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“Drew & Sara >>>check out JD-Adventures” 4 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
New York City, New York
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Drew & Sara >>>check out JD-Adventures”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 6, 2013

The resort and scenery were absolutely gorgeous! I have to say probably the best part of the trip was meeting JD from JD Adventures who took care of our excursions from the hotel. My girlfriend and I met him the first day of our vacation, on the beach at the hotel. JD set up trips zip-lining, jet skiing, banana boating and took us on a tour of 6 local beaches, ending in Tamarindo for a late lunch where he set up a Mariachi Band to play for us!!!!! It was absolutely INCREDIBLE!!!! He also took time out of his schedule to show us around town and take us out for some night life in Coco Beach. I have to say meeting JD took my vacation from great to AMAZING. He and I have remained in connect and plan on visiting him in Costa Rica again... Make it a point to go down to the beach and meet up with him!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,761 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 (418)
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English first
NYC
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 3, 2013

The views are great, its located at the base of a mountain. But I'm here to tell you what I wish someone told me before I booked.

1. If you stay on the ground level make sure your balcony deck door is locked. The raccoons know how to open the sliding glass door. It's cute but scary when you're in bed watching TV.

2. FOOD IS TERRIBLE. Snack bar, buffet - everything is bad. Originally when we checked in they said we had to call between the hours of 8am-3pm to book reservations for the Asian & Italian restaurant on site but you had to call the morning of the day you wanted a reservation. They would not book us in advance. Every morning we called everything was booked. Finally another couple had told us you were allowed to book in advance so WTF? We left without ever trying these two places out because we couldn't get in.

3. No garbage cans in the room or bathroom. Called and asked about it frequently but nothing

4. No shower door or curtain. Shower area is painted black and the tub is cracked.

5. We took the recommendation of a hotel employee for a restaurant in Coco Beach. Don't listen to them, avoid at all costs.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Loma Rica, CA
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 2, 2013

This place is a great value with access to quite a few tours (The Sea Bird is what you want for sailing on these waters) and near to the airport in Liberia. The service was very good and the staff was very helpful (and fun). The views are excellent, especially at sunset. The walk to the beach was great, with chances to see beautiful birds, howler monkeys and an amazing group of locals. For breakfast, the buffet is very good and the selections were varied. The fruit was always great.The buffet lunch is so-so, but with a wide variety of food. Both dinner restaurants (that require reservations) have very good food, nice desserts and the service was PERFECT. Explore all parts of this place, you'll be glad you did. The live entertainment is also fun and will have you giggling.

The clientele at this resort were great to hang out with. Lots of fun.

Room Tip: The regular rooms are just fine. We saw the honeymoon sweet, and the only difference is the amount o...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Orlando, Florida
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 1, 2013

Originally booked at their sister resort and when we arrived we found them to be closed for renovations. Back in the car for another 40 minute trip. Lobby is gorgeous but when we were taken to our room we were utterly disappointed. Dirty smear on wall beside a very old tub with black walls, no toilet paper holder, patio door did not close entirely and a non functioning screen. We had booked 2 double beds but were given a king, there was a table but no chairs, no luggage rack and no soap in the bathroom. After we went back to the lobby, they found us a beautiful room with an ocean view, but still a king-sized bed. After my first impression, I will not go to their presentation to sell me on their time-share.

Room Tip: Make sure you book a premium room.
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Sandra Alcázar U, Social Media Coordinator at Occidental Grand Papagayo, responded to this review, May 14, 2013
Dear Julie0531,

Thank you for sending us your comments relating to your most recent stay at Occidental Grand Papagayo. Guest feedback enables us to continually review our service delivery and standards and make changes wherever possible.

Please accept my sincerest apologies for the poor impression you had of your room, our housekeeping team verify that rooms are in perfect condition before welcoming a new guest, but clearly we didn’t do it this time. I have followed up with our Director of Housekeeping to address your comments.

We hope to have the opportunity to demonstrate our high standards for quality during your next visit.

Sincerely,
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago
Top Contributor
199 reviews 199 reviews
95 hotel reviews
Reviews in 92 cities Reviews in 92 cities
216 helpful votes 216 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2013

Let me preface by saying that I am not really an all-inclusive type of traveler. However, this was a really quick trip and it did seem to be a very good deal for what we were going to use it for (basically to eat and sleep and then have one morning on the grounds to relax). It's not so much that I stay away from sprawling resorts (and with 20+ buildings, this is definitely a sprawling resort), it's just that I like to give myself choices when I travel in terms of meals...and I find that all-inclusives fall short. This hotel was no exception.

Case in point: the hotel website lists that there are 4 restaurants. However, one is open to Club members only. One (D'Oriental, the Japanese restaurant) was closed for the night we were there. And another (The Italian) was completely booked. Leaving us with exactly one option: the buffet. Not really how I wanted to spend my one evening in Costa Rica. The food (Mexican, that evening) was mediocre. As a vegetarian, it meant a dinner of mainly rice, potatoes, and bread. Dessert options were quite poor, though we did enjoy the ice cream. Surprisingly, although you only get a choice of "red or white" wine, the selections were not terrible. Breakfast was OK (no beer or mimosas served, though). I just really wish that these types of hotels would develop a better system for dining where you want - because the way it is now (not only at the Occidental, but at many all-inclusives) really borders on being false advertising.

The grounds of the hotel were nice. The lobby is very pleasant, gift shop is nice. Views out to the sea are nice as well. The beach is more of a gulf - and the day we went, it was full of dead jellyfish, so we stayed away from the water. It's also a bit of a walk from the hotel area...so rooms are really not directly on the beach at all. But still, it's a nice walk - day or night. You can also get massages right at the beach area.

The pool area feels small given the size of the resort; though it wasn't crowded while we were there. The daiquiris and pina coladas served at the pool bar were really good (watch out - the coatis that roam around the grounds will try to steal them!). We didn't have any issues finding beach chairs, though we did go down in the morning. Be sure to bring sunscreen and bug spray (you may not feel yourself getting burnt or bitten, but you'll feel it later). The lobby bar was good, but closed at 11pm. The disco had only a few people in it and seemed quite depressing.

Rooms are standard - nice, marble floors. Thankfully the A/C worked well. Bed was uncomfortable, rather hard actually. Toiletries lacking - a generic shampoo/shower gel combo and no conditioner. A few small tiny beetle-type bugs in the bathroom at night, but not a big deal. Hot water took awhile to come through, but when it did it was very warm. Two beers and two waters in the minibar. Balcony was nice with a pretty view even though we didn't have an ocean or pool front room.

Really, this is an OK place. Not luxurious, but all right for a short stay if you don't have super high expectations. I do need to call out the staff for being very friendly and helpful, though. In fact, throughout all of Costa Rica, we found the people to be some of the nicest in the world. We ran into a little crisis at the airport when my other half realized he'd left his passport in the room. Though it took us awhile to find the right phone number to the hotel, when we got through, they already had his passport in hand and at our request, sent it on its way to us at the airport via taxi. Thanks to their help, we made our flight, even though we had already been cutting it very close in terms of time. So I really do think that the staff is doing their very best in what would otherwise be a very middle-of-the-road resort and their willingness to help us out really went a long way.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2013 via mobile

The resort and its staff were nothing but great! We upgraded to the royal club and I would highly recommend it! Great view and even the buffet was high class!

I highly recommend JD Adventures for any excursions or activities you want to do in Costa Rica, you can usually find him at the beach on the resort. I am usually very sceptical when dealing with people on the beach especially after the resort says not too but the minute I began talking with JD I knew he was different and he will take very good care of all his customers! He is also very well known around the resort as well so he will have alot of recommendations.

Like I said the resort and all the Costa Rican people are nothing but amazing and very very highly recommend JD and the Occidental Grand Papagayo!

  • Stayed April 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Tumbler Ridge, Canada
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 25, 2013

Just returned from holiday at Occidental Grand Papagayo and had a good time. Costa Rica is not cheap like Mexico....no bang for your buck. 7.00$ for a fridge magnet floored me. Hotel room was where and what we asked for, clean and staff was great. Food aplenty, and plenty of coaties to feed. So cute! They do try and sell a vacation club package which I did not expect but they don't hound you. The hotel could of used an ATM and maybe a swimup bar and umbrellas, also lots of steps and hills. Due to time of year, was very hot for me and the lack of shade around pool was hard to handle...so down to the beach I went where it was cooler. Tours were great!!!
I did enjoy myself and glad I was there!!!!!!, but would not go back just due to long flight....I hate sitting for long periods, the hotel was just fine!!!!

  • Stayed April 2013, 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
    • 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.
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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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