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“Fantastic country, wonderful people and a great hotel” 4 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
Somerset, UK
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Fantastic country, wonderful people and a great hotel”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 21, 2008

Having read several reviews of the hotel before leaving it's fair to say myself and the friends I was holidaying with were more than a little concerned. We'd even gone so far as trying to change hotels. I'm so glad that we didn't now though. I'm extremely happy to say that the bad reviews that have been posted, are to my mind, entirely unfounded.

The hotel setting is beautiful, it's on the side of a steep hill (there is a shuttle bus available regularly if you don't want to tackle this) and works it's way down, building by building, to the pool, restaurant/bar area to a secluded black sand beach where, if you're lucky you might be joined by the Capuchin monkeys or an Iguana or two, along with humming birds, pelicans, numerous crabs and fish. I am still slightly mystified as to why anyone would use the pool when all of this was literally on their doorstep!

Staff at the hotel were very friendly and went out of their way to help us. Almost without exception they would all make an effort to say hello and ask questions. We had our air conditioning break down in our room twice and they fixed this quickly and efficiently with a smile on their faces. Meal times were made by the waiters/waitresses, all happy to get whatever you need - try both the Italian restaurant and the Mexican if you can. The bar staff are also happy to mix any drink you want and will make you their own specials. We were in the gift shop (generally over priced by the way - so probably best to save you're major souvenir shopping for elsewhere) and a member of staff came in noticing we were sampling the coffee and promptly ran off and made me a special cocktail using it - it was amazing!

First Choice are affiliated with Hotel Beds for their tours - and that is a credit to them. Firstly, though I should say the current First Choice rep at the hotel - 'JB' - is very entertaining and a lovely person to have on site, we didn't see too much of him as we were out and about, but when we did he was always interested in what we did and remembered details about us and our trip. So, back to Hotel Beds...the tour guides for this company are exceptional. If you book the rainforest walk and are lucky enough to get Sergio, please, please make the most of him. His knowledge and passion for both his subject (he's a biologist) and his country, are seemingly endless. On top of that he's a lovely person and will go out of his way to show you all sorts of interesting things...be ready to learn and enjoy!! We also met Fransisco on this trip who was guiding the second group, again a credit to the company and a lovely person. We had another great guide, Arturo, for our trip to see Arenal Volcano (a must see), again he went out of his way to stop and show us all the local wildlife - a sloth and it's baby making it's way across a telephone line in the dark, toucans, monkeys etc.

The above trips are absolute musts, I'd also recommend the white water rafting - the company and staff are fantastic and the photographs they supply you with afterwards are outstanding. This was a fabulous day out and don't worry if you're a bit scared, they will look after you!

At the hotel I'd suggest you take one day to go with the beach club to the private beach just down the coast line. There's a quote below about it not having a jetty, well it doesn't, but this adds to the seclusion and beauty of it and I hope they keep it just as it is. Jumping off the boat into a crystal clear sea to get to shore makes the place seem more special and exclusive. They take very good care of you too, supplying food and drinks and providing hammocks, snorkelling, kayaking and jungle walks...and all at no extra cost.

Overall a fantastic holiday, all I can think of now I'm home is how to get back there as quickly as possible! If you're going to the hotel the temptation may be to spend all you're time being pampered and waited on hand and foot but I would really urge you to get out there and make the most of the tours offered to see Costa Rica and all it has to offer. It's a truly beautiful and diverse country...so much more than a beach holiday resort. Get out there and enjoy it!!

I could go on for ages but I'll finish by thanking all the people out there, for First Choice/Hotel Beds - JB, Sergio, Fransisco, Arturo,Gilbert and all our drivers, for the Allegro Papagayo - Harry, Ivan, Roger, Vanessa, Heiner and everyone else there - Thanks so much for a wonderful holiday. Hope to see you all very soon!

  • Liked — The wonderfull staff and the beautiful scenery
  • Disliked — Having to leave after a week - not long enough!
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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 (334)
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English first
Portsmouth
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 21, 2008

We stayed at the Occidental Allegro from 2-16 May and had an absolutely fantastic time. I had read a number of the negative reviews before we left and was very worried. However there was no need to be.

The hotel was clean, the staff were friendly and it was a pleasure to stay there.

Our room was fine - a massive bed and enough drawer and wardrobe space. The bathroom was clean and the maid came every day. We sometimes had some interesting assortments of bathroom / hand towels - which humoured us more than anything else. It would have been good to have a bit more furniture to dump things on - as sometimes you want to leave things out rather than put them away straight away - however the chairs fitted the purpose to an extent.

The pool area was great - plenty of sunbeds and towels were provided. Sometimes the clean ones did not arrive until a bit later than when we were getting to the pool - but that didn't bother us either.

The Reception Bar, the Pool Bar and the other bar (next to the pool but in the dry), were all good and the staff were efficient and friendly.

The food was absolutely fantastic in the buffet restaurant - my partner and I have never eaten so much on a holiday ever before. There was plenty of choice (in fact a bit too much!!!) and it was of good quality.

We went to the Italian restaurant twice - both times were great - in terms of food and of service (even if the courses did come out quite quickly). I also liked the Mexican, however, if you are not keen on Mexican (as my partner isn't), it probably is better to give it a miss!

All in all, a great holiday and I would recommend the hotel to my friends.

The only two things you do need to think about are firstly the slopes between different parts of the resort. The hotel is built into the side of a hill and it is quite a steep climb from the pool / restaurants at the bottom to the reception at the top in the heat. My partner and I are both in our 30's and whilst we were able to do the walking "quite" easily - somethimes I had to pause to catch my breath!!! There was a shuttle bus which went round the resort. The second thing is there is nowhere to stroll out to from the hotel. This was not a problem for us, but if you like the thought of having a stroll out from the hotel grounds to a local town - it's not the place for you!

The Rep was really good fun - wanting to ensure everyone had a great time - and from what I heard from some of the people we spoke to - people did!

  • Liked — Views from the rooms of the Bay
  • Disliked — The hill
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
romney marsh
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 20, 2008

After hearing all the problems Occidential had with the sewage system I was very worried about staying at this hotel, First Choice claiming they new nothing about it was even more worring, but I need'nt have worried, the place was lovely! I have to say that it was not operating at full capacity so this helped with the problem.
We did a weeks tour first with hotel beds who were really well organized, our guide, Randell was first rate, really new his stuff and looked after us so well.
The Occidential its self was really good, rooms were very clean, well mantained grounds, the food was of a good standard and plenty of choice, my only moan was that the pool got very messy in the afternoons with leaves etc.
Some people had upset tummies but I think you get that were ever you go.
Make sure you go to the beach club, accessed by the free boat, as its really lovely, very few poeple and really relaxing, the little tour that Jimmy takes you on is good also.
I would definatly go back!!

  • Stayed May 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kent
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2008

I have just returned from a week in Costa Rica with some friends. I had booked the holiday for myself and my friends and was really worried when I had read the reviews about this hotel. However I was suprised at all the claims made in the reviews, the hotel is excellent, rooms are clean and comformtable with A/C (which stopped working once and a maintenance man had come over and fixed it within 10 mins of making a phone call to reception), the food at the buffet and restaurants was delicious and the staff (Jimmy, Ivan, Roger, etc) were fantastic and really made the holiday. The staff attended to your every need and were always polite, nothing was ever too much - as one of the other reviews said if you tip them they are most grateful as they work long hours and don't get paid alot.
The trips organised by First Choice through Hotel beds are brilliant and very well priced. All trips come with a driver and a tour guide, they provide cold drinks all day and the trips include a 3 course lunch as well as dinner (if it is a long day). Hotel beds staff are excellent they have so much knowledge about the country, eco systems wild life etc and tailor the day to your expectations.

The all inclusive deal is excellent at this hotel and considering the service that you get they are under priced compared to other places I have visited.

I cannot praise Costa Rica, the hotel, the tours or the staff enough. I had a wonderful time and didn't want to come back - 1 week definetly is not enough to fully appreciate the beautiful country. I would recommend this hotel to anyone and will most definetly be going back.

  • Liked — Everything was excellent
  • Disliked — Having to come back home
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 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.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 17, 2008

I had read some terrible reviews about this hotel and was very worried about spending 7 nights at the hotel.

When I arrived at the hotel with 5 girl friends we couldn’t understand why. The hotel was amazing and the staff were absolutely fantastic. They were kind to us and very helpful. The bars and cocktails were to die for and the variety of food was impressive.

The tour guides ( hotel beds ) were particularly impressive. They looked after us, passionate about the subject history and wowed us with their knowledge and taught us a great deal. They are an asset to the company and well done to first choice for monopolising Costa Rica as a travel destination

All in all, the holiday was fantastic. I would wholeheartedly recommend this as a travel destination, esp. at this particular hotel. The staff are very obliging and some other hotels/staff could learn a thing or two.

Some of the accusations made on other reviews are completely unfounded.

Sterling service at all times, and was never disappointed.

  • Liked — The fantastic staff.
  • Disliked — Having to leave
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 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.
Tallahassee, Florida
Top Contributor
81 reviews 81 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 16, 2008

Where do we start...beds are not queens and are extremely hard, room is maybe 200 sq ft. The grounds are very nice, rooms leave a lot to desire. Nice views, most staff pretty good, activity booking staff very unfriendly. Food OK, was nice to be able to use the other restaurants when they were open, which was not every night. Staff in restaurants were excellent. Bar glasses were dirty many times. Large scorpion was found in our room one night, asked to have it sprayed, and we were ignored...did it ourselves when we were able to find a can of spray. Jimmy is a very helpful person who speaks English well, we did appreciate his help, but unfortunately the Ahi we planned to take home that we caught fishing was never put in freezer as we requested, was told it spoiled...the most unpleasant part of the stay is the lack of fans blowing in the restaurants and bar areas, was very uncomfortable most of the time.

  • Liked — value
  • Disliked — Small rooms, hard beds
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 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.
Calgary
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 26, 2008

This was my 2nd trip to the Allegro Papagayo. I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that at least 50% of the staff remembered me and treated me like an old friend. Service with a smile - ALWAYS.

The rooms are clean and very well functioning. They were just in the process of painting the exteriors of the resort, but in no way did it interfere with my visit or take away from my experience.

The pool is fantastic, as well as the Fun Club staff that keep you entertained (thanks Roger).

Service at all of the bars is fantastic. Just look for Ivan, Randall, Evelio, Alex or any other friendly face, who are happy to whip you up there OWN specialty at any time. In the restaurants, Freddy, Heiner, Harley, Yendry, and Jonathan will gladly get you whatever you desire.

The food is great. The daily buffet serves more than enough choice to keep all walks happy. The Italian restaurant is amazing, with the Mexican one a close second.

Will I go back? ABSOLUTELY....the black sand beach and private white sand beach are reason enough alone!

Miss you guys!

Shana
.

  • Liked — The staff
  • Disliked — Nothing!
  • Stayed April 2008, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 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.
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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:
#7 Top resorts Hotel in Gulf of Papagayo
#7 Spa 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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