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Tulemar Bungalows & Villas
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Reviews (2,729)
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Reviewed 19 May 2012

We stayed in a **two bedroom villa** at Tulemar and it was amazing. two stories, bedrooms on bottom floor with small decks, indoor sinks, and outside toilets and huge showers. air conditioned. Upstairs (up the marble staircase - everything was top of the line) was a queen sized day bed filled with pillows and a TV with Spanish and English cable, a sectional in the middle with high vaulted beamed/thatched ceiling, a galley kitchen with counter and an inside toilet. Out the back was a wrap-around deck with a dining table & chairs, 3 comfortable rattan chairs and coffee table, and a jacuzzi.
Squirrel monkeys came by on the deck various times - not looking for food -just passing through! The whole resort is on a steep hill so you look out into the trees. We were at the top of the hill which made it easy to walk to restaurants at night. The walk down to the beach or pool was challenging, and the walk up very sweaty! but there's always a van to drive you.
The beach is beautiful and private - and was never crowded when we were there. David takes great care of you, setting up chairs with umbrellas and towels for no add'l fee (we tipped him heavily at the end of our trip). There's a small outside bar and several tables to order food. They serve breakfast & lunch - it's not terribly expensive (less than $13/plate - can't quite remember) and cocktails/beer. Food was pretty good - not fantastic - but good.
Shay was our concierge - she was great! She got us checked in, looked in on us daily, arranged all of our activities (private chef one night, zip line tour, sunset cruise, surf lessons, photography lesson) and was really helpful and nice to be around.
We saw a sloth, and two other kinds of monkeys on the property as well.
We also loved the van driver - he was super nice. We would definitely go back again - they have larger properties where you can bring several families - it would be a great destination for a group trip.

Room Tip: If you have little kids and will be at the beach all the time, get a villa at the bottom of the hill. If you're going out at night or walking to the little grocery store down the street - get a villa at the top.
  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled with family
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Thank jcv1234mass
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 23 May 2012

Hi jcv1234, thanks for posting such a nice review on Casa del Mar, your two bedroom villa in Tulemar! The details you mentioned about the villa and throughout Tulemar are really helpful when guests are trying to decide on which resort to stay in and which villa to book! We also appreciate your comments about Shay, your personal concierge; one of the many unique touches we provide when you book with us. Thanks again for the kind words and we hope to see you again in the future!

Tulemar Dave

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Reviewed 18 May 2012

We had come to Manuel Antonio after staying the first three nights in Arenal at the hotel Nayara. Never having been to Costa Rica, we booked our trip through Costa Rica tours (that is a different review). If we knew then what we knew now, we would have skipped Manuel Antonio entirely, but you live and learn. Nayara was the nicest resort we have ever stayed in. That being said, our expectations were high.
We arrived to Manuel Antonio and were supposed to stay at the Arenas Del Mar. When we got to our room, it was awful. The room was crowded and felt dirty. The smell of mildew and mold was too much. Being from Florida, we don’t understand why the hotel would have thick material curtains on the windows. They hold moisture and mold (again, different review). The hotel felt depressing and run down.
We needed to go somewhere else. We also knew it would cost us extra money, because the travel agency would not credit us. We called Gaia, Trip Advisor’s first choice hotel, but they were booked. I cannot believe that Arenas Del Mar was number three. We called (really we internet “chatted” which was great) withTulemar and Emily in reservations. She was awesome. She said that there were available rooms and we could come to see. When we decided to check in, we selected a room for 260.00 a night including tax. The owner, Dave, greeted us with a big hello and a firm handshake. I liked him and felt that we were making the right choice. Yes, the rooms are “rustic” similar to accommodations you would find in the Keys. The bathroom though was uncomfortably small and just old. The door opened in, rather than out, to an already small bathroom. The bamboo blinds were stuck in the up position and my boyfriend had to work on it with a pen for about 10 minutes. You would think that the maid might have caught that. No big deal.
What was a big deal, however, was the way the doors were constructed. The entrance doors were glass French-style doors. There was a huge gap running around the entire width and up the entire center of the doors. This allowed for all types of little annoying gnats to fly into our room especially at night when the lights were on. We were swatting bugs until we realized that we could use toilet paper to plug the space up the entire middle and towels along the base of the floor. When we called the front desk the next day, we were told that all of the doors were constructed that way. But when we walked around the grounds we saw a number of rooms that were not and that were empty for the next three days we were there. So what they might have meant to say is that all of the rooms in the 260.00 range were constructed that way. Sorry, but for 260.00 a night, I expect a bug-free room—no matter how small the insects and even if I have to be upgraded to a different room. The other issue was when our phone rang the first morning at 4:50am and no one was there. When it rang the second morning, we realized it was a glitch in the automated system. I called the front desk and was told that it would be handled. The next day it rang again. When I called the desk, they said in surprise, “You mean it isn’t fixed?” Okay mistakes happen.
Now for the good news. When I called the front desk to ask that the waterfall shower be repaired and for extra towels, both were done when we came back later that day. They give you free kayaks and boogie boards for the ocean which is a nice touch. The other assets were two employees. Everyone there is friendly and tries to be helpful. There was one employee, whose name I cannot remember, except that his initials were C.R. and that he had lived in Chicago for years. He went out of his way on his day off to buy me soy milk and leave it on our balcony so that I could have my coffee. He never asked for or expected money. I was hoping to see him at some point during the remainder of our trip to thank him, but only briefly did he drive past us. I never got a chance to say thanks. So I am telling Dave instead, “He is an asset to your hotel. Hang on to him.” The other employee who made our stay enjoyable and easy was Guillermo, the driver. He was alive and full of energy. He was always smiling and always said, “No problem”, whenever we needed a ride somewhere or to wait for us or too come back to get us at a certain time. He was more than helpful and we enjoyed our rides with him, albeit they were short ones. I am not sure what we would have done without him. When one of the drivers was waiting for us at the wrong part of the hotel for our ride back to the airport, he remembered that we were saying the night before that we would be down the lower level with our bags. We were waiting about 15 minutes and starting to worry when he came down with the van to get us and bring us to the driver. He was always looking out for us. Dave, “Give that man a raise!”
I am sorry to say that I do not feel that our room was worth 260.00 a night. If I were in the states, I would have laughed at that rate. The hotel shows prices from 215.00-245.00 and since we weren’t there during high season, I am wondering why ours was so high. I notice that other reviews are answered asking why people didn’t let them know that they were unhappy while there, but we did call to complain and to no avail. We were not offered a solution to our bug problem. Obviously, we are the exception and not the norm when you read all of the other reviews. I guess that I didn’t see what others saw. This review could also have been the result of our coming there from Nayara and expecting the same level of service. Also I am annoyed that I never got to see a sloth close up and that was all I have ever wanted to see when I went there. Who sent the memo telling them all to hide?

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Mich4NA
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 19 May 2012

HI Mich4NA.....I'm so sorry that you felt your stay with us was "overpriced".......regarding the suite, our maintenance staff is already working on the issues that you mentioned....but in my view....the biggest problem was that our front desk staff did not understand that the room issues needed to be resolved immediately and/or you should have been moved to another room.....I am so sorry. I'm happy that you enjoyed the "chat" feature on our web site....we all use that for instant commuications with guests on our site....so handy......the rate range you mentioned is accurate.....but those don't include tax.....the rate that Emily quoted you of $260 did include the tax. You had the option that most of our guests do not.....you came to the resort, toured the actual suite where you stayed and then checked in.... I'm pleased that you enjoyed our staff....I agree....they are the best......"CR" is Christopeher....is one of our personal concierges.....you are right....he did go to the store on his day off and return with soy milk for you.....don't worry, he wasn't expecting compensation.....that was his decision.....he wanted you to be happy.....Guillermo....one of our shuttle drivers....is also an imporant team members who strives to please our guests.....I'm sure if you would have mentioned to either that you hadn't seen a sloth.....they would have found one (our gardeners usually know where they hang out!) and would have taken you to see it! Oh, the phone ringing early three days in a row pushed my buttons as well and I wasn't in the room....

Tulemar Dave

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Reviewed 15 May 2012

I have visited the Manuel Antonio area of Costa Rica several times before.
This was definitely my most disappointing trip, totally due to my accommodations.

Here is what I got for $300 a night: an outdated bungalow whose bathroom was in a state of gross neglect, no balcony or outdoor space whatsoever, extremely coarse bed linens, very loud pool areas and a very small beach
that gets crowded.


Add to that the fact that there is NO RESTAURANT and you have to pay for breakfast, well, I certainly will not be coming back.

Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
5  Thank Nick 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 15 May 2012

Hi Nick....I'm very sad to read that you did not enoy your stay with us.....I wish you would have let us know while you were here if there was a problem with your accomodations.....we would have been happy to either correct the problem or move you to another room.....none of the Bungalows have balconies or decks......our other rooms, suites and villas do have them......our web site is very up front about the Bungalows....they are 20 years old......the appearance does seem "dated".....it's a tropical, rustic look....but they do look EXACTLY like the photos....they are clean and well maintained...they must not have been what you were expecting.....just read the review right below yours.....our guests do enjoy the experience......I was confused by your comment about not having a restaurant.....because you did go on to say that we charge for breakfast......yes....we do have a restaurant......breakfast, lunch, drinks and snacks......served at the beach......we also serve lunch at the family pool......we have two restaurants located right outside of Tulemar that deliver "room service" lunch and dinner right to your bungalow or villa.....just sign the check to your room.....our Bungalows all have kitchenettes (and full size kitchens in the villas).....for those who prefer to prepare their own meals....there are also 10 restaurants within two blocks of our front gates....a great selection.......it seems we didn't do a very good job of showing you around Tulemar and explaining our services.....I'm so sorry......we'd love to have you back with us again.

Tulemar Dave

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Reviewed 14 May 2012

wow. Our bungalow was on stilts with 360 degree views - the ocean and the gorgeous landscaping of the property itself. The kitchen in the bungalow is adorable and well stocked. The bungalow had one nice bedroom and a roomy living room with a pull out couch. The best part, though, was in the morning, while sipping coffee and staring at the ocean, an entire fleet of caro blanco monkeys swung by the windows in the mango trees outside our windows!!! Amazing. The restaurant was gorgeous and carefully placed to enjoy the expansive ocean views. This was a treat for all of the senses.

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled with friends
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Thank brainychicksrule
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 15 May 2012

Thanks for your great review of our Tulemar Bungalows! I agree! I love the Bungalows! (I actually bought one and have lived in it year round for 6 years!) The amazing ocean views, the jungle that surrounds you and the wildflfe visits all make our Bungalows a really unique place to stay. I'm glad that you enjoyed our restaurant as too! The beach setting is a wonderful place to enjoy a meal, snack or your favorite drink. Lou and Daniella are there to serve! We hope to see you back with us again...

Tulemar Dave

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Reviewed 14 May 2012

After reading many reviews on Trip Advisor, we took a chance on Tulemar and were thrilled with our experience. Even before we arrived, the staff was accommodating. My husband, who is a runner, exchanged several emails with Julian, Tulemar's incredible conceirge, who shared running routes with him...and even joined him on a few runs when we arrived! We stayed in the Bungalows which were beautiful! Our kids (ages 7 and 10) loved seeing the monkeys outside our windows and the sloths in the trees. Spending time at the private beach at Tulemar was the best part of our day. Kayaks and boogie boards for the taking, a nice bar, good food, and an incredible place to watch the sunset. The staff at Tulemar helped us make plans for several fun day trips (zip lining, white water rafting), and also made great suggestions for restaurants and got us reservations. Tulemar's location is a huge advantage-- we were able to walk almost everywhere in the town of Quepos or take a quick taxi ride. We are very much looking forward to returning to Tulemar in the near future. Thank you Julian and team for making our trip so special!

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with family
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Thank Cindy B
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 17 May 2012

Thanks for the nice remarks about Tulemar, our Bungalows, the beach and especially Julien, your personal concierge! Julien really is wonderful and can make your trip special, handling all of the details for you. He knows the most best tour guides and operators in the area, plus handle those special requests like a massage in your villa, surf lessons and even the best running route (I often meet Julien in the early morning during my beach walk and his run). We hope to see you back with us again soon!

Tulemar Dave

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