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“Best Location Ever!” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Hotel Las Tortugas

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Hotel Las Tortugas
Ranked #5 of 7 Hotels in Playa Grande
Certificate of Excellence
chicago, il
Level Contributor
25 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Best Location Ever!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 19, 2012

Hotel Las Tortugas was charming, clean, safe and in the absolute best location for our family and friends. Our group of 11 (two families plus good friends), loved our 6 night stay in the Hotel, at the most beautiful beach we have ever seen. Our timing (early November), meant that there were no crowds on the 3 mile long beach - many times we were the only people on the beach, as we walked/boggie boarded/surfed the incredibly wide beach.
The hotel is a bit worn and dated, but definitely clean, and very very relaxing. Their food was very good, and their service was also very good. Their beach side hammocks and turtle shaped pool were wonderful respites from the mid-day heat. If you are after nature and adventure in a truly Costa Rican simple style, this is the place. Each room is unique, and we stayed in two different styles, and found advantages and disadvantages in both. We did especially like our ocean-front room with a nice terrace. Even though the bedding was very worn, it was definitely clean and comfortable.
We hope to return soon - it was hard to leave this friendly, comfortable and beautiful place.

Room Tip: The 3 ocean front rooms with their own terrace, are charming. We used the hammock and rocking chair...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank rokubanlu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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301 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (68)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
20 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 18, 2012

My husband and two children (ages 7 and 10) stayed in the cylindrical room overlooking the turtle-shaped pool. It was a large room with a nice sitting area and bar. The bathroom was OK -- a rather small-sized shower -- and to be honest, the bathroom was not as clean as I would have liked. But having said that, I would honestly stay here again. The reason is because you are ocean front on a beautiful beach, where there is harldly anyone else around.

Heading South down the beach (opposite of Tamarindo) about a seven minute walk, is a series of amazing tide pools -- my kids still talk about them! They were filled with small hermit crabs, sea stars, octopus and anemonie (wear sandals/shoes!) While viewing the tidepools, we saw a single horse-back-rider walking along the beach. Very picturesque! The pool was not crowded when we went (March 2012) and there are several hammocks under a covered tiki that set the scene for an afternoon of restful reading while the kids splashed in the pool.

The hotel staff is very friendly, (in fact, we met the owner one afternoon -- very nice, laid-back and friendly) and you can even book an eco tour there. We went on the canoe ride and our guide took us to an area where we saw probably 50 howler monkeys in the trees. They were amazing! At the hotel, there is a resident howler monkey (named "Hey!") who lives in the big tree in front of the hotel. A friendly and very patient security guard befriended him and allowed our children to pet him. He was the size of a toddler, but don't be fooled; very strong. Still a wild animal, so be very careful.

My husband is a surfer and said the surfing on the beach was good, but best in Tamarindo, which was a 20 minute drive away. We ate dinner there every night. Think of Tamarindo as a mini New Orleans -- lots of fun partying, restaurants, shops, petty crime (DON'T leave anything valuable in your rental car) -- and be thankful to get back each evening to the quiet sound of the ocean tide at Las Tortugas.

Room Tip: The ocean front rooms on the ground floor tend to be dark; we were happy with our large room overloo...
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Elizabeth T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Jose, California
Level Contributor
69 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 3, 2012

We loved our 2 nights at this eco-friendly hotel where the owners care about the turtles who nest in this area. Don't expect high-end luxury but a nice, laid back, rustic, eco-friendly vibe. They have been very conscientious about minimizing impact to the turtles and it's the only way we could have stayed here. We definitely did not want to stay in Tamarindo where there has been NO conscience about their impact to the turtles. We stayed in Room 11, which was right in the Inn itself, had a loft with a comfortable bed and a view overlooking the ocean. We didn't use the TV but were glad to have a mini-frig, which came in handy. The food was great and VERY reasonable, with plenty for vegetarians to eat. I loved seeing the dogs and cats, which made me feel right at home. I fell in love with Avellanas, who is a sweet hostess who will greet you in the hotel. ;-) We loved being walking distance to the Park Service's turtle tours facility. They provide you with an overview and then it's a waiting game - turtles are wild animals so go with an expectation that anything can happen. Our first night, it was horribly hot and humid and we saw 2 beautiful black sea turtles nesting on a beach about a 10 minute drive away (you take your car and follow or grab a ride with others). The 2nd night they came to alert us about 9 or 10pm in the POURING rain that there was a mother Leatherback nesting on a beach ~10 minutes away. Considering ~3000 of these Pacific-ocean Leatherbacks once nested in the area and only 33 nested last year, we were emotional to be in her presence. We were delighted to find, too, that she was a newly discovered mother to this area. I hope you stay here and if you do, please give Avellanas a big hug from me. ;-)

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank PWar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 28, 2012

The hammocks were comfy, wildlife abundant, the beach just through the gate. The grounds and rooms were impeccable. It was very peaceful. The rooms are all really different though -- some very nice and others less so in terms of size, amount of natural light, and furnishings/amenities. The vibe was welcoming and hospitable, not pushy or aggressive. Staff were great -- friendly and helpful, very courteous and warm. I agree with the comments about the cabinas/apartments though -- the hotel is directly on the beach but the apartments are a long ways from there. I started in an apartment and moved to the main hotel -- much more convenient. I'd definitely go back! Just giving it a '4' because my mattress was wearing a bit thin. Otherwise I'd give it a 5.

As a more general location, Playa Grande has a couple of surf shops, a few restaurants, a few small hotels, and that's it. The nearest actual grocery store is 15 minutes by car, and the nearest bus stop is 8 km in Huacas. The walk to the water taxi to Tamarindo takes an hour -- it's not close. Partaking in excursions/activities in other parts of the country, e.g. the hot springs and water slide, will cost $150 in car fare (plus the cost of the activity). So, if you're looking for some place totally peaceful to chill out, see some local wildlife and maybe learn to surf ($30 in a group lesson), this is the place. But if you're looking for something more active and don't plan to rent a car, you may be disappointed.

Room Tip: Ask a lot of questions.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank vamosalaplaya333
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
14 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 7, 2012 via mobile

I had quite high hopes for this place given all the great reviews. We were really disapointed. Stayed in 2 different rooms, both were really awful. Dark, mouldy, really depressing. Overall not pleasant places to spend time at all. We spent 1 month in Costa Rica and found far nicer places for the same or even less money.

1 lady we dealt with a lot on reception was grumpy. We needed to query our bill but didnt bother because we knew we couldnt get anywhere, plus she only spoke Spanish. I think in a hotel that caters to mainly English speaking tourists you should have someone on reception who at least speaks a little English.

On the plus side, the rest of the staff were lovely. We had the best and most honest maid we met on the whole trip. She returned an old mobile phone we had put in the bin! The location is fantastic. Taco shack on the beach does good tacos at a reasonable price.

  • Stayed July 2012
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank LittleLolly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Quebec, Quebec, Canada
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 24, 2012

The place is not very new but it's not that expensive to have a place with a stove. But you have to have a car to truly enjoy your stay at las tortugas especialy if you stay in the cabinas. The walk to the hotel is like 10min and it can get frustrating if you forgot something at your place. And they are far from everywhere, so dont stay there if you dont have a car or if you are not in the "turtle season". Found some big termite ( its costa rica...) in our room but the place was clean. Wouldn't stay there again, to far from everything and not that nice.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank J-F P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Westport, Connecticut
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 9, 2012

We spent one wonderful week at this perfectly situated hotel. Quiet, laided back, service is all by local folks who r so kind and helpful. They even offer some help in spanish if u want. If u r a sufer, this is the spot!!! If not,there is still so much to do. Maybe it,s to get a massage on the beach from Erica or read a good book in a hammock in the shade. This place has wonderful local flavor.

Love it!!!! Dont miss the sun sets!!!!

Room Tip: We stayed in room 6. Perfect for the 2 of us.. Love the patio facing the ocean. Quiet
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank TheVZSFROMCT
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

Property: 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 (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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