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“A great experience!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Tortuga Lodge & Gardens

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Tortuga Lodge & Gardens
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Across from the airstrip | 1 mile north of the Town of Tortuguero, Tortuguero 6941, Costa Rica   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 9 Hotels in Tortuguero
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Bodegraven, The Netherlands
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“A great experience!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2013

We do not know where to begin... The planning of the trip thru internet, by Elena, was so personal, to the point, correct and fast, that we thought the trip itself might only disappoint us. But then here in Costa Rica from the very first minute everything was taken care of. The busride and boattrip to Tortuguero with Kenia were one big welcome party. On arrival we were welcomed at the landing by a delegation of the staff with a cocktail. Our rooms were very clean, spacious and very pretty, all people were very friendly and hospitable, the meals were excellent, the free fresh coffee thru the day made us feel welcome and at home, and the fieldtrips with our fieldguide Norton were in one word fabulous. We felt we were free to mould the trip to our own interests. Our flight back to Ajuela: another highlight. At the airport we were picked up by a transfer that brought us to the car rental of our choice. These first three days in Costa Rica we will never forget. Yesterday evening we had dinner at Monteverde Lodge in Santa Elena, from the same company. And again: the same hospitality and the same high standards. Whenever we will come back in Costa Rica we will surely start our trip again, here in Tortuguero. What a great way to start the holidays!

  • Stayed November 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Natalie E, Guest Relations Manager at Tortuga Lodge & Gardens, responded to this review, November 12, 2013
Dear Talloter,

Thank you for taking the time to write us a review. I was so glad to read that you enjoyed the lodge and the staff, and your time with expert naturalist guides Kenya and Norton. Watching Norton spot animals in the midst of the vibrant rainforests of Tortuguero never ceases to amaze me.

It was great to see that your vacation experience on the ground lived up to your planning experience with Elena.

To us, being able to speak with our guests before they make the trip to Tortuguero is invaluable. It is important mostly because of the Lodge's unique location in a place without roads, and the logistics of arriving there. We love to help people plan their arrival to the Lodge because we have been bringing people in and out of Tortuguero for 27 years!

Depending on how you book your stay, Elena, or one of her fellow travel planners, will get in touch with you to fine tune the details of your trip before arrival, in order to maximize your enjoyment of your stay.

If you book using a method that doesn't put us in direct contact with you, you should consider shooting an email to the contact info found on our site.

Talloter thanks for the review, and for giving me the opportunity to mention the above. We look forward to seeing you on your next trip to Costa Rica!

Sincerely,

Natalie Ewing
Chief Marketing & Guest Satisfaction Officer
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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556 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (144)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
San Vito, Puntarenas, Costa Rica
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 27, 2013

When was the last time you felt like an appreciated guest? For us, it was during our most recent stay at Tortuga Lodge in Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica. We have stayed at this divine hotel many times over the years and it has never disappointed us! Relaxation sets in and top notch service flows smoothly over the buildings and grounds. In the pool you can look directly onto the picturesque river and daydream away . . . The River Tours are always exciting, filled with monkeys, colorful birds, sloths, otters, caimen, turtles and maybe even manatees. The guides at this lodge are renowned for their in-depth knowledge of local wildlife, including plants, and their legendary spotting abilities. At our recent stay, we had Ginger Marinated Beef on Sugarcane Skewers for lunch = delicious as can be! The atmosphere cannot be topped if you like tropical surroundings. Each room we've had has been clean and spacious with simple, attractive decor. The food is actually 'cuisine' in the middle of nowhere, the staff couldn't be more helpful or polite, and we predict you will fall in love with the whole package. Is it expensive? Yes, and worth every penny.

Room Tip: Rooms 1 and 2 are farthest away from the dining room so maybe a little more private.
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  • Stayed October 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Natalie E, Guest Relations Manager at Tortuga Lodge & Gardens, responded to this review, October 29, 2013
Dear AlisonOlivieri,

Thank you very much for taking the time to share your experiences on Trip Advisor, and thanks for coming to visit us again. I am glad you continue to enjoy time with us, even after all these years.

Your description of what you experienced at Tortuga Lodge made me smile. You mentioned that you the wildlife sightings on your river tours and I thought it would be worth describing the area that you have had the opportunity to observe during your different boat rides through the creeks of Tortuguero National Park.

Tortuguero National Park was originally intended to protect a major nesting beach of the Atlantic Green Sea Turtle, the Park now protects 51,870 acres, one of the last large areas of tropical rainforest in Central America.

Eleven habitats are found in the park. Three species of monkeys (Spider, Howler, and White-faced), Three-toed Sloths, and river otter are frequently seen along the natural inland waterways and canals. Caiman, iguanas, river turtles, Basilisk Lizards, and Poison Dart Frogs (Dendrobates) inhabit the area, along with more than 320 species of birds including all six species of kingfishers found in the new world, three species of toucans, eight species of parrots, and other neotropical species such as the Slaty-tailed Trogon, White-collared Manakin and Purple-throated Fruitcrow.

One of the really great things about the park is that you have access to these wildlife sightings from motorized boats or sit on top kayaks. This makes it particularly easy to explore.

Please keep coming to visit!

Natalie Ewing
Chief Marketing & Guest Satisfaction Officer
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 22, 2013

Having read many of the prior reviews of Tortuga Lodge, I had high expectations before arriving. After spending 3 fabulous days at the lodge, I can say my expectations were more than satisfied.

The location, the food and the staff are all as good as you could ask for.
I have traveled to many corners of the planet but my stay here will rank as one of my most memorable trips.

It is clear that the owner Michael Kaye has invested vast amounts of time, money and energy to create a very special place to visit. It is not cheap but it is certainly worth every cent.

Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MichaelKaye, CEO & Founder at Tortuga Lodge & Gardens, responded to this review, October 24, 2013
Scott H is right. We have invested a lot of time, money and energy, but my role is relatively small. At most I preside over a virtuous cycle of guests injecting time, money and energy and our staff channeling our guests input to focus on those things that enhance guests’ experience. The input from these reviews are a perfect example of what I mean. They do not only help perspective guest decide if we are the right choice for them, the reviews help us make the right decisions about where we should invest time, money and energy. Thank you Scott.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 16, 2013

Tortugero is an amazing place,the hotel are all in the water or close to it! and this place was no different, everything from decoration to the food is carefully looked at and examined!

I was very happy to choose this place to end my Costa Rica trip! i will definitely be back to this place!!!!

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Natalie E, Guest Relations Manager at Tortuga Lodge & Gardens, responded to this review, October 17, 2013
Dear Derek J,

Thank you for your review, I am glad that Tortuga Lodge provided such a great end to your Costa Rican vacation. We hope you do come back!

Tortuga Lodge sits on the riverbank, in the midst of 146 acres of private reserve. It's not above the water, although when your sitting on the restaurant deck or at the edge of the pool it can feel that way, as the river is lapping gently beside you. Rivers are Tortuguero's roads, and we designed our lodge to reflect that.

Thanks again.

Sincerely,

Natalie Ewing
Chief Marketing & Guest Satisfaction Officer
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newport News, Virginia
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 12, 2013

This was one of the best hotels Ive stayed at. The staff was incredibly nice and accomidating to me and my family. The food was AMAZING! It was all homemade Tico food and every meal was great. The food was served family style for breakfast and lunch and you get to pick your own dinner from the menu which differs by night. The experience we had at this hotel was great! We kayaked, went on a boat tour of the Torguga National Park, went on a morning tour around the hotel looking at wildlife, tour of the small town of Torgugero and went on a turtle nesting night walk.

Room Tip: all of the rooms were amazing! they all had views of the river and wildlife. There were no windows j...
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Natalie E, Guest Relations Manager at Tortuga Lodge & Gardens, responded to this review, October 15, 2013
Dear Jackie M,

I really enjoyed reading your review. I was especially happy to read about how much you enjoyed the food. We have been working with a great young Costa Rican Chef named Federico Barrantes. He says his goal with Tortuga Lodge & Gardens is to surprise his guests with the fresh, high quality food they find in a remote location.

Here’s an example what we like to provide our guests:

-A full a la carte (never a buffet) breakfast with a choice of traditional breakfasts dishes, or local Costa Rican ones, accompanied by fresh fruit, freshly squeezed orange juice, home baked bread with homemade jam, and a bowl of homemade granola with milk or yogurt. This is of course accompanied by as many cups of gourmet Costa Rican coffee as is your pleasure.

-A fixed menu lunch with ample vegetarian, meat or other alternative options that includes an appetizer, salad, main dish and dessert. The menu changes every day. A couple of my personal favorites are ginger marinated beef on sugar cane skewers and peach palm soup with ginger and homemade croutons

-An a la carte dinner that includes an appetizer, main dish and dessert. Most plates are cooked with an eye towards providing a gourmet version of traditional Caribbean recipes and ingredients. A couple of my personal favorites are Spicy Caribbean Chicken or Caribbean style rice mixed with shrimps, cilantro, and coconut milk. These recipes were brought to Tortuguero by the original settlers.

I am sure you’ll agree that all of these meals are greatly enhanced by the dining atmosphere itself, as our open air restaurant sits next to Tortuguero’s ever moving river.
We hope you come back to visit.

Sincerely,

Natalie Ewing
Chief Marketing & Guest Satisfaction Officer
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Carlos, California
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 10, 2013

The time our family spent at the Tortuga lodge was fantastic. The lodge is in a beautiful location with wildlife everywhere. We saw numerous birds, reptiles, and animals including seeing the sea turtles lay eggs on the beach. The rooms were simple and comfortable. The staff was truly wonderful and made sure we had a special time. The Manager and front desk staff was extremely helpful and organized. We had an excellent waiter who was very friendly and accommodated all our requests. Our guide for the various wildlife tours was great. Thanks to the staff for getting our trip to Costa Rica off to a fabulous start!!!

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Natalie E, Guest Relations Manager at Tortuga Lodge & Gardens, responded to this review, October 15, 2013
Dear Greg Y,

I can't tell you how glad I am that you and your family had such a good stay at the Lodge. We love hosting families, and it sounds like our staff took great care of yours. It also sounds like you had great luck with animal sightings, and I hope that continued during the rest of your Costa Rican vacation.

Thank you for taking the time to review us, and please come back again!

Sincerely,

Natalie Ewing
Chief Marketing & Guest Satisfaction Officer
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Baltimore, Maryland
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 8, 2013

After we landed by small plane on an airstrip next to a canal that runs by the Lodge, a boat was sent for us. Five minutes later, we arrived at the Lodge where we were welcomed by a small group of employees with cold fruit drinks and cold wet cloths for us. The service and friendliness of the staff was wonderful. The plant and animal life in the area are amazing. We will always remember our evening journey to a remote beach with our guide to watch green turtles come ashore to lay their eggs. Just sitting at breakfast, you can hear howler monkeys, watch parrots and toucans fly by, and see a host of other amazing animals. Guides provided by the Lodge are terrific at spotting interesting wildlife and plants. The meals at the lodge were very good and the staff made us feel special and welcome. This is an ecolodge so there is no air conditioning. It does get very hot.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Natalie E, Guest Relations Manager at Tortuga Lodge & Gardens, responded to this review, October 9, 2013
Dear erta b,

Thank you for your great review.

It made me smile reading about all the great wildlife you saw from your breakfast table, and how much you enjoyed the service and friendliness of our staff. I am glad that the turtle nesting experience is a memory you'll keep; it really is quite special.

I notice that you mentioned that it got very hot, and that there is no air conditioning in our Lodge. As you mentioned in your review, one of the main goals in our design of Tortuga Lodge was to encourage the hearing and viewing of the rainforest around you. We want you to feel a part of the unique environment you are visiting.

As you noticed, the rooms at Tortuga Lodge have almost as much window space as wall space. Because we do not have air-conditioning we can have these large screened windows that allow you to hear the sounds of the rain forest and catch the breeze off the river. Most guests feel that the ceiling fans and the breeze keep the rooms quite comfortable. I hope you felt the same.

We hope you come back and visit us again.


Sincerely,

Natalie Ewing
Chief Marketing & Guest Satisfaction Officer
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Tortuga Lodge & Gardens

Address: Across from the airstrip | 1 mile north of the Town of Tortuguero, Tortuguero 6941, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Limon > Tortuguero
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 9 Hotels in Tortuguero
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Tortuga Lodge & Gardens 3.5*
Number of rooms: 27
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
11 River View Downstairs Terrace Rooms. 12 Upstairs River View Balcony Rooms. (A little more expensive, but worth it. See what reviewers have said by clicking on "room tips") 2 River View Downstairs Junior Suites, with connecting door. 1 River View Upstairs Penthouse Suite with 2 baths. 1 of the Downstairs Rooms is Wheelchair Accessible with 2 baths • Beds: 4 Downstairs Rooms and 5 Upstairs Rooms have 1 King Bed. 6 Downstairs Rooms and 3 Upstairs Rooms have 2 Double Beds. 1 Downstairs Room and 2 Upstairs Rooms have 1 Queen and 1 Double Bed. 1 Downstairs Room has 1 King and 1Double Bed. 2 Upstairs Rooms have 1 Queen and 1 Double Bed. The 2 Junior suites have 1 King and 1 Double Bed • All rooms have: In-room safe, hot water, ceiling fans, reading lamps, hair dryer, free wireless internet and large screened windows so you experience the sounds of the rain forest. • All rooms don't have: TV, AC, or mini-bar. • Service Style: Personalized, informal, caring. • Restaurant: Cuisine: What a Costa Rican Grandmother would cook if she was also a creative and contemporary professional chef. Caribbean themed cocktails, and no we don't mean pina coladas, although we'll make you one of those too. •Atmosphere: Quiet, laid back and with an emphasis on the natural surroundings - most buildings are open air. • No background music. • Suggested activities at hotel: Palm and Orchid Gardens. Plan on 1 or 2 hours. Award winning Riverside Pool. Plan on at least 1 hour per morning or afternoon per day. Hammocks everywhere. Plan on losing track of time in one. 2 computers with internet for guest use at no charge. Spend as little time as possible. You're on vacation. • Tortuguero can only be accessed by boat or by domestic or charter plane. • Tortuga Lodge offers complete packages including round trip transportation, lodging, meals and excursions. • Suggested stay: 3-5 nights. • Owned and Operated by Costa Rica Expeditions. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Tortuga Lodge & Gardens Hotel Tortuguero
Tortuga Lodge And Gardens
Tortuga Hotel Tortuguero
Tortuga Hotel Gardens
Tortuga Lodge & Gardens Costa Rica/Tortuguero

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