This is a long overdue missive as our vacation was last June 7- 16th but when we reminisce about our trip, one of the highlights was our 1 nt stay at Villa Decary. Before we even arrived, Suzy reached out to us via email to warn that there had been a storm the week prior and the road was temporarily washed out. It was very thoughtful and considerate of her to make us aware of the situation. This turned into a bit of correspondence as it was our first trip to Costa Rica and I found Suzy to be very willing and able to take the time to email answers to all my quirky questions. I felt like I knew her even before I got there.
The night we stayed happened to be a quiet week and we loved the solitude of having the place all to ourselves. As it was around 4p ish, we had some time before dinner to rest and explore the beautiful grounds. We took the short path to the brook as we didn't want to go far but I understood from the innkeepers that there were more adventurous trails one could take. It was enough for us just to admire the towering palm trees on the property and the truly exotic one-of-a-kind fauna that surrounded us, not to mention the incredible bird species. For any bird lovers or botanists out there - this is THE place to stay.
What attracted us to choose Villa Decary over other nearby inns was the down-to-Earth simplicity. We loved the spare furnishings to our room and the authentic local artwork on the walls. It allowed us to focus on the stunning view of the lake and all the birds flying back and forth on the tree branches just feet from our porch.
By the same token, the innkeepers are Americans who invested in top quality window screens so we were able to fall asleep that night with the windows open to the breeze without worrying about critters and mosquitos getting in. What's more, other details, like the bathroom towels which were plush and soft and the delicious breakfast combined to make us feel completely comfortable.
It's important to mention that what makes this a must stay in our view, is the neighboring restaurant a couple of yards up the road. We had a truly memorable meal there. Make sure to make a reservation even when it's the off season; not because they are busy necessarily but because the food is prepared specifically for you so if they know you are coming in advance, you will have an outstanding dinner instead of what might be just an ordinary one.
On our next trip to Costa Rica, we will definitely be back for a two night stay. I don't think it's a week-long type of place, at least for us, but for those who have plenty of vacation time or just want to really explore this region it could be. In that case, I'd choose one of the separate cottage units w/ the kitchenettes.
I can't think of anything to critique. Breakfast was truly superb as we had hoped and we loved chatting with our hosts while we ate. The only thing I would venture to mention is that as NYers, I suppose we could of used with a bit more time to eat quietly on our own. I think if there had been other guests around our innkeepers would have been been busy attending to them and that would have been a nice balance of interaction during the meal. As an extrovert, I didn't even notice but my husband who is in the restaurant business felt that it was a bit too much while he was trying to eat.
Bottomline Villa DeCary is exceptional and won't disappoint.
- 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