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“Outstanding Birding Opportunity, right from you balcony”
Review of Villa Decary

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Villa Decary
Ranked #2 of 12 Nuevo Arenal B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Missouri, USA
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Outstanding Birding Opportunity, right from you balcony”
Reviewed 28 March 2011

Wow, wake up, step out to your private balcony and the birds are right there. Howler monkeys visit the property regularly too. Nice view of the lake and the grounds are spectacular. There is a short trail (steep in places) that gives you the feel of the rainforest. We had stayed elsewhere in Guanacaste, on the beach, and wished we had stayed here the whole time. Fruit with every breakfast and a different breakfast each morning. Excellent nearby restaurants. The service was great, easy and very helpful. They had recommended activities nearby with driving times down to the minute.
There would be no hesitation in recommending this to anyone. It is a smaller place than many are used to visiting but it doesn't lack for anything. A very good place to stay and relax. The staff speaks excellent engish (the owners are from the states) and are very willing to help you with your spanish.
We took the farm tour with one of the staff and it was great - the best experience of real Costa Rica lifestyle you can imagine, lunch included. Hicking over the mountains and through a rainforest and stream - wish I could have stayed.
The hotel is right off the highway so finding it isn't difficult but during the day there is some traffic noise but not at night, just the sounds of nature. Go and feel the stress disappear.

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank glt1965
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (65)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Wyckoff New Jersey
Level Contributor
19 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 March 2011

I have been to Costa Rica many times before and the Arenal region a couple times but never went farther than the hot spring area of La Fortuna. Finding Villa Decary overlooking beautiful Lake Arenal was a wonderful surprise. The area is peaceful and away from the tourist traps. The owners, Dan and Suzy could not be any more hospitable. Breakfasts were different each morning including traditional Costa Rican tamales. The staff was a joy. Within walking distance is a great restaurant and the town of Arenal is minutes away with a couple nice restaurants. The lake views were really nice to wake up to. We fished on Lake Arenal and drove to hot springs and were glad to be back at our peaceful haven and away from the buses and crowds. We stayed at the casita closest to the main hotel and breakfast area (there are great rooms with balcony above the hotel overlooking the lake) and we looked our location...this was one of the best places I have stayed in Costa Rica in 6 trips. Really loved it and appreciated the great care Suzy and Dan gave us.

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank DianeMarie071349
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boston, MA
Level Contributor
15 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 March 2011

Suzy and Dan, the current owners, are accommodating, knowledgeable and gracious hosts. They made excellent recommendations for dinner, offered trip-saving logistical advice and steered us toward a terrific range of activities. They were helpful, generous and fun to talk to.

Their inn is beautifully situated in a botanical garden, filled with rare palms and brimming with monkeys and birds. Our room, which was large and airy, overlooked the lake with mist-covered mountains in the distance. A spectacular sight each morning awaited us, and an array of exotic birds provided the soundtrack. (The howler monkeys started their peculiar symphony right before dawn--weird but wonderful.)

The beds were comfortable, the bathrooms well-functioning and all was immaculate. Each morning, the excellent breakfasts included fresh fruit juices, delicious coffee and an exquisite array of fresh fruit. One day, we were treated to extraordinary tamales made by one of the staff and her mother.

High points of our stay included dinner at a small local restaurant by the river in Nuevo Arenal, lounging in the poor man's thermal springs (free!), and a hike/tour led by the Villa's manager, Elkin. He took us to his family's farm, where we trekked through rain forest, swam in streams and feasted on a delicious lunch prepared by his gracious mother.

The Villa is a trek from La Fortuna, so there is a lot of driving to daily activities, but the comfort and beauty offered at Villa Decary makes the distance worth it.

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Jfromboston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Annapolis, Maryland
1 review
Reviewed 20 March 2011

We had a lovely time at Villa Decary! It's beautiful, quiet and serene with gorgeous grounds and wonderful views of unspoiled Lake Arenal from every room. The best birding in the world -- I learned a lot about birds just from watching them feast on seed put out for them every morning in close proximity to our breakfast room, and was very proud to be the first in our group to spot the mot-mot and the squirrel cuckoo. The food was such a pleasure -- starting with lovely plates of sliced fresh local fruit and then on to eggs and the ubiquitous Costa Rican rice and beans, warm slices of fresh-baked bread and other delights. And then there is cup after cup of mellow Costa Rican coffee, all served by the friendly staff and the wonderful owners, Dan and Suzy. They arranged our visits to a zip-line operation through the rain forest canopy -- stunning! And we visited beautiful hot spring spas, a butterfly garden, and took a cloud forest tour. The restaurant a few minute's walk from Villa Decary was excellent. I took yoga classes in Arenal and met lovely, friendly people everywhere. Costa Ricans are friendly and welcoming, What a treat!

  • Stayed January 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Sydney60
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
2 reviews
Reviewed 16 March 2011

The bright, immaculate casitas located on the hill offered the most beautiful views of palm trees, gardens and Lake Arenal from the private deck. The breakfasts were delicious, nutritious and beautifully presented. We enjoyed watching the toucans and hearing the howler monkeys. The owners are attentive, pay attention to detail, and were most helpful. We would highly recommend this tranquil spot. We will go again.

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Gingerbread46
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 March 2011

From the moment you set your eyes on the grounds to the minute you step into your room, Villa De Cary's beauty captivates and frees your soul. There is something magical about this place. Suzy & Dan are the ultimate hosts, they extend themselves and their knowledge of the area to enhance your stay. We arrived with no agenda; they made arrangements for us to horseback ride, tour a private farm, take in the wonderful hot springs available in the area, and dine on local gourmet food! Breakfast is a special treat that sets the tone for the day. Whether you hike the grounds, enjoy the monkeys and the birds, or just digest the spectacular views your stay will be a memorable one. Can't wait to go back!

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank ridercheryl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Upper Marlboro, Maryland
Level Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed 10 March 2011

We turned up the driveway to Villa Decary after sunset, but it didn't dim our awe one bit upon viewing for the first time the extravagantly landscaped biosphere before us . The sounds of tree frogs peeping and popping were are first greeters, quickly followed by warm greetings from Suzy and Dan. We had arrived for our nine day stay at a most delightful Costa Rican rainforest B&B. Our party of four stayed two sharing a room in the B&B, and two in a cassita up the short hill from the B&B, so we got to experience all that Villa Decary had to offer in the way of dramatic lake views, sunsets, birdwatching, hiking about the property, and privacy for optional evening forays before and after dining at any of the nearby restaurants. This is a perfect location to lauch from for Swinging Bridges canopy tour at the Arenal Dam, several luxurious thermal spas along the road to Arenal Volcano, Eco Glide zip line on the Arenal volcano, and short walks to outstanding restaurants in either direction from Villa D. Villa D's breakfasts were always a treat to start the day. A super treat for all was Elkin's family farm tour and should not be missed for the up close and personal look at life on the farm, his mother's cooking talents and the entire family's hospitality. Personally, the discovery of the montezuma oreopendula's sound was the most awesome discovery, as were the diligence of the leaf cutter ants.
Lake Arenal is spectacular and quiet beyond any other lake experience, at the time of year we were there only a few kayakers were spotted, and one fishing boat used to tour tourists about. Put your vacation dreams in Suzy and Dan's hands and you won't regret it.

  • Stayed January 2011, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Maggie011650
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Villa Decary

Property: Villa Decary
Address: Mile East of Town 1 | Route 142, Nuevo Arenal 50807, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Nuevo Arenal
Amenities:
Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 12 B&Bs / Inns in Nuevo Arenal
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Lake Arenal's most beautiful hotel. Botanical garden and rain forest setting, spectacular views of Lake Arenal, the Tilaran Mountains and the rain forest. All accommodations have private entry, private hot water bathroom, private deck, orthopedic mattresses. Rates include scrumptious breakfasts, beautifully served. Casitas with full kitchens available. Monkeys, 140 species of birds. Peaceful, private, serene. Close to many activities: kayaking, fishing, hot springs, volcano, birding, canopy tours, windsurfing, horseback riding, nature walks and more. Great eateries nearby. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Villa Decary Hotel Nuevo Arenal
Villa Decary Costa Rica/Nuevo Arenal

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