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“Friendly staff” 4 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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Houston, Texas
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Friendly staff”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2013

We stayed here 3 nights and had a great time. The restaurant food and their service was good. We stayed on the first floor so we had an amazing outdoor shower. The room was spacious. The room is well lit during the day with natural light but at night it's a bit dim. Bring a flashlight for walking around at night. Rooms are up the hill so be ready to either hike or request a staff member to drive you in a golf cart. We did several tours and the front desk staff was very helpful at setting those up for us.

Room Tip: If you want the outdoor shower get a room on the first floor.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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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 (260)
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English first
Chicago
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2013

This was a terrific place for our family of 5 (children 8, 11 and 14) to stay. We had a Junior Suite (2 rooms, 2 baths), with a king bed in one room and a bunk bed and full bed in the other. The rooms were tiled and the furniture lacquered bamboo. The website pictures were representative. The girls loved the outdoor shower and my son enjoyed the outdoor jacuzzi. We had a terrific view of the volcano framed by the jungle and a lush garden.

The property is on an incline. But we were in the unit farthest away from the reception desk and had no trouble walking where we needed. Golf carts (which two kids wanted) were quickly available. The pool was a little small and the lounge chairs few, but both were often unused and never overcrowded. The contrast between the heated and un-heated pool was nice. The grounds were beautiful and very well maintained.

We enjoyed the restaurant. The food was very good and not unreasonably priced. The pace was slow by US standards, but the service was highly personable with many of our needs anticipated. And the recommendations we got, whether for food or wine, were always right on. It's telling that we chose to have most of our meals there despite having a car.

The location was great for many of our activities (Sky Trek, Hanging Bridges, hot springs and the national park), which were located as close or closer to the Lost Iguana than to town. I'm sure La Fortuna de San Carlos has many nice experiences, but we already had enough touristy experiences on our agenda.

The staff was uniformly friendly and accomodating, but not pretentious. A combination tough to find in the US.

We considered the complaints in other reviews (musty smell, unclean pool, excessive bugs) before booking and found none of them on our trip. We had a delightful stay. And please do visit the reasonably priced gift shop that has a nice variety of merchandise from Costa Rica and other countries (make sure you ask if you want to know).

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Madison, Wisconsin
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2013

My family and I stayed for 3 nights at Lost Iguana. Our only regret was not being able to stay longer. The service was exceptional. I have never encountered hotel employees who were so consistently friendly, gracious, and appropriately proud of their resort and their country. Our rooms were spacious, quiet, and had perfect views of the volcano while maintaining privacy. There were a few bugs (c'mon man, it's the rainforest), nothing the least bit frightening even for our 8 year old daughter. It is an uphill hike to the rooms, however, I strongly suspect staff would accommodate any requests for assistance. The pool was clean and seemed large enough for the number of guests. The upper pool with the swim up bar and warmer water is a nice touch. The restaurant was a bit pricey (although not at all out of line with local competition) but the breakfast was great and the food overall was very good. The grounds are beautiful and well maintained. There are hiking trails on the resort's property which were easy to access and a fun challenge to start off the day. The resort is remote, so having a car would be a plus. We did not, but were able to get a ride with the hotel shuttle a couple of times which helped minimize cab expenses. The privacy of the resort is well worth this inconvenience. Special thanks to Jonathan (best bartender ever), Jason, and Alexander- you dudes make the Lost Iguana a truly special resort. I highly recommend Lost Iguana. We will definitely return!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington, DC
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 30, 2013

My husband and I stayed at Lost Iguana for 5 days in mid-March and we would go back to Lost Iguana in a heartbeat!!!
We really loved staying there - the room was clean, no bugs, cleaned every day-... and the personnel were kind and very helpful. It is in a more secluded area- close to Hanging Bridges-but this makes its charm, and rooms have an awesome view with the volcano!!!
Tour and restaurant prices are not cheap -but it may be like this in any hotel there. Food -everything we tried -was delicious and the waitresses doing their best even in the busiest days.
If you have your own transportation, you can go in la Fortuna to eat for cheaper. However, we would rather stay at Lost Iguana and its hills& landscapes, than in La Fortuna which is a small town with limited options in terms of things to do there.

  • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Basehor
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2013

Awesome resort, we loved the room, view and outdoor jacuzzi tub. We also liked having our private spa with an awesome view. Breakfast was good and restaurant was adequate. Actually this was the only place in Costa Rica that we found "good" un-sweetened ice tea. A little bit out there by itself but with having a full itinerary already booked to include transfers, this was a great retreat.

Room Tip: Room 6 was good!
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  • Stayed March 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canada
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2013

We stayed at Lost Iguana Resort in March and chose to pamper ourselves with a luxury suite. We have stayed at this resort a few times during our past trips to Costa Rica and still love the lush landscape, wildlife and tranquility it offers. We have stayed both in the standard rooms and luxury suites during our visits and both are beautifully decorated and have magnificent views of Arenal Volcano from the patio. The luxury suites have king sized beds and a wonderful jacuzzi tub on the patio. Lying in the jacuzzi with a book and possibly a glass if wine, while listening to the sounds of the jungle is heavenly. I also enjoy sitting on the patio in those wonderful rockers, reading my book and enjoying nature. We have never experienced the strong musty smell in our rooms that some reviews mention. This is the rainforest, so some damp odours are inevitable, especially during rainy periods. The resort also has a spa building with a very relaxing natural sauna as well as a gym area. The massage cabinas are the ultimate relaxation. They are surrounded by foliage adjacent to a sparkling stream, a crackling fireplace and candles. Singles or couples massages are available and are amazing. There is also a gift shop by the spa building stocked with very reasonably priced items by Costa Rican artisans, as well as items from other parts of the world. At the side of the gift shop is a patio and seating area overlooking the stream and jungle. The Blue Hibiscus Restaurant has excellent, well-priced meals and the full buffet breakfast included with our stay was delicious[a personal favourite is hearts of palm salad and volcan arenal chicken]. If you get a chance to talk to Elaine the owner, she is a wonderful lady,very approachable,and loves to talk to guests. We have always found Rocio the manager, and all the staff at Lost Iguana to be very friendly and we love the towel sculptures left by the chambermaid.

  • 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.
New York City, New York
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2013

We ended up staying here for 2 nights only because the resort we were at previously (Nayara) was booked since we booked our trip pretty late. Based on our expectations, I would give this resort 2 stars but can see why others would give this 4+ stars - it just wasn't to our expectations. Below I'll list some facts on the resort, and depending on what you're looking for, you can decide if this is the place for you.

- Resort is very secluded. You'll feel like you're really in the rainforest away from everyone and everything.
- There are A LOT of bugs. Be prepared to have bug spray everywhere you go, including your room. Of course you should expect bugs being in the rainforest but this resort is like having the full rain forest experience - lots of bugs. The previous resort we stayed in did not have as many bugs.
- If you want travel into La Fortuna - be prepared to pay about $25-$30 for one way. From the other resorts such as Nayara - it's about $10 one way.
- If booking activities - be prepared to pay an extra fee. Since the resort is secluded, sometimes there is an extra $20 fee for transportation
- There is only one restaurant.
- Pool is small and not very clean
- Resort is very dark with large hills. If you don't mind the hike and extra calorie burning, then it shouldn't be an issue. You also have the option of calling for a drive but it can become an inconvenience waiting.
- You are in the rain forest, so more opportunities to see wildlife.
- Hanging bridges is here
- Rooms have a musty smell and very dim lighting
- Service at resort wasn't great. - We asked the front desk lady to call to confirm transportation for us. She responded that we should wait until tomorrow morning because they are probably closed. I told her we have been consistently communicating with our transportation. She eventually called but had to pull teeth to get her to help us.
- The restaurant staff seemed unorganized and frantic.
- Had a beautiful view of volcano with rain forest. Was a nice view to wake up to in the morning

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
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, March 31, 2013
Dear Guest,
I am sorry you didn't realize you were choosing a hotel built in the rainforest. I built the120 acre resort 10 years ago to provide people the opportunity to see the beauty of Costa Rica. I did not use concrete to build fake rock pools or clip parrots wings so guests would think they were in a jungle. Our hotel is the real thing, and it appeals to nature lovers and hikers. The toucans, tanagers, oropenulas, talamucos, and other wild animals, are just a few of the animals that come to eat bananas while guests have breakfast. We have miles of trails to hike as well as being next door to The Hanging Bridges and La Roca (canyoning down beautiful waterfalls). I'm sorry this is not what you were expecting. Sincerely, Elaine
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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
#8 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*
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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