About This Listing
Our home is one of the top-rated in Costa Rica. Guests enjoy splendid views and privacy yet are close to many attractions and amenities. Experience an "authentic" Tico experience in a picturesque and friendly village just 7 km from Arenal Volcano.
3 metre x 4 metre splash pool-1.5 metres deep is perfect for cooling off after a day of eco-adventure
Our 'Castle in The Clouds' is just seven km from Volcano Arenal, perched 700m above sea-level overlooking the volcano, rainforest, pastures and Lake Arenal. Wake to the sound of howler monkeys, toucans and parrots and enjoy your first cup of locally-grown coffee on our enormous 25 sq. m. covered deck. At night, watch the lava flows or count the stars overhead. Our home features a splash pool to cool off after a busy day of eco-adventuring. You can walk to many attractions in the village, including several quaint local restaurants. The home features casual dining indoor or out, hot water throughout, and stunning views from every room. It is completely equipped with a full-sized fridge with ice-maker, gas stove, microwave and blender and includes twice-weekly cleaning service (more often optional on request). An optional personal laundry service is also available. Active or passive, this is the perfect home base for your Arenal vacation!
In the last few months, we've been busy landscaping our property. We now feature a paved driveway, a separate covered Gazebo (perfect for al fresco dining) and the yard has been completely enclosed with a custom-made 5' stone and wrought-iron fence. You'll enjoy our garden paradise yard featuring a variety of local and tropical plants designed to maximize your Costa Rica experience.
Now-Book Local Tours and Attractions: Tomas and Hannah, owners of La Gavilana ((website hidden)), our on-site hosts can now book many local tours and attractions for you on your arrival, saving you the hassle of running around. From zip-line tours, hot springs, spas and volcano hikes to a horseback ride to a real eco-farm or a two day hike through pristine rainforest, you can be as busy or as relaxed as you like, but you'll never run out of things to do in the area. Just ask Tomas when you arrive and he'll be happy to make recommendations and reservations for you.
Guests enjoy full use of the house, pool and gardens. Laundry service is available for a small extra charge. The kitchen is fully equipped including full stove and microwave, all the pots, pans and utensils, coffee maker and blender. All linens are included.
Interaction with Guests
We have property hosts, Hannah and Tomas, located just down the street. They will welcome you and answer any questions but give you complete privacy.
El Castillo is an authentic Tico village. The horses and cattle will pass your door each day. The locals are very friendly and will happily stop and chat. There are a couple of small groceries in the village and several restaurants, but walk up the mountain road a bit and you will be in the jungle with spectacular views in all directions.
There is no transit in the village. You will need to rent a 4x4 for travel in Costa Rica unless you are visiting resorts. All the best and most beautiful places are well off the beaten path. Driving is safe and convenient and well worth it.
No smoking allowed inside the house. $200 damage deposit is refunded at the end of your stay assuming everything is in order. A 4 wheel drive vehicle is highly recommended as the roads are steep and rough.
Very much enjoyed our stay here! The supers Hannah and Tomas (and baby Noah) were very kind and extremely helpful during our time in El Castillo. The house was just as pictured with unmatched views (the pool and yard are very small but worked for us!). Some new patio furniture outside would've been nice and a few window/door screens had holes in them but I am sure the weather takes its toll quickly in this area.
We thoroughly enjoyed cooking in the spacious kitchen and having lots of tools to do so (the mandolin helped me experiment with making plantain chips). There are lots of things to do in the surrounding area (Tomas helped us with that), but a rental car with a GPS/WiFi seemed to be a must. The roads around the house are rough but manageable at slow speeds in a 4x4. All in all a very memorable stay and would highly recommend!
My friends and I had an amazing time at your place. It exceeded our expectations. Truly a magnificent home. The views are absolutely breathtaking.
Also, Hannah and Tomas, the property managers on site, are fantastic people. They were helpful and caring and kind.
We made memories that will last a lifetime.
Without a doubt, this is the home to stay at if visiting the Arenal area in Costa Rica.
Thank you so much for everything.
House was as pictured, scenic overlook of Lake Arenal and the volcano. 2 bedrooms, one facing the volcano!
Arranged to arrive at the rental at 5:30pm MST; with a 6:00 sunset due to the time of year. Within 30 minutes of arrival, a breaker blew over the ridge from the rental causing the entire hillside town to lose power. The outage was not resolved until the next morning, aka vacation time spent in the dark.
The locals said losing power does NOT happen often while the owner of this rental said it happens quite frequently. As we discovered, you will NOT be refunded any money for inconvenience or inability to use the rentals amenities.
Additionally, It was very hard to come in contact with the host, having to try multiple ways to contact and waiting days to hear back.
Regardless, now YOU know and can plan accordingly.
List that there may be power outages and instruct people what to do and what is provided; be up front with people who don't frequently visit the country.
Provide better driving instructions, minding details is important, again, for people who don't frequently visit the country.
Thank you for your comments. We're sorry about the power outage but unfortunately, things like that are beyond our control. Anyone who travels in Latin America should expect that infrastructures are not as robust as in North America, especially in more remote areas where power and water lines run many miles through the jungle. Your suggestion about providing instructions for power outages is a good one and we will adopt it. I'm a little surprised at your comment regarding driving instructions because as you can see from other reviews, many people comment on how clear they are. We also provided GPS coordinates. For those considering visiting us, we cater to those looking for an authentic Tico experience in one of the most beautiful (but remote) parts of the country.
The house was as advertised. It's a beautiful home, the last one at the top of the hill overlooking the Arenal volcano & the lake. We couldn't ask for a better view!
The house was well equipped with everything you might need. You can have laundry service for $25 done on-site or $2,000 colones/kilo done off-site. They will pick up clothes at the house.
Weather was great! Nice cool weather, nice cool breeze and raining off and on during our stay. We did many walks, including down to the river. Just ask the locals, they'll tell you how to go down to the river. Everyone living in the community was nice and helpful.
Any needs/requests were not only handled quickly but always with a great disposition by Hannah & Thomas. John was also very responsive to any emails we sent his way.
We would definitely stay at this house again if the opportunity came up.
Useful information that the host makes you aware but important to point out:
1. You must drive several kilometers of unpaved roads to get to the house. This was hands down the best unpaved road we were on, this includes the 2-hour dirt road one must drive on if visiting Monteverde.
2. GPS. Bring one. You enter Points of Interest, not addresses
3. Good restaurant within the community, La Ventanita.
We had an amazing stay in El Castillo! The view is perfect and the house is just as pictured. Tomas was very helpful and responsive; he also helped us book an excursion. The house is 20 min from most activities on the west side of the volcano and about 40 min from La Fortuna. Definitely rent a 4x4 as the last 10 km from the highway is unpaved and can be quite steep. If we ever come back to the Arenal area we would love to stay here again!
Great house and overall a wonderful experience. It's in a very convenient location for access to many parks and various things to do (Sky Trek, Arenal Observatory Lodge, horseback riding, rafting, etc.). The last road leading to the house is pretty bumpy and steep so definitely suggest a 4x4 vehicle, but by no means should this be a reason to hold you back from staying here. This is a great place to enjoy all the interior of Costa Rica has to offer.
The house was awesome. Great place to stay in Arenal area that is secluded. The drive isn't bad either.
About the Host, John
Hannah Tomas create great works of art both with Tomas tinctures and hot sauces and with Hannahs paintings.El Castillo Alajuela
Simply beautiful and if you are lucky you may catch a glimpse of a howler monkey in the trees overhead.Millon - El Castillo El Castillo Alajuela
Great hiking trails, good food at the restaurant, and the closest view of the volcano.La Fortuna Alajuela
Great place for an expensive day at the hot springs. There are a number of them along the road from La Fortuna to El Castillo, but this is our favorite.