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“Seriously outdated hotel” 3 of 5 stars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 #10 of 16 Hotels in Gulf of Papagayo
San Jose, Costa Rica
Top Contributor
68 reviews 68 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Seriously outdated hotel”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2013 via mobile

They charge you like most modern hotels but the hotel is completely outdated. The rooms need urgent remodeling. The pool is losing its color. The food is fatty and not good at all. If it wasn't for the great service and the excellent views to the ocean this would be a 1 star review.

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,554 reviews from our community

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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
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2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2013

My husband and I just came back from our spring break vacation 3/17/13-3/23/13.

Resort: resort itself was nice, pool could use a bit of work. Courtesy desk is on the top of a hill and quite truthfully a pain to get to unless taking the shuttle. You have to book any dinner reservations at the front lobby so I would recommend seeing them after you have checked in etc. The beach is neat. lots of great shells just watch for sand fleas. We were a bit itchy after being in the sand for a bit.

Food: food was average. Gaillo pinto (rice and black beans) was our favorite part of the menu. I enjoyed the fruit selection and was happy that it didn't cause me any sickness. The two restaurants are located behind the buffet area next to the snack bar. We made reservations for both but only ate at the Mexican. Sadly, they ran out of chicken so I couldn't have chicken fajitas. The beef fajitas were good and my husband had as an appetizer the mushroom something or other. To me it tasted similar of a spinach artichoke dip (yummy!)

Room: Room was nice. We were in building 5 so not to bad of a climb up to the top from the pool, but when booking through cheap Caribbean we chose a queen size bed and was given two full size beds. We didn't say anything though since we used the other to lay our clothes out.
We did call several times to the front lobby without response and for one of our trips had to be at the front by 5:30 therefore requesting a wake up call but did not receive one. I would bring your own alarm clock if you feel it necessary because ours did not function.

Excursions: Please read this!! Charlies Adventures Coco beach ride is a waste of your $$. Take the bus at 10 Am into town and get a taxi back. We spent $35USD each with the understanding that the boat would pick us up at 1:00 PM It didn't arrive until 1:45 and we didn't get in until 2:00. Additionally some crazy Canadians were rocking the boat back and forth and the driver of the boat said nothing. In truth I thought we were going to tip. We made it to Coco beach at 3:00ish and only had until 4:30 to do shopping. The lady at the desk made it sound like we'd have time to shop, have dinner, etc. etc. but we didn't. So my husband and I bartered with a taxi driver to bring us back to the resort for an add'l $35USD. What a waste! Now hotel beds on the other hand was a great great use of our money! The trip to Nicaragua is an amazing experience. For $140USD/person You travel the entire day throughout Nicaragua seeing Granada, Christ of Mercy, Lake Nicaragua, the two volcanoes etc. You get breakfast and lunch. What a great trip. I would go through them again.

Costa Rica: A beautiful country some place that I would revisit. Overall a very friendly country with ecology in mind. We had amazing weather 90 - 100 degrees Fahrenheit each day.

Room Tip: Rooms by the pool!
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  • Stayed March 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
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2013

We just got back from staying at this property. We also, as others could not wait to leave. We had to take a shuttle to the office almost every night to get either towels or washclothes, along with coffee of clean glasses. Yes, we called the front desk many times but to no avail. One night all we received were 4 bath mats, no towels for wash clothes. While we understand that a 4 apple does not have the ammenities of the 5 or 6 apples, we just needed the basics. One day we did not receive any glasses, I stepped outside to hail a maid and she did not understand what I was asking for so I pointed to some dirty glasses in the hall. She must have assumed I wanted dirty glasses because she went into the room next to me and gave me two dirty used glasses. The pool is pretty from a far, but it is run down. There were multiple chucks of concrete out of the pool, and quite a few of the chaise lounge chairs were broken. Very dissappointing with the property as a whole, but the most disappointing was the cleanliness.

Room Tip: Very few rooms with a king bed, so I was told at the desk. Almost all rooms have two double beds.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
Sandra Alcázar U, Social Media Coordinator at Allegro Papagayo, responded to this review, April 2, 2013
Dear Daisy31735805,
Thank you very much for your sending us your comments about your recent stay with us. Please allow me to express my deepest apologies for the lack of service that you encountered during your stay. It does not reflect the outstanding service and attention to details we strive to be known for. I can assure you that we have immediately addressed the situation with our Housekeeping and Maintenance Managers in order to prevent any future occurrence.
We would be honored to welcome you back in the near future, and I stand at your service to personally ensure that your next visit is most enjoyable. Please do not hesitate to contact me directly.


Sandra Alcázar
Social Media Coordinator
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Tillsonburg, Canada
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2013

Couldn't have asked for a better vacation. Resort was beautiful, the grounds were well kept and the rooms were always clean. Not a cloud in the sky the whole week and staff were nothing but courteous and helpful. The food was aaaaamazing !!! The bad reviews about this resort boggles my mind. Costa Rica is a beautiful country I would totally recommend this resort to anyone thats thinking of travelling to Costa Rica for the first time.

Room Tip: Ask for the higher number buildings if you don't want to hike. Very steep hills.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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.
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2013

HI We went to Allegro Papagayo from March 4-11/13 with my self 48, my husband 53 and two boys 15 & 17. It was our first visit to Costa Rica. We arrived before sunset in Liberia Airport and then were bused about 45 minutes to our hotel. The lady on the bus said she has been in CR since Decemeber and it hasnt rained one day. Didnt rain once while we were down approx 36-39 degree each day and sunny. Upon arrival to the front lobby you will line up with the other travellers to get your room keys and wrist bracelets. I would suggest before even leaving the lobby go to the front desk right there and get your safe combo code which- you have to pay $2 a day. Also I would reserve for a couple of a la carts at that time as well, it doesnt take long to get that done.. They have two a mexican and a italian. We went to do both and ok a nice change of pace from the buffet.
We got adjoining rooms with a door in middle-one room had a king and the other two doubles. Fantastic.. much more room and two bathrooms, TV's etc. The room is clean, no bugs, maid came every day not a 5* but maybe a 3* but definitely just fine. We paid an extra $50 at time of booking for ocean view... all rooms face the ocean however if you are on floor one probably not going to see it, we were on floor 2 and great view and furthest building back which is building 2. I think building 10 is best however just fine for us! If you got tired of climbing up to get to your room just take the shuttle bus it comes around at least every 1o min to take people to there buildings and believe me we used it. They even have cold bottle water coolers at the stops. Bubbas cups are really handy for keeping drinks cold for hours and you will need to drink.
Food in buffet-we are not fussy eaters so we always found lots. Same sort of repeats of foods with add ons-different meats at the grill and was always good, spaghetti with good marinara sauce, salads,general food..The area for meals was screened in. The beach is black I liked it but beware by mid morning the sands becomes very very hot. Tide does move way out and back in. I couldnt find any underwater life with my snorkles but that might have just been me. We went jet skiing and used a contact name Fernando at the beach (nice guy) we paid $50 for a half hour. Good machines and I dont think the resort skis worked. My husband had a 1 hr massage and loved it.
The first full day we just hung and got use to everything and figured out what we might do.. Watch the sun if not careful can really burn. Drinks at bars good. We decided on renting a car small suv for 3 days and then did some excursions such as Rin Con-- with the resort its $135 pp we drove there and then paid $85 which included ziplining first (we were the only ones with our guides and later we seen a bus of maybe 20-30 people all trying to do zipling at the same time would have taken an hour or two longer to get thru). Also the zipling included a rappleling spot and rock climbing fun. Then on to horseback riding to springs, then tubing- fun will need either water shoes or runnning shoes for it, then lunch included and good, a tour of the snakes or butterflys in box sort cages- if you get a chance-lastly is the hot springs and mud bath. I was figure it was a mud bath you emmerse your self in-its all good but it was a pot of warmed up mud and 2 paint brushes. Still fun just not. what i invisioned. Each different part of the tour has a box for tips so if you think you'd like to give something to the guys of say the zipling you would need to bring bills along for the way for tipping. Great Great excursion it is with Adventure Tours whether you go on own or with tour from resort.
Another thing we did was ATV which would have been $85 with resort-it took us maybe half hour to get there and paid $65 Awesome it was a 2 hr I think we were more around 2 1/2 hr and it was a blast. They give you googles which you will need and show you the monkeys in trees etc and travel in small towns and country farms etc and they stop at a persons home to have cold drinks Awesome. We also drove into COCO Beach about a good half hour drive a good place to walk both sides of the street to buy suveneirs. We went to a restarant called coco nuts and had lunch fayhettas (sorry about spelling) were great. And may husband got to sit and have a couple of beers and people watch while we shopped. Got about half hour from Tamarando beach which is suppose to be great for surfing etc. I had a great time in CR-to be honest I thought it would be more green and lush but it was very dry and the land very brown in general. But in fairness i heard the other side of CR is more lush, maybe a different time of year or after the rainy season it might be more lush just need ot research so I would need to go again and this time maybe out of San Jose to change it up. Over all Resort clean and met all needs - pool great maybe a 3* to 3 1/2* but I was not there to just stay in the resort the whole time we want to site see Cr and come back for food and relax. It defintely fit the bill for us. It was a good place for the price. People all nice as well. Good time had by all...

Room Tip: Yu want to be oceanview--building closer to pool/tower/food would be building 10
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Winnipeg, Canada
14 reviews 14 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 22, 2013

My husband and I (in our 50s) spent 3 weeks at the Allegro Papagayo in February and we had a wonderful holiday. I must say, it really irritates me to read all the negative reviews. If people take the time to write a review, I assume it means they have also read them prior to their vacation and have made an informed decision about where they are going!! So, it should come as no big surprise that the resort is a 3-star, in an isolated location, and is built on the side of a steep hill, & has hills & steps to walk up and down. Why people feel they are justified in complaining about these issues is beyond me. I read the reviews beforehand, was aware of these issues and decided to take a chance that we would not be disappointed. We were not!

I booked a room higher up the hill so we could have a nice view of the bay and that is exactly what we got. We were in building 3 on the third floor, at the top of the hill. Yes, it was a steep hill, but we usually walked down and used the shuttle to go back up. No problem at all. There is no denying that the resort is ready for an update. It was built in 2001, if I remember correctly,...not the 1980’s as someone suggested! All resorts in tropical countries show their age early due to the weather, salty sea air, and of course abuse by visitors. Our patio door in our room did not open well, the toilet was hard to flush, and the tile was showing its age......a little annoying but really no big deal as it really had no impact on the quality of our holiday! There could have been a little more attention to detail with the maid service in our building as some days we had coffee, some not, some days we had face cloths, some not. Again, no big deal. Our room was always very clean, the shower worked well and we always had hot water, clean towels, soap, shampoo, and the beds were clean and comfortable. That was all we needed! Our AC quit during our first night there but was promptly fixed the next day. Later in the holiday it stopped again and we were immediately offered a new room. We were not interested in moving mid-holiday and the AC was quickly repaired again. Other than those 2 occasions it worked well and kept us cool. We had no problems with critters in our room, but I wouldn’t have been freaked out if we had. I get spiders, crickets, etc. in my house at home, why should it be different in another country? No building is 100% sealed!

Wifi internet is available for $25 for the duration of your stay. Access is only available in the lobby, restaurant & bar areas. It is sporadic at best and was sometimes out for an entire day or more. Sometimes a code was needed to access it and sometimes it wasn’t, so check before buying it. Being that it is so sporadic I do feel that they should not be charging for it at all.

We loved the fact that the resort is in an isolated area and is a nature reserve. This was our main reason for choosing this resort. It was wonderful having a quiet beach where we could enjoy the antics of the Capuchin monkeys every day, as well as a Coati’s friendly visits and the occasional Howler monkey stopping by. We enjoyed watching the different birds, and even seeing different bugs.

The beach is powdery soft, sparkly, black sand. I thought it was quite beautiful, and not at all ugly and dirty as others have mentioned. Yes, it does get scorching hot, so wear sandals or water shoes to walk on the hot, dry areas. The pool is nice and very clean and has a swim-up bar, which is a great place to meet people.

We were there during the dry season so things are not green & lush outside of the resort grounds, which are constantly being watered. But if you head to the rainforest it is a totally different sight.

The weather in Costa Rica is unequaled. Every day of our 3 weeks was sunny with temperatures in the high 30s (Celsius). Absolutely fantastic.

We found the staff to be very friendly, for the most part, and always willing to help. Some are absolutely exceptional. We enjoyed getting to know many of them.

The food in Costa Rica is fabulous, and the Allegro did not disappoint. If the beef, pork and chicken in Canada only tasted half as good as theirs, I would be happy. There was not one meal that we could complain about, there is always a variety of food to choose from at the buffet and it is all very good. From the fresh fruit, to the bread/buns, omelets, snack foods, soups, etc., etc., it was all very tasty. Certainly every bit as good, if not better than food we have had at higher ranked resorts. And there are no birds flying around in the buffet as the open ends were all covered in netting some time ago. Both a la Carte restaurants (Mexican & Italian) were also very, very good. We ate at each of them 3 times during our stay and enjoyed them each time. The service was friendly and good, in a more relaxed atmosphere. Very nice. And we never had trouble getting reservations, just don’t wait until the last minute and expect them to accommodate you ‘today’.

The drinks – well, we have had better. Bottom shelf alcohol is used here without a doubt. The rum and rye are both nasty! Beer was good, and we managed to find something we enjoyed drinking anyway. The white wine wasn’t great but with perseverance I started enjoying that too! :)

We were in Costa Rica in 2011 and visited Nicaragua, the Monteverde Cloud Forest, Palo Verde, and the Arenal Volcano on that trip. All highly recommended. This trip we booked all our tours through Hotel Beds with Marvin, in the lobby. He can show you videos of the tours you are interested in and he delivers what he promises. Again, we were not disappointed. We visited the Cortés waterfalls, went white-water rafting (had a blast – a must do!), did the Buena Vista combo tour (zip-lining, 425 meter water slide, horseback riding, volcanic mud bath, hot springs), took a sunset cruise, and went on the Rain Forest Safari where we visited the beautiful Blue River. We had so much fun on each and every tour! If you are lucky you can see an abundance of wildlife in your travels. We saw: a cheetah, a sloth, howler monkeys, Capuchin monkeys, toucans, and many other birds, butterflies (including the beautiful Blue Morpho), Coatimundis, raccoons, iquanas, and more.

The majority of tourists at this resort were Canadians (I think Ontario must have been empty), although there were a few Americans as well.....Hello New York!! We so enjoyed meeting all the great people that we did! That is what makes a great holiday even better.

A couple of things to note, remember to take your commuter mugs as they are a must on every all-inclusive holiday. They hold more, keep your drink cold longer, and save on waste. Also, bring along some empty water bottles to refill. Although there are water stations situated around the resort, no bottles were provided, at least in our building.

In conclusion, do your research well before booking any holiday to avoid surprises. Go with an open mind, and plan to have fun. If you want to nit-pick, there will always be something you can find to complain about. We choose to accentuate the positive and make every holiday the best holiday! Yes, there are issues that need to be addressed at this resort, but we would not hesitate to return as there are so very many positives. It will be undergoing a major renovation later this year and all of the issues are to be addressed. Of course, I am sure the price will reflect that come next year too. Once the renovations are done, this will be an outstanding resort as they have so much to work with already.

Thanks Allegro friends, we had an amazing holiday!

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2013

This place is awful! We spent 3 prepaid nights there and couldn't wait to leave. Armed guards monitor the property. Instead of being there to keep people from getting in, I felt like they were there to keep us from escaping! The "all inclusive" food tastes like bad cruise food. I saw the same bread being recycled for days and people would move around the buffet, lifting silver trays only to shake their heads and leave. Every time I went up to the desk, I heard someone complaining about their room. We had one with mold, no refrigerator, and an air conditioner that dribbled water down the wall. Americans beware! There is a reason this place is so cheap. Apparently, they are going to be closing it down for renovations soon and they're running out the clock on their tourist trade. You can pay for Internet but you won't be able to send or receive anything. They know it and sell it anyway. Without your own transportation, you are held hostage to their "rates". To go to town, which you cannot walk to, it is $20.00 each (with a 4 person minimum). Our phone didn't work, but when we left they tried to charge us for a phone call. People were playing "musical rooms" and were repeatedly asking the desk to move them due to ceiling fans that didn't work, broken air conditioners, doors that don't close, and toilets that don't flush. Rooms were filthy! It's very hot there and these "amenities" are critically important! People I talked to said they felt trapped and like prisoners. Please don't do this to yourself! Special occasions should be "special"!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Sandra Alcázar U, Social Media Coordinator at Allegro Papagayo, responded to this review, April 2, 2013
Dear Nancy W,
We really appreciate you taking the time to review Allegro Papagayo on TripAdvisor. I am sorry to hear that you did not enjoy your experience with us.
It surprises me to hear your comments about the security staff. They are well trained and usually receive great feedback. I will surely discuss this situation with the manager so we can avoid any annoyance between the staff and guests.
I sincerely apologize for falling so short of your dinning expectations. We have different menus every night and we offer a large variety of Costa Rican and international dishes as well as new main courses every day for lunch and dinner. We also have our à la carte restaurants, which are the Mexican restaurant and an Italian bistro. Regarding the bread, please know that we do not serve recycled food, but rather make all meals fresh every day. Also, if guests do not find anything they want at the buffets or in the restaurants, our cooks are always happy to make custom dishes.
I am sorry about the issue with your room. I’ve shared your comments with the maintenance team who is currently verifying that all Air Conditioner equipments are functioning properly.
Thank you for choosing to stay with us, and once again I am truly sorry for falling so short of your expectations.
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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
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:
#7 Spa Hotel in Gulf of Papagayo
#7 Top resorts Hotel in Gulf of Papagayo
#10 On the Beach Hotel in Gulf of Papagayo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Allegro Papagayo 3*
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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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