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“Climb Every Mountain”
Review of Allegro Papagayo

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Allegro Papagayo
Ranked #8 of 13 Hotels in Gulf of Papagayo
Ottawa, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
16 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“Climb Every Mountain”
Reviewed January 15, 2013

Before I decided to book a vacation at this resort, I carefully read Trip Advisor reviews and thought it was safe enough to give a try in consideration of the more economical price. The old adage is true; you get what you pay for.

Yes, the wall mounted air conditioner dripped on the floor, the patio door was on it's last leg, the bathroom needed some paint and after room service didn't leave us any towels a phone call to the front desk didn't produce any. But, the biggest deterrence I found for this resort was the fact it was built into the side of a mountain. The views are great from every vantage point, but getting around this resort would be easy if you are part mountain goat. Stairs are involved in everything you do. They have a shuttle which circles the property every 10 minutes to pick you up and take you to where you want to go, but the fact is it is inconvenient and the whole experience would have been more enjoyable if it was on a level area.

This is not a large resort and amenities taken for granted at larger resorts are either scaled back or non existent here. You won't starve; the food is adequate but nothing to rave about. Hot food was often just warm and they seemed challenged in keeping the food stocked in the buffet line. Contacting the front desk is a hit and miss proposition and the nighttime shows were pretty sad - seems like the cast consisted of five people who tried to entertain with music and dance, but pretty much failed. You are a long way from most excursions and most excursions start with an hour or hour and half drive.

The employees were friendly enough, but service here was nothing compared to what is considered normal for Cuba. I couldn't help but keep comparing a Cuban vacation with this one and found that Cuba does a much better job at keeping their guests feel welcome in a cleaner, fresher environment.

If you want to go somewhere sunny and hot, you don't mind lots of stair and steep roads and your main goal is to get intoxicated, then this place will work for you. If you are looking for more from a vacation, then keep looking for other resorts.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
11 Thank Neal W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (431)
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English first
Burlington, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
48 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed January 15, 2013

Stayed there from Jan 7th to 14th '13 .. Originally in building 12 - 3rd floor then moved to building 10 main floor. Before you book be aware, if you have any leg/knee issues or breathing difficulties .. this is NOT the place for you. The buildings are 3-storey walk-ups. And there are numerous stairs to climb to get up and down to the pool, dining area, theatre and beach! There are shuttles to get up and down the cliffs but not to get to the lower level. They don't pay attention to "main floor room" requests made when booking. The out-dated, shabby rooms in need of much maintenance left a lot to be desired but since I didn't spend much time in mine, it was OK. Many in our group of 43 had issues with plumbing and air conditioning leaks, mold, wrong room assignments, etc. Most however, were resolved within a few days. The front desk staff don't speak very good English and everything is hand written - no computers! This makes eveything very slow and in times of emergencies can be very frustrating, as part of our group found out!
On the plus side .. The resort is built on the cliff so the views are phenomenal; great friendly people (not with their hands out waiting for tips as you often find at higher class resorts); good food with enough variety for the week; lots of loungers around the pool; some great side trips.

Overall I thought it was great value for the excellent price we paid.

.

Room Tip: if you absolutely can't do stairs request a main floor room but don't be surprised if they i...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Tricia C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Spring Lake, New Jersey
Level 3 Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed January 15, 2013

A friend and I stayed at the Allegro Papagayo 1/10-1/13. We were staying in Building #15, which was right next to the Pool and close to the restaurants. It was a prime location as it was also very close to the beach. While we were only here for a short time, we did enjoy our stay, just most of our time was spent off the resort on excursions.

There is a beautiful lobby with breathtaking views of the beach and landscape. The property has a bunch of hills, but they have a shuttle bus that goes around to pick people up to take them where they need to go. Keep in mind, it only goes from 6a-11p. The room was average. Although, my friend said there was an overwhelming smell of mildew. There seemed to be some damage to the bottoms of the furniture in our room. Our screen door had big holes in it and the glass slider didn't close all the way. However, none of this affected our stay. It just seemed the rooms needed some upkeep.

The food was decent, neither of us got sick. There wasn't too much of a selection. But the omelets were delicious! There are two restaurants besides the buffet, an Italian restaurant and a Mexican restaurant. We only tried the Italian Trattoria, again, decent food, but nothing to rave about.

The beach was beautiful, black sand. However, there didn't seem to be that many chairs available to sit on it. If you wanted to go to a white sand beach, you had to take a 20 minute boat ride, which you needed to sign up for the day before. The pool was nice and refreshing. Get up early if you want to reserve a chair. We played volleyball with some other guests and it was very fun!

We did two excursions: (1) 1/2 day safari boat cruise (2) Buena Vista - Borinquen Spa. The boat cruise was somewhat enjoyable. Not too much animal activity. I wouldn't go on it again, as it was mostly to look at birds. We did see a crocodile, spider monkey and howler monkeys from afar. The all-day excursion to the Borinquen Spa was great! We started off horseback riding, saw a waterfall, more horseback riding, ziplined, saw volcano activity and went in the hot springs. I would definitely recommend that excursion!

The resort is pretty isolated. So there isn't much to do around it. We took about a 40 minute cab ride to Coco Beach and went out to some bars around there. That was the best decision we made all trip. It was fantastic and so fun!

Overall, we had a pretty average stay at the hotel. This was a good value for the money, if you're not planning on spending a lot of time on the property.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
6 Thank k8tekat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed January 12, 2013

We stayed at the hotel from December 25 to January 1. We were in building 6 which I think was the perfect distance from the main building and the pool/beach. Quiet enough in the evenings and activities around the pool finish around 11 so even if you were lower down you would not be subjected to loud noise. The transportation was very reilable and the drivers courteous.

The location is beautiful and the grounds are well maintained. Even on the 1st floor in the 6th building you will have a view. You can walk outside to find iguanas and turtles right outside the room. Be careful smelling the flowers - we learned iguanas like to eat them and will climb in the hedges. Don't know who was more surprised.

The fridge in our room didn't work which meant the fresh fruit bought on a day excursion had to sit on the counter but we didn't complain about it. The air conditioner was loud but, hey, I liked the white noise. I would expect others would have taken issue. The housekeeping was fine and fresh towels brought daily. Keep in mind you are in a costal region (hence humid) so mold is pretty much a given.

If you are a gourmand, the buffet probably won't rock your boat. But when the ticos and ticas are staying at the hotel the quality and variety goes up dramatically. We did not test the restaurants at the hotel. The isolation of the hotel can be an issue at night and if you want to get out it will cost you.

The beach is lovely and you can walk for miles when the tide is out. The beach is about 20 meters from the pool - not far at all. As others have stated: DON'T FEED THE ANIMALS. Your photo-op is of no value if you consider that every single person doing it contributes to a pattern that the animals will not free themselves of: dependence. If you want to pet a monkey, go to the zoo. If you want to see monkeys in the wild - leave them wild.

If you go off the property (which I highly recommend) we had great luck arranging tours at the hotel. Ask for Marvin at HotelBeds in the lobby. We took in a volancoe hike, a trip to Monteverde including the zip line, and a trip to Taramindo for surfing. Each trip we had a guide and driver. Our guides, Alonso and Hugo had tourism degrees so any question you had, they could answer. The driver was competent and cautious - which is great considering some of the roads. It's a 4 hour trip each way from the hotel to Monteverde but well worth it. On each tour we were taken for local food which was a real treat. The food in each case was exceptional.

We also booked a sunset cruise with Charlie's Adventures at the hotel. It was a pleasant trip and we had lovely snacks watching the last sunset of 2012.

Your trip is what you make it. The people were friendly and made the efforts to help you would expect. The country is beautiful and well worth exploring. You are booking a mid-range hotel. You will get a mid-range hotel. But if you go in thinking "all inclusive" means luxurious in the sense of the Four Seasons you'll be disappointed. For ourselves, we had a wonderful visit.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
13 Thank Wanda I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portage, Indiana, United States
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed January 11, 2013

The toilet wouldn't stop running after a flush. I had to lift the top off the toilet and reach inside and push the handle down in order for it to stop running. The shower didn't look like it was clean and the water pressure for both the shower and toilet was very low. The sliding balcony door and screen didn't lock nor did they fully close which made it easy for someone to hop from their balcony to yours and easily get access to your room and take whatever they wanted while you were out on an tour of the country. Did I mention that the room safe didn't work. There were also little bugs crawling around the room that eventually got on you and got into your travel luggage. Now for anyone who says that the beach on this resort is beautiful was either drunk or someone had a gun to their head when they made the statement. This has to be one of the top ten ugliest beaches. Both the sand and water looks charcoal or black. I thought I walked into an oil spill, the whole beach looked dark and gloomy. The one good thing on the beach for me where the white face friendly monkeys that came down from the tree close enough for you to touch them. The only thing that stopped me from giving this resort an overall rating of one where the tour desk. If it weren't for the number of great tours off the resort that they offered which kept me away for most of stay, I would have giving this place a one and a half rating at most. The location of the resort is great but the upkeep of the rooms is poor.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank AndreBrownlee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Gulf of Papagayo hotels

Lakefield
1 review
Reviewed January 8, 2013

We almost didn't choose this resort after reading the reviews, we are now on our second week and would come back again for sure!!! If you need something they do their best to provide it. So nice seeing the monkeys in the trees at the beach every day, they love it when the guests give them a glass of water, nice seeing the iguanas and pizote. The pool temp is great, about the same as the water at the beach. Request building 10 third floor, it has been renovated and has a great view, it is right at the stairs to the pool, restaurant and beach area, if you have a problem with stairs ask for building15 main floor. If you want to go on excursions call Mike at +506 8707-2977or if you have an iphone then you can text him from the lobby with the wifi, they only charge $25. for Internet for your entire stay. Not bad at all. Feel free to message me if you have any questions.

  • Stayed January 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Bridget Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed January 4, 2013

We stayed during peak season for a few nights, December 28-31. There were some great things about it, but there were also a whole bunch of disappointments, so I will be pretty honest in this review. We are not picky or high maintenance travellers at all. In fact, we used a 3 star resort in Cuba as a base of comparison, and realized that the Cuban resort, poor socialist country and all, far exceeded this Costa Rican resort. We chose this resort because it was less expensive than some of the others in the area, and thought we'd take a gamble despite the lackluster tripadvisor reviews. We realized, however, that it was quite overpriced for what we experienced.

The good:
Amazing views.
Nice beach, especially at low tide: you can take a long walk on the beach when this happens because there is sand to walk on. We attempted to do this at high tide and had to do a lot of walking in the water, but it was still enjoyable. The sand is black volcanic sand, so different from your "white sand" expectation, but beautiful in its own right. The resort also offers free trips to a nearby white sand beach.
The wildlife, right at the resort (Kapuchin monkeys, iguanas, storks, seagulls, song birds, Coatis).
A good selection of tours (there are 4 tour companies on site! We used Hotelbeds and were quite satisfied with them). We took a tour every day we stayed at the resort.
Staff are nice.

The bad:
We never got clean towels. Not on the first day we arrived, and not on the next day that they cleaned our room. We had to call down to reception everytime to ask for this. On a good note, when you do call down, they are pretty good with responding and bringing you towels.
Our room needed renovations, but that was a minor issue for us.
The shower curtain was too short, so every time we took a shower, the water flooded the entire bathroom, which was difficult to clean up.
There was a strong smell of sewage coming from the pool area; we never used the pool (why use a pool when you have an ocean? Plus, the pool looked REALLY dirty-- my fiance is a pool manager and trust us, that pool was not clean). This smell bothered us because it would waft into the buffet area, especially during dinner, which was quite unpleasant.
The show in the evening was pretty weak. There are 5-6 regular dancers, and they really recycle the choreography and the dances quite a bit. Plus they are very weak dancers... low energy and they can't do very much. I don't know if I'm biased having a dance background, but my fiance didn't enjoy it either, and as a comparison, the last resort we visited in Cuba (3 star) had incredible dancers.
The headboard from the bed fell off while we were on the bed, hitting my fiance in the head.

The last point I will make is a note to the hotel as well as the guests: PLEASE DO NOT FEED THE MONKEYS ON SITE. There is a big sign asking guests not to feed the wildlife. No one seemed to be imposing this rule, and we witnessed people feeding bread to the monkeys from the buffet. It is no wonder they are so tame. I sure hope the management can enforce some stricter rules in this regard. I wonder if this is not enforced because it brings back the monkeys, which makes tourists happy? Please look up the dangers of feeding wildlife. These monkeys are already endangered, and we learned from one of our guides that overfeeding by tourists was one of the contributing reasons to their shrinking numbers. Not only does this disturb their natural feeding habits, causing illness and possibly death, but it can also make the monkeys aggressive when they are not given food. They are cute creatures, but they can be quite vicious when they are angry. Please guys, let's respect nature.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
15 Thank RoniDancer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sandra Alcázar U, Social Media Coordinator at Allegro Papagayo, responded to this review, February 5, 2013
Dear RoniDancer,

Thanks for taking the time to share your feedback.

Please accept our sincere apologies for the issues with your room. Our housekeeping team typically verifies that all rooms are equipped with the necessary amenities and clearly this was not the case during your stay; they are aware of your experience and I assure you that it will not happen again. Furthermore I’m glad that our front desk team was able to accommodate your needs quickly.

Also, please know that our pools are cleaned thoroughly each and every morning and we have a strict cleaning procedure in place; every day the chlorine level and pH of our pools are checked, and they are verified by a third party company, Preverisk, once a month. The pool is chlorinated daily 2 times a day according to the procedure and Jacuzzis are emptied every day and every day are filled with clean water. I’m sorry to read about your experience about the smell in the buffet. I assure you that we have solved the problem.

I’m sorry for the inconvenience that you had with the shower curtain, our team verified this issue in all rooms and change it immediately, thank you for bringing this to our attention.

Regarding our entertainment, I’ve addressed your comments about our activities with the Fun Club manager, as his team works hard to organize a variety of activities including aqua gym, water polo, volley ball and dance lessons. Also our night shows are very popular.

We are focused on environmental care in Costa Rica and I assure you we strive to make these rules to be respected, but at times it can be challenging as guests find much sympathy for these animals. I assure you that we will reinforce our rules in regard to feeding the monkeys.

We hope to have the chance to welcome you again,

Sincerely,
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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 Luxury Hotel in Gulf of Papagayo
#7 Spa 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
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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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