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“Average beach hotel”
Review of Allegro Papagayo

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Allegro Papagayo
Ranked #8 of 13 Hotels in Gulf of Papagayo
San Jose, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
76 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
“Average beach hotel”
Reviewed October 14, 2012

The facilities of the hotel are nice. Rooms are comfortable. Everything is really clean. The staff is great, everyone is really nice.

Food and beverages are bad. Although there are other restaurants you can pick, the food is the same.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank Valeria T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Pembroke Pines, Florida, United States
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed September 23, 2012

Yes this is not a five star hotel, but the staff is diamond category. It is clean and a great deal for the price. Roberto Corea Badilla from reception is very professional, and very pleasant. Carlos Cascante, bar tender was a real pleasure to be around.Cesar Romano, transportation was very accommodating always had a smile. Fabio Aguilar, tour desk for Swiss Travel at the resort was excellent, super helpful and very nice.

Room Tip: Rooms on second and third floor of any building have a great view.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
11 Thank Millie R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
41 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed September 21, 2012

We stayed at the Allegro Papagayo for 3 nights in April. It's a nice hotel set away from other resorts so you don't feel crowded in.

Our room was near the pool and while we'd sometimes hear some of the music (dance lessons by the pool, anyone?) and activities personnel over the microphone drifting through the balcony doors, it was pleasant enough. The room itself was comfortable and clean.

The pool is a good size and has a swim up bar. The one thing we did not enjoy were the large number of birds that were nesting in the palm trees, drinking from the pool, flying overhead, etc. In fact, these birds were also pretty adept at stealing food and fruit from the buffet located near the pool. It was a little hard to work up an appetite when you see a bird picking food off the serving trays at the buffet. Granted, the hotel was trying hard to deter the birds by installing nets above the entrance of the buffet and having servers stand by to shoo the birds away from the food, but it was still a little unappetizing.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank joy3410
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Harrisburg
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
Reviewed September 20, 2012

I'll start with this: this isn't a luxury resort. Every review before me has told you this. You didn't pay for a luxury resort. I wish people would realize that before they start complaining.

With that being said, I think if you're a laid back, fun person, you'll have fun. If you're one of the people who complains about animals on the resort or bugs (even though you booked a vacation in the eco-trourism capital of the Western Hemisphere), then you'll probably be miserable.

Now here's my review:

1) Location: AMAZING VIEW. The resort is on a mountain leading down to the gulf, so you'll have a great view of the entire gulf. The resort is fairly secluded. You're in the middle of the jungle and the nearest resort is a 10 minute boat ride away. This means lots of wildlife which I'll get to in a bit. The beach is not a huge hike away like some people have described. It's very near to the pool. The sand is black. I thought it was pretty cool, but I will note that the beach didn't have the same vibe as some places. I went out into the water occasionally, but I didn't have the desire to lay on the beach all day. That's okay, because I realized that Costa Rica isn't a lay on the beach all day kind of place.

Also, being on a mountain means steep hills. But don't worry, there's a shuttle that comes around every 10 minutes or you can call them from your room. There are shuttle stops with water coolers for your wait. We didn't need the shuttle other than when we needed to get to the main building.

2) Staff: The staff was great and friendly. Most everyone spoke English. Some had a tough time with English, but keep in mind you're in their country yet they're trying to speak your language. They all work harder than most people I know. From the looks of it, close to 10-12 hours a day 6 days a week for some of them. Some workers were there every one of the 7 days I was there. Make sure you tip!

3) Wildlife: We loved all the wildlife. Before we got to our room, we saw iguanas. Iguanas were all over the place. One guy seemed to love poptarts. Just don't hand feed them! On our first morning, I heard a low grunting coming from the trees on the beach. We got to see a group of howler monkeys passing by on their way to the jungle. At night, you'll get to see a family of racoons and another little guy called a Coati. They're all out looking for food and they're harmless. After a few drinks, they're a lot of fun to watch. Finally, the best part of our entire trip was on our last morning when we went down for one last look at the water. I looked up and saw about 15 white-faced capuchin monkeys. We ran for some fruit and spent the next hour feeding them.

4) The food was ok. We went in the off season, so we didn't need reservations for the restaurants. I believe you do when it gets busier. There is an Italian restaurant and a Mexican restaurant. Only one is open each night. The Italian was definitely the best, Mexican wasn't bad. The buffet doesn't require reservations. The buffet was great during the weekends because there was more variety. During the weekdays (and since we went during the off season) the buffet was moved inside and the food options were limited. Either way, there was always something to eat. During the busy season, the outdoor buffet is always open. My biggest complaint is that there was nothing to eat late at night after drinking.

I'll toss in drinks in this section too: Beer was great. The beer is Imperial which is probably the most popular beer in Costa Rica. I'd say it was a cross between Heineken and Miller Lite. Mixed drinks weren't bad. The house liquors all kind of taste the same. The bartenders will make you whatever you'd like.

Also - Water is safe to drink. It isn't like Mexico. I drank it on a regular basis, but there are water coolers all over that you can fill up a water bottle with.

5) Rooms: Our room was in building 10, third floor. I'm not sure our view could have been any better. Our room was clean when we arrived. The sheets were changed at least once while we were there that I noticed, maybe more. The air condition worked great. The bathroom was clean. One night we did notice some ants on the counter. We wiped up anything that might have spilled and sprayed a little bug spray - we didn't see them again.

6) Tours and transportation: This isn't so much a review of the hotel, but I thought it may be helpful. First, a taxi will not be hard to find at the airport. In fact two drivers nearly got in a fight over us. We went with an official taxi (red car) and it was $40 from the airport to the allegro. On the way back, we had one of the drivers from our tour pick us up for $50.

We went zip lining at Witch's Rock. This place is 10 minutes from the hotel and they will pick you up. You'll see it when you're driving in. The price wasn't bad and the guides were great. We didn't have a long trip, so we were back on the resort before noon and still had the whole day.

Charlie's Tours (down by the pool) had a special since it was the slow season - Snorkeling and Line fishing for $25. This was easily worth $50, so go for it if its offered. We snorkeled in the gulf and saw tons of fish despite the cloudy weather that day, and we each caught 3 or 4 fish. We also booked our Coco Beach trip with Charlie's. $80 for a van (split between the passengers) for about 3 hours. Our driver didn't seem to care if we took longer. As a side note, Jean, who works for Charlie's tours, was a great guy and really seems to care about his customers.

Norman from TAM tours has an office in the main lobby. You'd think this would indicate trustworthiness. WRONG. We booked a trip to the volcano three days in advance. We paid and were told to be there at 7:30 am on Friday. Friday morning comes along and we're told that the trip is cancelled because Norman couldn't get anyone else to go on the trip and it wasn't worth it to the company to stick with just the two of us. Our money was refunded, but we lost out on a trip we looked forward to for months and had to wake up at 6:30 am on our vacation without any prior notice. This pales in comparison to the disaster that followed that afternoon. We joined another couple who said they were going to see sea turtles on a tour set up by Norman. He promised a trip for four to Ostional Nat'l Park with a bilingual driver and tour guide. What we got was a small Toyota Camry with a driver who spoke no English whatsoever and was told to take us to a completely different place - Baulas Nat'l Park. We called Norman and he told us that he fixed everything, translated our problem to the driver, and we'll now be going to Ostional. Despite his assurance, we arrive at Baulas anyway. Baulas is closed. We're now two hours away from our hotel in a foreign country, have a driver that could kind of understand my limited 9th grade spanish, the sun is setting, and Norman is still feeding us lie after lie. Long story short, we call it quits, go home, have to pay the driver about $200, and Norman basically says "Oh well." TAM tours has been notified and it seems like they're very concerned with Norman's practices of arranging side deals (i.e. Calling a cab to take people to closed national parks and telling people it's a "tour").

Other Tips:
-Unless you feel like buying a timeshare, avoid the "Come with us to the Grand Papagayo and get a free trip" sales pitch. Someone will ask you to go to the other resort for a 90 minute presentation, then say you get a free trip to Coco Beach after. I believe you get about 90 minutes in Coco Beach.

-Don't bother changing your money to Costa Rican colones. Everyone takes US dollars.

-Bring an insulated mug. I got one for a dollar at Dollar Tree. It holds more than the resort's cups and it keeps your drinks cold longer.

-Bring bug spray and sunblock. They're very expensive in the giftshop

-Coffee: The best coffee I tasted was Britt. We were told 1820 is the popular brand, but now that I have 1820, I kind of miss Britt.

-Souvenirs: Go to coco beach. Get coffee from the supermarket! It was less than half the price of the smaller shops. Make sure you shop around before buying and feel free to bargain.

Overall - Great trip! I loved Costa Rica and can't wait to go again. I probably won't stay at the Allegro again, but it definitely wasn't a bad place. If you get a good deal, go for it. Keep in mind Costa Rica is the kind of place where you go on a lot of excursions to see the Costa Rica. It isn't a lay on the beach and do nothing place. Enjoy!

Room Tip: You want building 10 or 11 on the second or third floor. You're closer to the pool/beach and res...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
81 Thank edqa84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Buffalo, New York
Level Contributor
11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed September 19, 2012

Arrived on Sunday afternoon and was so looking forward to my stay. Had fun that day and went to the so called Disco and there was hardly no one in there and it smelled musty. Monday was a good day, too a trip to white sand beach, more like Giliigans Island. They have these crazy looking animals that come around you and they want your food and your stuck on this island for 4 hours. The beach is rough because its a lot of crushed white shells, not to mention the go on a small boat to get to the big boat deal. Didnt like.
Tuesday having breakfast, along with the birds, yes birds...they have an issue with the outside eating area. Birds come and peck at the food on the tables and where ever they can, not healthy. So at 837am the earthquake happens, seriously? they have been waiting for 15 yrs for this and it comes when I arrive....go figure. I knew something felt weird when I was about to leave. It was a bad vacation from then on out. I didnt feel safe even tho they said it was alright. I felt an aftershock on Wed night and it shook my bed and I was on the 3rd floor. I came with 2 friends and left alone. I went to town with some other people I met and they got mad at me and wouldnt talk to me...seriously again....your over 30, act your age!! So I decided to call JetBlue and thanks to the great service I received from the supervisor I was able to leave a day early and not be charged a cent. This was my first time here to Costa Rica, I was glad to have met some nice people, especially Johnny my great bartender and some good friends from Miami where I can no go and vacation as well. This wasnt the place for me, I prefer to have a better variety of food and not eat with birds. The drinks are nothing to talk about. I'll stick with vacations that have the beautiful blue waters. My advice pay a little more and you wont eat with birds.

Room Tip: the rooms were good, but they have no elevators so if you dont like to walk much stay on the ground...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank marcine j
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newport, Rhode Island
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed August 30, 2012

Though it wasn't the fanciest place I've been to, the staff was pleasant, the room was clean & the food was pretty good. The pool provided hours of entertainment for my children. There were also shows every night that entertained kids & adults alike.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
12 Thank Laura B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed August 28, 2012

It was a wonderful vacation with my family.This was our first experience going to Costa Rica. The people in the hotel gave us a warm welcoming. They were so nice and pleasent as we requested a room change. Any request that we asked or needed it we were pleased.The general Manager was alway around making sure that we were pleased,and happy with the service at the hotel.The hotel was well maintain and the employees were very polite.If we would go back, we would stay at Allegro Papagayo again, just because the way they treated us.

Room Tip: The rooms in front of the pool.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Albania G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Allegro Papagayo

Property: Allegro Papagayo
Address: Playa Manzanillo | P.O. Box 48-5000, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Gulf of Papagayo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 Top resorts Hotel in Gulf of Papagayo
#7 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 — Allegro Papagayo 4*
Number of rooms: 300
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Allegro Papagayo Hotel Gulf Of Papagayo
Allegro Papagayo Costa Rica
Allegro Papagayo Gulf Of
Allegro Papagayo Occidental
Costa Rica Occidental
Occidental Papagayo
Allegro Papagayo Resort

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