Responsive image

The Gilded Iguana

Our rating

9/10

Price guide

Highlights

- Top beachside surfing destination
- Laid back atmosphere
- Surf school, yoga
- Mountain biking centre

Speak to someone who's been there

Start planning your tailor-made trip by calling one of our specialists on 0203 291 2907

Enquire

Overview

The Gilded Iguana is a chic, contemporary hotel located just a stone’s throw from Costa Rica’s Playa Guiones, a stunning seven-kilometre stretch of beach in the north west of the country. Due to the consistent surf break here, the hotel is known first and foremost as a top surfers’ retreat, but it will also appeal to anyone into mountain biking or yoga retreats. Originally opened back in 1988, the hotel has generated significant growth in Nosara but, despite its increasing popularity, the town still maintains a certain undeveloped charm and the Gilded Iguana provides the perfect spot to ‘escape the rat race’ and unwind.

All of the hotel’s rooms are modern, spacious and air conditioned with high ceilings that let in plenty of natural light. Each room has its own outdoor living space complete with seating area and shower, along with an indoor bathroom, tea and coffee making facilities, a hairdryer and a minibar. All guests are provided with a key to their own surf board locker. There are four categories of room ranging from the more economic Surf Rooms, to the impressive Surfer Suite, which is the hotel’s largest and most expensive option – all come with complimentary Wi-Fi. The hotel’s restaurant and bar are popular with visitors and locals alike; the food is a delicious fusion of Mediterranean and Costa Rican cuisine, and there are live music evenings. There’s also a lovely spa offering a good range of treatments.

Without a doubt one of the key features of the hotel is its surf school which is open to everyone regardless of experience or skill level. Lessons are available for advanced surfers as well as complete beginners, and the retail surf shop sells surfboards and other essentials. Handily enough, the beach is just a short 200 metre walk from the hotel. While it’s true that surfing naturally dominates the property, there are plenty of other activities on offer. For example, the hotel has its own mountain bike centre with bike rentals and a number of two-hour guided excursions to choose from, along with birdwatching, snorkelling, paddle boarding and boat excursions.

The hotel is child-friendly and there are plenty of flexible accommodation options – some of the suites have bunkbeds and some house more than one double bed. Youngsters will love the large swimming pool and the beach and there’s plenty for all age groups to do in the area.

Suggested Itineraries for The Gilded Iguana

What customers are saying after travelling with Tourdust

Average Rating

based on 511 reviews

(5.00/5)

  • Hello Lisa. We came back from our trip two weeks ago now so I am sending this email much later than I wanted to. Nevertheless, what I wanted to say was thank you very much for helping us organise an amazing trip. Our days in Mafia Island to celebrate my 50th birthday were exactly what I wanted them to be: a fantastic time with the family doing activities that we all love and enjoy in a relaxing, unusual, beautiful place full of sun, surrounded by water, wildlife and friendly people. We swam with whale sharks, did a lot of snorkeling, had two picnics on a beautiful sand bank, watched the sunset over the sea, did a bird watching excursion and tried scuba diving.
    All merit to you because Pole Pole in Mafia Island was your recommendation. I never heard of Mafia Island before and didn't consider Tanzania to start with. It was an amazing place to stay: friendly, relaxed, beautiful, comfortable, with great food and fantastic service. Thanks not only for finding the place but also for your patience as we prepared the trip and I explored options and decided what I wanted. All went incredibly well (places, transfers, flights) and we had a very memorable time together that we will all remember forever - as we still do the safari trip to South Africa you organised for us 5 years ago.
    I cannot wait to plan another trip! I am already thinking about where and when. Hopefully no pandemic will get in the way this time. And I will come to you as my favourite travel agent.
    I copy in this message the Tourdust office because I want them to know how good you are and how much I appreciated the different trips you organised for us (including the trip to India for my parents that was cancelled due to Covid). I cannot thank you enough :o)
    Kind regards, Carol

    MissingCarolina O reviewing Relaxed Bush & Beach Family Holiday in Tanzania on 25 November 2022

  • Hi Lisa
    It was a fantastic experience, thanks very much. All the arrangements were seamless and our guiding/support team were excellent, if there is a way for you to formally commend the team to your ground operators then I would be grateful if you could do that, they really were brilliant.
    Many thanks for your help in arranging the trip, and for your patience during the multiple re-arrangements over the past couple of years.
    Kind regards, John

    MissingJohn B reviewing Mount Kenya Sirimon Naro Moru Trek on 14 November 2022

  • Can't praise tour dust enough, they helped us to create a holiday of a lifetime that has given us family memories we will treasure forever. From start to finish the whole experience was exactly what we wanted and more. Due to covid we waited 2 and a half years for this trip but worth the wait.
    Carly

    MissingCarly R reviewing Value KwaZulu-Natal Safari and Mauritius on 07 November 2022

+
See more reviews

Decisions...

Stop searching and speak to someone who knows.

Enquire Now