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“Elegance in the Jungle”
Review of Manatus Hotel

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Manatus Hotel
Ranked #2 of 8 Hotels in Tortuguero
Certificate of Excellence
st louis
Level Contributor
15 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Elegance in the Jungle”
Reviewed July 27, 2010

From the time you are picked up at your hotel, as the other lodges herd their customers onto the bus, you know you are in for a treat. My wife and I spent three days and two nights at this resort. The service, food, facilities and staff were all first class. As you arrive at the dock and are greeted by Ramondo with the cool towels and welcome drink you begin to appreciate this place. The room was nice. It was clean and cool, you have to love a/c in the jungle. The outdoor shower was a nice surprise. The food was unbelievable. The three servers were excellent. Our nature guide was extremely knowledgable and extremely friendly. Overall, one of the the best experiences my wife and I have ever had at a resort.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank whitewaterStLouis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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466 reviews from our community

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New York
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed June 13, 2010

I highly recommend this hotel! It is a little more expensive than the other
lodges in Tortuguero, but worth every penny. This was the most personal service
we got during our trip to Costa Rica (or at any hotel we've ever been to, and we
are well traveled). There were only two other couples staying in the hotel
during our stay. The grounds are beautiful at the hotel, but it is really the
people who work at the hotel that make it so fabulous. Sergio and Ramon who work
in the restaurant are fantastic! By our second meal there, they already knew our
names. Also our guide, Chico, was great as well. When we saw boats touring the
canals packed with people compared to the almost private tour we were on (we
were with just one other couple), it was clear that we had made the right choice
in hotels. If you are going to Tortuguero and don't want to rough it and want a
personalized experience then do not hesitate in booking Manatus!

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank bellasNYC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle
Level Contributor
12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed April 10, 2010

I could repeat everything said in the posting titled “A Little Bit of Heaven in the Jungle” - they stayed right after we did.
This is truly a one of a kind hotel. As another traveler mentioned, the price seems high compared to other hotels throughout Costa Rica but once you add up the meals and tours you'll quickly see this is a great value. While at the hotel we went on three different boat tours with our captain "golden boy" (Oscar) and our guide Ernesto. They had a keen ability to spot wildlife among the jungle and told us all about the different waterfowl.
Another benefit to the price of the hotel was the morning wake up call. Around 5:00 am each morning a group of howler monkeys sat in a tree right outside our room and woke up the rooster next door. Definitely not what I'm used to - what a treat!
I can't say enough about Ramon and Sergio who served us breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Plus they spent an endless amount of time teaching us how to say different phrases in Spanish. As other travelers have posted, they become friends more than hotel staff.
One of my favorite parts of this hotel is sitting on the second floor of the dock in one of the rocking chairs looking out over the river. Extremely peaceful and relaxing.
I highly recommend this hotel to those that want to take things nice and slow.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank PJGreaves
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phoenix, AZ
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed March 30, 2010

Our experience at the Manatus Hotel was outstanding from the very first moment we had contact. The Manatus staff picked us up exactly when they said they would at our stay-over hotel in San Jose and gave us a great tour while we drove to the connection point for our boat to Tortuguero. The drive could have been boring and long, but our guide pointed out some really beautiful landmarks and a quick stop at a banana processing facility was really fun. The boat trip to the hotel took off right on schedule and introduced us to our guide who would also give us tours of the jungle and the little town across the river during the next two days. The hotel itself was very charming and a great place for couples to stay. The hotel accommodations were very nice, comfortable and clean. There is a little trail that is provided by the hotel that you can take a walk on and experience the rain-forest first hand. Tiny orange and blue tree frogs hop about as you explore the trail and see incredible flora and fauna. Be sure to wear insect repellent as the mosquitoes are obnoxious and hungry! The food in the little restaurant is very good, but what made the stay really special was the hotel staff. They were incredibly friendly and the service was impeccable!
Take the rain-forest tour by boat. It is a must do and you will not believe all of the incredible plants and animals you will see for the very first time if you've never been to the rain-forest. Many different kinds of monkeys scurried about the tree tops as our boat traveled on a river and passed through a beautiful, vast jungle. Brilliantly colored birds flew everywhere and we were fortunate to see turtles and caiman (crocodillian species) on the shore of the river.
The hotel is small and intimate. We met some of the other guests during our two day visit and had a great time getting to know them. We also had a great time getting to know the staff. We would definitely come back to the hotel and are planning on doing so in the near future.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Shou2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sussex
Level Contributor
12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed February 14, 2010

We thoroughly enjoyed our stay in this small exclusive lodge with its pool, wildlife trail and lovely garden. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank PretoriaSussex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Markham, Canada
Level Contributor
250 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 300 helpful votes
Reviewed December 30, 2009

Our first destination after leaving San Jose was towards the Caribbean Sea-town of Tortuguero and the Manatus Resort. (This was a November Anniversary trip for my wife and I and included stays in San Jose, Tortuguero, La Fortuna (Arenal), Monteverde and Manual Antonio, before returning back to San Jose and our flight back to reality. You can find reviews of all of our stays by clicking on my profile and searching these out.) (what a trip!)

I used a local Tour company for all arrangements (hotels and excursions) in advance and for all transportation throughout Costa Rica. “CostaNica Tours” – We were very pleased with their service and drivers. The entire trip went like clockwork – no surprises or disappointments. Highly recommended.

The Manatus picked us up at our hotel in San Jose and we began the trek over the mountains and towards Tortuguero. One adjustment to keep in mind when traveling throughout Costa Rica are the conditions of the roads. A distance that might take 30 mins to travel in North America can take over 2 hours to travel in Costa Rica. This can be a combination of narrow dirt roads, following trucks, switchbacks and hilly territory, etc., etc. Relax – you’re on holiday. (and we would highly recommend booking drivers to get you around. They know how to make the most of these roads, when/where to pass, places to stop along the way for a drink or snack, groceries/beer, etc). The trip was informative as a guide and driver accompanied us and told us what we were seeing out the windows, etc. We stopped for photos at banana and pineapple farms and learned much of the Costa Rican people and culture from our trips with our drivers.

The Manatus is reachable by water only – one of the many charms of the resort and area. Your things will be loaded onto the boat and away you go down a twisting, turning fairly narrow riverway. I was reminded of the African Queen movie as our driver skilfully navigated the river in a very enjoyable ride. We were treated to a show of spider monkeys jumping between trees on the trip, as well as many birds, Iguanas, etc.
We arrived at the resort and were greeted by a refreshing cold juice drink and towel and shown to our room. The rooms are large, have a fridge and the A/C worked very well. My wife and I never quite figured out why they have 2 queen beds in the room, but to each their own I guess. They also had both an indoor and an outdoor shower to choose from.

All of your meals are included at the Manatus and the food was excellent. It is a full menu service, and over the course of a 2 night stay, you do not tire of the choices available to you. The staff on site are really great people – we enjoyed getting to know them over our stay – coming to dinner early and having a drink in the bar and sharing stories with them and learning of their lives remains among the highlights of our trip.

Your stay at the Manatus also includes several excursions by boat into the National Park and the various waterways in the region. Our guide Cloyde was excellent and between he and the drivers, we were treated to sightings of pretty much everything the area has to offer. Caiman, Howler monkeys, spider monkeys, Cappuccino White-Faced monkeys, Iguana, Sloth, many species of birds, spiders, etc., etc. We visited during non-turtle nesting season, so we missed that spectacle, though we did see the nesting sites on the beach, etc. One thing we certainly noticed while out trekking in the boat was the much more personal nature the Manatus trips. In our case, we had 4 guests in the boat with 2 guides providing the experience. We were able to move around the boat – up front, toward the back, side to side, etc as we took photos. We saw many other resorts with much larger boats over-flowing with people – I’m not sure the experience would have been anything like ours.

There is a nice pool on the grounds which we took advantage of – both to read by and cool off in. It is quite humid here, so the pool is a real plus. There is a small fitness room there, though very few choices and not often used by the looks of things. There is a great trail on the property and you can borrow rubber boots and head off there to see the “blue jeans frog” up close – and maybe you’ll be treated with sloth sightings or even monkeys. We weren’t so fortunate on our trail-walk, but the vegetation and termite nests were great sights – beautiful butterflies, other insects, etc etc.

Your stay also includes a visit into the town of Tortuguero and the opportunity to see the local way of life, schools, etc. Lots of shops to pick up some things as required.

We loved the resort and it was a true paradise amongst the very wild of Costa Rica. We made this stop to ensure we saw the habitat in its wildest form – mission accomplished – having completed the full 13 day trip with stops in other national parks, I’m not convinced you ‘must’ visit Tortuguero to see the wildlife – we experienced as much in Manuel Antonio Park and our hotel there (Arenas Del Mar) as in the jungles of Tortuguero. But again, the staff made our visit one of the more memorable ones.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
6 Thank harvman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Garland, Texas
Level Contributor
13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed October 20, 2009

The Manatus Hotel is an oasis in one of the most remote, yet beautiful parts of Costa Rica, at the doorstep to Tortuguero National Park. We stayed at the Manatus Hotel Oct. 12 & 13, 2009. Since there are no roads to this remote jungle area, we chose to take the high speed canal boat transfer, when the nearest roads finally ran out. Our guide picked us up early from our San Jose hotel for the approximate, 2 hour van ride to the docks, at which point we boarded our high speed river boat that would finally take us to the doorstep of the hotel, where a cool drink and cool cloths would be waiting dockside. Our high speed multi passenger boat cruised at planning speed and is owned by the Manatus hotel. Oscar was our captain and Ray our guide for this journey. We cruised the glassy smooth river surface admiring and being amazed at the beautiful jungle scenery including many species of birds and other animals in and along the banks.
When we arrived at the private Manatus Hotel dock and veranda, we were greeted with smiles from Ramon who offered us a cool tropical drink and a cooling cloth to mop our brows. We were ushered into the office, just a few steps away, for room assignment and a short covered walk to our private building and room. When we opened the door the cool freshness of a running air conditioner was a pleasing surprise, even though we had been told that the Manatus hotel did have A/C. The room was spacious and well laid out with TV and large tiled shower and an iguana in the wash basin (see photo).
What we really liked was the individual menu in the large open air (covered roof) restaurant. Service from Ramon and Sergio was always fast, efficient, and with a helpful smile. The first evening we were taken across the river, to the little town of Tortuguero to peruse its many shops and to walk the nearby beach, a few steps away, on the Caribbean Sea. The next morning, and again in the late afternoon, we took the tour into the park; Tortuguero National Park. This tour is included in your room reservation and is simply amazing regarding the wildlife you will see, as the guides point out from your boat. Many times they will pull the boat to within ten feet or less of the animal for better viewing; caiman, birds, lizards, and snakes. Tortuguero Park has them all and you will see them, as we did. Great photo Ops. One afternoon, as we were sitting by the beautiful pool, riverside, Rafael Chavarria, General Manager, walked up with a smile and put out his hand. In it was a beautiful half grown baby iguana. I was a little surprised but, took the small animal into my hand and was amazed at its beauty and coloration and how gentle it was. As I opened my hand for a little better photo, that was the last I saw of him (or her). Zing. Gone. A very unique experience, indeed. We loved the Manatus Hotel for the great and friendly service we received. The staff wants to get to know you and know how they can better be of service. Our first experience at the Manatus hotel was so outstanding that we are already planning our return in the spring. This time for five (5) nights, not just two. As a note, you can take the high speed boat both ways, which is an adventure in and of itself, or take a small plane in and out, or do a mix and match; boat in plane out or, vice versa. We elected to boat in and fly out. This really rounded out our experience at this beautiful and unique oasis hotel, the Manatus hotel, in northeast, Cost Rica.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ReefExplorer
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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