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“A gem, away from the average tourist hotels”

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Leaves and Lizards Arenal Volcano Cabin Retreat
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewed 10 September 2012

We stayed 2 nights in the Leaves and Lizards hotel and thoroughly enjoyed it. It's not the average hotel of which you have so many around the Arenal volcano. Our room, the coco cabin, was big and had a big-size balcony / patio from which we could see the Arenal volcano. Lots of birds accompanied us throughout the whole hotel. A little booklet in the room informed us that over 170 different species of birds have been spotted in the hotel! The patio was equipped with 2 rocking chairs, a hammock and 2 hammock kind of seats.

The dinners and breakfasts were very nice and literally all the staff, we had different people every day, was happy, helpful and to pleasure to have around.

We did the horseback riding tour together with a guide called Enrique and his son Steven. This tour is highly recommended! Beautiful nature, very nice horses and a waterfall that looks like you are the first one ever to visit it. The guides knew a lot about the area and answered all our questions. They brought a lunch with them for us to eat at the waterfall.

Steve and Debbie, the owners, are very nice people that blend in with the visitors. They talk to you in the morning, during the day or in the evening and are more than happy to explain what animal you just noticed, what you can do that day, et cetera.

One details that we personally loved was that there was no TV around anywhere. Some hotels and restaurants in Costa Rica place huge TV screens almost everywhere. It was a pleasure NOT to see TV during our stay.

Room Tip: We had the coco cabin and it was wonderful. It has a full view of the volcano.
  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank w00t-sjo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 8 September 2012

Recently returned from a great 4 night stay at Leaves and Lizards. We were a group of 7 and stayed in the Hummingbird, Coco, and Congo cabins. Accomodations were spotless and meals
were wonderful. Debbie and Steve are hands-on owners and have done a wonderful job
transforming this former cattle ranch into an amazing tropical paradise. The highlights of our
adventure holiday included hot air balooning over the Costa Rican countryside with Estaban, zip lining, and horeback riding to a gorgeous waterfall. We will definetly go back to L & L! Thanks again, Debbie and Steve.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with friends
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1  Thank jdmmdm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 September 2012

My family had such a wonderful experience at Leaves and Lizards. We awoke each morning to an amazing view of the volcano and then ate fresh fruit with medicinal juices, coffee, and a delicious breakfast to start the day. We then embarked on a different adventure each day. We went horseback riding on two days to the waterfall and also for a walk in Orlando's Rain forest. We all fell in love with the horses who were gentle and incredibly well trained. Our guides, in particular Enrique, were incredibly knowledgable and we all felt so safe when they were by our side. Enrique taught us so much about nature, the wildlife in Costa Rica, the medicinal uses of plants in the Rainforest, the beauty of nature. We found a mommy sloth and baby in a tree on one of our horseback rides and Enrique taught us so much about these wonderful creatures. We also spent a day at Proyecto Asis where we toured and then feed animals IN THE CAGE including hand feeding papaya to baby monkeys as they jumped on us and allowed us to stroke their little hands. After 4 days we left for Nayara, a 5 star boutique hotel, close by which is number one in the area on Trip Advisor. While a lovely hotel, beautiful with great staff, it really did not compare to our adventure at Leaves and Lizards. Thank you Debbie and Steve.

  • Stayed: August 2012
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1  Thank gailch37
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 September 2012

We booked L&L after seeing reviews here on TripAdvisor, having previously stayed at the Observatory Lodge when in Arenal. What a find!!!!

We were traveling as 2 couples, and stayed in Congo and Coco cabins for 3 nights - and we did not want to leave! The cabins are beautiful, well appointed, with incredible views, and have so many thoughtful touches - milk in the fridge (very important for a Brit who drinks a LOT of tea!), books by the bed, and even a bird guide. Meals were served in the lovely Lava Lizard restaurant, with amazing views, and lovely people - special hello to Dora! - and you get to hang out with the hotel parrot, and watch the numerous birds coming to the feeders.

We went on the horse ride to the waterfall - this was really special, the guides take the greatest care of everyone, and although we didn't travel with kids, it was especially nice to see how they looked after other peoples children - have no qualms if you want to bring your kids here. The horses are very well cared for, and a great deal of effort was made to ensure we all knew what we were doing before the ride started.

I also had a massage which was great, and we spent an evening at nearby hot springs.

It was lovely to talk to Steve and Debbie, and understand their vision for the place - they have planted 1000's of trees on what used to be a dairy farm, and I hope we can come back to see how things develop in the years to come.

We had a 2 wheel drive vehicle (despite booking 4WD - another story!) and followed the supplied directions to the letter, and made it up the 'red route' with no problems.

We loved the 'real' Costa Rican feeling we experienced here, and it has stayed with us long after we had to leave.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Ticobaby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 August 2012

We had 3 days here in the middle of our tour of Costa Rica. Our room was fantastic with amazing views of Arenal and surrounded by wildlife. There were nice touches like a small library & games which kept our family entertained during some downtime after a lot of travelling.
The horesride to the waterfall was very special, starting with a very fun horesmanship lesson which really added to the experience. So why only 3 stars? Well we found the food average & both the food & ambience at breakfast & dinner to be a bit too North American for our taste. That said, had the places we stayed before and after not been quite so stunning I suspect we would have been much more forgiving & we may have given 4 stars.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with family
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2  Thank time0ff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 August 2012

Aside from some difficulty finding the place, our stay was amazing. We stayed in 2 different cabins, both were great with amazing views. The staff, the food, the horseback riding, the tour guide, Debbie and Steve, WOW! I can't say enough great things.

Room Tip: The Humming bird cabin was great, huge and beautiful! It even had a full kitchen, dining room and la...
  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank mooretj2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 August 2012

We stayed at Leaves & Lizards for 7 nights. With so much to do in the Arenal area, we wanted to get a chance to stay in one area and immerse ourselves in the Costa Rican experience. We stayed in the Volcano cabin -- the views of the volcano were amazing. Each morning we woke up with a great view and birds buzzing by our balcony. We ate breakfast and dinner at Leaves & Lizards -- the food is terrific and the portions are very generous. The staff here is amazing -- very kind and attentive. Debbie and Steve are terrific hosts and they (along with Oscar), helped us plan and schedule everything that we wanted to do. The horseback ride to the waterfall is a must! We cannot wait to return for another visit. Thank you Leaves & Lizards for a great vacation -- we had an amazing time.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank lins878
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 Romantic Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#5 Green Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#5 Family Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#8 Business Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
Price Range: £124 - £206 (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 
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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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