We just spent a week at Los Roques, staying at the Macanao Lodge. We had looked into staying at several others; La Gaviota, Natura Viva, Mediterraneo and Acquarela. A venezuelan friend who was going to be joining us had heard that Macanao was well worth the extra cost as it was reported to be far and away the best posada in Los Roques. We got the full package, breakfast, lunch, dinner, transport to local islands and a beachfront room. We got a good price at just under $200/person per night. This was about $25 more than the others.
The setting is magnificent, Los Roques is truly beautiful and Macanao is a very well appointed posada. The food was good but not great, The rooms are spacious enough and are very attractive, the dining area and lounge are also very pleasant. There is an empty decorative pool and waterfall in the courtyard, it would be nice if it had water in it, being empty gave the lounge a little of a feeling of being past it's glory days. Water however is VERY expensive on the island as they make it by desalinating seawater.
Breakfast was a choice of eggs or pancakes although we did get to have some emapanadas one morning as that was what the kitchen staff was preparing for themselves. The eggs are served with a choice of arepas (a flat venezuelan biscuit) or toast and the pancakes with aunt jemima. There were always two types of juices to select from, one being a melon the other was almost always papaya. The coffee was not very good.
Lunch was better than most of the other posadas from what we could tell. If you went to a close in island they would send a boat to deliver a hot lunch, usually a steamed fish of some sort, a salad, an orange and oreo cookies. If you went to a far island they would make a ham and cheese sandwich on white bread for you to take with you. In any event they would always send you off with a large cooler full of ice, water, soda and beer. We didn't see any other posada do that. We had so much we would freely share with others and still have leftover drinks.
Dinner got progressively better each night and was always fish served with an overcooked vegetable side both covered in some sort of duck/soy sauce. The desserts were the best part of the meals and were truly outstanding. If you like you can pay extra and order a lobster dinner which was just o.k.
When you come back in from a trip to the beach in the afternoon there is usually a snack waiting on the bar, shark empanadas and pound cake were two that I remember.
Where this posada lacks is in service. For the reputation that they have for being the best and most luxurious they really don't go out of their way to make sure that everything is taken care of. We had to wait a very long time in the lounge on our first day there as we arrived on the morning flight when all the planes fly in and had to wait for our room to be ready at the end of the day when the previous occupants flew out at the end of the day. I would have expected that while we waited that there would be lounge chairs on the beach or the rooftop deck to relax in. All they had were decrepit canvas sling chairs for the beach and straight back wooden deck chairs on the rooftop lounge. Just a few poadas down was a mid range lodge that had chaise lounges and bean bag chairs out on the beach. While waiting for the water taxi in the morning or just sitting in the lounge no staff asks if you would like a drink or anything. They just kind of leave you alone more like a bed and brakfast than a lodge or hotel. Most of the staff are very friendly though some are indifferent. Do not expect 5 star hotel treatment where everyone is making sure that all your needs are taken care of without having to lift a finger.
If we were to do it again, and we intend to we would not get the full package. We would just get the room, brakfast and lunch. Transport to other islands and dinner we would get elsewhere as that is very easy to do. After walking the streets and seeing all of the different posadas we would be inclined to try Natura Viva as it looks really nice and they have a restaurant with an impressive menu. Bequeve really stood out since whenever we walked by the smell of their food wafting out of the kitchen into the street was very enticing. Their transport boat is also the nicest of any of the boats there, a full cover (for the sun) padded seats and Honda engines that don't put out as much exhaust as other outboards. Bequeve is not on the water but is close enough and is on a very nice tree lined street. Their lobby looked very comfortable. La Gaviota looked nice, we met some brazilians that were staying there and liked it very much. Also met some folks staying at Botuto that enjoyed their stay there with no complaints about the food or service as other reviewers have posted here.
To sum up:
Los Roques is magnificent and worth the trip, Macanao is better than most but not as good as it makes itself out to be just don't expect to be pampered and you'll have a great time.
Having stayed two weeks at the Macanao Lodge I was afforded many opportunities to familiarize myself with the staff and lodge. The architecture of the lodge is very beautiful, so are the views from the dining room and roof patio. The rooms are small but have high ceilings giving one an illusion of having a more spacious room. Unlike most Posadas on the island, Macanao does have air conditioning which is a requisite to sleeping. In addition, unlike many of the other Posadas, we only had warm water for 4 of 12 days (they attributed this to the lack of electricity but on the weekends when the Lodge was full the water ran warm??).
The food was esthetically very pleasing but lacked variation and substance; I felt a bit hungry and learned to dread the dinner hour.
The most surprising aspect of my vacation was the poor service. At all times I felt as if I was doing them a tremendous service by staying there. We were denied beach towels (because we were scuba divers and did not participate in their beach excursions), we also had to request towels for bathing and water to drink on a daily basis only to get an ornery worker who acted put out at the request.
For the steep price, I recommend looking into other Posadas on the island like the neighboring Posada Natura Viva (Acuarela Playa), there are so many available there is no need to settle for Macanao.
I'm writing on behalf of all us four, Betta (me!), Antonio (my husband), Carmen and Alfonso...
I really want to thank you and your staff for the beautiful holiday and the fantastic stay at the Macanao Lodge. Los Roques is probably one of the best places in the whole world and that is a matter of fact but a holiday is also made of other things. The people you meet, the people who take care of you during the stay and the way you are treated. You are a wonderful person as well as the people who work for you. The food was amazing (great Mon!!!!), the service impeccable (wonderful Morocio, I have no idea how to write it properly...), the bedrooms comfortable (cold showers included!!) and the general atmosphere at the posada was just perfect and relaxing. We had a great time and we are looking forward to coming back as soon as we can. We are telling our families and all our friends all the best about this holiday and trying to persuade everyone to go to a travel agency and join the paradise on earth right away!
Thank you again for your helpfulness, for the delicacy of your manners and for giving us the feeling of "home"....I believe this is one of the most precious aspect of any holiday...
Enclose the pictures taken during our last dinner at the posada. See you soon (hopefully!!!)
My husband and I stayed here and had a wonderful time. The rooms have air conditioning + hot water. We also were met at the airport and were warmly received. The staff was very friendly and helpful. Every day of our stay we were dropped on tiny island that we had to ourselves with a cooler of beer, soda, and snacks along with 2 chairs and an umbrella. Lunch was delivered and we were picked up at the time we requested. Down the beach we had the best ceviche I've ever had.
My experience was amazing, the Lodge is beautiful, but you do have to keep in mind that is a Posada, not a 5 star resort. The fact that the rooms have A.C. is great + a good prepaid reservation was fine. We had hot water, and service was excellent, Everyone in this posada made us feel welcome and made sure all our needs were met.
Yes many mosquitoes, but they provide stuff to minimize it and the Net around the Bed does wonders,..I actually liked it a little too much, I kinda gave a false sense of safety, it just makes it different.
Food was really good, the Chef is truly a Gem...
I do have to admit that this place would be better with A.C, then no mosquitoes either, but then it would take so much out of the experience. Prepaid don not use credit card, the exchange rate is controlled by the government, the official rate is not real. Make sure you save Bolivares for the airport to pay the Airport fee..Pre reservation is needed...
We stayed at the Macanao Lodge for two nights and simply felt like a King and a Queen. As soon as we got to the island there was someone waiting for us at the "airport" to help us with our luggage. At arrival to the hotel, a nice lady was also waiting for us (who by the way spoke perfect english and french, besides spanish of course) and gave us our room key. The room was lovely; clean and comfortable. We were taken to one of the little islands for the day with a big cooler with different kinds of drinks, and our lunch was delivered to us. The service during dinner time was great and we felt so spoiled.
We fell in love with Los Roques' white sand, clear water, and the fact that you can eat fresh lobster in front of the beach. Macanao Lodge worked for us, and we will stay there again with no doubt.