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“A Costa Rican Gem”
Review of Hotel Bula Bula

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Hotel Bula Bula
Ranked #4 of 6 Hotels in Playa Grande
Certificate of Excellence
A TripAdvisor Member
“A Costa Rican Gem”
Reviewed February 19, 2006

This was our first hotel experience in Costa Rica. We were impressed with this place from the start, and are even more impressed when comparing it to the other less than stellar accomodations we experienced on our trip (Lavas Tacotal Lodge in Arenal and Hotel El Velero in Playa Hermosa).

The atmosphere is intimate and authentic. As of the date of this writing, Playa Grande is still in its development infancy, so the place is quiet and laid-back. One can only hope it will retain its charm through its inevitable growth.

The restaurant is a fabulous open-air space, and the owners and staff are friendly and helpful. The food is EXCELLENT! We were expecting Denny's fare (which is what we got for the remainder of the trip), but were pleasantly surprised to find five-star quality- all at reasonable prices. There is also a market within walking distance and a refrigerator in the room for snacks.

The hotel is a quick and beautiful estuary boat taxi trip away ($2 each way, per person) from Tamarindo if you need more excitement. We went over once, but actually thought Tamarindo was too crowded for our taste! (One tip: when researching the place, we were under the impression that the boat taxis run on a regular schedule. You actually have to call a taxi ahead of time and they generally stop running at 4 p.m., although you can arrange a later time if available. We were unable to secure a return trip, so we had to take a regular land taxi, which was a bumpy half hour car trip that cost $30.)

We highly recommend Hotel Bula Bula for anyone looking for an oasis. The owners put a lot of hard work into the property and it shows. It is a beautiful place.

  • Stayed February 2006
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8 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Oklahoma
Level 3 Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed January 26, 2006

After reading so many stunning reviews, our expectations were really high for Hotel Bula Bula. Overall, we were a bit disappointed. The location is wonderful in some ways --- no high rise resorts in sight, but not so good in other ways --- the road to the hotel is very rough and the beach is a good 10 minute walk away. The setting is nice and the rooms are clean; however, the walls are thin so we heard everything from the room next to ours. If we went back, I think we would find somewhere else to stay.

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2 Thank j330
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed January 1, 2006

My fiance and I just returned from a 14 trip around Costa Rica. We stayed 3 nights at Hotel Bula Bula and it was wonderful! When we were driving to the hotel - it was kind of scary - we thought we were going way out in the middle of nowhere - but once we got there - it was SO worth it!! Once we stayed a day or so we realized that Bula Bula is VERY accessable. Just a short (cheap) boat ride to Tamarindo - and a short drive to Playa Flamingo (highly recommend the sunset sailboat cruise on the JackieJoe) and if you stay in Tamarindo and take a boat ride over to Bula Bula - you will be kicking yourself that you didn't stay there!!!!

The atmosphere at the Bula Bula is so laid back - which is what vacation is all about. The hotel grounds are beautiful, as are the rooms and the bar/restaurant. The food is delicious, the best we had in Costa Rica, especially the ribs!!!!!

I would just like to thank Greg- because he has so much insight into life and I really enjoyed converstations w/ him! Thanks to Greg, Wally and Fatima for the hospitality - we missed Bula Bula after we left - and I still miss it!!!! Wally and Todd - I am sure that you know what an asset Greg is to Hotel Bula Bula w/ his knowledge of the business, I just want to confirm to you that he is one of the main reasons we loved Bula Bula as much as we did!

There are so many things to see Costa Rica, we stayed at the Peace Lodge, in La Fortuna, Jaco, Manuel Antonio, and San Jose (skip that if you can - our camera was stolen on the last day of our trip) but if you don't make Bula Bula one of your destinations, you have really missed the best stop!

Thanks!! Lindsey and Vince

  • Stayed December 2005
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4 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed November 29, 2005

We stayed at Hotel Bula Bula over the first weekend in November. We chose it mostly from reading the Trip Advisor reviews of it. They were all right, it was fantastic! Really, it may have been the best run little hotel I've ever stayed in! The rooms were clean and full of native pottery and beautiful colors. We loved it. The real treat is the entire staff who at all times are willing to help you enjoy your stay. What a great restaurant, try the artichoke appetizer...Beautiful surroundings, great stay.

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1 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Arlington, Virginia
Level 4 Contributor
33 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed November 21, 2005

My sweetie and I just returned from our first trip to Costa Rica, and our stay at the Hotel Bula Bula. We are still in a beautiful haze from the beauty of the beach at Playa Grande, and the wonderful service and friendliness of everyone at Bula Bula! We want to thank Wally, Todd, Gregory, Fatima, Nick, Manrique, Marian, and Bert,and all the rest of the staff at Bula Bula for their love of life and the fantastic service they provided us. Playa Grande was the perfect location for us, beautiful, peaceful, and off the beaten path. The great food, people, scenery and sun were just what we were looking for! A few things to remember; leave your work and worries in the U.S., Costa Rica is a place to totally relax if that is what you are looking for, or you can fill each day with so many outdoor activities you won't be able to do them all! Book a surfing lesson with Rob through the Playa Grande Surf Shop, great instructor, great guy! We met so many great people, can't begin to list them all! Go and enjoy!! Pura Vida!!!!

  • Stayed November 2005
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank irwinkva
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

Property: Hotel Bula Bula
Address: Playa Grande Road, Playa Grande, Costa Rica
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
#5 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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