Fodor's Expert Review Hotel Bula Bula

Palm Beach Estates, 3 km (2 miles) east of Playa Grande, Playa Grande, Guanacaste, Costa Rica

At the eastern edge of the estuary in the Palm Beach Estates gated community, this pleasant hotel (the name means "Happy Happy") has its own landing for ferrying guests and restaurant patrons the 1 km (½ mile) to and from Tamarindo. The hotel forms a 45-degree angle to the curvy pool bordered by a garden. Decorated with native art and pottery, rooms have king-size beds and high ceilings, and open onto a portico with wicker rocking chairs. They don't offer a lot of privacy, but the rooms, painted in brilliant colors, have orthopedic mattresses, cable TVs, coffeemakers, mini-refrigerators, and other upscale amenities. Included in the rate is a made-to-order breakfast ranging from French toast and banana pancakes to eggs Benedict and custom omelets. 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.


  • friendly
  • good restaurant
  • lots of amenities
  • water taxi to Tamarindo


  • rooms small for price
  • 10-minute walk from beach
  • mosquitoes


Near the beach


Phones: -2653–0975 | 877-658–2880-in U.S.


10 rooms
Rate Includes: Free Breakfast

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