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“Felt like leaving reality,- in a bad way.”
Review of Encanta La Vida

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Encanta La Vida
Ranked #4 of 5 Hotels in Cabo Matapalo
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed May 2, 2013 via mobile

The Osa Peninsula is definitely worth visiting and Cabo Matapalo offers beautiful nature at the mouth of Golfo Dulce.
After visiting Panama and PN Corcovado we ment to treat our selves to 4 days of luxurious beach relaxing, which did cost as much as the 2 1/2 weeks before.
Pros:
- friendly and alert staff
- abundant wildlife
- good cooking
Cons:
- overpriced; considering the run down bathrooms & furniture, small portions of food, extra charges for any kind of activity
- the owners run this place in a typically "expat-yet-US-rooted-style"; after having made warm encounters with locals in Panama and Costa Rica, ELV made us feel like invading colonials. You just get the impression that this place lacks a spirit of responsibility for the local culture/ society.
If you do not really look for contact with local culture and do not have to keep to close of an eye on your budget ELV seems a reasonable choice.

  • Stayed: April 2013
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2  Thank colaer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Theresa H, General Manager at Encanta La Vida, responded to this reviewResponded May 6, 2013

Encanta La Vida supports the local schools in our area and surrounding towns of Puerto Jimenez in fundraisers and/or conservation events.

Encanta La Vida guests come from around the world to enjoy the Osa Peninsula on their vacation -- surf, hike, enjoy wildlife and RELAX. Our staff is Costa Rican and they take great care in making our guests comfortable. Our Chefs prepare GREAT food and guests chose hotels like ours so they don't have to cook on vacation.

Encanta La Vida is not responsible for the socio-political issues of the world (such as colonialism). We are also NOT responsible for the extinction of the dinosaurs if anyone wonders.

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Reviews (168)
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86 - 92 of 168 reviews

Reviewed March 9, 2013

A friend of mine had heard some rave reviews of Encanta La Vida from her sister, who had also heard rave reviews from a close friend. So for her birthday, three friends set out for ELV. We all loved it. It definitely lived up to the hype. Our room was adorable and clean (we stayed upstairs, in the main house, which has a nice patio just outside the room, see picture). The staff was incredibly accommodating, particularly Oscar, Kate and Julian, who were so helpful. We got to use to the on-site yoga studio a couple times and visit the gorgeous beaches nearby everyday. The food was divine—fresh and delicious. I loved this place so much, I want to make it an annual tradition and I seem to be suggesting it to EVERYONE!

Room Tip: That friend's sister suggested we request the room upstairs so, that's we did and were very...
  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Ashley W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 19, 2013

Rustic setting is just what you would expect in the jungle. Meals were very good served family style affording you the opportunity to meet other travellers and share experience. You will see more wildlife poolside than all of the national parks. Many tours offered but check prices ahead as they seem fluid. So here we are in the jungle monkeys all around and at thebar we find a world class mixilogist in Julian! Pura Vida indeed.
we hiked waterfalls had a guided nature tour and Kate provided an excellent massage.
Road is doable in your 4x4 rental car but go slow there are many hazards.
Gratuities and unreliable wifi are extras.

Room Tip: Pole House 1or2 or honeymoon suite or delude rooms.
Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
1  Thank teafolk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 9, 2013

I spent a week here with a group on a yoga retreat. Everything was perfect, a little primitive for some but I wasn't looking for ordinary. I felt at home in this paradise. Everyone did their job exceptionally well, but more importantly, made personal connections feel natural. Food, bar, housekeeping was wonderful. Kate made my feet feel fabulous with a reflexology treatment. Nature hike with Andy was enlightening, paddle boarding with Pollo - he was patient with this exhausted 57 year old woman. Just sitting and watching the birds, bugs and other creatures was fantastic, the fragrance of ylang ylang wafted through the yard from time to time. Getting there from San Jose was a perfect adventure. Flying with Sansa was great, arriving beside the cemetery was interesting, the trip to ELV w Denise and return w/ Chon was great. Language differences do not stop communication. I completed my trip with an evening conversation with a 5 year old boy from Sweden (we did a lot of pointing to animal pictures) he knew no English and I knew only a swedish nursery rhyme. Stopping in the church by the runway Sunday morning capped off my visit. Santo, Santo, Santo Senor.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled solo
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Thank Carol S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Theresa H, General Manager at Encanta La Vida, responded to this reviewResponded February 11, 2013

It was our pleasure to host your group! We hope you'll come back again soon and bring your family and/or friends! Good luck in 2013 and remember to ENJOY everyday!!

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Reviewed February 4, 2013

Our family of four (two adult 'kids' and our parents) stayed here in Jan 2013. We stayed in the Casa Hoy, which is actually used for overflow when the rest of the resort is full, and we loved it. We had plenty of space to enjoy some time alone, but also had relaxing game nights on the decks and watched the monkeys swing by for hours.

Encanta is the perfect place if you truly want an adventure. We loved hiking, swimming, observing the various wildlife, and just relaxing at the pool. The staff could not have been any more accommodating, and we left feeling like we would miss them! The food was incredible, and very fresh/healthy. We loved the drinks, and the bartenders were fabulous- serving up local creations with fresh mangoes, etc. I'd absolutely go back!

This is not like going to some generic resort, it's a ecolodge, so I wouldn't recommend it to a high-maintenance friend-- but if you're up for really experiencing the jungle, it cannot be beat.

The weather in January was stunning, hot, sunny, but there's enough shade around to cool off.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Bee S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 28, 2013

We stayed at Encanta la Vida in January, 2013 and enjoyed every minute of it. The Pole House was lovely! In the first five minutes on the deck we saw monkeys settling in for the night in nearby trees, Scarlet Macaws flying by, and Blue Morpho Butterflies flitting through the nearby plants. We knew, then, that we had chosen a great place to spend the majority of our Costa Rica vacation. The staff were great, food fresh and delicious, and the service terrific. Beaches are just a five minute walk away, the jungle is all around you, and the resort's pool is a great place to cool off after a day's adventure. When we return to Costa Rica, Encanta la Vida will definitely be on the list for a return visit.

Stayed: January 2013, traveled with family
Thank beekpr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 27, 2013

We just returned from a week at Encanta La Vida and are already planning our next visit. What a special place! We stayed in the Ranchito Cabina and loved it. It was cozy with an excellent shower and a fantastic deck where you can relax and let the jungle action come to you. Meals at ELV are served family style and are outstanding. The staff did a great job of accommodating my wife's vegetarian diet. Highlights of our trip included stand-up paddle boarding (coordinated by ELV staff), hikes through the jungle to local waterfalls, yoga on ELV's incredible yoga deck on the edge of the jungle overlooking Pan Dulce, the local Friday night market, socializing with other guests at ELV's poolside bar before dinner, walking the pristine beaches nearby, viewing all of the stunning jungle plants and wildlife, and just totally decompressing. If you're looking for an authentic, laid back experience in the beach-side jungle, Encanta la Vida is the place for you.

Room Tip: The Pole House rooms have been updated recently and look great too.
Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
1  Thank Dave S
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

Address: Cabo Matapalo, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: 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 5 Hotels in Cabo Matapalo
Price Range: $121 - $293 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Encanta La Vida 3*
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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