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“Friendly& Beautiful” 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
Port Perry, Canada
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Friendly& Beautiful”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 15, 2014

We had a great holiday at this hotel. The staff was so friendly and helpful. They even helped me fixed my reading glasses. We enjoyed the pool activities from volleyball to pool aerobics,getting rid of weight from eating to much delicious food at the buffets. My husband also shot a bow and gun at a target. What he liked best is when we went to the lounge to relax at night the staff would greet him saying,"Robert is there anything you need." Very impressed. As we waked up in our king sized bed the birds were greeting us, just like home.
There is anything you would like your holiday to be perfect from sunset cruise to shopping at small towns, to zip lining,sport fishing,ATV tours, also snorkelling whatever your heart's delight.
We were invited to the Manager's Cocktail Party which we enjoyed thanks for the invite.There is a gym and full body massages so relaxing. There is also a disco for the young at heart to dance to the wee hours. The rooms are clean the mini bar stocked every day. A wide variety of food at the buffets or make a reservation to 3 restaurants your choice. A perfect holiday for us, thanks to all the staff. We would differently go back.

Room Tip: Our one room with king size bed was fine for us close to all amenities excellent location.
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    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 (419)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Woodbridge, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 14, 2014

Very Basic resort. Food was average...sometimes below average. The staff was mediocre..not rude but not friendly either. The entertainment was beyond low key...it is a resort for those who want to be left alone and do nothing. No nightly entertainment unless it is some slow guitar player (who usually plays during dinner time anyway so we usually missed him).. The beach was way too shady and quite a hike from the rest of the resort...if you're lucky you can catch a shuttle bus. I recommend bringing a Bubba because there are no opened bars near the beach..so you have to go to the bar at the snack bar which is at least an 8 minute walk/hike to get there from the beach. The views are really pretty though. Very little variety of food...Our towels were rarely replaced and we had a bug problem in our room...all kinds of bugs. A really mediocre resort.

Room Tip: bring bug spray
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  • Stayed November 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 49
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
98 helpful votes 98 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 12, 2014

My wife booked a last minute vacation through Air Canada Vacations. Air Canada rated it as 3 rondels which is probably about right. We took a chance and saved about $1000 compared to a 3.5 rondel rating for a week. It met our expectations for a 3 rondel. The resort needs renovations soon. With renovation and a few service upgrades, it could be 3.5.

Front Desk
At Check in, we arrived at 1:45; Rooms not ready until after 3:00pm. We had to store luggage in an unsecured room by ourselves. These were inconveniences, but we walked to the beach and watched the monkeys and had a drink. The desk staff all speak very good English. The desk staff do not have much knowledge about golf although the 4 seasons resort golf course is 10 minutes away on same peninsula

Gift Shop.
As others report, it is very expensive. The only things we bought there were a couple of bottles of water - and we kept refi;;ing the bottles at thefree water stations that are all over the resort.

Room
Basic describes the room. Nice balcony, great view (all rooms seem to face the bay. Not enough towels first night; bathroom a bit dirty; patio door very sticky; set AC at 25C but it could not get lower than 27C - called maintenance and they reset it and it worked well after that; soap and shampoo dispensers were broken and it took 3 calls to get them replaced; TV had over 30 Spanish channels.

Food
Italian resto was good but you can only book one a la carte meal per 3 nights of stay. Need reservations even though the restaurant is not busy - we actually just walked in the firtst night because we were not aware of the requirement for reservations and they fit us in no problem. TexMex restaurant was in the lower floor of the Italian restaurant. The restaurants are open on alternate nights and the staff move between restaurants. The buffet was good and the menu changed a bit every day. Beware there is no food available after breakfast ends at 1000 and when the snackbar opens at 1100; same problem late afternoon after lunch and before dinner opens.

Staff
The maid spoke about as much English as I speak Spanish, i.e. almost none. Not unusual in our experience for many Caribbean/Central American countries. After some discussion and a tip, she seemed to understand that I needed towels. She did not fill soap and shampoo daily. The pool staff, waiters, and bell staff were all good. Some waiters in the buffet had limited english; wait staff in the restauarnts spoke excellent English. The buffet waiters were very good at swooping in and removing dishes but they never seemed to replace cutlery

Pool
The pool was a reasonably large for the size of the resort and it had a unique design with several different areas giving diverse atmosphere - a Quiet side; a good swim up bar, a kids area, an activities area.

Beach
The beach was black sand - WEARE BEACH SHOES!!!! The black sand heats up incredibly - my wife burned her feet walking back to her beach chair after the tide went out a bit. Because the beach is so flat, a slight drop in the water level as the tide goes out means you have to walk 50 yards to the water.

Other
Nice landscaping. Not many water activities at beach. Shuttle ran in a constant loop around the resort so about every 5 minutes. Water stations placed at shuttle stops with cold water bottled water - bring bottles with you! Fun club kept people involved all day. Fantastic view of the bay. Onsite there were monkeys, native raccoons (similar to North American raccons but I can't remember the actual name), iguanas, and lots of birds.

The resort is not very close to attractions. Not a big deal if you just want to stay at the resort but we usually go an anexcursion every second day. It is a long drive to mountains - Blue River was 2 hours each way and one hour each was on a gravel road with 3 inch diameter gravel. Very slow and bumpy. Blue River was a very nice spa with zip lining, walking tours, hot springs, buttefrly house. Other tours had similarly long drives. The tour to Nicaragua is interesting but a LONG time on the bus - leaves resort at 0515 and returns at 2100

The resort is popular with Canadians and Americans, and with Costa Ricans on weekend.

Drinks were good

Entertainment
Average quality of nightly shows consistent with a 3 star level resort and a good kids show on Saturday night

The Four Seasons resort has an excellent golf course, however quite expensive at $320/round. There is a great deal if you play after 1200 however when the price drops to $160 and there is almost nobody on the course.

Room Tip: 2nd floor - better view than 1st floor and the raccons are at ground level
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  • Stayed March 2014, 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
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 49
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. John's, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 11, 2014

I stayed at the Occidental Grand Papagayo with my boyfriend for a week at the beginning of May.

Let me start by saying I have a hard time understanding a lot of the bad reviews, I had read a lot of them before we left so I wasn't sure what to expect, but we had a great experience.

Rooms:
We stayed in building 1 on the 3rd floor (the top floor of the building) our room was nice, and clean, king sized bed, TV, mini fridge, a balcony that had a nice view of the pool and could still see the ocean a bit which was nice (ocean view rooms would have a better view obviously but considering we had a deluxe room which is essentially a basic room we were very happy with the view). The bathroom was also nice, large and had a big shower. The room was cleaned well everyday and mini fridge was restocked with beer, pop, and water everyday. We had no complaints about the room at all.

Grounds:
The resort is very nice, and well kept. The pool is small, but doesn't need to be bigger considering how small the resort is. The same goes for the beach, small but no need to be bigger. There is no swim up bar like you see at a lot of resorts but there was a snack bar right by the pool and there was someone always going around to bring drinks to you in the pool or when you were lying out by the pool, which we thought was a nice touch however if you wanted a drink before they came around the snack bar is very close for you to be able to go in to get a drink.

Service:
The staff was excellent! always checking to see if you needed another drink, or water when you were at the buffet, and the bartenders made great drinks! The rooms were always cleaned and replenished, as mentioned above, so we found the house keepers to also have great service. The fun club was also great, very high energy and trying to get people to join in activities. Over all the staff was excellent.


Food:
We found the food very good. At breakfast it was all typical breakfast food, omelettes, scrambled eggs, bacon, cereal, fruit, waffle maker, etc. If you dont like anything there, then you probably just dont like breakfast food haha. Lunch time we ate at the snack bar which again was alot of typical food, you could get burgers made, fries, vegetables, corn, nachos, etc. Supper time was a bit different, the buffet was themed most nights. We had mexican, italian and oriental themed nights our first 3 nights (friday saturday sunday) which were all very good and the same themes as the a la carte. We tried the Italian a la carte one night which was also excellent. The other nights at the buffet were also good, however I would recommend to the resort to add a few things to the night time buffets that are maybe a little more typical like a pizza, steamed vegetables, chicken wings, or something else of that variety for people who are pickier eaters. I'm not a very picky and my boyfriend isn't pick at all, so for us it was good but I can see how a picky eater may have struggled some nights.


Over all I would recommend this resort to other couples or for groups looking for a laid back resort near different adventure tours, this is not a party resort like cancun so I wouldn't recommend it if thats what you are looking for.

Room Tip: We stayed in 131 - great view, close to the main building
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  • Stayed May 2014, 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 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
1 review
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 8, 2014

First of all, some of the reviews here are as fake as the pictures provided of the resort!!!!

My wife and I chose Costa Rica for our honeymoon, as we both speak Spanish fairly fluently, and have also heard many great things about the country from friends and family. We also decided to split our honeymoon into 2 - half all-inclusive resort, and half bed & breakfast tree-house. We chose the Occidental Grand Papagayo as our all-inclusive destination, as advised by others.

Our experience for the first few days was, although extremely hot & humid (time of year/geographic location), quite pleasant. We were nearly smothered by the employees there, who were calling our room and following-up with us for just about every service/amenity the resort offered. The restaurants and buffets were nice, and the facilities were completely acceptable (although I couldn't seem to get the A/C cool enough). Again, the employees there were putting in over-the-top efforts to be hospitable to their guests. The unpleasant experience wasn't until our last day there.

My wife had brought with her a brand new pair of shoes with sparkly blue gems & stones, which she'd purchased specifically for this trip. She intentionally placed all of her shoes in the corner of our room, so as to be easily accessible. When we were cleaning-up our room in preparation for check-out, we realized those shiny, blue sandals were absolutely NOWHERE to be found. After packing away all of our belongings in the room, checking in our bags, and spending the next two hours literally turning the room in-side out - we simply could not find them....the shoes were gone.

We called the front desk concierge to alert them of the missing shoes, and they said they would speak with room service. Fast forward 30 minutes later, when we arrived to the front desk to check-out, to our absolute astonishment they had since sent one of their bellhops, who claimed to have found our missing shoes "right next to the bed". Totally not possible, and completely uncalled for! We had just spent a significant amount of time searching the room inside out...we looked under every nook and cranny, under the bed, under all of the furniture. The room was completely empty - there were no shoes. The look of shame on each of the employees faces when they told us this made it further evident that someone had stolen them, but they lacked the decency to apologize and confess to what had happened. In fact, they actually placed the blame back on us for losing our shoes. Absolutely Unbelievable! Not at all what we'd expect from a place that costs this much, and from a resort that is seemingly trying so very hard to exceed customer service expectations!

Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jamaica, New York
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2014

I stayed here for my Birthday in April this year ...I loved every minute of it the hotel ground were exceptionally clean and the staff was very friendly ...The food also was excellent we ate at the Italian and Oriental for the most part for dinner and Buffet for breakfast ..my boyfriend does not eat meat , eggs and ect. and they did every thing to please him which I loved Happy man Happy Woman..:) Only one little problem the AC it shut off every timeyou left the room so if you were out all dy in the Sun u came back to a Sauna in the room until the AC kivked in on a Sensor...But other than that it was an excellent vacation would stayhere again without a doudt...

Room Tip: Choose a room near the pool it is in the right location to everything and not as hilly to walk to an...
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alajuela, Costa Rica
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 5, 2014

I was for a couple of days at this Hotel and I have admit it , it was an incredible experience. The service is the best, every member in the staff is always willing to make you happy during your stay here. The Italian Restaurant is the best.... I really encourage you to live the experience and Go to Occidental Grand Papagayo, you will not regret about your call.

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 1
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 Luxury Hotel in Gulf of Papagayo
#7 Spa 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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