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“PURAVIDA in Costa Rica”

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Occidental Papagayo - Adults only
Ranked #7 of 13 Hotels in Gulf of Papagayo
Certificate of Excellence
Kingston, Canada
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“PURAVIDA in Costa Rica”
Reviewed February 7, 2014

We went with friends for a week at the Occidental Papagayo. It was a blast and we enjoyed every minute of it.

Things we liked:
1) The scenery at and around the resort is lovely.
2) The weather in January and February was perfect. Warm, sunny but not stinky hot.
3) Friendly staff and people. On and off the resort it was nice to see happy accommodating people.
4) Things to do. There are a million things to do off the resort. I would recommend the Monte Verde cloud forest trip , the Palo Verde river trip (go in the morning and get out before the majority of the boats) and the afternoon sunset catamaran cruise.
5) Wildlife. Birds a plenty, iguanas, monkeys, crocodiles (on the boat trip), flowers, and more.
6) The sunset walk at 5:00pm ... spectacular way to end the day.
7) Short trip to the airport (30 mins)
8) JohnnyD who sold us excursions for better prices down on the beach
9) Eduardo and his family who sell their home made pottery and other wares at the beach
10) The buffet which was small, nicely decorated, well kept, with good service. People's expectations about food quality vary all over the map but we all enjoyed the variety of food offered and always found something healthy/tasty to eat.

I would definitely recommend this resort and would go again in a flash.

Things to keep in mind.
1) Bring water shoes. There are sea urchins about that you don't want to step on.
2) Bring walking shoes and a rain jacket for the rain forest tour. Men need long pants for the specialty restaurants.
3) For tipping you should bring US one dollar bills with you. There are very few places to get change at the resort.
4) If you like shade, go to the beach and get set up under the trees. The pool has decent shade in the afternoon.
5) Both specialty restaurants are worth eating at.
6) There are time share sales people who will try to sell you units although compared to other places, it is not overbearing
7) The people selling tours down on the beach are legit and do a good job.
8) Contrary to other reports, I was able to get WIFI in the lobby although it required some patience ('cause it occasionally cuts out)
9) Don't be surprised if a drink order at the beach or pool gets forgotten, they are pretty busy. Do try the drink called 'Sexy Lady' that Harnie makes.

Room Tip: Building 4 has a great ocean view. Building 1 and 2 are close to the pool. I have a feeling (from...
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank JohnandMargie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,217 reviews from our community

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English first
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed February 6, 2014

Lots of healthy walking involved on the grounds. Uphill walks from the beach, or the pool to get to the lobby. Many awesome animals on property such as Magjays, Howler monkeys, spinny iguanas, coatis and many other birds. Food was ok. Asian restaurant was the best. Upgrade to Royal club well worth it. Royal Club gives you access to extra benefits like: 1] options to make restaurant reservations at any time for any restaurant 2] access to the upstairs lounge with top shelf liquor 3] beer and water restocked daily in your room mini refrigerator. Jamie or HiMe as it is pronounced was a tour guide that we booked on the beach. He gave us an excellent look at Costa Rica, the people and the country. Palo Verda boatride was awesome! Many memories were made on that trip. Staff was top notch! Activities were very laid back. You can relax or get involved to your comfort level. Good snorkeling right off the beach. This resort was a good choice.

Room Tip: Buildings 6 and 7 have great views of the bay. Towels are large and soft.
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank zeds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Ontario
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed February 6, 2014

NO WIFI. There is no wifi on this resort. They openly say that although they say there is, there is not.

NOT ADULTS ONLY. There were many families & young children ranging from infants to teens all over the place. They said they they have reservations that they still need to uphold for families. I agree - so they should not advertise that they are adults-only until all those reservations are done.

OUR ROOM WAS UNDER CONSTRUCTION. There was a man literally working on our private terrace. We were two girls travelling alone. When we asked to switch rooms they said "construction happens. deal with it". It took lots of fighting to get our room switched to another mediocre room but at least it was not under construction.

EXCURSIONS RUINED WITH NO COMPENSATION. After booking our two excursions, we ran into the rep by chance on his way home. He then told us that the tour operator changed and we would be on a different bus. When we arrived the next morning at 7:20am in the lobby for the bus, the tour operator said he had no reference for us being part of his tour. We waited two hours for the rep to finally come to the lobby and tell us that he would do nothing for messing up the tour. At this point we only had two days left of our vacation. When we asked him to discount our rebooked tours, he said no there was nothing he would do. We had to cancel our tours because we didn't want to risk our money with him again. When I wrote to Air Canada vacations about this, they wrote back saying the rep offered to give us one excursion free after. This is a total lie.

AIR CANADA & EXPEDIA HAVE DONE NOTHING TO REMEDY ANY OF THIS VACATION OTHER THAN OFFER US $100 OFF. THE "VACATION" COST WAS AROUND $1400/EACH.

It was more stressful/frustrating/upsetting/ being on this "vacation" then being at home.

SAVE YOUR MONEY. GO SOMEWHERE ELSE OR JUST STAY HOME. THIS WAS THE WORST MONEY EVER SPENT AND TIME WASTED.

Room Tip: Many of the rooms are under construction and they will full well put people in them and give you a h...
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
4 Thank ice_716
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hartford, Connecticut
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed February 6, 2014

Costa Rica is a beautiful country and a great experience. I hope to go back one day to be able to see more of the country BUT stay in a different hotel!

Our room (standard room) was very dirty - light over shower barely worked (dark), bathroom floor by the shower was very moldy (be sure to wear sandals in the shower), the shower curtain was tied with toilet paper, dirty tissue on the floor, balcony door to the outside did not lock, iron & clock broken.

I do have to say the view from the property was gorgeous! The entertainment was ok. Not much of a choice of activity to do at night, when lobby entertainment is finished. Poor set up of restaurant reservations. Our second night we had a reservation for Italian, which we really didn't want. We tried to switch to Oriental but it was full. So basically we had no other choice for food. The hotel didn't offer a choice of a buffet if you chose not to eat Italian or Oriental.

The beach didn't exist during high tide so the only other choice was one pool. We didn't see much activity going on during the day to keep guests busy.

Staff was very friendly, helpful and accommodating.

Room Tip: Request a newer remodeled room!
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled on business
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Helpful?
6 Thank KristenLynn23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Defiance, Ohio
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed February 5, 2014 via mobile

If you stay at this hotel skip the disappointment of taking a tour directly through the hotel it's self. Go down to the beach and ask for Jaime (Hi-Me). The knowledge and love of the country combined with his commitment to showing his clients the best way to see it makes for a surreal experience. We took the Palo Verde tour and could not believe the wildlife we were able to see. Once the boat trip was over he took us to a place and watched true handcrafted pottery being made right in front of us. We also booked the marlin del Ray catamaran snorkeling trip that he suggested and had a fantastic last night to end our vacation. We will be back and have kept his phone number to make sure we can do more tours with him again.

Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank adamsr7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Knoxville
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed February 4, 2014

I can't say enough about the Occidental Grand Papagayo. Our 8 day stay there just concluded was a smashing success. The employees were friendly and attentive. A special shout out to Roberto, Diego and Eduardo, who made us feel at home. The facilities are beautifully maintained and the buildings and grounds are immaculate.

I have Celiac Disease which makes me Gluten intolerant. I brought my own gluten free flour with me and the Chef in the buffet was kind enough to use it to make pancakes and other goodies especially for me using my flour. The food in all the restaurants was 5 star.

Alot has been written about the pool being 70 steps from the lobby and the buildings being so spaced out. We were in building 23 overlooking trees and the beach cliffs with great wildlife and plenty of privacy. If we didn't want to walk and needed to go to the lobby, restaurant, beach or pool, I would call the shuttle and they were there within about 4 minutes. Always friendly and johnny on the spot.

I can't say enough about this inexpensive, sneaky 5 star resort. Given it being alot cheaper than Couples Resorts and others, we were ready to lower our expectations but BOY were we surprised. Do yourself a favor and check out this great resort. We're glad we did.

You may get some ants and/or buggies in your room if you're on the first floor but just put a towel in the crack of your door, problem solved. It's Costa Rica folks!

I give this all inclusive an enthusiastic THUMBS UP!

Room Tip: Building 23 is quiet with trees and cliffs overlooking beach just feet from your balcony. We saw Ho...
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Kent B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Virginia Beach, Virginia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed February 3, 2014

A small but perfect all inclusive resort with very friendly staff who work hard to ensure you have a great time. The rooms are clean although basic and some are a fair walk uphill from the beach, pool or main lobby area although there is transport on demand. We stayed in block 1 on the top floor which had great views and offered fairly easy access to the rest of the resort. The food was generally very good and plentiful- the Italian was superb. Be aware of tide times before you venture to the beach as there is little left at high tide. Definitely recommend a massage on the beach. Another good point is the inclusion of top shelf drinks at each of the bars. If you like activity then Hilberto and Yenny will keep you busy down by the pool. Would definitely come here again and we certainly don't understand some of the negative reviews.

Room Tip: Block 1 high floor as it is central location and doesn't suffer bugs like ground floor rooms
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank 5Simon
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:
#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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