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Surfing Turtle Beach Lodge
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Reviews (342)
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Reviewed 24 February 2014

Our stay here was the best. I would recommend to choose a private cabana, they are right at the beach with a perfect view. The food is very good and if you are lucky (we were) there will be baby turtles to release!

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Marith B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 February 2014

To get to the remote lodge, you take a quick 5 min motor boat ride. Then you walk down the beach for 10 min and it opens up to this very basic lodge. It has a couple dorm rooms that you can share with other travellers, opt for a personal tent on the beach or a private cabin. Also -- note there are only three bathrooms shared with everyone.

No frills here, just a great mix of people who love to travel and experience the world. Staff are fantastic and everyone is very laid back.

Food service is not what you would expect in North America, as it is rather slow with no method to it, but just sit back with a drink and enjoy the scenery while you wait, cause the women who cook are great!

I was there when they were about to release baby turtles into the ocean that were recently hatched. They do this to try and give them a better chance at survival. It was amazing!

Also -- bonfires on the beach, and you don't ever wear anything but a bathing suit. Awesome.

Room Tip: This lodge is all about the experience, so relax and have a good time in your own piece of this paradise.
  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with friends
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2  Thank Jennifer G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 February 2014

It's hard to put how wonderful this place is into words- but I'm going to try my best. First of all, let's begin with how nice and sweet the staff are as well as the locals, right down to the boatman that takes you across to the lodge! Everyone goes out of their way to make sure that your experience there is a good one. They are quick to meet your needs and provide great atmosphere. During the day feel free to lay back and chill to the good music or do any of the great activities that they offer. While I was there I was a part of the volleyball tournaments (a great way to bond with other hostel goers), went horse back riding, explored the beautiful island (where there is much wildlife to be seen) and of course soaked in the sun on the very clean beach. The water was perfect! Definitely make sure to pack your sunscreen. I think above all though one of the most beautiful and rewarding things was to let the baby turtles into the ocean while watching the sunset. You just have to be there to experience this... In the evening, it is best to order your food and then go take a shower and get changed. By doing this my time was used efficiently and my food was ready by the time I was ready for it. I enjoyed all of the food. If you can do it the way to go is all-inclusive. Let's just say I acquired a taste for Tonya! : ) After dark, make your night what you want. Some nights I wanted to drink, play games and dance- other nights I went down to the bonfire on the beach and relaxed. And when you leave, if you even decide to, you feel like you're leaving family. The staff is so cute they even play a farewell song as they send you on your way. Nice touch guys. So, if you're looking for a beautiful, remote and safe hostel where the staff is excellent and you're helping out endangered turtles... Surfing Turtle Lodge is your place. Just. go.

Room Tip: Tents are great but get a little warm in the morning when the sun comes up so place yours in the shade of a building or tree. The cabins are amazing and offer hostel luxury and privacy. You have a beautiful view of the ocean and your own bathroom.
  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled solo
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Thank charisssa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 January 2014

My boyfriend and I stayed at STL over Christmas 2013. We showed up with no reservation but were pleased to land a cabin on the beach. The property is very isolated, beautiful, peaceful and I was impressed that they are trying to make it "eco" friendly. It has a nice layout, friendly staff and they played amazing music during the day and evening. Christmas eve they really got into the spirit with everyone, had music, good drinks and fun was had by all.

All of that being said, the first issue was the prices: $80 per night for our cabin. It was extremely basic, had no AC or fan, a torn mosquito net and very bad plumbing. I have traveled a lot but have never seen the likes of these prices at a hostel in Central America. But we had made the trek way off the beaten path to get here so had no choice.

The second issue was the food. I see preparation time as a common complaint among reviews from travellers who stayed here and it is true. It took 1.5-2+ hours to prepare a single order. When I addressed this issue with the owner he stated that one of their burners was down and so they were running behind at the moment, but as I have read other reviews this seems to have been an issue for a long time at STL. The other thing is, there are no options for food except what they cook in their kitchen, and there is no kitchen for guests to use even if you brought food with you. The food on the menu is decent, but VERY expensive, which I guess is their right seeing nothing else is available. The only time I've been stomach sick in central america was here, and 3-4 others I was with said they had stomach issues as well. I would attribute that to the preparation of food in local water, which isn't safe for human consumption, so if you're staying here bring medication. All in all the food situation was pretty bad, and I hope to read of improvements in the future.

The last issue we had was the noise level at night. We were kept awake by loud drunken rap karaoke until 3am both nights that we stayed here. The second night we couldn't tolerate it, as the main common area is just steps from our cabin which doesn't filter noise. When we went to complain, the "volunteer" who was also drunk and being loud with everyone else said there wasn't anything he could do about it and the owner was sleeping. In that proximity, I feel it would be reasonable to ask people to be quiet in common areas after 11pm, and move the parties onto the beach if you want to stay up all night.

All in all this place is beautiful with the potential to be an awesome surf hostel but I think there is a long way to come. We were honest in our experience and thankfully offered a discount and a comped meal at the end of our stay by the owner. He was very gracious in dealing with our issues, but I need to be honest about what they are. I wouldn't recommend this place to my friends and family and I probably wouldn't stay here again due to the risk of spending way too much money.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Jipsy13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Surfing_Turtle_Lodge, Owner at Surfing Turtle Beach Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 26 January 2014

Hi, thank you for your review, it is because of your feedback that we are able to improve. I would like to address some of the points you've mentioned:
-The price of your accommodations was a special Holiday rate during Christmas and New Years. Our regular price for our solar powered, beachfront cabin is $55 USD.
-We pride ourselves in the quality of our food. With that being said, we are happy to tell you that we are currently expending and renovating our kitchen which will help us efficiently make our tasty dishes.
-We have an 11pm quiet time around common areas and guest accommodations. We remind guests, staff and volunteers of this rule to try to have noise complaints from happening.

We hope we can host you in the future and make your stay a memorable one!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 January 2014

... make it the Surfing Turtle Lodge! I promise you, you will not regret it! The staff is amazing, the food is delicious and the waves are perfect for beginners, pros and hammock hippies. Doesn't matter if you are travelling alone, with your love or with friends, you will have a blast! Just trust me, wear sunblock and go. Like right now.

Room Tip: Pick a dorm bed on the water side! You will wake up with an ocean view that you will never forget :) There's even a nice breeze through the dormitory keeping it cool at night.
  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank Meri_Sorgaard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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