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“Bird lovers paradise”
Review of Chalet Nicholas

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Chalet Nicholas
Ranked #7 of 13 Nuevo Arenal B&B and Inns
Reviewed 19 December 2012

I recently stayed at Chalet Nicholas for the second time. Liked it so much the first time I had to come back. It's a wonderful, warm homey place. We stayed in the upstairs bedroom with two double beds and a bathroom upstairs and downstairs! Love waking up in the morning, getting a big mug of Costa Rican coffee and sitting outside and watching all the amazing birds eating the tropical fruit. We were always joined by their beautiful friendly Great Danes. Owners John and Catherine are very knowledgable about the area. Catherine is also a realtor and showed us some properties- as we'd like to have our own little piece of paradise there. Breakfasts were huge and delicious - especially the fruit juices and macadamia nut pancakes. We'll be back!

Room Tip: The loft room is the most spacious and has a nice view.
  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled with family
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2  Thank June C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
chaletnicholas, Owner at Chalet Nicholas, responded to this reviewResponded 23 December 2012

Thank you so much for the wonderful review. We really appreciate this and loved your visit. It's such a good life here and we love sharing it with new friends. Merry Christmas...Cathy and John

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Reviews (106)
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36 - 42 of 106 reviews

Reviewed 14 September 2012

We highly recommend Chalet Nicholas.

We are a couple in our 30s/40s. We planned to spend 4 days at this B&B in early September, but ended up spending 10 days there. John and Cathy Nicholas (owners and residents of Costa Rica for 20+ years) were very hospitable and helpful, and made us feel almost that we were family. We also enjoyed meeting their close friend Lucas, a local Costa Rican landowner/investor who helps run the town government.

Chalet Nicholas is a great base for doing tourism around the Arenal lake/volcano area, and for checking out real estate. An increasing number of expats have retirement/vacation homes here, and Cathy Nicholas knows everything about the local market.

We liked just being on the 15-acre property: watching the various and amazing birds at their feeders (wait till you hear the Oropendola in the morning); walking in the rainforest behind the house with John and his three Great Danes (Muki, Maya, MacGyver); enjoying long, luxuriant breakfasts made by Cathy; passing many hours chatting with the Nicholases about Costa Rican flora, fauna and history; and gazing at the lake below.

Our room (Lake View room) was comfortable and airy. The breakfasts kept us going all day. The water from the tap in that part of the lake area is mountain spring water, as good as it gets. The large house has a very pleasant, homelike atmosphere. Noise at night was minimal and it was the good kind of noise – birds and cicadas in the forest, and the gentle rushing of a small river that runs through the property, draining from Lake Cote into Lake Arenal. Sometimes in the mornings we heard distant howler monkeys as we were getting up. There are several good restaurants within a short (5-minute) drive. If you come without a car, you can take a local taxi into Nuevo Arenal for $4 each way.

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Wanderers-2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
chaletnicholas, Owner at Chalet Nicholas, responded to this reviewResponded 29 September 2012

Thank you for the wonderful review. Hope you can return one day. Cathy land John

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Reviewed 14 August 2012

We spent 10 days in Costa Rica and 4 nights were at Chalet Nicholas. It was a great time there. John and Catherine (owners), Lucas (Tico worker), Mucky, Maya and McGiver (3 Great Danes) make you feel at home. Every morning Catherine and Lucas prepared a delicius breakfast for us (fresh juices and music included) and John invited us to go for a walk in their private gardens. The gardens are huge and in the middle of the jungle. Ii is amazing. The place is quiet, clean and well located. Dry towels every day, parking, wifi and the feeling that you are at home. Really nice.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank 482Eva482
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
chaletnicholas, Owner at Chalet Nicholas, responded to this reviewResponded 29 September 2012

Thank you for the wonderful review. Hope you can return one day. Cathy land John

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Reviewed 10 July 2012

First time to Costa Rica and John and Cathy were fantastic. I loved learning the different fruits, plants and birds of the area from John and Cathy. Very inviting and cozy. Pancakes and fresh juice are amazing!!! Thank you for making our first experience a great one! I hope to return one day. Give the pups big hugs from us!! Thank you again for welcoming us into your home.

Room Tip: It added a pool and there is not one. Sorry but I did not want to take to terrible.
  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank Jujubean78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
chaletnicholas, Owner at Chalet Nicholas, responded to this reviewResponded 29 September 2012

Thank you for the wonderful review. Hope you can return one day. Cathy and John

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Reviewed 13 June 2012

This was our first B&B expereince. Travelling away from US, it was nice to get sound advice and care that one would be grateful for. The rooms were clean and the breakfast was great. Both Kathy and John are very caring individuals. Keep in mind that most of the attractions are in the La Fortuna area. So, it is about a 40min drive each way to visit the attractions. However, the pain of 2 hours of driving every day faded when compared to hospitality of the hosts.. Great Experience!

  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank campbell95008
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
chaletnicholas, Owner at Chalet Nicholas, responded to this reviewResponded 29 September 2012

Thank you for the wonderful review. Hope you can return one day. Cathy and John

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Reviewed 22 April 2012

We spent three days here before Easter with our 16yo daughter. Costa Rica is beautiful and compact although the roads are slow. This is a wonderful Bed and Breakfast in a great location. The owners Catherine and John are very friendly and full of local knowledge. The accomodations are homelike, the gardens are fantastic as is the Rain Forest out the back gate. The area is a mix of agriculture, forest and small towns as well as the large lake. All kinds of beautiful birds, many of which are quite tame and come to eat bananas. Five friendly well behaved Great Danes add to the ambiance. When it is clear you can see the volcano.
Very nearby are several nice local restaurants. There are a lot of tourists and foreigners in the area so many people speak at least some English.
We could have easily spent a week here and not gotten bored or run out of things to do. As it was we zip lined, went white water rafting, and sightseeing. Most attractions were no more than an hour drive a way and you are about 2 hours from Liberia Airport which is modern and easy.

Yes, the breakfast is awesome and filling so we didn't have to have much lunch. The local fruits and juices are amazing.

The owners have their own section of the house, and the guests share a living room kitchen area. the downstairs bedrooms are nice and standard with their own baths. The loft is roomy, but a little less private with a half bath upstairs and a full bath down. It would be best for a couple with children or 2 or 3 persons traveling together. In the end most of the time at the Chalet was spent in a rocker on the wonderful covered porch.

Not really any negatives, you are in the jungle so there are always a few critters, you probably should have a car, more of an early get up and go place than a stay up late place. They have WiFi and the phones work. Pro or con?

Highly recommended!

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with family
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Thank RanDeb16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
chaletnicholas, Owner at Chalet Nicholas, responded to this reviewResponded 24 April 2012

Thank you for your wonderful review. It was a pleasure meeting you and we hope you can return,
Pura Vida.........John, Cathy, Lucas and the 5 great danes: Minnie, Marty, Mukki, Maya and MacGiver

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Reviewed 19 April 2012

We spent 6 nights at Chalet Nicholas. We regretted leaving. John and Cathy were gracious hosts. The breakfasts (Omelets, fresh fruit and juice) were delicious!
Trust their advice regarding restaurants and activities. Go with John and the dogs for a hike. So many different types of birds. A common question from family was “Did you drink the water and eat the local food?” YES to both. Artesian water, and local food was spectacular. Our 2nd day at Chalet Nicholas we had a medical emergency. Lisa had a kidney stone. We followed John and Lucas to the Clinic (5 minutes away) in Arenal. The clinic received us right away and gave prompt medical attention. IV drugs were administered and Lisa recovered. John stayed with us the whole time! 4 hours later we were on a hike. I could write page after page about the dogs. Each morning while we sat outside drinking our coffee their 5 beautiful Great Danes kept us company. In the evening, we sat and watched the dogs play together. What a great life changing experience. WE WILL BE BACK!!

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with family
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Thank Michael W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
chaletnicholas, Owner at Chalet Nicholas, responded to this reviewResponded 24 April 2012

Thank you for your wonderful review. It was a pleasure meeting you and we hope you can return,
Pura Vida.........John, Cathy, Lucas and the 5 great danes: Minnie, Marty, Mukki, Maya and MacGiver

Waiting for the suprise package! will advise when it come........woof,woof , lick, lick..........

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Additional Information about Chalet Nicholas

Address: Rte 142 | 2km west of Nuevo Arenal, Nuevo Arenal 50807, Costa Rica
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Nuevo Arenal
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 13 B&Bs / Inns in Nuevo Arenal
Price Range: £46 - £55 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Chalet Nicholas 3*
Number of rooms: 3
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Chalet Nicholas, a non-smokers only establishment, is currently recommended by many guide books, including Fodor's, Frommer's Guide to Costa Rica, National Geographic and the Lonely Planet. In addition, Chalet Nicholas was given a rare ecology award for sustainable tourism by The New Key to Costa Rica, and is a member of the Costa Rican Bed and Breakfast Association. Founded 1992 at Lake Arenal with Beautiful Tropical Gardens and Spectacular birding. The chalet has a front yard view of the lake, side view of Volcano Arenal, and back yard hiking trail in the protected rain forest with visiting howler monkeys often heard from the house and seen on hiking tours. John takes guests on a Free Guided one-hour Hike right out of the back yard in an old growth rainforest down to a jungle river with the great danes - everybody appreciates this Cathy and John can recommend any extra fun activities like hot springs, horseback, wind surfing, kayaking, canopy tours, and delicious meals at local restaurants which are all nearby. Directions will be provided. As a bonus, it has comfortable beds with orthopedic mattresses, private baths, and plenty of hot water and towels. Many of the guests said this was their favorite place to stay during their trip. COME AS STRANGERS, LEAVE AS FRIENDS. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Chalet Nicholas Costa Rica/Nuevo Arenal

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