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“Messing about on boats”
Review of Manatus Hotel

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Manatus Hotel
Ranked #2 of 8 Hotels in Tortuguero
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 19, 2014

We arrived after a lovely boat trip along the river spotting many types of birds along the way. We were greeted at the dock with a cool fresh mint towel and an ice cold cocktail.
Although portrayed as a luxury hotel we didn't feel it quite lived up to the description but that said it was comfortable enough. The hotel is very rustic and quite dated but the staff were lovely, helpful and friendly. The rooms are in blocks of 4 but have limited view of the river, some face the opposite way completely which seems odd as the water is the main attraction. We had a very small porch with a bench which had to be moved if you wanted a chance of watching the water. None of the rooms have a proper sitting area for relaxing although the restaurant/bar overlooks the river and there is a viewing area with seating above the dock. The pool is lovely with a few sun loungers scattered about.
We had two boat trips out on the waterways with a very informative guide and saw plenty of birds, camen, iguanas and basilisk lizards.
All meals were good and not buffet which is always a bonus for us.
We also saw a sloth in one of the trees and took the short 'jungle' walk behind the hotel and saw lots of small strawberry poison dart frogs. Lots of Mosquitos too!

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Lorraine B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 16, 2014

What an amazing place!
We stayed here on day one and two of our Costa Rica trip. The accommodation, service, food and staff could not be faulted!
We were welcomed on arrival with a cold fruit cocktail which was very welcome. The food was all included and was well cooked and very, very tasty.
The transportation to and from Manatus is arranged through them and both ways the arrangements went without any problems.
The boat trips through the national park were amazing - we saw nearly all of the birds, reptiles and mammals on our list and the guide was brilliant - how they manage to spot so many birds and reptiles when they are so well camouflaged is truly amazing.
From the grounds of Manatus we saw howler monkeys, sloths and iguanas. To be woken up in a rain forest by the cries of howler monkeys is an experience not to be missed!
The staff and guides are all very helpful and informative and go out of their way to make you feel welcome.
I would go back there in an instant!

Stayed: January 2014
1  Thank Duffer56
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 4, 2013

This was my first stop of my Honeymoon. I only booked 2 nights but wish I would have booked longer. Greated with fresh mint towel and fresh fruit punch smoothies! Rooms very nice/exotic. Gets your up close and personal with nature which is what my wife and I were hoping for. Monkeys and Sloths right outside the window. The staff-incredibly nice.Cook Staff about the same age as my wife and I and each had a great sense of humor. They had us laughing from the moment we sat down, but were still very professional.
Despite what Hunter1021 says you are free to get a boat taxi at anytime, it is $5 per person to leave and go where ever you want.
The first day we arrived, we took a small afternoon tour into Tortuguero. Guided by Senor Chito. Very knowledgeable man from Tortuguero that is passionate about the turtles and local wildlife. The second day we were there started with a boat tour of the National Park. We were lucky enough to see just about everything you can imagine. That afternoon we had a very nice walking tour through the national park. Both of which were also guided by Chito.
We returned from the walk and had scheduled private massages in our room, that were very reasonably priced and felt amazing!!
Later that same night my man, Sergio a.k.a. "Big Cheeks," prepared my wife and I a beautiful, private, candlelit dinner on the second story deck overlooking the river! It was perfect in every way and very romantic. I highly recommend the honeymoon package here.

Weirdest part of the stay at Manatus is that the meals are included in the price but you pay for ALL drinks...even water. Weird but it's nothing to keep me from going back.

PURA VIDA

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank BenjiNicole
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 21, 2013

If you can go there for just breakfast , lunch , and dinner...ok
This was our honeymoon and the service was deplorable! It was a prison! Could not leave even though there was nothing to do.
Bar area closed all day. Me and my new wife , without anything to do finished the mini bar. So we tried to get more beer. We went to the front desk because there aren't phones in the rooms , and there was no one there. We rang the bell........... Nothing!!! We decided to walk around and look for employees. There wasn't anyone. We went back to the room. We started to think it was a joke!!! Two days of just me and my new wife. I guess it was a good test for us , having nothing to do but lay in bed talk and watch Spanish television. I guess it wasn't for us..... Maybe an older couple.

  • Stayed: October 2013
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3  Thank Hunter1021
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HotelManatus, Director de Relaciones Públicas at Manatus Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded November 1, 2013

A few days ago, a couple that visited us at Manatus Hotel wrote that they were not pleased with their experience at our hotel. It has always been our main interest to maximize the satisfaction of our customers by offering excellent service and personalized attention. We are deeply concerned of the fact that their stay in our hotel did not meet their expectations.

The experience of visiting Tortuguero is unique in the world and the goal of most of the people who visit this beautiful place is the opportunity to get in touch with this beautiful and exotic habitat, enjoying the tours and activities that we offer to our visitors. Perhaps, their interests on this particular trip were different since they chose not to take advantage of these activities, which is a position we respect. Nevertheless, we need to remark that such is a different purpose from what most of our visitors are looking for when they attend our resort.

For example, they booked a package that presented 3 tours, which includes a visit to the village of Tortuguero and 2 boat tours along the canals. Additionally, during the months that range from July to October we offer the opportunity to observe the turtle nesting, one of the main attractions of this area and an event that can be witnessed in very few places in the world. Clearly, it is not an obligation for our guests to participate of all the tours included in the package, but we consider that if they would have taken part of those trips, the perception of our hotel would have been completely different.

Manatus service includes all these activities but does not require our guests to mandatorily participate on them. If our guests do not want to do the tours included, we have many other options for additional activities they can enjoy, such as the Kayak tours, the massage and spa service, our gym, the pool overlooking the canals, the beautiful views available from the dock, the gardens and the trails for walking, and many other activities. And if our visitors wish to stay in their room and watch TV, we have satellite service with over 100 channels in English, Spanish, French and German.

Within the information packs found in every room we also include detailed information regarding the hotel schedule, the meal times in the restaurant, and the short periods in which the reception and restaurant / bar are closed (approximately from 2 to 4 p.m. , precisely the moment where most clients typically take their tours) . It is noteworthy to mention that, regardless the closing of the reception and the restaurant for a brief period during the day, the service for customers who want to remain in the hotel facilities continues with no interference. We have 18 employees cleaning and taking care of 12 rooms in all the aspects required (provided that the client allow us to perform such tasks in their rooms). For example, in their case, the housekeepers refilled the mini-bar twice.

For us, it is surprising to meet unsatisfied customers, as our experience has always been quite the opposite: highly satisfied customers that have helped us to achieve two awards by Trip Advisor for the quality of service (2012 and 2013), besides being chosen among the top 25 hotels in Central America in 2012. In this case, it seems that there was a difference between their expectations on this trip and what the Tortuguero experience really is.

We are still deeply sorry that they did not enjoy their experience at Manatus and we are in the best position to improve our operation in every aspect needed while maintaining the standards of quality and personalized service that allowed us to place ourselves as the best hotel in Tortuguero, with “Excellence” as our permanent and ongoing goal. This does not exclude us from facing this kind of situations with customers, like it happen in your case, but we hope to prevent them in future and continue to provide the best service and experience available in this region.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 21, 2013

Although I stayed there more than 3 years ago, maybe already 4,I am looking forward the day I can go back to stay there again!!
I have tried different hotels around Costa Rica, but my best experience was definetly the Manatus Hotel, I really recommend people to save money for that hotel, can be the highlight of the trip!

Room Tip: any room is great there
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  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Martaaaaa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 7, 2013

My husband and I stayed here for 3 nights last week and it was such a unique experience. The hotel sits in the middle of the rainforest and we saw red poison dart frogs, howler monkeys, iguanas, toucans, crabs, leaf cutter ants, geckos, and a variety of other birds on the hotel grounds itself. The river boat tours were really fun - seeing a variety of animals (caiman, vultures, herons, sloths, etc.). We bought their night time turtle tour and watched one turtle go back to sea and one turtle lay eggs - an awesome experience (no camera allowed). The staff at Manatus was so friendly (Jayson and Sergio, especially) and the meals were very good. We chose Manatus for its location and the fact that it offered air conditioning, which was very nice to have on humid days/nights. Be aware that you can't flush any toilet paper at the hotel - it has to be thrown away in trash cans provided - so if that bothers you, you may want to choose elsewhere (It was not a problem for us). Overall, we really enjoyed our stay here and would recommend it to those who want a true rainforest adventure.

Room Tip: All rooms seemed fine here.
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  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank MariaBCalifornia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 26, 2013

We are a family of 4, who traveled to Tortuguero with our 11 and 13 year old boys for the wildlife and night time turtle tours. We really struggled back and forth about which hotel to pick, but ultimately chose Manatus because of the air conditioning and advertisement of more upscale food, rather than only buffets. This was a very nice place to stay, albeit rustic. It's located in the rainforest, after all, so expectations need to be in check before arriving. The journey to get there was amazing, and I was grinning ear to ear about the "real life Jungle Cruise" experience I was having. All fans of Disney parks should know that the canals in Tortuguero are truly a real life version of the Jungle Cruise ride. We were amazed to be there, experiencing that. Our guide for the 2 nights/3 days, Chito, was hilarious and we enjoyed him quite a bit. He was awesome at spotting wildlife and was funny with our kids. We saw sloths, birds, monkeys, crocs, etc. Two big thumbs up for Chito!!! Our night time turtle tour was a success, as we were able to witness a huge green sea turtle laying eggs. It is something we will never forget. The food and wait staff at the restaurant was quite good, and we have no complaints. We were joking that dining there was like eating at the real life "Rainforest Cafe", complete with frogs, bugs, storms and all. It was a neat experience. Now the rooms - well, I have to say the beds were pretty wobbly. Maybe it was just our room, I don't know, but if you tossed/turned at all during the night it was noisy for sure. We didn't necessarily get the best night's sleep with those beds. That is probably our worst criticism. Well, and we also didn't love the pool. It was small and just "ok". Silly as it may sound, we almost didn't book this resort, simply because my kids were interested in the turtle shaped pool at another resort. I was wondering at times if the other resort might have been a better choice for us. I don't know, because I've only stayed at Manatus, but I wondered if the other resorts might have more activities for kids. Not sure what the answer to that question is, but maybe it's worth considering. Still, my boys were welcomed there, and treated kindly by the staff. My kids loved all the wildlife at the resort, but were totally thrilled with the poison dart frogs we found on the rainforest path at the hotel. Definitely put on the mud boots and take the adventurous trek down that path to see the dart frogs. We thought this was so neat! Bring lots of insect repellent, because the mosquitos are crazy here. That is one other thing I wished for was a gift shop with a few essentials like insect repellent. We even ventured into the rainforest one day during a rain storm and it was awesome and surreal to do that. The owners were there all the time. We didn't interact with them a whole lot, but they were friendly when we would pass by and also when we were leaving the resort. We will always remember our time at Manatus and in Tortuguero. Tortuguero is an incredible place to visit, and if you happen to plan a trip during turtle nesting season, it is absolutely worth the journey. We enjoyed the hotel. It is not a "perfect" place, but it was very nice. One more thing, we loved the family of monkeys who frolicked right outside our room each day. I would recommend the Manatus, but if I came again I might first check if other resorts might have more activities to offer for kids. The small nature of the resort definitely allowed for a very personalized experience there, so there's also something to be said about that! This is a solid choice for adults, and was a very nice experience for our family.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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3  Thank Kellost
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Manatus Hotel

Address: located 3 minutes from the Tortuguero National Park | located 3 minutes from the Tortuguero National Park, Tortuguero 454-4005, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Limon > Tortuguero
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 8 Hotels in Tortuguero
Price Range: $311 - $570 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Manatus Hotel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Manatus is the only hotel in Tortuguero that offers all the comforts of the modern world in an exotic and wild environment. Our hotel is an oasis of peace surrounded by a real wildlife sanctuary. Experience ecotourism and adventure, and then relax and enjoy the wonderful amenities of our hotel. Come live the Manatus experience! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Manatus Hotel Tortuguero
Manatus Hotel Costa Rica/Tortuguero

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