Hotel Iguanazul sits atop a cliff with amazing views of the ocean. Hammocks everywhere provide plenty of opportunity to nap to the sounds of the ocean. A great dog named Biscuit will follow you around except when he's chasing iguana's or staring in their holes waiting patiently for them to emerge.
The beach directly below the hotel is all lava rock and when the tide goes out it there is plenty to explore. Less than 100 yards to the north is one of the most beautiful beaches we've seen in Costa Rica. Playa Blanca is very isolated, leaving you to believe you've discovered the secret beach of Costa Rica. When the tide is out, shallow pools of crystal clear warm water form between the rocks. We could (and did) float there all day just soaking up the sun and the amazing views. There are plenty of shady trees to lay under. (in contrast to the pool area of the hotel which is hot, hot, hot.)
We were looking for a little contrast to our last visit in which we stayed at the JW Marriott Guanacaste just up the road from Hotel Iguanazul in Hacienda Pinella. The Marriott is a beautiful property, arguable one of the best of the JW resorts and worth a visit to any of the 5 restaurants and the high end spa. This time we wanted something a little quieter and a little less American. We found it at Hotel Iguanazul.
The rooms are understated but clean with high ceilings, a/c in most of the rooms and a really nice shower. We stayed poolside which provided sufficient sounds of ocean waves to lull you to sleep. Views from the ocean front rooms are amazing. Better to spend a little more and go poolside or ocean.
You MUST rent a car if you stay here. It's about a 40 minute (and bumpy) drive to Tamarindo for great restaurants. A few miles from Lola's at Playa Avallenas, which we highly recommend. It's only open until 5pm and closed on Mondays. One of our favorite activities is to spend an afternoon at Lola's with great food and smoothies, relaxing, watching some incredible surfing and mingling with Lola, the 300 pound pig that is the restaurants namesake.
My only complaints about Hotel Iguanazul are that the pool furniture could use an upgrade and possibly some cushions and there's a strange lack of sufficient shade around the pool, which is a problem when you're trying to ease into a tan without burning under the 95-degree sun. The food is so-so, but that can be said for most of Costa Rica. The free wi-fi is sufficient for checking email but too weak for skype.
Hotel Iguanazul is a great value, very comfortable and perfect for families or a romantic getaway. Great for the adventurous and confident, do-it-yourself traveler. If you're looking for nightlife, a concierge, easy cab rides and tour buses that will take you everywhere, stay in Tamarindo or at the Marriott.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Hotel Iguanazul is located in the northern province of Guanacaste, on the Nicoya Peninsula at Playa Junquillal. We are 35km south of Tamarindo, on a cliff overlooking the beautiful Pacific Ocean The Hotel Iguanazul is a quiet boutique hotel where you can enjoy the white sands of Playa Blanca (part of Costa Rica's Blue Flag program), world class surf breaks, great snorkeling, spectacular sunsets and much more! We have relationships with several tour operators to satisfy your adventurous side and can arrange any excursion you with. Our nearby beaches are all pristine and you can walk virtually undisturbed for hours and hours. Book now to enjoy the beautiful Hotel Iguanazul! ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel Iguanazul Guanacaste, Costa Rica