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“Almost a resort....”
3 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
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
232 reviews
212 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 322 helpful votes
“Almost a resort....”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 February 2013

We understand that this place was less touristy than Tamarindo, but it still smacked of "party-place central".... with constant music playing in the open-air restaurant and bar. With this constant noise, even during the early hours of breakfast, you didn't get to enjoy any natural sounds of birds around.

This place also felt less genuine than other places we stayed at in Costa Rica. The staff, actually, would probably have been very friendly and nice -- but there seemed to be some sort of dictatorial attitude of the management that wanted them to act jokey and upbeat, that seemed forced. We also did overhear some staff being berated by management in a very condescending way.... which was a real turnoff.

We also felt sorry for the 2 captive parrots with clipped wings, because they were also being bullied by the local birds. And when they fell off their perch, they couldn't get back up again.

We booked a tour through them, but they didn't seem to be knowledgeable about what the tour entailed. In fact, the tour organizer had never taken the tours before (this should be supported by management as part of their training process). They didn't know that on the private turtle-watching tour, whether we would be picked up by boat, van, or walk somewhere ourselves. They didn't know anything about the National Park tour, or how to register for it. We had to find out how to register for this program through the tour organizer at another hotel.

The pool was nice, the facilities were good. The room was good, quiet, but very small.

The food in the restaurant was good, though somewhat expensive. Internet was only available in the restaurant.

The hotel is difficult to find, and the road rather rough. But it's within a short walk to the beach. And the neighbourhood was definitely quiet.

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Travelling_Axe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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368 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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See reviews for
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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
Boston, Massachusetts
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 January 2013

Todd, Walt, and Crew (Jesse, Ernesto, ect) roll out the full treatment for anyone no matter if you are a celebrity or just a group of friends from Boston enjoying the holidays. The food is excellent, the staff very helpful and the location is perfect. We just got back from a great holiday trip and we couldn't have asked for a better place to enjoy dinners, drinks, and laughs then at the Bula Bula. Todd and Walt (the owners) treat the place like their home and make sure you are enjoying yourself and everything meets your expectations. Although we didn't stay in their hotel we met several staying in the rooms and they were all very happy with accommodations. I highly recommend the Bula Bula for anyone interested in stay in Playa Grande or for anyone staying in the Palm Beach Estates looking for dinner and drinks.

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Tav02118
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 January 2013 via mobile

I didn't stay at their hotel but their restaurant The Great Waltini's has the worst customer service I have ever experienced! Besides its super expensive prices... Save yourself a terrible time and eat somewhere else!

  • Stayed January 2013
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank CRTraveler76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PG-FT-Resident, Owner at Hotel Bula Bula, responded to this review, 8 January 2013
I'm saddened to learn your expectations weren't met when visiting our restaurant. The holidays are quite busy and we do our best to ensure that service is excellent regardless of the time of year. I hope you will give us another opportunity on a return trip. This year marks our 10th anniversary here in Playa Grande and we greatly appreciate our return guests and recommendations they pass on to friends and family. It has been a priveledge to serve this community and we look forward to another 10 years.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Buffalo, New York
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 January 2013

My boyfriend and I recently stayed at Bula Bula with another couple for 10 nights. We loved everything about the hotel, but I would say the best thing about our stay was how awesome the staff were. They were so much fun and so helpful. From the moment we got there anything we needed was taken care of right away. Todd even helped out me out when I couldn't find a post office to mail my post cards from and when I ran out of memory on my camera. The food and the drinks are amazing, the happy hour specials are a great deal (especially if you're on a bit of a budget as we were), and the location is great. We worried that we might be inconvenienced by the location of the hotel (which is about a 15 minute boat ride from Tamarindo, but if you want to go into town after 4:30 you have to take a cab which takes about 30 minutes and can be expensive), but there was plenty to do at the hotel and at nearby bars and restaurants. Plus, Playa Grande is much more relaxing than Tamarindo, though we weren't really there for the nightlife. If you want to bar hop every night, this probably isn't the place for you, but if you're lazy like us and just want to drink cocktails by the pool with some great people, then I definitely recommend it.

Room Tip: Families with kids might want to request a room farther away from the bar, as it does sometimes get...
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  • Stayed December 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank hadunc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Seattle, WA
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 December 2012

We love Hotel Bula Bula! We've stayed there the last 2 years and loved everything . The food is fabulous, great service. This year we rented a house on the beach to accommodate our surfing compadres, but we miss the perfect pool & garden at Bula Bula . We rode our bikes there for breakfast as non-guests and wee treated the same, as special friends. We 'll go back again for the best breakfast in Playa Grande and for happy hour and the best martini on tfe planet, the great Waltini! Thank you for the great time Hotel Bula Bula !

  • Stayed December 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank a40925
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Haddonfield, New Jersey, United States
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 December 2012

Bula Bula was a great experience for us. Comfortable rooms, attractive setting, very good restaurant, and great, friendly, helpful people. And we loved Bula Bert, the bilingual, resident parrot. Wonderful happy hour, delicious drinks, by pool. The BEST nachos.

  • Stayed November 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank GLWZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Esterillos Oeste, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 December 2012

I have been to the Bula Bula over 50 times in 9 years and always have a great time! The food is excellent, the portions are huge and the price is excellent. The rooms are decorated nicely and they always make sure you have a couple of bottles of water and fresh Cafe Brit coffee in your room! The pool is large and clean and the garden is lush and well manicured. The staff is super friendly and the bar selection is HUGE. The beach is clean and unpopulated next to the hustle of Tamarindo!

Room Tip: Talk with Todd, he'll hook you up!
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  • Stayed December 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank beaujm
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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