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“Photographically rich; great all-around”

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Gilded Iguana Hotel
Ranked #18 of 22 Hotels in Nosara
Miami, FL
Level 5 Contributor
62 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Photographically rich; great all-around”
Reviewed July 22, 2013

My second visit- this time for two days/three nights - primarily for shoreline shooting and beach-strolling R&R after two weeks hiking all over the mountains of Guanacaste. Community keeps development off the coastline, so the setting is beautiful - esp as sunset goes down behind Punta Pelada to the NW. Big tidal range (8' vertical or so) opens up a huge wide area at low tide (the best? only? time for swimming bc of the rip currents). During our stay, the surf was running 12'-15' but breaking far offshore. Very dramatic, esp at low tide sunset as it pounded Pta Pelada. Go out before sunrise and stay out after sunset for best images. Accommodations were spacious, AC and refrigerator were welcome. Great hospitality from all the service staff: genuinely friendly and helpful. Great food from a varied menu, incl great veggie choices. Lots of kitchen creativity! Microbeers appreciated. Pool was lovely - a nice break from swimming in the surf. Staff went far "above & beyond" in helping my traveling buddy in the middle of the night deal with what diagnosed two days later in Miami as a serious gall bladder infection (that ultimately required removal). Thank you, Cesar!
The only downside is the wretched condition of the road after Samara and throughout Nosara: potholes that can swallow farm animals and large/deep enough to support their own aquatic ecosystems when it rains. 4WD isn't as important as high ground clearance (we were ok in a Toyota RAV4 - our vehicle of choice for every annual CR expedition).

Room Tip: We had a room behind the pool - far enough from the restaurant/bar for sound sleeping.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Palmisto
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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English first
Florida
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed July 14, 2013

We have stayed at the Iguana several times. The food is delicious and very reasonably priced. The rooms are clean, comfortable and have a refrigerator. But, best of all, all staff members, to a person, are friendly, helpful and nice. The location is perfect if you enjoy the beach and do take advantage of the stupendous surfing lessons. The best gift was this year's trip included seeing just hatched baby turtles run to the Pacific Ocean.

Room Tip: The A/C rooms are very cool and comfortable and reasonably priced. But you can save some money but s...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank FloridaKittygal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newport Beach
Level 3 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed July 10, 2013

What a wonderful hotel. Great staff, lovely pool, walk to the beach (nothing is directly on the Playa Guiones beach so it stays secluded from typical resort development). Our group consisted of myself, two young teen daughters & their two friends. We surfed the incredibly warm waters (the younger beginners stayed in the very safe confines of the inside white water, the bigger girls caught great breaks outside. Large expanse of beach offers something for everyone. We booked a beautiful horseback ride through the jungles & beaches. Jose, our guide, took really good care of us. So much to do here. Ask for Mark to take you on an ATV tour. Our friends had a blast. They said it was the most unbelievable experience. They are going again. We'll go when we come back and the girls can drive age wise. We ended up eating at the Gilded Iguana restaurant most meals, super good and very reasonable. Room 11 was perfect for our stay. Great for a family of 4 or more or a group of adventurers. Lots of room to spread out and not get in each others way. If you want a health retreat you can also do this here reasonably. There are plenty of healthy options on the menu, great juicing or smoothies, walk to yoga and or massage, and of course the beach is very tranquil. Can't beat it from many aspects!

Room Tip: Check out room 11 if you have a large family. Airconditioning was very nice. The beds are comfortabl...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank 4TravelesWell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
Reviewed June 28, 2013

I've travelled all over the world and stayed in places as plush as the Four Seasons and as nasty as a storage closet in the jungle. I've experienced it all and know from where I speak. This has been one of my favorite stays. I'm here for a guys surf trip and it has been perfect for that. Walk to the beach, surf racks in the room, surf shops around the corner, but it would be ideal from my wife and kids, too. There were family groups, newlyweds and surfers are mingling happily together during our week long stay. The food is fantastic and so is the staff. Coco and Guido in the bar/restaurant are top notch. They even made me a special batch of arroz con leche when I said I hadn't seen it on any local menus. They have great live music on Tuesdays and Fridays, but finish early enough so that you can sleep in peace. It's safe, clean and near other activities like great ziplining. I could do without the psuedo-Rasta Costa Rican selling bracelets and weed out front and you need a 4x4 to access the hotel in the rainy season...dirt road... but that's the price you pay for being in a jungle, beach paradise. I'll be back with my family, and I don't generally like to return to the same place. Highly recommended. Get a room with AC. It's worth the price.

Helpful?
Thank DMDSantaCruz
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveler and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
San Diego, California
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed June 23, 2013 via mobile

My husband and I stayed in Playa Guiones for 3 days at The Guilded Iguana. The room was perfect for our needs. It was clean, spacious, and comfortable. We stayed in a room away from the restaurant with AC and it was a great price for what we got. My only complaint is that the walls are paper thin, so you hear everything from your neighbors. The pool was a great place to relax and soak up the sun.

The restaurant was super tasty! I recommend the cerviche and any catch of the day. We also had breakfast each morning and enjoyed the tico surfer special.

All in all a perfect place for the price and location.

  • Stayed June 2013
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Helpful?
1 Thank Jennifer P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boulder, Colorado
2 reviews
Reviewed June 23, 2013

Comfort+affordable+great people = awesome place to stay.

Would recommend it to anyone who likes good living. Run by great people, this place is safe, and has great food. We have stayed there on 2 different trips to Nosara and will definitely be back.

Playa Guiones is only steps away. They have a great pool, great pool bar, live music a few nights a week. Great place to relax, have a melontico, eat breakfast pre-surf. Always a good conversation to be had at the bar.

I could go on and on but you get the point.

Thanks Iguana

Grant and Jill

Room Tip: Not all the rooms have AC so ask for it if you want it ahead of time
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank grant d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oslo, Norway
Level 4 Contributor
24 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed June 10, 2013

I was so lucky to stay for four weeks at The Gilded Iguana this winter and loved every minute of it. I stayed in one of the non AC-rooms on the first floor which were nice and breezy. Every morning I woke up early, sometimes because of the howler monkeys, and walked down the stairs to get a cup of coffee at the restaurant. After that I'd go for a walk at the long and beautiful Playa Guiones or maybe have one of several tries to improve my surf skills. Then it´d be time for breakfast with my friends and make plans for the day. Maybe make no plans at all, just hanging out, reading in the hammock, or chilling by the pool, getting surf lessons from the guys at Nosara Surf Academy or renting an ATV from Iquad in the back and going on some new adventures. The Gilded Iguana has a great restaurant, easily one of the best in town, the nicest staff and a cosy atmosphere which made us all feel very welcome. Can´t wait to go back.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Oslocarmelita
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 #18 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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