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.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.