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“Great place”
Review of Manatus Hotel

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Manatus Hotel
Ranked #2 of 8 Hotels in Tortuguero
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 8 October 2013

My husband and I stayed here for 3 nights last week and it was such a unique experience. The hotel sits in the middle of the rainforest and we saw red poison dart frogs, howler monkeys, iguanas, toucans, crabs, leaf cutter ants, geckos, and a variety of other birds on the hotel grounds itself. The river boat tours were really fun - seeing a variety of animals (caiman, vultures, herons, sloths, etc.). We bought their night time turtle tour and watched one turtle go back to sea and one turtle lay eggs - an awesome experience (no camera allowed). The staff at Manatus was so friendly (Jayson and Sergio, especially) and the meals were very good. We chose Manatus for its location and the fact that it offered air conditioning, which was very nice to have on humid days/nights. Be aware that you can't flush any toilet paper at the hotel - it has to be thrown away in trash cans provided - so if that bothers you, you may want to choose elsewhere (It was not a problem for us). Overall, we really enjoyed our stay here and would recommend it to those who want a true rainforest adventure.

Room Tip: All rooms seemed fine here.
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  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank MariaBCalifornia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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236 - 242 of 516 reviews

Reviewed 26 August 2013

We are a family of 4, who traveled to Tortuguero with our 11 and 13 year old boys for the wildlife and night time turtle tours. We really struggled back and forth about which hotel to pick, but ultimately chose Manatus because of the air conditioning and advertisement of more upscale food, rather than only buffets. This was a very nice place to stay, albeit rustic. It's located in the rainforest, after all, so expectations need to be in check before arriving. The journey to get there was amazing, and I was grinning ear to ear about the "real life Jungle Cruise" experience I was having. All fans of Disney parks should know that the canals in Tortuguero are truly a real life version of the Jungle Cruise ride. We were amazed to be there, experiencing that. Our guide for the 2 nights/3 days, Chito, was hilarious and we enjoyed him quite a bit. He was awesome at spotting wildlife and was funny with our kids. We saw sloths, birds, monkeys, crocs, etc. Two big thumbs up for Chito!!! Our night time turtle tour was a success, as we were able to witness a huge green sea turtle laying eggs. It is something we will never forget. The food and wait staff at the restaurant was quite good, and we have no complaints. We were joking that dining there was like eating at the real life "Rainforest Cafe", complete with frogs, bugs, storms and all. It was a neat experience. Now the rooms - well, I have to say the beds were pretty wobbly. Maybe it was just our room, I don't know, but if you tossed/turned at all during the night it was noisy for sure. We didn't necessarily get the best night's sleep with those beds. That is probably our worst criticism. Well, and we also didn't love the pool. It was small and just "ok". Silly as it may sound, we almost didn't book this resort, simply because my kids were interested in the turtle shaped pool at another resort. I was wondering at times if the other resort might have been a better choice for us. I don't know, because I've only stayed at Manatus, but I wondered if the other resorts might have more activities for kids. Not sure what the answer to that question is, but maybe it's worth considering. Still, my boys were welcomed there, and treated kindly by the staff. My kids loved all the wildlife at the resort, but were totally thrilled with the poison dart frogs we found on the rainforest path at the hotel. Definitely put on the mud boots and take the adventurous trek down that path to see the dart frogs. We thought this was so neat! Bring lots of insect repellent, because the mosquitos are crazy here. That is one other thing I wished for was a gift shop with a few essentials like insect repellent. We even ventured into the rainforest one day during a rain storm and it was awesome and surreal to do that. The owners were there all the time. We didn't interact with them a whole lot, but they were friendly when we would pass by and also when we were leaving the resort. We will always remember our time at Manatus and in Tortuguero. Tortuguero is an incredible place to visit, and if you happen to plan a trip during turtle nesting season, it is absolutely worth the journey. We enjoyed the hotel. It is not a "perfect" place, but it was very nice. One more thing, we loved the family of monkeys who frolicked right outside our room each day. I would recommend the Manatus, but if I came again I might first check if other resorts might have more activities to offer for kids. The small nature of the resort definitely allowed for a very personalized experience there, so there's also something to be said about that! This is a solid choice for adults, and was a very nice experience for our family.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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3  Thank Kellost
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 July 2013

We enjoyed our stay at Manatus.

The big advantage is the airco. The food is very good (menu style, no buffet) and varied. Extra drinks not too expensive. Nice swimming pool and friendly staff.
The boattours are enjoyable, although 2x three hour boat tour instead of a 2x two hour tour would be even nicer.
There is a small jungle trail behind the hotel, full of mosquitos and little poison dart frogs.

The only thing we didn't like were the transfers to the lodge and Tortoguero village. As rather independant travellers, we don't like to be treated in a 'school-like' way with 'school-like' information that is repeated over and over.

We did in mid July the turtle egg laying tour. Saw some turtles come ashore but they didn't lay eggs. A pity we missed it but that's unpredictable nature.

Nevertheless, we had a very enjoyable stay and we would recommend this hotel. If you stay longer than two nights, it is probably a good idea to contact in Tortuguero village, some local people to do extra boattours in smaller boats or kayaks so that you can enjoy the smaller canals in Tortuguero National Park.

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank JoKa1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 July 2013

We stayed two nights at this hotel on our honeymoon in Costa Rica this summer. What an amazing place! You can only arrive here by boat and from the minute you arrive the personnel makes you feel at home. The cabins are big, clean and has air condition and a safe. You live right beside the jungle and you can hear the howling monkeys close by! Do not forget to bring mosquito protection! Exquisite food in the hotel's restaurant and a nice little pool is located on the area. We recommend everyone to take a trip to the city Tortuguero and to take river safaris in the national park close by. A special thank you to Ray, our guide on the rivers, who showed us the amazing nature and animal life here.

Stayed: June 2013, travelled as a couple
1  Thank ASAOslo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 July 2013

While not my first trip to Costa Rica, this was my first visit to Tortuguero and the Manatus Hotel. What I experienced was an environmental adventure with all the comforts of a world-class resort-hotel. I booked my stay at the Manatus Hotel, based on its positive reviews and something mentioned on its website, which has since changed… something about “platforms, offering views of birds and wildlife normally reserved for professional photographers.”

Being a photo-enthusiast, I was immediately attracted to the prospect of having a unique photo opportunity. However, when I arrived and asked the guide about the location of the “platforms,” he had no idea what I was talking about. Could be the old website was actually referring to the upper-level deck that overlooks the river… not the platforms I was expecting.

On the positive side, I was immediately struck by the beautiful and well maintained grounds. The rooms are spacious and comfortable, air conditioned, clean and attractive. However, guests should be informed that the faux-mosquito netting around the beds, but open at the top, is misleadingly decorative. The standard two-night inclusive hotel package offers morning and afternoon guided boat tours of Tortuguero, plus three meals per day. I opted to stay an extra day/night and had the opportunity to tour with two different guides, Chito and Rey. Both were informative, English-fluent, and good at spotting wildlife and birds. However, I definitely preferred Chito’s personality and demeanor.

The restaurant is attractive, with each meal offering several eclectic “Caribbean-fusion” menu options that are good tasting and nicely presented. Adjoining the restaurant is a full-service bar, serving optional, reasonably-priced drinks, plus a good selection of beers and wine. Except for a young, apparently new waiter, the wait staff was friendly, helpful, efficient, and fluent in English. Leonardo, in particular, is an excellent English-speaker and especially accommodating… making sure we were well care for and had everything we needed.

The facilities and grounds reflect the attentive, involved management. Early each morning an army of professional-looking hotel employees are out maintaining the grounds, cleaning inside and out, sweeping the walkways, etc. Other than a short hiking trail on the hotel grounds, everything (village, etc.) is accessible only by boat. The hiking trail starts next to the office, and goes back into the forest about 200 yards through mud and very heavy vegetation. At the end is a large meadow, surrounded by trees that are frequented by howler monkeys. Bug spray, a walking stick (handy for clearing spider webs across the trail), and waterproof boots are recommended. The hotel has loaner rubber boots.

Tips: Expect and be prepared for rain in the rainforest. Also, prepare for your time in bug heaven. Bug repellant is a must. Don’t be shocked by the requirement to dispose of ALL toilet tissue in the waste basket… not to be flushed!

  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled with family
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3  Thank jerrycAZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 July 2013

Our stay at the Manatus Hotel was worth the upgrade. My husband and two teenage boys enjoyed every minute of our stay. We slept to the sounds of rain and howler monkeys in our luxurious rooms with thick white linens and netting. Our beds were comfortable and plush with air conditioning.
The nature excursions were well planned and educational. Our guide, Rey, and boat driver, Filiberto, went out of their way to point out birds, caymans, and monkeys. They had excellent tracking skills.
The dinnig room and food services was the best we experienced in Costa Rica. The service provided by Sergio and Carlos was excellent. We felt taken care of and welcome. I try to maintain a vegan diet and they were very accomodating to my needs.
The grounds were well maintained and lush. We saw more wild life our first day on the hotel grounds at Manatus Hotel then we did our entire stay on the Amazon in Brazil a few years ago. This is the best place to stay in Tortuguero.

  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank Tracytrip1001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 June 2013

We recently spent two nights at the Manatus Hotel to start out Costa Rican Vacation. We were the only guests at the hotel which turned out to be great for us. The rooms were well decorated with air conditioning (a premium in Tortuguero). We received personalized attention from our waiter, Sergio, with candlelight dinners on the dock and great food. We also had private tours of Tortuguero with our guide Rey, who did a great job showing us the wildlife, and our boat captain, Filiberto. We saw sloths, monkeys, caymans, crocodiles and all sorts of bird species. For anyone going to Tortuguero, the Manatus Hotel is a must stay.

  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Daniel R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about 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:
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Limon > Tortuguero
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre 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: £234 - £415 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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

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