I'm in absolute disbelief at the positive reviews about this hotel. I use TripAdvisor for all my travel plans, but this time the reviews were SO WRONG. I thought we'd arrived at the wrong place! The Encantada Ocean Cottage hotel is DISGUSTING. I'm also ashamed that it's taken me this long to write my review, but I just wanted to forget the whole experience when we arrived here in August 2011. My husband and I love to travel and have stayed from 2-star to 5-star accommodations depending on how much time we plan to spend at them. Our main stipulation is that they MUST BE CLEAN. We visit this area of Costa Rica a lot and just plan to surf most of the time, so we just needed clean and basic. This place was a total shock, especially considering all the positive reviews.
We arrived with our friend and his girlfriend and my two teenage daughters. After a massive search on this tiny property, we finally located the owner who seemed put out that we'd interrupted her while she rocked the stroller with her new-ish baby in it. She chucked us our keys and pointed to the 3 cabins that were ours. This is when the shock really set in. My cabin was FILTHY. I understand old-fashioned and that's fine, but this was not just the case. If the sheets had actually been cleaned (which I doubt), the bed had likely been made 2 months prior and left to fester. In the humid climate of Costa Rica, leaving a bed made for 2 months (hell, even 2 weeks) is unacceptable. I rolled back the revolting bed cover to see stained sheets that were damp and moldy-smelling. I went into the bathroom and the stained floor mat still had the cap from someone's razor on it and clearly hadn't been cleaned. Overall, the rooms felt filthy and I made sure to keep my flip flops on after filling the slick of the floor - that wasn't just from the humidity. I then went into my Step-Daughters' cabin to tell them not to unpack. Thank God I did. It seemed like there was a dusty, dark cloud in their room and their air-conditioning unit (like ours) was upstairs in the loft, however, what's the point if the window up there doesn't close? Not only does it not close, there is no glass and no screen!! It was just a hole! Awesome - especially with mosquitos, right? Might as well have slept outside. The lack of cleanliness of their cabin was pretty similar to ours. The third cabin rented by our friend was the honeymoon cabin, if I recall correctly. It was "ok". It seemed a bit cleaner (likely from more turnover) and almost passed as "quaint". It did have a little kitchenette area, however, none of us wanted to eat anything in it.
Everything on this property just seemed cramped and dirty, like a slum. The pool was very close to the doors of the cabins. If someone were to have a normal conversation while in the pool, you could likely hear it from your room. I also recall the laundry for the entire hotel were backed up to one of the entrances to the "honeymoon" cabin. In general, there was NOWHERE to escape for any kind of privacy outside of your room or walking far down the big, beautiful beach. Encantada was not fully booked at all, but it certainly seemed very crowded.
That was enough for me. I told the lady nicely that we'd changed our minds and she was very angry, despite me pointing out the dirty bathroom, etc. I eventually told her that I felt the place was just not worth $65 a night, not even $30 a night. I'd rather have pitched a tent up the road, to be honest. Do NOT stay here. There are NO redeeming qualities except that it is on the beach. It's the kind of place you'll NEVER want to return to after a great day around this beautiful area of Costa Rica.
Luckily, we'd taken a wrong turn at Monterey Del Mar just up the road, so we stayed there instead at almost twice the price. It broke our planned budget, but after seeing the Encantada Cess Pit, it was like the deal of the century. Quiet, clean and also right on the beach. Stay at Monterey Del Mar or ANYWHERE ELSE instead.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
I am sorry that your experience at Encantada did not meet your expectations.
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We are of course always striving to provide the best experience possible, and thank you for your comments.
Being a full time (24 hour/7 day) live on manager, I do my very best to be available to guests at all times. I am sorry that I was not immediately available to you. Our small dedicated staff, tries in every way to make our guests welcome. Even while off-property, I am available to guests via cell phone.
Encantada is a small, simple and serene place. This however, does not mean “unclean, dirty or uninviting.” We try to maintain a relaxed and inviting atmosphere, and do not mean for it to be taken as uninterested or overly casual. Your comments in this arena are duly noted. Our cottages are cleaned on a daily basis, regardless of whether they have been occupied or not.
Our linens are always freshly laundered.
All of our AC units are actually located on the main floor, and we are updating them to the more powerful split units, one at a time. The upstairs windows do not have glass as you stated, but do all have shutters and screens which we check and replace frequently. I am open to criticism, but do feel the need to correct any inaccurate claims about issues that may be of importance to future guests.
We have taken into account all of your comments and will be paying special attention to detail, to ensure that no other guest has a similar experience. I would like to thank you again, for bringing these concerns to my attention. It is a shame that you came away from our place with such a negative impression.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.