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“Great Service”

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Occidental Papagayo - Adults only
Ranked #7 of 13 Hotels in Gulf of Papagayo
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 30, 2012

I organized a group to this property for a wedding on October 20th. The hotel staff was extremely accommodating & catered to the group. The rooms are big, facilities are clean, but nothing beats the personal. Thank you all for making us feel welcomed in your country. Special thanks to Alex from Swiss Travel Transfers, the little girl who works nights in the buffet restaurant (went the extra mile to make sure the group was seated comfortably) & of course Harold in the events department. You have our gratitude sir.



- Omar "The Big O" Hamilton

Room Tip: Go on any tour. They are all good, but zip lining in Costa Rica gets rave reviews.
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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2  Thank Omar H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,695 - 1,701 of 3,304 reviews

Reviewed October 28, 2012

My boyfriend and I are First Club members of Occidental- we have been to 3 of their other properties in Aruba, Punta Cana and XCaret (all which were great with Aruba and Mexio being our favorites)- this one would be our least favorite...but not because it's bad, it just needs some improvements- which I think will come in the future according to the workers we spoke to. First, if you just are looking for an average place to get away and relax and not looking for a party place - then you will be just fine...here is my more in depth overview:

- The food and meals need to be improved, not a large selection but could be very difficult if you were a picky eater. I would recommend bringing some snacks with you in case you get hungry during the day or night. some chips etc. will help.

- If you go to the theme restaurants: We liked the Chilean Sea bass at the oriental. You just have to remember their version of Orietnal and Italian food is not like America's version, so don't have high expectations. If you like desserts- we only encountered a good one the entire trip- chocolate cake at the Italian- seriously- desserts are no good at any of the places BOO!

- Alcohol selections at all bars on the property were good- even some top shelf offerings for everyone. (Even if your not part of the First Club.

- Employee engagement- I felt the front desk folks when you walk in were not very observant kind of odd...they often seemed like they were too busy. BUT the bar employees were always nice. Servers in the restaurants were hit or miss. My biggest recommenation as I always recommend- bring a few singles and tip the good servers- they will go above and beyond for you the entire week! I know your at an all inlcusive- but if you can afford an all inclusive you can surely afford to bring a few singles to those that are good to you.

- First Club-the bar for members is nice- nothing amazing, but nice view and all top shelf liquor. We spent every night up there after dinner for martinis. they do have one computer with internet for members. Andrew is a nice guy that oversees Members Services and Juan the employee if very accomodating. Make sure you meet him- he makes you feel really welcome! If only they would train the other employees witht their same attitude and service it would make the place POP even more!

-Pool- not huge, but fine. Much to do at the pool- good activty staff.

- Room- we had a suite- it was small, simple, First Club members are given 4 bottles of spinning liquor. Has a patio with 2 chairs. I found that I had to use my bottle of OFF during the day because the small bugs here/there bite. The bed was fine- nothing spectacular. We did encouter 3 couples that were orginally in the hotel room and asked to be upgraded to the suite- most things we heard about the hotel room was they were really old. If you book the hotel room-you may want to confirm you will be a newer remodeled room. Also- don't leave anything sweet on the counter tops in your room and you will find that little bugs will appear- they like the sweet smell.,

-Remember your in Costa Rica- so you will encounter wildlife on the property- we saw coati, racoon, birds,wild dogs etc. It's not a bad thing- but you have to be the kind of person that likes the wild.

Beach- small- and not that nice-but PLEASE know we were here during rainy season so going to the beach was not always an option. We heard it's a nice beach when not rainy season.

Overall- fine place if you want to relax and discconnect from your ipad, iphone, lpatop etc. Bring a good book. snacks, playing cards and good company and you will enjoy! THIS IS NOT a place to go wild- lots of couples and honeymooners looking to relax and enjoy each other's company.It's a remote location with the closest town about 10 miles away. We did see alot of people renting cars- which I think I would recommend. Also, the place is all incline and stairs so bring good walking shoes! It's a workout!

Would we go back- if it was a good deal and cheap flight-sure. Would it be our first choice location of the Occidentals- no.

Again, no frills, and 3.5 because the sercive was good.

Room Tip: Suite room.
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank luggageinhand4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 19, 2012

My best friend and I went here for 2 weeks. The only thing that made me stay for the 2 weeks was that it was paid for. In the first 2 days of being there we had to switch rooms 3 times. The first time the patio door did not lock, no hot water, and we asked for two double beds and got one large bed. So we switched rooms. The next room we got took 2 hours to get it. When we got there the curtains were literally falling off of the wall and was held up by barley anything. Finally the switched us again. When we got to our last room everything was fine but the tv did not work. We were so fed up from switching and getting the same problem. There were other guests there that had the same troubles as us. You would think they would check rooms before putting guests in there. Also you are in the middle of no where and the closest place to actually go is a 40 dollar cab ride. But on the plus side the staff is very friendly and understanding. They did give my friend and I free massages for all the problems that we had. Overall I had a good time because I was in Costa Rica but disappointed that we had so many issues with our rooms.

  • Stayed: June 2012
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6  Thank Jasmine603
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sandra Alcázar U, Social Media Coordinator at Occidental Papagayo - Adults only, responded to this reviewResponded November 21, 2012

Dear Jasmine603,

I apologize for the inconveniences you experienced at our property and understand your frustration. We take guest feedback to heart, and appreciate your review. All guests are treated to genuine hospitality, and we do our best to advise them on all services and amenities that are available to make their stay most enjoyable.
In regards to the room´s issues, we’re constantly improving our hotel. For example, we’re upgrading our amenities with plasma TVs, air conditioning and heating units, lamps and curtains. I’ve also shared your feedback with the general manager, as we’re continuously looking for ways to enhance the experience for our guests.
I’ve also discussed your experience with our staff, to let them know your very kind comments in regards to their service. I do hope you’ll give us a second chance to provide an incredible stay in Costa Rica.

Kind regards.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 18, 2012

I have recently returned from a two week all inclusive holiday staying at the occidental grand papagayo in Costa rica, firsty i will start with the positives, the hotel grounds are superb and there is a host of wildlife to see right on your doorstep, we spotted racoons, reptiles and loads of birds just from our balcony, dont be put of by the reviews regarding the walk from the hotel to the beach, whilst it may seem far to some people and there are quite a few steps, its no more than a gentle stroll for most.The staff are freindly and polite. Unfortunately thats about it for the positives, so lets start at the beginning, after a 12hr flight we arrived at around 4pm to find our room wasnt ready so waited around in reception for a while, we were met by the hotel rep who invited us to a meet the following morning at 8am so once our room was sorted we retired to our room. The following morning we had breakfast with an occidental rep who then spent the next two hrs trying to sell us time share (they will call it something different but its timeshare whichever way you dress it up) he stated that if we were not interested it made no difference and we would all leave on friendly terms, not the case, once we had made it clear we were not interested he left us sat at our table, never returned and left it to another rep to return with a cheap t-shirt for our time!! apparently even honeymoon couples were also subjected to this sales pitch.
A day into our holiday and our shower stopped giving us hot water, we complained three times and six days later were offered another room further away from where we were currently staying, as they could not fix the problem, i declined as it would of meant repacking everything.
The toilet flush broke twice during our stay, although this was quickly repaired.The room bar consists of two bottled waters and two cans of lager which we had to ask to be replaced throughout our stay, it was never done automatically. The beach is public so expect to be accosted by people trying to sell you day tours, it is also governed by tide so at least once a day there is actually very little beach to walk on at all, it is also very small compared to others i have been too.
The waiter service during meal times was poor and it is the first hotel that i have even stayed in where i actually finished my main meal before the drinks that we had ordered at the start of the meal were delivered, they had no decaffinated coffee and english tea was when the t-bags could be found and then the tea was always luke warm. The food selection, whilst traditional costa rican was repeated nearly every three days and with very little variety, with meat dishes always consisting of chicken, beef or pork, i am sure some of it was recycled into other dishes during the week.The hotel has a no smoking policy but this didnt seem to be enforced and whilst i have no objections to people smoking i do not like to find discarded cigarette ends near the swimming pool when im walking around, either enforce it or remove the ban.
The bufett bar near the pool is adequate, but on at least three occasions when there was a short downpour of rain and we decieded to have lunch we found other holiday makers just sat at the meal tables keeping out of the rain, either reading, playing cards or just talking and we were left waiting in a queue to be seated to actually eat, again i brought this to the attention of the waiters who did nothing.
We decieded to book in the rainy season and the weather in fairness was excellent throughout, which is just as well as the hotel has no meaningful evening entertainment unless you enjoy bingo or a disco with a dance floor the size of a standard living room, i am unsure if this improves when its the busy season , the hotel really is located in the middle of nowhere so unless you take a taxi to the nearest town in coco beach (very basic ) then there is also nothing to see or do outside of the hotel.The hotel advertised free wifi in your room, not the case, you have to sit in the lobby reception to get any basic form of internet access and then on at least four occasions i had to ask for the router to be reset as it stopped working whilst i was sending e-mails. Costa rica is a beautiful country but due to my experience at this hotel i will not be returning, and i will avoid using the occidental group of hotels when booking a holiday again.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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13  Thank Martin H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sandra Alcázar U, Social Media Coordinator at Occidental Papagayo - Adults only, responded to this reviewResponded November 21, 2012

Dear Martin H,

I’m sincerely sorry to hear that you did not enjoy your stay. Our goal is to always make guests feel at home, and it seems we fell short on that during your recent vacation.


We strive to inform guests of all the services and amenities available at our hotel, including the Occidental Vacation Club timeshare. Guests are encouraged to sign up to learn more about it, and are not forced to attend. I’ve discussed this with the director of Occidental Vacation Club to review and clarify how information is shared with our guests.

I apologize for the inconveniences with your room, and I am very sorry for the nuisance we caused you by making you change to another room because of the hot water problem, I will make sure our maintenance team is aware of your experience; I ensure you this will not occur again. Regarding the minibar, please know that they are to be refilled every other day. I’ve reviewed this with our staff to reinforce the importance of this service. Guests can always stay refreshed with their drink of choice at any of our bars and restaurants that are available as part of the all-inclusive package. I’ve also talked with our food and beverage manager about your feedback, as we’re always looking to improve the dining experience. Our food is always made fresh daily, and we strive to offer guests a variety of options with the L’Buffet, and are two a la carte restaurants: The Italian and D’Oriental. I’ve shared your feedback about our entertainment with our general manager. We do offer live music twice a week, and will look in to additional options.

Our secluded location provides guests with the opportunity to experience the natural beauty of Costa Rica. We’re in the ideal location for lovers of nature and that is why we keep all the trees and wild life in the property in order to protect the environment. Our Wi-fi is provided in the main Lobby area, disco bar, lobby bar, swimming pool area and snack bar for free, and we also offer internet access (by cable) in Royal Club and Grand Concierge rooms.

Kind regards,

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 17, 2012

Reserved a suite that was lovely. Was supposed to have hot tub and hammock. We asked at least 5 times and we never had a hammock in our 7 day stay. Also our air conditioning went out twice. The first time they fixed it very quickly. The second time it took several days and several phone calls. Some employees excelled at customer service (Harold) while others fell short. Will not be staying at this resort again.

  • Stayed: January 2012
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Thank Jennifer B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 13, 2012

Visit, week of Oct 7,2012-Oct 12,201
Joined a group of 5 other couples staying at this "all inclusive" property.
The good points, It is a nicely landscaped and picturesque property, beautiful view of the local beach.
now for the rest of the story.
Breakfast was limited to an egg station and cut up hot dogs as your meat choice. Lunch at the pool bar was the best meal of the day, the fajitas were on parr with what I can get back at home in Houston.
Dinner was chicken wings untill they ran outm along with fish in mustard sauce which i was told was good.
Do not pay extra for the royal uprade, no benefit.
As mentione din some of the other revews, the staff at the server level was helpful and attentive,at the management level it was a different story, reservations made for dinner service at the on site Italian restaraunt were not honered, they were made for the group of of us, but at the night when we arrived for dinner sservice, we were noton the list, at that time we were asked for our reservation print out of our confirmation that we were not given, In other words, how are you supposed to know you needed a print out of confirmation when you are not offered one? There is no such thing as in room dining, unless you go out and pick up the food and eat it in your room yourself. Your room is stocked with two beers and two bottles of water,and these are supposedly replinished every other day, they are not and when you call for them to be restocked they say they will be right there and never show up.
At Dinner ervice they run out of food ad hyou are SOL.
Alcohol is not served until 11:00 A.M. and on one occasion they ran out of beer early in the evening.
I would advise against staying at this location, we met people from other resorts and know there are many better than this one.

Room Tip: stay somewhere else
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with friends
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7  Thank 104paulo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HARODEL, Manager at Occidental Papagayo - Adults only, responded to this reviewResponded November 6, 2012

Dear Paul O,

Thank you for taking the time to share your review. Customer satisfaction is our top priority, and it saddens me that we fell short of this during your stay.

We’re glad to hear that you enjoyed the landscape of our property, our beach and the food in the Snack bar.

Your feedback about our Royal Club accommodations surprises me, as we normally receive very good comments about it. Guests who purchase this level of our all-inclusive program enjoy the best’ views of the resort and the Royal Services provided, including a private check-in, concierge, private lounge with premium drinks, turn down service at night time and room service (available for breakfast, lunch and dinner). We are always looking to improve, so I´ve shared your comments with our General Manager.

We’re sorry to hear about the inconvenience with our a la carte restaurants. They do require reservations, and we recommend making them immediately upon arrival. We’ll also look in to our system to ensure reservations are being honored. Also, reservations can be made through a travel agent, if that’s how the guest booked their trip. These reservations require printed confirmations, when at the resort.

In reference to the food, we’re currently adding more buffet stations to the L’Buffet, so that guests have even more variety, and the cuisine changes nightly as well, so guests are experiencing something different with each visit. I shared your comments with our Executive Chef and Food/Beverage manager as well. We’re always looking to enhance the culinary experience for guests.

Regarding the minibars, all should be refilled upon request and I’ve addressed this with our room service team. Also, while our lobby bar opens at 11:00 a.m., guests can enjoy refreshing alcoholic beverages at our Snack Bar wich opens at 10:00 a.m.

Kind regards,

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 10, 2012

It's totally worth it to upgrade to the Concierge Level. The beach is black sand but very well maintained and cleaned. They have someone from staff there all the time to make sure any vendors who come around are polite and leave you alone if you don't want to be bothered. The hotel shows some age from the sea air, but everything is clean and the staff went out of their way to be helpful and friendly. It is hard to get reservations to the two better resturants, but the one time we couldn't get reservations that we wanted, they set up a table in the Royal Club lounge and served us from the menu there. The cons? The hotel is off by itself so it takes a tour or taxie to get off the property. We used Apple Vacations to book this and the price included air fare and transfers to and from the airport.

Room Tip: We had room 801. The rooms on level 8 are up on the hill overlooking the bay, pool and hotel.and ha...
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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9  Thank janicefrogtravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Occidental Papagayo - Adults only

Address: Playa Hermosa, 485000, Costa Rica (Formerly Occidental Grand Papagayo by Barceló)
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 Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Gulf of Papagayo
#6 Spa Hotel in Gulf of Papagayo
#6 Luxury Hotel in Gulf of Papagayo
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Gulf of Papagayo
Price Range: $168 - $340 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Occidental Papagayo - Adults only 4*
Number of rooms: 163
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

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