to the south, Playa Carmen, Mal Pais 60111, Costa Rica
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Mal Pais
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#2 Family Hotel in Mal Pais
#4 Romantic Hotel in Mal Pais
Price Range: RM282 - RM598 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel Moana 3.5*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Moana is a small private luxury ocean view hotel. Located in the magnificent tranquil region of Mal PaÌs Beach on the Pacific Coast of the Nicoya Peninsula of Costa Rica. During your vacation with us you'll encounter high quality modern hotel suites and rooms that blend comfort with style leaving you with an unforgettable personal experience. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Hotels.com and Agoda so you can book your Hotel Moana reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Moana Hotel Mal Pais

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing