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“Highlight of our trip!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Manatus Hotel

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Manatus Hotel
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Tortuguero 705 40005, Costa Rica   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 8 hotels in Tortuguero
Boulder, Colorado
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Highlight of our trip!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 21, 2012

This place really nailed it! Detail-oriented resort in a remote region of Costa Rica. Staff is wonderful, grounds are gorgeous, and the tour guides are very knowledgeable. Everyone had excellent English language skills.

My only complaint is that the hotel encourages 1 or 2-night package stays. We should've stayed longer. Next time...

  • Stayed May 2012, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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173 people have reviewed this hotel

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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 (17)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Northampton, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 27, 2012

We stayed at the Manatus in Nov-Dec 2011. A wonderful hotel with excellent accommodation, food and service. The location was magical, on the river, backing onto the jungle with howler monkeys present in the hotel grounds most days. The rooms were very comfortable and surprisingly free of any wildlife. They could be noisy from the air-conditioning or the loud tropical rain on the roof but our stay was the highlight of our trip to Costa Rica.
This was not the best time of year to see turtles but sloths, monkeys, otters, toucans, iguanas and a boa constrictor were expertly pointed out by our guide on our river trips.
The staff were friendly and attentive and the food was delicious.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with friends
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oakland, California
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 18, 2012

My family stayed here in two adjoining rooms before high season, so especially on our first day it felt like we had the place to ourselves. We were blessed by very little rain and cool breezes.
The staff actually learns your names and calls you by name, which is sweet, and they have gone out of their way to show us a good time. If we were taking an early trip, they opened early for breakfast, and offered to pack us a lunch. We wanted to take an earlier boat trip, so they arranged it. Granted, being low season and not that many guests in the hotel they can be a bit more flexible.
We went on two boat trips (Caño Harold and Caño Palma) to spot wildlife with Cloyde, who is an amazing guide, and the boat captain can spot a basilisk lizard from 100m no joke. Between the two tours the only animal we didn't see was a jaguar (they are not easy to get a glimpse of). After we got back from the tour, we got a knock on the door and it was Cloyde, who brought us ylang ylang blossoms (which we had talked about on the tour) and showed us some spider monkeys in the trees by the restaurant. Cloyde is knowledgeable and has very interesting stories about Tortuguero, having been born and raised here, and can tell you what it was like living in the jungle and his father hunting for jaguars, but he seems to have taken conservation to heart and has a genuine reverence for the rainforest.
We also took the small trail to see the poison dart frogs, which you are pretty much guaranteed to see. It's muddy and buggy, so make sure you pick up some rubber boots (for free) and bug spray.
The hotel rooms are great, could use more light, but air conditioning is a lifesaver! The private outdoor showers are a nice touch, very cold so nice for a hot day. Didn't seem to have a choice of temperature in the inside shower, so if you want a hot shower stay inside, cold shower go outside. Bed was comfy and the room in general was clean and spacious. The grounds are quite lovely and you can see a wide variety of animals just on the grounds. We saw iguanas, howler monkeys, spider monkeys, and many birds, and poison dart frogs on the trail.
I think if you're here for just a day or two you could stay entertained just by doing the Manatus-provided trips and hanging out at the pool or on the dock sipping cocktails. If you're here for longer, take a water taxi or the Manatus-provided shuttle (certain time of the day) into the village and walk around, or have the hotel staff arrange a canopy tour or a fishing excursion, etc.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 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 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
33 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 10, 2012

The hotel is in a stunning location, on the edge of the waterway with the jungle on the other side. Being woken to the sound of howler monkeys outside our window at 4.30am was both harrowing and exhilarating.

The resort is fantastic and the staff are incredibly friendly and helpful across the board. I especially liked relaxing on the rocking chairs overlooking the river. Rooms are enormous and very tastefully decorated.

My only complaint is the lack variety with the food, which was of a very high quality. I thoroughly enjoyed my two days in Tortugero and Manatus and would not hesitate in recommending this resort.

Tip - if you are going to go for a walk on the trail behind the resort, either wear long sleeved tops and trousers, or douse yourself in insect repellant.mi was ravaged by the mozzies!

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 10, 2012

This is a comfortable, friendly and well run hotel fighting back the jungle and its inhabitants on a daily basis. There are plans to develop the eco credentials further and take advantage of the fertile soil to grow produce. The remoteness of the area and the enjoyable boat trip in, enhance the enjoyment of this hotel.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with family
    • 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
    • 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.
Bristol, England
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 13, 2012

This was a luxurious lodge. The rooms and hotel were beautifully decorated and immaculate. The bar area was nice as was the restaurant. Food was very good as were the cocktails. The owner was “hands on” and very personable. The pool area had a great view and the gardens were beautiful. We saw lots of wildlife both at the lodge and on tours. Staff could not have been more friendly and helpful.

As mentioned by a previous reviewer we found the whole tipping business in Costa Rica to be a minefield. In this lodge, as in several others, the guest notes state that gratuities are not included in the package but a box is available to leave gratuities for hotel staff, but this does not include guides and restaurant staff or boat captains. This means if you want to make sure everyone gets a tip then you end up spending as fortune! We also felt that in some top end hotels including this one (but more so in some others) that staff were expecting to be tipped and this reflected their style of service, and as Brits we found this at times embarrassing. We were told before we went to Costa Rica that tips were not normal as service is added at 10% to all food bills etc by law. Very confusing.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, Colorado
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2012 via mobile

Likes:
- Air conditioning. As far as I know, this is the only hotel in the area that offers it and it works well. 
- The group size. There was only one other couple with us, so we got to know them well. We even stayed at the same hotel in Arenal by coincidence. 
- The tours. Well organized and we saw plenty of animals. 
- The coordination. Everything was well organized and ran on time.
- This bus ride to and from the port was nice and air conditioned and we had plenty room to spread out. Melissa, our guide on the bus on the way to the port was excellent. 
- The massages. We did the honeymoon package and it was an outstanding value. We didn't do the included canopy tour (we forgot and they never mentioned it), but the hour-long massages, which came out to $20 a piece, were wonderful. Jessica and Esmeralda (sp?) were great masseuses and it was a great treat after touring by boat all day. 
- The Internet. Strong, fast wi-fi in our room. 
- The T.V. had a good selection of channels in English. 

Dislikes:
- The lack of drinks. When you're in the middle of no where and you have an all inclusive package, you expect at least water and soda to be included right? Not here! We had to pay for every single bottle of water and for every soda. We didn't buy enough during our only trip into town, so we were left paying $2+ per bottle. And with the heat, you want to drink quite a few. 
- Rey, our guide, overcharged us by about $6 for the park entry fee since we chose to pay in colones instead of USD. 
- The food. Besides breakfast, when I got cereal, every meal was incredibly heavy and greasy. I tired of the options very quickly, as they were very unusual. I would have preferred more local cuisine and, surprisingly, fewer courses. Once you're done eating, there isn't much to do to burn off what you've eaten, so we felt incredibly lethargic the entire time we were there. 
- Not much to do. You're pretty much stuck in a relatively small area and the tours only take up a few hours a day. The pool was small and unexciting. The forest trail near the hotel  was pretty short and mosquito-y. We tried to play with the pool table but it was so warped that all the balls rolled to one side. So pretty much we just took naps and watched T.V. in our free time. 
- The rooms were dark, but you had to keep the curtains closed for privacy and to keep the room cool. 
- The lack of king sized bed, but I realize others may like the idea of having two queens. 
- No air conditioning, or windows (just a screen), in the bathroom. Bugs got in the shower and it was uncomfortable to get ready when it was hot. It was small, so it felt really stuffy. 
- The fact that toilet paper cannot be flushed down the toilet. I realize that every place in Tortuguero is like this, but I would have appreciated a heads up from the hotel in order to mentally prepare ahead of time. And he lack of air conditioning in the bathroom doesn't help with this. 

Overall, this is probably the only place I could have stayed at in Tortuguero, but for the price, I felt a bit ripped off. 

  • Stayed February 2012
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HotelManatus, Director General at Manatus Hotel, responded to this review, August 1, 2012
Hi, thank you for the review of our hotel, we take care about each and every review in order to improve our service, and provide an unforgettable experience in Tortuguero.
We are sorry about the misunderstanding regarding the services provided by our hotel. Manatus does offer a service where meals are included, but is not an all inclusive hotel; therefore, bar drinks such as sodas, natural and alcoholic beverages are not included in our rates. We are going to work in our communication to make it clear to our guests and avoid any misunderstandings regarding this matter.
In general our rates include:
• All meals in our Gourmet Restaurant
• Ground Transfer: San José - (Pavona / Caño Blanco) - San José
• Boat transfer: (Pavona / Caño Blanco) - Tortuguero - (Pavona / Caño Blanco)
• Breakfast on route and lunch on route
• Luxury rooms and accommodations
• Tour to the town and water channels (entrance not included)
If you ever return to Tortuguero, we would be glad to receive you again; we will make special efforts to guarantee you have a pleasant experience in Manatus Hotel.
Again, thank you for your reviews, in Manatus Hotel we want to provide a positive and unforgettable experience to our travelers, and that starts by listening to our clients.
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 Manatus Hotel

Address: Tortuguero 705 40005, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Limon > Tortuguero
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 8 hotels in Tortuguero
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Manatus Hotel 3.5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A room at Manatus Hotel begins with an extraordinary sense of peace and comfort. Your guest room is designed to inspire, its beauty connects you with the surrounding environment of a wildlife sanctuary and the water canals, while ensuring your comfort and convenience. Here at Manatus Hotel, the first class experience is the rule rather than the exception. We offer all the possibilities for family getaways, romantic escapades, vacations and wildlife adventures. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Manatus Hotel Tortuguero
Manatus Hotel Costa Rica/Tortuguero

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