August 16, 2014:
We just got back yesterday from our 5 night family vacation in Guanacaste, Costa Rica! We stayed at The Four Season Resort on The Peninsula Papagayo and it was the absolute BEST beach vacation we have ever had! The service was truly amazing. We stayed in a Canopy Suite which, I cannot recommend strongly enough. The pictures don't even come close to capturing the beauty of the suite & it's location! They have 2 beaches to choose from; one being on the Bay side and the other on the Pacific Ocean, both which are seconds from the main lobby & pool. We did not spend anytime at the pools but as far as the beaches, they were both absolutely perfect! We felt as if we were on our very own private island. The hotel was solidly booked but there were usually only 4-5 other people, on the beach with us. We never had to run out at 6 am to claim lounge chairs or any of that nonsense. There also was never a time that we couldn't find 4 or more chairs with both sun & shade. The only time it would get a little "crowded", (meaning 10-15 people on the same beach), was in the eve. when people would gather on the Pacific side to take sunset family photos. Most mornings, we had the beach all to ourselves. The beautiful clear blue water temperature was perfect. The snorkeling and water activities were excellent. On our last day we even were able to see a family of whales off in the distance!! The only surprise we experienced was the cost of the food. The first morning our breakfast bill was over $120.00 and this was just for 4 people-3 adult buffet's & 1 child priced buffet, with coffee & juice. **Note: They charge the adult price for kids 13 and over for the buffet and they have your families age info. from your booking info. My boys are 14 & my youngest had just turned 13 so after discussing this with the staff, they only charged him the child's price. We quickly made changes and paid very close attention to our meal planning from then on. I recommend packing a lot of food : protein bars/ snacks etc. if you're able too. Paying the extra baggage fee will definitely be worth it and could save you hundreds of dollars. This hotel is in a very remote location, which is why we loved it so much, but be aware that there aren't any convenience or grocery stores around. We drank the local water which tasted great and is purified, so there's no reason to pay for water. Your suite is cleaned 2x a day and you receive a complimentary bottle of water each day, which I would then refill and chill in the mini bar fridge ( which as expected, is packed full of goodies & very expensive). In the mornings the Howler monkeys and white faced monkeys would be in the trees right outside of our door! We even had a Coati come visit our terrace while we were drinking our morning coffee. He just walked up calmly climbed on the table & took our container of sugar packets. We also had a huge Iguana laying on a tree branch that was right outside of our master bedroom window. He would move around a bit but was there for our entire stay! The birds & butterflies are also beautiful & plentiful!! I could go on & on . As far as time to get there, it's a 4 hour direct flight from Dallas & then about 20 -30 min. to the hotel. Even if it was a longer flight, I would choose Peninsula Papagayo any day over The Caymans, Hawaii or any other beach destination! It's simply the absolute best get away !
Btw, this is my first review, I just had to spread the word about this beautiful place!
I hope this helps you to decide on your next get away!
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