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.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.