For those with the negative reviews I read, I suggest you do more research on location prior to travel (both country and hotel). 2nd trip to Costa Rica and had no issues. Hotel met expectations - not over crowded, food OK to very good (sea food night the best and why I rate the food a "3.5" overall), service was courteous and responsive when requested, lots of wildlife (and for those complaining of critters - we are on a mountain in the rainforest above the ocean - you should expect this), room had no issues, and weather was perfect. Went to see the cloud forests, dry forests, mountains, volcanoes, birds and animals. Was not disappointed. Was not expecting long flat pristine beaches. The hotel is on a cliff over looking the pool and the pool overlooking the beach so what part of a descend to the beach was confusing in the hotel description and pictures to those complaining?? I enjoyed the walk. The beach at our hotel was great for shelling and snorkeling. Saw great sunsets from the bay and lots of dolphins. The only issue to note is the front desk did not know I could order a breakfast/lunch for early travel the next day. Customer service (separate office) provided this information. Left for a tour at 5:30 am and my meal was ready. I feel front desk should be made aware of all services available. Bottom line - went for the forests and wildlife and we got it!
Upon booking our vacation no where was it stated that we would be expected to sit through a sales presentation. Immediately upon our arrival at the Occidental Grand Papagayo we were registered in then met by Absadul. He asked if he could take us to breakfast the 1st morning. It's an all inclusive resort so we thought this a little strange. He then asked what kind of things we'd like to do while we were there. At this point he offered to have us driven down to town to shop, which was one of the things we had mentioned. We inquired about breakfast being a timeshare presentation. He assured us that NO it wasn't anything like that. Finally we agreed to meet him for breakfast. The next morning after discussion with the family we decided we did not want to do this. We met Absadul and told him that NO, in fact we had changed our mind and did not want to go to breakfast. He was adamant that we had agreed and proceeded to tell us that he would be in trouble with Michael, who at that very time walked by. I waived Michael down to tell him that we had changed our minds about having breakfast with Absadul and we did not want him to get in trouble. He waived his hand towards us and said no problem, like he didn't have time to for us. Absadul was obviously very dissappointed and sweating profusely. He proceeded to hound other "guests". We later find out that it's a "Vacation Discount Club" that they try to get you to buy into. This whole scenario got our vacation off to a sour start. We will NEVER visit an Occidental property again, for this one and only reason. Our maids did an OUTSTANDING job of cleaning our room. Fresh sheets and towels every day, Our whole floor was mopped every day. The ladies we saw worked all 7 days we were there and they started work about 7:00AM and were still there late into the evening. If you do not want to be hounded about their "Vacation Discount Club" presentation then please find a different resort to stay at!
Our stay at the Occident was nice, after reading other reviews was a bit nervous about the resort however once we arrived and was welcomed with a cool cloth and drink while we checked my nerves calmed. Once we were registered I didn't like the aggressiveness to attend the vacation presentation, part from this it was nice. The pool was extremly warm I assumed due to direct sun however there was a waiter available to take beverage orders. We stayed in building 16, great view of the ocean, great distance for walking to and from pool and beach If needed, there is quite a few stairs from the lobby to the pool however the view is awesome and there is a shuttle always available. The restaurant we rsvpd at the Italian and Oriental was tasty. There's also a buffet and snack bar available daily, no reason not to have a meal. The staff was excellent and the property is well maintained. The beach is a natural beach with lots of available lounge chairs, a tide schedule is given to guest which is a great need. I could go on however all went well for us, we really enjoyed our stay and the staff and guest.
We chose the Occidental Grand Papagayo for the all inclusive, adults only resort. If you are looking for a beautiful white sandy beach and huge pool with swim up bar, this place is not for you. The location is secluded, off the beaten path, and very nice. We chose to do full day tours every day, instead of relaxing by the pool/beach. We weren't able to take advantage of the pool when we returned from our tours since they closed the pool at 6pm. I found that very strange given the fact that this was an adults only resort. They upgraded our deluxe oceanview room to a royal club room, but we weren't allowed to take advantage of the benefits of a royal club member, since we didn't pay the difference in the upgrade. Strange! The food was very good, and there was a variety of it. We were only able to get reservations for the oriental restaurant, and that place was good. We stayed in building 6. It had a great view of the gulf and wildlife. The only negative feedback I have about the room is the 82 bed bug bites I received. I had about 7 bites on my legs when I left for the airport yesterday morning. I woke up thias morning back at home scratching all over, and counted 82 bites! ICK!! Very concerning to say the least. The staff were all great! Always greeted everyone around with smiles on their faces. They were very friendly. The nightly entertainment was fun. We played crazy games, had dance lessons, and listened to the one man band- forgot his name. We really had a great time celebrating our anniversary. We traveled with another couple who also enjoyed the resort. My friend got water in her ear after cliff jumping, and when she was having a hard time with it, the staff called a local dr who came to the resort and took care of her. That was very nice! All in all, it's a great place. If you are traveling to Costa Rica for the beaches, this is not your resort. Go look for a resort on the Carribbean side, which was told to me by several tour operators in the area. Pura Vida~
Negative: After reading some of the negative comments about this resort I was a bit hesitant to go! The comments about the food being “boring and the same” did not ring true with me. The comments about “too much walking” and “too many stairs” were exactly what I loved about the place. The grounds were beautiful and I saw some new flower or new plant with each walk. The comment about the bug spray being sprayed every night was very true and a bit overwhelming. But I found the guy spraying to make sure he took the long way around people and even waited for me to snap one more picture and leave the area before he resumed spraying. But because he sprayed, I did not need the bug spray I brought along until I went off the resort. Positives: Awesome, beautiful place. Here are my thoughts. . . Room: The ocean view room was spacious, clean, with lots of storage and drawer space, safes in the room, very large shower, and the toiletries included far exceeding my expectations. The view was awesome and I saw monkey, a variety of birds and iguanas outside my doors. I loved the decks which had chairs and a table with a drying rack for swim suits and towels. People: I have never seen a group of people work harder at trying to make everything happen and everything fantastic for our group. I went with 6 other family members and every time, the employees worked hard to allow us all to sit together. The host, Liseth was very friendly and always had a smile. Marysol was also very helpful. My favorite bartender down by the beach was Olman who always greeted us with a smile and welcome, very helpful in helping get the perfect drink, and created new drinks that are now on my “favorite list”. Ask Olman to make you his “Special” which adds a dash of red wine on the top! Marvin and Bryan also knows how to make awesome drinks and didn’t mind making some I found on-line as long as I could show them the recipe. Activates: Wow, wow, and WOW! Our family love activities and I’m going to have to return because I didn’t get to get everything done! Christian down at the beach was so helpful in identifying the different sea creatures and plants. He also was helpful in helping us with Kayaking and paddle boarding. How fun to enjoy these activities. Michael and Olman helped us get two different archery games going which was great fun! But I think the best activity was the walk to see the sunset which we did two different nights. Princes Diana and Prince Charles (Fabio) along with Michael (Who brought the champagne for Valentine Day walk) made the walks awesome! They answered questions on the way; they got together a group picture and helped take pictures of us with the sun setting behind us. And having a champagne toast on Valentine’s Day while watching the sun set on the ocean made this Valentines my best ever! And last but not least was Rodrigo our shuttle driver! He made the shuttle ride fun and memorable! He, like all the others always wave and great us with a smile! Oh, there were even games in the bar to play! Exertions: We met Mr. Larry on the beach and felt like we already knew him. He and Raffaele took us out for a day trip to the zip-lines (which was awesome!) hanging bridge (beautiful), the waterfalls (nice hike), the mud baths with natural sauna (very cool thing to experience), and to the volcano was also awesome. The best part was learning more about the culture of Costa Rica which Larry was very informative. He even stopped to show us about cashews and how they are grown. The meal at the local restaurant serving authentic area food was also excellent and very filling! Beach: Loved, loved, loved the beach. There was a beautiful sandy area and then a rocky area also for exploring. (I was glad we brought water shoes to be able to walk on the rocks during low tide.) The beach area was not very crowed and there were extra chairs all of the time. There were always security around and Christian or someone else were always there to help out if needed. They have lots of activities to do. One activity I would like to recommend is a nature walk with Christian to point out sea life or about the beach area to tell us “inlanders” (I live in Missouri) more things about the area. We walked out on the rocks at low tide and turned over a couple of rocks to find star fish and other things. I would have loves to have someone point out what things were. Make sure you go down to the beach in the evening with a flashlight to watch all the crabs. And if the moon is up, you will not be disappointed with the view! Grounds: The grounds were kept impeccably clean. I loved the monkeys, all the birds, the white/brown squirrels, the iguanas, but we were not real excited about the raccoons (but they were fun to watch). The flowers were beautiful, the trees and plants were lush. The view to the ocean bay was perfect with chairs placed at different areas to just sit and enjoy. Food: After figuring out when the different areas were opened, we were never disappointed. We ate at all three specialty restaurants and our whole group was pleased with their meals. And we would be overfull when we got finished. We loved that we were all able to sit together for a relaxing meal. We got receipts each time we made our reservations in the mornings and never had any problems. The buffet was excellent with so many food choices we never left hungry. The fresh fruit, the local food, the variety offered and changed every night, the different kinds of fresh breads, the deserts, oh my. And the drinks! So many to choose from, so little time! And everyone working was friendly, cheerful, and ready to help! I guess I should have put in my “negative” part that clothes do shrink when staying here! So, so delicious! The employees of this resort seem to love their jobs and I wish I could have included everyone's names because we didn't run into anyone who was not cheerful or eager to help. They helped to make this trip amazing! I will recommend this place to everyone! It was 5 out 5 for me and my husband!
Pretty location, very green and tropical. However, the facilities and food were below average. The bedrooms were very basic, less than the quality of a La Quinta or Holiday Inn from the United States. The toilets wouldn't flush and maintenance had to come out twice. The showers in the bathroom were cracked, stained, and moldy so we wore sandals to bathe in the shower. When we arrived to our room, our "stocked fridge" consisted of two bottles of water and the refrigerator was not working. We called for it to be fixed and for the alcohol to be put in there as we were told was part of the all-inclusive package. They did fix it, however we never did get our beer even when we called the service desk several times throughout the week. The luggage rack was broken, so we had no where to put our luggage other than the floor. We called to have it repaired which it never was. There was no coffee with our coffee pot, and no towels in the bathroom, both which we had to call the service desk for. The food was VERY limited in it's options as the buffet. Most of the food was dry or under-cooked (especially the rice). Typically just one or two "normal tasting" meat options. Also, we had looked forward to going to the restaurants (which out of the 4 they list online, only 3 are available to the general public). One is the Oriental, and the other is the Italian, and for both reservations are required. When we arrived there, we called to make reservations for the next couple days and were told that if you stay for at least 4 days, you can only go to the "special" restaurants twice. So since we were there 5 days, we ended up having to eat the same food at the buffet for 3 dinners. The service is good, everyone is very polite and very attentive concierge, bell boys, bartenders etc. The reason for the bad review is because I do not think the value of the resort is at all worth what is being paid. They tried to sell us their VIP time-share which they said we would always have a stocked bar, and no issues whatsoever in our rooms etc, but to me that service should be standard, and not just part of an "exclusive VIP membership." I have gone to other resorts, paid the same or less, and had much better facilities. This resort had nice trees, grass, and beach, but the facilities (one pool, one lobby bar, one pool bar, bedrooms, bathrooms) were very old and outdated for the price they were charging. The pictures on the website are very deceiving, and I would suggest to save the same amount you spend there for a better location
The hotel was only 20 minutes to the Liberia Airport and no traffic to deal with. It was also near several other beaches and places to go during the day. Cocoa Beach was only 10 minutes away for great Happy hour deals and the night life was awesome. Panama Beach, Hermosa Beach and Bonita Beach were 5 minutes away for different beach options. The monkeys and parrots and Pizotes(Racoon) were all over the hotel property which was cool.. Very relaxing vacation. We upgraded to the Royal Club and were glad we did. It entitled you to first choice dining options and top shelf liquor and free room service, Great ocean view from our room and nice room.
Occidental Grand Papagayo in Costa Rica is a lovely resort. However, food is not available after 9 or 10 at night and the only bar by the pool closes around 6, so if you are still swimming you have to climb 75 stairs to get drinks. At the buffet my husband and I would be almost finished eating when they would finally fill our water glasses. Beautiful resort, nice employees, but hours for food and bar service are not the best. I would not go back to this resort.
This resort is just average. I booked the Royal Suite which was comfortable and had a new shower which was nice. I had fruit and red wine waiting for me upon arrival. My only disappointment with the room was I didnt have a sliding door to the balconey and there isnt much privacy because the rooms have big windows on both sides of the door. ALthough it makes for a great view, I felt like I was on display for those passing by. The food was poor to average at the buffet however, the restaurants we're pretty good. Unfortuanately, even with the Royal upgrade, i was only able to get a reservation one night of my 7 day stay.. And the resort was only 50% full??? The beach was very nice too, but due to the tide, it was hard to enjoy it because when the tide was in, the beach was gone. I do recommend booking tours wth 'Larry" from the beach. His prices are fair and he is an interesting tour guide for sure..
I finally convinced my boyfriend to take a vacation, the first one in 15 years for him. I chose to take him to Costa Rica because I knew he really wanted to go there. We arrive at the airport in Liberia and found our shuttle service to the hotel. The shuttle service we paid for cost $180.00, I expected a nice shuttle ride to the hotel, it was horrible transportation. The driver was going to deliver us to the wrong hotel, thank goodness we questioned him on where he was taking us. We arrive at the hotel and was checked in fairly quickly. We took a shuttle to our room, the view was pretty nice, but it seemed like our building was under construction. We get in our room to discover that it was as hot as a sauna in there. I contacted the front desk and was told they would send someone to our room, mechanic came and said it was working properly. We went to front desk and had to complain hard to get a new room, the rooms are all set up that when door opens the air cuts off, this makes for a very hot room to come back to after a long hot day. The food here is horrible, the service is just as bad. The pool has no swim up bar, and the service to get drinks is non existent .. The pool closes at 7:00 p.m. nightly, which is early for an adult location. If you want a drink of alcohol, you will have to wait until 11:00 a.m., this is vacation and should be available. The beach is public and is not that nice. I would not stay here again and would not recommend it to anyone. We met another couple there that checked out 3 days early because they wouldn't fix their air conditioner and they found another hotel and incurred that fee on top of what they paid for the original hotel. Stay somewhere else.