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“Location, location, location...” 5 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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Special Rate
$104/person + $50 credit
Ranked #5 of 16 hotels in Gulf of Papagayo
New York City, New York
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Location, location, location...”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 14, 2012

Overall, I was very pleased with the experience and would absolutely recommend it to others. I went with a friend, but it's better for couples and families. The hotel was clean, beautiful, and the staff was pleasant. The food could have been more abundant & tasty, but considering it was all-inclusive it was OK. The best meals we had were the breakfast buffet by the pool and dinners at El Bocadillo restaurant. The bars were OK, but the alcohol wasn't top shelf. Definitely try the mango mojito - it's delicious! Also, the empanadas at the bar are AMAZING! Two bartenders, Jose (Ritual bar) and Pablo (swimup pool bar), were especially amicable and helpful. Also, ask for Julio, one of the shuttle drivers on the hotel grounds. He's nice and helpful, and will show you the grounds in more detail if you want.

We saw iguanas, lizards, a humming bird, coatis, cats, blue birds, & many other animals on the hotel grounds. The hotel also has howler monkeys, although we didn't witness them (we did hear them though). The pool area was so nice, and the beach, although small, was really quite tranquil and beautiful with tons of sea life - what a treat!

I highly recommend taking advantage of taking a tour or two with Swiss Travel, which has a representative on the hotel premise, so that you can see the rain forest and more of the country. The hotel itself also offers free activities, such as a bike tour, kayak tour, exfoliation treatment & more.... you should definitely take advantage of some of those!

The only downside are the mosquitos (an't really help that) and that the spa was closed for renovations, so we couldn't experience that :(

One day we did opt to go to Coco Beach for a few hours... you can skip it. It's not ideal for catching rays, although the hills make a nice backdrop. The main street with shops is pretty seedy, although nobody bothers you. Instead, perhaps Hermosa Beach of Panama Beach would be nicer.

Also, just some things to keep in mind in Costa Rica: wear bug repellant, there wasn't a need for us to exchange our currency (most places accept $US), there is a $28 exit fee at the airport, the food at the airport is pretty expensive.

I can't wait to return to Costa Rica!!!

Room Tip: If you can, definitely try to get a room that overlooks the gulf.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (493)
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Rockville, Maryland
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2012

My first all inclusive resort and it was pretty good. There are four restaurants however one was close due to renovations. Overall food wise pretty good variety, just wished there was better dessert option. The hotel is not located near city center so plan to spend your time solely at the resort or schedule excursions. I only did one excursion and spent the other 5 days just hanging out at the pool or partaking in various resort activities. The offer a variety of activities but I only did the biking, sunset hike, bingo and learning how to fold towel animals. Rooms are spread out through the property so you can get a real workout walking around or if you'd rather not they do have shuttles. The only one con about the property is the bugs-mosquitoes, really get you in the evening especially if you dine outdoors at the Bar or La Bocadillo. We sorta knew this was a possibility from other reviews so packed our bug spray but they still managed to bite us. We got halfway through our week and just started dousing ourselves in bug spray. Since each room's door is outside access you will inevitably get bugs in the room, not a huge problem but if you don't like nature/squeamish by crawlies then you might want to stay elsewhere. The mini-fridge is stocked with water, 2 diet cokes, 2 cokes, and 2 beers. Drinks at the bar were great, esp if you just ask the bartenders for their specialties (sunset papagayo was our favorite). Internet is only free in the lobby otherwise I think its like $15/day. It was great going to the resort during off season (end of oct) not only did we have great weather but not crowded so we never had a hard time looking for lounge chairs or grabbing drinks at the bar. The staff here were all really friendly and helpful. FYI you might want to eat your fill at the hotel before going to the airport because not only is there only one food option there but its ridiculously expensive (2 sandwiches+water = $30+).

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Top Contributor
207 reviews 207 reviews
114 hotel reviews
Reviews in 101 cities Reviews in 101 cities
103 helpful votes 103 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2012

This was my first 'all-inclusive'. Reading the previous reviews, I wasn't sure what to expect. The property well maintained (beautiful folliage & flowers), but It's obviously a dated property. Our villa was larger than a regular hotel room, but not very cool. Our deck outside was about to fall apart. The ceiling fan didn't work, and the lock on the door kept coming off despite them 'fixing' it. Other small things like rotting bathroom door and squeaky sink, the tempermental coffee maker....small details you'd expect a Hilton to address.

The beach was small and not very inviting, but sitting on the grassy area beach chairs (with free food & drinks) was enough for me. The food was particularly disappointing. Very little flavor. Had to return the squash soup as it was inedible. The best thing I ate was the calimari at the pool bar!

They are renovating the spa right now, and hopefully some of the villas next! November appears to be a great time to go; not busy and no rain!

Perhaps it was the time of year, but one restaurant was always closed on different nites. Be sure and check early in your trip and make reservations. Get the early seating if you can (they ran out of choices at the late seating one nite).

If you reserve transportation from/to the airport be sure you specify CAR or VAN (even though I did specify CAR, I got an old VAN); and you pay separately for that service FYI. Since the airport is only 15-20 minutes away, I might choose a cab next time (instead of $70 for a car).

We did the "Adrenaline Tour" which was fantastic and well worth the money. Zipline is the "to-do" activity in Costa Rica, so dont miss it! Others we talked to said the fishing and city tours were great as well.

The staff is very friendly and willing to help. Be sure and bring $1 bills for tipping (they take dollars).

Finally, here are some tips on traveling to CR...things we found out after the fact. 1. Have an itinerary in hand when you land and go thru immigration. 2. You have to pay $28 exit tax at the airport (or $34 at the hotel if it's working) before checking in for your flight BRING CASH! 3. The airport is new, but VERY expensive ($8 for a can of beer and $13 for a hamburger). Everything is quite expensive to buy in CR as a tourist, but that's their #1 industry.

Room Tip: Ask for something close to the center but not too noisy. Dont need an ocean view...Our villa was clo...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 8, 2012

I would say that this has got to be one of the nicest resorts/hotels I have ever been to. The food was fantastic. The service was fantastic and the place was just beautiful. This place deserves 5 stars.

  • Stayed March 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Wheeling, West Virginia
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 8, 2012

My daughter and I stayed at this beautiful hotel Oct 26 to Nov.3. The staff is amazing and go out of their way to make you comfortable. Food was excellent. We stayed in 232 which had great views and was close enough to walk to the other areas. We took the shuttle several times and never had to wait. Although the hotel includes many activities, If you want to leave to do other activities you have to arrange some kind of transportation. I can not say enough about the great staff there and how they go out of there way to make sure you are comfortable. I truely enjoyed our stay there and would go back..

Room Tip: Try and get room close to pool.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oklahoma City
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2012

My husband and I went to Costa Rica in October 8-15th and it was PERFECT! It rained all day the first day but we didn't mind it at all. Then it rained a little here and there the rest of the week. We really picked a good time to go when everything was lush and green. The people from and away the hotel were very nice, friendly and helpful. The hotel room was okay considering the hotel name but we weren't there most of the time. Food was good and loved the fruit bar. I had mangoes and pineapples everyday. Food and drinks were constantly available. This was our first all-inclusive and were just in awe.
We didn't have to worry about anything while we were at the hotel. We did a couple of activities that the hotel provided as well as activities away from the hotel. We booked a couple of things from Sweiss Travel Center at the hotel. We did ATV/ziplining one day. Our ATV tour guide, Fernando, was awesome!! We would stop along and the way and he would point out things about Costa Rica and offered to take pictures of us ATVing off the beaten paths he took us. Once we reached our destination to zipline he waited for us of course to lead us back home. The tour guides for the ziplining was funny and also friendly and also offered to take pictures of us. Then the next day we went hiking in the rain forest and bathed in the hot springs. Highly recommend these activities. Well worth the money. But beware of sales rep at the hotel. There will be signs when you head towards the hotel beach that you'll be hit up my outside salesman. One of them came up to us and was really rude when we told him that we already booked our outside activities.
Overall our experience at the Hilton was great! The staff was very accommodating and super friendly! We would not hesitate staying here again!

Room Tip: Ask to stay close to the main area to the restaurants and pool area. Otherwise it will be a walk or...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Mansfield, Missouri
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2012

Our family just returned from an amazing week of fun in the Gulf of Papagayo. We arrived at the new Liberia airport and were taken in an new air conditioned van to our hotel (Hilton). Amazing grounds and a large spread out resort with breathtaking views and wildlife, we saw monkeys and iguanas. We stayed in room 127 which was close to the main pool and the restaurants. The shuttles ran continuously so getting around was never an issue.This resort is an older one but the grounds are well maintained. The rooms have been renovated but some of the outside decking and exterior of the bungalows are in need of repairs. We were satisfied with the different restaurants and the food selection. At times some of the food was better than other times, but we considered it to be above average for an all inclusive resort. There are three restaurants plus one buffet-dining restaurant to chose from. In the evening, the restaurants require reservations! We did several private tours with Christian from Easy Tours Guanacaste www.riuairporttransfercostarica.com "an amazing tour company". I would not hesitate to recommend the Hilton Papagayo and Easy Tours. Hoping to visit the country on another vacation to experience more of what this beautiful country has to offer.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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
Amenities:
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
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Gulf of Papagayo
#3 Spa Hotel in Gulf of Papagayo
#4 Romantic Hotel in Gulf of Papagayo
#5 Luxury Hotel in Gulf of Papagayo
#5 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 Resort And Spa
Hilton Papagayo Costa Rica Hotel Gulf Of Papagayo
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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