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“Fun and beautiful.” 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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Holyoke, Massachusetts
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
“Fun and beautiful.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2013

La Fortuna was the funnest stop on our trip. zip lines, safari boat tour and tabacoon coming back to this hotel made it a great end to our 11 day adventure. Hotel room was beautiful. We had an outdoor tub and shower. Mattress was hard but the decor was beautiful. Very welcoming we got a frozen drink bouquet of tropical flowers, nice card and bottle of wine. We saw many different birds. Also saw wild pigs hummingbirds monkey sloths, coyote, raccoon, iguana. Downtown is great. Sitting outside was a delight listening to the sounds of the jungle. Volcano was beautiful great views. We took the hotels jungle hike which was very magical. They also have a maze but looks nothing like the pics. Needs to be kept up better. The resort has lots of steep hills but with one call to the front desk they are at your door with a golf cart ready to bring you anywhere on the resort. Gift shop was excellent. Spa was amazing. Arenal lake was serene. . Only bad thing, taxis are a rip off here but the hotel does shuttle pic up from and to tabacoon and downtown! Thank god bc this hotel is a little further out it was 40.00 everywhere you went. Overall awesome stay.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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1,159 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
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Makawao, Hawaii
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2013

My husband and I went on a two week visit to Costa Rica over the holidays. We spent two nights at the Lost Iguana Resort. We were travelling with a small group, a guide and a driver. The weather was very wet and rainy upon our arrival. The grounds of the resort were gorgeous with colorful birds and flowers throughout the lush landscape. We sadly did not get to see the views of the volcano because of the weather but as I am from a wet and rainy area of Maui, Hawaii I view the rain as good fortune. After all without the rain how would the rainforest be lush and verdant?

We were taken to our room and the moment we opened the door the mildewy, moldy smell was overpowering. My husband immediately began coughing and I opened the sliding glass door to let in some fresh air. Our room was on the ground floor so we could not leave the door open(snakes etc.) We called the front desk and begged to be moved to a second floor room or a suite(we were willing to pay extra to be upgraded if necessary). It was Christmas and the resort was fully booked but the desk manager graciously did everything he could and moved us to the second floor. This second room was also incredibly moldy smelling but at least we could leave the sliding door open all night for fresh air.

The next day we had to pack up all our belongings as they had to move us to another room(also moldy smelling.)

As aforementioned we reside in a very lush and wet area of Maui and our house does not smell moldy. We keep it open and airy and very clean with all tile and wooden floors.We wash any cloth(curtains, bed covers etc. before they get that moldy smell). Living in mildew and mold is not healthy for one's respiratory system.

The breakfasts at the resort were buffet style and good but not great. The dining room service was good but not great. The grounds of the resort are beautiful but on a very steep mountainside. I really enjoyed the walking but be aware that getting to the dining area, pool etc. was a trek.

Christmas dinner was gorgeously arranged and decorated. The atmosphere was very festive with live music. It was also a buffet style dinner and the choices were abundant and good. They had a bit of a problem keeping the dessert choices stocked but other than that it was a lovely evening.
The owner of the resort even came to our table with Merry Christmas wishes.

My favorite thing was the bird feeder by the dining area. Toucans and many other birds come to the bird feeder in the morning and it really fun to photograph them eating the fruit .

I am sorry to give this resort such a low rating rating but they really must address the mold and mildew problem. I stayed in five different resorts during our Costa Rica visit and none of the other places had this problem.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Lost-iguana-Resort, Owner at Lost Iguana Resort & Spa, responded to this review, February 12, 2013
I am sorry you did had a lot of rain when you stayed with us over Christmas. It was a particularly bad month with several weeks of non stop rain. You are correct that airing out removes the damp smell, but its impossible to air out the rooms when it is raining. Once the rain stopped we air out daily. Sincerely, Elaine
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Silver Spring, Maryland
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2013

I'm so glad we chose to stay at Lost Iguana Resort near La Fortuna. There are hiking trails onsite, wildlife, and an excellent restaurant. The resort is nestled into the jungle landscape. I prefer this to some well manicured luxury resort. We stayed in the luxury suite which was well worth it. We had an open air shower room and jacuzzi on the patio. The patio had a spectacular view of the volcano. I spent a lot of time on the patio watching the hummingbirds dart about and trying to get a glimpse to the volcano's peak through the clouds. The room was spacious and clean. It was the perfect place to take our 19 month old son. This resort surpassed my expectations.

The resort is about a 20 minute drive outside la fortuna. I was worried about this, but downtown La Fortuna is tiny. There are so many other wonder places to visit and eat on the route to and from the hotel.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 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
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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
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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, Canada
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
13 helpful votes 13 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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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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Concord, NC
Top Contributor
62 reviews 62 reviews
36 hotel reviews
Reviews in 48 cities Reviews in 48 cities
92 helpful votes 92 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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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
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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