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“Amazing!”
Review of Hotel Bula Bula

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Hotel Bula Bula
Ranked #4 of 6 Hotels in Playa Grande
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 11 June 2013

My husband and I stayed here during our 10 year anniversary trip, and Hotel Bula Bula was a highlight. It's a small, boutique hotel located just across the estuary from Tamarindo, but is a world apart. When we stayed in August, Playa Grande was almost deserted, which we thought was great.

We took a water taxi from Tamarindo beach across the estuary to the hotel.

The rooms are cool, clean, comfortable and stylishly decorated. Air conditioning and water pressure were top notch! The entire establishment has a cool, beachy vibe and the service is fabulous, but not in your face. If you want the Ritz, stay at the Ritz. I you're looking for a laid-back, comfortable boutique hide-away, stay at Hotel Bula Bula. We will be back with our kids in tow when they are a little older.

As others have noted, it is a very pleasant walk to the beach. Playa Grande is a turtle sanctuary so there aren't any buildings "on" the beach, though some properties have beach views.

Be sure to eat at the restaurant as the food is good and very reasonable for the high quality.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank na0mitravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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116 - 122 of 373 reviews

Reviewed 28 May 2013

A wonderful, self-contained get-away spot in the jungle. Walking distance, past gated vacation homes, to the deserted beach. A short boat ride to the beach town of Tamarindo. Great pool, restaurant, bar, gorgeous landscaping, and colorful (comfortable) rooms. Great staff.

Room Tip: All desirable. We were in the room closest to the bar and it was quiet and tranquil after dark.
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  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank CostaRicaChica53
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 May 2013

Bula Bula is located in Playa Grande, next to Tamarindo but worlds apart. We loved the quiet location, the proximity to so much wildlife and to the picture perfect Playa Grande beach (a very special treat is going to see the leatherback turtles there at night). The hotel is a jewel, the rooms are beautiful, the staff is very helpful and friendly, the pool and garden charming, and the food at the Great Waltini's is top notch. We only stayed three nights but this is definitely a place for a longer stay. Highly recommended!

  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Frank T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 April 2013

We spent two nights at Bula Bula during our travels around Costa Rica. The location was lovely, the pool area and gardens were so tranquill. We ate at the restaurant both nights and thought the food was fabulous, the staff very attentive. We met the Manager and Todd the owner who were both very friendly. Thoroughly enjoyed our stay here and wouldn't hesitate to come back. Couple of very small niggles, although certainly didn't spoil our stay, was the rooms were quite dark and the second day, quite a lot of options were not available on the breakfast menu.

Room Tip: All rooms are on one level and all well situated
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  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Julie R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 April 2013

We had a fabulous time in Coast Rica thanks to the owners and the wonderful staff at Bula Bula. Everything was perfect. Perfection on everything-food, drinks, cleanliness, staff, pool, monkeys, parrots, iguanas, etc., you get the idea. There's no way I can put into words the awesomeness we experienced. We WILL be going back. If you want a stress free relaxing or adventurous vacation, this is it. Look no further. Thanks again to all. Miss you already. Brock & Paula (hot mess).

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank Paula W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 April 2013

I would highly recommend Bula Bula and “The Great Waltini’s Restaurant and Bar” to anyone who loves big things in small packages. Throughout our lives we’ve been on many vacations…never have we received such a warm and friendly reception from a staff as we did at Bula Bula. Their personal services were unparalleled to anything we have ever experienced at a big hotel or all-inclusive resort. The food and special cocktails were awesome!!! Wally and Todd, the owners, made us feel right at home. They made all our tour arrangements, from taxi’s to off shore excursions; even suggesting we take a daylong trip to Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort at the base of the Arenal Volcano, which was the highlight of our vacation. Other excursions we went on included a great fishing trip, catching a nice 55lb. roosterfish, a Sunset Catamaran Cruise and The Vandara Hot Springs Adventure Tour, which included horseback riding, zip lining, water slide, mud bath, and hot springs.
I would like to express my gratitude to everyone for making Bula Bula the most memorable and best vacation ever. Eduardo and Victor day and night managers; Grace, Maria, Ernesto and Jesse bar tenders and servers; Hade the house keeper of the villa we stayed in; Ruben the water taxi driver; and my favorites Tazu and Bertrude the parrots. I would also like to thank the chefs that cooked our magnificent meals and the grounds keeper and pool man we never met, I hope I didn’t leave anyone out!
Adios mis amigos!
George (Ben) Norman

Room Tip: Choose a room at the hotel next to The Great Waltini's Restaurant and Bar or rent a villa close...
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  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank 246,351
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 April 2013

I used to love Hotel Bula Bula. I've stayed there three times and have recommended many friends. I stayed at Bula Bula recently and was let down. The staff was as always incredible. The food has gone down hill big time and the owner was out right rude. I was given a room key and at some point it fell out of my belongings on the beach. When I asked for a new key I was told it would be $110 dollar fee for losing my room key. Apparently, the safe key was very difficult to make and cost that. When I questioned the owner about it he was SO RUDE. He made me feel very stupid and acted like this was perfectly normal to charge someone $110 for a key. All of this could of been avoided if I had been told to be careful with this particular key because it is hard to make. I would never of kept it on my chain while I went to the beach. I DO NOT WANT A $110 key. I also think if you are a hotel you shouldn't have a key that pricey. Get safe's that have codes or something. If the owner had been nicer about explaining the reasoning it cost so much I probably wouldn't be giving such a crap review. But he was rude. He was rude to me and rude to his staff. I will never stay there again.

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled solo
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2  Thank Holly S
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 reviewResponded 10 April 2013

Your review is misleading because you were never charged for the lost keys. Within 3 hours of notifying us about the missing keys, you retrieved them in Tamarindo. You assumed that paying an amount that you determined would be cheaper and quicker than going to Tamarindo to retrieve them. When I informed you that the majority of the cost was due to re-keying the safe, you became even more strident in your assertions. BTW, my name is Todd - owner and manager of Hotel Bula Bula.

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Additional Information about 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: £63 - £112 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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