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“Great place to stay” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Gilded Iguana Hotel

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Gilded Iguana Hotel
Ranked #17 of 23 Hotels in Nosara
Certificate of Excellence
Corpus Christi, Texas
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Great place to stay”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 11, 2012

I've made three trips to Nosara (technially Guiones) prior to the one I just returned from and have stayed at another, slightly more expensive place. This trip we were there for a little over a week at the first of January. In the past, Nosara was just one of the stops on surf trips along the peninsula. But we liked the area so much we decided this time to just take Nosara Surf Shuttle from Liberia to Nosara and spend our whole time there. That is part of what made the Gilded Iguana such a good choice. They have an excellent bar and restaurant there at the hotel and there are other good choices nearby as well as Juan Surfo's Surf Shop, a internet cafe, and a small supermarket. The hotel is also a reasonably short walk from the beach. The accommodations are nice with clean rooms and comfortable beds. There's a nice pool right in the middle of things. The best part was the owners and staff. I had read the reviews here before choosing the Iguana and they are accurate. The owners and their staff are very friendly and accommodating. The place is also very secure and safe. Now, understand you will be staying in the middle of a jungle so there are going to be bugs outside and inside but they were not a problem for us. Also, we stayed over the restaurant for most of our stay. We stayed up late every night and were up by seven or so to surf each morning so the ambient noise from the location and open rooms (no A/C in these) didn't bother us. It was actually a good wake-up call each day to get us up and surfing. But if you're a early to bed or late to get up person I recommend you take a room with the A/C. They're a little further back, away from the restaurant/bar, and pretty quiet with windows closed and A/C running. Thank you to Joellen and Matt and your staff for being such good hosts!

Room Tip: A/C rooms are quietest and newest. Rooms over the restaurant have no a/c and get a lot of noise fro...
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Jim N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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134 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (37)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
29 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 8, 2012

My wife & I have stayed at the Gilded Iguana twice and we've enjoyed it both times. We hardly ever go back to the same place twice (the only other place we've done this is the JW in Phuket), it really says how much we liked the place that we returned. The first time we stayed in a un-air conditioned room and it was fine, it was never so hot that a fan didn't do the trick. The second time we stayed in an air conditioned room. It was smaller but it was nicer, so take your pick either is fine. Yes it did get a little loud on music night but compared to my snoring it wasn't that loud. The restaurant is great, the first time we ate every meal there and the second time we branched out a little and only ate at the Iguana 60% of the time. I cannot tell you how great the people at the Iguana are, they really go out of their way to make you feel like you are part of the family, people like Joellen, Ceaser & Jr are what truly make the Iguana great!

As far as location, you are at the quite end of the beach, which I prefer. There are a few other hotels, a store, an internet cafe (not really necessary as the Iguana has free internet access)) and Juan Surfo's within a five minute walk but if you want to go to the main drag you will have to walk 15 minutes. You can also rent quads (ask Mark to take you to the water fall) or take a surf lesson at the Nosara Surf Academy which is right behind the Iguana.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank bkegel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
68 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 3, 2012

This is our second stay in Playa Guinones and we had spotted the gilded iguana last year already as best stay in town, so this year we've booked one of the AC rooms for a week. We have enjoyed our stay from the start!! The atmosphere of the hotel is simply great. Big open restaurant with always somethng going on ( twice a week live music, but always people around) very mixed: families, young surfers, couples, young and old. Personnel is very friendly, helpfull and relaxed even when it is very busy. Next to the atmosphere the big advantage of the hotel is the location. It is one of the very few hotels in Playa Guiones that is very near to the beach (150 m). It's perfect for surfers: close to the beach, simple but spacious rooms, everything tiled, so you can place your board inside the room, 2 surf shops to rent boards/ arrange lessons next tothe hotel. Lines outside to dry swimming gear in the sun. The place is also very good for families with younger kids. We have 2 children of 3 that love the pool, there are high chairs and baby cots. Next time we will definitely return to the guilded iguana!!

Room Tip: As the place is very populair in the evenings it is good to ask for the rooms in the unit bit furth...
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank CTervoort
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Jose, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
21 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 29, 2011

The best food, staff, management, rooms, prices and ambiance on the beach, plus live music two nights a week. You can't lose with the Iguana.

Helpful?
Thank laperla004
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orlando, Florida
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 22, 2011

I have stayed solo, with my wife, and with family and friends. I call the Gilded the "Cheers" of the jungle. After each visit I have new friends, new stories and a contentment that a vacation should bring. Joellen and Matt are great hoteliers whose ability to make you feel like a friend is a gift. Rent a quad, surf board on site. get a surf lesson, massage. Its all there at the Gilded. my mom is 83 and she loves the place. Surf is a short walk, hammocks for chillin, poolside bar. Nothing like a sunset surf, cold beer at the bar, change for dinner with folks you just met from somewhere else, its Pura Vida

Room Tip: a/c is available but a fan is in every room.
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  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 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 Don F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Texas
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 18, 2011

Just traveled to Nosara and stayed at The Gilded Iguana for two nights. We upgraded to a room with a/c and were pleased. The rooms are clean, simple and ours was very spacious. Sometimes noisy in the early morning, but not too loud and not a place where you are trying to sleep in too much. We could walk 20 ft to get breakfast, lunch or dinner in the restaurant - all pretty fairly priced items and all meals were delicious. The walk to the beach was easy and just as easy to walk to the Mini-Super for water, beer and snacks for your room (it has a mini-fridge). Nice, laid-back staff and other customers.

Great place to stay and would definitely recommend.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank e568
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
18 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 3, 2011

Great local spot, fun music in season, great inexpensive fresh fish and tico food! Place to go for live music in the tiny beach area of Playa Guionnes.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank beisner58
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

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 23 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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