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“Overpriced”
Review of Iguana Lodge

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Iguana Lodge
Ranked #3 of 15 Hotels in Puerto Jimenez
Certificate of Excellence
Cambridge, MA
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Overpriced”
Reviewed February 12, 2007

For $120 per night per person (which is $240 per night for a couple), I expect some amenities. Toby and Lauren, the owners, charge top dollar. The bungelows are old and the screens need to be replaced. There were at least 20 bugs flying around the room, including a hornet and a yellow jacket, biting flies, etc. My fiance and I awoke to a lizard crawling over us. The owners' dogs bark, sometimes constantly during the night. There is no air-conditioning and it's hotter than hell, even at night. Worst of all, the Iguana Lodge has a tour desk and the fees these "independent" tours charge are outrageous. A boat trip to see/swim with dolphins was $75 each and lasted only 3 hrs (most of that time was spent traveling to and from the spot). A similar trip in Montezuma was $35 per person, lasted 5 hrs, and included a great meal, wine and beer, and desserts on a remote beach. I suspect that the Iguana Lodge (which provides the tour operators with vouchers -- you pay the Iguana Lodge directly for the tours) profits handsomely for each tour they sell you. They arrange for your transportation into town (a few miles down the road) and then charge you $20.00. It's all about profit at the Iguana. Even to have a member of their staff show you around the limited jungle around the lodge was something like $50.00. Lauren has a superficial "niceness," but she is all business. Her husband Toby seems like a nice guy.

  • Liked — It had a nice shower
  • Disliked — No air-conditon, poor lighting, insects, lousy screens, no locks on doors
  • Stayed February 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank Mahones
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
iguanalodge, Owner at Iguana Lodge, responded to this review, August 31, 2010
It is always disappointing to see that guests didn't have a good time. It is true, we don't have air conditioning. We never have, and don't plan to. We are an eco-resort. We offer fans. For what it's worth, very few spots on the Osa offer air conditioning, as again, this is an eco-spot, where people should come if they want to see the jungle, and enjoy the warmth and humidity. You can stay at other ecospots on the Osa that charge three times what we do, and still, no air conditioning.

The barking dogs - there was a time when one of our neighbors had several barking dogs. Fortunately, he has moved.

Our tours. We don't offer more than a couple tours ourselves. Every other tour we promote is through the locals in town, and this guest is dead wrong in thinking that we make a handsome profit off of these tours. In fact in the literature we provide in each room, we now encourage guests to explore and head to town if they like to try find better prices for tours - they probably won't find them. And of course there is the possibility that they may save a few dollars, but not end up with a great guide. We know that the companies we recommend provide great service. We share the thought at times that prices for tours here are quite high, and have mentioned that to our tour providers. They haven't lowered their prices. In particular, the boat trips seem to be costly, but the folks here that have boats tell us that is very expensive to operate a boat down here. We don't have a boat, as we don't want all the work that goes with owning a boat. The Osa is not an inexpensive spot, and while someone might get an inexpensive tour in a place such as Montezuma, that is not the case here. But as I said, we are not responsible for the setting of prices.

Likewise, Taxi service: we charge $10 one way, the same price that any taxi charges. An aside, we own the only road grader in town, and we maintain the roads that we can, free of charge. So, it kind of hurts to hear that folks think we are taking advantage of them, when we know how much money we are bringing in which certainly isn't a lot, and how much we are doing to try to help out little community. .

So, the bottom line appears to be that although these guests perceived us as trying to take advantage of them monetarily, the prices were not set by us, but by the locals. Things are not inexpensive in the outback of Costa Rica, but again we don't set the prices. If people want to save money, I suggest they not come to the Osa, unless they really want a back-packer experience, which even then I would think is inexpensive - although it has been a few years since I donned a backpack!
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (119)
Date | Rating
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English first
ottawa
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed February 11, 2007

Just returned from a week long stay at the Iguana Lodge where we were married and had 12 guests including a 6 yr old staying with us at the Iguana Lodge.

I could not have asked for a more perfect wedding; barefoot on the beach under an arch of tropical flowers. The food was excellent and everyone was amazed at how at home we felt there. The staff and owners went out of their way to arrange every request - from massages to last minute excursion requests.

Everyone was so friendly and sincere in their effort to make our stay memorable and of course all of us want to have a reunion there for our anniversary.

We cannot wait to return to the fabulous beach, the gorgeous 3 story villa and wonderful people at the Iguana.

  • Liked — delux view, outdoor shower
  • Disliked — n/a
  • Stayed February 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank mjOttawa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SanFrancisco
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed September 19, 2006

I stayed here in August, and this was like Paradise. I 100% recommend it, and it is worth the $$. I will say, I was quite overdue for a vacation and I wasn't sure what to expect before I arrived, but when I did arrive - it was exactly what I was looking for - peaceful, quiet, next to the beach, surrounded by nature/ecology, not a lot of people, plenty of hammocks and space to hang around.

I stayed for 1 week because I love it so much. The manager, Christian, was extremely helpful. The staff was awesome - they were all very nice. The meals were delicious. But, even if you just eat the complementary breakfast, you'd be set for the day. You can see iguanas, mackaws, lizards, snakes, frogs, and other cool animals/insects. Also, the vegetation is wonderful - tons of plants and trees. The Iguana rooms are spacious, clean, jungle-rooms with large decks with hammocks and extra chairs. Night time is the best, with sounds of the ocean and the jungle that will help you fall asleep.

Only downside, is that you'll need transporation to get back and forth to town - they have bicycles that you can rent for the day - which works well as long as your back before dark. And, if you don't feel like going to town for meals/drinks - you can always walk next door to the Pearl - which has it's own bar and menu and super nice staff.

The tours are a bit pricey (mostly due to transport), so you might be able to find a better tour price in town. Cool things to do - kayak tour, swim with the dolphins, Carcovado park hike, MaloPalo hike, Botanical Gardens, etc.

Net- Net: I 100% recommend this. Especially, if you're looking for something different, quiet, not a lot of children or college kids, etc. And, very safe!

  • Liked — The staff and Christian!
  • Disliked — Need transportation to get to town
  • Stayed August 2006, traveled solo
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
10 Thank CostaRicaTraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, CA
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed March 28, 2006

We stayed at the Iguana for a few nights on our way back from Carate to San Jose. The highlight of our stay had to be the top floor accommodations we had in one of the two level units. We loved our cozy bed, the pebble shower, and the sweet deck with lounge chairs. Even better were the fantastic sunrises we could see directly from our bed; soft orange and purple colors peeked out through the palm trees. One of the house dogs seemed to enjoy as well--we found him lying on our deck every night between 2 and 5AM. The beach is beautiful but it’s incredibly hot midday and unfortunately there are few beach amenities, meaning no lounge chairs, and only a few small palm huts set away from the water. If the warm breeze is enough for you, try the hammock hut, which has several cozy hammocks, a few deck chairs, and an out of place weight machine. The breakfasts were tasty and the candle lit dinners were elegant. Our only constructive feedback in this area would be to offer more local dishes since they seemed almost entirely absent.

  • Stayed March 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank machagurl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ottawa
Level Contributor
11 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed February 14, 2006

The resort is unusual in that it is made up of the Iguana Lodge which is quite wonderful and the Pearl of the Osa which is more like a motel, a series of rooms sharing a verandah-corridor.
We had the opportunity to try both parts and there is no comparison between them in terms of comfort, spaciousness, privacy or noise.
That being said, both look down on the same magnificant beach and all breakfasts are at the lodge, all lunches at the Pearl and dinners are offered at both. The dinners at the Lodge are candlelit buffet style and provided the best food that we found at any of the five hotels at which we stayed in Costa Rica - tasty and innovative.
The staff in all parts of the resort were consistently pleasant and anxious to please.

Helpful?
8 Thank jjedwards
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed October 8, 2005

This is a great place to stay if you want to relax in the sun. My husband and I usually had the beach to ourselves when we went out to swim.
We did some fun day trips in the area, but they are expensive. I was happy to just sit out and enjoy the scenery. This part of Costa Rica is gorgeous and not as touristy as other spots.
The lodge has great meals, even for vegetarians.
We went there for our honeymoon, but it may not be the best place for honeymooners because you don't have a lot of privacy. Luckilly when we were there, the lodge was not full, so we did not have to share our bathroom. But, usually, the two lodge rooms share a bathroom.

  • Stayed August 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank lac205
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin TX
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed September 13, 2005

We just got back from Costa Rica and for our first trip there, the Iguana Lodge made it great. The staff and food were the best. Dinner by candlelight with the other guests was fun and the chef is as good as the owners mention on their website. It's very secluded with a deserted beach, so it's a great place to catch up on your reading. We took several trips in the local area, arranged by the staff, and had a great time. Considering it was the rainy season, it only rained one afternoon, but you could see that it was raining everywhere else on the peninsula. If you need airconditioning or a pool, this is not the place. But if you enjoy being close to nature and playing on a black sand beach, this is it. Bring lots of books and lots of sunscreen.

  • Stayed September 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank gailintexas_7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Iguana Lodge

Property: Iguana Lodge
Address: Calle a, 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 Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Puerto Jimenez
#1 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Jimenez
#3 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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