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“Stay here if you want to see monkeys!” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Tulemar's Buena Vista Luxury Villas

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Tulemar's Buena Vista Luxury Villas
Certificate of Excellence
Anaheim, California
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Stay here if you want to see monkeys!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 February 2012

Buena Vista Villas is overall a great hotel.

The good: The private beach is a huge plus, the monkeys swing right down onto your balcony in the morning. The hotel concierge was most helpful, and made great recommendations. Halfway between Quepos and Manuel Antonio, and short walk to a bunch of great local restaurants. All the rentals on the beach are free of charge, as well as the shuttle around the hotel.

The bad: Property is enormous and grueling to climb up and down the hills. The shuttle is not always readily available, and the beach is a long hike down. None of the pools have a Jacuzzi. The onsite restaurant and the beach front bar are expensive, synonymous with high-priced American hotels. The rooms are clean, but need an update.We had a problem with our room, and management was largely unwilling to help out until I opened a credit card charge-back. Then they offered to upgrade our room at a discount.

The big picture: You would pay probably $700 a night in Hawaii for rooms with these views in a hotel with the similar accommodations. It is a great value and an even better location.

Room Tip: Opt for the 1 bedroom suite, the junior suite kind of sucks. The monkeys don't go to the junior...
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank CT4surf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (282)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Princeton, New Jersey
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 January 2012

Just returned from a 6-night stay. Our Personal Concierge, Bryan, took care of all reservations, transportation, and gave us great ideas for where to eat.

The Villa sits in the treetops, overlooking the Pacific ocean. You can watch the monkeys play in the morning, and the most magnificent sunset in the afternoon.

The private beach, with kayaks and boogie boards, sunset views, and warm water, was about the most perfect spot to sit, swim, and watch the sun set. David and Gabriella on the beach took care of everyone so well.

You can be as active or as sedentary as you wish, and enjoy the pura vida at Tulemar

  • Stayed January 2012, 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?
1 Thank Rider_Traveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
nyc
Level Contributor
4 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 January 2012

This is one of the nicest places in the Manuel Antonio. Villas are spacious and clean. Some need tlc, but you came here for the views and nature not to check grout between the tiles. And the views are spectacular. Because the whole resort is located on the steep, very steep hill, each villa has unobstructed view of the bay.
Sunsets are breathtaking, mornings refreshing. Make sure you wake up early to catch birds and monkeys right outside of the windows. The first morning we walked to the beach, but the way back tested our capabilities. The next day we took a car (rental).
The waves are strong in the morning so the beach is empty. If you come late afternoon you may not get a chance to use a board to ride the waves (they have only few).
There is no problem with privacy at the pool. For three days straight we were the only ones there for at least two hours. Watch for snakes on the ground, especially after heavy rain. They just slide down the hill.
We didn't have a chance to taste the food at the resort, nearby restaurants are very good. Grouper from Kapi Kapi was to die for.
If you need enything else while you stay at villas, there is a supermarket not far. Prices are higher than US, so buy what you have to.
Overall, highly recommended.

Room Tip: All villas have stunning views. If you don't like excercise, drive from the beach.
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  • Stayed July 2011, 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 kubaczek09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 January 2012

My boyfriend and I had the opportunity to stay at Buena Vista Villas for a wedding weekend - and we are SO happy that we chose that spot. It's gorgeous! We were (and still are) sad to leave. The villas are large, clean, well decorated, and have balconies with views of the ocean. Hot tub on the main deck is a must do. And as you shower in the morning or evening there is no screen or window so you have a breeze coming in from the jungle, can hear the monkeys talking, and can enjoy views of the ocean.
There is a private beach (the best we saw in the area). Kayaking, snorkeling, and a bar on the beach. 3 different pools. Make sure you spend an afternoon relaxing there.
The concierge was exceptional (our private concierge was Orlando - such a nice guy - they are all fantastic). He helped with planning any activities outside of the resort - ziplining, jet skiing, renting motorcycle, etc.
All the employees that we met grew up in Quepos so they are extremely knowledgeable about the area, proud of their country, and happy to show you the best time possible.

Wish we could have spent more time there and wouldn't hesitate to book another trip to Buena Vista Villas in the future.

Thanks for everything Buena Vista!!

Pura Vida,

Kathleen

Room Tip: -Stayed in a 3 bedroom villa. Gorgeous! -Visit the Buena Vista beach. They are private and some of...
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank kathleen k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BuenaVistaLuxuryVil, Manager at Tulemar's Buena Vista Luxury Villas, responded to this review, 1 February 2012
Kathleen, Thanks for your glowing review and I'm gald you enjoyed your stay in one of our Premium Villas!... Can't wait to have you come back! Pura Vida! The Staff
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Weston, Florida
1 review
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 January 2012

I will make it quick and easy. We arrived Dec 2011 and stayed for one week. We just maid reservations and will be coming back the second week in March 2012. BTW Alvero was the BEST!!

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank jerry p
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BuenaVistaLuxuryVil, Manager at Tulemar's Buena Vista Luxury Villas, responded to this review, 15 January 2012
Pura Vida! Look forward to your return!
The Staff
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Maryland
Level Contributor
324 reviews
44 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 174 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 January 2012

I just returned from an 8 day Costa Rican getaway with my four 20-something kids. We stayed in a 3 bedroom villa. I’ll start with the positives:
We were assigned a personal concierge, Andres. Andres was absolutely fantastic. He attended to our every need, e.g. booking tours, dinner reservations, cabs, etc. Two things of note he did were way above and beyond my expectation: 1) he got contact solution for my son, (thanks to TSA my son’s entire dopp kit was missing upon arrival in San Jose) and 2) he got fresh mangas after we were unable to find them in the local grocery stores (not to be confused with mangos). Both of these items he purchased with his own money and brought to our room. I had to force dineros upon him to pay for them. Beyond that, Andres was charming, full of enthusiasm for life, spoke excellent English, and is simply an all around good guy. (Of course, my two gorgeous daughters may have helped in this regard as well)
The facility itself is an idyllic slice of paradise. Set in Tulemar gardens, 30 acres of rain forest with its own security and own private beach. The place includes about 15 villas and a few rental homes. 4 pools, though one was closed for repairs. The beach was fantastic, and they provide boogie boards and kayaks free of charge. We used the Family Pool adjacent to our villa. This pool includes food/beverage service, and has a spectacular view of the pacific. Food was typical pool side fare.
Our villa was top notch. 3 levels. 3 bedrooms, each with it’s own bathroom and balcony. Each bathroom with it’s own outdoor shower, very cool. The villa was decorated with all granite flooring, including the staircases, fully equipped granite kitchen, 4 TVs, hot tub on the deck, ceiling fans in every room, and on the decks. Spectacular ocean views from nearly every window. Plenty of outlets (same as US) for all the kids and my electronic devices. Wireless internet was overall great, much better than some of the finest US hotels I’ve stayed in. There were a couple brief network outages over our 8 day stay, when it was running, it was strong and fast.
The scenery is out of this world, from the pacific to the plants to the animals. We awoke one morning to howler monkeys, around 4:30 am. What a treat. They stayed until about 6:30am, then moved on. That same morning a pack of squirrel monkeys came through and even came up on our deck. We shared one of our mangas (thank you Andres). This was a “first” for all of us, experiencing monkeys up close and personal.
Now for the improvement opportunities:
The facility provides a shuttle service. This is both a good thing, and their #1 improvement opportunity. They have two shuttles during the day, and one at night. You have to call for pick up. During busy periods, it could take 20+ minutes to get a shuttle. Their policy on shuttle usage was a bit vague, some said on property only, some would take us to nearby (less than 1 mile) grocery or restaurants. The drivers were caught in the middle of this policy fuzziness. They need to figure out how to make the shuttles more guest available. Either: add more, run them on a schedule, e.g. every 10 minutes, and/or utilize external contractors (e.g. cabs) for busy evening periods.
Some of the stuff in our villa is starting to show its age and will need updating soon. TVs are old school flat screens, probably 10 years old or so. Hot water heater in my bathroom tripped the breaker repeatedly. One of our AC units would freeze up due to low coolant pressure most likely. Lantern lights around our hot tub were inoperable. Emergency flashlight (which we didn’t need) inoperable. And a few other minor things. As I always say – it’s the little things and attention to detail that can make or break an experience.
Here are some tips and watch outs:
The property, while gorgeous, is extremely steep. I would not recommend for the very young or infirm. The walk to the beach is about 8 minutes downhill, and 10 minutes up (you’ll be drenched with sweat). We mostly took the shuttle back from the beach. Next time I would strongly consider a rental car.
The food on property is limited, and average quality. We mostly ate out (there are fantastic restaurants available) lunch and dinner. We stocked our kitchen with bread, fruit, cereal from the local grocery store and ate breakfast in our villa. We also stocked plenty of bottled water.
They offer dinner prepared by a chef in your villa. I highly recommend this!!
The mighty dollar is accepted everywhere, and purchases made this way are a good means of getting local currency – for tips, cab fare, etc. I tried to change money at the local Quepos bank on several occasions. Both times the line was over 30 minutes long and I aborted. Banking must be a real pain in this town.
Alcohol is very expensive. Wines 3x what I pay in the states. Single Malt ditto. In hindsight I would have brought my own from the states. Someone told me the San Jose airport has a reasonable store, however it was closed when I arrived.
Net, this was a fantastic place to stay. I would go back.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with family
    • 4 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?
2 Thank CulinarySnob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BuenaVistaLuxuryVil, Manager at Tulemar's Buena Vista Luxury Villas, responded to this review, 15 January 2012
Thank you for your very nice review and compliments to our staff, we’ll be sure to share your kind words with Andres. We are pleased that you enjoyed your unit, pools and beach. In regard to the issues you had while in unit, we apologize for any inconveniences you experienced during your stay. We do maintenance checks on all “working parts” of the unit, thank you for your notes on our emergency lighting. We will be sure to double check all of our units’ equipment. We do also have air conditioner parts and new units to use as replacement. If a guest ever has a concern about anything in unit, we suggest letting our staff know as soon as possible so it can be fixed immediately. We have been renting the premium villas since 2005/2006 (depending on unit), therefore all items are still in solid working condition and when they are not, we fix/replace/upgrade as deemed necessary.
Our shuttle service is for on property use and to our preferred restaurants in the area, Karola’s and Victoria’s and Spa Uno. If a driver chooses to take a client to an alternate location, it is the Costa Rica hospitality of never wanting to say no to a visitor. Since our company policy is to transfer to only the locations listed, we will review policy with our drivers, again, thank you for your feedback.
As a side note, banking in Costa Rica is a time consuming process. For this reason, we suggest to our clients that there is no need to exchange money. All establishments will take either the US Dollar or any major credit card; change will always be given in Costa Rican Colones. As a convenience to travelers and locals, the bank across the street from our property does have an ATM that will dispense either the US Dollar or the Costa Rican Colones.
We are pleased to hear that you would vacation again at Buena Vista Luxury Villas and look forward to seeing you in the future.
Pura Vida, Our staff and management
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, Illinois
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 January 2012

The beach is amongst the best we have visited, the pools were beautiful, the villas were very modern and clean. The beds were comfortable. We particularly loved the balcony-it was wonderful to sit out and read or talk surrounded by beautiful trees and wildlife. We also loved our personal concierge Bryan Miranda. He was very interested in making us have a wonderful time-he made reservations for us, arranged outings and transportation for us and it did this by coming to our villa or meeting us at the pool. He always had a wonderful smile too.

Room Tip: some rooms had king size beds and some had two full size/queen beds
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  • Stayed December 2011, travelled with family
    • 4 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?
Thank andrea5517
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BuenaVistaLuxuryVil, Manager at Tulemar's Buena Vista Luxury Villas, responded to this review, 15 January 2012
Thanks for the pura vida review!
Come back soon, the staff
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Tulemar's Buena Vista Luxury Villas

Property: Tulemar's Buena Vista Luxury Villas
Address: Tulemar Gardens, Manuel Antonio National Park 6350, Costa Rica (Formerly Buena Vista Luxury Villas)
Phone Number:
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Manuel Antonio National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#1 Luxury Hotel in Manuel Antonio National Park
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Manuel Antonio National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:4 star — Tulemar's Buena Vista Luxury Villas 4*
Number of rooms: 38
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to Tulemar Resort The Premier Resort Hotel in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica Rated as the number 1 resort hotel in Central America and Costa Rica and number 9 in the World by Trip Advisor Tulemar Resort is a full service resort set in the peaceful 33-acre gated and secure Tulemar Gardens Condominium. A wide variety of standalone accommodations are available for our guests, including the famed Tulemar Bungalows & Villas, as well as our luxurious 1, 2, and 3 bedroom Buena Vista Luxury Villas. The property itself is spectacular, nestled in a lush rainforest overlooking the beautiful Manuel Antonio coastline. Surrounded by nature, Tulemar Resort features incredible gardens, walking paths, thriving wildlife, and the ONLY exclusive sandy beach in the region. At Tulemar Resort you will enjoy the luxury and privacy of your very own villa, along with the amenities of a high end resort, including concierge service, daily maid service, 4 swimming pools, beach bar, spa services, tour desk, and the best sunset bar and restaurant in town. We invite you to review our website for photos and details, then book one of these magnificent villas or bungalows and experience the most unforgettable vacation of your life! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Buena Vista Luxury Villas Hotel Manuel Antonio National Park
Buena Vista Hotel And Casas
Tulemar's Buena Vista Luxury Villas Costa Rica/Manuel Antonio National Park

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