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Review of Allegro Papagayo

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Allegro Papagayo
Ranked #8 of 13 Hotels in Gulf of Papagayo
Reviewed 24 December 2010

We stayed here for 5 nights just before Christmas. The grounds are beautiful. The food was so-so. Take excursions when you can. There is no better group than Avispas Adventures. Amy is the absolute best! We heard others who had complaints about the hotel just like the ones you read about in this thread. We had no such issues except the air conditioner not being as good as we would have liked.

The staff was friendly and helpful. The local beer was a favorite of ours. The hotel is what you make of it. There are hills to climb (so what?) and a great beach with white face monkeys to feed even though you are not supposed to. We did not see any of the shows and did not eat in either restaurant, choosing instead to have dinners off property.

The lines at the buffet can be long. The coffee was strong. The waitstaff was pleasant and tried to please. Don't be afraid to email me with any questions.

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled with family
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3  Thank srocklaw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 23 December 2010

This was my very first all inclusive trip so I have nothing to compare it too but i had an AMAZING trip . I'm 28 and went with my mom who's 60. She said she has been to much nicer resorts/better food in Mexico etc but overall she said she had an amazing adventure and would recommend it. I'm not sure why so many people complain - i would go back!

TIPS: bring an alarm clock!! I'm serious. The day trips/excursions leave early and you must be on time. There are no alarm clocks and the staff will not give you a "wake up" call. People were very envious that I packed a small one and plugged it in. There is no cell phone reception and your cell phone alarm will not work.

second: the resort is on a very steep hill and not good for anyone with severe mobility issues. My mom is older and managed to get around but there were some VERY elderly people on the trip who could barely walk and they had trouble. There is also a shuttle bus that loops the property from about 8am-8pm. Anyone else should not be too concerned with the steep hill, you get used to if after the first day and its not as bad as it looks. If you are older and have walking issues request a room at the base/pool/buffet area.

I LOVED my trip. there were monkeys on the beach almost everyday (spider monkeys) they were very friendly and would approach you if you offered watermelon etc. SO CUTE. This was the highlight of my trip. Note: if you wake up at sunset and run down to the beach there is a chance you will see howler monkeys as well (they are not as friendly and will not come up to you). This was worth the trip alone.

The rooms were basic and met my needs, bring your own shampoo/soaps etc. You can control the fans/air conditioning and can cool the room down quite a bit. Great feature.

The beach is a black beach and is AMAZING. not many people went in the water, too bad for them, great for me. Water great temperature. Pool was good too, with a swimup bar. There is also a daytrip to a white beach (included with the hotel price) I went and had a great time there as well (monkeys there too). The only downside to the white beach is that there is only one boat there in the am and one boat back...so you're stuck there for 6 hours, but theres food, bar, washrooms etc. (not sure why this would be a concern) Some people complained of lots of jellyfish and jellyfish bites at the white beach, the day I went we didnt see any.

The food was alright, gets repetitive. Im a very picky eater and never went hungry.

They have a couple night activiies but do not go here thinking you are going to drink and party your a** off, ths resort is not like this at all. its great for couples and families but not for partiers. The disco is empty.

The gift shop is very expensive, do not forget your contact solution, sunblock etc.
All the resorts in liberia are isolated, there is no "downtown" too visit, thats ok the resort will keep you plenty entertained.

The day trips are expensive (about $100) but worth it. volcano, rain forest etc. There is a daytrip to nicargua but dont do it over a holiday as the line up on the border-crossing is hours long and your tourbus might just turn around. (I was visiting during easter and some people in my group were upset about this)

I would recomend bringing your own snorkeling gear (even if you just bring your own mask/mouthpeice) as the hotel stuff is pretty gross. If you buy a snorkeling trip, they give you cleaner equipment but I still rather bring my own!

In terms of free non-motorized sports, there are none, there is a kayak and that is it. dont expect wind surfing etc.

I seem to have pointed out all the "flaws" in my trip...just so you're not surprised but the beach, the atmosphere, staff everything was AMAZING and BEAUTIFUL

one more thing--bring your own bandaids and alcohol wipes, there is no first aid kit on site and the doctor on-site is kinda random.

and yes- when you arrive it will be a couple hours before you get into your room but you can go eat and swim while you wait

feel free to contact me if you have more questions,

BOOK IT!!!

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled with family
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10  Thank CalgaryGirl007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 December 2010

We knew Costa Rica is not like the big city for quality of the furnishings. We anticipated third world, but we were pleasantly surprised. The resort was in the middle of nowwhere, so you didn't just leave to visit some other local places. The food was good with a generous selection. Not like the 4 or 5 stars in other locations, but good. The monkeys in the trees were an awesome sight, this is a jungle setting. We thought the staff was very helpful in the bars and with the food, and it was a very nice three star facility. The shuttles to and from your room are needed anywhere you go. The walkways and driveways are on the mountain side and too steep for almost anyone to walk. The shuttle wait was usually never more than 5 minutes. The black sand was very unusual on the beach and the excursions were pricey, but it's Costa Rica, what do you expect. It did get dark very early, by dinnertime, but the nightly shows were fun.. I would recommend this to anyone not expecting 5 stars. We had a great time there.

  • Stayed: February 2010, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Gswets
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 December 2010

This resort is based in an amazing location but just the view wise you are 45 mins drive away from the nearest civilasation. If you dont drive or dont want to pay for a taxi ( it costs 70 USD) , you are stuck in the resort ,there is nowhere to go.
Beach: the beach is narrow and has , unfortunatelly , black sands. the sea was really shallow. The resort has a beach club on the other side of the gulf if you put you name down the night before, they take you there for free. but the boat is not a catamaran so they cant get close to the beach . they transferred us to the main boat with a little one under 30c degree it took us about 45 min to get to the otherside and dont think it was worth it.
Food: The food was ok not much option though. couple of days later you start thinking you keep eating the same thing everyday . rice ,rice with beans, pumpkin, cabbage, pasta. During the weekend, Locals visit the resort and number of people in the resort doubles and the queue in the buffet restaurant gets longer and longer . you might book Mexican and Italian ala carte restaurant to avoid the crowd but again the isnt anything special.
REP: travelled with First Choise. All I can say is DO NOT TRUST YOUR REP. on our first day and last day she said that there was no duty free at liberia airport so we`d better buy everything at the resort .believing her , we bought couple of things at the mini market in the resort. if you are planning to take some of the exursions you are most like to stop in a small town and you can shop then. the resort is too expensive. anyways, THERE IS A DUTY FREE AND A SMALL AND GIFT SHOP AT THE AIRPORT so dont trust the rep and dont buy anything in the resort.
UK mobile phones dont work in Costa Rica. The only way you can make a phone a call is to swipe your credit card or buy a phone card which costs 20 USD at the resort .I was told by the rep i should buy a card there . again dont listen to her, if you go to Liberia or La Fortuna it would cost you only 3USD.

If you decided to go to Nicaragua , dont go for HotelBed which is reccommende by the Rep again. there is another company and they are cheaper.

Overall , I would go to Costa Rica again as it is an amazing country and friendly people but i would never stay in Occidental Allegro. it is far from a civilisation ,the beach was not up to my expectaions , food and cleanliness were just ok.

  • Stayed: November 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank pelen23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 December 2010

yes the food is awfull the trips horrendously overpriced as is the car hire and yes its very isolated. This is not a place for anybody with any mobility problems at all. However if wildlife is your thing this place is awesome of a night the racoons visit the bar and there is a cute coati at the beach club which appreciates it if you take him fruit from breakfast pineapple is best we named him colin. Also occasionaly you will spot howler and whitefaced monkeys and parrakeets and hummingbirds also there are lots of pelicans on the water, you dont get this in spain and you will probably pay more for europe. The beach has black sand but the bay is so calm and shallow if you imagine you are at an exotic lake you will love it. The hotel does a free trip everyday (except wed) to a golden beach ( beach club ) which is lovely and still all inclusive, you have to book it the day before at the towel shack. We loved to go for walks down a few trails in the forest or along the beach we could walk for over an hour and its perfectly safe we could have gone further and many did. The staff at the hotel are the best . Word of warning though avoid any costa rican public holidays or school holidays as the place gets so full they are queing a long time for everything and the place just cant cope its a nightmare a shame realy as the costa ricans are such lovely people.Weekends can be manic also so book the a la cartes before hand even though we didnt enjoy it ( other people did enjoy it). All in all for such a gorgeous exotic place we feel we were so lucky to have experienced what we did for such a small amount of money we were sad to leave but we knew that from the 1st of december the place would change beyond recognition when the kids broke up. Also DO not believe the rep when your told there is no duty free at the airport there IS A DUTY FREE and its so very cheap ask Ronny at the bar if you are in doubt.

  • Stayed: November 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank decoratorden
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 December 2010

Booked through: Thomsons
Stay: Nov 2 - 17th
Weather: Heavy Rain for 3 days. Sunny/ Partly Clouds for the rest. 30%
Sun: Short days with 5 hours of direct sunlight.

Pro's:
Staff were amazing. Really friendly and always willing to help with any problems you may have (which was handy as there was always an issue with something)
Location was beautiful, though on the flip side it was miles from anywhere which for two weeks can be a tad boring.
Wildlife was rich, lots of iguana's monkeys, parrots etc...

Cons:
Our room keys stopped working on numerous occasions and it was a hefty walk up the hill to sort it out.
On the first night after a 12 hour flight, despite my name being on my suitcase, it didnt arrive in my room. After an hour this was sorted, but I was unsettled as this was our first night and I wanted to sleep not run around after a lost bag.
Bland, repetitive food. The meat was awful and tough and both my partner and I both went home with toothache.
Car rental. We rented a car on our 4th day, however, the map the Alamo agent gave us didnt have where to come back to. It took us 4.5hours to get back from Playa Conchal and only then as a local drove us back (by following him)
Exchange rate. Buy US Dollars!!! Thomsons told us otherwise, but not only did we get a worse exchange rate for £ than the hotel itself was giving, nowhere uses CR Colones and you lose out again when they convert the $ rate to CRC.
Excursions were good and the hotelbeds reps were fantastic, however they were $140 dollars each, which meant we could only go on a couple.
Watered down alcohol & no paid alternative.
WiFi internet didnt work for our whole stay. Though the kind staff did refund our money.

I could go on, but in a nutshell, it's a beautiful country, but i'd stay in another hotel.

  • Stayed: November 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank TerenceNoah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 November 2010

Upon our arrival, we did not have a room ready. Which I was not surprised about after reading other reviews and the fact that we arrived prior to check-in time. It wasn't a problem for us, we were able to change clothes and explore the resort. I was nervous about leaving my bags in a public area, however so I ended up having to carry all valuables (laptop, camera, passports, credit cards) with us while we waited for a room. We found the shuttle to be necessary and helpful as the resort is built upon a very steep hill. Throughout our stay, we had good luck with the shuttle being timely with seats available.
When we reported back to reception for our room, we were told it was still not clean. So we simply asked if we could be placed into another room that was ready. They were able to accommodate this request by putting us into the very same room they just told us was not ready (I peeked over the counter at our room number). The room number was difficult to read so we tried the room we thought it was and it did not open. So we tried another possibility which opened but it was very obvious there were people currently checked into that room. We had to go back to reception (which is quite a trek) and tell them the key didn't work for our room but opened this other room. The next evening, someone tried to open our door too...not sure what the confusion was but did not make me feel safe. So once we got a working key, I found the room to be tolerable. The view was beautiful, overlooking the pool and the harbor and was clean as well (believe me, I checked). We were on the third floor so we had 15' ceilings with a ceiling fan which I really liked. Surprisingly, I slept really well despite the music from nightly activities.
Throughout our stay, we found the common areas to be overrun with teenagers. I felt like I was at summer camp! Not sure if these kids were local or what. But they crowd the pool and budge infront of you at the buffet, taking what's left of the food. Very very annoying after a couple days. I about lost it the day we left when this twerp budged two people ahead of me and made himself a triple stack with the last remaining hamburgers. We did not have any problems with the pool closing down as others have reported.
The food was okay. I liked the pasta but I couldn't have that every meal yet found when I ventured out, I regretted it. In fact, I was sick half the time I was there, maybe it was just me. I did appreciate the fact that they roasted turkey and stuffing on Thanksgiving and it was pretty good. The salad was always green and fresh but the dressings questionable. I read other reviews talking about the sausages being hotdogs: I think this is a cultural discrepancy. We also stayed at the Hilton Libera Airport which was very nice and they had the same thing at breakfast. We only had time to eat a la carte at the Tex-Mex restaurant, since it's only open twice a week, and the food was not even impressive (except the appetizer bean dip).
But the service at the buffet was excellent. They were on it if you needed a drink or anything. We did not tip throughout our entire stay, since the all-inclusive package includes gratuities and still found great service at restaurants and bars.
Service at the front desk, however, was lacking. Maybe if the staff wasn't so busy feeling eachother up they would take the time to get some work done. We had to talk to 3-4 different people before we could get into our room. It felt like we were being passed-off. When we were leaving, we were told that we were the first people to ever ask about a taxi to the airport (which I doubt) and that we had to make these arrangements ourselves (we don't even know how to dial out in this country)! I've never stayed someplace where they won't help you out with transportation arrangements.
Whatever they charge you for sunscreen and bugspray inside the gate in the US, pay it. They rip you on that stuff here! We paid $25 for necessary sunscreen that lasted a day and a half and $15 for buspray that we didn't even use. And they won't take it back, even if you're not checking luggage and it's a total loss for you. Not cool.
My biggest peeve of the place was that everything costs extra. They charge for internet, which is slow. They will charge you $20 a towel if you lose one. A 20 minute shuttle ride is $50 for two people. The whole place seemed much more interested in making money than making you happy. The tours they offered on site were so expensive, we couldn't afford any.
Overall, we were very disappointed to find that we were not able to experience much of Costa Rica as we didn't have our own transportation and refused to pay the tour prices they offered. The most exciting thing we did was take our a kayak to some nearby secluded beaches and explored a little. Maybe this is our own stubbornness but I will not stay here again.

  • Stayed: November 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank megank_703
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Allegro Papagayo

Address: Playa Manzanillo | P.O. Box 48-5000, Costa Rica
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Gulf of Papagayo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 Top resorts Hotel in Gulf of Papagayo
#7 Spa Hotel in Gulf of Papagayo
#7 Luxury Hotel in Gulf of Papagayo
#8 On the Beach Hotel in Gulf of Papagayo
Price Range: $250 - $288 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Allegro Papagayo 4*
Number of rooms: 300
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Also Known As:
Allegro Papagayo Hotel Gulf Of Papagayo
Allegro Papagayo Costa Rica
Allegro Papagayo Gulf Of
Allegro Papagayo Occidental
Costa Rica Occidental
Occidental Papagayo
Allegro Papagayo Resort

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