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“Great views but outdated and poor service.”

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Tulemar Bungalows & Villas
Ranked #1 of 46 Hotels in Manuel Antonio
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed November 15, 2007

The pictures are deceiving. The rooms are very outdated. The bathroom was straight out of the 70's with missing tiles and mold. I expected bugs being that we are in a rain forest; however, the substantial amount of ants was disgusting. They were everywhere, even in the bed. The staff was less than attentive. The hotel was empty. We ordered room service and told about 15 minutes (just pasta and soup), an hour and a half later we still did not have our food.

We had a problem with our phone, after 11:00 pm it rang every hour. No one was ever on the other line. We called and reported the problem after the first evening and were assured that someone would be down in a couple of minutes. We were there three days and reported the problem more than once, no one ever came. We evenutally were forced to unplug the phone.

Yes, Tulemar has great views and a wonderful private beach. The monkeys are everywhere. However, it is very overpriced for what you actually get. The restaurant and mini bar prices were just as bad as NYC. The pool is RIGHT next to the open air restaurant. I don't know about you but I do not want to see barely clothed people when I am eating nor do I like being stared at when I am in a pool. Stay somewhere else. There are plenty of places with comparable views and just as many animals without the price tag.

  • Stayed: November 2007, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank Nomad94
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,196 - 2,202 of 2,372 reviews

Reviewed October 25, 2007

We had been to Costa Rica before, but never to Manuel Antonio, so we went to VRBO.com (vacation rentals by owner). MA was our first destination after landing. We got there around 3:00, a three hour drive. It was rainy, as we went in October. I stopped by the rental office in MA, and Adolfo led us by car to the Mot Mot house. It's up a winding road, and parking is precarious, but the house was terrific.

Since it was the off season, I was able to negotiate a discounted price for seven people. It would have been worth a lot more in the sunny times. There are four bedrooms and two full baths. The master with king and a small bedroom are upstairs along with the living room, kitchen and terrace with a hammock. Downstairs there are two more bedrooms, one a king or queen and one a double bed, plus a laundry room, family room with TV and the pool and spa, which drop off into the forest. We had two maids come in once a day.

The only minor problems were the oven wasn't working, so we cooked everything stovetop, and we couldn't figure out how to plug the tub to use the jacuzzi jets in the upstairs bathtub, but these were minor annoyances. These probably could've been resolved with a phone call, but we didn't even bother. If you want to see monkeys, morning and dusk were the best time. It's not high enough up the hill to see the ocean, but it was really nice being surrounded by the forest. There are hiking areas near by, and the beaches are just down the road.

I wouldn't bring small children, just because the stairs are steep and made of tile, and also lack a railing. Also, the terrace can be very slippery when wet, so watch your step.

Stayed: October 2007
2  Thank Vannalee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 15, 2007

I don't know why there were ANY bad reviews about this place. The pictures shown on the website are EXACTLY what we got and more at the Tulemar bungalows, even in the rainy season! Not every bungalow is going to have the IDENTICAL view from the pictures (but pretty darn close to it), which only makes sense, but the bungalow itself is portrayed exactly to the T on their website.

We were worried from the few bad reviews about Tulemar claiming that their website was falsely advertised. So we emailed them and they immediately responded with concern and reassured us that the pictures from the website were from their bungalows but noted that I am the last to judge how true the pictures are and he attached additional photos of the bungalows. I really appreciated this email and in the end (not to sound like a broken record) my expectations were met and exceeded.

The staff there was great - everyone extremely friendly, willing/wanting to be of service and help in anyway. We stayed there for two nights on October 7th & 8th and our bungalow had breathtaking views from the living/kitchen area and the bedroom, immaculately clean, NO BUGS (if you keep the door or the windows open, expect to get insects in the room, just use common sense), quiet (except in the morning when the birds are chirping), lots of privacy (perfect for a couple like us), kitchen had everything from wine opener to pots and pans, bathroom had everything from exfoliating kiwi soap to mouth wash, etc etc. LOVED THIS PLACE!! WOULD DEFINITELY COME BACK IN A HEARTBEAT!!

Take advantage of their cheaper rates/specials in the rainy season, it may be wet but it's a perfect romantic getaway and an ATV ride through the mountains in the pouring rain is surprisingly A LOT of FUN!

THANK YOU ALFONSO AND REST OF STAFF!!!

  • Stayed: October 2007, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank nabs1004
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 24, 2007

Just got back from costa rica (8/15 to 8/23). From san jose to manuel antonio we took a taxi from the airport for 250.00 (round trip) and took 3 to 4 hours drive depending on the one lane bridge under construction in parrita, they lets car through once every hour. Had reservations for tulemar bungalows for 3 nights.We got bungalow 115. We are a family of 5 our kids ages 2,3 and 5. The views were beautiful, out the bedroom window was a tree with tons of monkeys in it. The tree out the front door had a sloth in it. We saw the animals in the afternoon and with in 5 minutes of being in our room. The kids loved the animals. The other window in the great room you see the roofs of 2 other bungalows but still it was a beautiful view.

OK, now for the bad.......the bungalow was awful, it was so old and in desperate need of updating. When you walk in it has a old musty odor. The kitchen had bugs all over the counter and microwave looked refurbished. The furniture is from the 70's and the bathroom was moldy and had missing tiles. We asked to see something from Buena Vista and they showed us a casa which was amazing. But you will have to pay a huge price tag. And of course, all the villas were full .

The breakfast was ok but our table had a problem with bugs wanting our food. The kids cried and couldn't sit down to eat because the bugs were in there food. The server put cups around us with sweet juice to attract the bugs away but it didn't work. So after breakfast we checked out 2 days early.

We went to Los suenos Marriott resort and had a wonderful time for our last days in costa rica.

Tulemar false advertised the bungalow rooms on there website. It is not a 4 star and is very over priced for what you get. They should be ashamed of themselves. Stay at buena vista

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17  Thank nic5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 17, 2007

My family and I went to Costa Rica for the first time and we stayed here for five days. The bungalow was beautiful and had an amazing
view of the beach and forest. The food at the restaurant was great and we only ate out of the hotel one night and we didn't like it. The restaurant even delivers to the private beach which is beautiful. The service here was amazing everyone in my family got sick here and the hotel called the local pharmacy, picked up the medicine, then delivered it to us in a matter of minutes. We almost didn't stay here because we saw many reviews complaining about ants all over the place although we hardly saw any. Although even if there were ants it is in the middle of the jungle so it is expected. We've stayed in many five-stared hotels but this was the best hotel we have ever stayed it at. The only bad thing about our trip here was that we didn't stay longer.

  • Stayed: June 2007, traveled with family
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1  Thank wildcatswim999
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 16, 2007

My husband and I went to Tulemar for 5 days as part of our honeymoon and stayed in one of the bungalows. The gorgeous views from the bungalow balcony, the private beach, the snorkeling just offshore, Tulemar's location close to Manuel Antonio park and Quepos, and of course, the incredibly caring and attentive staff added up to a wonderful time.

Our bungalow was beautiful, modern, spacious (big bedroom and large living room area plus balcony), and well maintained. Having a kitchen at our disposal was very convenient.

Food in the restaurant is good, but better restaurants can be found nearby. That said, we enjoyed breakfast at the restaurant every morning, taking in the spectacular views of the ocean.

Would definitely recommend renting a car to take advantage of the nearby sites - driving was no more challenging than driving in a mid-size city, the roads were well paved, and most drivers were courteous.

We would go back in a heartbeat!

  • Stayed: January 2007, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank shmSilverSpring_MD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 29, 2007

I contacted Tulemar thru Matias Flores from Serendipity Adventures: matias@serendipityadventures.com
Arriving from San Jose by car is a good 4.30 hours, rather good highway, and you can also fly.
Tulemar is a paradise and an affordable one. You have many selections of what type of lodge you want inside their premises, we chose Premium Bungalows that comes with two king beds + sofa-bed in the living room, full kitchenette and a well equipped bathroom. There is also a TV, a small safe deposit box and a nice mini bar.
The view of the sea is marvelous as if you are on top of the trees and the accommodation is impeccable. Room service among the highlights, towels every time you want for beach, pool or extra ones these ones would be displayed as swans in love on top of your bed, petals and all, for your amusement....
The beach is quite spectacular , you can swim, boogie board, kayak or just sit on your lounge chair and sip your drink prepared on the spot by Daniel.
Food is correct, diligently prepared and good is the wine selection.
The swimming pool is nice and clean and there is a car to take you up an down the beach.
I do not remember anything that can be the slightest inconvenience while at Tulemar, our time there was simply perfect.
Apart from this, you can go to the Manuel Antonio Natural Park and also canopy tour near by and do all sorts of other adventures outside the hotel, Tulemar can organize the tours.
CeciliaReise

  • Stayed: June 2007, traveled with friends
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4  Thank CeciliaReise
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Tulemar Bungalows & Villas

Address: Tulemar Gardens, Manuel Antonio 6350, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Manuel Antonio
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Manuel Antonio
Price Range: $148 - $339 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 34
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Tulemar is the premier resort development in Manuel Antonio. Gated and secure, the 33 acre jungle resort is perched on the hillside overlooking the Pacific, but continues down all the way to our own beach. It includes the Tulemar Bungalows and our special and unique villas such as Villa Mot Mot, Casa Panorama, Casa de Frutas, Casa Las Nubes, Villa Kiskadee and the new Tulemar Bamboo Villas just for couples. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Tulemar Bungalows And Villas
Tulemar Bungalows & Villas Hotel Manuel Antonio National Park
Tulemar Hotel
Tulemar Bungalows & Villas Costa Rica/Manuel Antonio

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