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“Don't stay anywhere else”

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Tulemar Bungalows & Villas
Ranked #1 of 46 Hotels in Manuel Antonio
Certificate of Excellence
Boise, Idaho
Level Contributor
4 reviews
“Don't stay anywhere else”
Reviewed 9 February 2013

We went to Costa Rica for a quick relaxing getaway, and Tulemar gave us exactly what we needed. Andres was our personal concierge and he took excellent care of us. He arranged all of our meals, transportation, tours, and made recommendations about what to do in the area. All of his recommendations were right on target. Tulemar has a beautiful private beach with kayaks, chairs, and a relaxing beachside restaurant. David took great care of us on the beach, adjusting our umbrella with the motion of the sun, and providing us with towels and a kayak. The resort is very private. We took advantage of the Spa and we were not dissapointed. Silvia provides many relaxing services. The location is in a beautiful forest setting. The bungalows are located on a relatively steep hill, but unlimited transportation is provided for free within the resort. The vehicles were always there within a few minutes of calling. Our only complaint is that our stay seemed to short. Next time we will definitely stay longer.

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Jared T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TulemarDave, General Manager at Tulemar Bungalows & Villas, responded to this review, 10 February 2013
HI Jared....thanks for the great review on our Tulemar Bungalows.....so glad you enjoyed your stay......and thanks for the kind words on Andres.....your personal concierge......our guests love him and the service he provides......the Tulemar Beach is one of features guests enjoy most.....no need to go to the public beach.....especially with David and his team to take care of you.....and Silvia always receives rave reviews on her spa treatments.....she teaches yoga classes as well....thanks, again, for posting the review and we hope to have you back with us again.

Tulemar Dave
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White Lake, Michigan
Level Contributor
30 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 February 2013

We spent three wonderful nights at the Bungalows. Each bungalow have a 360 degree view of the area and are at tree top level. Our view of the ocean was spectacular and since it was on a steep hill with lots of trees surrounding you, you feel like your the only one there. The beach was private and only guests of the villas could use it. Most of the time only five or six people were on the beach at one time. The attendants were always happy to help you in any way, from setting up you umbrellas to getting drinks (bar was on the beach) or food. The ocean kayak were a lot of fun and were free. One could almost always find a sloth in a near by tree or monkeys going by. One morning, from our room, we watched 15 or 20 monkeys playing in the trees. Once they saw us watching them they tried their best to get as close as they could. That was about five feet away. We watched for about an hour and a half while we had our breakfast. All of the hotels we stayed at were wonderful but this one is one of our favorites.

  • Stayed October 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank DaleT48386
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TulemarDave, General Manager at Tulemar Bungalows & Villas, responded to this review, 9 February 2013
Hi Dale....thank you so much for the review on our Tulemar Bungalows and the Tulemar Resort.....we're so happy that you enjoyed your stay.....the views from the Bungalows are really breathtaking......from the ocean to the jungle surrounding you.....and of course.....the wildlife......all three types of monkeys plus sloths and exotic birds.....glad you enjoyed our beach as well.....true paradise......thanks, again, for booking with me and we hope to see you back again!

Tulemar Dave
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Redmond, Washington
Level Contributor
41 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 January 2013

So, to start, I was so unsure about where to stay during our visit. My boyfriend left all of the decisions for our trip up to me and therefore, the pressure was on! Ultimately, I relied on TripAdvisor for guidance on where to stay (and I am so glad I did). I researched all of the surrounding luxury hotels and resorts. After our stay (and even visits to some of those properties during our stay) we both agreed, we would have been so disappointed had we stayed at those places and missed the wonderful experience of Tulemar. I have a lot of input about this place...so here it goes.
1. The staff
From booking our stay to helping us plan excursions and adventures, Diego and Vanessa were my lifeline. Vanessa helped me with the itinerary and made reservations for activities. I just had to make decisions on what I wanted to do and when. Once on property, Bill was our main on-site concierge. Bill is a gem and we were SO GLAD to have him. He showed us around the property, our villa, helped us find places to eat and additional activities once we were there. He made our stay effortless and as easy as possible. Not to mention, he had tons of knowledge about the local culture and surroundings. We enjoyed Bill immensely. There were also other concierges that work for Tulemar (Chris to be precise) who helped us when we were in need. The concierge staff at Tulemar should receive awards for their service. They are exceptional.
2. The difference between Tulemar and Buena Vista
If you haven't stayed here, you wouldn't know the difference. All of the property is called Tulemar and there are two different management teams that run the individual properties. We stayed our first two nights in Villa Mot Mot (lower) - A Tulemar managed property. The final 6 nights we stayed in a One Bedroom Select Villa (#306) that Buena Vista managed. Villa Mot Mot was an exceptional villa with an outdoor kitchen and lots of outdoor patio space. It was a wonderful start to our vacation. The pictures posted are accurate - it is BEAUTIFUL. Monkeys parade across the patio, you have an ocean view, it's delightful. Villa #306 (the one bedroom select) is exceptionally beautiful. It too has a lovely large patio, but more indoor living space - including a living room, kitchen and separate bedroom and of course an ocean view with lots of monkey action on the patio and the neighboring patios. Here is the biggest difference - the concierge service. Diego, Vanessa and Bill work for Tulemar. Because we started our stay with them, and to maintain continuity, they stayed as our contacts throughout our visit - despite being in a Buena Vista property. This may have made a difference in our experience. We were treated with so much care and consideration - not to mention friendliness. It was worth it. So - if you have to choose, ask for a Tulemar property. However, I am certain that Buena Vista will not disappoint you either. I'm just giving you my feedback based on our experiences.
#3 - The Property Overall – including location in Manuel Antonio, the steep hills and the pools
The property is phenomenal. The lush grounds are well-kept and absolutely gorgeous. The grounds crew does an amazing job of maintaining the property. The property has a very steep slope to it down to the beach. This means you have to walk down to get to your bungalow or villa and the beach and back up to get to the main road, reception, etc. The hills are steep. But don’t fear, they have a shuttle that takes you up and down from the beach, to the pool, to reception -anywhere on property that you would like to go. It is not unmanageable – so don’t be intimidated. However, there is still the climb to your individual lodging. There are walkways and stairs that you will need to use to get to your villa. These cannot be traversed by the shuttle. These are also steep at places. If you are able bodied, you can do it – exercise never hurt anyone. In fact, I loved every second of our daily walks up and down the hills. A word of advice though – wear sneakers. It’s much easier to navigate with proper shoes (flip flops make it more difficult).
The pools are absolutely divine. There are four pools on property – the adult pool nestled in and very secluded. The family pool – which at the time we were there was the only pool that had a bar and served food. It is a beautiful infinity pool with an amazing view. Our bartender, Jose, made THE BEST daiquiris and drinks – his service was impeccable! There is a lower pool that is also beautiful and serves wine & beer at night. Then there is the Bungalow pool. This was under a bit of construction when we were there, although we did spend some time in it. It’s beautiful, the space has a bar and what looks to be dining tables. Pending they serve food and drinks, I am sure it will be the pool to go to! There is also the beach bar/café. You can sit here and enjoy the sounds of the ocean. The private beach (for Tulemar guests only) is very secluded and provides chairs, towels, kayaks, etc. for your enjoyment.
The location in Manuel Antonio is perfect. It is nicely settled on the hill between Manuel Antonio and Quepos. You can easily walk to Café Milagro and other restaurants that are nearby. The bus system is inexpensive and VERY EASY to use if you want to get to MA or Quepos. Taxis are also available – but be weary, they are totally sketchy about the charges as there is no meter in the cars. Have your concierge call a trusted one for you.
Again, this is by far the best experience I could have imagined. We are so glad we had this opportunity and would do it again in a heartbeat (and probably will)! I highly suggest you give this place a try – you will not be disappointed.

Room Tip: If you read my review - I gave you the two places we stayed. Choose something with a patio - all of...
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  • Stayed January 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Marja O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TulemarDave, General Manager at Tulemar Bungalows & Villas, responded to this review, 8 February 2013
Hi MarjaO....thank you so much for taking the time to write such a thorough review......I'm sure it will be very helpful to anyone searching for the right place to stay....you covered it all...from accommodations to our concierge staff (yes, they all deserve awards!!)....to the pools and food/beverage service.......we're still blushing from your kind words....especially Diego and Bill......thanks for booking with me at 4tulemar.com......we'd love to have you back with us!

Tulemar Dave
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Denver,CO
Level Contributor
18 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 January 2013

What a beautiful place for the perfect vacation! Our family of five stayed at Villa Kiskadee for a week in January and it was fabulous! The home is gorgeous with amazing views and the beach is fantastic! Our concierge, Mauricio, took care of everything (and more!) and he couldn't have been nicer or easier to work with! The beach cafe was a fun place for a breakfast or lunch; heaven! Restaurants are close, excellent and we so enjoyed eating in an open air environment in January! We loved zip-lining, jet skiing and touring Manuel Antonio National Park as well as our days on the private beach. People here are amazingly friendly and kind. This place is tough to top and we will definitely be back!

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank robyncg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TulemarDave, General Manager at Tulemar Bungalows & Villas, responded to this review, 30 January 2013
Hi Robynog.....we're so glad you enjoyed your stay in Villa Kiskadee.....one of our premier, private villas in Tulemar......Villa Kiskadee has one of the top views in Tulemar as well as having the most wildlife visits (monkeys, sloths, exotic birds) of any of our villas.....its secluded location makes it a favorite (for wildlife and guests!).....I'm glad you enjoyed our beach bar and grill.....nothing better than sitting under the palms, with your feet in the sand, the waves beside you, enjoying a meal or cool drink....thanks again for all of your comments......Mauricio loved serving you and we'll be ready for your return!

Tulemar Dave
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Concord, California, United States
Level Contributor
29 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 January 2013

We got here by accident. Our agent booked us into a less than desirable place that we had to escape from. After seeing Tulemar on tripadvisor we called. They were full for the days we needed, but were able to get us into a different place each night. Sounds bad but they made it so easy! Our personal concierge (Chris was beyond awesome), took care of all the details moving our luggage while we were at an adventure during the day. There are nicer resorts, but not nicer experiences.

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Steve L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TulemarDave, General Manager at Tulemar Bungalows & Villas, responded to this review, 28 January 2013
Hi Steve.....when I walked into the office early last week and saw your reservation...... taken late the prior evening for an arrival in just 2 hours.....I knew you were desperate.....we were basically full.....you were looking for 3 nights......and all we had were three different types of rooms available one night each.....three moves in three days.....and you took it.....I'm so glad it worked out for you.....of course.....having Chris as your personal concierge does make things easy.....he really takes care of his guests......all the details......and I love your title...."The Complete Package"......because that is what we are......we have over 50 different accommodations in Tulemar......from 3-5 Stars....from the basic to the luxury......combined with amazing ocean views, the Tulemar Beach right on the property......hiking trails.....lots of wildlife.......a location right in the heart of Manuel Antonio....and our Personal Concierge service......and you get the "complete package"......we're so glad that you made the switch to our resort and had a great time......next time.....with a little notice......we'll find one villa for your entire stay!

Tulemar Dave
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Teaneck, New Jersey
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 January 2013

This was our first trip to Costa Rica, and I did a lot of online research before our trip. We are a family of 4 with teenagers 16 and 13, and are accustomed to staying in resort-type properties. We usually prefer a kitchen, because my son has celiac, and it is often easier to eat in. We were a little apprehensive a vacation rental, because we were disappointed once before on a trip to Puerto Rico, renting through VRBO. We chose a bungalow, because a one bedroom villa was a little more expensive and was unavailable at the time that we booked.
In a word, Tulemar was fantastic, and lived up to the reviews here on Trip Advisor. We were prepared for the "rustic" look of the bungalow, but it was clean and spacious. The views were magnificent, and we were thrilled to see monkeys jumping on the bungalow rooftops the first morning. The "kitchen" amounted to a microwave, 2 burner hot plate and small refrigerator and freezer, bigger than a dorm style cube, but smaller than a standard one. It was sufficient for our needs, and the bigger units have a more substantial kitchen.
Service was on par with any other place we've stayed. The onsite shuttle took us anywhere around the property, and tours picked us up right in front of our bungalow. Chris, our concierge, was amazing. When the boiler/hotplate wasn't working in our room, he arranged for another. On the second night, the AC wasn't working properly in the living room area where my son was sleeping. He got the maintenance person to come and climb on the roof of the bungalow in the pouring rain to fix it, and wouldn't leave until we were sure that it was working.He arranged tours for us and took us shopping to the local supermarket when we arrived.
The pools were small, but usually had available chairs. I would suggest more pool chairs, but that would overcrowd the deck, and the truth is, most times people were out doing activities, so space was not a problem. The beach was very nice, and the boogie boards and kayaks were a nice touch. Nothing beats sitting on a lounge chair and looking up to see monkeys and a sloth playing. The walk down to the beach, and especially back up is not for everyone, though, but he shuttle is readily available.
We really had absolutely no complaints, and would return in a heartbeat if our travels ever took us back to Costa Rica. Thanks again Chris and Tulemar Dave for a wonderful time in Manuel Antonio!!

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank MichaelF81567
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TulemarDave, General Manager at Tulemar Bungalows & Villas, responded to this review, 28 January 2013
Hi Michael.....thanks for the review on your stay in a Tulemar Bungalow.....we enjoyed having your family with us.......the Bungalows are unique....sitting in the jungle......glass all around.....amazing ocean views.....plus all of the amenities of Tulemar......our beach, the pools, the hiking trails and the resort shuttle......plus our personal concierge service......to make everything so easy.....Chris is wonderful.....thanks again for staying with us and we'd love to have you back!

Tulemar Dave
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver
Level Contributor
19 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 January 2013

My family stayed at the Tulemar Resort from January 14th - 21st, 2013 for the first time. My husband and I are seasoned travelers and we've stayed in a variety of locations across the globe on a shoestring, but also to the highest standard. I believe we're both well versed at appreciating value for money. We stayed in the BuenoVista Resorts - in a one bedroom villa with our two kids - ages 4 and 8.

The highs: the property is gorgeous, the beach is wonderful and everyone is very friendly. We were delighted spotting six sloths over our stay and seeing lots of monkeys, birds and lizards. The concentration and amount of wildlife surpassed our tour at Manuel Antonio National Park. We didn't appreciate the amount of wildlife until we spoke with other tourists. The villa was spacious and had great views of the jungle, water and felt very private.

The lows: we had scant internet connections. Our family likes to use the internet to stay connected, but also do random searches, plan outings and find out information. This felt unacceptable about five days into our holiday. This was compounded by the inconsistent information given from reception. At one point, we were told the entire surrounding area had no access - but then we were told it was the router in our villa. This inconsistency didn't inspire a great deal of confidence.

We also had huge issues with the air-conditioning, and the unit in our villa leaked overnight onto our four year old's pillow to the point where the pillow was supersaturated with water. The management team was quick to respond fixing the air-conditioner, we were offered a complementary meal at a partner restaurant.

The beach restaurant isn't great and worth avoiding. We were also unimpressed with the upkeep of the villa, the bed creaked, the shower sprayed all over the bathroom and some of the mugs were quite dirty when we arrived. It's these little things that add up and start to grate over a weeks stay.

However, my family and I both agree that aside from the frustrations, we would absolutely go back to Tulemar - we saw so much wildlife, loved the beach and the pool - and to be honest that was what we were after. I chose to to list the issues to be completely clear what the limitations of the resort are from my perception.

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank 88Gem88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TulemarDave, General Manager at Tulemar Bungalows & Villas, responded to this review, 26 January 2013
Hi 88Gem88.....thanks for your comments.....and especially your title......I've read your review twice and I think you were very fair......the item I feel needs quick attention is the housekeeping issues you mentioned....they will be addressed.....I wish I had a little more info on why you didn't like the beach bar and grill.....as I do really love it......I know we had a problem with the internet in your area of Tulemar.....I was told it was all 6 villas in that section.....I also need great internet service where ever I am.....that is important.....it's a little more of a challenge along the hillside here....but technology is improving.....air conditioners are a daily issue in Manuel Antonio......with the heat and the humidity......problems happen.....in some of villas they were installed above the beds.....not the best place when a leak occurs.....my apologies....thanks for your kind words about our staff....our beach....the wildlife....and the beauty of Tulemar....and thanks for taking the time to post the review and I welcome you and your family back in the future!

Tulemar Dave
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Additional Information about Tulemar Bungalows & Villas

Property: Tulemar Bungalows & Villas
Address: Tulemar Gardens, Manuel Antonio 6350, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Manuel Antonio
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Manuel Antonio
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Number of rooms: 34
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Tulemar is the premier resort development in Manuel Antonio. Gated and secure, the 33 acre jungle resort is perched on the hillside overlooking the Pacific, but continues down all the way to our own beach. It includes the Tulemar Bungalows and our special and unique villas such as Villa Mot Mot, Casa Panorama, Casa de Frutas, Casa Las Nubes, Villa Kiskadee and the new Tulemar Bamboo Villas just for couples. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Tulemar Bungalows And Villas
Tulemar Bungalows & Villas Hotel Manuel Antonio National Park
Tulemar Hotel
Tulemar Bungalows & Villas Costa Rica/Manuel Antonio

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