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Guidebook Reviews

(*Fodor’s Choice) by Margaret Kelly

“There’s everything to recommend at this hillside lodging overlooking Lake Arenal, but it all goes back to the owners . . . and their attentive service. Rooms have large picture windows and private balconies—great places to take in the ample bird-watching opportunities—and bright yellow-and-blue spreads and drapes. Higher up the hill, spacious bungalows afford an even better view.”


FROMMERS (*Frommers Find) by Eliot Greenspan

“Named after a French explorer (and a rare palm that he discovered and named), [VILLA DECARY] is nestled on a hill above Lake Arenal . . . Each room comes with one queen-size and one full-size bed, large picture windows, and a spacious private balcony with a lake view. The rooms get plenty of light, and the bright Guatemalan bedspreads and white-tile floors create a vibrant look. The separate casitas have full kitchens, more room, and even better views of the lake from their slightly higher perches. . . . There’s great bird-watching on the hotel grounds, and howler monkeys are common guests here as well.”


LONELY PLANET by Rob Rachowiecki

“VILLA DECARY is an all-round winner with bright, spacious, well-furnished rooms . . . and fantastic hosts. Five rooms have private hot showers, a queen and a double bed, bright Latin American bedspreads and art-work, and balconies with excellent views of the woodland immediately below and the lake just beyond. There are also three separate casitas with a kitchenette. Paths into the  woods behind the house give good opportunities for birding and watching wildlife, and there’s a good chance that howlers will wake you in the morning. Guests can borrow binoculars and a bird guide to identify what they see.”


COSTA RICA by Stephane G. Marceau, Francis Giguere, Yves Seguin

“VILLA DECARY is outstanding. The clean rooms offer the utmost in comfort and are beautifully decorated with wooden furnishings. They also have lovely little verandas with a view of the lake. The property also includes separate cottages with kitchens and large porches. Tranquility prevails here. The owners are eminently charming. Don’t hesitate to ask them anything about the region.”



“The charming VILLA DECARY is a small country inn on a former fruit and coffee finca on three hilly hectares . . . The contemporary two-story structure glows with light. Hardwood furniture gleams. Five large bedrooms each have bright Guatemalan covers, plus a balcony with a handy rail that serves as bench and table. Three new cabinas are perched further up the hill. The gardens and surrounding forest are great for birding. The American-run hotel is gay-friendly.”



“Universally raved about in every guidebook, VILLA DECARY is set in a remote location in the hills overlooking Lake Arenal, with Arenal Volcano at one end of the lake, and Monteverde Cloud Forest at another.

“VILLA DECARY’s spacious rooms have their own entry, private tiled bath, as well as their own balcony with scenic views overlooking the lake, rainforest and mountains. The rooms, accented by colorful fabrics from Guatemala and pottery lamps made by the Chorotega Indians, all reflect the workmanship of local Costa Rican artisans who have crafted the fine wood doors and furnishings.”


CONDÉ NAST (*Editor's Pick)

“Bird watching doesn’t get any easier than this. Early each morning, the owners put out pieces of fresh fruit in the garden, prompting a flurry of activity as rainbow-billed toucans and all manner of other tropical birds arrive for the feast. The five simply furnished yet colorful rooms in this former coffee farm have huge picture windows to maximize the view out over silvery Lake Arenal. Three villas on the hillside are a good choice if you want more privacy. They don’t serve dinner here, but there are several places to eat within walking distance.”


NEW KEY TO COSTA RICA by Beatrice Blake & Anne Becher

"VILLA DECARY has large, comfortably furnished rooms whose balconies overlook lake Arenal below. The hosts are two North Americans who exemplify the spirit of Country Inns: warm, gracious, interested in their guests, and eager to help with recommendations for further travel."



"At lovely VILLA DECARY, you will be more than just a name on a register. [The American owners] advise their guests about local fairs, the best neighborhood restaurants and local activities around Lake Arenal. Each of the tastefully decorated rooms has orthopedic mattresses, a reading lamp, central hot water and a balcony set up with benches for lake views and bird watching."


COSTA RICA HANDBOOK by Christopher Baker

"A small American-owned inn set on a fruit and coffee 'finca' the thoroughly contemporary structure glows with light pouring through French doors and windows. Hardwood furniture gleams. Five large bedrooms each have bright Guatemalan covers, plus a private bath and balcony. A bargain!"



"VILLA DECARY, which overlooks Lake Arenal offers an intimate and friendly atmosphere thanks to the attentive owners . . ."



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