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“four great years in a row” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Las Tortugas

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Hotel Las Tortugas
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Frente al mar, Playa Grande, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #5 of 7 Hotels in Playa Grande
Surfside Beach, South Carolina
1 review
“four great years in a row”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2013

We just returned from our fourth year of spending February at Hotel Loas tortugas. The rooms are clean, the staff is very friendly and very trustworthy.The restaurant serves great food. We have made friends with folks who also stay there year after year. We will be back next year.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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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214 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    117
    46
    31
    13
    7
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 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 (45)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Colorado Springs, Colorado
2 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2013

I stayed here in mid February 2013. I got the last room and was told I would be moved to a larger room the following day. I didn't stay around to see the next room, I went down the street to PGI and didn't regret it.

My room was located in a small annex building that may of at one time been a utility building because the windows were tiny and the floor was concrete. My room smelled badly of mold and was incredibly dark and depressing. The bed was dirty to the point that I put my beach towel over the sheets so I wouldn't touch them.

The service was poor. Initially the manager was very welcoming, but the longer we stayed the worse he became. He was straight out of fawlty towers. He seemed to love living in Costa Rica, but was resentful that he actually needed to have customers at his hotel in order to stay in business and surf. He was incredibly rude to me and my cousin who were trying to learn how to surf (yes, we took the trouble to walk 1/2 of a mile down the beach to not disrupt the good surfers on the main beach). We were in a completely empty area unitl he showed up and tried to tell us to leave.

I talked with other guests staying in the main building. They seemed to have better rooms than I had. My experience might have been different had I not been in a utility building. I served for 11 months in Iraq and my living accommodation was better while I was living in one of Saddam Hussein's former prisons outside the city of Ramadi. Maybe your experience will be better than mine, but I wouldn't take the risk. Go down the street to PGI or Rip Jack. The location is amazing though, can't beat that.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
hatchlings, Owner at Hotel Las Tortugas, responded to this review, May 20, 2013
First of all, I'm sorry that you had such a bad experience. We offer accommodations for every kind of traveler: from backpackers, students and surfers on a budget looking for rooms as low as $20 to $25 per night; to people who would like kitchenette facilities for longer term stays or just want the convenience of being able to cook their own food; to families and couples wanting some of our nicer rooms with private balconies with hammocks or in our honeymoon suite atop the hotel with a breathtaking view of the ocean and all the amenities.

We pride ourselves on being able to accommodate the needs of most every traveler. That you had to take our last room available shows that we are doing something right, but I'm sorry the only room available was not the right fit for you. Yes, it does sound as though you were in what we call our rancho building that is more suited for the traveler on a budget who wants something affordable just steps from the ocean and our jacuzzi, pool, open air restaurant/ bar, and ample hammock areas spread throughout our grounds. For these economy rates there is also guarded parking and free wifi. We find that people that stay in the economy rancho rooms don't spend much time in their rooms anyway but just use their simple accommodations for a cool place to sleep and shower. They all have AC and private hot water bathrooms. Yes, they are very simple, hence the price of $20 to $35 for the more basic ones, but you will be hard-pressed to find a room for that price with AC and a private bathroom ANYWHERE in Costa Rica that is just steps from the ocean.

Now that I've explained ourselves a bit, I'm having a hard time finding much truth in this post. First of all, that you say you stayed in a room with a concrete floor doesn't make any sense; ALL of our rooms in the rancho building and the main hotel have either Spanish tile or beautiful hand cut stone floors. The rest of the review just gets worse with the ridiculous lies to the point that I don't even know how to respond to such allegations. Furthermore, I couldn't find someone that fit your description in our reservation books.

If you did in fact stay with us, I'm sorry that you did not wait around to upgrade to a better room the next day, but rather chose to leave beach front accommodations to stay at a hotel not on the beach, with no private parking area, and not committed to the local community. We are the only hotel in Playa Grande that strictly employs local people from the surrounding villages in keeping with our commitment to sustainable tourism. We employ over 30 Costa Ricans from the local area. Not only is this commitment of ours within what is legally acceptable but also what we find to be morally acceptable. I regret that if you did indeed stay with us, that as a self-proclaimed world traveler you did not immediately recognize the beauty of our authentic uniqueness and enjoy our local charm.
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Hancock, New Hampshire
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2013

This place is awesome! You can find a small history of it on youtube! The beach is really popular for surfing and is also a nesting area for Leatherback turtles. The beach is literally 20-30 feet away from the hotel. The rooms range in size and in price, but are not fancy and always affordable. Our room was 870. for the week and slept 6 comfortably This place is laid back, clean, and thats what I like about it. A very mellow vibe. When you pack for this place, don't bother with anything fancy. It's the only hotel on the beach! There are a couple of places to eat up the road, but otherwise you will probably need a rental car if you intend to explore. Johanna at the desk is very helpful and Sandra seems to be the Mama of the place. She has worked their for 20 years or more, All three of my kids cried when they said good-bye to her. She also makes the most delicious mango milkshakes.

P.S. WE DROPPED OFF A BACK PACK OF SCHOOL SUPPLIES AT THE PLAYA GRANDE PUBLIC SCHOOL. THEY NEED SUPPLIES. FEEL FREE TO DO THE SAME IF YOU ARE VISITING. THEY ARE VERY WELCOMING TO ALL VISITORS AND YOU CAN GIVE THEM A CHANCE TO PRACTICE THEIR ENGLISH!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Carolina
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 6, 2013

This is the 3rd year in a row we've stayed at Las Tortugas and are ready to book next year. The hotel just has a very cool vibe, service is great and you can't beat the location ! Playa Grande is very laid back and happy place. If you're into party cruises and wild nights, you should stay in Tamarindo.

Room Tip: We like rooms 5,6,7 on the bottom where you sit and look/listen to the ocean but they are a little l...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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.
Seattle, Washington, United States
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 6, 2013

The ambiance at Las Tortugas is amazing. It's cozy, ecofriendly, and just what we were looking for. The air conditioning was a welcome necessity and we spent many hours on our patio, playing cards, eating snacks, and just enjoying the weather. The beach is literally 20 feet away, and the magpies are really cute. The restaurant is pretty good for a decent price and the balcony is lovely. We went on the estuary tour with Jonathan, who wasn't particularly accurate on his wildlife ID skills but was great to have on the tour to point things out. He also set us up on a turtle tour, which was an adventure that led us down a horrible dirt road for 30 minutes, but ended with an amazing experience watching a turtle lay her eggs, and a new friend named Carlos. It was so... Central American. WE LOVED IT. The only issue we had was with the extremely old bedding. The sheets are washed to the point of them being paper thin and the pillows are so old they are lumpy. All the bedding is just in desperate need of replacing. It wouldn't cost that much, and would really make a huge difference. But would be stay here again? Most definitely!

Room Tip: The rooms with patios can't be beat.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Lincoln, UK
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2013

We stayed here on a specific detour to see Leatherback's laying. The main hotel has a great location and the restaurant balcony is a treat for bird watching. The food was excellent and the waiting staff very friendly and helpful. One night we did retire early as it was invaded by a very loud surfing crowd watching American Football.

The room in the lighthouse appartments was fine - nothing to write home about but quiet and comfortable five minutes walk away giving us a chance to see big iguanas, land crabs and much more on our commutes!

They booked our turtle tour for us in advance and we saw one! Fantastic but if you have the choice, plan to visit when high tide is before midnight...they come up in the two hours before and ours was at 2am!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Boston, Massachusetts
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2013

I stayed in the lighthouse apartments overlooking the forest a couple of blocks back from the main hotel. It was a perfect retreat, secluded and spacious, great for writing and creativity. I had use of all the hotel facilities. The restaurant meals were excellent and reasonably priced, and the service very friendly. In fact the hotel management and all the staff who i believe are locals made the stay extraordinarily welcoming and very easy for single travelers.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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 Hotel Las Tortugas

Address: Frente al mar, Playa Grande, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Playa Grande
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Playa Grande
#5 Romantic Hotel in Playa Grande
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 32
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We are a small, ecotouristic hotel located directly on the beach in Playa Grande with our rooms, pool, jacuzzi, open-air restaurant/bar, and hammock area just steps from the sand and the main surf peak in Playa Grande. We offer every kind of accommodation and price range with small economy rooms on the beachfront property with AC and private hotwater bathrooms starting at $25/night and our honeymoon suite with oceanview between $70 and $130/night depending on the season. We also offer economical apartments with kitchenette facilities up the road from the hotel, just a five minute walk to the beach. All of our apartment guests enjoy full access to the beachfront hotel amenities. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Las Tortugas Hotel
Las Tortugas Playa Grande

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