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“Family Paradise: Costa Rica on a silver platter!”

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Tulemar Bungalows & Villas
Ranked #1 of 46 Hotels in Manuel Antonio
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 18 February 2012

If you are thinking of a Costa Rica adventure, my advice is to just visit this incredible paradise. I rely heavily on trip advisor, so wanted to share my thanks to all the people who leave a review and I will leave mine. We traveled with our 5 and 9 year old girls. Tulemar is like getting to experience Costa Rica handed to you on a silver platter. We stayed at la Villa Mot Mot Feb 5-9th nights, then had to move to Casa Panorama South Lower unit for our last 2 nights. My family is well traveled and I speak Spanish, but, If you are nervous to be in a foreign country, with these houses you will not have to worry a second as their concierge, Bill ,Diego and Kimberly, were absolutely wonderful and there to help or answer any question you may have. Bill was exceptionally fabulous to our family and even brought my hubby a Cuban Cigar when we had mentioned my hubby was going to try to get one to smoke on his 40th b day as it just seemed like the thing to do for your 40th while in Costa Rica!
We loved each place for different reasons. The most marvelous gift of Villa Mot Mot is the daily arrival of monkeys to the deck. This was our dream for our 5 and 9 year old girls. The monkeys made our trip, and as you can read by other reviews, we think the Mot Mot is like a high end tree house with incredible views. We loved walking the steep hills (bring keens.. too steep for flip flops for kids!) and seeing all the wildlife, monkeys, sloths, butterflies, hummingbirds, flora y fauna. Our family loves nature, and we couldn't have been more stunned with the absolute feeling of being on our own adventure with nature every second while in Tulemar. You must remember you are in the "jungle", so don't be bothered by ants or bugs. You will see them, but they don't bother you at all. We thought it was even better here than in the national park where you competed with lots of tourists. Still go to the national park, but enjoy every second at Tulemar! While hiking through the trails to the beach, we often would have our own private beach. With children, this private beach was absolutely perfect, with again, CR being on a silver platter to kayak, snorkel, boogie board or catch a delicious bite to eat. David at the beach was absolutely the sweetest tico and helped put my mind at ease of kayaking with my 5 year old as I was a bit nervous of being tipped with the waves. The people and huge waves in town of Manuel Antonio is something to be seen, but to enjoy worry free the ocean, Tulemar is worth the price.
Casa Panorama was gorgeous as well, but we didn't see any monkeys here. What we loved about this house was its exceptionally spotless cleanliness and more updated modernness. It seemed a bit more upper class with its fabulous details of the lotions, creams and flowers everywhere when we arrived. What details!
We loved both places, and can't wait to go back with our families. Where will we stay next time? Absolutely in Tulemar, but this time a bigger house as after seeing our pics and hearing our stories all of our friends and family can't wait to come back with us next year!
Advice: Bring LOTS of smaller bills for tips. Use cash as much as you can, just bring a "money belt". You do NOT need to exchange a single dollar to colones before you get here as they accepted both everywhere. Although we had called our Credit Card companies before leaving, one still wouldn't work there. The fees on all our cards were ridiculous, so try to just use cash.
Eat at Marlin's (per Bill's suggestion) in Manuel Antonio. They had the best "casado" (national dish) and "agua fresca" of anywhere. We had to go back we loved it so much.
Eat the "mahi mahi" at the Tulemar beach or the 'Tuna" at the pool. These were also some of my favorite meals while there!
If traveling with kids, pack a jar of peanut butter, then buy bread and delicious homemade jams and fruits while here to save some cash on lunch. ) (PB is expensive in latin countries I've found)
Bring more sunscreen than you think you'll need. We went through 3-4 bottles.
Take the public bus for 50 cents (250 colones) in front of Victorias. It's frequent, cheap and you get to talk to the locals.
Avoid Agua Azul for lunch. sweet people, but the worst food we ate while in CR.
HIRE a driver to take you here. THey close roads in CR without warning. Ask Diego, or search Erick Camacho: erick2901@gmail.com who was our driver from San Jose to Volcan Poas, then to Tulemar, then back to San Jose at the end of our trip. He is a doll and speaks great English for those of you who don't speak el bello espanol.
Enjoy the sweetness of every "tico" as they are the most generous, sweet people!
Pura Vida-

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled with family
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4  Thank Naturefamilia
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 February 2012

Thanks for your review of Tulemar....so helpful to others wondering what Tulemar is all about.....your family was fortunate to be able to stay in two of our most popular villas....Villa Mot Mot and Casa Panorama.....we're glad you enjoyed and appreciated the differences in each! Tulemar is a very special place and we hope to have you back again soon!

Tulemar Dave

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Reviewed 14 February 2012

We can not say enough good things about our stay in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica. We stayed in the Casa Panorama South, bottom floor which is a 1 bedroom with full kitchen and living room. we spent all of our time on the balcony looking at those beautiful views tho - not in the living room. We booked thru Dave and he and his team were very effecient and so helpful! Kimberly our house manager went above and beyond to make sure we had everything we needed to enjoy our stay including pickin us up at the tiny Quepos airport and dropping us off a the National park one day. we loved the hikes to the beach and appreciated taking the shuttle back up the hill. Loved getting to boogie board and kayak and found that our private beach for the Tulemar - Beuna Vista is our favoriate in the area and we have restaurant/bar service. what a hidden gem !! Tulemar is close enough that we walked to most of our favorite restaurants for breakfast or dinner. Lunch we ate mostly at the beach or in our casa. We read lots of reviews before we arrived but it far exceeded our expectations and the outstanding customer service put it over the top!
my only complaint is that we could not stay longer.

Thanks to everyone at Tulemar for making our vacation so outstanding!

Room Tip: get the best view you can, totally worth it
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  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Kathryn C
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 February 2012

Thanks, KathrynC, for the great comments on Casa Panorama, Tulemar and especially Kimberly, your private concierge. When I read about Kim using her own car to pick you up from the Quepos airport or take you to the national park I really understand how much she cares for her guests. I'm glad you enjoyed our beach and the bar/grill there for breakfast and lunch; there's nothing like sitting under the palms, with your feet in the sand, enjoying a meal or a drink! Thanks again for the review and we hope to see you back!

Tulemar Dave

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Reviewed 7 February 2012

I chose Casa de Frutas in Tulemar to celebrate my 60th birthday Jan 28th to Feb 4th. I couldn't have chosen a more beautiful place. The views from every room are stunning. It takes your breath away. Photos cannot capture this incredible home and location. The staff and service were beyond belief wonderful. Mauricio, our concierge was great!!

We hired Chef Chris for an entire day for my celebration. He was fantastic! Wonderful personality and he prepared delicious food. Highly suggest you treat yourself to at least one meal prepared by a private chef. Get Chris if you can.

I cannot recommend staying within Tulemar enough. We saw more wildlife here than anywhere else. We saw sloths beside the house along with visiting troops of squirrel and capuchin monkeys. So many beautiful birds right in front of us. We were even treated to a rare whale sighting in Tulemar bay. The beach is wonderful. I have some mobility problems so the shuttle to and from the beach was a godsend. Food and drinks at the beach bar/restaurant were good. Unlike when going to the public beach, we didn't have to worry about carrying cash or having belongings stolen. Nice peace of mind.

I honestly cannot imagine staying anywhere other than within Tulemar. The location and perks were invaluable. I had high expectations that were more than exceeded. It was indeed a dream vacation come true.

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled with friends
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1  Thank margadagio
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 8 February 2012

Hi Marg....thanks for your wonderful review of Casa de Frutas....one of our private villas in Tulemar......the views, the design, the decor and the ambiance makes this a very special villa....then add to that the personal concierge service by Mauricio.....Chef Chris for a special meal or two....the wildlife....our beach....and all of the other amenities in Tulemar and we understand how your expectations were exceeded! We loved having you for your 60th birthday and hope to have you back at Casa de Frutas for your next!

Tulemar Dave

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Reviewed 4 February 2012

My boyfriends family and I all got the privilege to stay in Tulemar, villa kiskadee. We were a group of 8 and our villa had a room to meet everyone's needs/standards. Our concierge was MORE than helpful! We called him for everything, from booking activities to asking him his personal recommendations for sight seeing. We even called him on his day off and he brought us homemade brownies! Our villa had a BREATH TAKING view, front or back! We had great privacy, except when our new friends the monkeys would come see us in the afternoon! You don't even need to leave the comfort of your own home to have great pictures from wild life to scenic views. Also, I strongly recommend whomever to get the chefs! They are fantastic cooks, they're very accommodating for picky eaters to adventurous eaters all in one meal! The cooks serve u from breakfast to late night suppers and they even bartend for u! I loved how everything was quick, simple and easy to get - all from a phone call and in 5 min whatever you ordered/requested is at your front door! This trip was more than a dream come true and it definitely brought all the bars of standards for future trips significantly higher! I cannot explain how great and welcoming this villa, the staff and our experience in costa rica was in words but I can say that you will need to buy a second, if not a third memory card for all your wonderful memories and adventure to be made!!!!

  • Stayed: January 2012
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Thank EmilieTess
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 7 February 2012

Thanks for your review of Villa Kiskadee, one of our "private villas" in Tulemar; we're so happy that you enjoyed your stay! Villa Kiskadee is large enough (four bedroom suites) for the whole family and has one of the best ocean views in Tulemar. With its secluded location, it also gets lots of wildlife visits; all three types of monkeys, plus sloths and exotic birds. One of the best parts of your stay in Villa Kiskadee? Your personal concierge, Mauricio! He's magic! He can make almost anything happen, from the best private chefs, a private tour of the national park or even making those famous brownies appear! Thanks again for staying with us and we hope to see you again soon!

Tulemar Dave

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Reviewed 3 February 2012

The grounds surrounding the Junior suite was beautiful. It was wonderful having a private beach. However, the unit we stayed in was out dated. The air conditioner had only an off or on switch. We were unable to change the direction of the fan which blew directly on our heads at night. Subsequently, we were unable to have the unit at the temperature we would have liked. They also need to redo the weather stripping on the doors. We had more bugs than we would have liked. Also, we had no ice for drinks and no place to store it if we had gotten some at the store.

The breakfasts and the lunches were sub par. This should have been the opportunity to make a few great dishes for each and run with it. We were given bottled juice for breakfast. As far as meals go, they could use a tip from the Hidden Canopy Tree House which is very small, but a famulous breakfast and great appetizers.

What we did enjoy was the wild life on the property. We saw more wildlife staying where we were than our walk through Manuel Antonia National Forest.

If we ever go back to Costa Rica, which we hope to, if we were to stay here again, we would ask for an updated unit and get a one bedroom.

Long Beach, CA

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank tthomsons
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 4 February 2012

I'm so sorry that you didn't enjoy your stay in the JR Suite; I wish we would have been told during your stay so that we could make it right for you. No need to stay in a room for multiple nights if you're not happy with it. We've passed on your comments regarding the breakfast/lunch meals to Chef Paul as well; he is always open to suggestions. We would love to have you back again; please feel free to contact me directly.


Tulemar Dave

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Reviewed 2 February 2012

My husband and I stayed for 3 nights in the lower unit of Villa Mot Mot, which is technically part of Tulemar Vacation Rentals rather than Tulemar Bungalows; however, we had access to all of the amenities of Tulemar Bungalows. We chose the lower Villa Mot Mot because it was the only bungalow within our budget ($250/night). The highlights of this resort are the beautiful private beach lined with palm trees, the wildlife all over the property, and the amazing infinity pool. The beach setup is perfect - there is a little outdoor restaurant serving grilled foods and salads and a bar to order drinks. Friendly staff set you up with beach chairs and an umbrella in your preferred location. The bungalows are scattered over a very steep hill, so there is a shuttle to get you back up to your place if you don't want to do the hike up. There are also nice walking trails through the forest leading down to the beach. The infinity pool is further up the hill, and has an incredible view of the ocean. We swam in the pool 2 evenings during sunset and had it to ourselves. The service is fantastic - both Diego and Bill were incredibly friendly and helpful. Diego set us up with private surfing lessons with his friend Dante (Dante's Watersports) and we had the time of our lives - we highly recommend. There are several small restaurants on the property, but we only ate at the beach restaurant once, mainly because there are incredible restaurants just at the top of the hill. Now for our bungalow (the lower 1/2 of Villa Mot Mot)...the view of Manuel Antonio Park and the ocean was incredible, and we loved sitting on the patio and watching all the monkeys jumping around from tree to tree. We saw both squirrel monkeys and white-faced monkeys (and heard the howlers!) Unfortunately, we were a bit disappointed with the unit itself - inside it was quite dated and the bathroom and furniture needed updating. Still, it was clean and adequate, and it was the cheapest unit available in an expensive area, but at $250 and with all the amazing reviews we had expected a bit more. Overall, it is a beautiful property with excellent amenities and great service. If you can pay up for one of the nicer units, it would complete the experience.

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank MandA2012
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 5 February 2012

We're so glad that you enjoyed your stay with us in Tulemar! Villa Mot Mot is one of our most popular villas and the great news is that the owner will be renovating the Lower suite in October including a great new bathroom, larger deck and outdoor kitchen area! I'm sorry that you were disappointed. In the meantime, Diego, the house manager, keeps the suite clean and maintained for the enjoyment of our guests. Thanks for the comments on Tulemar, the beach, the wildlife and thanks for booking with us at Tulemar Vacation Homes/Tulemar Bungalows!

Tulemar Dave

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Reviewed 2 February 2012

We spent 3 days and nights in a 1 bedroom select villa - and it was a mistake to have left that soon! "The most outstanding service you could want" would be an understatement. Andre was especially great - really the staff and generally the town folk who wait on you throughout the restaurants and attractions in Manuel Antonio are as friendly as anywhere in the world. We loved our comfortable bed, lovely decor, and astonishing view of the ocean.

Also, you must try the cheeseburger at the beach bar - best burger I've ever eaten. I could go on and on with the good - you won't be disappointed.

Only 1 real downside I could mention: there are little lizards and geckos which will come in your villa, and leave little brown "treats" around the house. Realize you are going to the jungle, and that there is nothing the staff can do about this, and you will laugh it off after the first or second times you have to clean it up.

Overall, go in peace to your dream vacation in magnificent Costa Rica!

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank Justin E
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 11 February 2012

Thanks for your comments on the Buena Vista 1 Bedroom Select Villa.....they really do have great ocean views....very tropical.....and Andres, your personal concierge (the tallest Tico in Tulemar!) is a delight.....guests really do love him.....and yes there are a few geckos.....but they are good.....and they do stay on the ceilings/upper walls where they can grab any wayward bug......all part of our jungle with the monkeys, sloths and exotic birds! Chef Paul at the Beach Bar and Grill will be pleased that you enjoyed his famous cheeseburgers!

Hope to see you back...
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: $189 - $434 (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 And Villas
Tulemar Bungalows & Villas Hotel Manuel Antonio National Park
Tulemar Hotel
Tulemar Bungalows & Villas Costa Rica/Manuel Antonio

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