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“Beautiful property, excellent service! Well worth it!”

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Tulemar Bungalows & Villas
Ranked #1 of 47 Hotels in Manuel Antonio
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 19 March 2012

We returned from a 1 week vacation at Tulemar with our two boys, 9 and 11. There are two websites for this property Bueno Vista Hotel and Tulemar Vacation Rentals. Both have great photos and descriptions of the property. The short version of my review is that Tulemar is beautiful, the staff are wonderful, helpful and professional and it is a perfect place to stay for a vacation. Now the long version:
We rented a Premium Villa, # 414 which was about halfway down the hill and overlooking the family pool. The villa was decorated beautifully and was spotless. Prior to our arrival Julien helped us plan our week and helped make our stay seamless and stress-free.
A van picked us up at San Jose airport and the 3 hour drive to Tulemar became almost 5 hours as we stopped at the crocodile bridge, a roadside stand to sample mangos, guava, watermelon and many other wonderful fruits, a local restaurant for lunch of Costa Rican food which was amazing, grocery shopping for our villa and a photo op for a tree filled with Macaws. Thomas, our driver was a great tour guide and gave us our first overview of his beautiful country.
An option at Tulemar is to have a private chef cook a meal in your villa. We did this for two dinners during our stay. Julien had sent the menu options to us and we had pre-picked our menus prior to our trip. One night we had Jose and his brother who made us a wonderful meal that we could barely finish. The second dinner was with Christopher and Michael, again a wonderful meal and beautiful presentation. Our Chefs both nights were warm, friendly and professional and our entire family loved the experience.
The beach at Tulemar is beautiful and even though they were fully booked it felt like you almost had the place to yourself. The restaurant by the beach is open air and simple. The food is great and the staff friendly and helpful.
The roads throughout Tulemar are steep and we used the shuttle fairly frequently. One can walk up or down, the wildlife is plentiful and the gardens and jungle are beautiful.
We were assigned a concierge for our stay, Brian, who was totally awesome. I had many discussions with him about tours and restaurants and travel. His suggestions worked perfectly and he made our time in Costa Rica everything we had hoped.
I am going to review the tours separately as they were all great and deserve the attention. We used Titi Canopy Tours to ziipline, Mid World tours for ATV, Waverunners for jetskis and ADR 10 in1 for our eco tour. All were astounding and wonderful.
The restaurants we tried were Ronnie's place, Mara Luna, Victoria's and Kappi Kappi. If you google these restaurants know that their descriptions are accurate. We enjoyed all of them for what they were. The seafood at Mara Luna was great, the pizza at Victoria's was great, Ronnie's place was good and adventure to get to and Kappi Kappi was very nice.
We met a number of people who had spent time in different parts of Costa Rica and then had finished at Tulemar. We wanted to just stay at one place and we are so glad we chose Tulemar. Dave Houck is a warm and friendly host who can also provide you with tips and ideas for living in Costa Rica. Tulemar also has some beautiful homes that are privately owned and available to rent. I have toured some of these after having seen them on the website. If anything they are more beautiful in person. If you are thinking of choosing Tulemar as a vacation spot you can rest assured that what you see on their websites is accurate. Our family has travelled fairly extensively in the Caribbean and I am pretty particular about accomodations and experiences. Both Tulemar and the Manuel Antonio area of Costa Rica surpassed my expectations. Our family will be returning to this wonderful country and Tulemar in the years to come.
Thank-you Dave, Julien, Brian, Maritza and all the staff at Tulemar!

Room Tip: Best choice, either the Premier Villas, 413, 414 or 415 or one of the Vacation Home rentals.
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  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with family
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3  Thank eelpie
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 reviewResponded 20 March 2012

Thanks for taking the time to write this review for Tulemar.....we're all so pleased you enjoyed your stay.....I think one of the really important points that you mentioned was the assistance that Julien....our on line concierge.....provided to you before you even reached Manuel Antonio.....from your transportation between San Jose and Tulemar (Julien knows the best drivers) to the private chef services.....and selected tours.....the most popular do book in advance so let Julien help with your plans.....and just like you....many of our guests also make plans to return for another stay and want to see our other villas...I was happy to be able to take you on a tour....the photos on the web site are great....but seeing them in person helps and is fun too....so just ask! Thanks again for staying with us and for booking thru Tulemar Vacation Home Rentals.

Tulemar Dave

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Reviewed 19 March 2012

This place is so incredible - I wish I could live there forever!

My family of 5 (wife and kids aged 15, 12 & 12) had tons of room to spread out in our beautiful 2-story, fully furnished villa. A wrap-around balcony from the top floor was the perfect place to watch the sun set over the ocean. It was also my favorite place to wake up early, enjoy some coffee & reading while the monkeys played in the trees all around me! It even had a private Jacuzzi which was wonderful for relaxing after a day at the beach.

As wonderful as the rooms were - what set Tulemar apart from EVERY other place I've ever stayed in the world was the incredible service! Our personal concierge, Johan was only a phone call away - with rides to the beach, restaurant recommendations, rides into town, answers to questions - and always the highest level of service and courtesy. I have never been treated to such luxury. Daniella, our beach bartender was wonderful with the kids and an excellent Spanish teacher as well. Check in and check out both were done by concierge service who came directly to our room.

Nature surrounds you in this place. The monkeys play on the balconies. The showers are outdoors - giving you the perfect mix of privacy with fresh air and astounding views. Capuchin monkeys, titi monkeys, howler monkeys, iguanas - all everywhere. I didn't see a sloth - but heard the were about too. The jungle, the sunsets, the mountains, the ocean, the beach - it's pure paradise!

The beach kept us entertained for hours - light colored sand and a perfect shallow bay with perfect waves that came in so regularly, you'd swear there was a machine somewhere timing them! Free boogie boards, towels, kayaks, and of course the fantastic service already mentioned.

The only thing I can recommend as an improvement is the food. There is not a restaurant, and the snack area food was well below-average. To make up for this - there are free rides into town where there are excellent restaurants and a fully-stocked kitchen if you'd like to make your own. They also have an in-room gourmet chef service (which sadly, we didn't have time to try).

I will recommend this place to everyone I know!

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with family
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Thank Ray M
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 reviewResponded 22 March 2012

Wow...thanks for the great review on your stay in Tulemar.....the Buena Vista 2 Bedroom Villas are really wonderful.......they sleep up to 8 guests.......and the indoor/outdoor showers are everyone's favorite.......Johan really enjoyed serving you too.....he makes your trip so easy.....handling all the details......it sounds like you missed our Beach Bar and Grill......they do a great job with breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner.....and the Eggs Benedict on Sundays are my favorite.....thanks again for the review and we hope to see you back again!

Tulemar Dave

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Reviewed 17 March 2012

I visited Tulemar this March for Spring Break with my parents and best friend. We are both in college, and had an amazing time both on the property (at the beach, hiking on the awesome trails, watching sloths) and in the areas nearby. We did a few different excursions, including Amigos del Rio Adventure Day, Canopy Safari zip lining, and a day at Manuel Antonio Park. Mauricio at Tulemar set up everything for us so all we had to do was be ready at the right time! The food in the area is absolutely amazing, and they will set up reservations and taxis to any restaurant as well. I can't imagine a better way to spend spring break, or any vacation. Everyone at Tulemar is awesome and I really believe that staying there helped us make our trip the best it could be!

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with family
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Thank Emily A
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 reviewResponded 18 March 2012

Thanks for your review.....we loved having you with us in Tulemar......and we're so glad you enjoyed your villa.....Casa del Mar......two bedrooms....two and half baths....two floors.....full kitchen, living and dining area.....plus a wonderful ocean view with jacuzzi on the deck.....oh....and everyone's favorites.....indoor/outdoor showers in both baths! Mauricio, your personal concierge, was happy to be of service.....from arranging your tours to assisting with your dining options.....he's there to make the trip easy! Thanks for booking with us and we hope to see you back again!

Tulemar Dave

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Reviewed 17 March 2012

It is pretty hard not to add our voices of praise to the hundreds of others who have travelled to Tulemar Bungalows & Villas located just a few kilometers from the entrance of Manuel Antonio National Park. This is a big site with a variety of luxury rentals accommodating different needs and numbers. We rented Casa Panorama upstairs for one week March 2012 which had two large bedrooms ensuite down and a spacious lounge, kitchen, powder room and spacious deck up. A third level rented to another party is at the bottom and apart from sharing a driveway we did not see or hear them.
You are required to prepay however that is understandable. We were greeted by concierge ex-Floridian Bill, who was a constant source of friendly support and help. He takes arriving parties around the property, introduces staff, makes sure you have everything, arranges reservations and tours and usually daily ensures things are going well. He aids Diego Morales the overall manager of eight of the Tulemar homes which are privately owned and rented out to tourists. Similar to Bill, Diego went out of his way to ensure everything is going well for renters. With both Bill & Diego you feel as if they are old friends in a matter of days!
If there is a problem Diego and Bill work hard to fix it (we lost water for a day and that was big problem solved as fast as possible). Their recommended Mangrove Swamp Tour (Iguana Tours S.A.), and a private guided tour through Manuel Antonio National Park were good value and interesting. They recommended several restaurants and we splurged one evening by hiring resident chef Chris to cook a pre-arranged three course meal in our Casa while we watched another glorious Pacific Sunset!
There was no dishwasher in our unit, but you can leave the dishes for the housekeeping services. If you do that however you do risk inviting ants and running yourselves short of glasses, utensils, and plates - take your pick!
The Beach facilities at Tulemar are very good. The food is good for beach food and the staff, David and Daniella are friendly and helpful. The Beach is a long downhill trip through scenic lush rainforest but there is a shuttle service that is easy to arrange and well worth it after a long hot day at the beach.
The pool facilities are surprisingly limited for a complex of this size. There is a "family" infinity pool which was near our Casa however if you wanted to luxuriate around this pool there are limited recliners and you need to stake your turf early - which is not very neighbourly! Additionally there is no control over neighbourly noise so if you want an adult-quiet experience you can go uphill on the property to an adult-only pool with very comfortable recliners but also limited in number and adjacent to a staff coordination point which is a bit noisy. You are really encouraged to experience the Beach. If you want a very good Beach experience you can travel into the Park a few kms to the south and pay a $10 entrance fee per day and go to Playa Manuel Antonio or other beaches in the Park. We would also suggest renting a Casa that is further down the property and not necessarily immediately adjacent to pools. You have to recognize that larger groups can have noisy parties or activities which are understandably beyond the full control of the Tulemar operations although they would likely step in if we had needed to ask them to. However sound carries readily across the rainforest, especially at night!
The spectacular ocean views from our Casa, the birds and visiting monkeys, the friendly staff, and the luxurious accommodations all added up to an unforgettable experience and one highly recommended. It is not inexpensive but there is excellent value for money.

Room Tip: Rent properties away from the pools.
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  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank activeseniorsKelowna
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 reviewResponded 18 March 2012

HI Active Seniors.....I loved your review....very thorough......from Diego and Bill....your personal concierges at Casa Panorama North.....(they really do know the best tours and guides).....to your private chef Chris.....(a wonderful dining experience).....to the Tulemar Beach and staff......you covered it all.....a comment on the pools....there are actually 4 pools for your use in Tulemar....and our private villas each have their own pools as well.....I appreciate you taking the time to post the review and hope to see you back again....thanks for booking with us!

Tulemar Dave

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Reviewed 12 March 2012

When we booked our trip we were hoping that our accomodations were going to be as good as they looked on the website. So we were utterly surprised when we discovered that they were better than we expected! We arrived at Villa Mot Mot ( the upper unit) as the sun was setting, and as we walked in we both said " OMG, I can't believe it! Pinch me so I know it's real". It was ( is) unbelievably beautiful. The view can not be beaten. We had such a good time. Both of us have traveled extensively and this vacation really stood out among the others. Villa Mot Mot and Tulemar had everything we needed during our stay but most importantly we felt at home there. What's more we were treated like special guests by Diego and Bill. They helped us plan our activites, gave us information we would have used valuable time to obtain ourselves, and provided us with transportation as needed. All of this they did with a welcoming manner and genuine friendliness. We can't wait to go back.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Tina W
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 reviewResponded 13 March 2012

Hi Tina....that's a common reaction to Villa Mot Mot.....our guests are so pleased....with the villa....with the views.....with the wildlife.....and the service from Diego and his staff.....thank you so much for staying with us in Tulemar and we'll have Villa Mot Mot ready for you upon your return!

Tulemar Dave

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Additional Information about 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: S$195 - S$447 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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 & Villas Hotel Manuel Antonio National Park
Tulemar Bungalows And Villas
Tulemar Hotel

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