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“A lodge with potential but in need of improved customer service” 4 of 5 stars
Review of La Ensenada Lodge

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La Ensenada Lodge
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Gulf of Nicoya, Manzanillo, Costa Rica   |  
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Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
37 hotel reviews
Reviews in 40 cities Reviews in 40 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
“A lodge with potential but in need of improved customer service”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 13, 2009

La Ensenada is in a beautiful location, in the middle of nowhere, with a view of the sea and surrounded by howler monkeys and iguanas.

The wooden cabins are basic and ours was very small - we were given a twin but had requested a double and there appeared to be much larger doubles available. We didn't mention it to the staff though as they were not particularly welcoming,

We weren't given any information about what activities were available when we arrived, nor was it provided in the rooms and throughout the rest of our stay the staff weren't always easy to find!

There was a large group of Dutch bird watchers staying (they are very common in Costa Rica!) and their daily briefings seemed to take over the restaurant, spoilng it for the handful of other guests.

I was glad that I had taken Spanish lessons before the trip as the staff spoke very little English - I don't think I would have been able to arrange a horseride with without them!

The riding was excellent and the main reason I chose this lodge. However, if you are not experienced I would not advise riding here as they didn't seem to care about your abilities on a horse. The ride was definitely not suitable for novices - they are ranch horses, not well trained trekking ponies. The other guests on my ride were out of there depth and nearly fell off on several occasions when their horses took off. I had taken my own helmet but they don't provide any and most travel insurance companies won't cover you without one.

Despite all of the above I did enjoy staying here - the pool was relaxing, the food was good and it was very quiet (when the bird-watchers weren't around!) and we enjoyed the boat ride.
It does have the potential to be a wonderful place to stay but they need to improve their customer relations and provide information on all the services they offer.

  • Stayed March 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (6)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Pepperell, Massachusetts
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 8, 2009

Living in Costa Rica, it's hard to pick a favorite place because everything is so different.
This is a country of diversity. HOWEVER, I can say that La Ensenada has so much in one place that it easily has become my favorite spot. It's on a huge farm, so it's peaceful and idyllic. It's on the water so it's got beautiful views (actually overlooking the amazing mountians that are on the Nicoya Penninsula). The bird watching is first class, both salt water and fresh water birds can be found here. There are mangrove swamps nearby. Boat trips are easily arranged by the Lodge.
As far as the place, it's simple and old fashioned. The rooms are plain but charming. Although it gets very hot during the day the ceiling fans and cool evening breezes off the water are fine for a good night's sleep. The owners are Italian which provides for great hospitality, good food and drinks! Be warned that they only take cash.
There is a beautiful pool that has a great view of the water with nice places to sit on a chaise in the shade and read or just sit there in awe.

  • Stayed December 2008, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Additional Information about La Ensenada Lodge

Address: Gulf of Nicoya, Manzanillo, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Manzanillo
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 Specialty lodging in Manzanillo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $

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