We loved the hotel itself. It was beautiful with outstanding views and a ton of amazing wildlife (monkeys, iguanas, caotes, parakeets, etc) you can see right from your balcony. The staff was very nice and for the most part helpful. Food was good. Drinks were very good. The mimosa and bloody mary station during the breakfast buffet was incredible. Seemed pretty safe around the hotel too.
1 - Do the sunset walk they offer, about a 15 min walk and well worth it. Check the activity list for time. You can wear sandals, but definitely bring bug spray.
2 - Check out the tide schedule if the beach is your thing. When the tide is high it takes over almost the entire beach so you'll want to get there when it's low.
3 - you can negotiate boat ride prices with the guy on the beach called Johnny, and if you can get him down in price enough it's really worth it. The boat picks you up right on the beach and takes you around the monkey face rock and to a really neat cave and to a couple of great snorkeling spots. We wanted to do a boat ride but not the booze cruise the hotel tried to convince us to do every time we got a towel, so we were really happy to find this one on our own. We did it with 2 other couples and had a blast, and were only gone for 2.5 hours.
Here are my cautions -
1 - If you book excursions with tour companies other than the hotels preferred vendors they wont even be allowed inside the gates to pick you up. We waited for over 30 minutes in the hotel lobby before we finally called our tour company (a $$ international call!) thinking they forgot us and they actually had been outside of the front gate for 40 minutes because they weren't allowed in, and allegedly the hotel guy at the gate said the front desk said nobody was waiting in the lobby even though we had been there for half hour! That was a huge turnoff. One tour company we used described Occdiental's excursion policy as "mafia style".
2 - The marketing of management is pretty much non-stop and seemed to be the most aggressive upon check-in. So just be prepared for that right when you walk in.
3 - The music played in the pool was BAD american music about 50% of the time, and almost always American music in the indoor buffet. I like to feel like i'm in another country when I'm abroad so I was a annoyed when Nickelback and country music came on every afternoon (we did excursions or beach in morning then hit pool in the afternoon). I'm sure some people like this, but my husband I did not and would usually stock up on as many drinks as we could carry and sit on our balcony until the country music stopped (no offense to country music lovers...but that's not what i want to hear when I'm in costa rica).
So it had it's pros and cons, and depending on your style it may or may not be for you.
- 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