We read the reviews before making the reservation so we knew what to expect and were not disappointed.
One has to be realistic: Costa Rica is not one of the cheapest countries in the Caribbean - I guess they make it a policy to not be too exploited and they market themselves smartly.
So for the price we paid I think we got very good value at this resort.
Everything was adequate, safe and the service was excellent. We always got a complimentary smile even when we did not tip.
We had a leak with the air conditioner, and after calling the reception it was fixed in 20 minutes!
There is not much entertainment at the resort, we went to bed early and got up early. It is more suitable for those who want to relax and enjoy nature. I think the shallow water at the beach and sheltered bay (nearly as calm as a lake) is nice for small children.
We were aware of the steep hill - we did not mind it: without it I am afraid we would have put on even more weight with the all you can eat buffet! We appreciated the view that the hill afforded us. We did not reserve an ocean view room, had a second floor room in building 12 that allowed us a sideways view of the bay and the hills. All rooms look towards the bay, none to the back, all with balconies: this is a great layout. We were in the second tier of buildings above the pool, a short walk away. The shuttle comes every few minutes, unless you are handicapped or have a heart condition should not complain! (you can not avoid the flight of stairs from the road to the restaurant/pool)
You have to be aware that around the resort there is a kind of nature reserve: so yes it is an isolated place. If you want shopping do not come here. If you like birdwatching however... We enjoyed early morning walks (right after sunrise 5:30am) on the beach at low tide or up the road towards the close by marina: there were lots of birds to see if you got up early! And 2 kinds of monkeys: the howlers (hard to see but easy to hear!) and the whiteface monkeys were regularly on the beach: cute entertainment. The humming birds, iguanas, and raccoons are right on the property, and we even had a gecko in our room!
The pool is nice - it is not dirty: they clean it every morning, but the birds nesting all around it drop twigs and droppings in it. And yes these same birds visit you in the buffet in spite of the nets and fishing lines and fake owls. We had fun watching them. It is just a question of mindset. We stayed at the resort for 2 weeks and did not have any digestive problems.
The black sand on the beach is very fine and soft. The water is clear but dark as a result. As it is very shallow, the water was very warm. The red tide came into the bay during our stay, but was at our beach only for one day - that was unfortunate. However at the other side of the bay at a more expensive resort they could not swim for a whole week!
There was an abundance of free sun beds on the beach as people seemed to prefer the pool. We liked the beach, it was cooler under the trees. Beaches are public so during the week-end some locals came but stayed off the sun beds under the watching eye of the resort security.
We enjoyed the beach club: we took the ride on the rickety boat to the next bay under the Four Seasons resort where the sand was white and the water was deeper, it was very pleasant to swim there. The same sun beds are available to guests there, but the beach is not maintained so under the trees be careful with the acacia thorns and other natural junk from the tide. Beach shoes are a good idea in general. We saw coatis there. The food they take for lunch is really meagre: hot dogs, nachos and fruits and drinks of course. It is all right as far as you know what to expect. Can visit the snack bar after your return.
The food is not gourmet but sufficient. Again: you paid for a 3 star resort. We loved the fresh pineapple and melons, and the biscuits in the morning. Coffee is excellent! I wish there would have been more ice-cream - and properly cooled - as creamy cakes are not so desirable in the heat.
The 2 a la carte restaurants have great service but the food is not too impressive. I preferred the Mexican one. The Italian one is not very Italian tasting. I would have liked a real Costa Rican restaurant instead.
The breakfast is available from 7 am - that is a bit of a problem, as many day trips leave at 7:15 and so more flexibility should be allowed there. We could steal into there to eat before 7 am, but not much food was available. There should be a limited breakfast choice available for guest leaving for tours!
We took the 2 day tour with Jacamar tours to Arenal/Monteverde. It was very nice, well worth it, the overnight stay at Arenal Springs resort was fabulous, the bird watching boat ride on the lake, the Tabacon thermal springs are like a posh garden of Eden. Beware the bus ride is very long and the road is winding... Our guide Sylvia was excellent, with jokes and loads of interesting facts. Monteverde is very pretty. Would have loved to stay longer. Next time we would rent a car and venture out on our own.
We also went for the Rio Celeste+hanging bridges tour, but unfortunately the stairs to the falls were under construction so we did not see much of the river. The lunch and the walk at the hanging bridges was nice, we saw a viper. We did not like the long stops the bus made for brakes and transfers.
We booked through Nolitours and were happy in general but as we were returning with the last flight of the season were disappointed to learn 4 days before departure that our representative was not booking any more day trips! Fortunately there are many other eager tour operators at the resort.
We do not see why it is necessary to be driven to the airport 4 hours before departure when it is just a smooth 40 min. drive and the airport is a tiny one - just a couple of departures a day?!
We took the Aqua combo trip with Charlie's. It was a pleasant day, I would recommend it, but it is not as spectacular as it sounds. The snorkelling is not very good here: yes we saw some fish but it is nothing like the Caribbean. The beach BBQ was delicious, we did see a cave and did try fishing. The best fun was when they threw the fish bits in the air for the birds and they caught it.
They do not explicitly state it, but we figured if you do not put your towel on the floor you do not get a clean one, the maid will just hang it nicely to dry. This must be to be environmental policy. They mop the floors often, but do not use vacuum - so there was some hair left in the corner of the bathroom, otherwise it was clean. They provided 1 soap for our whole stay - that was large enough, but I would have appreciated a second one for the shower - I guess I could have asked for it - though liquid soap and shampoo were provided.
In general we had a very pleasant experience at this resort and in Costa Rica: the "ticos" (locals) are very friendly, funny and courteous people, and many speak English.
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- Also Known As:
- Allegro Papagayo Hotel Gulf Of Papagayo
- Allegro Papagayo Costa Rica
- Allegro Papagayo Gulf Of
- Allegro Papagayo Occidental
- Costa Rica Occidental
- Occidental Papagayo
- Allegro Papagayo Resort