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“Beautiful lodge, fantastic location and excellent staff”

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Tortuga Lodge & Gardens
Ranked #1 of 8 Hotels in Tortuguero
Certificate of Excellence
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Beautiful lodge, fantastic location and excellent staff”
Reviewed September 19, 2012

We spend 3 nights in this lodge (end of august 2012) with our family (parents with 2 children).
We had 2 adjacent upstairs rooms near the pool. We enjoyed the location (really peaceful views on the river and the beautiful rain forest). The lodge is managed very well, the staff made us feel at home (thanks to Eduardo, Carmen and our guide Angelo). The atmosphere of the logde is a mixture of informal relaxed luxury in a close contact with nature. We saw a lot of wildlife around the lodge and on the trips. The food was very good. The rooms were very clean.
We were very happy that we stayed for 3 nights, so that we could do several interesting tours and had plenty of time to relax near the pool or on the front porch sitting area... Perfect organisation of the transportationf from an to San Jose.

Room Tip: I recommend upstairs rooms for the views and the breeze.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Caroline W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Oakland, California
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed September 18, 2012

The service is excellent here and everything is very clean. The staff greets you when you arrive and when you leave. We enjoyed the meals. They do a competent job and everything is very fresh tasting. The coffee is excellent and plentiful. The rooms are spacious with netting over the windows to let in the breeze.
We enjoyed a dip in the pool the first night.
They also provide a free shuttle to town 4 times a day along with a paid service for other times.

Our phone did not work at the lodge but did work in town.

Room Tip: Get a corner room on the end if you can for privacy.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Bruce B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fresno, California
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed September 10, 2012

My wife and I stayed at the Tortuga Lodge for two nights on Aug 29 and 30th.The lodge is situated on the Tortuguero Lagoon with fabulous surroundings of trees and wildlife. The rooms were very clean and comfortable . The dinning room has a nice rustic vibe that is situated right on the bank of the lagoon for a wonderful setting.The food was simple , and very delicious.Perhaps , the greatest assest of this lodge is the wonderful people who work there. The manager , Eduardo was always available to answer any questions and assist in anyway possible . As a matter of fact , we had some problems with my transfer times ( I booked our own ) , and Eduardo worked to fix everything .His receptionist, Carmen was so gracious and friendly . Even the gardner , Fernando always had a smile on his face and would invite us to see some of the wildlife he spotted while doing his work . The lodge is immaculate and the people special , we could not imagine having a more wonderful experience . When we said our goodbyes it seemed liked we were leaving family!!

Room Tip: There are a couple rooms that are pretty close to the pool.If there are kids playing you will hear t...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank darren m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
England
Level 5 Contributor
49 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
Reviewed September 2, 2012

We spent 2 nights/3 days at Tortuga Lodge in August 2012, 2 couples in 2 upstairs rooms. This was our third stay here (first was in 2000) but the first time for the friends we were travelling with. This time we chose to fly in and out to maximize our time at the Lodge. This is such a special place, the staff are so thoughtful and the location is hard to beat. Special thanks to Julian for his consideration (and being able to produce a fully iced birthday cake at short notice!) to Harry for his wonderful customer service, and to guide Norton, for spotting all that amazing wildlife.

We love the beautiful rooms with open netted windows, abundance of wood, and gorgeous porches and hammocks. The food was fabulous and our friend's vegetarian needs were well catered for. The highlight of the trip was the Turtle picnic dinner - a high speed boat ride at twilight, a feast lit by flaming torches, followed by an amazing guided walk in the dark on the National park beach, where we saw 8 nesting turtles at various stages of the egg laying process.

Add to this the lovely infinity pool, fab cocktails, and teeming wildlife - I hope our 4th visit isn't too far away!

Room Tip: Get an upstairs room if you can - the breezes and views are worth it.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Ticobaby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Encinitas, California
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed August 17, 2012

Tortuga Lodge is a beautiful gem located where you would least expect it. The setting is stunningly beautiful - right on the Tortuguero River, and in the middle of one of the wildest corners of the Earth. The dining room looks out on the river, and the ambiance is not to be believed. The service was great, the rooms were immaculate and comfortable, and the food was delicious. Everywhere we turned, we saw wildlife: monkeys, toucans, huge iguanas, butterflies... The turtle nesting tour was unlike anything I have ever done before. If you want a beautiful, unusual and pampered vacation, come here.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank JanetR772_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Jersey
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed August 16, 2012

I wanted to spend some time writing this review because our trip was beyond excellent.
Simply stated, if I had to pick a place outside of the US to live, I'd probably choose Costa Rica.


First, let me get this one constructive criticism out..
The trails need some work.(i.e. wooden bridges or something similar, since walking around on the grounds even in the rainy season would just be the cherry on this Sundae)


The review:

We got picked up at our hotel by Costa Rica Expeditions and did the drive/boat ride to Tortuga Lodge (we didn't opt for the plane).
One of the gentleman (Federico) was the real deal. Genuinely a nice guy, extremely personable and smart as a whip (ask mr. google for "Federico costa rica expeditions")
After a long ride on some pretty bumpy roads (Costa Rican massage), we arrived at the boat dock, where out boat to Tortuga lodge was waiting..
That's where we met Angelo (that's a story in of itself).
On our ride, Angelo (a soft spoken local who drove the boat through the canals and waterways like I drive my car on land), showed us
the varied and diverse wildlife. At one point, from across the river, he spots a Cayman (a type of crocodile - thanks Wikipedia), that I told
my oldest daughter "there's no way he spotted that.. it must be fake".
So, after a very pleasant ride on the river, we arrived at Tortuga Lodge. As the boat docked, we were greeted by the staff with some drinks.

Now, here's where the service goes into overdrive. One of the members of my family has to be "carb aware". The staff already had this information,
and after we checked in our room, we went for a quick walk to scope out the grounds. When we came back, there in the room was a cooler, with all
this extra food perfectly suited for her (scored major points with that). The next day, we decide to check out the beach which is across the river
(google maps and click on satellite). You can't really swim in the ocean, and you really bake on the beach (sand is almost black), but we did hang out
under the trees and took in the sights (you can see the tracks that the turtles made the night before). When we came back, there was Jullian (the manager)
with three of his staff and drinks on hand.

The following day, we opted for the private tour of the turtle nesting. Now, this was beyond ridiculous (in a good way). We leave the lodge around 6PM,
and Angelo is once again, our driver. We arrive at the rangers station for our "picnic" which is setup at the ranger station. The "picnic" consists of
lighted tiki torches, a table with a tablecloth, with silverware and china, and a buffet table to feed a small army. The person who set this up was Henry (my apologies
if I didn't get the name right) and the gardener who works the grounds. There was absolutely no way I was going to eat all this food with my family and have them stand there,
so we asked them to join us. They were extremely shy and hesitant to join, but my family and I insisted.. it was great. The conversation was excellent and the food was
"off the charts", and yes, they had a special meal prepared.
After leaving Henry and the other gentleman with the mess, Angelo took us to the beach were the turtle were.

The scene: We walk a few hundred yards to the beach in pitch black save our flashlights. Then, as we get closer, our flashlights need to be turned off. Off in horizon
giant thunderstorms are lighting up the sky, while overhead the sky is clear and there are thousands of stars. With each flash of lightening, you see these giant
creatures coming out of the surf, pulling themselves out to build their nests and lay there eggs. At this point, that was it.. I was happy. My family was beyond happy,
but Angelo really wanted us to see a turtle in the act of laying her eggs. He'd find one turtle that was just starting, another that was in the process of building
the egg chamber, another that was just finished ..we never got to see the actual laying of the eggs, but that was cool.. so thank you Angelo..it was great.
As the storms got closer, we decided to leave. On the way back, the rain is coming down like buckets, it's pitch black and Angelo is driving. How he did it without GPS is
beyond me. So.. my 2 cents is, if you can squirrel away some bucks and since going down to Costa Rica isn't cheap, without a doubt, opt for the private tour.

The next day, we again, opted for the private tour of the rain forest, and once again, we had Angelo as our guide. As were going through the canals and rivers, Angelo goes
into his whole superman vision thing (seriously, I still can't figure it out) and he's spotting these tiny lizards sitting on logs, probably 200-300 feet away.
I again joked to my daughter "wow, these lizards look so real" and "those Disney animitronics are incredible", because there's no way anyone could possibly spot these
creatures from that distance. He showed us where the howler monkeys were (we ended up seeing all three types), sloths, caymans, iguanas. Again, the tour was great.

As for dinners. The food was incredible and you could literally feed an army with the portions. As I mentioned earlier, we needed to have one low carb meal,
and the staff was more than willing to prepare these meals. I ended up tasting the grilled chicken that was specially prepared and it was delicious. Every meal was
a work of art, and the waiters (thanks Josue and Wilmer - hopefully I got your names right) were some of the best waiters I've dealt with. Actually, in all honesty,
some of the food at Tortuga lodge was better than some 4 and 5 star restaurants I've eaten at back in the States.

As for the manager Jullian.. what can I say? You could tell he was aware of everything going on at the lodge. The place was running like a well oiled machine
and the guy was incredibly gracious and kind and accommodating. There is no words to describe our appreciation for the memories that were given to us.
Now, hopefully I'll win the lottery so I can go back.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank MrFoobar2u
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed August 11, 2012

When we first thought of going to Costa Rica again, Tortuguero was on our itiniary. And we were not disappointed. On the contrary. The hotel, the location, the wildlife, the staff, the .... well, everything were just perfect.

We drove and sailed in, and would not have been without this experience. A fantastic drive through the banana plantations, and the boat-ride on the rive was magical. The reception line was just out of this world, and we felt part of the old tv-show, "Treasure Island".

Our rooms were great, the food fantastic, and the service second to none.

We enjoyed the trip into the national park, and "Don" was the perfect guide. We saw everything. On the hike we did ourselves behind the hotel, we also saw a lot of wildlife - frogs, snakes, monkeys etc. Fantastic.

We also went on the turtle outing in the evening, and saw the turtles nest on the beach. Magical.

We will recommend this hotel and their outings to everyone who thinks about going to Tortuguero without any qualms.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Mette04
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Tortuga Lodge & Gardens

Property: Tortuga Lodge & Gardens
Address: Across from the airstrip | 1 mile north of the Town of Tortuguero, Tortuguero 6941, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Limon > Tortuguero
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 8 Hotels in Tortuguero
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Tortuga Lodge & Gardens 3.5*
Number of rooms: 27
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
11 River View Downstairs Terrace Rooms. 12 Upstairs River View Balcony Rooms. (A little more expensive, but worth it. See what reviewers have said by clicking on "room tips") 2 River View Downstairs Junior Suites, with connecting door. 1 River View Upstairs Penthouse Suite with 2 baths. 1 of the Downstairs Rooms is Wheelchair Accessible with 2 baths • Beds: 4 Downstairs Rooms and 5 Upstairs Rooms have 1 King Bed. 6 Downstairs Rooms and 3 Upstairs Rooms have 2 Double Beds. 1 Downstairs Room and 2 Upstairs Rooms have 1 Queen and 1 Double Bed. 1 Downstairs Room has 1 King and 1Double Bed. 2 Upstairs Rooms have 1 Queen and 1 Double Bed. The 2 Junior suites have 1 King and 1 Double Bed • All rooms have: In-room safe, hot water, ceiling fans, reading lamps, hair dryer, free wireless internet and large screened windows so you experience the sounds of the rain forest. • All rooms don't have: TV, AC, or mini-bar. • Service Style: Personalized, informal, caring. • Restaurant: Cuisine: What a Costa Rican Grandmother would cook if she was also a creative and contemporary professional chef. Caribbean themed cocktails, and no we don't mean pina coladas, although we'll make you one of those too. •Atmosphere: Quiet, laid back and with an emphasis on the natural surroundings - most buildings are open air. • No background music. • Suggested activities at hotel: Palm and Orchid Gardens. Plan on 1 or 2 hours. Award winning Riverside Pool. Plan on at least 1 hour per morning or afternoon per day. Hammocks everywhere. Plan on losing track of time in one. 2 computers with internet for guest use at no charge. Spend as little time as possible. You're on vacation. • Tortuguero can only be accessed by boat or by domestic or charter plane. • Tortuga Lodge offers complete packages including round trip transportation, lodging, meals and excursions. • Suggested stay: 3-5 nights. • Owned and Operated by Costa Rica Expeditions. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Tortuga Lodge & Gardens Hotel Tortuguero
Tortuga Lodge And Gardens
Tortuga Hotel Tortuguero
Tortuga Hotel Gardens
Tortuga Lodge & Gardens Costa Rica/Tortuguero

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