We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Candid Review of the Hilton Papagayo” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hilton Papagayo Costa Rica Resort & Spa

Save Saved
You added Hilton Papagayo Costa Rica Resort & Spa to your Saves list
Best prices for your stay
Enter dates for best prices
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 7 more sites!
Hilton Papagayo Costa Rica Resort & Spa
4.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Playa Arenilla, Costa Rica   |  
  |  
Hotel deals
  |  
Hotel website
  |  
Hotel amenities
Special Rate
$104/person $50 credit
Ranked #5 of 16 Hotels in Gulf of Papagayo
Louisville, Kentucky
Top Contributor
80 reviews 80 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
123 helpful votes 123 helpful votes
“Candid Review of the Hilton Papagayo”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2012

My family and I stayed here from December 19th through December 28th. We had a very good experience. We stayed in rooms 216 and 217 which offer the best location for the pool and all of the restaurants but the Italian restaurant. The property is very hilly and some units require quite an effort to walk particularly if you want to go back to your room several times a day. A shuttle service is offered about every 15 minutes for transportation. I'm just inpatient when it comes to waiting on mass transit type transportation. Room 216 offers a view of the bay through the trees and is $75 dollars a day cheaper than room 217 which has virtually the same view. I found that unacceptable.

The food, with the exception of one bad meal, was very good particulary for an all inclusive.

The service was excellent. We regulary tipped the staff though many didn't tip. I didn't detect that we received any better service because we tipped. Still, I think it is the right thing to do.

We opted to go against Hilton's advice and use Issy's Tours rather the Hilton sponsored Swiss Tours. "Michael" is the local representative for Issy Tours. We met him on the beach. Ordinarily, I don't do business with anyone I meet on the beach but I allowed Michael to make his pitch because he seemed reasonable and friendly. I am glad I did because we had an even better vacation by using his tours. We went fishing, toured the national park toured the nearest city, Cocoa Beach and also went zip lining. His guides were outstanding. Issy Tours has excellent reviews from Tripadvisor followers. I recommend Issy Tours without qualification.

The property is very beautfiful and well maintained. The hotel grounds keepers are constantly working to keep the property looking pretty. Our rooms were clean and nice. The water in the bath tub didn't drain very well in room 217 but it was not a major issue.

The only real complaint I had about the property was that the internet which cost 16 dollars a day unless you were in the lobby of the hotel, kept going off as if the system was overloaded. It was aggravating to keep getting bumped off line. If use of the internet is important, I would not pay the daily rate unless you have a lot of patience for getting bumped.

All in all, our family of 4 really had a great time. This hotel is not perfect but then there are few hotels which I have ever rated a 5 star. It is excellent for families and couples. However, if you are looking for a party atmosphere this is not the place. That being said, you can always connect with others who want to have a very drinks and tell stories. (We did met some really nice people)

I would return to this hotel and I recommend it for you and your family.

Room Tip: Try getting a room close to the main pool and restaurants.
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

2,081 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    878
    726
    276
    123
    78
See reviews for
624
947
20
47
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    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 (510)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2012

My family spent 5 days at the Hilton Papagayo and I would honestly rate it as a 3.0 or 3.2 on a 5-point scale. It is NOT elegant or luxurious, but basic. On a positive side, the meals were good and the staff tried to provide an upscale experience, but were simply unable to. The bungalows are absolutely in poor condition and in desperate need of renovation, but at least they were clean. The air conditioning was barely workable and the amenities were minimal. In this location, you will NOT feel special nor pampered, so if you want that experience in this region, then make your reservations at the Four Seasons in Papagayo. I guess if you have young children, then this type of all-inclusive would be a good choice, otherwise, don't do it.

Room Tip: Most rooms have a nice view of the Gulf of Papagayo.
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 24, 2012

My husband and I recently returned from our stay at the Hilton.
Grounds: The Hilton is spread out over a large hill. From reading other reviews, I anticipated that it would be quit hilly, but I assumed I could walk most places. Once I there I quickly realized I really couldnt. There are shuttles constantly running which make navigating the grounds quick and easy. I never waited more than a few minutes to catch the shuttle. There are two pools, the large main pool had a swim up bar and lots of seating. There weren't many umbrellas, although if you wanted shade there were small huts just steps away on the beach. The beach is gray sand, a result of the volcanic area. It is also a short beach, but easy access.

Rooms: were set up as small bungalows usually two per building. The room was a basic hilton room with no frills. It could have used a little love, but they were clean. The mini fridge was free and included coke, coke light, beer and two giant bottles of water. The tv had multiple english speaking channels.

Food; Breakfast buffet was great. everything you could imagine. eggs, fruit, omlette station, traditional costa rican breakfast options, as well yogurt, breads, cheeses. The restaurants were average to above average. Our favorite was El Bocadillo. During the day they served fresh pizzas, sandwiches and salads. In the evening the menu changed to an assortment of black angus beef options as well as fish. The liquor was not top shelf,and if you wanted the Costa Rican beer Imperial you needed to ask for it, otherwise you were given a Mexican beer.

Service: everyone was extremely friendly and willing to help.

Don't forget; kayaks are free but not well publicized. We also enjoyed the bike tour offered by the Hilton, but dont forget to reserve a spot the day before. Wireless internet in the lobby is free and speedy. Also, there is no ATM on the property, the closest ATM is 20 minutes by car so plan accordingly.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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...
See more room tips
  • 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.
Liberia, Costa Rica
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 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...
See more room tips
  • 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...
See more room tips
  • 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.
Hotels you might also like...
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
Price Your Stay

Been to Hilton Papagayo Costa Rica Resort & Spa? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

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 Spa Hotel in Gulf of Papagayo
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Gulf of Papagayo
#4 Romantic Hotel in Gulf of Papagayo
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Gulf of Papagayo
#5 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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with BookIt.com, Expedia, Travelocity, Booking.com, Cheap Tickets, Tingo, Hotels.com, Priceline and Odigeo so you can book your Hilton Papagayo Costa Rica Resort & Spa reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
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

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Hilton Papagayo Costa Rica Resort & Spa, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.