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“Awesome Wedding Experience” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Hotel Bula Bula

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Hotel Bula Bula
Ranked #3 of 7 Hotels in Playa Grande
Certificate of Excellence
Oxford, Florida
2 reviews
“Awesome Wedding Experience”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 July 2013

I chose Bula Bula as my reception site for my wedding (June 2013) after my visit during the summer of 2012. I couldn't have asked for a more perfect venue for my reception and accommodations for my 20 or so guests :) Todd and Wally truly gave my guests a wonderful experience full of memories and smiles :) My husband and I, family and friends cannot wait to return!!! Eduardo was patient with all my requests (insight re: excursions, email correspondences, hospitality, etc)...Todd is AWESOME!!! He always greeted my guests when they arrived whether it was at 1pm or 2 am as well as spending time and getting to know everyone during their stay. Wally and his staff not only created a unique wonderful/special dinner the night before the wedding but exceeded my expectations with the reception dinner. Wally's preparation and attention to detail and quality of food never disappointed. All of my guests raved about the hospitality, food, and energy at Bula Bula!! I was so glad my guests loved Bula Bula as much as my husband and I do. Planning a destination wedding can be stressful at times however Todd, Wally and their staff alleviated all my worries...I did not experience any mishaps or overwhelming moments throughout the 2 years I was in communication with Bula Bula or during the wedding week. If you are a bride looking for an intimate venue with genuinely caring/hospitable staff who focus on their guests having a great time this is the place!!!! My husband and I wish we could relive the week over and over again :) We are already counting down the days when we visit again!!! Pura Vida!!!!

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Allisun H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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362 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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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
Las Vegas, Nevada
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 July 2013

I cannot express how great it is to stay in the most CHARMING, LOVING, and WELCOMING HIDDEN GEM, Hotel Bula Bula !!!!!!!!!!! I have always been very anal about over planning every trip (making everyone bring formal wear, matching T-shirts and sticking to a schedule) and my husband, son and best friend asked me just to go and see what happens.
I met charismatic owners Todd and Wally one year ago for a short 4 hrs. I was sold to go and visit BULA BULA!! We spent 10 days with BULA BULA and their hard working staff. We were treated like family. Where else can you wake up in Central America and be surrounded in a canopy of lush gardens, trees and beautiful beaches just a 5 minute walk away! The view of the estuary with crocodiles (my favorite) birds, Iguanas, lizards, geckos, and parrots!! The rooms were so cozy. It was the best sleep I have ever had on vacation. It was a short boat taxi on the estuary to the town of Tamarindo.
Every meal was EXCELLENT!!! I was so impressed with the Great Waltini's restaurant. Every dish we had from french toast, fresh fruit and eggs in the morning to steak, fresh fish and on and on in the evening was exquisite. The community of Playa Grande seemed so quiet and humble, but at night, every night, folks would step out of nowhere and enjoy the awesome food and service at the Great Waltini’s.
CAN YOU SAY HAPPY HOUR?!?! The bar was manned by the best bartender around, VICTOR!! I am speechless as to how great Victor, Ernesto, Todd, Wally, and everyone at Bula Bula is.
For those of you who think I am over-hyping Bula Bula, keep this in mind, I have been fortunate enough to go on great vacations every year with my husband and kids. This has been one of, if not the best vacation yet. I will now look around and appreciate what I have seen and done in this great country of Costa Rica and the special attention shown by the entire staff of Hotel Bula Bula.

Room Tip: All the rooms suround the pool, they are all great!!!!!!
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank ttfncop
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hawaii
Level Contributor
54 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 June 2013

We were told hotel stay was at discounted rate with wedding party. Turns out we were overcharged $15 per night above the rate the bride's father had negotiated. No discussion was possible with management. With wedding party of 35 having reception at this place and the 2 owners didn't agree on the cousin of the bride being able to attend the reception. A minor issue turned into a major disturbance with my step-daughter and friend being evicted and not allowed on the grounds. No damages nor impact to the hotel was at issue, only looking behind counter for drink mix after the bar was closed. All this captured on survelliance cameras where se clearly showed no malice. We offered to cover any damages but mgmt could offer none. One manager ok while other was very arrogant and unmoving even at the pleading by the brides father who was paying for this. They collect 50% on reservation and on arrival, no way for us to get out. Food was much better at La Tortuga and superior at Cantarana. I personally witnessed the "alpha" owner being rude and dictorial to staff and NEVER was open to his guests except fof those he already knew. Shunned those he didn't know. MUCH better places to stay and eat in Playa Grande and be treated with valued customer service. The rooms are spartan and VERY dark. Felt like staying in a cave. TV reception was snowy and AC was continually malfunctioning. This place is NO WHERE NEAR THE BEACH as advertised. It's a good walk and when carrying your beach gear its long and hot on dirt roads. Don't book any tours or transportation with these guys as they add a a hefty fee to connect you. Better to deal with locals for boat taxi to Tamarindo and get your airport transportation from there. BB wanted $85 for 2 to Liberia Airport and I got it in Tamarindo for $54 for 2 including pickup at BB. Estuary tours were better priced when dealing direct with boat taxi operator. Best to pay cash in colons for any costs at BB beyond your room. They use some arbitary currency exchange rate which never favored the customer. My use of dollars quickly ended when I was better off using colons and certainly not a credit card. Loved Playa Grande and Tamarindo but any return will be close to beaches, better food and an establishment that appreciates the tourist. This place is a loser all around - never again!

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled with family
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Kawena L
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, 5 July 2013
How embarrassed you must feel! Your family was here to attend a wedding. Your step-daughter’s behavior was captured on security camera and shown to the bride. We decided that your step-daughter was to be immediately ejected from the property and not allowed back – even to attend the reception. She now has the dubious distinction of being the first person ever ejected from our grounds. So congratulations to you both. As far as the rest of your review, it is nothing but extreme exaggeration, half-truths, and manipulation of facts.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Knoxville, Tennessee
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 June 2013

I have stayed at Hotel Bula Bula several times over the last few years. I am always happy, happy (bula, bula) to get there, and sad, sad, to leave. The staff is great -- waiters/waitresses, baristas, and other staff make you feel right at home. Hotel Bula Bula is located in Playa Grande, and is way more laid-back and less touristy than Tamarindo. Tamarindo is a short water taxi ride away, if you want or need to go there. I really like the consistently high quality of the rooms, the food, and the bar, that the owners and their staff have maintained over the years.

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled solo
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Wes_S386
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Revelstoke, British Columbia, Canada
Level Contributor
24 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 June 2013

We stopped at this lovely hotel while on our estuary tour. They allowed us to swim in their pool and they serve the best pina coladas in CR! They also introduced us to cacique which is the country's national liquor. It's yummy when mixed with the right ingredients.

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Jodi B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
16 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles 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
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank na0mitravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oregon
Level Contributor
24 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles 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.
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2013, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank CostaRicaChica53
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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