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“Wonderful stay”

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Occidental Papagayo - Adults only
Ranked #7 of 13 Hotels in Gulf of Papagayo
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 1, 2014

We just returned from a wonderful stay at the Grand Papagayo. We travelled as a group of 12 all in our late 20's/early 30's and one thing we quickly realized is that we were not the right demographic for this resort. We certainly enjoyed ourselves but this is more of a resort for couples. There was also lots of older people.

The resort grounds are beautiful and well looked after. Our room was tastefully decorated and clean. We were in building 1 which is closest to the main building and within quick walking distance. Any other building would be either a longer walk or require you to take the shuttle truck. I would not have wanted to be in any other building. Be prepared for a lot of walking anyways. Since the resort is built into a hillside, there are lots of steps. If you smoke cigarettes, you should be aware of the smoking laws in Costa Rica that prohibit smoking on resort property. You must either go to the driveway or to the beach. (All beaches in Costa Rica are public)

The food was outstanding. I truly enjoyed everything I ate. The main buffet did not offer 50 different choices of main dish like you would expect from a larger resort... But what they did have was well made. The only criticism I have (and it is a big one) is that there is no food available at night. When people are drinking and staying up late there needs to be something even if it is finger sandwiches or leftover pastries from the day. A bag of Doritos in the gift shop Will cost you $10, so bring snacks from home for late night munchies.

The evening entertainment is not a big stage production like you get at other larger resorts, but they have live music in the lobby each night, which was really nice. That goes until the disco opens. They also don't do pool-side crazy games through the day. But they have pool aerobics and wAter volleyball.

If you are a beach person, bring water shoes. Some areas of the beach the sea shells are like gravel.

There is lots of opportunity to see wild life on resort. We saw birds, snakes, monkeys, lizards.

I really enjoyed my time here, Costa Rica is amazing, I would come back to this resort.

Room Tip: Building 1 is walking distance.
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with friends
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4  Thank Hello_Kelly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed February 1, 2014

My bf and I were here for 3 nights after spending 3 days in Arenal.

We were greeted promptly and kindly, and then taken to our room via shuttle. We had an ocean view room in building 16. While the hotel is rather spread out, but I really liked it. Who wants to be on top of one another when on vacation? So what if you have to walk? It's called a little bit of exercise.

The room looked like it had been recently updated, the bathroom was well-appointed and the bed super-comfy... our patio led out to a small cliff that overlooked the ocean. It was really nice to open the door in the morning and allow the sound of the ocean and birds wake us.
My bf and I never really took the shuttle, we chose to walk everywhere (to help burn off the delicious food!).

I've read a number of mixed reviews re:food, and if you expect culinary excellence, there are few (if any) resorts that cater to that. This isn't one of them. We really enjoyed the food there, it was always fresh with a lot of healthy choices. I can see how it gets monotonous after a while, but it was also very similar to how we eat at home: lots of fresh fruit and veggies. I am gluten-intolerant and it was very easy for me to eat (which doesn't happen all the time). We tried the Mexican restaurant, which was ehh. We live in NYC, so it wasn't really that much better than what we get at home.

The grounds are immaculate and there were always people working on something to make sure of that. The beach was beautiful and almost private (there are NO private beaches in Costa Rica), and the locals were all kind (like most Tico's). There is a bar near the beach which isn't always open, but I'm cool with that. We never went to the pool (why would we leave the beach?!). Make sure that you bring plenty of sunblock and aloe, because the giftshop is a rip-off! Payed $20 for aloe after getting burned the first day.

There seemed to always be something going on here, but we only had 3 1/2 days so we were more interested in relaxing on the beach. The water was just perfect. There was no internet in the room, and we weren't really able to get onto the wifi in the lobby, but, ehhh whatever! Made me able to relax and unplug even more.

Overall, we had a really nice time there. We tried to stay an extra 2 days but they were all booked up. Would definitely return, but not for a while... there's so much more Costa Rica to explore!

Room Tip: Definitely worth getting an Ocean View room.
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank JSigal5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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1  Thank Don D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
9  Thank naturewoman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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6  Thank fordgreentruck
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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2  Thank LynnCamrose
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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1  Thank dallas-cheryl
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

Address: Playa Hermosa, 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
#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: $176 - $355 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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