I can see why Tulemar continues to win the Tripadvisor awards. What a perfect place to stay! This was the first stop on our 2 week Costa Rica trip.
The grounds are very large at Tulemar, from the road to the beach--there were several villas and houses in which you could stay. Each villa is large with a sizable bedroom and a kitchen/dining area. While we were here for only 3 nights, you could easily stay for a week or more. We ate out most meals, but the convenience of the kitchen would have made a longer stay very nice. Each villa is spaced out nicely, so there is a strong sense of privacy--even with wrap-around windows in the villa. The views were incredible from the villa, and stepping outside you always felt like you were in the middle of the rain-forest with birds, lizards, etc active in the trees and plants surrounding you.
All staff, whether at check-in, groundskeepers, security gate, beach bar/restaurant staff--were all incredibly friendly and helpful when needed. We wanted to get the names of the staff, since they were so great. Brian Miranda @ the reception desk (he was very accommodating & was so helpful with questions), Daniela @ the beach bar (fantastic Pina Colada & great conversation), Louis (we think, sorry--the friendly Irish guy) @ the beach bar/restaurant, and David @ the beach (he set up all the chairs & umbrellas while we were in the water).
We walked from our villa down to the beach--quite the adventure on the super-steep roads! There is a shuttle that you can take, but you can also drive your car down from to the beach area. The private beach was absolutely perfect. Not crowded at all (though we did go in the 'rainy season' aka 'green season'--nice tourist spin, huh? -- but it rarely rained anyways, and only overnight), there were plenty of beach chairs, umbrellas, boogie boards, sea kayaks, and the beach bar/restaurant was right there as well.
A bit more about the beach: plenty of open space, water was much warmer than I expected for the Pacific, the rocks on the one side were great for climbing on to get close to the little crabs, and the rain forest literally came all the way down to the beach. It was like a little oasis--very relaxing. The beach bar/restaurant was fantastic as well! The beer-battered fish & chips were out of this world good. I was VERY surprised. We also had grilled Mahi Mahi, which was delicious as well. To top it off we had a jumbo-sized pitcher of Pina Colada. We weren't expecting it to be that big--especially for two people! It certainly made the hike back up to our villa quite the challenge--we thought it would be smart to burn off those calories vs. taking the shuttle. We were nuts.
We never used any of the pools, but they definitely looked nice. There are some hiking trails on the property as well, and I wish we would have taken advantage of this. Regardless, the abundance of vegetation and animals all over the property is exactly how I pictured Costa Rica.
I have already recommended this property to anyone and everyone going to Costa Rica & Manuel Antonio. It seems anyone who has been to the Manuel A area, already knows how great this place is!
While we stayed here as a couple, which couldn't have been more perfect, this property would make an incredible family vacation spot--great for kids.
When we return to Manuel Antonio, we will stay at Tulemar bungalows--most definitely!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.