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“An amazing place that can't be beat.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Gilded Iguana Hotel

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Gilded Iguana Hotel
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Playa Guiones, Nosara 5233, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #9 of 20 Hotels in Nosara
Sneads Ferry, NC
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“An amazing place that can't be beat.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2010

The friendly staff, great food, and relaxed atmosphere add up to pleasant memories every time we visit the "GI". Lots of good, live music helps too. The rooms are clean, comfortable, and affordable. The GI is located less than 1/4 mile from Playa Guiones, a most beautiful and surfable beach that is a safe, clean place to swim and surf. This is extremely convenient. The Nosara Surf Academy is also conveniently located directly behind the GI. You can rent a board there or take a lesson. The NSA instructors, Kim and Mark are cool professionals. The folks at the GI always make us feel welcome and staying at the GI is always a pleasure. Matt and Joellen are excellent hosts and with their trusty staff are like a big, happy family. I highly recommend the GI to anyone looking for good food, good company and good value.

  • Stayed July 2010, 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
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110 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    72
    28
    5
    2
    3
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23
41
9
Business
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 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 (31)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Friendswood, Texas
2 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 4, 2010

We have known the owners of this hotel for many years. Did not stay there until they added the pool and rooms with A/C which was several years ago. It is in the best location in Nosara--close to the beach, the mini-super, the internet cafe and bookstore, and several other restaurants. The rooms are clean, cool, secure and include a fridge and coffe maker if you ask for one. The pool bar is open every afternoon and is a great place to retreat if there is an afternoon shower. The restaurant is excellent and offers many healthy choices if that is your inclination. There is fresh fish daily and a variety of salads along with a tasty cheeseburger and a variety of Mexican dishes. You can also order typical Costa Rican fare. The beer is cold and the margaritas are tasty. There is live music every Tuesday night and on other nights during high season. The service is excellent! DeeDee, Freddy, and Roger are our favorite servers and will go out of their way to take care of your needs. (I can't imagine who the guy with the negative review could have been referring to.) The new managers, Matt and Joellen, run the hotel very efficiently. As for the locals hanging around--that's just the way it is. Try getting to know them and be friendly. It's fun to make connections! You can arrange for many kinds of excursions through the hotel as well as transportation to other destinations. The Iguana was the only hotel which was totally full while we were there. We had lunch at another hotel one day and there was nobody there! The Iguana is the happening place!

  • Stayed June 2010, 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.
Atlanta, Georgia
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 8, 2010

The Gilded Iguana is a cool little hotel and restaurant in a cool little town. I loved staying here and will definitely be back.

The restaurant has good food at good prices. The service is friendly and laid back. The other customers are cool and friendly. If you go, say hi to D (she works in the mornings most days).They also have live music some nights, which is really cool.

The room I stayed in was basic (no AC) but it was clean and really affordable and i found that you really didn't need the AC (there's a ceiling fan and a stand up fan that i found to be more than sufficient and i even got too cold at one point). The cleaning staff is friendly and very good. The beds are comfortable and i loved that there was no alarm clock or TV or radio -- just the sound of the cicadas and the monkeys howling somewhere near by.

I have to say, if you want a resort, go to a resort town. Nosara is NOT a resort town and there are no chain hotels there. If you want American-style hotels, stay in America. You people who complain about bugs and a laid back attitude are why the rest of the world cringes when they see an American walk through their doors. Get over it and enjoy the surroundings. If you cannot, then stay home where you can watch TV all day. If I read one more complaint about bugs, i'm going to scream -- this is a jungle-like tropical location. Of course there are bugs and there are going to be bugs that are not desirable so suck it up and deal.

  • Stayed April 2010, 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.
DE & VT
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2010

This hotel is awesome! The rooms were basic, but all one would really need while in Nosara. The beds were comfortable, the rooms were extremely clean and the AC was cold. The hammocks outside were great for the habitual afternoon siesta. If you are looking for an all inclusive, this aint it. But if you want a safe, mellow, relaxing, comfortable place, then stay at the Guilded Iguana. The restaurant is by far the best in town, offering affordable Tico style cuisine. The menu is stacked with fresh fish, chicken, and vegetables. Yes there is the occasional local pool crasher, but if that's not okay with you, then you need to stay at a Sandals beach resort. The people are all very friendly, and very very accommodating. In short, this is a great place and we disagree with the previous post. If you want to feel like you are in America, go to an all inclusive. If you want an authentic Costa Rican small town experience, there is no better place than the GI.

  • Stayed April 2010, 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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Kitty Hawk, North Carolina
1 review
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 20, 2010

more then once and from 2 different resturant employees they seemed as if they did not want to be there and they had such an attitude. Enough so that my wife and I as well as the other couple we were with looked for other places to eat.
Also there were alot of outside people hanging out from either the Surf School next door or just from outside the motel. All walking around like they owned the place using the pool and bar. We felt like we were inturding on them.
Finally the lighting in our room was below satisfactory and when we asked for an additional lamp we never received it.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
costahotelier, Manager at Gilded Iguana Hotel, responded to this review, July 16, 2010
Our apologies for any server that was less than accommodating to you and your group. Our staff are typically complimented for their graciousness and hospitality, and it is very unusual to receive any negative comments about them, so reading this review is difficult for us as management. The hotel facilities such as the pool and restaurant are open to the public (as they are at all other hotels in Nosara) so as to maintain good relations with the local residents, and to be able to make the business a profitable one. If we were to become a gated hotel/resort, we would have to charge considerably more than $45/night to our guests in order to stay open. Unfortunately, we cannot be the best place in Nosara for everyone, as people's tastes and preferences differ, but we do try to accommodate as many people as we can, so I am sincerely sorry you had a bad experience with us. As for the issue with the lighting, I agree, it is not great, and I apologize that your request for a lamp went unanswered, I believe it was me personally that forgot to bring one, sometimes things slip my mind.
Joellen Hughes
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
wilmington, NC
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2010

We stayed at the Gilded Iguana in Dec 2009. The owners of the hotel were extremely friendly, and the food was awesome (and relatively inexpensive). While there, I shopped other hotels, and the iguana was the best value by far. The location was great - an easy walk to the beach, and carrying a board was not an issue. I stayed in the large room, which had 4 beds, and an excellent air conditioner!

We saw iguanas, howling monkeys, and more. The staff at the hotel was very good, and customer service was really provided by the staff. There was an extremely talented band that played a few evenings, and on Tuesdays they had artists displaying their wares. Drinks were tasty, and reasonable. We had a fridge in the room, which kept our beer and water cold. AND, we could drink the tap water with no GI effects! (much different than when I stayed in Mexico).

I have never taken the time to comment on a hotel, but I wanted to do so. This was a great place to stay, and a great value. I highly recommend the Iguana to anyone looking for a great place to stay, with fantastic staff, at a good value.

Lee
Wilmington, NC

  • Stayed December 2009, 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
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Texas
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2010

The stay was fantastic; the hotel was or is in the best location possible for the surf, wonderful food, and very friendly staff. From the moment I got there was checked in had help with bags, we got there on a Saturday so got to talk to some of the out going guests they also couldn’t of been more pleased and they shared the to do list of local activates. I thought that I would have to use the internet café, but did not my I-phone picked up the WiFi no problems. The room was comfortable and clean, room service was very courteous and prompt (well only got to meet them once) their service was done by the time I got back to room! Ohh yeah the surf was outstanding.

  • Stayed January 2010, 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Gilded Iguana Hotel

Address: Playa Guiones, Nosara 5233, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Nosara
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 20 Hotels in Nosara
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A landmark at the beaches of Nosara, Costa Rica, The Gilded Iguana Hotel brings casual relaxation, comfort and excellent service to the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. One of the most famous and well loved vacation destination hotels in Nosara for surfers, expats, families and adventure holidayers. **NEWS** - Gilded Iguana has been sold to new owners - but is sure to be better than ever for open Nov 2014. All reservations still valid! ... more   less 

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