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“Perfect” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Iguana Lodge

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Iguana Lodge
3.5 of 5 Resort   |   Calle a Calle Platanares, Puerto Jimenez 60702, Costa Rica   |  
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Ranked #4 of 15 hotels in Puerto Jimenez
Boulder, Colorado
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Perfect”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2013

It has been awhile since I have traveled to Iguana Lodge. Yet, my family and I have traveled there four times. I am 16 so yes I am young but I must say this lodge is the most incridable place I have ever been. The first time I visted Iguana lodge I was 11 years old and to this day it continues to be my favorite place. Everyone there is so friendly! You will never fail to make a friend or more! The staff is incridable they help you with anything and they truely become your friends. On Pasta Night it is always fun to socialize with the locals. I danced more on those nights then I thought possible. It's also fun to met the other guests there. I went to Iguana when the landing strip for the airport wasn't paved and when IL didn't have a pool. Even then it was the most incridable experence I could have had. The chef they have is amazing too. All the meals are so fresh, they are really good about appealing to all tastes. Yes, I am a teenager and yes I love sleeping in but I must admit waking up to the birds and monkeys is one of the best things about this place! If it isnt nature calling in the mornings it is the beautiful sunrise. Waking up also isn't that hard because of the fact that when it gets dark at night- it is DARK. Its so natural!! No city lights and noise just the lulling sounds of the waves. Sleep comes easy. It is very humid there and of course there are bugs and crabs but really don't come here if your planning on being pammered. Iguana Lodge is a incridable adventure all by it's self. Don't get me wrong though. Cooling off in the pool, napping in hammics and the spa/yoga can make you feel more relaxed than ever. IL also offers some amazing adventures everything from ziplining to a hike in the rainforest. My favorite had to be the wildlife refuge though, being so close to wildlife like that was unbelievable. The beaches are amazing too! I loved playing in the waves. They can get a little rough sometimes but thats half the fun! After a battle in the waves it is always fun to go back up to The Pearl and get some lunch. They make amazing food and it is just a friendly enviorment. You can relax and look out at the gorgous view of the beaches or stuff your face with some of the best nachos there are. Oh! I can't forget the dogs. Those pups are so sweet! They do good at not begging but you can find them napping at your feet! All in all even you aren't looking to get waited on hand and foot and wanting a truely magical experence this is your place. I couldn't be more in love with Iguana Lodge and can't wait to return! Everyone is so friendly and the sights are beyound breathtaking. I promise you, when you go here it will be a trip you will never forget.

  • Stayed June 2012, 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
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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
  • 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 (45)
Date | Rating
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English first
Lenhart
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 6, 2013

Stayed at Iguana for 3 nights last week. 5th trip to Costa Rica. Gotta say that I have never seen such a concentration of Scarlet Macaws! Other hightlights included monkeys on premises, Vladimir at the bar, Free Yoga, great breakfasts, helpful staff and comfy rooms.We never missed a/c. Fans kept us cool at night. Wish we could have spent more time at the Iguana. Gloria and Toby - you have a great thing going - keep up the good work! We will try to return someday (and we usually do not say that!)

Room Tip: Take a casita - second floor. Nice view of Gulfo Dulce. First floor casita had an outdoor shower, w...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 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
    • 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.
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2013

We traveled to Costa Rica to see the wildlife and to be removed from the most visited beaches, parks, and tourist attractions and decided on the Osa Peninsula. We truly enjoyed our stay at the Iguana Lodge--from the delicious breakfast to start the day (included), to the family-style meal prepared by an extraordinary chef, to the food offered at the Pearl of the Osa Restaurant. We stayed in a Club Room, but many guests enjoyed the cabinas--both feature the sound of surf to lull you to sleep (a house is available for larger groups). Activities abound, there's a pool, yoga/spa, and the pristine beach on the Golfo Dulce is steps away. The staff is outstanding and are extremely helpful in effortlessly planning your trip and activities--the waiters and waitress at the Pearl are polite, friendly, and willing to help with your Spanish! We appreciate the atmosphere created by the owners, Lauren aka Gloria and Toby--they've done a marvelous job of making Iguana Lodge a relaxing, comfortable place to stay, while also becoming involved with the local community. Most of all, we enjoyed our mornings with Sidnar, their naturalist--he is simply amazing in his knowledge and ability to spot wildlife--ask him to do his Howler monkey call! After the first complimentary birding tour around the grounds of the lodge, we were hooked and chose hiking with Sidnar as the activities included in our package--sloths, anteater, coati, Jesus Christ lizards, caimans, three species of monkeys, myriad birds with Sidnar's goal of finding "five new, special ones each day," which he easily accomplished--thank you, Sidnar for sharing your sixth sense!

Room Tip: If you select the Club Room package, the corner room (4th room facing the ocean) is great because th...
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  • Stayed February 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Monterey, California
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2013

We stayed 3 nights at Iguana Lodge, just after New Years.
It's a very lovely, peaceful place, just 10 min. from Puerto Jimenez and airport access.

The casitas are extremely comfortable, and ours had a beautiful Golfo Dulce view, from the massive deck (and the gulf swimming was great.) It's not inexpensive, especially at that time of year, yet a wonderful splurge for us.

The staff is fantastic, and very attentive. Lauren and Toby (the owners) clearly take pride in their operation and the staff operates like a very well integrated team. Jose, the chef, prepares amazing meals (breakfast and dinner) for the casita guests.

Great lap pool, yoga studio and lounge areas.

The restuarant on the property serves great lunches, smoothies and "adult" beverages.
The Friday night pasta and salsa dancing party is a fun community gathering.

Finally, Sidnar, the naturalist and guide does a fantastic job on the half-day jungle wildlife tour.
We saw all 4 species of monkey, three-toed sloth, morpho butterflies, agouti, iguana, scarlet macaws, and much more!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 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.
Brooklyn, New York
Top Contributor
69 reviews 69 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 40 cities Reviews in 40 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2013

We stayed here for three nights at the start of our Osa vacation. We decided on the lub rooms as opposed to the more expensive casitas (we weren't planning on spending much time in the rooms as we had activities galore planned). The club rooms are located above one of the IL's two restaurants, with a direct view of the beach and ocean/gulf, and were a great bargain for our needs. The bed is a double instead of a queen, but we slept soundly anyways. The bathroom was surprisingly large as well as modern, and we had a corner room so there was a nice cross-breeze (though some privacy issues as well if we didn't keep our blinds shuttered). At night you could hear the surf crashing against the shore.

The grounds here are great and have a very nice blend of modern design influence with naturalism. We spend a lot of time near and in the lap pool, which includes changing rooms, restrooms, and showers. The nearby yoga/massage studio looked really awesome, and almost persuaded me to try yoga for the first time. Plenty of scarlet macaws and other cool birds to see. We did see some monkeys one day too.

The food here is perhaps the best we've had in Costa RIca. Breakfast (included with all room rates)is at the main lodge, lunch is served at the building where the club rooms are (ala carte) and dinner is served at either location. The food was excellent at both restaurants, with dinner at the main lodge being more of a transcendent and foodie experience-candle light, seated around an communal table, with participants including the owners, and served buffet style. This dinner is included in the price of the casitas but not the club rooms, but you it was surprisingly affordable as an add-on for the club rooms--$25/person per meal.

The service here is fantastic, with the folks always trying to make your experience and stay the best possible. They hooked us up with a great kayaking tour, negotiated a very, very good deal for us on the dolphin watching tour (our boat captain/guide Russo was great) and their naturalist Sidnar took us on a very cool night tour of the Rio Nuevo, where we waded through the water and saw all kinds of cool things, from a family of kinkajous in the trees to 5-7 Jesus Christ Lizards running on top of the water at once.

Be sure to tip the entire staff upon checkout--not just the room maids!

In all, this is a place that would suit just about any kind of traveler--beach lover, someone looking for rest and relaxation, hardcore naturalist, or adventure lover. Our thoughts upon leaving were "how do we convince our families to join us here in the future?"

Room Tip: Club rooms facing the water are a better bet than those facing the opposite direction. Corner rooms...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
    • 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.
Ottawa, Canada
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2013

I cannot say enough good things about this eco lodge but I shall try to do so succinctly.

What differentiates this place from others I've been to (both in Costa Rica and elsewhere) is that it expertly combines the experience of being close to nature but with the comfort, cleanliness, and elegance of a high-end hotel.

ACCOMMODATIONS
Iguana Lodge is down-right beautiful. We stayed in a casita (bungalow) the first few days and a hacienda (motel-like room for lack of a better explanation but not anywhere as dreary) when we returned. (I couldn't stay away. We actually lost money on our second lodge because I so wanted to be back at Iguana.) Both accommodations were very comfortable with great beds, tastefully designed with beautiful stone showers, and beautifully decorated with white linens. And they were both very clean. The casita had screens on all four sides (no rips, holes, or otherwise disconcerting openings) and the room had more traditional windows with a cool skylight. I am a big animal and nature lover with one caveat - I do not like to have insects in my place. This was not a big concern at Iguana Lodge. (We had a few ants one day and a large beetle another ... WAY less than we experienced at other lodges.)

There are cozy spaces all around the lodge for relaxing with a coffee or glass of wine and a good book. The yoga studio and spa overlooking the lovely pool are gorgeous!

I loved how they lit up the trails with candles so you could see your way around once dark. Also very elegant!

EATING
The lodge has a brilliant family-style (communal) dinner over the main lodge and primary kitchen. We thoroughly enjoyed all the people we met sitting at their great big dining table. I believe this approach made a huge difference in our experience. (It's not obligatory but I highly recommend it.) We got to know everyone who was staying at the lodge including the hosts Lauren and Toby, which made the place feel like home. Food was inspired and excellent. The restaurant where we had several lunches was good too. Don't miss the Tuesday night BBQ on the beach.

STAFF
The people who work at Iguana were outstanding. They were always ready to help and made us feel like family.

BEACH
Probably one of the best I've been to. The bottom is perfectly sandy, the surf is strong enough to be fun but gentle enough to be safe. (No strong rip tides here.) It was almost always deserted with maybe a handful of people for miles and miles.

YOGA CLASSES
Both Tracey and Lauren (owner) gave relaxed and fun classes, and were able to adapt to the level of those in attendance.

NATURE
We had the most encounters at Iguana throughout our two weeks in the jungle. We had a Toucan perched in a tree at eye level (we were in the bungalow) at a distance of 12 or 15 feet. We woke to the sound of Howler monkeys in the trees above us. (We heard several howler monkeys while in CR but there was nothing like having them right overhead - what an experience!) We had numerous sitings of monkeys - both spider and howlers - including one right outside our casita (again at eye level a few feet away). There were scarlet macaws everywhere. And of course the cutest little lizards throughout as well as orange and purple crabs all along the beach.

As my title says, I cannot imagine a more perfect place. And I cannot wait to go back.

  • Stayed February 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
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2013

We wanted an active vacation with my 3 kids, ages 17-24, and perused many a website before choosing the Iguana Lodge. As advertised, the setting is gorgeous. It's just a few steps from every casita to the private beach. The food, served buffet style with all the guests eating around a big table, was delicious - so delicious that I came home and downloaded the cookbook. Our plan included breakfast and dinner. When booking a vacation there, visitors should be aware that there aren't a lot of choices in Puerto JImenez, so the meals at Iguana are your best option. The staff was attentive, organizing countless tours to suit everyone's interests. The owners were gracious hosts, chatting with all the guests. They clearly do a lot of good in their local community, which is one of the reasons we didn't balk at the price.

As far as the lodging, I'll echo what everyone else says. This is a remote sliver of Costa Rica. While the monkeys and parrots were fun for us to have nearby, the large spiders in our casita and the baby salamander that wriggled from the showerhead while my son was bathing, was not. There is one tiny criticism I feel compelled to note. This sentence on their website was a tad misleading:

....canopied beds, Egyptian cotton sheets, plush bathrobes, lots of white fluffy towels, organic soaps....

That description made me feel like my bedroom was going to be similar to one in a resort hotel. The beds, sheets, towels, and bathrobes could have all used some updating. And the sarongs offered to guests, instead of beach towels, were getting threadbare. They should just offer all their guests fresh new sarongs, to take home if they want, and tack the price onto the cost of the room.

Otherwise, we really loved our vacation here and thought it was a great place for families of all ages.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
glorialauren, Owner at Iguana Lodge, responded to this review, February 10, 2013
We are very glad you enjoyed your vacation, and also appreciate hearing about the sheets, towels, etc. We did just get a huge shipment of great sheets before the December rush, as well as towels and sarongs, so maybe you visited prior to that, or maybe our staff was trying to stretch things when they shouldn't have. I will have a meeting with my staff tomorrow to make sure that we pass the older things down the line (which means a fun day actually, where all our workers take the leftovers home). We apologize and appreciate the heads-up. Meanwhile, re the salamander - I think that's kind of cute. The spider on the other - hmmm, I don't care for them either, and it's funny (kind of - see below), because I wonder what the thought process was (I don't think the guests mentioned the spider to our staff, as had they done so, we would have removed it). Recently I was talking to a guest about a spider they saw in the forest, and she indicated how big it was (about two inches wide). She thought that was big...actually here in jungle that would be considered not very big at all, not a wee spider, but a small one. So: A. I hope it was a small spider, B. We have a solid staff that vigorously cleans each room daily, but even then, sometimes the wildlife does sneak in, and when that happens we are happy to remove them, C. Part of coming to one of most biologically intense places on the planet means that there are a lot of critters. So...although we wish we could keep out the wildlife, sometimes it is impossible to do so.

Love the facts that you liked us and our staff, and our dynamite location and food. Thank you for coming! Pura Vida.
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Additional Information about Iguana Lodge

Address: Calle a Calle Platanares, Puerto Jimenez 60702, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Osa Peninsula > Puerto Jimenez
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Jimenez
#3 Family Hotel in Puerto Jimenez
#4 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Jimenez
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Iguana Lodge 3.5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Iguana Lodge is the Osa Peninsula's premier beach eco-resort. Established over eleven years ago, Iguana Lodge is founded on the principles of sustainable tourism, personalized service, joy, health, and well-being. Located on the most beautiful beach on the Osa (no kidding), Iguana Lodge is a contemporary, lushly landscaped resort with a 20 meter lap pool and Jacuzzi, two yoga decks and complimentary yoga classes*, a deluxe spa, a fabulous Tico staff, award winning fresh, healthy meals at our two restaurants, our own naturalist, and excellent jungle and ocean adventures. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Iguana Hotel Puerto Jimenez
Iguana Resort Puerto Jimenez
Iguana Lodge Costa Rica/Puerto Jimenez

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