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“Great vacation...great resort” 5 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
Wellington, Canada
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Great vacation...great resort”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 11, 2013

We were at the Grand for a week in mid March for our daughter's wedding and we were not disappointed.
Some of the reviews I read prior to leaving made me wonder - but after being there I can't imagine that those people stayed at the same place.
There is lots of walking and up and down stairs - so be mindful if you have mobility issues - however the hotel has a number of golf cart type vehicles to take you wherever you want to go and they are happy to do it!
The beach is very different from usual white sand - it is striated with black sand [I imagine from volcanic residue] but this really adds to the character. Beach is clean, great swimming...pool is lovely - lots of chairs and the staff offer lots of activity - but leave you alone if you want to just veg.
Our room was lovely - though I understand a few are still being upgraded. Kept very clean - as was the entire resort.
Food - not an issue - lots of choice of good, healthy and palatable food at the buffet. The two other restaurants did not disappoint either...make sure you book them early after your arrival.
The most important thing to mention was the staff - they were amazing...friendly....helpful and very professional. Special mention to Harold and Katrina!

Room Tip: Ask for a newly renovated room or one with a view - they have larger balconies/patios.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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.
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1,772 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 (423)
Date | Rating
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English first
Saint Louis, Missouri
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2013

We recently came to this resort and did a week long vacation with another couple. We had a blast. They were part of the occidental rewards program and highly recommended this place to us. We were hesitant about the food as the ratings online definitely had mixed reviews about the food.

Overall, the food was great. Yes, it is buffet style, but the quality is excellent. We LOVED the breakfast. Made to order eggs, fresh fruits, coffee, cereals, bagels, and other buffet breakfast items. It was excellent. The other meals at the buffet area were good. Not spectacular but the food was very good. I highly recommend the asian and Italian restaurant, but making reservations is difficult, so plan ahead. The food at these restaurants were top notch and I wished we had planned better and booked more nights there in advance.

The service was excellent. The people were very friendly and very helpful. I never felt like I was inconveniencing the staff. They were attentive with drinks, food, and everything. They are very well trained and very courteous.

The resort is beautiful and clean. There is a beach associated with the resort, but it is public so it tends to be a bit crowded. The water is nice, but very rocky. The resort has LOTS of activities that are included. We also did several excursions: volcano all day tour - AWESOME!, and we did a 2 hour waverunner tour as well. Lots of fun!

My only complaint was the guest services. They seemed to give us the run-around a bit. They first told us that our room had WiFi. When asked about it, they said only the nearby buildings to the main building had it. Then, they said you could plug in for access. We asked for a cord. Took several hours to bring it. Then there was NO place to plug it in the room. Turns out, NONE of the rooms have internet access directly into the room. Would've been nice to have been told this up front. There were several other things guest services were very flaky about. Other than that, we have no complaints.

I highly recommend this resort. Just be aware of the guest services team.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Winnipeg
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2013

Good value for your money. Older well established hotel ---could use some upgrading, but clean and well maintained.
Beachfront is black sand, so not your usual Carabian dream beach -- but interesting. Could use some daily maintenance.
Pool is nice and water warm with adaquate loungers,etc. Reasonable good bar service.
Restaurants good food and good coffee. Italian restaurante is best choice.
Lots of hills at this resort so bring good shoes in case you have to walk from your room to pool or buffet. They do offer a shuttle service but not always available in a short amount of time.

Room Tip: Hotel lobby is at the top of the hill. There are about 6 or 7 buildings of rooms at various levels o...
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  • Stayed February 2013, 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 7, 2013

This place is unbelievably over priced for the value you get out of it. Went for a destination wedding, which was very lovely, but the service at the resort was terrible. We got locked out of our room for 4 hours due to a dead battery in the key reader. After telling us to go away for an hour and they would have it fixed, we came back 2 hours later to find out no one had even looked at it. The whole thing turned into a major hassle. The guy at the front was rude and smug to us. The group we were with were getting free upgrades like crazy, so we asked for laundry service for our troubles and the man at the front told us he could do that for us for "100 dollars cashmoney".

All in all we spent way too much money to be there and I could not have been happier to leave.

Room Tip: Rooms close to the pool have to endure hours of blasting party pool music. It is very annoying and s...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
Sandra Alcázar U, Social Media Coordinator at Occidental Grand Papagayo, responded to this review, April 11, 2013
Dear atrevelyan,

I sincerely apologize for the experience you had during your stay. Our goal is to provide guests with exceptional service throughout every aspect of our property, and it appears we fell short on this during your visit. Our housekeeping and maintenance teams typically work very hard to ensure our rooms are in perfect condition and properly inspected before and during the stay of our guest. I have reviewed your comments with both teams so that corrective measures are taken, as this is certainly unacceptable.

The satisfaction of our guests is top priority and your experience with us was not the norm for our hotel. We appreciate you taking the time to share your feedback because it help us to improve.

Sincerely,
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edmonton, Canada
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2013

We went to the Occidental Grand with 50 people for our destination wedding. I have nothing negative to say about the hotel or our experience there. It was AMAZING!! The staff that helped us with the wedding was wonderful. They set up everything and took it down and gave us everything we asked for. They gave us the oriental restaurant for our reception even though we did not ask for it. The staff went above and beyond to make sure we had a great wedding.
I found that our room was very clean and everything in it worked. There was a gap under our door but we just put a towel there at night.
This is not a single building hotel, this resort is made up of a bunch of smaller buildings spread around the resort. As Costa Rica is a beautiful mountanous country, the land is NOT flat and sometimes you have to walk up stairs or hills to get to your desired location on the resort. The hotel did a great job of providing rides to your room and to the beach but over all the land was hilly and some people found this "annoying". My husband and I did NOT find this annoying as it is part of the landscape and we knew it would be like that. Our walk to our room was less than one minute and i believe all rooms are with in the one minute walk to the main building or pool area. Over all i did not find the walking around the resort to be strenuous at all.
I found the food at the hotel to be great and our guests relayed the same opinion to me. The staff at the bars, buffet and snack bar were so nice and accommodating. My husband and I got to know quite a few of the staff over our two week stay and found that they were all happy to help us with anything and were very professional.
I read some negative reviews about the rooms at the hotel. While we were there they were renovating some of the rooms and i think eventually they will all be great. Our room was great and i only know of a handful of people that switched rooms from our 50ppl group. I heard some small complaints about a toilet running or a door not locking, but i also heard that the staff came very quickly and fixed the problem or moved the guests to a new room. I did not hear any stories about any of our guests having to fight for something they wanted and that was not our experience either. If you make a request known, the staff will help you out as best as they can. One word of warning… the room keys become demagnetized next to some cell phones and cameras. It took us a couple of keys to figure this out. Ha!
A second word of warning…. this is not a party resort. This resort was perfect for us and our friends and family but if you are looking for a party resort perhaps look elsewhere. If there is a bunch of you then you can make your own party (that is what we did and it was a blast!) but i would not compare it to the atmosphere of cancun on spring break or anything.
I would definitely recommend this resort for vacationing. We were there for two weeks and every single day was beautiful.
Over all the food was great!, the rooms were clean and working, the staff were amazing and the weather and scenery was beautiful!

  • Stayed March 2013, 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Palm Beach, Florida
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2013

The Costa Rican people are the nicest, most respectful and honest people in Central and South America. The Hotel's ambiance and ammenities were not great however, the service staff made up for it. Everyone was very nice. Our breakfast waiter Geovanny was just outstanding!!! Both restaurants, the Oriental and Italian were again nice but not great. Overall it was a nice experience. You must go to the tours to see the rain forest do zip lining and the mud baths. It is an experience you must have. One more thing checked off on our bucket list.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 30, 2013 via mobile

This is an awesome resort. Totally enjoyed our stay there. Food was awesome. Staff was awesome and very friendly. Great service. This resort is under rated. It is a 5-star resort in my books!! Would definitely go back!!

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
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
#7 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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