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“We Loved It.” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hilton Papagayo Costa Rica Resort & Spa

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Hilton Papagayo Costa Rica Resort & Spa
4.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Playa Arenilla, Costa Rica   |  
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$139/person ALL INCLUSIVE
Ranked #6 of 16 hotels in Gulf of Papagayo
12 reviews 12 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“We Loved It.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 24, 2007

I haved stayed at alot of resorts in various countries. This one is my favoritein Costa Rica, it was very good. The only peeve I had was that the food variety wasn't there. The food was very good. The rooms are very comfortable especially the beds. We had adj rooms 210/211 and the are in the middle of the resort. The staff is very friendly. The beach is not huge, but a nice size. I have previously stayed at the Grand Papagayo in the same area. I felt more secure in the Fiesta, the patio doors locked (not in Grand P) and nothing went missing from the rooms (as did in the Grand P). The snorkeling on the beach is really good. I will return to the Fiesta (also now know as Hilton Resort) when I return to Costa Rica. Costa Rica is the friendiest and most beautiful place I have traveled and the only place I have returned to and will return to again. So much to do and so little time.

Stayed December 2007
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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
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 18, 2007


Any questions? Call me or my wife Caroline at 416 466 3619

Stayed at the FP with my wife from Dec 10 to 15th - We called the resort front desk on Dec 8th before leaving and they basically lied to us about completion of construction. This resort is being taken over by Hilton and current owners are desperately trying to complete construction in time for a scheduled Jan 15th takeover.

There are at least two separate large construction projects going on for the next month or two: a large reception pavilion with parking at the main entrance where construction is going on 24 hrs per day 7 days per week, and the new spa in the northwest section of the resort. See pictures. There is also intermittent construction and final upgrades going on in several suites - for example 420 to 430 on the upper level. No matter how hard you try, you cannot escape the construction noise on this resort.

We put up with the noise and being awakened at 6:45 am every day because we liked the resort and were out of our room most of the time, until the fifth day when they painted all the outside doors with oil paint and made us ill. We demanded a transfer from the Hilton rep onsite and they moved us at their cost to the Grand Papagayo Resort, some 2 km away ( a more upscale resort owned by the Occidental Group), for the remainder of our trip. We were not happy to move as we had made many friends at the Fiesta, but we learned later that to top off the construction, the resort management decided to admit about 100 Costa Rican locals on the final two days - a weekend Christmas gift from their company, apparently. The Costa Rican kids were unsupervised and throwing rocks in the pool and the resort did nothing to control them.

The spa is closed and two of the three restaurants are also closed. A section of suites near the new spa which is under construction are also closed. The gym is closed as well but the resort will take you to a gym offsite.

This resort will be nice when completed - it has a nicely planned central area and good staff who have done their best under adverse conditions to continue leading many activities (two of the staff told us privately they got lung infections from the construction dust in the summer), but as long as the current Fiesta management tries to book people here while construction is ongoing, this will not be a fun place to be.

I strongly advise you to book your Christmas or New Years vacation somewhere else and avoid the Fiesta until Hilton has taken over AND construction is entirely completed. If you have already booked, demand a change from your agent.

Also, we will be calling Sunquest about the watered down info they have been provided with. We will also be contacting the Costa Rica tourist board.

Costa Rica is a beautiful country with lots to do, but this resort will taint a traveller's memory of the country.

  • Stayed December 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Jersey
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 16, 2007

We just got back from Costa Rica and had a lovely time, especially since the weather was perfect every day. The hotel states that it has a spa and a Casino, however it had neither! Small and somewhat boring enviornment and lots of construction going on, late into the evening and early in the a.m.
There was suppose to be 3 restaurants, but one wasn't open and one was reservation only, so you're only hope was the buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner. By Wednesday we knew that it was the same food over and over, only disguised in a different sauce.
The Hilton is getting ready to take this property over, so maybe once they get their "stuff" together it'll be great. The bar was great and the barstaff was wonderful. Any kind of drink you want all day long. The room was nice and excellent bed. We had to waste our first day since the AC didn't work and it took them most of the day to decide they would move us, once we were unpacked. I'd go back to Costa Rica, but not to this property.

Stayed December 2007
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 16, 2007

We visited this resort Dec. 3-10/07 with our 2 girls - age 10 and 13. We loved it! The hotel rooms were very clean and had just been updated because of the Hilton taking over the resort. When we arrived we found the TV did not work - we phoned and they came to fix it in about 20 minutes (this was at night). This was really no big deal to us and the service was great!
Our room was no.228 and had a great view and was halfway up the hill. We walked mostly but there was a frequent shuttle that you could use when you wanted to.
The staff was extremely friendly and polite - our girls got pictures with them before we left to come home - they really treated all of us very well - very caring and genuine people.
The food was a well rounded presentation of local and international selections. We found the entertainment at night very good!
The pool area was well laid out with 3 pools in 1 really.
There was room for volleyball and swimming - they swim up bar was great!
Construction was going on but was limited to the entrance at the top of the hill and over to the spa area but posed no problems.
The beach area was great for walking - we also snorkeled off to the rocks to the left near the point. A lot of people were snorkelling there and all seemed happy with that area.
We did swim at the beach a few times and it was fine.
Trips -
We had a local guide called Mainor Lara from "Trips Your Way"
and he can be contacted at his website. He was awesome!
We went on a number of tours of the area including Arenal volcano, boat tour down the river where we saw a number of crocodiles and the white-faced monkeys came on our boat - it was a lot of fun! We went ziplining ( a lot of fun) and a boat tour to a white sandy beach. Mainor was very informative and provided extra side trips to isolated waterfalls, small village restaurants and local shopping. This provided a true taste to the Costa Rican culture making it a little more personal to us. We would strongly recommend using Mainor - we really feel that he has become a friend. He also has a great sense of humour!
Overall the hotel is excellently located for day travel and also provided a great relaxing atmosphere.
As the mother I was quite hesitant to go on this trip not knowing a lot about this hotel and the area. I was hesitant about having a local person guide us also but this whole trip was amazing from the staff at the hotel and the local people we met. I highly recommend this hotel and would go back in a heartbeat!!!!
Karen and Clay - Sarnia, Ont. Canada

  • Liked — The pool and food
  • Stayed December 2007, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
14 reviews 14 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2007

I am unbelievably late in writing this review. I went in March 2006 for a week with my now wife, at the time girlfriend, and her friend and her friend's boyfriend. So it was a two couple vacation. I highly recommend going as so. The hotel was very nice and very clean. I loved the buffet breakfast, amazing food not bland at all. The bar had wonderful bartenders! The pool bar was packed at 9am! We had a great dinner at their sit down restaurant, but I hear now that a lot of AI don't require reservations. This one did. The room was spotless and re-stocked! My girlfriend at the time had a fright when a tiny frog made its appearance in her shower, but we are in the tropics... No bug problems, plenty of lizards and geckos around for that! We went out on the jet skis, that was awesome! If you didn't want to walk everywhere you either called or waited at the golf cart taxi stand where there was water in case you were thirsty. I have to say that the activities staff really made the place wonderful. So friendly and great to have a conversation with! Even the mini casino was a good time and I won $50! I would definitely go again if I were going to CR!

  • Liked — The staff
  • Disliked — Only allowed so many reservations at the nice restaurants.
  • Stayed March 2006, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 6, 2007

My husband and I have just returned from this resort, and I have to say it was beautiful the rooms have been updated and are lovely. The view is spectular, if going i would ask for rooms number 227 and up as the view is spectacular.

The food was excellent, the staff very accomodating and friendly, and the resort was spotless.


Take lots of sunscren, and bug spray. if you run out it is very expensive in the gift shop ($10.) Buy coffee in the local supermarkets as it is half the price.


I was expecting a gym, 2 specialty resturants and a fully operational spa, the gym was closed (but you got your cardio work-out on the hills and stairs) only 1 specialty resturant was open (it was excellent) and the spa was under renovation. There is a temporay one available.

It is a beautiful place and I would return in the morining.

The Hilton has taken over the resort so things can only get better but possible more expensive!

  • Liked — everything
  • Disliked — no complaints
  • Stayed November 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa, Ontario
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 5, 2007

I have to say that this resort...if that's what you want to call it was the worst my husband and I have ever stayed at. If you have never traveled or experienced a true five star then you may like it but we have travelled a lot and for the price we expected five star service. The Hilton has taken over this resort and I must say that there name is being dragged through the mud here.There is renovations everywhere and Air canada will not tell you this. No gym, casino, only one restaurant a la carte,only one pool but two were advertised ,theatre was in a hot stuffy indoor room, loud construction all day, rooms are nice but have mildew in them.

The beach is horrible. I knew it was going to be black sand but it was more like mud and no one even swims in it because you risk getting
a jellyfish sting, I did and many others did too. There is only one bar which is outside, no lobby bar like all five star resorts.

The service is good only at the bar and at the restaurants. Any guest services, reception or even our air canada rep (if you have questions or need help good luck finding a rep, we did not see him the whole week, he was never there!) lacked customer service. We had planned excursions in the morning and asked for a wake up call 3/4 no one called. I don't understand this, so simple. Then we needed water stocked in our room, which again is not included but because we were a wedding group of 37 the groom convinced them to stock our fridges everyday...it never happened. It took 4 phone calls to the desk and 2 trips to the front desk to finally get water delivered to our room!!

We were there for a wedding and it took place at night...? Pictures were dark and then at dinner the power went off!! Now you woud think a manager would come check the situation out considering they had 37 people who paid $1700.00 per person to be there (so over priced, this place is a tiny circle, so small. We would only pay $700 at the very most) and there was a wedding going on..the most important day of someone's life. Anyways I could really go on forever but I am sick of complaining but I found it important to post on here as I always check
here before I travel. Thank god for the excursions...but one last thing, if you do the zip line, horse back, and rafting tour..do not trust the guides. We went rafting and I almost didn't go but I was told a guide would hold on to me the whole time. I found out later that it was my guides first time down the rapids too!! And it was level 4 rapids, death trap!! I had a near death experience, no joke!!
I am really not a picky person but for me a vaction starts with good service, nice beach, and good nightly entertainment. This resort had none.

The whole group is filing a complainnt which is just another hassle that came along with this trip. I hope this helps you.

  • Stayed November 2007
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 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.

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Additional Information about Hilton Papagayo Costa Rica Resort & Spa

Address: Playa Arenilla, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Gulf of Papagayo
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Family Hotel in Gulf of Papagayo
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Gulf of Papagayo
#4 Romantic Hotel in Gulf of Papagayo
#4 Spa Hotel in Gulf of Papagayo
#6 Luxury Hotel in Gulf of Papagayo
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Gulf of Papagayo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hilton Papagayo Costa Rica Resort & Spa 4*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nestled in a bay surrounded by the Pacific Ocean at the Gulf of Papagayo in Guanacaste, our resort is the perfect place to let your worries drift away. The magnificent view of the tranquil waters, the surrounding lush tropical gardens and abundant wildlife will make you experience the true Costa Rican feel.This magical all-inclusive resort also offers:- Convenient location, only 20 minutes from the Liberia International Airport- Large property but with an intimate atmosphere and feel- New all inclusive concept with boutique-style service without the need of bracelets or towel cards and no limit in à la carte dining. - Private beach feel with calm tides year round- Casita-style bungalows perched hillside overlooking the bay. - World-class Spa offering full range of traditional and exotic treatments in a Costa Rican – inspired natural ambiance- Unforgettable setting for Honeymoons and Weddings - Venues which add a local flair to your meetings, incentives and other social gatherings.- Just minutes away from major local attractions, National Parks and beaches ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hilton Papagayo Costa Rica Hotel Gulf Of Papagayo
Hilton Papagayo Costa Rica Resort And Spa
Fiesta Premier Costa Rica
Hilton Gulf Of Papagayo
Gulf Of Papagayo Hilton
Fiesta Resort Costa Rica
Fiesta Premier Resort Spa Costa Rica

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