At the eastern edge of the estuary in the Palm Beach Estates gated community, Bula Bula has its own landing for ferrying guests and restaurant patrons the 1/2 mile to and from Tamarindo. The hotel forms a 45-degree angle to the curvy pool bordered by a garden. (Be careful of the prickly cactus!) Rooms have king-size beds and high ceilings, and open onto a portico with wicker rocking chairs. The darkish rooms are brightened by walls painted in brilliant colors and hung
with Central American art. They don't offer a lot of privacy, but the friendly American owners provide complimentary sarongs, fluffy pool towels, coffeemakers, DVD players, mini-fridges, and other upscale amenities. They can arrange a two-hour boat tour of the estuary, or rentals of nearby houses. The menu at the alfresco Great Waltini's Restaurant & Bar ($$–$$$) reads like that of a U.S.-style eatery: seafood enchiladas, peel-and-eat shrimp, pork chop, filet mignon, and New York strip steak. They have good fresh seafood specials. Save room for the homemade tres leches dessert or the Philly-style cheesecake. The bar is very popular, especially during U.S. football broadcasts.
Palm Beach Estates, 3 km/2 mi east of Playa Grande, Playa Grande, Costa Rica
/2653–0975; 877-658–2880-in U.S.