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Occidental Papagayo - Adults only
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Reviewed September 23, 2012

We stayed at this resort in Feb. 2012 and with a large group of people.

The resort was very clean; the staff was very friendly and the resort was good.

Regrettably however this resort was not ready for such a large group - in order to get all of us into the buffet we had to wait 45 mins or more to get a table ready. The food choices were rather limited and the buffet was very small - although the food did taste better than other resorts I've stayed at.

The resort is smaller -- so for such a large group we did take up a lot of room where ever we went.

We tipped often -- the bar staff got to know us rather well and it was awesome. As a result - our last night there we had a late night pool party (after midnight) and the staff brought us down mix and ice for us to have before they closed down the bar and went to bed for the night. (we had to finish off the four very large bottles of liquor we bought). Security let us know it was time for bed when they shut the lights off on us and although we were being wild and crazy -- they were so very patient and accommodating...!

My husband and I stayed in one of the walk ups close to the lobby -- the room was very clean. We stayed on the top floor and at night you could hear the howler monkeys running across the roof -- which was pretty funny and didn't really disturb us at all.

I wouldn't recommend this resort for anyone who has difficulties walking. Although they did have a tram that would take you about the resort - the stairs leading down to the beach were a little unstable and steep; the stairs leading from the pool to the lobby was very steep - and even some of the sidewalks leading to the tram were also steep. No elevators to the walk ups.

The staff were constantly cleaning, sweeping hallways, mopping... landscapers constantly tending to the trees and flowers, one dude painted the stairs once a day the whole time we were there. Assuming they have to do that because of the humidity?

The weather was hot! Feb. temps reaches low 30's (Celsius) and although it was really windy - it was still really hot. I found Costa Rica to be a very safe country - we spent two afternoons in Coco Beach and had a blast. The beaches are public in Costa Rica -- the first time out on the beach we were bombarded with people trying to sell you different day trip packages and souvenirs.

All in all -- this review is to put out an apology to those guests staying there who were annoyed with the large group of Canadians partying until the wee hours of the morning. We had a blast... perhaps you did not because of us. Sorry about that... but you know what they say... if you can't beat em -- join em!

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled with friends
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5  Thank Melissa C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 23, 2012

Stayed at this resort for 5 night the first week of September 2012. We had two rooms, one for my wife and I and one for my in-laws.

ROOMS
Rooms were decent. Our room had not been renovated and the bathroom was a little outdated. It was passable, after all who vacations for a bathtub? We were here to relax and see things not to sit in a bathtub. My in-laws room had a renovated bathroom that looked nicer and seemed to be a better fit as the shower was more friendly for older folks.

TOURS
This was the only negative part of our trip. We has read reviews of someone of the beach named Larry who sells cheaper tours and sought him out. He offered us several identical tours to what was offered by the companies recommended by the hotel but they were about $10 cheaper so we booked with Larry.

Man, did this turn out to be a mistake!!! First day we went to Arenal and had a good time. When we were on our way back the van broke down. Unfortunately we were in a bad cell phone reception area and the driver could not call for help. He left us on the side of the road and took him almost an hour to walk and get a signal and call for help. Another hour of so passed and a tow truck finally arrived. We arrived at the hotel shortly after midnight.

I spoke to the front desk staff for help and was told I was out of luck because I had used a pirate tour provider that was not recommended. They had warned us specifically about these vendors at check in but because of the reviews on this site we used him any way. I was told that the hotel had no responsibility for the vendors on the beach but had I used one of the approved vendors they would be happy to help.

At first I was really pissed off at the hotels reaction but my wife calmed me down.

Next morning I attempted to talk to Larry about the problem but he was no where to be found. I did find him two days later but he acted as if he had never met me before and would not even apologize for the situation.

FOOD AND BEVERAGE
Restaurants were above my expectations. I never expect a over the top food and beverage experience in an all inclusive hotel but was pleasantly surprised.

The buffet was particularly good for breakfast and average for lunch and dinner.

The Italian restaurant was really good. Glad I wore slacks on the trip there or I would have not packed them. Men must wear pants in the restaurants at night. Not expected in a location like this nor is it told to you in advance so plan ahead to bring pants if you read this.

Only complaint was that the variety was a little small but what was available was better than I expected!

SERVICE
Overall almost the entire staff was very warm. Only one person, the male host in the Buffett, was a little off. He just seemed to not like Americans and ignored you when spoken to. Other than him teh entire staff were very friendly and appeared to really enjoy their jobs.

OVERALL
I would stay at this hotel again, more so once they finish renovating all of the rooms. I would also never use a pirate tour company again. Larry could have put my family and I in a really bad spot. After his reaction I decided to simply let karma take care of it. I moved on and learned that despite the reviews I should have listened to the advice from the hotel staff. Their job was to keep us safe not to sell tours and in hindsight listening to them made sense but I was blinded by saving a few dollars and ignored them. Advice I will not ignore if given the chance in te future.

  • Stayed: September 2012
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3  Thank Texas-traveler1974
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 19, 2012

We recently returned from our vacation. I was concerned due to bad reviews however we found it to be very nice, staff could not have been nicer, Jackie was very helpful. Food was very good recommend you make your reservations for the restaurants early or might not et one. If you are disabled might not be the place for you lots of stairs and everything is uphill good workout for your calves. Rooms were very nice and clean we did not stay in the hotel rooms but the junior suites were nice. Larry on the beach gives you great tours for your money so highly recommend him We did go to Nicaragua with Swiss Tours from the hotel and Juan Carlos was our Nicaraguan guide and Jose was our guide from Costa Rica awesome they were. highly recomend the trip beautiful country awesome people they really tried to take care of us during the earthquake. Spa was great

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank laveda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 15, 2012

Just want to add our experience of this awesome place. We stayed in Royal Club #804, the amenities are awesome, with room service, bathrobes and champaign and bowl of fruit in the room on the time of arrival in the hotel. We did have the honeymoon package I think.

The food here is amazing. The Snack bar which is open air was so nice, especially when it rained hard, watching the birds and iguanas, coati's walkig around. The food here was amazing all you can eat, there was also the walk-up bar which was really convenient. We ate at the "Italian", which was amazing, the food was incredible, wine was awesome, and they served a fruity cocktail upon being seated, all very formal and fancy.

The "Buffet", also had some of the best oriental food I can remember tasting. These chefs know their stuff. I ate till I couldn't anymore. The breakfast here is to die for too, with a bloody mary stand, the best coffee ever, and amazing food.

Our fridge was always stocked with beer and lots of water, ye we had to ask sometimes, but they where always willing to keep us stocked up. The A/C in our room worked very well, turn down service everynight where they place a bottle of water on each side of the bed and turn your bed down ready for the night.

Room service was very nice, yes they constantly got our order wrong dispite it being on the menu already, but either way the food was amazing. They didn't have a couple things on the menu in the 7 days we where there, but they made up for it in other options. Can I say again this place has the best coffee in the world, Starbucks doesn't even come close.

Being Royal Club, we had access to the lounge upstairs which was nice, and I'm sure we where treated differently than the regular folks. The gift shop was great, they sell Cuban & Costa Rican Cigars. The general facilitys here are awesome and the grounds are kept up a lot, with lots of wildlife walking the grounds along with a variety of birds.

The beach was amazing I can't believe how warm the water was here, and you must look for Andres (Antonio), he took great care of us on the fishing tour and the Palo Verdi Jungle cruise. You can find him on here under papogayogreenbay.com

We did the zipline, horseback riding, mud bath tour through the hotel, it was a great adventure, but Andres was way better. We talked to Eduardo at the hotel to get us some champagne for the zipline tour and believe it or not, he produced an icecold bottle of champagne which we drank in the tour bus on the way there, the ride was about an hour to get to the horseback riding stable.

Make sure you take lots of $1 bills to tip these guys they deserve it. While we were here we experienced the 7.6 earthquake which was supposedly Costa Rica's big one, the power went out for a while and was a scary experience, but the hotel employees handled it amazingly well keeping us all calm and collective.

They offer only Imperial beer at the resort which we got used to, it's about 4.6 a lot stronger than Bud Light which we enjoyed, but just down the road is a grocery store which sold American beers if you desire it.

There is a sales pitch in the beginning, just say no and all is good

Room Tip: Upgrade to Royal Club because: Free Room Service single level units naice patio upgraded rooms
  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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9  Thank anthony s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 14, 2012

Our 7 day stay in Costa Rica was awesome. We used Brayan of Issy's Tours for all of our excursions. Both he and the tour guides were helpful and fantastic. We would highly recommend their company. He can be found on the beach right at the hotel. As far as the resort, the food was good, the service exemplary and the people there were very friendly. One problem we had was that our a/c kept going out about every other night in our room and so we spent several hours off and on very hot. They couldn't seem to get that rectified. Another downside was the price for the taxi's from the hotel. If you are with other people they charge you $40.00 round trip total. If someone else rides with you (say another guest you don't know), they charge them $40.00 as well. We didn't feel this was fair. All in all it was a great vacation and we had a wonderful time! Would definately recommend going.

Room Tip: Get in the front of the hotel or else your walk to the lobby and food will be pretty far. The lobby is where the coffee is in the morning. We stayed on the west side of the hotel behind the spa on the upper level and loved the view.
  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with friends
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3  Thank drdubble
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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