Before I review this hotel and Costa Rica I will say this: Do not travel to Costa Rica if you are looking for a pool to sit around a drink all week at the wet bar, OR if you want crystal clear ocean water, a white sand beach, and tropical luxury. If this is what you want, go to Mexico and give'r.
I have read many reviews here by people who obviously did not research what Costa Rica is really all about. I can't believe how many people complain about the pool, random small things about the rooms and other nit-picky things. No one I saw on my stay would qualify as 'royalty', and the people there who didn't enjoy there stay, also didn't leave the pool side.
That being said, those of you who have read about the beauty and natural riches of Costa Rica already know what you are in for. No one in their right mind travels to Costa Rica to sit at the pool for 7 days drinking 'cervesa'.
The Allegro Papagayo was a great hotel to stay in. The pool is big and very pretty, but we only sat there after dinner when no one was around. We didn't have time to swim in a pool, we can do that at home! The beach is black sand, which means water shoes are a must because the sand gets very hot! It's a natural beach too. It has many little hermit crabs and red crabs running around (who hide when they see u or if you hang around) there are lots of shells and rocks scattered everywhere. Costa Rica is like this almost everywhere. Things are left as they are -au naturel! People who like nature, hiking and eco-tourism will enjoy the Allegro because it is a clean, upper end hotel that will offer you a nice clean bed to sleep in and a nice meal after you return from a day at the private beach club (free and with a reservation) or a day on a eco-tour zip-lining, hiking, or visiting nearby cities.
This is what my husband and I did. We spent a good three days on eco-tours, one at the beach club and two at the hotel. Perfect!
Each nite the hotel has a theme dinner. The food is amazing! The dinner meal varies in selection each night, while breakfast and lunch are similar each day. It is VERY EASY to eat healthy there. A large selection of vegetable done all ways, lean meats, rice and beans, seafood and beef. There is also a salad/cheese/meat bar, a dessert bar and a huge selection of fresh fruit. The fruit and salad unlike many resorts I've been too is protected from bugs and the elements in encased glass with sliding doors. Most of the hot entrees are also in large hot pot type of things to keep them warm and fresh. There are cooks there making certain entrees right in front of you offering food hot off the grill.
Anyone who complained about the food on this site must be extremely picky and needs to have daily hotdog, burger and fry fixes. I come from a Euro background where everyone cooks fabulous meals, I know good food when I have it!
As far as the rooms go, I agree, they can vary. The first room we were assigned wasn't the greatest. It was a ground floor room and the ground floor rooms are much more 'rustic'. My husband and I had a honeymoon upgrade awaiting anyway, and our next room was fabulous.
We were on the 3rd floor with an ocean view. The room was clean with high ceilings and the maid, Rosario, was delightful and gave us fresh towels everyday, cleaned the place spotless, made our bed and even arranged our shoes. Really sweet!
The rooms there have either one king, or two double beds. They are all teh same size and top floor rooms have a higher ceiling, that's it. IF you get a room you are not happy with, be polite! Call the front desk and politely request a room change, without being insulting.
There are shuttles that go around the resort as there are steep hills and a lot of walking. I love to walk and enjoyed this aspect of the hotel. Less active or frail people may find this to be a challenge. I see a lot of reviews where people complain about this, and I'll say it again, Costa Rica is not for your average lazy vacationer seeking sun and ease.
I speak some Spanish and found the staff and people of Costa Rica increadibly helpful and kind. They were patient with me as I practiced my Spanish and even helped me out with a word or two rather than switching to English right away.
For those who do not speak Spanish, most Costa Rican's speak English and very very well as they learn it in school.
The people at Charlie's Adventure Tours (office is near the pool) does a great Aqua Combo tour with snorkeling, a visit to a gorgeous white sand beach, caving, a beach bbq, a mangrove tour (if the waters aren't too rough to dock the boat) and whale/dolphin watching. It was only 65$ and it was thrilling!
We also did a trip to Nicaragua which was a fabulous all-day journey that was very eye opening!
The Rincon de la Vieja Volcano hike was great, but unfortunately my husband and I were paired with quite a few people who actually complained through the entire (less than 2hr) hike! There were younger teens/kids running ahead of the guide (which is not allowed) and complaining about being tired and hungry the entire time. I honestly don't know why people sign up for these things if they are not into it. Also, 'a note' for those who have younger kids/teens who aren't into nature, please don't force them to come along, they not only waste your money, they waste other people's money as well who have to listen to them complain if they can't keep their every thought to themselves. The same goes for adults, if you aren't into it, save your money, please!
Signature Vacations has a good booking agent at the hotel.
Vargas Tours (google them) are the absolute best in the biz! Book with Vargas ahead of time. They are great with email, will tell u all about costa rica ahead of time, and will even phone u at the hotel if need be. They also have a first rate reputation.
I highly recommend booking tours as it is one of the only sure ways to experience this wonderful place outside the resort. It's a shame not to leave the resort in Costa Rica! There is way, way, way too much to see and do all around you!
I honestly can't believe how much people complain on tripadvisor about this hotel! One must always remember that Costa Rica is a developing country and one cannot expect absolute luxury in every way. If that is what you want, book with the Four Seasons. Costa Rica must be appreciated for it's natural rustic appeal and it's untouched beauty.
Most people don't go to Costa Rica looking to 'veg-out'. Costa Rica tends to attract the adventurous types. It's not the Hollywood image of Paradise. Costa Rica is most busy for tourism during the dry season (dec-april) and this means sun and heat everyday, but also brown dry grass and leafless trees. The resorts are watered more, but still, the all the rolling hills are brown, the flowers are few, and the trees are mostly bare. It has a unique beauty all on it's own. They say December is still very green but after that, most things go dormant, like how our vegetation does in Canadian winter (just no snow!)
Be sure to have your hep A and B shots/boosters just to be safe! Also our doctor had us take a preventative anti-diarrheal vaccine called ducorex. We also each had a filled prescription for cipro which treats lower respiratory infections, bladder infections and other stomach/intestinal bugs you may pick up that ducorex doesn't vaccinate against. You need to have this precautions in a tropical country. Many people brought children who got sick (as kids do as they get into it all) and had no prevention. That can ruin a trip!
All being said...
In Costa Rica I found a new kind of paradise. I saw how beautiful a natural beach can be. How they greyish white sand has streaks of black volcanic sand, how there is every kind of life in ever little corner -always something moving around, hiding, peeking out at you. It's utterly amazing.
I will return for sure this December. I would definitely return to the Allegro if I don't try something new.
If you are the outgoing, adventurous, nature loving/appreciative type, then you will love this place inside and out. You'll appreciate
all that the Allegro has to offer and you will go beyond that and explore the rest of what Guanacaste has to offer...
If you want to sit around the pool all week and stay inside the confines of the resort, then forget it. You will tire quickly and long for your coddled cushy life back home.
I fell in love with Costa Rica. It was my first time and I couldn't have picked a better place to stay! A+
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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