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“Can't wait to go back...” 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
$189/person ALL INCLUSIVE
Washington DC, District of Columbia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Can't wait to go back...”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 23, 2012

My boyfriend and I just got back from a week-long stay at the Hilton Papagayo Resort and absolutely LOVED it. From the beautiful views to the helpful staff and great food, we had a relaxing and unforgettable vacation. It was our first time to Costa Rica and first time staying at an all inclusive resort but we are loyal Hilton patrons and decided to give this place a try and it was well worth it! We can't wait to go back. Here are a few things about the resort:

We would highly recommend, depending on what you prefer, to request staying in rooms in the lower 100s area. We had a great view AND were only 3 bungalows away from the main pool. The resort is very large and if you are staying up in the 400s (which does also have a spectacular view of the bay), you need to call the 24-hour shuttle to take you to and from the pool because of the hike. Our room was very clean and the housekeeper even made a different towel animal to sit on our bed everyday. We definitely were happy with where our bungalow was located so we could come and go from the pool and most of the food whenever we wanted.

Speaking of food, you can’t really go wrong. It was actually pretty good, especially for all-inclusive food. MAKE RESERVATIONS at the restaurants that require them as early as possible. Our favorite places for dinner were the Italian restaurant (it is by the spa) and then El Bocadillo, which is right by the main pool –- both require reservations. And always try the dessert!

Most everyone speaks English (except the driver from the airport – we booked the shuttle service thru the hotel to and from the airport and it was efficient) and are also SUPER friendly and helpful. The drinks as the bar are made very well and rather strong for an all-inclusive property, we thought. The Howler Monkey, Papagayo Bay, and Mojitos were delicious!

All the activities seemed fun and there were tons to choose from. We absolutely LOVED the sunset cruise on Friday night. It was so peaceful and the views were spectacular and we saw dolphins, etc. It was only $70 per person from the Divers shop right in the hotel. Ziplining was a blast as well. We did the half-day package for $50 a person and it was fun and just the right amount of time, in our opinion. We also did a hot rocks massage for 90-minutes and it was incredibly relaxing and worth the price! As Hilton Honors members, you got a 15% discount at the spa there.

And a tip we learned the hard way -- Absolutely wear bug spray at ALL TIMES! They sell it at the gift shop and it will come in handy – we got eaten alive by bugs our first day there. And also, watch out for the huge iguana. It lives near the pool and it LOVES bananas. Seriously, don’t bring any bananas by the pool. It bit a lady with one and then jumped up on a table where another lady had one. It seems pretty harmless except when there are bananas around.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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.
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (427)
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Phoenix
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 22, 2012

Just back from our honeymoon, and can't say enough great things about the Hilton Papagayo. As an all-inclusive resort, they take care of everything. You can stay there a week and not have to break out any cash or credit cards even once. Only drawback is you're a little isolated from the rest of the beautiful country, so your options are to book a tour, an expensive bus ride into Coco Beach, or to rent a car. The room was clean and well appointed, and as an NFL fan deep into his fantasy season, I was able to catch some games on TV on Sunday. (They're Dolphins fans down there, who knew?) The view from just about every room is an unobstructed vista of the ocean, with maybe some birds in the foreground. Staff is friendly and eager to please, and able to acomodate any request I made, which was very helpful when my credit card landed under the floor of El Bocadillo. If you're an adventure traveller used to staying in hostels and beachside shacks, there's cheaper options out there for sure. If you want a truly relaxing vacation in a beautiful part of an exceptionally friendly country, I can't imagine anything better than the Hilton Papagayo.

Room Tip: choose one of the ones that isn't part of the multi-floor building, preferably opens out onto a...
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  • Stayed November 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jersey City, New Jersey
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2012

Hilton Papagayo is a little piece of heaven on Earth. The location was secluded and beautiful and the all-inclusive resort gave us a peace of mind. Because it was a gift from my bf, I don’t know what the cost was but for me every minute of relaxation & adventures included was worth it. Even though there were times that fish didn't taste that great for dinner, there were so many varieties and choices to pick from. I greatly appreciated that those who worked at the resort would always greet in Spanish and based on your comfortably with the language would continue to speak Spanish with you or speak English. I had a great time on Bike riding outside of the resort with a tour guide & exfoliating and massage classes on the beach. Because of the time frame, I didn’t get an opportunity to snorkel which is included. The pools & the views on the resort property were phenomenal. The folks that worked at the resort were very kind to us and always greeted us. My only complaint was the prices on the tours through the Hilton that are available. The tour company is 3rd party vendor and the prices start at $75 per person and higher. If you can book tours before hand with a trusted source for cheaper, do it! Otherwise, the Palo National Verde Park & Liberia Shopping was a good all-day tour for about $85/person. Here is some quick tips: it will be a lot easier if you have cash & you research what the conversion is before you convert your US Dollars into Colones (500 Colones for $1) so you get your fair share. Majority of place will take US Dollars. Also if you can, buy souvenirs in Liberia rather than at the resort because you will save a lot more money. If you are flying into Liberia International Airport, it is a 20 minute ride to the resort and about a $50 taxi ride (all together for 2 ppl). There summer season begins in November which is 75-80 degrees F. Overall it is a charming place & look forward to going back!

Room Tip: All rooms are accessible via shuttle or walking distances to the main area.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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.
Greensboro, North Carolina, United States
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2012

I have to admit staying at the Hilton Papagayo was one of the most relaxing events of my life, made more so by the absolute heck I had to go through to get there. Thankfully I booked with Beach Bum vacation travel agency and my agent Kathy was able to work miracles. She stuck through when my flight was cancelled the day before my trip and actually found me a new flight to make sure I got to my Dad's wedding (@ the Hilton) on time. After that the vacation was perfect, beautiful beaches, great food, zip-lining through the trees and kayaking in the ocean. Overall it was the best weekend ever and I can't wait to book my next trip with them.

  • Stayed November 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
New York City, New York
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rockville, Maryland
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 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
206 reviews 206 reviews
114 hotel reviews
Reviews in 101 cities Reviews in 101 cities
100 helpful votes 100 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.

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Additional Information about Hilton Papagayo Costa Rica Resort & Spa

Also Known As:
Hilton Papagayo Costa Rica Hotel
Hilton Papagayo Costa Rica Resort And Spa
Hilton Papagayo Costa Rica Hotel Gulf Of Papagayo
Fiesta Premier Costa Rica
Fiesta Premier Resort Spa
Hilton Gulf Of Papagayo
Gulf Of Papagayo Hilton
Fiesta Resort Costa Rica
Fiesta Premier Resort Spa Costa Rica
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 Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Family Hotel in Gulf of Papagayo
#2 Romantic Hotel in Gulf of Papagayo
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Gulf of Papagayo
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Gulf of Papagayo
#4 Luxury 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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