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“Beautiful place, poor service” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Surfing Turtle Lodge

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Surfing Turtle Lodge
Isla Los Brasiles, Poneloya, Nicaragua   |  
Hotel amenities
Matagalpa, Nicaragua
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
“Beautiful place, poor service”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 23, 2013

I came with my family to have a weekend in a nice place. We took a bote to the island and a friendly man came with an oxcart to take us to the hotel. That was an amazing experience for my children and for my wife and I too. The cabins are very nice and the place is absolutly beautiful and we could enjoy this paradise just for us, because nobody else were at the hotel.

During our stay we felt like we were alone in that place,to eat, we had to find a lady who was in the kitchen and ask if she could prepare something for us, sometimes we had to wait long and the food was nothing special and very expensive, and of course we had no choice.

At the reception was a volunteer girl, that was there for the check in, then we were just with the lady of the kitchen and the man of the oxcart. There was no one at the front desk for check out, and for paying, we had to go to a bank in Leon, where someone was waiting for us, because there was no one to make the charge at the hotel.

This is a paradise and we enjoyed it, because we love natural places, but the service was really bad and we felt they were not waiting for us.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 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
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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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
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  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
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English first
Melbourne, Australia
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 28, 2013

Breathtaking location - great view of the sunset over the ocean. Plenty of activities - grab surf boards, play basketball, join in the daily beach volleyball or just body surf / lay in the hammock all day. The hostel is well laid out with a central bar / lounge area that allows you to meet and get to know fellow travellers. The food is decent and the breakfast (included in the price of the dorm) is a great way to start the day.

Will definitely be returning.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2013

My girlfriend and I stayed in a private cabin for two nights.
Pros:
-The private cabins are in a really nice spot and have an amazing view and small deck.
-It was fairly clean for a hostel but I would always wear flip-flops in the cabin especially the shower.
- The food was pretty good and the staff were nice.
- Overall nicely maintained facilities but I cannot comment on the dorm rooms.
Cons:
- The bug net in the room was terrible and smelt really bad, it was the kind that hangs from the ceiling and is really uncomfortable for a tall person. We ended up not using it, but woke up with quite a few bug bites.
- Your not really allowed to bring your own food or alcohol so you have to order from their restaurant which can add up fast despite the reasonable prices.
- The private cabins were a bit expensive compared to other places we've stayed in the country.
Overall:
- Was a nice place to stay for a couple nights, but I wouldn't want to stay for more than 2 or 3 as it's very isolated and can get expensive.

Stayed November 2013
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Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2013

My friends and I stayed at the Turtle for 3 days and really enjoyed it. You have the beach all to yourself and the volleyball tournament each afternoon is good fun and gets everyone together.

We were lucky enough to be there when over 200 baby turtles hatched. We helped release them the next day, was an awesome experience.

It's a very chilled out place, Marcos and the staff create a great atmosphere, I could have easily stayed a month.

Room Tip: If you're staying in the dorm, try to book the upstairs one as the downstairs dorm doesn't h...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Chicago, Illinois, United States
Top Contributor
113 reviews 113 reviews
44 hotel reviews
Reviews in 49 cities Reviews in 49 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2013

I am currently living in Leon, Nicaragua, and have frequented the Surfing Turtle twice. Both times have been amazing. The staff is always very helpful and if you get the chance you should sit down and talk to Pedro about his story with the Lodge. We didn't actually get to see any turtles either time because it wasn't hatching season but we did get to see them burying the eggs which was cool to watch. They have volleyball tournaments every day and if your team wins, you get free drinks! The water is rough out there, but that's to be expected if you've ever been to Las Penitas. Just stick to what you're comfortable with! The dorms were nice, had lockers for you to put your stuff in. The only downfall is that this is the only place to get food and they do discourage you from bringing any of your own food or drinks. Therefore, it can get kind of pricey but overall, it's really good food, from what I've experienced. Also, service can be slower when everyone is ordering at the same time...just FYI. But they did have 2 for 1 Nica Libres both times I was there! Oh...and my sandals were stolen, so make sure if you're not wearing them upstairs, to at least just put your shoes away!

Also, bring bug spray! Sometimes at night, it can get pretty buggy. The WiFi was a plus as well! Great place all around!

  • Stayed September 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Dublin
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 27, 2013

My friends and I spent 3 days there in July 2013 and it was an absolute pleasure!
Some of the highlights were waking up to the beautiful view, the chilled atmosphere, having the beach to ourselves and of course the free breakfast!
Marcos, the manager was a fantastic host, he organised activities during the day which were optional to take part in such as volleyball tournaments and then bomb fires at night. Whilst we were there, it happened to be our friends birthday, Marcos organised a delicious cake to be specially delivered from the mainland so we could surprise her! This really made our stay memorable!
Highly recommended; such a relaxing place!

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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New York
Top Contributor
83 reviews 83 reviews
31 hotel reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 23, 2013

You have to take a boat from the Poneloya bus stop, then trek 15 minutes along the beach or through a buggy forest to even get here.
The beach is full of trash and dangerous. The undertow is very strong, and there are rip currents every 100 feet or so. I saw 2 surfers dragged out to sea. Luckily, they were rescued.
A few hours after I ate, I was sick all night. I had a barfing buddy and we hung out all night in the bathrooms. Several other travellers I spoke to told me that they weren't "well" after dinner either.
The bunk beds are higher than usual, gave me some impressive bruises. Very noisy, loud music all night from the bar, not very clean. American staff will try to sleep with you, maybe that's a plus?

Room Tip: Stay in Poneloya or Leon.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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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