About Villa Decary
In 1993, Bill Hemmer and Jeff Crandall relocated from the U.S. to indulge their passions for birds and botany. They purchased a former coffee finca on seven hilly acres at the edge of Lake Arenal and set about creating their paradise.
Bill, one of the founding members of the International Palm Society, began designing his botanical gardens and planting his rare species of palms and tropical plants from around the world, while Jeff, an avid birdwatcher, enjoyed identifying many of the 250 species of birds common to the Lake Arenal region. At last count, he had sighted more than 140 bird species on the property.
In 1995 construction on the main hotel building was complete. Within the next few years they had constructed four casitas higher up the hillside. The views from every window, deck and terrace are breathtaking: forest, gardens, Lake Arenal and the Tilaran mountains. The nearest neighbor, the fabulous Gingerbread Restaurant (rated one of the top five dining experiences in Costa Rica), is a five minute walk down the road from the Villa Decary.
The Hotel Villa Decary is named for the French botanist, Raymond Decary, who discovered hundreds of plant species. The dypsis decaryi, or Madagascar three-sided palm, also known as a triangle palm, was named after him and is featured on the property along with a variety of palms and tropical plants from around the world.
Approximately half of the 7 acre (3 hectare) property is still undeveloped rainforest and a real draw for visiting botanists and entymologists. Guests enjoy hiking the forest trail for the natural beauty and the additional panoramic views one can see in the clearings.
The main hotel building is a bright, contemporary structure with Spanish Colonial influences. It houses five spacious guest rooms on two floors as well as a large dining room. In addition to the beauty and comfort of the accommodations, many guests appreciate how scrupulously clean everything is.
Our guest rooms are large and bright, with private entries, one queen-size bed and one full-size bed, and a large private balcony or deck, offering panoramic views of the lake and the forest. The rooms are accented with rich woods, bright tiles, colorful Guatemalan bedspreads and decorative items handcrafted by the Chorotega Indians. The private tiled bathrooms with hot showers are built to North American standards.
Our spacious casitas each have a full kitchen, private bath and deck with sweeping views of the rainforest, gardens and Lake Arenal. These bungalows can accommodate up to four people and are ideal for families, honeymooners and extended stays.