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“Great week of vacation for a family of 10.” 4 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
Fair Oaks Ranch, Texas
Level Contributor
37 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
“Great week of vacation for a family of 10.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2013

My family of 5 children ages 3-12 and 5 adults just spent a week at the Hilton Papagayo and we had a wonderful time there. The resort is not overly large and is very family oriented.We had a total of 4 rooms between us and although one of the rooms was somewhat dated, they were very clean and very comfortable. One thing to keep in mind is that you are in a buggy environment and we did have some leaf cutter ants in our rooms the first few days, but after that they seemed to disappear. The food was very good and the variety great. Excursions were what we had expected (actually cheaper in price). Things operate on a slower pace here, but you are on vacation. Pools were lovely. I do wish water was available other than asking at the bar.

Room Tip: The higher up your room is the better the view. If you have small children you do not want a room...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miguel_Eugene, General Manager at Secrets Papagayo Resort & Spa, responded to this review, March 26, 2013
Thank you for taking the time in write about your recent experience at the hotel.

I was glad to read from your review that you and your family enjoyed your vacations at our property.

Comments and suggestions from our guests enable us to continually improve, and are vitally important in helping us achieve our Mission to be the first choice of the world's travelers.

Once again, the time taken along with the effort made to share your comments with us is most appreciated.

The Hilton Papagayo family looks forward to your return.
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2,417 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 (623)
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English first
Saint Paul, Minnesota
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2013

Good: This hotel is on a very nice piece of property. The help was slow but that was fine with me becuase i was on vacation and not in a hurry. The help was friendly and very nice. Bad: this hotel needs a major upgrade and is at best a 2.5 to a 3 star in the condition it is in. Our room had a broken toilet, cabinet door, the drain did not drain properly while taking a shower and the soap holder was broken. The room needed a good cleaning. The path/stairs going to our room had broken planks and bricks. Pool area, the pool was dirty, the bathroom next to the main pool smells and was dirty and the trash can door was broken and just hanging open. The urinal was ripped off the wall. Some of the outside furniture was broken and needed to be upgraded. Landscape: really needed to be cleaned up. The trash on the ground needed to be picked up. Main lobby area: it was very clean and what you would expect for a hilton hotel. Beach: trash was washed up on shore on the beach between the pools and sat there for the week we were there. Two of the four kayak we're broken. And the life jackets were dirty and smelled like mold. The brakes on the bike that my wife used did not work properly? This could be an unbelievable property if Hilton put some money into this resort. I would not recommend this resort if you are looking for a clean/upgraded resort. I cannot belive hilton has it name on this resort. It is way over priced at it current condition. It almost as if Hilton is in the process of trying to sell the resort and not put any money into it.

Room Tip: We had two other family's with us. Our room were in the 100s and there were in the 300. That sid...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 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.
Miguel_Eugene, General Manager at Secrets Papagayo Resort & Spa, responded to this review, March 26, 2013
I appreciate the review of your recent stay.

I am aware of the importance of guest feedback be it positive or negative. Therefore, I am grateful when guests take the time to write or inform us of their experiences.

We do everything we can to make sure our guests feel comfortable and have a pleasant stay and I can assure you that your comments and suggestions have been taken into consideration.
The Hilton Papagayo family looks forward to your return.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
68 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2013 via mobile

Spent five days at this resort with my family which consisted of three people.
The food is of good quality here and the rooms are clean and freshened daily - which includes restocking the mini bar with a few sodas, beers, and bottles of water. Overall, the staff is quite friendly which enhances the experience. I wish the restaurants had more flexible times to eat, but considering there are five of them on the property, it is not too much of an inconvenience. El Dorado was easily among the best even though its kitchen had a slip-up the night we went and it took them over an hour to get us our food (which had been sitting under the warming lamps for at least 20 minutes prior). Thankfully, however, our experiences at the other restaurants were better. Grille Del Fuego is the other I recommend. I had the salmon which was well prepared and served hot.
In addition, this property works with Alamo car rental service and Swiss Travel Company, both are located on property and have been reliable thus far.
Overall, I would recommended this property for shorter stays. If you are anything like my family, we don't like the same scenery/food for TOO many days at a time, so five days was plenty for us and that includes two guided tours and one half-day trip to coco beach on our own.

Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miguel_Eugene, General Manager at Secrets Papagayo Resort & Spa, responded to this review, March 27, 2013
Thank you for taking the time in write about your recent experience at the hotel.

We are pleased to read that you enjoyed the great amenities and the good service while stay at our hotel.

We hope that if you choose to return to this part of the world, please contact me directly for my personal attention to your reservation and any other need you may have
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
The Pas, Canada
Level Contributor
35 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2013

Spent a couple weeks here in February, lovely resort, more "rustic" than other higher end resorts, but perhaps to be expected in a country that touts ecology and nature - surroundings more natural than meticulously manicured. We enjoyed a bungalow on the outer edge past the spa, which turned out to be the best area. A long walk to the main pool and restaurant area along the pathways (shuttle service available 24/7 - take advantage of it), but not bad if you took the beach route. But, the main attraction - the wildlife everyday right outside our door! Howler Monkeys every day, coatimundi, cappuchin monkeys, racoons and tons of iguanas - incredible!
The rooms were well laid out - kudos to whoever decided on the bathroom vanity with a nice large drawer for storing toiletries! Best beds, pillows and sheets I've had anywhere in the Caribbean/Central America.
Food was very good at all restaurants, especially the fish. Pasta at Italian restaurant was also very good. Really easy to book dinner at any of the restaurants with little lead time and no limitations as to how many times you can eat there. The lunch and dinner buffet is not a true buffet - soup, salad and bread are -entry is chosen and served.
Bartenders, (shout out to Pablo!) and daily activity co-coordinators (shout out to Rueben!) were wonderful. The resort was quiet most days, but try to take advantage of the daily activities if you're around during the day, they are worth the time. Easy to find a lounge anywhere, beach, pool or shade and my favorite - no towel Nazis! Beach was very hot most days due to the volcanic ash in the sand, on days when it was not too windy it was worth heading out for a snorkel along the rocks on the left side of the beach - lots of fish to see and only a few jellyfish to contend with. It was disappointing to see the dead coral washed up on the beach every morning - not sure what's up with that.
Only a few areas for improvement as far as we were concerned. One being evening entertainment which was very limited and usually only lasted for 1 - 1 1/2 hours, by 10 o'clock it was done. Another was the WiFi - free only in the lobby, which was a big hike up the hill and only good for an hour a day, otherwise it was a cost of $15/day - a little steep just to check and send the occasional email. Watersports were pretty limited as well, they had kayaks, jetskis and snorkel gear available if you didn't have your own, but that was about it and they shut down at 3:30pm everyday (just as it was getting cool enough to consider doing something).
Spa was great too. Enjoyed a massage late one afternoon, wish I'd had the time to take advantage of relaxing in the sauna and Jacuzzi. Prices very reasonable.
Overall a great holiday, clean, good food, service and beds!
Oh, one tip - if you're booked with Air Canada - don't do the tours through them, the rep is a dud, you'll never see him and the tours are much better quality through Swiss Tours or Private company than CRT - disappointed in guides and tour content through them.

Room Tip: Rooms to the left of the spa on the edge of resort property are best for seeing a lot of wildlife...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miguel_Eugene, General Manager at Secrets Papagayo Resort & Spa, responded to this review, March 26, 2013
Thank you for your feedback regarding your stay at our hotel

I was glad to read from your review that you enjoyed our bungalows, the wildlife, the food, our courteous and friendly staff and our Spa.

I hope that if you choose to return to this part of the world, please contact me directly for my personal attention to your reservation and any other need you may have
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bermuda
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2013

We spent 7 days and everyday was great. Our first all inclusive holiday and we will go back soon. The staff are first class and helped make our stay very pleasant. Food was excellent and the portions were small, tasty and after three courses you were full but not stuffed. El Bocadillo and El Dorado (AC) are the best. Make your dinner reservations on arrival. Swiss Tours were good...maybe more expensive but having a nice air condition bus for an hour or so was well worth it. Beach facilities were good. If you don't want to get burned the beach huts are a must. Best beach times are 9-12 and 3-5 as it is really hot down there. Rooms could be updated but were acceptable. The trolley service was good and you never waited long after calling for one. We mostly started walking and one would come by and pick up us. Not sure how to get a room made up so when you come back after lunch to get out the heat you don't have to worry about the maid showing up to clean your room. I tired but was not successful as they clean right up to 5 pm. Wasn't impressed with the pre arranged car service as ordered a BMW pick up to find out they don't have one! Great holiday if you are going there to relax and/or do some tours. Take $100 or so in small bills as you will want to tip certain people who make your holiday even better.

Room Tip: 300 area by the spa are good and if you get on the hill side the views are much better. 374 was grea...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miguel_Eugene, General Manager at Secrets Papagayo Resort & Spa, responded to this review, March 26, 2013
Thank you for taking the time in write about your recent experience at the hotel.

I was happy to read from your review that you enjoyed our food at the a la carte restaurants, the tours with Swiss Travel and our people.

Thank you again for your feedback and I invite you back to stay with us the next time your travels bring you to the area.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
52 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2013

Prior to arriving at Hilton Papagayo, my husband and I had spent 10 days travelling around Costa Rica going hiking, kayaking, zip lining and the like. We'd planned the final four days of our trip at the Hilton Papagayo for some rest and relaxation in a wonderful setting with some fantastic weather. And we weren't disappointed!

The site itself had something quite calming about it - the thatched open-sided buildings just oozed a laid-back attitude. And the friendly staff made us feel very welcome.

The room (chalet) was quite nice - not massive, but a good size, comfortable, and made special with the wonderful towel animals that were left for us each day. (We could have opened a small zoo by the end of our stay!) We had chosen a room by the adult-only pool because we were worried about there being lots of kids at the main pool, but we actually spent much of our time at the main pool as there weren't many kids (it wasn't school holidays) and the kids that were there weren't disruptive.

The site itself is big but we were pleased to get some exercise walking to and from our room, and jeeps were always passing if we wanted a lift (we just had a bit of a wait for one once during our stay). And the site is quite well lit so we didn't have any worries about walking around at night.

The food and drink were very good. Breakfast was wonderful - the fantastic choice you'd expect from a big hotel. There were a few restaurant choices for lunch - which ranged from snacks at the bar (nachos, breaded chicken etc.) to a full-on three course lunch - we tried both and both were very good. There are a number of choices for dinner (both inside and out) and all the restaurants we tried served very good food. El Bocadillo, which we had understood to just provide snacks, proved to be a wonderful restaurant with a nice atmosphere (though you can still get snacks from the main bar if this is what you want). You do need to book restaurants and on one occasion we couldn't get in to the restaurant we'd chosen, when booking a day in advance. The cocktails are great too, with a wide-ranging menu of cocktails that are all included.

The activities at the hotel were good - we did an interesting bike trip, the beach volleyball was great fun, and we borrowed some snorkel equipment and managed to see some interesting fish just off the beach. We played tennis twice - both the court and the equipment were good. Although the yoga wasn't well attended (I was the only attendee) and the cooking class wasn't that informative. Ruben at the activities desk is fantastic and brought a lot of energy to all of the activities that we did with him.

There were some nice added extras too - like little fruit snacks being brought round by the pool and a free short massage by the pool.

If I had to criticise anything I'd say that the welcome was a little disappointing - no one rushed to take our bags, and our welcome drinks were forgotten until the last minute, though were wonderful when we got them! The pools are nice but not massive, and there isn't service of drinks at the poolside - you need to go to the bar yourself. Also some of the evening entertainment wasn't to our liking - dance classes, karaoke (which luckily didn't go ahead in the end!) and the like - these are situated in the middle of most of the restaurants so it's tricky to get away from them (although there is one restaurant that's set apart). But this is if I'm being hyper-critical!

I had been worried about there being geckos, lizards etc. in our room or on the walk back from the restaurants to our room (I'm a bit of a baby when it comes to wildlife!) but this was no problem at all. There was a big lizard by the pool on a couple of occasions, that caught everyone's attention, and a couple of cats who could be a bit annoying when you were eating outside, but nothing more than that.

All in all Hilton Papagayo provided a wonderful, relaxing end to our time in Costa Rica - Pura Vida!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
Miguel_Eugene, General Manager at Secrets Papagayo Resort & Spa, responded to this review, March 26, 2013
Thank you for your feedback regarding your stay at our hotel.

I am pleased to know your comments and particularly than that we met and exceeded your expectations.

In addition, I took note of your suggestions about the welcome drink and the pool cleanliness. Thank you for bringing it to our attention.

I hope that if you choose to return to this part of the world, please contact me directly for my personal attention to your reservation and any other need you may have
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Guelph, Canada
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2013

We joined some friends and their kids for a week at this hotel. It was perfect for all of us. It was not so big that we could not find each other for meals or a swim. Loved our bungalow and it's location. Enjoyed the Adult area by the spa for the day and the spa services. Would definitely stay here again.

Only complaint is the food/service in the Spa area left a bit to be desired. The staff closed the bar area early all the time and were quite curt about not serving you. This left you to go to the main pool area (a shuttle or a walk away) to get a drink of water. If they close for serving I think they should leave out a water dispenser at least especially since the heat was in the high 30C's and 38C most days.

The food in the bar and the other two restaurants was very good. Service was great and the selection was decent.

Room Tip: We had bungalow 208 right above the main pool area so it was super convenient to the lobby and main...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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 2
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 Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Family Hotel in
#3 Romantic Hotel in
#7 Luxury Hotel in
#9 Top resorts 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):
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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