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“Amazing Getaway in Nicaragua!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Surfing Turtle Lodge

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Surfing Turtle Lodge
Isla Los Brasiles, Poneloya, Nicaragua   |  
Hotel amenities
Cork, Cork, Ireland
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Amazing Getaway in Nicaragua!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2013

Just got back from a 2 night stay in the Surfing Turtle lodge! It was AMAZING! Absolutely fantastic setting, when you look out the window its like looking at a "wish you were here" postcard!! Lovely staff, nice food, excellent location and very reasonable! Only traveler tip I'll give is bring a torch! This place runs on solar power and it usually runs out in the night!! Definitely worth a visit! Will go back for sure! Thanks guys!

Room Tip: We used the beach huts which were so nice!
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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97 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (19)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2013 via mobile

Amazing location! Right on a secluded beach with big waves. Good shaded beach seating areas. Awesome volleyball court and daily tournaments. Plenty of hammocks to chill in and great staff to serve you up some cold beers.

Dorms are big and airy, could do with some refreshed mozzie netting, but with 16 people in the dorm the doors will never be shut long enough anyway! We didn't really get bitten but take spray for the sand flies.

Flies around the bar area were annoying, owner could try and sort that out, staff try their best to clear food ASAP though.

  • Stayed June 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 16, 2013

I was so happy to spend a weekend at Surfing Turtle. The staff was great and the food was so tasty (ask for the ceviche!). The room was clean and well kept. The beds were comfortable and the location is out of this world! I will be recommending this place to everyone I know.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
La Crosse WI
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 10, 2013

It was easier than I had thought to get there. Taxi or bus to the end of the road in Poneloya, have the folks at El Chepe Bar/Restaurant (great food by the way) notify the Lodge that you are coming, little motor boat ($1/person) across the lagoon, and horse drawn cart for the ~1km ride to the lodge. Imagine miles of unoccupied white sandy beaches with pounding waves. Great if you are a surfer; OK if you are short and go in during low tide. In our 60's, my husband and I were a bit older than the usual demographic. But we were in relaxation mode and didn't care. The casitas and common areas were shabbier than portrayed on the web site. Ours didn't have a fan but was large and had a bathroom. The volley ball net was fairly tattered. There is electricity and wi-fi twice a day; otherwise it is off the grid. The hammocks were great but in November, shade was at a premium. After a day getting into relaxation mode, we were "in the zone". We assisted in the release of 3 sets of turtle hatchlings - pretty amazing! We took the bus (~40 cents) to the end of the road in Las Penitas and did a tour of Isla Juan Venado Nature Reserve. We stayed a week - probably too long. 4-5 days would have been optimal for us. For the two of us, it probably cost ~$70 per day for the casita and 2-3 meals - Great value. All in all, I'm glad that we did it.

Room Tip: Dorm rooms, 2 rooms with shared bath, and 3 casitas are available. The middle casita had a fan.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tenby, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 2, 2013

My boyfriend and I stayed here for 2 nights in March 2013, in the run up to Easter weekend. We were looking forward to our stay here after hearing that it was pretty good. How wrong we were. On arrival, reception could find no record of our booking, even though we had paid a 50% deposit. We were eventually shown to a room upstairs in the main building, I have travelled a fair bit and have never been shown such a disgusting room. It was supposed to be a private room, what we were shown was essentially a cordoned off area on the side of a large dorm room, with it's own door in from the outside. It had nothing in it other than a bed and some broken shelves, no chair, table etc, not even a bin. The partition in between us and the rest of the dorm didn't even reach the ceiling, we were basically in the dorm. The point of paying extra for a private room is that you get some privacy!
The room was filthy and in a very bad state of repair. The bed sheets were dirty and there was blood on one of the pillow cases. When I went downstairs to complain it turned out that the room hadn't actually been cleaned after the last guests left.
The mosquito mesh on the windows were full of holes and there was no net over the bed. There was no lock on the door and the walls were flaking and clearly hadn't seen a lick of fresh paint for quite some time.
I asked to see another room and we were offered a cabana on the beach instead, but would have to pay more. We were already paying $50 a night for the original room, which is usually only $30 but in the run up to easter they had decided to boost their prices. So we ended up having to pay $70 a night for the kind of accommodation you would honestly only expect to pay $25 max. The cabana was a huge improvement from the room in the main building but way overpriced and still not very clean or well looked after. The shower was rusty, walls flaky, holes again in the mosquito mesh etc.
To top things off, for some reason 6 people had been allowed to check into the cabana next door to ours, even though it was the same size as ours, in which you could only sleep 3. We were kept awake until gone 3 in the morning by loud voices and people wandering around outside our cabana, even hanging out on the steps to our porch.
The food here was ok, not great but not terrible either. It was pretty over-priced but as there is no-where else to eat they have you over a barrel. They also state that it is forbidden for guests to bring any of your own food to the lodge!
It seemed that the most friendly and helpful staff were the volunteers, the owner barely spoke to us for our entire stay and the most conversation we had from him was the morning we were checking out and handing over a wodge of cash.
Surfing turtle lodge, you have what could be an amazing place but if you want to keep charging what you do, you really need to up your game. We stayed in much nicer places than this in Nicaragua for a lot less money, perhaps you should go and visit some of them to see how it should be done.
A thoroughly disappointing stay. The only saving grace was the amazing view/location.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Surfing_Turtle_Lodge, Manager at Surfing Turtle Lodge, responded to this review, June 5, 2013
Hi and thank you for taking the time to review the Surfing Turtle Lodge, it is because of your feedback that we are able to improve. We decided to wait to respond to your review until after our many renovations were completed, which they now are. I would like to go over some of your main points and also update you on our changes.
- Our private rooms have undergone many improvements since your visit, we have given our walls a fresh coat of paint, the broken shelves have been replaced, these rooms now have a more aesthetically pleasing feel and look.
-We have renovated our cabanas as well: the showers have been fixed, we have added bunk-beds to increase the capacity, and the cabanas now have fans.
-You have mentioned that you were kept up until 3 am because of the noise level outside of your cabana, but we have now implemented a "quiet-time" policy that begins at 11 pm each night, where the party is brought to the bon-fire pit which is closer to the beach and far away from our sleeping guests.
- We offer a wide range of prices on our menu to appeal to a clientele of varying budgets, our menu prices start at $ 2.42 USD and we now have five items on our dinner menu for under $3.42 USD. You are able to download and review our menu and prices on our website.
I hope this clears up the inaccurate information in your review for our future guests, and we invite you to revisit the Surfing Turtle in the future for an improved experience.
Sincerely,
The Surfing Turtle Lodge
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sacramento, California
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 26, 2013

Fresh air, warm water, sweet waves, cool bar, big bon-fires, great food, secluded beach that stretches as far as you can see...what more could you ask for!? We had an awesome time!!! ...Only one little issue, they don't allow you to bring your own food or booze so if you do, be very discrete about it and hide it in your locker otherwise they'll charge you $5 "corkage fee" per person. Sorry to bust you out guys.

Room Tip: Private bungalows have their own restrooms. All other rooms have one downstairs and it's a reall...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Utila, Honduras
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2013

Surfing Turtle is amazing!! Facilities are clean, ambiance is great. Overall a good place! During my stay the staff went out of their way to organize a small birthday party with a bonfire and birthday cake which made my day.. Volleyball every afternoon around sunset, good music and surf lessons or board rental! We stayed in the dorms - They were nice but the bugs were a pain. When leaving - tide had gone out and the boat never game to get us so we had to walk across the lagoon in thigh high water to get off the island.

Will definitely be sending friends in this direction and hope to return again soon!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Surfing Turtle Lodge

Address: Isla Los Brasiles, Poneloya, Nicaragua
Location: Nicaragua > Leon Department > Poneloya
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Specialty lodging in Poneloya
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Surfing Turtle Lodge is the only Island solar powered Eco-friendly hostel in Nicaragua’s Pacific Coast. Located only 20 minutes from the historic city of Leon, Nicaragua, and a 5 minute boat ride from the beach town of Poneloya on a beautiful deserted beach in Isla Los Brasiles. The Lodge strikes the perfect balance for everyone: Enjoy the island’s natural beauty while having comfortable, exceptional accommodations and services. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Surfing Turtle Hotel Poneloya
Surfing Turtle Lodge Nicaragua/Poneloya

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