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“Peaceful Retreat” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Leaves and Lizards Arenal Volcano Cabin Retreat

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Leaves and Lizards Arenal Volcano Cabin Retreat
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Pleasanton, California
Level Contributor
26 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Peaceful Retreat”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 5, 2013

We stayed at Leaves & Lizards for three nights in July. Our flight arrived in San Jose at 6:00 am and we drove straight there. We were far too early for check-in and far too late for breakfast but they provided both! Steve and Debbie are wonderful hosts who are very knowledgeable about the area. We stayed in the Congo cabin (which is huge!) and had a massive porch. We spent a lot of time on that porch enjoying the views, watching the toucans and admiring the flora and fauna. The restaurant at Leaves & Lizards was great as well. We enjoyed all the food and Dora, one of the employees there, was truly wonderful. My only regret was that we couldn't stay another day/night and enjoy the horses.

Room Tip: They're all great!
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank annieslash
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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619 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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See reviews for
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (160)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 31, 2013

We stayed at Leaves and Lizards for spring break 2012. We are a family of five (3 teenage sons), like lots of individual space and minimal people when we travel. L&L was perfect for us. All of our trips were arranging w/o issue by Debbie...horseback riding to the waterfall w Cheetos was exceptional, zip lining, canyoneering and a day at a spa were great. The food served at the 'main house' was exceptional and varied. Our boys enjoyed picking eggs from the chicken coop and walking the varied paths through the complex. Highly recommended for those who prefer to experience nature w/o the commercialism.

Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank A2family2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Delmar, New York
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 27, 2013

Wish we had stayed longer than the minimum here in this perfect cabin rainforest retreat that was perfectly outfitted for a family of 4 -- Horseback riding was an amazing experience on well taken care of horses and the food was lovely. Our guides were well informed and passionate about the area and ecosystem. Don't miss the waterfall trip.
I would have loved to have done some of the unique local experiences they offer like cooking class etc but there was so much to see and do in the area we didn't leave enough time to enjoy all that Leaves and Lizards has to offer.
Love the location and the hospitality--but most of all the fact that these folks are an integral and respectful part of this community. They contribute economically and they also reforested their homestead. When I want relax I just remember laying in the hammock on the porch of our cabin listening to the bird symphony.
If you have kids and want to give them the pool and slide experience as well just ask the owners for your best choice of thermal spas that have these features.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank deanne64
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pennington, New Jersey
Level Contributor
150 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 18, 2013

We were a family of 6 and stayed in Heliconia house and Volcano cabin.

Pros: The place is huge with a beautiful view of the Arenal Volcano and surrounded by rain forest like plantations. The food is home cooked, excellent and it changes every day. A special mention about the pancakes - we have never tasted such delicious pancakes anywhere else. It was so good we asked for it on another day even though it wasn't in the menu. Since the meals were very good, we had our dinner there every evening (you have to sign-up in advance). Be sure to say “Hola” to the parrot which greets to everyday during breakfast. Do plan to visit the farm animals. There is a great collection of Costa Rican horses. Debbie will tell you about each one of them. Debbie and Steve are great hosts and provide great service for your needs.

Cons: (there are not new information but provided as a reminder) You definitely need a 4x4 to get to this place. Do not arrive late at night as it may be difficult to travel the roads. Always allow about 15 mins to come out of the rural and bumpy roads from this lodge to the main roads. Make sure to view the map at their website if you are traveling with the family, need more than one room and want to be close to each other. The house and the cabin assigned to us were far apart from each other. It is a long walk on an unpaved road between the two. The Volcano cabin does not have any A/C and there are many nights we wished we had (the main Heliconia house did have A/C). There are fans which may not be sufficient if the nights stay humid. Also there are no phones in the cabins and we ran up our cell phone bill just contacting our own family members. The dining hall also needs fans.

This place is highly recommended for those who want a peaceful stay and be away from the modern conveniences.

Room Tip: Be sure to email your queries and ask a lot of questions before you decide on your rooms.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank amynaadi1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston
Level Contributor
63 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 15, 2013

I worried that our trip to Costa Rica would be "too rustic" for me, the idea of a cabin in the woods scared me a bit. Not to worry the "Cabin" was perfect, relaxing, comfortable and my 10 year old sons "happy place." The hosts were wonderful, we enjoyed their pets, the farm animals and the excursions they arranged for us. The highlights of our stay was the day long horse back riding trip to a private waterfall. The food was great, especially breakfast with an amazing view of the volcano and Dora the waitress! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Mom2OneBoston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Medford, Oregon
Level Contributor
16 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 12, 2013

What a unique and special place! A totally relaxing retreat, allows you to just be in nature without all the distractions of technology. Great food at their restaurant, super accomodating and friendly staff, wonderful tours, incredible owners! We had most of our meals here and enjoyed all of them. Took a couple tours booked through the retreat and loved every minute of it. The horseback riding trip to the waterfall is a must! Took a trip to the hotsprings and had a heavenly evening. Took a tour to Rio Celeste and were amazed by the unique beauty (and got in a good workout on the hike)! The owners Steve and Debbie are really special people with a lot of passion for conservation and the local community. Speaking with some of the tour guides and restaurant staff (I happen to speak Spanish), I got a real feel for the respect and admiration they have for Steve and Debbie and their efforts to have a really positive impact on their surroundings. Do read through their welcome binder in the room, it is wonderful! The reforestation they have done on their land is remarkable. Their commitment to the community is fantastic. It is certainly a remote location, we didn't have a car so had to rely on taxis they set up for us, but it was no problem at all. Gave us a chance to speak to the taxi drivers and get a sense of the area. Everyone we came in contact with was just amazing. Happy, hardworking, fun and special people. The bugs at night are really quite impressive. The sounds they make are something I have never heard before. Bring your earplus (they also had some in the rooms) and it's no problem. It is a bit of a walk from some of the rooms (we were in Volcano) to the restaurant, but it is good exercise and you'll have "earned" your dinner just a little bit more. Was incredible to be right in the thick of it so to speak. Would absolutely come back here next time!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Carly A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver
Level Contributor
33 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 11, 2013

We really enjoyed Leaves and Lizards. It truly has amazing views of the Volcano. The property is fascinating with Tucans, bugs, birds, trees, cows, horses, wildlife, pigs, chickens, and butterflies. Our small children loved the farm chores in the morning and I enjoyed the night hike in the rain forest. It felt special and memorable to be there. The dining experiences were delicious and festive. We constantly went on little adventures and explored all over the interesting property.

Our family stayed in the Hummingbird cabin. It had the most spectacular views and we loved it. But, it is a far hike/walk to the dining hall. We had 2 small children and they struggled a bit on the rocky path at night. We had to use flashlights and wear rain coats. It was fun (but a trek) to get around the property. Also, the Leaves and Lizards property is also far from anything else. We didn't have a car and it was expensive to get transportation to go to the Hot Springs and Zip Line. We felt a little stranded and would not stay there without a car again. It took at least 30 minutes to get anywhere.

Lastly, it is a a farm in the jungle so it is not a luxurious place and there are a lot of bugs. This was expected for us and we enjoyed the unique experience. We loved every minute and hope to return. We HIGHLY recommend Leaves and Lizards.

Room Tip: Hummingbird Hacienda is spacious, nicely appointed, private, and has truly spectacular views. Sleepe...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Jennifer P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Leaves and Lizards Arenal Volcano Cabin Retreat

Property: Leaves and Lizards Arenal Volcano Cabin Retreat
Address: Meters South Of Super Kiki 500, La Fortuna de San Carlos, Arenal Volcano National Park 21012, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Alajuela > Arenal Volcano National Park > La Fortuna de San Carlos
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Top resorts Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#5 Family Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#5 Green Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#5 Romantic Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#8 Business Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This secluded resort is located on 26 acres with spectacular viewing of the Arenal Volcano near La Fortuna. Enjoy the panoramic vista of Arenal and Cerro Chato from a hammock on your porch or from your comfortable, orthopedic, queen sized beds with Egyptian cotton sheets. Meals prepared using locally grown ingredients at the Lava Lizard on-site dining facility. Guests are invited to help with daily 'chores' on this working farm. Milk a cow, collect eggs for breakfast or groom a horse. Enjoy private horseback riding, professional guide service, on site spa and 2 km of on site nature trails. The vision at Leaves and Lizards is to create the perfect blend of adventure, discovery and tranquility for each guest. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Leaves And Lizards Arenal Volcano Cabin Retreat Hotel La Fortuna De San Carlos
Leaves And Lizards Arenal Volcano Cabin Retreat Costa Rica/Arenal Volcano National Park

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