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“Wonderful plavce, wonderful people.”
Review of Hotel Las Tortugas

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Hotel Las Tortugas
Ranked #5 of 6 Hotels in Playa Grande
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed December 19, 2006

My family of four stayed here over the Thanksgiving 2006 holiday - we had an amazing time. Las Tortugas isn't for the snooty - but it's a perfect place for families and singletons looking for a relaxing, quiet place to enjoy the surf, flora and fauna, see the turtles lay their eggs and meet interesting people from around the world. Accommodations are very clean and comfortable -- decorated with local style and an eye toward protecting the local reserve from nightime light. Hotel design is lovely, with a wonderful veranda for reading and a great restaurant. Best part is the people -- Lous, Carrie and Brittany, along with their support staff, are genuinely caring and hospitable folks. Several posters have commented on Las Tortugas being remote - while removed from the congestion of Tamarindo, it's a pleasant hike and boat ride into town. It proved a good jumping off location -- I recommend renting a 4X4 for adventures to Rincon de la Vieja, Witches Rock/Ollie's, Playas Avellanas and Negra...
You won't get room service or cable. You will get great memories and experiences - and fall in love with the country and its people.
The only thing we would have done differently was start taking brewers yeast or garlic tablets a month before (mosquitos are pretty active) and made sure we brought lots of biodegradeable sunscreen: it's better for the environment than the drugstore shelf stuff we were using. $$ saving tip (the hotel restaurant is actually very reasonable by US standards) - eat a few meals at Kike's (keeKAYs), just a 10 minute walk down the road. Smart Tip: Have Francisco pick you up from the Liberia airport and have your rental car delivered to the hotel from Tamarindo -- totally worth it after a long flight it (and the cost of the extra day of car and having a driver pick you up offsets itself pretty much.)
Pura Vida! The Galloways

  • Stayed: November 2006, traveled with family
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Thank Blythspyryt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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262 - 268 of 317 reviews

Reviewed November 23, 2006

We stayed in Hotel Las Tortugas during a trip to see the leatherback sea turtles nesting in January, 2006. Our room was clean, neat and much nicer than we expected for a simple beach hotel. The staff were friendly and helpful, and practically adopted our 6 month old while we were there. The restaurant was good, if a little overpriced, and when we wanted something different the staff were happy to recommend other places nearby. Given it's location, the Hotel made a great base for day trips--kayaking in the mangrove estuary, taking a zip line through the canopy and, of course, seeing the turtles. Being right on the beach allowed us to get out to see the nesting twice during our stay--and let us start each morning collecting shells and searching for basking iguanas. The jacuzzi and the turtle shaped swimming pool were also a big hit with our eight-year old. Unlike another reviewer, we didn't see any crabs in the jacuzzi--though it provided a great seat for watching the parrots at sunset.

The only caveat I would offer is that most transactions are done in cash and the nearest bank machine is about 40 minutes away. So, if you plan on an active vacation, you'll need a lot more cash than you might expect. By the end of our stay, we had nothing left for even small souvenirs, and had to mail our tips for hotel staff on our way to the airport.

  • Stayed: January 2006, traveled with family
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1  Thank chosenatrandom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 30, 2006

This place is very nice. If you are a surfer it has to be the best place to stay in Costa Rica. But I'm not! Anyway, the restaurant is fantastic, the service is very friendly and the rooms are clean. It is WAY off the beaten path, but if you want isolation and relaxation it is the place to go. There is a bar up the road called Kike's Place. Otherwise there isn't much around. Tamarindo is very far away even though it's only a couple miles geographically. I did horseback riding, lots of swimming and relaxation at the beach, and alot of sleeping! Would return. Again, I can't say enough good things about the restaurant. Also, the drinks and food are cheap!

  • Stayed: October 2006, traveled with friends
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1  Thank TropicalTraveler78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 16, 2006

We stayed 2 nights in a Las Tortugas Apartment. The Lighthouse Apartments are about a 5-10 minute walk from the actual hotel. My husband I were on our honeymoon, and the upper lighthouse (Faro Up, I think the staff called it) apartment was the perfect place for us. It's 2 stories, with kitchenette, bathroom and 2 futon-like bed/couches downstairs and a beautiful bedroom with wrap-around deck upstairs. There is a small pool in the entry courtyard that you share only with the Lower apartment, which was unoccupied when we were there, so it was our own private pool. The room was comfortable and clean, plenty of hot water, and there were dishes and utensils in the kitchen, so we made our own breakfasts. We spent a lot of time just down the road at the Rip Jack Inn, which has great food, atmosphere, and friendly staff. They even offer yoga a few mornings a week.
Our only complaint is that Las Tortugas is pretty Isolated. We took a water taxi across the estuary from Tamarindo, and then had to walk about 40 minutes with all our luggage to get to Las Tortugas. If you are not driving yourself, be sure ask the hotel about the best way to get here. We wish we had. The isolation is great if you just want to hang out at the beach and eat only at the hotel, but if you are looking for variety, or even just a grocery store, be prepared for a hike. The hotel has a driver that will take you from Las Tortugas back to the estuary for about $8 if you want to go into Tamarindo, or visit the other resorts at the other end of the beach, but then you still have to go back, so you could spend almost the cost of your meal just getting to a different restaraunt. We didn't know about this car service until the last day, though, so we did A LOT of walking. All in all, though, it was great spot on a beautiful beach, and we loved the apartment. And, you can't beat the price.
We'd go back if we are in Costa Rica again.

  • Stayed: May 2006, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank jandtpeters
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 2, 2006

I went to Costa Rica in January of 2006 and stayed at Hotel Las Tortugas for two weeks. This place has all of the modern amenities you could ask for and some of the friendliest work staff I have encountered in my travels. The atmosphere and mood set by it's location and native foliage make you feel like you are miles and miles away from everything, but in reality you are a very short trip from the exciting nightlife of Tamarindo. So you get the best of both worlds....peace, tranquility, and seclusion with a fun and cultural nightlife just up the road. I am planning a longer stay at this hotel in 2007. If you want to surf, go sailing, deep sea fishing, horseback riding, rip cord through the jungle, watch leatherback see turtle, or whatever...this is the place to be....need I say more...I'm headed back and will continue to come back this place every year...love it!

  • Stayed: January 2006, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Kman12345
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 1, 2006

First let me say this was the best trip I've been on yet, and I WILL be going back soon. Normaly on trips you can rest assure something will go wrong. This was the first one where everything went completely as planned. Contact with the hotel was very easy and the response was extremely quick. The directions were easy to follow and we had no problem making it to the hotel. When we arrived our rooms were ready to walk into and I never even had to go to the front desk, they met us in the parking lot and escorted us straight to our rooms. The rooms were clean, safe and comfortable (keep in mind I stayed in three diffirent rooms during my stay). The food was fantastic. There was never a time when we were just paying for a room, the owner Louis and the staff were a blast to hang around with, and they always had something new for us to see next. The surf was KILLER th whole time, in fact we had plans to spend the rest of the vacation in Mal Pais however Las Tortugas had everything I wanted and a whole lot I didn't even know I wanted. I've been to a lot of places in Costa Rica and this was by far the best. Thanks again Las Tortugas, I'll see you again soon!!

  • Stayed: January 2006, traveled with friends
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2  Thank mattduhon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 19, 2006

My wife and I were in Costa Rica for a business trip. As is our custom, we usually grab a map, rent a car and take off exploring in search of different or unique destinations or restaurants. Our destination was the National Marine Park. We arrived as the sun was setting and observed a terrific sunset. While there we decided to have a bite to eat and the Hotel Las Tortugas was next to the parking lot.

As we enjoy fresh fish and seafood, we ordered the grilled dorado. Even though we spent 10 days in Costa Rica and had a number of fresh fish meals including dorado, this was by far the best tasting dorado we had. While they would not divulge the recipe to me when asked claiming it was the chef's "secret recipe", it is well worth ordering. The on-site and wait staff could not have been more pleasant and helpful. If ever in the area again, we'll go back.

  • Stayed: April 2006, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank SolSearchers
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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