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“Surreal views and tranquility”
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Villa I New Patio Seating taken 4/20/2014
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Villa I New Patio Seating taken 4/20/2014
View from the Casa Blanca Entrance Gate
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Excellent
114 reviews
Villa I New Patio Seating taken 4/20/2014
View from the Casa Blanca
Entrance Gate
Entrance Gate
Villa I Courtyard
Villa I Front Door Entrance
Villa I Living Room
Villa I Living Room
Villa I Living Room
Villa I Living Room and Dining
Villa I Living Room
Villa I Living Room
Villa I Kitchen and Dining
Villa I Dining Room
Villa I Kitchen and Dining
Villa I Kitchen
Villa I Kitchen
Villa I Master
Villa I Master
Villa I Master
Villa I Master Bath
Villa I Guest Room
Villa I Guest Room
Villa I Guest Room
Villa I Guest Bath
Villa I The New Deck Completed 1/1/2014
Villa II Patio
Villa II Living
Villa II Living and Dining
Villa II Living
Villa II Master
Villa II Master Bath
Villa II Guest Room
Villa II Living Room
Villa II Picnic Area
Villa II View
Jr Villa
Jr Villa Front Porch and Patio
Outdoor BBQ Area and Jr Villa
Jr Villa Front Porch
View from Staircase down to Jr Villa level
Jr Villa Foyer
Jr Villa Living Room
Jr Villa Master and Bath
Jr Villa Living and Kitchen
Jr Villa Eat In Kitchen
Jr Villa Kitchen
Villa I New Entry Gate taken 4/20/2014
Villa I New Viewing Deck taken 4/20/2014
Active Arenal Volcano
View from Casa Blanca
Rio Celeste about a 1 hour drive from the house
Fishing on the Lake
White Water Rafting about 45 min drive from the house
Sunset at Villa II
Deck looking down onto Villa II
Deck Area
Deck Area
Deck and Jacuzzi Area
View from Villa I Patio
Jacuzzi Deck Area off Villa I and Jr Villa
View from Villa I Patio
Jacuzzi off Villa I and Jr Villa
Jacuzzi off Villa I and Jr Villa
Jacuzzi off Villa I and Jr Villa
Deck Lounge Area
Jacuzzi off Villa I and Jr Villa
Jacuzzi off Villa I and Jr Villa
Planter off of Villa I
Outdoor Shower Near Jacuzzi
Outdoor Bar
Outdoor Shower near Jacuzzi
Planter off Villa I Patio
Walkway Between Villa I and Villa II
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Overview
Rental Home -
5 Bedrooms, 5 Bathrooms, Sleeps 12
Nuevo Arenal, Province of Guanacaste

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Excellent - based on 114 reviews
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Reviews from our community

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Michael B
1 review
“Surreal views and tranquility”
Reviewed December 5, 2014 for a stay in November 2014

My wife and I took our 4 children to Costa Rica for Thanksgiving holiday to enjoy the warmth and abundant local activities. What we didn't expect is the phenomenal views, comfort, and amenities that Casa Blanca has to offer. The 180 degree views of Lake Arenal are spectacular from the back yard. Sunsets are every color of the rainbow and then some. Awoke each morning to the pleasant sounds of parrots and other native birds. We rented both the main house the the jr villa for our group of 6 and everyone was comfortable, had room to spread out, separate TV viewing in the evenings (important with 4 children) separate kitchens, etc... The layout of the property is PERFECT for larger families and groups. Michele and Marc are wonderful hosts, very responsive to our inquiries before and during the vacation. Tyler their property manager is first rate and make booking our area tours very easy and accomodative. We zip lined, did the rain forest / hanging bridge tour, water all hike, horseback riding, Baldi hot springs, etc..... Tyler booked it all and we simply showed up without any hassles. Our only disappointment was the short time we got to spend at Casa Blanca and the surrounding Lake Arenal area. The houses are perfect, views unbelievable, locals are friendly and a place we're already looking forward to booking again. The walk from Casa Blanca to the GinderBread restaurant is a short 5 minute stroll down a paved driveway through a beautiful rain forest. We had dinner on Thanksgiving evening at Ginger Bread and Eyal (chef) made us a wonderful feast that we're still talking about and will be for time to come. Eyal and his staff are wonderful people so don't miss this place when you visit. Great local / fresh food and a great wine list and the Boca Negra and Bread Pudding desserts are beyond decadent. Make a reservation in advance as this place is highly desirable.

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Liked best: The views
Traveling group: Extended Family
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Older travelers
Families with young children Large groups
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
  • Was your security deposit returned on time?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Heather C
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Very beautiful glad we had a few days there”
Reviewed November 3, 2014 for a stay in October 2014
1
person found this review helpful

I say that because it does take some getting used to the location and drive. ..only like a day but i wouldn't stay therefor only one night. You won't really get to appreciate it. There are a few bugs but really not many nothing to be concerned with. I slept with the net on the first night not the other 4:). Just do your dishes and don't leave food out and you'll be fine. Tyler was helpful to help us find a great restaurant and a hike we wouldn't have otherwise known. Another reviewer mentioned he seemed in a hurry, i guess i could see how you might feel that way at first but really he will answer any call and tell you how to get anywhere even if it's five times you ask :). His directions are spot on but i advise writing them down so you do not second guess yourselves or have to call him back a bunch of times like we did we couldn't seem to hold on to our pen and paper! He talks a bit fast but that doesn't mean he is in a hurry or doesn't want to help you. I imagine he just had a lot to do. So do not listen to that person. :)
I booked in early June or July and Marc was helpful. He told me where to book to save a few extra bucks and that was nice. It is a bit father than you might expect but that is part of the beauty of it. I stayed 5 maybe 4... nights. Which gave me and my boyfriend a chance to get used to the drive and used to the area. If you have something booked in fortuna give yourself time (hour at least) to get there and find where you are going and it depends how you drive. It is a bit intimidating at first but you get used to it or just drive slow no matter who is riding your butt :) they'll get over it. I had one day where i didn't schedule anything and we went down to the lake and hung out and swam. We were the only ones there. So awesome. Rent a car you can get one in la fortuna which is what we ended up doing and didn't regret it. Go up to nuevo arenal if you can. .. i know we were in low season but it was not crowded or flooded with tourists and you can eat and hang for a reasonable price. Gingerbread is delicious! Listen to them when they tell you their portions are big! Probably have more to say but cannot think of it now. Marc emailed me a couple of times to make sure i had everything i needed. I was too busy to see the emails until i was back home :) ok that's all for now happy to answer any questions.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alternavi...
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Perfecto Pura Vida!”
Reviewed September 15, 2014 for a stay in September 2014

This is the second time we have stayed at Marc and Michelle's wonderful casa Blanca.
This time we stayed at Villa #2 (Marc's Mom's house and we really felt like family. Everything and anything we could want or need was already there and the area is breath taking. Marc is constantly working on making the complex even better and the hot tub/outside party area was almost complete when we are there.
We will return to Casa Blanca every time that we can. It is truly magical.
Note; if you are looking for Disneyland Costa Rica then this place and this area is not for you. This Oasis is IN THE MOUNTAINS OF THE RAIN FOREST. There will be rain and hills and some of the roads are gravel and worse. So if that's not what you’re into then you would probably not appreciate this area. Another note, I was surprised at a review that said there were lots of bugs. We have always marveled at being able to leave all the windows and patio doors open at night, without screens, and we are never bothered by flying bugs. The pythons may come in a eat you but flying bugs...no.

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
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Liked best: Waking up early in the morning and sitting on the porch outside with a Costa Rican coffeeand watching the sun come up over Arenal.
Liked least: leaving
Traveling group: Friends
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Families with young children
Large groups
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
  • Was your security deposit returned on time?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CuriousCC
Fullerton, CA
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Undeniable beautiful property, lacking in other areas”
Reviewed August 22, 2014 for a stay in August 2014
1
person found this review helpful

I will preface this review by saying that I've stayed at rental properties in places like Las Vegas and so those experiences are more along the lines of what I expected in this rental. However, after this stay, if I am ever fortunate enough to return to CR I would not stay at a rental as it felt like we were semi camping in a very nice cabin. A hotel or bed and breakfast maybe is what my party would prefer. We stayed 8/1/14 - 8/3/14.

First off, the drive to the property is super windy and has lots of hills (similar to driving up to Big Bear) so if you enjoy and are good at that type of drive, you will like this place. When we drove out there it was raining a bit (which made it extra fun) and once we got to the bottom of 'The Gingerbread' the road was high and steep. At first it was pretty scary trying to maneuver our way up to the 2 villa's but after a few drives it got a little easier (although it was always a bit stressful as the road up there is partially uneven and rocky; nighttime is way worse as it is pretty dark).

We arrived at the property and were semi greeted by Ty. By semi, I mean he was standing there and seemed like he was in a hurry to leave. I introduced myself and shook his hand as he didn't seem interested to do so (which I thought was unprofessional - we were greeted very warmly at the 2 other spots we stayed at) and he quickly showed us the home. Since we rented 2 villas we were all excited about seeing the second villa and he pretty matter-of-factly said 'it's exactly the same as this villa'. A little history, when we booked with Marc (who was very helpful) the information said Ty was the property manager and to contact him with any questions. I asked him a few questions and I had to follow up with Marc to get a response. I don't expect hugs when being greeted but certainly we are paying customers and a common courtesy is appreciated.

Our 5 minute tour of villa 1 included turning on/off the alarm. He also did give us a few names of some restaurants which were helpful and we did end up going to one of his recommendations (Rancho Tinajas Arenal). We would have appreciated learning how to use the remote for the TV, as it is a 'Roku' system and we were not familiar with it and did not realize this until later in the evening when we were finally settling in, as we had been out and about during the daytime. Ty helped us out here as well; I called him and he walked me through how to use it. The solution was to take the batteries out of the remote and put them back in, as the remote was not working. New batteries would probably have been helpful. Actually, there were several details that could have used improvement:
-The "office" room looks like a storage room with miscellaneous items thrown in; fortunately the home has a beautiful view that will distract from that
-the enclosed room smelled like mildew and we could not sleep in it. When my mom mentioned this to me, I thought she was just being picky and I sprayed some Febreeze I had brought. I checked the room 30 minutes later and it was back to smelled like mildew. It was so bad we had our mom sleep with my sister and myself in one bed in the open room. I didn't mention it prior to us checking out because I didn't think there was anything that could be done to fix that stench. When checking out Ty asked how our stay was and I expressed to him we were a bit disappointed in this and he said he was surprised because no one had ever mentioned that and in fact, a family with kids had just stayed there for a month and had no issues. After telling Ty about this I expected Marc to follow up and ask for more information so they could fix the room for future guests or apologize for the inconvenience but that was not the case.
-The open room had net drapes to keep the bugs from attacking you as you sleep; however, they were dusty and did not smell clean, plus had dead bugs tangled in them
-There were a TON of bugs! I know it's CR and some bugs are expected but there were just a lot here in comparison to the other 2 places we stayed at (hotels in Liberia and Playa del Coco) I had set my purse on the dining table and next thing I knew, it was filled with tiny ants that I hadn't noticed earlier because they blended in with the color of the table. **Beware - if you have any food items (including dry foods like cereal, snacks, etc), immediately place them in the refrigerator as soon as your arrive! I would not recommend leaving ANY food item out!
-Soap dispensers in bathrooms did not work. While they were cute dispensers, we had to use the soap in the kitchen sink
-Note there is no AC or if there was we were not aware of it but there are several ceiling fans.

Although Ty said Villa 1 had the best view and was rented more often, we actually thought Villa 2 was better as they had the washer/dryer machines and we could have used those to wash the blankets that also smelled musty (our relatives ended up washing their blankets).

The property description had said there was fruit available for guests, which my mom was super excited about. Turns out there were only oranges and I won't blame Ty or Marc for this but they were super sour. All I'm saying is no one should get excited about enjoying the fruit on the property.

One major safety concern for us was that while there was an alarm, unlike here in the US where the police responds to check if all is okay, no one really checks there. I don't exactly expect the police to respond in CR, however Ty told us that the alarm would alert him if anything set it off. So the first night we were there we had gone out for dinner and when we returned one of the doors was wide open. It scared us because it was just 3 females in this villa and we were not familiar with the area and concerned someone may have broken in. Because our cell phones did not work out there, we had to go inside to call Ty and ask about the alarm (we called from Villa 2 where our relatives were staying). He very casually said the alarm for both villa's we rented had gone off, and when I asked him if he had checked he properties, he said no, that this always happened to guests their first day and asked me if everything was there. We finally got the courage to go inside and check to make sure all was secure and it thankfully was. Now I don't expect that our safety should be the problem of Ty or Marc, however safety is an important factor for us and I mention this for others who may think about that as well. Realize that this property is high up in the middle of what seems nowhere. At night you will get to hear the sounds of whatever creatures live in that area (i.e. - we heard something that sounded like loud geese, and also something that would tap on the windows - kind of creepy in the beginning until you get used to it!) It rained pretty hard when we were we could definitely hear the pouring rain pounding on the house!

Not all was bad. The villas themselves are actually very beautiful. The view of the lake is absolutely amazing. Definitely make sure you spray yourself with lots of bug spray prior to hanging out outside, however. Otherwise, expect to be bitten by mosquito's!! The restaurant Ty recommended was very good and nearby, plus reasonably priced. Marc seemed friendly and was easy to work with. This place is somewhat close to La Fortuna waterfalls and that drive was somewhat easier. Another plus, good WIFI was provided. The couch in Villa 1 is pretty comfortable. Towels smelled clean and there were a ton in the cabinet. For us, 2 nights was more than enough and we were very ready to move on to our next destination!

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Liked best: The beautiful view of the lake
Liked least: Mildew smell in bedroom and lack of clean sheets/bed; tons of bugs
Traveling group: Extended Family
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   No.
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management Response
Oct 31, 2014
Wow after 34 Five Star Reviews??? The driveway up to Casa Blanca is undoubtedly one of the best paved driveways I've been on in the country? The miscellaneous cleaning items in the office has been addressed and I have to believe Tyler was having a bad day since we have had nothing but rave reviews of him and his help with our guests!! I'm still a bit speechless and we are always available to make sure our guests are more than happy and enjoy our property to the fullest!! Thanks, Marc
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
lucerotcb
Fresno, California
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Truly a”
Reviewed July 29, 2014 for a stay in July 2014

We stayed at Casablanca for the entire month of July. We definitely chose the best place, with the best views, in the best location. The villas and junior villa are incredible rentals. We would wake up to the most beautiful vistas every morning and enjoy truly amazing sunsets in the evening. Either on the property, in the backyard, or less than 100 yards from the villas we saw toucans (a variety of colors), howler monkeys, poison dart frogs, fireflies, and much more. We could sit on the back patio and just watch the birds every day. The beds are comfortable and the kitchen comes with everything but the food you eat. We reserved this property in December of 2013 and Marc was very attentive and responsive to all our questions and concerns prior to arrival in late June. Ty Madill is the property manager and he helped out whenever we needed it. Whether we needed more propane for the oven or assistance booking a tour he made sure we were taken care of. Casablanca has security alarms on all the villas but we never felt like we needed them. My wife and I and our two younger children stayed in Villa I, while my 16-year-old and his 16-year-old friend stayed in the Junior Villa. It was perfect. It rains a lot in this area of Costa Rica. July is the green season and before arriving I was a bit concerned about this, but the rain was gorgeous. I have never heard thunder or seen rainfall like we had in Nuevo Arenal......and I loved it. It had absolutely NO factor on our expeditions and tours and going out. We ziplined, and hiked hanging bridges, and went river rafting and hiked the arenal volcano and did many other things, and none of them were affected by the rain, even if it was raining. I was also concerned about the climate. I thought it might be hot, (after all it is a muggy rainforest) but the temperature is perfect. There is no AC in the villas and there is no need for it. There are ceiling fans which is sufficient. The only time it was hot the entire month is when we traveled to the coast for a few days.

Nuevo Arenal is a quaint little mountain town. Staying here a month, we were able to meet many good people and eat some tasty food. If you are on a budget but want to pick up some quick empanadas or chalupas or sandwiches, there is a soda on the main street called Soda Pilos. Cheap and tasty with wonderful owners. If you want a nice place to sit down with great ambiance, wonderful owners/hostesses and some of the best food I ate in Costa Rica, go to Tinajas out by the edge of the lake. If you want a very nice dinner but a little more pricey, at the bottom of the hill is the Gingerbread. Again, amazing food and atmosphere.

Bring some mosquito repellant even though the mosquitos are not terrible (I thought they might be because we are in the rain forest after all) but when we went down to the lake to fish or out on hikes, it was good to have and it is quite expensive in Costa Rica.

Finally, I remember looking at the photos of Casablanca and the property prior to our arrival and thinking "is this place going to be as good as advertised." The answer is YES! It is just like the photos. It is beautiful and peaceful and incredible. Thanks Marc for a wonderful rental for our summer vacation.

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Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
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Traveling group: Teenagers
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Older travelers
Families with young children Large groups
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tim and A...
Portimao, Portugal
Level 5 Contributor
42 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Wonderful Property - Great Management”
Reviewed July 23, 2014 for a stay in July 2014

We recently returned from Costa Rica and stayed at Casa Blanca for five nights. From our first contact with the owners the response was positive and very responsive. We received excellent and helpful information ahead of time.Ty, the property manager met us at Villa II and gave us a thorough tour of the house and facilities. Throughout our stay he was always available for questions or to provide local advice and tips.

The house itself was very clean and exceeded our expectations. It was well maintained and well stocked with everything we needed. The view from the villa was gorgeous and we spent a lot of time relaxing on the patio and enjoying the variety of birds that frequented the property. We spotted over 40 species just from the patio and the yard. The views from the patio across the lake are spectacular. We were only two people but the house has plenty of room for another couple or a family. The design was very much to our liking with plenty of light and it allowed the breezes to flow through nicely.

The Neuvo Arenal area is friendly and the town has two well stocked supermarkets, a bank, pharmacy and several restaurants. You can get fresh fruit and veggies every day from a local vendor at very reasonable prices. Temperatures are pleasant and the rain didn't last long when it came through. Be prepared to be startled if you haven't experienced a heavy downpour in the middle of the night on a metal roof. The Gingerbread House restaurant at the base of the hill is excellent and we can see why it is top-rated.

You will likely have a car if you're going through this area and it is a great area to explore. We did one day trip to the Arenal area but other than that we remained close by. You can walk into town but it is about a 15-20 minute walk although taxis are cheap if you're carrying a load.

All in all this is a wonderful property and the it looks every bit as good in reality as it does on the website. Clean, well-appointed and well managed - a great spot to relax and enjoy a less hectic area of Costa Rica. Pura Vida!

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
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Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
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Liked best: The design and layout of the house and the view.
Liked least: We had to leave.
Traveling group: Spouse/Partner
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
People with disabilities Older travelers
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Reviewed June 17, 2014 for a stay in May 2014

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Service
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Older travelers
Families with young children
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveler and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
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