Villa Decary is a gem. The rooms are simple but attractive and spotlessly clean. The bungalow we stayed in, Casita Serenoa, was large, and plenty of room for our family of 2 adults and a child. The breakfast is great, and more than ample for a start to the day. The grounds are beautiful, there are lovely views of the lake, and we had excellent luck birdwatching on the property. I liked the location in Nuevo Arenal: close enough to Arenal to do activities like Ecoglide and the Hanging Bridges at that end of the lake, but far enough away from the congestion of all the hotels and visitors in Arenal proper. It's about a 35 minute drive from Villa Decary to the Hanging Bridges and maybe a 45-50 minute drive to Ecoglide. That adds a bit to your travel time, but it's well worth it to feel like you have the lake to yourself. There are kayak rentals nearby, and on a clear day you can actually see both Arenal and Tenorio from some spots in the lake. But the best part of the inn is the staff. Dan is a gracious host, and although Suzy was out of town during our stay, she was always very helpful in advance of our arrival and great at communicating quickly by email. Miguel is warm and friendly, and immediately made us feel at home. As soon as we arrived he was finalizing plans for our first activity for that afternoon. Finally, Elkin is a remarkable part of the team. We took the tour to his family farm up in the mountains, and it was extraordinary. He and his family made us feel welcome as we got a chance to see life on a Costa Rican farm and share a meal. We learned a great deal from him and I am really grateful to have had the opportunity to share this experience with my 9 year old son. The trip takes most of a day, and is best with a 4WD vehicle; it includes hiking in the forest on the farm, and is completely worth it if you have the time to do it. The staff also arranged other excursions for us, which I found to be a plus, because as it was our first trip to CR and we didn't have a clear understanding of the geography of the region, communicating with all the different activity locales and making reservations would have been difficult. In addition to the farm visit, they arranged a guided nature tour at Hanging Bridges, an excellent naturalist (Mario) to do a bird walk on the property, kayaking on the lake and reservations at the Gingerbread Restaurant which is just down the road. I would recommend the property to a friend, and will stay here again if we ever return to the area.
- 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