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“Lovely details at amazing price!”

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Gilded Iguana Hotel
Ranked #17 of 22 Hotels in Nosara
New York, New York
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Lovely details at amazing price!”
Reviewed April 27, 2011

I wanted to go away by myself for a few days of reflection. What a perfect place. I had a huge wooden room with two walls of open shutters. I awoke every morning to the wide view of the jungle. Almost felt as if I was outside. Super clean with lots of towels. They also put tea lights in there so the place was magical at night. Nice touch! The restaurant is good, and the service is excellent. The place has a great vibe -- very friendly with lots of travelers. Perfect for a solo get-away, but you don't feel isolated. Good surf school on premises. These folks have their act together. Oh, and Ice water available at all times.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank serichards33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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134 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
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  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (37)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Nosara, Costa Rica
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed April 19, 2011

the Gilded Iguana does an amazing job at providing an excellent atmosphere for a laid-back vacation in Nosara. Located in the quiet town of Guiones, Gilded in just a short walk up a dirt road from an excellent surf break, and close to a variety of sodas (cafe/bars), mini mercados, and yoga studios. it is the perfect place to spend that afternoons, lounging in a hammock between surf sessions, and a great spot to hear live music two nights a week. The air-conditioned rooms are small but comfortable with high vaulted ceilings and plenty of natural light. the food is outstanding. everything on the menu is wonderful, (especially the chimichangas). one day we caught our own fish (cubera snapper and tuna) and the kitchen happily cooked it up and served it as our dinner for two nights. it was prepared better than one of our favorite restaurants at home can do it.
i highly recommend the gilded iguana to anyone who is looking for a laid-back experience in Nosara.

  • Stayed April 2011
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank LillyMermaid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cambridge, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed April 13, 2011

The Guilded Iguana is a fantastic place for travellers who are looking for a relaxing home base to surf or explore the area! If you are looking for an all-inclusive, want to party hard or laze on the beach with a drink under an umbrella this is probably NOT the place for you.

We LOVED the Iguana - it was in a fantastic location with short walks to the beach (2 minutes), the small town (10 minutes) as well as other local restaurants (check out Olga's!)

Other Pros:
- Live music Tuesday and Friday
- The bar closes around 10pm - which is great when you want to get up early to surf, or you are woken up early by the howling monkeys!
- Great wildlife - a walk around the "block" and we saw monkeys, a huge iguana, colorful crabs and a coati
- Free Wi-fi
- Rooms are quite large and have a fridge
- You can drink the water (this was key for us as it was SO hot!)
- Food is quite good and varied, lots of vegetarian/healthier options too
- Dee (the main server for breakfast/lunch) is awesome!
- Management is very accessible

If you aren't great with the heat, make sure to book a room with A/C - ours didn't have it and while sleeping at night was fine, napping during the day was almost unbearable.

Also, the beach is beautiful and not crowded at all, make sure you go to watch the sunset at least once. If you want to sit in the shade with a book, I would recommend bringing a chair and an umbrella. A great place for surfers but the water is a little rough if you aren't a strong swimmer. The pool is not great for laps but perfect for cooling off and for kids to play - there is even a little waterfall!

Finally, make sure you do the Sky Canopy zip lining. It is unbelievable and the guides make the experience very enjoyable.

Thanks to everyone at the Iguana who made this such an excellent first visit to Costa Rica!!!

Room Tip: Ask for the A/C rooms!
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank SarahK30
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jackson, Wyoming
1 review
Reviewed April 11, 2011

The gilded iguana is spotlessly clean, safe, and well located. We chose a room without
a/c and were able to keep the room comfortable with the ceiling fan, oscillating fan and
shuttered windows. The room was simple but very comfortably appointed..tile floor, teak
table and deck chairs, small fridge, a little kitchen area w/ sink and porch. We found the
bed to be perfect..5 in. foam mattress on a wooden platform. I have a bad back and slept very well every night. Our shower didn't have a drain cover; which I questioned at first but it made sense with the amount of sand we were washing off our bodies on a daily basis. We only used the room key the first day then left it at the bar for the rest of the week. The housekeepers dutifully locked our room after cleaning (they probably thought
we were crazy). The girls carefully arranged our loose change and books into tidy piles..
kind of like a mom would. The restaurant and bar folk were just as hospitable. We arrived at 10:00pm from Liberia, weary from the day of travel and Roger (the barkeep) checked us into the room. The bar had just closed, but he graciously got us a couple of
ice cold beers to wash the dust out of our mouths. Food is available from 7:00am to 10:00pm and it is delicious! Dee puts an urn of coffee out first thing in the morning and
greets everyone with "Good Morning babies! Help yourself to some coffee!" She has a
great personality and makes everyone feel at home. The food is a smattering of american, italian, mexican and a little costa rican. Everything we ate was hot, fresh, and
very well prepared. I am a trained chef and appreciated the quality of the food. You aren't
going to get fois gras ice cream..but it all tasted great after a day at the beach. I could go on and on about the gilded iguana; but you should read this review and go check it out
for yourself. I recommend staying at least 2 nights...it will give you a chance to get into the
rhythm of the place. You can usually find the manager, Joellen sitting in the restaurant with her laptop. She is a stoic gal, not one to make idle chitchat. However, when you need anything (including taxis, coat hangers, translation assistance) she is very prompt
and helpful. She does her job with competence and effective directness.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank scalawag2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed March 19, 2011

Nosara has two small loop roads and we liked the more quiet one where iguana was located. Very easy walk to the beach with our surf boards. Great surf shop next door as well as short walk to the small grocery. The restaurant had excellent food and service. The room was clean, decent shower, nice beds and a small refrigerator. Small pool for a dip after surfing or shower to cool off or wash the boards Overall great week surfing with my teenage son.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Davenothere
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, BC
Level 5 Contributor
60 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed January 25, 2011

I recommend Gilded Iguana to those who are looking for no-fuss, good value and a great location to Playa Guiones surf beach.
Pros - great food (note that costa rica in general is more expensive than people expect but the food here is quite reasonable and very good); service staff who handle everything from reception, waitering, bartending etc are a delight; the location is 2 min walk to the beach so you don't have to drive or bring much, free wifi in the restaurant area. There are different choices for rooms so double check bed types and whether it's in the 'new' building or has AC. We had one of the rooms off from the restaurant so had quiet sleep. Rooms are very simple but comes with a fridge. Tues they have live music.

Cons: showers weren't as clean as i expected but it is a surf/beach hotel; the pool is small so you can't do laps and it seems to close at 6pm as with the pool bar.

Overall i would recommend this hotel to friends based on the value of the rooms and the area.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank gizmoVancouver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
Reviewed December 26, 2010

Great place, great vibe. I love that there is a surfing school on premises. Adds everything to the place to have that. Free flowing coffee poolside is also awesome. The only thing I would suggest to management is that they do a tiny bit of sprucing up to the pool area. It need a smudge of beautification. But the place is great and I highly reccommend.

  • Stayed December 2010
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Annewadham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
costahotelier, General Manager at Gilded Iguana Hotel, responded to this review, January 16, 2011
Thank you very much for your kind comments, and your suggestion is spot on, we agree 100%, new tables have been put in place and more deck chairs are currently being made. Hope to see you back in the future to enjoy them!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Gilded Iguana Hotel

Property: 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) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #17 of 22 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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