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“Second time in Costa Rica, First time in paradise”

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Tulemar Bungalows & Villas
Ranked #1 of 46 Hotels in Manuel Antonio
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 12, 2011

We stay at Tulemar as honeymooners and the experience was absolutely PERFECT. Not only the place (out of this world) but the people, the service, the food, the animals, absolutely everything was a lifetime experience. Our concierge Jullien took care of everything since we decided to make reservations nine months before. We book thru Dave at 4tulemar.com and it was a very secure and responsible service. We stayed on Bungalow 111 and it was fabulous for the two of us, but if you are planning on going with a family of 4 its perfect too. The place is beautiful, super secure, private and relaxing. The equipment provided at the beach was great and useful. Lots of delicious restaurants at walking distance from the entrance of Tulemar. We don't have any complains about this place. PURA VIDA!

  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank Nararly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TulemarDave, General Manager at Tulemar Bungalows & Villas, responded to this reviewResponded July 13, 2011

We're so happy you spent your honeymoon with us and loved the stay, especially coming from such a wonderful island like Puerto Rico, your review means so much to us! Thanks for the kind words about Julien, your personal concierge and the Tulemar Bungalow! Hope to see you back again!

Tulemar Dave

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2,130 - 2,136 of 2,511 reviews

Reviewed July 12, 2011

Where do I even start.. The owner Diego came and picked us up at the bus stop when we called him from another hotel. He then gave us a tour of the entire property which is so freaking awesome... Our room has a panoramic view of the ocean and jungle and is situated in such a way that you can see everything and feel like your in your own little world. Anyways, Diego introduced us to the bar tender on the beach and took us to buy some groceries. He is a real cool guy and gave us his cell number in case we needed anything. The first night we locked our keys outside and were stuck on our balcony. We called Diego from another room and 10 minutes later Chris arrived with another key without any complaints. This guy seriously is one of the nicest people I have met period. We called him about an hour later because we were having trouble calling for a food delivery. We told him what we wanted and he ordered it, picked it up and brought it to us. The next day we woke up to hearing and seeing monkeys right outside our window. My wife and I fed them bananas from our hands which we later found out was a no no.. But is was a pretty awesome experience.. We chilled on the beach (which is a private beach where you can grab boogie boards and kayaks for free) We ate at the beach bar and were laying right under a tree with a sloth in it which was pretty cool. The next day we did an Atv store and my wife needed shorts so Chris drove us to a few different stores and dropped us off at the 4 wheeler location. He even tried to buy us a local drink. This guy makes you feel like you are a friend and not just a customer which really makes all the difference. Chris set up our interbus trip to Arenal the next day and even drove us to the office. Our last day Chris set up a spice farm tour and came to take our luggage to put into storage while we were gone. When we got back we still had 3 hours until the bus came and Diego and Chris allowed us to chill in this absolutely ridiculous house until our bus picked us up. Tulemar is great, the Mot Mot room where we stayed was awesome. Even the maid had swan towels, hearts and other cool looking things on our bed when we returned. There really is nothing like looking out at the ocean at the rain from the mot mot hammock with a glass of wine in hand. I would highly reccomend this establishment and think Chris should get a raise.

Room Tip: ask for one with monkeys
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  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank NicknAyse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TulemarDave, General Manager at Tulemar Bungalows & Villas, responded to this reviewResponded July 13, 2011

Wow....thanks for the great review on Villa Mot Mot and especially on the service provided by your personal concierges, Diego and Chris! Your stories demonstrate perfectly that these guys really care about their guests and will do what ever it takes to make your stay even more enjoyable and easy, from helping with a phone call (for your food delivery order) to taking you to town to buy your shorts! Yes, I agree that Chris deserves a raise (plus he's an excellent chef!). All of the guests who book with us receives a personal concierge to assist with their trip, from their transportation to Tulemar to their final farewell! Thanks again for staying with us in Villa Mot Mot and we hope to see you again!

Tulemar Dave

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Reviewed July 11, 2011

We recently stayed for five nights in Casa Del Mar, which we booked through Dave at 4tulemar.com. The concierge service that is offered as part of your stay is wonderful! From the moment we started researching Tulemar till the morning we sadly drove back to San Jose, Julien, our concierge, was amazing! The house and views were beautiful and exceeded our expectations. As two 30 something couples it was perfect in size and design. From the hot tub on the balcony to the open air showers, everything was beyond great. The private beach, beach restaurant and bar (Michael), and van shuttle service were wonderful. Everyone we met there was so welcoming and friendly! I highly recommend Tulemar for couples and families alike.

Most of the other reviews have gone over any drawbacks of the property but in my opinion none are significant enough to take away from the beauty of the property and all the wonderful services that are offered. I would like to say that if you are there to surf it is a bit difficult to get to a good break without a car. We made it work but it would have been nice to know ahead of time.

  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank ChrissySRQ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TulemarDave, General Manager at Tulemar Bungalows & Villas, responded to this reviewResponded July 13, 2011

Thanks for your review and comments on Casa del Mar and Julien.....we're so glad you enjoyed your stay with us.....yes....a valuable part of booking with us is the personal concierge we provide for each villa, suite or bungalow.....the same person that will assist with all aspects of your stay....very unique....and it makes your stay so easy! You are right, for actual surfing, you really need to go to the public beach at Manuel Antonio or other beaches 10-15 minutes up or down the coastline; our beach at Tulemar is a protected cove, meaning smaller waves, perfect for swimming and boogie boards!

Hope to see you back again....

Tulemar Dave

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Reviewed July 10, 2011

This was our first trip to Costa Rica and we stayed at Tulemar in Manuel Antonio because it seemed to have everything we were looking for; wildlife, beautiful beaches and fun. It was more than we expected, the house (Casa Ylang Ylang) was beautiful with plenty of space for 6 and really great views of the water and the jungle surrounding it. We had White Faced monkey visits almost every morning. The adult pool and the family pool are just a short walk away from the house, but you can take a shuttle anytime to the beach which was really beautiful. The staff was great, Mauricio (the concierge) was really great. He set up everything we asked for ahead of time and it all went exactly as we wanted it to. He set up tours to Manuel Antonio park, ziplining, white water rafting, a boat trip through the Mangrove area with George of the Mangrove, as well as dinner cooked at the house by Chris. The tours were all very professionally done and dinner was probably the best Chipotle chicken any of us have ever had. The creme brulee was pretty darn good too! The only issue we had was the air was not working well in the master bedroom, but when we called Mauricio he sent someone out right away to look at it. This was not a cheap trip, but not overly expensive per person and we will absolutely do it again if we can.

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled with family
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1  Thank AndersonA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TulemarDave, General Manager at Tulemar Bungalows & Villas, responded to this reviewResponded July 11, 2011

Hi AndersonA....thanks for the review on Casa Ylang Ylang...(our 3 bedroom Buena Vista Villa)......everyone loves it.....from the views, the decor, the large balcony (with a jacuzzi tub) and especially the indoor/outdoor showers in all three bathrooms.....plus the services of Mauricio....your personal concierge.....he really knows all the right tour guides and companies for the best experience! Were also glad you enjoyed your evening with the private chef, Chris; he works exclusively in Tulemar and is amazing! We hope to see you back again!

Tulemar Dave

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Reviewed July 9, 2011

Recently stayed for 4 nites with my family (2 adults, 2 teens). Like most other reviewers, I found the setting and proximity to both Quepos and Manuel Antonio Park terrific, the staff friendly and helpful, the beach -- overall setting, boogie boarding (esp. at low tide), water temperature -- excellent, views spectacular, and the lodging very nice. But I also learned a few things that I'm hoping others considering this property will find helpful:

* Tulemar is not a hotel, it's a housing development with multiple rental companies representing individually owned units. One of these rental companies is Buena Vista Luxury Villas (BV), another is 4Tulemar. Some owners also rent via VRBO. As such, unit decor, quality, furnishings, linens, etc., can vary widely, particularly with the units handled by BV. We experienced this 1st hand with a move from the unacceptably tired bungalow BV initially put us in to a much nicer unit in another part of the development. As such, the quality of what you get can be hit-or-miss (eventhough the pricing is uniform), unless you are able to specify a unit or preview what you have been assigned.

* The exception to what I've just said is units and villas/houses handled by 4Tulemar. This rental company holds the properties it handles to a much higher, more uniform standard than BV units -- they are truly elegant, lovely accomodations, each with unique decor, furnishings, etc. However, unlike the BV units, many 4Tulemar units come with minimum stay requirements, which may not work for those planning to stay for less than a week (some of their units have lower minimum stay requirements). The manager/owner of 4Tulemar, Dave Houck, a U.S. ex-pat, has set this high quality bar. While we did not rent through him (kinda wish we had), he was a joy to meet, very helpful providing advice/tips on the property, and personally assisted our family with a couple of logistical matters.

* While the bungalows tend to be the older units on the property (suites, junior suites, villas tend to be newer), they also have some of the most magnificient views (first built, best views). In addition, they are spacious and may work well for families

* The Tripadvisor reviews of Tulemar often do not distinguish between the company used by the reviewer for their rental; for reasons listed above, understanding who you are renting from -- and the quality implications -- may be important to some travelers

* BV pushes their Victoria's Italian Restaurant -- menus are provided in each of their rooms, and it's the only restaurant, other than the bar/cafe at the beach and the breakfast cafe at on of the pools, that allows you to charge to your room. However, we found Victoria's pricey ($18 for a plate of pasta?) and there are many other, more moderately priced restaurants within a short walk of the property

* Whether you rent from BV, 4Tulemar, or another company/individual, all guests can use the free shuttle service, which will pick you up near your unit and take you to the beach or to the nearby market(s) and restaurants. They will not take you to Quepos or MA Park (both are about a $6-8 taxi ride each way)

* The property is quite steep (one reason the views are so good), so most guests walk down to the beach and take the shuttle back up the hill

* Best time for wildlife viewing on the property -- birds, monkeys, etc. -- is very early in the morning. We're talking 5:30am or so. Several "monkey bridges" (ropes) are strung up around the property, including next to the front office. These are great spots to camp out and let the wildlife come to you. There are also 2-3 nature trails on the properties that start at the ends of the beach -- also great places to see wildlife and/or take a beautiful walk

* Accomodations do not include breakfast, unlike other lodging around Costa Rica. Breakfast is available for purchase at one of the development's pools (the meals are good and the price is fixed at $12/entree). However, most units have kitchens and there is a market within 5 minutes of the property that has almost everything you'll need to fix your own meal.

* Jellyfish show up in the water at the beach depending on the time of year, as they do throughout the country. You might want to ask about this when you arrive, or consider this if your travel dates are flexible and you plan to spend a lot of time in the water. There were very few around when we were there, but one family member did receive a mild sting that the beach dude treated effectively with Windex.

* Free WiFi is available throughout the property, but don't expect to be streaming anything -- it's functional for email, and painfully slow.

Overall, we enjoyed the property and, armed with this type of information, would stay there again.

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled with family
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10  Thank daninsanfran
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TulemarDave, General Manager at Tulemar Bungalows & Villas, responded to this reviewResponded July 11, 2011

HI daninsanfran.....thanks for taking the time to write such a thorough review and for explaining many of the services and amenities in Tulemar.....we're happy that you enjoyed your stay and we look forward to having you back with us again!

I would like to clarify a few of the points that you made...

First, you're right, Tulemar is not a hotel in the traditional manner....we have no "building" with blocks of rooms.....but we are a luxury resort with about 45 individually owned and very unique properties....all on 33 acres.....along the hillside......surrounded by dense jungle.....and our beach at the bottom! We have a free shuttle that runs around the resort, we serve breakfast poolside and lunch/drinks/snacks at the beach bar and grill. It's a gated and secure resort complete with hiking and nature trails. There is nothing else like it in Manuel Antonio!

There are two management companies in Tulemar....Buena Vista Villas, who manage and rent the Buena Vista Villas and Tulemar Bungalows and Tulemar Vacation Home Rentals (4tulemar) who rent the larger private villas along with the Buena Vista Villas/Tulemar Bungalows. These two companies work together as partners to insure that all Tulemar guests, no matter who they rent from, are given the best service and accommodations possible. We both rent many of the same properties.

The Tulemar Bungalows are about 20 years and are well represented in the photos and descriptions on our web site. I feel the Buena Vista Villas are the premier luxury rental properties in Manuel Antonio. They are only 4-7 years old, have dramatic ocean views, luxurious Balinese styling and lots of wildlife visits!

We are also happy to have Victoria's Restaurant as one of our partners. They provide "room service" delivery to all of our properties, because sometimes you (or the kids) just don't want to leave the suite or villa. Their pizzas and pastas are great! There are 10 other restaurants within 2 blocks of our front gates.

Again, we appreciate the review and all of your comments. It was a pleasure to meet you and your family. Congratulations on your oldest daughter's acceptance at John Hopkins and we look forward to some "design consultations" from your younger daughter in the future!

Tulemar Dave

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Reviewed July 8, 2011

Loved it all! very nice private beach, beautiful views from the villa. Feed monkeys from your windows. Very safe and quiet at nights. Great place to take children who love nature!

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled with family
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2  Thank Robin747474
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TulemarDave, General Manager at Tulemar Bungalows & Villas, responded to this reviewResponded July 9, 2011

Thanks for the review.....glad you enjoyed your stay in the bungalow.....yes....lots of wildlife in Tulemar......although feeding the monkeys is not good for them....they are fun to watch! Hope to see you in Tulemar again!

Tulemar Dave

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Reviewed July 7, 2011

We ended up staying here on short notice based on the review of a friend. We're so glad we did. We stayed in the lower level but it plenty of space for my husband and for me. The view was wonderful, the porch and the bungalow wonderfully private, and the room very comfortable. The shower was great. We got groceries at a nearby shop so we could enjoy coffee and breakfast on the balcony overlooking the ocean. The beautiful beach is a short walk downhill and there are shuttles available to go back. The bungalows are close to great restaurants. Everyone who worked at the beach was really kind and helpful -- great service. I would definitely go back.

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank czed
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TulemarDave, General Manager at Tulemar Bungalows & Villas, responded to this reviewResponded July 8, 2011

Thanks for the review! Villa Mot Mot Lower is one of our most popular (and inexpensive!) properties in Tulemar; a king size bed, bath with jacuzzi tub, large outdoor terrace, all with great ocean views and personal concierge service from Diego and Chris! Hope to see you again!

Tulemar Dave

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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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