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“Belive all the negative reviews. This hotel is "NO GO"”

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Occidental Papagayo - Adults only
Ranked #7 of 13 Hotels in Gulf of Papagayo
Certificate of Excellence
Brooklyn, New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Belive all the negative reviews. This hotel is "NO GO"”
Reviewed 16 May 2014

This hotel needs a complete overhaul, starting with the manager, unable to train and control the staff. Overall impression of staff- unprofessional, unfriendly and lazy. We've been requesting a change of towels and toiletries every day (not additional ones, just the fill of empty spaces.) They have never apologized for the inconvenience. Air conditioner on a maximum will "cool" a room only down to 27C/80F. Try to make as many reservations to a-la-carte restaurants, as possible. It is the only decent food over there. Food in the buffet is terrible, there was not even butter, just margarine. The narrow strip of the beach exists just for a few hours and never get cleaned, the beach chairs always dirty with the sand and birds' poop. Do not count too much on the swimming pool. It is small and being divided with a net for water polo and volleyball. Entertainment is almost non-existent with a choice of karaoke or guitar. If you bored, do not count on a nice walk around, the hills have a very steep angle (do not bring any heels, you won't use them.) Below average resort and staff will make you feel unwelcome. Do not ruin your vacation and go somewhere else.

Room Tip: Do not stay there
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
7 Thank Callie26
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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3,215 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (799)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Port Perry, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 May 2014

We had a great holiday at this hotel. The staff was so friendly and helpful. They even helped me fixed my reading glasses. We enjoyed the pool activities from volleyball to pool aerobics,getting rid of weight from eating to much delicious food at the buffets. My husband also shot a bow and gun at a target. What he liked best is when we went to the lounge to relax at night the staff would greet him saying,"Robert is there anything you need." Very impressed. As we waked up in our king sized bed the birds were greeting us, just like home.
There is anything you would like your holiday to be perfect from sunset cruise to shopping at small towns, to zip lining,sport fishing,ATV tours, also snorkelling whatever your heart's delight.
We were invited to the Manager's Cocktail Party which we enjoyed thanks for the invite.There is a gym and full body massages so relaxing. There is also a disco for the young at heart to dance to the wee hours. The rooms are clean the mini bar stocked every day. A wide variety of food at the buffets or make a reservation to 3 restaurants your choice. A perfect holiday for us, thanks to all the staff. We would differently go back.

Room Tip: Our one room with king size bed was fine for us close to all amenities excellent location.
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Joanne P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Woodbridge, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 May 2014

Very Basic resort. Food was average...sometimes below average. The staff was mediocre..not rude but not friendly either. The entertainment was beyond low key...it is a resort for those who want to be left alone and do nothing. No nightly entertainment unless it is some slow guitar player (who usually plays during dinner time anyway so we usually missed him).. The beach was way too shady and quite a hike from the rest of the resort...if you're lucky you can catch a shuttle bus. I recommend bringing a Bubba because there are no opened bars near the beach..so you have to go to the bar at the snack bar which is at least an 8 minute walk/hike to get there from the beach. The views are really pretty though. Very little variety of food...Our towels were rarely replaced and we had a bug problem in our room...all kinds of bugs. A really mediocre resort.

Room Tip: bring bug spray
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
5 Thank Melissa I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ottawa
Level 5 Contributor
74 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 May 2014

My wife booked a last minute vacation through Air Canada Vacations. Air Canada rated it as 3 rondels which is probably about right. We took a chance and saved about $1000 compared to a 3.5 rondel rating for a week. It met our expectations for a 3 rondel. The resort needs renovations soon. With renovation and a few service upgrades, it could be 3.5.

Front Desk
At Check in, we arrived at 1:45; Rooms not ready until after 3:00pm. We had to store luggage in an unsecured room by ourselves. These were inconveniences, but we walked to the beach and watched the monkeys and had a drink. The desk staff all speak very good English. The desk staff do not have much knowledge about golf although the 4 seasons resort golf course is 10 minutes away on same peninsula

Gift Shop.
As others report, it is very expensive. The only things we bought there were a couple of bottles of water - and we kept refi;;ing the bottles at thefree water stations that are all over the resort.

Room
Basic describes the room. Nice balcony, great view (all rooms seem to face the bay. Not enough towels first night; bathroom a bit dirty; patio door very sticky; set AC at 25C but it could not get lower than 27C - called maintenance and they reset it and it worked well after that; soap and shampoo dispensers were broken and it took 3 calls to get them replaced; TV had over 30 Spanish channels.

Food
Italian resto was good but you can only book one a la carte meal per 3 nights of stay. Need reservations even though the restaurant is not busy - we actually just walked in the firtst night because we were not aware of the requirement for reservations and they fit us in no problem. TexMex restaurant was in the lower floor of the Italian restaurant. The restaurants are open on alternate nights and the staff move between restaurants. The buffet was good and the menu changed a bit every day. Beware there is no food available after breakfast ends at 1000 and when the snackbar opens at 1100; same problem late afternoon after lunch and before dinner opens.

Staff
The maid spoke about as much English as I speak Spanish, i.e. almost none. Not unusual in our experience for many Caribbean/Central American countries. After some discussion and a tip, she seemed to understand that I needed towels. She did not fill soap and shampoo daily. The pool staff, waiters, and bell staff were all good. Some waiters in the buffet had limited english; wait staff in the restauarnts spoke excellent English. The buffet waiters were very good at swooping in and removing dishes but they never seemed to replace cutlery

Pool
The pool was a reasonably large for the size of the resort and it had a unique design with several different areas giving diverse atmosphere - a Quiet side; a good swim up bar, a kids area, an activities area.

Beach
The beach was black sand - WEARE BEACH SHOES!!!! The black sand heats up incredibly - my wife burned her feet walking back to her beach chair after the tide went out a bit. Because the beach is so flat, a slight drop in the water level as the tide goes out means you have to walk 50 yards to the water.

Other
Nice landscaping. Not many water activities at beach. Shuttle ran in a constant loop around the resort so about every 5 minutes. Water stations placed at shuttle stops with cold water bottled water - bring bottles with you! Fun club kept people involved all day. Fantastic view of the bay. Onsite there were monkeys, native raccoons (similar to North American raccons but I can't remember the actual name), iguanas, and lots of birds.

The resort is not very close to attractions. Not a big deal if you just want to stay at the resort but we usually go an anexcursion every second day. It is a long drive to mountains - Blue River was 2 hours each way and one hour each was on a gravel road with 3 inch diameter gravel. Very slow and bumpy. Blue River was a very nice spa with zip lining, walking tours, hot springs, buttefrly house. Other tours had similarly long drives. The tour to Nicaragua is interesting but a LONG time on the bus - leaves resort at 0515 and returns at 2100

The resort is popular with Canadians and Americans, and with Costa Ricans on weekend.

Drinks were good

Entertainment
Average quality of nightly shows consistent with a 3 star level resort and a good kids show on Saturday night

The Four Seasons resort has an excellent golf course, however quite expensive at $320/round. There is a great deal if you play after 1200 however when the price drops to $160 and there is almost nobody on the course.

Room Tip: 2nd floor - better view than 1st floor and the raccons are at ground level
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Kanataguy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
St. John's, Canada
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 May 2014

I stayed at the Occidental Grand Papagayo with my boyfriend for a week at the beginning of May.

Let me start by saying I have a hard time understanding a lot of the bad reviews, I had read a lot of them before we left so I wasn't sure what to expect, but we had a great experience.

Rooms:
We stayed in building 1 on the 3rd floor (the top floor of the building) our room was nice, and clean, king sized bed, TV, mini fridge, a balcony that had a nice view of the pool and could still see the ocean a bit which was nice (ocean view rooms would have a better view obviously but considering we had a deluxe room which is essentially a basic room we were very happy with the view). The bathroom was also nice, large and had a big shower. The room was cleaned well everyday and mini fridge was restocked with beer, pop, and water everyday. We had no complaints about the room at all.

Grounds:
The resort is very nice, and well kept. The pool is small, but doesn't need to be bigger considering how small the resort is. The same goes for the beach, small but no need to be bigger. There is no swim up bar like you see at a lot of resorts but there was a snack bar right by the pool and there was someone always going around to bring drinks to you in the pool or when you were lying out by the pool, which we thought was a nice touch however if you wanted a drink before they came around the snack bar is very close for you to be able to go in to get a drink.

Service:
The staff was excellent! always checking to see if you needed another drink, or water when you were at the buffet, and the bartenders made great drinks! The rooms were always cleaned and replenished, as mentioned above, so we found the house keepers to also have great service. The fun club was also great, very high energy and trying to get people to join in activities. Over all the staff was excellent.


Food:
We found the food very good. At breakfast it was all typical breakfast food, omelettes, scrambled eggs, bacon, cereal, fruit, waffle maker, etc. If you dont like anything there, then you probably just dont like breakfast food haha. Lunch time we ate at the snack bar which again was alot of typical food, you could get burgers made, fries, vegetables, corn, nachos, etc. Supper time was a bit different, the buffet was themed most nights. We had mexican, italian and oriental themed nights our first 3 nights (friday saturday sunday) which were all very good and the same themes as the a la carte. We tried the Italian a la carte one night which was also excellent. The other nights at the buffet were also good, however I would recommend to the resort to add a few things to the night time buffets that are maybe a little more typical like a pizza, steamed vegetables, chicken wings, or something else of that variety for people who are pickier eaters. I'm not a very picky and my boyfriend isn't pick at all, so for us it was good but I can see how a picky eater may have struggled some nights.


Over all I would recommend this resort to other couples or for groups looking for a laid back resort near different adventure tours, this is not a party resort like cancun so I wouldn't recommend it if thats what you are looking for.

Room Tip: We stayed in 131 - great view, close to the main building
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
8 Thank stephgibbs18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Angeles, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 May 2014

First of all, some of the reviews here are as fake as the pictures provided of the resort!!!!

My wife and I chose Costa Rica for our honeymoon, as we both speak Spanish fairly fluently, and have also heard many great things about the country from friends and family. We also decided to split our honeymoon into 2 - half all-inclusive resort, and half bed & breakfast tree-house. We chose the Occidental Grand Papagayo as our all-inclusive destination, as advised by others.

Our experience for the first few days was, although extremely hot & humid (time of year/geographic location), quite pleasant. We were nearly smothered by the employees there, who were calling our room and following-up with us for just about every service/amenity the resort offered. The restaurants and buffets were nice, and the facilities were completely acceptable (although I couldn't seem to get the A/C cool enough). Again, the employees there were putting in over-the-top efforts to be hospitable to their guests. The unpleasant experience wasn't until our last day there.

My wife had brought with her a brand new pair of shoes with sparkly blue gems & stones, which she'd purchased specifically for this trip. She intentionally placed all of her shoes in the corner of our room, so as to be easily accessible. When we were cleaning-up our room in preparation for check-out, we realized those shiny, blue sandals were absolutely NOWHERE to be found. After packing away all of our belongings in the room, checking in our bags, and spending the next two hours literally turning the room in-side out - we simply could not find them....the shoes were gone.

We called the front desk concierge to alert them of the missing shoes, and they said they would speak with room service. Fast forward 30 minutes later, when we arrived to the front desk to check-out, to our absolute astonishment they had since sent one of their bellhops, who claimed to have found our missing shoes "right next to the bed". Totally not possible, and completely uncalled for! We had just spent a significant amount of time searching the room inside out...we looked under every nook and cranny, under the bed, under all of the furniture. The room was completely empty - there were no shoes. The look of shame on each of the employees faces when they told us this made it further evident that someone had stolen them, but they lacked the decency to apologize and confess to what had happened. In fact, they actually placed the blame back on us for losing our shoes. Absolutely Unbelievable! Not at all what we'd expect from a place that costs this much, and from a resort that is seemingly trying so very hard to exceed customer service expectations!

Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
7 Thank rhythmMAN2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jamaica, New York
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 May 2014

I stayed here for my Birthday in April this year ...I loved every minute of it the hotel ground were exceptionally clean and the staff was very friendly ...The food also was excellent we ate at the Italian and Oriental for the most part for dinner and Buffet for breakfast ..my boyfriend does not eat meat , eggs and ect. and they did every thing to please him which I loved Happy man Happy Woman..:) Only one little problem the AC it shut off every timeyou left the room so if you were out all dy in the Sun u came back to a Sauna in the room until the AC kivked in on a Sensor...But other than that it was an excellent vacation would stayhere again without a doudt...

Room Tip: Choose a room near the pool it is in the right location to everything and not as hilly to walk to an...
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank MsCrabie
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 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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