I'm not going to harp on everything you can read from other reviews- food okay at best but frequently bad, rooms in need of some TLC (shower broke 2x), only okay looking grounds, etc. I would like to say that on the positive side the staff, although severely under trained were incredibly nice. I got the sense they wanted to help and provide good service, maybe just lacked training which I consider Hilton's fault. Also positive is the beach, it is not "dirty" like others suggest, the sand is just a dark color from the volcanic rocks... it is actually pretty peaceful and the water very clear & enjoyable.
The first issue though is that I am so glad we used hotel points and didn't spend our own money to stay here. The cost of such lackluster experience would have made me pretty depressed. That being said, we were able to use points b/c of Diamond status.... which you don't really get the perks of at this hotel. We've stayed as Diamond members worldwide and have always had fabulous service with additional perks like executive lounges, prime rooms, etc. however that was not evident at this hotel. Yes, we did get the free internet in the room and yes, this is all inclusive but I still think there should be some other perk for being a Diamond member.... maybe a VIP bar/lounge area, top shelf liquor, etc. Just.... something. In fact, several of the restaurants have additional wine selections for purchase, I think that should be free if you have Diamond status since everything else is included, but it is not. Instead of top notch treatment, we were put into a double room b/c we wanted an ocean view and although the resort was definitely not full, were never able to move to a king room b/c of "availability" issues... not sure I believed that one. Also, my biggest issue was that while we left one day on an excursion we forgot to make dinner reservations and tried to make them when we got back. After being told by front desk and also by calling ourselves that all restaurants were full we had to play the "Diamond Card" on the phone and were finally given the last seating at El Dorado.... and walked into a half empty restaurant. I realize this might sound trivial or incredibly spoiled, but given that we spend literally months out of the year staying in Hilton's for work, I think you should be able to be accommodated in the restaurants without having to go through all that hassle only to find it barely occupied (also note that the reservation was for 9:15 for a restaurant that is supposedly open until 10pm).
My second issue would be with the spa. We booked a couples massage for our last evening there and while the massage itself was very good, there is nowhere to enjoy a couples experience. You're taken into the male/female locker rooms, which unlike most European spas clearly state you need to have your bathing suit and towel on for the sauna and hot tub to use on your own. Umm.... if I booked a couples massage, this is something I want to do with my boyfriend, but you can't. The spa was also empty and we were the last appointment of the day so I asked if it really mattered if I used the men's locker room or my boyfriend the ladies (again, you have to be clothed) but no go. The layout isn't the staff's fault, but if you're looking for a couples massage don't expect to get the full experience together. Also, DO NOT book the outdoor cabana. The Spa is right above the adult pool and next to a restaurant. We were lucky enough that most folks had left the pool for the day already and dinner service hadn't yet started.... but that didn't mean we couldn't hear every part of the dinner prep- dishes clanking, blenders running, staff instructions/conversations, etc. Again, not the staff's fault but a design flaw in the spa and not at all a relaxing atmosphere and probably even worse when people are actually at the pool so just be aware before you book any treatments.
Overall, the resort was just ok.... a good value I'm sure, just not at all what you'd expect from a Hilton.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Set in the exuberant Arenilla beach, Secrets Papagayo Costa Rica will offer adults a stunning Unlimited-Luxury(R) getaway in Costa Rica's Gulf of Papagayo. The secure community around Secrets Papagayo provides striking views of native flora and fauna and miles of unspoiled Pacific Coast beach. This all-suite resort boasts 202 spacious suites, each with a private balcony or terrace as well as a superb Unlimited-Luxury(R) experience starting with 24-hour room service, a daily refreshed mini-bar and more. The Preferred Club will provide an enhanced level of luxury with 65 ocean view suites and additional privileges including access to a private lounge, upgraded bath amenities and mini-bar, concierge service, pillow menu and much more. Guests will enjoy limitless gourmet cuisine, without reservations, at four restaurants and one café in addition to five bars that will serve unlimited top-shelf spirits. Days and nights are filled with land, beach and water activities and live entertainment. Two pools and a pristine beach await. Rejuvenation reigns supreme at the Secrets Spa by Pevonia(R), offering massage, body and facial treatments in 13 treatment rooms and a full-service beauty salon. Follow up this rejuvenation at the fully equipped fitness center or by taking part in one of many daily and nighttime activities. Just 20 minutes from the Liberia Airport and a mere 15 minutes from the touristic town of Coco Beach, Secrets Papagayo offers guests a privileged location both within the resort and throughout the area for an ideal Unlimited-Luxury(R) getaway on the Pacific Coast. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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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