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“Great Resort; Disappointing Villa”

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Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo
Ranked #2 of 13 Hotels in Gulf of Papagayo
Certificate of Excellence
Pittsburgh
Level Contributor
470 reviews
99 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1,318 helpful votes
“Great Resort; Disappointing Villa”
Reviewed July 29, 2008

I agree with the vast majority of reviews that rate this resort highly. The place is beautful and the level of service is generally outstanding. In terms of the restaurants, the Caracol restaurant at the golf course was very good. DiMare was a little disappointing - the food was pretty good but the menu was fairly limited and the choices were pretty dull. Prices were high but we were prepared for that.

My only complaint relates to the 3 bedroom residence villa that we rented. I was totally caught off guard by the fact that the three bedrooms were actually three separate rooms. The "villa" consisted of a one bedroom suite and two separate rooms. The rooms weren't connected and required their own keys. This defeated the whole purpose of renting the villa as we wanted to rent a single unit to keep the family together. Had I known this in advance, I would have saved a lot of money by reserving three separate rooms instead of the villa.

The hotel should have made it clear that this really isn't a 3 bedroom villa. I went back and looked at the website info re the villas. If you look closely at the floor plan, you can figure it out. There's nothing else in the description that mentions it.

  • Stayed July 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank Jeff K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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  • Location
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  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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English first
Washington, DC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed July 22, 2008

My wife and I vacationed at the FS Costa Rica over an extended July 4th holiday. To level set, our travel style shifts with the wind. From open-air boards-and-thatched roof cabanas on the beach in Belize to super deluxe resorts in South Africa.

FS CR was a perfect balance for travelers like us. The standard rooms were very well done, warm and spacious. The service at FS was very good - occasionally a little slow at the bar/restaurants - but not terribly so. Although a true Latin American country, Costa Rica seems touched with a good bit of Caribbean flavor. If you've traveled at all to the Caribbean, you'll understand my characterization.

The staff was very friendly, and seemed more relaxed in their willingness to show their personalities. I found this refreshing when compared to my experiences at other FS properties (e.g., Punta Mita), Ritz Carlton and St. Regis. I expect good service when I pay top dollar, but I don't want servants!

The resort is thoughtfully designed over many different levels on the cliff side. This adds a very arresting (in a good way) feeling of dimension when walking about between the spa, Tico bar, beach and hotel room. The architecture and lay out clearly attempt to minimize the guilt you may otherwise feel spending your time at a top notch luxury resort at the center of the Eco tourism universe.

With one exception, the food was very good, but not necessarily good enough to justify the prices. The food at restaurant in the golf clubhouse was exceptional and worth the prices.

If you go, watch a sunset or two from the hot tub in the spa. Absolutely go on the zip line tour at Witches Rock. The beach is clean, the water on the Pacific Ocean side is fairly clear. Even though it was too cloudy for snorkeling during our trip, my wife and I spent more time in the Ocean than the pools. There is also a wide selection of complimentary water activities on the sound side (wind surfing, kayaks, snorkel gear, paddle boats, surf boards).

Don't let the negative reviews dissuade you from going. I read them before and after my visit. Very little of those reviews come close to capturing our experience at the FS CR. We will go again, will invite our family and friends, and may even buy a Residence Club interest.

  • Liked — Screened in fully furnished patio.
  • Disliked — The gym was too small and could use a lot more equipment.
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Etnonu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed July 16, 2008

I was very excited to go to this hotel given the reviews, however upon my stay I was very disapointed for many reasons. First of all, the hotel is a weathered old hotel, they don't even have an infinity pool. Secondly, the food is absolutely disgusting. Except for omelletes in the morning that you can't go wrong with and a Brazilian theme night with various meats to choose from, the food is plain out horrific. If you are a sophisticated traveler such as myself who consider the Palmilla in Cabo top notch then you will be extremely disappointed with the hotel itself, the food and the ambiance. Please note most of the reviews are from midwesterners and such . That's pretty much who you'll be surrounded by at this Four Seasons. On a positive note, I would definitely recommend the canopy tour at Witches Rock.

  • Liked — room
  • Disliked — food
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
5 Thank lilirz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, IL
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed July 15, 2008

Amazing service, rooms, pool, golf, spa, food, (you get the point). This resort is built around the beautiful nature that surrounds it. It is gorgeous. There are 3 beaches. 2 of them are on either side of Penninsula Pappagayo (where the resort lies), and the other one is quite a hike away from the resort. The third beach is a Black Sand Beach. If you go it's a must. Ask the Concierge about the beach of a thousand stairs. Also, you MUST go on the canopy tour (ziplining). It was amazing.

  • Liked — Beautiful
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank shadowgcat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed July 9, 2008

It's hard to put into words how wonderful this property is. Fantastic service, spectacular golf, great activities, terrific (though pricey) food, beautiful accomodations, friendly staff... the perfect vacation. With a wide variety of things to do, both on property and off, we never felt bored nor isolated, despite that fact that the closest sizeable town is 40 minutes away. But we also enjoyed spending a few days doing absolutely nothing while being pampered by the staff with the delightful lemongrass-scented cold towels, refreshing Evian sprays on the beach and genuine Tico hospitality.

Much like several previous posts, we were delighted to learn upon arriving that we had been upgraded from our Premium (1 bath, 1 bed) Room to a Residence Club Villa with 3 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, full kitchen, study, laundry, etc. Being only a 5 minute walk to the main building or a speedy 1 minute golf cart ride, we could not have been more pleased with this upgrade, despite the fact that it was more space than our party of 3 could possibly need!

Recommendations:
- The zip-line canopy tour at Witches Rock (only 15 minutes from the Resort) is a MUST. And at only $75 per person, it's well worth it. 11 separate lines over beautiful foliage and a breathtaking waterfall... spectacular.
- If you're a golfer, do not miss the opportunity to play this course. And after 2:00 (though we we're usually able to get off around 1:30) the fee is a bargain for a resort course... and don't bother bringing your own clubs. The Resort provides wonderful Callaway sets included in the greens fee. Shoes are also provided though I took my own. If you're not a golfer, definitely do the golf course tour as it's certainly worth seeing the amazing vistas and wildlife (lots of monkeys) that inhabit the course.
- Rent a car and explore a little. You can rent a car directly from the Resort for only $120 for 24 hours. There are some beautiful beaches and great little towns to the south of the FS. We had a delicious lunch in Tamarindo and learned that nearly all Ticos, not just those that work at the FS, are a happy, welcoming people.
- Talk to the Ticos. Perhaps our favorite part of our Costa Rican vacation were the Costa Rican people themselves. We didn't encounter a single staff member that wasn't friendly or happy to chat... and they're not at all overbearing. While I speak Spanish and used it often with the staff, my parents do not, but never did they feel slighted by the staff for their lingustic shortcomings. Nearly everyone you encounter will happily speak English.
- The Resort's complimentary activites are great. We enjoyed the adventure kayak, salsa/merengue classes, and golf lessons.

All-in-all a fantastic resort for whatever type of vacationer you are. The activity-hungry and the chill-on-the-beach types (and everyone in between) will find this resort to offer exactly what they want. Can't wait for my next visit.

  • Liked — The staff/service
  • Disliked — Having to leave
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank Gringa23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Costa Rica
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed July 4, 2008

Yes, while staying at the Four Seasons Costa Rica money was taken from my wallet in the room. I found the theft a tasteful way to cap off a bad week of lack luster service and misleading advertising. There are many beautiful places and experiences in Guanacaste, please skip this hotel and find them on your trip to Costa Rica.

The Loss Prevention Director said that he is continuing the investigation and will stay in touch, but no one else seemed too worried. Odd I thought enlight of their own admission that thefts do occur at the hotel. If they ever resolve the situation I will post again....

  • Liked — Room Terrace
  • Disliked — Service
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
12 Thank Eric W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, IL
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed June 27, 2008

Although the first 10 mins of our stay were a bit frightening (and funny) the other 5 days were amazing! When we arrived our room already had a guest - a very large spider in the bathroom - we killed it with a 1/2 can of raid the hotel puts in your closet. When we called the front desk they apologized, reminded us that we were in a tropical environment and that there would be "wildlife". We laughed - they offered to move us to a different room -we accepted and never saw any "wildlife" in our 2nd room. Pool and restaurant staff very attentive and courteous. The grounds of the resort are beautiful and meticulously maintained. The main hotel buildings were built on the narrowest part of the penninsula. If we walked onto our balcony we saw beach and the ocean. If we walked out our front door we saw another beach and the ocean. We tried every restaurant at least once all were good, our favorite was Du Mare - must try the chocolate souffle. The golf course views are spectacular and having wild monkeys in the trees around you is very cool. Recommend the zip line tour but not the snorkeling trip - as we did not see any fish. I was a bit worried about going in June as it is considered the rainy season in Costa Rica but it only rained twice for about an hour each time.

  • Liked — The large outdoor balcony space
  • Disliked — The very large spider in our first room
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank Jenniferfin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo

Property: Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo
Address: Peninsula Papagayo, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Gulf of Papagayo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Gulf of Papagayo
#1 Family Hotel in Gulf of Papagayo
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Gulf of Papagayo
#2 Luxury Hotel in Gulf of Papagayo
#2 Spa Hotel in Gulf of Papagayo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo 5*
Number of rooms: 184
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Also Known As:
Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica At Peninsula Papagayo Hotel Gulf Of Papagayo
4 Seasons Resort Costa Rica At Peninsula Papagayo
Four Seasons Costa Rica
Four Seasons Liberia
Peninsula Liberia
Liberia Peninsula
Liberia Four Seasons

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