We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Messing about on boats” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Manatus Hotel

Best prices for your stay
Enter dates for best prices
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 2 more sites!
You added Manatus Hotel to your Saves list
Manatus Hotel
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Tortuguero, Limon, Costa Rica | Located 3 Minutes From the Tortuguero National Park, Tortuguero 454-4005, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel website
Hotel amenities
Special Offer
Package Deal
Ranked #2 of 9 Hotels in Tortuguero
Certificate of Excellence 2014
St. Albans, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
104 reviews 104 reviews
37 hotel reviews
Reviews in 52 cities Reviews in 52 cities
72 helpful votes 72 helpful votes
“Messing about on boats”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2014

We arrived after a lovely boat trip along the river spotting many types of birds along the way. We were greeted at the dock with a cool fresh mint towel and an ice cold cocktail.
Although portrayed as a luxury hotel we didn't feel it quite lived up to the description but that said it was comfortable enough. The hotel is very rustic and quite dated but the staff were lovely, helpful and friendly. The rooms are in blocks of 4 but have limited view of the river, some face the opposite way completely which seems odd as the water is the main attraction. We had a very small porch with a bench which had to be moved if you wanted a chance of watching the water. None of the rooms have a proper sitting area for relaxing although the restaurant/bar overlooks the river and there is a viewing area with seating above the dock. The pool is lovely with a few sun loungers scattered about.
We had two boat trips out on the waterways with a very informative guide and saw plenty of birds, camen, iguanas and basilisk lizards.
All meals were good and not buffet which is always a bonus for us.
We also saw a sloth in one of the trees and took the short 'jungle' walk behind the hotel and saw lots of small strawberry poison dart frogs. Lots of Mosquitos too!

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Write a Review

247 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
See reviews for
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 (26)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Kent, England
Top Contributor
72 reviews 72 reviews
40 hotel reviews
Reviews in 59 cities Reviews in 59 cities
89 helpful votes 89 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2014

What an amazing place!
We stayed here on day one and two of our Costa Rica trip. The accommodation, service, food and staff could not be faulted!
We were welcomed on arrival with a cold fruit cocktail which was very welcome. The food was all included and was well cooked and very, very tasty.
The transportation to and from Manatus is arranged through them and both ways the arrangements went without any problems.
The boat trips through the national park were amazing - we saw nearly all of the birds, reptiles and mammals on our list and the guide was brilliant - how they manage to spot so many birds and reptiles when they are so well camouflaged is truly amazing.
From the grounds of Manatus we saw howler monkeys, sloths and iguanas. To be woken up in a rain forest by the cries of howler monkeys is an experience not to be missed!
The staff and guides are all very helpful and informative and go out of their way to make you feel welcome.
I would go back there in an instant!

Stayed January 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Top Contributor
77 reviews 77 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
84 helpful votes 84 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2014

I wanted to book a room for three days at this hotel for my wife and myself. We traveled to other parts of Costa Rica and ending up in La Pavona where we will take the $3 water taxi to Tortuguero Village. From there we needed to get water transport to any lodging that is not at the village.

In the case of Hotel Manatus they wanted to charge us an additional $140 for this despite the fact that their packages (and you have to buy a package) supposedly includes transportation from the airport in San Jose all the way to the hotel.

Difficult to understand the attitude of the people at this hotel. They are already being well paid for a basic room and $200 a day for our meals but they wanted still more. Fortunately there are many other places at which to stay including the ones in the town of Tortuguero where we can eat when and what we choose and pay a lot less to do so.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 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.
HotelManatus, Propietario at Manatus Hotel, responded to this review, January 15, 2014
I really feel sorry that you didn´t make your decision to stay at our hotel: I can assure you we are without doubt the best option in Tortuguero, concerning quality, amenities and service.

Regarding your comment about your transfer to our hotel, I think there has been a misunderstanding. First of all, I would like to explain that our packages include lodging, all meals, 3 tours and taxes, for a $383 rate per person in a double room. Manatus is the only hotel in Tortuguero that gives its customers the opportunity to arrive to the hotel by their own means, either by land, by boat or by air. If they want to use our transfer services, it has a $70 cost per person, which includes the transfer by land from San José, and by boat from La Pavona to the hotel. Due to logistic and operational matters of this transfer, we cannot charge a fraction of the trip, even if the customer only uses a part of it.

Also, we have a very strict itinerary for the departure of the bus from San José (5:30 a.m.) and the boat from Puerto Pavona (10:30 a.m.). In your request you said you were arriving at 3:00 p.m. to Pavona; that´s why we gave you the option of taking a private transfer from there to Tortuguero, for the amount of $200. It is important to mention that this is a regular price, charged also by other private transfer services and hotels of the area. But again, we were giving you an option, not an imposition, especially since the public boat service you mentioned, which travels from La Pavona to Tortuguero (at a $10 rate per tourist), only makes 3 rides a day on a fixed schedule.

As any other destination, Tortuguero offers all kinds of lodging options suitable for every budget. There are a lot of economic accommodations in the town of Tortuguero that any tourist can clearly choose. But I don’t think it is appropriate to judge our service as “bad” only because our prices didn´t suit your budget; and particularly, because you actually haven’t been our guest at the hotel.

We assure you that, throughout the years, our guests have given us great recognition for our impeccable service: so it is really a shame we won´t be able to serve you this time and demonstrate why we have been awarded so many times with excellence certifications, based on our work, professionalism, and unique facilities.

I wish you the best in your trip to Tortuguero. It is a wonderful destination and I’m sure you’ll be delighted.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canyon, Texas
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 4, 2013

This was my first stop of my Honeymoon. I only booked 2 nights but wish I would have booked longer. Greated with fresh mint towel and fresh fruit punch smoothies! Rooms very nice/exotic. Gets your up close and personal with nature which is what my wife and I were hoping for. Monkeys and Sloths right outside the window. The staff-incredibly nice.Cook Staff about the same age as my wife and I and each had a great sense of humor. They had us laughing from the moment we sat down, but were still very professional.
Despite what Hunter1021 says you are free to get a boat taxi at anytime, it is $5 per person to leave and go where ever you want.
The first day we arrived, we took a small afternoon tour into Tortuguero. Guided by Senor Chito. Very knowledgeable man from Tortuguero that is passionate about the turtles and local wildlife. The second day we were there started with a boat tour of the National Park. We were lucky enough to see just about everything you can imagine. That afternoon we had a very nice walking tour through the national park. Both of which were also guided by Chito.
We returned from the walk and had scheduled private massages in our room, that were very reasonably priced and felt amazing!!
Later that same night my man, Sergio a.k.a. "Big Cheeks," prepared my wife and I a beautiful, private, candlelit dinner on the second story deck overlooking the river! It was perfect in every way and very romantic. I highly recommend the honeymoon package here.

Weirdest part of the stay at Manatus is that the meals are included in the price but you pay for ALL drinks...even water. Weird but it's nothing to keep me from going back.


  • Stayed December 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 21, 2013

If you can go there for just breakfast , lunch , and dinner...ok
This was our honeymoon and the service was deplorable! It was a prison! Could not leave even though there was nothing to do.
Bar area closed all day. Me and my new wife , without anything to do finished the mini bar. So we tried to get more beer. We went to the front desk because there aren't phones in the rooms , and there was no one there. We rang the bell........... Nothing!!! We decided to walk around and look for employees. There wasn't anyone. We went back to the room. We started to think it was a joke!!! Two days of just me and my new wife. I guess it was a good test for us , having nothing to do but lay in bed talk and watch Spanish television. I guess it wasn't for us..... Maybe an older couple.

  • Stayed October 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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 de Relaciones Públicas at Manatus Hotel, responded to this review, November 1, 2013
A few days ago, a couple that visited us at Manatus Hotel wrote that they were not pleased with their experience at our hotel. It has always been our main interest to maximize the satisfaction of our customers by offering excellent service and personalized attention. We are deeply concerned of the fact that their stay in our hotel did not meet their expectations.

The experience of visiting Tortuguero is unique in the world and the goal of most of the people who visit this beautiful place is the opportunity to get in touch with this beautiful and exotic habitat, enjoying the tours and activities that we offer to our visitors. Perhaps, their interests on this particular trip were different since they chose not to take advantage of these activities, which is a position we respect. Nevertheless, we need to remark that such is a different purpose from what most of our visitors are looking for when they attend our resort.

For example, they booked a package that presented 3 tours, which includes a visit to the village of Tortuguero and 2 boat tours along the canals. Additionally, during the months that range from July to October we offer the opportunity to observe the turtle nesting, one of the main attractions of this area and an event that can be witnessed in very few places in the world. Clearly, it is not an obligation for our guests to participate of all the tours included in the package, but we consider that if they would have taken part of those trips, the perception of our hotel would have been completely different.

Manatus service includes all these activities but does not require our guests to mandatorily participate on them. If our guests do not want to do the tours included, we have many other options for additional activities they can enjoy, such as the Kayak tours, the massage and spa service, our gym, the pool overlooking the canals, the beautiful views available from the dock, the gardens and the trails for walking, and many other activities. And if our visitors wish to stay in their room and watch TV, we have satellite service with over 100 channels in English, Spanish, French and German.

Within the information packs found in every room we also include detailed information regarding the hotel schedule, the meal times in the restaurant, and the short periods in which the reception and restaurant / bar are closed (approximately from 2 to 4 p.m. , precisely the moment where most clients typically take their tours) . It is noteworthy to mention that, regardless the closing of the reception and the restaurant for a brief period during the day, the service for customers who want to remain in the hotel facilities continues with no interference. We have 18 employees cleaning and taking care of 12 rooms in all the aspects required (provided that the client allow us to perform such tasks in their rooms). For example, in their case, the housekeepers refilled the mini-bar twice.

For us, it is surprising to meet unsatisfied customers, as our experience has always been quite the opposite: highly satisfied customers that have helped us to achieve two awards by Trip Advisor for the quality of service (2012 and 2013), besides being chosen among the top 25 hotels in Central America in 2012. In this case, it seems that there was a difference between their expectations on this trip and what the Tortuguero experience really is.

We are still deeply sorry that they did not enjoy their experience at Manatus and we are in the best position to improve our operation in every aspect needed while maintaining the standards of quality and personalized service that allowed us to place ourselves as the best hotel in Tortuguero, with “Excellence” as our permanent and ongoing goal. This does not exclude us from facing this kind of situations with customers, like it happen in your case, but we hope to prevent them in future and continue to provide the best service and experience available in this region.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Zurich, Switzerland
14 reviews 14 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 21, 2013

Although I stayed there more than 3 years ago, maybe already 4,I am looking forward the day I can go back to stay there again!!
I have tried different hotels around Costa Rica, but my best experience was definetly the Manatus Hotel, I really recommend people to save money for that hotel, can be the highlight of the trip!

Room Tip: any room is great there
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
97 reviews 97 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 54 cities Reviews in 54 cities
58 helpful votes 58 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 8, 2013

My husband and I stayed here for 3 nights last week and it was such a unique experience. The hotel sits in the middle of the rainforest and we saw red poison dart frogs, howler monkeys, iguanas, toucans, crabs, leaf cutter ants, geckos, and a variety of other birds on the hotel grounds itself. The river boat tours were really fun - seeing a variety of animals (caiman, vultures, herons, sloths, etc.). We bought their night time turtle tour and watched one turtle go back to sea and one turtle lay eggs - an awesome experience (no camera allowed). The staff at Manatus was so friendly (Jayson and Sergio, especially) and the meals were very good. We chose Manatus for its location and the fact that it offered air conditioning, which was very nice to have on humid days/nights. Be aware that you can't flush any toilet paper at the hotel - it has to be thrown away in trash cans provided - so if that bothers you, you may want to choose elsewhere (It was not a problem for us). Overall, we really enjoyed our stay here and would recommend it to those who want a true rainforest adventure.

Room Tip: All rooms seemed fine here.
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
Price Your Stay

Been to Manatus Hotel? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Manatus Hotel

Address: Tortuguero, Limon, Costa Rica | Located 3 Minutes From the Tortuguero National Park, Tortuguero 454-4005, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Limon > Tortuguero
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 9 Hotels in Tortuguero
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Manatus Hotel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 12
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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Booking.com, Travelocity and Hotels.com so you can book your Manatus Hotel reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Manatus Hotel Tortuguero
Manatus Hotel Costa Rica/Tortuguero

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Manatus Hotel, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.