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“Nice secluded hotel but beware of bugs” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Giardini di Papagayo Hotel

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Giardini di Papagayo Hotel
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Playa Panama | Gulf of Papagayo, Liberia 26-1017, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #13 of 16 Hotels in Liberia
South Florida, Florida
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
“Nice secluded hotel but beware of bugs”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2012

I stayed there during my first trip to Costa Rica in April of 2008. It's located next to Hilton Papagayo resort (which is excellent in every respect) and thus much more expensive.
The check-in took forever (they were cleaning our rooms?) but I got much better room than expected (with a private balcony and the view of both the bay and the canopy) on the top of the hill. The shuttle ran pretty often and we had no problems getting to the base for meals and the beach. The hotel is rugged and small enough to blend with the location and give you a feel of home and privacy. The food is local and is really good. So is the alcohol. The only drawback is the beach and the bugs. The beach is pretty much shared with locals and not as nice as I've seen in other areas of the coast. The nearby creek is a breeding ground for the tiny bugs (sandflies?) that get you every night for a snack. Everyone got bitten thousand times and they bites itch pretty bad. I've never been beaten like this since then.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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64 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    9
    18
    19
    11
    7
See reviews for
10
21
3
Business
0
Rating summary
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room Tips
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Linville VA
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 4, 2011

I was here in 2004 in Jan. I booked through Apple vacations as I've never traveled much. Loved this place, just rough enough to keep rich touristy types away. I asked for vegetarian food and got it. Fresh fruits and very good food. I took the van out every day to Monte Verde, Nicaragua, hot springs, volcanoes etc. I felt sorry for the tourists that traveled here to lounge by a pool. There's so much bird watching and nature things. The Howler Monkeys were too cool. Never used the AC and left the back door open so I could here the ocean waves at night. Don't go here if you're a rich spoiled tourist who likes to eat a lot of meat. Very comfortable climate, never even needed sun lotion and it doesn't rain in Jan.

Room Tip: Get a room near the top to see the ocean better, it's not much of a hike if you're in shape.
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2011, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 19, 2009

The resort is close to Liberia airport... but too remote without a car rental. Accommodations are located on high hills while 'the' restaurant is at ground level. Shuttle van is sporadic. Howler monkeys screech all day & night.

DO NOT plan your trip in late April...which is the beginning of rainy season with high humidity levels...it's a breeding and biting ground for no-see-em sand flies and insects.
Myself & other guests had over 300 insect bites to our bodies which festered and blistered into sores by week's end.

The owners at that time were in property disputes and very short of operational cash as well. Staff does not speak English.

The all-inclusive Papagayo Hilton- next door or Cocoa Beach area is a better bet...

  • Stayed April 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2008

Our family was one of the unfortnate ones that stayed in that horrible place ,that should not be offerd as a resort,it's a dump!

  • Liked — Nothing!
  • Disliked — Nothing!
  • Stayed December 2005, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CA
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2008

I am one of the unfortunate ones that ended up at this hotel. All the reviews that say: oh, this hotel was excellent, or perfect. Well guess what, they don't know what they are saying. If you booked for this hotel, unbook it before it is too late. At this time i would start talking about how my experiance was. But the truth is that simple words can not comprehend how bad this hotel was. So this is a warning. If you still go without believeing me, don't go with the thought of it being a 3 and a half star hotel as it says on many websites. It deserves 0.

  • Liked — Nothing
  • Disliked — Everything
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kansas
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 23, 2008

My husband and I, along with another couple, stayed at the Giardini di Papagayo June 14-21. Unlike some of the earlier reviews, we had no problems at check-in and were even allowed to check in a bit early. The room was small but adequate for us as we were gone a lot of the time on tours. The view was breathtaking from our balcony which overlooked the bay. We appreciated the shuttle which was dependable and prompt 90% of the time.
The staff was extremely friendly and helpful which is amazing as we learned that the absentee owner had not paid the staff in a month. There was talk that the staff was going to walk off the property in protest but they never did. We could not have asked for a nicer staff and only wish the owner was as concerned about the guests as the staff were.
We used the tour guides at the hotel (Jose and MIguel) and felt they did a great job. Both are native Costa Ricans and were a wealth of information about their beautiful country.
The food was served in an open air area beside the pool and bar area. It mostly consisted of typical Costa Rican food -- rice and beans, fried plantains, sweet potatoes, some chicken and beef. It was adequate but repetitive. We were disappointed at the lack of fresh fruit and fish. Again, I do believe the staff was doing the very best they could with the limited resources they were given by the owner.
All in all, we enjoyed our time there due to the great tours we took, the friendly staff, the new friends we made, the beautiful area around the resort and the howler monkeys that awoke us in the morning. We found the staff to be committed and dedicated but feel the owner should be ashamed of herself. She has an excellent staff and a property with great potential but either because she will not or cannot provide the resources necessary, both the staff and guests are suffering.

  • Liked — View, beach, location
  • Disliked — lack of variety of food, resort needs attention
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2008

It was a beautiful resort. The staff seemed friendly, aswell as all the guests. The food was great and the service was awesome. It could be much better if there was some night entertainment or a disco. After dinner there really isnt much to do, not even music. If you go you have to do some of the daily activites like canopy tours and rainforest. I guess I expected a nice white sand beach...but the sand was fairly dark. But other then that its a great place, filled up my camera with pictures the second day there. Monkeys right on the resort, it was amazing.

  • Liked — The beautiful scenery
  • Disliked — not night entertainment
  • Stayed February 2008, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Giardini di Papagayo Hotel

Address: Playa Panama | Gulf of Papagayo, Liberia 26-1017, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Liberia
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #13 of 16 Hotels in Liberia
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Giardini di Papagayo Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 80
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Also Known As:
Giardini Di Papagayo Liberia
Giardini Di Papagayo Resort
Hotel Giardini Di Papagayo
Giardini Di Papagayo Costa Rica
Giardini Di Papagayo Hotel Costa Rica/Liberia

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