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“great beach location”
Review of Hotel Las Tortugas

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Hotel Las Tortugas
Ranked #5 of 6 Hotels in Playa Grande
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 10, 2008

Las Tortugas is an excellent hotel to stay at, away from the hustle and bustle of Tamarindo. Honestly, I thought the beach was better here in Playa Grande as compared to Tamarindo. The hotel is easy to find and the staff is very accomodating. The rooms were a little lacking though - no alarm clock, TV or any way to keep track of the time. Rooms are advertised as a place to 'recoop' after a day at the beach - advertisements stand true. The hotel allows you to put food and drinks on your room tab, which is helpful in that you don't need to carry cash around with you. Rooms were clean, although the hotel itself could use a revamp.

  • Stayed: March 2008, traveled with friends
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Thank bre9581
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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231 - 237 of 311 reviews

Reviewed March 9, 2008

I have been visiting Costa Rica since 1995. I went to Hotel Las Tortugas with a couple of my buddies that had been there the year before. What a fantastic experience! I was hooked on the Pura Vida - Las Tortugas experience.

I visited a few more times with my surf buddies and enjoyed it immensely. At that time, it was a complete get away from the rat race as phone service was limited, internet and TV were non-existent. Finally, I decided to take my then young family (kids ages 6-4) and my wife to Las Tortugas. I was a bit apprehensive as my wife is a 5-star, Four Seasons, Hotel Intercontental non-surfer type. She absolutely loved it and has been back every year since. It is the one of the few places that she can completely unwind and relax.

The hotel is a handcrafted masterpiece set in paradaisical setting along one of the most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica. Each room is custom designed and has all hand built furnishing from the stone floors to the hand laid mosaic tiles in the bathrooms. For me this adds to the experience. The rooms are very clean, comfortable and accomodating.

The grounds...are lushly landscaped and well maintained.

The property is very safe and secure which was a primary factor for deciding to bring the family. Additionally they have a safe on the premises for you to secure your valuables. If you exercise the the same prudence that you do at home you will not have any problems.

The hotel is located just a few steps from the beach. For visitors unfamiliar with Costa Rica, this is NOT the norm. Most hotels in Costa Rica are not right on the beach. This is a definite advantage for Las Tortugas.

The restaurant/bar always has the finest food prepared (properly) and served by the always freindly and accomodating staff. All food is resonably priced.

The owners are very friendly and I have seen them go to GREAT LENGTHS to accomodate my family, and other families, to ensure the best possible experience for their guests.

Las Tortugas is ideally located for a variety of activities such as: surfing, turtle watching, fishing, snorkeling, kayaking, zip-lining, and eco-tours. There is as much, or as little to do, as you like.

I am booked for July 2008 maybe I will see you there!

  • Stayed: July 2007, traveled with family
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2  Thank ebeach
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 3, 2008

This was my first stay at Las Tortugas, which was recommended by a friend of a friend. I was there on my own, seeking sun and relaxation away from work/family/cold in the States for 8 days.

From the reviews I read, and descriptions of the hotel online, I had no doubt that the hotel had the amenities I wanted for my vacation: beach, waves, healthy food, and a local feel. I was not disappointed: the sun was brilliant, the wind always kept me comfortable, the bugs were hardly around except at night, and the beach was just steps away from my tiny room.

For families, couples wanting intimacy, groups of friends, I think this hotel is a good one. It seems to cater to visitors who already know why they are there, who know what Playa Grande has to offer, or who know Spanish well enough to be rather independent. Live and let live, and relax into Pura Vida.

I agree with the previous reviewer who found the staff and owners to take a very lazy interest in attending guest's more complicated questions about tours, local opportunitites. My attempts to schedule tours were complicated with miscommunications, and my great desire to attend a "fiesta" was foiled, also by lack of communication. If I asked a lot of questions of the staff, I felt like a pest; but if I tried to be patient, I missed out. A disappointment.

On the other hand, many of the other guests raved about the friendliness of the staff. I guess the key is limiting your expectations.... this is a place to enjoy the here and now with the people you came with.

By the end of my stay, I had begun to feel part of a community, and had relaxed into the ambiance of manana. I might come back again with my family, or with friends.

  • Stayed: February 2008, traveled solo
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2  Thank gbfaber
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 28, 2008

This was our second stay at Las Tortogas and as soon as we checked in I remembered what we loved about the place; the palapa, hammocks, and little balconies on the rooms. Then I remember what I disliked about the place; dark dingy rooms with no bureaus! Oh, how I hate having to stack our clothing on a spare bed to keep it off the floor. Bottom line is that this hotel attracts a very laid back, self sufficient traveler who wants to blend in with the locals. No spoiled American tantrums thrown here. It really needs a serious renovation to move it out of the 1970's and into the 21st century. I think this is very unlikely to happen as the owners have the property for sale and seem to be coasting on past laurels.

Things we like
* Balcony and breezes at the restaurant
* Hammocks and rocking chairs
* Self serve pot of coffee bubbling from dawn onwards
* Local surfers hanging out around the pool
* Eco friendly to a fault
* Located right on the beach, where all the bleary eyed folks gather at dawn with a steaming mug to eyeball the surf
*Friendly, relaxed families by the pool, not a place that attracts high maintenance tourists
*Now has wi fi and a computer for guest use
* Aviallas the hotel’s greeter dog
* Security guard (and friends) constantly in the parking lot
* No TV's or ringing phones anywhere on the property

Things I don’t like
* No bureaus in the room
* Dark blue walls with red linens
* Black floors
* No tour desk
*Sergio, the surf instructor got himself hitched and has moved away
*Manana attitude of front desk staff, they seem really uncomfortable doing things like changing money or booking tours and they try to get you to postpone any transactions.
* Not too many dollars or colones available at the front desk so get them in town. They hate to accept travelers’ checks, but that is true all over CR.

Love it, or leave it alone because Las Tortugas ain't gonna be changing anytime soon!

  • Stayed: February 2008, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank leafpeeper98
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 6, 2008

I went to Los Tortugas as it is a great central location for most of the good surfing spots in that area. My fellow surfer and I were treated like long lost friends by all of the staff and the management. We were given great tips on the best surfing spots from the hotel owner who has been surfing the area for over 30 years, the rooms were clean and comfortable, the food great and the service prompt and very friendly, to the extent that the wonderful Lexie even changed a flat tyre for us after a long road trip!

Quite apart from the wonderful relaxed atmosphere of the hotel, the work done by the founder in preserving and in fact reforesting the area is simply amazing.

From surfing tips to learning a lot more about the local environment to watching the Superbowl on the last night there, it was without doubt the best fun Ive had at a hotel in a long time. I would reccomend this establishment to any one, family ,single, surfer or nature lover or just someone wanting to unwind

Colin Chandler
Highvale
Queensland
Australia

Colin Chandler

  • Stayed: January 2008, traveled with friends
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Thank Colphin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 4, 2008

We stayed at Las Tortugas across the Christmas period - and have nothing but good memories of the place. Compared to some of the comments in guide books and other reviews our experience was very good indeed.

- arrival: warmly welcomed and shown to our rooms. These faced the beach - limited view due to intentional planting of trees and scrub to screen lights from beach. we knew this was the case and were happy to have a porch area and table where we could watch the iguanas.

- staff were very friendly and welcoming from the word go.

- they'd booked our turtle tours as requested, and done so promptly so we were high on the list

- we really enjoyed most of the food: the tuna with wasabi was superb for a lunch - very tasty and light and perfectly cooked; we found the food there to be a bit more exciting and to be honest ate better here than several other places that we stayed.

- staff were lovely to us; even when rushed off their feet, they found time for a smile and a friendly word. I was especially struck at how much more personal they were than several other places. I really felt recognised and appreciated as a person which was a nice change

- we hired the hotels canoes to tour the mangrove swamp - this was a nice way to spend the afternoon

- our rooms were kept clean and tidy; the aircon was powerful and the lighting low. sure it wasn't a blaze of light like Costa Verde ii but that's intentional again!

- we felt secure the whole time; we were there over the Christmas period when it was busy at the hotel and with a huge number of Ticos enjoying the beach - at the top end. The hotel had staff supervising the car-park - and at night when we came back from turtle tours we were let back in by security. we left bags behind the counter in the hotels locked room, and nothing went missing in our stay. there were also police on bikes patrolling the car-parks and beach front in the town - never felt safer!

- the hotel is certainly not the most aesthetically pleasing construction in the world, nor the most luxurious. but we were pleasantly suprised at the whole place. if i went back to PG for a stay, would certainly stay here again,

  • Stayed: December 2007, traveled as a couple
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Thank MollyZero
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 1, 2008

We felt very comfortable at Hotel Las Tortugas from the parking lot attendant to the reception desk, waitresses and even the dog. Great location to watch surfers, walk to the national park program to see leatherback turtles laying eggs on the protected beach, walk to yoga class at Rip Jack's. Very good price for meals, laundry and beach gear rental. Room 7's patio had a great hammock, the shower was good and there's a fridge.

  • Stayed: January 2008, traveled with family
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Thank JericoSprings
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
#4 Romantic Hotel in Playa Grande
#5 Family Hotel in Playa Grande
Price Range: $25 - $135 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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