We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Even Better the 8th Time” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Occidental Grand Papagayo

Save Saved
You added Occidental Grand Papagayo to your Saves list
Best prices for your stay
Enter dates for best prices
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 10 more sites!
Occidental Grand Papagayo
4.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Playa Buena, 485000, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #9 of 16 hotels in Gulf of Papagayo
Henderson, Nevada
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Even Better the 8th Time”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2012

My husband and I just visited the Grand Papagayo again for the 8th time. It just keeps getting better each time. We were last there in October, 2011, and since then the hotel has gone through significant renovations. We stayed in the room we stayed in October, which was great, but it was even better this time. We enjoyed the both the beach and the pool. The staff is fantastic and all go out of their way to make everthing perfect during your stay. Special thanks to Harold, Enrique, Carlos, Raul and both bartenders in The Royal Club Lounge. We usually go to Europe once a year which means we are on the go so The Grand Papagayo is the perfect relaxation trip for us. Somewhere down the line, we keep saying we will actually go on some of the fantastic excursions that are available. Maybe we will if go return in October. Thanks again to everyone at the Grand Papagayo for making our vacation the best!!

Room Tip: Upgrade to the Royal Club and ask for Building 8
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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.
Write a Review

1,637 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
    431
    573
    296
    200
    137
See reviews for
216
922
30
27
Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (374)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Naperville, Illinois, United States
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2012

I know there are a lot of differeing opinions on this resort. We were there in March (dry season so pretty brown) with a family of 6 (4 kids ages 8-16). Bottom line, if you are used to first class hotels in the US, the Occidental GP is not up to that level. Property needs some work, things in the rooms need some updating/fixing and the food is good but far from great. However the staff is really good -- friendly and great with kids, wanted for nothing. We had rooms with a deck overlooking the ocean, and we never experienced any hassle on the beach - which are ALL public in CR. Also would make this a few day place to stay vs 1 week given it is in a pretty remote area.

So, much like Costa Rica's attidtude of Pura Vida, you need to set your expectations a bit lower and enjoy the people and scenery vs expecting an ultra modern hotel.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
New Jersey
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2012

I traveled to the Occidental Grand in December 2012. I loved the hotel. Food was great. Room was great. I did hear of people complaining about a moldy smell in their rooms, but I did not experience it. I stayed in the high rise bldg #1. This wasn't a resort geared towards small children. There were maybe 1 or 2 I saw the entire trip. I loved the sunset walks and the fact that you did not have to do anything or you could book an excursion and be on your way. The only not so great part was the beach. It was small and rocky. Do not get a massage from the woman on the beach, worst massage I even experienced. The views from the lobby to the ocean were my favorite part. They also had name brand alcohol in addition to the local. I heard people complain of no name brand alcohol while on an expedition. I also did the horeback riding, zip linning, hot springs, slide trip. It was a great experience. This was my first trip to Costa Rica and will not be my last.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with friends
    • 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.
Burlington
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2012

We spent 7 days at the resort. We have been to quite a few across the Caribbean and had become accustomed to a few luxuries that one would expect from such resorts. When we arrived we were welcomed as honoured guests and advised we qualified for a VIP lunch as well as some discounts for various activities. We signed up for this, but it didn't' seem right. We did not attend the lunch. We discovered that this was no more than a sales gimic to try to get folks to buy into the resort timeshare. This is not what I want to deal with on such a brief holiday.
The pool as dated and I was disappointed to see no swim-up bar which has become customary. The room was clean and we had a great view over the bay. However, the biggest negative for the resort was the eating facilities. There is one buffet restaurant that probably seats no more than 60 guests. Every morning and night time you had to line up for up to 30 minutes to get a table.
After dinner it is usually nice to relax outside and perhaps see some entertainment. There was no entertainment area other than the note lobby, which could also seat no more than about 50 people.
Also, your rooms only had 2 beers and 2 bottles of water in them and these were only replenished every two days. This was ridiculous. There were also no immediate bar facilities on the beach and one had to hike up a hill to the nearest bar hut to fetch a drink.
The hotel staff were extremely friendly and supportive, particularly after my wife got injured. We will not be travelling back to this resort.

Room Tip: Ask for a beach view
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
HARODEL, Gerente at Occidental Grand Papagayo, responded to this review, August 20, 2012
Dear StudeBurlington,

I’m sorry to read that your stay was less than satisfactory, as it is our goal to provide guests with an incredible experience.
In regards to our restaurants, we’re constantly making improvements to better serve our guests and are currently renovating the L’Buffet. The renovation will increase the number of buffet stations, giving guests a variety of items to choose from and decreasing wait times. Also, you’re correct, we don’t have a swim-up bar however our waiters frequent the pool and beaches to gladly take orders for guests. Additionally, the in-room mini bars are refreshed every other day and we will gladly bring up more upon request. Guests also have unlimited drinks available to them throughout the property as part of the all-inclusive package.
I’ve discussed your feedback about our entertainment with our general manager, as we’re always looking to enhance the guest experience. We do feature live music twice a week, and will consider additional options.
Regarding your experience with the Occidental Vacation Club, please know that the company operate separately from our resort although it is available on property. I’ve discussed our review with the director of the Occidental Vacation Club to ensure that information is clearly explained to our guests without disturbing them.
I will contact you today via TripAdvisor to follow up about your stay.
Kind regards,
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin, Texas, United States
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 10, 2012

I loved being in Costa Rica. Beautiful country and staff at the hotel was very friendly and tried to take care of our every request. Had a couple of days with power outage issues but this is a third world country so all in all, I loved it. The service was exceptional. The Italian restaurant was great and the buffet was exceptable. It beat the last resort we stayed at in Playa de Carmen by a mile.Our best experience of the trip was finding a tour company - Cost Rica Issys Tours. Our guide was Diego - FABULOUS. He tailored each day to what we wanted to do, regardless of what was in the original package. Only $50 for 4 of us to get back to the Liberia airport in comfort. Do not bother with the hotel shuttle. Way better prices out there through taxis that you will find waiting at the airport.

Room Tip: We stayed in the 400 rooms and were pleased. Gave us a short walk daily to the pool and restaurant...
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
San Jose, Costa Rica
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2012

Excellent food, excellent service, excellent in every aspect! I totally recommend it! i've been there twice and I haven't had a complaint yet! I would defenitely go there every time I want to go to the beach!

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Calgary, Canada
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2012

Ok, I travel over 100,000 miles a year and live out of a suitcase. We have vacationed at amazing, awful, and "rustic" resorts and hotels all over the world. The Occidental Grand falls just above average for a resort but it awesomely located and the staff couldn't have been more helpful. The people writing the negative reviews either wanted to sit by the pool or eat and drink all day - if that is what you want, don't stay here. If you're looking for a place with above average food for an all inclusive, which is quiet, has a nice, clean beach and is well situated for day trips and excursions, this is your place in the area.

We took our two boys, one 11, one 14, and had one of the best vacations we have ever had together because Costa Rica offers such a huge variety of things to do. We did zip-lining, rock climbing, rappelling, horse back riding, river rafting, mud baths, ecological tours and scuba diving at Diving Safaris nearby (who are awesome!). Everything was under an hour away and this hotel was perfectly located for us.

It was also our 20th wedding anniversary and I emailed Harold Rojas, the Sale Manager, beforehand to ask if they would do something special for us in our room on arrival. We booked two rooms so our kids could be next door and, on arrival, they had upgraded us to great rooms, right next to each other and there was a lovely welcome gift in each room - champagne and fruit in ours, beverages and fruit for the kids. They had also booked us into restaurants in advance of our arrival and we had a lovely dinner at the grill by the pool that night.

The hotel is in need of updating in some areas but it was clean, safe and comfortable. Our rooms were very basic compared to some couples only resorts but there were no cleanliness issues, bugs, or other problems I see people writing about here. We did need to ask for towels once but they got them to us within the hour and brought extras for the inconvenience. There's always towels down by the pool if you're desperate. We didn't get water in our rooms a couple of days and our kids didn't have shampoo for a day either but we were so busy being out and about that these little things didn't bother us.

The best restaurant is the Asian but the Italian is also great. The buffet is a buffet - a mix of healthy food, deep fried temptations, and everyday staples. It was above average certainly. The lunch buffet was fairly basic but also above average - the guacamole was awesome. If you're looking for a resort with haute cuisine this isn't it.

The wait staff were very good, quick and helpful. The waiters at both the beach and the pool were always available and attentive. The recreational activities on the resort were basically what you'd expect - a mix of silly, fun, and somewhat sub par. There were always lounge chairs available and our kids loved playing volleyball in the pool and messing around with some of the resort equipment such as the giant inflatable balls they'd bring out on the pool, let you climb inside and run around with. The one thing that was above par here was the friendliness of the staff.

The disco wasn't great - not because of the facility but because the crowds sporadically come and go as with all resorts but the music selections were good and the dj was always willing to play requests. The Sangria at the disco was excellent.

The beach was really nice - not super white or pristine but quiet, clean with clear water and secluded enough that it never felt crowded. All beaches in Costa Rica are public beaches so you'll never get a strictly private one but this one seemed that way.

My wife and I went to the spa twice - once for massages, once for a package with massage, facials and manicures. We had deep tissue massages and they were excellent. The staff didn't speak much English but we didn't speak much Spanish so we were on par. For the money, it was good value - we go spas all the time and this was about a 6 out of 10.

We did a sunset cruise on the last day with snorkelling and a sunset sail - it was beautiful and we stopped in at a sheltered bay on an island, swam, went to the beach and were chased by dolphins throughout the cruise.

Generally, this hotel is very good. If you're looking for luxury, to be pampered all the time, and to spend your vacation at the hotel only, don't stay here. If you're looking for a great place to chill, enjoy the company of your travelling companions, have some adventures and enjoy an above average all-inclusive resort vacation, this is a good option.

I gave this a "very good" because the essentials for us were just that. It does need some updating it is true, you may need to ask occasionally for fresh water bottles, or towels, and you're not going to get the equivalent of $120 entrees. You will get a beautiful vista, lovely staff, great restaurant food, and quiet, serene place to come back to at the end of the day.

Room Tip: Ask for rooms in the complexes nearest the pool - the resort is spread out and some can be quite a w...
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
Price Your Stay

Been to Occidental Grand Papagayo? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Occidental Grand Papagayo

Address: Playa Buena, 485000, Costa Rica
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 High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#6 Top resorts Hotel in Gulf of Papagayo
#6 Spa Hotel in Gulf of Papagayo
#7 Luxury Hotel in Gulf of Papagayo
#9 On the Beach Hotel in Gulf of Papagayo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Occidental Grand Papagayo 4*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
On the unspoiled northern Pacific coast of Costa Rica(home to wild parrots and endagered sea turtles), striking volcanic cliffs dramatically descend to powdery sand beaches and crystalline coves. Elegant and respectfully situaded within this breathtaking haven in the five-star Occidental Grand papagayo. Reverently aligned with its majestic surroundings, the resort offers a new kind of luxury all inclusive vacation. It is nothing short of extraordinary.Couples, families and friends who visit experience premiun service, discover gourmand dining and select from an impressive gamut of activities and sports. The resor´s natural setting and luxury amenities also make it the ideal locale for an incomparable wedding or honeymoon. In short, the Occidental Grand Papagayo is a perfect vacation spot for anyone and any reason. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Orbitz, Booking.com, Expedia, Travelocity, Hotels.com, Tingo, Caribbean Online Mgt Corp., BookIt.com, Priceline, BookingOdigeoWL, Otel and Venere so you can book your Occidental Grand Papagayo reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Occidental Grand Papagayo Hotel Gulf Of Papagayo
Occidental Grand Papagayo Gulf Of
Occidental Grand Papagayo Costa Rica
Grande Papagayo Costa Rica
Grand Papagayo Liberia

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Occidental Grand Papagayo, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.