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“I wish I would have believed all the bad reviews.”

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Occidental Papagayo - Adults only
Ranked #7 of 13 Hotels in Gulf of Papagayo
Certificate of Excellence
Saint Paul, Minnesota
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“I wish I would have believed all the bad reviews.”
Reviewed 9 November 2013

To all the people who gave a bad review, I wish I would have listened bc I just got back yesterday and had the IDENTICAL bad experiences. This hotel is terrible and should be shut down. I have an extensive report with a long list of all the things that were promised and never delivered and then some. I need at least an hour to get all of it together and type it but wanted to at least get this out so that anyone who is considering going here has another person to tell them to stay away. Waste of money and time. The worst vacation and worst experience ever.

Room Tip: Don't go here & find another all inclusive that is run by a reputable company....
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank Jennifer T
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, 15 November 2013
Dear Jennifer T,

Thank you for taking the time to send us your comments. We would like to extend my deepest apologies for any inconvenient you encountered during your stay at Occidental Grand Papagayo. We strive to offer an efficient and courteous while welcoming our guests. We assure you that what you experienced is certainly not the norm. Your feedback has been reviewed with our management in order to reinforce our standards and results.

We hope that despite this experience, you present us an opportunity to show you the level of service you have come to know and expect of our property. We look forward to host you again in the near future.

Sincerely
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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3,271 reviews from our community

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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (806)
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English first
Lancaster, PA
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 November 2013

The facility was very well run and maintained. The only reason this place doesn't get five stars is that the breakfast and dinner buffets are fine but not outstanding. This is not unusual for buffet style cooking. One of their employees did make a nice impression. Carlos at the Fun Hut set us up for snorkeling. We were impressed with how he handled his responsibilities for his guests when he remained for the entire hour by the side of one of the members of our group who was inexperienced and very much afraid. Carlos made certain the gentleman was never in danger. We loved it when the monkeys crossed the property in the morning.

Room Tip: Second floors of Buildings 15 and 14 have marvelous view of the cove.
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank David B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 November 2013

Booked this resort through a Living Social deal that was excellent. I've been to Costa Rica a couple of times before, although never to this resort. This was by far my favorite place and I would definitely return. All-inclusives can get old fast with the same activities offered and the same buffet choices every day. We thought they did a great job of mixing up the food options with the restaurants included in the stay, as well as changing what was offered at the snack bar and buffet each day. The food was better than anticipated, having stayed at all-inclusives before, and always very fresh. There were a variety of activities offered that you could choose to do, but if not, no one pressured you to do so. The staff was extremely friendly and couldn't have been more helpful...everyone from the bartenders to the foodstaff and even the maintenance guy who came to remove a huge spider from out of our bathroom without laughing (too much) at us! Thank you! :)
Yes the resort is spread out and hilly but it was never a problem to call for the shuttle and they would be there within minutes to drive you. The advantage of this is that nearly every room has an ocean view and it is quiet. They appear to be in the process of re-doing and upgrading many of the rooms which is promising. Our room had been re-done and was great, but the bathroom could use updating. There was no issue with cleanliness, but it appears dingy and outdated in contrast to the newly re-done rest of the room. Not a deal-breaker for us, and perhaps the others have a different setup--we were in building 14.
The beach here is very secluded and calm, as it is not on the open ocean. Not a place to go surfing, but great for relaxing and snorkeling. The town of Coco Beach is not far and fun to visit at night for the open-air bars and hanging out with the locals. The resort is also very convenient to Liberia airport so you can quickly get to/from and not miss out on all there is to do in this amazing country! Already knew I loved Costa Rica but now I have a resort I would definitely come back to and recommend to others. Thank you all for a great visit!

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
5 Thank kleigh034
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Middletown, New York
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 November 2013

This was our 2nd trip to this resort, we love it. It is the best place to stay in the area, as there is
Lots of wildlife right on the grounds- monkeys, Coaties, and exotic birds & lizards. food is very good. Rooms nice if you upgrade to a low rise. Buildings 1 & 2 are being renovated so may be ok in the future. Not much nightlife. You can book tours right on the beach.annoying time share
pitch, but we just said no to it, because we did not want to waste a minute of our vacation.

Room Tip: Buildings 19 to 25 are the best
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank Maxmom22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 November 2013

Grounds are beautiful and staff very friendy. No one bothered us about the time share.we were polite and declined and that was the end of it. It was our 25 th anniversary and we had no problem booking the specialty restaurants in fact we did it every night. The gardener was very friendly and ask about his surprise under his hat..... Great vacation..just avoid the first two blocks of hotel like rooms as guest said they were out dated....the rooms higher up are much better. Enjoy.

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Tina336
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 October 2013

We came to this hotel for our honey moon. To be honest it was not what we were expecting but we made the best out of it.

Pros
- Views from our room and overall hotel were amazing
- Food was not horrible, Unless you are quite picky
- The staff was AMAZING. The serving staff were great and made our trip worth while
- the bar for the royal club was nice with amazing views
- Walk around the beach there are untouched places which are beautiful
- We are active people so the walk to our room was quite high up the mountain we didn't mind the walk but many would!

Cons
- The sales staff was pushy
- Annoying sale people on beach
- The beach was public
- There is not food all the time
- The entertainments was kinda lacking
- The management staff is horrible. We complained we were not happy with our room ( cleanliness, it was not getting stocked, the sink would get clogged and the toilet would not flush)
They did nothing but say sorry. We were highly disappointed because after all it is our honeymoon.

We are not a picky couple we did a lot of out of hotel activities and we understand things cannot always be perfect. But I honestly believe the worst part of this resort is the management and owner participation in their clients problems. We have been all over the world and this was quite disappointing.

If your looking for a relaxing low pace resort this is for you.

If you are looking for

Room Tip: The high the room the better the view. BUT you get a smaller room!
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
7 Thank KristaSCM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boston, Massachusetts
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 October 2013

My girlfriend and I stayed at the Occidental Grand Papagayo for a week back in June of 2013. The hotel and grounds were both very-well kept and the staff was great. All of the reviews of the hotel are fair so browse them to get a good idea. What I would like to review are the options for those wanting to explore Costa Rica off of the hotel property, since many people miss those.

The first day we booked a tour through Swiss Travel, the onsite tour company. We did the Arenal trip including the canopy tour, lake boat, hot springs, and dinner. The tour was very well structured and went off without a hitch. The tour guide was very professional and knowledgeable. While I must say that we thoroughly enjoyed this excursion, what we did the following day blew it out of the water.

The beaches in CR are public property, and therefore any resident can use the beach as a grounds to sell their goods or services. This is why you will see signs posted by the hotel as well as unsanctioned masseuses and people selling souvenirs. However, there are also tour guides that will sell their services to you. I approached a man on the beach one morning and asked him what he knew about Coco Beach. He told me he was a tour guide and could take me there. I was a bit hesitant at first, but I spoke with him for quite a while and it eventually became clear to me that he was trustworthy. He even told me to go to tripadvisor to check out reviews of him, which is why I feel obligated to write this review for him in return.

His name is Jaime Posuelo, and he is a short, older guy with a raspy voice from years of smoking. The locals call him "loco" because he comes off as a bit crazy. But trust me when I say that his attitude and honesty are unmatched. He started telling us about the real side of Costa Rica that you don't see when you go on the organized tours. He gave us many options of places to go and was adamant about the fact that it would only be the three of us. We decided to go on a riverboat tour with Jaime the next morning. He asked that we put down a $40 deposit on the tour (the total cost was something like $90 per person, far cheaper than the Swiss travel tour), so he didn't waste his time and show up the next morning to no avail- completely understandable.

The next morning we headed out in front of the hotel and met Jaime in his car. He drove us to a local coffee shop where we tried the freshly picked coffee. Then we went to a supermarket and bought some beverages for the day as well as some coffee to take home, all which were a fraction of the price that they were at the resort. Finally we went on the river boat tour itself. Although I can’t give any details of the actual tour, let’s just say that you will have an experience that you could NEVER have with a legitimate company. And it was just us three and a driver on the boat. All of this was included in the price of the tour, and Jaime was very honest and upfront about this from the start.

We enjoyed our day so much that we decided to do a Jetski tour of the cove the next day through Jaime. Again, his prices for this were much less than the company on the beach advertised, even though we did it with them anyway.

And finally, on the last day Jaime took us to Coco Beach and showed us the local bars and the best views in the area. By this point we had become so friendly that he didn’t even charge us, we just bought him a few beers throughout the day.

I would recommend Jaime's services to anyone. His car may not be as fancy as the Swiss Tour buses, but everything else about him blows them out of the water.

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
8 Thank Alan Z
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:
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 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 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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