Mandala isn't just a place to stay, it's an experience! The owners, Aurelio (who speaks Italian) and Maja (who speaks English, French, German and Swiss) are the world's innkeepers. Along with their excellent staff and family of four dogs, they make you feel at home as soon as you step inside the large reception area. Aurelio is a master at gardening, woodworking, sculpting, designing and painting. At every turn, you can see something that Aurelio has crafted into a magnificent work of art.
Hosteria Mandala also assisted in all of the arrangements for our excursions to Isla de la Plata and Los Frailes. Alejandro, at the front desk, speaks perfect English and is quite helpful in making arrangements for day trips. And even if you don't want to do anything except lie in a hammock, read a book from their plentiful library or wander through the gardens, you’ll feel refreshed and invigorated.
Mandala (except for one) and we were never disappointed. Whether you enjoy seafood, Italian or a mixture of "Manabita" specialties, you will be amazed at the variety. The bakery items—especially the choice of fresh breads and desserts—are worth the trip alone. Every evening I had a standing order: "tres bolas de helado de coco" (three scoops of coconut ice cream). Aurelio is the only person that can make true gelato with the same creamy texture that we have come to adore from our life in Italy.
The Machalilla National Park is a huge playground, but there's only one place to stay—Hosteria Mandala!
Until next time....hasta luego!
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