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“Wedding of my dreams” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Encantada Ocean Cottages

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Encantada Ocean Cottages
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Beachfront, Esterillos Este, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel website
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Esterillos Este
Certificate of Excellence 2014
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Wedding of my dreams”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2012

I got married at Encantada this March. We rented all of the cottages for three days. Katrina at Encantada did everything to make those three days prefect from an amazing welcom dinner, to arranging with a florist and also finding a catering for the wedding. Everyone of my guest had the best trip of there life. All the the cabins were beautiful. The beach is very swimable, we swam almost very day. I could not have choosen a better location or host for my wedding. If you are in the area you would be foolish not to stay.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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139 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (31)
Date | Rating
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English first
Vancouver, Canada
Top Contributor
89 reviews 89 reviews
36 hotel reviews
Reviews in 40 cities Reviews in 40 cities
66 helpful votes 66 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2012

We (family of 4 with kids 11 & 14) stayed in Cottage 6 beach front for 4 nights and Cottage 3 for the last night (since 6 wasn't available). Both cabins were fine - clean, new air con, met all basic needs (this is more like a bed and breakfast than a hotel). Cottage 6 with the kitchenette, small fridge (the hot plate provided was not very good for cooking...it wouldn't heat up enough to boil water for pasta) and covered deck, is more spacious and better for our group. Cottage 3 isn't as new, and would be better for a short stay and smaller group. The beds were all comfortable and showers at both cottages were strong and hot enough. Breakfast was simple and good enough for us (strong coffee, toast, juice and fresh fruit). We didn't think we would use the small pool but it turns out to be perfect for a relaxing dip after playing in the strong ocean waves (not a swimming beach for young kids). My kids loved boogie boarding (rentals available) and playing with their friendly host dogs. I even took a surfing lesson from Alfredo and was able to stand up during the initial lesson. We had a rental car so it was easy to reach Jaco and Quepos (both about 20 mins drive) for other activities and grocery shopping. The couple taking care of the place while we were there were great and helpful, but they were there only temporarily so I can't comment on the usual management and service. All in all a great experience for us and we'd certainly stay there if in the area again. PS the neighboring restaurants at the Pelican Hotel and Alma del Pacifico were both good and reasonably priced (most items).

Room Tip: Cottage 6 is the best.
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edmonton, Canada
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2012

I have stayed at Encantada twice now and have had a wonderful experience both times. The rooms are incredibly clean, spacious, have consistently hot water, and the beds are comfortable. There is a nice pool and what feels like a private beach just a few feet away. This is truly a hidden gem in Costa Rica and I would highly recommend it to others and look forward to returning.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, IL
17 reviews 17 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 14, 2012

If you're looking for a clean, simple inn on an excellent location on the beach, Encantada is the answer. We stayed there last year while visiting friends who suggested Encantada. It is midway between Jaco and Manuel Antonio in Esterillos Este, on an excellent stretch of the beach for taking walks and getting away from the tourist scene. The rooms are basic, but are spotless and have air conditioning, king sized beds and a cute pool for cooling off. The breakfast is simple and there is no restaurant, but you can walk to the restaurant at the Alma del Pacifico (used to be Xandari) next door, or smaller places down the beach.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 3, 2012

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.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tutti-bean, General Manager at Encantada Ocean Cottages, responded to this review, May 12, 2012
I am sorry that your experience at Encantada did not meet your expectations.

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.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York, NY
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2012

We loved our stay here. The place is simple, yet amazingly beautiful. There are 6 basic cabins surrounding a large and lovely pool and a stunning beach through the archway. We lounged in the hammock on the beach and looked into the palms and saw red macaws fly by overhead. We swam in the warm and clean ocean. We walked on the uncrowded beach and found shells and sand dollars. We cooled off in the pool day and night. And along with the beautiful setting we enjoyed the warmth and graciousness of Katrina, the manager, who offered great recommendations, her delightful daughter, who smiled at us all, and the hotel's dogs, who splashed in the surf and joined us on walks. The place was idyllic in every respect.

Our cabin had a king and single bed, bath, ceiling fan and air conditioner. The room was spacious, not fancy, but very clean and the bed was comfortable. The air conditioner was welcome, given the heat, and it worked well, (although it was a little noisy, as they tend to be). Katrina provided us with bottled water on request. The rates were remarkably reasonable. The location was an easy drive from Manual Antonio and gave a a sense of peace without the crowds of Quepos or Jaco. The pool was a great place to cool off after a day of hiking at Manuel Antonio or horseback riding. Breakfast was simple - fruit and toast and great coffee. There were a couple of good restaurants an easy walk away. The place was not a luxury resort, yet it was simple, clean, friendly, small, very welcoming and in an exquisite setting. We would definitely love to return!

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grayslake, Illinois
Top Contributor
82 reviews 82 reviews
41 hotel reviews
Reviews in 48 cities Reviews in 48 cities
131 helpful votes 131 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2012

We returned here due to a transportation issue (road closed to where we were supposed to stay) and decided to stay here for the 3 nights. What a great move.

First off, the room furnishings and linens seemed to be recently updated. The room we stayed in had a very comfortable king size bed (hard to find in CR). There were a few ants, but for the most part, they seemed to have fixed the ant isssues.

This time, we got a room next to the pool (next to the common area) and absolutely loved it. It was close to breakfast (which was a standard fruit/toast deal), next to the pool, and close to the ocean. We loved this convenience.

The owner was there this time and she was always willing to help and respond to questions, and not just to get rid of us, but to genuinely help us.

The ocean in front of the hotel is very swimmable and everyday we found some really cool shells and WHOLE sand dollars! It is close enough to Jaco and the stuff to do, yet far enough away for peace and quiet. The owners dogs would follow us to the beach and sit on the pool chairs, a very nice touch to make you feel at home.

The only downsides here - the AC and fan works good enough at night to keep you comfortable, but during the day, forget it, the rooms are too big for the AC units.

Overall, we would DEFINATELY return here and recommend this place to friends and family and can't wait to return!

Room Tip: The closer to the ocean, the better here. The pool and amenities are towards the rear of the proper...
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Encantada Ocean Cottages

Address: Beachfront, Esterillos Este, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Esterillos Este
Beach Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Esterillos Este
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Encantada Ocean Cottages 3*
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Encantada Ocean Cottages is located in Esterillos Este. The quaint, friendly community is just 90-minutes from the San Jose airport on the Central Pacific Coast and 30-minutes from Costa Rica's most popular tourist destinations: Jaco, Quepos and Manuel Antonio National Park. The 7 units can either be rented out individually or for groups. Each is unique and able to accommodate 2-5 people; the property sleeps 30 people. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Encantada Ocean Cottages Costa Rica/Esterillos Este

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