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“Breathtaking views”
Review of Tulemar Resort

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Tulemar Resort
Ranked #2 of 46 Hotels in Manuel Antonio
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed May 30, 2014

Extraordinary villas, wonderful staff, delicious food - all for 34 of us sharing a few days together. Bryan was a wonderful concierge; Luis was the friendliest shuttle driver ever and always available, and Jose was attentive in the restaurant. The restaurant even opened early on the day of an early-morning excursion and the day we left so that we didn't have to leave hungry! The only struggle was making the walk down to the beach and back - unless you called for the free shuttle. I had planned to get my exercise doing a lot of walking, but the degree of some of the inclines were not appreciated by my knees. The infinity pools spoiled us and it was hard getting back to the reality of indoor pools with only wall views.

Room Tip: The 3-bedrooms villas seem to have the highest views of the water.
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  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Anne S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BuenaVistaLuxuryVil, Manager at Tulemar Resort, responded to this reviewResponded June 11, 2014

Hi Anne and thank you for the kind review! We are so happy to hear of your extraordinary stay with us. The trick to walking up from the beach is to jump in one of the pools upon arrival and after you get your breath in the cool water of the pool, then on to your unit. The 2 and 3 bedroom units are great for groups meeting up or traveling together and we do our best on property to accommodate schedules when we can. Thanks again and remember when you book direct you get a 5% discount. Pura Vida! Chris

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864 - 870 of 1,276 reviews

Reviewed May 27, 2014

We stayed in a one bedroom villa on the 3rd floor, and spectacular views of the sunset from our balcony.
Danny, the concierge, was very attentive and made sure to call us each morning to make sure all our needs were met. Daniela, our bartender, did a wonderful job as well. She even called one of the restaurant owners on our way to dinner to make sure our experience was superb.
The concierge can set up any excursions you want, and give you guidance on who to talk to if you are going to the public beach.
The grocery store has a delivery service, so make sure to ask for it (Danny let us know about this too). The private chef was super nice, and we had a wonderful dinner and brunch on our balcony.
I highly recommend staying here.
Pura Vida

Room Tip: higher units have a better view i think, and remember the grocery store has a delivery service.
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  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank alex t
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BuenaVistaLuxuryVil, Manager at Tulemar Resort, responded to this reviewResponded May 28, 2014

Axel t, Thank you for a great review! The one bedroom select villas are excellent for love birds looking for privacy and views! Good tip on talking to our staff in terms of outside the grounds! Your recommendation is much appreciated and we hope to see you again, Pura Vida- Chris

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Reviewed May 23, 2014

We stayed 6 nights at Buena Vista in one of the bungalows, in mid-May. Great weather, with just a few evening showers. Lots of wildlife and dramatically beautiful views.

PROS:
Buena Vista Villas/Tulemar Bungalows is a fantastic destination and hard to leave. First and foremost, the staff is beyond compare. They are all a pleasure to see every day. Orlando, Vivianna, Mariana, Brian... and all the staff we met were absolutely wonderful. Vivianna gave us a walking tour of the local wildlife and flora one morning and Orlando had the foresight to have our room cleaned while we were on it - with him! If we needed an extra towel, some soap or something, Orlando had it within minutes at our door. Proactively coordinating service 24 hours a day - literally - is apparently routine, whether it is confirming shuttle services, setting up an offsite tour, making dinner reservations, or just checking in to make sure everything is perfect for you. I doubt we will ever find another destination with comparable service.

We decided during our stay that we wanted to see macaws on a birding tour, but there were none on the printed hotel lists or marketing tourism material that we could find. Not a problem. Vivianna was on it for us, gave us 2 destination options and found a guide, that with no notice, was available and took us personally on our own private tour at the Carara National Park next to the Tarcoles River, about an hour drive from Manuel Antonio. It was a full day tour and just amazing. Vivianna outdid herself for us by getting this private tour. Berny was our guide and I would highly recommend him. Berny was a bird-whisperer, if there is such a thing. He could make a bird-call and the bird would fly to him. On our tour he was able to call multiple orange collared manakins to dance in front of us. We saw more red macaws than I can remember, and a boa constrictor during our hike. The one bird we did not see, but did hear, was a toucan. Berny made a special trip the next morning to pick us up at Tulemar/Buena Vista to take us to a nearby nesting location he knew about so we could see multiple fiery billed toucans.

At Tulemar/Buena Vista, the staff is on the lookout, and took time at every opportunity to show us wildlife on the property. One evening Orlando called us to come see some yellow billed toucans near the reception office. Vivianna also has an infectious enthusiasm for the wildlife. Her walking tour of the property is a great idea and we recommend it to any guest. Try to find the Tink Frog next to the bungalows, and listen for the pigmy owls at sunset or before sunrise. You are almost assured of seeing a troop of red-backed squirrel monkeys or howler monkeys. We missed the white faced capuchin monkeys, but saw them offsite.

The onsite beach is beautiful and relaxing. I recommend using one of the free kayaks to explore the bay/cove. Don't forget ample sunscreen if you do, go in the morning while the surf is calmer, and if you want to swim, snorkel, feed fish around the rocks - bring your own goggles. The property does not have any. However, if you paddle across the cove to the Beisanz (sp?) beach, you can rent snorkel gear for $10. There is food and drinks provided on the beach - more pampered service. If you go for a walk on the north beach trail, take insect repellant, and expect to see lots and lots of crabs!

The pools are all nice and clean. We liked the family pool the most - beautiful and large enough to swim short laps. If you don't rent a car but want to get around, the public bus service is convenient on the main road right down to M.A. beach and Nat'l Park. Groceries, restaurants, cafes, banks, and nice gift shops are all walking distance. Onsite food service was very good.

You can arrange from many different activities that will pick you up onsite. We did the Titi Canopy zipline tour and highly recommend that as well. Also recommend the night frog tour.

The bungalows have kitchenettes so you can bring in groceries and make some of your own food. Plenty of kitchen appliances and all utensils provided for you.

CONS:
If there is any reason this property isn't completely perfect it is the dated and worn state of the 30+ year old bungalows - conditions noted by other guests and acknowledged by the owners. They all have great views, are very cute, and hands down, better options than a typical hotel room - and we hope to come back to enjoy them again. But if I listed every detail of our bungalow that in my opinion needed attention or updating, it would not sound pleasant. Overall the rustic conditions add some character and they are truly comfortable and enjoyable. In addition, to many people the bungalow conditions may not matter in the least. It would be my preference that the management invests in updating the bungalows to truly make the entire experience above and beyond expectations, on par with the staff, and not just OK. For clarification, I am referring to bungalows 100-117. The other villas and properties onsite may well be in better condition.

That said, it was truly hard for us to leave, hope to come back again, and we would highly recommend Tulemar/Buena Vista.

Room Tip: We think bungalow 112 had the most privacy as it was a dead end on the sidewalk connecting each, and...
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  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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1  Thank roadtrip78726
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BuenaVistaLuxuryVil, Manager at Tulemar Resort, responded to this reviewResponded June 2, 2014

Hi roadtrip 78726 thank you for taking the time to write such a lengthy and complete review. I’m pleased you enjoyed our thorough concierge service. Sounds like you saw and enjoyed a vast array of wild life too! There is plenty to see and we make it a point to point it out to our guests. I understand your feelings about our bungalows too they are meant as a budget option for guests who would like to stay in Tulemar but need to consider their budget. We update all our units as often as the intimacies of our business confines allow us. Next time you stay with us I hope you will choose a one bedroom Select Villa or if you have children then maybe a Premium Villa. These are newer units and admittedly more luxurious. Thank you for your review and Pura Vida- Chris

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Reviewed May 23, 2014

The first friendly face my group saw was Bryan Miranda's. He's the warmest concierge I think I've ever met. His partners in crime Danny, Viviana and Orlando were equally amazing! The hotel was remarkable and the views were breathtaking everywhere it seemed. I stayed in villa #406 with a friend and two other couples. We felt perfectly at ease even with 6 people in a villa. We had a beautiful room that was fully stocked to the brim. There was absolutely nothing to be needed because everything was available. Anything I requested, the Tulemar staff made it possible in no time.

Daniella (the bartender) is one of my favorite staff members. She and the crew, Eric (aka Jacob from Twilight), Xabi, and Jose C. made me feel so comfortable in Costa Rica. Daniella's colleague Jeannette was so sweet and friendly. We even got a chance to dance with her when they were closing. David is the bartender from the beach and he was such a peaceful and friendly presence. I felt safe with him around.

The drivers were absolutely charming. All I wanted to do was hang out and have great laughs with them. They were so much fun to be around especially Luis, Michael and Alberto. The shuttle trips were short-lived but the rides were always memorable.

We ate amazing food every single day prepared by Chef Marlon and his talented colleagues. Lastly, the cleaning crew gets a tremendous pat on the back for the amazing job they did every single day to make us feel comfortable and happy. My favorite cleaning person was the man who makes homemade ice cream. He was super friendly and very generous.

Above are my pros but there was only one con I had with the hotel. The first con would be all of the walking. I'm relatively a fit person and we had very fit people in our group and they still thought walking through the hotel was quite exhausting at times. For some reason, I got lost quite a few times within the property where all the different bungalows are. I think there should be more signs near the bungalows pointing to where the restaurant, beach and other pools are as this would make walking around much easier. I didn't see too many handicap friendly walk-ways, so I guess I'd tack that on to the con. It doesn't access wasn't there, I just didn't see that much of it.

  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled on business
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1  Thank MsMartineS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BuenaVistaLuxuryVil, Manager at Tulemar Resort, responded to this reviewResponded May 28, 2014

MsMartineS Thank you for your review and I love your tripadvisor picture the background looks familiar! I’m very pleased to hear that your vacation expectations were exceeded and for that I can’t thank my staff enough. Be honest the reason you love our drivers is because they enable you to avoid that steep walk up from the beach! Glad to hear the restaurant provided an excellent edible experience! I’ll see that Marlon hears of this! Thank you and we look forward to your return. Pura Vida, Chris

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Reviewed May 22, 2014

This resort was fabulous! Orlando, our personal concierge, went above and beyond to make our trip an enjoyable and perfect vacation. He had exceptional customer service as he was always available, was very proactive, and always pointed us in the right direction which contributed greatly to this being one of our favorite vacation spots. The two room villa was perfect for two couples - the views were amazing and the showers were delightful! We hope to bring our family back one day and we will be sure to ask for Orlando!

  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank ldtbaum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BuenaVistaLuxuryVil, Manager at Tulemar Resort, responded to this reviewResponded May 28, 2014

Edtbaum, Thank you for this great review! I’m so glad to hear we are your favorite vacation spot! You are quite correct the 2 bedroom premium villa is perfect for couples traveling together and also allows travelers to get the most for their dollar. Pura Vida, Chris

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Reviewed May 7, 2014

Spent 4 days recently at Tulmar. Beautiful views, great service, and monkeys! Room was fabulous, balcony overlooking the ocean, and manicured grounds. Had breakfast one day at the restaurant on site, was not too impressed. Remaining days had breakfast on our own balcony and was much better. Private beach was great, nicely secluded and maintained. Only complaint is the climbing! OMG the hills are killer, yes I know there is shuttle service but we had our own car and just getting to and from the parking area was quite the hill.

  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Alan39
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BuenaVistaLuxuryVil, Manager at Tulemar Resort, responded to this reviewResponded May 9, 2014

Alan, Thank you for the review, glad you enjoyed the property and our extraordinary service. Pura Vida-
Chris

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Reviewed May 2, 2014

We stayed a couple of nights at the end of April 2014, three generations, grandpa, parents, kids and had a great time. Bungalows are surrounded by forest but have all the comforts, air conditioning, luxurious showers, etc.. Food is fine and friendly service including shuttle transportation to from parts of the large property outstanding. A number of top local restaurants are a few steps or minutes away from the entrance to the resort. Only two caveats: Even with shuttle or own vehicle access to bungalows requires climbing at the equivalent of about 3 stories. And it's not cheap.
IMPORTANT NOTE: I wrote this same review for the Almonds & Corals Hotel in Manzanillo. That review should be pulled. It was intended for this hotel.

  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled with family
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2  Thank Pedro K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BuenaVistaLuxuryVil, Manager at Tulemar Resort, responded to this reviewResponded May 9, 2014

Pedro, thank you for your stay and the great review! Glad we made the extended family vacation wonderful. You are correct the terrain is radical, but that enables the views and the privacy. Thank God for the shuttle. Luckily once you are on the main road in front of the resort the waling is flat and there are many bars and restaurants to walk to, Pura Vida! Chris

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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: $196 - $866 (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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