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“Bula Bula Is Above Average for Playa Grande”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Hotel Bula Bula

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Hotel Bula Bula
Ranked #4 of 7 Hotels in Playa Grande
Certificate of Excellence
Atlanta
Level Contributor
68 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Bula Bula Is Above Average for Playa Grande”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 January 2008

We arrived at Bula Bula after a driving up the coast from another beach close to noon and could not find the reception but realized the office is behind the bar. We found our room to be on the small side but clean with local art hanging on the walls. The king size orthopedic beds are on the extreme firm side, so if a soft to medium bed is your bag, you will find it hard to sleep here. The rooms have A/C, if you want fresh air, the windows don't open. They provide nice beach towels although the room towels need to be replaced, they are on the worn side. The pool was nice, not a lot of lounging chairs although the motel was not full. The beach is a short five minute walk away. The motel grounds are well kept and the staff friendly. The complimentary breakfast was good with several options to choose from. We met Wally, one of the owners the first night although he was on his cell phone sitting at the bar yacking away and did not seem to be interested in meeting guests. We met Todd, the other owner upon checking in and spoke to him later. We now realize he is the friendlier one of the two. All in all, it was a nice B&B for the area. Their restaurant is just OK, the bar is a fun place to hang out. One word of caution, there are not a lot of restaurants within walking distance. All in all, it was a good experience. We probably would go back to this part of CR but would try another beach.

  • Stayed January 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank AtlantaPerson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (55)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Memphis, TN
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 January 2008

I read a many postings about Hotel Bula Bula on this site before staying there in January of 2008.

Now that I have experienced the place first hand, it’s obvious: the reviews are so far from reality they must have been written by the owner.

Here is reality…

Upon arrival we checked in and learned that the rooms do not have numbers, but rather animal names - although I am not sure an animal would consider living there.

A little disappointed, we quickly headed to the ‘highly acclaimed’ restaurant/bar for lunch. Immediately we felt like we were in Key West, FL since we were surrounded by Americans and listening to a Jimmy Buffet CD on the stereo. My companion ordered a grilled chicken sandwich and when it arrived, we laughed at it for a good ten minutes – the so-called chicken breast was at least 4 inches think and impossible to cut in half. After struggling through 3 bites, she threw in the towel. I wish I could say that was the end of the story, but the end of the story comes sometime the next day when her upset stomach subsided.

After lunch, we walked to the beach with grand hopes of finding some other hotels, restaurants, or night spots in the area. No such luck – there is literally nothing around except for a few homes and a couple of youth hostels that cater to the young surfers who are there to take advantage of the great surfing beach.

After the unsuccessful outing to the beach, we returned to the room to get showered before dinner. After getting out of the shower, which was little more than a trickle of water falling out of a rusty pipe, I picked up my towel I had an epiphany, so this is where towels are sent after years of abuse at car washes in the United States. Honestly, I would not let my dog sit on that towel, let alone dry myself off with it. Sorry to digress, but my dog comes to mind because the room and the bathroom smelled like a combination of a wet dog and cinnamon air freshner.

Anyway, at dinner, we realized the best part. Hotel Bula Bula has wireless internet and laptops you can borrow while at the bar. We got on line, found another hotel and arranged to escape first thing in the morning.

Is that the end of the story – not quite yet. In the middle of the night I got up to use the bathroom and walked into a quarter of an inch of water on the bathroom floor from a leaky toilet – fortunately the towels were so disgusting that there was no guilt about setting it on the floor to soak up the toilet water.

In the morning, as we walked toward the taxi, I could not help but feel upset since they refused to refund any portion of the 3 additional nights we had already paid for – but I felt a lot better when I walked past the tiny pool and saw a guy laying on the sidewalk next to the pool since there were no chairs – I mean, is that the way you want to spend your vacation? My only regret is not offering that poor guy a lift to the hotel we were moving too.

In conclusion, after leaving Hotel Bula Bula, the rest of our visit to Costa Rica and Nicaragua was fantastic and we will surely go back many times – I would highly recommend both places to anyone.

  • Liked — wireless internet
  • Disliked — everyting
  • Stayed January 2008, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
9 Thank THE_TRUTH_8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Santa Cruz, CA
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 January 2008

What a delightful small hotel in a beautiful location. All of the staff is highly professional and very friendly and the accomodations, while not plush, are very comfortable and clean. All of the service, from maids in the room to the folks behind the bar, was impeccable. It's a place that invites and inspires guests to enjoy themselves, whether peacefully alone, or mingling with the locals and other guests who frequent the bar. The beach is just five minutes away, and is spectacular, and the pool is also clean and delightful.

The Great Waltini's Bar is the heart of the place, with plenty of nice folks hanging out and chatting. It's really a community center for the surrounding (American) homeowners, and they are friendly and welcoming. The menu is varied, including wonderful fresh fish, and the food is delicious. The bar can be noisy at night, but people are having so much fun, it's hard to feel grumpy about it. If you like to go to bed early, ask for a room away from the bar and bring your earplugs. It's really a very small annoyance in an otherwise perfect spot.

Highly recommended for families, singles, all ages!

  • Liked — Clean, friendly, charming
  • Disliked — Bar a bit noisy some nights
  • Stayed January 2008
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank Travelin'_Friends
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ca
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 January 2008

This hotel was the best part of our 11 day stay in costa rica. The room is super clean and the grounds are well-kept. The food was great and the complimentary breakfast was more than we could ask for. The staff was very friendly and helpful (which is tough to find in costa rica). Playa grande was very quiet and the weather was awesome! I wish we could've stayed a little bit longer...New Year's was a blast! The hotel put on a great fireworks show and "special" dinner. The other guests were very pleased with the hotel. I would definitely recommend this hotel to anyone staying in the playa grande area!

  • Liked — Everything
  • Disliked — N/A
  • Stayed January 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank sidesaddle2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
texas
Level Contributor
49 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 December 2007

This was our 5th time to stay at Bula this year and 7th overall. Our home away from Texas. There is a reason why we keep staying here and it's because of the staff, location, food, and owners.
The staff - nice people, always ready to help, friendly. (some of the staff are now people we call friends)

Location - tucked out of the way in Playa Grande but not to far from the main surf break. A short 5 minute drive and you are at the main break. A 5 minute walk, and you are at the beach where you can also surf. The thing I like best about the location is that it's away from the younger, busier crowd. My wife and I like the quiet so it's good for the non roudy party scene.

Food - My personal fav is the Jamaica Jerk Chicken. Foe breakfast, it's banana pancakes and fruit.

Owners - Wally and Todd.....now people we call friends

  • Liked — staff, location, service, food , owners
  • Stayed December 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank gcnoserider
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Seattle
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 November 2007

The last review couldn't be anymore wrong. If you are looking for Cancun, you are in the wrong place and if that's what you want stay in Tamarindo. We stayed there January 2006 and fell in love with the beautiful boutique hotel. FREE breakfast was wonderful, staff very sweet and helpful, rooms were clean and pool was fantastic, but really why hang out in the pool when the most amazing secluded beach is a 5 minute walk. We never encountered a gay-lesbian scene...but so what if we did. We are returning in February and can't wait to stay at this hotel!!!

  • Liked — Location, Beach, Restaurant, Free Breakfast, & Bert :)
  • Disliked — ????
  • Stayed February 2006, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank DL-CR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Jose
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 September 2007

I recently stayed 3 days in Hotel Bula Bula and have the time to enjoy the "Bula Bula" Experience. Great hospitality of the staff, great food, great accomodations and perfect location in Playa Grande. Keep up the good work!

  • Liked — The Pool and sorrounding green areas
  • Disliked — Beach acces require some walk
  • Stayed September 2007, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank isaacmm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Bula Bula

Property: Hotel Bula Bula
Address: Playa Grande Road, Playa Grande, Costa Rica
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Playa Grande
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#3 Family Hotel in Playa Grande
#5 Romantic Hotel in Playa Grande
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel Bula Bula 3*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set outside Tamarindo in the beach village and national park of Playa Grande. We offer the romantic, the surfer, and the active traveler a tropical oasis amid the tourist stops. Superior rooms with modern amenities compliment the elegant restaurant where exceptional seafood, steaks and local specialties are served. Friendly and attentive staff ensure your stay is a satisfying one. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Bula Playa Grande

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