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“A total disaster, and no reponse from the company” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Sol Papagayo-Nakuti Resort

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Sol Papagayo-Nakuti Resort
Playa Panama, Playa Panama, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Playa Panama
Level Contributor
28 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
“A total disaster, and no reponse from the company”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2013

Our week at this resort was likely the worst travel experience I've ever had. I simply can't understand the positive reviews that appear here, which also were the reason I selected this resort as a "last-minute" trip from SunWing Travel Group in mid December.
Fellow travellers, beware! I wrote a letter to the CEO of Sunwing Travel Group on January 3, 2013,and so far have only received a phone call informing me that Sunwing (operating as Sell Off Vacations) is not responsible for the products they sell. I was told that my complaint has been forwarded to another company, and that they would contact me. Five weeks later, I have heard nothing.
Costa Rica is a beautiful country with many fine resorts. The lesson is to drill down a little further in the reviews, before you put your money down.
I think a synopsis of my letter will illustrate why I beg you not to give this resort any new business. The staff are nice people, and they will get jobs at other resorts!

Dear Mr. Hunter,

I have recently returned from a very unpleasant travel experience purchased from your company, Selloff Vacations (invoice attached for your reference). My wife and I went to Costa Rica on a 7 day all-inclusive package at Sol Papagayo, promoted as a three star resort and sold to us at a “Lowest Price Guaranteed” cost of $1459 person plus tax, for a total of $3565.52. Mr. Hunter, there are two issues I would ask you to consider.
1. The resort’s services and amenities were abysmal and not as advertised:
• Premium “junior suite” was the same as other rooms, had no coffee maker, no patio furniture.
• Two requests for patio furniture had no effect.
• Room furnishings were worn and torn.
• Constantly running toilet was fixed after two days and three requests.
• Air conditioning was fixed after three days and three requests. Ditto hot water.
• Hand towels were either not supplied or substituted with one wash cloth.
• Beach towels were very scarce and often required two requests.
• Pool was green with algae; cushions on deck chairs were completely worn out.
• Bathroom was never cleaned properly, soaps not replaced, etc.
• Food was generally deplorable, e.g. chopped wieners served as breakfast protein.
• There was no restaurant, no gift shop, and the “spa” never opened.
• There was one bar, not two as advertised.
• Bar service was slow and stingy to a ridiculous point. (1/4 glasses of wine)
• Snack menu was hidden from view and only offered grudgingly.
• Bartender told us that she had been specifically instructed to restrict guests.
• Staff were quite dedicated but embarrassed by all of the above.

2. Our “Lowest Price Guaranteed” of $1459 per person verges on fraud.
I talked with many other guests as we commiserated over Sol Papagayo’s shortcomings. After a few people had said, “well, it is really cheap” I began to ask what people had paid. I discovered that all had paid from $1000-$1400 less than we did.
Mr. Hunter, I am requesting two things: that your company spare itself further embarrassment and damage to its reputation by removing Sol Papagayo as a travel partner, and that Selloff Vacations honor its price commitment and refund $1000 to us as compensation.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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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155 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (10)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Farnham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2013

Breakfast with the iguanas and sitting by the pool with the howler monkeys, what more could you ask for. Staff friendly, room comfortable, lots of trips on offer should you choose to participate. Pool cleaned regularly and beach close-by.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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 17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brampton, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2012

My husband and I weren't experienced travellers back in 2008 when we stayed there but I have to say, this place is totally under-rated. The first night our A/C did leak and some of our stuff got wet but we were upgraded immediately at no charge, and, treated with respect. The staff was wonderful friendly, and courtious! It is a little obscure and out of the way but that was part of its charm. The food was amazing, always fresh and very flavourful. We went in Jan. and got an amazing deal. Would go back in a heart-beat! Even considered getting married there but unfortunately those plans changed. Once agian, the staff were great and Playa Cocoa is only 10 mins. away for shopping and stuff. When we went to Playa Cocoa, we weren't hassled or bugged for money or anything like that. The trip to Liberia was really nice too. We were taken good care of there and they made sure that any taxi ride needed was by really good/trustable people. I felt safe there and never worried about anyone snooping in our room when we were out on day trips. We are an older couple (in our 40's) and appreciated the way we were treated. Make up yur own mind but our experience there wa a really positive and friendly one.

Room Tip: Standard was fine but may want to upgrade to superior or better, much bigger rooms. Junoir suites ar...
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 18, 2012

This little place re-opened under new management two months ago and they're gradually renovating sections of the resort. It's quiet, there's direct access to a nice beach and very friendly staff. There were also only nine of us staying that week, so we got lots of attention.

The wildlife even on the property was pretty neat: howler monkeys that tended to hang out in the trees above us (they might wake you up in the morning if you're a light sleeper), iguanas, magpie-jays, frigates soaring and herons wading in the bay and pelicans diving constantly. Beyond that, if you want to do anything, it will cost you money. We had rented a car for the week and so mostly did our own exploring, but the tours they offer tended to run $40-100 per person. From what we heard, most were well worth it (especially the waterfall/volcano one), but the snorkeling wasn't anything too thrilling - a small bit of coral with a reasonable number of fish, a few of which were interesting to look at (I did spot a turtle swimming and my mom saw a ray). If you're looking for nightlife, it's a $15 cab ride into Coco Beach, though the resort staff might take you for $10, if they're going. At the resort, everything closes down by about 9:30.

The food was okay and they were generally happy to indulge special requests (rice and beans, plantain, cheese, eggplant and avocado with hot sauce made a very good combination), but you had the same limited options all week. They did a good job of keeping track of my mother's allergies, but the vegetarian options were few. A couple of the other folks subsisted pretty solidly on breakfast and cheeseburgers. The drinks were good and we gave the blender a good workout with both mixed drinks and fruit smoothies. If you're adventurous, try the fire-guaro - a mix of the local liquor with tabasco and lemon.

The area directly in front of the resort is good for sitting and watching the ocean, but you should walk down past the line of rocks (about 100m) if you want to swim, as the beach gets much sandier there. The next resort is a good deal beyond that, so it's generally pretty quiet.

One of the highlights of the trip was sitting around and chatting with the staff, who were glad to talk and laugh and happy to teach Spanish as much as to strengthen their English (usually solid, but with a few misunderstandings).

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 12, 2012

Resort is located in secluded area and had better days. The closest village located about 3 km away. A public bus stop is 1 km from the hotel. The itinerary - Playa Panama -- Liberia. The bus goes every 1,5 hour (ask schedule at reception). Price - 650 colon or 1.25 $ till Liberia which is 43 km away from the resort. It takes you about 1 hour one way to the city. The resort is very quiet & surrounded from one side by jungle. There are lots of small creatures: Birds (they know buffet schedule) stealing the food from trays and chased by kitchen staff; Iguanas - lazy waking on the tile & posing before cameras; Small monkeys chase each other on the top of the trees; Colorful fish in the ocean - paradise for naturalists & sole entertainment in this resort. No activities provided. We were from 3 till 10 December and seemed just no more than 20 tourists on the whole resort.
Reception - from 6.00 till 22.00. Check in & out fast.
Staff is very friendly & ready to help you.
Bar opens at 10.00 till 22.00 and run by team of barmen. Girls are helpful, boys speak only Spanish. Juice: Orange, pineapple, watermelon. Liquor: Vodka, Tequila. Beer Soft drinks: Cola, bottled water, Sprite - all beverages never run out.
Food is nice especially salads, lots of vegetables & pickles. Fruits: watermelon( always is run out. You need to ask stuff to bring it in), pineapple & papaya (never run out). Yogurt (about 300 gr bulk bowl) (always empty)- definitely not enough for 20-25 people in the morning. Fish is sometimes at lunch or dinner. Meat: chicken and sometimes beef. No sweets !!!! (except dry chocolate cake)
Pool is nice looking. Pool boy is constantly removing leaves from the pool. Beach towels are changed each day
Beach -- sand is black, difficult to see bottom, many sharp rocks 20m away the beach. Bring special shoes to walk safe on bottom. A careful swim is possible during high tide ONLY. When tide is low No swim is possible due many very sharp lava formation. 350 m away is more convenient beach with gray sand. You may feel more relaxed there during high tide. But if you want to experience the real ocean joy with plenty of water activities($) be prepared to walk 1 km to the nearby resort Occidental Grand Papagayo. Beach is about 100m wide with white sand. Water is clear. Corals are about 50m away the beach with abundant sea life: different fishes, small murenas, rays, sea urchins etc. We walk three times per day to the beach making about more than 6 km in total. So it is good exercise for your muscles. If you are ready for the such challenge take good shoes, for you will not wish to rub your feet till scorns after couple of trips to the remote beach or wipe your feet dry of water & clean of sand.
Bring a good repellent with you as oodles of mosquitoes want to suck your blood after sunset.

Room Tip: Room numbers starting with 800 would be more comfortable to stay. Room numbers 600 & 700 series...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Muskoka District, Canada
Level Contributor
26 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 106 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 27, 2012

We stayed at the Sol for the week of Nov 19th to the 26th. We had every intention to rent a car and go touring the country but we were pleasantly surprised with the resort and its surrounding that we never did rent a car. We had gone for the rest and to get away from it all and this resort provided that for sure. There is nothing going on there. No entertainment except for the local monkeys and the igaunas everywhere. The family of 16 howler monkeys certainly keep you entertained. Be aware though, that the males make a very loud roar and will wake you up every morning around 5:30-6:00 am. This is not as bad as it seems because the bar (yes one bar) closes at 9:30 pm so there is not much to do after that.
The rooms are spacious and clean and the air conditioning worked well in our room. We did not have a coffe maker or chairs for our "terrace" but after asking for them nicely, we did receive them. The rooms are not on the ocean and you can not see the ocean but it is a very short walk to the dining area/pool/ocean areas. It is a small quiet resort and there were only 12 Canadians there. We had the place to ourselves and had to make or find or own fun. There is alot of places to walk and discover. Be sure to hike to the top of the moutain were the cell tower is. Up there is the best view of all. Go out of the resort and turn right, past the Occidental hotel and keep going to the left.Pass the tennis courts and continue to the left. It is quite the hike but worth it. The landslide areas have not been cleaned up yet so there is rocks and boulders on the road.
If you want to take a taxi to Coco beach, have the front desk call Melvin. He is a private taxi driver that only charged us 10 dollars there and ten back. Twenty round trip. Others will charge alot more. His number is 8862-7804. We will diffently use him again.
We certainly will return to this resort in the future if the price is right. My husband and I went from Toronto for under 1500$ for the two of us.
Do remember sun screen, it is very hot there and also remember to bring something to pass by those boring hours, like- backgammon, cribbage, cards, mp3 player ect.
The food was great. We eat off of the a la carte menu during the week and then the buffet on the weekend when more local guests arrived. The presentation of the the food was fabulous and was tasty.
The internet is available there and a 15 minute per person per day is not so bad when there are only a few of us. The last couple of days, the internet did not work though.
Anyhow, go , try, relax, and enjoy !

Room Tip: rooms in the 100 or 200 blocks are the closest to anything
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
23 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 102 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 8, 2012 via mobile

We had a great suit in the fisrst block and had no complaints except we had difficulty getting chairs so that we could sit on the terrace.

Staff in the dining room and reception were excellent. There was not a huge variety of food but given what we paid for prime time in February I was not disappointed. There was always something. The omelet lady was more than accommodating each morning and the coffee was excellent. The al a carte restaurant and the waiter there was excellent.

The beach was good for walking,but not swimming. We walked 5 min up the hill to the occidental 's beach and were never hassled even when we sat on their lounge chairs.

We took the bus to Coco beach, but it is wise to take a cab back as the two buses don 't seem to connect. Here there are restaurants and supermarkets and all the souvineer shops.

We did the zip lining and the river excursion with Sunquest and both were excellent.

I would return to Sol Papagaya if the price was right. As the weather is hot and the wild life is amazing and that is essentially why I go to Costa Rica.

  • Stayed February 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
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Additional Information about Sol Papagayo-Nakuti Resort

Address: Playa Panama, Playa Panama, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Gulf of Papagayo > Playa Panama
Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Playa Panama
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 97
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Also Known As:
Sol Papagayo-Nakuti Hotel Playa Panama
Sol Papagayo Playa Panama
Sol Papagayo-Nakuti Resort Costa Rica/Playa Panama, Guanacaste

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