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“Well worth it.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Secrets Papagayo Resort & Spa

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Secrets Papagayo Resort & Spa
4.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Playa Arenilla, Costa Rica (Formerly Hilton Papagayo Costa Rica Resort & Spa)   |  
Hotel amenities
Muskegon, Michigan, United States
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Well worth it.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2013

We had a wonderful time at the resort. Everything was clean, the food was good, and the staff was very helpful. The number of restaurants was adequate and had many different choices. Coco beach was worth the time to see some of the local culture and a little tourist shopping. Not much close to the resort if you like to venture off.

  • Stayed February 2013, 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
    • 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.
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2,420 reviews from our community

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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 (624)
Date | Rating
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English first
Gainesville, Georgia
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2013

This is our second trip to this property ...the staff is the best .. when we drove up several of the staff remembered us from 2 years ago ..the food is great ... dinner was excellent every night .. the choice for breakfast were fresh and very good ... the staff at the bars were friendly and fun .. we did water arobics and had a blast every day ... we always go somewhere warm (hot) in February ... we have decided that instead of taking chances at places we don't know we will go back here year after year

Room Tip: we choose a room close to the pool with a view of the water ... if you want quiet go to the south si...
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  • Stayed February 2013, 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Whitby, Canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2013

We could not have said it better ourselves. In short the resort provided us with everything we needed, we got exactly what we paid for. The people were friendly and accommodating, the food was very good and the rooms were very clean. We were looking for a relaxing vacation and we recieved exactly what we were looking for. We will be back in the future.

Room Tip: For the best views rooms 228,229,230 for quiet and seclution rooms by the spa.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
northern IL
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2013

I am a diamond member and travel a lot so I have a good understanding of what to expect from a hotel/resort and this was more than I expected. We spent 7 days there from Feb 12th thru the 19th. We will go back first chance we get. The resort is a very nice size now while there are shuttles running every where we only used them checking in and checking out. We walked everywhere at our age when all the food and drink is very good and free we felt we needed to burn calories not just consume. The workout facility was very nice with all new machines in fact so new I have not seen them anywhere else yet and contrary to another post next to nobody there in the morning. Everyone there was very friendly and helpful. The Spa was reasonably priced I've paid more and my masseuse had magic hands and the spot by the beach was very quiet. Interesting wildlife to see if you look around. The only activiity we did was the sunset cruise and it was very nice there was a total of three couples on it. The only suggestions I have are the bartenders should be a little more proactive as opposed to reactive. They also need to know their drink menu a little better and/or add a number to the menu to help them understand what you are wanting.

Room Tip: in regards to the rooms everyone we talked to liked different aspects about the different areas. We...
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  • Stayed February 2013, 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Honolulu, Hawaii
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2013

Wonderful location and staff! We stayed there for four days and loved it. The staff was top notch, allways kind and helpfull. When my husband was not feeling well they sent up fruit and tea for him. I thought the inclusive service was a great value, the food and drink was very good. It added to my experence that we could try different foods and not worry about paying for something we didn't like. I highly recommend staying here.

Room Tip: For couples, ask for a room near the spa. Less crowded and no children are allowed in this area.
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  • Stayed February 2013, 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
69 reviews
56 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 181 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2013

I booked three nights here with my wife, 5-year old son, and infant daughter - after much deliberation.

Whenever I see a big split in ratings on TripAdvisor with half saying "excellent" and a vocal minority screaming "terrible", I usually chalk it up to people's mismatched expectations - and found this to be very true with the Hilton Papagayo.

So I'll make this simple. It's a perfectly acceptable 4-star all inclusive. Not 5 stars. Not 3 stars.

If you want sparkling marble, crisp service, perfectly appointed rooms, uninterrupted power, and top shelf liquor - 4.5 or 5 stars - you'll be disappointed here. You should be staying at the JW Marriott Guanacaste, or better yet, splurging at the Four Seasons further up the coast. However, you'll be paying for this privilege with rates that are double that of the Hilton.

On the other hand, this property is clearly not as bad as some reviewers make it out to be. Compared to the Occidental Allegro, which is a true 3-star all-inclusive just down the road, the Hilton's bungalows feel like Buckingham Palace, the food looks like it has Michelin stars, and the wine tastes like Chateau Lafite. Plus you don't have to wear a cheesy wristband. Of course, the Allegro is one-third the price. You get what you pay for.

LAYOUT
The resort is a nice size, not too big or too small for its limited number of rooms. It is, however, extremely hilly and with little kids, we made frequent use of the shuttles that ply its pathways. When we did decide to walk, we found it cooler and more direct to walk down to the beach and use that to cross the resort. The beach itself is nothing spectacular, but it is secluded and private. Most guests seemed to prefer the main pool area, which never seemed to get very crowded. We especially liked to relax under one of the many little palapas dotting the grassy hillside between the pool and beach areas.

ROOMS
They're older and in the process of being renovated. But they're also cool, comfortable, spotlessly clean, and nicely spaced away from each other. The minibar restocked daily with soft drinks and beer is a nice touch.

FOOD AND BEVERAGE
The food service was fine. You get about as much variety as you can expect in a 200-room property, with fresh ingredients and a little bit of flair, served promptly with a smile. When we asked for a special smoked salmon plate to be put together for our little boy, they were happy to oblige. The house wine was perfectly drinkable, mostly table fare from Chile and Argentina, served from the bottle. Let's put it this way - at a truly "bad" all inclusive, you get house wine poured from a gallon milk jug, and you won't find any smoked salmon at all. This was clearly not the case here.

SERVICE
Attentive enough, if a little casual and spotty. We had great waiters, bartenders, and housekeepers, but mediocre service at the front desk. Don't expect too much from the events staff - the kids' club was just a glorified playroom with a babysitter, and no one even bothered with many of the planned activities. Mostly, this is the sort of place where you just keep to yourself and chill with your loved ones. That was fine with us.

In summary, if you want a luxurious, over-the-top destination resort, look elsewhere and be prepared to pay for it. But if all you're looking for is a quiet place to chill with space, seclusion, attentive service, fresh food choices, decent drinks, and the convenience of an all-inclusive, this might be the place for you.

Room Tip: 100 level rooms are right by the beach, rising up to 400 up on the hill. We preferred to be closer t...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 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 13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2013 via mobile

My boyfriend and I had planned to stay at the Hilton for 5 nights ending out 10 night Costa Rican vacation. We chose the Hilton based on the location (we wanted to relax on the beach) and the great experience Ed we have had at Hilton's in other places.

We ended up switching our reservations after being at the hotel for 2 hours. We arrived around 2:00pm, which was early for check in but luckily our room as ready. We had to wait for a shuttle to take us to our room because the resort his HUGE and located in a mountain. We were crammed on the shuttle with about 10 other people. Once we opened the door to our room we immediately knew this place was not for us. The room was dirty, VERY small, had a terrible view (even though we paid for an ocean view room) and was not close to any of the amenities.

We returned to the lobby and asked to switch our room because we were not satisfied. The only solution they could come up with was a room that was exactly the same and two rooms away or our original one.

We tried to go to the beach to just relax and breathe for a minute, the beach was filthy with cigarette butts and was hardly a beach, mostly dirt and there were no chairs. We then tried to go to the adult pool and wouldn't even get in because the water was filled with dirt and leaves etc.

After two hours of being extremely disappointed we cancelled our reservation and switched hotels.

Do not waste your time and money at this place. Cost Rica is a beautiful country and an amazing place, don't ruin it by staying here.

  • Stayed February 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
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Additional Information about Secrets Papagayo Resort & Spa

Address: Playa Arenilla, Costa Rica (Formerly Hilton Papagayo Costa Rica Resort & Spa)
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Gulf of Papagayo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#3 Romantic Hotel in
#3 Family Hotel in
#7 Luxury Hotel in
#9 Top resorts Hotel in
#9 Spa Hotel in
#12 On the Beach Hotel in
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Secrets Papagayo Resort & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 202
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 
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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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