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“Exceeded our expectations, hope to return!”

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Leaves and Lizards Arenal Volcano Cabin Retreat
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewed 2 August 2011

We chose this hotel based on TA reviews, so we felt like we knew what to expect. If you are looking for a fairly remote (but a short drive to nearby town and activities), beautiful area and a hotel that couldn't do more to make their guests enjoy their stay, LL is for you.

The owners were out of the country during our visit, but I can't imagine service, food quality, etc. Could have been any better than what we received. They must treat their employees well, and carefully select the tour guides they recommend, because everyone was great.

We loved LL (monkey cabin - what a view) and costa rica!

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank BeyondNJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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424 - 430 of 652 reviews

Reviewed 29 July 2011

This is an amazing, beautiful place where you could easily spend a week or more. There were 5 of us, 3 kids ages 10-16 and we stayed in the Heliconia House. The lodgings are beautiful and spotless with a gorgeous view of Arenal volcano on the front porch and an astonishing array of tropical gardens off the back porch, where we sat in the rocking chairs and hammocks and watched the hummingbirds, parrots and toucans fly around. We also watched Sophie the sloth, who lives in a tree right next to the house. Our kids helped milk the cows in the morning and watched the new piglets battle it out for breakfast. And speaking of breakfast, the meals here are amazing. Virtually everything you eat or drink comes from the farm. While there are plenty of places to eat in town, you'd be crazy not to eat dinner here. The homemade pizzas were wonderful also. The nature walk with Oscar is fascinating. Debbie, Steve and the entire staff could not be more warm, welcoming and helpful.

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with family
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1  Thank homer036
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 July 2011

I've been meaning to write this for a long time, but Leaves and Lizards was a wonderful experience. The room was comfy and clean. What makes it great though is the people- we showed up a day early and they were able to accommodate us, and the tours are spectacular! Definitely take some hikes with Giovanni if you're there.

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank citycook2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 July 2011

We went with a group of 6 adults and 4 children as a family vacation. We had an amazing time. The children ages ranged 3.5-8 enjoyed the hikes, the horses and waking up every morning to milk the cows and collect the eggs. We did lots of physical activities including zip lining, a water park, a guided tour of cano negro and a trip to a tico farm. It was always wonderful after a hard and muddy day exploring to come home to a hot shower and a hot meal. The whole experience felt like staying on a farm to then return to the luxury of your cabin at night. Definately hope to return again. I recommend good sneakers and a flashlight while staying here.

Room Tip: stayed in monkey cabin but they were all great.
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  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with family
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3  Thank naomibanaszek
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 July 2011

We stayed in June at the Heliconia house. The great thing about the Heliconia House is that you get a whole 2 bedroom apartment with spacious living area and a fully equipped kitchen. The two porches are also great with a great view of the volcano and tropical plants and birds in the rear. Both equipped with hammocks of course. We did not need the A/C but it was there if we did. The whole place is very quiet and beautiful. There is a lot to do at L&L for a family vacation. It is quite a ways out of La Fortuna, although that can be either a plus or a minus depending on your method of travel and priorities. Breakfast was great, and we regret missing dinner during our 4 day stay (we were too busy). The staff is extremely accommodating and helpful.This is not a luxury hotel. It is a great place for nature lovers, and for families.

  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled with family
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2  Thank etzlok
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 July 2011

We travelled to Leaves and Lizards June 28, 2011, staying for a week. We went solely on Trip Advisor's reviews as Costa Rica Tourism sites did not list it. Leaves and Lizards is an amazing place with great ownership. We fell in love with the staff. Fabulous views and excellent food. Wished we stayed for more than a week!

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with family
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1  Thank DMAS2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 July 2011

There is not enough space to relate our true experience at Leaves and Lizards, and I really don't know where to begin without appearing to ramble, but here goes.....

My wife, 13 year-old daughter and I stayed at L&L for six days on the first leg of our 12-day Costa Rican adventure. We rented a small Daihatsu Terios 4X4 in San Jose and drove a very winding and scenic road approximately 3 hours north to Monterrey. From this small town it is about 5km (?) up and down a typical CR dirt road to L&L. We arrived around 5 pm and, after checking in with owners Debbie and Steve, followed Steve on his ATV to our cabin. It was love at first sight. Up 54-steps and perched on the hillside was the aptly named "Monkey Cabin". A spacious one room cabin with a separate bathroom and shower, the Monkey Cabin is constructed of local hardwoods. It had a queen sized bed and a set of bunk beds, a small refrigerator, microwave, coffee maker, iPod docking station and ample storage. The first thing you notice in the cabin is the view of the Arenal Volcano through the 12-foot wide picture window. There are not enough adjectives to describe this sight, but magnificent, incredible and surreal come to mind. The wrap-around porch with table, chairs, rockers and hammocks was where we spent many hours gazing out at the panoramic views of reforested farmland and the distant volcano. OMG I miss this sight just thinking and writing about it!

Every morning, after CR coffee on our porch, we would go up a VERY steep road to the Lava Lizard Restaurant. While some may not appreciate this 'hike', we considered it just part of the adventure. The open-air restaurant was a gathering spot for guests both in the morning for breakfast and evening - for those that chose to eat diner at L&L. Here we would have fresh fruit, juice, eggs and bacon, pancakes and the ever present "farmers cheese" along with our morning medicine (a varying concoction mixed up by the staff to help with digestion). We would gaze at the volcano, look through a viewing scope at the sloths in the surrounding trees and watch the incredible array of birds at the feeders. We would talk with other guests about their plans for the day and make recommendations to new guests of things to do and see. Dinners, which we chose to eat here (the drive to La Fortuna is about 30 minutes away), were varied and quite delicious.The restaurant is vegetarian-friendly (our daughter is vegetarian) and the staff is extremely accommodating to special dietary needs. Debbie and Steve, along with Sam and Beanie, the dogs, would join us for both breakfast and dinners to help plan the days activities. These were among our favorite times of the day and we met many new friends in the restaurant. I encourage anyone staying at L&L to attend the family style dinners.

No one should EVER claim boredom while staying at L&L. We simply let Debbie know via email what we would like to do during our stay and she would let us know what day we would be doing what activity. If we were not doing an on-site excursion (nature hikes and horseback rides) we would drive to one of the MANY outfitters in the area for excursions (whitewater rafting and zip-lining) or to the hot springs or volcano observatory. We were glad to have our SUV as a portion of the drive to La Fortuna is on one of those typical CR dirt roads through steep hills.

L&L is a special place. It's remoteness sets it apart (literally and figuratively) from all of the other hotels that we would pass on our way to La Fortuna. Debbie, Steve, and their INCREDIBLE staff make everyone feel like extended family. We miss all of them and cannot wait to return.. If you are thinking of visiting the Arenal area of CR, don't hesitate to book at L&L - you will not regret it.

Not to be missed:
- Horseback ride on L&L wonderful and well cared-for horses to the waterfall. Tip: Use the saddle-bags if you take your camera. I didn't. . . enough said.
- Morning nature hikes
- Whitewater-rafting at Wave Expeditions
- Zip-lining at Mundo Adventura. Not for the faint of heart - one of the stations is nearly 1km long
- Lunch at Volcano Observatory
- Lounging in the Hot Springs at Eco Termales
- Volunteering at Proyecto Asis

Room Tip: No such thing as a bad room - we would "argue" with the other guests as to who's view...
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  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled with family
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4  Thank Hercule08
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

Address: Meters South Of Super Kiki 500, Arenal Volcano National Park, La Fortuna de San Carlos 21012, Costa Rica
Region: 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: £126 - £126 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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 
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/La Fortuna De San Carlos

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