This was our second stay at the Grand Papagayo. We visited in May and thought the hotel was great with the exception of some quirks. Well, we found that the quirks still existed and in some ways have grown worse. First, the good things - the hotel is in an absolutely beautiful location. Most of the service staff is at the top of their game. The food in the buffet is still wonderful. The not so good things - when we checked in at about 8:00PM, we said we were traveling with friends who arrived earlier in the day and that we would like our room close to theirs. Off we go with our luggage to a room in the same building with our friends. The bellman opens the door and all the Christmas decorations for the hotel are stored in that room. While festive, it was not inhabitable. The bellman calls the front desk and off we go again. This time we are taken to an outbuilding far from our friends. The door to the room is opened and there are double beds - we had requested a king. The bellman said to wait in the room and he would go back to the front desk. Given we weren't born yesterday, we insisted on going back with the bellman. Finally we were assigned another room in the building next to our friends. Why check-in needs to be so difficult, I'll never know.
The hotel still uses an archaic system for booking the specialty restaurants. You must book in advance and then re-confirm unless it is a weekend when you must book that same day. Last time we thought the specialty restaurants were quite good, this time we found the Oriental mediocre at best. If we return, we will definitely stick with the buffet which has been consistently excellent. Always save room for desserts, as they are not to be believed. It is worth throwing on a beach cover-up to eat at the buffet at lunch. It is head and shoulders above the fare at the snack bar.
If you are a pet lover, bring dog/cat food. We brought a 5 pound bag of cat food so that we could feed the resident cats without needing to sneak food to them. There are many kind hearted souls who stay at the resort so we know that the animals are being fed on a regular basis.
Last visit, we used the tour companies on site. This time we contracted for some private tours with Erick Escobar of Unforgettable Tours. He was recommended by some people we met during our first visit to the Grand Papagayo. We were pleased with his airport pick up as well as his guide services during our trip to Arenal and Palo Verde. You can check out his website at [--] His prices were a few dollars higher than the on-site companies, but it was nice going and coming when we wanted as well as determining our specific itinerary.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located in Guanacaste on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica,The Adults Only Occidental Papagayo is only at 25 minutes from the Liberia International Airport. This Resort surrounded by nature, boast lush tropical landscape with scenic views of Bahia Culebra in Papagayo Golf.Ideal for couples, honeymooners and adult guest seeking a relaxing getaway. The Occidental Papagayo offers a highly personalized five star all- inclusive experience delivered by an attentive and dedicated staff. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Occidental Grand Papagayo Hotel Gulf Of Papagayo
- Occidental Grand Papagayo Gulf Of
- Occidental Grand Papagayo Costa Rica
- Grande Papagayo Costa Rica
- Grand Papagayo Liberia