The Story of Tulemar Resort Hotel
This page tells the story of the evolution of Tulemar Resort Hotel, located in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica. It starts with the purchase of the land by a group of visionary doctors in 1978 and highlights the area’s potential as a tourist destination. The article goes on to detail the resort’s construction in 1992, its expansion over the years, and its transformation into a world-class destination over the next 30 years. From its humble beginnings as Tulemar Bungalows & Villas to Tulemar Resort Hotel today, it has established itself as a premier luxury travel destination, winning the coveted #1 Hotel in the World title in the 2022 Tripadvisor Travelers’ Choice Awards.
Finding the Hidden Gem of Manuel Antonio
In 1978, Mr. Quique Araya and a group of visionary doctors came upon the unspoiled beauty of Manuel Antonio, a largely unknown region in Costa Rica with pristine beaches, ancient rainforests, and abundant wildlife. Despite the land being considered unsuitable for agriculture, the group saw potential and purchased the 33-acre property that featured a private beachfront, a lush rainforest, and a vast Maritime Zone.
Manuel Antonio: Beauty Worth Preserving
In the 1980s, the beach became known as “Playa de Los Doctores,” or “Beach of the Doctors.” The parcel of land was adjacent to the marine boundaries of the area that would become Manuel Antonio National Park in Costa Rica. The government of Costa Rica established Manuel Antonio as a national park in recognition of its unique and diverse ecosystem. As park planning developed, the area’s potential as a tourist destination became apparent.
A Resort Is Born
Construction of the original 14 Tulemar Bungalows began in 1992, featuring a restaurant, pool, and bar. These famous bungalows featured a unique octagonal design, providing guests with 360-degree views of the Pacific and surrounding jungle.
The Next Phase: Tulemar Bungalows & Villas
The resort has expanded over the years, with the addition of Tulemar Gardens Condominium in 2002, six Villas in 2003, and fifteen luxurious Casas in 2006 all following the unique octagonal design. In 2007, the originating owner, Mr. Quique Araya, obtained the official license to operate Tulemar Bungalows as a hotel, which was subsequently renamed Hotel Tulemar Bungalows & Villas to reflect the expansion.
Thomas Paul Takes Tulemar Bungalows & Villas to New Heights
In 2005, Thomas Paul, a U.S. businessman, and investor, purchased one of the newly constructed Casa units. This purchase ignited his love for Costa Rica and its people, culture, and world-famous Manuel Antonio National Park. Recognizing the destination’s world-class potential, Tom made a bold move in 2009 by purchasing the assets, intellectual properties, and licenses of Tulemar Bungalows & Villas. Under Tom’s leadership, services were expanded to include a state-of-the-art multi-channel reservation system, personal concierges, beach attendants, courtesy van shuttles, a pool bar, high-end security, tours, spa services, restaurants, a convenience store, and even real estate. Tom’s vision and dedication took Tulemar Bungalows & Villas to new heights and solidified its place as a world-class destination.
Rebranding to Tulemar Resort Hotel
In 2014, Tulemar Bungalows & Villas underwent a further transformation, emerging as the Tulemar Resort Hotel. With a bold rebranding and expanded services and amenities, the resort was now positioned to deliver an even more luxurious and exclusive guest experience. Combining the various Tulemar Bungalows & Villas brands under one umbrella, the name Tulemar Resort Hotel represented the pinnacle of quality and character in hospitality.
Since its opening in 1992, Tulemar Resort Hotel has been a sought-after destination for luxury travel, attracting discerning guests from around the world. Fast forward to 2022 and the hotel has been named the #1 Hotel in the World by Tripadvisor Travelers’ Choice Awards. This prestigious accolade is a testament to the exceptional management, services, and amenities that have become synonymous with the Tulemar Resort Hotel.