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“Fun relaxing vacation!”

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Occidental Papagayo - Adults only
Ranked #7 of 13 Hotels in Gulf of Papagayo
Certificate of Excellence
Wausau, Wisconsin
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Fun relaxing vacation!”
Reviewed December 15, 2013

My husband and I spent a week here for our honeymoon and had a great time! The resort was beautiful! Staff was great-everyone was very friendly! Activities staff at the pool did an awesome job getting participation and had several fun activities planned throughout the week. The food was good-no complaints! We had no troubles getting a reservation at both speciality restaurants and thought the food was delicious-especially the orientatal restaurant. Not much night life at the resort so if you are looking for a party resort probably not the place for you. I was nervous after reading other reviews but we had a great time and would recommend the resort to others! We definitely hope to be back someday!

  • Stayed December 2013
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Helpful?
2 Thank dawn1223
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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YYZ
Level 5 Contributor
88 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
Reviewed December 12, 2013 via mobile

Costa Rica is an amazing country - so lush and beautiful. This resort was disappointing though, mostly because it doesn't live up to its own advertising. (Please note that some changes have been made to their website since my vacation, but when I booked my stay I chose this resort based on the amenities they said they offered)

Check in went well but you are immediately handed off to your "personal concierge" who will try to sell you a timeshare in exchange for a taxi ride to a local beach. We politely declined and he pleaded with us to accept the offer because he had recently had a baby and needs the money. Guilt trip.

Our room was okay. We were in building 1 and had a view of the pool. The bathroom was painted black which was odd. It was so dark that you'd never know whether it was covered in mould, and I guess that's what they were going for. The mattress was very old and it felt like we would fall out of the bed. The pillows were fantastic.

We arrived mid afternoon. Because of the time change from our home, we were very very hungry. But everything was closed until dinner time and so we just stayed hungry. The buffet dinner on the first night was really awful with very few options for vegetarians. I was almost ready to cry. But over the next few days the food options did improve and we learned to eat on Costa Rican time eventually. The website advertises 3 a la carte restaurants. Really there is only 1 open at a time and you have to make reservations in advance. Also be aware that on some nights the buffet is closed completely and you must have reservations at one of the a la cartes. I don't know what would happen of you didn't.

The website advertises multiple pools, there is only one.

Housekeeping was ridiculous. We left generous tips each day, but always a different amount. The website advertises that each minibar is stocked with water, soda, and beer. On the day that we left the largest tip we were treated to fresh towels (including towels arranged into animal shapes) and 2 cans of Coke and 2 bottles of water. On days when we left a medium tip we received 2 bottles of water and fresh towels. On small tip days we received nothing.

The beach was lovely. It's actually a public beach so don't be surprised to meet up with locals, who are all quite nice. The snorkelling was better than I expected - not Caribbean turquoise waters or anything, but lots of really cool fish. Wait until the tide is in and then head out over the rocks. Make sure you wear something to protect your feet because there are sharp rocks and sea urchins. Some of the salespeople on the beach were obnoxious and wouldn't leave us alone, which was irritating.

The resort doesn't have a lot of activities to keep you busy. If you are just looking to relax, this is okay. If you would like to get out and see different things make sure you bring LOTS of money. Getting off the resort is very expensive because it is in such an isolated location.

Also imported goods are very expensive at the gift shop so bring your own supply of sunscreen, bug spray, sunburn remedies and snacks. A small bag of Doritos was $5USD and the other items listed were $21USD each.

The best employees at the resort are probably the landscaping crew - they worked tirelessly to keep the grounds clean and well kept. The resort grounds are like a paradise. Take at least one evening to sit on your balcony and watch the birds fly by - so gorgeous.

Overall I wouldn't recommend this resort. But if you decide to come anyway make sure you bring lots of cash for tips so that you can at least improve your stay.


Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
3 Thank HighStandardsYYZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Itze P, Reputation Management at Occidental Papagayo - Adults only, responded to this review, December 17, 2013
Dear HighStandardsYYZ,

We appreciate you taking the time to share your review with us. We do apologize for the inconveniences you experienced during your stay at Occidental Grand Papagayo.

Please accept our sincere apologies for not reaching your overall dining experience; we value your comments and we will discuss this with the executive chef, who is committed to constantly improving the culinary offerings at the resort. Regarding the a la carte restaurants, please know that we have three. This information can be found on our website and official brochures.

We really sorry for the lack of service you encountered in your room cleaning, we pride ourselves on our impeccable service and we usually receive great feedback. We will address your comments with the housekeeping manager to ensure that we are maintaining our high level of service.

We’ve discussed your comments about the vendors with our security manager as our main priority is our guest welfare. If guests are having any issues, we always encourage them to alert the hotel teams immediately so that we can help resolve the situation. Also, your feedback about the Occidental Vacation Club staff has been addressed to their manager, and will take the proper measures so that you or any future guest feels comfortable with our staffing's behavior.

We do hope that you’ll give us a second chance to make you have memorable vacations.}

Sincerely
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed December 11, 2013

We travelled in November 2011. Hotel is nice, but i would not recommend for young people. We felt like the youngest one ( 30 years old). Food was ok nothing special, not many fruits. I am guessing November is just a begining of the the spring so cant expect too much. Also no night entertainment, only Disco. ( I thing one time during the weekend one guy was singing)
The guy who took as fishing said it is not a good time for nice big fish. My husband was disappointed. Too bad they did not tell as that before they got our money.

Is was our first time to Costa Rica, we will go back but this time we will visit south of costa rica.
If you are looking for great beach- not place for you

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Smartusia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Columbia, Missouri
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
Reviewed December 8, 2013

It's taken me a long time to even write this review because typically, if you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything. However, this resort is ok. If you are looking for great food and service this is not the place. The grounds are beautiful, but I can get that camping in a state park. We met others on a day trip and it sounds like the Riu would be a much better visit in the region. You can get a lot more for your money in Cancun or the Riviera Maya. I'm glad I went to Costa Rica, but this resort did not sell me on it. It would be like coming to the USA and staying at a Motel 6 or Super 8.

Room Tip: Ask for a room in the 2000 range. Not the ugly black bathrooms with mold that we heard about.
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Yahoo13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Itze P, Reputation Management at Occidental Papagayo - Adults only, responded to this review, December 12, 2013
Dear Yahoo13,

Thank you very much for your review regarding your recent stay with us. We regret not meeting your expectations. Excellence in service is what we strive to be known for and it saddens me to read about your overall experience. Please accept our deepest apologies for the inconveniences your experienced during your stay. It does not reflect the standards of service that we provide to our guests. We value your comments and we will discuss your dinning experience with our Food and Beverages Manager, who is committed to constantly improving our guest experience.

We do hope that you’ll give us a second chance to offer you a memorable vacations.

Sincerely
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Burlington, Ontario
Level 5 Contributor
55 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed December 7, 2013

We were pleasantly surprised and had all our expectations exceeded...particularly after seeing so many bad reviews before we left for our trip. We were fortunate to be placed in a First Club 1-bedroom suite with a great view of the water, and just a short walk to the beach (building 24). The room was first class and we thoroughly enjoyed the food...both the buffets and the Italian restaurant. The Oriental restaurant was OK, but not memorable. The staff were very friendly and accommodating and having the shuttle from the lobby to the rooms (and vice versa) was a welcome bonus. The weather was spectacular, the atmosphere relaxing and the friends we made were kind, warm and generous. We would definitely come back. The only complaint I have is with the poor Wi-Fi service, which is only available around the lobby area...and very intermittent and weak signal with slow speed.

Room Tip: We were in room 2402...it was great. The higher the building number (i.e. 19 and up) the better the...
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Jeff G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dover, New Hampshire
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed December 5, 2013

This hotel was adequite but not great..i loved the monkeys in the trees and the friendly people we met! A trip to costa rica is amazing in itself and go off property to experience the beauty of this wonderful country! The arenal volcano is a must do!!! I saw hot magma discharging from the volcano at night it was truely amazing!! Also the tabacon hot springs are well worth it, although it is quite a drive from the resort about 2-3 hours each way!! On the beach we met ariel, a great guy whom we went on a catamaran with and had dolphins swimming right next to us! Not to mention snorkeling i had a olive ridley sea turtle glide by me so close i could touch him! We also pulled up next to a fisherman and got a freshly caught snapper for some delicious ceviche!! I later booked a fishing trip w ariel and had an epic experience, catching a yellow fin tuna, a big wahoo and a bunch of 20 pound rainbow runners...but...the best was fighting a 200 pound black marlin!!!whoa that was the highlight of my fishing life!! He broke me off close to the boat but i still fought that beast of a fish for 30 minutes... and the kicker was the captain brought our catch to a local restaurant pescada loco..and we had it cooked with black beans and rice.....it was amazing!! Go to costa rica! Dont expect the same level of food or accomadations you would get in mexico or jamaica but enjoy la pura vida!!

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank jtodd1122
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed December 4, 2013

They offer activities on their website that are not actually available at the resort such as wind surfing. Also the do not have a swim up bar as advertised. Although much of the staff is friendly and helpful, they do not answer questions directly and are vague with their responses. However, I am not fairly certain this is not due to the language barrier. We booked our vacation with Swiss Travel. Their representative at the resort kept pushing us torward a certain activity deal called the Mega Combo. It is very crowded with tourists and overall was not very enjoyable. The waterslide was nothing special. You could find a similar slide at any waterpark. Also ziplining was a joke. The lines were short and low to the ground. Go on Skytrek instead. Overall I would not recomend this hotel because the are not very attentive to their guests and I feel like they try to scam you out of money. The food was also not very diverse or good.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank B C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Itze P, Reputation Management at Occidental Papagayo - Adults only, responded to this review, December 12, 2013
Dear B C,

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback concerning your experience at Occidental Grand Papagayo. Please allow us to express our sincere apologies for any inconvenient you encountered during your stay with us. Your comments have been addressed with our entire team, as your feedback helps us to continually improve our service and provide a memorable experience to our guests. We hope that you will present us with the opportunity to welcome you back to our hotel in the future.

Sincerely
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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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