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“Incredibly Beautiful Place”
Review of Encanta La Vida

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Encanta La Vida
Ranked #4 of 5 Hotels in Cabo Matapalo
Certificate of Excellence
New Jersey
Level 5 Contributor
54 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Incredibly Beautiful Place”
Reviewed April 9, 2014

I stayed here for a last few nights of a 12 day trip. I was in the honeymoon suite which was stunning with an amazing shower that was screened in all around so it felt like showering in the middle of the jungle.
The property is set in the middle of the forest with amazing wildlife but with decent wifi and plenty of hot water. The buildings and grounds are lovely and there is even a pool.
The food was very good and plentiful.

Be prepared for really, really bad roads on the way there.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank IMLY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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167 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
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  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (38)
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English first
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed March 13, 2014 via mobile

We stayed at a private home nearby, but had two lovely evening meals, one with Bryan, at Encanta La Vida. Food was delisch, servings perfect, company very hospitable. Can't wait to return to the Osa - thank you Encanta for sustaining the natural integrity of Costa Rica

Stayed March 2014
Helpful?
Thank Aardvark47
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brooklyn, New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed February 21, 2014

I had such an amazing experience at Encanta La Vida. I traveled here for one week as apart of a yoga retreat and was incredibly sad to have to leave. We were shown to our room; Deluxe 1 by the ever sweet Terry. I was amazed by how big and spacious the room was, not too mention my bed was incredibly comfortable! I never had any issues with bugs and found the room at night to be quite cool, especially with the fans they provided. I found every space at Encanta La Vida to be up to high standards, the beautiful yoga deck speaks for itself as well as the amazing spa room. Make sure to get a massage from Kate! She is by far the best massage therapist I have ever met!

The pool area was lovely and so was the bar with the most amazing bartender Glenda! I enjoyed every meal and found every staff member to be quite accommodating. With coffee and cold water always available, it felt more as though I was staying at someone's house rather than a resort. Every meal was delicious and dessert was even better! I ate like a true queen! I am looking forward to traveling back to the jungle and to this amazing resort.

Room Tip: Deluxe 1 had an amazing porch with a beautiful hammock! Located further away from the main office an...
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank perri s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis
Level 4 Contributor
34 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed January 26, 2014

I would like to recommend this place but cannot. There are many attractive and charming qualities such as the beautiful grounds, abundant wildlife, easy access to the beautiful beach (the more expensive resorts have none or difficult access), and relative affordability (approx half that of the bigger resorts). Meals are served plated with the option of sitting at a communal table or at a private table. There are small inconveniences that we could put up with in the jungle, such as one single towel per person per day that gets wet and stays wet (no handtowel), no beach towels, small room and dim lighting in Pole House 1 (used our headlamps, even during the day), very dark at night- bring a headlight if you go! The main drawback is that even though the food is well prepared and delicious, there is not enough of it!! Breakfast is the most hearty, but lunch and dinner are very small portions. Typical dinner would be an average serving of fish or chicken, 1/2 cup starch, 1/4 cup vegetable. Not enough after hiking all day!! After one particularly small lunch salad both we and another couple asked for additional servings - we were rather surprised at check out to see an additional charge for essentially an extra sliced banana!!! There is nowhere nearby to buy any food, they do not offer a fruit basket or anything between meals, and you are not supposed to keep food in your room due to the animals around and only screens on your windows, but luckily we had brought PB and tuna with us and had a sandwich in our room nearly every night because we were still hungry!
This issue has been mentioned before on numerous posts. It would not cost much to add rice and beans to each meal to make them more filling. It is rather inhospitable to know that your guests are hungry and to choose not to do anything about it, and for this reason I cannot recommend Encanta la Vida.

Room Tip: Pole House 1 backs onto the jungle - can look out the screens at night with a flashlight to look for...
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank LisaMinneapolis
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 review, January 28, 2014
Thank you for writing. It is unfortunate that you did not feel comfortable enough to say anything while you were here. It would have been easy to give you a larger helping (or second helpings) at any meal. We keep snacks on-hand like nuts, fruit and cookies for people (kids especially) who need a bit in-between meals.

Sustainable tourism and conservation are common practice among people who live, travel and work on the the Osa Peninsula (the area we are located). To minimize waste and be kind to the planet we are trying to be mindful of the waste we generate as a hotel. This includes food that is wasted (when portions are too large). It also extends to towels -- which we have plenty -- offering one at a time to guests and having others handy when they are wet is key to reducing the excess laundry that overcomes hotels quickly if you don't try to put limits in place. Everything is here at the hotel. You just have to ask. We are happy to serve.

We have been working hard to improve the quality of our food focusing on freshness, appropriate portions and healthy menu choices. Your feedback is welcome and we are continuing to work on creating a healthy, creative, delicious and satiating menu. Most of our guests are very active -- surfers, hikers, yogis -- so we know you need to eat well. And, providing healthy, fresh food is our aim. To minimize waste we have adjusted our portions because it's easy to ask for more (but wasteful when food is not eaten when portions are too large).

We will continue to work diligently to improve our portioning and food quality. Thank you again for your feedback.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. Louis
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed January 18, 2014

Our family of 5 thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Encanta La Vida. In fact, it wasn't until traveling to more remote areas on the Osa Peninsula were we able to fully appreciate the scope of wildlife we enjoyed from the comfort of the resort. The staff was super friendly and we loved the communal meals. The only thing I would have changed would have been access to coffee earlier in the morning. Oh yeah, the beach is beautiful!

Room Tip: We stayed in the deluxe 2. Perfect for the 5 of us!
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank HMStraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, Colorado
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed January 13, 2014 via mobile

I've had to really think how I wanted to rate this place. We were there for four nights. There were only six other guests the first night, four the second and third and two others on our last night. The grounds are gorgeous. The wildlife around is great (though the owner admitted to feeding the wild turkeys..not good). The yoga studio overlooking the ocean was beautiful. The yoga classes were very good, the food
was fantastic and the room (Pole House 2) was great. The problem? The staff all seemed very unhappy and unfriendly except for Gigi, the yoga instructor who was very helpful and friendly. Most of the time it felt as if we were more of a nuisance to the staff than a paying guest. The owner and the manager walked by me several times without even looking at me. Not weird at a huge place but very weird at a place that had only six other guests at the time. It gave off a very strange vibe. My other complaint is that the breakfasts were from 8-9:30 but yoga was 8-9. Not a huge deal to eat after yoga (actually preferable) but I would suggest that guests could at least get some fruit or toast beforehand. Generally speaking in the jungle you are awake by 5:30 or 6 by the Howler Monkeys so not being able to eat until 8 was a little painful. At almost $300/night it seems like a little flexibility in the food would be nice, especially with yoga being at 8.

Would I stay here again? Probably not considering how expensive it was and the strange vibe we had. But, on the other hand we had a wonderful five days in the Oso and if it weren't for Gigi the place would fall apart. Would I recommend it to a friend? Only with advanced warning about the grumbling staff that feels put-out by any request.

Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
5 Thank CelisaB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
La Costa, CA
Level 4 Contributor
34 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed January 7, 2014

Oh boy – What can I say. Most has been said already. We had an almost perfect experience. Besides the jungle, the room and the setting, the meals were amazing as was the yoga overlooking the ocean. But the best part was the staff. Teri, and the 2 Sarahs became our friends and did all they could to make everything happen for us from ziplines, to a guided jungle tour. Bryan, the owner was a great source of information on hikes. We can’t wait to return!!

Room Tip: All are great
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Stonesteps
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:
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 (Based on Average Rates): $$$
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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