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.
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.
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.
- 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