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“Hate to review - no crowds is one of the best things about it.”
Review of Hotel Iguanazul

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Hotel Iguanazul
Ranked #2 of 5 Hotels in Santa Cruz
Mesa, Arizona
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Hate to review - no crowds is one of the best things about it.”
Reviewed 21 June 2011

I've been to Hotel Iguanazul twice, in March 2007 and September 2008 with family and I know I will be back one day. Both visits were wonderful, but March was hotter and I enjoyed that, being from dreary Seattle.

Both times I absolutely hated to leave. I sat in the sun, walked on the beach, swam in the pool and the ocean, read a book, listened to my music, had meals and drinks in the open-air bar and watched the sunset every night, checked my email a couple times a day (the internet was free, but not very fast). I didn't even notice there wasn't a tv in the room until day 3. I was surprised to find I didn't miss it! I guess I really did need a place to get away and clear my mind and spend quality time with my family.

I almost hate to review it because the lack of crowds is what I enjoy most. This is a quiet, very modest, reasonably priced hotel with a friendly staff, good food and drinks, very pretty, clean pool surrounded by hammocks and swings to relax, enjoy the view and UNWIND.

They also have a game room with a pool table. Get an oceanview room with a sliding glass door. As others have noted, it's a short walk down the hill to what feels like your own private beach. If that's what you're looking for, this is the place for you. If you're looking for nightlife and every amenity, don't stay here - please. Leave it for those of us who are looking for a little bit of heavenly peace and solitude.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank seattlerita
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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83 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (22)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Arlington, Virginia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 May 2011

My girlfriend and I decided to spend the second half of our vacation at the beach and mistakenly chose this area and hotel as the spot. We left within a few hours of arriving and went to Playa Samara. The staff was unfriendly and not remotely attentive and our rooms were disgusting. The shower mat had obviously been used as a paint drop cloth previously as it was covered in dry paint. The room was not nice and when we asked the staff for some help in planning some local trips they were not remotely helpful and acted like we had really put them out to ask for advice and help in the area. The one person to lend credence to in the experience is whoever photo shopped the pictures on the website. The sunset is gorgeous but that was not going to suffice for three days. The best analogy is it looks like a slum lord owns the place, knows there is nowhere else to stay in the area and sees no need in fixing it up.

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
8 Thank rs271404
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brooklyn, New York
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 April 2011

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.

Room Tip: Skip the garden and go for poolside or ocean.
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  • Stayed March 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Gsandnyc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New Jersey
Level 5 Contributor
37 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 December 2010

Stayed over Christmas Dec 2010. Staff very friendly and rooms clean and comfortable, and the restaurant very good. If the waves cooperate you can surf right outside. For more consistent waves Playa Junquillal about a mile south and Playa Negra a little farther north (but you can get there quicker by walking on the beach, just make sure it is low tide). If you are looking for a more happening beach - Lulu's in Playa Avellanas was a lot of fun.We rented boards in Playa Negra - Pargos Surf shop $15 per day. I would highly recommend renting a car as you will be pretty far from most activities. The staff was very helpful in arranging rides as were the locals - but it would be best to have your own.

  • Stayed December 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank NewJerseyCathy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boca Raton, Florida
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 June 2010

Family friendly, casual setting to enjoy the natural Costa Rican beauty. We have stayed here several times before, and have always found it to be a very welcoming vacation spot.

The view from the outdoor restaurant is beautiful. We can eat while watching and listening to the sounds of the Pacific Ocean. The food is wonderful, and they will even make specialties to your liking.

Each time we come down, we stay in different areas on the hotel. The condominiums are great, and so are the studio apartments.

Hey, Roberto, we'll be back again in August!

  • Stayed June 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank joyceangona
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Level 1 Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 April 2010

Iguanazul was the first stop in our Summer vacation to Costa Rica.. it was recommended by a friend and after our stay here, I consider him my best friend. This place is simply amazing... not because it is luxurious, but the view is priceless. The hotel sits atop a cliff, with swings at the edge so that you and your honey can watch an amazing sunset. There are steps down to what will seem like your own private beach, Playa Blanca. We stayed in a room that faced the ocean with big sliding glass doors. We loved it. It is right around the corner from the infamous surf break, Playa Negra, and when your husband is a surfer it is extremely important. The restaurant & bar was a great place to hang out and mixed in with the guests of the hotel, you will find locals, Americans who have purchased their own slice of heaven in the area. The staff was helpful and by the end of our 3 day stay made us feel like family. My 6 year old son had a blast, my surfer husband loved it and well I could go on and on!

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank kkrojas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New york
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 March 2010

The place is pleasant, the staff nice, the owner a first class [--]. He sat outside our room until 3 am drinking and carrying with some guest on until I had to
go out and tell him and his party to shut up

  • Stayed March 2010, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank bienman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Iguanazul

Property: Hotel Iguanazul
Address: Playa Junquillal, Santa Cruz 50305, Costa Rica
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Santa Cruz
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 5 Hotels in Santa Cruz
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel Iguanazul 3*
Number of rooms: 24
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

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