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“All inclusive!” 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
17 reviews 17 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
“All inclusive!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2007

We had a great time during our stay at Allegro Papagayo. Couple of tips... every morning there is an omelette bar. If you are particular about cholesterol, then ask for an egg white omelette. Those who get "regular" omelettes beware... the extra yolks from the egg white omelettes are dumped back into the regular omelette mixture! Take all you want but eat all you take. It is very disappointing to see food go to waste.
The hotel gift shop sells nice stuff (albeit expensive) and they also sell postage! I was able to mail my postcards from the hotel without having to worry about it for the rest of my trip.
We went into the nearest town (Liberia?) for a day. We don't speak a word of Spanish but did not have too much trouble walking around. It was a good opportunity to buy groceries (souvenir coffee, liquer, Lizano sauce, etc) and other "touristy" items (tshirts, postcards).
I would advise going on a tour. This hotel, although wonderful, is very isolated and you run out of things to do rather quickly. The boat ride to the beach on the other side of the bay (provided at no cost) involves reserving space ahead of time. Trekking to Arenal and the Tabacon Hot Springs should be on everyone's list.
The variety show every night is OK. Don't expect Vegas-level talent! The same person that checked you in could very well be the Madonna impersonator that night. :) Still, its a good time.
The dining hall and pool are right next to the beach and the buildings go up the hill from there. The view from the higher buildings are great (we opted for this) but you also have to walk the farthest to the dining hall. Yes, the shuttle comes regularly but we chose to walk to burn off all the calories from gorging on an all-you-can eat buffet.

  • Stayed July 2006, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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1,568 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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (339)
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English first
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2007

We stayed here for two weeks in July 2007, myself, my three teenage children and two friends. The hotel is really clean, food was faultless, pool area well equipped with beds etc. From the moment we arrived to the time we left we found all the staff to be friendly, helpful and happy in their demeanour. We went on lots of day trips to see the Country but it was lovely to come back to the hotel each evening to sit in the reception and watch the amazing sunsets.

I would say that being bulit on a hill you could get some seriously great exercise but there are buses who those not so inclined.

I had read some poor reviews of this hotel before going but I am happy to say that my experience there was excellent.

Stayed July 2007
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2007

My extended family and I stayed here for a week in January! We hated it the moment we arrived and regret having wasted our cash on such a dump! Here is a list of all that went wrong:
1. They did not have enough locks for the inroom safety deposit boxes. We couldn't lock up our passports or credit cards.
2. The only food that was available outside of brkft/lunch/dinner was greesy and fried.
3. The drinks at the bar had 1/2 teaspoon of alcohol.
4. The beach was pretty, but we were eaten alive by the bugs. I had a bugbite for almost a month after our return!
5. The food at the buffet was recycled into different dishes each day. We all lost weight!!
6. You had to wake up by 8:00 every morning in order to make reservations for the more formal restaurants.
7. The second night that we were there, we heard screaming in the middle of the night and pounding on a nearby hotel room door. In the morning, there was a trail of blood leading all the way down the stairs.
8. The entertainment was put on by a bunch of junior high kids. It was a joke.
9. The disco only played Costa Rican music. Even when we asked, they wouldn't change it.
10. The air conditioner in my room was broken the entire time we were there.
11. We were charged for drinking the coffee in our room.
12. One person was charged for using the wireless internet when they didn't even bring a computer.
13. There were never enough chairs by the pool.
14. The front desk only knew one word in English.."NO." They were never helpful!

  • Liked — Getting home after it was all over!
  • Disliked — Everything!
  • Stayed January 2007, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
20 reviews 20 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2007

We just got back from a week at the Allegro Papagayo (AP) and our only complaint is that we did not stay longer. For a 3-star facility, everything was top-notch. We have traveled all over the Caribbean and the AP is as good as any 3-star hotel. The hotel is built on the side of a hill and the walk is tough but the courtesy vans are steadily making their rounds and the drivers are super nice.
The black sand beach is absolutely beautiful. I have seen black sand in Hawaii and St. Kitts but none quite as pure as this. To say it looks like mud is crazy. The water is crystal clear and the amount of beach creatures, crabs of all kinds, and sea shells is enormous. Beware that there are southern stingrays along the beach to right. They are interesting to watch but do not mess with them. There is also the threat of jellyfish but you are going to run into that at any bay.
The beach club is a day tour in itself. The beach is not that great but the swimming area is super and there is a troop of howler monkeys there that make the trip worthwhile. The food was the same as the food at any snack bar, hot dogs, pizza, and such, and an abundance of fresh fruit. We sampled everything; kiwi, papaya, tangerine, watermelon, guava, starfruit, etc. It was great. They have hammocks under the shade and it makes for a very interesting and relaxing day.
As for tours, I suggest CAT tours, they are in the lobby area of the hotel and are affiliated with Funjet. They were professional and a little bit cheaper than the other touor companies. We went with our 7 year old daughter and they made an extra effort to make sure that the tours we did would be something that she would enjoy and be safe doing.
The food was excellent. I do not see how anybody could get bored with the buffet. Every night is a different theme and the choices are unique each night.
The employees were all very attentive and friendly. All you have to do is ask or leave a note and they will take extra care of you. Every person, from the front desk to the maid, was extremly friendly and happy to try and make our visit to their country perfect.

  • Liked — The location was secluded and beautiful.
  • Disliked — No complaints.
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2007

We stayed at the resort July 8-14. Like others we went wondering given all the reviews.

We had a great time. The place is very clean and everyone is willing to do what they can to help and make sure your stay is great.

What to expect? A great, clean place that is very well kept. The sand is black, and very soft. You don't need water shoes. The beach is large and not used. I don't like lying in the sun so I loved the fact that there is a large area that you walk through to get to the beach - so lots of shaded areas. In low tide you can walk for about 1 mile and watch the grabs running around.

Lots to do if you want to. There are always activities going on. We spent most of the time by the pool. If you like your shade, then you will need to reserve a chair early.

Take good shoes - the roads between buildings is very steep. They have mini vans that are constantly driving around to take people to the buildings.

There is a safe in the room (you need to rent the box for $2/day) and there are 3 computers up at the main reception for internet access ($10/hour). Apparently someone with a laptop said they could get a wireless connection, however it was sporadic.

We had a great time. I would recommend this resort.

  • Stayed July 2007, 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dartmouth, Canada
Top Contributor
110 reviews 110 reviews
71 hotel reviews
Reviews in 88 cities Reviews in 88 cities
123 helpful votes 123 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2007

For us our stay at Allegro Papagayo was everything we expected - a clean resort, beautiful pool and decent food. To help you assess this destination here are our observations

The check in - maybe we hit it at a good time but for us efficient and hassle free. The view from the reception area is special. Changing US$ to Costa Rican colones was easy.

The rooms - as others have mentioned the rooms are pretty basic but ours was clean, made up every day and for the most part without problem. How much are you in your room anyway? Upon arrival our phone and one light did not work. Both were repaired within an hour. In spite of being on the ground floor there were no ants or bugs in our room. Nothing went missing although on vacation we would never leave anything of value in a room.

The hills - yes the hills from the beach/pool/restaurant to the reception at the top are steep, but if you don't want to walk it there are the shuttles. We never, and I mean never, found a shuttle bus to be more than five minutes. Perhaps we were just lucky but the service was prompt and the drivers very friendly.

The pool - very nicely designed pool with numerous lounge chairs. But if you don't claim one by 9:00 or so it can be difficult to find a few together until the afternoon. The swim up bar is nice as is the the bar inside, the pool tables etc.

The beach - yes it is black sand but actually quite nice to walk on. Yes there were hermit crabs but they were kind of cute scurrying around and darting into their holes. One can walk a considerable distance along the beach from the resort - very peaceful.

The Beach Club - a nice trip, not so much for the 'white sand' beach (although it was nice) but just the opportunity to do something different. The boat ride is a bit longer than indicated as you need to take a smaller boat to a larger one. Once everyone is on the larger boat it is perhaps 15 minutes to the beach. Food and drinks are served throughout your stay. Snorkling is mediocre at best. All in all an enjoyable excursion.

The food - we were very pleased. The main buffet (breakfast, lunch and dinner) offered a very nice variety of food - both Costa Rican and traditional. For a buffet serving hundreds of guests the quality and variety of food surpassed our expectations - fresh fruit smoothies, lots of fresh fruit, themed nights, and in particular very attentive, always pleasant always smiling staff. The eating area is open air and not air conditioned. At times it was a bit warm - try to sit down towards the beach end and yes there are birds that fly through. We experienced no bugs or bees. The snack bar is a snack bar. Generally fried finger foods, but as always fresh fruit.

The Italian and Mexican restaurants - we were told to call at 8:00 am the day before to make a reservation. A bit frustrating at first when we not immediately successful as the apparently one person who books the restaurant had not yet arrived. While it is surprising someone else couldn't write down a reservation hey you're on vacation. Try again in half an hour and presto, we were in both times. Both the Italian and Mexican are good, but not as good as we were expecting based on the comments of others. We found the service was better at the Mexican. As much as we enjoyed the buffets both of these restaurants are a nice change of scenary.... and they are air conditioned.

The entertainment - each night there is a themed show preceded by an hour or so of attention to the kids. Although we only made a couple of shows the staff appeared to be having fun and making a good effort at entertaining the guests.

The location - the resort is 20 km from the nearest town (which actually isn't much) and about 45 minutes from LIberia. If the isolation is going to be an issue for you there are two options - take a number of tours or rent a vehicle. Our 17 year old son took an Adrenalin Adventure tour and was well looked after. However a great way to see the beautiful countryside of Costa Rica is to rent a vehicle. We rented a 4 wheel drive for $245 for a week. Gas cost us another $90 but included an all day trip to Arenal, along with another two days out on the road. Makes it very easy to stop at craft shops or whatever. Driving was no problem, although if you get off the main roads potholes can be common (get the 4 wheel drive!)

Overall - it is perplexing to read the wide variety of reviews. Based on our experience we would both recommend the Allegro Papagayo to our friends and return some day.

  • Liked — Pool area and variety and quality of food/drinks
  • Disliked — Distance to nearest town
  • Stayed June 2007, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
72 helpful votes 72 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2007

We stayed at the Allegro Papagayo July 5th to July 12th. Prior to leaving a read a lot of reviews on TA. Therefore, I was prepared for the pros and cons. I kept an open mind and reminded myself that Costa Rica is a developing country where the average person makes only $300/month and lives very modestly.

We booked a superior Ocean View room. However, none was available when we checked in at 3:30 pm. We were given room 824 with 2 doubles for the night and was assured we would get an Ocean View room the next day. Room 824 had no ants, new mattresses, no ocean view but everything in working order. Next day, we got switched to ocean view room 622. Nice king size bed but small ants in washroom, light just as you come into the room not working and shower faucet would fall off every now and then. However, beautiful view of ocean. Fridge also got stocked with drinks and we got a daily coffee pack. We kept the air condition at a temp of 23 degrees as per previous suggestions on TA and had no problems with it leaking.

Mauricio at front desk was awesome at check in. He also helped me make multiple phone calls to Grayline. I had booked my transportation to and from Liberia airport through Orbitz who uses Grayline. Grayline picked us up at the airport no problem. However, on day of departure, Grayline never showed up although I spent hours on the phone the previous evening confirming with them. Francisco at the Beach Club is very friendly and fast in getting your drinks. Buffet wait staff was awesome, got very good service from Hainur Antonio and a couple of others. Got prompt room service everyday. I left tip for the maid the 1st day but she didn't even take it. I guess she wasn't sure if it was for her so next day I left thank you note with the tip to make sure she would know it was hers.

I only did the water aerobics once. It was fun but not for those who don't like to be touched or like people touching them. At the end of the water aerobics, they have everyone stand in a line and massage each other. If you don't like to be touched, leave right after the exercise part.

Beach Club was a good experience. From the beach, they take you out on a small boat and transfer you to a smaller boat. If you get sea sick, this might not be for you as it takes about 15 mins to get by boat to the beach club. It also usually takes a few trips by the smaller boat to get everyone to the big boat.

We did 3 tours while in CR. First tour was the Borinquen horseback riding, canopy and mud bath/hotsprings tour with Vargas and we got Roberto as a guide. It was just the two of us with Roberto. Roberto would stop all the time to let us take pictures. He educated us about the Costa Rican way of life and stopped to show us wildlife. Lunch at the Borinquen resort was one of the best meals I had in CR. I got a delicious tuna filet and my husband had steak. Second tour was the Palo Verde river tour with Avispa Adventures and we got Jose as our guide. Jose taught us a ton of Spanish. He stopped and picked a dragon fruit right off the cactus for us which we got to eat at lunch later that day. Also took us to a supermarket and helped us shop for coffee and Lizano salsa sauce at our request. There was also only the two of us on this tour. Amy from Avispa had made sure that Jose was stocked with cold drinks and snacks for us so we were never thirsty. Lunch was at a traditional costa rican restaurant that was very quaint and rustic. Amy from Avispas even met us on the way back to the hotel to give us further info for her tours and to make sure we had a good time. Last tour we did was the Columbia rafting with Carlos & Flaco at Vargas. This time there were also two other couples with us. This tour was fun but Carlos didn't really offer to stop at any of the Liberia shops or stop for photo ops. Carlos did have really good english, was very personable and did give us lots of info on CR. I would recommend both Vargas Tours and Avispas Adventures. Avispas Adventures is a little more expensive than Vargas but it was really nice to have cold drinks (water, juice, beer) available all the time as it does get really hot in CR.

The buffet food was okay. We did have to keep waving away flies and bees but I knew about this before going. There is a different theme everyday for dinner. After about 4 days, I was getting a bit bored with the food selection at the buffet. Dinner at their a la carte restaurant Trattoria was excellent. Its too bad I couldn't eat there every day. Its nice and air conditioned and service was impeccable.

All in all, we had a great time in Costa Rica. Allegro Papayo has great staff but some of rooms need better maintenance. It is on a steep hill but we only ever waited 10 mins for the hotel van. Everyone I talked to lost weight going up and down that hill so maybe its not such a bad thing. I think we lucked out and had great people serving us which made for our good experience. Other couples we met did not get their room cleaned daily and got nothing stocked in their fridge. Lastly, bring tons of mosquito repellent. Even when I wore long pants, one managed to sneak up the leg and bit my lower leg. So wear long socks under your pants or spray your ankles & lower legs even when wearing long pants.

  • Liked — Staff
  • Disliked — Some things broken/not working.
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 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 7
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
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*
Number of rooms: 300
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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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