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“Paradise - at least pretty close!” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo

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Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo
Ranked #2 of 15 Hotels in Gulf of Papagayo
los angeles
Level Contributor
18 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Paradise - at least pretty close!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 28, 2010

We had a wonderful stay at the FOUR SEASONS COSTA RICA - we came for our Honeymoon and on the overall found the property to be near perfect. Highlights - check in is smooth, friendly and very welcoming! The room itself is amazing - big, comfortable, romantic, lush! Out of this world. Especially the balcony and the bathroom! The only thing lacking is a whirlpool function on the tub - it is big, it is beautiful, but it isn't quite perfect! Other highlights include the amazing pools, the beautiful beaches and the service. The service is impeccable! They have a guy who lays towels out on your beach chair, a guy who brings around little smoothies every hour and who offers to clean your sunglasses. Basically, they have a lot of folks who will do any and everything to make your trip wonderful.

The downside is the food - it is not that good - at all. It isn't bad. It just isn't quite great. We were expecting a little bit better - especially when it comes to desert. If you have a sweet tooth - don't order the room service brownies - they are worse than what you would find at a grocery store bakery in the states. It was a big disappointment. The only other downside is the concierge desk - we found them to be less than helpful when we inquired about taking a tour - they handed us a pre-printed brochure with a lot of ok sounding and very expensive daytrips and looked at us like we were crazy when we wanted something more adventurous and more customized.

Luckily, when we felt the Four Seasons concierge desk failed us, we knew where to look - our friends at Tripadvisor had been talking up a local guide named Mainor at http://www.tours-your-way.com/ - we gave him a call and he took us on a spectacular tour of Nicaragua. We found Mainor to be a wonderful guide - friendly, knowledgeable, incredibly funny, fluent in English, welcoming and generally awesome! And he is a good driver - as the roads are sometimes treacherous. We got picked up at 5:00 AM and spent an entire day touring volcanoes, markets, small towns, windy roads and everything else in between. The trip was a welcome getaway from the somewhat homogenized experience that comes with staying at a Four Seasons - the place is the lap of luxury but after a few days, you want to see how the world really looks and Mainor gave us a great and welcome perspective on life in Costa Rica and Nicaragua.

Overall, we had a great time at the Four Seasons Costa Rica - the facilities are great and the service is world class. We would love to see improvements in the food - especially in the variety on the menu, which got a little tiring after five days. Definitely an off the beaten trail sort of getaway that still has the luxuries of staying at a big, American style resort. We would go back.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank losangelesjeremy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
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Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 15, 2010

My husband and I stayed at the Four Seasons Papagayo for 5 nights for the first half of our honeymoon. The staff were always very helpful and really made our stay wonderful. Upon our arrival, our room was upgraded and when we arrived at our room, they had a bottle of champagne, chocolate covered strawberries, and some delicious coconut treats waiting for us. The view from the room was great and we could see & hear howler monkeys. There are three pool and a waterfall jacuzzi. The two beaches were very clean. While there, we booked Tours Your Way and did the Guachipelin Adventure Tour with Rey - I would definitely recommend this tour & service - we had such a great time and Rey was a great tour guide. We also took a cooking class at the Four Seasons DiMare restaurant and a catamaran sunset tour with snorkeling - both which I would highly recommend. The restaurants were spectacular - never a bad meal. Definitely returning again!!!

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank hab53
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cypress, Texas
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 8, 2010

We have been to 4 Seasons all over but this was the best. Yes the food and drinks are expensive but it is a 4 Seasons and the property is on a peninsula 30 miles from a town of any size. Our room was up on the hillside had a spectacular view of the bay. The hotel staff was extremely attentive, friendly and made sure that everything was done right. The Costa Rican people are absolutely wonderful, very proud of their country, and very appreciative to have you visiting. Beach was great, food was excellent and the golf course had stunning views of the bay. This place was spectacular and we plan on going back next year.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank whooper6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Texas
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 31, 2010

We went to this resort with a teenager and an 8 year old. The resort was beautiful to say the least. i don't understand the others that said it was run down. The service and amenities were the best i have experienced by far. The room was beautiful with a great view of the bay. The lanai was screened in and we enjoyed dinner and breakfast out there a few times. We went during the "slow season" and it was slow which made it nicer and less crowded. We ate at Di Mare a couple nights and the food was delicious. My favorite drink poolside was the Naughty Monkey and the Guanacaste Punch! Yummy! If you want to take some of the tours I recommend hiring a private driver for the day. We booked this through the concierge. The cost was $400 for 8 hours. They took us wherever we wanted to go and we paid entrance fees ourselves at the places instead of paying in advance through hotel. Highly recommend Witches Rock canopy tour. Don't pack sunscreen or bug spray. L'Occitane toiletries, don't bother bringing shampoo or conditioner. They are available pool side and by the beaches. Laundry facilities available on each floor...free of cost. Free internet at lobby. We stayed for 7 days. 4 days would probably be best if you are not planning on lounging around too much or get bored easily.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank dido1151
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 30, 2010

We came to the FS from a hotel in Arenal where we did some outings and adventure stuff and got to enjoy the rainforest and volcano. We were looking forward to getting to the FS for pure relaxation and luxury and that is what we got.

PROS
- Driving up to the hotel through peninsula papagayo is spectacular. Feels like you entered a different world.
- Service is seamless and professional - you know you are being taken care of there
- Food is amazing - definitely a highlight of our trip. We especially loved Di Mare, but go early before the sunsets so you can take advantage of the beautiful views. Breakfast is also super fresh and tasty.
- Beaches are stunning, private, and well maintained. We stayed on the quiet side the whole stay and loved how peaceful and uncrowded it was
- Fantastic early morning spin class with a helpful and energetic instructor
- Five star gym and spa
- Small treats they bring you when you are laying out by the beach/pool are outstanding - frozen fruit popsicles, star fruit infused water, iced water, shots of frozen drinks, cold towels, etc.
- The layout of the room was great... even though it was on the smaller side, everything was classy and comfortable. Loved that the bathtub opened up into the room.
- Everything feels luxurious from the signature Occitane products and the bed to the beach and the restaurants
- Although it's a kid friendly place, they make an effort to create adult only areas so you have privacy and quiet
- Checking in and out was painless

CONS
- EXPENSIVE (which you know going in, but the mark up and resort taxes reallllly add up).
- The view from the room was just so-so. We were in the least expensive room on the ground floor so we had a screened in porch that looked out on a patch of grass and trees. You could hear the ocean, which was nice but not much to see. The screen also had some patches which was kinda unsightly for the FS
- Shower and bath tub are very nice, but pretty standard
- The landscaping was immaculate but not as colorful and lush as you'd expect for being in Costa Rica
- We did not see any monkeys :(

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank WannaGetAway1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California, USA
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 27, 2010

We really were looking forward to our stay here -- especially in light of the positive TA reviews, which we rely on heavily. We had an okay stay, but not what we expected. We too have stayed at other FSs and and were surprised at how average this hotel was -- you won't have a bad time, it just won't feel like a luxury stay.

CHECK IN AND PRE STAY Our room was not ready in spite of advising of early check in (just a couple hours early). Our bags were left on the front driveup while the room was prepped. We asked (2 months in advance with advice from the world reservations team) for a quiet room -- we were placed over the recreational beach (volleyball games, kids' play area, beach equipment rentals, kayak tours, all directly below our window/deck, which we often had to close to not hear kids' crying/screaming mid-day -- losing the ocean sounds by so doing). We also got a note from the concierge 5 days before we arrived indicating they had no record of our reservation; we had pre-paid through our travel agency 2 months in advance! After multiple emails, we received apologies -- but that was to happen several times during our stay as dinner reservations were mixed up, room service items were delivered incorrectly, turndown service forgot to replace coffee/shower caps/soap. We simply came to expect we would have to call for "routine" housekeeping items like toiletry refills, sugar with our coffee, etc. What was most confusing about all this -- including our room placement -- was that we were not there at busy/high season.

HOTEL SERVICE/COMMUNICATIONS: We let staff know on day 4 of some of the issues and just heard from the Customer Relations Manager how "very very sorry" she was. Later, the F&B manager was very gracious in acknowledging the "misses" and providing a meal in apology. Sincerely, Ticos (or Costa Ricans) are the friendliest people you will ever want to meet. They were very warm, friendly and professional. Hotel communications could be improved. The software used by Concierge and restaurant reservations team was not synched so you would get a confirming call for a restaurant/time that you did not make. OTHER: Our view was the beach play area -- not great, since we specifically advised the hotel we were celebrating our wedding anniversary and hoped for some romance/quiet. They "honored" our special occasion by providing a complimentary dessert at Caracol, where we had dinner -- and charged us for it! Accidentally .... On the flip side, they provided macaroons/champagne on our arrival with a note -- written on the card upside down. I know that sounds trite ... but it's just confusing. The gestures were such a mix like this; i.e. there's a great hiking trail but the map doesn't show it accurately, and when you ask staff they don't know where to pick up the second part of the trail (between two observatory areas where it crosses the road). The map shows the link is to the right -- but it's actually to the left 1/4 of the way around the turnaround driveway (not even shown on the map). Why would this fantastic feature not be clearly signed is just mystifying.

BEACH CLUB: We were completely disappointed with the Prieta beach club -- not clean, no one to provide towel service, etc. Stay with the FS pool/beaches. Nice smoothies, etc. and bug spray/lotion/mister all provided conveniently.

BUGS: DO use DEET ... seriously, you are in a very bug-happy-locale. Don't ruin your vacation with lots of bug bites, which you will get it you don't use bug repellant.

ROOMS/GROUNDS: Very nice. Rooms are well appointed with wood floors (note, I did hear neighbors upstairs and next door walking/voices/child crying/etc. I have never heard neighbors in a FS before. The signature Occitane products -- which are great. Loved the soaking tub that was terrific after a hike or getting caught in the rain (we did ... 4 times ... it's part of the deal so don't be disappointed if you get rain). Nice fluffy towels. Grounds are lovely though beaches are small. Pool area was fine. Everything was kept clean and well tended to, as you would expect from FS. Loved the screened in porch -- including the little lizard friend that came with it. Don't expect it to be bug free -- consider where you are.

OTHER FACILITIES: Business center always open and free -- which was great. And the laundry facility was a great plus for this resort -- we used it 2x, to wash/dry clothes after rain storms. Little coffee shop was also nice and always super friendly staff. Did use the hotel's tour company, Swiss Travel, for a day-long tour to Arenal/Monteverde and had fabulous, friendly, professional guides -- highly recommend them.

SPA/GOLF/ACTIVITIES: Sadly, did not golf due to being rained out a few times -- just couldn't trust the weather. Had to call concierge to cancel a spa appointment after being unable to get through to the spa after several calls/rings. Went to reschedule and couldn't get through .... again, this is all during the low (= not busy season). Just gave up, in spite of hearing this was one of FS top spas and we selected hotel, in part, for the spa/golfing. Tried to get into cooking class/golf tour the morning of each, when we thought you were supposed to reserve -- fully booked. After two more tries, were able to sign up and we did enjoy the cooking class. The property/golf tour we got on was caught in downpour 30 minutes in and when we booked into 2 more times, was rained out for both. Weather not FS's fault, but again, the activity side felt more difficult than it should have been to reserve/attend during low season.

FOOD/RESTAURANTS: Food really was exceptional. Don't buy the reviews that say how expensive everything is ... it is not. If you order everything top of the line, it will add up. And yes, you can order a $30+ b'fast buffet -- but we simply don't want that much food for b'fast. We ordered lovely b'fasts (eggs/toast/sausage/etc.) for two for less than $25 total for room service. And we enjoyed very nice $100 dinners for two. (one reviewer mentioned you couldn't do dinner for under $200). DiMare restuarant staff was very accommodating and the food was very good. Caracol at golf club had excellent service and great steaks/lobster. Had a very nice dinner and a great lunch/salads at Papagayo and a great "late lunch" sitting on the deck at Ticos -- terrific, friendly waiter. We remembered several of the servers as being outstanding, suggesting a special homemade hot sauce for my husband, etc.

WRAP UP ... Just not outstanding. I would simply never expect to call a stay at the Four Seasons or in Costa Rica average. It was a special anniversary trip for us and we came home disappointed. If you're expecting luxury standards, this FS falls short. Having something go wrong every day really started getting to us by day 4 of our week-long stay, and we definitely would not return or recommend the hotel.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank sunew117
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 25, 2010

Our family recently returned from a 10 night stay at the Four Seasons. We all agreed that it was one of our best because of two reasons. First was the hotel and the other was because of Mainor Lara with Tours Your Way.

Experienced with other 5 star hotels including the FS on the Big Island in Hawaii, we had high expectations for the FS Costa Rica. After the 11 days there, those expectations were met and then some. What were immediately noticeable on arrival are the incredible staff members. Everyone from the front desk to housekeeping is genuinely nice and helpful. Two members that were above FS standards were Carlos Ugalde and Melissa Bustos. Carlos served us breakfast every morning. He was so cheerful and tried to please us with anything that we may have needed. Be sure to ask for him. Likewise, Melissa always greeted us with a warm smile at the front desk of the Business Center. Any problems related to internet connection, she ensured were answered. There were many more employees that were great including the staff who provided transportation - I just cannot remember their names.

Everything from our room to the grounds was meticulously kept. For example, it appeared that seconds after a leaf had fallen on a sidewalk, someone was sweeping it up. Our suite was always cleaned to perfection with water bottles and amenities replenished when needed.

Like the country, the hotel is beautiful. I highly recommend the 2:30 pm golf course tour. Everyone is given a cart and a tour guide directs the group throughout the course. The vistas are incredible. The guide will point many of the natural wonders including iguanas, howler monkeys, plants, trees, etc. allowing time for great photo shoots. They, also, give some history on the course, the hotel and its commitment to conservation.

A wonderful secret is the Beach Club. Not owned by the FS, the facility's long term goal is to be exclusively used by private home owners. For now, it allows guests of the FS to visit. By asking the hotel's bell service, a van will transport from the hotel to Club in less than 5 minutes. Our 15 and 13 year old children liked its beach better because of the bigger waves. Be sure to grab boogie boards from the hotel for surf riding. The Beach Club, also, has a nice sports bar with pool tables. We did not formally eat at one of its restaurants but did enjoy the delicious grilled grouper from the bar. The Club is not open on Sundays and Mondays.

I read some reviews of the hotel complaining of its isolation. We liked it. There are two security checks before arriving at the lobby. Our kids loved the Teen Center and we never were worried in allowing them to travel to it on their own. Once, I called the Center and they knew to the minute when our children had arrived and left.

For tours, NO ONE can beat Mainor (pronounced "minor") Lara. As his company's name implies, he provides tours that fit the client. We spent two full day tours with Mainor at Monte Verde and Arenal. He listens to what is wanted, makes suggestions and ensures that the tour is exactly fulfilled. He is funny and so knowledgeable. Not only, for example, does he know that name of every bird in the region, he knows the sound of their calls. He can spot monkeys, sloths, toucans and parrots from a mile away. We think that he knows everyone in the region because everywhere we went; people waved to him and called out his name. Mainor, also, provided transport to/from Tamarindo on two days for us and scheduled surfing lessons and beach horseback rides. Everything we did with him was wonderful. He made sure that a cooler in his SUV was available to us filled with drinks that we liked. Providing transfers between the FS and the airport for us, we felt like we were leaving a good friend when our vacation was over.

Would we recommend the Four Seasons in Costa Rica? ABSOLUTELY!

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank hhetzer
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 Romantic Hotel in Gulf of Papagayo
#1 Family Hotel in Gulf of Papagayo
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Gulf of Papagayo
#2 Luxury Hotel in Gulf of Papagayo
#2 On the Beach 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
Reservation Options:
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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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