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Tulemar Resort 4.0

Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Walkable to downtown Manuel Antonio's restaurants and bars 
  • Calm, intimate beach location with a bar and free water sports
  • Four infinity pools including hot tubs and an adult-only pool
  • Spacious, full-featured rooms with satellite TVs and large balconies
  • Massive villas with kitchens, multiple bedroom/bathrooms, and water-view balconies
  • All-day poolside restaurant with stunning ocean views
  • 33-acre grounds home to hiking trails, wildlife, and tropical flora
  • Convenience store with drinks, snacks, and sundries
  • Self-parking provided in various lots near each room
  • Fast, free Wi-Fi throughout the property
  • Free shuttle service around the grounds

Cons

  • Beach is a bit rocky
  • Hillside grounds can be difficult to navigate on foot (shuttle service is available)
  • Some dated elements like tube-style TVs

Bottom Line

The four-pearl Tulemar Resort is one of the largest, most full-featured resorts in Manuel Antonio. The lush, 33-acre grounds are abundant with tropical wildlife and beautiful flora. Plus, with four infinity pools, a secluded beach, and an all-day, ocean-view restaurant, most guests won’t need to leave the property -- though it's an eight-minute drive to Manuel Antonio National Park for those who want to hike to the beach there. All 38 rooms are spacious and full-featured with kitchens/kitchenettes, multiple living areas, and water-view balconies. However, the steep, hilly grounds and somewhat rocky beach may have some guests looking elsewhere. For around the same rates, The Preserve at Los Altos shares a less-equipped section of beach but offers more sophisticated rooms.

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Scene

A sprawling rain forest resort with a relaxed, quiet atmosphere

The modest reception building along the main strip in downtown Manuel Antonio belies the resort’s sprawling grounds. Once guests pass through to the other side, the 33-acre stretch of rain forest drops steeply down a lush hillside all the way to the Pacific Ocean. The property is a series of winding tree-lined roads that connects every common building and groups of rooms and villas in a way that’s easy to get lost. The design and architecture of every space is a blend of traditional Costa Rican forms with mostly upscale touches. This, coupled with the grand scale and sense of quiet, gives the illusion that this is a more sophisticated resort than it actually is. Guests range from couples to large groups to families, drawn to the wide variety of room choices, beach access, and convenient location.

Location

Spread across a lush hillside off the main road in Manuel Antonio

Map of Tulemar Resort

The resort’s hillside location provides guests with the best of both worlds in terms of seclusion and convenience. The front entrance is just a few minutes walk from dozens of restaurants, shops, services, and a supermarket. However, the property’s hillside location means every room and common area feels far more secluded than it actually is. The area’s most popular beach (Playa Espadilla) and the country’s most popular national park (Manuel Antonio National Park) are reachable in eight minutes by car. Juan Santamaría International Airport in San Jose is approximately three hours away via modern, well-maintained roads. Given the area’s cheap, ubiquitous shuttles and affordable municipal bus service, however, most travelers should skip the rental car counter. 

Rooms

Large rooms and villas with abundant modern amenities and Costa Rican charm 

Every room and villa is a privately owned vacation rental with individual decor. Most feature a contemporary tropical design with rich, dark woods, granite countertops, and local touches like rattan, palm-fronds, and Central American-inspired artwork. We noted occasional dated elements (like tube-style televisions) in some rooms.

Because all 38 rooms are spread throughout a large hillside, the layout and views vary. The floor plans range from ample one-bedroom, one-bathroom bungalows to two-story, apartment-style units with full kitchens and multiple beds/baths to sprawling vacation rental homes with every imaginable luxury amenity. All feature private balconies, and most include at least a partial ocean view. The list of standard amenities: satellite television, free Wi-Fi, modern climate control systems, and large, in-room safes -- is excellent. Bathrooms likewise vary from room to room. Most are modern with fit and finish that range from upscale to luxurious. Simple bath toiletries and walk-in shower stalls are standard.

Features

Four infinity pools, a secluded beach, and a breezy, ocean-view restaurant

The common amenities are spread throughout the grounds. The trek from one area to the next can be steep and arduous, however, free shuttle service is provided. There are four infinity pools throughout the property, each with a distinct vibe. There are family-friendly and adult-only pools in separate areas, plus a small restaurant pool that offers drink service from the adjacent bar. All of the pools with the exception of the adult-only pool affords stunning ocean views, and each pool deck is outfitted with ample lounge chairs and umbrellas.

The hotel shares a semi-private, semi-rocky stretch of beach with two other hotels. Tucked into a calm, beautiful cove, it’s intimate, secluded, and ideal for swimming and snorkeling. A small bar and free water sports are available exclusively for resort guests. The walk to the beach is long and steep, but round-the-clock shuttle service is available from multiple stops on the property.

The only restaurant, Tule Cafe, is located in a casual, open-air building with dedicated dining and bar areas. A wide, breezy alfresco patio overlooks the rain forest and Pacific Ocean. The menu is a mix of Western comfort favorites (burgers, pizza, and sandwiches) and local Costa Rican fare (ceviche, gallo pinto, and various casados).

There is no dedicated spa or gym, but guests are welcome to use the facilities at the neighboring Tulemar properties. A small convenience store just off the lobby sells snacks, drinks, and basic sundries. Free Wi-Fi and self-parking are provided.

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Things You Should Know About Tulemar Resort

Address

Tulemar Gardens, Province of Puntarenas 6350, Costa Rica

Also Known As

  • Buena Vista Luxury Villas

Room Types

  • 1 Bedroom Select Villa
  • 2 Bedroom Premium Villa
  • 3 Bedroom Premium Villa
  • Bungalow
  • Junior Suite

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