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“Getting better with new management”
Review of Casa Iguana

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Casa Iguana
Level Contributor
37 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Getting better with new management”
Reviewed 15 March 2014 via mobile

Pros - Awesome view, private waterfront balcony, quiet, away from the main strip but still within walking distance.

Cons - $90 a night and in need of many updates.

I believe this place is getting better and has the potential to be worth $ 90 a night in about 6 months.

Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Hazel-Ash-Organics
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (63)
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Colorado
Level Contributor
13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 March 2014

I agree with mkibildis's review. This place could be great and apparently it used to be. We were expecting a rustic place, but for the price we also expected the cabins to be more maintained. This is a basic structure of plywood, but it could be really cute with a little effort to clean, paint, and update rusty fixtures. However, we enjoyed our stay there overall. We thought the location (easy walk to town) and privacy (cabins are spread out and set back from the beach where people walk by) made it worth it. The restaurant is pretty good, but expensive. You can get a $3 breakfast or $8 dinner that are just as good or better at the three little restaurants nearby along the walking path. We wished that the people hung out at the hotel bar- apparently it used to be a hot spot. Also, we were told we'd have a safe in the room, but there wasn't. With some slight improvements this could be the best place on the island. Unfortunately, from what we heard, the owner has no intention of putting any money or effort into this place.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank BluebirdColorado
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brooklyn, New York
2 reviews
Reviewed 12 March 2014

Casa Iguana has the absolute best piece of property on all of Little Corn Island. When you arrive, you are escorted through well-groomed jungle paths with beautiful hibiscus flowers and monkey tails hanging all over and it really feels as if you've arrived in paradise. You checkin at the lodge, which has incredible views of the east beach and you can even sometimes see stingrays swimming about and leaping from the water, all while you have a breakfast of delicious coconut french toast!

Things start to get a little disappointing when you arrive at the cabins. They seem to be very old, or at least victim to the destructive nature of saltwater air. If you've done your TripAdvisor research, you will notice that reviews of Casa Iguana have been consistently declining for several months. Many reports mention that the floors aren't even swept before new guests arrive. Thankfully, our deluxe casita was well swept. However, the mosquito net had a humongous hole in it, our mattress was very uncomfortable, and at night the the place would fill with flying ants if we turned on a light. We are convinced that our casita was simply infested, because we spoke to other people staying at Casa Iguana and they didn't encounter nearly as many bugs.

The good things about the casita? The casitas at Casa Iguana are elevated above the ocean on a natural terrace. You get a private porch in the rear of the casita with 2 hammocks. Both sides of the casita are shielded by giant palm fences, so you get a serious amount of privacy (this was not the case with competitors like Little Corn B&B and Yemaya, who feature cabins that are really close to each other with no boundaries). When you wake up at the first morning light, you can literally turn your head to the right and see the ocean gently lapping forward and the sun rising, it is painstakingly beautiful. It should be noted that you cannot see a view like this upon waking up at most of the competitors. The privacy of the hammocks/porch, the view from the bed, and the general well groomed jungle grounds of Casa Iguana are the reason that it CAN be the best accommodation on the island, but it is not nearly the best...yet.

When we arrived, a new manager from Boston, Karen, had taken over general manager duties. She worked tirelessly the entire time - in fact, she had not even been in the water yet and she had been managing the property for over a week. I observed her interactions with staff and it occurred to me that she was given very little informational foundation on which to build. - as the owners have been very hands-off for quite some time now. Nevertheless, if Karen sticks around and continues doing what she is doing, I believe the Casa Iguana will become a major contender for the #1 accommodation on Little Corn Island.

Some other notes: our rainwater private shower (remember we stayed in the deluxe casita) was just fine.

Breakfast was good, but a bit pricey. The coconut french toast is definitely the best sweet breakfast on the island, but for eggs and gallo pinto you can walk about 5 minutes and get breakfast for $3.

We had dinner one night with the option for beef or red snapper. The red snapper was cooked with a tomato/onion sauce and was very good. However, others at the table ordered the beef and found it very difficult to chew. While Karen expressed concern, she did not offer a discount or some other comp (maybe a free drink or two), which I personally thought would have been an appropriate response. The dessert brownie was also very hard and this texture made it practically inedible.

I really do want to love this place, it has a great beach, great snorkelling from the beach, privacy, private coves for swimming/snorkelling, and a soon to be refurbished sand volleyball setup. I feel confident that Karen can do it, and let's hope that she does.

Room Tip: The deluxe casitas and grand casitas have great private porches, hammocks, and you wake up with a vi...
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank mkibildis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Seattle
Level Contributor
29 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 March 2014

I was very excited to spend a night at Casa Iguana. And my opinion may be tainted by my stellar 10 night stay at the Little Corn B&B directly before this. But, that said, we had quite a miserable night at Casa Iguana, and would not recommend it to anyone if they couldn't find alternative accommodation.

The good (er...adequate, I should say): The shared restroom was almost clean. The manager of the property was friendly. The open deck on our cabin was nice.

Everything else: We had booked an economy cabin (shared bathroom) for a night before leaving LCI to catch our flight to Managua from Big Corn. We were shown our room and were struck by its...austerity. It was small and not clean. There was no fan. The bed and sheets were dirty and the pillows felt like they were made of lumpy old socks. The electricity didn't work (we don't fault them for this. We understand that electricity on the island is finicky.) The mattress was awful - when one sat on it, you would immediately sink to the slats supporting it. The worst thing were the huge holes in the mosquito net. We're five days out from our stay there and my legs are still a mess (fingers crossed for no dengue fever!). The breeze was nice, but not enough to stay cool without keeping all windows and doors open. What's the point of having power if you don't have a fan?

Anyway, I digress. We had a miserable time there. And I know what you're thinking - here's some finicky American not used to budget travel or travel in the developing world. Not so, my friend -- I have spent nights in the gnarliest of hostels in places known for nasty hostels. And my professional opinion is that this place was worth no more than $10 a night. I have had better nights sleep in skanky shared rooms on Khao San Road in BKK and in sketchy hotel rooms in Pyongyang than I had in this place. And this room was $45 a night! Ridiculous. Spend your money at one of the other budget-ish places on the windward side of the island, or on the village side, where you'll at least have a fan.

Sorry about the negative review. Just kidding, not sorry 'bout it.

Room Tip: Get a room somewhere else.
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Nicholas M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 February 2014

Casa Iguana was a nice enough place to stay with comfortable rooms. It is definitely a more basic accommodation than other places on Little Corn. Overall, it was a great stay, and I'm glad that we went! We were four women sharing one of the casitas, and it was pretty comfortable

Pros:
- on the quieter side of the island, away from the louder party atmosphere on the main drag
- gorgeous views of the coral reef and the beach
- delicious breakfasts - the coconut bread french toast is amazing
- casitas are cute and basic, they have everything you need
- free potable water refills
- fun board games in the main restaurant area
- wi-fi that was good enough to use voice skype to the US

Cons:
- the casita we stayed in had some malfunctions, like the windows wouldn't open completely, and it could use a new coat of paint
- the staff were just not very friendly, they definitely were helpful with getting us what we needed, but it always seemed like a chore for them to help us out. I guess I'd be tired of tourists if I lived on Little Corn, too
- even though we had booked for four people, the casita wasn't set up ahead of time with the futon down, sheets or pillows or a mosquito net up, we had to request these items ourselves and then

Unfortunately, we also had a couple of theft incidents at Casa Iguana. One of us had a headlamp go completely missing from the casita (we searched everywhere) and didn't turn up until we asked the front desk if anyone had found one, and we got a confusing story about it. The same person later noticed that $80 in cash had gone missing, after we had left the island. I had a cheap Nicaraguan cell phone go missing from the casita as well ($15 value). However, my iPhone and Kindle were fine.

To be honest, we probably just should have been more careful about leaving cash and valuables out in the room. This kind of thing happens when traveling, and could have been avoided with keeping valuables in a locked suitcase. If I was staying here again, I would just be more careful with valuables.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank BrettsterB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cincinnati, Ohio
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 February 2014

My wife and I stayed in a basic casita (the ones with no bathroom) for a week. Overall, we had a great stay. Its true what other reviewers have said, the place is a bit run down. But its pretty much what we expected from a hut in the jungle. While everything needs a coat of paint and some sprucing up, it was clean. Our casita was swept out everyday too. The location is amazing and the views can't be beat. We really enjoyed the steady breeze off the ocean and listening to the waves break on the beach. We didn't eat at the restaurant, but there was always a decent crowd there. The staff did pretty much stay to themselves but they were helpful if you asked for anything. It was about a 10 minute walk into town. The only real negative was the showers at the communal bathhouse were FREEZING! But overall it was a very fun, rustic stay in an amazing location. We would definitely stay there again.

Room Tip: Definitely ask for a cabin that faces the ocean
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank mflagler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Prague, Czech Republic
Level Contributor
22 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 February 2014

We spend 6 nights in Deluxe Casita at Casa Iguana. The Casita wasn´t definitely deluxe, the bed was relatively comfortable, but the floor hasn´t been cleaned for ages. We loved the spectacular view from our terrace, privacy and very well maintained roads (trails) and garden. The place is really the best one on the island, it´s not too far from village and it has beautiful surroundings and views!
It seems that once it had to be great accomodation, but now it looks like nobody manages it and that Casa Iguana just lives its own life. When I booked my accomodation, I was in contact with Mary. She promised that someone will be waiting for us on the pier. Our ferry arrived with a delay and after dark, but nobody waited for us. So we had to find a way to accommodation on our own. Luckily we had a map and a headlamp.
The whole property belonging to the Casa Iguana is huge and beautiful, including several private beaches and probably the former pineapple plantation.
I am afraid if the owner doesn´t quickly begin to take care of his property, he will discourage soon many visitors.
Restaurant and bar more or less work, dinner is served in family style and is really tasty. Try the Casa Iguana´s cocktail Basilito! It´s made from fresh basil and Flor de Cana ron!
Perfect is the possibility of supplementing drinking water from private wells!

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Z29
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Casa Iguana

Property: Casa Iguana
Address: East Side, Nicaragua
Region: Nicaragua > Southern Atlantic Autonomous Region > Corn Islands > Little Corn Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 7 Hotels in Little Corn Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Caribbean as it used to be: An island, a culture, and a way of life that hasn't yet felt the impact of the 20th century. Opening its doors in 1994, CI became Nicaragua's first eco-lodge. Relax on its 40 acre reserve and explore its secret coves, jungle and farm. Whether or not you are a guest at Casa Iguana, we invite you to join us for our famous breakfast, lunch or dinner and enjoy cocktails and lounging in our lodge to take in the best view on the island and meet interesting people! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Casa Iguana Hotel Little Corn Island
Casa Iguana Little Corn Island, Corn Islands, Nicaragua

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