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“Toucans, and Lizards, and Sloths, oh my!”

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Leaves and Lizards Arenal Volcano Cabin Retreat
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Philadelphia
Level Contributor
49 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Toucans, and Lizards, and Sloths, oh my!”
Reviewed 25 August 2014

We had an amazing stay in the toucan room. We loved our outdoor shower- even in the rain! The waterfall ride is a must do and Enrique was our amazing guide. The food is huge portions and pretty good. We were sad that Debbie was away during our stay because we would have liked to work with the horses with her. Lorita is super fun to feed watermelon seeds to- but beware, she will bite when she is hungry! :) Our deck had a great view nature and we were able to spot toucans and other birds. The room was very spacious even with a single bed, bunk beds, and a queen. In addition to the outdoor shower, there was also an indoor which was very big as well. Overall it was a great way to end our Costa Rican vacation!

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank TravelinGrasshoppers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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639 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (164)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Tampa FL
Level Contributor
30 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 August 2014

Leaves and Lizards is out of the way. It is a 20 minute drive from La Fortuna on bumpy dirt roads. I think it was very worth it. Our room, the Congo Cabin, was enormous. We needed an extra bed besides the two queens provided and the bed fit more than comfortably in the big space, with much room to spare. The entire front of the cabin is window, perfectly framing the spectacular volcano. Brilliant design idea to put a clean wooden bench the entire length of the window where all of our suitcases could live comfortably. The floor is polished concrete, and the deck - well the deck is heaven. Hammock chairs, natural wood table, hummingbirds and of course more view make it irresistible. Inside the cabin is a coffee maker, fridge, coffee, fresh milk from the cow there, and even a couple complimentary Imperials (beer). The dinner is a little pricey, so we only ate there one night, but the food was very very good and the restaurant settling delightful. Oscar gave us an early morning, very informative guided tour of the property and regeneration/reforestation in the area and the teenagers took a great horseback ride complete with an education about horses and how they can be used for therapy, etc. Dora is a very enthusiastic maker of coffee the traditional way (Cafe al la Dora! YAY) with the delicious (included) breakfast. If you want a sterile hotel experience stay in town, if you want to wake up with a giant volcano view in your face and the peace and tranquility of the outdoors close up, stay here!

Room Tip: Congo room is great - private. The guests who stayed in the Hobbit House showed it to us, it is a li...
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  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank dmcoker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Danville, Kentucky
Level Contributor
11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 August 2014

We have been to Leaves and Lizards twice. It is gorgeous and the food is outstanding. We traveled with our group so I have seen all of the cabins as well as the Hacienda and they are all very clean and well decorated with attention to detail. They all have views of the volcano. I loved working with the driver Steven he took care of my students for four days. The kitchen staff was sweet and so helpful, especially Dori. The birds here are terrific. And I highly recommend the horseback riding. They do an outstanding job of helping new riders learn and experienced riders get the most of their time on the trails. The assistant manager Oscar was a little rude.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank EduTravelCentre
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CostaRicaSteveandDeb, Owner at Leaves and Lizards Arenal Volcano Cabin Retreat, responded to this review, 2 August 2014
Thank you for your kind words! It is always a pleasure to repeat guests.
We are sorry you found Oscar less than courteous during your visit. He certainly will take note of your comment.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hillsborough, North Carolina
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 July 2014

Leaves and Lizards was our first stop on our 10-day vacation. We couldn't have asked for a better way to start. Our driver Steven from the retreat picked us up from the airport and stopped during the long drive to treat us with Pipa (fresh water from a green coconut) and a fresh pineapple. The roads leading to the retreat are extremely rough and pass through a residential area, which had me a little nervous until we reached our retreat and our cabin (The Mariposa). L and L is beautifully landscaped and brimming with beautiful, tropical plants and stunning views of Arenal Volcano. Pictures of our cabin do not do it justice. We were beyond happy with the way our cabin was presented to us at check-in. There were beautiful, fresh flowers sprinkled on our beds, towel swans, fresh milk and juice from the farm in our fridge, and 2 complimentary Costa Rican beers for us to sample. Our cabin had outdoor seating, where we loved to sit and watch the tropical birds from the comfort of our hammock or hanging chairs.
The retreat isn't for everyone, though, as the owners are upfront about on their website. As they state, there's no a/c, wifi, telephone, or tv in the rooms (there is wifi in the restaurant, though). It feels a bit like summer camp, but in the best ways possible. We enjoyed reconnecting with nature and since we didn't rent a car, we were forced to get some much-needed exercise during our hikes to the restaurant and the front office. We slept with our windows open every night, and were comfortable (and even a bit chilly one morning). We enjoyed waking up to the sounds of the rainforest.
There are plenty of activities at the retreat and in the area to keep you active as well. Our family took the half-day horse-riding with Enrique and his team, which was one of the highlights of our vacation. Enrique and Chito were our entertaining guides and were amazing at instructing us and helping us see the animals of the rainforest (we saw 2 sloths!). Chito rode with our 4 y.o. son, and even though he spoke minimal to no English, he was so kind and gentle to our son that he talked about/missed Chito for days.
Last, but not least, what makes L and L so special is the amazing staff. Hazel was so helpful during our stay and addressed every need with which we came to her. The restaurant staff are prepared delicious food during our stay and were very kind and attentive to our family whenever we dined there, especially Dora at breakfast. You get a sense when you stay at L and L that the people working there are one big, happy family. We would go back and stay any time!

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Colleen P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CostaRicaSteveandDeb, Owner at Leaves and Lizards Arenal Volcano Cabin Retreat, responded to this review, 2 August 2014
Colleen, thank you so much for your beautiful review! I means more to us than you know. We always feel honored to provide our guests with an authentic experience.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Englewood, Florida
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviewed 31 July 2014

This is our third time to Costa Rica. First stay at Leaves and Lizards. Our family enjoyed our experience very much and would definitely return. The room was good with a beautiful view. Very clean and well decorated. Food was excellent. The parrot was special, and our granddaughter loved him and the horse back riding. Every morning she went to collect eggs and milk the cow. Steve has a terrific staff. Very helpful, friendly, and ready to assist. A great staff like this is what makes your experience a pleasure. I can understand how some quests consider driving here a problem. However, this is typical Costa Rica. Yes, it is rocky and bumpy driving but this is part of the experience and challenge. We will certainly include Leaves and Lizards in next trip to Costa Rica.

Room Tip: Coca is perfect.
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Rooms
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Helpful?
Thank FirstRep
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Arizona
Level Contributor
123 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 July 2014

You really feel like your deep in the heart of Costa Rica. Your in the middle of nature at its most beautiful site Leaves and Lizards. You can walk anywhere at night as long as you have a flash light. Never worrying about bugs or people. The Costa Rican culture is the finest and most sincere you will ever meet. The rooms all have excellent views of the Arenal volcano. Even some monkeys are heard in the jungle near by. I believe this is my fifth time here. I will return again this year because the staff the owners the food and the experience, Are exactly what I'm looking for.

Room Tip: Any cottage is quiet, all cottages have great views.
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Shelley R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Raleigh, North Carolina
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 July 2014

My wife booked this place based on the rave reviews on Trip Advisor. We had a good experience but I couldn't help but feel that its over priced compared to the resorts down the road. First of all, this place is a retreat and not a resort. The prices here are a little higher than resorts so I was expecting an incredible experience given there are limited dining options and no TV, in-room internet, swimming pool, A/C or phone. The staff is outstanding, grounds beautifully manicured and the bungalows are beautiful and have great views of the volcano. I couldn't figure out why there is a premium to be here given the rustic charm. By rustic, I mean that biting insects are everywhere - you are in a jungle and a few will get in your room, even if you keep the door closed. The road to the facility and between the bungalows is a gravel road with baseball sized rocks and pot holes on a steep mountain grade. In keeping with the theme, there are no lights at night, so even with a 4X4, I was nervous about returning to bungalow after nightfall and accidentally falling over. Given the lack of resort style amenities, I would expect the cost structure to be less, it would make sense for prices to be lower if not on par with the resorts.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank 123Magic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CostaRicaSteveandDeb, Owner at Leaves and Lizards Arenal Volcano Cabin Retreat, responded to this review, 22 July 2014
We value this visitors comments and appreciate his input. As a Retreat, we strive to maintain and create atmosphere that fosters a connection back to nature, that allows our guests to experience Costa Rica. Our staff strives to maintain high quality personalized service and our food is all made (and some grown on site) fresh to order. We are a small operation, in order to continue to provide these services, we have to set our rates to pay for these expenses. If we put in lights everywhere, TV's, paved roads, WiFi in the rooms, A/C we would be like a resort anywhere. Before guests come to Leaves and Lizards, we thoroughly explain in our email exchanges and on our website what we are all about. We are not the place for everyone.
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Additional Information about Leaves and Lizards Arenal Volcano Cabin Retreat

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): ££
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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