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“When you have found paradise, why go anywhere else?” 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   |  
Hotel website
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 15 Hotels in Puerto Jimenez
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Ottawa, Canada
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“When you have found paradise, why go anywhere else?”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 17, 2014

Sorry, this review is a bit late. Jay and I spent 14 wonderful days at Iguana Lodge at the end of April, watching the other guests moan at having to leave after 2 or 3 days. Everyone exclaimed that Iguana Lodge was the highlight of their trip and they wished they had more time. Well, we never regretted for a minute our fortnight at Iguana Lodge.
Lauren and Toby were consummate hosts - catering to our every need, while at the same time becoming friends. What an interesting couple! If you come to Iguana Lodge, do take the time to find out a little about them! And make sure you take at least one of Lauren's yoga classes!
Sidnar, their Naturalist is a gem! So knowledgeable and enthusiastic!
The staff at the lodge were awesome! You could tell that they loved Lauren and Toby and they were not employees but family. Say hi to our angel Gabriel for us! It was great to eat, drink and laugh with the locals on Tuesday and Friday nights.
So what did we do for 14 days? Take long, long walks on the secluded beach, boogie board (the waves are perfect in the morning), go to 1 or 2 yoga classes daily, take wonderful tours, eat incredible meals, walk into town (often with Spike the wonder dog in tow), socialize with the other guests and relax in our lovely suite!
The club rooms are great, and the cabinas are even better. The grounds are so beautiful. There are plenty of almond trees, which attract the Scarlet Macaws. We watched monkeys playing in the trees during our yoga classes - Tracey is an amazing teacher and also runs the spa. Do have one of her massages - you will melt!
Iguana Lodge is paradise, whether for 2 days or 2 weeks. We will definitely be back!

Thanks Lauren and Toby!

Marie and Jay

Room Tip: The club rooms are just fine, but the one corner room over the kitchen can be a bit smelly when the...
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  • Stayed April 2014, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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276 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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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 (68)
Date | Rating
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English first
Massachusetts
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 26, 2014

My husband and I stayed here for 6 nights at the end of March, at the beginning of a 18-day visit to Costa Rica. This was our third trip in a row to Costa Rica, and we have stayed at a number of places, and the Iguana Lodge hit the high notes for everything we were looking for. It was perfect for us. We had an upstairs of one of the casitas. The balcony was large - several comfortable chairs and a great hammock. My DH spent much of his time on that balcony, reading, alternating with the 30-second stroll down to the ocean for quick dips in the beautiful clean Golfo Dulce. I loved the pool area for a bit of shade and socializing, as well as the sitting areas beneath the yoga studio. The yoga was sooo fun! A bit more vigorous than I'm used to (I'm 62) but very inspiring and the space was incredibly beautiful for yoga. OK, the food was incredible - very very high quality, interesting, plentiful, many options on the beautiful buffet each night. The communal table was really fun and we lingered most nights talking -- the lodge was full while we where there (spring break) with lots of families with children/teenagers - all well mannered, fun, and having an absolute blast. Our daughter is in college, so not with us, but we loved seeing these families and the kids making friends. We were there for both the Friday night Salsa Dance Party -- we danced a bit, and Lauren got my quiet husband up to dance with her -- and for the Tuesday night Beach BBQ - that was on our last night so by then we'd made friends and they (Lauren/Toby/staff?) had put us together at the same table - lots of fun. Did I saw the food was amazing? Yes, but it bears repeating. Breakfasts were wonderful as well, as we appreciated the flexibility on breakfast times - DH especially liked that there was wonderful very strong coffee available by 5:30 am. The beach was just beautiful, mostly deserted, waves just large enough to play in, some body surfing. Drinks at the bar were interesting and healthful, even those with spirits - lots of herbs and interesting combos. We did a few half day tours, including mangrove kayaking and boat trip in the Golfo Dulce, but mostly enjoyed just being there.
Cons: just to be honest: 10) no little fridge in the room. The casitas are two-in-one. We had the upper level casita, and mostly our neighbors downstairs were very respectful and quiet, but one group (with said teenagers) were particularly loud, but they were only there 2 nights (and it was the father who was the loudest!). We really liked the view and being in the upper level. As long as you know you don't have the whole thing to yourself. (There is a larger three story casita that is private, but way beyond what we needed.) But this wouldn't in the least stop us from visiting again, and I really hope to do so, next time perhaps with our daughter and friends... I'll let my photos tell the rest of the story. Thank you Lauren, wonderful hostess, artist, yogi, you made it really fun.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
Princeton, New Jersey
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2014

I stayed at Iguana in the beginning of March while on a yoga retreat with Upper West Side Yoga. I can honestly say between my incredible yoga instructors and the people, amenities, and atmosphere at Iguana, I had one of the most spiritually fulfilling experiences of my life. For me, it was the small things: a good cup of coffee among like-minded people, the open and airy rooms, a walk on a peaceful beach, the sound of waves and jungle animals at dawn, the smell of flowers and plants all around... each day brought me inner peace and joy. Not to mention, the food was spectacular and the staff at the lodge and spa were always helpful and friendly. Thank you Iguana.

  • Stayed March 2014, 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Peru, Maine, United States
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 13, 2014

We spent 3 nights here in a corner club room with an ocean view. Would recommend this room for cross ventilation with the breeze as it has 2 windows and being on the end has less people walking past. The fan did a good job with the intense heat, although only one of the two fans was working. The room was fine - but lacked privacy. We enjoyed the nice showers with fluffy towels and sarongs. In fact we bought a few sarongs as gifts to bring home. A big problem for me was the wasp hive outside our door as I am allergic. My husband was stung and it made sitting on our balcony a challenge. On a positive note the grounds were amazing, the staff friendly and the food excellent. The reason I chose Iguana Lodge above others was for the yoga. Unfortunately, the owner was not there so there were no classes. I did enjoy using the yoga building, but wished that even in the owners absence there was someone to lead a class. We did see howler monkeys, macaws and many birds right on the property. My only other recommendation is to book your tours in advance and be prepared for the added cost of transportation. When I saw a tour on the website listed at $30/person it did not occur to me that the added transportation started at $100 and up. We heard great reviews on the guides at the lodge but they were already booked for tours and not available for us during the time we were there. When we couldn't book any tours at the lodge we took a taxi into Puerto Jiminez and spent a wonderful day there. A small town with little restaurants and shops right on the water. The best part were the macaws that were everywhere. We are not pampered travelers that expected luxery at Iguana, perhaps we just had higher expectations than we should have.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
glorialauren, Owner at Iguana Lodge, responded to this review, April 14, 2014
HI, I wish you could have given us a higher rating too!

Re Yoga: Unfortunately, my mother-in-law broke her knee and we needed to go take care of her back in the USA. We usually have two free yoga teachers here - but for four days, we didn't, and I apologize. We did have another yoga teacher available to teach classes - but not for free. Our website does state that the only free classes are provided when the owner is around - which is almost all of time, but I am sorry I wasn't around for you! (We are, BTW, the only place around that I know of that offers free yoga).

Meanwhile, the bees! That is a drag. The Osa did have a lot of bees this year - and we have successfully removed most of them. I hope you mentioned the bees to our staff - as usually they can take care of them. The balconies of the club rooms are really nice to hang out on, so to not be able to do that does subtract from the experience. I apologize.

Re the fans: we have a lot of fans around, and our staff won't know they are broken, unless you mention something. I feel certain that if you had told the staff about the broken fan, or just wanting more fans, we would have arranged for you to have more. The week you were here was very hot, we agree on that (but not as hot as south Florida in the summer by a long shot).

Transportation is expensive here. We agree. The roads are not good, and despite the Costa Rican laws requiring the taxis to use meters, they steadfastly refuse, and have set their prices high. I do understand part of it - because the roads really take a toll, and gasoline is expensive too. For example, to drive to Matapalo (about an hour drive) is presently $100 round trip - but to rent a 4 wheel drive runs $150 (I just priced this yesterday for some guests). We do explain the cost of transportation on our website, so you must have just missed me. Our goal is to point these things out ahead of time, so people can decide if they want to come to the Osa - it is not an inexpensive vacation. FYI - these costs apply to everyone vacationing on the Osa. In fact, most hotels here charge (unbeknownst to their guests) on top of what the local taxis charge, but we never have and never will.

Lastly, we do have wonderful nature guides. You were here for one of the busiest weeks of the entire year, and thus, booking trips ahead of time during the Christmas Holidays and Spring Break may have made sense. Usually there is no problem. Sometimes if someone wants a private tour, and doesn't want to join with a few other guests, that can spread out our guides a bit thin, but again, it is rare that we don't have someone available. I have tried to ascertain who you are and how many days you were here. If you were only here for a couple days, I can see how our guides might have been booked, but generally most guests come for 5 or more nights, and then we can always find a day or two that our guides are available.

Finally, I don't think your expectations were too high. We like people to have high expectations, and we generally meet them - as viewed by our very high ratings. Every once in awhile however, we do disappoint, and I am sorry about that. Vacations are to be treasured, and we try to make everything great.
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1dayatatime
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 7, 2014 via mobile

If you need air conditioning on top of ocean breeze, go elsewhere, but for us, the Iguana was absolutely perfect. Can't beat the group meals in the great room over the main lodge, and our casita was a wonderful place for afternoon naps. And what more can you say about the private sandy beach than "Heaven!" Pura vida!

Stayed April 2014
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Toronto
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2014

My husband and I stayed here after a 3-day trek into Corcovado. We were looking for some rest, relaxation, beach time, and good food following the trek. This is exactly what we found, and more, at Iguana Lodge!! The owners and staff are wonderful people, who really go out of their way to make sure you are enjoying your stay. Also, we had some trouble with a flight being delayed, and Maxine and Lauren went well over and above to help us out. Dinners were especially great; food was spectacular and we really enjoyed how the owners encourage guest interaction.

Room Tip: We were in a corner club room. This was great for cross-breeze. Club rooms are great for a couple.
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2014

It's a jungle out there. And it's a jungle in here too. So I decided in the middle of our first night at Iguana Lodge. The howler monkeys and cicadas were whispers compared to the noise in my head --- for the first time since forever ago, I had no "to do" list. And that left me with nothing on my mind but... me. Who, it turned out, had no inner resources. Where do you go in the middle of an unhappy confrontation with yourself in the jungle? Nowhere. You're stranded. So you suck it up and hope for healing. Which comes, right on schedule, with the new day. Here, at breakfast, are interesting strangers. Tide pools at the beach. Yoga. Expeditions. Or... nothing. I took a notebook and went to the pool. Standing in the chest-high water, I made the pool my office. I had a title, and then I had pages of notes, and then the words of the story formed on the page. Along the way, I had fascinating conversations of the kind you kinda sorta remember from late nights in college. And I don't mean with people who were like me --- the message that Iguana Lodge delivers is that surfaces deceive, people are not who they may seem to be. Which makes every conversation and experience unusually vivid. Yes, I cherished the visit to the animal preserve and the sight of monkeys in the trees and the great meals. But what I took home was the uniqueness of the human environment that Lauren and Toby have created --- in the jungle, they have carved out an oasis where the best in us is nurtured. I am beyond grateful.

  • Stayed March 2014, 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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 Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Puerto Jimenez
#1 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Jimenez
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Jimenez
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Iguana Lodge 3.5*
Number of rooms: 19
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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