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“Pura Vida”

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Occidental Papagayo - Adults only
Ranked #7 of 14 Hotels in Gulf of Papagayo
Certificate of Excellence
Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey
Level Contributor
247 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 165 helpful votes
“Pura Vida”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 27, 2014

Having traveled all over I must say you are what you make it! We flew into Costa Rica on American Air. They lost our luggage and so we were without our "stuff" for a day and a half. Good thing I had a few essentials in my carry-on. The airport is a breeze especially if you use a transfer service like we did (Rigoberto Gonzalez, Professional Transportation ExpertTel 506-8784-1460 | Mobile 8849-4657 www.blog.costaricagroundtransfers.com) they are waiting with a sign that has your name. We were taken directly to the resort, no stops, no pick ups. The ride is about 30 minutes and the scenery just beautiful. Our driver gave us the history and pointed out sugarcane, mango trees, iguana's and flora along the way. Once at the hotel you are greeted by a person holding a clipboard, they open the gate and then you are greeted again by another. You go to the desk to check in and get wrist bands. They bring you cold champagne and explain the resort. Since it was our Anniversary we had the Romance package. At our room we had a swan on our bed made from twisted towels and flowers, champagne chilling and a fruit plate. There was literature about how to book our massage and special dinner as well as breakfast in bed. We aren't breakfast in bed people so we skipped that. We also skipped the gourmet restaurants because we found the Buffet to be very fresh and tasty. There were previous reviews about bad food. I'm a vegetarian and the fruit was the freshest, sweetest, hardiest variety found. In the mornings there are eggs, sausages, beans, rice, potatoes, vegetables, breads, danish, lox, cream cheese, peanut butter, jellies and a waffle station, yogurt and I'm sure I'm missing items but what more could you want. There was a Mimosa and Bloody Mary station if you are a drinker and two kinds of fresh juice each morning. The coffee is Costa-Rica, strong and smooth. Lunch was a fresh buffet of salads, meats, fish and fruits with fresh breads and sweets. Dinners were the same. Everything was FRESH!!! We chose Mexican for our special dinner and it was soooo good! The table was set with flowers and candles: we were treated like royalty. Our room was a standard Ocean view, I could see the ocean, trees in front of pool, club house, volcano's and mountain. The balcony had two chairs and small table, a king size bed and large soaking tub, small table, mirrored desk and bench. The clock held your Iphone and there was Ethernet. The air worked great as did the fan. The young woman who cleaned our room daily gave us 4 water each day. That's what we drank and what the fridge could hold. WE had plenty of fresh towels...wash clothes and one day she put chocolate covered strawberries on our table in our room. I never use the hotel shampoo/soap so it stayed there all week. I'm sure if I needed more, it would have been no problem. The sales guy tried to get us to sit through the timeshare. NO THANKS...Not for a free anything, my time is precious. That was enough so we were not bothered. He also wanted us to book excursions through him but we knew we would get ours on the beach. We met with JD on the beach and booked three trips...A ride to Coco beach, The horseback ride to the waterfall w/hot springs and mud bath and the jungle tour....Both excursion trips were very nice. The town of Coco was safe and you could get a coconut cracked for 1 American dollar. I didnt do the snorkeling trip because the snorkeling from the beach is fabulous. I saw two moray eels...one green and one spotted, 8 barracuda, crabs, snails, sea urchins, a sea snake, two skates and so so many fish...Must be a breeding ground for puffers, they are in all sizes from 8 pounds to size of a lime....I was stung several times by jellyfish but a trip to the kitchen for white vinegar took care of that. The property is full of wildlife. In the back live the group of 8 howler moneys and the flying squirrels. The Iguanas, some which are 15 pounds are everywhere. We saw Coati by the hut going to the beach. Blue birds, yellow birds, green parrots, birds that have squares hanging from their feet, sea birds and so many more....The nature is breath taking. At low tide you can walk the lava beds around the mountains to Bonita Beach, Beach Panama and Beuna Beach. Sunset, lights the sky in hues of pink and orange...The massage was so good and did I mention the people who work on this resort all seem happy! The steps and incline around the property were great for a workout. The travel cart came often if you didn't want to walk. There's a million more things I could about this resort but overall I had an awesome time! I would go back to Costa Rica in a minutes notice as they say Pura Vita...Pure life, all good, relax and enjoy....

Room Tip: I'm deaf but my hubby said the room we had 139 was loud. The birdies were chirping and the music...
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank SuzeeQL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,056 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (779)
Date | Rating
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English first
Clio, California
Level Contributor
148 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 27, 2014

I should have paid more attention to the negative reviews for this resort. What you read in the poor and terrible reviews is what we found to be true. We stayed the one night because we were stuck there. I can not imagine that the people who wrote the positive reviews were at the same place we were. The place was dirty and noisy. The pool lounges are old and need to be replaced ( the back collaped as I leaned back on it). The beach was a disaster, my wife was stung by something within minutes of going in the water. February is not the time to go to this beach. As a Papagayo winds blow sand constantly and the water is very choppy. The idea of taking a kayak out would be dangerous. We had hope to snorkle, but that would bee n a bad idea too. The food is not even so-so. There did appear to be lots of alcohol avaiable, and there were many folks to took advantage of that. I could add more, but if you have read this far you gotthe idea, go somewhere else.

Room Tip: If you didn't take my advice and go somewhere else, do not stay in Building 1
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Dave_in_Clio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wilmington, Delaware
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 26, 2014

I thought this hotel was great. The food was good and the drink selection was awesome. The room was quiet and comfortable. The air conditioner was on the fritz a few times and could be quite noisy when it kicked on. There were also little crab critters that crawled around at night on the floor. Kinda creepy but the way the rooms are set up as little cabins almost, it's not all that unusual. It was nice that the rental car company was right in the lobby. The airport was very close-by too. We walked to the resort next door one night to see monkeys and just eat something different since we stayed 7 days. The area seemed safe and the people were very nice. The ocean access is beautiful there also. I would definitely recommend to a friend.

Room Tip: Watch out for the crab critters if you get up in the middle of the night! Turn on the lights first!
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank heather s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chester, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
40 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 26, 2014

[Stayed 4/2009]
Excellent stay at this resort, after spending a few days at the Villa Blanca Resort in the cloud forest and then the Lost Iguana Resort & Spa. The room was quiet and clean, the plethora of fruits and seafood was great.

The only "con" to this resort was the lack of wi-fi in rooms. You have to sit up at the main lobby meeting area to get wi-fi connection.

Room Tip: No Wi-Fi in your room.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Toby_Farmz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Red Deer, Canada
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 25, 2014

We were a large group (70+) here for a wedding. View from this hotel was exceptional. Layout is well laid out, everything is central, was easy to meet up with our group. Well organized activities to do (sunset walk, volleyball, dancing lessons, snorkelling, etc). Lots of options for taking tours off site. Cocoa Beach was close and a $40 cab ride return for 4 people. Lots of shopping in Cocoa Beach? Lots of helpful people working at the resort, Bryan, Meribell, Carlos (bartender upstairs), Emmanuel, Michael, Gerald, Candy,Javiers). The food in the buffet and restaurant was excellent, lots of options. Al-a-Carts were so so. Although there were LOTS of stairs and uphill walking, there were always carts back and forth to give you rides. We were in building 14 with upstairs ocean view. Distance was a bit far but we were never in the rooms much but when we were the view was great. There was lots of wildlife and birds to see all over the resort. But....pool needs cleaning more often, the fridge is more like a cooler, didn't work very well. I was a bit nervous that in building 12, 14, 15 were at the far end of resort. It appeared that doors had been broken into in the past. The safety aspects at the resort could be improved, eg. One of our group lost their key and went they went to get a new key there was no asking of names, they key was just redone for the room no questions asked. Cleaning and how the rooms were restocked were not at the same level throughout the resort. Cleaning staff perhaps needs more people, floors could have used more cleaning, sinks, etc.. The communication skills good be improved, many servers did not understand basic English, some just did not want to try and help you. We did not find the snorkelling to be very good. We did like to sit at the ocean, lots of chairs. There are locals at the beach but if you just say no to the massages, or sellers they leave you alone.
Note: do not leave any patio doors open or you will have wildlife and critters into the room.

Room Tip: Ocean view is a great, it is quiet and private in building 12, 14, 15.. If you are not an able bodie...
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Bsawyer777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Litchfield, Minnesota
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 25, 2014

My husband and I stayed for 1 full week in Feb, 2014 as a 15 year anniversary/2nd honeymoon. We had a FABULOUS time here! We stayed in an ocean view room, which I HIGHLY recommend that you spend the extra money to upgrade to. We also received 'gold' bracelets that got us access into the club level bar and free internet there in a lovely contemporary room with a fabulous view. I don't think our experience would have been as positive without the upgrades. The staff were wonderful, the food was FANTASTIC, and the drinks/service very good. The only criticism I will offer is the pool is very basic and there is no swim up bar and we did not utilize the beach at all. But we were not there for the beaches - rather for the variety of flora and fauna and the friendly people in Costa Rica. Yes, there are a lot of steps to go up and down but the view at the top was worth walking up to! The resort is very close to the airport and I also highly recommend you spend extra money to go on the tours/excursions offered. There are so many!! Head on down to Coco Beach or further down the way to Tamarindo. Costa Rica in general is an amazing country!!

Room Tip: Ocean View Room Upgrade is a Must!!
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank MFalling
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 23, 2014

I stayed at the resort on Feb. 14th-21st. I was a little worried with all the reviews that I had read. I was very satisfied with the resort and it met what I was looking for. The food was great, especially the fruit! I stayed in building 20 and I had no problems with my room except a few ants. The view was wonderful looking out at the water and watching the wildlife right outside the door. I spent most of my time by the ocean when I was at the resort and there were no problems finding a chair. The staff were very friendly and helpful if needed. The entertainment was organized and there is lots to do. Thanks to Javier, Bryan, Carlos, Yeudy, and Candy for their hard work with the entertainment! I recommend the sunset walk as the view is beautiful! I had brought a flashlight, because it was recommended in someone else's review and it came in handy as the area had lost power for a little bit one night. The walking or stairs didn't bother me, because I considered it my exercise for the day. I booked a trip to Palo Verde through Edgar on the beach. The tour was excellent with lots of wildlife seen and a great lunch after. I also booked a private tour with Tours Your Way to Monteverde to go on the hanging bridges and zip line. Ariel was my driver/guide and he was excellent to work with. He is very knowledgeable about Costa Rica. He found animals I would have never seen had I did it alone. They are true to what they say that it is "Tours Your Way". They modified things to fit what I was looking for. I highly recommend them. This is a great resort for a holiday.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Adventure115
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
#5 Spa Hotel in Gulf of Papagayo
#6 Luxury 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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