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“Fantastic! Just like the photos online!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Buena Vista Luxury Villas

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Buena Vista Luxury Villas
Tulemar Gardens, Manuel Antonio National Park 6350, Costa Rica   |  
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Hotel website
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Hotel amenities
St. Petersburg, Florida
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Fantastic! Just like the photos online!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 16, 2012 via mobile

We stayed in a 3 room villa and it was just beautiful! Our view of the ocean was great. The maids even did our dishes and laundry which we weren't expecting. There were monkey on the beach and the food at the beach bar was good. I feel like when I am on vacation I want to stay some place at least a little nicer than my home and this was perfect! I even get some decorating ideas! The swimming pools on site were great too! Make sure to use your map to find them all!

  • Stayed November 2011
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BuenaVistaLuxuryVil, Manager at Buena Vista Luxury Villas, responded to this review, October 17, 2012
Thank you for the great review glad you enjoyed your stay and yes our maids are the best! Isn’t it great to go out to have fun and come home and even the dishes are done?! Good observation to explore for all the swimming pools too! Pura Vida, The Staff.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 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 (74)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Las Vegas, Nevada
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 2, 2012

My husband and I recently stayed at Buena Vista Luxury Villas during our anniversary trip to Costa Rica. It was our first time to Manuel Antonio.

Upon our arrival we were informed that they'd upgraded us to a lovely villa (#305) with a kitchen and living room area. The front desk/concierge staff was very accommodating on the few occasions that we dealt with them.

The villas are perched on the side of a steep hill. There is shuttle serviced offered to/from any point within the resort for those who don't wish to climb up and down the hills, but note that you will have to do a bit of steep uphill (or downhill) walking to get to the shuttle meeting point from your villa. Having said that, however, my husband and I had absolutely no issues walking to the main road for breakfast, lunch and dinner each day. We also walked down the nature trail to the beach each day. It's a bit of a workout, but really not that big of a deal if you just take your time. The grounds are beautifully landscaped, so it makes for a pleasant stroll.

The villa itself was a bit dated (it looked as though the last major renovation may have been done 10+ years ago). However, it was clean and everything in the room was well maintained and functional. The balcony had a panoramic view of the ocean and jungle, as did the bedroom.

We noticed quite a few creepy crawlies throughout our stay, which I fully understand is part of the territory in a tropical, jungle area. However, it is something to be prepared to see. In our villa we had a constant stream of little lizards on the ceiling, spiders scurrying across the floor, and cockroaches popping up in random places (one day I turned on the wall-mounted air conditioning unit and 2 large roaches came tumbling out). I don't know that the resort could really do much to prevent this given the setting, so I merely mention it as an FYI.

During our stay there was only one restaurant and bar open for service and that was at the beach. This was the resort's weak spot. We ate lunch there upon our arrival. 4 of the 10 items on the menu were not available. What we did order was of average quality and a bit under seasoned. The portions were huge and the prices were surprisingly steep. For two Imperials and two lunch entrees our tab was approximately $50 USD. Service was extremely slow and we waited approximately 30 minutes for our check after requesting it. The staff members spent a lot of time chatting with one another. One inconvenience was that the food tab had to be paid separately from the bar tab. Considering this whole beachside restaurant concept consists of 6 tables and a tiki-hut bar, this seemed really odd.

The next two days we spent a bit more time on the lovely beach, which is picturesque and extremely secluded. At any given time there were 4 or 5 other guests on the beach with us. The first day we used their complimentary kayaks to explore the nearby beaches. The water was so warm it felt like bathwater. After our little adventure we picked out two lounge chairs down the hill from the bar and hung out for an hour or so. My husband walked up the hill to order drinks (they don't take your order from the beach, which is a bit of a bummer.) After about 20 minutes of waiting we looked up the hill to see what the hold-up was. I saw the bartender casually leaning against the bar having a conversation with the other staff members. It was only 10 minutes later that I finally heard the whir of the blender, and a gentleman brought our drinks down to us. The following day our drinks came faster, in maybe 10 or 15 minutes.

Overall we would still recommend this resort to others, with the caveat that you avoid the beach restaurant. The rest of the staff was very friendly and accommodating and the panoramic views are hard to beat. The proximity to Manuel Antonio Park was terrific (maybe a 5 minute drive down the road), and there were dozens of great little restaurants within walking distance.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BuenaVistaLuxuryVil, Manager at Buena Vista Luxury Villas, responded to this review, October 17, 2012
Thank you for writing a review of our resort. I’m glad to hear you enjoyed the extraordinary grounds and made use of the nature trails. I encourage future guests to take the tour of the nature trails too! The Select Villas are all less than but close to 10 years old and we update them as our individual owners prefer. All visitors to Costa Rica should be prepared to see “wildlife” of every species and phylum. As to the food vending situation; our beach restaurant is undergoing updating and admittedly in the off season especially the ultralow season of September, October and half of November things can move slower than usual. We are improving this and will work to make sure future guest are better served. There is food service at the adult pool year round also, I add this comment as a correction that there are two food vending service on property currently and of course Victoria’s our partner restaurant across the street from us. Again thank you for taking the time to review us and to future guests we are working to improve the service at the beach and for guests in the slow season you will experience less people and a slower atmosphere than guest who stay with us in the high season. That is simply the nature of Costa Rica itself. Pura Vida! The Staff
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Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2012

Our concierge Andres was absolutely wonderful!! He was so nice a knowledgable about everything and anytime we wanted anything we just called him and he made arangements for us. The property is beautiful and there are trees everywhere and the private beach was also very wonderful saphire blue water backing up to jungle. There are free kayaks and boogie boards and the water is so warm. A friend from college and I stayed in a Bungalow and it was clean, quaint, and rustic. The floor to ceiling windows around the entire bungalow were awesome. The one complaint I had was the very thin somewhat scratchy lone bed sheet that was the only thing separating me from the matress. Also, the breakfast we had at the beach was the worst we had in Costa Rica. But, Cafe Milagro (right across the street) had one of the best breakfasts so if you can I would suggest eating breakfafst there. Lunch at the beach was good. Again the beach here is so warm and the people were very friendly. Andres was a huge help as well as the rest of the staff. We were given a house to change in after a day at the beach because check out was at 11 and our flight wasn't until two and the house they gave us to change in was spectacular!! For 800 a night we couldn't quite afford this option but it was cool to see nonetheless. AC in the bungalow was really good. Good enough to dry out our suitcases enitrely which did not happen anywhere else we went in Costa Rica.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BuenaVistaLuxuryVil, Manager at Buena Vista Luxury Villas, responded to this review, September 7, 2012
Thank you for taking the time to write such a nice review! Glad you enjoyed your stay with us and thank you for the comments on breakfast; we are working to make both our breakfast and lunch service at the beach equal to the area they are presented in- FYI for future guests the Bungalows are a cost effective opportunity for guests to stay within the spectacular Tulemar Gardens and the main difference between Tulemar Bungalows and Buena Vista Luxury Villas is age and the fact that Tulemar Bungalows have no outside space. BVLV are younger and all have outside space of some kind. Thanks for staying with us and come back soon! Pura Vida, The Staff.
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1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2012 via mobile

We stayed at Tulemar in August of 2012 . Our three story home had three bedrooms and three and a half baths. The home was very nicely furnished and impeccably clean. As soon as you enter, you are captivated by the most amazing views of the ocean and lush vegetation. There are other houses nearby, but it feels very private. Every bedroom has a beautiful view as well. Our house had a hot tub on the deck which was wonderful at the end of a day at the beach. The beach is within walking distance but we took the van because our four boys complained it was too far. The van was always there within 5 minutes of calling. The beach is private, beautiful and convenient. The attendants make sure you have chairs, towels, umbrellas, sand toys, kayaks, etc. You can also get drinks and food so it is the perfect beach. Our kids never wanted to leave. But when we were ready, the van was there to drive us back.
This place also has amazing service. My son got a rash one night and we called the office and they brought us hydrocortisone cream immediately. They were always helpful with setting up tours and guides as well.
Overall, we had an amazing time and loved our villa. The views, the private beach, the service and the location can't be beat.

  • Stayed August 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BuenaVistaLuxuryVil, Manager at Buena Vista Luxury Villas, responded to this review, September 7, 2012
Thank you for taking the time to write such a nice review! Always nice to see guests taking full advantage of all the perks of our property that make us so unique to other possibilities in the area. Yes our beach “is the perfect beach”. Glad to do what we can when guest have medical issues too. Thanks for staying with us and come back soon! Pura Vida, The Staff.
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Dallas, Texas, United States
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2012

This place was amazing! There were 8 of us...all grown women...we had plenty of space therefore no attitude!! Our villa was 3 stories of luxury. the accommodating Living area, had a great kitchen, beautiful patio w/sitting area, outdoor dining table and a jacuzzi. The bathrooms were open (screened in) to the rainforests! Monkeys, birds,and the Pacific were included in our view daily. Your personal concierge is an amazing feature. we did not worry about anything. Andreas was awesome!! The only issue, was at night, the Air Conditioning was not as cool as it was in the day. it was on it's own timer...not ours. we were too warm at night. Great location close to Manuel Antonio and shopping. Overall, I would stay there again without question.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BuenaVistaLuxuryVil, Manager at Buena Vista Luxury Villas, responded to this review, September 7, 2012
Thank you for taking the time to write such a nice review! Thank you Andres for exceeding their expectations! Next time let us know if the AC is giving you trouble we can usually get in there while guests are out enjoying MA. Thanks for staying with us and come back soon! Pura Vida, The Staff.
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Marion, Iowa
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2012

What a great vacation experience! We stayed in one of the Tulemar Bungalows. We had awesome Pacific views and peaceful jungle views from our bedroom and living area. Our Concierge was Brian, and when he wasn't available Andres. They both took great care of us! On our last night there as we were packing my daughter realized that she had rolled up a swimsuit in a towel and left if on the floor, obviously it was now in the laundry! Andres called the laundry they found the suit and he hand delivered it at 9:00pm for us! David the beach attendant was always there to help the kids with boogie boards or kayaks. The beach is so much nicer than the website shows! The beach was never crowded and the water was perfect! Everyone on the property was so friendly and helpful even the gardners! From the monkeys playing in the trees and on the bungalow roofs, to the fabulous flowers, geckos, lizards, iguanas, beautiful swimming pools and rides whenever you want around the property...this was just perfect!

Thank you everyone at Tulemar for making this a trip we will always remember!

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BuenaVistaLuxuryVil, Manager at Buena Vista Luxury Villas, responded to this review, September 3, 2012
Thank you for you for taking the time to write such nice review. Glad we could participate in your “great vacation experience”! I’ll pass the kudos on to Brian and Andres. David may have one of the best jobs in the world and thus is very nice and helpful. Thank you for the complement on the beach, yes pictures can only do so much. Thanks for staying with us and please come back. Pura Vida! The Staff
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Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2012

The villas are what appear to be owner time shares and owner units for rent. The property is very lush with wildlife everywhere (last day had about a dozen monkeys on our balcony, roof etc and a resident sloth just off our balcony every day). They did cleanup service everyday. The property is VERY steep and you need to rely on the shuttle to take you to/from the private beach or to the front so you can walk to nearby restaurants,etc. Even climbing up to our 2nd floor villa was a very steep upward (maybe 50+ ft true vertical) walk up - this may be very difficult for young children, unfit, or elderly to say the least. Rooms are comfortable but a little dated, the main thing we did not like was the entry door was flimsy with half the door a glass panel that could almost be bumped open or glass broke for quick access - more secure entrance doors should be installed

The private beach is very nice and complimentary beach towels, kayacks, boogie boards etc. The bar service was poor and food/drinks very expensive.

Although the website shows an inhouse restaurant, this is closed as the restaurant moved out of the property across the street. For dinner consider nearby Agua Azul (turn right out of entrance) for a laid back atmosphere with an ocean view but great food, or Mar Luna (turn left) for fantastic generous seafood but a bit more pricier. Other travellers raved about Avion (has an actual old airplane on site). If you go left from front for say 100 yards there is a supermarket on other side of the street.

You can take the bus to the park for only .50 cents or 250 colones - it is clean and very efficient and the bus stop is right across from Cafe Milagro - a VERY highly recommend spot for a great breakfast! If you take a cab for the 1+ mile for a family of 4 this would be about $16 dollars round trip. Would not recommend walking to park as parts are very steep. Bus runs from Quepos to the park every 15-20 minutes roudtrip. Can also take to area restaurants- runs till 10:00 pm.

As for the park, the beaches are AMAZING!!! The hike in is not far, and many quite frankly go just for the beaches, not to observe wildlife. At the entrance, many sell their services for $20 per person as guides ($80 for family of 4). Almost all who did regretted it. The hike is not far, if you get there early its like the Oklahoma land rush with the mob of people entering all at once, and most of the wildlife you see happens when the crowds disperse or head to the beach. Would recommend you pack for beach as overall trails not arduous.

Overall, if your fit a good family place in a beautiful setting. Balconies are really nice and well furnished to hang out.

Room Tip: There are a smattering of private homes built within the property that can be 3 stories tall - this...
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BuenaVistaLuxuryVil, Manager at Buena Vista Luxury Villas, responded to this review, September 3, 2012
Thank you for your interesting and creatively thought out report on our business and property. From my perspective I need to do some… polishing and sandblasting in some places. Yes our property is very steep this is common knowledge and thus the reason we put the van service in, but you (future guest) will still need to navigate some steep climbs with our without the van. The room doors are built for jungle living and people from the US could find them unfamiliar or in this case flimsy. If fearful of theft please use the safes which are bolted down in the rooms. Glad you enjoyed the beach sorry you didn’t like the beach food and drink. Drinkwise we don’t typically get complaints, foodwise we are working to improve are staff and pricewise we are on average with the entire area.
Our website says nothing about an on-site restaurant it did maybe 4 years ago. We are quite clear both online and verbally that our partner restaurant is directly across the street and they do room service. There are many restaurants walkable from just outside our front gate.
Lastly I should mention that hiring a guide is quite useful since the guides have telescopes and an uncanny ability to find the animals in the forest canopy. For you this will provide up close views and great pictures! The beaches in the park are very nice!
Thanks for staying with us, Pura Vida- The Staff
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Additional Information about Buena Vista Luxury Villas

Address: Tulemar Gardens, Manuel Antonio National Park 6350, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Manuel Antonio National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Manuel Antonio National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Buena Vista Villas is a small, luxury boutique resort located inside Tulemar, a 33-acre gated resort community. Nestled in the jungle with stunning views, our villas offer luxury and privacy with all the amenities of a high-end beach resort: concierge and daily maid service, three pools and our private sandy beach. Breakfast is available daily at the pool with lunch, snacks and drinks at the beach in the afternoon, among monkeys and sloths. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Buena Vista Luxury Villas Hotel Manuel Antonio National Park
Buena Vista Hotel And Casas
Buena Vista Luxury Villas Costa Rica/Manuel Antonio National Park

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