When it comes to booking a vacation, where you stay can be just as important as where you go. Some might base their decision on a hotel’s killer swimming pool, while others are lured by the swoon-worthy spa.
But if what you’re after is overall greatness—based on feedback from millions of travelers around the world—you might want to add the off-the-beaten-path beaches of Costa Rica to your vacation bucket list. According to TripAdvisor’s annual Traveler’s Choice Awards, the one hotel that earns the most positive report card in 2019 isn’t a big-name chain in a big-time tourist destination. It’s a 33-acre “jungle resort” in the Costa Rican town of Manuel Antonio.
Perched on the Pacific Coast with a beautiful private beach, the Tulemar Bungalows & Villas is a part-hotel, part-residential development surrounded by greenery and wildlife. With just eight resort-owned bungalows, the majority of stays are privately owned vacation villas managed by the resort. On TripAdvisor, the property’s earned a near-perfect record from traveler reviews, with almost 3,000 five-star ratings.
And we can’t help but think that—coupled with the property’s stunning accommodations—it’s the unique beauty of the setting that sets it apart. Perched on a hillside, much of the rental units are surrounded by tropical foliage and gifted with views of the Pacific. There’s a draw for wildlife enthusiasts, too: Because of its rugged location, Tulemar is also home to the Sloth Institute of Costa Rica, which aims to enhance the conservation of wild and captive sloths through research and education.
Naturally, sloth (and monkey and macaw) spotting is as much an activity here as is lounging on the sun-soaked beaches. Which, in and of itself, explains why Tulemar should absolutely have a place on your travel wish list.
Want to book now? According to TripAdvisor, you can slip into this sloth sanctuary and seaside paradise for an average cost of $243 per night, with stays including full kitchens, living rooms, and oceanview terraces.