My family and I stayed at the Four Seasons (FS) from November 3 through November 8th 2012 and had a great time with no rain. I made my own transportation arrangements from Liberia Airport to the FS resort and the ride took about 45 minutes in a private air conditioned van that charged $70. We stopped at a local grocery store along the way and loaded up with a huge supply of cookies, crackers and chips for our kids that ran $13. If you decide to purchase snacks before arriving at the FS, let the driver know within the first 5 minutes of the ride. If you go beyond 5 minutes out from Liberia Airport, there is practically nothing between that point and the rest of the way to the FS which is in a very isolated location.
Once we arrived at the FS, a small group of FS staff immediately greeted us upon stepping out of the van with cool wet cloths, fruit drinks and toys (stuffed animals) for our 5 and 9 year old kids while other staff moved our luggage to a golf cart. The FS staff informed us that they could not immediately upgrade our room as indicated by American Express due to no availability, but indicated that they will likely be able to upgrade the room tomorrow if we still wanted an upgrade. Nevertheless, the FS staff added that one nights stay would be free for booking five nights, my family would receive a free daily American breakfast at Papagayo restaurant, we received a $100 recreation credit that could be used for golf or spa services and guaranteed late 4PM checkout for booking through American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts program. We were then immediately whisked away to our room. We booked a second floor Brisa room with a double bed that was large and comfortable. The screened terrace was also large and comfortable, but it did not offer a great view of the water due to the large foilage from the trees. The room contained a delicious pastry snack that was sitting on the desk along with a card from the FS addressed to me indicating "Happy Birthday". The room also contained 4 bottles of complimentary bottled water and a bottle of complimentary insect repellent in the closet. The bathroom was large and luxurious with a deep soaking tub and a walk in shower. Written in colorful letters along the side of the bathtub were the names of our two children. The bathroom also contained cotton robes with FS logos for us and children's sized FS robes for the kids. I only had a few pretty minor gripes (besides the view) about this otherwise very comfortable room. The American Standard toilet in the bathroom has a low height (to me and I'm only 5'8'') and appeared cheap which stood out in an otherwise luxurious bathroom where significant money was spent. Additionally, the flat screen tv was a decent size, but did not display the tv programming in high definition and the standard definition picture was mediocre. We were complimentary upgraded the next day to the 3rd floor Cielo room which had less of a view of the water than the Brisa room due to looking through more tree foilage than looking between tree trunks. If you look out at the hotel from the water, you will see that all the floors (1 - 4) of the hotel in buildings #3 and #4 had their views obstructed due to tree foilage. (Building #2 appeared to be under renovation.) FS informed me the view improves when you are in the brown or dry season or if you want to upgrade to the hillside bedroom villas. The property has several shallow pools that my kids throughly enjoyed and the property has interesting artwork.
The food at the FS is expensive. One cheeseburger at the FS Congo Grill was $20. One can of soda from the minifridge in the room is $5. The best food value was the breakfast buffet at Papagayo's which was excellent, diverse and would otherwise have been $100+ a day if not for American Express which resulted in it being free. We also took a few bananas and other fruit for later in the day snacks at this buffet. Dinner at Di Mare was "okay", so long as you don't mind paying very high prices (you will spend a bare minimum of $150) for "okay" food. We enjoyed the dinner at Papagayo a "little better" and it was less expensive.
I strongly recommend you obtain the FS Activities Booklet for the "week" as soon as you arrive so you can plan in advance. FS puts out a "daily" activities sheet, but you really want the "weekly" activities booklet to plan. We took part in the once a day FS complimentary "Trail of Giants" tour around the golf course which was excellent and saw animals such as howler monkeys, iguana, hawks and other amazing animals. The views around the golf course during this tour are SPECTACULAR. My wife also took part in the FS complimentary cooking class and had a great time talking to the chefs and seeing the kitchen. FS also gave her one of those tall chef hats that she thought was cute. My wife and I took part in the FS complimentary kayak tour to Monkeyhead - (a tiny atoll with a rock face that is shaped like a monkey head) which took 1 1/2 hours. I recommend that you are in half decent shape because you will do a lot of rowing in that kayak and my wife indicated she wasn't going to build up a sweat so I did almost all the rowing. My son and I also took part in the FS complimentary sunset hike. I strongly recommend that you are in decent shape for the hike. The hike involves climbing 500 steep stairs (no exaggeration) followed by climbing a dirt trail up a hill that "gassed" most of the participants to reach a high point and see the spectacular sunset. It reminded me of "sprints up stadium stairs" and you're legs will definetely feel it. The exercise room is excellent and my wife enjoyed the spa at the FS. Just note that there are almost no services at the spa that cost less than $150 before tax and service charge. The Goombay catamaran sunset cruise booked through FS was also an excellent value to us. Children under the age of 10 are complimentary and the cost was $220 for 4 of use to enjoy the 3 1/2 hour cruise from 2:30p to 6p which included snacks, alcohol, swimming, snorkeling and seeing a spectacular sunset on the water.
The FS complimentary Kids For All Seasons Club (KFAS) has a nice (somewhat small) club room and its own pool. KFAS was virtually empty our entire stay there, but was enjoyed by my 5 year old who made bead bracelets with the staff. My 9 year old felt more comfortable in the Teen Center and had a great time with water polo, the hoops challenge and the Nintendo Wii system.
The staff and service at the FS was excellent. For example, my daughter had a headache one evening and the waitress at Papagayo indicated the following, "Here is my personal phone number. If the gift shop does not have the medicine your daughter needs, call me and I will drive to the local town for you to pick up what you need and bring it back." In another example, the FS staff overheard my wife mention she brought the wrong charger (she brought a cellphone charger) for her digital camera. The FS staff indicated that they would take the camera to their IT staff to look at it and see if they could find a way to recharge the camera. The staff tells you "mucho gusto", "de nada", "absolutely" and "right away" so much its almost robotic.
Overall, we really enjoyed the FS and my 5 year old cried asking me why we couldn't live here. We would definetely return here again.
Get a hillside villa if you want a decent view of the water. The view from a second floor Brisa roo...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.