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“Best service in the world, nice rooms and meals”

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Tortuga Lodge & Gardens
Ranked #1 of 8 Hotels in Tortuguero
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 1 February 2012

This hotel is owned by Costa Rica Expeditions. We stayed there because we booked our trip through CRE, a company which I would highly recommend if you are a first time visitor to Costa Rica. The hotel is directly across from the Tortuguero airstrip so it is very convenient to reach. On our arrival we were greeted by the entire staff and offered fruit juice cocktails which were very refreshing. The enthusiasm the staff showed on our arrival proved to be the leitmotif of our stay in this hotel throughout the two days we were there. I just can't say enough good things about the excellent staff of this hotel. The rooms are in two story bungalows with about 8 rooms per bungalow, 4 on the lower floor and 4 on the top floor. Be sure to specify a room on the top floor since there is a lack of privacy in the first floor rooms. Also the second floor rooms have higher ceilings and probably have better ventilation. Corner rooms are best for the same reason. The rooms are a bit dark and give the impression of being a bit small. There is a wide veranda around the second story and a hammock is available in front of your room. The bungalows have a nice view of the wide waterway flowing past the hotel. There is a nice swimming pool at the hotel and it is not used very much so be sure to bring your swim suit if you come. Although the grounds of the hotel are relatively free of mosquitoes the extensive walking trails behind the hotel are not so blessed. I started to do a walk on one of these trails but I was so aggressively attacked by bugs that I gave it up right away. To be fair to the trails, I had neglected to cover myself with DEET before my walk, so it might be possible to have taken one of these walks with proper attention to insect repellant. In any case, I was not tempted to return. The main thing to do here is to take boat rides through the swamp. We saw a great variety of wildlife on these boat rides and, so long as we were on the water, we were not bothered by mosquitoes. This hotel has good food but you eat whatever is on the menu for the day. On our first night we were treated to dinner beneath a pavilion set up at the confluence of the river in front of our hotel with a tributary running along the edge of the property. We had a beef tenderloin with a ginger-tamarind sauce. Dessert was a chocolate genoise with an orange-honey topping. Delicious. The second night we had sauteed fish filets and, for dessert, a slice of baked apple atop on thin slice of puff pastry and a scoop of ice cream. Yum-yum. In any case, I hope you get the idea that the food here is quite good. You won't go wrong staying here.

Room Tip: Be sure to specify a SECOND story room and preferably one on the corner.
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  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled with friends
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Thank EasyHiker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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688 - 694 of 1,085 reviews

Reviewed 26 January 2012

We spent three nights at Tortuga Lodge and found an extremely friendly group of people waiting to assist and help in a myriad of different ways. The guys who worked in the "Employees Only" section next to our room were great as they were always on the lookout for animals and came and told our children when they found iguanas, monkeys or sloths. In fact we got closer views of a sloth, iguana and Spider monkey from the lodge than we did from our tours up the river. The welcome drinks after each excursion were most appreciated, especially by the children and the welcome and farewell parties which consisted of a whole range of staff were a nice touch and made a lasting impression. The trip to the township was a lot of fun and the place had a great energy. We were very fortunate with the weather as it was mostly fine but we did get to experience a torrential, tropical downpour which was great watching. The trips up the canals are just beautiful and so peaceful. A lovely place to spend time with the family.

Room Tip: We were in the penthouse room which was spacious and worked well for us. It has two bathrooms, a ve...
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  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled with family
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Thank MuriwaiLot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 January 2012

We felt this was an outstanding place to visit. The staff , from people behind the desk to waiters etc. are very nice and helpful if you have questions or need information. This is a great place to relax and enjoy the environment. Great birds and various animals to observe around the lodge and on the lakes and canals.

Room Tip: All the rooms are the same from what we observed.
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  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled with friends
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Thank Seth G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 January 2012

My boyfriend and I stayed here for 3 days, we didnt book through a service we just found the hotel and booked the nights on our own. We landed in Tortuguero at 645 am after a flight with Nature Air (which was very nice). We were met at the airport (airstrip) by the boat that would take us across to the lodge the airstrip is right across the river but it is not loud. We were greeted at the pier by our concierge who took us straight to breakfast made to order. The food here is FANTASTIC, breakfast is the only meal where you have a choice in what you eat, but all of the other food was great too. Make sure you do the river tour, Angelo, our guide was great! we saw all sorts of wildlife. They are extremely accomodating and nice. However this is a place for families and older people. Other than younger children we were the youngest people here by about 30 years. I would definitely recommend it though!

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank jmeds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 January 2012

This was our highlight of our trip to Costa RIca. The staff was always there with the little extras and ready to help at a moments notice. The food was excellent and in a beautiful setting. The guides were wonderful for the trips. Hot chocolate at the dock for you return from the trip. Hiking trails are available. The accommodations were very nice but this is not a deluxe hotel with TV and air conditioning but one with views and fans and listening to the rain. It is a place to appreciate nature in comfort. Overall it far exceeded my expectations.

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank gwynn1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 January 2012

Just recently returned from a completely amazing trip to Costa Rica planned and executed by Costa Rica Expeditions. This was a family for my husband and our two kids ages 7 and 9. Our first stop was Tortuga Lodge and we absolutely loved it. The room was very nice, not luxe and not outstanding, but great view of the river, and you dont end up spending much time in the room anyway. There is wildlife is all around you so its best to be out and about on the trails, by the pool, or sitting in the lounge area if you're not on a river boat with a guide taking it all in. The overall feel of the lodge is natural, sophisticated, eco friendly, and small. Some of the other lodges on the river had huge tour boats and seems quite touristy. Tortuga Lodge seemed more sophisticated to us, but still outdoorsy.
Our local guide Angela took us on two 3 hour long boat rides and a 3 horus long kayak tour. The Tortuguero Park waterways and canals are FILLED with wildlife all around you, literally at arms length. Our guide was knowledgable, kind and engaging with our kids and totally accommodating to our whims to see as many spider monkeys as possible! We loved the monkeys!
The food at Tortuguero was delicious, fresh, healthy and reflective of Costa Rican cuisine. We loved it. My daughter is an extremely picky eater and she actually tried ceviche! Tons of fresh fruits and veggies. Fantastic fresh fruit juices every morning.
Staff is incredibly helpful and friendly, totally accommodating to our special requests. We really loved this place - it's sort of like a tropical jungle safari. I highly recommend it!

Room Tip: Choose a second floor for more privacy.
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  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled with family
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2  Thank klmskm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 January 2012

It's always a good start when you arrive at a lodge, and instead of making you stand at some counter overlooking a computer monitor, they sit you on a sofa and serve you a glass of juice. And remember, this is in the rain forest.

The lodge is in an excellent location along the river, across from the airport, and close to the National Park canals as well as the ocean. The grounds and gardens are lush and tropical.

The food was absolutely superb. Not only is it delicious, but it is artfully presented, and the menu items and ingredients were obviously chosen with a lot of thought and consideration.

The service is also superb, everyone was helpful, friendly and did not mind speaking english (unlike some other areas in CR where they resent it). The WiFi worked well in the rooms, quite a surprise given the location.

We are pretty discerning travelers, but we definitely give the Tortuga Lodge four thumbs up!

Room Tip: Get a second floor room away from the stairs.
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  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank rm94114
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Tortuga Lodge & Gardens

Address: Across from the airstrip | 1 mile north of the Town of Tortuguero, Tortuguero 6941, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Limon > Tortuguero
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 8 Hotels in Tortuguero
Price Range: £110 - £209 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Tortuga Lodge & Gardens 3.5*
Number of rooms: 27
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
11 River View Downstairs Terrace Rooms. 12 Upstairs River View Balcony Rooms. (A little more expensive, but worth it. See what reviewers have said by clicking on "room tips") 2 River View Downstairs Junior Suites, with connecting door. 1 River View Upstairs Penthouse Suite with 2 baths. 1 of the Downstairs Rooms is Wheelchair Accessible with 2 baths • Beds: 4 Downstairs Rooms and 5 Upstairs Rooms have 1 King Bed. 6 Downstairs Rooms and 3 Upstairs Rooms have 2 Double Beds. 1 Downstairs Room and 2 Upstairs Rooms have 1 Queen and 1 Double Bed. 1 Downstairs Room has 1 King and 1Double Bed. 2 Upstairs Rooms have 1 Queen and 1 Double Bed. The 2 Junior suites have 1 King and 1 Double Bed • All rooms have: In-room safe, hot water, ceiling fans, reading lamps, hair dryer, free wireless internet and large screened windows so you experience the sounds of the rain forest. • All rooms don't have: TV, AC, or mini-bar. • Service Style: Personalized, informal, caring. • Restaurant: Cuisine: What a Costa Rican Grandmother would cook if she was also a creative and contemporary professional chef. Caribbean themed cocktails, and no we don't mean pina coladas, although we'll make you one of those too. •Atmosphere: Quiet, laid back and with an emphasis on the natural surroundings - most buildings are open air. • No background music. • Suggested activities at hotel: Palm and Orchid Gardens. Plan on 1 or 2 hours. Award winning Riverside Pool. Plan on at least 1 hour per morning or afternoon per day. Hammocks everywhere. Plan on losing track of time in one. 2 computers with internet for guest use at no charge. Spend as little time as possible. You're on vacation. • Tortuguero can only be accessed by boat or by domestic or charter plane. • Tortuga Lodge offers complete packages including round trip transportation, lodging, meals and excursions. • Suggested stay: 3-5 nights. • Owned and Operated by Costa Rica Expeditions. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Tortuga Lodge And Gardens
Tortuga Lodge & Gardens Hotel Tortuguero
Tortuga Hotel Tortuguero
Tortuga Hotel Gardens

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