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“Vacation paradise” 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
Brunswick, Georgia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Vacation paradise”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 9, 2013

This resort was everything I imagined and more. Simply a tranquil, relaxing paradise! We were only there for for 4 days and it was not enough.
The resort landscaping was gorgeous, the villas were not very big but suited our accommodations. The housekeeping team were prompt and always left towel animals on our beds. They were always a phone call away regardless of the hour.
Transportation was on point. Julio was our "running man", it seemed as if he was always around when we needed him.
The food and drinks were abundant, very tasty! Always some familiar items with a local flare. You will definitely not be disappointed in any of the four restaurants.
I was there in October, and not sure if they follow daylight savings time. Life begins at 5am there and usually ends around 9pm. After each day of activities we were not disappointed aobut the early nights. I will definitely return to this resort and I tell everyone about the experience.

Room Tip: Villas near the spa are great if you are there to relax.
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 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 3
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, November 12, 2013
Greetings from Costa Rica!!

Thank you for taking a moment to share your experience at Hilton Papagayo Costa Rica Resort & Spa.

I am happy to read that you had a great time and particularly we met and exceeded your expectations during your vacations.

On your next visit to our area, we hope you will give us another opportunity to provide you with the, excellent food, service and hospitality we are known for. - We enjoyed taking care of you.

Sincerely,
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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)
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English first
Bracebridge, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 9, 2013

We stayed the week of October 28th. We enjoyed the atmosphere of the resort. The natural beauty of the property. We have never experienced so many birds,animals,sunrises and sunsets.
The staff were all very friendly,providing high quality service. The only buffet is breakfast.
Lunch and dinner are a la cart. The food was always, hot. Some portions were small, just ask for doubles...they do not mind at all. We loved the "heavenly bed" so nice to have a good sleep after day long exercise! The property offers hiking trails, swimming(warm water!) snorkelling, bikes,kayaks etc. We rented a car one day to go "surfing" in Tamarino, lots of fun, no problems driving.... Highly recommend the day trip "Sky trek" to Arenal Volcano, well worth the cost.Swiss Travel employees are also exceptional. Andres Canales took us out on a snorkelling trip from the beach at our resort. His knowledge of the area was amazing.You find him on our beach. (name on his boat). We were worried about the weather,but it rained only twice.(briefly in the afternoon)Hot and humid, scattered clouds are a blessing. We really enjoyed our vacation and certainly would return.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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 4
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, November 12, 2013
Greetings from Costa Rica!!
Thank you for choosing Hilton Papagayo Costa Rica Resort & Spa for your vacations – we are happy to hear it was a success! We look forward to welcoming again to Guanacaste – we enjoyed taking care of you.
Sincerely
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
reno, United States
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2013

A nice place to relax but the beds were soft and not that comfortable. Service is on "beach time"...slow. They didn't seem to concerned with getting to your table for your order. The AC units are loud in the rooms, making it hard to sleep and we had to wear ear plugs.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service

Review collected in partnership with Hilton Hotels & Resorts

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, November 8, 2013
Greetings from Costa Rica!!
Thank you for taking a moment to share your experience at Hilton Papagayo Costa Rica Resort & Spa.

We did take note in your observations that gives us hope and further drive in correcting our issues as we consider them improvement opportunities to seek excellence.

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 improves!


Sincerely,
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
40 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2013 via mobile

I absolutely loved this place. It was so far the best vacation yet. Everything went off without a hitch. Check in was easy breezy and our transport guy was the running man & everything was two minutes...lol. Julio was awesome... he showed us 2 different bungalows to choose from...we decided on the bungalow directly across from Spa Vida. The rooms are just like the pictures...some furniture was a little worn but I can't say that it mattered. The beds were so comfortable and house keeping was on point. Any request was promptly attended to. All the restaurants had great food...but on our last night we made reservations for the steak house...I wish we would have ate there more often... delicious. The meals are like 4 course meals...so you order from each category or you can just order an entree. It won't seem like enough food that way. The bartender Jose Francisco on the spa side was always very helpful and attentive as was Jotjami. The spa pull and beach were my oasis....tranquil and quiet at all times. At low tide I ventured to across the rocks to see a beautiful secluded beach. The trail was treacherous after a night of rain...so I made it half was up and turned back...didn't want to die in Costa Rica... lol. There was plenty to do for free or for a fee. The excursions during the low season are not scheduled every day so keep that in mind if arriving early in the week. Also, during this time the resort is just right to get that pampered feeling. It was not very many people and it's spaced out. It is very hilly but great exercise...or catch a shuttle. These people work on the grounds constantly to maintain the resort...but I think the main area has more foot traffic plus the rain and hillside tends to wash away the gravel as you go down on the beach...a minor thing. The beach was amazing...although different. The sand is black...but the trees on the spa side make it one of the most wonderful views at sunrise. I enjoyed it...and would recommend this place to anyone who will listen...I was sad to leave. Gracias....hasta pronto!

  • Stayed October 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
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, November 6, 2013
Greetings from Costa Rica!!
Thank you for your review. I am pleased to hear you enjoyed your stay and will let Yotjany and José Francisco know that they helped you have a great stay with us.
On your next visit to our area, we hope you will give us another opportunity to provide you with the, excellent food, service and hospitality we are known for.

We enjoyed taking care of you.

Sincerely,
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
14 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2013

Hubby and I had a wonderful week at the Hilton Papagayo. It was our first all-inclusive and we were pleasantly surprised. We’d definitely return to stay at this resort. I think we got lucky because it was the low season and they weren’t fully book, so we were able to enjoy it thoroughly.

Rooms - We had an ocean view room and we were close to the main area. The room was nice, the bathroom a little tired from being close to saltwater, but it didn’t ruin our stay. I do think they should update the bathrooms. Water, sodas and beers were replenished daily. Housekeeping did a great job keeping everything clean and they were very nice leaving extra towels when we asked for them. Remember the rooms are located in these small bungalows throughout the resort and you can’t help the critters that make their way in. Ants were our biggest problem, but nothing you can’t help in that kind of environment.

Food - I was pretty impressed by the food. Hubby and I are foodies, and we enjoyed all of our dinners. The portions were small, but once we started with an appetizer and worked our way to dessert, we were satisfied and full. Breakfast at La Consecha was awesome and the chef behind the griddle always had a smile on her face when we asked for omelets, fried eggs or fresh waffles. For the most part we had lunch at Grill El Fuego because we liked to hang out by the pool there and everything was delicious. We had dinner one night there and we were surprised how good their pasta was. The saltimbocca was unreal - I loved it. My only complaints are the desserts - they should have something different every night or offer more of a variety.

Service - The staff there was amazing. They always attended to us with a smile and did their best to make sure we were taken care of. I will say that sometimes when it was super busy at the bar, it took longer for them to get to you because it seems they are understaffed. However, they never stopped hustling and working their butts off to get to everyone and to also get things in order. Noelia was the first person to greet us at a smile at lunch at La Consecha, upon our arrival and the entire week, she’d always come by our table at breakfast as say hello. David and Javier at Grill del Fuego during the day were amazing, always bringing us drinks by the pool without having to ask and keeping me hydrated with ice water. I’d name everyone that waited on us if I could because they really helped make our vacation. I loved their response, “Pura Vida,” every time I thanked them.

The only time I was annoyed was with someone at the front desk when we asked about the departure tax forms and h told us they were out of them. It was the night before we had to leave, we were trying to pay the departure tax ahead of time so we didn’t have to be bothered with it at the airport and according to him they were out of the forms and would not have any by the time we left several hours later. Fast forward a couple of hours later, another couple we met at the resort, who were also leaving the next day, called the front desk to ask about the forms and surprise-surprise, they had ten forms available. (Note: They spoke to another employee at the front desk) Six of us rushed up to the lobby to take care of it. It took about ten to fifteen minutes for the person at the front desk to fill it out and organize the paperwork. I believe we were lied to about the forms because he didn’t want to go through the hassle or he actually did not know there were more forms.

Bugs - BRING BUG SPRAY. The mosquitos didn’t bother me so much, I had purchased Natrapel spray beforehand and that seemed to work. Everyone using OFF were getting eaten up alive at the outdoor restaurants and bars. I really do think that management needs to do something to control the mosquitoes in the outdoor area. Maybe tiki torches or citronella candles aren’t safe, but they should find SOMETHING to help.

Wildlife - There are iguanas, raccoons and their version of raccoons with a longer snout (can’t remember the name) and howler monkey’s. As we were leaving our room on our last day, monkeys were hanging out in the trees behind our bungalow, which was very cool. We ran into a few family’s of howler monkey’s as we explored the province as well as other animals.

The Beach - I fell in love with the black sand at this beach. I’ve seen enough white sand beaches in my lifetime that seeing a black sand beach was different and really cool. The water was clear, clean and very warm. I loved our daily walks on it.

The Shuttle - The drivers work 24/7 shuttling people around the resort. You call them and they are there within a few minutes to pick you up and take you where you need to go. The first day we arrived, the driver (I can’t remember his name) helped us into our room and showed us where everything is.

The Spa - Hubby got a massage alone because I personally hate massages. Although it was on the expensive side, he was really happy with the massage they gave him.

Nightlife - There really isn’t any at this resort, so if you’re looking to party, this isn’t the resort for you. They had a mediocre DJ that played on most nights and on the weekends a Latin band, but by 10:15pm they were done. Everyone at the bar would disperse and it would turn into a ghost town.

Other:
- The grounds at this resort are beautiful and well maintained.
- The main pool area was kind of full during the day and not for us because we wanted to completely relax, so we always hung out by the spa - no kids. The swim-up bar was also always full.
- Try a howler monkey! Yummy!
- Their Imperial beer (Costa Rican beer) is pretty good.
- The drinks aren’t strong. One or two times you can taste the alcohol, but you’re not really gonna get a buzz from the drinks they serve, even if they are delicious. It personally didn’t matter to me - I don’t drink much.

All in all, it was a great vacation for us. Costa Rica is beautiful and so are the people. Pura Vida!

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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 4
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, November 6, 2013
Greetings from Costa Rica!!
Thank you for taking a moment to share your experience at Hilton Papagayo Costa Rica Resort & Spa.

I am happy to read that you had a great time and particularly we met and exceeded your expectations during your vacations.

On your next visit to our area, we hope you will give us another opportunity to provide you with the, excellent food, service and hospitality we are known for. - We enjoyed taking care of you.

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

The highlights of the week of staying at the resort were without question the views the staff. The views from the beach and the hiking routes are outstanding. The staff is extremely friendly, very nice, and always make you feel welcome.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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 Secrets Papagayo Resort & Spa, responded to this review, November 5, 2013
Greetings from Costa Rica!!

Thank you very much for taking the time to share your experience. I am very happy to hear that the staff knocked your socks off and that the property offered you the just right amount of space for you to spread out and relax. Hilton Papagayo strives to ring in the feel of Free to be you! Hope to see you return soon!
Sincerely,
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amherst, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
65 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 1, 2013

My wife and I went here on our honeymoon a week ago and it was everything we would have expected and more. The staff were absolutely wonderful from the moment we arrived until the sad goodbyes as we were leaving at the end of the week. As a gay couple, we always worry when traveling but we did not have a single concern while at this resort. The drivers, JJ and Roberto were very sweet, so accommodating, and always remembered our room. The guest services staff were also super helpful and friendly. The hotel itself was well kept and had lots of activities to do while staying there. You can go Kayaking, snorkeling, take a walk at sunset, take a Spanish lesson, and do water aerobics. The food was top notch and we definitely preferred El Boccadio but the others offered wonderful tasty options that were well made. The drinks were definitely well poured and not watered down in the least. Try a Dirty Monkey with Heber in the pool.. or a Mojito at the bar by the main pool for sure! Note of Caution: Bring bug spray (a must as most of the restaurants are open air service), suntan lotion and any book you want to read. The gift shop is exorbitantly priced at $20 for each of these items a piece!. The room itself was nice, we stayed in the 300 range and had a garden view. The bathroom had a bit of mold, but I am not sure how you could prevent that in this climate.. Overall, a beautiful, restful and amazing place to stay and we will definitely be going back!. Pura Vida!!

  • Stayed October 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
    • 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.
Miguel_Eugene, General Manager at Secrets Papagayo Resort & Spa, responded to this review, November 5, 2013
Greetings from Costa Rica!!
Thank you for choosing Hilton Papagayo Costa Rica Resort & Spa for your Honeymoon – we are happy to hear it was a success! We look forward to welcoming again to Guanacaste – we enjoyed taking care of you.
Sincerely,
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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 Family Hotel in
#3 Romantic Hotel in
#7 Luxury Hotel in
#9 Spa 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):
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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