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“Great short getaway” 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
$129/person ALL INCLUSIVE
Ranked #5 of 16 Hotels in Gulf of Papagayo
Pickering, Canada
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“Great short getaway”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 20, 2012

We first came to this hotel when it was the Fiesta Premiere resort. We liked it so much then that we decided to book a last minute holiday there again. Now that Hilton has taken it over, it is even better. You don't always have to eat in the main buffet restaurant as every evening one can reserve a table in any of the three specialty restaurants. Food is superb and the beds are extremely comfortable.

Room Tip: Tropical bungalows in the adult area are lovely and have access to a swimming pool which is not busy...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,153 reviews from our community

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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 (528)
Date | Rating
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English first
Liberia, Costa Rica
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 20, 2012

The main pool area (and the only one that kids are allowed at) has no shade, no umbrellas, and is surrounded on three sides by buildings, the fourth side is a dirt beach and and looks run down. There is too much concrete and few trees/plants in the main area (rooms do have some nature around them). The all inclusive food is only a buffet for breakfast, otherwise it is a la carte and the menu is terribly disappointing, gross and unedible at times. Service not great. Due to the hills and distance between everything there are motor carts running everywhere at all times carrying people around which adds to the noise, exhaust, and the sense that you are not in real Costa Rica at all. We left early and the only nice thing I can say is that the management was very kind to not charge us.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
California
Top Contributor
73 reviews 73 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 41 cities Reviews in 41 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 17, 2012

My husband and other relatives stayed here last week and we all had a great experience. The hotel wasn't crowded yet so we always found great places by the pools and under the palapas on the beach. The food was good in each restaurant and none of us ever got sick from the ice or water. The staff were so friendly and helpful and the pork tenderloin and mango mojito at the Dorado restaurant was excellent. We stayed in a king bungalow and liked that so much more than being in the regular part of the hotel. The AC always worked great and it was quiet. Iguanas were always on our front deck and we had a partial ocean view, right across from the adult pool location. We never had bugs in our room and everything was clean. The shuttles rarely took more than two minutes to pick us up and drive us to the main pool area or lobby. You do have to pay for wi-fi if you want it in your room, otherwise it's always free in the lobby. Very relaxing and a great stay overall.

Room Tip: Request a King Bungalow if you can - closer to the ocean and away from all the adjoining hotel rooms...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lindsay, Canada
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 14, 2012

We travelled here 2006. We were seeking something a little different in the way of noncommercialized, non overly populated hotel and surroundings. We were not dissappointed. the hotel itself, bought shortly after our visit by Hilton, was by travel standards ,that we have come to know, not overly opulent. No marble and glitz but comfortable and clean. In some ways refreshing and interesting. Quite hilly but with exceptional views and a shuttle always at hand. and. the food was very good. the beach was dark volcanic sand with darker water but was warm in January. The excursions were some of the best that we have ever done and reasonable; zip lining, boating in bracksh crocodile waters, hot springs and mud baths, horseback, scooters and from the resort, seadoos that were in good condition and did a lenghy excursion into open sea/coast line. We hired a private van with tour guide and went into a small town for some shopping. The resort also offered deep sea fishing and scuba dive expeditions. Staff were friendly and cheerful. It was a quieter atmosphere; not much in entertainment area but we thoroughly enjoyed this trip.

Room Tip: the higher up the hill, the better the view. Above spa is quieter. water depots for bottle refills...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, Oregon
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2012

First trip to Costa Rica was not sure what to expect. It is a 1st class hotel and grounds which are spread over a hillside. If you don't like to walk very far and up and down short hills you have a shutttle option. Hotel staff were very accommodating and helpful in identying outside the resort activities. There is very little in terms of things todo within short distances from the resort. Several walking trails close at hand but no towns or shopping. Weather can be a factor but we were lucky and had warm/hot days while there. The beach is cove like but ample room for guests and the water is warn enough to stay in for extended period of time.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Walnut Creek, California
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 10, 2012

If you are a heavy user these charges might rub you the wrong way, if not, you may tolerate the irritating little fees along the way and skip this part. Either way I didn’t expect it at the ‘all inclusive’ Hilton. Here’s the skinny: Wi-fi is only free in the main lobby. Wifi elsewhere or use of Hotel computers is $3us per hour. You buy blocks of time in 15 min. increments. And here’s the kicker--once you log in, your time is spent whether you used 1 minute, or all of it on your log-out. And worse, no one told me that! Stacking up a few cheap moves might have the potential to cancel out a-whole-lotta positives. Why risk it.

The Hotel
The Hotel features immaculate, canopy-covered park-like grounds and private two-unit apartment bungalows spread out over several acres. It’s a great property for walkers. The terrain is hilly and occasionally steep where it’s about a 10 minute walk to about everything. Alternates can choose to dial ‘0’ from your room for a shuttle with usually snappy door-to-door service. Rooms are either ocean or interior views. The Hotel features two separate beaches with a main common area, and quieter, more exclusive side.

Hikers will love that they can access beaches beyond the property and find kilometer after kilometer of beautiful, primitive crescent-shaped beaches separated only buy low and moderately easy, navigable lava rock formations with tide pools along the way. You’ll find Panama Beach to the south and a nearly deserted Nature Preserve to the north—a great place for a private picnic.

Nav Tip: Use the beach to navigate between the north (quieter side) and south (Main area) of the Hotel—it’s much quicker and less hilly. If you want to go-rogue there’s a Restaurant on Panama Beach that might be worth trying.

Rooms
We stayed in room 310. If you don't mind the noise from service scooters, mini-trucks and shuttles 3.5 meters from your door at a 4-way intersection, the room is fine. But so are many other rooms--without the noise. The room is simpler and smaller than we expected, but clean and well appointed. We asked for a different room twice, but on both occasions desk personnel said they had to ‘check with the manager’. Right. Choose your room carefully based on your personal preferences and be sure to specify views.

Food
Cheers to the chefs at the Hilton—the new menu’s are inspired, and finally someone knows how to cook fish without killing it. Beef lovers will swoon over the Finest Argentine cuts. There are four restaurants on site and good food all-around. I would’ve liked to see a little more local dishes though…otherwise no major disappointments. Prompt, cheerful table service.

Personnel
Staff works hard and service is good. Most seem pretty happy and speak good English.

Potential Caveats
The Hotel is isolated from local culture in a hermetically sealed environment far from any civilization. This might be a good thing for romantics or if you don’t want to be disturbed. If not, you can rent a car starting at $50us per day in the main lobby where you can explore the best Costa Rica has to offer on your own at a significant discount to rates posted for tours at the hotel. Car rentals require a $1,000.00us refundable security fee.

Room Tip: Look at the hotel site map before choosing your room. Choose carefully away from main service pathw...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Queens, New York
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2012

This was trip for my big 30th. The views from the rooms and lobby are beautiful. I guess did not realize during my booking that the rooms were bungalow style. This required shuttle service to the main grounds. The rooms were up to date and clean. My only compliant is that they can light up the paths better in some bungalow areas. I was happy that the spa and fitness room was under renovation during out stay but our you guide (off the property) made us forget all about it. The food was good in all the restaurants. My only complaint about food is that when you order at the main bar it takes FOREVER and the they confuse the orders a lot. Overall the resort was very quite. Not too many late 20's early 30's folks on the property. The night life was a bit boring too. Playing Bingo and Jenga wasn't what we wanted. But if your looking for pure relaxation this may be the hotel for you.

Room Tip: Rooms in the 300"s are nice.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 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 Romantic Hotel in Gulf of Papagayo
#4 Spa 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*
Number of rooms: 202
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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