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“Brilliant!”
Review of Manatus Hotel

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Manatus Hotel
Ranked #2 of 8 Hotels in Tortuguero
Certificate of Excellence
london
Level Contributor
11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Brilliant!”
Reviewed August 23, 2009

We were picked up in San Jose by the Manatus team and driven to the river quay where you meet the boat to the hotel. The trip down river was just brilliant, the scenery spectacular.

Our first view of the hotel, was of the over the landing stage viewing area, great for watching the river and wildlife.

The owner greeted us and we were quickly shown to our excellent, comfortable room with two comfy 4 posters and great air conditioner! The restaurant was good, the staff great, really friendly. Perhaps most people stay only 2 nights but by the 3rd we really could have done with a 'special' on the menu as lunch and dinner did get a bit repetitive
( although the sushi and fish were really good.)

The thing about Manatus is the wildlife. Travelling by boat through the rivers and waterways is a brilliant way to see things and get back quickly should it rain. We were lucky only half a day but it can be longer. The boat captain Leo and Chito our guide managed to find an amazing variety, spider, white faced and howler monkeys, cayman, otter, sloath and endless birdlife.

Watch out when going into the jungle behind the lodge the mosquitos are just waiting for you but it is worth it to see the minute blue jean poisonous frogs.

Good swimming pool that you can watch the river from and if you want a massage, the hotel will call and someone arrives and provides an excellent relaxing service.

We were lucky to be there at the time the turtles lay their eggs. Not quite the 'them and us' visit we imagined with a whole group of eager people waiting in the dark for the poor thing to lay its eggs. We were reassured that she was unaware of us and that many other turtles were left undisturbed, so we were grateful for that.

Flying back from Tortuguero is a 25minute buzz to San Jose - but if you are like me and don't like small planes, seeing a 12 seater arrive makes the knees tremble, however having spent 3 days bouncing up and down on the river, I just closed my eyes and pretended I was back on the boat - it works.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank LondonWillow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Alkmaar
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed August 21, 2009

When you go to Tortuguero (Costa Rica) you should go to Hotel Manatus! The hotel exists of about 12 luxurous houses, so it's rather small, but that's also the charme of it. It has a path that leads into the jungle, a good swimming pool, a restaurant with a vieuw on the ocean and...last but not least a staff that cares! Real enthousiastic people who are always busy to make your stay as comfortable as possible.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Zweo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tulsa, OK
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed July 27, 2009

If you're into shopping, this isn't your place. The Manatus is well off the beaten path, accessible only by boat or plane. But this makes it the perfect retreat, serene and quiet (unless the spider monkeys are tossing water apples onto the roof, of course). The staff members are very friendly, and the guides extremely knowledgeable. Our wait staff--Sergio and Ramon--were as charming as they were attentive. All in all, the Manatus is relaxing, entertaining, and unique!

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank jackypaper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Irinve, CA
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed July 3, 2009

We spent 3 days and 2 nights at the Manatus and let tell you, it is the place to be. My family and 3 others families were all in love with the Manatus. The kids had so much fun. We were there in late June and we saw a turtle laying eggs. This is an event that you have to see. The service here is just incredible. The manager Roberto is very accommodating and super nice. Even though it was not very hot, but you definitely need air-conditioning. We all enjoyed the food and the restaurant atmosphere. All the employees were so nice and very helpful. Initially, I thought the tour was expensive, but it turned out that it worth every penny, since it took so much effort to get to Tortuguero. The boat rides to/from the hotel were very pleasant, I am sure you will enjoy it. The breakfast and the lunch provided along the road trip were also very good. The rooms were very spacious and nicely decorated. Give yourself a treat, STAY AT THE MANATUS; I am sure you will love it!

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank CoryChloeCourtni
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington, DC
Level Contributor
28 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed March 23, 2009

Manatus was a very nice property although I hesitate to say "luxury". The people were very accommodating, Chito and Oscar picked us up at the airstrip and we were on the property in 5 min. The rooms are very spacious, A/C is a little noisy but certainly beats the alternative, which is nothing! The shower was huge but wish the sink area was larger, couldn't even put any toiletries on there. The restaurant was fine but not special, service was very good, decent menu for a couple of days. The bar is cute (pool table), and they take very good care of the grounds. Nicest feature was the deck built out above the dock, rocking chairs, nice place for a drink later afternoon as the sun sets. They have free internet in the reception area, a few people speak decent English. Saw a sloth in a tree and a couple of monkeys swinging around which was really fun to watch.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank dkeppler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed January 20, 2009

We spent two weeks in Costa Rica and the Manatus was one of the highlights of our trip.

We were picked up by Oscar and Chito and spent the entire afternoon touring the river, village and all of the wonderful wildlife. It was an experience of a lifetime.

The hotel was really fantastic. We occupied rooms 1 and 2. The beds were comfortable and the rooms were clean, elegant and spacious. The hotel property was very beautiful. The website photos don't do it justice. The restaurant staff were always friendly, professional and helpful. The food was great too.

We only stayed one night but we would recommend that you stay at least two nights.

  • Stayed December 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank Lisa94566
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
32 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed November 7, 2008

Tortuguero was one of the top highlights of our amazing 2 weeks in Costa Rica. We owe our thanks to Manatus and its extraordinary staff for providing attentive service and luxury lodging in the jungle!

The price is higher than the other lodges in the area, but for what you get, the additional price is worth it. So, why choose Manatus over the other jungle lodges in the area? Read on...

Manatus is one of the newest lodges in the area and one of the few that features a/c in each room. The rooms are large with 2 queen beds; bathroom was also large with a HUGE tiled shower with plenty of VERY hot water. Housekeeping stocked the room with plenty of towels. Off the bathroom was a door that led to a private outdoor area featuring an outdoor (cold water only) shower. The cold water was most refreshing as temperatures in this area easily exceed 90 degrees with a very high humidity. Our room had a view of the Tortuguero Canal from the front window and a view of the jungle behind the resort from another window. The windows allowed for plenty of natural lighting. All rooms feature television although we found no reason to use ours. Room décor was simple yet elegant featuring tropical touches, vaulted wood beamed ceilings and hardwood floors. There was no telephone nor alarm clock but they weren't needed as the Howler Monkeys woke us up like clockwork between 5:30 and 6:00 every morning.

Most of the lodges in Tortuguero have ONLY a mesh screen rather than a window. Manatus has actual glass windows, which keeps the creepy crawlies out. There is also mosquito netting around the 4-post beds, which was a nice touch – it’s more for looks as the top is not covered and we never had a problem with mosquitoes in the room.

Manatus has only 12 rooms. The other lodges in the area feature 35 plus rooms! Less people means more personalized and attentive service. This is very noticeable on the sightseeing. While boating through the canals, we were in a comfortable size boat with 4 other people passing numerous boats from the other popular lodges cramped with 40 plus passengers all trying to get a glimpse of that rare bird or animal without trying to scare it into hiding. At night we were fortunate enough to see a turtle laying her eggs (an amazing experience!) On the hike through the National Park, we saw numerous species of birds including the Trogon as well as many species of reptiles including an Eyelash Pit Viper. The hike ended at the beach where we watched 2 baby turtles come up out of the sand and make their 1st trek to the sea (this is very rare during the daytime.) Thank you Chito – he had an eagle eye at spotting wildlife!

Meals at Manatus are ordered off a menu featuring many items including American dishes as well as local cuisine featuring a distinct Caribbean flair. Other lodges in the area feature buffets. The food is fresh and of highest quality, portions are large and the presentation is beautiful. There are vegetarian options available. Dining is open air and the dining room features a full service bar. The bartender serves up a mean “coco loco!”

Outdoor areas included a short nature trail behind the property through the rainforest to the banks of the Tortuguero River. There is also a large sundeck with a refreshing freshwater pool. A large covered deck above the dock and over the water was the perfect place to end the night sipping a drink and watching the lightening light up the canal.

We were very happy in our decision to pay a little extra for Manatus. The staff made sure that every need and request was met and it was their attention to detail that made Tortuguero such a special place to us.

  • Liked — Location, rooms, staff, wildlife tours
  • Disliked — Having to leave!
  • Stayed October 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank mattmc1976
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Manatus Hotel

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
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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