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“You pay for the view & setting”

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Tulemar Bungalows & Villas
Certificate of Excellence
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
151 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
“You pay for the view & setting”
Reviewed December 9, 2013

After two weeks of travel, our last stop was here. Exquisite setting in the jungle overlooking the water. We stayed in Villa Mot Mot (Upper) for four nights, which was expensive, and once there, we realized that the setting goes a long way toward justifying the cost. The bungalow featured fully equipped kitchen, big living room, expansive back porch with squeaky hammock, large bedroom and bathroom--plenty of room for 2. Coffee maker and filters provided, but not coffee. Fresh fruit upon arrival was a nice touch. The windows afford magnificent views from every part of the bungalow while keeping your privacy. AC units in the bedroom and the living room are powerful but quite noisy; the one in the bedroom made an intermittent noise that awakened me (light sleeper), and I turned it off since the living room AC cooled us enough with the bedroom door open. Ice maker had to be turned off due to noise, too. Concierge situation was awkward; the two assigned to us were gracious and knowledgeable but seemed offended that we didn't rely on them more to schedule supplemental activities. Can't beat the stunning beach which was also very quiet and private. Pools seemed nice, too, but only dipped in one. If you are splurging and want lots of guided activities (for which you pay), this is your place. Payment transaction and arrangements before our arrival were easy and smooth. Glad we stayed here, wonderful experience, might look elsewhere for next time. 5 minute drive down paved private road on the property to the beach--Tulemar van will take you or you can park your own car there. An indoor bathroom hut is conveniently located just a few steps up from the beach. Outdoor restaurant on the beach: you can sit there, or the waiter will serve you on the sand. Beach concierge will set your chairs where you prefer and outfit you with kayaks.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank ebunnyg
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 review, December 9, 2013
Hi ebunnyg.....thanks for posting the review on Villa Mot Mot and your stay in Tulemar.....Villa Mot Mot is one of our most popular Villas......the ocean views.....the tropical jungle that surrounds....the wildlife visits......thanks for pointing out the noise issues (the squeaky hammock, the AC and the ice maker).....we'll have our maintenance team check those out immediately......glad you enjoyed our beach and pools too.....we have lots of options for accommodations in Tulemar......from the smaller Bungalows to the exclusive private villas.....we'd love to have you back again!

Tulemar Dave
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English first
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed December 8, 2013

I stayed here with my fiance to celebrate our engagement and had the best time. Tulemar made our engagement extra special with small, personal touches the team had made happen during our time there. Our hostess Ashley was amazing and always accessible. She had set up roses and chocolates for our arrival and towards the tail end of the trip had brought us the best chocolate brownies personally to our door in the rain! Tulemar is truly gorgeous. It's tucked away in the hills of Manuel Antonio overlooking the Pacific and is its own private area. There are only a few private bungalows each with a kitchenette. On our arrival, there was a white faced monkey right in front of our door! We had a beautiful view of the sunset over the Pacific each night. We saw numerous creatures and even went hiking inside the grounds (they have two hiking trails). We also visited the private beach numerous times. Everyone at Tulemar was very friendly and attentive, we felt extremely relaxed during our stay there and can't wait to return. Thank you Ashley and the rest of the Tulemar team for making our time in Costa Rica truly memorable!

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank OssoBlanco
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 review, December 9, 2013
HI OssoBlanco.....we loved having you with us.....and congratulations again on your engagement......so glad to know that you enjoyed yourselves in Tulemar......the Bungalow.....the wildlife visits.....our beach....and Ashley....your personal concierge......for that extra special treatment and service......we hope you'll return soon....maybe for your honeymoon?! Thanks for posting the review.

Tulemar Dave
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Greeley, CO
Level Contributor
160 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 198 helpful votes
Reviewed December 8, 2013

We stayed at Tulemar’s Villa Mot Mot (upper, #307) for 6 nights over Thanksgiving week, and loved it. The accommodations were a splurge for our family, but definitely worth it. Our goal was to find a balance of relaxation with a bit of adventure in Costa Rica, and we found it here. Our family typically spends time in our accommodations rather than using it only as a place to sleep, so this review reflects that perspective.

Villa Mot Mot:

This villa is near the top of the resort, about a 5 minute walk to the front entrance gate. It’s a one bedroom villa with a separate lower unit underneath. In our unit, we enjoyed a wrap around covered deck with hammock, lounge area, dining table and chairs, gas grill, and telescope (came in handy to locate wildlife from the deck!). Inside, the unit includes a daybed in the living room, fully equipped kitchen with dish soap and paper towels, wine cooler, coffee maker, microwave, cooktop (no stove, dishwasher, or laundry facilities) and a nice bar with four stools. The bath includes a standard shower along with a rainfall shower, with adequate lighting, toiletries, and plenty of towels. The bedroom had 2 queen beds and a flat screen TV. Although these appear to be older units in construction, this one is decorated with modern high end touches that we appreciated. Binoculars, board games, and books are available to borrow in the cabinet. Cleaning service occurred daily and we were thrilled that they took note to clean as soon as we left the unit.

We found it convenient to cook breakfast at the villa and eat on the deck each morning, and a couple times we grilled out in the evening. We really took advantage of the fabulous deck and views as much as possible (naps in the hammock during afternoon downpours). White capuchin monkeys came to our deck to tease us.

The villa includes air conditioning, which works well.

Personal Concierge:

We were greeted upon arrival by Bill, our concierge. He took excellent care of us, taking us on a tour of the resort property to become familiar with everything and checking in on us daily. He shared interesting tidbits with us about the area and made sure everything was taken care of. Although we are very self-sufficient travelers, we very much appreciated him and he made us feel at home. In addition, prior to our visit, we received many email communications by Vanessa, wife of the property manager, to ensure all our needs were met. She arranged for all our transportation and tours, answered all my pre-trip questions, and arranged for groceries to be delivered to our fridge/wine cooler before our arrival. This saved us from having to go to the grocery store right away.

The Resort:

Tulemar is located in the rainforest on a hill, like much of the Costa Rican coastline here. There is an infinity pool just above Villa Mot Mot, which has a nice bar and outdoor restaurant overlooking the ocean – we spent a lot of time here relaxing! You can bring your own pool floats if you’d like, and we were happy that we did. Towels are provided. Most of the time, our family was the only one at this pool although others visited the restaurant section. Food here was very good – we only ate lunch there because it was, of course, resort pricing. The mahi mahi sandwich, fish tacos, and mango chicken wrap were delicious.

There is also a family pool, which we did not use, and a pool near the Villas/Bungalows, which is in a beautiful lush setting. This one is more natural and rustic, no restaurant, just us and the iguanas sunning themselves.

You can access Tulemar Beach by either the road or by the North or South Beach trails. We utilized all three methods, but the beach trails enabled us to spot monkeys, white nosed coatis, a surprise waterfall, and generally feel like we were in the middle of nowhere in the rainforest. The trails are a humid, a bit slippery and can be a little muddy along with rocks and tree roots (yes, it rained briefly almost every afternoon as we were there at the end of rainy season), so wear appropriate shoes. The beach itself is pristine, and the beach bar is a nice place to enjoy lunch – same menu as the pool restaurant. You can borrow towels and kayaks here. There were plenty of chaise lounge chairs available. We saw monkeys, a sleeping sloth, and diving pelicans here. Beautiful view of the ocean. As others have mentioned, the road back up the hill is a bit steep – our teens complained but it is manageable. I considered it a little workout since I was skipping my routine on vacation.

Nearby:

Lastly, I’d like to comment on a few things about the area right outside the resort entrance. There are many neat little restaurants within walking distance from the gate. There are not many shops or souvenir places in this immediate area. There is a Super Joseth grocery store you can walk to in about 5 minutes, and they have all the basics you might need – and it can be a fun experience to shop like locals.

Manuel Antonio Park is very close and there are many souvenir shops here, along with the beautiful wildlife. I highly recommend hiring a guide to tour the park – you can easily access it and walk the trails without a guide, but a private guide will take a telescope and point out things you would never see with your naked eye. We were so happy we arranged this tour through Tulemar, our guide Estella was excellent. We spotted all kinds of bugs and iguanas, deer, birds, monkeys, sloths, and even a crocodile. She was able to take awesome photos through the telescope with our iPhones, so definitely take your smartphone if you do this!

A Few Final Comments about Tulemar:

While we were at Tulemar, we found that the sun rose about 5:15 am and set about 5:15 pm. Sunset views from Villa Mot Mot’s deck were incredible. Each evening brought a different sunset over the ocean. Great spot for private happy hour!

We flew into San Jose, stayed our first and last nights there, and booked a private van transportation service through Tulemar for the 3-hour journey to the resort. This worked very well and we never regretted not having a car. All the tours will pick you up at the resort.

We were at Tulemar over Thanksgiving week, and happily found very few mosquitoes. We took a ton of mosquito repellent but did not end up needing it, just lots of sunscreen as the sun is very strong.

Wifi was excellent in our villa. And surprisingly, we had strong Wifi at the infinity pool AND down at the beach (different access codes). This definitely made the teens happy and connected!

Room Tip: Villa Mot Mot #307 (upper) is a bit pricey but worth it if you spend time in the unit and enjoy amaz...
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Steamboat323
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 review, December 8, 2013
Hi Steamboat323...WOW....thank you so much for such a detailed review.....definitely in our Top 3 ever for covering all the details.....and so valuable for someone searching for a great place to stay in Manuel Antonio.....we loved having you with us in Tulemar......thanks for booking with us at 4tulemar.com.....and thanks again for writing this review....we really appreciate it!

Tulemar Dave
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Redmond, Washington
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed December 7, 2013

My husband and two teens stayed at Villa Cielito (#403) and had a great time! The villa was incredible - we loved the view, the balconies, the outdoor showers and all the space. We spent a lot of time at the Tulemar beach and the waves were perfect to play in - not too big to be dangerous but big enough to have fun in. We couldn't believe how empty the beach was - sometimes we had it almost to ourselves.
We had white faced monkeys visit us on our deck a couple mornings and that was so fun - they seemed to "play" with us, jumping around on the deck and trying to get in. That was a fun surprise!
Chris was our concierge and he was great. We didn't require much care but when we did, he was super helpful and friendly.
We definitely recommend Tulemar. It's expensive but I would recommend spending a little more to get a balcony, we used ours a lot. Having the private beach available and outstanding views was worth it. We saved money by eating in the villa for most meals - great kitchen.
This is a really special place - we almost cried when we had to leave. We miss it already.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Charoletteo
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 review, December 8, 2013
Hi Charoletteo.....thank you for writing this review on your stay in Villa Cielito.....one of our 2 Bedroom Premium Villas......perfect for 4-8 guests......with 2 bedrooms/2.5 baths/full kitchen, living and dining areas.....and large balcony with jacuzzi.....Villa Cielito has one of the most amazing ocean views of all the 2 bedroom villas.......plus is located at the top....easy to walk in and out of the resort......thanks for your comments on Chris.....the personal concierge who handles Villa Cielito.....and the wildlife visits.....and our beach......they'll all be here when you are ready to return......thanks again for posting the review and we hope to see you back again!

Tulemar Dave
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
La Vernia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed December 6, 2013

We booked through Dave & he was wonderful!! We stayed at the Tulemar bungalows and we had the most amazing view out our panoramic windows to the private beach! We watched White-faced monkeys dancing on the porch rails and roofs of the other bungalows! We saw howler monkeys & squirrel monkeys & iguanas & some other animals I can't pronounce the names of! We watched beautiful colored birds flying gracefully around the property as if they were the guardians of Tulemar. Our private beach was the most exotic beach with the most beautiful colored water I've ever seen. Our bungalow was big, extremely clean & the panoramic view was simply beyond words! You will just have to stay there to experience it for yourself!!! Now as great as the entire property is with its private beach & wonderful bar down on the beach & incredible restaurant etc. the entire staff is more is more than half the experience of staying at Tulemar! All of the staff was incredibly professional,very knowledgeable, kind , courteous and so helpful! From the people who drive the shuttle to take you to & from the beach if you don't feel like walking to Danny the most amazing bartender on the beach and Joe who took our food orders and made sure that we never went hungry at the beach to the awesome housekeeping staff and office staff - everyone made sure we were comfortable! Now I'm saving the best for last - Chris our concierge was the most considerate, respectful, professional friendly, knowledgeable person who went above and beyond & completely out of his way to make sure that our stay was incredible and everything we dreamed of! Chris more than succeeded in making our dream come true! If we needed to go to the grocery store down the street he would drive us there and back & Carry our bags to the car even though he didn't have to and he took us there more than once! Chris booked all our excursions & gave us very good information on the companies, Chris is not only the best concierge in the world he is the BEST concierge on the p
planet - they just don't come better than Chris! The bottom line here is if you don't stay at Tulemar when you come to Costa Rica - you truly won't experience the very essence of PURA VIDA !!!! PS if my review is riddled with typos it's because I was so excited to get bookedthis review posted that I didn't take time to proof it! PURA VIDA. CINDY IN TEXAS

  • Stayed December 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Landgirlexplorer
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 review, December 6, 2013
Hi Landgirlexplorer.....wow.....what a great review.....thank you so much......you've certainly provided so much useful information......from the Bungalow itself.....to our Tulemar Beach......the wildlife.....our staff (and you remembered everyone's name!).....and especially Chris.....your personal concierge.....we agree with you......he is one of the BEST in Tulemar......he really wants to make sure you're enjoying your stay in Tulemar....and Costa Rica......he knows the best guides and activities......restaurants and tours.....and he'll handle all of the details.....making your trip so special.....thanks again for posting this review.....we all have big smiles on our faces.....you've made our day.....and we hope to see you back again!

Tulemar Dave
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
La Vernia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed December 6, 2013

We booked through Dave & he was wonderful!! We stayed at the Tulemar bungalows and we had the most amazing view out our panoramic windows to the private beach! We watched White-faced monkeys dancing on the porch rails and roofs of the other bungalows! We saw howler monkeys & squirrel monkeys & iguanas & some other animals I can't pronounce the names of! We watched beautiful colored birds flying gracefully around the property as if they were the guardians of Tulemar. Our private beach was the most exotic beach with the most beautiful colored water I've ever seen. Our bungalow was big, extremely clean & the panoramic view was simply beyond words! You will just have to stay there to experience it for yourself!!! Now as great as the entire property is with its private beach & wonderful bar down on the beach & incredible restaurant etc. the entire staff is more is more than half the experience of staying at Tulemar! All of the staff was incredibly professional,very knowledgeable, kind , courteous and so helpful! From the people who drive the shuttle to take you to & from the beach if you don't feel like walking to Danny the most amazing bartender on the beach and Joe who took our food orders and made sure that we never went hungry at the beach to the awesome housekeeping staff and office staff - everyone made sure we were comfortable! Now I'm saving the best for last - Chris our concierge was the most considerate, respectful, professional friendly, knowledgeable person who went above and beyond & completely out of his way to make sure that our stay was incredible and everything we dreamed of! Chris more than succeeded in making our dream come true! If we needed to go to the grocery store down the street he would drive us there and back & Carry our bags to the car even though he didn't have to and he took us there more than once! Chris booked all our excursions & gave us very good information on the companies, Chris is not only the best concierge in the world he is the BEST concierge on the p
planet - they just don't come better than Chris! The bottom line here is if you don't stay at Tulemar when you come to Costa Rica - you truly won't experience the very essence of PURA VIDA !!!! PS if my review is riddled with typos it's because I was so excited to get bookedthis review posted that I didn't take time to proof it! PURA VIDA. CINDY IN TEXAS

  • Stayed December 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Landgirlexplorer
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 review, June 24, 2014
Hi Mary V.....thanks for the terrific review on your stay in Casa Mirador in Tulemar.....one of our most popular two bedroom villas......Casa Mirador has amazing ocean views......panoramic.....and most guests find it difficult to leave..(like you)...even for meals......wanting to spend as much time as possible on the large covered balcony......taking in the views.....and watching the wildlife......plus you have "Team Diego" as your personal concierges to handle all the details.....and recommend the best tours and activities......and handle little issues that may pop up.....like lost luggage.....or a quick trip to the grocery store.....thanks again for booking with us at tulemar.com and we hope to see you back again soon!

Tulemar Dave
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed December 5, 2013

This was our second time staying at Tulemar and it was once again amazing. Our first trip we stayed at Villa Mot Mot, which we loved, but this time we chose Casa de Frutas to celebrate our wedding week. The attention to detail and service provided could not have been better. From the moment we arrived and were greeted by the staff along with a refreshing drink after our drive in and the amazing sunset...we knew it was going to be a perfect week. Mauricio went above and beyond helping us with any planning we needed and checking in just the right amount. The staff caring for the house, cleaning, etc. was also great! We have traveled many places and Casa de Frutas hands down is the best vacation home we have ever stayed in. The views are spectacular, the layout and details of the home are amazing! We look forward to many more stays at Tulemar and Casa de Frutas. Thank you to all the staff for all your hard work and making our wedding week the best ever!

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank blueyedgirl12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TulemarDave, Owner at Tulemar Bungalows & Villas, responded to this review, December 6, 2013
Hi Jamie and Tom......thanks for taking the time to write a review on your stay in Casa de Frutas in Tulemar.....one of our premier, private villas......we loved having you with us for your wedding.....and what an amazing wedding week it was.....with your friends and family......the parties....the dinners.....the wedding on the Tulemar Beach....the reception under the palms......you two made it perfect.....we were happy to play a small part......thank you for all the kind words.....Casa de Frutas is really a special villa......the design, decor, luxury, ambiance, the spectacular ocean views and personal concierge service by Mauricio make this one of our most requested villas.....(check our website to see what celebrities have stayed in this villa!)....thanks, again for staying with us and we hope to see you back 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

Property: Tulemar Bungalows & 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 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 National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
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 National Park

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