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“Pura Vida”

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Occidental Papagayo - Adults only
Ranked #7 of 13 Hotels in Gulf of Papagayo
Certificate of Excellence
tomball
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Pura Vida”
Reviewed July 8, 2013

My sister and brother-n- law joined my wife and I on this vacation, our first to Costa Rica. In twenty years of marriage and numerous vacations around the world, occidental Grand Papagayo was truly the best vacation we've experienced. The excursion zip line/ horse back ride/ and mud bath is an amazing time and a must do for any age. The resort staff are wonderful and very caring. We met and made several news friends there do to the ambience and up lifting genuine feelings of everyone associated with the resort. When booking excursions, trust the resort only. The beach has several people who claim to be Johnny D for fishing. We met four before we finally met him. I recommend booking fishing trips at the desk by the pool in the resort. Can't wait to go back with my girls ages ten and thirteen.

Room Tip: We stayed in bldg. 23 facing ocean and loved it.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank terry b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,214 reviews from our community

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Altoona, Pennsylvania
Level 2 Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed July 8, 2013

We ending up going to this resort for our "second honeymoon" because when we went to Aruba our resort was overbooked so we received a complimentary trip to another resort and picked this one. We had a good time at the resort. The food was amazing, I love fresh food and there was something different every day at every meal even though there wasn't many restaurants to choose from. The staff was extremely friendly and willing to get you anything you needed. The pool staff was great, they had lots of activities to do, make sure you do the kayaking it is a lot of fun.

The workout facility left something to be desired so if you are planning to workout while you are here make sure you come prepared. Our room was okay however the cleaning staff kept forgetting to leave us washcloths for some reason. Rooms were hot, I'm used to my central AC though so it takes some getting used too. Definitely go on some excursions to get away from the resort if you can. Costa Rica has so much to look at so take advantage of it. If you can get car sick though make sure to take something for it because some of the roads are bumpy. Overall this was a really nice resort and I recommend it, just don't go during the the end of the dry season its very hot and very brown!

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Megan C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed July 7, 2013

I was travelling with my friend (two early-30s females) and really enjoyed our stay! The resort was clean, service was great and the overall location was just perfect. We were there during "low season" so we could image it would be a little different when occupancy rates are higher. The Fun Club guys - Dennis, Yosimar and Loancy - made our visit super fun with varied activities and they provided welcome camaraderie for us single travellers since the resort was filled with couples! The morning and evening hikes were a highlight...you could see Howler monkeys just steps away. The food was good, although the speciality Mexican was a low point in terms of cuisine. Ricardo and Edwin at the bars were both great! Rooms were comfortable (building 1) and offered amazing views. The dark black shower was a little strange but otherwise the room was just perfect and the iPod speaker / alarm clock was a bonus. We booked excursions through several providers... TAM (located in the tourist office at the resort) and Larry from Costa Rica Unique (you'll meet him on the beach!). We would recommend both!

Room Tip: We were located on the top level of building 1, which was conveniently located at the center of the...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Christie S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LaGrange
Level 3 Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed July 6, 2013

My friends and I were upgraded to this hotel after a one-night stay across the bay at the Allegro property. The Allegro was HORRIBLE! Unless you were a college student looking for bad, free alcohol, avoid at all costs. The Grand was the exact opposite. We were greeted in a professional manner, had amazing food, delicious drinks, and met the wonderfully friendly staff. We stayed in building 23, which is a cliffside villa, and it was absolutely breath taking. The pool and public areas were clean, and the activities were well planned and there was something for everyone. This was a wonderful place to go and relax and soak up some sun, and we will surely return!

Room Tip: Try to stay in the King villas - the rooms are wonderful and comfortable. Make reservations early fo...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
3 Thank Andieland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cincinnati
Level 4 Contributor
22 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed July 5, 2013

This all-inclusive resort resonated the haunting Eagles lyrics, "you can check out any time you'd like, but you can never leave," and for that reason, my husband and I refer to Hotel Occidental Papagayo as "Hotel California." (Unlike the song, with great effort we eventually checked out early, though we may not get our money back.) The room was not ready when we arrived, so we dropped off our luggage in a "safe place" (later when we returned to retrieve our luggage they asked us to pick up our bags from 10 or so...we doubt they would have known if we had taken an extra bag). We were invited to sit with the concierge who described what the hotel had to offer, then invited us to a Hotel Occidental across the bay that was strictly for couples. We would be able to fish from the boat on the way to and from the other hotel, spend time at the couples hotel, then go to town to shop (he didn't leave us the map of town that he showed us). We did not go on the trip because we were busy finding another hotel, but we later learned from other travelers that it was a timeshare presentation and no time was allotted to hang out at the couples' hotel. My narrative will easily become cumbersome, so here's the run-down of what ensued subsequently: when our room was finally ready, we rode the shuttle back to the lobby, then to our hotel building only to discover that the back door of our hotel room didn't lock; we moved to the room next door (after two more shuttle transfers) and the back door in that room didn't lock either; it took seven phone calls (including leaving a message with someone) to the front desk to have someone respond to our concern, and nothing was ever resolved; during the three hours we spent waiting for a room, moving rooms, and waiting for help, we (unknowingly) missed the deadline to request a dinner reservation at one of the restaurants; our door keys did not work (this happened multiple times); we had to purchase rights to use the safe (which seemed necessary because our back door did not lock); we purchased internet service for $25 which could only be accessed at the pool and in the lobby, but had to go back to the front desk because the password didn't work, and once the correct password was obtained, the internet didn't work most of the time anyway; and every time we had to go somewhere, we had to take a shuttle. We can overlook the soap dispensers in the shower (like you see in a public bathroom) for shampoo and body wash, the wear and tear on the hotel room, and the all-day music that blared so loudly that we heard it despite being in the furthest hotel building, but we could not overlook the fact that our safety did not seem to be a priority for the hotel. I expected them to put us in a room with a functional lock and to answer the phone and provide a response to our concern. What if there had been an emergency? Is this where we wanted to be? Being that the internet didn't work properly, it was difficult to find a place to flee to. Thank goodness we had a travel book. We could not make local phone calls from our hotel room without paying $1/minute and having the front desk dial the phone # for us. We had to take the shuttle to the lobby where a "public" phone transferred us to the reception desk in the same lobby that we were standing so they could dial the number for us. The phones were near the table where someone offered excursions (which after leaving, we found that the prices were two to three times the cost in town). The cab service offered by the hotel cost $80 USD. The cab we called (on the $1 min. phone ) cost $15 USD, and we had to take our luggage outside the main gate to catch it. This is not the type of all-inclusive resort where you can walk to town or down the beach or anywhere. It is isolated and we felt micro-managed. If you want to stay in one place, this IS a good place to go. There are adorable monkeys on the black sand beach! (There are also raccoon that come up to the pool and are in and out of the garbage cans - the security allow them to do so.) The food was terrible...and you had to ride a shuttle to get it. If you wanted a drink in your room, hop on the shuttle to go get one. If you wanted a bottle of water from the store by the lobby, be prepared to pay $7 USD. It was not for us. It took us many hours to jump through their hoops to get out of Hotel California.
How did we get into this?, you may ask. We planned a family-only, mountain-top destination wedding in North Carolina and decided to go with a pre-set package offered through a travel company for our honeymoon so we could focus on wedding arrangements. If we didn't think Costa Rica was safe, we would have detailed out everything ourselves as we have in the past. We are more than happy to share with you the places that we loved in Costa Rica, but Hotel California did not make the list. We hope our review helps you as well as our travel agency. We would also like to note that the travel agency was responsive to our concern and was able to help rearrange transportation for us. The travel agent suggested contacting with us by calling the front desk because of the spotty cell phone service, however we never did receive any phone calls from her after alerting the hotel staff and waiting in the lobby for her phone calls to come through. We later email the transportation company ourselves, found a back-up plan, and kept our fingers crossed. Good luck and safe travels!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank Lisa C
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 review, July 22, 2013
Dear LisaC,

We would like to thank you for send us your review . Please accept our sincere apology for the dissatisfaction you encountered during your stay. We are concerned and surprised because for us the guests satisfaction is our priority.

We addressed your experience at check-in with our Front Desk manager, also it’s sad to read about the negative experience you had with the Occidental Vacation Club team will contact them directly and we assure you that this will not recur.

Likewise we are deeply sorry for the issues in your room. Our maintenance team is verifying the correct door and phone function in each room. We have been unable to meet your expectations with the phone assistance, please note it is an extra charge service as the same as the safety box.

Please know that our Chef & kitchen team strive to offer a variety with quality and high standards services. We are really sorry to read that you did not enjoy the variety offered at the a la carte restaurants and buffets.

Thank you again for share your experience, our team works day by day to improve our service.

Sincerely
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed July 5, 2013 via mobile

I traveled with a friend to Costa Rica during the last week of June and we thoroughly enjoyed staying at the Occidental Grand Papagayo. The property was beautiful and the service was amazing! Our room was lovely and had a fantastic view of the pool and the bay. Everyone on site was extra friendly and attentive.

We stayed during the slower season and thought it was the best time to be there... The restaurants had plenty of tables available every night (I hear that during high season the restaurants are crowded) and the staff went above and beyond to take care of us. Edwin and Ricardo in the bars took extra special care of us, and Dennis, Yosi & Loancy on the Fun Club staff showed us a great time. We loved all the activity options on site and how well the guys made us feel like family by the end of the trip!

I would highly recommend staying at this resort!

  • Stayed June 2013
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank ahaughs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orem, Utah, United States
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed July 1, 2013

My wife and I went here on OUr honey moon in June and I have to say It blew us away. The hotel was beautiful and the staff were so nice and accommodating. The think that made our trip over the top was a referral through mutual friends to JD Adventures. After being told about JD we quickly found him once we got down there. What a great guy! He set up an amazing local beach tour and surfing trip at an amazing deal and planned a whole amazing day for us super fun guy and very professional he even had set us up with surf instructors the whole group got up on at least one wave. We did multiple tours with him. He gave us a great local view of the area that I don't really made the trip. Our last day there, He took us to some amazing local restaurants and bars. I can't say enough about JD and his Tours. We made a great friend while we were down there ad still keep in touch with him. We plan to go back as soon as we can. I would recommend him to everyone.

P.S. There is a guy thats on the Beach named Jonny D and that's a different guy and if you go you need to talk to JD

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank Shea K
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

Property: Occidental Papagayo - Adults only
Address: Playa Buena, 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 Luxury Hotel in Gulf of Papagayo
#6 Spa Hotel in Gulf of Papagayo
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Gulf of Papagayo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
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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