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“Pura Vida” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Iguanazul

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Hotel Iguanazul
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Playa Junquillal, Santa Cruz 130-5150, Costa Rica   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 7 Hotels in Santa Cruz
San Antonio, Texas
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Pura Vida”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2012

My wife and I just stayed at the Hotel last week. We had a great time and the staff was awsome, food was great. We even had Thanksgiving dinner there with all the trimmings. They went out of thier way to make this a great experience for everyone there. This is three star accomidations with five star view and service what a great value.

Room Tip: Go ocean view !
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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60 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (16)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Scottsdale, Arizona
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 15, 2012 via mobile

This hotel is in a picture perfect area near a clean, cute costal town. Iguanazul sits atop a small cliff that provides you with amazing views of the ocean and beaches to the north and south. The rooms are the standard, no frills coasta rican flavor. However, the staff, food, cocktails, and grounds will make your room only necessary for sleep and showering. I only hope Arturo is behind the bar for you because that hombre whips up some fuerte cocktails!

You can spend your day floating in the pool and looking at the ocean. Or you can lie in a hammock overlooking the ocean. I clocked several hours doing both!

The area is not developed much so the surrounding beaches are stellar. You'll definitely need a 4x4 vehicle if you want to leave the hotel grounds for other beaches.

Iguanazul is a gem for a bargain. You will not be disappointed!!

  • Stayed October 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Flagstaff, Arizona
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
35 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
89 helpful votes 89 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 17, 2012

This hotel is really only barely affordable for most travelers in the rainy season, when prices drop significantly. Very clean and great views from the hotel over the ocean. However you really need a personal car to get around here, especially if you plan to surf the excellent beaches around. And you don't want to pay the prices for the food and drinks at the hotel, so get what you think you might need while you are in town.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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.
Stoughton, Wisconsin
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2012

Stayed at Iguanzul resort third week in March. Located approximately 50 minutes from Liberia Airport. Car rental a must because of location. Staff more then happy to give you directions and recommendations for places to explore. David the owner was very pleasant and concerned that your stay was enjoyable. Resort was clean. Staff friendly and very willing to please. Food was excellent. No buffet so everything was made fresh. Enjoyed fresh fruit platter every morning. Enjoyed Sea Bass 3 times during the week (by choice) and it was made 3 different ways with wonderful sauces. Enjoyed the quiet atmosphere with wonderful pool and bar a few steps away. The resort overlooked the ocean and a walk to the beach was several minutes. Few local people at beach so it felt like it belonged to you. Every night the sunsets were beautiful. I definitely would return. I highly recommend it if you are tired of the large resorts. If you are a surfer (which I am not) owners son states some of the best surfing in the world is located on these beaches. One day the resort hosted approximately 50 kids plus some parents for several hours supplying them food and gifts along with use of the resort facilities. This is the second time according to a previous review. What a wonderful thing to do

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Ottawa, Canada
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 6, 2012

My tour company booked this for me - I will be letting them know what I think of that place. First, I don't drink and I guess the hotel recently switched to an "all-inclusive". The guy at the front desk (he was generally nice, friendly & competent) said I could upgrade to an all-inclusive for another $50 a day. I passed on that. The owner (bearded ex-pat in jeans) was there almost every day I was there, & did spend time drinking & talking, but wasn't too intrusive, at least while I was around. But he behaved like this was his personal space. The food was okay but prices were set at a flat $9 for lunch or $20 for supper, with no variance, even if you didn't want everything. I like salads & light meals & fruit, so their heavy American style lunches & suppers (meat, carbs, desserts) were too much for me, & I resented the lack of choice. But this might be what others want. The only thing Costa Rican was the Tico breakfast, served with a bit of an apology. Oddly, no fresh fruit in evidence unlike evry other hotel I stayed at in CR. The staff other than the desk clerk were a bit surly but not actually rude, and were helpful if you were polite & friendly. I could see that they definitely might not seem welcoming to walk-in traffic. American music from the sixties & seventies played on the loudspeakers - which I thought was odd (this is Costa Rica after all, isn't it?). I got the idea that the place was set up to suit the owner, not necessarily prospective guests. I thought the use of the term "spa" was insulting & only done for marketing purposes. No spa on site that I saw. The pool is small. The room I had was, well, dreadful. I made friends with the dozens of ants that crawled out of the light sockets - they never ventured onto the bed, thank goodness, but stayed mostly on the walls. I ignored the mites. There is no beach in front of the hotel, but there is one to the north and more beaches about a kilometer south, along with more hotels & restaurants.
There is no denying, the ocean is glorious and the view is amazing - but you can get that anywhere along the coastline.
Also, with respect to the cute "dog" - at first the fact that a couple of dogs had the run of the place was charming. They'd come and sit down or lay down beside you. But they were filthy, and when I realized that any of about 6 or 8 of them roamed through the pool and restaurant area at will - I no longer found it charming. Dogs are pack animals & more than two together can be unpredictable. I saw two of the same dogs run out & nip at some horses/riders on the shore. The Tico rider had to drive the rotweiler off with stones because he wouldn't stop biting at the horse's heels. And one of the dogs started a fight with a dog belonging to ? some walk-in visitors, friends of the owner's (?)
This place is okay if you want someplace isolated, Americanized, heavy meals, with a beautiful view, and as long as you don't mind sketchy rooms & a place somewhat rough around the edges. I didn't mind the Tico workers but overall I thought the place had "no class" & couldn't wait to leave. The whole thing felt weird and had a strange vibe.
Also, as a side note, Iguanazul is building humongous condos to the east of the hotel. They are in stark contrast to the modest Tico dwellings. I sense some empire-building going on... which may be the source of some local tension & the strange vibes...

Room Tip: Make sure to ask for air conditioned - unless you're ok with super hot rooms Note, there is no...
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
rcastro, Gerente at Hotel Iguanazul, responded to this review, March 10, 2012
Thank you for your comments, we have some notes

- Ants in the room? The best solution is to tell reception and the problem will be taken care of immediately.
- The hotel beach stretches for 1/2km to the north. It is featured on our website
- The spa offers all sorts of therapeutic massages, yoga, skin treatments, etc
- By the way, I am canadian and I like light food too. You had the option of ordering anything you wanted and it was our fault that this was not made clear to you. We are working on improving the system.
- About the dogs they don't belong to us except for Biscuit the spanish dog that everybody loves.
We certainly thank you for your comments but if you have a problem when you are with us please address it here sio we can fix it. We hope to see you again

Dave Mckague
Hotel Iguanazul / Owner
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Heredia, Costa Rica
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 6, 2012

the views from the bar, restaurant and the pool are awesome. It seemed like we arrived on low season, so there's some waiting involved when it comes to get your drinks, because the bartender/waiter is not always on sight, but when around, they're very helpful. Snacks are on a scheduled basis, so you can have them only between 12:30pm and 6:30pm. For breakfast/lunch/dinner, expect a list of 4 options and it's not an all-you-can-eat kind of all-inclusive, but food was good enough.The beach has white sand and crystal-clear water (crystal clear!!!), but you'll have to find your spot, because there are rocks all over the place (but it's awesome!).

Room Tip: If you're not looking for one with a kitchenette, then go for the pool side, we had ·16 and it h...
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  • Stayed March 2012, 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
    • 4 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.
Vancouver, Canada
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 13, 2012

We just came back home from a great week at the Iguanzul resort.
Price was great and you definitely get more then your moneys worth.
David the owner built the Resort just over 20 years ago. It is a nice 3 star very clean resort
It was not to busy when we were there but the service was still great, with the staff doing everything that they can for you, unlike other Resorts I haved stayed at, where the service goes down hill in the quite parts of the season.
Rooms are a good size and were very clean. Ask for an ocean view room. They also have kitchenette rooms available.
It is around a 45 minute drive from the Liberia Airport with most of the way that is paved.
Bar service, and food was excellent. The last part is not paved but was been worked on when we were there.
They just started to offer an all inclusive package as well.
The pool was vey clear and clean, with the bar close by.
The best part is the beach. With the resort overlooking the ocean, and just a two minute walk down the hill to a private bay with a beautiful long white sandy beach, that you almost have to yourself. We saw only few people using the beach, mainlyonly a few locals.
The sunsets from the swing lounges in front offer some of the most beautiful sunsets that I have seen in more then 30 trips to the Caribbean and Central America.
I just read a bad review regarding the owner David, but i have just good things to say about him. You will see his concern to make sure everthing is great for you on a daily basis. He was very pleasant to deal with,is in costant contact with his staff, and was more then willing to take the time to answer our many questions about the local area.
While we were at the Resort David held a party during one day for 100 local area children, plus some adults, supplying the food, juices, gifts, and use of the Resort facilities. It was nice to see the Resort giving back to the locals something more then jobs. How many resort owners do that, not enough.
Did not have time for some deep sea fishing but checked into it. Will definitely try it next time.
A car rental was nice to have, (we rented from Alamo at the Liberia airport) to explore other area beaches and restaurants. Arrangements through the resort can be made for airport pick up and and return.
Just a couple minutes away from the resort, there is a new devlopment with a nice little shopping mall, which has a great new bar and restaurant in the back section, as well as a nice convience and grocery store. There are a number of other good restaurants and bars in the area as well.
We also saw lots of monkeys and Iguanas in the Resort area.
Overall if you want peace and quiet, great service, beautiful sunsets, fantastic private beach, nice clean rooms ,a friendly and informitive owner and staff, good food and drinks at an excellent price the Iguanazul is for you. At night there is enough action and music at some of the local bars to keep you happy. We will be going back next month. Enjoy.

Room Tip: Ask for an Oceanfront room and if possible a kitchenette which would be a nice bonus.
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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 Hotel Iguanazul

Address: Playa Junquillal, Santa Cruz 130-5150, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Santa Cruz
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 7 Hotels in Santa Cruz
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel Iguanazul 3*
Number of rooms: 24
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Hotel Iguanazul is located in the northern province of Guanacaste, on the Nicoya Peninsula at Playa Junquillal. We are 35km south of Tamarindo, on a cliff overlooking the beautiful Pacific Ocean The Hotel Iguanazul is a quiet boutique hotel where you can enjoy the white sands of Playa Blanca (part of Costa Rica's Blue Flag program), world class surf breaks, great snorkeling, spectacular sunsets and much more! We have relationships with several tour operators to satisfy your adventurous side and can arrange any excursion you with. Our nearby beaches are all pristine and you can walk virtually undisturbed for hours and hours. Book now to enjoy the beautiful Hotel Iguanazul! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Iguanazul Costa Rica/Guanacaste

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