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“Occidental Grand Papagayo, Costa Rica” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Occidental Grand Papagayo

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Occidental Grand Papagayo
4.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Playa Buena, 485000, Costa Rica   |  
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Ranked #7 of 15 Hotels in Gulf of Papagayo
Belle Mead, New Jersey
Level Contributor
75 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Occidental Grand Papagayo, Costa Rica”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2012

Extremely disappointed, told it was a 4 star, I would consider a 2 star. Stayed for 5 days, asked for key to safe, always gave me a different key which never worked. Food was satisfactorily cooked, however a very small selection. I was told there would be entertainment, had a one man band for 1 night. The bathroom tub was totally chipped, pool chairs were totally worn out. Asked our travel agent there "GoGo Tours" on first day of arrival to get our seat assignment, never did this nor did she confirm our transportation back to the airport. Someone was always trying to sell us a time share. I understand that the hotel was purchased about 3 years ago, the place is beautifuly but it has a long way to go before it will become a 3 or 4 star hotel. I understand that the Allegro is even worse than this from fellow travellers who transferred over. Even though the hotel was filled to less than one third, we still had to wait 3 hours inorder to get our room. Even though it was an all inclusive they only gave you 2 water bottles and 2 beers in the refrigerator and would not replenish them, you had to purchase additional water bottles.

Room Tip: I suggest that you see the room before having your luggage sent there, as some rooms are better than...
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
HARODEL, Manager at Occidental Grand Papagayo, responded to this review, September 21, 2012
Dear Hedwig B,

I’m sorry to hear that your stay did not meet your expectations and will reach out you today via TripAdvisor to discuss this further. Our goal is to provide guests with an exceptional experience, and customer service is always our top priority.

I've discussed your review with our front desk team to ensure guests are checked-in efficiently and quickly. We’re also undergoing a renovation that will include updating our bathrooms and amenities.

Our mini bars are refilled every other day; however I assure you that the staff would be happy to provide additional beverages upon request. Of course guests can always stay refreshed with their drink of choice at any of our bars and restaurants that are available as part of the all-inclusive package.

I’ve reviewed your comments about our restaurants with our executive chef and food and beverage manager. Our food is made fresh daily and we strive to offer guests a variety of options with our L’Buffet and two a la carte restaurants: The Italian and D’Oriental. As part of our renovation, we’ll also be adding more stations to the L’Buffet which provide even more variety to our guests.

In regards to our night life, we do offer live music twice a week we will review with our entertainment manager to look in to additional options.

Additionally, we do our best to inform guests of all services and amenities available at our hotel, including the Occidental Vacation Club timeshare. Guests are encouraged to sign up to learn more about it, and are not forced to attend any presentation. I’ve discussed this with the director of Occidental Vacation Club to review and clarify how information is shared with our guests.

Kind regards,
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2,081 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    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
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English first
Allen, Texas
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2012

We had our wedding at the Occidental Grand Papagayo on June 16th, 2012. We were lucky enough to have 57 friends and family join us, and I'm very confident that everyone had a blast including us! I worked with Harold to plan our wedding and started about a year in advance with the planning. Harold is an amazing wedding planner. Our planning mainly took place with hundreds of emails back and forth to each other. Harold always promptly emailed me back within minutes no matter how big or small the question. Its hard planning a wedding when you dont get to see anything, but I must say I held a lot of confidence in Harold's ability to pull off the wedding of our dreams and sure enough and exceeded our every expectation. The decorations were spot on the cake was delicious, the flowers gorgeous. My only recommendation to other brides would be to have a backup plan for hair. The salon does great messages, but we were not that impressed with the hair styles offered. What can I say, we like BIG hair in Texas! Luckily, I had a friend with us who was able to style our hair. The Spanish guitar trio and DJ were perfect. One of our favorite parts of the night was the last song of the night which was a mix of salsa and other popular songs. We had the waiters teaching the ladies how to Salsa and even got Harold into the mix. It was definitely a wedding of a lifetime.

A little bit more about the hotel and less about the wedding... Upon arrival we all received welcome drinks and the staff immediately started tagging our luggage and made sure all luggage was sent to our rooms so we wouldnt have to worry about it. Occidental was nice enough to upgrade my husband and I to the nicest room at the resort and also upgraded my parents and a few other guests that arrived early. The resort is not brand new and shiny, but WOW it is beautiful. I've traveled a lot and still fell in love with the character of this resort. The food at the buffet is pretty good, but the food at the Oriental and Italian restaurants is excellent. You have to have reservations for the Oriental and Italian and the reservations go fast, be sure to reserve before you get there if possible. We were extremely happy with our stay at the resort and will be back next year and many more times in the future. More than anything we owe the friendly staff a huge THANK YOU for all they did to make it such a memorable trip for us and our guests. Pura Vida!

Room Tip: We dont know why but a few of our guests asked to be moved out of building one.
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with friends
    • 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manassas, Virginia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2012

I read all the reviews on a weekly basis before going here. I decided the complaints were pretty superficial and we went to this resort knowing what to expect. This is not a 5 star hotel. You want that, go across the bay to the 4 seasons.

We went at the end of the high tourist season so this resort was very laid back, not very crowded and relaxing. We had a large group of 40 people for a wedding. Had we not had the group, we may have gotten pretty bored at the resort since it was down season at the end of April into May.

Our Room: We upgraded to the Royal Club. It was definately worth it!! Our view was amazing! The room was super clean. Yeah, you had a little mold around the drain systems. Its hot, its humid and it happens! who cares??? The royal club allows you to order room service. We took full advantage!! They bring you anything from their room service menu and any drinks you want! The steak, Pizza and the breakfast dishes are awesome! Much better than the buffet choices. We had one problem with the air conditioner not working (it was leaking slightly and not putting cold air out.) We were moved to another room over night by the pool area and they had it fixed the next day so we didn't lose our great view room. We had no other problems with it.

Food: The buffet is the regular run of the mill type of Costa Rican food and American food. They sometimes recycle food from the specialty restaurants from the night before, but it is still good. The fruit was always fresh and delicious! In the mornings they also had a little stand to make your own Bloody mary or mimosa's. Be aware the coffee is a bit stronger than some may like, but we liked it alot.

Specialty Restaurants: The asian restaurant was Awesome! The spring rolls are not fried and greasy, they are fresh and very healthy! The Sea Bass was wonderful! The Italian restaurant was lacking. The food was still OK, but nothing above and beyond. One of our friends had her chicken raw in the middle and another had a very undercooked Steak. We only ate once at the italian, but they were more than helpful with replacing the undercooked food.

Pool Bar/Cafe: We liked eating here. They served more american style food like nachoes, burgers, fruit,salads,fries etc. We caught Tuna on the ocean and the guys from the boat cleaned it and packaged it. We brought it up to the Pool Cafe and they grilled it up for our lunch (you have to sign a waiver if you have them cook your own fish, just for insurance sake). They served the fish with a garlic butter sauce of some sort and it was Delicious! We shared with the very friendly staff too! They were great! They served us wine, shots, water while we waited.

Caution: yes, the water is safe to drink, but they use much more chlorine in it. We found out the hard way that too much chlorine that you drink, swim in and shower in can be hard on your insides. We had to take probiotics to get our system back into balance after our trip.

Pool: The pool was very big and we played Volleyball,Pool Polo and all sorts of other activities geared by the activity staff. It was a good time. The pool does not have a swim up pool, but the servers there are happy to get you a drink and bring it to you or, its only a few steps from the pool, so we got our own most the time.

Alcohol: yes, they serve a lot of fruity drinks that tend to be watered down. But you need only ask to add more, they are happy to do so. They may not know how to make worldwide style drinks, but just let them know and they are quick to learn what you like.

Beach: High tide is usually very early in the morning and goes down as the day goes on. We had a great time snorkeling around 2-3pm. The water was high enough to see the fish and stingrays. After 4 pm, the water drastically goes down. You can walk over to the reef in the bay it is so low. Be careful with the prickly Urchins that tend to wash up on the beach real early in the morning. Wear sandals. The trees that offer great shade, be warned! They are poisonous so if you touch them, you have an irritating Rash for about 20 minutes. They dont tell you that at the resort. Probably just a oversight. Not white sands, and there are tiny tiny jellyfish that give you a little sting. But it didn't prevent us from swimming. They tend to be out more in the early hours and late evening.

TOURS: We read reviews and the guys on the beach, Jaime Pozuelo. He is quite a character! But he is excited to work with you and what you really want to do. He gives a better price than the hotel tours and he can work out whatever package you want to do and when you want to do it! The zip line/horseback/spa adventure was GREAT!! Had so much fun! The Riverboat ride was cool because we got to have monkeys invade the boat and climb all over us! Book Jaime early in your trip, otherwise he will book up later in the week. We did a monday, Thursday and Saturday tour with him. Great Experience!

DISCO: Had there been more people, this place Might have been entertaining. I tried Karaoke two nights in a row and they were WAY behind on any international music that was popular. They were downloading a song AS I was singing it. Song cut off halfway through and I was standing there waiting for the rest to download. There is one pool table in there that is a bit too big for the area it's placed in.

All in all, we had a great time. Anything that may have not been up to par, we didn't let it get to us because you really need to stop stressing the small things. We had plenty of towels, room service was good, facilities were fine. There is a lot of climbing stairs, which we found beneficial after the food we would eat. Exercise is good for you! If you disabilities, they have the little bus that runs all over the property.

We would definately go back here!! Very relaxing, more than willing to please staff, nice view rooms and good price. You are in a Costa Rica, not America or Canada. Stop complaining about small stuff.

Room Tip: Building #9 (honeymoon Suites) and Building #8 & #6 have AWESOME views! Building #1 is right by...
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Carleton Place, Canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 21, 2012

My Mom and I stayed at the hotel for one week and had a wonderful holiday! The staff at the buffet , bar and snack bar were really accomodating. The beach is rustic and not pristine but we preferred this . The Air Canada Rep was very helpful too . Overall it was the best holiday we both have ever had.There was no safe in our room for 2 days and the manager did get us one and this is my only complaint .Other than this it is a lovely spot with wonderful people who welcomed us with a smile every morning . My Mom and I have never met such lovely people as the staff at this hotel.

Room Tip: The rooms near the spa are better for people with mobility issues .Or rooms in buliding 1.
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Humble, Texas
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 20, 2012

This was supposed to be a wonderful, memorable family reunion meeting up with my daughter coming home from Afghanistan. One part of our family had to be moved to the other side of the resort due to mold/mildew in the first room. You could hardly breathe from the bad odor. After an afternoon of rain there was standing water in the room. After being put into the other room away from the family, the next room had soggy walls & mold around the base boards due to leaky pipes. We had to use tie wraps to hold the adjustable shower head in place and when in the shower, there was no support under the tub so you felt like you would fall thru. The phone in the second room did not work and there were no batteries in the t.v. remote. Nobody would come fix the phone or bring batteries so we had to take the phone and remote up to the office to get the issue resolved. The manger ended up giving us the phone from his office. We had to wait over 30 minutes to get the batteries. The a/c in one of the other rooms was barely putting out cool air. One of the neighbors in the building was transferring to their third room due to the same problems. The buffet and snack bar food was less than desirable, but the coffee was fantastic. The two specialty restaurants required reservations and they were always booked up so to get a decent meal we had to pay for a bus to take us to town where the fresh fish was delicious. The bar was good and the staff was friendly. We felt the problem with the whole resort was extremely poor management & maintenance. This was the first and most likely the last trip to Costa Rica.

Room Tip: The suites will probably be the best bet. Check your room as soon as you arrive for maintenance prob...
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HARODEL, Manager at Occidental Grand Papagayo, responded to this review, September 21, 2012
Dear bleftwich,
I’m sorry to hear that your stay was less than satisfactory, especially as you were here for such a special occasion. It is our goal to provide incredible customer service and it appears we fell short of this during your stay. I will reach out to you today via TripAdvisor to further discuss your experience.

Our rooftops are thatched to provide an authentic experience, and unfortunately we
sometimes have issues when we have heavy rain, but we are constantly working and repairing them. Please know that our houskeeping and maintenance teams typically work very hard to clean rooms daily and complete repairs quickly and efficiently. I’ve discussed the issues with the walls, shower, phone and remote with our maintenace manager to ensure his team inspects each room again. We’re also renovationg our property and refreshing the decor, bathrooms and guestrooms, in addition to updating our amenities with plasma TVs and new air conditioning units.

I’ve reviewed your experience with our restaurants with our food and beverage manager, as we’re always looking for ways to improve our service. We recommend that guests make reservations for our two a la carte restaurants (The Italian and D’Oriental) upon check-in, as they can certainly fill up quickly. I’ve also shared your feedback about the cuisine at L’Buffet with our executive chef to see how he can enhance the many options available to guests. As part of the renovation, the L ‘Buffet will have more stations, so that guests have even more variety to choose from and are experiencing something different with each visit.
Sincerely,
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Niagara, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 19, 2012

We just got back from our honeymoon We stayed in room 218 on June 7th thru the 15th of 2012. At first we feared the rainy season would hinder our trip, there was absolutely NO rain. The room was clean and fine. The only problem was the security box was hard to get the key in and out of. The grounds were beautiful, the food was fabulous. But what made the trip SO special, was the staff. Kevin was like our personal consierge, and went out of his way to make sure we were happy. The bartenders, especially Gerald (the poolside bar), Victor and Wilmer. Edward Rodriguez was the agent who worked for CAT on the premises booked all of our wonderful tours tailored to our needs. I will say, tipping should be a must. A little goes a long way. I promise you, if you tip, they will never forget you. We tip anyways, anywhere we go. But it it so appreciated there. We will definitely return. Thank you all for making our honeymoon wonderful.....Frank and Kathy Werner

  • Stayed June 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 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 16, 2012

First of all the hotel is very average. We had a nice stay and really enjoyed Costa Rica. The hotel was definitely not as high on the satisfaction scale. The pictures on the website are deceiving. We had upgraded to the Royal Club for the various upgrades (primarily Room Service and in room internet/wifi). Based upon our experience (2 rooms/2 couples), it was not worth the extra. Wifi internet was down entire trip except for in the lobby some and in part of pool area. Did get wired internet in our room for most of trip which helped but getting that set up was a process. Room service and concierge services were not good. We would call and request items and they would never be delivered. We actually gave up after 3 days of asking. Rooms were clean. Restaurants were clean also. Buffet was below average for us. The Snack Bar by the pool was below average too. Also, no pool servers. Anytime you wanted a beverage, you had to get out of the pool and walk down to the bar. Very inconvenient and with the prices paid for this type of resort, one would expect service by the pool especially with no swim up pool bar. At certain times of the day, the pool area was dirty. All in all, we loved Costa Rica and what it had to offer. Hotel was nice but we would opt for other accommodations. Our favorite server who took time to actually ask our names and remembered us was Melvin. Great guy. Also, Gerald at the Snack bar and Davis in the Royal Club lounge were good too. The Oriental restaurant was good as was the Italian (only good thing about the Royal Club as you get priority reservations and can go as many times as you want). Staff was nice but not overly concerned about resolutions or follow up. I'd say just enough to get the job done.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with friends
    • 2 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Additional Information about Occidental Grand Papagayo

Address: Playa Buena, 485000, 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 High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Best Value Hotel in Gulf of Papagayo
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Gulf of Papagayo
#6 Luxury Hotel in Gulf of Papagayo
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Gulf of Papagayo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Occidental Grand Papagayo 4*
Number of rooms: 169
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 
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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

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