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“Can't wait to go back!” 5 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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Special Rate
$104/person $50 credit
Ranked #5 of 16 Hotels in Gulf of Papagayo
Dallas
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“Can't wait to go back!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2010

We loved the Hilton Papagayo! The staff is so friendly and helpful. The property is very spread out with a lot of hills. The shuttle service was very prompt! We are vegetarian and found the breakfast buffet to be amazing! Fresh corn tortillas were made each morning with a large variety of breads, fruits and side dishes (including meat). Definitely worth the $20+ we paid each! Kids on the other hand didn't eat enough for the $10 charge. Dinner was always good. We inquired about vegetarian items on the menu and the chef ended up coming out and asked us if he could make us a special dinner. The kids loved Miss Karen at the kids club and were always wanting us to take them there. Three & under requires a parent or other adult to stay with the child at the kids club. I would recommend renting a car in Liberia for at least part of the stay. The resort is very secluded & we like to venture out to local attractions. We drove to several nearby beaches and then did some shopping at one of the local markets. Also went grocery shopping in Liberia. Each room has a mini fridge so we got snacks for the kids. The room was very comfortable but the bathrooms were quite small. There was about a 1 inch gap at the bottom of the doors to the outside which kind of made me nervous since about anything from small reptiles to bugs could fit under, but we never really had a problem with it. We took one sight seeing tour through the hotel to a Hacienda at a sugar cane plantation and boat ride through a National Park. It ended up being one of the highlights of the trip. We would definitely go back and stay there again!

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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2,081 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 (510)
Date | Rating
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English first
Renton, Washington
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2010

The place was amazing. It had three restaurants and a poolside bar. The food was great and there were tons of staffers to help make your stay more enjoyable. Your hotel cabin had a flat screen TV and complimentary coffee.

Two Thumbs up!

Stayed January 2010, traveled with family
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wilmington, North Carolina
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2010

The front desk staff went above and beyond for us. We had air conditioning problems and also a little bit of an ant issue. They moved us from one of the smaller bungalows up to a nicer room with an awesome view. They also comped breakfast both mornings we were there. The guy responsible for transportation set everything up for us and was so nice!! You do have to walk a lot but there are shuttles everywhere and they always stopped to pick us up if we were walking. Food was great, gym was great. No complaints!!

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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boston, ma
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2010

Our stay here was very comfortable. Called a fishing guide in Playa Hermosa and he picked us up right on the beach. Reeled in one fish after another. Also really enjoyed renting a house in Playa Hermosa and trying other restaurants. Driving is easy.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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St Louis
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2009

Just got back from the Hilton Papagayo in Guanacaste, Costa Rica. The hotel was clean, updated and what you would expect from a Hilton resort. Most rooms have a great view and major wildlife creeping around. We had a Iguna guarding our room every morning and afternoon, it was pretty cool.

We had all of our breakfast's comps because of our Hilton Diamond status and I agree with other posters that the food is quite expensive, especially if you would have to pay for the breakfast buffet. We recommend heading into Coco for the local food and nightlife and to Hermosa for the very American friendly restaurant of Ginger.

We used the hotel for the local tours including Zip Lining, mud baths, waterslides and hiking. It was incredible and I would highly recommend all of the above. It was amazing.

I would recommend the Hilton and Guanacaste, I would love to go back asap.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Orlando Florida
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2009

I will make this quick. Beautiful place, worst service in Costa Rica so far

1. Got there early and was told room would be ready at 2:30, no big deal. 2:30, 3:00, and 3:30 came and went and still no room. Spoke with Guest services by the pool at 3;00 and was told they were on their way to my room. Nope, waited by room and no one. Spoke with Andre at 3:30 and he had to personally go all the way to the front desk and get the keys for us.

2. As we were waiting we ordered drinks and some food. Chicken bites were dry and terrible. Nachos were decent though. We get the bill and I had ordered a strawberry dacquiri. There was a glitch in there system and it was charging more for that than any drink on the menu. Easy fix? No, took them forever to figure out what was going on and why instead of $3.50 it was charging close to $7.00 or $8.00. They finally fixed the issue after 20 minutes. Did this stop them from overcharging again by the pool and at the bar again, nope glitch was still there....So frustrating when all you wanna do is relax

3. Taxi - called for a taxi to front desk. Do they book for you? No, they transfer you to the taxi company. I am on vacation I don't wanna talk to taxi company. They didn't answer and then began the fun. Went to guest services and they said there driver Mario was an hour an a half away and we would have to wait. We said you're telling me there is no other taxi services. Finally they called and got a hold of one.

4. When checked in a/c was leaking all over the floor. I'll give them a pass on this one. They fixed it and it is a mechanical problem.

5. They put free water/chocolates with a note thanking you for checking in and being there guest. Right by the tv with no signs attached to it saying $5.00 for water like the Evian had. We get the bill and sure enough they charged for it...Andre had it taken off.

6. Spanish lessons at 1pm - we are waiting by the bar, do you think the guy ever showed up to give the lessons at 1pm. NOPE, we waited and waited and waited and at 1:35 finally gave up.

7. Lunch - we got down to restaurant around 11:30 and was told there was no more breakfast they were serving lunch. Ok, fine no big deal. The guy sits us outside and 10 minutes go by and no one has approached us for service. Finally nice lady comes up and talks to us and says lunch doesn't start until 12, I don't know why he sat you down. You'll have to eat at the bar.

8. Shuttle - call for a shuttle to pick up by the room. Never shows. Had to go to guest services to get shuttle back to top of hotel.

9. Andre (nicest guy there) - this is on first day says he will check with front desk manager about giving us something for our troubles. Never heard back from him and of course nothing got done. However, he was the nicest guy on the property and I know he was looking out for us and just probably forgot. He comes highly recommended.

10. The shuttles need to have a bigger step at the bottom to get off of....Top step is big and bottom step is so small i almost fell off the shuttle and twisted my ankle. Luckily I caught myself before i fell.

11. Upon check in we were told my mom as gold status and we could choose one of three options, free wifi, free breakfast, and one other I can't remember. We chose free wifi. About one minute later the same lady who said she had gold status, said "i'm sorry, you actually don't have gold status and can't offer your free WiFi" Now would it have been a big deal to just give us the internet after you told us specifically we were gold status. Kind of embarrassing with people standing right behind you.

12. Called the front desk several times with no answer. So annoying when you have a question

13. Was told there was a jacuzzi/whirlpool guests can use. Walk all the way down the beach to the other section of the hotel to find out that it only can be used when spa treatment people aren't in it or it's not busy over there at the spa. Why tell me you can use it then? It was 1 in the afternoon and I was told to come back at 5:45.

Ok, I'm sure there is more, but this was in just two nights of staying there. I hope Hilton can do something to make up for this as my mom has now had two bad experiences in a row at Buffalo thunder in new mexico and now hilton in papagayo. We have stayed at three hiltons in last 7 months, one in glasgow scotland, one in new mexico, and the last in costa rica. Two out of three terrible. the one in europe was amazing....

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melrose, MA, USA
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2009

Stayed at the resort the first week of November and was extremely impressed with both the facility and the staff operating it.

First of all, if you're staying here, it's probably better to fly in to Liberia rather than San Jose (like I did). Although the drive is short in distance, it's long in terms of time, as the only route is the two-laned Pan American Highway. I was impacted by a mudslide on the way back that added a good hour to the drive, so give yourself plenty of time if you choose what I did. As for signage, the hotel is easy to find and well marked along the route.

Not that this is not a typical monolithic hotel--it's a series of two-room bungalows along a cliffside, most overlooking the bay or cultured gardens. I am a Hilton Diamond member, so my booking of a basic room was upgraded to a bay-view villa at no charge, but I would recommend paying for the upgrade, as the view is fantastic. Note that, because of the spread-out nature of the resort, as well as the cliffside nature of its configuration, there are some distances involved when going around the resort. However, they run a personal shuttle service when you need it, picking you up and delivering you as needed with only about a five minute wait. However, I'd try to get something in the middle of the resort, if possible, rather than on the "wings." It's just more convenient.

There are two separate pool areas, one specifically for adults only, and a nice set of beach umbrellas and tables facing the black sand beach of the bay. Decent water-side service of both food and drinks.

The breakfast buffet was a nice combination of pre-made and custom ordering (including, throughout the stay, omelets, wafles and pancakes. My only complaint was that the price of the buffet (which was comp'd due to my Hilton status) would have been excessive if I'd had to pay.

Room was a typical Hilton room with a flat screen TV showing a combination of local and Florida-based American programming. Rooms had individual air conditioning units and ceiling fans. The rooms also have a semi-private patio for relaxing, which was nice. They also brought a US news digest from the NY Times each day, which was a nice touch. Internet access is paid, but pervasive throughout the resort. I forget how much it cost.

Parking was free in a sheltered lot and the shuttle takes you directly there. There is *NO* driving within the resort by private car, but the shuttle can take you and your luggage to the room directly. They had no problem with me bringing in beer from the outside and it's much cheaper outside the resort.

Dining at night was pretty good, but after a week's stay, the limited menu means that if you're a picky eater, you'll likely want to look around outside the compound. Playa del Coco and Liberia both have multiple dining options, including American standbys like Papa John's. Papagayo Seafood in Playa del Coco was particularly good and about a fifteen minute drive. Note--the secondary roads are littered with potholes that could swallow your rental car. Be careful, particularly on the road to Coco Beach.

My only complaint was when I tried to arrange a canopy tour via the Swiss Tour Agency on the premises. It was canceled for lack of enough participants, but no one called me and I ended up waiting in the lobby for an hour before I tracked down someone to tell me it was canceled. Also, there's limited places for English language non-tour books, so bring enough to cover you.

Anyway, I'm going back next time I need a beach vacation. HIGHLY recommended.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
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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 Family Hotel in Gulf of Papagayo
#3 Spa Hotel in Gulf of Papagayo
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Gulf of Papagayo
#4 Romantic 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*
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 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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