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“wonderful trip and wonderful stay” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Tortuga Lodge & Gardens

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Tortuga Lodge & Gardens
Ranked #1 of 9 Hotels in Tortuguero
Certificate of Excellence
Minneapolis MN
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“wonderful trip and wonderful stay”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 30, 2013

We had the pleasure of flying to and from Sam Jose to this beautiful place. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, and were well taken care of. the staff was helpful and the food was great. enjoyed the morning walks looking at birds in the garden, as well as the tour by boat into the national park. we also had the pleasure to work with school children in a nearby town who are learning English. if you plan to go , ask what you might be able to bring to this little school.
We would not have been able to get here on our own, so the all inclusive was a great solution.loves the garden and taking hikes in the woods.

  • Stayed April 2013, 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?
Thank tur-retur
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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916 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    749
    128
    33
    3
    3
See reviews for
269
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (226)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Surrey, Canada
Level Contributor
128 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 16, 2013

I love the fact that this is only boat-accessible. Very comfortable and staff is friendly and goes the extra mile to ensure you are comfortable and have what you need. Beautiful setting and they were always there to greet us with a refreshment on returning from our tours. Thanks to all the staff for a great experience.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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?
Thank BubbaLui
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Level Contributor
136 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 14, 2013

Our main reason for visiting Coast Rica was to enjoy it's amazing wildlife and (if it doesn't sound too pompous) to acknowledge and support the great work done in Coast Rica to develop their economy in a way that doesn't wreck their environment and therefore the options for future generations. We chose Tortuga Lodge for the contribution it makes towards those principles.

Despite it's waterfront location, the Lodge blends in well and you do get a warm welcome and a cool drink when you arrive. We arrived in one of the Lodge boats, which was great start as we were quickly introduced to spider monkeys and emerald basilisk lizards even before we reached the hotel.

Our room had more than enough facilities and it was good to see that the use of electricity, water etc complies with the eco-lodge principles. Although we would normally only go for a bed and breakfast option, the location and the purpose of the visit made eating all meals at the Lodge the practical option. We found the meals to be very good - lot's of local produce, especially fruit and vegetables.

The grounds are well laid out - lightly managed and merging nicely with the nearby rainforest. Needless to say lots of interesting visitors to the gardens - from green iguanas to Montezuma's oropendola and from bare throated tiger herons to chestnut mandibled toucans.

Returning again to the staff - they really could not have been better and a special work for one of the guides - Juan. I have got to the age where I don't relish wildlife trips with other peoples' young children, but on this occasion, the other peoples' children were exceptionally well behaved and I was impressed by the extent to which Juan made sure they saw everything on our 3 hour boat trip through the National Park. He was very observant, endlessly patient and enthusiastic.

This really is how it should be done. Thank you.

Room Tip: I expect every room is worth it.
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2013, 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?
2 Thank WBT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Greenville, South Carolina
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 13, 2013

We are back from an excellent holiday in Costa Rica which was expertly organized by Costa Rica Expeditions. We loved Tortuga Lodge and would like to say a huge thank you to the staff who were always so friendly and helpful. The setting is beautiful, right on the river's edge and you can see so much of the wildlife from your hammock outside your room, but I would recommend taking some of the tours as the guides were excellent and very knowledgable (thank you Norton!) and they spot so much more then you can notice through the lush vegetation.

It was my husband's birthday while we were there and the dining staff did an excellent job. I had asked if they could make a cake for him, which they did (and it was delicious) and they also set up a table by the river surrounded by candles which made the meal very special.

I would recommend the upstairs rooms as you have a wonderful view of the river in front and the rainforest behind and a good breeze through the room.

Can't wait to return!

Room Tip: Go for the upstairs rooms with their wide balconies and sit back and watch the wildlife.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank carolmfalcon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
15 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 11, 2013

So we arrived by tiny plane to Tortuguero landing strip and were met by Eduardo and his colleague waiting to take us to the Lodge just across the river. We felt a bit VIP as we were the only ones welcomed at all and with an umbrella as it was pouring with rain. We were offered breakfast as soon as we arrived which consisted of fruit and then cooked to order and then met back with Eduardo who gave us plenty of information relating to our stay. Despite arriving at 7am our room was ready which was a surprise and is fairly large with lovely views over the river.

You can book food packages at the hotel which we declined as we don't like to be tied down, however after 2 early starts we decided to have dinner on our first night in the lodge, the menu is good with a fair amount of choice however, we were asked to book a table first at breakfast which we declined, and then when we did book a table later on in the day, we were asked to make our choice of food there and then so the kitchen can prepare. Despite the menu looking good the dinner was less than average, breakfast much better.

The staff were always helpful and on hand to offer suggestions and advice.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 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?
Thank EmsJones26
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
hiketiludrop, Guest Relations Manager at Tortuga Lodge & Gardens, responded to this review, April 12, 2013
Dear EmsJones26,

I am delighted that you enjoyed the VIP treatment under the pouring rain at the airstrip and the wildlife, but I'm concerned that you found the dinner to be "less than average".

Up until March 6th, we only served family style meals with a fixed menu at Tortuga Lodge. We had been serving meals this way for years and had stayed with this type of service mostly because of the location, it was more efficient to stick to a fixed menu and we had been getting excellent reviews so felt there was no need to change.

Through Trip Advisor and our own processes of asking for feedback we started to see that our guests would enjoy a choice rather than the constraint of the fixed menu and so we decided to offer a reduced a la carte menu for dinner only.

Because we are located in a very remote area and we employ mostly local people, we needed to find a way to satisfy our guests and keep it efficient and cost effective. What we did was continue to offer breakfast with a la carte choices which we had been doing all along, we kept the set family style meal for lunch and began offering an la carte menu with four appetizer options, four main dish options and four dessert options for dinner. The only proviso is that our guests have to order dinner after lunch so that the kitchen can slowly ease their way into on the spot orders.

Up until your review we have been getting good to excellent reviews. We will revisit the menu, service and recipes and see what happened with your dinner.

We really appreciate your calling this to our attention, we will review your experience and take the necessary steps.

Sincerely,

Natalie Ewing
Chief Marketing & Guest Satisfaction Officer
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
64 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 8, 2013

This was my third trip to Tortuguero and second to Tortuga Lodge. I stayed 6 days and still wasn't ready to leave. The lodge grounds alone are amazing. I would hang out in a hammock or in a chair under the wide balcony and watch an ever-changing world around me. Wander around the property and see iguanas, more birds, lovely vegetation. The boat trips and kayaking arranged by staff and led by naturalists are fabulous. Food very good. Rooms immaculate, and since there are no windows, one continues to feel connected to the rain forest, especially when the howler monkeys herald the start of a new day. Be prepared for a rain shower virtually daily. It is, after all, the rain forest. Truly wonderful!!

Room Tip: upstairs is my preference; all rooms face both ways.
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2013, traveled solo
    • 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?
2 Thank nelsonlizm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
hiketiludrop, Guest Relations Manager at Tortuga Lodge & Gardens, responded to this review, April 9, 2013
Dear nelsonlizm,

WOW, 6 days and still not ready to leave, that's fantastic! I'm delighted that to hear how much you enjoyed the gardens, the early morning Howler Monkeys and the view. I hope this won't be your last trip to Tortuguero National Park and of course Tortuga Lodge.

For the sake of readers that are considering a visit to Tortuga Lodge & Gardens, I want to point out that while most rooms have both a terrace or balcony facing the river and another terrace or balcony facing the garden, not all of them have the seating area facing the garden. There are eight rooms that do not have the back terrace or balcony. I want to be sure to be clear that ALL rooms have a view of the river and their own river facing hammock.

Thank you so much for reviewing the lodge and for sharing how much you enjoyed the outdoors and the lodge. Please come visit us again soon.

With Heartfelt Thanks,

Natalie Ewing
Chief Marketing & Guest Satisfaction Officer
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Florida
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 8, 2013

On my 55th birthday, I crossed "photographing the birds of Costa Rica" off my bucket list

On the morning of my 55th birthday, a twelve seat, single prop airplane climbed into the rising sun enroute to Tortuguero Airport, a small landing strip in Costa Rica’s Caribbean coastal rain forest.

The pilots fly this forty five minute flight a few times a week. For my wife and me, it was the smallest plane we had ever been on. Another thing I can cross off my bucket list.

The only way in or out is by boat or plane. We deplaned in a daze, hungry and in need of caffeine. The staff whisked our bags in one direction and us in another. Omelets and pancakes were being served.

For the next two days we wandered around in a photographic rain forest haze.

Birds flew from tree to tree, startling yet more birds to fly to yet other trees. I didn’t know where to point my camera(s) next.

Nestled along the Tortuguero River, The Tortuga Lodge (owned by Costa Rica Expeditions, our tour operator) shares the river with thousands of nesting sea turtles, a ton of toucans, at least one magnificent frigate bird, and a three toed sloth or two.

The lodge itself is small, private, and quiet. Six quad style buildings house the 24 large rooms. There is no air conditioning, by design. The night breeze breathes through windows with no glass. There is no TV, and by necessity adequate cell phone and Wi-Fi reception (not that I needed it but it was nice to have).

The rooms are clean and comfortable, the showers warm and the linen soft.

We could taste the humidity a mix of ocean, river, and rain forest.

We marveled at the vibrant hues and colorful exotic plants. Blue Morphos fluttered by and monkeys leapt from trees above our heads.

We could find no fault with the property. Not even the bugs were an issue. Surprisingly we hardly saw or swatted any. Perhaps because the birds were eating them all.

An assortment of frogs and unseen insects serenaded us to sleep with a rain forest lullaby.

An ever present and persistent howler monkey woke us at dawn.

Spiders spun intricate webs while hummingbirds hovered and we hadn’t even left the property yet!!!

We could only imagine what the private boat tour would bring.

The service was legendary. We had fresh fruit with every meal (watermelon, papaya, and banana). We were served fantastically refreshing frothy fruit drinks (strawberry, blackberry,
watermelon, star fruit). We ate lovely local salads and skewers of beef, chicken and sea
bass prepared “typical”.

Hot towels and fruity drinks awaited us dockside after every tour.

On our last night wine was left in our room. What a nice touch.

If all that was not enough, Nadya, our tour coordinator, surprised us with a special birthday dinner... ...are you ready for this? Executive Chef, Federico Barrantes, offered up a private barbeque under the canopy, along the river's edge, complete with a most delicious birthday cake.

We felt like royalty not just that night, but throughout our entire stay.

Thank you Nadya, Costa Rica Expeditions and the entire staff at The Tortuga lodge.

To see photos of the lodge and my entire trip visit my web site

http://www.lonestarnorth.com/Costa_Rica_Index.html

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank LonestarNorth-FL
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 9 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 And Gardens
Tortuga Lodge & Gardens Hotel Tortuguero
Tortuga Hotel Tortuguero
Tortuga Hotel Gardens
Tortuga Lodge & Gardens Costa Rica/Tortuguero

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