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“some great, some awful” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Lost Iguana Resort & Spa

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Lost Iguana Resort & Spa
3.5 of 5 Resort   |   1.5 km North of Arenal dam, La Fortuna de San Carlos, Arenal Volcano National Park A2004, Costa Rica   |  
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Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“some great, some awful”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2013

I would start by saying, I think they meant to close the hotel for repairs, but forgot to tell travelocity. It turned out there was a bike race while we were there, so many of the hotels were booked, which may explain the really high cost. The hotel was renovating their pool and doing a lot of repairs. They offered a mudpack (which we didn't use) to "compensate" --I think a steep discount would have been much more appropriate. The hotel was VERY expensive. The room space was nice enough, view was great, the restaurant was pleasant. The walk to the restaurant went past something that smelled dead and another area that smelled of sewer. We didn't complain, but I don't know how any staff could walk by and not notice, Awful! The people at the hotel were not particularly helpful in arranging activities (the next hotel was fantastic, so in retrospect, we could see the difference), which in the end, was fine, as we just relaxed on our balcony with a great view. The one thing we went on was a float trip, and that was great. Their store which had lots of local crafts, was actually inexpensive and really nice. Wish I had bought more. The biggest problem was that they had big ants, which I found out later were called bullet ants. There was one next to the bed, and I stepped on it barefoot. It is excruciating, and I sat with my foot up and on a cold soda can for several hours. This hotel was way too expensive, did not warn us that they had closed their on-property hiking trails(one of the reasons we chose it), that they had their pool closed, that they were having people working on their property which detracted considerably. We found a letter on the bureau explaining that they would be closed for renovations during the week that we were there...Costa Rica is geared towards their tourists. This hotel is far from the activities, and so needs to provide information and transportation and they were not very good at this.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,095 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (269)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Atlanta
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
31 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
174 helpful votes 174 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2013

We visited Costa Rica December 8 – 17, and planned to spend half of our trip near Arenal and the other half in Guanacaste. Since we would be ending our vacation on the beach we decided to utilize the airport in Liberia.

The drive from Liberia to Lost Iguana is around 3.5 to 4 hours. Since this was our first trip to Costa Rica we opted for a driver and would rent a car after a couple of days. Once you turn towards Arenal from the Pan American highway the road is up and down hills and there are lots of curves. At times it felt like we were on a rollercoaster. We were lucky to see a sloth, toucan and monkey that our driver spotted along the way. You will see lots of signs for the German Bakery and it is a nice place to stop for a quick break and snack.

We arrived at Lost Iguana just as it was getting dark. They loaded our luggage on a golf cart and were ready to take us to our room after checking in. We were in room #10 which is a Luxury Suite and took advantage of the Romance Package. The room was excellent and very large. The bathroom had lots of room and a very large step in shower. In addition to a king size bed you have small kitchen area and a large balcony. We spent a lot of time on the balcony enjoying the rain forest. One afternoon a blue and gold macaw landed on the balcony railing and sat with me for almost an hour.

The service at Lost Iguana is amazing. Since we there before the holiday rush the resort wasn’t crowded and it seemed like we were the only people there. Everywhere we went we were greeted with a smile and every request was taken care of immediately. The front desk was helpful and arranged for our rental car to be delivered, the restaurant staff was outstanding and the chef routinely visited our table to make sure everything was ok. We ended up eating dinner and breakfast every day at the Blue Hibiscus. There was a lot of variety on the menu and everything was cooked and presented perfectly.

The resort itself was part of the rain forest, and you didn’t really see the buildings. We enjoyed relaxing by the pool in the afternoon and the upper pool seemed to get warmer during the day as the hotter water was pumped in. The spa area is very nice and the ambiance is great. There isn’t much of a fitness area, but they do have an elliptical and some weight machines near the spa. They also did some laundry for us one day since we were working up a good sweat on our hiking trips.

For excursions we walked to the Hanging Bridges (buy your tickets at the front desk) and had an enjoyable time. If you ask they will drive you to the Hanging Bridges on one of the golf carts. We also spent most of the day in La Fortuna and the waterfall. The hike down to the waterfall is steep, so you will get a nice workout after you enjoy the water. We also did one of the hikes at the resort. It had rained the evening before so it was humid and the trail was a little muddy. Plus the vegetation is so thick we didn’t see any animals. Not sure it was worth the time and effort.

It is hard to find anything to complain about. The wi-fi didn’t work in our room, so we would sit on the balcony if we wanted to go online. Also, the majority of the TV stations are in Spanish, but you aren’t going to watch much TV. I know some reviews commented on the isolated location of the resort. It is probably about 15-20 minutes to drive to La Fortuna which isn’t too bad from my perspective.

Things I learned as a first time traveler to Costa Rica…

Driving – we had a driver meet us at the airport in Liberia and take us to Arenal. Then we had a rental car delivered to us on the second day and used it the rest of the trip. In the future we will get a car when we arrive, and it will be a larger SUV. This time we had a compact SUV (Jimmy) that served the purpose but was really a hard ride on the dirt/gravel roads. Rental cars are on the pricey side, but it is nice to be able to explore the country. The roads are fine and the signs are good. We only made a couple of wrong turns and those were our fault for not paying attention to the signs.

Money – we didn’t exchange dollars for colones. There was no problem using dollars for purchases and sometimes we received dollars in change and other times we received colones.

Where to go – we split the vacation between Arenal (Lost Iguana) and Guanacaste (Marriott). Both areas were great to visit and there are a lot of activities you can do or just relax at the resort. I spent a lot of time researching on TripAdvisor to narrow down where to stay and get ideas on how to spend our time.

When to go – we traveled from 12/8 – 12/17 and were at the very beginning of the dry season and before the travel picked up closer to the holidays. As a result we had great weather and felt like we had the resorts to ourselves.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lost-iguana-Resort, Owner at Lost Iguana Resort & Spa, responded to this review, January 9, 2013
Dear Guests, Thank you so much for your nice review. When we talked I told about the wonderful months we have in September and October when occupancy is very low. I thought I said when the volcano was active it was sad to have so few guests when almost every night we could see stars and lava. The volcano has not been active in 2 years. I'm so sorry if I was confusing. Hopefully the volcano will become active again in the future. Sept and Oct are still my favorite times of the year and we have great promotions. I do hope to see you again without so much rain. Best, Elaine
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dominical, Costa Rica
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2013

We recently stayed in a beautiful suite overlooking the Arenal Volcano. We felt we were truly in the rainforest, with our outdoor shower, spa jacuzzi, and 5-star amenities including TV, WiFi, and A/C. The restaurant served amazing breakfast each morning, and we dined there both nights. The pool is naturally warmed by the hot springs, and you can enjoy drinks and food poolside. The grounds are beautiful with lighted paths at night.... the only thing preventing me from giving it all 5-stars is the pool. It was very cool in comparison to other hot springs, and the temperature was a little too cold and uncomfortable at times. But all in all, a great stay!!!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Claremont, California
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2013

We absolutely loved our stay at the Lost Iguana Resort and would stay there again in a heartbeat. The staff was warm and helpful and the location is fantastic. Every room has a view of Arenal Volcano and overlooks a rainforest habitat. We saw many fabulous Costa Rica birds and other wildlife right there at the resort. The open-air restaurant is very nice and offers a great breakfast buffet; as you eat you can watch toucans and many more birds eat at a nearby feeding station. In spite of the rain and damp (we went during our winter break which is the rainy season there) our room and bathroom were always kept spotless; all areas have free umbrellas to use while there. The resort asks guests to use quiet voices, which gave the place a wonderful retreat-like feel; since it's on 120 acres it also has its own hiking trails. Lost Iguana is a heartbeat away from the Hanging Bridges rainforest canopy tour, which was a highlight of our trip. The owner recommended September/October if guests wish to have a higher chance of actually seeing the volcano from the resort. The volcano is active, so we hope to go back during that time for a chance to hear it rumble and watch lava flow from our room.

Room Tip: As far as we can tell all the rooms face the rain forest and potentially have a view of Arenal Volca...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Williamsburg, Virginia
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2013

We stayed for 3 nights and loved every one of them. The hotel staff was exceptional, as was the hotel itself. The grounds are very steep, but they have golf carts the help people get around. The very private outdoor shower was a treat! The food was fantastic and the room was wonderful with an incredible view Arenal Volcano.

We would definitely stay there again.

Room Tip: We had an end room on the lower level overlooking the volcano, which you could see from the bed and...
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2013

we stayed for 3 nights in a great suite at this hotel. The location and setting are fantastic. While we did not get much of cahnce to enjoy the view from our balcony becuase of hte weather, I would stay there again . Restauant was fair . Best meal was breakfast . Pool is small but ths is not hte place ot go if you wnat sun and pool. You are in teh midst of a beautiful rain forest and the architecture and the layout of the hotel allow you to feel that you are there.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2013

One can always tell when an owner places her guest's satisfaction as a top priority. The staff set the right balance of helpfulness without the otherwise smarmy nature typical of to many resorts. My girlfriend and I have traveled the world extensively for business and pleasure and would rate Lost Iguana as a top pick in its category. Elaine and her crew have struck the right balance of a truly unique commune with nature while sacrificing no creature comforts. We are already planning a return trip in this new year. Absolutely blown away.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Lost Iguana Resort & Spa

Address: 1.5 km North of Arenal dam, La Fortuna de San Carlos, Arenal Volcano National Park A2004, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Alajuela > Arenal Volcano National Park > La Fortuna de San Carlos
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Top resorts Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#6 Spa Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#7 Family Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#12 Romantic Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Lost Iguana Resort & Spa 3.5*
Number of rooms: 41
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Lost Iguana Resort is Arenal's newest hotel, offering luxury accommodations in the rain forest The resort's 100 acre property overlooks the world's most active volcano, Arenal Volcano located near La Fortuna, Costa Rica. A premiere, upscale retreat nestled gently in the jungle, the Lost Iguana Resort only offers rooms with large private balconies overlooking the Arenal Volcano and Arenal River Gorge. All rooms are spacious and well appointed with first-class furnishings, artwork and full amenities. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Lost Iguana Hotel La Fortuna De San Carlos
Lost Iguana Resort And Spa
Hotel Lost Iguana
Lost Iguana Resort & Spa Costa Rica/Arenal Volcano National Park

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