reviews for: listing #7226 - Lake Arenal, Costa Rica Estate rental

Villa Encantada~40 Acre Lakefront Nature Preserve Estate
  • bedrooms  4
  • pool  yes
  • type  Estate
  • baths  3
  • hot tub  no
  • community 
  • sleeps  12
  • pets allowed  yes
  • rates (USD) $265 - $300 /nt
    $1,850 - $2,100 /wk

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Villa Encantada stay was terrific

Review submitted: August 22, 2006   Date of arrival: March 1, 2006

Our family spent 7 wonderfull days at Villa Encantada. Not too far away from Nuevo Arenal a quiet little town which we all enjoyed visiting. Villa Encantada is close to, and has a spectacular view, of Lake Arenal.

The owner (your host) also has a pontoon boat available for fishing trips. Or, in our case, for sight seeing cruises. We were in awe of the beautiful Volcano Areanal. Our trip on the boat was so enjoyable and relaxing.

Speaking of relaxing. From the moment we arrived at the Villa we felt at home. The Villa is everything we had read about prior to selecting Encantada as our vacation destination in Costa Rica. Honestly Encantada is everything it was to be and MORE.

The Villa has a beauty and warmth you can feel the moment you see it... Not to mentiion how one feels upon walking in the front door. Of course you will have to tear yourself away from the spectacular view of Lake Arenal, from the front porch, in order to enter the Villa.

Walking into the Villa you immediately have a view of the back porch and the garden paradise which is your backyard. The pond and island are the center piece of the back yard and garden. You will want to walk across the suspended bridge to the island where you can enjoy feeding the fish in the pond. A daily task my Granddaughter gladly took on and which we all enjoyed sharing with her.

There are 4 Kayaks available to use in the pond or take down to the hill to Lake Arenal. My granddaughter and I tried our kayaking skills in the pond. She took to it like a duck takes to water. And, I can attest to the fact the water in the pond is clean, clear, cold and drinkable... As I swallowed half the pond before I mastered the art of getting onto the Kayak. Another fond memory from our stay at Encantada.

The nature trails created by the owner are maped out for your review. Or, as wek did, you can begin exploring them on your own. Getting caught up in the beauty of the rain forest, following the flowing creek up to the water fall and beyond... An enjoyable time was had by us as we explored the gardens and trails of Encantada.

Every morning we were awakened by the Howler Monkeys in the rain forest. Once you have heard them you are not likely to forget it. Even better than hearing them was seeing them one morning from the back porch of the Villa.

Watching the amazing variety of birds eating from the bird feeder and taking a whole bunch of pictures... Most enjoyable! And, if you don't have a camera I seriously doubt if you will soon forget the first time you see the Toucans.

We enjoyed the variety of restaurants which are easy to get to from the Villa. We found them to be clean, reasonably priced and the food and service was very good to terrific.
Eating "Tico" is most enjoyable, and we would recommend the pleasure that can be derived from eatiing "Tico".

The canopy tour is most enjoyable and only a short drive from the villa. If you want to see the rainforest try seeing it from the Top down... Very impressive.

Our host, guide, skipper (on our boat tour of Lake Arenal) and new "Friend". Made our stay at the Villa truly and Enchanted vacation. You can not ask for a better host anywhere.

We will return again to visit paradise at Villa Encantada.
It is everything it was said to be... and more!!

If you are going to Costa Rica you do not want to miss out on staying at Villa Encantada where you can experience the gem of Costa Rica... Lake Arenal, and the crown jewel Arenal the Volcano

Helpful votes: 48 / 51

 

Amazing people, house and grounds!!!

Review submitted: March 30, 2014   Date of arrival: March 19, 2014

Our family along with another family recently stayed at Villa Encantada for 9 days. The house and grounds are beautiful!! The kids had so much fun on the water slide and exploring the grounds. We didn't want to leave!! The Howler monkeys were so wonderful to listen to in the mornings. They really sound like big gorillas but are these cute black monkeys.
We went on a couple of excursions. We went zip lining in the Monte Verde Cloud Forest through a place called Selvatura. It was the best zip line I have ever done in my life! Glen booked this for us. The roads to get there are an experience in itself and I would highly recommend this. We also went white water rafting (2-3) in the Balsa river. That was so much fun and we felt really safe and the guides really make it a great time for everyone. We also went into La Fortuna for some shopping and went to the Baldi Hot Springs. When we called Baldi, we were told it would be $51.00 per person including either lunch or supper. When we went into La Fortuna we were able to get tickets for $33.00 per person for the same thing.
We also had chef Joan cook for us one night and it was amazing! We went to Equus BBQ one night and I would not recommend this place. It is fun to go see and have a drink there ( they have a disco made entirely of stone) but would not recommend the food. We went to the gingerbread house and the food was wonderful. The owner is very boisterous and opinionated but the food was wonderful.
Overall our trip was more than what we anticipated and we felt so safe and taken care off. Even the people in the little grocery stores went out of their way to help us!! You can tell that the people that live in Nuevo Arenal and Arenal are very close and it makes you feel so safe and accepted. I would recommend this over and over to anyone who asked. One of the best experiences if my life!!!

Recommended for: adventure seekers, families with young children, families with teenagers, girls getaway, sight seeing, romantic getaway

Owners response: Dear Kathy,
It’s ALWAYS a Great Pleasure hearing from our guests at Villa Encantada. Your detailed 5 Star Guest Review outlining your adventures at Villa Encantada of your 9 day stay, and of the Lake Arenal area with it’s Amazing people with so many excursions options… is a terrific way for our future guests to get a feel for what they might expect when they stay with us at Villa Encantada.


Seeing your 5 kids (ages 11-16) zipping down the slide and running back up the stairs for another ride … Then kayaking, fishing the ponds, swimming and hiking the trails ~~ for me, is as good as it gets. From experience, I know that if the kids are happy, enthused and aren’t bored that the parents are very happy and content. There is a Huge added benefit when the kids are active on the Estate, and that is you are saving money (lots of it) as day excursions for a large family like yours can be a bit pricey. Most tour excursions cost from $50-$95 per person. Multiply that by 7, 8 or 9 persons and you’ve spent a tidy amount of $$.


Of course you’ll want to do a few activities such as I arranged for you like the Canopy Zip Line and White Water Rafting, but it’s just awfully nice waking up in the morning and not have to wonder, “what are we going to do today”. I’ve heard it many times from our guests that “we don’t need to go anywhere”.. It’s all right here, and this is a great way to economize on your expenses.


A very special treat is having one of our (2) chefs come right to the villa and prepare a 5 Star Dinner for your family. Chef Joan and her husband Jim always get rave reviews, as does Chef Tyron. Chef Joan is so creative with her dinner presentations, and the professional attention that they give our guests is second to none, not to mention a dinner meal that you’ll be writing home about… simply scrumptious! We’re very pleased to be able to offer their Chef Services.


You mentioned several times how safe and taken care of your felt and how accessible the locals are here in Nuevo Arenal, and I agree that this village of Nuevo Arenal is really what Costa Rica is and should be.. Sincere and with approachable locals. Many of the more traveled destinations oftentimes just don’t give you that authentic feeling, but no matter where you wind up, Costa Ricans are always friendly and polite.


Thanks again Kathy for visiting Villa Encantada and sharing your experiences with those that follow you.


Your Host and Friend
Glenn

Helpful votes: 1 / 1

 

Stunningly beautiful and loads of fun

Review submitted: February 4, 2014   Date of arrival: January 26, 2014

It really is just as beautiful as the videos. It has 40 acres of well-maintained jungle hiking trails and beautifully manicured grounds with tropical vegetation. The water slide was a big hit, even though we are adults! The pond was great for swimming, floating around, and kayaking. We saw many many beautiful birds in and around the bird feeder - put lots of fruit or rinds/seeds out! We heard the howler monkeys every day and got some good pictures of them on one day. We also saw toucans and many leaf cutter ants, which are fascinating to observe. We loved the peacocks, which Josue lets out of the cage every once in a while. The chickens were cute, but a little too loud. Glenn has thought of everything you might need or want - from fish food to a portable iPod player to running water for the water slide to an extension cord. He really does seem to care that the guests have the best experience possible. The house is designed very well. It is very spacious and comfortable, with large patios and decks for viewing the spectacular scenery of tropical vegetation, sunsets, and stars. The kitchen is well-stocked with dinnerware, nice sized glasses, and cookware. We had Joan and Jim cook meals 3 times for us; they were great and so was the food. In the 6 days that we were there, our group only did one outside activity (horseback riding). We had wanted to do more, but we didn't want to leave the property! We bought fresh yogurt and cheese from El Establo which is just up the road - excellent! This is the nicest place I have ever stayed at.

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, families with young children, girls getaway, tourists without a car

Owners response: Dear Carolyn,

Thank you so much for visiting Villa Encantada, and for taking your valuable time to write such a detailed guest review of your week with us. I'm glad you mentioned the video, (actually the 12 Virtual Tour Videos) of the villa and grounds on this VRBO site that give our guests a real sense of the many amenities we offer and what they can expect when they arrive.

That you decided to spend most of your time enjoying the villa, the grounds, hiking trails, pools/slide, kayaking the ponds and experiencing pristine nature, rather than venturing off the property ... truly is the Best Endorsement and Compliment that I can receive and I'm flattered that Villa Encantada was "the nicest place that you've ever stayed at". Thank you for your kind words Carolyn.

We're very pleased that you found our chef services provided by Chef Joan and Jim so delightful that you had them cook dinner for your family on 3 separate occasions. They do a spectacular job. The food creations and presentation really are a 5 Star event.

We hope that this will be the first many visits, and rest assured that on your next visit you'll find new amenities/attractions and surprises to enjoy. And that even after 16 years of hosting guests at Villa Encantada... we are still a continuing "work in progress", making it the best it can possibly be for you and those that follow you.

Your Friend and Host,
Glenn

Helpful votes: 1 / 1

 

An Awesome stay in Costa Rica!

Review submitted: January 13, 2014   Date of arrival: December 11, 2013

It was a fantastic place to stay. We had 10 people. My family, my wife's sisters family and my wife's parents. 4 kids ages 6,8,12,14. The loved the pool and huge water slide. They also loved Kayaking around the pond and fishing in it. The property has trails in the jungle, and water falls! This is a perfect spot to stay if you want to do jungle stuff like zip lining, hiking, see the volcano and do the hot springs. We did the Baldi hot springs and it was awesome. Beautiful place, great food, swim up bars, water slides for the kids, and probably 50 different pools at different temps. to check out. Villa Encantada was a great place just to hang out at and there are great restaurants close by as well as in the town of Arenal which is only a 5 min drive. Great vacation!!

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, families with young children, families with teenagers, sight seeing, romantic getaway

Owners response: Corey, Thanks so much for your Guest Review and beaming recommendation of Villa Encantada . Your group/family was one of the most active and enthusiastic that we've had the pleasure of hosting. Aside from spending lots of time at Villa Encantada enjoying the BBQ, Waterslide, Swimming Pool,Fishing & Kayaking on our ponds and Hiking our miles of Hiking Trails... I really applaud your ambitious explorer instincts. Thanks for allowing me to be of service in arranging your tour itinerary and ground transportation.

I'm sure you had to go home just to rest up after doing the Hot Springs, The Selvatura Canopy Zip Line and Hanging Bridges, The 4X4 Quadracycle Off Road tour and the Canyoning Rapelling Adventure.... and your kids just about wore out the Waterslide. The only thing you left out was a White Water Rafting Excursion and maybe a Horseback Riding tour ~~~ but there's always next time, on your next visit.

We'll keep the light on for you and your family Amigo, and hope to see all of your smiling faces again... Muy Pronto.

Your Friend and Host,
Glenn

Your family

Helpful votes: 3 / 3

 

Villa Encantada - The Best Vacation Ever !!

Review submitted: November 12, 2013   Date of arrival: June 25, 2013

Our family and some friends had the pleasure and honor of a wonderful vacation at Villa Encantada this summer. Our group consisted of three families (6 adults and 5 children). It was a first time trip to Costa Rica for all of our group and thoroughly enjoyed by all. The owner and our host, Glenn did everything he could possibly do to make our stay enjoyable. For example, upon our arrival we discovered we forgot our camera's battery charger and the owner was able to obtain one for us. Without the charger we would not have been able to take many photos of family, events, and nature that we will cherish for years to come. The Villa was spectacular and the grounds even more beautiful. The property consists of a large yard looking down on a pond in which we all enjoyed fishing and canoeing and just hanging out. There is also a beautiful swimming pool fed by a natural spring, and a Brand 100 ft New Water Slide Feature. It was a big hit with everyone. What a thrill going down that slide and/or watching others in our group doing the same. The property consisted of many manicured trails thru the rain forest and a natural waterfall along one of the trails which provided a very cold, but FUN, place to sit under the waterfall. The grounds were beautifully landscaped with plants and flowers. Every morning we could look out our bedroom window and watch little hummingbirds fly from flower to flower. We were entertained by many birds and other wildlife, including the screams of the howler monkeys that lived high in the trees of the property's rainforest. The children could not get enough of fishing in the pond. One day they caught enough fish for a delicious lunch!! Our group did a lot of day trips to various nature parks and local towns but most of all we enjoyed our off days just relaxing at Villa Encantada and soaking in its natural beauty. We will never forget our trip and most especially Glenn's hospitality and the wonderful Villa Encantada. We highly recommend anyone interested not to hesitate to book a stay there.

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, families with young children, people with disabilities, families with teenagers, sight seeing, romantic getaway

Owners response: Dear Kristi and Linda,

You've made my day ~~~ It was OUR pleasure hosting you/ your family and traveling companions AND.. your header line "Villa Encantada- The Best Vacation Ever" is truly what we strive for here at Villa Encantada. Our goal of helping you have a Memorable Experience and The Best Vacation Ever makes all of our preparations and hard work so well worth the effort.


I'm so glad that you took plenty of time to enjoy our Nature Trails, the villa itself and enjoyed the 100 ft Water Slide and swimming in our Natural Spring Swimming Pool ~~ it really is a Great Adventure for our guests of all ages.

That I was able to assist in getting a battery charger quickly for your camera was so well worth the effort when I saw the relief and smiles that that small favor brought to your faces... and I do hope you'll send me some of your photos so that I can post them to to share with those that follow you.

We're looking forward to your next stay with us and "we'll keep the light on for you".

Thanks so much for your special endorsement of your time with us at Villa Encantada and for recommending that others follow suit.

Your Friend and Host,
Glenn

Helpful votes: 6 / 6

 

Incredible! The best in Costa Rica

Review submitted: October 5, 2013   Date of arrival: October 5, 2013

We have been visiting Costa Rica for 8 years, and now live in Costa Rica. My husband and 3 kids (ages twins, age 11 and 9) visited Villa Encantada for a week during green season this year.We have stayed ALL over CR, and this was by far the BEST place we have been! The house is decorated beautifully, it is well constructed and clean. And the yard and patio are GORGEOUS! Our kids had a blast paddling around the fish pond in the kayaks and swimming endless hours in the pool and waterslide. We found the little red poison dart frogs in the jungle near the house, and heard howler monkeys and birds. Glenn is very professional and amicable. I highly, highly recommend this place!

Recommended for: adventure seekers, families with young children, families with teenagers, girls getaway, sight seeing, romantic getaway

Owners response: Hola Sunny,

Thanks so much for taking the time to share your experiences at Villa Encantada with myself and our future guests. That you've traveled all over this wonderful country of Costa Rica for so many years and put us at the very top of your "best of the best" list of destinations, is a wonderful compliment ~~ Muchas Gracias!

It was our pleasure hosting you and your lovely family at Villa Encantada. That you enjoyed all of the many activities right on the Estate is what we strive for ~~ making Villa Encantada a Destination, and nothing pleases me more than seeing our guests and their kids laughing, kayaking, fishing, zipping down the 100 ft waterslide, playing in the swimming pool, hiking our miles of hiking trails, and more. Sharing all that the villa offers and experiencing our guests smiles and enthusiasm is truly my reward. It just doesn't get any better than this for me. Thanks so much for spending time with us Sunny. Keep us in your Bucket List and please do visit us again as soon as time allows. Mi casa es su casa.

Warm Regards,
Your Host and Friend
Glenn

Helpful votes: 6 / 6

 

Heaven on Earth

Review submitted: August 21, 2013   Date of arrival: April 13, 2013

The Villa is absolutely stunning! The property is lush, beautiful, well appointed and a short drive to the best restaurant we ate at during our trip, Gingerbread. You do NOT want to miss staying at the Villa. The chef team that Glenn (the owner) can hire for you are SO talented. Again, an experience you don't want to miss.

Recommended for: adventure seekers, families with teenagers, sight seeing

Helpful votes: 6 / 7

 

fabulous family fun!

Review submitted: July 23, 2013   Date of arrival: June 17, 2013

Our family spent a glorious week at the villa. The home was beautiful and so much to do right there on the property. We fished, swam, canoed, hiked with the gardener, played horseshoes and animal watched through the telescope on the patio, all right there at our "home away from home". We went on some great adventures like the zipline and horseback riding and shopping. The owner was so gracious and always helpful. I would highly recommend this place! ( and I am scared of water and heights and animals but I did it all and loved it)

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, families with young children, families with teenagers

Helpful votes: 8 / 9

 

A Destination Property

Review submitted: May 2, 2013   Date of arrival: April 20, 2013

You could spend your entire stay without leaving this home and find plenty to do. The estate grounds are perfection, manicured yet natural. Various trails going right from paths in the yard out into the rain forest are maintained and provide a Costa Rican hike without leaving home. Relaxing in the comfortable outdoor furniture, overlooking the estate, feeling the pleasant breezes, makes you feel as if you've been able to afford where the rich and famous would stay. Glen is currently working on a water slide for the multilevel pool - the kids should love it!

The home is unique and comfortable with beautiful, carved wooden doors on each of the bedrooms. The baths have an "upscale" feel. The kitchen is well equipped. Every time I needed something I looked around and by golly it was there - candles, matches, first aid kit, extra pillows.

Glen, the host, is available yet unobtrusive. He is available to provide as little, or much help as you need. The care he puts in this home is obvious. It clearly makes a difference Glen lives down the road and has a very "hands on" approach versus a property manager of a home owned by someone not even in the country.

Be aware: Just like most homes in the area it is not air conditioned. In the afternoon and when retiring for the evening we were sometimes too warm. There are numerous fans in the home but this was not sufficient at times for complete comfort. There are two sets of spiral stairs that would be difficult for anyone with physical limitations or difficult for young children. The bedding was in some need of replacement but knowing Glen is is likely in the works.

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, families with teenagers, girls getaway, sight seeing

Owners response: A Destination Property.... your headliner, is what I've been trying to achieve for many years. My goal has been to provide as many activities right on the property so that our guests really don't have to go anywhere. The new 100 ft Water Slide just completed in May, 2013 has proven to be an incredible attraction that our guests of all ages are really having alot of fun riding.

It pleases me to hear our guests oftentimes say.. "We're staying right here, there's so much to do on the property ~~ why leave?"

After 16 years of adding more and more activities like miles of manicured hiking trails, ponds for fishing and kayaking on, new swimming pool, fly fishing on our streams, waterfalls, and now the 100 ft Waterslide, and more ~~ well, I can really say that yes, Villa Encantada IS a Destination. Our guests actually save alot of money by not having to look for things to do off site of our 40 acre Nature Preserve Estate. It's all right here!.. and the new improvements and upgrades inside the villa like the newly remodeled bathrooms, re tiling the bedrooms and decks, new beds, mattresses and new furniture and more are only a few of the new amenities inside the villa. I am trying to maintain a standard of excellence that our guests appreciate and will write home about.

Also, I appreciate your constructive criticism about no AC in the villa and am glad that you mentioned that most homes here don't have AC. Well, here in Nuevo Arenal our average daytime temps are in the mid-high 70's (F) and evening temps are in the low 70's... with the exception of the month of April, where the temps can be higher ~~ so there has really been a need for AC, as these Springlike Temps are ideal. As you mentioned, there are plenty of fans throughout the villa.

Also, I just came back from the USA and brought back all brand new, top of the line, quality sheets and luxury towels.. it's hard to get decent bedding here in Costa Rica. So as you mentioned "I'm on it" and yes, that's been taken care of, and we're all set.

Thanks so much Susan and Carl for your great review and we hope to see you again as soon as time allows... as always ~~ "we'll keep the light on for ya".

Your Host,
Glenn

Helpful votes: 10 / 10

 
Guest Comment entered by owner

Incredibley Awesome ~~ Defies Description

Review submitted: April 29, 2013   Date of arrival: March 10, 2011

Hey Glenn,
Villa Encantada was awesome. So much so, that we really felt like we were slumming it once we got to Jaco. The house is absolutely gorgeous and so are all the surroundings. You have done a wonderful job. We just got all our pictures back and had already forgotten how green everything is there. For the most part we just relaxed a lot. Each night we ate somewhere different. Our adventures included the Canopy Tour, La Fortuna waterfalls and Tabacon Hot Springs. All were absolutely beautiful. The landscaping is absolutely beautiful. Once we left Villa Encantada we made our way to Jaco just in time for the rain. So much for going to the beach. Anyhow our visit there was short and like I said we really felt like the luxurious part of our trip had ended. We had an incredible time. We certainly appreciate you sharing your home with us. Please send me some cards and brochures as I have already had inquiries from people we have showed our pictures to. Thanks again,

Helpful votes: 8 / 8

 

a slice of heaven

Review submitted: April 14, 2013   Date of arrival: March 27, 2013

Villa Encantada blew us away.... every word the owner Glenn writes is true. The home and grounds are amazing, you will feel like you have your own personal paradise. The home is quality throughout, lacking nothing. The decor is unique and wonderful, and the recent bath upgrades are fantastic. Glenn is an amazing host and a helpful planner for excursions etc. He had an answer for our every question and made great arrangements for canopy tours and white water expeditions. He arranged for a local chef to prepare dinner for us, clean up etc which really made our time relaxing. Be sure to walk every trail in this beautiful property.... it encaptures what Costa Rica is all about. We had our family of 9 there .... ages from 2 to 62 and all had great fun. When we return to Costa Rica, there is no question where we are staying.... Villa Encantada is the place !! There are many options out there but you wont find this combination of home, acreage and view anywhere else.

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, families with young children, families with teenagers, girls getaway, sight seeing, romantic getaway

Owners response: Hola Marlin,

Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts and experience with me and our future guests. It's an honor to know you and your family and I'm so glad that I was able to make a difference in your Costa Rican vacation experience.

Sharing Villa Encantada and our "Slice of Paradise" over the last 16 years is and has been an incredible journey for myself and our staff as it is for you and your family, and helping you hit the ground running when you get here makes a huge difference in your getting the most out of your time with us. That you placed your confidence in me to help arrange your activities is a great compliment, and making sure that our guests have only the best (and safest) tour operators to attend them is what I strive for.

That you made the time to explore our extensive hiking trails and activities, (including a Kaykaking Trip excursion on the lake) on the our Nature Preserve makes all of our efforts and hard work so well worth it.

Thank Amigo ~~ we'll keep the light on for you and your family and hope to see you all as soon as time allows.

Your Host and Friend,
Glenn

Helpful votes: 7 / 7

 

March Break 2013

Review submitted: March 28, 2013   Date of arrival: March 9, 2013

When we decided to take our family, including grandchildren (ages 8 and 4) to Costa Rica for a vaction we researched potential venues and discovered Villa Encantade on line. Having seen the pictures and descriptions provided by owner Glenn McBride we had high expectations of this accomodation. Not only were our expectations met, they were exceeded. The website cannot do justice to this beautiful property, loving created by Glenn over 15 years. The house has every conceivable amenity and the 40 acres of grounds are impeccably cared for. Our grandchildren loved the pools, the bird feeder which attracted a wide variety of birds throughout the day and the trails through the rain forest. Glenn was a most attentive host, seeing to our every need. The property is close to town for groceries and restaurants and is an easy drive from the Liberia airport.. Our highlight was a three hour boat ride on the river in Cano Negro during which we saw caymans, monkeys, sloths and birds galore. Don't miss this opportunity. It is worth the three hour drive. Do yourself a favour - enjoy this delightful property.

Sue and Doug, Toronto

Recommended for: age 55+, families with young children, families with teenagers, sight seeing

Owners response: Muchas Gracias Sue and Doug,

We appreciate your beaming review 5 Star Review, and thanks so much for spending time with us at Villa Encantada. When you say that your expectations were exceeded.... we proudly wear that feather in our cap, and realize that we must work hard to maintain the standard of excellence that we strive to acheive. Really, it's not work ~~ It's an Honor to be of Service to our Guests...... Helping them have the best vacation of their lives, helping arrange an Itinerary, and being available 24/7... that's is what it's all about.

We look forward to your next visit Amigos,

Your Host,
Glenn

Helpful votes: 10 / 10

 

PERFECT! AWESOME! LUXURIOUS! A MUST VISIT VACATION VILLA!

Review submitted: March 14, 2013   Date of arrival: January 27, 2013

Villa Encantada is the perfect vacation place for everyone who wants to relax and enjoy every moment and bring home the most wonderful, long-lasting memories. Your host Glen facilitates your vacation even prior to your departure from home. Glen is your personal concierge and books trips and activities for near-by attractions. We went horseback riding, luxuriated at the hot springs, took a boat ride and more.
Our family consisted of my husband and I, our two daughters and sons-in-law and 3 young grandchildren. The stunning 40 acres of Nature Preserve include a beautiful pond in which we swam, kayaked and fished. The children loved walking over the hanging bridge that led to a center island. The exquisite multi-level pool is perfect for a refreshing swim and is surrounded by stunning landscaped shrubbery everywhere you look.
The Villa is meticulously decorated and maintained. Local accessories abound in every spacious room and the flowing layout enables everyone to be together and still enjoy private time when desired.
The grounds in the back of the Villa include spacious patios and roaming lawns. We all loved dining, relaxing and simply watching the toucans, various other birds as well as the eguana who frequented. The gardener is on property always unobtrusively attending to the grounds.
When you visit Villa Encantada, treat yourselves to walks, hikes along the beautiful paths, while listening to the howler monkeys and birds. We hiked down to Lake Arenal, passed waterfalls and were transported to what felt like a paradise too beautiful to be real. Villa Encantada provides the feeling and spaciousness of a luxury resort yet it is private you you and your guests.
My grand-children love to tell people about their favorite activities. Exquisite Peacocks showed off their beauty and entertained children of all ages (including my husband and me). The children loved playing horseshoes with their Aunt. At the top of their list were their morning hikes with their parents, locating unusual flowers and tropical foliage. Even though the children never admitted to being tired, when they had to give at night, an occasional treat was sleeping in the huge beautiful loft with Grandma, Mom or Aunt Rachel. I could go on and on, but the best thing I can say is to suggest that you discover for yourself how awesome Villa Encantada can be. Book your glorious vacation before Villa Encantada is totally sold out.
We have already booked our return for next winter.

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, families with young children, people with disabilities, families with teenagers, girls getaway, sight seeing, tourists without a car, romantic getaway

Owners response: Thank you so much Peri and Mickey for your Awesome Guest Review... so full of wonderful details to share with those that follow you. It was such a pleasure hosting your lovely family, and having the opportunity to get to know all of you.

It was great that you spent 9 days with us at Villa Encantada. What impressed me most was that, even though you did venture out for several day excursions, you spent the majority of your time at the villa, not wanting to leave ~~ and what is even more of a incredible compliment for me, is that you've booked the entire month of February 2014. That in and of itself... speaks volumes... and leaves me speechless!


Rest assured that your next vacation here at Villa Encantada will be even more spectacular that your first visit.


I get a great sense of satisfaction attending our to guests needs ~~ helping our guests get the most of their time with us. Eliminating the stress of having to deal with those minuscule details of traveling that can be a hassle. That is what I'm here for... to be of assistance and to make sure that your special vacation to Costa Rica and Villa Encantada is memorable and hassle free.



In fact, in July of this year (2013) I'll have the honor of hosting a family that stayed with us ten (10) years ago. That they remember Villa Encantada and have kept us in their minds eye after so long is a very special tribute to me and our staff. I think they'll be delighted with so many changes and upgrades that we've done and provided here at the villa over the past 10 years.


We look forward to your visit and being a part of your special vacation.

Very Warm Regards,
Your Host,
Glenn

Helpful votes: 9 / 9

 

Late Christmas Paradise

Review submitted: March 6, 2013   Date of arrival: January 19, 2013

In January our family met in Costa Rica for a late Christmas reunion, something we do annually. Our week long stay at Villa Encantada was the best we have experienced in our ten years of get togethers. The owner Glenn was amazing in the way he helped us plan for our trip. Many emails over several months helped us lay out workable plans for outings and transportation. There were eleven of us in our party. Glen helped arranage a 15 passenger van for pick-up and drop off from the airport and to two long day outings in the area. The drivers were amazing and that let us enjoy the area without hassle.
The property is exactly as pictured, actually even better, beautiful, clean, and restful. On pick-up from the airport the van driver took us to a supermarket to buy our full weeks supply of groceries. It was remarkable how they packed us, our luggage and all those groceries neatly into that van and delivered rilght on time to Glenn who greeted us on arrival. Glenn also arranged a wonderful catered meal with a birthday cake to celebrate my 70th birthday during our stay. Though it was mid January we celebrated our family Christmas with a tree, ornaments, stockings and presents. Glenn borrowed a neighbors portable Christmas tree for our use, which really completed the setting for us.
The family enjoyed the fresh spring swimming pool, the hiking trails and the many canoes on the property. The property is so wonderful, we spent three days just relaxing on site. We would definetely recommend Villa Encantada to anyone and everyone, particularly for families or groups wanting quality time together.

Recommended for: age 55+, families with young children, families with teenagers, girls getaway, romantic getaway

Helpful votes: 10 / 10

 

The best vacation home ever!

Review submitted: March 3, 2013   Date of arrival: February 20, 2013

My children surprised me with a trip to Costa Rica for my 60th birthday. We (nine of us) traveled the country for one week but without a doubt the best part of our trip was the stay at Villa Encantada - it was just far too short. Glenn was the best host ever and even presented me with a birthday cake! We will return again one day!

The house and grounds were immaculate and magical. It was especially good for young children - plenty to do and all the accessories required to do it!

The town of Arenal is a short drive and has everythng required in the way of grocery stores, banks, etc.

Thank you, Glenn!

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, families with young children, families with teenagers, sight seeing, romantic getaway

Owners response: Thanks for your 5 star review and allowing us at Villa Encantada to be of service to you and your lovely family. What a Great Surpise that your family would take you on vacation from your home in the Bermuda Islands all the way to Costa Rica, and it was our pleasure to provide a birthday cake for your Birthday Party at the villa.

We look forward to your return visit Andrea~~ and the kids will have a brand new 100 ft waterslide to enjoy. It's under construction now (April 2013) and as soon as it's finished I'll post pics on this VRBO site.

Many thank you and your family for sharing your great enthusiasm and smiling faces.

Your Host,
Glenn

Helpful votes: 9 / 9

 

Beautiful Villa - A Perfect Getaway!!

Review submitted: March 1, 2013   Date of arrival: January 26, 2013

We recently stayed at Villa Encatada with a group of 11 family members (including children ages 8 & 9). This vacation was about as perfect as they get. The property itself is so beautiful and full of amazing things to do, that we had to force ourselves to go out and see the other wonderful things Costa Rica has to offer. The homeowner, Glenn, has found his true calling in life - making our stay incredibly warm, comfortable and easy!! His hospitality was top notch - helping with the planning of all excursions including recommendations, reservations, and car service (with drivers who just so happened to be the most lovely married couple. They treated our family like their own). The kids spent hours exploring the property, which included two beautiful pools, cascading waterfalls, walking paths through the forest, a pond, and much more. The accommodations are beautiful, private, and extremely comfortable for a large family. We enjoyed horseback riding about 5 minutes from the property and ventured out much further to the natural hot springs at Tabacon and also went zip lining at Selvatura Park in Monteverde - all of which we would highly recommend!! We were sad to leave this beautiful home and would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a true getaway!

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, families with young children, families with teenagers, girls getaway, sight seeing, tourists without a car, romantic getaway

Helpful votes: 6 / 6

 

Repeat Guest at Encantada

Review submitted: February 26, 2013   Date of arrival: February 6, 2013

I almost hesitate to tell people how good a vacation at Villa Encantada is so it won't be booked when I want to go again. This was our second stay there and it was as fantastic as we had expected. Glenn has updated the house with new tile and stone in the bathrooms and kitchen-bar area, and the new pools and waterfalls are just amazing. The sound of water and a place to swim right out the back door, or read at the tables or benches located at the pools is a great feature. Sitting at the back of the house and looking towards the pools, waterfalls, and pond, is as close to being in the Garden of Eden I think I will ever experience in my lifetime. As always, Glenn has that "just let me know what you want" attitude to make your stay as good as you want it to be. You can have a fantastic experience and not even leave the property, but Glenn can arrange anything from horseback rides to boat trips on the lake, to hot springs, good eating experiences, you name it. Always cheerful and available, he is also a great reason to stay at Villa Encantada, especially if it is your first visit to Costa Rica. Being from the US, he speaks excellent English and Spanish and knows everyone and all the places to visit, and can help with those arrangements as well. The area at Lake Arenal is the "land of eternal spring", so the temperature is fantastic as well. Not too hot and not too cold and great sleeping weather at night. Birds galore ( we saw six keel billed Toucans at one time in one tree) if you feed them at the feeder at the back of the house. We had very little problem with bugs, and the house is plush even by US standards with a fully equipped kitchen, plenty of room, wonderful bathrooms, and it would be a great place for kids with well marked hiking trails and a really nice stream in addition to the one feeding the pools and waterfalls. The food at the local restaurants runs from four stars to small local "sodas" and the town is about a five minute drive away for groceries, gas and eateries. We like Moya's a lot and everything we had there was great. The house is centrally located for trips to Arenal Volcano (can be seen on the drive into town), the hot springs, or Fortuna, or to Monteverde. We fly into Liberia and it is about a 1-1/2 hour drive to the house. Car rental is straight forward and Glenn can put you in touch with the best rental places. All in all, the "Trip of A Lifetime"-Again. We are two couples, 55-62 years of age.

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, families with young children, families with teenagers, girls getaway, sight seeing, romantic getaway

Owners response: Dear Charles and Family,

Thank you so much for taking your valuable time to express your sentiments regarding your 2nd visit to Villa Encantada, and for posting your excellent photos of the villa and grounds.

For myself and our staff there isn't anything more personally rewarding than your 10 Star review as a Repeat Guest. It just doesn't get any better than this and I do share yours (and all) guests reviews with the staff, as they give us all such a wonderful feeling of accomplishment and make us all work even harder to maintain a standard of excellence and to ensure that our guests come away with positive and long lasting memories to be always cherished, and tell friends/family what a special time that was experienced.

The upgrades that you mention are to give our guests all the comfort and luxury that they so richly deserve. You mentioned that I should think about raising our rates after adding so much infrastructure over the years ~~ well.. maybe so, but I haven't raised rates, nor do I intend on doing so anytime in the foreseeable future. In fact, our current rates are the same as they were 11 years ago... honest!


I am excited about our next "project", the building of a 100 ft Water Slide. This should provide lots of fun and thrills for kids (and adults) of all ages. I hope to have it completed by early May 2013.

So, yes ~~ we're still a "work in progress" after 16 years. This is alot of fun for me... the opportunity to meet great folks, make new friends and provide a slice of paradise on our Nature Preserve that you just don't find very often in todays world.

We're looking forward to your next visit amigo. I especially enjoyed taking you out for fishing trip on the Bass Boat.

Hasta Pronto Amigo,

Your Host,
Glenn

Helpful votes: 7 / 7

 

What Incredible Hospitality, Truly "La Pura Vida"

Review submitted: February 1, 2013   Date of arrival: October 19, 2012

Our time at Villa Encantada was one of the most enchanting and restful vacations abroad that my wife and I have ever enjoyed. This house is an immaculate palace with grounds that are astounding. Every detail has been brought to life from the manicured gardens to the hand-set tiles in the bathroom, from the marbled patios to the incredible views at every turn; not one detail has been left untouched or unplaced that wouldn't serve your every whim. Talk about Eye Candy!!! This place is a feast for your senses! The water in the pools is some of the most therapeutic water I have ever swum in - so incredibly refreshing. The fruit trees on the estate are within arms' reach - the fauna, monkeys, macaws and other tropical birds make you feel that you are in an exotic resort. If you are looking for a luxuriant taste of Costa Rica, and are seeking to bask in "la Pura Vida," look no farther than this jungle mountain paradise which lives up to its name, Villa Encantada. I am telling you, this home and its host have it all. The location is a perfect base for discovering the surrounding lake Arenal area. Any activities from the zip lines to visiting coffee plantations can be arranged. When you arrive, you notice immediately that this vacation home has been designed to delight, and I can think of not one moment our expectations were not thoroughly met. Our host's love and passion for these environs have now become our love and passion, and we will most definitively be returning to the Lago Arenal area to experience it all over again.

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, families with young children, people with disabilities, families with teenagers, girls getaway, sight seeing, romantic getaway

Helpful votes: 7 / 7

 

Paradise at Encantada

Review submitted: January 19, 2013   Date of arrival: January 2, 2013

We travelled with two families including children ranging in age from 5 to 14. Villa Encantada has something for everyone. The adults loved the hiking trails and nature all around. The kids loved fishing and kayaking in the pond and exploring the grounds. The house is so private that I was comfortable relaxing on the back porch while the kids played and wandered on their own. We all loved our own private waterfall/stream that runs through the property. The house has a great set up with three bedrooms downstairs and a giant loft with 3 beds upstairs. The kitchen had everything we needed and the living room was big and cozy. We spent most of our time outdoors on the fantastic patios all around the house. While sitting in the wooden rockers on the front porch I saw a wild Toucan and a Cotimundi. The kids loved playing with the peacocks, frogs, chickens and feeding the Cotimundi. Glenn was an amazing host who arranged a private chef for us one night and planned all of our excursions for us. He was extremely professional and very easy to contact. I highly recommend Villa Encantada and I urge you to make time to stay at the house and experience all it has to offer.

Recommended for: adventure seekers, families with young children, families with teenagers

Helpful votes: 7 / 8

 

Perfect location, villa in the interior

Review submitted: December 11, 2012   Date of arrival: November 5, 2012

We stayed in early November at Villa Encantada for two nights. The main attraction was the park so during planning stages we decided to spend more time on the beach. We were wrong!
The villa and meticulously kept gardens were breathtaking. We arrived later in the evening so did not get a chance to see the area that day but in the morning everyone was pleasantly surprised to the host of flora and fauna.
The house was clean and skillfully decorated.
Glenn was a perfect host, even took us on a tour of his part of the forest and waterfall, even helped me find some dart frogs.

We would certainly recommend the property to our friends and look forward to the next trip to Costa Rica.

Helpful votes: 8 / 8

 

Villa Encantada "EXCELENTE"

Review submitted: November 9, 2012   Date of arrival: October 13, 2012

My families stay at Villa Encantada was excellent!!!!! Glenn's directions took us directly to the villa from San Jose. We arrived when it was dark so we did not know what the grounds looked liked. But, when we woke up the next morning by the beautiful sound of the howler monkeys (HA! HA!!) and pulled back the curtains in the master bedroom.....the view was breath taking!!!!! The grounds are so manicured and the plants are beautiful! It is all mesmerizing!!

The villa itself is beautiful!!! The Costa Rican woodwork is magnificent! All the rooms are very spacious and clean. It is a home away from home with everything you need!

Glenn is a wonderful host! From the beginning of inquiring about the villa to when we were leaving, he was helpful with answering all our questions. Because I do not know how to speak Spanish well, Glenn went out of way in helping me with getting in touch with the Costa Rican Civil Registery to take care of some personal business. He didn't have to do that, but he did! Thank you, Glenn!!

My family and I are planning another vaction trip to Costa Rica next year and we will definitely stay at Villa Encantada again!!!!

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, families with young children, families with teenagers, girls getaway, sight seeing, romantic getaway

Helpful votes: 9 / 9

 

My second stay and even more fun

Review submitted: September 25, 2012   Date of arrival: September 2, 2012

This was my second trip back to Villa Encantada. My first stay was just a little over a year ago and I thought of that trip everyday. I came back with friends and we had a great time. There is a new spring fed pool that was very refreshing. It is well lit at night and the prefect place for evening dip or conversation. My favorite spot is still the pool in the small river where you can play in a clean pool with the rain forest overhead. I also spent time going to the trails. There was a huge tree with lots of character.

Knowing a little more about Nuevo Arenal made it nice to get around. We spent more time in the town this time and had some excellent dinners. Conversation with the locals is easy and fun. I felt very welcomed.

I will think about this trip for another year. Thanks to Glenn for all his help on getting a rental car and advice on what to do.

Pura Vida,
Scott

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, families with young children, people with disabilities, families with teenagers, girls getaway, pet-friendly, sight seeing, tourists without a car, romantic getaway

Owners response: Dear Scott,

Thanks so much for taking the time to post your review about your stay at Villa Encantada. There is nothing more rewarding for me personally as the owner than receiving a 5 star review.. and an even greater honor is to receive a great review from a repeat guest. Someone, like yourself that had kept Villa Encantada in your minds eye and found that coming back is more than worthwhile ~~ this validates our hard work.

Our mindset now, after 15 years of hosting thousands of guests at Villa Encantada is not.. what can we get (in terms of $$) but what can we give. We do our best to make sure that you'll have an experience that will be hassle free and memorable and that you'll want to visit again, as you did Scott.

You mentioned the New Spring Fed Swimming Pool that wasn't here last year when you visited, and I'm glad you enjoyed that new feature. It's refreshing to hear that you also enjoyed the River Pool and Waterfalls w/ entensive trails, including a new manicured trail to the Arbol Encantado (Magic Tree). It's Nature at it's Exquisite Best here at the Villa Encantada Nature Preserve

Next time you come visit us you'll find that we have just remodeled and upgraded all 3 bathrooms at the villa, and this new feature will provide an elegance for our guests that they so richly deserve ~~ again, not what can we get... but, what can we give. Villa Encantada, after 15 years is STILL a work in progress ~~ and always will be!

So amigo, thanks so much for your return visit and giving us the opportunity to be of service to you and yours. As 'Ol Vern always says... "We'll keep the light on of ya"... and I'll be looking forward to seeing your smiling faces again.

Your Friend,
Glenn

Helpful votes: 12 / 12

 

A truly enchanted place!

Review submitted: September 15, 2012   Date of arrival: February 12, 2012

If you need to unwind in beautiful surroundings, this is the place! When we arrived, we were completely enchanted. Villa Encantada fits perfectly into the surrounding landscape without seeming overdone or extravagant. Beautiful architectural features & great amenities make you feel like you are at home in the lap of luxury in this tropical, rainforest setting. The grounds are simply stunning! Not a fan of 'cookie-cutter' type destination resorts with over-the-top fake waterfalls and glitzy furnishings, this was my idea of a perfect vacation home in paradise.
Glenn was exceedingly helpful during our planning stage, with everything from car rental to driving directions to daily activities. He met us at the house upon arrival. He arranged for a local chef to prepare dinner for us the first evening so we could unpack, relax and enjoy our surroundings – the perfect way to start our stay, delicious and highly recommended!
When you enter the house, you will gasp. A gorgeous preserved tree trunk rises from the center of the living room, reaching about 30 feet to the eaves. A loft overlooks the living room below. Dining and coffee tables are made from beautiful tree trunks, doors were carved by local craftsmen.
Adventure beckoned. We went to Arenal, Monteverde, zip-lined and more, but the desire to stay put, relax and wander the beautifully manicured grounds made us wish we had planned a longer stay. We were two 'empty nest' couples. The private downstairs area consisting of a beautiful, spacious master bedroom & private bath plus two adjacent mini-master bedrooms w/shared bathroom was perfect. You wake up to great private view from every bedroom - no buildings in sight - just lush tropical plants & sounds of the rainforest. We could have easily accommodated our young adult kids and not felt crowded; we didn't even use the sleeping loft area or the 3rd bathroom on the main level.
On the property, the paths range from meandering walks to more vigorous hikes. I took my cup of coffee one morning on a solitary stroll and discovered Arbol Encantado. This majestic tree seemed more than a dozen feet in diameter, w/huge aerial roots & reaching to the forest canopy. Bromeliads, ferns and all sorts of flora were growing in and on it - simply brimming with life. That, with the sounds of the surrounding rain forest....was my most enchanting moment.

Need I say more? We will definitely be returning to this magical place! Thanks, Glenn!

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, families with young children, families with teenagers, sight seeing, romantic getaway

Owners response: Thanks so much for posting such a detailed and well thought out review Sandy. Your comments about the Arbol Encantada are really on point. This is the largest of the many "Old Growth ~ Primary Forest" trees on our 40 acre Nature Preserve. We call this tree "Arbol Encantado" (Magic Tree). It's Huge and measures close to 80 feet around the trunk and is teeming with life. I estimate that the Arbol Encantado is 300+ feet tall and we guesstimate it to be at least 300-400 years old, maybe more. It's surrounded by streams, waterfalls and lots of the very rare tiny Poison Red Dart Frogs, (which are not dangerous to humans at all) and is also home to a family of Grey Hawks, Howler Monkeys, and even a Juguarundi ~a small black cat that looks like a Juguar but is very shy and hard to spot way up in the treetop cover. The vines and roots coming off the tree are simply incredible and dangle hundreds of feet to the earth. After 15 years of being very familiar with this 'Ol Tree I'm still in awe of it, and every guest at the villa that sees it says... Oh My God!! and it truly is a remarkable example of Nature at it's Exquisite Best. It's only a 10 minute walk from the villa, on a very manicured trail (crossing a few small streams) that anyone can negotiate. It's so huge that taking pictures of it are almost impossible, and thank you for sending me those incredible photos in which you managed to capture the feel of this Magic Tree, that I've posted on our Trip Advisor site.. check 'em out.
I'm gald you enjoyed the many miles of manicured trails on the Preserve.. going all the way down to the Lake Arenal shore, stocked fishing streams and waterfalls at every turn. All God creations, and we've been doing our best for 15 years to make this remarkable Preserve accessible to all of our guests. The enthusiasm and smiling faces that I see on our guests faces make all the hard worked so well worth it.
It's the thrill of a lifetime for me to share this unique slice of heaven. I've got a job that most people envy ~~ but really it's not a job, it's a delight and joy to do my small part to try to improve on an already perfect palette of pure nature.
Anyway, forgive my rambling.. I just get so excited thinking about Nature and what I can do to share it.
We'll keep the light on for you Sandy/family and friends and can't wait to see your smiling faces again.
Your host,
Glenn

Helpful votes: 7 / 7

 

Great Villa

Review submitted: August 20, 2012   Date of arrival: August 11, 2012

My wife and three kids (6 years, 4 years and 1 years) stayed for 7 nights in August and loved the Villa and the care that the owner has put into making the house and back yard a wilderness play ground, from fishing for tilapia and bass in the pond, walking the manicured walking trails to taking a dip in the lovely pool or river waterfalls, which are both fed by a natural and clean underground aquifer. The house and kitchen is well stocked.

The owner is very knowledgeable about the area and is happy to help and provide as much information as you need. The villa was as advertised on this website and through e-mails and phone calls with the owner, so there were no disappointments. We ate at many restaurants near the villa on recommendations from the owner and was never disappointed.

It was about a 90 minute drive for us to the selvatura nature park in Monte Verde (mainly on a dirt road once you get through Tiliran, but was very drivable, even in a heavy rain shower on the way back, but was much better than the 160 minute route the GPS wanted to take me on), where my daughter and I enjoyed the zip line and everyone else the hanging bridges. We also did the butterfly and hummingbird gardens. The villa is about 50 minutes from La Fortuna where we enjoyed the "sky tram", although its pricey and not a lot of value for money so wouldn't recommend it unless you are also doing the zip line. We also enjoyed a the Baldi Hot Springs and the Proyecto Asis animal rescue park (about a 75 minute drive from the villa). Everything is paved from the Liberia airport to the Villa and the Villa up to La Fortuna, so the driving is easy, even in the dark, but you do need to slow down at night because its very dark and quite a few tights turns.

There is really not much more that I can write about the Villa or the helpful owner that has not already been written. Look no further - you will not be disappointed with this Villa and the service that the owner delivers.

Helpful votes: 9 / 9

 

Beautiful garden of Villa Encantada

Review submitted: August 13, 2012   Date of arrival: August 4, 2012

Villa Encantada was a beautiful setting to spend a week. The grounds are impeccably maintained. The kids had a blast kayaking every day. The bunk room/loft was perfect for 4 kids to share. Glenn was incredibly helpful with our excursions, directions, restaurant referrals and even accompanied us to the local Dr. when both of our children developed ear infections. He is a wonderful host. The house is well maintained and clean. The cleaning crew came twice in one week and made our stay all the more luxurious.

We enjoyed zip lining, butterfly and hummingbird gardens, horseback riding, hot springs, a waterfall hike, excursions to the nearby town of Arenal, and still had time to relax and enjoy the grounds of the villa! It was a great week.

Recommended for: adventure seekers, families with young children, sight seeing

Helpful votes: 9 / 9

 

Simply Amazing

Review submitted: May 8, 2012   Date of arrival: April 3, 2012

Let me first start by saying thanks to the owner Glenn.... My family was looking for a few things in our vacation - we wanted to enjoy the natural setting of Costa Rica, we wanted peace and quiet, we wanted an outdoor adventure, and we wanted to stay in a place with lots of room to spread out and just enjoy the family. Well, it was all that and more - my family made some great memories at Villa Encantada ! We watched the Toucans land in the trees every morning, we caught fish in his amazing pond, we walked the miles of beautifully manicured private trails, we sat under the refreshing waterfall, we watched the sun set over Lake Arenal, and we just took in all the beauty of Glenn's hard work on the grounds.

If you are looking for all those things, you won't be disappointed. Villa Encantada is a home built to push you outdoors to enjoy the real Costa Rica. While it has all the amenities of a hotel and a home, it's a vacation home designed for sitting out on the massive deck to enjoy family and nature for hours. We have vacationed all over the world and this will stand out as one of our favorite family vacations. We look forward to the time we can go back to this wonderful property. Thanks for everything Glenn... We'll see you next time...

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, families with young children, people with disabilities, families with teenagers, pet-friendly, sight seeing, romantic getaway

Helpful votes: 10 / 10

 

A trip of a lifetime!

Review submitted: April 15, 2012   Date of arrival: March 14, 2012

We booked with Glen about 5 months before our trip. My husband and I took our 7 kids (14 yrs-6mo) plus our in-laws and my 81 year old mother. It was quite a trip to plan due to the age ranges and our unfamiliarity with the country. Throughout the 5 months prior to the trip, Glen and I had a multitude of emails and a few phone calls. He answered every question, gave suggestions, and provided reassurance that my plan with this large crew would actually work. He also made reservations for me upon request. When we arrived, the villa was perfect. The pictures do NOT lie. Our kids were giddy with joy. They fished, hiked the trails, caught lizards, watched birds, and kayaked. Glen met us the morning after we arrived and gave us a warm welcome. He oriented all of us and genuinely invited us to call on him when needed. Well, we needed him because I took the wrong luggage from the airport. The airport delivered the luggage at 1am and Glen had to stay up to give directions. He did so without complaint. Thank you Glen! Glen also helped us think through our complicated itinerary and set up transportation. He connected us with Emilce and Balo (transbalo.com). We intended to drive but were unable to get a van. These two lovely people were with us our entire trip and became part of the family. They were so kind, patient, loving with our kids, tireless, and excited to show us their country. Having them allowed my husband and I to relax and play with the kids during the many car rides we took. It was difficult for all of us to say good-bye to them. You will not go wrong booking this property. In addition to its gorgeous grounds, Glen will be there to guide you!

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, families with young children, families with teenagers, girls getaway, sight seeing, romantic getaway

Owners response: Hola Christy and Family,

Thanks so much for taking the time to express your sentiments regarding your stay at Villa Encantada in March 2012. It was truly a pleasure hosting your lovely family. Yes, we exchaged numerous emails (33 in all) before your arrival so when we met in person it was like an old friend had arrived and that was a very special for me. I get a sense of great satisfaction helping in any way that I can to make your very special and anticipated vacation the "Trip of a Lifetime" that so you much deserve. Your kids (all 7 of them) were especially wonderful to have at the villa ~~ always happy and enthusiastic... and it was great to see them kayaking and fishing on the ponds and swimming in our huge Nature Pool, and exploring the miles of Nature Trails at the villa.

You made a comment how much you loved the property and would be back~, and asked how many repeat visitors we have get. I said, Alot, but didn't know for sure, so I did a little research over the last 3 years of guest files and found that out of the 147 reservations over the last 3 years we've had 42 repeat visitors or referrals of friends/family from past guests ~~ that's 29% ~~ pretty good, I think... and more importantly, a great sign that our efforts to make a positive and memorable difference in your vacation is something that our guests carry away with them for all time. Seeing familiar, smiling faces is a special treat for me and just makes me more intent on doing all in my power to earn the right to see you all again. And for that I say Muchismas Gracias to all of our very special friends that have stay with us at Villa Encantada.

You mentioned Balo and Emilcie, a wonderful, happy couple that help us with trasport from time to time. They have a 15 passenger van, and especially for large groups it sometimes makes alot of sense to leave the driving to us. I'll mention your praise of their service to them and am sure they'll be very thankful.

Thanks again Christy, Abe and family for your visit and I truly look forward to seeing you all again as soon as time allows.

Hasta Proximo Amigos ~~ Your friend and host~~~ Glenn

Warm Regards Chisty

Helpful votes: 11 / 11

 

Beautiful and Immaculate

Review submitted: April 4, 2012   Date of arrival: March 4, 2012

We stayed at Villa Encantada with friends for 3 days in March. We had heard glowing reviews for this property, but were surprised by how truly spectacular it was. The landscaping throughout the property would rival that of a 5 star resort and included waterfalls, streams, a large pond stocked with fish, and extensive, immaculate landscaping. The house was luxurious, well stocked and beautifully decorated, and provided stunning views of Lake Arenal. The walking paths in the jungle are easy to walk and well cared for.
The birds and wildlife were a highlight of our stay. We saw and heard the howler monkeys throughout the day, and found blue jean poison dart frogs by the river. We were fortunate to see a green vine snake [non-venomous] on one of our hikes. We filled the bird feeder near the rear patio with fruit and spent hours watching numerous colorful birds stop by to feed. We especially liked the bigger billed collared aracaries and oropendulas. For the best experience, check with Glenn before your arrival, to see if the fruit trees on the property are ripe. If not, purchase a dozen bananas and some fruit for the feeder before your arrival. You will not be disappointed. Daily visits from the resident peacocks were a surprise and highlight. Thank you Glenn for providing this wonderful property and being so helpful. We will return.

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, families with young children, people with disabilities, families with teenagers, sight seeing, tourists without a car, romantic getaway

Helpful votes: 8 / 8

 

Magical Family Adventure with Young Children

Review submitted: April 2, 2012   Date of arrival: February 17, 2012

We thoroughly enjoyed Villa Encantada, it was all Glenn said it would be and perfect for both sight-seeing in the area, as well as spending days totally on-site, hiking, kayaking, swimming, fishing and just relaxing watching peacocks strut about. We did not expect the house cleaning, gardening, and all done so spectacularly, but it was. The weather was sunny, with one morning of rain--we expected more---and this made for a magical hike to the Huge Tree looking for frogs. We appreciated Glenn's help with my husband's arrival by separate taxi, restaurants, groceries, letting our 2 yr old pet the peacocks and the ease at which the house becomes a home (despite mansion quality). Everything worked in the house. 2 spiral staircases were a little tricky for the 2 yr old, but he learned quickly and we always felt very safe and welcomed in Costa Rica.

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, families with young children, families with teenagers, girls getaway, sight seeing, tourists without a car, romantic getaway

Helpful votes: 7 / 7

 

Unforgettable paradise, with an awesome owner! Really helped us with Kosher Food in Costa Rica

Review submitted: March 26, 2012   Date of arrival: February 9, 2012

Firstly - I want to thank Glenn for everything he has done to make our vacation amazing. Anything we asked for, Glenn has taken care of. We had a great time fishing with him in his boat.

As for the property - well, Villa Encantada is a property that no amount of stars can define, as it is a truly unique experience, that is something out of TV. Secluded, private rain forest, private waterfall, private lake access, and the most picturesque views. Don't forget the camera!

As someone who keeps a Kosher diet, we were looking for a way to travel Kosher in Costa Rica. So if you keep a kosher food diet, here are three steps to having the best kosher vacation with or without the kids. Did I mention that the place is secluded?

Step 1: Book Villa Encantada

Step 2: Google "Kosher Center Costa Rica" - and either pick up the Kosher meals in coolers or discuss delivery with them.

Step 3: For tour bookings, problems, questions, or help heating up food for Sabbath, ask Glenn. He'll arrange everything for you.

In summary, this has been our best vacation thus far, and the memories will remain. Can't wait to come back.

Artie

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, families with young children, families with teenagers, pet-friendly, sight seeing, romantic getaway

Helpful votes: 7 / 7

 

Enchanted stay!

Review submitted: March 4, 2012   Date of arrival: February 21, 2011

My family and I stayed at Villa Encantada for three weeks last year and I must say that it is something everyone should experience. Located five minutes from Nuevo Arenal, the villa is privately tucked away into a jungle paradise. Whether you are a homebody or an adrenaline seeking individual, villa Encantada really had it all. There are plenty of activities to engage in at the villa such as kayaking, hiking, enjoying the infinity pools, playing horse shoes fishing for massive tilapia, etc. If that isn't enough, the Villa is located 40 minutes from the Arenal Volcano, hotsprings and La Fortuna Falls plus many other exciting sites to see (500 year old Ceiba tree, the lucky bug gallery, caves and much more). The Villa itself is truly spectacular and a home away from home with a view overlooking lake Arenal, beautiful bedrooms and an outstanding lounge room with a fireplace. Glenn is absolutely amazing and truly goes the extra mile with any issue you may have whether it be about what sights to see or needing assistance with language barriers. Glenn also offers pontoon rides on lake Arenal which I would say is a must do! The view is unlike anything you have ever saw! One thing I want to stress is that the area the villa is located in is 100% safe and the people are wonderful, helpful and honest. It is very laid back. After staying at Villa Encantada, I don't think I will ever go to a resort again because the experience you get from this type of vacation is something you will never forget! Can't wait to make it back!

Helpful votes: 9 / 9

 

Great time great place

Review submitted: February 6, 2012   Date of arrival: January 8, 2012

We really enjoyed our stay here it was so nice that we did'nt want to do anything else exept just relax and enjoy the place their was so much to do and the place is so very nice we or looking forward to going bak and staying there longer.

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, families with young children, families with teenagers, girls getaway, pet-friendly, sight seeing, tourists without a car, romantic getaway

Helpful votes: 5 / 6

 

Lake Views, Wildlife, Horticultural Paradise, Waterfalls, Trails, Clean, Modern, Incredible Place

Review submitted: February 2, 2012   Date of arrival: January 22, 2012

First off, Glenn is the man. I can't tell you how helpful he was during the seven days we stayed at Villa Encantada. Glenn went above and beyond the call of duty. I lived in Central America for almost three years so I have a good take on expats abroad and whether their rental property is legitimate. Glenn surpassed all my expectations.

In regards to the property, I can't even begin to explain it without photos. It is like its own national wildlife refuge. There are countless trails, immaculate landscaping that rivals that of some of the best resorts in Costa Rica, a massive pond, waterfalls, and plenty of wildlife.

The views...? Incredible.

The weather...? Perfect.

The location...? Just a few minutes from Arenal where you can get whatever you need whether it be grocery stores, a clinic, a pharmacy, bars, restuarants, etc...I preferred Arenal over the much more touristy La Fortuna. The locals in Arenal, expats and Ticos, were all friendly and a pleasure to be around.

I have traveled all over Central America and I can honestly say that Glenn's place completely blew me away. The house is in excellent condition and we didn't have to worry about a thing. If I go back to Costa Rica I will be staying at Glenn's again.

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, families with young children, people with disabilities, families with teenagers, girls getaway, pet-friendly, sight seeing, tourists without a car, romantic getaway

Helpful votes: 7 / 7

 

Lush Tropical Costa Rican Villa!

Review submitted: January 22, 2012   Date of arrival: December 18, 2011

We stayed at Villa Encantada for a week last year for Christmas. Villa Encantada has lush, beautiful grounds! Glenn is the best! He recommends the best locations, provides directions to you, recommendations when to go (go Zip Lining in the morning if you can as the afternoon you are more likely to get rain). He’s knows the people and the area and his advice is always spot on. Nuevo Arenal has some great resturants. Las Delicias has GREAT food. Luck Bug Gallery is amazing and so is the restaurant. At the Villa you can have someone come cook for you an amazing, authentic Costa Rican dinner. The Villa has beautiful hardwood doors and furniture throughout the house. We thoroughly enjoyed a relaxing vacation!

Recommended for: adventure seekers, families with young children, girls getaway

Helpful votes: 7 / 7

 

A Must Stay for the most magical Costa Rican experience!!

Review submitted: January 9, 2012   Date of arrival: December 4, 2011

We made a wise choice when we found Villa Encantada in the Lake Arenal area. Every amenity that was advertised was there and then some. The host/owner made sure that any request we had was fulfilled within hours. He did not live on the property, but still arranged everything to be managed efficiently. The property itself offered everything that Costa Rica is famous for: waterfalls, swimming, wildlife, well maintained hiking trails, etc. Simply Gorgeous!! The amenities offered included wireless internet for us and our friends, a grill overlooking a spectacular pond, satellite TV, access to free DVD rentals, full working kitchen and supplies, full working everything. The owners of this Villa thought of everything and truly put their hearts into caring for the home and all your needs. We can’t say enough good things about the owner, Glenn. Knowing that this vacation was to celebrate my husband’s 60th birthday, my birthday, and our 27th anniversary, Glenn was very helpful with planning the activities. Glenn was able to suggest the best deals, times, and tours. It all emanated from his desire to ensure our vacation was the best ever and it was!! Glenn even arranged to have a chef come to the villa and prepare a 5-star incredible dinner and desert. The chef even did all the dishes! Glenn also surprised us further with a delicious Birthday cake.

One of the highlights of our Lake Arenal trip was actually on the premises of Villa Encantada itself. We took a nature walk around the enchanted property guided by the best and most patient tour guide. He waited for us around every turn and made sure we went the right direction. His name is King Kong and he is the resident guard dog. King Kong would adjust his tour depending upon our choice of direction. He was a canine GPS system! King Kong led us along the river trail opening up to a breath-taking beach upon Lake Arenal. At night, King Kong also provided an extra level of security, as he would make his rounds around the house ensuring each entrance was monitored and safe.

We have done extensive world-wide traveling staying in fine luxury homes, but with all the things Lake Arenal area has to offer, the magical setting of Villa Encantada, the amenities provided, and the pure heart of the owners, this vacation was the most memorable.

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, families with young children, families with teenagers, girls getaway, sight seeing, romantic getaway

Owners response: Dear Justin and Maya,

Truthfully, I'm humbled by your incredible guest review and thank you both for taking your valuable time to express your feelings on your vacation to Villa Encanatada. Reviews like yours give me a sense of success at what I attempt to do for our guests... to make your vacation hassle free, and give you an experience that is long lasting and memorable. Thanks for letting us be of service and I'll be looking forward to seeing your smiling faces again as soon as you can come back for a return visit. Hasta Proximo Amigos (Until next time my friends) ~~ your host, Glenn... PS King Kong sends a big WOOF!

Helpful votes: 6 / 6

 

Amazing Property

Review submitted: January 9, 2012   Date of arrival: December 27, 2011

My family and I stayed at Villa Encantada over the New Years holiday. I can not say enough about how great our stay was. First off the house is beautiful, very well kept and layed out perfectly. The views of the lake and surrounding property were something you would see in a postcard. The owner Glenn has spent a lot of time and money in making his property the best in the area. The landscaping was amazing, the pond in the backyard is really cool and the well manicured hiking trails and waterfalls with ponds are something you will never see anywhere else. We did not know what to expect when we arived at Villa Encantada, having never been to Costa Rica before. I can tell tell you that the pictures that Glenn has on his site do not do the property justice. You really have to see it in person.

Glenn went out of his way to help us in any any way he could. He booked our tours, made our New Years Eve dinner reservations at the Gingerbread, (which was also great), and even arranged for a private chef to come to the house two nights to cook for us. The chef Tyrone did a great job and cooked amazing meals at an incredibley reasonable price.

The eight of us who ranged in age from 14 to 78 all had a great time. We have traveled all over and have stayed at some pretty amazing places and I can tell you that Villa Encantada was one of the best. I would highly reccomend you chosing this house if you decide to go to Costa Rica

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, families with young children, families with teenagers, girls getaway, sight seeing, romantic getaway

Owners response: Dear Gary and Family,

Thanks so much for your vote of confidence and allowing us to host your family at Villa Encantada, arrange your tour activities and make new friends in the process. Our Chef, Tyron gets rave reviews every time he comes to cook for our guests and we're glad you enjoyed the service. Even though your family was on the go alot, I'm glad you found time to enjoy the miles of manicured hiking trails and waterfalls on the property, use the kayaks on the ponds and fire up the BBQ for some much needed R&R. After 15 years, our gardens are still a work in process and I'm always looking for unusal plants, orchids, flowers and ways to improve the grounds. It's a labor of love, and ALOT of work and maintenance to keep them in top shape (2 full time gardeners make the difference)... and at the end of the day it's all well worth the effort for the smiles and peace the gardens and grounds bring to our guests. Thanks for allowing us the opportunity to share our slice of paradise with you and your lovely family and as 'Ol Vern says .. "we'll keep the lights on for ya partner". Hasta Pronto Amigo ~~ Glenn

Helpful votes: 6 / 6

 

Wonderful Family & Friends Vacation Rental - AGreat and Unforgettable Experience! - Thank You Glenn!

Review submitted: December 15, 2011   Date of arrival: November 5, 2011

My family of 9 visited Villa Encantada 6 years ago and had such a wonderful time that this destination has never beenfar from our collective minds, so we decided to make a return visit to Villa Encantada and Costa Rica. And our return was nothing short of Spectacular. It was just incredible to see the changes that the owner Glenn has implemented over the years. If you'v taken time to read the extensive Guest Reviews on this VRBO site, you'll see that everyone raves about the manicured gardens, ponds, waterfalls, and exquisite nature right at your fingertips... the miles of manicured hiking trails and the waterfalls, fishing in the stocked ponds and river on the property and kayaking on the pond and Lake Arenal just a few minutes walk from the villa. It's just so exciting and really renews one's scenes of being. We used the huge BBQ on numerous occasions and thoroughly enjoyed this awesome setting in Paradise. We stayed 7 nights and are already planning another visit. As I said, we were at Vill Encantada 6 years ago and this property was so impressive that we've never forgotten it, but we were able to see so many improvements inside and outside the villa and in the gardens and Rainforest. Glenn has created virtual heaven on earth. The villa itself is just impeccable and while it can accomodate large groups, it's also ideal for a smaller group ( there were 4 of us on this visit). The villa is laid out in such a manner that you don't fell that it's too large. Every detail on the interior has been so well thought out. The interior design is elegant, but not overbearing and in some ways rustic. The bedrooms and bathrooms are huge, the bedrooms with brand new beautiful hand carved Queen beds that are super comfortable with new bed spreads, linens and towels that will make you think you're staying at a 5 Star Resort ( this was better than that actually). This place has it all, and is so unique and charming that you fell right at home. The kitchen has all new appliances, and the villa appears as thought it's brand new. I could go on and on, but will sum it's review up by saying that our visit couldn't have been better. Glenn, the owner is very attentive, without being overbearing. He lives only 5 minutes away and helped us with our tour activities, letting us know which tours could be done on a walk up basis, which left us some much needed spontaneity. We booked some tours in advance ( Canopy, Rafting and went fishing with Glenn on his Pontoon

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, families with young children, families with teenagers, girls getaway, sight seeing, tourists without a car, romantic getaway

Helpful votes: 9 / 9

 

Best Vacation to Costa Rica, excellent property

Review submitted: August 1, 2011   Date of arrival: July 1, 2011

I spent a week at Villa Encantada in July and had the best time. I travel to Costa Rica at least once each year and have stayed in different vacation rentals and this was by far the best experience ever. It was just my girlfriend so the place was bigger than we needed but the outdoors was just paradise. Once you are at Villa Encantada there is no reason to go see the jungle, you are in the best part of the jungle. We could sit outside and have coffee and watch Toucans’ fly by as well as many other birds would stop and eat some of the fruit left out for them. There are Howler monkeys around the property and we were able to watch up close several of them. I have seen monkeys before but to have them that close by was special.

Lake Arenal is on one side of the house and there is a small river in the back. We played in the large pond with the kayaks and went to the swimming pools at the small river. One of the pools is deeper and more natural, the second pool is 4’ deep with large boulders but has a concrete bottom which makes it nice for walking. There is a waterfall that was fun to sit under. The open space around the house is what makes this place so special. Gorgeous views from every direction.

Glenn is a great host and knows about the region. He has a fishing boat and one day we went fishing. Lake Arenal is beautiful and just perfect for fishing. Glenn had us on the lake early with breakfast and provided excellent fishing gear with multiple types and color of lures. He provided tips on where the fish are and what works best. At the end of the trip, he fillet the fish and we were able to eat them that night. A memory that will last forever.

The house is set up for larger groups with 3 large separate bedrooms and another larger loft with several beds. The different patios offer special places to be in solitude with nature or get together and raise a little fun. All of the amenities worked just perfect, nice beds, lines and the kitchen is ready for anything. With just the two of us, we did not feel overwhelmed but were in awe of the large natural tree in the center of the house that is the structural support for much of the house. You will enjoy.

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, families with young children, families with teenagers, girls getaway, sight seeing, tourists without a car, romantic getaway

Helpful votes: 9 / 9

 

Wonderful Villa with Amazing Views!!!!

Review submitted: July 26, 2011   Date of arrival: July 8, 2011

Villa Encantada we stayed there in early July we arrived at night and were unable to see what we were actually pulling up into until the morning. When we all woke we were amazed, this property is beautiful!!! We loved finding the waterfalls and all the hiking trails, we saw so much wildlife, frogs, birds and especially loved King Kong! :-)
Thank you Glenn for being so accommodating to our needs, finding out information about excursions for us and helping us with our every need! We loved out visit and can't wait to come back!!!!

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, families with young children, people with disabilities, families with teenagers, girls getaway, sight seeing, romantic getaway

Helpful votes: 8 / 8

 

Jenkins Family and friends, Califorina

Review submitted: July 25, 2011   Date of arrival: July 10, 2011

Wow! I think that is the word that best describes our stay at The Villa Encantada. From the time we made our reservations to the time we had to say good-by, Glenn was terrific. He made reservations for our tours, gave us perfect directions and recommendations to the various places we wanted to visit and made sure the thirteen of us were comfortable and lacked for nothing at the villa. The pictures on the site do not do it justice. This felt like our home away from home. We'll be back.

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, families with young children, families with teenagers, girls getaway, sight seeing, tourists without a car

Helpful votes: 7 / 7

 

Exceeded our high expectations!!

Review submitted: June 24, 2011   Date of arrival: June 15, 2011

What a wonderful find! I would not only recommend this to a close familiy member or friend, my wife & two young girls (6 and 8) are already fantasizing about when we can return to this beautiful country and specifically to the Villa Encantada. This is a treasure that will continue to amaze & provide wonder to anyone who is lucky enough to discover it. The owner, Glenn, has created a gorgeous getaway, both inside & out. The villa itself is beautifully decorated, very spacious, & welcoming on all fronts. The various places you can sit & enjoy the view are each stunning in their own right. Wander outside & you will discover the most spectacular yard you have ever experienced. Lush & well manicured, with a path surrounding a large swimmable pond in the back is only the beginning. The property sits on 40 acres & Glenn has created multiple hiking paths that take you along the river, past waterfalls & swimming holes. Nature, both in its natural form as well as beautifully and architecturally rendered with levels & fresh water falls, is experienced here in its fullness. Glenn is a special kind of host. Not only will his talent for creating all this impress you beyond measure, he will treat you with kindness & support you in any way he can. Recommendations, making reservations, helpful hints...he is a gracious host going out of his way to make your vacation special. There are many terriific places to visit in the area, including La Fortuna and Monteverde. If you venture to the latter, be aware that the roads are a bit treacherous & signage not great; I'd recommned either renting a 4WD (we got a 2WD) or take Glenn up on his offer to help arrange a rental van for the day in which a local will take you there. In hindsight, we wish we'd done that. But it was still a great adventure. That's the thing: Glenn is modest with his suggestions and offers. He never wishes to come off as pushy or overly programmed; and yet, his suggestions & help are all on the mark. He is doing this because he genuinely enjoys seeing people fall in love with Costa Rica & the place he has built. My girls especially loved the peacocks Glenn has on property as pets (taken care of by the local he hires to maintain the grounds) & Glenn's dog who guides you along the various hikes you take on the property. There is no shortage of wonders to explore and discover at this villa & it's hard to imagine finding a more perfect place in which to enjoy this amazing and friendly country.

Recommended for: adventure seekers, families with young children, families with teenagers, pet-friendly, sight seeing, romantic getaway

Owners response: Dear David and Family,

First of all let me thank you for visiting Villa Encantada and for taking your valuable time to write such an informative and flowing review. Review such as yours are what any vacation rental owner strives for and are the envy of those that aren't lucky enough to receive one as special as yours.... and to receive this review is... well, very humbling indeed. My goal is to make my guests' special vacation a memorable and hassle free experience. One that they'll be able to look back on years from now and remember fondly their visit to Costa Rica and Villa Encantada. Like your family, I've traveled abroad and rented vacation rental properties (mostly through VRBO) and for the most part, the owner or manager is always friendly and helpful, but in many instances I've felt that the owner could have been more helpful in either the planning stages or being a bit more "hands on", but still respecting that fine line of guest privacy. So, this adventure of being an Innkeeper has been a learning experience, and now that I have 15 years in performing this service I feel that my participation with my guests is really what this is all about. Helping my guests "hit the ground running" as it were makes a HUGE difference in helping them have a vacation that surpasses their expectations. My reward is seeing your smiling faces, enthusiasm and knowledge that I really have made a difference in your special vacation. This is an opportunity and responsibility that I take very seriously that is both satisfying and rewarding for me personally. Getting to meet families such as yours David, and forge lasting friendships is what it's really all about for me. At Villa Encantada we do get our fair share of repeat visitors, or direct referrals from past guests and we'll keep the light on for you and hope you'll find your way back to our "little slice of Paradise" as soon as time allows.

Pura Vida ~~~ Glenn

Helpful votes: 10 / 10

 

A Trip of a Lifetime!

Review submitted: June 17, 2011   Date of arrival: June 10, 2011

This destination was all we could have wished for on our vacation with close family friends. The kids had a total blast exploring the great trails, swimming in the waterfall pools, fishing and kayaking right on the property! The area is a great location that is close enough to the town of Arenal to grab groceries or a bite to eat! There are great restaurants on the side of the road that were phenominal and had excellent service. LaFortuna was an easy drive for daily excursions! We took advantage of ziplining, rappelling and horseback riding as well as white water rafting from LaFortuna - it is a cute town with many dining and shopping choices. Glenn is absolutely amazing and a gracious host! He made it easy for us to book our excursions, and helped us to get the lay of the land and house and most importantly made us feel at home. Kong the resident watch dog/trail guide/companion was an added benefit to our stay at the Villa. Fruit trees on the property provided us with limes for our evening refreshments and occasional homemade guacamole from avacados purchased at local fruit stands. The fruit here is so fresh and amazing - the kids have requested that when we get back to Illinois that they have fresh pineapples (pinas) every day! We also took advantage of Glenns recommendation to have a cook come to the house and prepare dinner for us ~ it was amazing and the kids said "this is the best meal we've ever had", and we had to agree! Overall our stay at Villa Encantada will be one that we will never forget and will only hope that many more guests get to experience the wonderful hospitality of Glenn and the abundant ammenities that the home and grounds have to offer!

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, families with teenagers, girls getaway, sight seeing, romantic getaway

Owners response: Dear Victoria,

Just when I thought the Guest Reviews couldn't get any better ~~ yours comes along and it really does give me a new sense of purpose. Your family, and especially the kids running and laughing and jumping into the pools and waterfalls and kayaking on the ponds are what I live for. Your group's unbridled enthusiasm was nothing less than spectacular.
Your family was the first the experience the new pools and waterfalls on the river below the house. Hauling all of those 50 sacks of concrete, sand and gravel 1/2 mile by wheelbarrow to the dam site and the backbreaking one month of work was more than well worth the effort, after seeing all of you enjoying it so much.
You mentioned "King Kong"... our resident watchdog/trailguide/companion. He's a hound dog.. that loves people of all ages. He really is sort of famous now. Many times when guests arrive at the villa, the first words out of their mouths is.. wow, this place is incredible~~ then...where's King Kong... never fails to give me a chuckle!
Having dinner prepared at the villa is always a delight, regardless of which of our 2 very capable cook/chef does the honors, and I'm glad you enjoyed that very special amenity. As you already know, Lidieth prepares excellent local fare and breakfasts, while Tyron is a 5 Star Chef that is so versatile with his meals and meal presentations, it makes you feel like the VIP that you are.
Thanks for allowing me and the staff at Villa Encantada to be of service to you and your family Victoria. It's an honor and pleasure, and I feel that I've made some long lasting friends in the process.. Pura Vida!
Your friend, Glenn

Helpful votes: 9 / 9

 

Beautiful house in stunning location!

Review submitted: May 26, 2011   Date of arrival: March 29, 2011

Villa Encantada is as close to paradise as I could imagine. With its stunning landscaped tropical grounds, beautiful walks through the forest, views of Lake Arenal, kayaking on the lake and swimming in the pond behind the house, we could hardly tear ourselves away to see the beautiful sights in the area. The house is great too-very spacious, beautiful and well-kept. Glenn was a very helpful host and provided us with lots of recommendations for sightseeing and restaurants nearby. I would strongly recommend Villa Encantada and we look forward to coming back.

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, families with young children, families with teenagers, sight seeing

Helpful votes: 9 / 9

 

Family Week at Villa Encantada

Review submitted: April 27, 2011   Date of arrival: March 13, 2011

For my seventieth birthday, I wanted to get my kids, grandkids and wife together for a few days. Since my sons are close to fluent in Spanish, a villa in Costa Rica seemed like a good choice for the ten of us. We found Villa Encantada on the internet. It was large enough to house all of us.

We found Villa Encantada to be exactly as advertised on their website. Before going I was a bit concerned that there would be spacious enough for all of us, but that was no problem. The grounds are magnificent. We especially enjoyed the pond which is very close to the house. Even the 6 year old granddaughter was able to paddle a kayak by herself.

There is a rack between the house and the pond where we put peelings from fruit and nearby is a hanging rope where the gardener would hang bananas. Lots of birds that were unusual to us came to enjoy these fruits. On the Villa Encantada website there is a list of 82 bird species that have been sighted at the villa. We had many of them come to visit us while we were there. Have you ever heard the call of a Montezuma Orapendula? We saw a lot of them.

We enjoyed eating at some of the restaurants near the villa. Only one place we ate was disappointing because of the poor service and quality of the food. Perhaps the best meals we had were those cooked at the villa itself. One night we had a local woman cook Costa Rican food for us. It was very good and reasonably priced. She did all of the work including cleanup right in our own kitchen. Another night we had a chef who owns a local restaurant cook for us. He also did all of the work right in our own kitchen including cleanup. We had his menu to select from. We chose a couple of entrees to share among us and also ordered a couple of dessert options. This was a very nice dinner that you would expect in a very good restaurant. Again the price was reasonable.

I would recommend Villa Encantada to anyone going to Costa Rica. I lost count of the number of emails I exchanged with the owner, Glenn, as I was trying to get everything planned to make this a good family time together. He was very patient and answered my questions completely.

The one thing that came as a surprise to me was how difficult it is to get around. When you live in a country with interstate highways, traveling on two lane highways is tedious. The unpaved roads are difficult because of all of the chug holes. We traveled on several to go to some very fun resorts. Selvatura was the best.

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, families with young children, sight seeing, romantic getaway

Helpful votes: 8 / 8

 

A slice of heaven in Costa Rica

Review submitted: March 7, 2011   Date of arrival: December 19, 2010

The minute you enter the driveway of Villa Encantada, you feel you've entered another world. A world that's secluded, serene, and breathtakingly beautiful. Villa Encantada is a tropical paradise within a country known for it's tropical beauty. The property has so much to offer from the lakes, the wildlife, and then of course the stunning house. Our family of 7 spent our Christmas 2010 vacation there and we couldn't have been happier. We could've easily spent our entire vacation just on the property! And Arenal has so much to offer from restaurants, to bars to small boutiques. Glenn is the most generous and knowledgeable owner and will help you have the best time possible. I would highly recommend spending your holiday at this amazing place. You will have the time of your life!

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, families with young children, people with disabilities, families with teenagers, girls getaway, pet-friendly, sight seeing, tourists without a car, romantic getaway

Helpful votes: 10 / 10

 

Fantastic Villa and Vacation

Review submitted: March 1, 2011   Date of arrival: January 30, 2011

This was our third visit to Costa Rica and the second to the Arenal area for my wife and two friends. We have stayed in several beautiful houses through vrbo before but Villa Encantada has been the best of all. The house itself is beautiful architecturally, but more important was the convenient and spacious layout and the feeling of privacy. It is clean, well appointed, and stocked with most anything you could need from the bedrooms and baths, to the kitchen. The surrounding grounds are spectacular with short hiking trails that take you through the jungle down to the lake, or just use the well maintained gravel ones at the house that go around the pond and the waterfalls out back. The pond has a swinging bridge with island and is stocked with fish. We caught and ate a great meal of tilapia from the pond one night. The bird feeder just off the downstairs porch allowed for great bird photography, and the aracaris would come down and eat right out of your hand. The groundskeeper would tidy up each day and the landscaping is fabulous. Glenn went out of his way to make sure that we were properly oriented and answered all our questions as to local places to eat or excursions to take. We had already seen several sights around Lake Arenal, so he gave us very accurate and interesting suggestions as to what other things there were to do and where to go. He arranged a delicious dinner and cake at the house for my wife's birthday. Make sure you take his recommendations on food as well. Moya's was an incredible restaurant he sent us to and is a very short drive from the house in Nuevo Arenal, where you can get most anything you need. He was available by phone whenever we had any questions or problems, like when our rental car from Adobe had a suspension problem. One call from Glenn and the supervisor from Adobe drove an exact replacement from Liberia to the Villa the next morning. We would highly recommend Adobe car rental as they were very courteous and efficient. Glenn secured us a private tour on the Rio Frio to see the Cano Negro area, and is friends with almost everyone in town or anyone that offers tours. We also had him take us out for a fishing trip where we caught tilapi and one of the elusive Rainbow Bass. He has a pontoon boat with bimini top and comfortable seats. As a professional photographer, I was so impressed that I took several architectural shots of the house. I hope he posts them as it is truly stunning. You cannot go wrong choosing Villa Encantada.

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, families with young children, families with teenagers, girls getaway, sight seeing, romantic getaway

Helpful votes: 9 / 9

 

Paradise

Review submitted: February 28, 2011   Date of arrival: February 8, 2011

We have traveled to Costa Rica many times and our favorite place is Lake Arenal. We usually get a hotel room in La Fortuna and drive to the lake during the day but we wanted to have more of a view of the lake. We brought my mother with us and it was her first time in Costa Rica so we wanted to have the perfect spot for us all. After realizing that we could rent a house for about as much as we would spend on 2 hotel rooms we found this website. We looked through all the houses that are listed for Lake Arenal and decided that Villa Encantada would be the perfect place. We contacted Glen about reservations and was so glad that the house was available for the 3 days we needed. Glen was very helpful with all the arrangements and directions to the house. We knew that this place was beautiful from the pictures but we didn't realize how beautiful it actually was until we got there. The details of the house and property were unbelievable. They have definitely thought of everything when they designed and prepared the house for renting. The house was stocked with everything you need to make you feel at home. And at home we did feel, we only stayed for 3 days but wish that we stayed there longer. Waking up to the sound of the monkeys and watching the dog, King Kong, and the peacocks running around was awesome. I could describe the house and property but putting that kind of beauty into words is hard to do. I can however say that the details in the gardens have givin me alot of ideas for my own home. And that we will definitely return to Villa Encantada. I would like to thank Glen for all that he did for us when I realizied I had forgotten some things, he made arrangments to have someone meet us so that we didn't have to drive all the way back to the house. Thanks again Glen for everything I will never forget it. And will recommend this place to anyone, it was great.

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, families with young children, families with teenagers, girls getaway, sight seeing, romantic getaway

Helpful votes: 10 / 10

 

Perfect family rental house on Lake Arenal for a week in Costa Rica

Review submitted: February 19, 2011   Date of arrival: December 19, 2010

Our family of seven adults made Villa Encantada on Lake Arenal our home and headquarters for Costa Rican adventure for ten days at Christmas in 2010. The beauty, comfort, and convenience of the location exceeded our expectations in every way. Web posted pictures of the commodious house, breath- taking designed landscapes and vistas to the lake and mountains were nothing compared to our personal encounters with the magnificent beauty of this wonderful place.
We found plenty of interesting things to do outside without leaving the property-- bird watching, hiking, swimming, sunbathing, kayaking and frolicking in the private pools that are hidden on the grounds.
The three- level , architect designed house offered ample room for many different family activities at once--dining, relaxing , reading, playing games, taking breakfast or cocktails on the patio, or retreating in complete privacy to one of four bedrooms. The kitchen had everything we needed to cook our own meals and enjoy them around the table.
We had no trouble finding anything we needed to buy in Nuevo Arenal-—groceries, fresh meat, fruit, vegetables and spirits—and great restaurants nearby for dining out. We found the people of Costa Rica invariably friendly, patient, cheerful, and appreciative of our efforts to speak Spanish in our halting way.
We found the location very convenient for day trips to Selvatura and Santa Elena, P laya Hermosa on the Pacific, and Vulcan Arenal, La Fortuna and Tobacon Springs. Our host Glenn McBride went out of his way to ensure that we enjoyed a comfortable and pleasant stay. He made reservations in advance for our visits to Selvatura and Tabacon Springs, suggested restaurants and places to shop for native crafts, put us in touch with Adobe car rental in San Jose, gave us good advice on routes and sites to see, arranged for cook Lydia to prepare us a meal on our arrival, piloted us on a memorable late afternoon fishing expedition on Lake Arenal in his pontoon boat and even decorated the house for Christmas ( if and only if we wished to have it decorated). We have to say that King Kong, Glenn’s guard dog, was a great companion. If you can, do take Glenn’s advice and drive from the airport in San Jose to Arenal before it gets dark.
Bottom line: Villa Encantada is the perfect family vacation rental house for a week or more in Costa Rica. I know we will return. We recommend it without hesitation or reservation.

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, families with young children, families with teenagers, sight seeing, romantic getaway

Helpful votes: 10 / 10

 

What a great way to spend a week!

Review submitted: February 10, 2011   Date of arrival: January 16, 2011

My husband and four other friends stayed at Villa Encantada while visiting the Arenal Volcano area. Glenn was a terrific host, visiting us almost daily to ensure that we had everything we needed. In fact, Glenn made all of our activity reservations and each and everyone was fantastic. We did have a rental car, and I would probably recommend one,so we were able to venture out and book tours that started a bit later than some where the tour operator must arrange for pickup.
The villa was extraordinary, all the flora and fauna. The gardener even placed a bunch of bananas on a tree so that we could bird watch from the back porch while eating a leisurely breakfast. The grounds are very well taken care of and it was a pleasure to take a nice afternoon stroll amongst the grounds.
We ate in most evenings, as we had a full kitchen at the villa, but the restaurant, Gingerbread, that Glenn recommended was very good and in fact, we recommended it to others we knew were going to be visiting Nuevo Arenal.
I personally appreciate that Glenn let his "puppy", King Kong, stay with us during our trip. It made being away from my dogs a touch easier.
I would definitely recommend Villa Encantada to anyone that will be visiting Arenal.

Recommended for: age 55+, pet-friendly, tourists without a car, romantic getaway

Helpful votes: 10 / 10

 

a little piece of heaven

Review submitted: December 8, 2010   Date of arrival: October 15, 2010

I spent a week at Villa Encantada with my wife for our honeymoon. We were greeted upon our arrival by the owner Glenn and his sidekick Kingkong. We were shown around the wonderfully landscaped grounds.next, we were given a tour of the beautiful house. This had to be the most beautiful property in all of Costa Rica. After the tour, Glenn was able to give us mountains of info about the area. He helped us coordinate our entire vacation before he left for the day. After he left we knew we were safe un the hands of King Kong, the lovable dog, that enjoyed taking us on the hiking paths throughout the property. The house had ALL the amenities of home. During our vacation we were able to rappel, kayak, zipline, walk the volcano basin, cross the hanging bridges, and see alot of wildlife. USE VILLA ENCANTADA for your next vacation

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, families with young children, people with disabilities, families with teenagers, sight seeing, romantic getaway

Helpful votes: 8 / 8

 

Enchanting

Review submitted: November 10, 2010   Date of arrival: November 2, 2010

The villa is lovely and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a relaxing vacation. The grounds and views are stunning. The house was comfortable for 3 couples although there were some minor issues with the fact that the shared bathroom door did not lock properly, there was a constantly running commode in one of the bathrooms and the TV had sporadic reception on a good day. The home was well kept and the grounds were beautifully maintained. And I would have willingly adopted King Kong, the villa's dog in residence.
The owner made several recommendations for attractions in the area and helped with reservations when asked. However, it seemed that referrals were often to friends rather than to the best options. And this was especially true of restaurants in the area. I would suggest doing your own homework rather than relying too much on the property owner.
Be prepared to drive if you want to visit attractions but don't let this scare you; the drives are also through beautiful country and are another opportunity to explore Costa Rica. I would definitely recommend getting a 4 wheel drive vehicle as some of the roads are unpaved and all are winding.

Owners response: Dear cbt,

I'm writing to thank you for choosing Villa Encantada for your visit to Costa Rica.. My motto & goal for guests that visit Villa Encantada is "to help make your vacation all it should be and more" and I try my hardest to make a difference in a positive way, by sharing my experience (after 14 years in renting Villa Encantada). I take my position as an innkeeper very seriously... it's my job. I'm here to facilitate my guest's needs and help my guests get the very most out of their time at Villa Encantada and enjoy all that our area has to offer. My greatest reward is knowing that I have helped our guests,and have a made a positive difference in them having a memorable and hassle free vacation.

However, your statement that..""it seemed that referrals were often to friends rather than to the best options. And this was especially true of restaurants in the area. I would suggest doing your own homework rather than relying too much on the property owner."" A prospective guest reading this part of your comment could very well think that I am nothing more than self serving and refer my guests to my friends, rather than the best option.... Really, nothing could be further from the truth!
I don't believe that was your intention, and perhaps the comment was just poorly worded. The restaurant that you referred to .. is the most convenient, closest restaurant to Villa Encantada and a great many of our guests have eaten there, and with the exception of your comment, I've heard no negative reports. I'm sorry that your dinner meal was not up to your standards. Yes, I am friendly with the owner, but I wouldn't go as far as to call him a close friend.. or someone that I've invited to my home for dinner on a regular basis. As far as Tour Operators, Canopy, Rafting, Horses, etc., I have done my homework and again, I refer our guests to only those that are the very best and most reliable at what they do.

You could have just as easily commented on the fact that when your husband needed medical attention for an ankle sprain, that I took the time to meet you at the hospital clinic and escort you to the bank and then to the local "Caja" office to make payment and act as interpreter and/or that I brought your husband fishing gear to use while at the villa.

On the "minor issues" that you mentioned, I'm just a phone call & 10 minutes away. Any guest that needs assistance at any time of the day or night can call me and I'll be there.

Warm Regards,
Glenn

Helpful votes: 9 / 9

 

The perfect vacation property

Review submitted: November 7, 2010   Date of arrival: October 24, 2010

Well, what can I say about our stay at La Casa Encantada! It really was the perfect place for us to get away from the hustle and bustle of our every day lives...we stayed on-site every day except for one when we ventured into town for groceries and a little local shopping.

The house had everything we needed and wanted. While large enough for big groups, it was perfect for just the two of us and super cozy hanging out by the fireplace at night. If you like to cook in, this kitchen has everything you need and more...wasn't lacking a single thing.

Josue, the gardener was very helpful in keeping us stocked up with firewood and the twice a week housekeeping was more than enough for us.

We really enjoyed fishing at the pond and after three days of only catching little ones and thowing them back, I finally caught the big one, well, one of the big ones...So much fun!!!

We also loved having the company of King King....having left dogs and cats behind at home, it made it easier having a loving pet close by....he only wishes he good fish like I do!!! But he tries!!!

And, of course, Casa Encantada would be nothing without the super kind, helpful, knowledgable owner himself, Glenn. We did not have the pleasure of meeting his wife, but it is evident that much heart and soul have been put into the construction and maintenance of this breathtaking property and we are already planning to go back...there is no doubt that this is now our annual and if we're lucky, bi-annual, vacation spot.

You should all be so fortunate to be able to experience the beauty of Casa Encantada and once you do, trust me, you will be planning your next vacation their before the current one is even over!

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, families with young children, families with teenagers, girls getaway, pet-friendly, sight seeing, tourists without a car, romantic getaway

Helpful votes: 10 / 10

 

July 2010

Review submitted: August 19, 2010   Date of arrival: July 17, 2010

A beautiful home on an immaculate property. We enjoyed relaxing, hiking, watching the kids kayake, swim, and play. Glenn, the owner, was invaluable to our Costa Rican vacation. He provided loads of information, answered endless questions, and organized our excursions. We also has breakfast and dinner cooked at the villa for us. I would highly recommend this. The food was wonderful! We didn't have to do a thing. They cooked, shopped for the food, and cleaned up. It was a great place to start our vacation!

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, families with young children, families with teenagers, girls getaway, sight seeing, romantic getaway

Helpful votes: 8 / 8

 

July2010

Review submitted: August 19, 2010   Date of arrival: July 17, 2010

What a wonderful way to begin our Costa Rican vacation! It was a beautiful house with wonderful grounds to walk on/explore or for the kids to play/swim. Glenn, the owner, was a wealth of information. His assitance and guidance in planning our vacation was extremely helpful. We also had breakfast cooked for us every morning and dinner cooked on our nights at home for a very reasonable price. They were delicious and a great way to further enjoy our vacation (no cooking, grocery shopping, or clean up!)
I would highly recommend staying here!

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, families with young children, families with teenagers, girls getaway, sight seeing

Helpful votes: 8 / 8

 

Better Than We Imagined

Review submitted: July 10, 2010   Date of arrival: May 5, 2010

My wife and I recently were married at Villa Encantada, and truly had a dream wedding at this spectacular home nestled in the mountainous jungle of the Arenal region. Glenn McBride, owner of Villa Encantada was an extremely kind man, assisting and accommodating our every need and request with ease and knowledge. Glenn and his staff together helped create a beautiful ambiance and experience for our wedding ceremony that we shared with 7 of our closest friends at the home.

The home is beautiful in its own architectural mastery, exuding a welcoming feel and providing every simple luxury that anyone could need. Villa Encantad has a very indigenous feel to it, without the excess of too much flash and flare that some vacation homes provide. This, for my friends and I, made the home even more comfortable to stay. Not only was the home gorgeous and inviting, but the 40 acres of beautiful rainforest you have to yourself to hike and explore ensures that there is always something to do while you vacation here. Close to the home there are well manicured trails and landscaping that has been cared for laboriously for many years. Additionally, the lake shore is a short 5 minute walk from the home with water that is so refreshing to swim, it is hard to make the short walk back to the villa.

Our entire party thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Villa Encantada and strongly recommend choosing this home as your next destination in Costa Rica. Again, the staff and Glenn made this vacation for us so easy and spectacular that we already plan to visit again for an anniversary in the near future. The area has so much to offer from food, hiking, fishing, hot springs, and multiple tours that staying here for week is nearly not enough time to take it all in. If you are considering a visit to the Arenal Volcano region, consider this as your best option for accommodations. Glenn is a very knowledgeable and gracious host, with a simple email or phone call, he will ensure that your needs are met to the best of his ability. His home is yours while you vacation in paradise.

Troy & Lee Ann

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, families with young children, families with teenagers, girls getaway, sight seeing, romantic getaway

Helpful votes: 10 / 10

 

Amazing destination and service!

Review submitted: May 25, 2010   Date of arrival: March 22, 2010

I recently spent 3 weeks in Costa Rica and was lucky enough to have a whole week here at Villa Encantada. A little slice of heaven on the lake, seriously. We were in an unfortunate auto accident on our way to the Villa from our previous destination, and after calling Glenn to inform him we wouldn't be in until after dark, he went above and beyond his role as property owner to concierge. Taking care of his guests in any way needed is what he does, and my experience at the Villa will never be forgotten. First rate all the way!
Waking up to peacocks flocking about the grounds is truly magical. The fresh cool morning breeze off the lake, while enjoying delicious coffee on your own private pond was delightful. The grounds are meticulous. And while the pictures here are beautiful, it does the property no justice until you are there, immersed in its beauty. Words cannot describe how beautiful it really is. The activities are endless here, something for everyone indeed.
We had a wonderful trip, and Glenn was just a phone call away to set up day trips for us, recommend restaurants and help in anyway possible.
I have recommended this property to everyone I speak to. It's the best deal I've ever had traveling, and I'll be back for sure. I did not want to leave our little paradise at the Villa. Peace, tranquility and laughter is what you will find here, something never to be forgotten. Villa Encantada is Costa Rica!

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, families with young children, families with teenagers, girls getaway, sight seeing, romantic getaway

Helpful votes: 10 / 10

 

You Couldn't Do Any Better... but you sure could do a lot worse!

Review submitted: May 24, 2010   Date of arrival: May 6, 2010

If you are planning a trip to Costa Rica and you enjoy warm, turquoise colored lakes, beautiful flora and fauna, fantastic estates, private ponds, and extremely gracious hosts... do yourself a favor and stay at the Villa Encantada.

I was not sure what to expect while attending my friend's wedding this May in Costa Rica. Even if I had some idea of the true beauty of the country itself, nothing could have prepared me for the experience at Villa Encantada! It surpassed all of our expectations... actually, it blew them out of the water!

At the Villa you have private access to a stocked pond, Lake Arenal, and miles of hiking trails. The grounds are immaculate, the house is gorgeous, and the staff and host Glenn are beyond accommodating. You are also a short drive from many attractions including: Two world-class hot spring resorts, fantastic local restaurants, zip-lines, repelling, horse-back riding, and of course, Volcano Arenal and it's dependable lava flows.

If you have hit on this page and are reading this review, do yourself a favor and look no further. Book it; you'll be VERY glad you did!

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, families with young children, people with disabilities, families with teenagers, girls getaway, sight seeing, tourists without a car, romantic getaway

Helpful votes: 11 / 11

 

You Couldn't Do Any Better!

Review submitted: May 24, 2010   Date of arrival: May 6, 2010

If you are planning a trip to Costa Rica and you enjoy warm, turquoise colored lakes, beautiful flora and fauna, fantastic estates, private ponds, and extremely gracious hosts... do yourself a favor and stay at the Villa Encantada.

I was not sure what to expect while attending my friend's wedding this May in Costa Rica. Even if I had some idea of the true beauty of the country itself, nothing could have prepared me for the experience at Villa Encantada! It surpassed all of our expectations... actually, it blew them out of the water!

At the Villa you have private access to a stocked pond, Lake Arenal, and miles of hiking trails. The grounds are immaculate, the house is gorgeous, and the staff and host Glenn are beyond accommodating. You are also a short drive from many attractions including: Two world-class hot spring resorts, fantastic local restaurants, zip-lines, repelling, horse-back riding, and of course, Volcano Arenal and it's dependable lava flows.

If you have hit on this page and are reading this review, do yourself a favor and look no further. Book it; you'll be VERY glad you did!

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, families with young children, people with disabilities, families with teenagers, girls getaway, pet-friendly, sight seeing, tourists without a car, romantic getaway

Helpful votes: 8 / 8

 

You Couldn't Do Any Better!

Review submitted: May 24, 2010   Date of arrival: May 6, 2010

If you are planning a trip to Costa Rica and you enjoy warm, turquoise colored lakes, beautiful flora and fauna, fantastic estates, private ponds, and extremely gracious hosts... do yourself a favor and stay at the Villa Encantada.

I was not sure what to expect while attending my friend's wedding this May in Costa Rica. Even if I had some idea of the true beauty of the country itself, nothing could have prepared me for the experience at Villa Encantada! It surpassed all of our expectations... actually, it blew them out of the water!

At the Villa you have private access to a stocked pond, Lake Arenal, and miles of hiking trails. The grounds are immaculate, the house is gorgeous, and the staff and host Glenn are beyond accommodating. You are also a short drive from many attractions including: Two world-class hot spring resorts, fantastic local restaurants, zip-lines, repelling, horse-back riding, and of course, Volcano Arenal and it's dependable lava flows.

If you have hit on this page and are reading this review, do yourself a favor and look no further. Book it; you'll be VERY glad you did!

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, families with young children, people with disabilities, families with teenagers, girls getaway, sight seeing, tourists without a car, romantic getaway

Helpful votes: 8 / 8

 

Magical experience in the tropical rainfores

Review submitted: April 16, 2010   Date of arrival: March 17, 2010

We only had a short stay in Arenal, but we were extremely pleased with our stay on the Villa Encantada property. We arrived to Villa Encantada after dark on our first day. On the way we had driven past the active Volcano Arenal as the sun was setting. Although this, in combination with a gaze at the thousands of stars in the sky prepared us for what we would see in the morning, we were absolutely mesmerized by the scenery the next morning. The symphony of tropical birds, howler monkeys, and waterfalls in combination with the intoxicating perfumes from the lush landscape of exotic flora and fauna that populate this 40 acre property evoke a sensory wonderland of sights, sounds, and smells in this tropical oasis. This home is perfect for families with a large common area, master bedroom suites in the basement, and a loft bedroom suite (overlooking the common area on the 2nd floor) that is perfect for kids. Although the villa has all of the comforts that one would desire (excellent grill, large patio and balcony overlooking a pond, full kitchen, etc…), the difference between this property and others in the Arenal area is the absolute immersion into the tropical landscape which best characterizes this region of Costa Rica. With a network of trails throughout the property leading to hidden waterfalls, and a short walk to Lake Arenal (kayaks available on property) the access to the rainforest is unparalleled. No review would be complete without words of praise for the property manager/owner. Glenn has an extensive knowledge of the area (restaurants, activities, etc…) which he was always glad to share with us. After only a few minutes of chatting with Glenn, we realized that he truly loves sharing the beauty of Villa Encantada and the surrounding area with those lucky enough to stay here. The Villa Encantada is a magical place that we not only intend to return to, but also will recommend to all of our friends and family.

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, families with young children, families with teenagers, girls getaway, sight seeing, romantic getaway

Helpful votes: 11 / 11

 

Magical in the tropical rainforest

Review submitted: March 28, 2010   Date of arrival: March 17, 2010

We only had a short stay in Arenal, but we were extremely pleased with our stay on the Villa Encantada property. We arrived to Villa Encantada after dark on our first day. On the way we had driven past the active Volcano Arenal as the sun was setting. Although this, in combination with a gaze at the thousands of stars in the sky prepared us for what we would see in the morning, we were absolutely mesmerized by the scenery the next morning. The symphony of tropical birds, howler monkeys, and waterfalls in combination with the intoxicating perfumes from the lush landscape of exotic flora and fauna that populate this 40 acre property evoke a sensory wonderland of sights, sounds, and smells in this tropical oasis. The Villa Encantada and Arenal Lakeview Villa are both located on the property. While we stayed at the smaller Arenal Lakeview Villa we requested to view Villa Encantada, the larger of the two villas, for a future trip we are planning. This home is perfect for families with a large common area, master bedroom suites in the basement, and a loft bedroom suite (overlooking the common area on the 2nd floor) that is perfect for kids. Although the villa has all of the comforts that one would desire (excellent grill, large patio and balcony overlooking a pond, full kitchen, etc…), the difference between this property and others in the Arenal area is the absolute immersion into the tropical landscape which best characterizes this region of Costa Rica. With a network of trails throughout the property leading to hidden waterfalls, and a short walk to Lake Arenal (kayaks available on property) the access to the rainforest is unparalleled. No review would be complete without words of praise for the property manager/owner Glenn McBride. Glenn has an extensive knowledge of the area (restaurants, activities, etc…) which he was always glad to share with us. After only a few minutes of chatting with Glenn, we realized that he truly loves sharing the beauty of Villa Encantada and the surrounding area with those lucky enough to stay here. The Villa Encantada is a magical place that we not only intend to return to, but also will recommend to all of our friends and family.

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, families with young children, families with teenagers, girls getaway, sight seeing, romantic getaway

Helpful votes: 12 / 12

 

Amazing, relaxing, beautiful home in Nuevo Arenal!

Review submitted: December 14, 2009   Date of arrival: November 22, 2009

We stayed at Villa Encantada for 4 nights, just before Thanksgiving (2009). The home and property are absolutely beautiful and great care has so obviously been taken of both. The house was exactly as pictured and the amenities were as described. The homeowner, Glenn, went above and beyond to make our stay comfortable and helped arrange activities, made recommendations for great places to go, fabulous places to eat, and even arranged a special birthday cake for my sister. My husband and I went fishing on the lake and enjoyed the scenery and wildlife viewing while were out on the water. There are great trails on the property to explore and observe the tropical foliage, and the view of the lake from the house is gorgeous. There is a bird platform where you can put out fruit for the birds and we enjoyed having our morning coffee while trying to identify the visiting birds with the help of bird book there at the villa.
It was hard for us to leave Villa Encantada, but as we headed to the beach for the rest of our vacation, we looked forward to a deep sea fishing trip that Glenn arranged for us there, as well. After spending the second half of our trip in Jaco, we sure appreciated the quiet, secluded location of Villa Encantada and the personalized hospitality that Glenn provided.
I would definitely recommend this property to anyone interested in having a relaxing, quiet, beautiful and comfortable place to stay in a most beautiful area of Costa Rica. It might be a little bit remote for those that want to be in the middle of the hub-bub and activity of a busier town (i.e. La Fortuna- about 45 minutes drive from the Villa), but it was great to truly feel like we were 'getting away from it all' when we returned to the villa each night after a day of activities.
Having a car is a must for this rental property, in my opinion. I would recommend hiking the trails at the Arenal Hanging Bridges as well as the zipline/canopy tour at Montagne del Fuego and the hot springs at Eco Termales which are very relaxing and quiet (although perhaps not quite as good for families with children- I would say it's more of an adult atmosphere, more about the hot springs than other forms of entertainment).
Villa Encantada is truly in a tropical paradise and I hope that all who stay there enjoy and appreciate it as much as we did!

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, families with young children, families with teenagers, girls getaway, sight seeing, romantic getaway

Helpful votes: 10 / 10

 

Villa Encantada - Costa Rica Paradise

Review submitted: October 16, 2009   Date of arrival: August 20, 2009

My family of 4 (son 17, daughter 13) visited Villa Encantada for 10 days in August of 2009.

We originally were going to stay on one of the coasts, but after we found out about all of the things to do around Arenal, we quickly changed our plans.

We were looking for an adventure and something unique, and we most definitely found it.

What we were not expecting was the fantastic hospitality and help we received from the owner. He helped us tremendously before we arrived, with suggestions on things to do, and maps, etc to go to the Villa, and once we were there, he bent over backwards helping to book reservations at the events we participated in such as zip lining, horseback riding, ATV's, etc. He has lived in the area for 14 years, and the advice he provided really made the trip so much more enjoyable.

The Villa itself was incredible. When we arrived, I couldn't believe the accommodations that the house provided, and how lush the property was landscaped and maintained. We immediately went on a hike and quickly had an appreciation for the tropical ambiance that Costa Rica provides. Our family has been to Hawaii, Dominican Republic, Antigua, Puerto Rico and Mexico, and none of those places even compare by definition to the tropical climate and terrain that you can experience in Costa Rica. It even rained every day, and it made no difference on our trip.

The house itself was bigger than we expected, very clean, and we realized quickly that we should have brought other people with us. The Villa can very easily accommodate three families of four, and even more if so inclined.

There are many things to do around the Villa, and if you want to venture out more, like we did, La Fortuna is only 40 minutes away.

There are plenty of places to eat around the Villa, and the nearest town is only fifteen minutes away, with a well stocked grocery store, gas station, and even a few places to shop for souvenirs. We were surprised to find very good German, Swiss and Italian food. Of course the local food was always very good.

Initially, my wife was a little concerned about staying at the Villa, and she thought we might be too far away from civilization, but after a couple of days, she quickly settled in, and very much enjoyed the property. There was a cleaning service that came every few days, and did an outstanding job of tidying up. I would have to say their service was comparable or better to most 4 STAR hotels I have stayed at.

Recommended for: adventure seekers, families with teenagers

Helpful votes: 10 / 10

 

Little slice of paradise

Review submitted: September 12, 2009   Date of arrival: June 30, 2009

We spent four days at Villa Encantada in July 2009. The house and location was absolutely wonderful. It really is magical.

My family had such a blast; we all have incredible memories and images etched in our minds: The kayaking on Lake Arenal, zip lining, swimming in the pond, looking at birds, exploring the water fall, the wonderful "Tica" meal in the house, and just relaxing and taking in all the incredible views. One of the best parts of the trip, totally unplanned, was the soccer we played two nights there in the town plaza with local young people. My kids loved interacting with the people -- to include Angel and family.

The home owner, Glenn, was incredibly personable and conscientious--almost like family friend who was deeply committed to our stay being the best it could be.

Recommended for: age 55+, families with young children, families with teenagers, sight seeing

Helpful votes: 10 / 10

 
Guest Comment entered by owner

Review submitted: March 21, 2003   Date of arrival: March 21, 2003

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Hey Glenn,
Villa Encantada was awesome. So much so, that we really felt like we were slumming it once we got to Jaco. The house is absolutely gorgeous and so are all the surroundings. You have done a wonderful job. We just got all our pictures back and had already forgotten how green everything is there. For the most part we just relaxed a lot. Each night we ate somewhere different. Our adventures included the Canopy Tour, La Fortuna waterfalls and Tabacon Hot Springs. All were absolutely beautiful. The landscaping is absolutely beautiful. Once we left Villa Encantada we made our way to Jaco just in time for the rain. So much for going to the beach. Anyhow our visit there was short and like I said we really felt like the luxurious part of our trip had ended. We had an incredible time. We certainly appreciate you sharing your home with us. Please send me some cards and brochures as I have already had inquiries from people we have showed our pictures to. Thanks again,
Stacy Schreiner, Garland, TX

Helpful votes: 9 / 9

 
Guest Comment entered by owner

Review submitted: March 21, 2003   Date of arrival: March 21, 2003

Hi Glenn - I got the $300 phone deposit in the mail yesterday. I've been meaning to write you and say THANK YOU SO MUCH for letting us stay in your beautiful house! All of us were amazed at how beautiful the house and grounds and view was. We've stayed a lot of places but yours was by far the nicest we have had the pleasure to stay in. The kids could not believe I had found such a nice place through the Internet - I gained a few brownie points in the process :) I've also recommended your place to several friends - I just heard my wife had also passed on your information to an associate and she is now in contact with you. It's an easy recommendation as it's so beautiful.
Your note said the wind picked up after we left - well sometimes I have bad luck as well as good luck. Still we thoroughly enjoyed our vacation as we found Costa Rica to be a wonderful place to explore. Some windsurfing vacations I'd get bored stiff waiting for wind. But there we found so many other things to do including: rafting down a river, horse riding through the jungle, the hot springs at the volcano, a day trip to the ocean, fishing in the lake, dinner with Trino and family were just a few. So - thanks again. Next time we'll also try to make it a longer vacation!
Greg Crafts; Kirkland, WA.

Helpful votes: 9 / 9

 
Guest Comment entered by owner

Review submitted: March 21, 2003   Date of arrival: March 21, 2003

Hi Glenn,
Your "Villa Encantada" was absolutely breathtaking. We enjoyed every minute of our stay there. We feel honored that you shared your home with us. We did get to ride horses with "Jim" which we enjoyed very much. The bird watching was fabulous also. We will be back!!! All of us fell in love with the country. Juanita, Ramon and Miriam were wonderful and made us feel right at home. Thank you again for allowing us to stay at "Villa Encantada". We are making a journal of our trip to put on the Internet and will link to your page.
Nora Abat; Baton Rouge, LA

Helpful votes: 8 / 8

 
Guest Comment entered by owner

Review submitted: March 21, 2003   Date of arrival: March 21, 2003

Hi Glenn,
We finally got back to our home late Saturday night. My family and I sure did enjoy your beautiful house. And I must say "What a house." We were very impressed with the styling, orientation and decorations; especially the landscaping and all of the beautiful and detailed woodwork. What a view; it was breathtaking. Your staff was very friendly and went out thier way to accommodate our every wish. Miriam (the cook) was also very nice and made some wonderful dishes for us to enjoy. Everyone in Arenal was extremely friendly and pleasant. We look forward to returning to the area in the future. Your web site and information that your sent was exactly as advertised. Thanks again,
Ira Arman ; Valrico. FL.

Helpful votes: 9 / 9

 
Guest Comment entered by owner

Review submitted: March 21, 2003   Date of arrival: March 21, 2003

Hi Glenn,
I just wanted to let you know that we made it okay and that everything is great, this place is truly magnificent. I must warn you though, it may have been a big mistake to allow a big mouth like me to know about this great place, I may have people knocking your door down to try to get in here. Well that is all I have for now, things are absolutely wonderful here and we really appreciate your help and your interest in making sure that all is well.
Talk to you soon,
Jack Kaufman; San Diego, CA

Helpful votes: 9 / 9

 

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