I purchased a 3 night stay through Groupon for this hotel. When I bought it, the reviews were mostly positive, so I thought I'd gotten a good deal. Then, right before my boyfriend and I were to come, the reviews got negative, and I got scared! We both decided if it really was that bad, we would just find another place to stay.
We were greeted by very nice people, who also gave us a glass of champagne. After getting checked in, another woman greeted us and sat us at a different table. She started explaining the area around (Playa de Coco, to be specific) and going into detail about taxis and the likes. When we told her we had a rental car and wouldn't need a taxi, she still continued to explain it to us, like a person who had rehearsed lines and had to finish them. After that, she looked at us and asked us if we were 35 or older. Luckily, we weren't, because she must have been getting ready to sell us the time sell pitch that every keeps talking about!
We went to talk to the guest service person because we had purchased a deluxe ocean view room and the building didn't look like it would have an ocean view, since it was in the middle of the resort. When I explained to her what I thought and that the previous woman had sent us here because she said it wasn't an ocean view, the woman simply looked at us and said, "Well she must not know anything, because that is an ocean view room," So off we went. When we got to our room, I was worried because I wasn't sure what to expect. Then we came to our actual room (602) and low and behold, it was an ocean view. The only problem being that there was a giant tree in the middle of it! I was slightly perturbed but decided not to complain about it because, technically, it WAS an ocean view and my boyfriend assured me it would be ok. Luckily for me, though, I happen to be an animal lover (a veterinary technician by profession) because we figured out that that tree is home to a TON of birds! It was probably one of the best accidents to happen. But if you're not a fan of animals, you might be disappointed.
As for the restaurants, they rotate on a schedule and you have to make a reservation if you don't want to eat at the buffet. It seems that whatever restaurant is not "open" that night is the one that gets served at the buffet. We had Mexican the first night, AND IT WAS DELICIOUS. The next night we ordered room service (which is $20 if you are not a royal club member), and received fish sticks instead of chicken fingers. I don't eat fish so I was left to go hungry that night. The last night we had the Oriental at the buffet and it was pretty sub-par. The only thing I liked as the desserts. This could have been our faults, as we went at 8:30 and they close at 9:00, so I am unsure about how fresh the food was. Although, my boyfriend loved it, as he got the sushi (swordfish). The only issue with the buffet is they tell you to come back, but we saw plenty of seats that were wide open because they had given an estimated time to the people before us, who were now just standing around waiting for their "recommended" time. It was awful having to watch as seats sat empty and my stomach kept rumbling. The snack bar, however, had good food, but nothing to write home about.
There were two issues I had. One was with the arrangement of the buildings. Because all buildings face forward, we were often waken at night with loud people, who had a little too much to drink, finding their way back to their rooms. Because the front of the room is all glass windows, there's no way to drown out the noise. The second was the house keeping.
We didn't get to try out any of the activities, but we did do an expedition with Charlie's Adventures (on the left of the snack bar building, keep walking around, past the other charter company). We ended up doing a snorkeling/fishing/bbq day and it was absolutely wonderful. But bet warned that the times they quote are not realistic. We were on the boat by 8:00 and didn't reach the next resort to pick up other people until almost 9:30, although since we were the only two from our resort, it turned out to be a nice, relaxing, romantic boat ride for us.
Which reminds me, the nice woman with the company asked if we had received coupons from the hotel for their company. I said no but we will come back in the morning to book. She told me to go ask guest services for the coupons and bring them in the morning. When we asked the guest service woman (the same from earlier in the post) she said the coupons were reserved for people staying 4 nights or more. When I explained that the woman with Charlie's Adventures told us to get them from her, she simply replied, again, "She doesn't know anything." It was quite annoying that that respond was all we seemed to get from the guest services woman. When I explained this to the charter company woman, however, she made a phone call and was able to get us $10 off per person, even without the coupons. Now THAT'S customer services.
To sum up, I loved the fact it was all inclusive. We paid less that $600 for 3 nights for two people, food and alcohol included. The food is good, the drinks were strong (unlike what other people have posted... maybe they should have tipped?), and it was a great place to relax. And unlike other people, our fridge nor air conditioner never turned off.
- 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