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“Wonderful experience” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Chalet Nicholas

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Chalet Nicholas
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Rte 142 | 2 km. west of Nuevo Arenal, Nuevo Arenal 5717, Costa Rica   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #5 of 11 Nuevo Arenal B&B and Inns
Florida
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“Wonderful experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 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, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
chaletnicholas, Owner at Chalet Nicholas, responded to this review, April 24, 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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89 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (15)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Chicago
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 19, 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, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
chaletnicholas, Owner at Chalet Nicholas, responded to this review, April 24, 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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Walpole, Massachusetts
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2012

March 2012

We had such a wonderful stay at Chalet Nicholas and only wished that we were there longer. We loved every bit of our stay swith you from your dogs, to the birds, the delicious breakfasts you cooked and, of course, all of John's jokes! We usually fill our days with activities while in Costa Rica but we found ourselves wanting to spend our time hanging around the front porch listening to you. We learned so much from you. Your home is warm and inviting. Lucas is a gem and we not only enjoyed our wonderful ride with him but we loved his flower arrangements. He is a man of many skills! We LOVED Nuevo Arenal and we could so see us making a life for ourselves there. We have not stopped talking about you, Nuevo Arenal or Costa Rica since we left. Until we meet again my friends, stay well,.

Joe, Linda and Lauren K.
Massachusetts

Room Tip: Loft rooms are based upon an "open plan" design and accessed by a spiral staircase.
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
chaletnicholas, Owner at Chalet Nicholas, responded to this review, April 24, 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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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint John, Canada
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2012

Highlights of my recent Costa Rican vacation? ... most definitely they include my week-long stay with John and Catherine at Chateau Nicholas! Despite initial trepidations about staying with strangers in their home (first experience at a B&B), I felt like I was with family the moment I walked through the door and met the Nicholas's and their Great Danes. The Chalet Nicholas location is absolutely gorgeous, the accommodations A+ and the breakfasts are outstanding (especially Catherine's Macadamia Pancakes). The beautiful, tropical setting of Chalet Nicholas is a magnet for all kinds of birds ... the Toucans ate right from my hand!! John & Catherine went out of their way to make me & their other guests comfortable and welcome. When my sister-in-law needed a dentist on a Saturday morning, Catherine phoned for an appointment and John helped her get there. I saw a lot of Costa Rica during our two-week vacation. It's a beautiful and diverse country. The Lake Arenal area has much to offer and I highly recommend Chalet Nicholas as a home away from home!

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
chaletnicholas, Owner at Chalet Nicholas, responded to this review, April 24, 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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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 13, 2012

Beautiful place, friendly charming and generous hosts, sweet dogs, awesome breakfasts every morning ... what more can I say? Oh yes -- gorgeous weather! We stayed 3 nights and it was the perfect way to start our week in Costa Rica. We saw more birds there than anywhere else, even fed the toucans, what a hoot! And hiking with John and the dogs was wonderful. After our stay at Chalet Nicholas we were talking about retiring in Costa Rica ourselves!

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
chaletnicholas, Owner at Chalet Nicholas, responded to this review, April 24, 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
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Peninsula, Ohio
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 15, 2012

John and Catherine were fabulous hosts, we stayed 4 nights in mid Jan 2012 and will definitely will come back. There are so many things to do in the area, 4 nights was not nearly enough.

It's location is wonderful, 5-10 minutes to Nuevo Arenal, maybe 45 min to La Fortuna.
The house itself is quite cozy, with separate quarters for the 5 wonderful great danes , who made the stay comforting, as we had missed our own dogs at home.

John was nice enough to sit with me in the ICE (national phone service) office to try and help me with the translation to get a SIM card for our cell phone.

All their recommendations were spot on...Moyas place in Nuevo Arenal...truly wonderful food, we went there twice out of 3 nights, he sent us to a macadamia farm near town where we picked up some great gifts to take home, also we took a leisurely rafting trip , and saw many animals we wouldn't have seen if we hadn't

and everything else the other reviewers have said is so true about the beauty of the grounds, abundant birds and wildlife, fabulous breakfasts...i could go on, and on...

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
chaletnicholas, Owner at Chalet Nicholas, responded to this review, April 24, 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
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2012

Cathy and John are exceptional hosts. Cathy's pancakes surpassed the standard set by previous reviewers. Our hike with John and his five Great Danes was unforgettable. We left with seven new friends!

  • Stayed January 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
chaletnicholas, Owner at Chalet Nicholas, responded to this review, April 24, 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
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Chalet Nicholas

Address: Rte 142 | 2 km. west of Nuevo Arenal, Nuevo Arenal 5717, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Alajuela > Nuevo Arenal
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 11 B&Bs / Inns in Nuevo Arenal
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
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 Frommer's Guide to Costa Rica, Fodor's, 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 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. Beautiful Tropical Gardens, Spectacular birding. 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. Comfortable beds with orthopedic mattresses, private baths, and plenty of hot water. COME AS STRANGERS, LEAVE AS FRIENDS. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Chalet Nicholas Costa Rica/Nuevo Arenal

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