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“Beautiful Costa Rica” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Occidental Papagayo - Adults only

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Occidental Papagayo - Adults only
Ranked #7 of 15 Hotels in Gulf of Papagayo
Certificate of Excellence
Monmouth Junction, New Jersey
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Beautiful Costa Rica”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 6, 2013

One thing I can say for sure is that the staff at this property were all friendly, helpful, and attentive. The Fun Club crew were very interactive with the guests and especially great at keeping them entertained. I feel that our stay would not have been nearly as enjoyable without this great group of people working very hard to make us smile & laugh. Gerry "with a G" was quite charming and personable and made people feel completely at ease in trying new activities. The Fun Club provided a great balance of relaxation, information, and fun activities. Their efforts allowed for you to interact with other guests quite often and it soon felt like family.

Room Tip: The rooms are just average, but if you get one w/ an ocean view it more than makes up for the lack o...
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank LindaMW587
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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 (769)
Date | Rating
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English first
Waterloo, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 6, 2013

We went the end of August/beginning of September. While we loved Costa Rica and the excursions, the resort wasn't very impressive. They definitely treat the people who upgraded to Grand Club better. We had to wait 2 hours after arriving to get checked into our room. We booked an ocean view room - we looked at palm trees and the roof of another building.

The food was terrible. Anything that should have been hot was ALWAYS cold. They give you the impression there are 3 a la carte restaurants, when in fact there is only 1 but serve different menus on different nights. I can't imagine how difficult it would be to make a reservation during "high" season. The last night we were there I had a very unusual ceasar salad (romain leaf rolled and the plate drizzled with dressing) and chicken parmasean - battered chicken stuffed with cheese and spinach. No tomato sauce whatsoever. I threw up twice that night!

There is very limited shelter around the pool. I would think most people during high season would be "frying" from lack of shelter.

The beach is ok however its a fair walk down a very steep hill. There are chairs for lounging but no bar service or food, just people hassling to sell their "wares".

I don't recommend this resort.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank C B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 2, 2013

We spent 9 days in September for my birthday. Rooms were fine, breakfast was good. We enjoyed the beach and even the rocks. Not even falling on the rocks at 5am dampened my spirits. We tipped the bar staff well and he always made us the top shelf drinks(in our own big cups) that we asked for. If he saw us out on the patio he would come out of the bar and offer us our "usual". We had good dishes in the Italian section a few nights and also a good night in the Asian section once.....even though they were out of THREE different things on the menu that we requested and it wasn't even 8 pm yet.
Our tour with a CoCo Adventures employee was less than hoped for, though we probably would not realized it(below incident in exception) had we not met Johnny D of Johnny D Tours dot com
We wish we had found Johnny D on the beach sooner. He is great! We met him first when he was a tour guide of some other resort mates. Do NOT go to CoCo Adventures ! We met Erick there after complaining to him how the resort vacation sales harassed us and how we had no interest in sales pitches , he offered a discounted massage for both of us $40 each and we were to do a trip advisor review for the resort giving the massage. Ended up, we were in a car on our way to a vacation club sales pitch! When they asked if we knew what we were there for we both said in unison, "we thought we we bought a cheap massage"! Actually had to tell them we always think over any purchases or investments over 3 days and would only sign any investment deal after our son in law, an investment lawyer, looked over the deal. We offered his fax # and they declined to send it until AFTER we signed LOL! That was Las Palmas Investments and Erick of CoCo Adventures was paid $400 to lie to us and get us to the sales meeting. Stay away or at least accept no deal from Erick unless you don't mind sales or lies.
Johnny D puts his all into making your tours meet or beat your expectations. He was there, with water when it was hot, towels when it was cold and your dry clothes when it was time to go.
He knows the tours and weather so well that he got us to our tour, guided us through it all, took pictures when our hands were full and made sure to stop for us to take pictures of interest.....and he made sure we finished our tour before the rain made it difficult. On that tour, we saw a couple dropped at the front gate, they got not info or suggestions from their tour "guide". So they walked around unsure what was available to them and effectively missed over half that tour when the downpour started. Johnny D was a true guide while the other guides acted solely as a driver. No info or assistance.
Back to the hotel. I think had it been high season it would have been a better experience. We couldn't get into our room until nearly 6pm. We found that restaurant, buffet and bar hours were decreased. We didn't care much for the buffet and ended up spending $40 round trip to go eat in CoCo. Later another resort goer made us aware of the "catch of the day" option in the buffet...but that was.many $s later we found that info to serve us well as we do love fish of all kinds.
The housekeeping kept things clean but we did have some annoyances. No fail, every other day they would take our wash cloths and not give us more. We only got beer in the fridge once after six days and a couple times we got no water. If I remembered to get out my translator , write a note and leave a tip , we would have extra water and wash cloths replaced.
The water would not have been a big deal, but even though it was low season, we were in building 15. Only one building was further away. The hills up and down the resort are intense. Even though my hubby and I are active, boardering on athletic, our ankles and shins were sore for three days. There are shuttles, which we did use , but sometimes they aren't convenient. One call we were told it would be at least 10 minutes before they could pick us up. When we reached the front building, a shuttle was sitting unoccupied.
The hotel needs to be more upfront about staffing. We purchased on line and saw no mention of decreased hours of service. When we arrived, we were told our room would be ready in 30" . Each inquiry thereafter we were told any number from 5 to 30 minutes.....it was 3 hours!
The hotel could have pointed out restroom/changing areas so we could have changed and went to the pool or beach. Instead we were annoyed by the occidental sales group....who even lied to try to get us to agree to the sales pitch/meeting. The Occidental staff told us the could give us a free two hour shopping trip to CoCo AND that it cost $40 to CoCo and $80 back....LIE it $40 round trip and less if you share. We were in the "special dinner" restaurants the staff was almost running! I felt bad for them and so aggravated sitting there with nothing...not even a menu because they only bring out a few and you wait to see the menu! I strongly suggest the give out bread and butter during the long wait. They offered water, which we took, and brought mixed drinks we didn't want...but nothing, no bread, no chips etc. We didn't bring enough formal clothes not knowing that the buffet would be closed so many nights, but we weren't hassled over wearing shorts to the "restaurants".
All in all we were happy because they waitstaff and bar staff worked so hard and Costa Rica is beautiful. The hotel should be truthful about decreased staff and service during their low season. For crying out loud if a room will not be ready by 3 be truthful and apologetic. Make visitors aware of where they can change and relax during the wait and offer some sort of snack when the restaurants are backed up. Also we ended up going to bed early because we did very active tours at 5am most days so we were bothered by the early closing of the pool and bars BUT others were very upset to find little night life, drinks or snacks.

Room Tip: We would have rated this better had we been made aware that there was decreased hours and staff duri...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank iamamomo4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alabama, USA
Level Contributor
15 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 2, 2013

OK, this is potentially an awesome resort. The facility, landscape and staff are wonderful. Really enjoyed the small but well prepared buffet (a highlight) with its perfectly selected variety, and the a la carte restaurants. The pool area is great for relaxing, and the bar staff will take care of you if you tip appropriately. We had many enjoyable buzzes....LOL. The rooms are spacious and well laid out. The sea water is slightly cloudy, but snorkelling was still awesome off the beach. Fishing yielded a pleaseant bounty of Mahi Mahi for dinner, and a catch and release Sailfish for our female first time deep sea angler. We found a spot to lay out alone on the beach where almost no one came by, and we had plenty of advanced warning if they headed our way. Vandara Zip Line was a great day away to see some of the countryside, and the ATV tour received awesome reviews as well. On facility reservations for excursions have insurance and support. Really liked stopping and shopping in the little markets.

A few areas need improvement:

Air Conditioning is wholly inadequate in the bar and the dinning rooms and restaurants. This is completely unacceptable and made spending time in those facilities less than desired. This is a must fix situation. The bar became unbearable.

Karaoke was a hit, but the equipment needs some investment. They need three microphones so you can perform duets and the KJ can do his job simultaneously, and a monitor facing the singers away from the crowd so everyone is not looking at the one screen and singers don't have to keep their back to the audience.

Refrigerators in the rooms were hit and miss from mismatch voltage relying on step up inverters.

The air gun shooting was weak as the equipment was out of adjustment and not sighted in resulting in inconsistent shooting (I am an instructor and competitor so this is a fair assessment).

Room Tip: Pay for the larger ocean view if you will spend time in or near your rooms relaxing.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank 1Joe_Cooler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fairfield, Connecticut
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 25, 2013

This place was awesome. We stayed there on the last two days of our vacation to Costa Rica. When we saw the property, we all agreed that we should have stayed the entire faction there. The property is beautiful, the amenities were great and the food was very good. If we go back to Costa Rica, this would be our first choice of places to stay.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 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?
4 Thank jnshannon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tampa, Florida
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 24, 2013

My husband and I recently spent our 5yr anniversary at Grand Papagayo we had a great time!! The staff was amazing, especially Gerry with a "G" with the fun club. Everyone was pleasant and quick to serve. The grounds are well kept and the surroundings are relaxing. You will not be dissappointed!!! Already planning my return!!

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank lisa g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
Level Contributor
73 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 24, 2013

My first trip to this long talked about destination. Chose this hotel for its price and availability to our schedule. There were 6 of us and we all shared more or less the same good impression of this Hillside hotel. Staffs were all very friendly and helpful, even those who did not speak much English. Food quality was very good, but lack of variety. We went in the beginning of July and the hotel was not very busy. Hotel grounds, common areas, walkways were all very nicely kept, rooms were properly cleaned every day. A short stroll slighly downhill to the beach is pleasant, some locals were on the beach selling handicrafts, offering massage, and even tours. We tried the massage on the beach, which was a very pleasant experience. One guy who peddled the tour was very nice and informative, even though we did not book anything through him. We stayed with the Hotel Tour Operator and we were satisfied. Overall, we were all very happy!

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 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
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Failo
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:
#1 Best Value Hotel in Gulf of Papagayo
#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 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 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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