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“Very Good Vibe”

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Occidental Papagayo - Adults only
Ranked #7 of 13 Hotels in Gulf of Papagayo
Certificate of Excellence
Oakville, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Very Good Vibe”
Reviewed February 1, 2014

Our friends recommended the Occidental to us and had planned on returning again in 2014. Another couple and ourselves vacationed there and found the staff friendly and helpful. The fact that this is an "adults only" resort made the trip all that more enjoyable. I have always found that if you treat everyone with respect (including the staff) the experience is always positive. In the Caribbean or any southern destination there is always a battle against the elements and cultural differences (this is not home) and once you adjust to the environment we found it to be a positive experience. We thought that the Occidental was one of the better resorts in the area and that they had a good maintenance program. We visited in the last week of January 2014. Should we return to this area, we would choose Occidental again.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Don D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (801)
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English first
long island
Level 5 Contributor
24 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed January 28, 2014

Four of us stayed here Jan.15-21st. I debated writing a review as if you read 10-15 posts regarding this resort you will understand why people have mixed feelings about this place. This was my 5th trip to Costa Rica-I am a type A personality New Yorker and suggest you get in a 'chill' state of mind before you arrive. I love the country and its people and honestly believe this resort was a good value for what we paid. However if you think you want a 'perfect' all-inclusive experience maybe you should go someplace else? Helpful suggestions...bring a small flashlight. The grounds are not well-lit at night. Pack a pair of good walking shoes and pay attention to the surface you are walking on so you don't slip or trip. Don't get upset/agitated about minor imperfections. Building 1 is better than building 2 for room location. Smile and remember you are in a different country and the food/culture etc. are different than home. Pura Vida. Feel free to send me a personal message is you have any questions. I would be glad to help you however I can.

Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
Helpful?
9 Thank naturewoman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montclair, New Jersey
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed January 26, 2014

At first I didn't go with the reviews here because they were so many negative ones ...and they were mainly because of the food and service...
Upon arriving we were not checked in right away that was understandable since we were in early by a hr. I found the staff in the beginning to be a little distant and robotic ...of course my partner and I were exhausted from traveling and just getting there ....so the first hostess got our check in together for us ...and we had to wait for a hr...once done w/her we were introduce to another host ...who tried to get us familiar w/the resort...and started trying to get us involve in a tour and see if we were interested in being part of some program........for the resort...RULE # 1 people that are traveling are tired and wiry they just want to get to their room not interested in tours and to buy into something right away... 2.the host trying to get us involve immediately went and asked us how long my partner and I were together as if he was interested in joining us ...RULE 2# NOT INTERESTED in your question about our personal life and definitely not into you ...keep it moving .this will not be the first time you will see 2 guys together nor the last ...

3# Now the truth about the property and the rooms ....the property is IMMACULATELY KEPT the grounds are beautiful however it is not very convenient to move around if you have certain issues w/walking since the grounds are hilly and you will need to catch the shuttle to get back and forth to your rooms ...our room was in building 14 all the way up in the hill and towards the back near the area where at first my partner and I thought SQUATTERS WERE LIVING....but it happened to be where they fixed furniture etc...a HOT MESS..... however I can say this ..THE VIEW from our room was great ....Now the ROOM.......all I can say they need to do some serious renovations starting w/the sliding doors that seem a bit hazard like for my liking especially when the handle came a loose and get rid of the glass table next to it ..the bathrooms were ok no shower curtains just a GLASS PARTITION that seemed to me can be DANGEROUS if someone was to slip and catch on to that ......... there is NO INTERNET CONNECTION and HARDLY ANY WIFI ... and if you needed to be on to the WI FI the best place is right in back of the desk by the DISCO LOUNGE and then there it was still going in and out ....so don't BANK ON THAT ...you will need to go to PLAYAS DEL COCO and get to LIZARD LOUNGE and you get on right away .
4#THE HOUSE KEEPING was very good to us .... there's a GOLDEN RULE that I always follow and that's to VALIDATE PEOPLE whether big or small and NOT LOOK DOWN at them....if you plan to spend your week here I highly advise you to leave a tip every day when they clean your room it doesn't have to be big just something .......she made things a bit more comfortable for us especially re'stocking our fridge and getting us extra towels OUR ROOM was impeccably clean, neat and comfortable after she was done..

5# NOW THE FOOD ............when in ROME do as the romans do, it was not the best food it's worse when you have culinary skills .........I advise you that you are in a different country things are going to be different the food wasn't appetizing at all it was doable stick to what you know ...
FLAVORLESS...and very different and not what you would be use to ...I would also HIGHLY ADVISE YOU skip that RESERVATION to the ITALIAN/CHINESE restaurant , why, LIMITED TABLES and the food is just SO SO if not below SO SO ..you will be lucky if you get a reservation while there we had THE ASIAN night and trust me OODLES OF NOODLES DRESSED UP would be better SO I WOULD SKIP THAT it wasn't worth it and they will HAGGLE
you when you try to reserve...also you are not in your country so do not expect them to act accordingly with your demands ..IT'S JUST NOT GONNA HAPPEN K

6#THE BEACH ......... just loved the beach quiet peaceful enjoyable no one HAGGLED OR BOTHERED you unless that's what you wanted .. water was beautiful ...THE BEST ASSET ON THE BEACH is the LADY ELENA AND HER GIRLS GIVING THE MASSAGES.........she was worth her WEIGHT IN GOLD .......her 45/50 hr massage is worth more than that and I've paid over 100 for massages ..if you choose to stay here try the beach massages w/her ..this made things a little bit more enjoyable at the resort
7#WOULD I COME BACK HERE... even though my partner and I had a wonderful time and booked other things to do and went out of the resort for dinner and to do souvenir shopping ...I don't hate saying I wouldn't want to stay back here...I've traveled A'LOT so sorry not a memorable one at this resort....... some things were just not convenient .....

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
6 Thank fordgreentruck
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Camrose, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed January 24, 2014

Stayed December 31 - January 14. Upon arrival - our room had no water or toilet paper - other issues as well - we called front desk and nothing was brought to our room perhaps busy for News Years Eve but we had a 12 hour flight!! The next morning we spoke to Luis who showed us a different room and moved us immediately. You have to enjoy walking in this small resort. The pool is small however the "area" is very nice, I had concerns about the black stuff growing on the side of the pool and if they use enough clorine. There is bar service at the beach sometimes - the washrooms are a distance. The staff here are very friendly, the food is ok, the weather is great. Make sure you take your sunscreen, repellant and other necessities, the "in store" is very expensive. The trip into/back from Coco Beach will cost you $40. We did enjoy our holiday in Costa Rica, it is a beautiful country you must take in a Jungle and Rainforest Tour.. We took the resort for what it is, not a 4 Star Resort, more like 3.

Room Tip: Choose an upper floor, the lower rooms have insects crawling under the doors!
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank LynnCamrose
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Estevan Sask
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed January 24, 2014

What a beautiful country!!

The Occidental was very good and the staff delivered very high end service. Food was excellent, less choices then other resorts we have been to but always easy to find something good to eat.

The Rooms were very nice, we were in a chalet with 4 units and it was very nice.

Excursions......we went to Nicaragua for a day. What an amazing day, we went and looked down into an active volcano, seen a beautiful dead volcano that has filled with water and formed a lake. So much history in that country.

We also went white water rafting in Costa Rica. What a blast!! The whole day was just so much fun and our guide was amazing!

I am sure we will be back to Costa Rica!

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank dallas-cheryl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Abilene, Texas
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed January 23, 2014

My wife & I went to Costa Rica for the first time & chose this resort because of the price we were able to get on 7 nights. We travel at least 1 month of the year 1 week at a time. We were at this resort Mid November. It appears to be a good time to travel here, infrequent rains cooled things down when too much heat. All the staff at this site were phenomenal, the drinks were phenomenal & after complaining about our accommodations, our room was phenomenal. The management at this site needs to be replaced. We booked the romance package at this site because it was our 20 year anniversary. The day of our arrival I talked to the concierge & told them I needed to book reservations in their best restaurant on our anniversary date. There were two people working at the desk & both of them told me they would handle it. They then said go with the bag person to our room & they would send us our champagne & Strawberries. We arrived to our romantic room which had two double beds, I immediately called the front desk & told them that two double beds were not acceptable for a Romance Package. They said I had not specified & that we would have to wait for at least 4 hours for them to talk to management. I hesitantly agreed & should have seen the signs & demanded, but I didn't.
Finally after 4 hours we were moved to a King size bedroom by the Ocean. This trip was very active & just about everything you do in Costa Rica is very active, Including this resort. The Ocean rooms were at least 100' below all the restaurants except for the pool restaurant. Our anniversary date came & my wife & I dressed up to go to our reservations at the Oriental Restaurant, we walked in gave our name & the Matra D said no reservation. Thank God my wife is understanding & she had overheard me making the reservations. I eventually talked the guy into at least letting us go in & eat. The very next morning I went to the concierge desk to complain & the same two people said was I sure I had talked to them. I told them that they would need to send at least two bottles of champagne to make up for the inconvenience we had suffered. They both looked at me & said we will have to talk to Manager & don't know when they will get answer back. The look on my face must have had an impact on the girl because she got up & went to a supply closet & got me a bottle of champagne that was hot. I told her thanks but we had no way to chill it in our room. She immediately said even if she got in trouble she would send it to our room chilled in the proper way. I gave her a tip for her fortitude, but left a very bad taste for the management. If you are picky don't go to this resort. If you have any trouble walking uphill don't go to this resort either.

Room Tip: If you are able to walk get a room by the ocean.
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank slong61
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort Nelson, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed January 22, 2014

The resort itself was fine and many of the negative comments are accurate ... I happen to like the hilly location and the challenging walks. I do find internet access an important factor in deciding the resort and this one does not have reliable access. Crabs in the room, different food choices, etc are to be expected but what one does not expect is to be deathly terrified in their room as I was for two consecutive nights as they delivered a violent and abusive man into the room adjacent to mine and which also blocked my escape route from the building. From 2 am until 5:30 dawn the slamming of doors, banging against walls, shouting obscenities and threats to his companion is more than anyone should expect to endure. I would be astounded if the room itself did not suffer considerable damage. The second night when I escaped my room at 4 am and went to the lobby in tears from the fright, the on site manager was dismissive of my distress and clearly disbelieving. I remained in the lobby from 4 am until my 6 am departure on an excursion. Although he had returned to the offending unit with security he never spoke to me again. When I returned late that evening after a day trip to Nicaragua (and after the second night of no sleep and lots of terror) I actually packed my bag in preparation of a quick departure in the event of a 3rd night of violence. Before writing this review I did send a letter to the management but the reply is the same dismissive "apology" that has been voiced in several responses by management on this site. There appears to be no understanding of how unacceptable this is in any environment ... and staff are the ones that serve the drinks and observe the degree of intoxication and, in this case, violence that is expressed yet choose to expose other guests to this. This resort has on site security but to what avail? I have travelled to many countries and do not expect the same standards as I may expect at home ... but I do expect to feel "safe" in any locale that I decide to visit. This resort did not make me feel safe, staff did not appear concerned whatsoever regarding the abuse that was occurring next to my unit and no one seems to be able to sincerely apologize. It would have been helpful to my ability to enjoy the remainder of my stay had they spoken to me after I brought forth the situation ... it would have been helpful to be reassured that my remaining two nights I would not have been terrorized by the out of control man in the next room. I will return to Costa Rica but I will never return to this resort.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank seniorgypsy65
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, January 28, 2014
Dear Seniorgypsy65,

Please accept our apologies for the disappointing experience you had at Occidental Grand Papagayo We pride ourselves on providing guests with the highest quality product and service and we regret to hear that this was not the case.

The comfort and safety of our guests are our highest priority; our security and front desk team are always ready to repair or solve any problems and typically does so in a timely manner. We shared your experienced with hotel team in the hope of preventing similar situations moving forward.

Your comments have been shared with our entire team, your feedback helps us to continually improve our service.

Thank you,
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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