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“Beautiful resort, lots to do”

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Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo
Ranked #2 of 13 Hotels in Gulf of Papagayo
Certificate of Excellence
Virginia
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Beautiful resort, lots to do”
Reviewed 1 April 2014 via mobile

We just returned from a glorious week in a 1 bedroom suite with plunge pool at the Four Seasons Papagayo. The suite, tucked up on a hillside accessible by golf cart, was perfectly appointed, complete with an alcove with a pull out coach which comfortably accommodated our 15 year old. The views were amazing with howler monkeys every morning and even a visit from a vulture sunning himself on our patio.The main areas with regular rooms and the dining facilities are a little tight centered around two pools and two OK beaches. The excursions offered made our trip: do not miss Land of the Senses, a hike into a rainforest. It is worth the drive. Also, by ALL means do a sunset cruise. We sailed with whales and dolphin playing just off the stern and saw the most magnificent sunset
ever. The workout facility has all the machines and a lovely set up, though the recumbent bikes were a little dated. They do yoga and spinning classes too which is nice.

The only drawback is the limited dining options. The italian place was busy and the food just OK. The main dining room was efficient at breakfast and actually had the best food at dinner... mostly local cuisine. Caracol, the steak place located at the golf center, was very good and eating while stargazing was an extra bonus. Try Marasol (sp?) which is on the grounds of the expansive resort, but not really part of the hotel. Fabulous seafood!

Lastly, the staff, to a person, was helpful and pleasant. Greddy, a server at Papagayo, took the time to ask our names and greeted us happily, by name, every day.

This is truly a Four Seasons in every sense!

Stayed March 2014, travelled with family
Helpful?
2 Thank Frequent Traveling Mom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FSCOSPFGM, General Manager at Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo, responded to this review, 2 April 2014
Dear Frequent Traveling Mom, I am happy to know that you enjoyed your time with us and that you saw so much wonderful wildlife as well as one of our spectacular Costa Rican sunsets. I am going to make sure Greddy knows about your comments so he continues his great work! Sorry that the cuisine at Di Mare was not as memorable as we might have hoped, but glad to hear you enjoyed Caracol, Papagayo and Marea at the Prieta Beach Club nearby. We hope you are able to visit us again in the future, so you can taste a little bit more of this Pura Vida life!
Pascal Forotti, General Manager.
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New York City, New York
Level Contributor
13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 March 2014

Just got back from 5 days in the Arenal area and 5 days at Four Seasons Papagayo. Loved that we saw different area of the country so different from the Papagayo peninsula and that we were so active first half that we could be lazier the second half. Four Seasons was fantastic. The hotel was beautiful and service spectacular. Yes you pay for what you are getting but it is worth it. Ask fo ranything and it appears. Plus all the little gratuitous niceties they bring you to beach and pool were welcome (sushi, popsicles, local drinks, mozzarella and tomato on skewers, ice water frequently) and, yes, they came and cleaned my sunglasses... Our kids ages 14 and almost 12 loved the teen center (skewed a bit young the week we were there spring break) and played basketball as well as billiards, made smores, etc. Pool and beaches were gorgeous and it was actually easier to get seats at beaches than pools, but even at pools there were always seats no matter what time of day (just not necessarily 4 together at the height of the day, but pretty hot so kids in pool entire time anyway). Snorkeling half day trip was great though small jellyfish at first place we stopped to snorkel - but manageable. Restaurants were good - we especially liked Di Mare, Marea and Caracol but those were the expensive ones. Tico's sushi and bocas were good for more casual fare when you didnt need a big dinner. Congo's wa sjust ok and we didnt do Papagayo for dinner because had breakfast there each day so seemed like a breakfast place. We had breakfast included with our rate and that was a really nice addition because buffet was really nice. Kids loved the made to order crepes and omelets, smoothies, etc. So all in all, spectacular service, beautiful pool/beach area, the screened terrace overlooking ocean from high floor had breathtaking view and comfortable furniture. We loved it and would love to go again!

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank beverlyotoole
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FSCOSPFGM, General Manager at Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo, responded to this review, 2 April 2014
Dear bot123,
Thank you for taking the time to write such a wonderful and detailed review. We are happy to know that you and your family loved your stay at our property, and hope you will stay with us again. We work hard to offer new, exciting and fun things to surprise our guests as well as providing the great service you noted. I will certainly pass on your positive comments to our pool and beach and culinary teams. Pura vida!
Pascal Forotti, General Manager.
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Weston, Florida
Level Contributor
24 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 March 2014

The hotel is very nice, the setting is wonderful and the "Tico" service couldn't be any better. This resort is first rate but do yourself a favor and don't focus on what things cost and prepare yourself for hot weather. We spent 5 nights in March and paid an average of $1000/night for the room. You are in the middle of nowhere, so unless you take an excursion, you will be having breakfast, lunch and dinner (and drinks) at the Four Seasons at resort prices. March is the dry season so it isn't humid, but the average high during the day was mid to high 90's. Not bad if you are in the ocean or the pool; but very hot for golf, tennis or much of anything else outdoors.
SERVICE: The service was outstanding. The locals call themselves "Tico's" and they could not be friendlier or more personable. Lounging by the pool one day, we were offered a complimentary foot message, cold towels and numerous frozen surprises throughout the day. I was impressed to see the GM out and about everyday. As in any top resort, the people make the difference and here they really excel.
SETTING: A beautiful Eco setting. The hotel has many buildings, but almost feels like a treehouse setting. You will see monkeys, iguanas and a variation of raccoons that almost look like monkeys.
FOOD: The food was excellent - especially recommend the Italian restaurant and the Steak House at the Golf Club. The surf & turf on the beach was very nice as well. Recommend you make reservations before you arrive. For breakfast, I would recommend the coffee shop (breakfast for two can run over $80) in the main restaurant.
GOLF: The golf course is beautiful - sea views on 15 holes and the best place to see monkeys. The course is tough, but fair. Rates are lower in the afternoon and tee times were easy to come by any time of day.
SPA: The spa is excellent. We found booking easy at the end of the week and difficult early in the week.
NIGHT LIFE: The resort has good live music in the evening, but they stop at 10:00. We were there during Spring Break, so it was very family oriented. There was little sign of life after 9:30.
KIDS PROGRAM: We were traveling as a couple, but I wish I could have gone to a place like this as a kid. One evening they had a Disney movie playing by the pool with all the kids in inflatable lounge chairs eating pizza. The kids were having a blast!
STOMACH VIRUS CAUTION: When we arrived, we were given a letter warning about a stomach flu occurring in the area and provided with a small bottle of "Purell." I got the virus on the last day and it was brutal. There is a doctor on sight and she was terrific. While the hand sanitizer is good, some of the dinners (Beach Surf & Turf and Argentinian restaurant) have some self buffet service. The shared serving utensils are a great source for spreading the bug, so you want to be very careful here.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank bjr926
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FSCOSPFGM, General Manager at Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo, responded to this review, 2 April 2014
Dear guest,
Thank you so much for taking the time to share your thoughts from your stay with us. I appreciate your kind comments about our activities, food, golf course, spa and service. Very sorry to hear that you caught the virus that was present in the Guanacaste area during your stay. I am glad that our on-site doctor was able to help out but nevertheless sorry you had to experience being sick during your vacation. I hope you and your family will be able to come and see us again soon, and I will share your comments with our team so we can keep improving our experience. Pura vida!
Pascal Forotti
General Manager
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San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
54 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 March 2014

Starting with the good: beautiful beach, stunning property, a nice variety of restaurants to choose from (though be careful, as they rotate them to have only a few open per night), decent room with a porch.
Less good: the service was slow (turn down service, et cetera) and concierge service indifferent. Paying these prices, particularly in Costa Rica, you are paying for a perfect (or almost perfect) experience, and that just wasn't delivered. Also, not a great place to stay as a couple -- lots of kids around, which is fine, but the resort caters to their tastes in a lot of ways rather than to clientele seeking a more sophisticated spot.
I don't think we'll be back. Though Costa Rica is gorgeous, there are far better value luxury beach resorts than this one.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
3 Thank Lsh216
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FSCOSPFGM, General Manager at Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo, responded to this review, 2 April 2014
Dear guest, thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and for your positive comments about our beaches, property and restaurants. I am sorry the service was not as good as it should have been at our restaurants and the concierge desk and that the value delivered was not what you had hoped for. If you do decide to come back, I hope we will have the opportunity to wow you next time with a fantastic luxury experience in paradise. Thanks again and pura vida,
Pascal Forotti, General Manager
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East Longmeadow, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 March 2014

What a wonderful place this is from top notch accomodations to spectacular views and phenomenal service. Poolside service in particular was wonderful, very attentive to our group. Off the beaten track for sure but a real getaway from reality. Highly recommend!

Room Tip: We stayed in the villas that had an infinity plunge pool, quiet, views outstanding.
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Pokermama69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FSCOSPFGM, General Manager at Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo, responded to this review, 2 April 2014
Thank you for your review and your gracious comments about our Pool & Beach staff. I will make sure to share this with them so they feel proud of their work! Pura Vida, Pascal Forotti, General Manager.
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Greenwich, Connecticut
Level Contributor
17 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 March 2014 via mobile

The resort is nice and there are a lot of fun activities to do as a family on and off the property. The water activities are numerous(kayaking, paddle boarding snorkeling) and we took advantage of it almost every day.

Off property, I would recommend zip lining at Witch's Rock, the hotel arranged this for us and it was great fun for the children.

If you enjoy lounging around at the pool, I would suggest getting up early to reserve your seats. We are a family of 4 and we found it difficult to get seating together. On certain days most of the seats were occupied and on others they were reserved but mostly empty. It seems like many guests save the pool side chairs and decide later if they will use it. We gave up after several days and went to the beach where it's much easier to get seating.

Service was hit or miss and inconsistent. It takes away from the pleasure of the experience especially when you are paying a high price for it. I felt that the staff at the hotel were very nice and did try their best even when things didn't go right. What was most impressive was management's response when things went wrong, they tried hard to fix it. They seemed to know all the details and I was impressed by that.

We enjoyed our trip, but there were too many things that were not up to the service level we expected.

Bad luck?

Stayed March 2014, travelled with family
Helpful?
2 Thank H8CT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FSCOSPFGM, General Manager at Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo, responded to this review, 2 April 2014
Dear HLee,
I really appreciate this review, and want to thank you for taking the time to share your experience. I was happy to hear you and your family were able to participate in so many fun activities from zip lining to water activities. I am glad to know that you were impressed by our staff and managers and they worked hard to assist throughout your stay. I am sorry that the whole experience was not what you expected. I will pass your comments to our team so we can continue to improve and hope we might have the chance to host you again and deliver a truly exceptional experience in every way. Best, Pascal Forotti, General Manager.
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New York City, New York
Level Contributor
28 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 March 2014 via mobile

We are just finishing up a family vacation here so I figured I'd submit this review while all is fresh in my memory. I'm here with my wife & 11 & 8-year old sons.

The resort is in a stunning, unique location. Water on both sides. Beautifully manicured grounds. Mostly outstanding service except as noted in the restaurants below.

We are staying on the 1st floor in a "regular" room in building 3. This building is on the bay side. The best thing about this location is its close proximity to the pool (about a 10 second walk) yet we are far enough away not to be bothered by pool noise. Also, we have a nice bay view from our screened patio & fall asleep each night to the sound of the waves. Without us asking, the resort was good enough to add a rollaway bed to our room which made things way more comfortable.

For much more money, one can stay in a villa on the ocean side. The benefits of course include a much larger room, wrap-around decks, plunge pools, privacy & gorgeous views of the sunset & mountains across the water. Aside from cost, the downside is that unless you are very ambitious & fit, you'll probably need the golf cart shuttles to get around & there is a good chance that the monkeys will be waking you up in the middle of the night or very early in the morning.

Like all of life, room choice involves trade offs. However, for those of you on a family vacation rather than a romantic getaway, I suggest being near the pool. The kids don't really care about sunsets, privacy & plunge pools. They want to be with the other kids at the pools or the kids club.

Housekeeping gets strong grades overall. One suggestion is make sure they know when you leave for breakfast & dinner each day so they come & clean at the right time in the morning & do the turndown service after you get ready for dinner. After the first day, I called housekeeping & made sure they knew our schedule.

The resort itself is super kid-friendly. There are 2 sizable pools & wonderful activities to do each day ranging from independent pool play to organized basketball & beach soccer games. The kids club has ping pong, foosball & pool tables, pop-a-shot, basketball & volleyball courts, guitar hero & Xbox. The beach activities include kayaking, fishing, snorkeling, paddle boating & standup paddle boarding. Throw in some excursions & the kids will have a blast. My family did the zip lining & morning catamaran trip. The kids loved it!

We opted out of the longer excursions like going to the rain forest, the river boat ride, Nicaragua, etc. All involve at least a 2-1/2 to 3 hour ride. My sons had no interest in long car rides nor did I (since I loathed the idea of them fighting or complaining the whole ride & I preferred relaxing here at the resort).

We also did a few extra resort offered activities. The chocolate making class was fun ($90.00 for 2 of us). The Trail of Giants tour (complementary) was a golf cart tour on the golf course. The views were stunning & we saw lots of monkeys. The Sunset Hike (complementary) was a steep climb & gave us a great view of the sunset & more monkey spotting. It was ok but not for those physically unable to handle the climb.

The pool area was so kid-friendly. We hung out nearly every day & the kids loved it. Service was generally good. Special kudos to Armondo who always had a smile on his face & took great care of us. The other guys were ok but we're not the friendliest & didn't speak the best English. The resort provided some nice complementary amenities each day at the pool like foot & shoulder massages, cleaning sunglasses, fruit drinks, fresh coconut milk in the shell, ice cream, pop corn, etc.

The fitness center is a very nice convenience but they should add a few more of the weight training machines. The spa is immaculate. I loved taking a dip in the hot tub after each workout. Just fabulous!

The unavoidable Achilles heel of the resort is the limited dining options & the service in the restaurants. The service in Ticos bar is just terrible. It took nearly an hour for my kids to get their orders which is just unacceptable. The server also forgot one of the items i ordered. The next day, a very nice supervisor named Olivier listened to our experience & was an empathetic ear but who knows what the impact will be. On another occasion, we went there again for lunch & it took 10 minutes to get menus & then after another 10 minutes of no one coming to get our order, we just got up & left. Do yourself a favor & avoid this place.

Last night, we had dinner at Congo's. The hostess seating everyone was clueless about service. She kept everyone waiting to be seated which was annoying to all. She also gave me a hard time when I told her beforehand that we were running late. She said that they were full & this would be a problem. What a joke! We arrived 15 minutes late & the place was pretty empty & I haven't seen them reseat a table there all week. Such a level of service is not Four Seasons-like.


The Rodizio itself is fun & good but you have to ask the guys bringing around the meat skewers to come back if you like something. Otherwise, they only come by with each item once which has become a running joke amongst the families we met.

A problem arose when we ordered something at Congo's other than the Rodizio. My son wanted pasta (penne in butter sauce) offered on the kids menu & a shrimp tempura roll. After 45 minutes, he did not receive any of the food. I then asked the manager about this & he brought the pasta out 5 minutes later. The sushi roll came after 1 hour & it was done wrong! We sent it back & my son's appetite was done. To his credit, the manager felt so badly & bent over backwards to brings special desserts to my sons. The incompetence in the kitchen & with the service certainly wasn't his fault.

The breakfast buffet at Papagayo's was convenient & good. Lots of choices for the kids. We also enjoyed a beach barbeque one evening. It was well done & a very pleasant environment. The downside was that it was very expensive ($440.00 before additional gratuity) for dinner for 2 adults & 2 kids. Keep in mind that my wife & I had 5 drinks between us. What was surprising was that the buffet menu was just about the same one we had at Congo's the night before but at more than twice the cost.

The bottom line is that you are a captive audience so expect high prices. The service though is terrible & it must be improved.

A few other nitpicky things to address. The car service arranged through the resort upon arrival was there waiting for us but the driver barely spoke English & we had trouble getting their iPad working to check-in while enroute. We eventually got it to work & the check-in on the way there was a nice touch.

Also, the concierge gave us a confirmation for the wrong day for the Trail of Giants tour.

When we did the zip lining excursion to Witch's Rock, the a/c wasn't working in the van so it was brutally hot on the trip there.

I didn't rate this resort 5 stars due to the problems with the food service & the astronomical food prices. Notwithstanding the above shortcomings, I would return here for a family trip (but do not come here during March spring break if you are looking for a quiet romantic setting). It's a great place for a family/kids vacation. I'm sorry to be returning to NY tomorrow!

Stayed March 2014, travelled with family
Helpful?
4 Thank GNYC1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FSCOSPFGM, General Manager at Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo, responded to this review, 2 April 2014
Dear guest, thank you for such a detailed review of your stay. We certainly appreciate your feedback for it gives us opportunity to improve our service and product. I am happy to know, that in spite of some challenges with service in particular at our restaurants, you and your family had a nice stay and enjoyed your time with us. I truly apologize for the problems with service during your stay. Your comments are already in the hands of our team at the resort, in hopes of getting everything right next time you visit us!! Pura Vida, Pascal Forotti, General Manager.
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Additional Information about Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo

Property: Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo
Address: Peninsula Papagayo, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Gulf of Papagayo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Gulf of Papagayo
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Gulf of Papagayo
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Gulf of Papagayo
#2 Luxury Hotel in Gulf of Papagayo
#2 Spa Hotel in Gulf of Papagayo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:5 star — Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo 5*
Number of rooms: 184
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Also Known As:
Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica At Peninsula Papagayo Hotel Gulf Of Papagayo
4 Seasons Resort Costa Rica At Peninsula Papagayo
Four Seasons Costa Rica
Four Seasons Liberia
Peninsula Liberia
Liberia Peninsula
Liberia Four Seasons

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