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“Love Hotel Bula Bula!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Bula Bula

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Hotel Bula Bula
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Playa Grande Road, Playa Grande, Costa Rica   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #4 of 7 Hotels in Playa Grande
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285 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (36)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
New York, NY
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 16, 2006

We first arrived at Hotel Bula Bula after a 5 hour car ride from Tabacon. We were hot and tired and had no idea where we had just arrived but it seemed like the middle of nowhere. I had booked the hotel mainly from reviews on this site but i still wondered what i was doing at this hot, tiny hotel at the end of what seems like a long dirt road.

Where we were was our own little piece of paradise. Bula Bula and Playa Grande at that, are not for those who mind being off the beaten track and at a low maintenance beach. But it definitely felt like we were in Costa Rica and NOT at a random resort that could have been in Mexico or Florida!

All it takes is one visit on the water taxi ($2) to Tamarindo to see that yes, you are right next to the biggest surf town in Costa Rica, full of Surfers, Americans and the best shrimp tacos in the world. But it's even better to be in Playa Grande which is essentially your own private beach, where the developement is just beginning and it won't be packed with Ex-pat Americans for a few more years.

Wally and Todd are great hosts and helpful with accomodating all of your plans. They arranged a local taxi for us to the Paradisus Playa Conchal on our second day for us to play golf. We were the only ones on the golf course b/c apparently the end of April and beginning of May are slow season. This was fine by us as $75 let us play as many rounds of 9 hole golf as we could want! (the back 8 were being fixed) We even got to check out their beach and it solidified how happy we were to be staying at Playa Grande. It is far and away prettier than Playa Conchal!

The food at Hotel Bula Bula was great and we ate 3 out of our 4 dinners there. I couldn't write this review without recommending 2 places to eat in Tamarindo though. Simply put, the tacos at Nibbana are the best in the world. Nibbana acted as our oasis from noon to 2 as the sun is so hot you can't lie on the beach and you have an ocean view sitting at Nibbana. The beers are $2 and the scene is priceless.
We also ate at Dragonfly and it was one of the best meals i have ever had in my life. It might be the best restaurant in Tamarindo and it's shocking how inexpensive it is (compared to new york prices)!

I would also recommend seeing at least one sunset in Tamarindo as it is something out of a movie. It's hard to believe when you are alone on the beach at Playa Grande, that there is such a scene in the beach across the estuary. I have never seen so many people in the water with their surf boards at sunset waiting to ride the last wave. EVERYONE is on the beach drinking cervasas and taking in the sunset and it's just a surreal experience. One more recommendation would be to ask Todd at breakfast when the low tide will be and cross the estuary by foot. It's fun and shows you just how close Bula Bula to eveything.
The taxis at night from Tamarindo are about $20-25 to Bula bula (and 30 minutues) so we only did it once. But we never really felt the need to leave Bula Bula at night....the food's good, the pool's warm, the beer's cheap.....Pura Vida baby.

  • Stayed May 2006
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2006

Hotel Bula Bula was a calm oasis among the hot, touristy, and noisy surrounding areas. The staff were extremely helpful and friendly, especially Fatima, who was always willing to assist with a smile. The restaurant was great, affordable, and relaxing (minus the native mosquitos) and we rarely ventured out. The pool was always inviting and even romantic as it was never crowded. Tamarindo nightlife wasn't quite as exciting as we thought it would be and we didn't mind just relaxing at Bula Bula. As for the water taxis, they techinally stopped running at 4pm, but if you want to arrange an alternate time, they are available for the right price. One night we were stuck in Tamarindo and had not made arrangements for transportation, so we simply crossed the estuary mouth to the ocean, which was about chest high at the time, and then we walked the 10 minutes back to Bula Bula on the beautiful beach. I highly recommend wearing your bathing suit at all times and carrying a small pack to put clothes and misc. items in for moments like these! Bula Bula provided sarongs which were very useful for daywear around town. As for day trips, we highly recommend planning one big day of adventures as the roads are almost unbearable to travel on and you wouldn't want to drive them everyday. We did not get a rental car and had no problems getting around. We took a two hour sunset horseback ride that delivered our horses right to Bula Bula. It was amazing and very affordable. Overall, it was extremely relaxing and romantic, as well as the perfect spot to unplug from the busy world and recharge your batteries. P.S. Bert is a real hoot! We miss you all....

Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Bula Bula

Address: Playa Grande Road, Playa Grande, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Playa Grande
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#3 Family Hotel in Playa Grande
#4 Romantic Hotel in Playa Grande
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel Bula Bula 3*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set outside Tamarindo in the beach village and national park of Playa Grande. We offer the romantic, the surfer, and the active traveler a tropical oasis amid the tourist stops. Superior rooms with modern amenities compliment the elegant restaurant where exceptional seafood, steaks and local specialties are served. Friendly and attentive staff ensure your stay is a satisfying one. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Bula Playa Grande

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