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“Rio Bhongo Restaurant - Fabulous!!!”

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Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Resort
Ranked #1 of 13 Hotels in Gulf of Papagayo
Certificate of Excellence
Richmond, Virginia
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Rio Bhongo Restaurant - Fabulous!!!”
Reviewed 4 August 2014 via mobile

My husband and I are staying at a vacation home for our honeymoon. We decided to enjoy a dinner out at Rio Bhongo. As soon as we parked our car we were greeted at the door by a kind man. He walked us in and asked where we wanted to eat. He recommended Rio Bhongo for the evening. He was spot on with the atmosphere and view overlooking the pool. He was kind enough to take us on the golf cart to the restaurant. The restaurant had couples, families, and groups. Everyone seemed to be smiling and having a wonderful night. We were greeted by our waiter, Michael (El Gato). I wanted to have a red wine and he recommended Tempranillo. Yummmmyyyy! I wrote the name
down so I can remember to find it when we get home. We love trying the items the server's recommend and Michael was 100% on target with all of his recommendations. He suggested the beef and cheese
empanadas. Best ever!!!! Crisp and flakey...yum!!! I ordered beef tacos and my husband ordered the sea bass. Both of which was delicious and so fresh! As if we were not full enough, we went ahead and ordered dessert. Michael recommended Tres Leche and the Bread Pudding. We ordered both and at it ALL! Michael and the other servers were all beyond kind and the service they gave was far beyond most restaurants. Our hats off to the chef because the food was phenomenal. We will come back again before we leave because of the service, food, and atmosphere!

Stayed August 2014
Helpful?
Thank Esahunnie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Michael S, General Manager at Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Resort, responded to this review, 11 August 2014
Dear Guest,

thank you very much for dining with us at Rio Bhongo and for posting your favourable review.

I was very glad to read our team guided you through a great experience at Andaz and I will congratulate Michael at Rio Bhongo for recommending you with such wonderful dishes.

We hope to have the chance to welcome you back at the hotel for other dining experiences or even an over night stay.

Pura Vida,

Michael Schmid
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (348)
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English first
New York City, New York
Level 5 Contributor
93 reviews
68 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 August 2014

This new Andaz hotel is jewel for Hyatt. I stayed there 7 days and as a resume it's a great place, but with some potential to get even better. First the positive points:
This hotel is build on a beautiful natural place and it fits very well there. But the overall best point are the very helpful and friendly employees! Without this employees I would give this hotel 4 instead 5 points! The rooms are very nice and modern, I had a suite which was very big but it's not cheap to stay there. The pool especially the adult pool is really nice and it's surrounded by trees and rocks. The garden and all the plants are beautiful too and in very good shape. This hotel has 3 restaurants in which all I eat. The best fare away is the Ostra which is a seafood restaurant with excellent and fresh fish! The employees are very friendly and the head of it Daniel Studer is an excellent boss with outstanding customer care. The adult pool employees are very helpful especially Carolina was asking me all the time if I need anything and the service was fast and good. Looking around the resort, it's beautiful and you will see all kind of wild animals. The Spa is surrounded by nature and a lot of flowers and trees. The service (massage quality) is good but needs still some improvements. The Chao Pescao restaurant is a small but great designed place where you can eat smaller plates mostly traditional food. The raw fish there is very good and not expensive. This place is not big and not all tables are very comfortable but the food is real and very good. The service there is nice but not at the standard of the Ostra. The view from the room was ok, get a second or third floor room it's even better. The suits are big and have everything you need, comfortable and modern, big space with coffee machine and TV ( which you don't need, nature is more interesting). The music system is in 2 rooms, in my suit the living room one didn't work. You can use your iPhone with this system but they only support the old IPhone not the new lightning plug, that's not very up do date.
There are some minus points too, but it's up for what you're looking for.
I'm a big fan of a nice palm tree surrounded Caribbean- type beach , so my comment is maybe not for all people. The beach is very small and the sand is almost black. There are some trees and you can be on the first row on the ocean when you early in the morning, when the hotel is full then you have to stay under the trees with not a lot of sunshine. There are no waves or very small ones but it's easy to swim there. When you like long with beaches that's maybe not the right hotel for you. The second beach is not really a beach, it's a small but very natural place where you can take a bath but not more. The service on the beach is good and friendly, you get drinks and water there.
The biggest restaurant called Rio bhongo, this is the weakest restaurant in my opinion. I got breakfast there but the buffet is not that great and especially when you asking why there are no fresh fruits there they tell you because of the insects they can show it. Sorry, but this is not a very good explanation. I went to over 30 hotels worldwide ( they all in tropical regions) and most of them have fresh fruits on there buffet ( they all in tropical regions), and when there is a problem the fruits are under glass! You go to Costa Rica you think about tropical fruits you will get and then they serve you Strawberries, Melon and pineapple, not very creative.
The service there needs also improvements, sometime I had to wait longer then normal, no big deal but it's not at the standard of the other two restaurants. The price of the buffet is also very high, exactly 40$ with tax. For this amount of money I like to see a better offer. In general the food and drink prices are very high, almost NYC prices. You need to budget that when you book the hotel. Some other small things like in all new hotels are normal, it will getting better with the time.
This is not a hotel for singles and big families, because there is not a big event program going on so it could get boring with the time. When you want relax for some days a perfect place! Great for couples it's very private, with a great designed hotel and very nice employees. I see it as a great new hotel where Hyatt likes to show even a big chain can have a kind of " boutique" hotel on a world class level. Good start with this Andaz hotel but please don't let the Hyatt controller looking after to many details ( like size of the meals, fruit assortment, food and drink prices) otherwise it will be just a other good Hyatt chain hotel. You want to reach the top level please let the management some free space to develop there hotel DNA.
Overall I will go again but for 3 to maximum 5 days.

Room Tip: Get a room in building 3 or 4, higher level and you see more of the bay. The suites are big, a doubl...
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Hahee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Michael S, General Manager at Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Resort, responded to this review, 11 August 2014
Dear Guest,

thank you for sharing your detailed feedback following your recent stay at the Andaz. As a new resort your feedback is most helpful and appreciated.

I am delighted our staff made the difference in your experience at the hotel and I will certainly take the time to compliment them, especially Daniel and Carolina at Ostra. Thank you also for your comments on the breakfast fruit selection during your stay where we did have some issues that have been resolved now, nevertheless, should not have happened in the first place.

We hope to be able to welcome you back for a long weekend in the near future and showcase the spirit of our Andaz again.

Pura Vida,

Michael Schmid
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dallas, Texas
1 review
Reviewed 3 August 2014

This hotel property is amazing and the manager Maria went above and beyond to ensure our stay was perfect. I booked the Andaz to propose to my fiancé and Maria helped me with the planning months in advance and reassured me upon arrival that everything would be taken care of accordingly, and it was! All of the rooms have amazing bay views, if you can get a suite you will not regret the extra $. We only left the property twice. One night we went to the Four Seasons for dinner at Di Mare, although it wasn't bad the restaurants and ambiance at the Andaz were much better. We also did a full day excursion to Buena Vista which included horse back riding, zip-lining, and hot springs; I would definitely recommend looking into it. As for food at the property I would say anything on the dinner menu at Chao Pescao was the best meal. For breakfast I would definitely order room service at least one morning and also the pork belly benedict at Rio Bhongo was delicious. Ostra has some of the best ceviche as well. Both pools were great to lounge at during the day, which we did most of the time. The property is expansive but we found the walks at all times of the day enjoyable as there is always a chance to see monkeys, coati's, hummingbirds, and iguanas. They will pick you up in a golf cart if you prefer not to walk. The staff at and the surroundings of the hotel really make this a world class destination. I would highly recommend this property for any and all vacations! Thanks for the great memories!

Room Tip: Try and get a corner suite!
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank AUpdyke
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Michael S, General Manager at Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Resort, responded to this review, 11 August 2014
Dear Guest,

thank you for your wonderful review and congratulations on your engagement!

We are delighted you enjoyed your stay and I will congratulate Maria for helping you make your special trip this memorable. We hope we will get the opportunity to have you back on many more special occasion you both can celebrate.

Pura Vida for both of you!

Michael Schmid
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Short Hills, New Jersey
1 review
Reviewed 2 August 2014

This is not a hotel it is a life experience. Last night we were serenaded by howler monkeys in the trees outside our room. The relaxation area at the spa is heavenly. The Beach Club available by shuttle is divine. The young people who work on the staff are vibrant, authentic and simply beautiful. The food is exceptional (I highly recommend the ceviche at Ostra or the Mariscada at the tapas bar. Rio Bhongo is also a wonderful place to eat with a beautiful vista)

I cannot say enough about what a wonderful place this is in this wonderful and beautiful country.

We are leaving mañana but couldn't wait to share how exceptional this property is.

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Matt S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Michael S, General Manager at Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Resort, responded to this review, 3 August 2014
Dear Matt,

we are sad you had to leave and very thankful you took the time to share your thoughts on your stay.

I'm excited you enjoyed our Pura Vida and consider your time with us a life experience. We aim to create memories that go further than just a hotel stay and are glad we succeeded. We are more than ready to welcome you back; no need to wait until 'mañana'...

Saludos,

Michael Schmid
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Parkville, Maryland
Level 2 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 August 2014 via mobile

We booked this hotel for part of our 10th wedding anniversary trip to Costa Rica. Although we have thoroughly enjoyed the facilities and the service and food in the restaurants, there were multiple issues that were unresolved despite contacting management. In fact, these issues were blatantly ignored.

Before arrival, the hotel sent 2 emails confirming that amenities would be provided in recognition of our anniversary. Nothing was delivered to our room on that first day, so I spoke to a representative in the lobby on the next day who said that something would be delivered that day. Nothing was ever delivered for our anniversary and no recognition of our anniversary was provided at any point during our stay.

Also, upon arrival, we noticed that no washcloths were in the room, so I attempted to call the front desk, only to find that one of the room phones was non-operational. Using another phone, I called the front desk to inform them of these problems. I eventually received the washcloths, but the phone issue was never addressed, even after I spoke with someone at the front lobby about the problem on the next day. An appointment was made to have their IT staff address the issue, but no one showed up.

I expect a reputable hotel company to follow through on their word when promises are made to their guests.

Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank BigG50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Michael S, General Manager at Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Resort, responded to this review, 3 August 2014
Dear Guest,

thank you for making us part of your anniversary trip to Costa Rica. I was glad to read you thoroughly enjoyed the facilities and our restaurants.

Nevertheless I am disappointed we seem to have failed in some aspects of our service. You rightfully deserve to get the services we have promised to deliver. Please accept our apologies and I will write you a private message separately.

With best regards,

Michael Schmid
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 August 2014 via mobile

Just spent a week at this beautiful resort!! The staff was friendly and helpful. The rooms were elegant and tasteful. The restaurants were reasonable and the food was delicious!! Definitely worth it! The amenities were clean. The poolside service was spot on... This is a wonderful place to visit!

Stayed August 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank Valarie V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Michael S, General Manager at Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Resort, responded to this review, 3 August 2014
Dear Valerie,

thank you for your kind words following your stay with us.

We are delighted to read you enjoyed your weeklong vacations and I will pass on your comments to our team.

Looking forward having you back at the Andaz,

Michael Schmid
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
london
Level 6 Contributor
59 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 July 2014

Look no further for the most wonderful resort.
Having been privileged to travel to some of the best resorts in the world, the Andaz unquestionably is up there amongst the best.
From the moment you enter with its Armadillo shaped reception area, you know you've arrived.
Following a tour of the resort, we settled in to the room. All very modern (perhaps too modern as we had to call to turn the lights off on the first night!!), spacious and so beautifully designed and laid out.
Privacy was another great feature of the room.
We sat each night on the terrace relaxing with the complimentary drinks from the minibar discussing what an incredible day we had spent at the resort.
We are normally very active when on holiday, but this place screamed at us "take it easy and enjoy", which is what we did.
The service in the hotel was exceptional and the people were always so friendly and engaging, whilst respectful of our privacy.
The pool, spa, and restaurant design are incredible from an architectural perspective and very practical and user-friendly.
The only down side was the variety of food on offer at the hotel. There are two restaurants and a Tacos bar, but the variety of food was very limited. We are big fish eaters (not shellfish) and there was nothing really for us to enjoy. We therefore drove away from the resort for dinner each night and I would recommend the nearby Dive Bar and Ginger which is in Playa de Hermosa which is a 25 minute drive away.
By the way, breakfast and snacks by the pool were great.
Don't forget to visit Rincon de la Veija for a day out of the hotel.
In short, would have no hesitation whatsoever recommending this hotel and hope to return very, very soon.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank ameliashiner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Michael S, General Manager at Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Resort, responded to this review, 1 August 2014
Dear Amelia,

thank you so much for your passionate recommendation of our Resort.

We are delighted you had such a good time and you were able to take it easy and enjoy. I'm sure the excursion to Rincon de la Vieja and your dinners in Hermosa and around added to an overall unforgettable experience.

Most of all I'm glad you are hoping to return very, very soon. Please let us know if we can assist making your arrangements.

Pura Vida,

Michael Schmid
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Resort

Property: Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Resort
Address: Peninsula Papagayo | Final de la Ruta 253, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Gulf of Papagayo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 13 Hotels in Gulf of Papagayo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Resort 4.5*
Number of rooms: 153
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Andaz Peninsula Papagayo stands quietly among the trees, overlooking the sapphire blue waters of Culebra Bay. With spectacular design, the first Latin American Andaz, was inspired by the organic forms and shapes of the native flora and fauna, using the shapes of cocoons and shells for the hotel's facilities, stimulating the senses of guests in new and refreshing ways. Each of the 153 rooms balance modern design with touches of character that blend into the natural surroundings, with woven textiles, solid woods and carved artifacts highlighting the rich Costa Rican aesthetic. Guestrooms and suites offer a spacious balcony with breathtaking bay and forest views. Four of the 21 suites feature plunge pools, and the Presidential Suite offer a private, full-sized pool. The unique gastronomic experience of the Andaz Peninsula Papagayo s Cuisine features three themed restaurants. Each one tells a story about our culture. Chao Pescao, a casual dining enclave nestled within the lush Guanacaste landscape offering a small plates menu and the mixologists' specialties, is our neighborhood place. Rio Bhongo, the meeting point, a place for everyone, a culinary "paseo"... Just like a farmer's market. Ostra is our signature restaurant, elegant, discreet and romantic, offering all kind of delicacies from the sea, carefully prepared using the most sophisticated culinary techniques. Totally open kitchens allow a distinctive interaction with chefs, making guests feel like if they were visiting family or the home of a friend. Onda Spa is a respite of energy, touch and evolution. Elevated into the trees of Costa Rica's rich tropical forest, guests at Onda set out on a journey to envigorate both body and soul. Blending Papagayo's culture, senses, smells and touches, treatments are individually tailored for each guest, directly addressing specific needs, goals and desires. Andaz Peninsula Papagayo has a free-flowing environment that means no desks, no processes, no formality and thus, no stress. The home-feel experience allows you to enjoy complimentary a health-minded mini bar, complimentary wi-fi through out the resort and a complimentary kids program. Hotels in this collection reflect the unique cultural scene and spirit of the surrounding neighborhood through their Andaz Salon program and are dedicated to creating natural and vibrant living spaces where travellers can indulge in their own personal sense of comfort and style. Andaz meaning personal style in Hindi, is infused with character and weaves itself into the fabric of its locale. Every detail is an opportunity to explore the uniqueness of the destination and every moment is a chance to discover something new. True to the Andaz brand, Andaz Peninsula Papagayo will reflect Costa Rica's Pura Vida philosophy, creating locally-inspired experiences and engaging guests in the local culture in a comfortable, unique atmosphere for which Andaz is known. ... more   less 
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