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“Prepare to bend over, happily” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo

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Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo
5.0 of 5 Resort   |   Peninsula Papagayo, Costa Rica   |  
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Ranked #1 of 16 Hotels in Gulf of Papagayo
san francisco
11 reviews 11 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Prepare to bend over, happily”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 3, 2008

If you're ready to throw down some serious cash for an isolated, luxury beach resort, this has got to be the best place to do it. Impeccable service by friendly and seemingly genuine employees. Memorable moments included my early morning sea kayaking adventure, listening to the ocean as I fell asleep each night and swimming laps in a gorgeous pool next to the ocean. Spa exceeded my expectations and will serve from here on out as my 'happy place'. Two warnings: 1) If you are looking to see the real Costa Rica, this is not the place. The beautiful environment is white washed and except for the staff, you will be surrounded by other wealthy Americans. You should plan extra vacation days outside the Four Seasons if you want to get a feel for 'Tico life.' -Cause you likely aren't leaving this paradise once you're in there.2) Be ready to bend over and pay double what you would at home for spa treatments, food and drinks. Those $20 margaritas add up. Those both said, I would go back to this Four Seasons again.

Stayed November 2008
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1,160 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
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Detroit, Michigan
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2008

My wife and I decided to spend two weeks at the Four Seasons (4S) in Costa Rica during the first part of November. We flew into the Liberia Airport which is about 27 miles and 45 minutes from the 4S main reception lodge. The resort provides transportation to and from the airport in a private van or in a shared charter resort bus. (Shared bus is $80 per couple each way). We used J and C Tours through their web site for a private AC van with a 2-person cost of $75 plus tip – in order to stop at a small grocery store. We returned to the Airport with 4S.

Over the years, we have had the opportunity to stay at many of the fine resorts throughout the world and I would rank this resort as number 1 for its outstanding world class service, very good food, very comfortable facilities, and the magnificent golf course.

There are 120 identical guest rooms with a large marble bathroom, large deep-soaking tub and separate shower, screened outdoor living terrace; cost is based upon the location in a one of three buildings. The lower cost are on the ground floor, then second floor, and the highest cost are on the third and fourth floor. Yes, in most cases, the higher room “may” have a better view of the Bay or Ocean – I believe the ground floor is a good value. All rooms have your choice of cable or wireless high-speed internet connection – about $13.50 per day. There are 25 suites spread through out the complex, with several having great views of the Bay. There are also 10 Residence Club units.

We were in an extra special Canopy 1-bedroom suite built into the hill side with a separate LR, king size bedroom, HUGE bathroom and a large outdoor covered terrace. We were on the “Receive every fifth day free” package. Remember - that in addition to the room charges - there is a 13% sales tax, a 3% government resort tax and a 10% service charge that covers gratuities for all services except for food and bar charges. When ever we requested, transportation was provided by the staff in electric carts to go down to the resort facilities or return to our room – our maximum wait time in all cases but one was 5 minutes – many guests enjoyed the walk. The rooms and suites are extremely comfortable, clean, and complete. The rooms are quiet for a hotel/resort setting, except for the occasional growling of the “Howlers Monkeys” who are announcing their control over their territories (loved the sound).

If you are looking for a modern contemporary style room and resort, go to the 4S in Maui. The Costa Rica 4S resort’s design is based upon the area’s cultural history and surrounding environment and is part of the Peninsula Papagayo development. Most resorts clear out all the trees and shrubs in a very large area (much more than needed) and after construction, plant some palm trees. Here, they only removed natural growth exactly where the buildings, pool, golf course and roads are built – leaving as much natural growth as possible. The concept is a “Green Ecological Construction”. There are indigenous decorative patterns and shapes in every aspect of the resort which is set on a steep hillside between two beaches (ocean and bay). The reception building resembles a fragment from the lip of a clay pot, while its roof reflects the splayed wings of a butterfly. Guest rooms and suites suggest treehouse living, and their roof designs resemble the shells of either leatherback turtles or armadillos.

If you like nature and a quite romantic destination...this resort is for you!

Many people have different expectations when they are on vacation and especially when they stay at a very fine and expensive resort (the more it costs the more they expect). Some people want a very, very large room. To some people the major issue is the food and its presentation. The resorts facilities – spa, golf, restaurants, pools, activities, etc. - are of extreme importance to most people. However, everyone wants the very best service.

This resort’s staff provided the best world class service that you can ask for from the moment that you make your reservation (I always make ours directly through the resort). On your arrival you are personally met by the resort’s manager and front desk manager and it continues with the very friendly and personable service from the reception desk personnel, concierges, “resortmen” (much more than bellmen), golf course staff, waitresses and waiters, pool & beach staff, spa staff, house keeping, and all the management staff. Every day, they displayed the friendliest attitude because they wanted to and not because “it is expected” of them. To insure that your vacation is a very memorable experience, they do the little things that are not really expected. If a problem arises, they correct it immediately.

They have a saying in Costa Rica - PURA VIDA - pure life and wishing you a wonderful stay.

Let me respond to what appears to be the #1 major complaint by past guests/reviewers of 4S Costa Rica – the cost of food. You will receive very well prepared and in many cases, excellent meals. In most cases, a very large portion is served – soups, salads, appetizers, sandwiches, etc. Because we were unable to finish some of our meals, my wife and I learned to share salads, side dishes, deserts, and snacks (the past reviewer who got sick on the nachos, must have tried to eat the entire serving and all the guacamole! The beef Nachos are great and are more than 2 people can consume).

This is a Four Seasons resort and they will transport in the best quality of food, entrees, and ingredients, etc. that they can. They will also charge for it. However, if there is any thing you want – just ask. The chef, from the elegant Di Mare Restaurant, prepared a wonderful Lobster Thermidor dinner for the two of us and made it a very special occasion. It was beyond our expectations! ($265 for our dinner and a few glasses of wine – incl. 13% tax & 10% service) (a tie or jacket are not required for any restaurant – resort casual). I like hash browns for breakfast and each morning they were prepared for me at no extra cost. All further quoted costs included the 13% tax and 10% service.

The very good and very complete breakfast buffet is $40 per person or the Eggs Benedicts & drink will cost $24. A ½-pound cheeseburger with bacon and a large serving of great tasting fries is about $25. The 2-person serving of nachos at the pool was $21. The soups are about $12 to $15 (the French Onion is great). The wonderful salads are $16 to $22 (dinner and full lunch salads). At the beautiful Steak House Caracol Restaurant, an unbelievably good 8 oz. Filet Mignon is $61 and a just as good 10 oz. Rib Eye was $57- the entire dinner cost for us was $157. At the Papapagayo Restaurant (specializes in local seafood), we had a very fine Crusted Sea Bass dinner with no wine for $106 for both of us. At Congo’s we ate several early dinners of soups, salads, and sandwiches for around $45 to $65 total. We also greatly enjoyed the special Brazilian Churrascaria Theme Dinner (all you can eat BBQ) with a few drinks for $186 - for us. We also ate at Tico’s which serve the best small American pizzas at $16. A few nights we had room service with small dinner items at an average 2-person cost of $58. As you can observe, individual items can be expensive, but you can hold down the costs; the costs vary according to what you order and overall the costs are not that bad.

One night we traveled by the Peninsula van (at no cost) to the Development’s Beach Club Restaurant for dinner in a beautiful and causal setting. I had a very good and true Prawn (not shrimp) dinner and my wife had the Red Snapper with one cocktail for total of $96.

Our favorite restaurant for food, service, and ambiance was Caracol. Congo’s provided best overall service and you sat outside overlooking the pools. Nevertheless, you cannot lose with any of the six choices. We also gave the wait staff an additional 5% tip in appreciation for the great service (many guests also did the same).

My wife and I played golf on this Arnold Palmer Signature golf course for five days and loved it. The major reason is the level of service you receive by the friendliest golf staff I have had the pleasure to meet. They totally handle your clubs (out of storage if need be) and will have the cart ready for you. They load you up with towels and bottles of cold water. Every 3 holes (only one time did it stretch to 4-5 holes and we were playing very fast), they drive up to your cart and offer you a cold towel, new bottles of cold water, and to sell you a non-water drink. By the middle of the first round they knew your names. At the end of the round, they are smiling and discussing the day with you while cleaning your clubs.

PURA VIDA - pure life and wishing you a wonderful stay.

Set on the Papagayo Peninsula with cool, prevailing breezes, the Four Seasons Golf Club Costa Rica boasts sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean on 14 of its 18 holes – some holes with water views from both east towards the Bay and west towards the Ocean. Each hole has a different character. Many holes require a very long (5-8 minutes) drive between the green and the next tee box. The drives are through tropical forest with many Howler and White Face monkeys, large 3 foot iguanas, plus large families of Coati with long tails and a nose similar to an anteater (we counted a family of 30 on one of the golf holes.

The Green Fees are $185 per person or $110 twilight (no taxes or service charges) – it is left up to you if you wish to tip the golf staff. I left a total tip for everyone after our final round.

In the center of the resort is the 10,765-square-foot) freshwater main pool and two smaller pools, one on either side overlooking different beaches. The hot tub is under a rock grotto and a short waterfall.

As through-out the resort, the service went beyond expectations. Many top resorts provide cold towels, cold water and snacks, but many of them will decrease the service depending upon the number of guests at the pools. Not so here, for one guest, there is staff through-out the day to cover the padded chaises lounges (some with umbrellas) with “form fitting towels”, a towel rolled for use as a pillow, continuous supply of cold bottles of water in ice contains that have the ice changed on a hourly basis, different snacks about every hour starting around 10am, and food & drink orders. They ask your name if they have not met you before.

PURA VIDA - pure life and wishing you a wonderful stay.

There are 2 main resort beaches – ocean side and bay side. The beaches are raw and brown, though still beautiful (nature) and peaceful. Each has padded chaises lounges, service huts with beach personnel to provide towels, cold bottles of water, sun tan lotion, etc. As many of the reviews have stated, there are small jellyfish in the water during many months – people got stung – but it was no big deal as it only a minor sting for about 10 to 20 minutes & didn't stop them from going into the water. The third beach is in front of the development’s “Beach Club”. At any time, the development’s vans will transfer you back and forth.

We took part in the 3 ½ hour Sunset Cruise Sail to a private beach with 12 other guests, many who snorkeled off the boat. I would recommend this activity.

  • Liked — World Class Service
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed November 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Doylestown,Bucks Co.,Pa.
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2008

A Four Seasons vacation is"A vacation of a lifetime EVERY time" and the resort on the Papagayo Peninsula is an example of that.

The food was very good and the service was exemplary.I believe that the quality of the food has been significantly improved- judging by reviews from last year.
Yes it is expensive BUT I found it to be fair.Many of the provisions have to be imported and between shipping ,customs and staffing ( most of the chefs were from outside of CR) you are not going to get American/Continental cuisine inexpensively
I have found that there is no reason any guest should leave a Four Seasons property dissatisfied with anything.
I have found the staff and executives to be incredibly responsive to any legitimate issue if it is brought to their attention-it was their sincere desire to share their joy of Costa Rica and love of the resort with the guests.
In all fairness the resort is isolated to a certain degree and if one wants to explore Costa Rica ,I believe, it is necessary to stay at various other locations and save the best for last-The Four Seasons at Papagayo Peninsula.
It was a true joy to stay here and I hope you too will have the opportunity for some special occassion.

  • Stayed November 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 24, 2008

I stayed here for 5 nights with my husband the 1st week in November and it was AMAZING! Every room has a great water view either facing the ocean or the bay. The screened-in terrace is wonderful so you can enjoy the sounds of the birds and the water without worrying about the bugs. (Which is key since bugs are definitely plentiful in Costa Rica!)

The service was outstanding! All day long, they keep you stocked with iced, bottle water as you lie by the pool. They pass around treats all day (iced coffee, smoothie of the day, popsicles, cold towels) and frequently offer you Evian spritzes to cool off your face. They are constantly checking to make sure you are comfortable and have everything you need. Overall - poolside service is perfect.

The spa was wonderful too - enjoyed a wonderful massage and the facilities are beautiful. The hot/cold plunge has a great view and was private and luxurious.

The rooms are really nice with comfortable beds and access to laundry which is useful since most people are traveling from other parts of the country and enjoying excursions which make for dirty clothes.

We enjoyed the canopy tour at Witches Rock - laugh out loud fun and beautiful views. Plus, it's run so smoothly. I also recommend the golf course tour which is a great way to see monkeys swinging in the trees and other wildlife. The grounds are immaculate and it's a very nice hour-long ride.

My husband played tennis with a pro and there was even someone waiting on the side with a cold towel since it was hot out!

Overall - Costa Rica Four Seasons is a really special hotel. Romantic and beautiful and every bit as luxurious as you would expect given the rates. We visited just at the end of the green season and there was a bit of rain a couple of afternoons but overall - the weather was great.

Can't recommend this place enough, enjoy!

  • Liked — The pool, the private beaches, how safe you felt on the beautiful properties
  • Stayed November 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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Seattle, Washington
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 23, 2008

We stayed at the Four Seasons at Peninsula Papagayo for our honeymoon and every aspect our stay exceeded all expectations. We were upgraded to a canopy suite with plunge pool with an incredible view - wow! We ate at all the restaurants at the resort and enjoyed the Italian restaurant the most. (the steak restaurant was good but was the one place where we thought we overpaid) But the breakfasts were also amazing as was the sushi at the bar. (don't miss the cheddar cheese chipotle popcorn if you're looking for a snack) We also did the volcano park excursion and had the time of our lives, as well as the zip line canopy tour which was frightening but exhilarating! The staff at the Four Seasons took care of our every need and really provided us with the honeymoon we had always dreamed about. On a side note, the time of year we were there seemed to be great because the resort was less crowded and the weather was still good. We also got a privately guided tour of the resort property by one of the staff members and it ended up being a very vigorous hike where we saw monkeys up close and personal! Don't miss hiking through the property as there is so much to see and enjoy. Would go back again without hesitation, what a beautiful resort and a beautiful country!

  • Stayed November 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
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Atlantic City
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2008

From the moment we arrived until we left, the service was unparalleled. The property itself is beautiful, with great activities right on site. Snorkeling on a reef right off the beach, sunset kayaking, nature walk with monkeys through a secluded forest overlooking the beach.

absolutely perfect!!

  • Liked — Everything
  • Disliked — Property is very isolated.
  • Stayed October 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 28, 2008

My wife booked this trip as a birthday present.
The room and service were great.
The food was really bad and priced crazy for the very low quality.
The problem is. You are trapped!
You are stuck at this resort with nothing close.
You basically had to eat there.
It was beyond bad food!
I had Nachos at the pool and heaved within the hour!
I had dinner at the Italian Restaurant and was sick all night!
All in all. It was boring and I will never go back.
We stayed 5 nights. 2 Would have been OK.
Don't waste your money.

  • Liked — nice room
  • Disliked — the food
  • Stayed September 2008, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo

Address: Peninsula Papagayo, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Gulf of Papagayo
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Gulf of Papagayo
#1 Family Hotel in Gulf of Papagayo
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Gulf of Papagayo
#1 Spa Hotel in Gulf of Papagayo
#1 Luxury Hotel in Gulf of Papagayo
#1 Romantic Hotel in Gulf of Papagayo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo 5*
Number of rooms: 155
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Also Known As:
4 Seasons Resort Costa Rica At Peninsula Papagayo
Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica At Peninsula Papagayo Hotel Gulf Of Papagayo
Four Seasons Costa Rica
Four Seasons Liberia
Peninsula Liberia
Liberia Peninsula
Liberia Four Seasons

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