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“Amazing Vacation”
Review of Tulemar Resort

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Tulemar Resort
Ranked #2 of 46 Hotels in Manuel Antonio
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 20 July 2013

My family just returned from the Buena Vista and it was the best vacation we've ever taken. We stayed in bungalow 406...3 bedroom, 3.5 bath, perfect for two families...Orlando greeted us with a smile at the front desk, and catered to our every need while there...Marianna was also extremely helpful at the front desk and always had great suggestions on places to eat...Edwardo was our personal concierges and always checked on us in case we needed anything...Michael and Fabian were our two drivers and they were great...always waiting with the car when we needed them....the entire staff deserves 5 stars....the views from our balcony were amazing, our rooms were clean and well kept, and the on property restaurants were great.....and there were plenty of monkeys and sloths to view from the balcony

Room Tip: The transport from the airport is 3-3.5 hours be prepared...the zip lining and white water rafting w...
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  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Toby D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BuenaVistaLuxuryVil, Manager at Tulemar Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 31 July 2013

Pura Vida! Thanks for staying and we are so glad that we provided “the best vacation… ever taken” Thank you! The Staff

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942 - 948 of 1,280 reviews

Reviewed 14 July 2013

We thoroughly enjoyed room 402, a 2 bedroom, 3 bath villa, on our 3 day trip to Manuel Antonio. The property was clean, modern and spacious. The deck was huge and offered fantastic views of the Pacific and the jungle surrounding the property. We saw more wildlife from our deck than we did in the National Park! Iguanas, toucans, capuchins, squirrels, etc. Bring your binoculars. The service at the hotel was excellent. Mariana at the front desk was always smiling and helpful. Andres, the concierge, is super. He arranged a last minute catamaran trip for us as if it was nothing. Michael, the driver, came and retrieved us when we got lost on the property trying to find the restaurant. All were friendly and gracious. Prior to arriving, we arranged for dinner to be prepared one evening in our suite. I had low expectations for this, but my wife thought it would be fun. Little did I know that one of the chefs from the hotel restaurant actually was the one cooking. He prepared a wonderful 3 course meal for three of us (each one different) from scratch in our own kitchen, served it, and cleaned-up. The meal was as good as any we had in Costa Rica and not unreasonably priced. If you have the opportunity to do this, I recommend it. We ate dinner twice in the new open-air restaurant at the hotel. Food and service were wonderful and so convenient. We looked at pictures on TripAdvisor for other local restaurants, and didn't see any that looked as nice as this place. Don't miss it. "Pura Vida".

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Gamlahund
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BuenaVistaLuxuryVil, Manager at Tulemar Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 29 July 2013

Thanks for the nice review! We hear it all the time more wildlife seen staying with us than in the national park! Good tip on the private chef it is an experience not to be missed! Thanks for reviewing us and Pura Vida, The Staff.

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Reviewed 11 July 2013

I have to echo the sentiments shared by my friend Cindy Taylor who I traveled with and had the pleasure of sharing a villa at Buena Vista along with three other girlfriends. We were blown away by the professionalism and personality of the entire staff. Andres was our Personal Concierge and as Cindy mentioned, anticipated our every need to ensure that we had a perfect Costa Rican vacation. The camaraderie shared by the staff (Johan, Michael, Gabriel, Luis, Eduardo - just to name a few) is very special and they are a true team. It is Pura Vida through and through - A true representation on the beloved Costa Rican phrase. The surroundings and the people are beautiful inside and out!

Much love and thanks to all of you! And Cindy is correct when she said that tears were shed after we said our goodbyes! That's the mark of a truly wonderful experience!

Gennevieve Stevenson (aka Francesca)

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with friends
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2  Thank Gennevieve S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BuenaVistaLuxuryVil, Manager at Tulemar Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 29 July 2013

Pura Vida Francesca! Glad we made you vacation and you experience of Costa Rica flawless! The Staff

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Reviewed 9 July 2013

I traveled to Manuel Antonio with four girlfriends to celebrate our upcoming 40th birthdays. We worked with Costa Rican vacations who recommended Buena Vista Villas for our stay.

Upon arrival, it was clear that our expectations would not only be met but exceeded. We were greeted with a warm welcome by Marianna who provided an overview of the resort and its amenities and whose lovely personality set the tone for our trip. Our driver Michael took us to our villa and graciously provided a tour despite our late arrival.

Our villa (#401) was amazing - clean and comfortable - the only thing more gorgeous than the surroundings inside was the view outside. And when we thought it couldn't get any better, we met Andres. He was our personal concierge who attended to our every need during our stay. We cannot say enough about how accommodating he was. Always polite and courteous, Andres made us feel as if we were the only guests on the property. He took time to walk us to the beach so we wouldn't get lost, recommend restaurants based on our preferences and make reservations for us (Kapi Kapi is a must), and if something needed to be serviced in our villa (which was a rarity), Andres always followed up to make sure we were satisfied. He handled everything with the perfect combination of wit and wisdom but his best strength by far was anticipating our needs. He knew we had a catamaran excursion planned one afternoon and saw that the weather called for rain that day so he recommended moving it and coordinated the rescheduling for us. There was an ease and effortlessness to his attention to detail and we cannot thank him enough for all he did to make our trip unforgettable.

We would be remiss if we didn't mention a few others like Brian and Gabriel, and Luis whose boundless energy on the beach and at the bar made the sunny days fun. And last but certainly not least, a huge hug to Eduardo and Johan who saw us at a local restaurant one evening and came over just to say hello. To experience such hospitality outside the walls of the resort was refreshing and made us feel as if we were a part of the local community.

I can easily say on behalf of my friends that the true enjoyment of our time in Costa Rica was largely due in part to the family at Buena Vista Villas - a family we are glad to call our own. The day of our departure we gave hugs and said our goodbyes with a heavy heart. And we must tell a teeny tiny secret - we shared a few tears in the van. Many thanks to everyone for making this trip one that we will always cherish and for sharing with us the true meaning of Pura Vida.

The Chicas in #401
Cindy Taylor (aka Penelope)
Jenny Prevatt (aka Pilar)
Kristin Cazell (aka Catalina)
Gennevieve Stevenson (aka Francesca)
Beth Tullar (aka Isabelle)

P.S. Andres, you will always be our mae!

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Cindy T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BuenaVistaLuxuryVil, Manager at Tulemar Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 29 July 2013

Pura Vida folks! I joked with Andres when I saw him walking you to the beach asking him if it was the first time he’d walked it, but at the same time I was proud of him and my staff at their willingness to go that extra mile. So glad you enjoyed your stay and look forward to you coming back! The Staff

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Reviewed 7 July 2013

Group of 16 stayed recently at 2 Bedroom Villas, Bunglow and Jr. Suite. Shuttle waiting time is way too much and takes longer. Beach services closes at sharp 5pm even in summer and it's too early. You can not get towels or chairs even at five minutes before 5pm. Shuttle services closes at 10pm along with reception, which makes it hard. It's very hard to walk to the beach access as it is very stiff and private beach is just ok, not worth the money. Breakfast is not included in rent and restaurant is very expensive, food is very bad and pasta sucks, Pizza if ok. Of course their Villas is very modern and awesome but bungalows is very outdated and requires lot of attentions. Very old furniture, extremely bad condition bathroom and not working 2 burner electric grill; where they have replaced it with one burner portable electric grill on top of the 2 burner unit. Old microwave. Overall very expensive and very pricey. Too far to walk to town and beach area. Pool are is clean and nice but only one has bar and restaurant. Other Pool has bar but closed and not open at all. Housekeeping service upon request only and cleaning job is just ok. There are plenty of other choices and you should look for other options as it's not worth paying for just beach access here. Better restaurant choices with nice view near town, which is far from here. Their shuttle service does not go outside of the resort property and not even to nearby grocery store. Grocery store can deliver if you call direct instead of thru resort, where they charge 10% service fee. Shuttle driver are not friendly and does not provide courtesy service at all. It's too far and too hard to walk to from one Villas to another Bungalows. Very poor Wi-Fi and internet speed for upload. Not all units have access but you need to find and look for better reception of Wi-Fi. Do not stay at their Bungalows or Jr. Suites but stay at Villa's if you can afford. Its very expensive though and be careful with your bill/invoice at check-out, some one else signed twice for very large check/ticket of bar and restaurant bill, which does not belongs to us. They had removed it at check-out once we noticed it and told them about it. Look for better other options and save some $$$$$.

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with family
    • Service
Thank Kashna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BuenaVistaLuxuryVil, Manager at Tulemar Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 29 July 2013

Sorry to hear you did not enjoy your stay. So many issues many outside our control, i.e. distance. So I’ll try to address this as logically as possible and only issues we can affect
The Select Villas are roughly 10 years old and are maintained on an annual basis
The Premium Villas are roughly 8 years old and on the same schedule
We do not have the licensing to send our drivers off property that requires a limo license though we are glad to do it on property.
Sorry you did not enjoy, Pura Vida!

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Reviewed 5 July 2013

My husband and I just got home from our 10 day stay in Costa Rica. It was a beautiful, beautiful country and one we will certainly re-visit.

We spent a few days in Arenal before we arrived for our week long stay at Buena Vista Villas in a torrential downpour. We were greeted by our concierge, Brayan. As he & another staff member shuttled us in a van, then ushered us & our luggage under umbrellas to our villa, it quickly became clear the level of service we were going to receive. Brayan, then explained the layout of the grounds, the services that were available and the amenities of our room. He also left us his number so that he could help us with anything we might need. Throughout the week we were able to reach him easily and he attended quickly to an issue we had with our air conditioner; booked our excursions, made reservations at local restaurants, arranged transportation, and ensured groceries were delivered (again in torrential downpour!). In addition to his dedicated, calm professionalism, Brayan is also a funny, genuine, and truly nice person who we enjoyed hanging out with. We were so lucky to have him as our concierge!

On Brayan's day off, he arranged for another concierge, Eduardo, to help us out! Eduardo was extremely helpful, ensuring that we were taken care of. He did a great job recommending local restaurants & taking care of transportation. He was really personable & funny.

Overall the entire staff at Buena Vista Villas, was professional, personable and fun to be around. From our concierges, to the drivers in the shuttles, to the restaurant/bar, and landscape staff. It was so nice to be surrounded by such a genuine staff who were so dedicated to making your experience at the hotel and in the country, enjoyable.

In addition to the excellent staff, we have nothing but positive experiences to share regarding our room and the hotel grounds. Our room, a Jr. Suite (2O5), was lovely. It was helpful to have a sink, counter and small fridge. The bed and couch area were comfortable. The small balcony, with two chairs, table & hammock - where we spent most of our time in the room - was the show stopper!! We had an incredible view of the beautiful grounds and the Pacific. We watched beautiful sunsets nearly every night. We were also able to watch a troop of squirrel monkeys pass by as we sat outside!

The entire property was gorgeous, with flowers, plants and wildlife everywhere. It was well maintained and we often were greeted by the kind landscaping staff who never hesitated to point out monkeys or sloths! The property is huge, and hilly, so do bear that in mind when you are planning to go to the beach, pools or restaurants (on or off site). Shuttle service and/or taxis (to off site locations) can be arranged easily by calling your concierge or the front desk. Some days we walked while others we opted to walk to our destinations, within or outside of the grounds.
Often, Mike drove us around the property and he was always funny and helpful.

We went to 2 of the 3 pool areas (not the family pool). Both we visited were clean and beautiful. We ate breakfast at the restaurant by the infinity pool and it was excellent, as was the lunch service. Pamela, a bartender near the pool and restaurant area always provided attentive and friendly service.

One morning we hiked the South Trail to the beach, those paths were well maintained and you will encounter a waterfall which was a nice surprise! The beach area on the property is incredible, it has a spectacular view & is the perfect place to relax for an afternoon and catch some sun. Towels, chairs, umbrellas, drinks and meals are all available there. The service on the beach was consistent with the excellent service we described previously. Also, you will almost certainly encounter more wildlife here - from iguanas, to monkeys (we saw both squirrel and howlers).

We highly recommend Buena Vista Villas, for the incredible service, well appointed rooms, beautiful views, gorgeous grounds and proximity to fun local restaurants/bars and excursions. Pura Vida!

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank ecallahan120
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BuenaVistaLuxuryVil, Manager at Tulemar Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 29 July 2013

Thank you! Glad we provided an enjoyable stay; I’ll be sure to share this review with all those mentioned in it. The only correction is there are 4 pools not 3… sorry you missed one, next time=). The Staff

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Reviewed 15 June 2013 via mobile

We stayed in villa 402 which did not have a king bed as shown on the site. Both bedrooms had two double beds. The overall suite was very spacious and well appointed. The bathroom broke a few times but was fixed quickly. This is one of only two properties in Manuel antonio with beach access except for the small places down by the public beach. The beach is small and fairly rocky but does offer kayaks and boogie boards although you need to be careful for the rocks. We did see two sloths but no monkeys at this unit. There is no place to eat dinner on site but there is a great Italian place, Victoria's across the street. They offer shuttles to drive you up and down the steep roads to the pools and beach. For the price, I would have expected a king in the master but otherwise it's a nice place.

  • Stayed: June 2013
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Thank Schwartzbones
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BuenaVistaLuxuryVil, Manager at Tulemar Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 26 June 2013

Glad you enjoyed your stay with us! Good information for future guests- if you desire a king bed please let us know beforehand so you can be place in a unit with one. Victoria’s is our partner restaurant, but as of 6/25 our onsite restaurant, Buena Vista Del Sol is open- sorry you missed it. Thanks for staying with us and come back soon, Pura Vida- The Staff

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Additional Information about Tulemar Resort

Address: Tulemar Gardens, Manuel Antonio 6350, Costa Rica (Formerly Buena Vista Luxury Villas)
Phone Number:
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Manuel Antonio
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Luxury Hotel in Manuel Antonio
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Manuel Antonio
Price Range: £176 - £658 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Tulemar Resort 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 Resort Costa Rica/Manuel Antonio

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