Manakin wasn't the nicest place I stayed in CR, but you get what you pay for and Manakin offers value for money. I paid $34/night here. Chris, the manager, and his brother, who helps run the place, speak excellent English. They will help arrange tours if you wish. My room overlooked trees. Regular maid service, in-room TV, breakfast included, and free coffee and tea in the day. Thin walls, but quiet from about 8:00 pm onward if you wish to sleep well, This is a good spot. No AC, but AC was not necessary in July when I stayed.
Location involves a relatively easy downhill walk into town; however, it is a difficult walk back from town to the lodge. If you are elderly, in poor health, or are carrying heavy bags, the trip requires a vehicle. Taxis are probably available though and many tours will pick you up and drop you off at the lodge. Some restaurants, mercados, and ATMs nearby without the long walk into town. Monteverde as a "town" doesn't exist; if you really desire easy access to bars and backpacker digs, stay in Santa Elena.