reviews for: listing #32756 - Lake Arenal, Costa Rica House rental

Casa Gavilan - Lake Arenal views, private pool & Rainforest!
  • bedrooms  3
  • pool  yes
  • type  House
  • baths 
  • hot tub  no
  • community  Las Flores de Arenal
  • sleeps  6
  • pets allowed  no
  • rates (USD) $750 - $850 /wk

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Like being welcomed into the exotic home of friend

Review submitted: August 6, 2009   Date of arrival: July 21, 2009

This was a great beginning to our 16-day trip - like being welcomed into the exotic home of friends. Overall rating: 5

House: 4.5 - The description barely does this place justice. This is a real house, cool airy design & easy to keep clean. Huge comfortable beds, nice seating areas and outside spaces, and an amazing, ever changing view of the lake nearby. Lots of DVDs, satellite TV/radio, etc. The washer and dryer were a godsend after rafting. The unheated pool was a little cool for our Green Season stay, but our two 10 year-olds used it every day anyway; I bet it's perfect during the hot season. The internet was down, but we weren't craving email that early in the trip, so that wasn't a factor for us.

Kitchen: 4.5 - Not a big fan of electric ranges, but this kitchen was still a pleasure. Nice size fridge w/good freezer, range, and oven, with lots of pans, utensils, and appliances. I really enjoyed the adventure of working with the local supplies to make some pretty good meals.

Location: 5 - Elegant base for day trips to Fortuna and other adventures, though Monteverde is better as an over-nighter (we did it on our way to Manual Antonio [property 150823], which worked well, though I don't recommend the hotel Helaconia). You do need a car to get around. We alternated horse riding, rafting (class 2-4), & zip-lining w/days at just hanging out at home. A few nice walks near the property: we saw howler monkeys, lots of birds, and some truly wild bugs (mantises, moths, grasshoppers, etc.) up close. None of the bugs seemed to be biters despite the lake being so close. There are a few nice restaurants within 15 mins drive, though we generally ate in.

Welcome: 5 - The owners stayed in contact with lots of great information, answers to questions, and suggestions. They, and their rep in country, really went out of their way to be welcoming. Billing was easy and spread across two payments, which was nice. The price was a real value!

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, families with young children, families with teenagers, sight seeing, romantic getaway

Helpful votes: 17 / 17

 

Feels like home!

Review submitted: June 16, 2014   Date of arrival: June 3, 2014

This was the second year we have stayed at Casa Gavilan. A rancho by the pool was a pleasant addition. There is plenty of room in this house for three couples to stay. The house is decorated so beautifully I would not recommend bringing small children. Everything in the house was in working order. Ed Woods, the manager, was there to greet us. He had been kind enough to stock the kitchen with some essentials to get you through until you can shop. Fresh flowers were prevelant, and the aroma of the gardenias filled the house, so nice. The view of the lake, the beautiful grounds, and of course, the howler monkeys made this the location to be. We ate at local restaurants and did some sight seeing. Attended Mass in the beautiful local church. Our favorite was eating at Rancho Tinaje for our 20th anniversary. The food and location are not to be missed. We would never consider staying anywhere else when we visit Lake Arenal in the future.

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, people with disabilities, families with teenagers, girls getaway, sight seeing, romantic getaway

Helpful votes: 0 / 0

 

AWESOME time in Arenal

Review submitted: October 3, 2013   Date of arrival: September 16, 2013

We just completed a wonderful 2 week vacation in Costa Rica. We spent our first week in Arenal and stayed at this wonderful property. It's located in a quiet neighborhood just outside of Nuervo Arenal and is beyond belief. On a daily basis, we would have pleasure of seeing everything from amazing Toucans to the Howler monkeys traveling through the trees.The property is just as described and very well furnished. It suitable for families or a group of adults as well. Ed, who is the property manager was very nice and helpful. He was there for any questions you might have or for help if you have issues with the property. This is a great location to venture out from and explore the wonders of Costa Rica. Everything is within your grasp from here if you have a rental car. Don't let the fact that you haven't driven there before stop you, get the rental car and JUST do it, you will be so happy that you did. Anything from zip lining to cave exploration to white water rafting is easily reachable from here. And when your done for the day, its really nice if you hired the local chef to cook for you. Jeff was an awesome individual along with his assistant Jamie. They will cook up some of the best meals you can hope to enjoy while in Costa Rica. Every meal was wonderful. They would adjust their daily schedule based on what you were doing for the day. We hired them for the entire week to cook both breakfast as well as dinner and it was worth every penny. All I can say is this is a wonderful property and you will not be disappointed in renting it or hiring Jeff and Jamie. Pura Vida

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, families with young children, people with disabilities, families with teenagers, girls getaway, pet-friendly, sight seeing, tourists without a car, romantic getaway

Helpful votes: 0 / 0

 

All you could ever want!

Review submitted: August 10, 2013   Date of arrival: July 14, 2013

Thank you so much for sharing your property with us. After long flights and a cancellation, it was so great to walk into Casa de Gavilan and have everything we needed. The welcome package was so great as we did not need to go to the supermarket that first day! All the little touches of fresh flowers to the multitude of amenities were fabulous. Ed and Leslie were very helpful and friendly. This is such a great value and a wonderful place to stay!

Recommended for: age 55+, families with young children, families with teenagers

Helpful votes: 2 / 2

 

Wonderful time in Arenal!

Review submitted: August 4, 2013   Date of arrival: July 27, 2013

We had a wonderful stay in Arenal! The house is large, beautiful, comfortable and well-equipped! You will have to drive everywhere, though, so make sure you rent a vehicle during your stay! Wifi and Internet were down our entire stay, so I'd print maps and directions ahead of time. Also, be careful walking the neighborhood - stay away from the bottom of the hill roundabout. When I went for a run, a large Weimaraner bit my hand. It was just a warning nip and barely marked me up, but certainly not a pleasant experience!!!! ;) Overall, I highly recommend this house. Everyone was great to work with and very professional!!! Thank you!

Recommended for: adventure seekers, families with teenagers, sight seeing, romantic getaway

Owners response: We are aghast that you should have had such an encounter with a dog in the area. In eight years we have never encountered a problem with dogs, but it is an unfortunate fact that, in even the most elite neighborhoods in the USA, loose dogs can sometimes be a nuisance if owners are negligent. We have located the owner of the dog that was responsible for your injury and we have reported the incident to the local police. We have just been informed that the owner has relocated the dog to another town, so it will not longer be a problem in our usually quiet area. We are sincerely sorry for your experience with the dog, but we are glad to hear that your stay at Casa Gavilan was otherwise delightful. Internet in these remote areas can occasionally experience service interruptions, but we understand that our high speed Internet service is back on line. We hope you will return to stay with us again, and that you will enjoy remembering your vacation at our beautiful house.

Helpful votes: 0 / 0

 

Beautiful Property

Review submitted: July 30, 2013   Date of arrival: July 20, 2013

We spent a week here and we loved the property. The house is beautiful and the surrounding gardens are amazing. Every time we looked outside we could see a bird (especially hummingbirds) or butterflies. We could hear the Howler Monkeys and caught a glimpse of them one day. The house is well furnished and they supply plenty of extra towels and linens, which is really nice. The town of Nuevo Arenal is small and quiet, but there are several excellent restaurants in town and grocery stores. It is a bit of a drive to the bigger "tourist" town that has most of the tours and activities, but other than that it was a perfect place to stay.

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, families with teenagers, sight seeing, romantic getaway

Helpful votes: 0 / 0

 

Perfect home!!

Review submitted: May 23, 2013   Date of arrival: May 14, 2013

This house is even better than we expected. We were greeted by Ed, a great guy, and made to feel most welcome with the food provided for breakfast, fresh fruit and flowers. We took full advantage of everything this house has to offer. It was hard for us to get up and go each day, as the house is so comfortable and the surroundings are breathtaking. The beds and furnishings are most comfortable, and the decor is so nice. It is exactly the house I would want to live in if I lived in Costa Rica. We en-joyed the pool and the patio. We felt very safe. We explored the area towns of Tileran, Neuvo Arenal and LaFortuna. Spent a day at The Springs Resort and Spa, which was totally luxurious. Also, visited Proytecto Asis, near LaFortuna, where we learned so much about the animals in their rescue center. We were able to hold baby monkeys and even a boa constrictor! On Sunday we attended Mass with the Ticos in Arenal, and even though we didn't understand much of the language, we were able to follow along, and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. We ate at Gingerbread, Moya's and Lucky Bug. All of the food was very good. If we return to Lake Arenal in the future we would not consider staying anywhere else. Thanks to Ian and Lynn for opening up their home to us, and Ed for being so helpful.

Helpful votes: 1 / 1

 

Lovely Home Away from Home

Review submitted: April 2, 2013   Date of arrival: March 23, 2013

The house was roomy enough for our group of 3 adults and 2 11-year-olds, beautifully furnished and close to all of the outdoor day trips (kayaking, horseback riding, zip-lining, etc.) that we wanted to do during our stay in Costa Rica. We were initially concerned about the safety of staying so far away from touristy areas but the house was very secure and we felt right at home. The owner and property manager were very helpful with recommending local restaurants and activities to try during our stay. Dinner at Gingerbread while staying here is a MUST if you love great food! Let the chef select your foods and enjoy!

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, families with teenagers, girls getaway, sight seeing, romantic getaway

Helpful votes: 1 / 1

 

Perfect Vacation, again.

Review submitted: April 1, 2013   Date of arrival: March 16, 2013

2nd time staying at Casa Gavilan, once again we had a wonderful time. Ed greeted us at the door and had stocked the kitchen with essentials so we didn't starve. Ed is by far one of the best people I have ever met, just a gem of a guy. House was as we remembered it, clean, spacious, all the mod cons and a breathtaking pool and back yard. 5th time to Costa Rica, 10th for my wife and we would not stay anywhere else. Took our 5 month old who had a blast. What we enjoy is the seclusion of the house and pool, it is so quiet and private. But 5 minutes down the road is Nuevo Arenal where you have a supermarket, bank, pizza place, gas station and plenty of places to eat. Sundays we like to go hang out with the local Ticos and watch the soccer. Got lucky and watched a tournament this time! 90 minutes from Liberia, really easy drive. Thanks Ian, Ed, once again a perfect vacation. Oh and go eat at The Lucky Bug, see Monica, trust me on this, it is life changing.

Helpful votes: 2 / 2

 

IF Five stars are excellent. This property is a SEVEN STAR.

Review submitted: January 27, 2013   Date of arrival: January 4, 2013

Just spent 2 weeks in this paradise. This property and house are in a private, safe and convenient location. We did venture out a few times to see some sites and attractions such as Hanging Bridges, LaFortuna and Arenal Volcano. We enjoyed short trips to Nuevo Arenal. One of the friendliest towns we've ever experienced. Most of the time was spent at the beautful Casa Gavilon. The house had everything we needed, the grounds were immaculate and awe inspiring. Waking up to the sound of Howler Monkeys was something we looked forward to each morning. Then coffee on the patio watching dozens of different bird species. Warm afternoons were spent at the perfectly sized pool. Evenings outside listening to sounds of the surrounding jungle. We've enjoyed all of our past rentals through VRBO in various countries but this one tops them all. Manager Ed and his wife Leslie took care of any needs we had. Thank you guys. Thanks for all your helpful advice Ian. You answered all of my questions, no matter how trivial they may have seemed. We will be back next year.

Recommended for: age 55+, sight seeing, romantic getaway

Helpful votes: 2 / 2

 

Incredible

Review submitted: December 11, 2012   Date of arrival: November 17, 2012

I can't say enough about how impressed we were with Casa Gavilan!

It is a beautiful home in an idyllic setting. It was immaculately clean and well stocked for our week in the area. The "basics" that were provided for our stay were very generous, plenty of bread, coffee, milk etc. We truly did NOT have to get food until the day after our arrival.

Ed and Leslie Woods were there when we arrived and were incredibly welcoming and very knowledgeable about local eateries, what was worth doing/what wasn't and their focus was on value for money. My wife, daughters (10 and 12) and I have stayed in VRBOs in Europe, South Africa, Canada and the US and this was by far the best price for the best place we have ever stayed. There was enough to do "at home' on those rainy days with a huge DVD selection, puzzles and board games while being well located to take in the Arenal Volcano area attractions, and other nearby towns .

The place we went to, for a week, after Casa Gavilan had a lot to live up to...and didn't!

Well done Ian and Lynn, and a special thanks to Ed and Leslie.

Recommended for: age 55+, families with young children, families with teenagers, sight seeing

Helpful votes: 2 / 2

 

Casa Gavilan

Review submitted: October 28, 2012   Date of arrival: October 18, 2012

It was a wonderful experience, earthquake and all. Thanks to Ian and Lynn for having such a wonderful home and sharing it with us. Casa Gavilan is exactly as advertised. A beautiful house on a beautiful property overlooking Lago de Arenal. The house was clean and is fully furnished with furnishing that are as nice in appearance as they are in comfort. The decorations make the house actually feel like a home. The movie collection is more than impressive and TV is satellite fed and we watched American and British stations sub-titled in Spanish. The kitchen is well equipped. We wanted for nothing. Everything you need to cook, if you’re so inclined, is there, right down to the cheese grater. The pool is kept spotless by the pool man who comes every morning (M-F) and the grounds are immaculate. Ed Woods, the property manager, was there to meet us with some basics like coffee, and eggs for the next day’s breakfast. He is a very patient and provided invaluable information about shopping and answered all our questions.
Do checkout the folks at Gingerbread. Great cuisine. It’s not cheap but the food is superb and if you leave from there hungry, you’re a monster.
We hope you have as wonderful an experience as we did and as one of the local restaurant’s road ads states, “eat, relax and just be.”

Pura Vida,

Gary and Laura

Helpful votes: 0 / 0

 

Beautiful home!

Review submitted: August 6, 2012   Date of arrival: July 18, 2012

My husband, myself, our 9 month old daughter, sister-in-law, and niece all stayed here for 9 days. We had a wonderful time! Casa Gavilan is beautiful! The fact that it is in the location that it is in simply makes it breath taking. We have stayed in a number of homes from homeaway.com and this one certainly stood out above the rest. Not one detail has been overlooked in this home from the decor to what is stocked in the fridge. We did not even have to go out and buy spices to cook with. Ed, the manager was wonderful as well. He was very prompt in answering any question that we had both about the property and activities in the area. He also provided us with fridge full of eggs, bread, orange juice and a few other things so the first thing we did when we got there was relax! So nice! We realized that we were coming in the rainy season and so did not expect to see much wildlife...we were also pleasantly surprised by this. We saw toucans, monkeys, a number of birds, and a hooded praying mantis all in the back yard (the birds liked papaya and bananas the best)! Casa Gavilan is truly beautiful. My family and I not only had a great vacation but we also have wonderful memories of our time here!

Helpful votes: 1 / 1

 

Beautiful home; great location

Review submitted: March 31, 2012   Date of arrival: March 16, 2012

We thoroughly enjoyed our stay in this beautiful home. We were visited daily at the feeder by many species of birds and a faithful coatimungi who came by each day to clean up what the birds didn't finish. The covered front patio is wonderful for morning coffee in a peaceful setting. The house is chock-full of interesting Tico art objects and fully furnished for your convenience. The owners and caregivers are extremely helpful and responsive to questions and requests. The house and pool are well maintained.

Arenal is about a 45-minute drive to La Fortuna for adventure sports and the same distance to Tilaran for groceries and shopping. Even closer is the town of Nuevo Arenal where you can pick up the basics. Two outstanding restaurants are within a ten-minute drive.

Although Arenal volcano is currently dormant, we had two days of perfectly clear weather while hiking the hanging bridges and enjoyed a rare sight of the volcano in its glory.

Helpful votes: 2 / 2

 

Everything we hoped for. . .and more

Review submitted: March 31, 2012   Date of arrival: March 16, 2012

Lake Arenal is a perfect spot for a restful vacation and watching the coatimungi, squirrels and many species of birds from the covered front patio. Howler monkeys will wake you in the early morning. . .a time you won't want to miss as that's when the greatest wildlife activity takes place. The house is well equipped and maintained and decorated with interesting Tico art pieces. Both the owners and caretakers are extremely helpful and responsive. The pool feels great after a busy day exploring the area. Arenal is nicely located about a 45-minute drive from sizeable towns in both directions. Go East to enjoy adventure activities and West to a more dry climate. Shopping is in both directions and the nearby town of Nuevo Arenal, about a ten-minute drive will provide for most of your basic needs. Great restaurants are nearby too. Try The Lucky Bug and the Gingerbread. . .you won't be disappointed.

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, people with disabilities, families with teenagers, girls getaway, sight seeing, romantic getaway

Helpful votes: 2 / 2

 

Another wonderful stay at Casa Gavilan

Review submitted: March 23, 2012   Date of arrival: February 11, 2012

We stayed at this lovely home for a week in February. It was our 5th visit to Costa Rica and our 5th time staying at this house. We wouldn't dream of staying any place else! This home has everything you need for a very comfortable stay. The gardens are beautiful - you feel like you are alone with the birds and the monkeys in the jungle. Neighbours are close by by you can't see or hear them. It is wonderful - you can't to wrong choosing this house!

Helpful votes: 2 / 2

 

A Jungle Paradise

Review submitted: November 21, 2011   Date of arrival: September 17, 2011

For a long time I've wanted to visit Costa Rica. After searching through a multitude of VRBO accommodations I came across Casa Gavilan de Arenal and felt good about the place. There was enough room for a party of four with everyone having their own bathroom.

The caretakers of the house, Ed and Leslie, are congenial and helpful far beyond expectation. There are plenty of supplies, so there's no need to pick up spices or paper towels or TP at the store. There's plenty of food available nearby in Nuevo Arenal. The people are friendly and helpful even though few speak any English. You can also pick up food supplies, snacks, drinks etc. in Liberia.

We landed at Liberia airport, about 90 minutes drive from Casa Gavilan. If you arrive in the evening I strongly suggest you stay your first night at the Hilton near the airport. The first part of the trip is straight road, but the drivers are reckless and if you drive on a weekend night you will encounter drivers who are extremely reckless. The last half of the drive is on hilly, twisty roads and the locals consider the yellow line as optional. Expect to see vehicles straddling it while speeding around a curve. If your return flight is in the early morning I suggest staying at the Hilton the night before your departure as well. If you book ahead of time the hotel is a little cheaper and it is very reasonable in cost. The food there is good and the hosts are very cordial.

There are many activities near Casa Gavilan...horseback riding, hot springs, zip lining, hiking trails, tours, etc. You may have a difficult time tearing yourself away from the property, though. If you enjoy photography you will find plenty to photograph. My fiance and I love photography, especially wildlife. This location does not disappoint as we took many more keeper photos here than anywhere else we visited in Costa Rica. Our close encounter with a howler monkey family was the highlight of the trip, never to be forgotten.

If you don't feel like cooking in the morning head over to The Lucky Bug for breakfast. You will enjoy beautiful scenery, friendly service, and wonderful food. People have recommended Gingerbread but our party of four cannot. The entire experience there was unpleasant.

As for Casa Gavilan I cannot say enough good things. The owners, the caretakers, the house itself are all top notch and I cannot recommend it highly enough. I should bite my tongue and keep it a secret but some things are just too good to not be

Helpful votes: 3 / 3

 

Perfection!

Review submitted: July 23, 2011   Date of arrival: July 3, 2011

It's hard to find anything to add to all the other glowing reviews of Casa Gavilan. We just spent 9 nights here and everything about the place exceeded our expectations. We were originally set to stay at a different place that cancelled due to a booking error, and for that mistake we'll be eternally grateful. Casa Gavilan's location is stunning and the house is beautiful and comfortable, and extremely well-equipped. The multi-level yard is gorgeous and the house, pool, and grounds were immaculate. The Las Flores neighborhood where the house is located is lovely and the paved neighborhood rainforest trail was really nice to hike. It's conveniently close to Nuevo Arenal, a town that we found really appealing. (Hint: It's cheaper to buy fruit at the Frutas y Verduras shop next to the bank than at the larger grocery stores, and you'll want a lot for yourself and the birdfeeders.) I brought 5 books to read and spent so much time watching birds and other wildlife that it was pretty much wasted luggage space. We saw howler monkeys in the trees at the house across the street and a coati walked right by my husband as he was sleeping by the pool. A large flock of Montezuma oropendolas occupied one of the big trees on the property, and I saw dozens of beautiful tropical birds; at one point, there were five redlegged honeycreepers on the hummingbird feeder. We loved Casa Gavilan and will go back as soon as we can. In fact, the three days after our stay were open and we seriously considered extending our stay, but felt a little uncomfortable about cancelling our next reservation. The only downside to the house is its distance from La Fortuna, where most of the big tourist activities are centered, but it's a beautiful drive and it was nice to be a little removed from the hustle and bustle of that town. Ian and the property manager, Ed, were both very helpful with advice. I second everyone who recommended eating at Gingerbread, which really was fantastic by any standard, and the Lucky Bug was a beautiful place for breakfast. After some of the drives back from La Fortuna, we didn't feel like cooking so we picked up pizzas in town. The one from the little bar/soda on the same side of the street as the bank was the better of the two. We enjoyed ziplining at Sky Trek and rafting the Rio Pacuare with Exploradores, but I think the excursion that we wouldn't have missed is the Cano Negro outing with Desafio. We can't wait to go back.

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, families with young children, people with disabilities, families with teenagers, sight seeing, romantic getaway

Helpful votes: 4 / 4

 
Guest Comment entered by owner

more beautiful than the photos and descriptions

Review submitted: July 13, 2011   Date of arrival: July 13, 2010

The home and site are more beautiful than the photos and descriptions show. It was the perfect stay in paradise with the natural rainforest fiews and gardens. Waking up to the sounds of monkeys, exotic birds and the sighs of humming birds and tucans was amazing. The location was ideal and near any adventure activity that could be desired. The property managers were extremely pleasant and accommodating. Just spending the day on the property was a joy as well as a satisfying experience. I would highly recommend it to anyone wanting to visit Costa Rica. I will definately go back on my next visit.

Helpful votes: 2 / 3

 
Guest Comment entered by owner

wonderful experience

Review submitted: July 13, 2011   Date of arrival: July 23, 2010

Thank you Ian and Lynn for sharing this wonderful experience. The lake is beautiful and very inviting. Thank you Monica, you helped us a lot on scheduling activities. Ed greeted us with warmth and genuine kindness, and was always there to help-Thank you. Whether you are an avid birdwatcher or not, you will be by the time you leave. The monkeys will alert you of the weather more accurately than the local weather man. The pool was refreshing after a hard day of playing and eating. The house and grounds are beautifully maintained and make you feel at home. Again, thank you all.

Helpful votes: 1 / 2

 
Guest Comment entered by owner

wonderful experience

Review submitted: July 13, 2011   Date of arrival: July 23, 2010

Thank you Ian and Lynn for sharing this wonderful experience. The lake is beautiful and very inviting. Thank you Monica, you helped us a lot on scheduling activities. Ed greeted us with warmth and genuine kindness, and was always there to help-Thank you. Whether you are an avid birdwatcher or not, you will be by the time you leave. The monkeys will alert you of the weather more accurately than the local weather man. The pool was refreshing after a hard day of playing and eating. The house and grounds are beautifully maintained and make you feel at home. Again, thank you all.

Helpful votes: 1 / 2

 
Guest Comment entered by owner

What a great decision!

Review submitted: July 13, 2011   Date of arrival: September 7, 2010

Casa Gavilan couldn't have been a better start to our Costa Rican vacation. This is the first time we have rented a house and anchored in one spot for five days. What a great decision! The house is wonderful---clean, attractive, well-equipped, cozy, comfortable, safe and welcoming. The beautiful gardens and views of the lake and ever-changing skies are hypnotic.The owner, Ian, would be a great penpal. Responsive, easygoing and friendly even in email. He and his wife, Lynne, must be special people because everyone we met in the town of Arenal seemed to know and love them. The property managers, Ed and Leslie, are the kind of people you'd invite home for Thanksgiving dinner. The community is neat and even the neighbor will become your new BFF. After two days of slothful relaxation, we were joined by our "kids" and their "significant others." The three master bedrooms with private FULL baths guaranteed a harmonious trip! We stayed during the rainy season and have no regrets. In fact, we think it was better because we "owned" every activity we did. If you don't mind the drama of tropical storms and mud, you'll reap the rewards of fewer tourists. We ziplined (better views here than in Monteverde), rode horses, "did" Hanging Bridges, hiked to volcano lookouts, went white water rafting (awesome!), paddled on a river safari to see the flora and fauna, spent an evening at Tabacon (save your money) and kicked back at Casa Gavilan. It was so much fun to cook and eat in (go get the pre-seasoned chicken at the butcher shop next to the supermarket) that we didn't eat out much, but Gingerbread is a MUST for fun and food (brilliant!) and Lucky Bug is great for breakfast and banter. I guess if I had to say something negative, it would be that the birds were apparently jealous that we were on vacation so they decided to take one too. We set out fruit religiously each day but nothing came to eat it. The only Toucans we saw were the ones in Casa Gavilan's artwork. But the butterflies made up for it and the howling of the monkeys in the morning kept us ever mindful that we were "not in Kansas anymore." All in all, there is PLENTY to see and do in the Lake Arenal area and Casa Gavilan will quickly become your second home.

Helpful votes: 1 / 1

 
Guest Comment entered by owner

Simply Perfect!

Review submitted: July 13, 2011   Date of arrival: October 22, 2010

We have just returned from Costa Rica and staying at this welcoming and warm home. The pictures do not come close to doing justices to the views and incredible bird watching. The owners, Ian and Lynn, were a dream to work with. Not only did Ian take time to answer every question on my long list; he provided a breath of information via email. Ian’s emails included attachments with details of the currency, culture and beneficial travel information. You also won’t need to bring your travel books with as they have an incredible library there. Upon our arrival we were greeted by Ed and his lovely wife Leslie, the caretakers of the home, with a groceries and tremendous knowledge of the area and the people living there. Ed also provided spot on recommendations of having breakfast at The Lucky Bug and a perfect dinner at the Gingerbread ….you must eat here! This home, not just a house to rent, was perfect for our adventurous and relaxing vacation. It was in an incredibly safe and comfortable community and extremely well maintained and clean. In short; we made a perfect choice by selecting this property for our vacation.

Helpful votes: 0 / 0

 
Guest Comment entered by owner

Great Experience

Review submitted: July 13, 2011   Date of arrival: November 25, 2010

Casa Gavilan is beautiful! I just came back from a week stay with my boyfriend and another couple and wish we had another couple with us there was so much room! Each bedroom having it's own bathroom was very convenient and private. The house was very clean, organized and had everything we needed. We made coffee and relaxed on the porch every morning planning our day and watching the birds. Friendly neighbors dogs came over to greet us in the morning as well- so cute! I spoke mostly with the owner Ian while booking and he was so helpful in planning our trip, and made us feel very comfortable as it was our first time renting a house for a vacation. We can't say enough!

Helpful votes: 0 / 0

 
Guest Comment entered by owner

The home is really comfortable

Review submitted: July 13, 2011   Date of arrival: December 25, 2010

Casa Gavilan was really nice. The home is really comfortable and has lots of high-end touches, things you wouldn't expect from a rental. You can see Howler monkeys every day on the nature trail that is part of the common property - be sure to take the side trail that goes across the creek, it will take you right into the trees where they stay. Also, buy lots of papaya from a road-side stand or in Fortuna. The birds will go through a papaya in 4hrs and they are a bit expensive at the market in town. The Sky Trek zip lines at the Volcano are a must if you are not afraid of heights - hanging from a cable 600ft in the air going 50MPH for a 1/2 mile - try it!

Helpful votes: 0 / 0

 
Guest Comment entered by owner

The house has EVERYTHING you would need

Review submitted: July 13, 2011   Date of arrival: January 21, 2011

My husband, my one year old son and I thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Casa Gavilan. The house has EVERYTHING you would need - especially in the kitchen. It is very clean, spacious, quiet and just 5km from Nuevo Arenal. Highlights for us included: howler monkeys in the trees beside the house, the wide variety of birds, the excellent resource library, El Establo (the local soda), learning to windsurf and kite board on the lake with the company Tico Wind, the hanging bridges hike, finding a free spot to enjoy the hotsprings with local Ticos and the waterfalls hike outside of Tilaran. We love to speak spanish and found many opportunities to use it in the local towns: Nuevo Arenal, Tilaran and Canas. The family at El Establo is lovely - we ate there all the time and really enjoyed their company. The guest book and bird book at the house were very interesting as well - we completely forgot to write in them! We are also grateful that there was a telephone. There is a nice little hike to a pond that you can do around the property through the rainforest as well. Thanks so much for a great vacation!

Helpful votes: 0 / 0

 
Guest Comment entered by owner

Wonderful trip once again!

Review submitted: July 13, 2011   Date of arrival: February 5, 2011

My husband and I just returned from our 4th visit to Casa Gavilan. We're addicted! Every year we say we're going somewhere new next year, but it never happens because we can't miss being away from this beautiful little spot. Every years gets better! The gardens are absolutely lovely and as everyone else has mentioned, the house is amazing as well. We have a wonderful time feeding the birds. This was the first year we've had a toucan visit our feeder. It was totally amazing to see one so close. Other years we've just seen them in the air. The monkeys were present in the yard almost every day as well. They're very entertaining! The property managers, Ed and Leslie take excellent care of you and the owners are wonderful people as well. You won't regret renting this beautiful home.

Helpful votes: 0 / 0

 
Guest Comment entered by owner

Very pleased with Casa Gavilan!

Review submitted: July 13, 2011   Date of arrival: March 15, 2011

We thoroughly enjoyed our 4 days at this perfect house. There were 6 of us and we had more than enough space. The grounds are lush, the view is beautiful and the privacy is unmatched. Ed and Leslie (the caretakers) couldn't have been more gracious or kind. Ian (the owner) was extremely helpful with answering questions and helping us to plan. The drive to the activities by Arenal is about 45 minutes, but it's not a big deal and it was great to come "home" to our own, quiet space. We even had the chance to watch howler monkeys right on the property. I'd recommend Casa Gavilan without hesitation.

Helpful votes: 0 / 0

 
Guest Comment entered by owner

I didn't want to leave!

Review submitted: July 13, 2011   Date of arrival: May 1, 2011

We loved Casa Gavilan! It is a beautifully decorated home with equally beautiful landscaping outside. So much better than staying in a hotel! The boys loved the private pool and we all enjoyed watching movies together each night from the huge movie collection available. We saw lots of birds and wildlife right on the property and heard and saw more nearby. The rental process was easy and the owners and managers were great to work with. The kitchen is well-appointed and had just about everything we needed. The house had fresh cut flowers when we arrived and even food for our first day's breakfast! I wouldn't hesitate for a minute to rent this house again!

Helpful votes: 0 / 0

 
Guest Comment entered by owner

excellent home away from home

Review submitted: July 13, 2011   Date of arrival: May 9, 2011

all of the amenities of home with the surroundings of paradise. Birder's heaven!

Helpful votes: 0 / 0

 
Guest Comment entered by owner

Quite simply the best place we have ever stayed in

Review submitted: July 13, 2011   Date of arrival: May 21, 2011

The house was spotless and spacious. The garden and pool was amazing and Ed was very helpful. The day we had to leave we literally cried. My 3rd trip to CR my wife's 7th and the surrounding area Arenal is perfect, the house has a view of the lake, amazing scenery. We will stay here again. We are loathed to tell anyone else about Casa Gavilan for our own selfish reasons !!

Helpful votes: 0 / 0

 

Quite simply the best place we have ever stayed in

Review submitted: June 5, 2011   Date of arrival: May 21, 2011

The house was spotless and spacious.
The garden and pool was amazing and Ed was very
helpful. The day we had to leave we literally cried.
My 3rd trip to CR my wife's 7th and the surrounding
area Arenal is perfect, the house has a view of the
lake, amazing scenery. We will stay here again. We
are loathed to tell anyone else about Casa Gavilan
for our own selfish reasons !!

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, families with teenagers, girls getaway, sight seeing, romantic getaway

Helpful votes: 5 / 5

 

excellent home away from home

Review submitted: May 24, 2011   Date of arrival: May 9, 2011

all of the amenities of home with the surroundings of paradise. Birder's heaven.

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, people with disabilities, families with teenagers, sight seeing, romantic getaway

Helpful votes: 4 / 4

 

I didn't want to leave!

Review submitted: May 23, 2011   Date of arrival: May 1, 2011

We loved Casa Gavilan! It is a beautifully decorated home with equally beautiful landscaping outside. So much better than staying in a hotel! The boys loved the private pool and we all enjoyed watching movies together each night from the huge movie collection available. We saw lots of birds and wildlife right on the property and heard and saw more nearby. The rental process was easy and the owners and managers were great to work with. The kitchen is well-appointed and had just about everything we needed. The house had fresh cut flowers when we arrived and even food for our first day's breakfast! I wouldn't hesitate for a minute to rent this house again!

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, families with young children, people with disabilities, families with teenagers, girls getaway, sight seeing, romantic getaway

Helpful votes: 4 / 4

 

I didn't want to leave!

Review submitted: May 22, 2011   Date of arrival: May 1, 2011

We loved Casa Gavilan! It is a beautifully decorated home with equally beautiful landscaping outside. So much better than staying in a hotel! The boys loved the private pool and we all enjoyed watching movies together each night from the huge movie collection available. We saw lots of birds and wildlife right on the property and heard and saw more nearby. The rental process was easy and the owners and managers were great to work with. The kitchen is well-appointed and had just about everything we needed. The house had fresh cut flowers when we arrived and even food for our first day's breakfast! I wouldn't hesitate for a minute to rent this house again!

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, people with disabilities, families with teenagers, girls getaway, sight seeing, romantic getaway

Helpful votes: 3 / 3

 

Very pleased with Casa Gavilan!

Review submitted: April 2, 2011   Date of arrival: March 15, 2011

We thoroughly enjoyed our 4 days at this perfect house. There were 6 of us and we had more than enough space. The grounds are lush, the view is beautiful and the privacy is unmatched. Ed and Leslie (the caretakers) couldn't have been more gracious or kind. Ian (the owner) was extremely helpful with answering questions and helping us to plan. The drive to the activities by Arenal is about 45 minutes, but it's not a big deal and it was great to come "home" to our own, quiet space. We even had the chance to watch howler monkeys right on the property. I'd recommend Casa Gavilan without hesitation.

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, families with teenagers

Helpful votes: 5 / 5

 

Wonderful trip once again!

Review submitted: March 3, 2011   Date of arrival: February 5, 2011

My husband and I just returned from our 4th visit to Casa Gavilan. We're addicted! Every year we say we're going somewhere new next year, but it never happens because we can't miss being away from this beautiful little spot. Every years gets better! The gardens are absolutely lovely and as everyone else has mentioned, the house is amazing as well. We have a wonderful time feeding the birds. This was the first year we've had a toucan visit our feeder. It was totally amazing to see one so close. Other years we've just seen them in the air. The monkeys were present in the yard almost every day as well. They're very entertaining!
The property managers, Ed and Leslie take excellent care of you and the owners are wonderful people as well. You won't regret renting this beautiful home.

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, people with disabilities, families with teenagers, sight seeing, romantic getaway

Helpful votes: 5 / 5

 
Guest Comment entered by owner

Review submitted: February 19, 2011   Date of arrival: January 21, 2011

My husband, my one year old son and I thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Casa Gavilan. The house has EVERYTHING you would need - especially in the kitchen. It is very clean, spacious, quiet and just 5km from Nuevo Arenal. Highlights for us included: howler monkeys in the trees beside the house, the wide variety of birds, the excellent resource library, El Establo (the local soda), learning to windsurf and kite board on the lake with the company Tico Wind, the hanging bridges hike, finding a free spot to enjoy the hotsprings with local Ticos and the waterfalls hike outside of Tilaran. We love to speak spanish and found many opportunities to use it in the local towns: Nuevo Arenal, Tilaran and Canas. The family at El Establo is lovely - we ate there all the time and really enjoyed their company. The guest book and bird book at the house were very interesting as well - we completely forgot to write in them! We are also grateful that there was a telephone. There is a nice little hike to a pond that you can do around the property through the rainforest as well. Thanks so much for a great vacation!

Helpful votes: 5 / 5

 
Guest Comment entered by owner

Review submitted: January 8, 2011   Date of arrival: December 25, 2010

Casa Gavilan was really nice. The home is really
comfortable and has lots of high-end touches,
things you wouldn't expect from a rental. You can
see Howler monkeys every day on the nature trail
that is part of the common property - be sure to
take the side trail that goes across the creek, it will
take you right into the trees where they stay. Also,
buy lots of papaya from a road-side stand or in
Fortuna. The birds will go through a papaya in 4hrs
and they are a bit expensive at the market in town.
The Sky Trek zip lines at the Vulcano are a must if
you are not afraid of heights - hanging from a cable
600ft in the air going 50MPH for a 1/2 mile - try it!

Helpful votes: 4 / 4

 

Great Experience

Review submitted: December 7, 2010   Date of arrival: November 25, 2010

Casa Gavilan is beautiful! I just came back from a week stay with my boyfriend and another couple and wish we had another couple with us there was so much room! Each bedroom having it's own bathroom was very convenient and private. The house was very clean, organized and had everything we needed. We made coffee and relaxed on the porch every morning planning our day and watching the birds. Friendly neighbors dogs came over to greet us in the morning as well- so cute! I spoke mostly with the owner Ian while booking and he was so helpful in planning our trip, and made us feel very comfortable as it was our first time renting a house for a vacation. We can't say enough!

Helpful votes: 4 / 4

 

Simply Perfect!

Review submitted: November 13, 2010   Date of arrival: October 22, 2010

We have just returned from Costa Rica and staying at this welcoming and warm home. The pictures do not come close to doing justices to the views and incredible bird watching. The owners, Ian and Lynn, were a dream to work with. Not only did Ian take time to answer every question on my long list; he provided a breath of information via email. Ian’s emails included attachments with details of the currency, culture and beneficial travel information. You also won’t need to bring your travel books with as they have an incredible library there.
Upon our arrival we were greeted by Ed and his lovely wife Leslie, the caretakers of the home, with a groceries and tremendous knowledge of the area and the people living there. Ed also provided spot on recommendations of having breakfast at The Lucky Bug and a perfect dinner at the Gingerbread ….you must eat here!
This home, not just a house to rent, was perfect for our adventurous and relaxing vacation. It was in an incredibly safe and comfortable community and extremely well maintained and clean.
In short; we made a perfect choice by selecting this property for our vacation.

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, families with young children, families with teenagers, girls getaway, sight seeing, tourists without a car, romantic getaway

Helpful votes: 5 / 5

 
Guest Comment entered by owner

Review submitted: September 28, 2010   Date of arrival: September 7, 2010

Casa Gavilan couldn't have been a better start to our Costa Rican vacation. This is the first time we have rented a house and anchored in one spot for five days. What a great decision! The house is wonderful---clean, attractive, well-equipped, cozy, comfortable, safe and welcoming. The beautiful gardens and views of the lake and ever-changing skies are hypnotic.The owner, Ian, would be a great penpal. Responsive, easygoing and friendly even in email. He and his wife, Lynne, must be special people because everyone we met in the town of Arenal seemed to know and love them. The property managers, Ed and Leslie, are the kind of people you'd invite home for Thanksgiving dinner. The community is neat and even the neighbor will become your new BFF. After two days of slothful relaxation, we were joined by our "kids" and their "significant others." The three master bedrooms with private FULL baths guaranteed a harmonious trip! We stayed during the rainy season and have no regrets. In fact, we think it was better because we "owned" every activity we did. If you don't mind the drama of tropical storms and mud, you'll reap the rewards of fewer tourists. We ziplined (better views here than in Monteverde), rode horses, "did" Hanging Bridges, hiked to volcano lookouts, went white water rafting (awesome!), paddled on a river safari to see the flora and fauna, spent an evening at Tabacon (save your money) and kicked back at Casa Gavilan. It was so much fun to cook and eat in (go get the pre-seasoned chicken at the butcher shop next to the supermarket) that we didn't eat out much, but Gingerbread is a MUST for fun and food (brilliant!) and Lucky Bug is great for breakfast and banter. I guess if I had to say something negative, it would be that the birds were apparently jealous that we were on vacation so they decided to take one too. We set out fruit religiously each day but nothing came to eat it. The only Toucans we saw were the ones in Casa Gavilan's artwork. But the butterflies made up for it and the howling of the monkeys in the morning kept us ever mindful that we were "not in Kansas anymore." All in all, there is PLENTY to see and do in the Lake Arenal area and Casa Gavilan will quickly become your second home.

Helpful votes: 5 / 5

 
Guest Comment entered by owner

Review submitted: July 24, 2010   Date of arrival: May 17, 2010

The trip to Costa Rica was wonderful and my friends and I are so happy that we choose to stay at Casa Gavilan. From the outset, Ian and Lynn were very helpful at providing any and all information that I requested and more! The house was in great condition and we were met by Ed and Leslie who provided us with some food staples to get us by until we could make it to the grocery store. The nearest town is Nuevo Arenal and has some great grocery stores, a bank, and some great bars and food! We stopped by the bar one night and met some great people who helped us with finding great things to do in Costa without having to spend too much money. One resident even took us on a tour of Lake Arenal on his boat! The house had everything one could ask for! It is very important to keep the kitchen clean to avoid seeing bugs, and it is wise to keep the screen door shut if you don't like insects. The views from the house and other house in the neighborhood were absolutely amazing! We ventured one day to the Lucky Bug and the girl who works there, Monica, was extremely helpful and was able to arrange a budget horseback ride that was right around the corner from the house. We ventured into La Fortuna almost every day, and that is a great town too! Just be wary of the tourist traps...they tend to over charge for the attractions. Overall the trip was great and I think we all want to move there! Thank you so much and this house is highly recommended!!

Helpful votes: 4 / 4

 
Guest Comment entered by owner

Review submitted: July 24, 2010   Date of arrival: July 23, 2010

Thank you Ian and Lynn for sharing this wonderful experience. The lake is beautiful and very inviting. Thank you Monica, you helped us a lot on scheduling activities. Ed greeted us with warmth and genuine kindness, and was always there to help-Thank you.
Whether you are an avid birdwatcher or not, you will be by the time you leave. The monkeys will alert you of the weather more accurately than the local weather man. The pool was refreshing after a hard day of playing and eating. The house and grounds are beautifully maintained and make you feel at home. Again, thank you all.

Helpful votes: 3 / 3

 
Guest Comment entered by owner

Review submitted: July 2, 2010   Date of arrival: July 1, 2010

The home and site are more beautiful than the photos and descriptions show. It was the perfect stay in paradise with the natural rainforest fiews and gardens. Waking up to the sounds of monkeys, exotic birds and the sighs of humming birds and tucans was amazing. The location was ideal and near any adventure activity that could be desired. The property managers were extremely pleasant and accommodating. Just spending the day on the property was a joy as well as a satisfying experience. I would highly recommend it to anyone wanting to visit Costa Rica. I will definately go back on my next visit.

Helpful votes: 4 / 4

 

You won't find a better house!

Review submitted: May 24, 2010   Date of arrival: April 23, 2010

We were originally scheduled to spend 3 weeks at Casa Gavilan but an Icelandic volcano decided to intervene. UK airspace was closed the day before we were due to fly out of London. I have nothing but praise for Ian and Lynn (the owners) and Ed and Leslie (the caretakers) for their communication, patience, understanding, and flexibility as our flights changed on an almost daily basis. We eventually arrived 6 days later than planned, and there at the house to meet us, completely unfazed, were Ed and Leslie.

Casa Gavilan was everything we had hoped for – beautifully designed and furnished with lovely gardens. The pool was just right and we used it two or three times every day.

We brought some guide books and wildlife books with us from the UK but it was unnecessary as the reference library at the house is very comprehensive.

The wildlife around the house is amazing. We did long walks at Arenal Hanging Bridges and Santa Elena Reserve, which were a great experience, but you will see as much wildlife sitting on the patio at Casa Gavilan with a cold beer. There is even a tree frog living by the pool who comes out every evening.

We had three feeders out for the Hummingbirds and by the end of the first week they were getting through 2 litres of sugar/water mix a day! (There is a recipe at the house). If you keep a selection of fruit available on the bird table you will also get a great variety of other birds. A good pair of binoculars is a must to spot the birds in the surrounding trees. We heard the howlers every day at the house but didn’t see them. We did see them on the road to Tileran and on the road from Nuevo Arenal towards the volcano.
Keep an eye out for the Kingfisher who sits above the pond by the road from the main road down to the house.

We had read about the bad roads in Costa Rica so were expecting the worse but were pleasantly surprised. Yes they are only one lane each way, but there were no potholes and we had no problems. The road from Nuevo Arenal around to the volcano is a very pleasant drive.

We found everything we needed in the local shops and probably entertained the locals with our attempts at Spanish! Highly recommend the ‘Chorizo Tico’ (sausages) from the Pali supermarket in Tilaran, also their bacon.

Altogether, I cannot imagine that there is a better vacation home anywhere around Lake Arenal. We had a wonderful time at Casa Gavilan and plan to return soon.

Recommended for: age 55+, families with young children, people with disabilities, romantic getaway

Helpful votes: 7 / 7

 

Mountainside Retreat Spectacular

Review submitted: April 12, 2010   Date of arrival: April 3, 2010

Everything as described. The property felt like a home, very comfortable with all appointments. Views were spectacular. House was modern with beautiful landscaping and nice pool.

Owners and Managers were a pleasure to work with. No misunderstandings, no misrepresentations. Available for any questions.

We so much preferred this location to the "busy" Fortuna area about 30 minutes away by car. We felt like we were seeing a unique part of Costa Rica and without the burden of tourists.

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, families with young children, people with disabilities, families with teenagers, girls getaway, pet-friendly, sight seeing, romantic getaway

Owners response: We are delighted you enjoyed Casa Gavilan! The location of the house is perfect, with a wonderful opportunity to enjoy the breathtaking view of Lake Arenal, the tropical rainforest next to the house, the array of birds and monkeys, a sense of solitude and peace. Shopping and restaurants are only minutes away, and we also love our being so close to the many activities of the Arenal area, including horseback riding (5 minutes away), white water rafting, boating on Lake Arenal, zipline and canopy tours. Do come back and visit us again!

Helpful votes: 4 / 4

 

Casa Gavilan

Review submitted: March 31, 2010   Date of arrival: March 14, 2010

Casa Gavilan is situated in the middle of the beautiful Los Flores estate and is therefore surrounded by similar properties on rolling wooded hills. The other properties give a feeling of security and community while not being too close for privacy. Seeing the pictures IN NO WAY gives you the full impression of how wonderful the house and setting are.
The house is beautifully decorated and has all of the amenities for whipping up a great meal with all of the fresh produce close by. The water is safe to drink or wash fruit and veggies with.
The property manager is very helpful and always available if needed for advice on the area or if any problems arise he is there in a flash.
Those are the details but when you are there you will experience unrivalled views and serenity on the back porch, the pool or on the grounds. If you are a birder, It is paradise and Ian has any field guide you could possibly need on his well stocked bookshelf.
My wife will be heading back as soon as we can sneak away from work. Enjoy!
Thanks Ian and Lynn!

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, families with teenagers, sight seeing, romantic getaway

Owners response: Thank you for your kind words. We love knowing our guests enjoy our home away from home as much as we do. We would love to have you as our guests in the future - we'll keep the bird feeder filled for you!

Helpful votes: 3 / 3

 

Review submitted: March 28, 2010   Date of arrival: March 28, 2010

We have stayed in Casa Gavilan for 4 nights. Had an amazing time and the house is lovely and well taken care of. The birds in the mornings were fantastic and we even had a coati in the garden one day. You just sit in the patio and the show goes on... Everything you need is within easy reach in Nuevo Arenal, the volcano is about 30-40 minutes away on a lovely and scenic road. Most of all - Ian the owner is perfect to deal with - cooperative and you feel welcome from the first email. Would highly recommend to anyone.

Helpful votes: 2 / 2

 

Review submitted: March 18, 2010   Date of arrival: March 18, 2010

We stayed at Casa Gavilan for 4 weeks and, for me, was one of the best holidays ever had. There were 7 of us who stayed for various lengths of time over the 4 week period and all enjoyed themselves enormously.

Casa Gavilan is beautifully located within the rain forest and many birds (toucans,motmots,guans,chachalacas etc..) and mammals (coati, tayra, squirrel) visit the garden. Most mornings can hear the howler monkeys but they actually visit infrequently.

The weather conditions were not what some people would call ideal - it rained often but it is believed that this was related to the global weather problems that were being experienced. For us, though, the overcast conditions created the ideal climate for going out and exploring Costa Rica where there are many places, both inland and on the coast, to visit - surely, visiting Costa Rica is all about having adventures and not just sitting in the sun. On sunny days at Casa Gavilan, it was HOT and lethargy set in with the swimming pool beckoning.

I can without doubt recommend Casa Gavilan as a tranquil, beautifully located, place to stay that is away from the heat and hubbub of the coast.

Helpful votes: 1 / 1

 

Review submitted: February 25, 2010   Date of arrival: February 25, 2010

I am an active vacationer to Costa Rica. I travel there 3 times a year for the last 5 years. The days that I spent at Casa Gavilan was one of the very best and relaxing that I have enjoyed. Lake Arenal is trully one of the best destinations. The house was set up with very hi end finishing. I felt more at home than where I live. Walking the neighborhood was special in itself. I highly recomend. Scott

Helpful votes: 1 / 1

 

Review submitted: February 7, 2010   Date of arrival: February 7, 2010

We spent the week of January 11 through 18 at Casa Gavilan, and felt like we were at home the entire time. Much thanks to Ed and Leslie for local help and advice. Loved relaxing at the house as well as interacting with the local expats at Rumors bar & grill in Arenal. Thoroughly enjoyed eating at El Establo and riding with the owner, Alexander on their horses across the hills around Lake Arenal. Don't miss the various hot springs around volcano Arenal, even better in the rain!

Helpful votes: 1 / 1

 

Review submitted: December 14, 2009   Date of arrival: December 14, 2009

Six of us stayed at Casa Gavilan between Dec. 5 and 12, 2009. We found Ian and Lynn's place to be every bit as advertised, and then some. The house is located in a quiet "sub-division" with outstanding views over Lake Arenal; the house was gorgeous, completely furnished, beautifully decorated and fully equipped. The pool was lovely; the well-kept grounds were an absolute delight; most of the shrubs were in bloom and were abuzz with hummingbirds and many others. Surprisingly there were very few mosquitoes.
Ed & Leslie Woods, the managers, were very friendly and extremely helpful. Other than the main road running around the lake the roads are dirt/gravel and we'd strongly recommend either a 4WD or at least an SUV rather than a sedan to get around; some roads, including those in the sub-division, are quite steep. There are many things to see; we especially enjoyed the Hanging Bridges, the hot springs, Arenal volcano, and Cano Negro; the area is a birder's paradise! The near-by Eco-Lodge was closed, however, maybe for renovation. Monica at the Lucky Bug seems to know all that's going on around the area and was also very helpful.
We wholeheartedly recommend this as a place to stay, and are already trying to figure out how we can go back! I only hope we succeed.

Helpful votes: 2 / 2

 

Review submitted: October 9, 2009   Date of arrival: October 9, 2009

Our stay was simply fantastic.....the house is magnificient , much nicer than on the pictures. Bob was very friendly and helpfull 10/10

Helpful votes: 0 / 0

 

Review submitted: August 6, 2009   Date of arrival: August 6, 2009

We just returned from a wonderful visit to Costa Rica, in part due to our stay at Casa Gavilan. Everything about the house worked out well. Ian and Lynn were always quick to respond to my email and provided much helpful information. Ed & Leslie the care-takers met us at the house and were also friendly, helpful and responsive to questions. The house itself looks nice on the internet, but was much better in real life. Every morning was lovely as we sat on the patio heard (and twice saw) Howler monkeys, watched the hummers, and enjoyed the views.

We were able to do lots of things from Casa Gavilan including ziplineing, caving, hiking, and eating good food. I highly recommend the Gingerbread House.

So, from beginning to end our stay at Casa Gavilan made for a wonderful vacation.

Helpful votes: 0 / 0

 

Review submitted: August 3, 2009   Date of arrival: August 3, 2009

A great place for a great vacation!
The owners, Ian and Lynn, replied immediately to all of my emails with lots of helpful information. The house itself was beautiful, spotless, and inviting. We were met by the care-takers Ed and Leslie and they were gracious hosts with much helpful advice, and never over-bearing. The patio, gardens, and pool invited us to stay and relax. We enjoyed just soaking in the beauty. We heard howler monkeys every morning and saw them up close twice. We saw many birds, including hummers and toucans. Plus, it is within 5 to 60 minutes of any tourist activity you would want in Costa Rica, except the beach which is 2 hours away. We hope to return and take in more of this beautiful country from this home away from home.

Helpful votes: 0 / 0

 

Review submitted: July 14, 2009   Date of arrival: July 14, 2009

Absolutely wonderful house and grounds, we enjoyed every minute of our time there. Ian and Lynn have the house well equipped with lots of little extras like guidebooks and coolers, as well as purely decorative touches. The location is excellent, midway between Monteverde to the south, Arenal and the hot springs to the east, and Tenorio and the Rio Celeste to the north. The property is lushly landscaped and filled with wildlife. We saw more animals at Casa Gavilan than we did in Monteverde or the National Parks! There were capuchin and howler monkeys, hummingbirds, toucans, lizards, and we even saw a 5 or 6 ft boa constrictor on a road near the house. We loved our stay, thanks Ian and Lynn for sharing your slice of paradise with us.

Helpful votes: 0 / 0

 

Review submitted: June 23, 2009   Date of arrival: June 23, 2009

Casa Gavilan was incredible! Beautifully decorated, cozy, and an incredible view! Location is ideal for exploring Arenal and the rainforest. Thank you for helping to make it an incredible honeymoon!

Helpful votes: 0 / 0

 

Review submitted: June 22, 2009   Date of arrival: June 22, 2009

Our recent stay for our honeymoon at Casa Gavilan
was great! We had a great time with all of our
activities, especially the Tico food - yum! And the
house was wonderful! Ed and Leslie were also very
helpful.

Helpful votes: 0 / 0

 

Review submitted: April 29, 2009   Date of arrival: April 29, 2009

We had a great stay! Our two teenagers loved all the space and the DVD collection that the house offered. We zip lined, white water rafted, went horseback riding, meet very friendly people and ate some wonderful food. Can't recommend the house and area enough

Helpful votes: 0 / 0

 

Guestbook Comment

Review submitted: April 22, 2009   Date of arrival: April 1, 2009

We had a wonderful time in Costa Rica and Casa Gavilan was lovely! Lake Arenal was the perfect place for us to stay. We had an amazing adventure everyday...horseback riding to the volcano, the hanging bridges, zip lining, Monteverde (be sure to get a guide - Oscar, if possible - well worth the money), the beach, the mosic church in Canas, and even found the family my grandmother lived with when she was in the peace corp 25 years ago! Casa Gavilan has everything you could possibly need...400 DVDs, wonderful guide and reference books, meticulous grounds, the great bird feeders, comfy chairs and table on the patio, a lovely pool, anything you could possibly need in the kitchen, and you gotta love the washer and dryer, too! We would suggest you book your reservation today!

Helpful votes: 0 / 0

 

Guestbook Comment

Review submitted: April 12, 2009   Date of arrival: April 1, 2009

We stayed at this beautiful home for 10 days and LOVED it. It is very comfy with a great pool & bird watching. Nuevo Arenal is a great location for day trips to Cano Negro, Arenal Volcano & the Hanging Bridges, Rio Celeste, Monteverde and more. This is also a great place just to chill & relax with a great view of the lake and lots of birds and monkeys. As owners of a vacation rental home in Maine we were very impressed with the breakfast left at the house for us when we arrived and all the great books & info on the area. Do yourself a favor and stay at this place, the only hard thing is leaving. Pura Vida

Helpful votes: 0 / 0

 

Guestbook Comment

Review submitted: April 6, 2009   Date of arrival: April 1, 2009

We rated our trip to Costa Rica as one of our best ever. Casa Gavilan played a huge part in making it so. Ian and Lynn have made their house very inviting, comfortable and furnished with everything we needed. We fell asleep each night listening to the howler monkeys and awoke to the same each morning. We never tired of watching the myriad of birds at the feeder. The people were great there, Ed was a gracious and helpful host, we met several of Ian's neighbors and locals, all of whom were very friendly, we fell in love with Monica at the Lucky Bug - in fact all of Ian's and Ed's recommendations were spot on. There was plenty to do or not do and the Casa is well located for that. I would highly recommend Casa Gavilan to anyone traveling to the area.

Helpful votes: 1 / 1

 

Guest Book Comments

Review submitted: March 19, 2009   Date of arrival: March 7, 2009

Our stay at Casa Gavilan was amazing. The house exceeded our expectations. We enjoyed waking up to all the beautiful birds and the Howler Monkeys in the distance. The grounds are beautiful. Ian and Lynn have made the house very comfortable and welcoming. We enjoyed all the many books on Costa Rica and used the bird fact sheets everyday. Our college students made good use of the computer to send a few e-mails to their friends. Ian and Lynn have thought of everything you could need on your vacation. The house was clean and well maintained. Caretakers Ed and Leslie were very helpful with suggestions and information. It was so nice to have coffee and breakfast in the house for us for our first morning. We went to the Gingerbread and Lucky Bug restaurants twice and had our best meals there. We visited the area around Arenal Volcano, Eco Termales Hot Springs, drove to Manuel Antonio, Monteverde and Cano Negro. It was a perfect week and our kids said this was one of our best vacations! Ian and Lynn were very easy to deal with and very personable. They were quick to answer any questions I had about their house and Costa Rica. We will definitely go back to Casa Gavilan!

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, families with young children, families with teenagers, girls getaway, sight seeing, romantic getaway

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Guestbook Comment

Review submitted: March 19, 2009   Date of arrival: March 1, 2009

Casa Gavilan was beautiful. The house exceeded our expectations. It is very comfortable and there was plenty of space for our family of 5. Ian and Lynn have thought of everything for a wonderful vacation. We enjoyed the many books on Costa Rica and used the bird books everyday! Ian and Lynn's recommendations for the Gingerbread and Luck Bug restaurants were great. We had our best meals there and loved the atmosphere. Our college students said this was the best vacation that we have ever taken! Ed and Leslie were helpful with information and suggestions on the area. It was great to have coffee and breakfast waiting for us for our first morning! We would definitely rent this house again and highly recommend it!

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Guestbook Comment

Review submitted: March 18, 2009   Date of arrival: March 1, 2009

We just came back from our second stay at Casa Gavilan. Once again we were amazed by the beauty of the area and the total comfort this home has to offer. If you want to travel to the Arenal/La Fortuna area, this house is in the perfect location. It has plenty of privacy and there are some very good restaurants nearby. The house is beautiful and very well kept. It has a beautiful veranda and gardens. We spent a lot of time sitting out there just watching the birds and listening to the monkeys. You feel like you're right in the middle of the jungle! The owners and the caretakers are extremely nice and easy to deal with. We've stayed at other vacation properties over the last few years and this house is by far the very best we've stayed at. We're already planning our trip back to our "home away from home" for next year!

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Guestbook Comment

Review submitted: March 13, 2009   Date of arrival: March 1, 2009

Fabulous house. Terrific people who took care of us - Ed & Leslie. Beautiful grounds. Many details attended to by Ian & Lynn to make your stay a memorable one.
Debbie O
Montreal, Canada

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Guestbook Comment

Review submitted: March 9, 2009   Date of arrival: March 1, 2009

We all (four adults) enjoyed your lovely home in lake arenal. We often sat out on the 'porch' to watch the birds...it took the toucan about 4 days to realize we were putting out fruit and to come to visit. Having the porch, the movies, the puzzles and music your home provided helped to pass the times it was raining( yes you are in a rainforest!). We walked around the neighborhood one day and there was a monkey walking on the street!! We stayed in the front bedroom, so every am at 5:30 the howler monkeys would howl and yes they are loud! Your recommendations for restaurants were perfect...the gingerbread was wonderful (what a personality eyal has!)
We did everything: hanging bridges, the waterfall, the hot springs -several times,zip line, a tour with hidalgo to cano negro,hiked at eco lodge...lots of fun was had by all
Thank you again for sharing your home.

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Guestbook Comment

Review submitted: January 20, 2009   Date of arrival: January 1, 2009

What more can we add to the comments other than that they are all true! We had a wonderful time at Casa Gavilan....all six of us! The house was spacious and lovely, and the location was ideal. We recommend it highly!

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Guestbook Comment

Review submitted: January 19, 2009   Date of arrival: January 1, 2009

Absolutely amazing.... there is the best way I can describe this house. Lynn and Ian have done the most amazing job at making your stay here the best... from the idea books to the gardener bring fresh flowers to Leslie and Ed providing us with more info and the bear necessities to get going in the morning. Words cannot explain how much all these people put in to make your vacation to costa Rica memorable.
Thank you so much all of you.
Lisa, Wayne
Scott, Amy
Geoff, Taryn

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Guestbook Comment

Review submitted: January 5, 2009   Date of arrival: January 1, 2009

We all had a splendid time at Casa Gavilan. I can see why so many Canadians settle there as it is a great climate. We did a lot in the area and travelled to San Rafael Guisito as
well as La Fortuna (many times). We truly loved the area and would return
if time permitted. Alas, there is so much of the world we have yet to
see.

Your house is beyond expectations as far as all the 'extras' you have
built in and the recommendations, books, internet, movies, and steady supply of birds is all you really need there.

A heads up for Canadians that the bank machines were like winning the lottery - some like our Cdn bank cards and some didn't. Bring lots of cash as you can get a discount most places with colones or US dollars.

I highly recommend the Gingerbread House and a hike to Cerro Chato is a great idea if you like to trek. The canyoning in Fortuna was very safe, personal and fun!

The 'local bakery' is across from the Supermercado in Nuevo if you want Costa Rican bread.

Feel free to email me if you have other questions but I can assure you that you will love this little haven.

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Guestbook Comment

Review submitted: December 30, 2008   Date of arrival: December 1, 2008

My wife, Leah, and I were joined by our son Herb, our daughter-in-law Jeanine and our grandchildren, Daniel and Michelle (ages 26 and 14) for our thoroughly deligntful stay at Casa Gavilan. We were met by the local property manager, Ed Woods, who welcomed us and with cordiality and patience introduced us to the house and gave us much useful information on the surroundings and potential activities. The house itself was outstanding -- beautifully furnished and comfortable, and the grounds and especially the birds were breathtaking. We took advantage of so many nearby sights, including: the Hanging Bridges, where we saw so much wildlife (including a family of spider monkeys); the Cano Negro Preserve; an eshilirating horseback ride at EcoLodge; a luxurious afternoon at the Springs (including a sumptuous lunch and dunks in all the pools); a superior dinner at Gingerbread; as well as everyone's two favorites: a thrilling white-water rafting experience on Rio Balsa with Desafio; and a phenomenal trip through the forest canopy with EcoGlide near La Fortuna where we zip-lined through the trees and did the heart-pounding Tarzan Swing! What a blast! We were greatly impressed by how clean Costa Rica is and how friendly are its people. All-in-all, we had a fabulous week, and we definitely plan to return.

Helpful votes: 0 / 0

 

Guestbook Comment

Review submitted: October 13, 2008   Date of arrival: October 1, 2008

We had a fabulous time in Costa Rica. I think all of us agreed that it was as close to a perfect vacation as any of us have ever had. A big part of what made it so wonderful was having such a beautiful house to which we could return at the end of our day's adventures. The house was perfect - even nicer than it looked on the Internet (and it looked great there). Not only was the interior fantastic (spacious, beautifully designed, comfortably furnished, and equipped with all the amenities), but the landscaping on the property, the view and the entire community were all lovely.

Both Ian and Lynn (the house owners) and Ed and Leslie (the on-site caretakers of the property) had numerous suggestions about what to do in Costa Rica and how to travel in the country. This information was invaluable.

All of us are planning to come back, and when we return, we will head for Casa Gavilan again!!!

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Guestbook Comment

Review submitted: September 28, 2008   Date of arrival: September 1, 2008

Our Family of 5 Stayed a week here and had a wonderful time. Beautiful house which is very private and secluded.
I would suggest calling Ian (owner) on his 1-800 number..he is very friendly and helpful on anything you might need. This property surpassed our expectations and would definately stay again. We all had a relaxing wonderful stay.

Helpful votes: 1 / 1

 

Guestbook Comment

Review submitted: September 23, 2008   Date of arrival: September 1, 2008

We loved our week at Casa Gavilan!! The home is even more beautiful than the photos show it to be.

During our stay we enjoyed several trips, including one to the Volcano Observatory.

Ed, the local home manager, helped us get oriented quickly and then gave us our privacy to enjoy this little bit of paradise.

We recommend Casa Gavilan as a great value for anyone going to Costa Rica.

Regards,
John & Jeanie

Helpful votes: 1 / 1

 

Guestbook Comment

Review submitted: August 2, 2008   Date of arrival: August 1, 2008

We stayed at Casa Gavilan with our two children, ages 9 and 18. The house was perfect, allowing everyone their own space. The DVD collection was perfect for one night when our daughter wasn't feeling well. We watched the wonderful birds from the patio and saw howler monkeys just a few houses down. The area is so serene; after arriving back home I reflected that I felt like I had taken a giant deep breath. We highly recommend Casa Gavilan!

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Guestbook Comment

Review submitted: July 31, 2008   Date of arrival: July 1, 2008

Hi Ian and Lynn,

My son and I, along with my brother and his family, stayed at Casa Gavilan during June and July and I just wanted to take a moment to say how very much we enjoyed it. The hospitality we were greeted with surpassed any I have experienced elsewhere. It was such a treat to find fresh pineapple, bread, milk, juice, coffee and eggs as it was rather late when we finally made it to the house. How considerate! Ed was wonderful - and very patient with answering all of our questions...and there were many! He even shared some birthday cookie with us to celebrate my son's 9th birthday. I was also very impressed with the degree of organization with your movie collection. My nephew loves to watch movies, so he was in heaven just browsing through the listings. On the other hand, my son and niece spent every spare minute in the pool, while the adults enjoyed coffee on the lanai every morning while bird-watching. Your house is beautiful and so comfortable that it truly became our home-away-from-home. It was torture to tear ourselves away and return to reality! Thank you so much for sharing your lovely home with us. We certainly hope to make it back again some day. ~Jennifer Shoenfelt

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Guestbook Comment

Review submitted: July 28, 2008   Date of arrival: July 1, 2008

What an incredible week we had at Casa Gavilan! We were in Costa Rica for almost 3 weeks with our three young kids and our week at this house was our favorite. The house had everything we wanted and more, the pool was great fun, we saw countless beautiful birds and listened to monkey right from the patio. We literally couldn't have asked for anything more. Thank you Ian and Lynn for sharing your beautiful house with us!

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Guestbook Comment

Review submitted: July 10, 2008   Date of arrival: July 1, 2008

The house, yard and pool were all fantastic! Everyone made our stay at Casa Gavilan a relaxing experience. Ed and Leslie gave us many pointers about the local atractions and your recomendations were great.

Love all of the birds, and wildlife that we saw everyday, and taking a dip in the pool was a perfect topper for a day of sight seeing.

Thanks for sharing your house with us, it was a trip we will not forget.

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Guestbook Comment

Review submitted: July 1, 2008   Date of arrival: July 1, 2008

Thank you, Ian and Lynn, for finding this piece of paradise and sharing it with your fellow travelers. The location is perfect, the view breathtaking, the gardens and wildlife abundant and beautiful. Your home is fully equipped and tastefully decorated. You have thought of everything a visitor could possibly want or need.
We were in search of the perfect escape from big city life and stress that was safe and suitable for a "girls getaway"
yet provided both adventure and relaxation. Casa Gavilan is definitely that place! Thanks to your recommendations, the great shops and
food were a bonus. I had heard that the people of Costa Rica were friendly and helpful. That is an understatement. In all of my travels, I have not felt as welcome as I did there and look forward to the next trip.

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Review submitted: June 27, 2008   Date of arrival: June 27, 2008

Dear Ian: We had an absolutely wonderful stay at Casa Gavilan. I don't have to tell you that the Arenal Area is certainly one of the most beautiful locations to visit in Costa Rica. To boot, you were absolutely right with your suggestions on restaurants and other places of interests by the house. Lucky Bug was a great breakfast, particularly their fresh mango juice; the Gingerbread House had the best dinner and wine in the area; and we visited Alex at the restaurant (El Establo?) closest to your house several times. Cool dude who can tell you a story or two – ask him. The Arenal hanging bridges and sky tram/zip lines were awesome, hot springs relaxing, and your recommended boat captain took us out for a great day of wildlife viewing on Lake Arenal – for a very reasonable price. The house was perfect in every way and met our every need. Even found assistance there. Your gardener was out back each and every morning just after 6:30 a.m. and he would help us locate toucans and other birds of interest in neighboring areas. He also pointed out where to find a pack of howler monkeys – which entertained us all day and night with their calls. Loved the humming birds, though it was hard to keep track of what must have been over 25 different ones we encountered. So many other birds we couldn’t keep track. Casa Gavilan is, in short, a paradise. Lastly, dealing with you has been great. You provided all the information necessary and more up front, were very responsive and punctual to our every inquiry, had the house feeling like a home, and went out of your way to ensure that our stay went great. While there was little reason to stay inside with all the area has to offer and the marvelous views off the back deck, the house had every modern convenience imaginable. The rest of our Costa Rica journey was great, but nowhere compared to Arenal and our week at Casa Gavilan. We could not more highly recommend staying there.Thanks for the fine and memorable experience.

Helpful votes: 0 / 0

 

Guestbook Comment

Review submitted: June 27, 2008   Date of arrival: June 1, 2008

Dear Ian:

We had an absolutely wonderful stay at Casa Gavilan.

I don't have to tell you that the Arenal Area is certainly one of the most beautiful locations to visit in Costa Rica. To boot, you were absolutely right with your suggestions on restaurants and other places of interests by the house. Lucky Bug was a great breakfast, particularly their fresh mango juice; the Gingerbread House had the best dinner and wine in the area; and we visited Alex at the restaurant (El Establo?) closest to your house several times. Cool dude who can tell you a story or two – ask him. The Arenal hanging bridges and sky tram/zip lines were awesome, hot springs relaxing, and your recommended boat captain took us out for a great day of wildlife viewing on Lake Arenal – for a very reasonable price.

The house was perfect in every way and met our every need. Even found assistance there. Your gardener was out back each and every morning just after 6:30 a.m. and he would help us locate toucans and other birds of interest in neighboring areas. He also pointed out where to find a pack of howler monkeys – which entertained us all day and night with their calls. Loved the humming birds, though it was hard to keep track of what must have been over 25 different ones we encountered. So many other birds we couldn’t keep track. Casa Gavilan is, in short, a paradise.

Lastly, dealing with you has been great. You provided all the information necessary and more up front, were very responsive and punctual to our every inquiry, had the house feeling like a home, and went out of your way to ensure that our stay went great. While there was little reason to stay inside with all the area has to offer and the marvelous views off the back deck, the house had every modern convenience imaginable.

The rest of our Costa Rica journey was great, but nowhere compared to Arenal and our week at Casa Gavilan. We could not more highly recommend staying there.

Thanks for the fine and memorable experience.

Helpful votes: 0 / 0

 

Guestbook Comment

Review submitted: May 7, 2008   Date of arrival: May 1, 2008

Our stay at Casa Gavilan was "Pura Vida" for all five of us. The beautifully decorated house has all the amenities you can ever want and enough privacy for everyone to enjoy it. The large patio is the place to congregate to watch all the birds and the relaxing view of the lake. Even the Howler Monkeys make their appearance at times close enough for photo ops.

We found all the suggestions and advise from Ian and Leslie to be so beneficial and made the stay very memorable.

We will not only recommend this retreat to all our friends but hope to return with some to experience it with us again and again.

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Guestbook Comment

Review submitted: April 24, 2008   Date of arrival: April 1, 2008

It's been our experience that you find the best vacation rentals by reading the positive experiences of others. We chose to rent at Casa Gavilan de Arenal by reading the comments of former guests. They were right on. The home is beautiful and equipped with all the amenities that you could desire, including a very well organized library of 300+ DVDs. Each bedroom has its own private bath. The living space, kitchen and dining areas are very spacious and nicely decorated. The large patio overlooks the lush rainforest, beautiful Lake Arenal and the gorgeous surrounding mountains. We never considered ourselves to be birdwatchers but we quickly became engrossed in the numerous variety of awesome birds who feasted on our left over fruit peels. We were hesitant about staying in this area for four nights because we were concerned that there wasn't enough to do. In hind sight we would have given up some of the days at the beach to spend more time at Arenal because there was so much more to do. We went zip lining near the volcanoe. We went white water rafting down the Balsa River. We shopped quaint little towns and took several small hikes. We wish we would have had more time to take a horse back ride into the forest and enjoy the hot springs. Our time at Casa Gavilan de Arenal was the highlight of our two week trip. Our hosts Ed & Leslie were charming and really helpful with suggestions for daily excursions and eateries. We highly recommend this beatiful home for your next vacation.

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Guestbook Comment

Review submitted: April 1, 2008   Date of arrival: April 1, 2008

We had a great stay at Casa Gavilan! We truly felt
welcomed and at home and had everything we
needed. The owner provided detailed information
about the area and the house that was very helpful
and accurate. The house is gorgeous and
comfortable, very tasteful and there is a lot to do in
the Arenal area. We wished we could have stayed
longer. While we were there we visited Ecothermales
(hot springs) which I highly recommend and that
evening viewed the Arenal volcano from the Arenal
Lodge. The sunset over the lake was magical and
the lava flowing down the volcano was a sight not
to miss! Another day we hiked up Cerro Chato and
swam in Laguna Chato. The hike was not easy but
we enjoyed the challenge and the scenery. At the
house we relaxed, swam, read, saw howler
monkeys, tons of birds, hiked the neighborhood
trail and went running. If you are visiting Costa Rica
and the Arenal area definitely consider having a
home away from home at Casa Gavilan!

Helpful votes: 1 / 1

 

I recommend this house!

Review submitted: March 25, 2008   Date of arrival: March 1, 2008

We had a great stay at Casa Gavilan! We truly felt welcomed and at home and had everything we needed. The owner provided detailed information about the area and the house that was very helpful and accurate. The house is gorgeous and comfortable, very tasteful and there is a lot to do in the Arenal area. We wished we could have stayed longer. While we were there we visited Ecothermales (hot springs) which I highly recommend and that evening viewed the Arenal volcano from the Arenal Lodge. The sunset over the lake was magical and the lava flowing down the volcano was a sight not to miss! Another day we hiked up Cerro Chato and swam in Laguna Chato. The hike was not easy but we enjoyed the challenge and the scenery. At the house we relaxed, swam, read, saw howler monkeys, tons of birds, hiked the neighborhood trail and went running. If you are visiting Costa Rica and the Arenal area definitely consider having a home away from home at Casa Gavilan!

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, families with young children, families with teenagers, sight seeing, romantic getaway

Helpful votes: 1 / 1

 

Guestbook Comment

Review submitted: March 18, 2008   Date of arrival: March 1, 2008

Casa Gavilan is absolutely perfect! The pictures do it no justice. The house is beautiful - spacious, tastefully decorated and very soundproof. It is very private. You have neighbours but you can't see them. The yard is a gardener's delight and there really are monkeys right outside your window! We'll be back!

Helpful votes: 1 / 1

 

Guestbook Comment

Review submitted: February 7, 2008   Date of arrival: February 1, 2008

We have travelled the world and rented properties from as far apart as Thailand and Argentina. None has so exceeded expectations as Casa Gavilan. The house itself is a home and the attention to detail very much appreciated. The garden is a wonder. Its varied and splendid visitors have enthralled us day after day. The location too is superb, with so many things to do and see. We cannot recommend Ian and Lynn's house too highly and will be sure to spread the good word to friends, family and interested strangers.
A wonderful holiday!

Helpful votes: 1 / 1

 

Guestbook Comment

Review submitted: January 30, 2008   Date of arrival: January 1, 2008

My family stayed at Casa Gavilian durning the week
of Christmas. The house is absolutely perfect!
Everythng you could possibly need was there. Each
room has it's own bath, and the living space is
comfortable and adds to the beauty of Nuevo
Arenal. We did quite a few day trips to various
places in Arenal and La Fortune, and it was lovely
each evening to come back to our own piece of
paradise.

Helpful votes: 1 / 1

 

Guestbook Comment

Review submitted: January 29, 2008   Date of arrival: January 1, 2008

Everything was perfect for the four of us at "Casa Gavilan". I do some woodworking and I was in constant admiration of the craftsmanship in that house. I understand that the builder is German and it looks like he came from the Black Forest or Switzerland.
I am still practicing how to howl like a male "Howler Monkey" so I can get a better response from the nearby jungle.
All of the local Costa Rican people were most cordial and extremely friendly and helpful to us. I really appreciate the genuine hospitality of all the people we talked with on our wonderful vacation.
Most of all we want to say thanks again to Lesley and Ed Wood for their special kindness. Sincerely, Warren Gove

Helpful votes: 0 / 0

 

Guestbook Comment

Review submitted: January 28, 2008   Date of arrival: January 1, 2008

my mother, daughter and i stayed at casa gavilan in december 2007. although the weather was unseasonably cool and rainy, it did not spoil our wonderful vacation. casa gavilan is a little piece of paradise. the house is full of thoughtful touches of costa rican nature and culture. it was wonderful to come "home" each day after touring and be able to relax on the patio with a drink, curl up on the couch with a movie, or even email envious friends about the day's adventures. our favourite time of day was the early morning, when flocks of birds would gather around the feeders displaying their spectacular reds, blues, oranges, greens, and yellows. we were visited each morning by a flock of 9 toucans, who, although beautiful to see, were indeed very greedy birds!
i would highly recommend casa gavilan to anyone wanting to experience a piece of costa rican peace.

Helpful votes: 2 / 2

 

Guestbook Comment

Review submitted: January 18, 2008   Date of arrival: January 1, 2008

What a wonderful place! We enjoyed our stay at Casa Gavilan tremendously. The house had everything we needed. The house and gardens are beautiful and is very private. We enjoyed watching the birds in the yard. We highly recommend this home! Thank you, Ian and Lynn, for making this beautiful house available.

Helpful votes: 1 / 1

 

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