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“Great place to stay in costa rica” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Occidental Grand Papagayo by Barcelo

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Occidental Grand Papagayo by Barcelo
Ranked #7 of 15 Hotels in Gulf of Papagayo
Certificate of Excellence
Milton, Canada
Level Contributor
63 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Great place to stay in costa rica”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 22, 2013

Great place to stay. Good food, good location, and good jumping off spot for many of the off-site activities. There is a lot of stairs/steps, so go there knowing this and don't complain after. This is the norm for the region though, from what we could see in our travels, picking up others from other resorts on our tours. The drinks are good -try the golden cream (costa rica version of baileys), and the imperial beer, both only available in Costa Rica.,

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Glenn T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,816 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (721)
Date | Rating
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English first
Newcastle, Canada
1 review
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 21, 2013

Our room was clean and we had a beautiful view. The service was very basic at best. The grounds were nice, but needed some extra maintenance. The food quality, selection and availability were terrible. The restaurants food was very basic and low quality. If you missed the dinner hour there were no options to get anything unless you purchased something at the gift shop. Costa Rica was a very beautiful place and I think that traveling around and staying at local B &B's would be a travelers better options. We went to the rain forest in Monteverdi and it was absolutely incredible and our guide was amazing. Local food and restaurants were very good.

  • Stayed February 2013, 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
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Dee72Dee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SocialMedia_Ctor, Social Media Coordinator at Occidental Grand Papagayo by Barcelo, responded to this review, August 24, 2013
Dear Dee72Dee,

Thank you for send us your review. We regret your stay that was below your expectations.
Please know our restaurants and bars use fresh and high-quality products in all meals and beverages. Our executive chef strives to offer a large variety of daily original meals.

Nonetheless, we shared your feedback with the team and we are meeting to discuss ways to enhance our guests’ experience. Regarding the specialty restaurant reservation policy, it ensures that guests can experience half of their dinners at these restaurants. If additional seats become available, we are always happy to accommodate guests for extra dinners.

Please accept our sincerest apologies for any inconvenience you encountered during your stay. Despite this experience we hope you give us a second chance to welcome you.

Sincerely,
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 16, 2013

I really like the hotel itself. The rooms were nice and you get a really nice view from your balcony on the most part. The service was very good and the people were really friendly. One thing that didn't surpass my expectations was the food. Generally speaking, the food in Costa Rica is really good...once you're out of the resort. However, the drinks weren't bad and you get to see a lot of cute animals walk around the resort that are (usually) harmless. The beach was about five minutes walking distance and it was very little but nice.

Room Tip: Get an ocean view room
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank brigittethetraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rowlett, Texas
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 15, 2013

Ok, the hotel itself is nice and has great views. However, the food is the worst I've ever eaten. The buffet is supposedly air conditioned, nope. It's extremely warm which makes anything that supposed to be cold, warm as well. The variety of the buffet is terrible. Not much to choose from. One night a spider had made a web over the potatoe salad, yuck. I have been to many all inclusive resorts and this was a joke to call it a buffet. When trying to make reservations for the restaurants, yeah right. They were always "booked". However, one couple in our group was able to eat at the Oriental restaurant and says it was as bad as the buffet. The snack bar was tolerable. I ate here most of the time I could.
The rooms were nice, however you had to keep the bathroom door closed or it was way too hot in the room and roomservice always turned off the a/c so it was nice and hot when you came back from a day of fun in the hot sun. One day our whole buidlings power went out and it took them several hours to get it back on. They were doing construction on a neighboring building which they were nice enough to start at 0800 in the morning. I'm sorry but I'm on vacation and like to sleep in, umm no.
The beach was nice, although it was full of people trying to sell you trips, trinkets, massages. There was no drink service on the beach. The closet place to even get water was a far walk up a large hill from the beach. The one good thing on the beach we met JD. He was a adventure planning person that took great care of us. The beaches were pretty to look at and they had equipment to use, so that was nice.
I hate to leave such a bad review, I generally don't leave reviews, but I felt the need to let people know. I find food a very important part of an all-inclusive resort. The hotel was nice, just really really bad food.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 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?
2 Thank TaraStratmann
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ItzeSocialMedia_Ctor, Social Media Coordinator at Occidental Grand Papagayo by Barcelo, responded to this review, August 21, 2013
Dear TaraStratmann,

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience with the Trip Advisor community. We are glad to hear that you enjoyed the beauty of beaches in Costa Rica. We are always concerned about our guest’s satisfaction; we regret to know that we failed regarding your food and your service expectations.

We are surprised by your comments about your room as we follow strict standards to ensure all guest rooms are in perfect condition before welcoming a guest. Nonetheless, our housekeeping team is now aware of your experience and we assure you that we will look into ways to improve.
Please accept our sincere apologies for not reaching your dinning expectations; we shared your experience with our Food and Beverage Manager, our chef is always making improvements to offer a wide variety food within the Buffet, featuring international cuisine and our a la carte restaurants.

We completely understand your discomfort with our reservation system we will take steps to prevent it from recurring. As for the a la carte restaurants, we guarantee 50% of dinners at the gourmet restaurant and the rest at the international buffet restaurant.

We hope that despite this experience, you present us an opportunity to show you the level of service which we are known.

Sincerely,
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 15, 2013

Our stay was very nice,the employees go out of the way to make sure you have a great time!!
The food could have been better in the buffet my favorite was the Chinese. The coffee is Amazing! The night entertainment is not so much....great place to relax.

  • Stayed May 2013, 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?
3 Thank Annette G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 12, 2013

I just returned from a stay at the Grand Papagayo and came away very satisfied with my stay. There are a few quircks that you need to get used to. The first is that although it's an all inclusive, they are on a schedule. Once you get used to the schedule you'll never be hungry or thirsty.

They have a buffet restaurant where breakfast, lunch and dinner is served. I believe breakfast is from 6:30 - 10:00 am. The lunch buffet runs from 12:00 to 3:00. Dinner is 6:00 - 9:30.

There are two restaurants that require reservations - Italian and Chinese cuisines. Booking the restaurants is based on the length of your stay. We were there for 6 nights and were able to book a reservation at both. When one is open the other is not. This is low season for them so I can't say if this is true of high-season.

I got to talk to a lot of people, many of them were saying that the food at the restaurants wasn't that good. I don't know if they just lack a sense of adventure or just expect for everything to taste like the restaurants from home. I thought everything was pretty good, nothing was inferior in taste or quality.

I did read about how people just drink and drink and never feel drunk. I think I found the answer. I stopped at a liquor store to purchase some of the local fare to take home and it looks like in their country spirits are regulated to 30% alcohol by volume as opposed to what we drink here in the US which is 60 proof and up! Nonetheless, I got my buzz on! =)

My room was nice, nothing spectacular but I will say this, it could NOT have been any cleaner. As a matter of fact that whole country seems to value cleanliness above everything. I was pleasantly surprised.

The bathroom was comical. You walk in, nice vanity, nice tile, nice toilet and then look to the left and bam! a whole wall of vinyl black, I don't know what! Anyway, if you can get past that you'll notice that it's clean. They don't have soap or shampoo so bring your own. Well actually, there's this pump with a shower gel/shampoo combo. I didn't have to use it because I had already read the reviews and knew what to expect. I will say this. My friend who was traveling with me was on a different floor and her room had a walk-in shower. I was told by a staff member that they are slowly converting the tubs into walk-in showers. I guess that's why they aren't re-tiling and using that black vinyl. If you can get past that you're good to go.

The staff is wonderful. They will try to accommodate every wish but don't expect them to do something that isn't in their domain. For example, the wall of the pool has some algae growing on it. One woman who was staying there stops one of the young ladies working there and starts complaining and asking when they are going to clean it. Did she expect her to start cleaning the pool? If it bothered me that much I would have gone to management and complained. Anyway, I was more annoyed as the people staying there than any staff member.

To recap, I loved my trip, I loved the staff, especially Julio (bartender at the pool) and I hope to be back soon!

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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?
3 Thank EnerisP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Waterford, Ohio
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 12, 2013

I stayed with my girlfriend, her son and his friend at the Occidental Grand Papagayo. The staff was great, food was good, and the view was the best we had ever seen. Be ready to do some walking as you walk up and down hill to get to the pool, dinner places, beach ect. We also met JD of JD Adventures Costa Rica on the beach and we went on a jet ski and down town Coca Beach tours. JD and his staff were wonderful which made our trip even better. We wished we would have hooked up with him earlier in the week so we could have done more tours with him.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Damian L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Occidental Grand Papagayo by Barcelo

Property: Occidental Grand Papagayo by Barcelo
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
#5 Spa Hotel in Gulf of Papagayo
#6 Luxury 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 Grand Papagayo by Barcelo 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 Grand Papagayo is only at 25 minutes from the Liberia International Airport. This Resort surrounded by nature, boast lush tropical lanscape with scenic views of Bahía Culebra in Papagayo Golf.Ideal for couples, honeymooners and adult guest seeking a relaxing getaway. The Occidental Grand Papagayo offers a highly persolized 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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