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“Always top” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Villa Decary

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Villa Decary
Ranked #1 of 12 Nuevo Arenal B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Santo Domingo de Heredia, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Always top”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 29, 2014

We are repeat visitors, and will be back again for sure - Dan is his usual helpful and attentive self, and the breakfasts their usual top quality. Fruit is picture postcard perfect. Home cooked compotes and jams, pancakes, gorgeous omelettes, home baked breads served by Dan and Elkins, who was as charming as ever.

The accommodation is clean, private, with views to die for, and is well situated for the lake, Nuevo Arenal (so much better than La Fortuna), and yet still close enough for the drive to the thermal baths, horse riding, ziplining all on offer in and around La Fortuna.

And, don't forget to trek around the grounds, cross the river and through it's very own rainforest...botanists and bird watchers will be bewitched.

Don't miss out on staying at a really special location.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Paul B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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314 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    296
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler 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
Boston, Massachusetts
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 21, 2014

Very friendly staff, excellent environment, very comfortable rooms with a great view. Breakfasts were a treat to behold. Would love to go back. The owners were ready to talk about places to visit and how to go about it without making you feel like you were bothering them in the least. Was a family like atmosphere between staff and visitors.

Room Tip: A room with a view of the lake would be appreciated
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Neil D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Texas
Level Contributor
47 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 16, 2014

I'm always searching for something a little different when vacationing which Villa Decary met all my expectations. Since we were four adults (daughter and friend), we stayed in the Casa Latania which worked out perfectly. Dan offered to bring an extra mattress for the floor for our daughter. There was plenty of room in the "kitchen area" too for the extra bed. We didn't cook there, but the casita was very equipped for cooking with a full size refridgerator. Coffee, coffee filters, and milk was provided too which we did not encounter in other B&B's we had stayed in Costa Rica. The grounds of Villa Decary were beautiful and we were lucky to see toucans, hummingbirds, pendulums, crested guans, poison dart frogs. They also had laundry service which was a plus since we had been in the Caribbean area before which was hot and very humid. Everyone mentions the breakfasts in the reviews and I agree with all - the breakfasts were amazing and different and delicious. Elkin and his helper are serious about getting your day off to a wonderful start. Can't say enough about the fruit and different breakfast entrees. If you have time to do Elkin's tour - it was one of the best things we did during our 10 day stay in CR. We also did the ziplines at EcoGlide and enjoyed that experience as well. Finally, Suzy was most helpful about what to expect in CR from car rental, booking the side events, weather, etc. She was not there when we visited, but Dan followed suit once we were in CR. We changed our plans and hired a driver for the long distances, but arranged for a rental car while we were there. Dan was able, on short notice, to get us a 4X4 delivered and picked up at the hotel. He also arranged for the zipline and reservations at Gingerbread which I highly recommend. Nuevo Arenal is a short drive and had a nice grocery store and ATMs. We never got to experience any of the restaurants however. Our stay was too short. Villa Decary is about 45min-1hr from La Fortuna, so plan on a beautiful drive to get there.

Room Tip: The main building rooms have great views, but the Casitas are great for families. Be prepared to wa...
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank NJTTexas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nashville, Tennessee
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 16, 2014

The comfortable accommodations, beautiful grounds, magnificent views, wonderful food and excellent service would easily merit an excellent rating. But, Villa Decary deserves and excellent+++ rating because it also affords an authentic Costa Rica experience. Elkin's guided trail tour provided insights into the history and biodiversity of the region as he told stories of the many generations of his family who farmed the land around, and in some cases, now under Lake Arenal. The staff was most helpful in meeting every request and in providing information about area attractions and restaurants.

Room Tip: All rooms and casitas have excellent views.
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Mktgpro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 9, 2014

Our private deck looking out over the rainforest with swaying Brazilian palms and Lake Arenal below. Flocks of parrots, hummingbirds, Montezuma Ora Pendulums and their nests, and many other birds. A comfortable respite before a delicious breakfast of Tico food artfully arranged. Also the treat of a yoga class listening to the sounds of the forest including toucans. The sweetest savasana ever. Dan and his four-legged companion Olivia made us feel at home.

Room Tip: Ask for a balcony room.
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank sexiesadie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jupiter, Florida
Level Contributor
22 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 28, 2014

We had a fantastic time at the Villa Decary. The grounds are absolutely gorgeous with wonderful views of the lake with abundant and varied wildlife. The location is very convenient to town with its stores and restaurants. Our room was very spacious, bright and comfortable. Balcony overlooking the lake was a great place to birdwatch. The breakfasts were indescribably delicious and varied. If you get the opportunity, do not miss Elkin's tour of his family farm... It is much more memorable than commercial tours.

In short, great hosts, great location, great rooms and great breakfast. Do not miss!

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank GCook
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Louis, Missouri
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 16, 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, b...
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  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank PRjoey
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:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Nuevo Arenal
Amenities:
Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 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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