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“comfort in the rainforest” 3 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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“comfort in the rainforest”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2006

We stayed at the Lost Iguana for three rainy days and nights. We were one of the "one in three couples" who the guidebooks refer to as never having seen the tip of the volcano, but if the weather was better, the view from our room at the Lost Iguana would have been terrific.
Yes, the hotel is located far from town, but with a car and comfort driving on the twisty narrow roads (and some bumpy gravel ones)this isn't really much of a concern. We ate breakfast at the hotel but all other meals either in or on the way to La Fortuna. The hotel restaurant is unfortunately geared to the sterotypical "american" tourist dining palate instead of typical costa rican cuisine. Eat elsewhere. You will get better food at a better price.

The best thing about the hotel is that it is smack in the middle of the rainforested hills and from our standard room on the ground floor of one of the buildings, it felt like we were the only ones out there (with the exception of one night when the people above us decided to have a party on their terrace in the middle of the night). As it was too rainy to do the bat caves or the waterfall hike, it was a good thing that the hotel was close to the hanging bridges hike and had a good hike on the hotel property itself. Although we didn't get to see much of the volcano, we did get to hear it. I don't know what being in the rainforest would be like in the sun, but in the rain it was an extraordinary experience.

Stayed February 2006
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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 (256)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
USA
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2006

The Lost Iguana has its pros and cons but overall the latter far outweigh the former. I would not recommend nor would I return. The hotel's views and grounds are breathtaking and should you be lucky enough to have a clear day (and I stress lucky, I don't get the impression that this happens more than a handful of times per month) then you'll be treated to incredible views of the volcano. Sadly for us the positives stopped here. The staff members were overall inexperienced and unprofessional. We got the sense that communication among them was entirely flawed. They were not overly helpful and acted inconvenienced with most requests. Upon checkout we weren’t offered so much as a thank you let alone asking how our stay was. The food is extremely overpriced and not very good (although the wait staff was extremely friendly). However, since the hotel is located a 25 minute cab ride from town your options are somewhat limited if you want to avoid the time and money spent on 2 long cab rides there and back (keep in mind it also takes 30 minutes for a taxi to get to the hotel once called). Getting up to your room requires a long and strenuous walk up a very steep hill. Golf cart shuttles are available but this requires handing out a tip every time you want to go to or from your room. Finally, I know this hotel is located in the rainforest/jungle but the bug situation in the room was out of control. There is a 3/4" gap underneath the french doors leading out to the balcony and the outdoor shower in the bathroom wasn't sealed either. During both nights we had beetles and crickets in bed with us (no exaggeration), and by morning the bathroom was completely filled with all sorts of insects. I don't mind a taste of the outdoors but this went beyond acceptability for a $185/night hotel room. The a/c had only one setting, and that was full blast. Half of the light bulbs in our room were out. The hot tub on the porch took over an hour to fill. We lost power in the middle of dinner one night but I can’t comment on whether this is a common occurrence here or not. We stayed here 2 nights and couldn't wait to leave. As with all things in the service industry, it's all about the details.

  • Stayed February 2006
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Florida
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2006

We loved the Lost Iguana. It is a cross between a small resort and a more rustic inn... the best of both worlds. The Lost Iguana will appeal to semi-adventurous travelers who don't want a Four Seasons experience, but prefer something a step or two above the typical family-owned inn. Yes, I will agree the restaurant and front desk service was slow, but we were in no hurry to go anywhere -- we were on vacation and it was completely stress-free here. The service could use some polishing up, but they staff could not have been nicer. The grounds here are beautiful and the views of the volcano were AMAZING. We saw lava flows day and night and experienced a number of tremors.

One of the great aspects of this area is that our cell phones didn't work -- it was a great escape from everyday life. Our only regret is that we only booked two nights before moving on to the coast -- we are ready to go back!

  • Stayed February 2006
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sacramento, CA
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2006

The pictures look great...some of the reviews are fantastic...however, this just wasn't what met our expectations. First of all, we didn't have a car...this hotel is very far from "town" (Fortuna) and from any eco-tour type thing except for Hanging Bridges and hikes around the hotel's property. Cost to travel into town or to Tabacon or other hotsprings is $12 each way. We were disappointed in this hotel because
A) Everyone tried to speak with us in English (I prefer for people to at least start in Spanish and if customer doesn't speak Spanish, try in English) - and although the staff were great, I felt bad that they had "canned" scripts but if you asked them anything outside the ordinary, they didn't know what you were talking about.
B) Our room smelled like SMOKE!!! We aren't ones to normally throw a fit, so we didn't, but this was a GREAT disappointment.
C) The food was HORRIBLE!! I had this awful green spinach pasta (normally, green spinach pasta is great!) with this drizzled on awful tomato paste, overcooked noodles...
D) In general, I think this hotel will be good & beautiful in 5+ years for those who like "resort" style accomodations (read: no Costa Ricans or Spanish or Tico-type food or style) but just didn't fit our expectations
The only thing that made this hotel nice was the great couple we met in the swim-up pool/bar that we ended up having dinner w/ and sharing a taxi!

  • Stayed January 2006
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
calgary, ab
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2006

Our room was beautiful with hardwood handmade furniture, very spacious and a wonderful view of the Volcano, and best of all a soaker tub on the deck that was completely private. Hotel had a good buffet breakfast. This area had only opened up last month (jan) so there are still a few bugs to work out. The grounds are fairly steep to walk around to the main area and the restaurant.

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2006

Overall the stay was okay, but the meals (dinner) at the hotel restraurant is very expensive, so I would avoid and eat in town (La Fortuna) where there are much better places to eat and much less $$$$.

Had no power for about 12hrs one nite, but had a supply of candles available. I think the hotel has some wrinkles they need to iron out, but I would suggest staying else where for the $$$$.

Stayed February 2006
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 15, 2006

We arrived AFTER 11.30p.m. and were warmly greeted by a waiting member of staff who personally accompanied us to the Celebrity Suite. We were instantly enchanted by the amenities of our suite - open air rain shower, jacuzzi on the terrace, well-stocked minibar (even had popcorn and beer on hand), and loads of space. The most incredible view brought the volcano, red-lipped and seething, onto our terrace. This proved to be a 6 star wow factor with our visiting New York friend, who was less than keen to return to the U.S. We were in the flighty company of elegant humming birds while we enjoyed breakfast the following morning. After an adrenalin-infused spell on the Canopy ropes, we slipped into the warm pools back at the hotel and sampled the best ever Piña Coladas !!! Here's the most wondrous occurrance that has ever befallen us in our travels: SINCE OUR SUITE HAD NOT BEEN RESERVED FOR THE FOLLOWING EVENING, THE HOTEL STAFF USED THEIR DISCRETION AND ALLOWED US TO STAY WAY PAST CHECK-OUT TIME...NOW THAT'S THE MARK OF A TRULY GREAT HOTEL....ENJOY !!!!

  • Stayed February 2006, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
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
#5 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*
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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