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“One of my best trips” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Allegro Papagayo

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Allegro Papagayo
3.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Playa Manzanillo | P.O. Box 48-5000, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #9 of 15 Hotels in Gulf of Papagayo
Peterborough, Canada
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“One of my best trips”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 6, 2013

I read the reviews before going to the resort and i expected the worse but it was actually such an amazing place. It is a very large and beautiful resort. When everyone was saying the hills were steep i thought they were just over reacting but they are actually very steep. I didn't mind this too much because it was a good work out. I went with a group of 25 people with the age group 20+.

The food was so good! The buffet had pancakes, eggs, french toast, fruit and everything possible. Lunch had steak, salad, fruit, veggies, pasta and more. There is a snack bar beside the buffet which always serves pizza, fries, burgers, hotdogs, onion rings and such. This was amazing for at night as it is open till 1am.
The disco had every song possible and the dj played anything you wanted. Because this resort is mostly people 40+ the disco wasn't always busy.

The drinks are very good here and they have pretty much anything you ask for. The bartenders are very nice and creative with shots. Make sure you bring sun screen because everyone got burnt, even wearing 60 sun screen. The beach is normally not busy at all because the sand is way to hot to walk on. The people who entertain everyone during the day like stanley, eddie and such are very nice and fun too.

You get two small bottles of water the first day and they have water jug stations every where to fill up. When i first got to my room i had no shower head in my shower but i think it worked better without it. A/C worked great and always got new towels. I did not use my safe at all and no money was taken from anyone in our group. The maids did not make anything cool with our towels no matter how much we tipped or left for her but that wasn't for everyone there. I was in building 6 level 3 and had an amazing view from my room.

I HIGHLY recommend doing the zip lining because it was the best experience of my life.It takes a hour to get to the place but it was well worth it. It was very scary at first but if you are scared a guide will go with you. The zip lining include zip lining, going down a huge water slide, lunch, horse back riding and the hot springs. We also did the sunset cruise and it was worth it because of the amazing pictures.

The lobby of the resort has free wifi but everywhere else you have to pay for it. I don't have anything bad to say about this resort at all. I have been traveling down south for about 5 years now and i think this was the best resort i have been to, besides the hills. I hope this helps anyone thinking about going to this resort.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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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 (408)
Date | Rating
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English first
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 6, 2013

Overall, our stay here (February 2013) was enjoyable, comfortable and acceptible, however, there are many little things that need to be fixed to make the resort get it's fourth star back.

Many of the little things wouldn't even cost a lot to repair, so we're not sure why they weren't. (Broken rollers on the patio door, holes and tears of the screen in the screen door, patio door-lock that didn't really lock, loose leg on one of the beds, missing room number sign.)


Overall the staff was all friendly and helpful, although English wasn't always their forte, but that's okay too - part of the experience, we learned more Spanish.

Room Tip: Ask for a King sized bed. Lower numbered buildings are further from the pool and restuarants/bars, s...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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canada
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
66 helpful votes 66 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2013

If you get a good deal, and will spend more time travelling than at the hotel, them this might be OK for you. This was our case, but even with the reduced (special) rate, it does not compare favorable with other hotels in this class. Most rooms are missing some basics (or minor repairs): lights not working, hot water, air conditioning, safe worked on and off, torn screens, bad locks on patio door. Most repairs were taken care of, if we made an issue and requested some action. (but not all).Most of the rooms need paint and upgrading. Some have mold. Beds and towels were changed regularly, and were OK. Rooms were basic, no frills. Simple TV - and limited, mostly local stations, but some N American as well. The buildings are situated on a pretty steep hill, so there is quite a bit of climbing up and down to be done.
Service: was low to average. Some persons were helpful and worked, but not everyone. Often, requests had to be made numerous times to get any action. The staff was generally polite, however.
The hotel is situated on a black sand beach, a relatively short drive from the Liberia airport. We had a rental car (you need a 4x4!) Liberia was close, but all else was a drive. The town of Liberia was small but interesting for a short visit (they had a local festival and "bull fight" when we were there). All other attractions were 1.5 to 3 hrs away (or more) and roads to parks were really terrible, at least the last 10 to sometimes 20 km. It really felt as if the 4x4 (we got a Rav4) was going to fall apart from the holes and shaking. But it was useful to have a car. Just be prepared that if it is a tourist rental, chances are it will be broken-into (as ours was). Luckily, not much was in the (covered) trunk, and nothing in the other part of the car! This was by one of the nice, white sandy family beaches to the south.
Back to the hotel grounds: there is some wildlife that comes onto the grounds, a resident coati, green parrots, small birds, capuchin and howler monkeys, vultures, some iguanas, spiders, etc. But considerably less than in the more southern parts of Costa Rica. (such as the Barcelo Tambor).
The sand is BLACK. This is not really a problem, but it gets extremely hot in the dry season, when the weather reaches 38-40 C. There is a bay, so no real waves. It is clean, and very quiet water, and shallow for a long way in. There were lots of shells, some of which (the nicer ones) were inhabited by crabs. The sunsets in the area were beautiful.
The bar was average. Beer was good, wine was only OK with dinner. Premium drinks were at an additional cost. Local alcohol seemed to be watered down, as the bartender poured massive amounts into people's glasses when making mixed drinks. (and the taste was watered down). The fruit slushes were very good on hot days! Only the pool bar was open a decent part of the time (the source of juice, coffee, soda, as well as drinks). There is another - nicely situated bar in the main lobby (at the top end of the hotel) but at the times one would want to go there, it was closed. Most of the time it was not open, so there was an issue for the buildings at the top to get a drink (either juice or alcoholic). Water was not provided in the rooms (bottled water), or soda. But rooms has a small refrigerator. There were stations with water coolers for each row of buildings. We had to ask for the bottles to be replaced on some days, as it ran out often.
The food choices were limited, but noone really went hungry. There was always something one could eat. Limited vegetarian, soups, different types of rice and beans, chicken, fish, steak, salads, local fruit in abundance, and very limited desserts (cakes, puddings, etc) for dinner. Great if you are on a diet! :)There were 2 a la carte restaurants when we were there - Mexican and Italian. We had a very nice meal in the Mexican. Lunch was similar, but simpler. Breakfast was also basic - fruits, yogurt, scrambled eggs, an omelette station, bacon, sausage, bread, cold cuts, coffee and plain tea or chamomile. The cappucino was very good. The other drinks were in cooled "circulating: containers, at a station where you could get your own: juice, water, iced tea, etc. Or they would bring upon request.
Security at the hotel (persons entering) was pretty good. If needed, there was a small shuttle bus to drive people up and down between room and lobby or pool-area (main action zone) with the restaurants, small spa, pool and pool bar, stage, and beach.
There were shows (not every day), and often with audience participation.(We are not fans...) The dance programs were OK.
Services: There is WiFi as well as computers. You must book time, or a Wifi weekly connection (the cost was reasonable). However, we often lost the connection, and there was inconsistent server connection. (a bit frustrating) There were hot spots in the main lobby and by the pool (not in rooms). You need to pay for the use of the safe in your room. Ours always had issues with functioning ...
You could book many types of 1/2 day or day trips. These were (I think) overpriced in most cases. Car or shared taxi might be a better option.
Also - there is an option to be brought to a white sand beach in the AM by boat, and returned to hotel beach after 2:30 pm. (this was free)
And - they get new guests to see the Occidental Grand Papagallo across the bay (free - by boat), but you have to deal with a vacation plan pitch. They offer a lunch there, and some other details (like T-shirts, a lift to Coco for shopping, etc). If you are looking for an activity, it is OK. The grounds of this hotel, although the same chain, were superior, as was the general feel (food, rooms, etc). So it is the 4 - 5 star version of Occidental properties. Nice place! But also much more costly. The vacation deal was not great (when all was calculated in) so be careful.
In summary, the hotel was adequate. If we had to pay more, we would be VERY disappointed. In comparison to other similarly-priced places, we were a bit surprised and felt the value was not there. But Costa Rica is expensive!
Would we stay here again - no. We would jump at a good deal at the other property, or stay at inns or B&B's by the actual attractions, as much time was spent travelling. (1000 km in one week!!) And the travel was difficult on the non-paved roads, with limited speed, as well as construction on paved roads, making getting anywhere a chore.
Also - lots of the countryside was burning. There was a smell of smoke wherever you went. Some were wildfires in dry season, some set by farmers on purpose before harvests to clear the areas.
Costa Roca IS beautiful! We will visit again, hopefully staying in the most southern areas. Here in Liberia (or the Guanacaste region), you must see the volcanic parks, cloud forests, and lovely white public beaches. The scenery is awesome!
The people are friendly, and love their country.

Room Tip: Ask for one of the rooms that were "refurbished" or repainted. I think the location does n...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Port Hawkesbury, Canada
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2013

I and my husband stayed here the first two weeks of February. We absolutely enjoyed our visit and the staff were terrific! We stayed on the second floor in building #6. Our room was cleaned every day but the shower in the washroom could do with some upgrading. All rooms have balconies/terraces and all buildings have 3 floors. Buildings #5/6/7 are highly recommended as they have great views and are far enough away from any entertainment noise but close enough to walk to the main areas - buffet, pool and beach. One has to be aware that the accommodations are built on a very steep hill but that allows great views of Papagayo Bay from the second and third floors. Also, a van comes around every 10 minutes or so for pickup or drop off. The food at the buffet is great and lots of variety for breakfast, lunch and dinner. There are 2 a la carte restaurants but you need reservations. The snacking section has great onion rings and pizzas, especially if you get them when they are first put out fresh. There's lots of wildlife on the trees at the black-sandy beach - white faced monkeys, howler monkeys, and some exotic birds, and all near your lounge chairs at the pool. There is a lovely, white, sandy private beach that you can visit free just a 15-minute boat ride away. One of the pleasant surprises about Costa Rica is their anti-smoking ban. The government imposed a ban on smoking of tobacco products in all public places, including bars, restaurants, clubs, the workplace, bus stops, taxi stands, etc. Coming from Canada (NS) we are used to this regulation so I didn't even notice this during our first week. Unfortunately, there were a group of smokers during our second week that had to be reminded of the law. Smoking is only allowed at the beach area and not anywhere else on the resort including your balcony. We made great friends with other guests. If you don't expect a 5 star resort and are respectful of others, you'll have a great time. The weather was sunny and hot - in the 30sC each day we were there.

Room Tip: Buildings 5, 6, 7 are ideal because they are quieter with great second and third floor views, but cl...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2013

This resort is clean, grounds are well-kept., My room was fine, not overly luxurious, but certainly more than acceptable. Staff (and guests) are friendly. Food is O.K. but not great. Entertainment at night is pretty lame, except for the live band one night who were very good. I took excursions every day. Long bus trips over bad roads, but the tour guides were knowledgeable, especially Julio. Hikes through the rain forests are memorable, worthwhile, and also physically demanding
As noted by others, this resort is situated on a steep hill, Shuttle buses run frequently, important for anyone with a mobility problem.
There seems to be no mechanism in place for currency exchange. Breaking U.S. $20's into smaller bills required dealing with the bartenders, rather than front desk staff.
The resort location is spectacular, weather perfect.
Making reservations for the a la carte restaurants is not easy. I don't know why.
I can recommend this resort to anyone who wants a nice stay in beatiful surroundings with superb weather.

Room Tip: Room 125 is in the highest spot on the property, and very quiet. Nice view.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Brampton, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2013

My stay at Allegro Papagayo was wonderful. Rooms updated, clean with hot water on demand with good pressure. Staff was very friendly and competent. Food at a la carte very tasty and presentation eye pleasing. Buffet was always clean, replenished and had a variety of many foods to choose from. Nice thing about the buffet was that you were shown to a table. No roaming around trying to find a place that wasn't taken.

Beach long and great for walking. Water is down at tide but that is nature. Very calm and somewhat warm at ankle depth but refreshing when deeper. Monkeys to come, both white faced and howlers. People feed them despite the sign. I wouldn't encourage this because it will make them loose their need to forage and eventually someone will get bit. It makes for a great photo opt but at the expense of who? A flock of parrots fly over daily at about 4p.m.

I did the excursion to Nicaragua which was great. David was our guide and he was very pleasant, extremely informative and easy to understand. It's a long day and an early start but well worth it. Buy the honey at the market, usually sold by someone walking around. $1 will get you a beer bottle size and it is great. Coffee excellent also.

Trip to Playa Blanca (the free boat shuttle) was really good. You have a simple lunch and can roam the beach with white sand. They set up a bar and restrooms are clean. Watch out for the White Throated Magpie Jays. These are the beautiful blue birds. Very smart and know how to get a free lunch. Unattended plates become theirs and will take off with a full hot dog.

I didn't use the shuttle which runs frequently up and down the steep hill. Very steep it is so ladies I'm sorry to say go for flats. The 'sex in the city' heels have to stay at home.

I have travelled extensively and would recommend this resort. Good value for your travel dollar.

  • Stayed February 2013, 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 2
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Edmonton, Canada
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2013

Party of 4 went down, not sure what to expect. But was blown away by amazement. Costa Rica is beautiful in every sense. The land, people, food and attractions.

Our resort was great, rooms were OK, but who cares about the rooms when it's the outdoors you came for! You get woken up by howler monkey's every morning, February was a great hot month, rained one day in two wks. Pool wonderful, great swim up bar.

The hill from the rooms to the pool and restaurants can be challenging for some, but they have 2 shuttle buses that run every couple of minutes. And the pick up spots have water towers with cups while you wait. No big deal. The food was always great and we never made one dinner reso while we were there. We always make friends with the staff so they would just let us in whenever we wanted. That's the key to a great vacation, make friends with everyone, we never waited for tables,drinks or towels. These ppl are so great,if you are great to them, like anywhere in the world.

We did every major trip there was. The 2day trip to Arenal Volcano which will be in my heart for a life time! Zip lines, humming birds,hot springs, volcano, a terrifying bus ride and beautiful local scenery.That tour is so action packed you need two days after to recover. We went to Nicaragua, which is very different from Costa Rica. I'm glad i saw it,but once was enough. The adventure tour was defiantly an adventure! Tubing down their rapids was horrifying and a great adrenaline rush.
We rented a nice jeep and went to Coco Beach (party place and full of shopping and restaurants) And also to Tamarindo which is nicer then Coco, better restaurants and higher end shopping. Both fantastic stops and not far from each other. There are local grocery stores that look just like ours in case you need something.

Costa Rica is fantastic, this resort is a bit smaller and maybe not super fancy. It is near the town but you could not walk there. We loved it because of the staff and my great travel buddies.

Room Tip: Learn the staff's names and make friends, you'll never wait for anything!
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Allegro Papagayo

Address: Playa Manzanillo | P.O. Box 48-5000, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Gulf of Papagayo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#6 Top resorts Hotel in Gulf of Papagayo
#6 Spa Hotel in Gulf of Papagayo
#9 On the Beach Hotel in Gulf of Papagayo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Allegro Papagayo 3*
Number of rooms: 300
Reservation Options:
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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

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