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“The Hills Are Alive With the Sound of Birds (and Frogs)!” 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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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“The Hills Are Alive With the Sound of Birds (and Frogs)!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2013

We loved this resort, and missed its beauty and tranquility for the rest of our Costa Rica trip. Despite some shortcomings (see below), I rate it five stars for its amazing volcano view, abundant wildlife, lovely natural gardens, and peaceful atmosphere.

Pros:

Wildlife: I do not know many birds, but from our balcony we saw many tanagers and hummingbirds, some flycatchers and warblers, a black guan, and a great curassow. From the restaurant we saw an Oropendola, woodpecker, great Kiskadee, and a coati. A Jesus Christ lizard ran across the pond next to the restaurant and we saw and heard several frogs at night.

Views: We stayed in a luxury suite near the top of the hill and had a beautiful view of the rainforest stretching all the way to the cone of Arenal volcano. The bed faced a wall that was almost entirely windows, so that you could lie in bed and enjoy the view.

Room: The luxury suite was huge and spotless, with a large balcony overlooking the volcano. The bed was ok. The large shower could easily fit a family, and was outstanding! My husband, who is chemically sensitive and often suffers from bad smells in hotel rooms, enjoyed the great air quality. We kept the balcony doors open during the day and saw only one ant in our room during our stay, so no bug problem.

Tranquility: Although there were many people at the hotel, it was absolutely peaceful. No traffic noise, no music; just the sounds of birds, frogs, and insects. I was there with family but the beautiful rooms, views, and tranquility would make this a very romantic retreat.

Gardens: Several of the other hotels we saw had large expanses of lawn. We loved that Lost Iguana had no lawn, and was fully planted with natural-looking gardens that made you feel you were in the middle of the jungle.

Cons:

Restaurant: The breakfast (included in the room rate) was just average, and the other meals we had were quite poor.

Lack of screens: The lovely large glass windows that take up almost one entire wall do not have any screens. Keeping our balcony doors open during the day allowed us to enjoy the wonderful fresh mountain air, and we did not have a problem with bugs. We would have liked to keep them open at night to enjoy the cool air and night sounds, but we did not do so because there were no screens. The only screened windows are very small and close to the ceiling, so we did not get to enjoy the wonderful fresh air at night.

Our twelve-year-old son writes:
We had a luxury suite. It was perfect for a family of three, with ample room. When you went outside at night, you heard frogs chirping all the time. It was very, very relaxing. You could look at a birdbath and see three or four frogs hanging out in there. When you went to the restaurant, there was a series of pools, and each one of them had one frog in them. We even saw a gigantic cane toad. In the restaurant they set out fruit for birds, and a coati came and ate the fruit too. We saw a Jesus lizard near the pond there. The fact that we only stayed two nights and saw all this nature makes me think that this really is a hotspot for birds and frogs and animals. The outside jacuzzi was a nice touch. You could actually put toilet paper in the toilets, which is a rare thing in Costa Rica! Our room was perched right over a pond, which was very nice. The food in the restaurant was good but not great. The restaurant is open to the outside air, and it can be very convenient if you want to look for birds, frogs, or animals in the trees or near the ponds.

The location is right near the dam, and fishing from near the dam is pretty good. My dad and I caught two fish each during a four-hour boat trip.

The people working there are very nice, and they speak English. They drive in golf carts and shuttle older people from restaurant to room. They come by every fifteen minutes, or you can call them and they will come much quicker.

The driveway is so long, you start to feel quite "lost" by the time you pull in. This extended driveway also goes to the Hanging Bridges.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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1,085 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    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 (266)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Gregory, MI
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2013

Some of the best bird watching is right here at the resort. A Toucan or Toucans, can be seen every morning between 7:30 and 8:30 am at breakfast. You must bring your camera! On two mornings, there was even a Montezuma Oropendola visiting the feeders. Naturally, those two mornings I did not bring my camera...We even saw a Coati in the road right up the hill from the reception desk. One of our highlights was hiking on some of the resort's private trails and crossing the creeks on the bridges. After mistiming our trip to the Hanging Bridges and getting caught in crowds of people, (hint, don't go mid morning) it was a relief to hike for hours on the Lost Iguana's trails and not see another person the whole time! There is much more to do around Arenal Volcano than the Pacific Coast area. Don't miss taking the Tram ride and zip lines. The Tram people picked my wife and I up at the reception desk, and dropped us back off at the resort. Be sure to book a hike or float trip with a naturalist through the resort. If you're into nature, birds, and animals, this is the place to stay! Here is a well earned tip of the hat to Alex at the reception desk, he was our "Rock of Gibraltar" during our 5 night visit.

Room Tip: Better views from the second floor rooms. We will get a suite next visit, outdoor hot tub with a vie...
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  • Stayed February 2013, 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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Ann Arbor, Michigan
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2013

I have stayed at the Lost Iguana before and it was even more lush and tranquil than I remembered! The grounds are really amazing- you are surrounded by acres of natural beauty and the rooms all have their own secluded patio with flowers that attract hummingbirds, you can hear the sound of the insects, birds and monkeys late afternoon and early in the morning- beats an alarm clock to wake up to! We even saw a pair of toucans that ate some fruit right in front of the restaurant as we ate our breakfast- unforgettable memory! Loved the meals in the restaurant and the waiters all spoke English and were so friendly and helpful. And whenever I asked for a club car to shuttle me to my room, the pool, the spa, etc., it was always prompt and a wonderful convenience. I had two massages at the spa- felt like heaven. This spot is a five star stay for a reasonable cost- I would recommend it to anyone- you won't be disappointed!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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.
Salt Lake City, Utah, United States
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2013

This hotel was great! The volcano was right outside our hotel and the views were amazing. We were also right next to the hanging bridges! Our room was fantastic with a whirlpool tub on the balcony and plenty of room inside! Perfect for couples! We made the right choice! This hotel is a little off the beaten path but well worth it!

Room Tip: Ask for a room with a tub outside!
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mountain View, California
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

Stayed for 3 or 4 nights in April 2012. Location is a bit far from La Fortuna town if that is a concern for people - a car is definitely needed to get to and from the town.
We felt like we were one of only a few guests at the hotel (felt secluded & quiet) though we know there were others there based on guests at breakfast. The room had 2 double beds and was spacious enough for 2 adults and a child. The shower was large, but dimly lit and had a bit of a mildewy smell which I assumed was because there was not a fan in the bathroom to air/dry it out. The toilet was low flow (eco-friendly), but caused issues with flushing and we needed to have someone come up to plunge it. We also had trouble with the A/C as in it didn't cool the room down - the front desk promptly sent someone up to fix it, but this took a while and was late in the evening when our son was heading off to sleep. The room had a lovely balconly which we would sit at in the evening to enjoy the night sounds.
A breakfast buffet was served in the restaurant daily and had a nice amount of yummy choices of fruit, juice, drinks, breakfast meat, eggs and pancakes/starch. We especially enjoyed the coffee and the staff was very friendly.
The pool was on the smaller side, but since there weren't alot of guests there, it was just fine. THere is a swim up bar also.
There is a maze they have on the property and lots of walking trails around the property. The arenal hanging bridges is also up the hill from the Lost Iguana. The front desk was able to arrange a tour for us there and they drove us up to the Arenal Hanging Bridges in one of their golf carts.
Very nice place to stay to feel like you are in the rainforest while still having modern conveniences.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Montreal
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

We had an amazing room, the outdoor was truly part of our living space with an outdoor shower, an outdoor whirlpool tub and huge glass doors opening to a patio and a small garden. Many beautiful birds can be observed right form the room. Weather is hit or miss in Arenal ... but this hotel is definetly a hit. The service is impeccable as well ... the best we have received in Costa Rica.

  • Stayed March 2013, 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.
Atlanta, Georgia
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

Is it possible for a hotel to be the highlight of your trip? I can't think of a more Costa Rican experience than the Lost Iguana. It was foggy/rainy the entire four days but it didn't matter. It only added to the resort's lushness and feel of the jungle. The grounds are spectacular as well as the staff. I regret it was always too foggy to see the volcano from our room. And the room was very clean and spacious, and the outdoor rock shower rocks! I don't mean this review to sound like an ad, but at age 51, sure I've stayed in "nicer" places, but this has to be my favorite hotel of all-time.

Room Tip: Make sure you get a room with the private outdoor jacuzzi and the private outdoor rock shower. It ma...
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  • Stayed March 2013, 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 1
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
#11 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 Resort And Spa
Lost Iguana Hotel La Fortuna De San Carlos
Hotel Lost Iguana
Lost Iguana Resort & Spa Costa Rica/Arenal Volcano National Park

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