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“Amazing!!”
Review of Hotel Las Tortugas

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Hotel Las Tortugas
Ranked #5 of 7 Hotels in Playa Grande
Certificate of Excellence
New York, NY
1 review
“Amazing!!”
Reviewed 2 June 2008

I have traveled to Costa Rica a few times and my last trip to Hotel Las Tortugas was by far the best. Aside from being set right on the beach in a beautiful location for sunsets, swimming, surfing, and relaxing, the service was great and the food was outstanding. Everyone at the hotel was really friendly and the owners were so accomodating and helpful.

Someone complained about their things being stolen. I just want to say that your belongings will be totally safe if you follow all of the precautions. First of all, there are signs EVERYWHERE at the hotel telling you to watch your things. There are safes in the rooms and as soon as you get there the staff stress the fact that you need put your belongings into the safe and lock up. They also allow you to bring your things into the safe in the reception area. Theft happens everywhere in Costa Rica, and if you are smart about keeping your belongings locked up you will not have a problem.

You have to check out Hotel Las Tortugas. It is a real Costa Rican experience and if you love the beach, surfing, sun, nature, friendly people and good food you will love this place. It is nice to be close enough to Tamarindo where you can go out to bars and check out shops, but Playa Grande is so beautiful and the prefect distance away. I can't wait to go back to Las Tortugas!

  • Liked — Loved the people, friendly service, food, location, accessibility to nature, beach
  • Disliked — The fact that I had to leave!
  • Stayed May 2008, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank farley24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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309 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (70)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
  • French first
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  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Boston
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 1 May 2008

A bit of advice if you are staying at hotel las tortugas or Playa Grande in general - bring a flashlight! There are no streetlamps or well lit areas near the beach and in April the sun was setting around 6 pm. After the sun sets, it gets dark quickly and can be difficult and dangerous getting around without a flashlight.
This is especially true if staying at the Hotel Las Tortugas apartments. Its about a ten minute walk away, the walk is all in the dark and I wouldn't recommend navigating it without a car. We originally booked three nights at the apartments at Hotel Las Tortugas. We arrived at about 6:30 pm after the sun set and it was pitch black. We wouldve been out of luck except luckily there was a man walking around with a flashlight so we made our way to the apartment. It as very disapointing. It was further from the hotel than advertised and no outside lighting at all and in the middle of the woods. The restaurant, pool, jaccuzzi, and all other amenities were at the actual hotel . Apartments seemed an afterthought. The actual structures were nice enough but were bare, w/o lighting, amenities etc. We switched to the hotel after one night and were much happier. We paid $10 more per night and got an air conditioned room near the pool and with a little balcony. Restaurant decent, but much better food in the area if you have the time and inclination to venture out.

  • Liked — access to beach
  • Disliked — lack of amenities
  • Stayed April 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank sammyb8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kansas City
1 review
Reviewed 25 March 2008

The hotel was more or less what was advertised. It's a nice quait individually owned property which is what we were looking for. However - there are signs all over about watching your valuables. They aren't kidding. On our first day, we had our room robbed while our 13 year old son slept on the bed and I slept on the hammock on the porch. Clearly whoever did this knew what our situation was - almost to the point it may have been an inside job. Found and took everything - cell phones, cameras, cash, etc. Went through all bags. Found things we thought were well hidden, clearly not the first time they've been through a motel room before. The only things they didn't get were our passports and some cash that was under the mattress where our son slept. Had he not been there, I'm sure they would be gone too. We proceeded to tell other guests about this situation and others said their rooms had been gone through. These folks were smarter than us and they kept stuff literally on their body - not in an occupied room.

Also, NEVER go to Costa Rica, or this property over Easter (Semana Santa). All ticos come to the beach. And somehow they all found their way onto the property and into the pool. The place was crawling with people and really took away from the experience.

Stayed March 2008
Helpful?
Thank TrippinZs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bradenton, FL
Level Contributor
9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 March 2008

Las Tortugas is an excellent hotel to stay at, away from the hustle and bustle of Tamarindo. Honestly, I thought the beach was better here in Playa Grande as compared to Tamarindo. The hotel is easy to find and the staff is very accomodating. The rooms were a little lacking though - no alarm clock, TV or any way to keep track of the time. Rooms are advertised as a place to 'recoop' after a day at the beach - advertisements stand true. The hotel allows you to put food and drinks on your room tab, which is helpful in that you don't need to carry cash around with you. Rooms were clean, although the hotel itself could use a revamp.

  • Liked — Location to beach
  • Disliked — Hotel could use a revamp - everything a little worn/outdated.
  • Stayed March 2008, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank bre9581
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Orlando
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 March 2008

I have been visiting Costa Rica since 1995. I went to Hotel Las Tortugas with a couple of my buddies that had been there the year before. What a fantastic experience! I was hooked on the Pura Vida - Las Tortugas experience.

I visited a few more times with my surf buddies and enjoyed it immensely. At that time, it was a complete get away from the rat race as phone service was limited, internet and TV were non-existent. Finally, I decided to take my then young family (kids ages 6-4) and my wife to Las Tortugas. I was a bit apprehensive as my wife is a 5-star, Four Seasons, Hotel Intercontental non-surfer type. She absolutely loved it and has been back every year since. It is the one of the few places that she can completely unwind and relax.

The hotel is a handcrafted masterpiece set in paradaisical setting along one of the most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica. Each room is custom designed and has all hand built furnishing from the stone floors to the hand laid mosaic tiles in the bathrooms. For me this adds to the experience. The rooms are very clean, comfortable and accomodating.

The grounds...are lushly landscaped and well maintained.

The property is very safe and secure which was a primary factor for deciding to bring the family. Additionally they have a safe on the premises for you to secure your valuables. If you exercise the the same prudence that you do at home you will not have any problems.

The hotel is located just a few steps from the beach. For visitors unfamiliar with Costa Rica, this is NOT the norm. Most hotels in Costa Rica are not right on the beach. This is a definite advantage for Las Tortugas.

The restaurant/bar always has the finest food prepared (properly) and served by the always freindly and accomodating staff. All food is resonably priced.

The owners are very friendly and I have seen them go to GREAT LENGTHS to accomodate my family, and other families, to ensure the best possible experience for their guests.

Las Tortugas is ideally located for a variety of activities such as: surfing, turtle watching, fishing, snorkeling, kayaking, zip-lining, and eco-tours. There is as much, or as little to do, as you like.

I am booked for July 2008 maybe I will see you there!

  • Liked — The total
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed July 2007, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank ebeach
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Virginia
Level Contributor
15 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 March 2008

This was my first stay at Las Tortugas, which was recommended by a friend of a friend. I was there on my own, seeking sun and relaxation away from work/family/cold in the States for 8 days.

From the reviews I read, and descriptions of the hotel online, I had no doubt that the hotel had the amenities I wanted for my vacation: beach, waves, healthy food, and a local feel. I was not disappointed: the sun was brilliant, the wind always kept me comfortable, the bugs were hardly around except at night, and the beach was just steps away from my tiny room.

For families, couples wanting intimacy, groups of friends, I think this hotel is a good one. It seems to cater to visitors who already know why they are there, who know what Playa Grande has to offer, or who know Spanish well enough to be rather independent. Live and let live, and relax into Pura Vida.

I agree with the previous reviewer who found the staff and owners to take a very lazy interest in attending guest's more complicated questions about tours, local opportunitites. My attempts to schedule tours were complicated with miscommunications, and my great desire to attend a "fiesta" was foiled, also by lack of communication. If I asked a lot of questions of the staff, I felt like a pest; but if I tried to be patient, I missed out. A disappointment.

On the other hand, many of the other guests raved about the friendliness of the staff. I guess the key is limiting your expectations.... this is a place to enjoy the here and now with the people you came with.

By the end of my stay, I had begun to feel part of a community, and had relaxed into the ambiance of manana. I might come back again with my family, or with friends.

  • Liked — Ecological reputation, the beach, value for the price
  • Disliked — lack of social opportunities after sundown
  • Stayed February 2008, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank gbfaber
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Salem, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
227 reviews
73 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 424 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 February 2008

This was our second stay at Las Tortogas and as soon as we checked in I remembered what we loved about the place; the palapa, hammocks, and little balconies on the rooms. Then I remember what I disliked about the place; dark dingy rooms with no bureaus! Oh, how I hate having to stack our clothing on a spare bed to keep it off the floor. Bottom line is that this hotel attracts a very laid back, self sufficient traveler who wants to blend in with the locals. No spoiled American tantrums thrown here. It really needs a serious renovation to move it out of the 1970's and into the 21st century. I think this is very unlikely to happen as the owners have the property for sale and seem to be coasting on past laurels.

Things we like
* Balcony and breezes at the restaurant
* Hammocks and rocking chairs
* Self serve pot of coffee bubbling from dawn onwards
* Local surfers hanging out around the pool
* Eco friendly to a fault
* Located right on the beach, where all the bleary eyed folks gather at dawn with a steaming mug to eyeball the surf
*Friendly, relaxed families by the pool, not a place that attracts high maintenance tourists
*Now has wi fi and a computer for guest use
* Aviallas the hotel’s greeter dog
* Security guard (and friends) constantly in the parking lot
* No TV's or ringing phones anywhere on the property

Things I don’t like
* No bureaus in the room
* Dark blue walls with red linens
* Black floors
* No tour desk
*Sergio, the surf instructor got himself hitched and has moved away
*Manana attitude of front desk staff, they seem really uncomfortable doing things like changing money or booking tours and they try to get you to postpone any transactions.
* Not too many dollars or colones available at the front desk so get them in town. They hate to accept travelers’ checks, but that is true all over CR.

Love it, or leave it alone because Las Tortugas ain't gonna be changing anytime soon!

  • Liked — Very low key, attracts a very friendly self-sufficient type of traveler
  • Disliked — There are no bureaus in the room - rooms are paint navy blue
  • Stayed February 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank leafpeeper98
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Las Tortugas

Property: Hotel Las Tortugas
Address: Frente al mar, Playa Grande, Costa Rica
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Playa Grande
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Playa Grande
#4 Romantic Hotel in Playa Grande
#5 Family Hotel in Playa Grande
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 32
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We are a small, ecotouristic hotel located directly on the beach in Playa Grande with our rooms, pool, jacuzzi, open-air restaurant/bar, and hammock area just steps from the sand and the main surf peak in Playa Grande. We offer every kind of accommodation and price range with small economy rooms on the beachfront property with AC and private hotwater bathrooms starting at $25/night and our honeymoon suite with oceanview between $70 and $130/night depending on the season. We also offer economical apartments with kitchenette facilities up the road from the hotel, just a five minute walk to the beach. All of our apartment guests enjoy full access to the beachfront hotel amenities. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Las Tortugas Hotel
Las Tortugas Playa Grande

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