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“Great experience” 5 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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Atlanta, Georgia
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Great experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 2, 2013

My wife and I (early 30's) stayed at the lost iguana three weeks ago and had a wonderful visit. We stayed two nights in a luxury suite and it afforded a fantastic view of the volcano (yes we got lucky and had great view of it both days we were here). It was great to sit in the Jacuzzi and listen to the sounds of the jungle at night and to just sit on the patio during the day and watch the birds fly by. (tip- it takes a little while to fill up the Jacuzzi so allocate some time! I blasted both faucets full bore to get it almost full then brought the temp up by topping it off with some hot water). I found the service to be exceptional. I don't expect to go to a hispanic foreign country and expect everyone to speak great English, however everyone at the front desk and the restaurant spoke English so well you wouldn't need to know a word of Spanish. Furthermore, I left my i-phone charger in the room and I sent an e-mail asking them if they could find it and send it to either the hotel I was currently at (in Monte Verde) or the next hotel we were going, or even back to my home in Atlanta. Would you believe I sent that e-mail at night and they had it to me at my hotel in Monte Verde the next day at dinner! That level of service goes above and beyond what I would expect. I cannot thank them enough. Having a dead phone on my entire trip would have been a real bummer (the thing takes amazing pictures!).

Not to make a painfully long review but I did a lot of research before booking and I wanted to address some things you may be worried about by prior reviews.

Location- Its about 15 minutes away from La Fortuna on its own huge property. I would not want to be closer. The town is kinda touristy if you know what I mean. I went to Costa rica to be close to a volcano and see a rainforest- not to be within walking distance to mediocre sushi. The resort is on a huge property. The trails are great! We saw a ton of wildlife on the resort trails (toucans, guan, monkeys ect). The road to get there was adventurous at night, but it was without question the best access road of any hotel we stayed at in the country. They can take you on a five minute shuttle to the hanging bridges of arenal which I highly recommend. The views and wildlife were incredible. We did it without a guide, you can get one if you would like though. Its a short drive to the hot springs, we went to tabacon (pricey but unforgettable) and it was 10-15 minutes maybe. We had a rental car. I think you could take a cab if you wanted to go, they may have had a shuttle as well for a fee, I don't remember, sorry.

Food- The included breakfast was great. Don't be dumb and show up an hour early like we did. The country is on central time. I loved watching all the birds come into the feeder every morning, including the toucans. I found the food and drink prices to be what I would expect for a resort that caters to American tourists. Not cheap, but not at all unreasonable. The food I had for lunch and dinner was quite good and my wife and I are kinda foodies. Can't comment on the pasta and such. I try to stick to more local type cuisine though (every meal I had included rice and beans), you have to figure that's what they are going to make best.

Pool- It was smallish but clean, relaxing and had a swim up bar. The pool side music was a non issue. The bartender was a personable guy and no complaints on the drinks.

Rooms- The room was enormous. I remember the bed as comfortable but honestly I was so zonked from hiking all day in the equatorial sun I probably could have slept on cinder blocks. Some of the other reviewers commented that the lighting in the entryway is a little dim and they tried to address this issue with a few mini movable lamps (I'm sure you read some of those if you're still reading this review) . Once again, its not a big deal but the lamps make it easier to find stuff in your suitcase over there. I thought the rest of the lighting was perfectly adequate in the room and the rest of the resort. You're in Costa Rica, not downtown New York city! I wouldn't want excess light pollution.

Safety- There's a guard at the gate monitoring who comes in and out. I can honestly say I felt safer in costa rica then I have in any other foreign country and many parts of the United States. Nevertheless, we always took all valuables out of the rental car, I mean, that's just common sense.

spa- heard it was amazing, but we didn't use it

All in all, we had a great stay and I would highly recommend you stay in the resort if you're going to arenal and love nature and wildlife.

Room Tip: I would spring for a room with a jacuzzi
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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1,157 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 (288)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Montreal, Canada
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 2, 2013

Beautifully set in the rainforest in Arenal surrounded by a multitude of tropical birds this place is a paradise in the midst of the jungle. The accommodations are spacious and clean with a view of the slope of the Arenal Volcano. Great food and courteous friendly staff our family loved the Lost Iguana!

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Sydney, Australia
Top Contributor
113 reviews 113 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2013

We came here to see the volcano, but unfortunately it rained during the three days we were here. We did not see the volcano, but we still had an amazing time, and that is mostly due to the central location of this resort and the quality of service we received from staff.

Rooms - the room we were in was beautifully appointed. It had a jacuzzi on the balcony and from here the view was magnificent. It was really roomy, tastefully decorated and yet cozy and homely. The only issue we had that as it was raining, the wi-fi was a bit patchy.

Location - from this resort, we were able to avail ourselves of several outdoor activities, such as the hanging bridges (a 10-15 minute walk and doable even when it rains), hot springs (need to catch a cab), and zip lining (pick up and drop off). There are also tracks within the resort that you can take if you feel like going on a walk.

Service - Ticos (Costa Ricans) are really nice people, and staff at this resort were really friendly and helpful. I left my camera on a bus that took us zip lining, and the concierge worked with the tour company to get my camera back. I was able to collect my camera within a few hours. The concierge is clearly experienced, knowledgeable and the advice we received ensured we made the most of our time there, in spite of the foul weather.

Food - Plenty of choice for breakfast and the quality was high. The restaurant also had a very good menu and the food was fantastic.

Sauna - there is a sauna and gym that not a lot of guests made use of. It's free so make sure you check it out. Let them know you're coming as they might have to fire up the sauna.


I highly recommend this resort.

Room Tip: Our room was about 200 metres at the top of a hill. It's an easy hike for us, but those who are...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Concord, NC
Top Contributor
62 reviews 62 reviews
36 hotel reviews
Reviews in 48 cities Reviews in 48 cities
91 helpful votes 91 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2013

Before I visit a new travel destination, I always have a picture in my mind of what I expect the location and hotel to look like. Sometimes the image is close; sometimes it isn’t. But with the Lost Iguana, this resort was EXACTLY what I had pictured in my mind as the ideal Costa Rica lodge. Nestled in a hillside overlooking the Arenal Volcano, the resort featured rooms blended into the lush tropical landscape, all with a striking view of the Costa Rica countryside. The rooms are decorated and designed to match the environment and all feature a deck or patio where you can sit and admire the birds, landscape and Arenal Volcano. Birds abound, and you need not worry about oversleeping because the birds will awaken you early! Dining is in a restaurant open to the outside, and breakfast is a delight as toucans and other exotic birds flock to the bird feeder just outside the dining area. The main lobby is also open to the environment, and you can listen to to a nearby stream while you sip Costa Rican coffee and check email on the provided WiFi.
Every accommodation has some shortcomings but I have to think hard to find them at the Lost Iguana. As mentioned earlier, the rooms are nestled into a steep hillside, so to get from your room to the restaurant or pool requires a steep hike or a lift from a golf cart. The service is quick under normal circumstances but it is kind of a pain and if it rains, you could be waiting a while. A breakfast buffet was excellent and overall the food was good but the service was quite slow for a lunch where we ordered off the menu.
One annoying feature I noticed here, along with other locations in Costa Rica, is that prices would be listed in dollars. If you wanted to pay in Colones, the local currency, they converted the dollars at a favorable rate for them, thus resulting in two conversion fees for you. If you happen to have dollars but not the exact amount, your change will come in Colones, again at a favorable rate for them. In the big scheme of vacation spending, this is not a major consideration but I found it annoying. But you can beat the system by keeping some dollars, along with small bills and change, with you as well as Colones.
I can’t speak to the value of the Lost Iguana since I was on a tour and thus didn’t pay the hotel bill directly. I sure it isn’t cheap, but it is a beautiful place in a good location. The slogan of Costa Rica – Pura Vida – is abundandly evident at the Lost Iguana.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Maryland
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2013

My family of four stayed here over winter break for 4 nights. The Lost Iguana was wonderful from the warm, helpful staff to the accommodations which were so clean and comfortable. My boys, ages 18 and 14 enjoyed the big breakfast selections and the swim up bar where they could get a bite while sitting on their little in-pool barstools. The staff learned our names early on and were so good natured. The front desk made the decision making process painless in choosing our adventures. I had an amazing massage in their lovely little huts that are open in the back to the rainforest and have fireplaces at body level. Ahhhhhh!

Room Tip: The rooms are set in 2 story buildings. Some are closer to the main areas which makes it easier to w...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Pensacola
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2013

The Lost Iguana Resort is amazing, the website doesn't do it justice. I went on my honeymoon and my husband had reserved our room so I wasn't sure what to expect. The property was breathtaking....like a resort, literally, in the middle of the rainforest. Great staff, service, gift shop, and hiking trails. The SPA was amazing, I suggest a couple massage in the evening. The Spa overlookings a small stream and has a fireplace..so relaxing.
We will go back for many years!

  • Stayed February 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2013

We had 4 nights at this lovely lodge at the end of December, 2012. It is an absolutely beautiful place, even with the torrential rains we experienced. The setting is secluded and beautiful as it is surrounded by the foliage of the forest. Birds are everywhere, including the two toucans who join the breakfast meal each day. The staff was outstanding, attentive, available, always ready to meet whatever need we had-which, really weren't many. The faucet in the wet bar in our room didn't work-which we didn't even realize until we were told and given a free 30 minute massage to compensate.

Because it was raining, really raining, we appreciated the pick up service at meal times as we would have been soaked if we had needed to walk.

We had a luxury suite as there were 3 of us--which in actuality is a very large room rather than a traditional suite. I would highly recommend these rooms as the added space is nice to have. There was a secluded spa on our balcony which would have been nice if we hadn't had our 14 year old with us. The beds were comfortable and we loved the shower.

We ate all our meals here except when excursions included lunch. The food was quite good but not inexpensive. The one down side of the lodge is its distance from La Fortuna which makes it difficult to go in for meals. We were OK with this as we just wanted to kick back after busy days. The wait staff was excellent and pleasant.

Oh, yes, the spa is gorgeous. I extended my 30 minutes into a 90 massage. Having had my share of this pleasure over the years, I can say that the therapist was outstandingly good. I still think of it and am pretty sure I will be disappointed by my next one here at home.

Room Tip: Try to get a Luxury Suite on the second floor as mentioned above.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 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 Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Top resorts Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#8 Family Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#10 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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