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“No Royal Club” 2 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   |  
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Ranked #7 of 15 Hotels in Gulf of Papagayo
Tampa, Florida
Level Contributor
86 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 88 helpful votes
“No Royal Club”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 11, 2009

Just returned 10/10/2009 from a week of the worst stay at an Occidental 'Royal Club' resort ever! The ONLY Royal Club amenity at this hotel is 'free' room service. Otherwise, all guests have the same privileges except the addition that non-Royal Club visitors have an air-conditioned lounge/bar; the 'Royal Club' has an outdoor lounge having a few tables with wicker furniture and a LOT of mosquitoes during the evening!

Stayed October 2009, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,126 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
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Hampton, VA
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 8, 2009

We stayed here for our honeymoon last November and it seemed that we made it for perfect weather. The rainy season was over and the dry season had not kicked into full gear so everything was still really green.
The hotel accommodations were okay and about what we were expecting. About a three to three and a half star in the states. However everything always seemed damp. When we got home our clothes actually were damp so be sure to pack a lot of extras. Also there are a lot of stairs so if you can't climb them you'll need to stay somewhere else.

The food was really quite good. The only downfall is that we always seemed to be waiting to eat because there were seating times and times in between meals. The only bad night was Thanksgiving when they tried really hard to recreate everything American. For sweet potatoes they added sugar to normal mashed potatoes! But at least they tried. Everyone was very courteous and polite. It also does not hurt to tip even though it is an all inclusive. We really did not care for the oriental restaurant and would not visit it again if we went back, however the food at the Italian restaurant was wonderful!

We mostly just hung around the pool and up in the lounge a lot. We walked along the beach a lot and used the kayaks once we saw a manna ray jump while we were out there! When we booked the trip we had planned all of these outings but were so exhausted when we got there. We did end up booking a tour with a guy on the beach but only after we talked to another family staying at our resort that had already toured with him. We saw monkeys on the riverboat tour and lots of other really neat animals. My husband actually gave a monkey a lemon on the cruise! (They like to use it as perfume). We also took a cab from the airport (the official cabs are red in Costa Rica). Overall we really enjoyed our trip and look forward to visiting the area again. Maybe we will finally make it to see the volcano. :)

  • Stayed November 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Los Angeles, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 8, 2009

We had an excellent stay with great service. I must admit I was a little nervous about booking here after reading a couple of the negative reviews on the site, but considering the number of good reviews we decided to give it a try, we couldn't beat the deal that was being offered.

The rooms were clean and gorgeous, didn't find the mildew and mold problem that another review was complaining of. The only problem we experienced were periodic water outages, which were not usually a problem except the time we were preparing for a dinner reservation and my wife was soaped up in the shower when the water stopped. The water was back on in 20 minutes after a call to the front desk. We also found the staff to be incredibly friendly and the service was great. I guess we never ran into the lady at the check in desk that we also had read horror stories of.

The food at the restaurants was acceptable but nothing special, the service again was amazing but we did find that the buffets seemed to offer the better variety with different themed nights.

Overall we loved the stay and would definitely recommend it.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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.
Nashville, Tennessee
Level Contributor
11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 6, 2009

My husband and I were looking forward to an all-inclusive vacation after being overly impressed with our honeymoon at a Palace resort in Riviera Maya, Mexico. Well, this Costa Rican "resort" did not quite live up to our expectations, however, it was also not as bad as other reviews made it out to be.

We had water the entire time during our stay, however, we did encounter other guest that did not. We had an ocean view suite, middle of the road. Rumor had it the basic rooms did not have cable or a/c, so I reccommend splurgin a bit.

The room was nice enough. Nothing great, but not terrible. Bring a towel to keep the lizards from running in under your door!

The pool area was nice and the beach was okay. The ocean water was more like a lake because it is in the gulf. Do not go expecting crystal clear beautiful Carribean like water. (That will be located on the other side of the country!)

Sadly, the food was pretty terrible. I liked to fill up on breakfast because one never knew what to expect of the buffet at dinner time. The restaurants, one Oriental and one Italian, required reservations which were taken very early on, although you'd get to your reservation and the restaurant would be half empty. Both restaurants had decent food, if you're lucky enough to eat there. The buffett on the other hand was gross and the lunch snack bar by the pool was not much better. No room service either. The pina coladas were dillicous though!

There was a company on site through whom one could book excursions. They were expensive. We went ziplining, horseback riding and to the sulfur springs spa. Highly reccommended, but not for a novice horseback rider. We also went on the jungle river cruise which was overpriced, and only worth the money if you're interested in feeding the whitefaced monkies (which was awesome!).

There was not enough to keep one busy at the resort, so you would want to take an excursion almost everyday, however, as mentioned, they were expensive.

Overall, we saw some great sights, however, we will not return to Grand Papagayo.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Victoria, BC
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 2, 2009


There was no water on our last day we could not shower or flush toilets. There was no water drink because the mini bar only got restocked with bare essentials twice during out stay and each time we had call repeatedly. On the last day I saw staff refilling water cooler jugs from the pool. Do not stay here! I volmitted every day of our stay. It takes 20 mins to get a drink. There is no entertainment. Our Tv did not work. We had no phone. The bathrooms have no ammeneties and usually the maids forget towels despite tipping them. Liquor ran out within 2 days and we could not even get a rye and coke or a malibu and sprite. The list goes on and on and on... That being said snorkling around the beach was nice. Just bring your own snorkle this all in probably doesnt steralize.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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1 review
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2009

This place has been a nightmare...I say this because it has not ended. First, my husband and I went for a portion of our honeymoon and our stay started with them loosing our reservation. Then we went to eat at the buffet which was disgusting and flavorless for our entire stay there. After one night of 3 hour long power outages, small flea type bugs in our bed, mold in our shower, and loud noises that carried from the pool, we decided that we did not want to spend any more time there. The next morning we made arrangements to go elsewhere and informed the staff about how negative our experience was and they told us that A) we would receive a full reimbursement and B) it would be no problem. When we returned home, we had a charge from the hotel on our bank statement for the full 6 nights we were planning on staying there. Immediately I called the hotel and their head department in Miami and they told me that I should have received paperwork from the staff at the hotel for reimbursement. It has been two and a half weeks since our return and the money is still not back into our account. Furthermore, I have been told by the staff that the hotel denies a full refund and they will only give us 5 out of 6 nights. After being sent from the hotel to the headquarters in Miami and back and forth again, I was told that the money would be back into our account 1 week ago.

I am writing this to warn everyone of this company's negligence and incompetence. I am not a picky person but this has been such a nightmare with the banks and the hotel. My husband and I have become victims in this charade and it is becoming a potentially permanent problem.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 25, 2009

This place is TERRIBLE, the absolute worst!!!! We went here for our honeymoon. Upon arrival we were told the air conditioner was out in the room we were assigned so we'd be in a "temporary" room for the first night. It was HORRIBLE!! There was mold on the curtains, the chair and spots on the ceiling. The room was damp and wreaked of mildew. On top of that the batteries in the remote control were dead - we called three times, each time being told they were on the way...They never came. The next day we were moved. This room was better but it didn't seem clean until the second day. The mini-fridge was not stocked until the second day and was not restocked daily. They did not provide wash clothes or replenish toiletries in the standard room. The towels were flat,old and wore. We had the same bar of hand soap all week and no lotion! Upon availability we were moved to the Master Suite, although the room and view was fabulous, the suite was plagued with a colony of red ants, a crab in the shower and lizard on the wall. We found an ant nest was stuck to and living in the drapes. They were crawling all around the door wall and patio making it difficult to even sit outside to enjoy the view. The room had a jacuzzi tub outside that was USELESS! When we turned on the jacuzzi jets hundreds of large red ants were propelled into the tub and began swirling everywhere. It was absolutely DISGUSTING!!!! The bar was uncomfortably cold, the buffet uncomfortably hot. There was only one waiter working poolside so if he even waited on you he was very slow - he was so slow we were forced to get them ourselves. The beach was nice but the tide gets high in the afternoon. We did enjoy offsite tours, massage spa service, beaches and local restaurants.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Gulf of Papagayo
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 Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Gulf of Papagayo
#6 Luxury Hotel in Gulf of Papagayo
#7 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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