Birdsong Villa

1km South of the El Castillo School, El Castillo, Arenal Volcano National Park Costa Rica
This is the toad. His name is Marty.
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Room & Suite (60)
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About

4.5
#2 of 3 B&Bs in El Castillo
4.9 of 5 bubbles
Location
4.3 of 5 bubbles
Cleanliness
4.7 of 5 bubbles
Service
4.5 of 5 bubbles
Value
Nestled on a lush and secluded hilltop, with spectacular views of Lake Arenal, Arenal Volcano and the Children's Eternal Rain Forest, Birdsong Villa welcomes you to little piece of paradise. Experience an unforgettable holiday in one of Costa Rica's premier travel destinations. Birdsong Villa is only 3 hours (150km) from two international airports, either in the capital of San Jose, or on the northern pacific coast in Liberia. Birdsong Villa is just 30 minutes from La Fortuna, which offers amenities such as grocery, banking, post office, restaurants, hot springs, excursions and much more. Birdsong Villa is a unique and luxurious accommodation that offers you the flexibility to rent one or both floors of the villa. Stay in the Bird's View Suite for $180-night, or the Garden View Suite for $95-night. Have a large group, or are you looking for a bit of privacy? You can rent the entire villa for $275-night. The Bird's View Room has a beautiful Bali interior with huge glass windows opening to the breathtaking 180-degree views. The suite has a modern built-in kitchen, large bedroom with corner Jacuzzi tub, large bathroom with walk-in rain shower and separate toilet, and an outdoor enclosed rock shower. $180-night. The Garden View Suite looks out on vibrant and luscious gardens with dozens of hummingbirds and butterflies fluttering around. The suite has a fully equipped kitchen, sitting area, sleeping area, and bathroom. $95-night. Both suites offer luxury and elegance with the comforts of home, including satellite TV, high speed wifi internet, and telephone, computer, and printing service. A delicious breakfast is included in your stay. We'll serve breakfast at your preferred time, or leave the ingredients for your own cooking pleasure. Lunch and dinner can be requested for a fee. Experience the ultimate Costa Rican holiday with some of our recommended day trips. The Arenal area has it all, from zip-lining, water rafting, hot springs, butterfly conservatory, wind surfing, fishing, extreme hiking, birding, and more. Everything you could ask for is less than an hour away so you will spend more time enjoying your holiday and less time driving.
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Property amenities
Free parking
Free High Speed Internet (WiFi)
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Hot bath
Free breakfast
Hiking
Non-smoking hotel
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Romantic
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Detailed Reviews
Mike M wrote a review Jan 2020
Kansas City, Missouri84 contributions75 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Saddest day of 2020 so far was when I had to depart from Birdsong Villa. My girlfriend Courtney and I stayed there 2 nights in early January. We were instantly blown away by the beauty of this property. After traveling up a bumpy mountain road, we pulled into Birdsong and met our host, the owner Allan. He showed us around the property and we fell in love with our room. I would DEFINITELY suggest renting the top floor, as the view of Arenal and the jungle below is unparalleled beauty. We woke up each morning to the sounds of the jungle. Howler monkeys echoed throughout the floor, and seemingly hundreds, maybe thousands of species of birds singing. Then we'd make coffee and have breakfast made *in our room* by the sweet Louisa. We'd eat outside on our little patio the freshest fruits, pancakes and eggs. We decided to get massages out on the lookout pier that overlooks the jungle. That was a memorable experience. Also had Yami, the owners wife over to make us a private dinner one night. The entire experience was awesome and we are so happy we got to make new friends in Allan and Yami. We also adopted the cute little toad in the outdoor shower area and named him Marty.
To be honest, we will never stay anywhere else again when visiting this area in Costa Rica. A resounding 5 stars.
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Date of stay: January 2020
5.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
Room Tip: Get the top floor! It's so worth it.
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
clpayne wrote a review Nov 2012
Missouri City, Texas1,609 contribution367 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
We stayed at the Birdsong Arenal 11/1 - 11/9 (upstairs). We could not have been more pleased with our choice! Prior to our arrival I was concerned with the distance of our location in comparison to La Fortuna. When driving to the house the late afternoon of our arrival I was even more concerned. However, after our 9 days at Birdsong I realized we could not have been more centrally located for the activities we had chosen.

If these are the activities you enjoy:

zip lining
horse back riding
hiking
hanging bridges
Aernal Observatory
Arenal National Park
ATV

Then you are staying at the most centrally located place! Yes, La Fortuna is 45 min away, but don't be fooled. Based on the drive to Birdsong you'll feel like you are "away" from everything, but in reality if you stay in La Fortuna you will spend approx 45 min each way every day driving to the activities listed above. Birdsong is 5-15 min away from each of these activities. Birdsong is the best of both worlds. You get the exclusive feel of being in a location far from the touristy locale, but yet are more centrally located to most activities than all the typical resorts. During our 9 days we only went to town 2 times! Everything else was in close proximity of Birdsong.

Couple of tips:

Rental Car: You need a rental car for staying at this location. You need a jeep. 4x4 not reqd, but definitely NOT a car. We rented from U Save Car Rental through Hotwire. I had researched/monitored this for a few months prior to booking and found them to be the best price.

Arrival Time: Arrive before dark! Directions given were good, but this location is in an area of rough terrain. In the dark it is very difficult to find and the road traveled is very rough and rugged.

Groceries and Gas: Get groceries and gas in La Fortuna before proceeding to Birdsong. There is only a "convenience store" close to Birdsong w/ very limited options and expensive. Super Christian #4 is a good option located on the outskirts of La Fortuna just as you are leaving town and past Burger King. Will be on the left side. The only gas station is also in La Fortuna and that's 30+ min away.

Rain Poncho: Bring a rain poncho! It will come in handy at least one day of your travels. It rained at least a small amount nearly every day of our visit. You are in the rain forest so expect it to rain! Years ago we purchased cheap rain ponchos and when not traveling they are stored in our car trunks in our emergency car care kits. You won't regret bringing them and they take almost no room in your bag.

Breakfast requests: Breakfast is included with your room. Do not hesitate to make special requests. They will be able to accommodate. I prefer to eat healthy if/when possible and they were easily able to accommodate my requests such as egg white only, no cheese, lots of fruit, etc.... Very good breakfast and good way to start your day.

Tours: Do not pre book your tours. Allan, the host, encouraged me not to do so and this goes against everything I ever do when we travel. I took his advice which made me uncomfortable, but he was right! The weather changes frequently. Pick your adventure each day based on the weather. He will help you make reservations each day and can provide recommendations. I would recommend doing your research prior to arrival to know what you'd be interested in doing, but other than that play each day by ear.

Covered Patio: Owner has added a covered patio off the front door of the upstairs unit. This is not shown in the web site pictures. This was perfect for breakfast since we had rain almost every morning. Would also come in handy on very hot days to provide sun protection. Also has 2 hammocks to enjoy under the covered patio. I have included an updated photo of the house with the covered patio and additional colorful vegetation which is not shown on the Birdsong web site. Even prettier now with all the colors! There is an uncovered patio as well looking directly at the volcano. This makes for a great outdoor yoga "studio"!

Cell Phone: For $10 you can purchase a C Rican sim card worth 1 hr of talk time including calls to the US. Well worth purchasing. However, make sure your cell phone utilizes a sim card. My blackberry does not utilize a sim card so it would not work.

Top Unit vs Bottom Unit: Both units are available for rent. I highly recommend the top unit. It's unbelievable what a difference in view there is between the two units. Slight difference in price, but worth the extra money. The view you wake up to in the upstairs unit is like nothing we've experienced before.

Length of stay: We had originally planned 3 days at the volcano, 3 days and 3 days in two other locations. We didn't want to live out of a suitcase so changed our plans to spend the entire 3 days in this location. We are busy bodies and were a bit concerned we wouldn't have enough to do in one location for this long. Not the case at all. There was more than enough to do for this length of stay. Given the location, the views, and amount of different things to do I would recommend spending more than 3-4 days.

GPS: Don't waste your $ renting one if you plan on staying at Birdsong the entire stay. If traveling throughout CR then that may be different.

Hot Springs: Go on a week day to avoid crowds. More information below on this activity.

Tours: Many of the tours include transportation from LOCAL hotels, not including Birdsong. You'll have your own car and won't be utilizing their transportation. Ask for a discount. Some of the places gave a 10% discount for providing our own ride.

Return to Airport: It is approx a 3+ hr drive back to SJO airport. I would recommend spending your last full day/night at The Peace Lodge and La Paz Waterfall Gardens. This is approx 2 hrs from Birdsong and 1 hr from SJO airport. This is another amazing property of an entirely different experience. Will put you much closer to the airport and will make your departure day much simpler.


Pros:

VIEW: One of the best views you'll get for your money!! The pictures on the web site are beautiful, but don't begin to do it justice.

LOCATION IN PROXIMITY TO ACTIVITIES: Close (5-15 min) from most of the more popular activities in the area.

Very romantic and "exclusive/distant" location. EXCELLENT honeymoon destination or couples getaway.

Waterfall on the Birdsong property within 15-20 min hike. Where can you stay that you have your own PRIVATE waterfall?!

Small kitchen in the property. Large breakfast provided. Can easily do a light lunch on your own at Birdsong and then eat out for dinner or even cook your dinners in as well.

Cook available for higher for dinner upon request. Very good meal for $18/person. However, for that price thought it would have included a bottle or at least glass of wine and dessert. Was nice to come home after a long day of hiking and have dinner cooking and almost ready waiting for us. We only did this 1 nt b/c I thought it was a bit pricey, but again very good meal.

Outdoor shower was fun! Definitely something different that you won't find at your typical resort in the area. The owner's parrot lives in the shower and joins you for breakfast each morning. Say hi to Lori for us! She's learning to say "don't go home" to her guests.

Mud boots: Was very muddy on the trails during our visit due to the unusual amount of rain we had. The owner was kind enough to offer us his mud boots for the week. They came in very handy. Even w/ ponchos our clothes were often wet each day and he offered his dryer if needed.

Hot tub in your room and can view the volcano from the tub. fyi....it fills slowly so plan accordingly.

Internet Access: You have wireless internet access available for no cost. The connection is very reliable and we never had a problem other than when we lost power due to the storms.

Not Cons - Just Points To Consider:
Location: We did NOT consider this a con (for us this was a PLUS), but some may. You do need to plan accordingly for getting your groceries and gas only. However, when the owner goes to town for groceries he is quite happy to pick up whatever you need if you give him $. In 10 days we only went to town twice. Do not pass up staying at Birdsong b/c you are concerned of it's distance from La Fortuna. As I stated above, you are actually more centrally located to most activities by staying at Birdsong than if you stayed in town!

Daily maid service: Web site says daily maid service, but we did not have maid service daily. We had service once about mid way through our 9 day stay. This was not a deal breaker for us, but for some, though, this may be important. Would have liked maid service every 2-3 days perhaps. With cooking our meals in the unit and the muddy/gravel terrain of the area and wood/tile floors it was needed more frequently.

Kids: This would not be a location for children in my opinion. Kids might be better served at a resort w/ a pool, other kids to play with, etc.....

Weather: We had 2 days of 100% wash outs. It poured rain and was very windy for 2 days straight. Weather cannot be controlled. The downside to this location and La Fortuna there is not much to do that is not outside. A few board games would be a nice addition to Birdsong. There is a indoor mini golf course in La Fortuna, but did not want to drive in 45 min in the downpour and wind.

Hangers/Storage Space: There is no place to hang clothes in the upstairs unit. There is a stackable unit near the bathroom, but this was full of towels, linens, etc... I was able to make some space so we could unpack a few items, but we mostly lived from the suitcase.

Breakfast: Breakfast is provided. You tell them what time each day. We went w/ 8 am every day. Keep in mind this is "island time" and may not always be right at 8 a.m. :) Was never a problem for us b/c we did not have early tours booked. However, if you have a.m. tours booked be sure you point this out to them the morning before as a reminder.
FYI: This is NOT a negative, but an fyi for those few vacationers that like to exercise on vacation. Obviously there is no fitness facility on the property. I was well aware of this prior to booking. When staying at places w/o a fitness facility I've always been able to just go outside and run. Easy enough. Not the case here! It is extremely rugged terrain and hilly beyond belief. I am an experienced runner (15 marathons) and the downhill running was too dangerous in my opinion. LARGE rocks, uneven terrain, wet rocks (slippery) and mud led to me turning my ankle a few times and almost falling twice before I decided to stop trying. A 15 min walk to the bottom of the hill and you can find slightly less rugged terrain for running if necessary. I would often leave for our daily "adventures" an hour before my husband. I would walk to the bottom of the hill and run the main road (still very rugged, but improved from the hill) to our destination and he would meet me there. Again, not an negative, but merely an fyi for those rare individuals that like to exercise on their vacations.

Activities we enjoyed:

Sky Trek zipling: We have zip lined in 6+ different countries. This was by far the best we have done in terms of the length of the lines and the safety of the operation. Ecoglide zipline is another option for about half the price. They are located in Fortuna so Sky Trek which was just down the road.

Sky Trek Hanging Bridges: A good hike lasting approx 1.5 hrs. Not strenuous, but a good jaunt. The Sky Tram itself was not worth the $. Arenal Hanging Bridges is another option for a similar price and hind sight think we would have enjoyed them more. They are also located close to Birdsong.

Rancho Margot horseback riding: We took the 2 hr tour for $35. They offer other tours which are longer including a day long tour to Monteverde. For the money the quality of the tour was extremely good. We did not eat there, but they offer a lunch buffet for 15/person.

Arenal Observatory: We visited the Lodge 2 times. The first day we hiked all the trails except the Cherro Chato trail. The 2nd time was to hike the Cherro Chato trail. The Cherro Chato trail takes 4+ hrs to hike, but is worth every moment. The Old Lava Trail is also labeled difficult, but only 30 minutes. If you are not up for the Cherro Chato trail, but want an adventure I highly recommend the Old Lava Trail. It's steep and challenging, but take your time and stop when necessary if you are not the most physically fit. Go for it!

Cherro Chato Trail: This trail is in Arenal Observatory. Not for the faint at heart. The brochure says 4 hr difficult hike. I'm in good shape and would say it's more like 4.5+ hrs easy depending on how many times you stop to rest along the way. The 1st 30 min is paved trail and I would consider easy. The next 30 min I would consider slightly moderate. The only difficult part of the trail is the approx 1+ hr hike straight up the volcano and 1+ hr back down. Then you return via the 30 min moderate and 30 min easy portion of the trail. I believe tour operators sell this as a tour and charge a pretty penny. There is NO need. Pay your $6 admission to the park, get your map and go! Highly recommend this hike! There are tour operators that charge $50-80 for this same tour. NOT necessary. Again, pay your $6 park entrance, get a map and off you go.

Pizza John's: Great pizza made to order and homemade ice cream. Local establishment run by a former CA resident. Funny guy with a great dog! Be sure and say hello to Taco the dog and Taco's girlfriend!

Soda: Another local restaurant. NOT fancy, but very local food.

Spa: There is a spa within 5 min. We did not partake in their services so I can not attest to their quality. Prices ranged I believe from $35 - 100. Let Allan make your reservation and he typically can get you a discount.

Hot Springs: We researched all the various hot springs and decided on Eco Termales. Tabacon was over rated, over done, man made, over priced, crowded, etc and ruled it out.. Baldi is under construction and many pools closed. We narrowed it down to Eco Termales and Las Lagos. Los Lagos was $15 + 10 for meal + $5 towel/person + $5 locker + drinks ???). Eco T was $35 + 17 dinner + free towels + free lockers + $3 beers/$5 mixed drinks). These are evening pass prices. Los Lagos has numerous water slides and thus more apt to attract children. Also wondered if slides would detract from the ambiance and make it more like a water park instead of a romantic hot spring. Los Lagos is also more man made vs "natural". We did NOT go to Los Lagos so these are merely assumptions I made. This may not be the case. Eco T only allows 100 people/nt. We went on a Monday nt. There may have been 2 dozen people at most when we arrived. By 7 pm there was only us and 1 other couple. We had the entire place to ourselves and no children. Incredible. One of the more romantic activities we have done in our years of travel.


Tips If Traveling On A Budget:

Rent the downstairs unit of Birdsong vs the upstairs. The view from upstairs is entirely more picturesque. However, with the 2 patios on the property (1 covered, 1 uncovered) you are able to enjoy the same views. The experience you have even in the downstairs unit will far exceed any view you'll find at a lower or similar priced resort. We rented the top unit and this would be my preference. However, if your budget is between the downstairs unit vs a "typical" hotel, don't miss this opportunity!

Hot Springs: There is a free hot springs across the street from Tabacon. We did not visit this location, but talked to a young couple that did and they said it was very enjoyable. The next best choice would be Los Lagos at $15/person w/o dinner.

Repelling and White Water Rafting: These are offered as separate tours and approx $90'ish'/tour/person. However, they offer a combo tour for close to the same price. Slightly less repelling and only Class II-III rapids. We opted for the separate tours so we had longer time repelling and Class III-IV rapids. The combo tour is a good option if short for time and trying to maximize your travel dollars.

Arenal Observatory - hiking: $6/person admission. Minus the Cherro Chato trail you can spend an entire day hiking their trails. We spent 2 days. One day on the Cherro Chato which was 4+ hrs and another day exploring all the other trails.

Groceries: Groceries are expensive, but typical priced for the islands. We saw a Walmart as we were leaving San Jose. Could stop and get groceries there instead of La Fortuna. We didn't opt for this, but an option.

Zip Lining: Go with EcoGlide instead of Sky Tram/Trek. Almost 1/2 the price and truly a similar experience.


Again, we highly recommend a visit to Birdsong Arenal! Truly a unique experience like none other we have had in our many years of traveling!
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Date of stay: November 2012
4.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
3.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
4.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Room Tip: Choose the upstairs unit for the best view!
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
MidwestUSPerspective wrote a review Jan 2014
Jackson, Michigan2 contributions2 helpful votes
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Allen is a tremendous host, the views are fantastic. But, here's the rub.
Having spent 5 nights at the Birdsong, I feel two would have been plenty. The entire area is impossible to experience from one location, and the entire area deserves to be experienced. I spent two days driving to Nuevo Arenal to try to get a feel for that northwest side of the lake. By the time you make the tedious drive you are too stressed to relax and enjoy the quaint town. You have to start thinking about the drive back to Birdsong before it gets dark. Mind you, the same is true if you stayed in Nuevo Arenal and wanted to well experience La Fortuna and the volcanoes properly. The area truly deserves two if not three destinations. However, given the choice of staying in a Tico house in Nuevo Arenal or in Allen's Birdsong, I would choose the Tico house. The Birdsong is not just remote, but it is removed. Removed from the culture that to me is CR. Yes, you can drive into La Fortuna, but that is not at ALL a representation of the CR culture. Birdsong sits rather high in the mountains. It is like trying to experience New York City from the 22nd floor of a Manhattan apartment. It is breathtaking for a couple days, but it is no way to spend your entire time in Lake Arenal.

If you are planning to stay in the La Fortuna area and have an SUV, I agree with the high opinions of the views and the cooking of the Birdsong. If you are looking for a secluded place to just hang out, it is hard to beat. But, again, it is no place to experience CR from.
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Date of stay: December 2013
3.0 of 5 bubblesValue
4.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
2.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
4.0 of 5 bubblesService
4.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Trip type: Travelled with family
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from rudickallan, Owner at Birdsong Villa
Responded 8 Jan 2014
Once in awhile you get a family that does not know how to travel. this was the case with these people. They spent an entire day traveling to my place and when they were within 500 yards they got very uptight & never even made it to the house the first night. They were to spend 5 nights. Of course I tried to explain to them that they were really in the perfect spot for all activities. they decided to spend the 1st night elsewhere. then the second day they called back & realized that they were wrong & decided to come back for the other 4 nights. I was on the premises to help them with planning and other things. They were kind of uptight & had no idea how to enjoy the area. This happens with very few people as anyone can plainly see by my other reviewers. I did enjoy them but they never seemed to get a hold on what Costa Rica is all about. Allan
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Torontogirl16 wrote a review Aug 2015
Toronto, Canada10 contributions11 helpful votes
+1
1.0 of 5 bubbles
After reading the great reviews for this place and looking it up online, my boyfriend and I were very excited to be staying here. We booked the room on the bottom floor for a 3 night stay. We ended up having to leave at 10 pm on the first night to escape.

The problem with this place is that how it appears online is very misleading compared to what it is like in person. Nowhere on the website did it mention that you need to drive on a horrible, treacherous, bumpy road for 40 minutes before you arrive here. This place was one of the last stops in our Costa Rica trip, so we had become used to the driving; however, no other roads compared to this one - even though we had a 4 x 4 vehicle. This villa is also in the middle of nowhere so if you want to go anywhere else in the area (restaurants, tours, activities) you need to drive once again on the horrible road. And at night or in the rain, it only gets worse.

The next major problem with this place is the villa itself. I was in no way expecting 5 star accommodations; however, I was shocked when I saw the condition of the villa. It looked like it had not be cleaned in months, it was filled with dust, there was a horrible dirty smell, and there were bugs everywhere. I expect bugs in Costa Rica, but not an infestation like there was here (we saw spiders, Mosquitos and wasps to name a few). Not only this, but it looked like someone had been living there before we arrived, and it was never cleaned. The washroom was filthy - someone had left a disgusting used toothbrush, mouth wash, baby powder and a few other things on the shelf. The kitchen (which in the pictures looked like a well-kept fairly modern kitchen) was in a very poor state. It was dirty, and the cupboards were all filled with random objects that did not belong to us. The bed was one of the most uncomfortable I have ever felt and you could feel the springs coming out of it. The "decorative touches" consisted of flowers which were placed in alcohol bottles that were being used as vases.

As I mentioned above, we booked a 3 night stay but after seeing what this place really looked like, we did not feeling comfortable or safe staying here. We thought that we would stay for one night and leave the next morning but around 10 pm on the first night the power went out and we started hearing all these loud banging sounds so we decided that was it and left that night. Even though we didn't have another place booked and we were losing our money that we spent on this place, we figured any decent hotel would be better than this. We e-mailed Allan (the owner) since there is no staff on the property to help, and he was not very apologetic and unwilling to do anything to help us - very poor customer service. For an extra 50 dollars a night, we ended up staying at another resort which was beautiful.

I am by no means trying to be spiteful by writing this review, but I want to help others avoid the horrible experience that we had from booking our stay here. Out of 10 days of travelling in Costa Rica, this was the only negative experience we had. There are so many other beautiful places to stay in the area which are clean, welcoming, have decent roads, and excellent customer service, unlike The Birdsong Villa.
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Date of stay: August 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
quatrecoinsdumonde wrote a review Jan 2015
Chamonix, France32 contributions18 helpful votes
2.0 of 5 bubbles
If you would take the upper room you will have a magnificient view, but it comes with a price...very limited privacy:

- the kitchen where the breakfast is prepared is not separated but in your room so in the morning you have to be awake and dressed in time.
- when bad weather you will eat inside with the other guests (of the room below) and the owner ...in your room! Imagine this table is only one meter away from your bed...They will try to avoid this, but remember it is often windy and rainy there...

-While we were still using our room on the last day, the owner let other guests in our room (while our stuff was there), as he wanted to show it to them to see if they were interested. Ok he asked for it, (but was not waiting for our answer though...)

- The room is situated in the living room of the owner. And the owner has no real place except this house to live. So when we were leaving, we had a bit the feeling the owner was outside waiting for us to leave so he could use his living room again...

- Breakfast is ok. But the person who prepares the breakfast is constantly on the phone (as if he is at the same time running a taxi company).

Conclusion:
The view is great, and if you don't mind privacy issues you probably should go for it,
Personally taking the above into account I don't think I would have chosen for this B and B. I hope the owner will at least change something at the lay-out of this B& B to increase the pivacy...
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Date of stay: December 2014
2.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
3.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
2.0 of 5 bubblesService
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from rudickallan, Owner at Birdsong Villa
Responded 26 Jan 2015
I am totally shocked. This is the first time in 5 years that a guest has been so unhappy with Birdsong. I work very hard to make all guest feel at home as much as possible. I guess though that is impossible to make everyone happy. I always tell guest that if they want complete privacy that I would be more then happy to give them that. I do find that as policy I usually try & have a cup of coffee with my guest in the mornings to help them arrange their day and give them any information that they may need. If this guest felt they did not need any information they could have expressed that. Usually breakfast is served on the outdoor patio. Once in awhile when their is very bad weather we serve it inside. I could have served the guest seperate breakfast in their rooms but this time I asked before if they would not mind having breakfast together. These guest said it was no problem. I asked because most people do not mind it. Well if anyone looks at all my other reviews I guess they will see that in 5 years I have a 5 star rating.
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Kate L wrote a review Feb 2013
Chicago, Illinois, United States2 contributions2 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Birdsong was incredible. A perfect view. Toucans flew by the windows at sunrise. The activities that Allan suggested were phenomenal. We were just THRILLED with the experience. Make sure you have 4 wheel drive!
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Date of stay: January 2013
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Room Tip: Spring for the big room. The view is incredible.
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Ltotravel wrote a review Aug 2012
Toronto10 contributions5 helpful votes
+1
5.0 of 5 bubbles
I cant say enough amazing things about BirdSong Villa. We visited here from August 17-19th 2012. Allan (the owner) was so personable and friendly and made us feel so welcome. The views were some of the best views we saw our entire 10 day trip! This place is magical! We would wake up every night just to look at the stars from the large windows, they seemed so close, almost like you could reach out and touch them from your bed.

The view of the Volcano was AMAZING! It is better then the view from the Observatory Lodge (we visited here and found that we had a better view at BirdSong)

Allan was so helpful and was able to recommend lots of tours and things for us to do while we were in Arenal. We chose the ZipLining (which is only 10 minutes from BirdSong) and the Tabacon Hot Springs - both were amazing !!

This place would be perfect for Honey mooners - it was so romantic and beautiful - And different then staying in your average hotel. But at the same time would be perfect for a family or a single couple like us. And pilson (the breakfast cook) comes and makes the most amazing Costarican breakfasts for you right in your own kitchen ! And you can eat outside with panoramic views of the cloud forest, lake arenal and the volcano
We did opt to do a dinner there as well which is an absolute MUST DO ! ($18.00 pp) It was one of the best meals we had during our 10 day stay in C.R -- I wish we could have taken Milsa (the chef) home with us ! Yes the road to get there is pretty treacherous, but it is all worth it! Trust me !!

All in all, the property is unreal, the food was amazing, the house and view are gorgeous and clean - and we would recommend this B&B to anyone !!
Thanks Allan for your generous hospitality we hope to see you soon !!

Crystal & Jon
Toronto, On
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Date of stay: August 2012Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Kim W wrote a review Jul 2012
Glenwood Springs, Colorado4 contributions2 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Birdsong was everything we hoped for during our stay in El Castillo. The views were absolutely amazing. The place was great for our family of 4. We loved our dinner and both breakfasts. In fact, the meals there were some of the best we had in Costa Rica. Allan was a gracious host who took us for a fun hike down in the jungle and to a waterfall. It is a steep drive up to this place and I would recommend 4 wheel drive if possible. We were able to access other hikes near Arenal in a reasonable time and drove into Arenal for the Hot Springs.
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Date of stay: July 2012
4.0 of 5 bubblesValue
4.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
4.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
4.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
4.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Trip type: Travelled with family
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
veerleAntwerpen wrote a review Aug 2011
antwerpen13 contributions14 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Everything was so nice over there!Odeley and Allen were so kind and made us really feel at home.Odeley cooked very well and she learned me how to make tortillas.We'll never forget this place
Rudi ans Veerle,Belgium
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Date of stay: August 2011
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
David C wrote a review Jan 2017
7 contributions1 helpful vote
+1
2.0 of 5 bubbles
We were supposed to stay at Allan's place for three nights (we used airbnb). Beginning and preparations were great, Allan quickly responded to all my questions, called me and helped with route options from Monteverde, overall great first impression.

We got to the place Monday night. It was already dark, and the electricity was out. Allan showed us the place, gave us some fruit ... we could not see much with just one flashlight, but after he left, we got our headlamps out and looked around little bit more. We discovered that there are layers of dust everywhere, dead insect all over jacuzzi (not one or two flies, bottom was covered with insect every few inches), spiderwebs around microwave, some old food leftovers in the fridge. We thought about leaving right away, but it was dark with tropical rainstorm outside, no electricity and no internet, so we decided to stay one night and decide in the morning.

In the bathroom, there was another surprise, a gecko under the sink, and we also found some lizards crawling on the walls. In the morning, we packed our things. I tried to reason with Allan and explain to him, that we will not stay in the place that is this dirty, and asked for some refund. He refused to reason with me, his comment was, that he did not know what he should be refunding, and "look at my 150 positive reviews on the internet". All those reviews were reason we decided for Birdsong villa, but our experience was completely different.

The place would be amazing if it was clean. The view in the morning must be stunning (I think that is what most people see, so they tend to ignore the rest of the property) I am used to being in the nature, I spent weeks at a time just with my sleeping bag and bivy in the wilderness, so I would easily get over the fact that there was some wildlife in the house, as well as the fact that the electricity was out (this was of course not Allan's fault, but the fact that we could not use any of the amenities certainly did not contribute to pleasant stay). However, the fact, that the place is so dirty caused us to leave two nights early.

Right before I left, Allan said that "he could have the place cleaned, and there is no problem". Unfortunately, it does not work like that - I am not interested in watching people cleaning our bedroom while we are there on our vacation (did I mention it was still raining outside, so we could not really go anywhere ?) The place was supposedly cleaned the day before. I have no reason not to believe that - floors seemed swept, sheets were clean as well. But all those less prominent places you do not see right away when you enter the room (top of the fridge, bathtub, inside refrigerator) were not touched for a long time. Overall, this was not very good experience. I see why people love this place, and we would too - only if it was clean.

Later that day, on a different hotel (for a half a price, clean and maintained), I requested a 50% refund agan (I tried to be reasonable about it, we still spent one night there), this time through airbnb. Allan refused to give any refund again, so I escalated the case to airbnb resolutions center. They ultimately agreed with me, returning portion of the money back to my card and second portion in airbnb credit.
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Date of stay: January 2017
1.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
3.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Room Tip: view in the morning from the upstairs room must be great on a good weather day
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Mike M wrote a tip Jan 2020
Kansas City, Missouri84 contributions75 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Get the top floor! It's so worth it."
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A. Cristina Ciurezu wrote a tip Apr 2019
Montreal, Canada15 contributions1 helpful vote
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Suites in the heart of nature with a view of the volcano, 20-minute drive to La Fortuna, privacy & comfort."
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David M wrote a tip Jan 2019
14 contributions5 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"The larger room upstairs is worth the extra cost."
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shellykf wrote a tip Mar 2017
Snohomish, Washington131 contributions35 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Gorgeous top floor room!"
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David C wrote a tip Jan 2017
7 contributions1 helpful vote
2.0 of 5 bubbles
"view in the morning from the upstairs room must be great on a good weather day"
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Not the right property for you?
There are more places to choose from in the El Castillo area.
FORMERLY KNOWN AS
Birdsong B&B
LOCATION
Costa RicaProvince of AlajuelaArenal Volcano National ParkEl Castillo
NUMBER OF ROOMS
2
Prices are provided by our partners, and reflect average nightly room rates, including taxes and fees that are fixed, known to our partners, and due at time of booking. Please see our partners for more details.
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BIRDSONG VILLA (El Castillo) - B&B Reviews & Photos - Tripadvisor

Frequently Asked Questions about Birdsong Villa
Which popular attractions are close to Birdsong Villa?
Nearby attractions include Butterfly Conservatory - Arenal (1.4 km), Tabacon Hot Springs (7.9 km), and Arenal Hanging Bridges (7.8 km).
What are some of the property amenities at Birdsong Villa?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include free wifi, free breakfast, and free parking.
Which room amenities are available at Birdsong Villa?
Top room amenities include a kitchenette, a minibar, and a refrigerator.
What food & drink options are available at Birdsong Villa?
Guests can enjoy free breakfast during their stay.
Is parking available at Birdsong Villa?
Yes, free parking is available to guests.
What are some restaurants close to Birdsong Villa?
Conveniently located restaurants include Essence Arenal Restaurant, La Ventanita, and Restaurante phoenix.
Which languages are spoken by the staff at Birdsong Villa?
The staff speaks multiple languages, including English and Spanish.
Does Birdsong Villa have any great views?
Yes, guests often enjoy the mountain view available here.
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