I do a lot of reading and research before booking - in some ways it's a lot of work and also part of the fun and anticipation. For Manuel Antonio, there are many options to choose from and since we have a family of four with twin 7-year olds, we had certain requirements. Lucky for us, it was the summer and moderately slow season, so there were some relatively good deals, too. If you're used to traveling in Latin America, Costa Rica is comparatively pricey. Food and hotel are much more expensive than other neighboring countries and more like U.S. prices- $34 fish entrees. But as long as you are prepared and it's ok with your budget, it's all good.
Beforehand, I kept hearing that Tulemar was the place to stay and it's true. It's like being in the park itself with great concierge services. And if you're interested in viewing wildlife from your balcony, then Villa Mot Mot is your place. We arrived in the evening and spotted a toucan in the tree near the security gate.
Our concierge walked us to the unit which had plenty of room for a family of four. We all slept in the bedroom. The bathroom was a good size and everything was very clean. You are in the middle of a beautiful, green park full of wildlife, but we experienced no bugs in the property. I don't know how they did it. The kitchen and living area also had everything we needed as we cooked and ate in quite a lot. Loved the separate icemaker and the a/c worked perfectly. You spend a lot of time on the balcony as the view from the second floor is expansive to the sea past green hills and the sounds of the jungle. We were given a welcome package of gorgeously ripe pineapple, a mango and bananas. I cut the pineapple to serve on the balcony and the squirrel monkeys that we saw from 200 yards away must have smelled it and came scampering over. You can spend hours on the balcony looking at the view and watching for wildlife, swinging in the balcony or eating outside. Plenty of room to relax and lounge. We had a coati visit at night that slept on one of the chairs.
The next morning we were given a tour of the property and enjoyed breakfast at the beach and my kids loved the kayaks and the warm water. The setting is beautiful and we saw white-faced capuchins and squirrel monkeys, a Jesus Christ lizard and iguanas. It was idyllic. Having the beach service with towels and chairs is one of the benefits of a private beach at Tulemar. There are other properties, but I don't believe any others have beach service like this with a ride back up the hill to your unit. It's a definite plus, especially if you have young kids or just love hanging out at the beach with amenities.
The infinity pool was lovely and just up the hill from our unit. The only negative of the stay was that on our last full day, Monday, we had nonstop noise from the construction that was very close to this unit. It was tough to sit out on the balcony and enjoy the surroundings, but even that day, we had a howler monkey visit us. If we had known about the construction, we could have planned to be out all day. All in all, it was a great stay and definitely worth it. We stayed in another beautiful Tulemar property in the Buena Vista section and that was also incredible and more luxurious, but didn't have the same kind of wildlife-spotting opportunities. Feel free to pm me if you need other info. We also visited and stayed at other properties in the area so were able to compare.
- 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 National Park