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“Unusual experience” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Sol Papagayo-Nakuti Resort

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Sol Papagayo-Nakuti Resort
3.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Playa Panama, Playa Panama, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Playa Panama
Edmonton, Canada
13 reviews 13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Unusual experience”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2014

My husband and I just returned from a 7 night stay at this resort, and we had very mixed reactions. As people have noted, it is very quiet and quite isolated - and this appealed to us. We weren't prepared, however, for just how quiet and isolated it is. There were some nights when we were 2 of only 3 guests, and it just felt a bit odd. The whole area is under-serviced - although there are several resorts in the area and on the same bit of beach there were very few people around. There are so many things the owners of the various hotels could do to make the experience more enjoyable - such as pooling together to have a shuttle available to take people into the small tourist town of Playas del Coco or cleaning up the beach (watch out for nails sticking out of a wrecked boat that's scattered along the beach.

We had planned to rent a car and spend a day travelling around on our own - but the 2 women at the desk weren't able to arrange one. I was never confident that they'd tried very hard, and as we were driving to the airport we passed several car rental agencies with cars in their lots. We should have taken this in hand ourselves but as time passed we'd sunk into the lethargy of beach mode.

There are day trips available from the hotel. We booked one through a local guy who came around - but on the day before found that he wouldn't take a credit card for payment, nor would he take us to get money in Playas del Coco - very amateur; essentially he preferred to lose $250 than take 40 minutes out of his day. I'd certainly avoid him and book with one of the tour companies. To get off the resort we asked at the desk if we could take a bus into Coco and were duly directed to the bus stop. We weren't told, however, that this would leave us 4 kilometres from the town. Fortunately we left very early in the morning and it wasn't a bad walk - it would have been horrific in the heat of mid-day.

On the unqualified positive side the staff were very attentive (except the front desk as noted) and extraordinarily professional considering the few guests, and the food was outstanding. The dinners were almost always a la carte because there were so few guests and they were really excellent. As others have noted there is lots of wildlife - most notably a troupe of monkeys living in the trees near the pool that provided lots of entertainment.

We had a lovely vacation - we've done a fair bit of 'hard travelling' and just wanted a break from the weather, and we certainly got that. On the other hand, I don't think I would return either to this resort or to Costa Rica.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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
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155 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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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
New York
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2014

I stayed here for a couple of nights in early December. That time of year is apparently the low season for the area as there were only a couple of other rooms at the resort occupied.

The staff was amazing! The check-in staff, the waitress, the cook and the grounds-keepers all treated the few guests like family. I'm so sorry that I forgot names to personally acknowledge them. They all speak Spanish but they go out of their way to greet and try to communicate with you in YOUR language in THEIR country.

One night, there were so few people dining at the restaurant (again, it was low season) that the cook said, "....don't look at the menu . . .just tell me what you feel like eating and I'll fix it." One of the most amazing meals ever with ingredients put together in a really imaginative way!

The rooms are basic but functional and clean. The resort is well maintained. There were usually howler monkeys in the trees and a few iguanas wandering the grounds during the morning hours (they won't approach you).

I've seen a few say that the pool is dirty. Remember, there is a canopy of trees surrounding the pool so constant leaf litter is inevitable. I saw the grounds crew cleaning the pool and patio at least twice a day, but the warm breeze and falling leaves quickly covered their hard work. Leaves don't bite!

My one and only complaint about the resort is that there is nothing else to do in the area. It's a $15-$20 cab ride (each way) to the bustling little tourist town of Playa Del Coco. Other than that, there are no stores, restaurants or beach bars within walking distance, so plan to entertain yourself if you stay at the resort.

Room Tip: None of the rooms are on the water. The rooms closer to the restaurant may be most convenient to th...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Signal Mountain, Tennessee
12 reviews 12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2014 via mobile

I spent 5 nights at this hotel the last week of December. I will say I wasn't expecting much after reading some of the reviews but it was a last minute plan to stay in this area so there was little availability. I found Sol Papagayo very quiet, safe, and with friendly staff. My room was towards the back and there was construction of walkways occurring but that is progress. I wouldn't have known the workers were present had I not seen them...they were very quiet and don't use any machinery. There are monkeys in trees, beautiful birds all around, iguanas, and flowers everywhere. I only had breakfast here but each morning it was fresh and delicious, buffet style. All the other guests I spoke with were happy...I did overhear 1 lady complaining about the AC not working in her room. ( Personally, I only used my room for sleep and Shower. Didnt even notice if it was hot or cold in there.). Check in/out was fast and easy. Pool was perfectly clear and cleaned at least every morning. Not a tiny shred of trash anywhere. Music not too loud in the lobby restaurant area. Bought sunscreen in the fully stocked gift shop. One day I forgot to close my sliding glass door and was gone 10 hours and my things were just as I had left them. It would have been nice to have a chair on the terrace. To me it seems like this place has maybe recently changed owners/mgrs and it is being improved. I feel very fortunate to have gotten it at the rate I did this year. It has a ton of potential. For now, its probably not the best option for the elitist, but as a somewhat minimalist, it was prefect. The smallish beach is beautiful and a nice walk. Its a short drive to Hermosa and Coco. If you're expecting luxurious American style accommodations, I would recommend Mexico or Jamaica all inclusive. However, if you want a safe, laid back experience in the greenest country, this solo female traveler would recommend CR and not hesitate to stay at Sol Papagayo again.

Stayed December 2013, traveled solo
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Jose, Costa Rica
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2014

- Nice bathroom (good spacious shower)
- Cable TV
- Good wildlife (monkeys in trees, birds and iguanas)
- Nice bar-tender

- No WiFi in rooms, and the Wifi in the lobby wasn't working. Staff were not helpful with fixing it.
- Unhelpful, rude reception.
- TV was old
- Jacuzzi and half the water features on property were empty
- Breakfast was basic
- Payed for a room for 4, but got a standard room with 2 double beds pushed close together.
- Squeaky bed
- Many leaves floating in pool

We are paying one-seventh the price of yesterday and are in a much nicer place.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
18 reviews 18 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 27, 2013

I cannot blame the working staff... Certainly the owner and/or the manager is not doing its job.

First, please remove the word "resort" from the hotel title

- the check-in process was the worst ever ... One of my friends was assigned to room that was already occupied... He opened the door and there was people inside!!!! Then they were reassigned to another room where the maid said it was not in use for the last 10 months

- the pool ... Dirty to a point I think it is not safe ... Stay away from the pool

- breakfast ... It is advertised from 7 to 10 am ... We arrived at at 9:30 and the food was already removed

- it is obvious that the hotel in general is not well maintained

I have to say that the location has potential but being managed like this is not going anywhere. We knew what we were paying but what we saw is not acceptable. We are definitely not coming back.

Finally, the staff did as much as they could to manage all the angry guests. The food was acceptable.

Please do not come to this hotel unless they change the owner

As we speak we are trying to find another place to stay

Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stockton-on-Tees, United Kingdom
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2013

Arrived at the Sol Papagayo at 2.30pm and had left by 6.30pm ! The hotel was deserted, looked like it hadn't had anyone staying there for weeks. Staff were scruffy and unkempt. Pool area was covered in leaves and piles of animal excrement and infested with ants. Pool itself had parts which were green with algae and looked a health hazard to enter. Rooms were damp, smelly and threadbare.
The best part though was when we were told the staff were all leaving at 7.00pm as we were the only guests there ! This included kitchen staff and bar staff, so no food or drink, no entertainment. We were to be left with a very unprofessional looking security guard, with gun. How this hotel is allowed to take guests is beyond me, it should be closed ASAP. Ignore the five star comments, they are totally inaccurate , look at the one star for a true reflection of this horrendous hotel. We couldn't get out of the place quick enough.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
San Jose, Costa Rica
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2013

this small hotel is not very advertised but is definitly a hidden gem.
First of all its beautiful location, secluded, at the entrance of the astonishing Papagayo gulf. The romos are duplex villas with a very local twist. value is excellent for the offering. You can walk to the beach or use the pool. Contact concierge for wonderful tours packages if you want to relax or discover the real costa rica or ask them to rent a car if you wanna go around by yourself.
The staff is exceptionally attentive and the most surprising thing is that the food is really good and can be compared to hotels with a famous name.
The management is always around and easy to find. Very concerned about your needs and really helpful. We've met the GM, a great person with a wonderful knoledge of what hospitality means. Mr. Joaquin is far one of the most prepared and hands on manager I've ever seen.
Definitly I would go back to this property and i suggest it to all of those who want a nice and quite stay, relaxing and far from the busy-noisy huge hotels where the treat is not as personalized.
Thank you Sol Papagayo for a wonderful vacation!!!

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 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 1
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 ( Wi-Fi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Playa Panama
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Sol Papagayo-Nakuti Resort 3*
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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