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“Not as convenient with baby, just OK for the price”
Review of Tulemar Resort

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Tulemar Resort
Ranked #2 of 46 Hotels in Manuel Antonio
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 2, 2013

We stayed 3 nights in Villa 304. Let's start with the pros:
The villa was comfortable and had necessary amenities, and it was nice to have access to the private beach. The location was convenient to get to shops and restaurants, as well as the national park. The view was incredible and we did have a large group of monkeys play on our balcony (however, I don't think we saw half as much wildlife as other reviewers). I can see that it would be a great place for a family or couple, and the kitchen was very convenient to have.

However, we had a 9month old with us and there are several factors that make it less than ideal with a baby:
1) Our villa was a hike up. While this meant a fantastic view, it meant packing up our little one each time we went for a meal or to the beach.
2) The water temperature in the villa was not consistent--every 15-20seconds it would cycle between a difference of at least 15 degrees. This can be annoying for an adult, but with a little one, the difference can mean a burn. To their credit, I brought this up to the reception and they said they would have someone look at it. I never heard about what happened, but my point is that this shouldn't have been an issue in the first place.

Other than the baby-specific issues, I do think that we had certain expectations for the price that we paid, considering it cost more than the other top-ranked lodging we stayed at in Arenal & Papagayo. When we arrived and checked out, the same person helped us with our luggage, but we weren't sure if he was supposed to be our concierge because we didn't hear from him the rest of the time. I mentioned to reception that we had a lot of insects inside. While the maid graciously brought a bottle of RAID, the overall response was that we were in the rainforest. I've gone camping and also travelled out in nature, so I'm not afraid of bugs. However, my only complaint is that for the price that we were paying for a luxury villa, I was surprised that not more is done structurally (i.e. screen doors, making sure there were no gaps in the windows or doors) to minimize this. Every night, we went to bed with small bugs on our bed. One night, a cicada (VERY loud) almost made it through the gap under the balcony door into our living room...and those things are not small.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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1  Thank lil216park
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BuenaVistaLuxuryVil, Manager at Tulemar Resort, responded to this reviewResponded October 24, 2013

Thank you for submitting a review; I’m glad to hear you enjoyed our comfortable amenities and the private beach along with our prime location and view! In the heart of the rainy season it can sometimes be more difficult to witness the natural fauna. I’m sorry to hear that traveling with your baby influenced your opinion of our property, I’m not sure what we could have done to affect that. Many of the reviews here on tripadvisor do mention the steep topography and as you mention that is what creates our incredible views. As far as the hot water the problem was rectified, you’re correct it should never have happened. Lastly bugs are a fact of the rainforest and having been here in Manuel Antonio this long we do everything possible to coexist with nature while graciously blocking her where appropriate. Thank you for submitting your review to tripadvisor and Pura Vida!

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957 - 963 of 1,305 reviews

Reviewed September 20, 2013

What a delightful experience ! The staff here are top notch - Andres, Orlando, Gabriel, Michael all put their guest' experience foremost and make every effort to provide excellent service. The rooms were beautiful with lovely balconies complete with hammock. Private beach is clean with an attendant, swimming pools are smaller and intimate, staff excellent. We loved the unspoiled, lush grounds with an abundance of wild life. The property is spread out but drivers are prompt and accommodating. Food in Manuel Antonio is pricey but the restaurant at the resort is excellent and reasonable for quality, ambience and service. Location is ideal with easy access to activities. Also, this sounds like a little thing but they have BIG, full sized coffee pots - we loved having multiple cups of Costa Rican coffee while sitting on the deck each morning !

Room Tip: There are no 'bad' rooms here - we had a beautiful ocean view but other guest commented on t...
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  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Thank BrendaS80
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BuenaVistaLuxuryVil, Manager at Tulemar Resort, responded to this reviewResponded September 20, 2013

Brenda, thanks so much for taking the time to write this great review my only concern is when are you and your husband coming back? My whole staff feels the same way! I’m sorry about your negative experience at Mara Luna and glad we were able to blot out that bad experience at Buena Vista del Sol! Enjoy the coffee you took home and come back soon to get more! Pura Vida, Chris

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Reviewed August 26, 2013

First - the criticisms...our check-in process was not too good at all. Our concierge was busy with his other guests when we arrived, so some other staff took our luggage and offered to drive us to the beach for awhile until our room would be ready. We are pretty easy-going overall, but had traveled a great distance and were definitely tired. Nevertheless, we went to the beach and had lunch there (which was just ok- not great). The kids played in the water, which was fun for them. I think they forgot about us, because about 2 1/2 hours later, someone came to pick us up and take us to the room. Not our concierge, but a different person, and he kept apologizing, so I think they realized they messed up by leaving us there for hours. The 2 BR Villa was really great - one problem we had was that we requested a king bed in one room, and 2 queens in the other when we booked. Unfortunately all they had left for us was a room with queens in both bedrooms. Kinda disappointing, and there was not much that they could do to fix it for us, since all of the other villas had been given away by that point. Our concierge did come to meet us at our room. He was very nice, but seemed to be preoccupied the whole trip. Not sure what was going on with that, because other reviews on here had said he was amazing. I'm not going to name him, out of respect, because I believe he is a nice person, maybe just having an "off" day. We are not extremely needy, so we only used him to make one reservation at a restaurant for our last night. Another thing I will say negative, is the drinks at the beach seemed to take a long, long, time to be delivered, and seemed melted or watery by the time we got them. We didn't love the drink service we received there. So, now you know the rocky parts of our stay here.
Now, for the amazing part.....wow, we just loved having the space and the jungle views in our 2 BR Villa. We love dining out and trying new places, but once we arrived here, we did not want to leave. We ordered food to be delivered 2 nights, which is extremely out of character for us! That's a testament to how much we loved our suite. The hot tub on the balcony was just wonderful. We heard lots of monkeys, but unfortunately did not have the chance to view any from our villa. I think it was just bad luck, because I know they were out there. The rainforest showers were a very unique experience, but so memorable. My husband loved hanging out on the daybed in the living room area. So relaxing! The shuttles were always there at a moment's notice when going to and from the beach. The private beach was also a wonderful perk of this resort. The sand is brownish-black which is something I didn't know before arriving. So if you are expecting white sandy beaches here, it is not the case. Still, we liked the small amount of people on the beach - very private! The staff at the beach was great, and always willing to set up chairs/umbrellas or bring towels. Another nice thing was that they had many beach toys on hand for the kids. Bring dollar bills to tip the staff. One of my favorite things about the Buena Vista Villas was that you could walk to some nearby restaurants. This is nice when you don't have a car. We absolutely loved our "treehouse" here and hated to leave. We had a so-so experience with our concierge, but maybe he was just having a bad week. I would definitely stay here again, and would insist on a 2B villa again because it was great. In fact, I came home wishing our real home was a treehouse in the jungle. Alas, it is not! We have really great memories of our time relaxing at this hotel. Buena Vista Villas was a really great choice for us in Manuel Antonio.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank Kellost
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BuenaVistaLuxuryVil, Manager at Tulemar Resort, responded to this reviewResponded September 5, 2013

Thanks for writing the review, sorry we were slow checking you in we’ve had an extremely busy green season. Thank you for bring you issues to our attention so that we can address them; first and foremost the drinks… we’d like to say our drinks are the best and I will look into this on our behalf=). Glad you enjoyed the neighborhood feel of our location! Glad you enjoyed the villa and we look forward to you coming back, Pura Vida the Staff.

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Reviewed August 24, 2013

We vacationed with our good friends at one of the Buena Vista Luxury Villas, Panorama North (renamed Miradore), and the property is everything you see on line and more. The view is too-die-for and we spent many wonderful hours enjoying the large terrace and the wildlife both up close and from afar. The house is magnificent and perfect for two couples with plenty of privacy. The kitchen was well equipped and we were greeted with a tray of fresh fruits. The private beach was incredible and well staffed providing us with chairs, umbrellas, rentals and drinks. Our Concierge, Bill, could not have been more accommodating and helpful. The House Manager, Diego, wanted to be sure we had everything we needed to have a great time and that his staff was giving us top notch service - which they were. We will always remember our week in Costa Rica fondly and would recommend this house to anyone. Surprisingly we didn't have a disappointing meal. We ate at Cafe Milagro, Aqua Azul, Barba Roja and Salsipuedes and all were great.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Arlene H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BuenaVistaLuxuryVil, Manager at Tulemar Resort, responded to this reviewResponded September 5, 2013

Thanks for staying with us. Glad you had a good time; the animal never disappoint. Next time I hope you have the chance to eat at Buena Vista Del Sol. Pura Vida, The Staff.

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Reviewed August 20, 2013

My family stayed in a 1 bedroom villa (303) for 9 days in early August . We had a awesome time. The rooms are very nice. The property is truly unbelievable. The beach, which almost all places that you stay in around this area of Costa Rica do not have access to a beach, was outstanding. All the pools are very refreshing after a day on the beach. Our villa had what I like to say a private pool right down the path was our favorite pool with a beautiful waterfall. What was truly the nicest feature of this property was there staff. To many to list that made our stay awesome but the few that I will list are very good at what they do. Brian and Orlando did everything possible to make our stay enjoyable. David who worked the beach was a really nice guy my kids loved and had chairs and a umbrella waiting for my family everyday. But the one person, not to take away from anyone else, who was (MY GUY) was Michael our driver who I looked forward to seeing and chatting with everyday. We came to Costa Rica from Chicago and that is truly a awesome place and the people that run the place make it what it is. My kids had a experience of a lifetime that I know they will never forget.

Joe Rachelle Fabrizio and Rocco

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Thank Joe C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BuenaVistaLuxuryVil, Manager at Tulemar Resort, responded to this reviewResponded August 21, 2013

Joe, thanks for the great review! Glad we provided an extraordinary experience and hope to see you again! I agree with you that the Grotto pool is practically a private pool for the guests of 303/203, so close. I often joke with the GM that David (beach) has one of the best jobs in the world and he knows it. Hope to see you again when Rocco is bigger! Pura Vida, the Staff

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Reviewed August 5, 2013

At risk of sounding like a broken record, I want to publicly acknowledge the staff who personally made my recent stay glorious! My travel companions, Cindy and Gennevieve, have already eloquently described how fabulous our stay was and how perfect our accommodations were, but I want to describe why I am missing "home", even though I have returned from Costa Rica. From our first encounter with the staff, beautiful inside & out Mariana to friendly & strong Michael (carted 5 women's 50+ pound suitcases into our villa) to our sweet Andres who made everything possible and never told us "no", to our protectors, Eduardo & Johan, checking on us at a local bar, to handyman Gabriel making it possible for the 5 of us to shower before a long day of travel home to Brayan who was always interested in our daily adventures! It's people that mean something, that form lasting impressions of a place. I know this is a job for the staff and a difficult and exhausting one, but that is NEVER conveyed to the guests. The staff treats their guests like family or friends and they clearly take pride and ownership in their work, as they should, which is the best way to provide customer service! I hope to come back someday & see my new Costa Rican home and friends at Buena Vista Luxury Villas! Thanks for everything, amigos! Miss you all!
Pilar

  • Stayed: July 2013
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Thank PilarJenny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BuenaVistaLuxuryVil, Manager at Tulemar Resort, responded to this reviewResponded August 17, 2013

Pilar, we miss you too. You and your group of divine ladies were a pleasure to serve! Thank you for taking the time to write such a kind review and we hope you all come back again! Pura Vida!! The Staff

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Reviewed August 3, 2013

This is definitely the nicest resort with the best customer service we have experienced. From the time we arrived, there were numerous fun and friendly staff members ready to assist us in any way. Our personal concierge, Eduardo, gave us his cell phone number to call whenever we needed. Although a van is needed to get around much of the time due to the hillside location, one is always available within minutes of calling.

Accommodations

We stayed in a 2 story, 2-bedroom bungalow. The wraparound porch had a complete ocean view, eating area, rocking chairs, and a private hot tub. We saw a lot of wildlife just relaxing there. The outdoor (but still private) bathrooms were amazing, with the choice of regular shower or rain shower. The kitchen was fully equipped with dishes, cookware, etc. There is a full-sized refrigerator. There are items in the refrigerator, but you have to pay for them. Instead, we walked a few blocks down the street to a grocery store and got some items for breakfast and a few lunches. The beds were comfortable. Having a washer and dryer in the unit was fantastic. The cleaning personnel came while we were away most of the time, and did a very nice job. It was so nice having so much room for our family of four (after being all in the same room at the previous hotels)

Amenities

The beach at this resort is amazing. There were always plenty of comfortable beach chairs, boogie boards, sea kayaks, etc for our complimentary use. The waves were high enough for fun boogie boarding, but the area is located in a cove so we never experienced any sort of dangerous riptides. One day, we spent quite a while watching a troop of monkeys come through the trees in the beach area and eat the fruit there. Our boys enjoyed playing in the family pool, where the water was very refreshing. We had dinner one day at the family pool with the restaurant. While the service was a bit slow, the food was good, and we enjoyed the environment.

Service

The amenities are fantastic here, but the service is what is truly exceptional. One evening, my husband left his camera at a restaurant we had walked to for dinner. We called the front desk and told them about it. Within minutes, Luis had gone to retrieve the camera and delivered it to us at our villa. When we went to the grocery store, we bought a cookie dough mix and eggs, but neglected to get butter to add to it. I told our driver about this problem, and asked if it would be possible for us to buy a stick of butter at the pool restaurant. Michael said not to worry, he'd take care of it. Again, within minutes, 2 sticks of butter were delivered to our door. One day when we were at the pool, Eduardo was walking by and saw a sloth in a tree (which he probably sees all the time). He took the time to come back and point it out to us, only about 15 feet from the sidewalk. We retrieved our camera and were able to take photos and take a lot of time just watching it. There are very few places that you can stay and receive this level of service from fun, personable staff members who truly seem to love their jobs. We thank Eduardo, Micheal, Orlando, Luis, and all of the other staff members who made our stay such a joy.

We would definitely stay here again, and would highly recommend Buena Vista Luxury Villas to anyone coming to the Manuel Antonio area.

Room Tip: We stayed in bungalow number 413. The benefits were the incredible ocean view from our balcony, the...
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  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank CarrieD1027
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BuenaVistaLuxuryVil, Manager at Tulemar Resort, responded to this reviewResponded August 17, 2013

Thank you for staying with us. There is not much I can add to this glowing review beyond thank you! Glad you enjoyed the 2 bedroom Premium Villa; myself, the washer and dryer alone immensely improve the experience there, but that is not to discount the hot tub! Please return again soon, Pura Vida! The Staff

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Additional Information about Tulemar Resort

Address: Tulemar Gardens, Manuel Antonio 6350, Costa Rica (Formerly Buena Vista Luxury Villas)
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Manuel Antonio
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Luxury Hotel in Manuel Antonio
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Manuel Antonio
Price Range: $234 - $938 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Tulemar Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 38
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to Tulemar Resort The Premier Resort Hotel in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica Rated as the number 1 resort hotel in Central America and Costa Rica and number 9 in the World by Trip Advisor Tulemar Resort is a full service resort set in the peaceful 33-acre gated and secure Tulemar Gardens Condominium. A wide variety of standalone accommodations are available for our guests, including the famed Tulemar Bungalows & Villas, as well as our luxurious 1, 2, and 3 bedroom Buena Vista Luxury Villas. The property itself is spectacular, nestled in a lush rainforest overlooking the beautiful Manuel Antonio coastline. Surrounded by nature, Tulemar Resort features incredible gardens, walking paths, thriving wildlife, and the ONLY exclusive sandy beach in the region. At Tulemar Resort you will enjoy the luxury and privacy of your very own villa, along with the amenities of a high end resort, including concierge service, daily maid service, 4 swimming pools, beach bar, spa services, tour desk, and the best sunset bar and restaurant in town. We invite you to review our website for photos and details, then book one of these magnificent villas or bungalows and experience the most unforgettable vacation of your life! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Buena Vista Luxury Villas Hotel Manuel Antonio National Park
Buena Vista Hotel And Casas
Tulemar Resort Costa Rica/Manuel Antonio

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