We went to the Hilton Papagayo from April 16 to 26, 2013 for some rest, relaxation and sun. It was the ending of the dry season so everything around the resort was brown. We stayed in a bungalow near the spa and the spa pool. It was quiet and restful. The bungalow was not far from the spa pool and faced the gulf so we could hear the gentle waves as they splashed on the beach. The bungalow was pleasant and the bed was comfortable. The TV even had a few channels in English so we could keep up with the news. Most of the staff spoke English so we never really had a language problem. There is a room safe to keep valuables and the furniture was typical hotel stuff but ok. The small refrigerator was stocked every day with a couple of beers, some soda and a bottle of water. There were also packets of coffee to make fresh Costa Rican coffee in the am. The room as generally clean and the air conditioning worked fine. Although they mopped the floor every day, they didn't always get in the corners and behind the toilet. The fixtures were old and a bit worn. They should be replaced.
The staff was generally wonderful, pleasant and welcoming. It was hot outside (generally in the 90+ Fahrenheit and we often took two showers a day. The bed was made every day and a towel-animal was placed on the bed. There were two wash bowls and a huge mirror. Shaving was easy and there was always plenty of hot water.
FOOD: Breakfasts were at the restaurant (El Chescha?) by the main pool. The breakfasts were wonderful. Omelets were made to order and there were scrambled eggs every day. Lots of bacon, sausages, potatoes and usually a Costa Rican specialty like beans and rice or baked honeyed plantains. There was lots of fruit including sweet mangoes, watermelon, cantaloupe, and whole fruit like apples and bananas. The coffee was Costa Rican and superb. There were small pastries to finish off a great breakfast. At night the breakfast restaurant was also the buffet which was also very good.
The El Diablo (? not sure of name) restaurant was very good, especially the fish. Steak is not good in Costa Rica because it is not very thick and is not very marbled with fat. Vegetables were plentiful and good. The Restaurant by the spa specializes in Italian fare and it is ok but not outstanding. The El Bocadillo (?) restaurant by the spa is also ok but I had a steak there and it wasn't very good. Overall, the food is good but not outstanding except for the breakfasts. The liquor does not seem very strong and I suspect it may be watered. There a lots of fruit drinks including the Howler Monkey and the Sunset Papagayo Gulf.
TOURS: The Divers group at the resort was very friendly. A young lady there, Grace, was simply charming. She even brought us some cashew fruit after telling us about it the day before. She went out of her way to get it for us and it was so very thoughtful. It was the highlight of our stay. We took the Wednesday afternoon sunset cruise on the sailboat out into the Pacific, out of the Gulf, and it was terrific and worth every penny. Dolphins swam along side the sailboat, we saw Monkey (King Kong) rock, and we experience a gorgeous sunset. It was delightful. We also took an ISSYS tour to Arenal but that is a separate review.
OVERALL: Overall it was a pleasant experience but it is not the 6 gold apples that Apples Tours says it is. It was generally easy to get a shuttle to get around the resort. It does have lots of birds, lizards, a few monkeys, cats and raccoons that begged near the open restaurants.
Wear sunscreen as the sun will burn as it is more intense in this area of the world. Also, bring water shoes as the beach is black sand and gets very hot during the day. If you want to be constantly pampered, go to the Riu Palace where they constantly ask if they can do something for you according to a couple we met at the Hilton. We don't care for that and the Hilton gave us the R and R we needed. It is an ok resort but not a luxury resort.
- 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