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!
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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