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“Stay At Bueana Vista Villas”

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Tulemar Bungalows & Villas
Certificate of Excellence
CA
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Stay At Bueana Vista Villas”
Reviewed April 14, 2007

We just returned from an 8 day stay at Tulemar. While the property and the people are fantastic the Tulemar Bungalows left much to be desired for the money. We recommend staying at Bueana Vista Villas which are much nicer and on the same property - although quite a bit more expensive it would be worth the extra cost.

Our first bungalow was located directly next to the restaurant which can be rather load early in the morning and late at night - which is not great when traveling with a 3 year old. The managment tried to be accomodating first moving us to the Panorama suite which is newly constructed but is still lacking in many areas. Firstly, they failed to inform us that the living are which doubles as a second bedroom does not have any curtains - again not great for a sleeping 3 year old. Secondly, there was a major ant invasion throughout the night we stayed in this room.

So off to location #3 which is back in the quite outdated Tulemar Bungalows - the bungalows are fine and this one had an amazing ocean view. It would be nice for the close to $300.00 per night if the bungalows where updated but they still were fine. Unfortunately a huge thuderstorm moved in that evening and our bungalow started to leak - big disappointment. So off to our 4th location which was back very close to the restaurant and only had a partial view.

The staff did what they could and did in the end give us a small discount but we were soured on the property at this point and will not return. The good news is that the Tulemar property is truly amazing with a private beach and the staff all around are really the nicest people. Further to this there is another set of Villas on the property called Buena Vista Villas and they are truly beautifully finished. You have access to the same ammenities accept an even nicer pool.

The private beach really is the best part of Tulemar. The staff (Claudio, Oscar and David) are so nice and accomodating. Yes the equipment is a little worn but if you really just want to chill by the beach, swim in the beautiful water and drink cocktails this is a great spot - definitely better than the overcrowded beaches with no ammenities in the park. The beach is down a steep hill but the shuttle is generally readily available and if not it isn't so bad to sit beachside a little longer.

The wildlife at Tulemar is another big bonus daily we saw many monkeys, sloths, iguana and birds right on the property. Many times from our room, at the beach or at breakfast.

The restaurant definitley could be a lot better, the service is really slow - especially at the beach where the food is prepared up top and delivered to you at the beach. Just be preapred to wait a bit for food here. The actual food isn't bad but not great either. The breakfast is adequate but only for a few days. Cafe Milagro is just accross the street and has amazing coffee, breakfast and lunch. We also higly recommend for an upscale meal La Hacienda you won't be disappointed but expect to pay $$$$.

In the end we did have a great vacation at Tulemar but we won't stay at Tulemar Bungalows again - Buena Vista Villas instead.

  • Liked — The people and location
  • Disliked — The accomodation is outdated
  • Stayed April 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
5 Thank CaliFamilyTravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Scottsdale, Arizona
Level Contributor
33 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed April 9, 2007

My family (hubby and kids 10 and 12) stayed the first part of our week at Hotel Si Como No, which we loved. We were looking forward to having a lot more space in our bungalow at Tulemar and have access to a private beach. The front desk helped us in getting a bungalow with a magnificent view, truly incredible. When we entered, we quickly realized that there were ants everywhere. We found out they just sprayed before we got there, and they were coming in to all the bungalows. I don't mind ants and I know we're in the jungle, but this was overwhelming. We got to experience an incredible storm on our first night at Tulemar and found out our roof leaked onto one of our beds. It took two phone calls to get someone to come out to help us. So we got past these few hiccups, and really liked the room after the ants were toned down and we weren't having leaks.

The beach was really nice to have. Oscar immediately took care of our needs once we were down there. We had drinks and ordered lunch, yes it took a while to get, but that's okay because we were enjoying the water and views. You can take a kayak out to an incredible snorkeling area and see the most beautiful fish. There were a few downfalls to the beach. The one that stood out most is that yes we have access to all this great beach equipment, but most of it is in such poor condition you can't use it. Most of the boogie boards have tears or something sharp sticking out of them, I also worried about the snorkeling equipment, I don't think they get sanitized.

The restaraunt was the pits. The food subpar and the service even worse. After coming from Si Como No, this was truly a let down.

The last night we were there (and the last night of our vacation), the restaraunt hosted a wedding reception, this is fine, except the music that was played was so loud, we could feel our bungalow vibrate for 3 hours and at 10pm we could finally put our kids to bed!!! We complained and the front desk apologized and blamed it on the restaraunt manager for not alerting all the guests of the hotel that this event was going to take place. She did get us $$ off for that night, which was a nice gesture, but we would have rather enjoyed our last night of vacation in peace.

Tulemar could be a fantastic place, it 's in a beautiful setting , the bungalows are great but need updating. The beach is beautiful but they need new equipment and someone to clean up the beach on a daily basis. They also need to bring up their standards of service. Much of the staff were indifferent to the guests, not the feeling you want to have while spending alot of money at a resort. Not sure if we will stay there again.

  • Liked — The beautiful setting
  • Disliked — Service, beach equipment needed replaced
  • Stayed March 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Scottsdaletravelmom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington, DC
Level Contributor
12 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed April 3, 2007

After staying at two stellar hotels in Guanacaste and Arenal, Tulemar was a disappointment. Half the view from our bungalow was obscured by the roof of the bungalow in front of ours, and the room itself was subpar...a moldy smell in the well-worn bathroom, drips from ceiling when it rained, dated furnishings. Also, the service was very uneven. The woman at the reception and the staff at the beach were super-friendly and made us feel welcome. Everyone else we encountered was indifferent, at best. No towels were available either day at the beach or pool. Drinks took forever at the bar. The shuttle took forever to pick us up at the beach as we waited in the pouring rain. (It's a LONG walk uphill, so you have no choice but to wait.) On the flip side, it was extremely entertaining to see the many squirrel monkeys leap from tree to tree, some with babies on their backs. That was fun.

  • Stayed March 2007
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank everettsmom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed March 26, 2007

We stayed at Tulemar for the first part of our honeymoon. The land in which these bungalows are on is incredible. The views are unbelievable as is the beach and wildlife. The staff is very helpful and always nice. The driver that takes you around the place (it's huge) is wonderful.
The rooms on the other hand really need some work. We switched rooms the first time because of an overwhelming ant infestation, got to the second room and realized it wasn't going to be different. Every surface in the kitchen and bathroom was covered in small insects. Not to mention a few lizards. Now I realize this is the jungle but this place is VERY pricey. The bathrooms need updating and are not very clean.
The restaurant was pretty bad too. The food made a few guests including us sick and the service was so slow. There are so many restaurants to choose from around the area though so you don't need to eat there.

My thought is Tulemar is not worth the money. They could do so much more. It has a lot of potential but should come down in price.

  • Liked — views
  • Disliked — rooms
  • Stayed March 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank brklynites
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Trenton, Ohio
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed March 18, 2007

Date of review: March 19, 2007
Reviewer: John and Carla from Ohio

Tulemar Bungalows was the last stop on our Costa Rican adventure for out 10th anniversary. It was an awesome last stop.

The place boasts a private beach that is well kept, clean and beautiful. There is ample shade and spots of great sun, and plentiful lounge chairs. There is also a ton of free equipment to use, from sea kayaks to boogie boards to snorkeling stuff. If you're looking for a quiet bob in the ocean, you're not going to get it there. The waves are not overwhelming, but they are constant and a TON of fun for even the beginning boogie boarder like myself.

The pool is nice but not used very much, it seems.

The whole place is connected by an on-call transportation service. Simply call reception and say "I need to go to the beach" and a van will be in front of your bungalow shortly. I heard a few others complain about the wait time for a van, but we experienced nothing but prompt service.

The bungalows themselves are beautiful. Clean, spacious, a well-stocked mini bar that isn't overly expensive (THAT was shocking!), with everything from water and sodas to beer and liquor, peanuts and candy. The views are amazing. The beds are comfortable. The bathrooms are nice with a big shower.

The one negative about this place is its restaurant. The service is horrendously slow and scattered, especially if you place an order at the beach but even if you are the only couple in the place for lunch. I can understand the desire to make everything fresh, but it shouldn't take 35 minutes for chips and guacamole, should it?

But don't let that stop you from coming here. Just take your pick from the DOZENS of really awesome restaurants within a 10 mile radius.

Which is another great thing about this place... it's near EVERYTHING you want to do, and the friendly reception stuff was tremendously helpful in confirming the reservations for adventures we had and making reservations for adventures we wanted to add.

Overall, friendly people and comfortable accommodations inside and out make this a great place if you're in Quepos or near Manuel Antonio.

  • Liked — Great beach
  • Disliked — Restaurant
  • Stayed March 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank JohnnyAgs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed February 28, 2007

Tulemar Bungalows is gorgeous! We booked our trip to Manuel Antonio a little late and our first choice (Makanda by the Sea) was booked and I'm so glad it was! The grounds, pool, bungalow, and private beach are all beautiful. The food was delicious, the staff extremely friendly, and setting very quiet and tranquil. We went over to Makanda one day for lunch and were happy to discover that Tulemar is much nicer! It's very upscale for the price. We will definitely come back to Manuel Antonio again and our first choice place to stay will be Tulemar.

  • Stayed February 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank verde-7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
seattle
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed February 23, 2007

We chose Tulemar for our wedding since it is the only place in Manuel Antonio with a private beach. Everywhere else has wonderful views, but no easy access to the beach. The bungalows are great. Spacious, awesome views, but most of all wonderful staff. I can't say enough about the staff. Especially Luz. She planned our entire wedding. We couldn't have asked for a more perfect day. The beach, the setup, everything. The food was amazing. Way beyond what I expected. All of our guests said the same. The beach is beautiful and the free equipment use is great. The pool is nice but next to the restaurant and not very private. Compared to the Buena Vista next door(we stayed there too) the amenities are not as plush. The Buena Vista is brand new and Tulemar is a little dated. The driver Fabio is awesome, all the reception workers, restaurant workers, grounds keepers, are fabulous. The breakfast in the morning is ok and the food overall is just average. I don't know what they did for our wedding dinner, but it was great. I can't say enough about the people at Tulemar. They made for a wedding and vacation we will never forget.

  • Liked — The staff!
  • Disliked — the beds(not too comfortable)
  • Stayed February 2007
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank catepillar
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

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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