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“Not bad but does not meet hilton standards” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Hilton Papagayo Costa Rica Resort & Spa

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Hilton Papagayo Costa Rica Resort & Spa
4.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Playa Arenilla, Costa Rica   |  
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Ranked #5 of 16 Hotels in Gulf of Papagayo
Salt Lake
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Not bad but does not meet hilton standards”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 4, 2013

Overall our trip has been great and there is nothing so bad that I would say stay away. The grounds are beautiful, for the most part the staff is great, the rooms are clean and comfy (except the big ants) and the food is ok.

Two things, first we have stayed in many all inclusive resorts so I have a lot to compare with. Second, I'm a total foodie.

We're here at the start of the rainy season so we have enjoyed lush green surroundings, butterflies, all sorts of birds and animal sounds. We sit on our little balcony watch the lightening shows and listen to the surf and thunder.

We took a day tour to the Borinquen mountain resort, had a 30 min horse back ride, I did not like it but my hubby did, zip line, again I was terrified and hubby loved it, we used mineral mud and hot spring pools. Overall a great day. Was not impressed with Liberia. No significant architecture, city plaza, or historical buildings. A clean city but not pretty or interesting.

We took a cab to coco beach. What a hole... It's like a street full of really junky souvenirs all the same, most of it not made locally or relevant to Costa Rica. Pass this up.

The staff makes this place enjoyable and can just as easily leave a very sour taste. For example, we stayed primarily at the adult only pool, for 4 days the staff never brought drinks around, did not pay attention to the opening time of 11 and in general were not nice. However, the staff in the other bar and all the resturants were super nice and friendly all the time. I commented on the staff at the pool to a hilton staffer and the next day it was completely different and has stayed that way for the remainder of the trip

I wish they had a dedicated caribian or Costa Rican resturant over a not so good itialian one. The local flavors are great but you only get a small smattering at the buffet once a week. Overall the food is ok but many of my dishes were Luke warm at best, way over salted to the point of not edible, or way over cooked. The food would be much better if it were just prepared properly. I understand that will not happen at the buffet but at a reservation only resturant that seats under capacity and your willing to wait for your meal should never pre cook their meat and fish. It's just not necessary if you not feeding large crowds.

Will we come back to this resort, no. Will we recommend Costa Rica, yes.

  • Stayed July 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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 Hilton Papagayo Costa Rica Resort & Spa, responded to this review, July 5, 2013
I just wanted to thank you for your recent stay here at Hilton Papagayo Costa Rica Resort & Spa !

I am happy to hear you had a great trip and that you found the grounds to your liking.


We are constantly monitoring the performance of our hotel against Hilton's high service and quality standards. Comments 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.

Sincerely,
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2,201 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    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 (541)
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Chicago, Illinois
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 4, 2013

My husband (a Hilton Diamond member for years) and I visited this hotel back in December 2011. The website looked nice - we have not had any problems with Hilton and usually enjoy every place we travel. We had planned a trip to Costa Rica to stay 4 days in Arenal (not at a Hilton) and 4 days in Guanacaste. The first part of our trip was so great in Arenal. We didn't want to leave but thought surely this beach location was going to be even better. FALSE. We had checked out trip advisor a couple days before heading to Hilton Papagayo and someone (who seemed completely normal and honest) said there was a cockroach in their hotel room in their bed! We were a little nervous but willing to give it a completely fair shot. We should have listened to them. First day there - had a snack at the bar (tasted like they had warmed it up out of the freezer) and their margarita machines were premixed. Ok - fine. First afternoon - 5pm - see a large cockroach in the room - and I know it did not come in through the door. Called desk - they sent a maintenence guy with a can of RAID. Are you kidding me?! Decided to go to dinner anyway. That night, had reservations at the hotel restaurant at 8pm - waited until 9:00pm to seat us for no reason. Food was subpar - but we thought, maybe our last hotel was just even more awesome than we had thought. We had been there for maybe 9 hours and had all these horrible experiences. I called the front desk - which by the way - your "villa" is a ride away from the lobby. You have to wait for these dirty buses that come every 15 minutes to take you to and from. You can hear every 15 minutes when one goes by - I have no idea how people get any sleep or relaxation when it sounds like a go cart race outside of your door (and we live in a city, so we are used to noise). Back to the front desk - the woman on the phone gave me total attitude when I said this just wasn't working. I quote "What do you want me to do about it?" I was furious. The best part of that trip was when they sent a car service to take us to the airport. Yes - we cut our trip 3 days short because it was THAT bad. Not only these experiences but the hotel rooms were gross and this place was NOT what it seemed it would be. I would highly NOT recommend this hotel.

Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miguel_Eugene, General Manager at Hilton Papagayo Costa Rica Resort & Spa, responded to this review, July 10, 2013
Greetings from Costa Rica!!
Thank you for sharing your thoughts about our nicer Website.

According to your comments your last visited was in 2011. two years have passed and many changes we have been doing . We would like to invite you to visit Hilton Papagayo Costa Rica Resort & Spa and share your own experience with us!

Thank you again for your review and I invite you back to stay with us the next time your travels bring you to the Guanacaste area.

Sincerely,
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Waldorf, Maryland
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2013

First off... I NEVER write reviews. My family and I spent 6 wonderful nights at the resort, two adults, a 12 yr old and a 9 month old. The rooms are nice and the air condition is cold (a major plus), some rooms seem to be a little more renovated than others. I read tons of reviews before selecting this resort. One review pointed out that the resort covers a large area and that the 300 and 400 building are far from the main area. This is true... there are shuttles that run 24/7 to accommodate all your needs.

Upon check we were given room 406 and we requested a closer room. The staff quickly switched us to a closer room, 122. This allowed us to have a quick walk to food and fun. If you are looking for seclusion and total quiet and don't mind a little distance the 300/400 rooms will be great for you. The staff provided us with a crib and the room came with two beds. I am very picky about cleanliness and the room was awesome. We had the same cleaning person everyday and she was great. NOTE: The only negative about the entire resort is the bed size. If you get a double room the beds are bigger than a twin but smaller than a queen.

Food: The food is EXCELLENT and the staff is even better. The food is way better than the typical "resort" food. Three of the restaurants require reservations for dinner so make sure to make your call early.

Staff: Everyone was very nice and welcoming from arrival to departure. We had our 9 month old daughter Chloe and I felt like everyone knew her name by day 2 or 3. The staff was very accommodating in every way... high chairs, to tracking down yogurt when I forgot the baby food in the room, setting up tours... "Uncle" Autouro is the best please tell him that Chloe says hello!

Entertainment: There is not as much entertain as some other resorts but that's the trade off of being a smaller resort. There is a kids area with video games and other activities. There was always some type of music playing and some nights it was live musicians. The pools are wonderful and were not overcrowded. There's also jet-skis, snorkeling, tons of off resort tours (all at add't cost).

Weather: WE were warned by friends that June was the rainy season but it only rained once over night and one evening. Thats amazing!

SPA: My husband enjoyed the spa just be careful with the deep tissue massage. It can be pretty intense.

This was our first trip to the resort but it will not be out last.

Room Tip: The 100 and 200 rooms are closer to fun and main area. The 300 and 400 rooms are closer to the spa...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 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
    • 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 Hilton Papagayo Costa Rica Resort & Spa, responded to this review, July 10, 2013
Thank you for staying with us at the Hilton Papagayo Costa Rica Resort & Spa..

I am happy to hear that you had a wonderful stay and that our staff was great and friendly I will be sure to share your comments with them.

In addition we appreciate that you gave us the opportunity of sharing our little corner of paradise by making you a member of the ` Pura Vida’ philosophy that permeates from the people of Costa Rica.

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.

Sincerely,
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Abilene, Texas
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2013

My wife and two daughters stayed at the hotel in June and we couldn't have enjoyed it more. The staff were all very friendly and went out of their way to make sure we were happy. The grounds were immaculate, beds comfortable and rooms clean. The hotel covers a huge area, but shuttles are constantly running if your don't want to walk the grounds. Would definitely recommend this hotel. Pura vida!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miguel_Eugene, General Manager at Hilton Papagayo Costa Rica Resort & Spa, responded to this review, July 3, 2013
Greetings from Costa Rica!!
I just wanted to thank you for your recent stay here at Hilton Papagayo Costa Rica Resort & Spa !
I am happy to read that you and your daughters had a great time and particularly we met and exceeded your expectations during your vacations.

We are all about Satisfaction Guaranteed and I will let the Staff know that they helped make your trip great!

We can’t wait to see you again soon.
Pura Vida!!!
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Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2013

Resort

Sprawling, which is nice if you want to be a little more separated from others. Need to call for a shuttle service that runs pretty promptly, except during peak hours when you could wait 10 to 20 minutes. Walking one side to the main central area is about 20 minutes, unless you cut through the beach! We didn't find this out until half-way through our stay. Many of the rooms are in two-unit bungalows, while there are some larger ones on the property. Rooms are clean, but they are in slight need of a little updating (at least in the 300-section where we were staying). Size of the rooms was good. There is a quieter spa area near the 300-section that we liked and a louder, more crowded main area.

One thing to be careful about - bugs tended to find their way into our room. We had a colony of baby spiders in our coffee pot, although we didn't use it. It was still creepy and obviously hadn't been cleaned in a while. The room cleaners were pretty prompt and good though.

Food

Alcoholic drinks only started being served at 11 am. There are a number of different places to get food - a main restaurant (La Cosecha), two other specialty restaurants by the main area (El Dorado and El Bocadillo), and another by the spa (Grill del Fuego). The snack bar and swim-up bar I'll skip. La Cosecha was the only place to get breakfast, which was buffet style (only for breakfast). It was probably the most consistently good food, since you could predict what they'd have, especially the fruit in February. It did get a bit repetitive though. Lunch and supper are a la carte at any restaurant. You have to make reservations if you want to go to one of the "special restaurants" for supper. Otherwise go to La Cosecha. Lunch at Bocadillo or Cosecha was good. Lunch at Fuego was passable, but probably healthier. Supper at Bocadillo is great if you like meat (probably the best), OK at Dorado, hit or miss at Cosecha, and pretty bad at Fuego. Do not order the pasta at Fuego. La Cosecha offered different theme suppers and sometimes got super busy. Expect a long wait if you go at a busy time.

Entertainment - They offered snorkeling and kayaking for free on the property. It was pretty cool. Otherwise, night entertainment was pretty non-existant on the resort. Good for a quiet couples retreat, but don't expect any dance clubs or shows offering services until the wee hours of the morning.

Excursions

They had an on-site booking office for excursions, but we booked through a different company Prices were pretty similar between the two. These companies really only drive you to a place, and they probably all use the same local service. We did zip lining at the Arenal Volcano region with an afternoon at the hot springs - highly recommended. White water rafting down the Tenorio river - highly recommended. A river cruise in some local park - very boring, and not worth it. We heard the sunset cruise/snorkeling excursion is good, but didn't go.

Money

We weren't sure before we left, but they will take American here and any of the tourist locations. Excursions can be booked with American or credit card. Any souvenir shop where there are tourists will usually accept American or credit card.

Room Tip: Rooms near the spa area are quiet.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miguel_Eugene, General Manager at Hilton Papagayo Costa Rica Resort & Spa, responded to this review, July 10, 2013
Thank you for your review of our hotel and food restaurant. We are very sorry that you were
disappointed with our food and we have shared your comment with our culinary team.

We are improving our menu with your recommendations in mind. The next time you are in Guanacaste , we hope you will come back to see the changes we have made and tell us what you think. We want to provide you with the best guest experience. Thank you for helping us improve!

Sincerely,
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
United States
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2013

Hotel is a nice place. The hotel staff is very friendly, however I did feel some pressure for tipping the staff. Not something I want to feel in all-inclusive hotel, I'm looking to relax and not worry about such things. Also the drinks were watered down you really can't even get buzzed even on 3 drinks and I'm small framed person. However the drinks were tasteful. The beach is a nice place to relax and read a book. However, it would be nice if they had someone pick up some of the trash littered on the beach. It wasn't really bad however there were cups and straws for days and no one picked them up. The food was excellent I do have a gluten free diet and they did try to accommodate which was very nice. Although they do need to improve the quality of the gluten free breads and pastries but the effort was made and appreciated. These are a just a few things to point out but I would stay here again. Overall it was really nice place to come and stay.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service

Review collected in partnership with Hilton Hotels & Resorts

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 Hilton Papagayo Costa Rica Resort & Spa, responded to this review, July 3, 2013
Greetings from Costa Rica!!
I just wanted to thank you for your recent stay here at Hilton Papagayo Costa Rica Resort & Spa !

I am happy to hear you found the staff and especially the beach and the food to your liking.

We did take note in your comments concerning the pressure that you experimented for tipping the personnel and your suggestions on the subject of the drinks and the gluten in the food.

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.

Sincerely,
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Apple Valley, United States
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 26, 2013

We never met a staff member that was not friendly and helpful. The rooms are clean and the grounds are clean. Every other guest that we talked with said the same thing about the the employees liking their jobs. Even the maintenance staff were so friendly if you requested something be repaired or replaced. We cannot wait to return for another vacation.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 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

Review collected in partnership with Hilton Hotels & Resorts

Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miguel_Eugene, General Manager at Hilton Papagayo Costa Rica Resort & Spa, responded to this review, June 28, 2013
Thank you for your review. I am pleased to hear you enjoyed your stay and will let our staff know that they contributed to your enjoyment. It’s difficult to find amazing team members but we are pretty proud of our selection of them]. We hope to see you again soon.

Sincerely,
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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 Romantic Hotel in Gulf of Papagayo
#3 Family Hotel in Gulf of Papagayo
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Gulf of Papagayo
#4 Spa 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*
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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