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“Little paradise”
Review of Encanta La Vida

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Encanta La Vida
Ranked #4 of 4 Hotels in Cabo Matapalo
Certificate of Excellence
Johannesburg
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Little paradise”
Reviewed 8 November 2009

We recently spent six nights at Encanta la Vida (arriving at their doorstep without having booked - courtesy of the low season). We were utterly charmed. It is - obviously, being on the Peninsula de Osa - set in beautiful grounds; the accommodation was great (with the exception of some hot water problems - it was raining a lot, so got a bit chilly in the evenings); food was at worst tasty and hearty home-cooked meals; at best it was fabulous (and this more often than not). Finally, the staff, ably led by Brian, were friendly and helpful all the time and made our stay a real pleasure. Kitchen staff were very accommodating with dietary requirements; Brian was always helpful in phoning around to organise trips / get best prices. With a few short (and always wondrous) minutes walk down to the beaches, we truly had a magical time in a magical place.

  • Stayed November 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank JoziCat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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166 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
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  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (38)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level 6 Contributor
738 reviews
64 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1,315 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 October 2009

The negatives:

1. This lodge looks like a bunch of semi-farm houses or a bunch of huts of an extended family- definitely not for a honeymoon or romantic getaway.
2. Monkeys, birds, lizards, sloths loiter in the area. This lodge attracts them by leaving plenty of food. Definitely unnatural. The monkeys looked overfed and should be on a weight loss program.
3. The lodge overbooks the place. Four couples waited outside to be accommodated. We waited for 3 hours before we finally got a hut and it was not the hut we reserved and paid for! Our hut was given to a couple from Boston who booked 2 months after we did! It just so happen that they arrived a few hours ahead of us. First come first serve eh?
4. The manager has no clue how to run the hotel- he cannot resolve the issue of overbooking or placing guests in the huts/rooms that they did not reserve. He was on the phone constantly- obviously talking to the owner whose concern is just to make a profit.
5. And oh yeah- I should not forget their food -if you can call it food at all. I vomited right after I ate breakfast. If you come to Costa Rica to starve, maybe you should stay here. You will be eating your meals like you are in a boy scout campsite. All guests are called by staff to eat at the same time. All guests will eat the same food. And all meals are rationed.
6. If you expect to have organized side trips or excursions, the staff here can't help you much. The lodge expects you to be on your own. We organized our own trip with 6 other guest in the lodge with the help of someone from outside the hotel.

The positive:

1. Glad this is in Costa Rica. There are plenty of things to do outside the lodge.

  • Stayed December 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank ebbtide123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
brooklyn, ny
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 June 2009

i'd been procrastinating writing this review only because it would mean our out of this world fantastic time at the heavenly Encanta La Vida is really over.
i have traveled extensively all over the world and Encanta La Vida is at the very top of my all around favorites list. The staff were terrific and the food (all home cooked, fresh, catered to the guests) was out of this world exceptional. SO delicious. My husband and i are STILL thinking about it and it's been two months since our stay. I'm a vegetarian and they were more than accommodating to all my crazy food needs.

We were looking for an exceptional 'far from home' experience (we're from brooklyn) for our honeymoon that was not touristy, that had LOTS of animals and that would blow our minds. THIS. WAS. IT.

There were monkeys in the trees feet from where we were. LOTS of them. And toucans. And scarlet macaws. And iguanas. And some creepy crabs that came out at night (not dangerous, but wild... it's the middle of the jungle/rainforest after all). And a really cute parrot. And an awesome dog. And a salt water pool (which was a perfect end to the day/before dinner treat) from which you could see the stars and watch the sun fall.

The hotel was more than accommodating in helping us fill our days (for the times we didn't want to just walk around and/or go to the nearly completely unpopulated ocean) and we did amazing things such as zip lining, visiting a nearby island where an American was rehabilitating all these monkeys and sloths and other amazing animals.

It was as close to paradise as i could have ever imagined.

Please note: this is NOT a touristy place. and this IS in the jungle. and the people who run Encanta la Vida are exceptional and the food (three home cooked meals included in the VERY reasonable price) was so incredible my mouth waters just thinking about it.

Do yourself a favor. GO THERE.

  • Stayed April 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank parkslopian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rockford, Illinois
Level 4 Contributor
11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 April 2009

Spent the 2nd leg of our 3 week "drive Costa Rica " trip here. Had booked 3 nites, stayed 6. Saying that everything at Encanta was perfect just doesn't cut it. To wake in the morning to monkeys and birds, sitting on your balcony watching the wildlife move about their jungle while sipping excellent coffee and waiting while a fabulous breakfast is being made is one heck of a way to start your day. Exploring or just sitting, wildlife, butterflies, jungle sounds were everywhere. The beach is clean, the surfing remarkable.
The on site owner loves his home, that is obvious from the first moment you meet him and everything that he has built and the life he shares with his guests reflects the power this area imparts on any visitor. 3 glorious meals a day, impeccable service, outstanding staff ... The pool is kept super clean, the grounds gorgeous, the rooms airy and nice. Give yourself enough time..you wont want to leave. Thanks everyone, we will be back. John and Wendy

  • Stayed April 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank fiesty10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 1 Contributor
2 reviews
Reviewed 19 February 2009

I am still in a dream land after being home for over two weeks! Encanta La Vida was over all the best trip of my life!!! I owe it all to the hotel, staff and Manager Karlos. After 8 trips to Costa Rica and traveling all over the world, I have found my favorite place. Karlos welcome us we a big smile along with the rest of the staff. The pool (with Monkey Bar poolside), the wildlife sightings everywhere you look, the amazing plants and flowers, the surfing, the tours we took, the 5 course dinners (best food I ever had!), the service, and my room was to die for! The beds were so comfortable and perfectly made. At night the howler monkeys were going off and you can't miss a Friday night at Martina's! The owner, Brian sat down with us and had us laughing for hours!!! Wow, I am going to book my next trip this week and I may not ever leave!

This would be a great place to have a small quaint wedding! It is so romantic. We are thinking of renewing our vows there on our 5th year anniversary! This will also allow us to share this experience with friends!

Please contact me if you are searching for a place to stay or have any questions and I would love to share our experience!!!

Thank you to Brian, Karlos and the rest of the staff for making my trip magical!!! See you soon! Pura Vida!

  • Stayed February 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank fun24fun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Montr��al
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 February 2009

I'm french but i will try ......Hope you understand!
we were at " Encanta la vida" in january 09. That was our second trip in Costa Rica. Last year we were there for 3 weeks ans this year for two.
Osa peninsula is a paradise. It's far to go by car but so wonderfull! Little village, calm and not full of tourism. There are many little lodge so nice, with staff who are so pleasant and friendly. This is why we want to be back this year.
We find the lodge Encanta La Vida and decide to go there because it was looking good.
In these part of the Costa Rica you are very far of everything and what's make the difference is the ambiance of were you are staying.
Because it's almost all little lodge the staff make the différence.
They talk with you, they suggest you things to do, they informe you about the country, about the nature life, they are taking time with the guess and this why we were in love with this part of Costa Rica.
But in Encanta La Vida it's really not like this. We were not felling like we were home far of home....The manager and is girl friend was not friendly and there attitude reflected on all the staff who was working there. They were doing their work that's it that's all.
Never seem happy to talk with the people who were lodging there. Seem to be alway's ready to close the kitchen and the bar so we have to leave. It was a very bad atmosphere. For the 3 days that we spend there nobody in the staff ask us about what we did or if we were having good time or if we were ok in our room.
It's really sad because the place is really beautiful! Everything was ok, our room, the pool, the kitchen, the food.....
This is the fist time that we have bad review to say.....

  • Liked — the pool
  • Disliked — the management, staff
  • Stayed January 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank selena5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
boston, Massachusetts
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 December 2008

The area of Matapalo where Encanta La Vida is located is absolutely pristine. The beaches are solitary and beautiful, and the wildlife is abundant. It is not easy to get to, and I suppose that is part of the draw. You are virtually guaranteed to see the 4 monkeys native to the region, scarlet macaws, toucans, hawks, iguanas, frogs, etc. Many people say they see more wildlife at Encanta La Vida than at the National Parks around Costa Rica.

The Lodge is on some beautiful grounds, and the staff is incredibly accomodating. They had a somewhat slow start to accomodate our vegetarian diets, but they were very quick to correct any mistakes. The food is fresh, tasty and usually of local flavor. Fresh fruit every morning!

Karlos, the lodge manager was very willing to accomodate any of our needs, and even made a special trip to one of the local waterfalls to find our lost wedding ring!

We will definitely return to Encanta La Vida many times over.

  • Liked — The area.
  • Disliked — Nothing.
  • Stayed December 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank juno79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Encanta La Vida

Property: Encanta La Vida
Address: Cabo Matapalo, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Osa Peninsula > Cabo Matapalo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 4 Hotels in Cabo Matapalo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Encanta La Vida is an all inclusive jungle retreat located amidst the beautiful beaches of Cabo Matapalo. The hotel offers direct access to amazing wildlife and world class surf, and features a stunning, private, chemical free soft water swimming pool - the only of its kind in Matapalo! Encanta La Vida is the ideal vacation spot for families, honeymooners, and surfers alike. Garden trails lead you to private cabinas nestled throughout the property. The beautifully landscaped grounds provide privacy and wonderful wildlife viewing opportunities. Our rooms are clean and spacious with queen-sized beds and open decks. Enjoy three DELICIOUS meals a day in the Encanta La Vida restaurant featuring fresh fruits, veggies and meats all locally grown or caught off shore. The hotel bar is located just off the swimming pool and serves up blended tropical drinks and ice cold beer. Encanta La Vida is also a fun and easy destination for family reunions, weddings and yoga groups. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Encanta La Vida Hotel Osa Peninsula
Encanta La Vida Osa

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