“Phil’s Villa” is named in memory of Phillip Slosberg, a longtime guest at Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa, who built this house and made it his home. Phil, as he was affectionately known, lived here with his wife, Jeanie, from 2008 to 2011.
A retired American neurosurgeon, Phil and Jeanie travelled to our hotel for the first time in the year 2000, and were very impressed with the Arenal Volcano’s activity, the nature and tranquility of the area. Thereafter, their visits became more frequent and prolonged, visiting two to three times a year and staying for weeks to months at a time. In 2006, the couple decided to rent a room at our lodge for two years while they built their own home on our property, from which Phil could pursue his passion for photography of the Arenal Volcano and the region’s exuberant nature.
In Phil’s own words:
“After spending 15 years taking still and video images of the underwater world and sharing them on our Cybereef website, my wife, Jeanie, and I decided to dry out a bit and spend some time chasing land-based critters. We still travel to Thailand and Cambodia, and have Madagascar and India in our travel plans, but have fallen in love with Costa Rica and have made our home here since March of 2006. Our home is at the Arenal Observatory Lodge, just 1.7 miles from the peak of the active Arenal Volcano.”
Phil was not only a dedicated amateur photographer; he was also a great observer and protector of nature. In 2008, he adopted a wild Margay kitten about one month old, which he named “Tica”. Tica was originally rescued by a farmer in Monterrey, who took her home with him where she was accepted and nursed by his pet cat. The kitten spent her time playing with the farmer’s three children, until Phil and Jeanie adopted her. Tica grew up in freedom and as a member of the family with Phil and Jeanie. They bottle-fed her initially, and then introduced meat. As she grew, Tica gradually began to leave the house to go into the forest, returning periodically for food. As time passed, her visits to the house became more sporadic – every week, then every two weeks, then once a month, etc. When she did return to the house and the surrounding areas, the hotel’s guests were sometimes lucky enough to see her and, on occasion, have her accompany them on their walks.
Phil also was known for his generosity and love of people. He was a very popular person, not only with the Arenal Observatory Lodge staff but also with the hotel’s guests, with whom he enjoyed sharing his experiences. In his words:
“If you visit Costa Rica, stop by the Arenal Observatory Lodge to enjoy the volcano and wildlife ….”
Phil died suddenly and unexpectedly in June 2011 in Florida, USA, of a heart attack. We miss him still.
Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa took over Phil and Jeanie’s house in 2012, turning it into a vacation villa rental. Jeanie continues to visit Costa Rica and Arenal Observatory Lodge every year, continuing our long and beautiful friendship.