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“Good Value” 3 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   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #8 of 16 Hotels in Gulf of Papagayo
SF Bay Area
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
“Good Value”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

There is a lot to like in relationship to the cost for this resort. It had a good mix of guests of different ages - honeymooners, empty nesters, and a few old folks like us. It is not a good place for people who have a hard time with steps, etc. There were virtually no guests with kids when we were there. Many of the rooms are in five-room buildings spread through the resort, each with a view and patio. The rooms were clean, and in pretty good working order. The food in the specialty restaurants was very good. In the main restaurant, I noticed that many of the guests seemed happy, but we found it mediocre - maybe because we are west coast food snobs. You can get espresso drinks if you ask. We left tips at each meal and in our room and had good service. (We brought $200 in ones and fives)
It rained every day we were there - our luck choosing mid October in a late, wet rainy season. The beach was beautiful at low tide and when the sun was out. At high tide, the beach nearly disappeared. The resort is pretty isolated. We took three excursions through the United Vacations rep at the resort. We really liked the one to Nicarauga, and to the hot springs/rain forest - partly because the guide we had gave us college-lecture level information. But they were very long days - 12 hours or more.
So, if you are on a budget, just want a romantic getaway to lie on the beach or by the pool, and are not food-fussy, it is great.

Room Tip: If you like good alcohol and internet and room with great view, pay extra for "club level,"...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,688 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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (387)
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English first
Nova Scotia
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

We stayed there for a week in Dec, 2011. This region is beautiful and the people very friendly. We participated in 3 off-site excursions, a bit expensive and a bit far from the resort, but enjoyable. Really recommend the mountain trail ride and zipline adventure. The food and drinks were quite good for all inclusive. Nice restaurant ambiance. There were not many guests at this time of year so the small beach was not crowded and not too long a wait for dining tables. Unfortunately, there was construction happening on-site when we were there and the noise begun early in the morning. Rooms were clean but sometimes shortage of towels and face cloths. Always a good rule of thumb to bring a few facecloths from home. The TV in our room didn't work well and asking for another one or a repair fell on deaf ears. Not that having no TV is usually a problem at a resort, but when it gets dark at 6pm and there is not much to do there in the evenings, (one dance club) and no nearby ammenities, the TV becomes the main source of entertainment. Overall the experience was good, it is a nice place to relax and take in the sun, sand and sea. Good and friendly service provided. (except the TV thing)

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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St. Petersburg, Florida
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 3, 2012

Not sure why this place has negative reviews. I will say the room service was poor for things like ice, room clean up, etc. My only gripe. The place was affordable, the properties beautiful and I thought the buffet was great. Their two specialized restaurants require advance notice for reservations. They had places for snacks when the buffet was closed.

All Inclusive included the cost of liquer...which can get expensive at a regular bar. They had free things like snorkeling, kayaking, guided walk tours and inexpensive excursions like zip lining. The beach was remote and had monkeys in the woods. We could see the ocean from our room and the foot traffic was minimal making it very private for us.

I went there for my honeymoon and I have no regrets! I'd like to go back....

  • 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Akron, Ohio
1 review
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 3, 2012

The price was affordable, I thought. I stayed at Occidental Grand Papayago from Oct.29-Nov2. The grounds were beautiful. But it stops there. I thought guest services were very unfriendly. The were so focused on selling an excursion off of the resort. After checking into the room around lunchtime, I went to the buffet and had a very mediocre lunch. I then went to the pool to relax and have a few drinks. It usually took 15-20 minutes to get a drink unless you tipped the person each time. This is supposed to be an ALL INCLUSIVE RESORT with taxes and tips included. NOT. I tried to make reservations for dinner at either of the ALA CARTE restaurants for Wednesday and Thursday nights, but both nights were fully booked. Note, I checked in on Monday. Maybe since I was a single traveler, the TIP would not be as much so they claim it was booked up. The room was clean (building 200) and it was supposed to be an oceanview room. The ocean was a good 300 yards away so the only view was the building that handed out beach towels and the Snack bar. In the evening I tried to take a hot shower. No not water. Called for someone to look at it in the morning, When the guy arrived, all of a sudden there was hot water. Later that night when i went to get a shower, there was hot water in the sink, but not the shower. Called again and they said someone would look at it in the morning. Again, when he arrived, there was hot water again. Must have conveniently opened the hot water valve again. Same thing every morning. The website says there are 4 bars. One at the lobby, one at the disco, which doesn't open until 7PM, one be the pool, which you could not sit. It was a service bar and one down the path to the ocean, which was deserted and never open. Again, spend your money at a different ALL INCLUSIVE RESORT in Costa Rica.

Room Tip: No good rooms
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled solo
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 31, 2012

My trip was too short, but the hotel delivered what was needed; nice room, friendly staff and a great, relaxing view. The hotel hosted the wedding of a close friend and everything went off without a hitch. Excellent spot for a weekend getaway.

Room Tip: Building 20 has great views
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Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 30, 2012

I organized a group to this property for a wedding on October 20th. The hotel staff was extremely accommodating & catered to the group. The rooms are big, facilities are clean, but nothing beats the personal. Thank you all for making us feel welcomed in your country. Special thanks to Alex from Swiss Travel Transfers, the little girl who works nights in the buffet restaurant (went the extra mile to make sure the group was seated comfortably) & of course Harold in the events department. You have our gratitude sir.



- Omar "The Big O" Hamilton

Room Tip: Go on any tour. They are all good, but zip lining in Costa Rica gets rave reviews.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Staten Island, NY
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
67 helpful votes 67 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 28, 2012

My boyfriend and I are First Club members of Occidental- we have been to 3 of their other properties in Aruba, Punta Cana and XCaret (all which were great with Aruba and Mexio being our favorites)- this one would be our least favorite...but not because it's bad, it just needs some improvements- which I think will come in the future according to the workers we spoke to. First, if you just are looking for an average place to get away and relax and not looking for a party place - then you will be just fine...here is my more in depth overview:

- The food and meals need to be improved, not a large selection but could be very difficult if you were a picky eater. I would recommend bringing some snacks with you in case you get hungry during the day or night. some chips etc. will help.

- If you go to the theme restaurants: We liked the Chilean Sea bass at the oriental. You just have to remember their version of Orietnal and Italian food is not like America's version, so don't have high expectations. If you like desserts- we only encountered a good one the entire trip- chocolate cake at the Italian- seriously- desserts are no good at any of the places BOO!

- Alcohol selections at all bars on the property were good- even some top shelf offerings for everyone. (Even if your not part of the First Club.

- Employee engagement- I felt the front desk folks when you walk in were not very observant kind of odd...they often seemed like they were too busy. BUT the bar employees were always nice. Servers in the restaurants were hit or miss. My biggest recommenation as I always recommend- bring a few singles and tip the good servers- they will go above and beyond for you the entire week! I know your at an all inlcusive- but if you can afford an all inclusive you can surely afford to bring a few singles to those that are good to you.

- First Club-the bar for members is nice- nothing amazing, but nice view and all top shelf liquor. We spent every night up there after dinner for martinis. they do have one computer with internet for members. Andrew is a nice guy that oversees Members Services and Juan the employee if very accomodating. Make sure you meet him- he makes you feel really welcome! If only they would train the other employees witht their same attitude and service it would make the place POP even more!

-Pool- not huge, but fine. Much to do at the pool- good activty staff.

- Room- we had a suite- it was small, simple, First Club members are given 4 bottles of spinning liquor. Has a patio with 2 chairs. I found that I had to use my bottle of OFF during the day because the small bugs here/there bite. The bed was fine- nothing spectacular. We did encouter 3 couples that were orginally in the hotel room and asked to be upgraded to the suite- most things we heard about the hotel room was they were really old. If you book the hotel room-you may want to confirm you will be a newer remodeled room. Also- don't leave anything sweet on the counter tops in your room and you will find that little bugs will appear- they like the sweet smell.,

-Remember your in Costa Rica- so you will encounter wildlife on the property- we saw coati, racoon, birds,wild dogs etc. It's not a bad thing- but you have to be the kind of person that likes the wild.

Beach- small- and not that nice-but PLEASE know we were here during rainy season so going to the beach was not always an option. We heard it's a nice beach when not rainy season.

Overall- fine place if you want to relax and discconnect from your ipad, iphone, lpatop etc. Bring a good book. snacks, playing cards and good company and you will enjoy! THIS IS NOT a place to go wild- lots of couples and honeymooners looking to relax and enjoy each other's company.It's a remote location with the closest town about 10 miles away. We did see alot of people renting cars- which I think I would recommend. Also, the place is all incline and stairs so bring good walking shoes! It's a workout!

Would we go back- if it was a good deal and cheap flight-sure. Would it be our first choice location of the Occidentals- no.

Again, no frills, and 3.5 because the sercive was good.

Room Tip: Suite room.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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:
#5 Top resorts Hotel in Gulf of Papagayo
#6 Spa Hotel in Gulf of Papagayo
#7 Luxury Hotel in Gulf of Papagayo
#8 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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