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“Fabulous tropical location, jungle and beaches, immersed in nature”
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 4, 2010

I hosted a yoga retreat here and it was just great. From my first dealings with Encanta,, everything went smooth. Very helpful staff, who responded very timely to my numerous questions. Everyone was really happy with the various accomodations as each room is set up differently. The yoga deck is inspiring. Being separate to the lodge and accomodations, you really feel like you are up in the trees, overlooking the beach. Its really beautifully built as is the spa area.

The food was delicious and such variety since we had a range of diets in the group. It was nice to be able to all eat together as a group too. Pre-dinner drinks at the monkey bar was always fun and of course its nice to have the pool to jump into in case you are hot and sticky again after the beach!

  • Stayed: February 2010
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Thank ORourke
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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144 - 150 of 169 reviews

Reviewed April 26, 2010

Food was excellent. Service all done with a smile and efficiency. The front desk knew about everything there was to do from surfing to hiking to the flora and fauna. The hosts were very helpful (Brian, Gretchen and Blake). Costs were very much within out budget. We will definetely come back to this place. Next time I want the top cabina.

~ bdv (Seattle)

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank teacherseattle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 26, 2010

Encanta La Vida has the most incredible food and the friendliest staff ; the atmosphere at the lodge is marvelous, you are in the heart of Matapalo and immersed in nature, seconds away from the beach and walking distance to the surf breaks. The lodge's proximity to the ocean and on the edge of the rainforest, close to great hiking trails and waterfalls, allows you to stay there without having to rent a vehicle, while keeping Matapalo ecological.
I have rented a beach house in the past in Matapalo, but in the past three years have stayed at Encanta La Vida on average once a month, and the authenticity of the lodge keeps me looking forward to my next stay there every time !

  • Stayed: March 2010, traveled on business
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Thank lasolas951
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 28, 2010

Not worth it. I was there last week and was not impressed. The rooms are not great (we stayed in the Ranchito) and not especially well kept or clean. I know its the jungle but we stayed in two other hotels while in Osa and liked them much more (Lookout inn and Iguana Lodge). The social areas (pool and restaurant) are very nice but don't make up for the rooms.

  • Stayed: January 2010, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank jskenley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 8, 2009

We recently spent six nights at Encanta la Vida (arriving at their doorstep without having booked - courtesy of the low season). We were utterly charmed. It is - obviously, being on the Peninsula de Osa - set in beautiful grounds; the accommodation was great (with the exception of some hot water problems - it was raining a lot, so got a bit chilly in the evenings); food was at worst tasty and hearty home-cooked meals; at best it was fabulous (and this more often than not). Finally, the staff, ably led by Brian, were friendly and helpful all the time and made our stay a real pleasure. Kitchen staff were very accommodating with dietary requirements; Brian was always helpful in phoning around to organise trips / get best prices. With a few short (and always wondrous) minutes walk down to the beaches, we truly had a magical time in a magical place.

  • Stayed: November 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank JoziCat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 1, 2009

The negatives:

1. This lodge looks like a bunch of semi-farm houses or a bunch of huts of an extended family- definitely not for a honeymoon or romantic getaway.
2. Monkeys, birds, lizards, sloths loiter in the area. This lodge attracts them by leaving plenty of food. Definitely unnatural. The monkeys looked overfed and should be on a weight loss program.
3. The lodge overbooks the place. Four couples waited outside to be accommodated. We waited for 3 hours before we finally got a hut and it was not the hut we reserved and paid for! Our hut was given to a couple from Boston who booked 2 months after we did! It just so happen that they arrived a few hours ahead of us. First come first serve eh?
4. The manager has no clue how to run the hotel- he cannot resolve the issue of overbooking or placing guests in the huts/rooms that they did not reserve. He was on the phone constantly- obviously talking to the owner whose concern is just to make a profit.
5. And oh yeah- I should not forget their food -if you can call it food at all. I vomited right after I ate breakfast. If you come to Costa Rica to starve, maybe you should stay here. You will be eating your meals like you are in a boy scout campsite. All guests are called by staff to eat at the same time. All guests will eat the same food. And all meals are rationed.
6. If you expect to have organized side trips or excursions, the staff here can't help you much. The lodge expects you to be on your own. We organized our own trip with 6 other guest in the lodge with the help of someone from outside the hotel.

The positive:

1. Glad this is in Costa Rica. There are plenty of things to do outside the lodge.

  • Stayed: December 2008, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank ebbtide123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 19, 2009

i'd been procrastinating writing this review only because it would mean our out of this world fantastic time at the heavenly Encanta La Vida is really over.
i have traveled extensively all over the world and Encanta La Vida is at the very top of my all around favorites list. The staff were terrific and the food (all home cooked, fresh, catered to the guests) was out of this world exceptional. SO delicious. My husband and i are STILL thinking about it and it's been two months since our stay. I'm a vegetarian and they were more than accommodating to all my crazy food needs.

We were looking for an exceptional 'far from home' experience (we're from brooklyn) for our honeymoon that was not touristy, that had LOTS of animals and that would blow our minds. THIS. WAS. IT.

There were monkeys in the trees feet from where we were. LOTS of them. And toucans. And scarlet macaws. And iguanas. And some creepy crabs that came out at night (not dangerous, but wild... it's the middle of the jungle/rainforest after all). And a really cute parrot. And an awesome dog. And a salt water pool (which was a perfect end to the day/before dinner treat) from which you could see the stars and watch the sun fall.

The hotel was more than accommodating in helping us fill our days (for the times we didn't want to just walk around and/or go to the nearly completely unpopulated ocean) and we did amazing things such as zip lining, visiting a nearby island where an American was rehabilitating all these monkeys and sloths and other amazing animals.

It was as close to paradise as i could have ever imagined.

Please note: this is NOT a touristy place. and this IS in the jungle. and the people who run Encanta la Vida are exceptional and the food (three home cooked meals included in the VERY reasonable price) was so incredible my mouth waters just thinking about it.

Do yourself a favor. GO THERE.

  • Stayed: April 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank parkslopian
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 - $308 (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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