We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Great Resort!! Negative Reviews are Not Worthy!!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Occidental Grand Papagayo

Best prices for your stay
Enter dates for best prices
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 7 more sites!
Save Saved
You added Occidental Grand Papagayo to your Saves list
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
Timmins, Canada
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
“Great Resort!! Negative Reviews are Not Worthy!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 4, 2010

We loved this resort. It is a smaller resort and set on a hill. There is alot of steps to get to your room, pool, bars, etc. so you get plenty of exercise during the week -- but they do have a shuttle service, which we didn't use. The grounds are immaculate!

It's a very clean resort. The bar fridge was not filled every second day as advertised but we didn't inform them of it as we didn't spend much time in the room. The staff is so nice and friendly and I'm sure any little problems you would have would be resolved. The weather was very hot....high 30's.

The ride from the airport to the hotel is only about 30 minutes and enjoyable listening to "Lalo" ....our tour guide....he was so funny! Check-in was well organized and quick. They offer a welcome drink. The rooms weren't quite ready but that was no big deal.....it gave us a chance to explore the resort and have a few drinks after the 5 hour flight. When we went to our room, our luggage was already in there.

The rooms are nice and clean. No problems with anything. Air conditioner worked great. The balcony was great to see some wildlife and relax.

There is a buffet supper and 2 a la carte's. We didn't try the a la cartes because we took alot of tours and by the time we were back at the resort, we just wanted to relax with drinks and a buffet. The buffet had a different theme every night and was very good. It's a smaller buffet due to the resort being a small resort (169 rooms) but plenty to eat. The snack/pool buffet is great. Nice variety for a snack bar! Nachos, pizza, salads and much more.

The lobby bar is nice. There's couches and chairs all over to relax on. There's also a beach bar. The bartenders are all so great and eager to serve you.

The pool is nice! and again smaller due to the small resort. There's plenty of loungers ...some in shaded areas and some in sun. There's plenty of pool activities daily.

There isn't any night time entertainment on this resort other than live musicians in the lobby a few times during the week. There's so many things to do in Costa Rica, that most people were off on tours (including us) and not spending alot of time at the resort. The resort had a Sunset Adventure Walk which is nice because you walk to an area where you get the best view of the sunset, which is beautiful. They also have snorkling tours and kayaking tours.

Off the resort there's plenty to do. There's alot of tours....from volcanos, wildlife, beach, snorkling, zip-lining, etc. We took the Arenal Volcano/Hot Springs tour, Palo Verde boat tour and the Nicaragua tour (which I highly recommend). We booked our tours at the hotel but were told from several guests that Larry on the beach is absolutely great for tours. We would of considered him if we would of known sooner....but our tours were also great.

Costa Rica is heaven for the nature/wildlife lover!

  • Stayed April 2010, 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

1,688 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    454
    590
    305
    201
    138
See reviews for
220
958
32
29
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 (387)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Burlington, Connecticut
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 2, 2010

We had great time at the Occidental! If you're looking for relaxation, peace and quiet, this is the place. My husband, sister and brother-in-law and I enjoyed our stay here. The dining room was cool and quiet. It wasn't at all like some other all-inclusive places we stayed at. You didn't feel rushed or overwhelmed with lots of people around you. We preferred the buffet food. The kitchen prepared a different themed menu each night. The salads were delicious and the desserts were divine. Breakfast was great. You didn't have to wait to have your eggs or omelette made. Lunch in the Snack Shack was great also. The guacamole and chips...yum!! But, second to the food was the service. Everyone that waited on us was so pleasant! We love the way the tica people smile. It just adds so much to your vacation. PURA VIDA!!!!!
We were in search of a mellow atmosphere and found it. There were activities by the pool that you could participate in, but it's not like a Sandals or Breezes. They had dance lessons, Water Aerobics, rifle shooting, snorkle excursions, kayak trips, water polo and volleyball and more.
The ocean and beach were really nice. When the tide was out, there was a lot of beach. It was a grayish to white colored beach and you could easily walk on it when the sun was out. The water was divine. Clear, warm and full of fish for snorkling. The trees on the beach provided shade. To those that don't like to walk, you have to climb up and down hills and stairs to get to places or you can wait for the little bus. But, it's a great way to work off the extra dessert you ate at dinner the night before.
We took three side trips that were well worth it. We went to Buenavista (zipline), a snorkle tour and a taxi ride to Coco and Liberia.
Our room was great. We had to wait about 45 minutes to get in, but we arrived before check-in time. Bring your suit and cover-up, change in the rest room and go down to the Snack Shack while you wait.
The entertainment at night was very mellow. One night that they had a guitar player, another night they had a marimba group, etc.

So if you're looking for a place to escape the rat race of work and the stress of life, this is the place. It's well worth the money you pay for it. We have recommended this place to our family and friends.

A word about face cloths.... So many of you seem hung up on the fact that there are not enough face cloths or towels. This is a cultural thing. We are used to having an overabundance of towels and face cloths. Let's face it. At times, US citizens can be so spoiled. I have traveled to many countries and face cloths just don't exist. If it's a big deal to you, bring your own. There was never a shortage of towels, but we only use one each, not two or three. Remember, you're traveling to a foreign country. When in Rome do as the Romans do.

We loved our stay and recommend it to you. PURA VIDA!!!!

  • Stayed April 2010, 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2010

The hotel and staff were friendly and helpful, during our extended stay following the Icelandic Volcanic eruption. The setting is fantastic and the wildlife magical, the only negative comment I make is the poor quality of the on site sports and excursion company Charlie's Adventures. Their service was poor, and we found their fishing charter to be a very poor experience due to lack of motivation, interest, and communication from the crew. Diving was equally concerning. If staying at Grand Papygao I suggest booking these excursions via the main excursions offices situated one flight of stairs below reception. For Diving the company based at the Hilton are excellent and live up to the PADI ethos this is bookable via main excursion office.



I

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled with family
    • 4 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Halifax, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2010

My boyfriend and I went to this resort in March, it was the first time either of us had been to Costa Rica. We had read the reviews prior to going and weren't really bothered by the complaints that other people had - i.e.: too many stairs, long walk from room to beach, etc. The complaints were valid, as you had to walk up and down several stairs to get from the pool/beach to the lobby and a lot of the rooms, including ours, were a jaunt to the beach. But we're both active people and weren't particularly looking to be waited on hand and foot for the entire time. But we were disappointed with was the poor Royal Club service, poor housekeeping service, and the lack of amenities. We had upgraded to the Royal Club, which apparently came with certain bonuses, including preferred seating at the restaurants, upgraded room, turndown service. For the 8 days we were there, we didn't once receive preferred seating or any kind of speacial treatment. We received turndown service once, and I thought that someone had broken into our room because it wasn't something that we had received for the first 5 days of our trip. We had asked the Royal Club Manager to look into something for us and he never got back to us, like he said he would. The housekeeping service was atrocious. They didn't refill our bar fridge most days, one day we didn't have hand towels in our bathroom, and one day nothing was even cleaned. Initially we tipped very well (like $20 USD the first day), but quickly realized we were not getting anything, not even the basics, for the tips we were leaving. Given that gratuities were supposed to be included in the price of the trip, tipping for housekeeping was definitely money wasted. There were supposed to be two a la carte restaurants open each night, but only one was ever open at once, which made it difficult to get a reservation at all. And the Japanese restaurant no longer has the teppanyaki table. The beach wasn't fantastic, which was fine, and that area of the country just happened to be in the midst of a two year drought, so there were forest fires everywhere. But that is something that is out of everyone's control. Ultimately, for the amount of money we paid for this trip, including the upgrade to the Royal Club, it definitely wasn't worth.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2010

We were the last one to arrive on that day, upon arrival, front desk asked me "you must be xxx, I've been waiting for you, because you are the last one to arrive today. Here are your room keys, please sign there forms." And that was it. How about pointing me to the direction of my rooms? It was 11 at night, and we drove 5 hours from San Jose international airport after we landed, so we are kind of starving, but all of the restaurants were closed, even the snack bars by the pool. This resort is in a very secluded area, so there's no place to get food at that time of the day.

We stepped outside of the lobby and spotted a bell boy with a golf cart, I approached him and he offered to take us to our rooms. It turns out that his job is to drive around the resort all day to take guests to their destinations.

Our room was the furtherest from the lobby, probably because we were late. It would have been a good 30 minutes walk if it weren't for that cart. It is a good size room with a balcony and king size bed, but where's the safe? And where is the shower curtain? We called the front desk for our safe, and was told that there isn't any available, until whoever that has a safe checks out tomorrow. And the bathrooms don't come with shower curtains.

The breakfast and lunch buffet were pretty good, the chef will make eggs or omelette's anyways you asks him to, but he didn't know what "sunny side up" was until the second morning. The fruits were very fresh. Dinners at either one of their restaurants require reservation, one day in advance.

This is a very large resort, right on a secluded beach, so you can either stay on the resort and relax, or sign up for tours, or rent a car to drive around. We did all 3. I normally take a stroll to the pool, either try to get a tan or take a dip in the pool, then debate whether to walk up the hundreds of steps up back for breakfast or not. Oh, their towel boy by the pool also doubles as a travel agent for tours. We bought a atv and zip line tour from him, they were GREAT! We also bought another tour from him, but when we decided to cancel it, he actually got mad and ignored us for half an hour. We had to sell the tour to another couple because he refused to let us cancel it.

We rented a car from San Jose airport with a GPS, so we also had a lot of run driving ourselves around. We got pulled over once for speeding, and the cop asked us for 20000 local currency as bribe, we just told him that we don't understand spanish and he let us go.

On our second day there, we ran out of towels, so my bf went to get more, one of the clean towels he got was covered with brown stains.

the only night life at this resort is the bar, which only fits 10 people, and closes early. The beach is 10 minutes away, but there's no light between the resort and beach, so good luck finding your way back at night. Their business center has 2 computers. I asked to have long distance phone calls in my room so I can call home in new york, but the line was down for an entire night with no explanation.

All and all, this resort is a very food value for its price, but I wouldn't come back.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Antonio, TX
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2010

1. What can I say. This property is simply wonderful. We booked and paid in August 2009. For those of you that have done your research, you know that there are about seven different room level categories. We booked a Royal Club Junior Suite. Upon arrival we were given a complimentary upgrade to a Master Suite, the top tier rooom. We were there from 20-27 Apr 10. The suite is actually a separate villa with a total square footage of 1050 square foot. Simply huge!

2. The management and staff were most courteous. There is no indifference or hostilty among the staff. Do your own due diligence internet research on this peoperty. But it is a great place to stay.

3. The minor issues we had were addressed and solved promptly. A comment regarding tipping. As you know, at this all inclusive resort tipping is not required nor expected. However, tipping is appreciated by the staff, and will repay itself in dividends from the staff.

4. Enough said. Ignore the bad reviews. You will fall in love with this resort.

  • Stayed April 2010, 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sandhurst
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2010

On arrival the staff at recepptoin wasn't very helpful ,the housekeeping staff wasn't doing their job the towels in the rooms was replaced when they remenbered and sometimes late in the evening, the min bar wasn't replaced regular.The staff in the bar and restuarunts was first class.The pool and beach was very nice.

  • Stayed April 2010, 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
Price Your Stay

Been to Occidental Grand Papagayo? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

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
#6 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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Orbitz, BookIt.com, Priceline, Booking.com, Travelocity, Despegar.com, Hotels.com, Odigeo and Tingo so you can book your Occidental Grand Papagayo reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
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

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Occidental Grand Papagayo, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.