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Villa Decary
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Reviews (339)
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123 - 128 of 339 reviews
Reviewed 16 June 2014

Villa Decary has numerous virtues to recommend it. The paved road encircling much of Lake Arenal from Tilaran to the dam leading toward Fortuna does not have the attention or press allotted to the much more touristy area of hot-spring and volcano views just west of Fortuna but it has its own decided charms and strengths, not least of which is the non-touristy nature of this length of road -- a lovely, lake-view ambiance, and a number of excellent restaurants with their own great views that are highly individualized and different from the more generic restaurants catering primarily to tourists just passing through.
My wife and I spent 5 nights in the area, the first two at Villa Decary which was a high point of our 3 week trip throughout Costa Rica. We stayed in one of the least expensive rooms in the primary building and found both the room (with bath) and, most of all, the private terrace with wonderful view over the lake, and birds and bird sounds all around, an excellent, calming and invigorating experience. The villa's location along this stretch of road also seems perfect, with a number of fine restaurants and also the (non-) town of Nuevo Arena just a few kilometers away, making varied dining easily available.
However, as noted by many reviewers, the breakfasts offered as part of the basic price are themselves wonderful -- and in several way. They were easily the best we had any place in our 3 week stay -- excellent quality--tasty and freshly prepared, so abundant that they made lunch almost unnecessary, and varied both as to individual serving and as to the different type of breakfast offered each morning. More than simply excellent food, they typified what was perhaps the primary strength of the Villa -- its wonderfully attentive and helpful personnel -- which also, in a country that rightly prides itself on such attentive and winning service -- here, too, took the prize.
Suzy, who was out of the country during our stay, was incredibly helpful in repeated e-mails in sorting out anticipated concerns and providing information for the area as a whole, something her partner, Dan, continued upon our arrival. Not only was he continually available for any of our needs, but his suggestions for dining, for things to see and to avoid, and tips as to how to see them, invariably turned out to be "right on." Beyond that, there is a common refrigerator outside the main-building rooms that was usable for our own wine bottle and snack; his staff provided immediate and fine laundry service, delivered to our room; when a problem arose about my credit cards, Dan provided his own USA-linked phone to call -- free -- back to an 800 # in the States, and, as to the breakfasts, with the off-high season small number of occupants at the time, he was solicitous as to which of his varied breakfasts we would like. Finally, Suzy set up, before our coming, our attendance at a non-restaurant dinner for some 40 or so attendees, primarily of the "ex-pat" community, that afforded us both another chance at special food and a window into another aspect of Costa Rican life. I would like to emphasize that all of this was not simply a number of individual helpful services but of people, Dan, Suzy, and their primary helper, Elkin, who clearly take great delight in pleasing and helping out their guests, and with whom we, in turn, found it delightful to interact and converse. Our time at Villa Decary passed far too quickly.

Room Tip: We only viewed from outside the larger all-encompassing units in the back, necessary for a family, but our unit in the main building seemed to have as good, perhaps even better views, and easy access to the larger public room and terrace below. If there are rooms on the ground floor there, I'd certainly avoid them, and choose those on the 2nd floor, which affords the view!
  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank PRjoey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 May 2014

My wife and I spent only two nights at the Villa Decary in May while looking at possible retirement locations and we wished we had more time to spend there. Dan and his staff (or two) were wonderful hosts, not only in the marvelous breakfasts that they provided but in pointing us to the local expats who had lots of good information for retirement seekers, like us.

My wife wasn't feeling well when we arrived so they prepared a special breakfast for her.

Great food, great bird watching and a beautiful location and lake Arenal views. We'll be back for a longer stay next time.

Room Tip: Good lake and bird views from any room. We had an upper floor room in the main hotel with no complaints whatsoever.
  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank cmarston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 May 2014

After traveling for over a month in Nicaragua and Costa Rica, we cam through the Arenal area and stayed at Villa Decary. Dan was very helpful with our phone call/reservation and guided us to stay with our two kids in a cabin.
Upon arrival, you could see the hotel and property were well kept. The cabina was perfect for us and would be for many other travelers as well (not just families). Excellent furnishings, nice bathroom, cute kitchen area (bigger than "efficiency" size - just right for the space).
The porch looks out over Lake Arenal, the grounds have a great hiking trail, and the location, near Nuevo Arenal, it terrific.
Great place!

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
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Thank Carrboro64
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 April 2014

My wife and I traveled to Arenal and stayed at this hotel, as a lesbian couple, for our honeymoon. The view from our room was spectacular. We woke up every morning to singing of birds followed by a delicious breakfast. The owners, Suzie and Dan, are tremendously helpful. They even booked our activities for us and provided us with a map of the area. The bed and breakfast has a nice trail on the property to hike. We even took their dog, Oliva, with us on the hike. The rooms are very clean and spacious. I would highly recommend this place for any couple wanting a romantic getaway.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Arian C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 April 2014

There are so many reasons why this was our favorite stay in Costa Rica: The views - gorgeous sunsets, with lake and mountain backdrop. The vegetation - well maintained and lush. The birds - lots of them! The Zombia-Studio Bungalow we rented was very clean, nicely decorated and comfortable. The owners - Suzy and Dan were extremely helpful. Their food and entertainment suggestions were right on! Thanks to them our visit to Lake Arenal was absolutely fantastic! We look forward to a repeat visit!

Room Tip: We recommend the zombia - studio or casita's.
  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
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Thank BonnieWZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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