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“Paradise!” 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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SUPER DISCOUNTS 2014
New York NY
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Paradise!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 12, 2013

This little slice of paradise is located 20min by car from the main strip in town and closer to some of the volcano attractions. We had a two bedroom suite up the hill facing the volcano in the most tranquil and luxurious setting one can imagine. This is the closest you can be immersed in nature without missing urban luxuries we have grown accustomed too. The decor is tasteful, everything looks like it was made locally with local material (I have no idea if that's indeed the case), the rooms are huge, with enough room for everything. The outside lava shower, or terraced Jacuzzi overlooking the volcano is just another amazing feature this place has.

The best part was waking up in the morning, sitting on the balcony overlooking the volcano and just listening to many species of birds chirping their happiness. We saw tiny little hummingbirds drinking nectar straight out of the huge brightly colored flowers less than 10ft away. The occasional iguana and a host of other lizards can be seen all over the property. Breakfast was ample and omelets were custom prepared upon request - we were initially disappointed with the wildlife sighting (See that howler monkey? No, you can't see it? Why not? It's about 800 meters to your left, see? No no no, not there, look more up, between the big tree and the smaller one - you get the idea), but it depends on the season and, of course, the time of the day. We were told that tucons are usually around daily, but the wet season was about to begin and they were busy preparing.

If you want to taste paradise do yourself a favor and book this hotel. Having a car (which we parked outside of our cabin) is a good idea, otherwise the golf carts will shuttle you around.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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 (247)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Austin, Texas
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2013

My husband and I recently spent 5 nights at the Lost Iguana at the end of April. We enjoyed every bit of our stay there. The property was beautiful and well kept. We hiked one of the trails that is on the hotel property which was fun although tiring.

The room we stayed in was probably the farthest from the reception area so we took advantage of the golf cart rides to our room. The room was beautiful, clean and very comfortable. There is air conditioning and as far as the humidity and smell...you are in the rainforest!! What do you expect? We didn't have a problem at all with the humidity or the smell. Also the view from our room was spectacular!!

The restaurant food was pretty good and most things were reasonably priced, although dinner was a little pricey. We enjoyed breakfast and lunch in the restaurant and we ate dinner at the bar because we liked the bar's dinner menu better.

The staff was very very courteous and friendly. Germon (pronounced Herman) was very helpful by scheduling all of our activities for us. Johnathan at the bar was very nice and fun to talk to while we had dinner. I don't remember their names but the three guys who drove the golf carts while we were there were always very friendly and willing to help. We also enjoyed an amazing massage at the spa!

The pool was always clean and we liked that they had a heated pool. Two of the nights we were there we had dinner at the bar while sitting in the pool.

The only downside to this amazing property is the distance from La Fortuna. We didn't rent a car so we had to be picked up for all of our activities. If you don't mind a little bit of scheduling and waiting for the employee shuttle it wasn't that big of a deal being far away. There isn't much in town so we only went twice and we mostly just did some souvenir shopping. All of the activities we did were very accomodating and picked us up on time and dropped us off at the hotel. Also the front desk employees were very helpful (especially Germon) in scheduling for the employee shuttle to drop us off and pick us up at different places i.e La Fortuna and Tabacon.

All in all we had a fantastic vacation at Lost Iguana and would definitely recommend this hotel to everyone!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 6, 2013

Stayed for three nights in mid-April. Very nice setting in the jungle with amazing views of the volcano from my room (and the pool, and the restaurant). Great balcony with rocking chairs looking out over the trees. The room was quiet except for the birds, which was a great way to wake up. The staff was helpful setting up excursions, and the spa was tranquil. I highly recommend getting dinner by the pool and watching twilight hit the volcano. This was a perfect place to relax with friends for a few days and forget work.

  • Stayed April 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.
Newmarket, Canada
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 3, 2013

We just returned from a trip to Costa Rica and we stayed for 3 nights at the Lost Iguana in the Arenal area. The hotel is a little away from the town of La Fortuna and is close to the Arenal Lake. The hotel is amazing and our room was beautiful. The furniture is so beautiful and the room is spacious and very comfortable. The views from our room and balcony was absolutely amazing. We got a beautiful view of the Volcano and the forests and gardens were beautiful. We saw a great many humming birds. The walk to the restaurant was about 5-7 minutes but it is very nice. The hotel drives you in the electric golf carts everywhere within the resort and we used it a few times when we felt lazy to walk. The restaurant was nice and the location of the restaurant again is very beautiful. The hotel is close to the forest with the hanging bridges and the hotel staff drove us back and from the forest which was very nice. We loved the hotel, our stay there was extremely pleasant, the staff is friendly and courteous and we would love to go back.

  • Stayed April 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Annapolis, Maryland
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 3, 2013

Like most places in CR, it takes a while to get here, but a great hotel and retreat. The staff was very friendly and spoke English very well. The hotel is built on the side of a hill/mountain so there are a lot of very steep hills to climb to get to anywhere, but they have golf carts that will pick you up or drop you off any time. Since it's 20 minutes by car/shuttle to get into town, the restaurant is the most convenient place to eat, but it's worth it. The food at dinner was excellent, and very fresh. The rooms were updated with all the amenities, and when you went outside the lush vegetation provided a great backdrop to the volcano. There's so much to do in Arenal, and the hotel will help you coordinate anything you want to do. The hanging bridge walk is just a couple of minutes up the road and you shouldn't miss it. The only thing I would say to improve is the "maze". It was in disrepair and essentially unusable. Would have been fun if it was better maintained. If we went back to the area, I would certainly consider staying here again.

  • Stayed March 2013, 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oakland, Maine, United States
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2013

we made a last minute reservation with Lost Iguana for just one night and found it to be above all description. the rooms were luxurious. furniture all native woods. nice tilework. beautiful decks viewing the volcano ! nice reception area. hiking areas on the premises in the forest. no need to go out. buffet breakfast was very good. we ate at the restaurant for dinner one night and found the food superb !. the chef was Martin, and he is very well trained. He made a ceviche which was the best we tasted as of yet... the gift shop is very nice, and the supervisor goes by my Name- Marvin. we really would have stayed here longer if we didn't have previous reservations down the road for the remaining days, in a not so excellent hotel ... would recommend this spot for a very private and quiet relaxing vacation !

  • Stayed April 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2013

I recently left my job working 80+ hours a week for 4 years and my goal was to relax as much as possible. I dragged a friend along with me to go to Costa Rica (first time) for several days and stay at the Lost Iguana. It was one of the most relaxing vacations I have had in a long time for many reasons - and I am from San Francisco and travel to Hawaiian islands regularly in search of relaxation.

My state-of-mind - the most important thing for me on this vacation

The resort is very zen-like, spa-esque and extremely well designed to sit in the countours of the jungle. You can tell they used some good architects in getting the details right to create a very peaceful, secluded atmosphere. The room exceeded my expectation and when I first saw it, I knew that I made the right decision for me for my stay in Costa Rica. The view of the Volcano is just stunning. The entire place seems to be designed around the volcano so that no matter where you are, the volcano is there in all of its mystique. The light and cloud cover changes seemingly every moment, so watching the massive landmass at any point is just a special thing to do. I believe every room has a view of the volcano front and center, and it's just amazing to wake up and see it from your bed. After spending a few hours on the property, I definitely chilled out a lot, and I found that we were not thinking more than 5 minutes ahead on anything. No schedule, no worries. In fact, my iphone didn't work in Costa Rica so i didn't have a clock the entire trip (nor did my friend) and it didn't even matter, in fact I loved having no idea what time it was, and sometimes almost forgot what day it was. Awesome.

Location

The location was extremely central for the things I wanted to do. Hanging bridges hike was 3-4 minutes away by golf cart, zip line 20 or so minutes away, volcano hike (10-15 minutes away).

I found that I was happy not renting a car. I think renting a car was going to be too much for me for this trip - I just wanted to relax in one spot and day trip from home base. I've rented cars in ireland so am not afraid of driving abroad. Driving in CR is relatively easy compared to many countries - the roads are really good, like the quality of the US mostly. It's kind of a tossup if you need one, but I just loved not worrying about it and the hotel can get you free shuttles basically anywhere if talk to them in advance.

Again, the whole property is inset in the jungle - the sounds at night are really amazing. I saw a Limer from my room and lots of birds that were just massive.

Service

Alex at the front desk was cool - extremely professional and knew his stuff. Helped us select our excursions within 5-10 minutes when we walked in and didn't think about it again. (Did hanging bridges, zip line, 2 hour trail hike on the grounds, Visited city of Fortuna etc). Jonathan at the pool was such a nice young man. Almost felt like I needed to hug some of the service people on leaving since they were so good to us during our stay.

Prices

Lost Iguana didn't charge for breakfast and that was really nice. Saved a few bucks. The menu is very reasonable for lunch and dinner, and had a lot of good things. I liked the enchiladas, and the guacamole + chips was a favorite that I had every day. Also went to the spa and had a massage that made me feel great, and prepared for the journey home the next day. The spa facility is really well done and instead of listening to music as you would in another spa, you listen to the sounds of the jungle. Price was very reasonable, much cheaper than what I was used to. Awesome.

Final Thoughts

For me, there were other options that I looked into as far as accommodation in the area. In the end it didn't matter to me, and I didn't consider for even one minute if I should have done something else. I had such a wonderful time relaxing with my friend and I didn't need to dwell any further on the choices. Lost Iguana was right for me in what I was looking for.

Room Tip: All rooms have a view of the Volcano, can't really go wrong. Get a room on the first floor (of...
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  • Stayed April 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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

Also Known As:
Lost Iguana Hotel La Fortuna De San Carlos
Lost Iguana Resort And Spa
Lost Iguana Hotel
Hotel Lost Iguana
Lost Iguana Resort & Spa Costa Rica/Arenal Volcano National Park
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:
#7 Family Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#10 Top resorts 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*
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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