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“Incredible view amazing natural beauty” 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
Gray Summit, Missouri
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Incredible view amazing natural beauty”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2013

As said before the scenery is spectacular, Costa Ricans are so friendly and helpful. Swiss Tours are worth every penny. My favorite place was the Disco, great place if you love music and like to make new friends. If you like exercising, you get your chance climbing steps to everywhere, even the poolside. The food was bad, no other way to say it. Sure I was told the flies are plentiful being so close to the jungle, however, I would suggest buffet dishes to be covered with plastic lids. Drinks are excellent with fresh fruit juices so colorful to look at. As for the rooms cozy and clean but shower and bathroom fixtures need upgrading.

Room Tip: Contact before traveling specify your preferences
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled solo
    • 3 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
    • 5 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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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 (425)
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English first
Northampton, Pennsylvania
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2013

We stayed there in May 2013. The staff were wonderful, entertainment great, and the rooms were clean. I would stay there again. We also took several trips while there and it was very convenient for pick up and drop off.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas, United States
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2013

I overheard lots of comments while staying here about what people thought of the hotel, some good and some bad. I checked reviews daily before even picking a hotel to stay at for my stay in Costa Rica, this place fit my budget and I liked what I saw online so I went with it.

Rooms: We were located in building 22, I was happy with this location. I never used the shuttle because I felt like we were in such a great spot, far enough so that it was quiet but close enough to walk to the main buildings/beach. I loved our view, a little bit of ocean view with some trees that attracted wildlife. Not once did I have an issue with my room being too hot, it's not central AC but the AC they have worked very well. I kept hearing people having an issue with their rooms being cleaned, well use the door tag! There is a door tag to let them know when you want your room cleaned/new towels and sheets. I think of hotel rooms as a place to shower, dress and sleep so I was okay with the rooms, very basic and clean. The showers were actually really nice.

Food: Breakfast was always my favorite meal! They have a small omelette bar, tons of fresh fruits, fruit juices, the best potatoes, and I saw a variety of meats. Definitely book a reservation at either restaurant they have, both were great and it was nice to dress up and the staff working in there are SO great! You have to book at 8am that morning, I believe. Even dinner at the buffet I was always impressed with, they change up the dining area a bit so it feels more romantic and the staff in the evening time was so friendly, never had a issue there! Each night at the buffet is a different theme and they offer you a specialty cocktail.
Drinks: Not once was I even buzzed here! I felt like there was water in the liquor bottles they were pouring! They tasted great, but I felt like I never tasted the alcohol. I did learn a trick from someone tho, order a double...whatever you order say, "Make it a double." My husband LOVED their cappuccino.

Staff: I mentioned how friendly the dinner staff was but I did feel like the others could have been more friendly and attentive. I thought the coffee service was ready, TWO employees saw me trying to get coffee but just walk by me. They could have easily have told me what time coffee is served (6:30AM). Also in the snack bar, I asked if there was a cocktail menu and was told no. Well, there is a cocktail menu so maybe they were being lazy. I felt like the staff in the snack bar would be more polite, except Carlos. I want to say thank you to Carlos who always asked how we were enjoying our stay and if there was anything we needed.
I did NOT like feeling pressured into attending a presentation (I think they try to sell you on a timeshare). I thought we were just being talked to about the things we got with our all inclusive package but no, that's where they try to corner you into attending. I just got off a plane, and I am on vacation, do you think I want to sit in on a 90 minute presentation? NO! I forget the employees name but he looks at you like he's trying to steal your soul when he's talking about his presentation. We didn't go, needless to say.

Beach: If the tide is low, go on the hike, you'll see what I mean. When the tide is up there's no hiding from the water so take advantage of the beach while you can.

Other: Make sure to go on a few excursions, I went with TAM. The guy that booked our trips was very friendly and spoke great English. There are daily activities at the resort, but no one told me you had to sign up for anything. I wish I had known that you have to sign up a day before for certain activities. Try to explore the resort either early mornings or evenings, I saw so much wild life which is one of the main reasons I loved the resort grounds. Hearing people talk about the other resorts in the area, they did not see any wild life at their resorts so I am glad I chose this place.



Over all I am satisfied with this resort, I could have focused on the negative things and ruined my trip or enjoyed my experience. Like I said, I heard some people complain but I felt like you could NEVER satisfy these types of people. They were such negative people we often moved away from this group (same people every time, even got stuck going on an excursion with them!). I believe my husband and I just went with things and that's why we had such a memorable time. I wouldn't change a thing about this trip.
Pura Vida!

Room Tip: I loved building 22. I had a view of the ocean. I saw monkeys, and heard so many birds around the bu...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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
    • 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.
Houston, TX
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2013

I stayed at the Grand Papagayo recently, and the staff were great except for Victor. My Dad had a couple of massages, and said they were fantastic.The rooms were hot. If we turned down the a\c as far as it would go, and put the ceiling fan on high, it was ok. They need a better a\c system because they have to be paying a ton of money with the people running their a\c 24\7 to stay cool. The room where the buffet was could have been cooler too. It was hot outside, and the room had huge bay windows, which was nice, but it tended to make the room hot. The management is not managing the wait staff well. They are working too hard in the dining room. Everybody is doing everything, and glasses are sitting on the table empty. I was there 5 days, and the food became boring. The beef had days when it was tough, and we had every sause imagineable put over chicken, pork and beef. I did like the chicken most of the time. The ginger custard was a nice surprise. I really liked it. The beach was nice, and I snorkled a little, and saw a few fish. There was a schedule of activities, and a nice deck for night time entertainment or just hanging out. The grounds were very nice. Watch out becuase they do timeshare\vacation club presentations. Victor tried to get me to sit through one since I am a travel agent, and when I told him I was on vacation, and did not want to sit through a presentation, he was not happy, and it was obvious. After we left this resort in Guanacaste, we went to Jaco, and stayed at one of the boutique hotels, and loved it. My dad was the one that wanted to stay at an all inclusive, but he ended up liking the other hotel better. Jaco, has things to do, and is closer to the national park and other things.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 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
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Chattanooga, Tennessee
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2013

First, the property is beautiful, the staff is friendly and Costa Rica is a beautiful country. If you don't care about the amenities, then go because it is a BEAUTIFUL country.

The bad: when you pay an all-inclusive fee and it states beverages and food are included, you expect it to be good. They also say they offer alternatives for food. Beware: the buffet is not always open. The breakfast buffet is good but the lunch and dinner is not. The other 3 restaurants are not always open and it is REQUIRED to get a reservation early. The funny thing is that the restaurants were not full and they rush you to order. Again, the food is subpar. Overall, if this resort would improve the food options, I believe most people would rate it higher. Also, the pool bar and snack bar (the good sucks there) is not open enough. You do not want to walk WAYYYYYY up the stairs to get drinks when hanging out at the pool and you want the pool to be open late. The beach at the resort is almost nonexistent. Oh, and the roads in Costa Rica are terrible. But, that is not the resorts fault. You should just be prepared if taking a tour.

The rooms are on a Motel 6 level so don't expect much. We were told we could upgrade when we got there; but really they want to sell you a separate membership to do so, which was misleading. Our fan in our room did not work but we just turned the air down more.

Also, expect to pay a $29 departure fee. I think that is crazy given that I just spent thousands of dollars in your country.

Now for the good: Swiss Tours is awesome and are located on the property. If you are an adventure seeker, please spend the $195 and go on the Aernal zip line and hot springs tour. Fun! We also went on the MonteVerde (cloud forest) and coffee tour. Coffee was awesome and the rainforest was BEAUTIFUL. Be prepared to hike a little and take a rain jacket! If you get Lawerence as your tour guide you will not be disappointed. He is so knowledgeable and smart. Also, the staff at this resort are very friendly and will go out of their way to help you. Most Costa Ricans will.

Maybe I expect too much from a resort. Don't expect to get more for your dollar. This area is for tourist and they know what we pay. I was paying the same thing for beverages and food.

Overall, I would visit Costa Rica again because of the beauty; but at a different resort (The Hot Springs Resort in Aernal perhaps or in Playa Carillo).

  • Stayed July 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
    • 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.
Dallas, Texas
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2013

JD was a great tripping guide!!! lol We got so high on adrenaline, it was fantastic. We got to complete the mega combo for a reasonable price which included zip lining, horse back riding, tubbing, hot springs, mountain rock climbing. We also got to sailed to check the dolphins, snorkeling and much more. The Hotel Occidental Grand Papagayo was ok, however the people working there were amazing, extremely friendly and consistently helpful. The restaurant food was not that great but I guess the logistic on italian and asian restaurant need some help. Best part of it was JD and his willingness to tell us what were the best local beaches and tours. Enjoy it.

Room Tip: i heard building 15 wasn't that great from other guest.
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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.
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2013 via mobile

We stayed in late June 2013.
The hotel is clean and service is good. The grounds are large and very well maintained. You have the option of walking around or using the shuttle. We walked most of the time and even going from the beach to the buffet was only a 5 min walk.
The shuttles are prompt and very handy when your dressed up for dinner and its raining but note they stop running at about 23:15 once the bar is shut.
We had a great time the rooms are very clean and our water was always refilled. The only irritations were the Mexican dining evenings. These take over the entire buffet require booking and have a limited menu. If they continue I would suggest they are limited to one a week and the buffet is still available. A couple of other things to note. The beach is fantastic and not very busy. The private tour guides will approach you once but then they leave you alone to enjoy the wonderful calm warm sea and sandy beach.

  • Stayed June 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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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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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