Secrets Papagayo Costa Rica

5.0 star rating

Exceptional accommodation with superior facilities and services.

    What to expect (based on 3609 reviews):

    Cleanliness

    Cleanliness-4.5

    Location

    Location-4.5

    Rooms

    Rooms-4.5

    Service

    Service-4.5

    Value

    Value-4.5

    5 most recent TripAdvisor reviews:

    Great place

    Reviewed by BobbyRobert76(Chicago, Illinois) on Feb 20, 2020

    		
			TripAdvisor users rated this property 
			5
			 out of 5

    We had a wonderful experience. Great staff, warm and friendly. The food and beverage was top notch. I would definitely go back. The daily activities where diverse and plentiful. I love the quit pool by the spa in the morning and there head over to the main pool for afternoon festivities.

    Our stay

    Reviewed by MorganLynnP0916(Williamstown, New Jersey) on Feb 20, 2020

    		
			TripAdvisor users rated this property 
			4
			 out of 5

    The first review I wrote on this resort was a little unfair. I was still at the resort and was very upset that our plans were ruined on our last night there due to a long wait in transportation followed by an even longer wait for dinner. This resort is absolutely breathtaking and unlike any other I’ve stayed at. You stay in bungalows along the mountain side. While you can walk if you choose to, it is recommended that you use their transportation vans. The roads are long, steep and narrow. We walked our first day and regretted it, but it was an experience. The country itself is beautiful and the people are the friendliest. The resort is EXTREMELY clean and the food was excellent. It was the best food we’ve ever eaten at an all inclusive resort. We were stunned every time we ordered a steak. They did not disappoint. The beach is also very clean and the ocean was like bath water. The pool was always fun. Drinks were great. Julio, the server by the pool, was AWESOME. This guy was the coolest from the first time we talked to him. He took care of us and we made sure it was worth his while as well. Everyone works for a living, so even though it’s not mandatory, you should always tip the people that take care of you. The only two things I would recommend would be more transportation vans due to sometimes a very long wait, and allow reservations at the restaurants on the busier weekend nights. Our last night we had plans for Coco Beach. We planned on eating dinner then heading there for a few hours because we’ve heard and read such good things. Well, we called for a van that didn’t come for a half hour. They actually didn’t come for us, they came for our neighbor and we just hitched a ride. When finally getting down to the restaurants, we were told there was an hour and a half wait when going to all restaurants. We were told that we could eat at the buffet, but we didn’t travel all the way to Costa Rica to eat at a buffet twice a day. So after we finally sat down to eat dinner we realized it was just way too late to head to Coco Beach. We were very bummed. All in all the resort and country are amazing. I would absolutely recommend visiting.

    When is a Secrets not so Secrets?

    Reviewed by Sarpal(Bridgend, United Kingdom) on Feb 20, 2020

    		
			TripAdvisor users rated this property 
			4
			 out of 5

    Arriving early at Gatwick to find that the flight has been delayed by two hours isn’t the ideal way to start a holiday, we ended up with a near 24 hour door or door time. Just as well that the TUI crew were superb and the onboard food was really quite good! The private transfer was a good idea, even though the transfer was only around 20 mins. The hotel is spread out over the slopes of two adjacent bays with the majority of the rooms in semi-detached bungalows, most of which are sea facing though few have a clear view of the bay with all the vegetation and trees so don’t expect uninterrupted views. On arrival, we were given a cool towel (but no drink) and then waited briefly for a shuttle to take us round to the Preferred club (PC) check-in. Here was the first minor issue; the shuttles are constantly on the move, picking up and dropping off guests, so we had the guided tour (in the dark) all around the resort when all we wanted was to get to our room and crash out. This was repeated once we had checked in; another guided tour and a (brilliant) driver to get to our room but he had no time to explain the room as he had other guests waiting in the van. Not the relaxing start we’d hoped for. The Preferred club check in didn’t explain the layout or how to get around, luckily the provided map was sufficient to find the restaurants and bars – amazing how you can always find a bar when you need a beer! The room (4*) The room was larger than some we’ve stayed in, though many of the PC amenities that we’ve had at other Secrets hotels were missing; no jacuzzi tub in the room or on the balcony, just a tired shower. There were token gestures of plastic shot bottles of vodka and whiskey (yes, two small bottles) and the usual (4) bottles of beer and a few soft drinks; Coke etc. in the fridge. With the 24 hr room service, you can order in any alcohol or soft drink that you want though, you have to wade through the (Samsung) tablet menus to find it. TIP – take some antibacterial wipes; the tablet was filthy and this is pretty much the only way you’ll access the hotel facilities. There are two usb sockets on one side of the bed and a double power socket on each side of the bed so, no problems with mobile charging etc. over night. There is also a double socket at either side of the basins. The shower has both rain head and hand held attachments with plenty of hot water and good pressure. The view from the window out over the bay whilst you shower is a neat addition (one guest thought it humorous to wave to me while I was showering – I waved back). The groundhog event; each day I’d go to the PC concierge to tell him that the shower hose leaked, each day he assured me it would be sorted, each day I’d be back. I guess it was like this for the previous guests and will be the same for the next. The bed was on castors, not in a bedframe so any movement by you or your partner would ‘wobble’ the bed – never come across that one before! The turndown service was good, when you got it; on several occasions we would get a knock at the door before 6pm, when we were getting ready to go out, and if you asked her to come back later – that would be the last you would see of her, so no turndown service that day. Unlike other Secrets hotels, we didn’t get a newsletter of the following day’s activities, restaurants etc. (yes it was on the tablet) no petit fours, no fruit, no welcome drink (bottle of wine/fizz) in room. Talking of wine; if you want wine in your room you can order it by the glass, if you want a bottle (as provided in other Secrets hotels) you can only select from the costed options – starting at $50. Ordering by the glass, for delivery to my room? I think I’ll just walk to the bar. Access to the room (227) was either up a steep sloping road or up a significant flight of steps, either way you worked off some calories! See the attached picture for the uninspiring view to get to the room – maybe we were just unfortunate but Ocean view, Preferred club this was not. I wonder if the (uncomplaining) Brits are put here rather that the 100 series rooms which appeared to have much better surroundings? Restaurants (3*) The Seaside Grill was a good place for lunch though we never got to try breakfast here as it didn’t open until 08:30. We ate here several times for lunch and dinner throughout the week, the menu was simple and we did have forgotten orders (!) but it was still our preferred place. We are early risers so the fact that you could get fresh coffee at 6am from the Coco Café and breakfast from 6.30am in the Market Café was most welcome. Here there was the usual cooking station for omelettes (very nice), eggs, pancakes etc. I don’t know if it was just because it was early morning but the person manning the station would disappear into the kitchen and not return! You could wait some time for an omelette! It was good to find local options for breakfast. We enjoyed the Portofino (the lamb was delicious) and found the Himitsu to be ok – the hibachi was just ok; clumsy show stuff with the equipment and the food was too salty (and the portions just too big!). However, the sushi there was delicious. We didn’t get to Aqua simply because the menu didn’t grab us though we did hear good reports and the Barefoot Grill was great if you just want a burger or nachos. The Coco Café is the place to get your caffeine fix and was excellent; serving up any coffee (and tea) requirement from 6am. They also had a small selection of filled rolls, cakes and a small choice of ice cream. Staff (5*) Without doubt it is the staff that will get you to return, in the majority they were professional, friendly and conscientious. Vinicio the barman in the preference club was great fun; always ready to share insights about his country and always ready with some brilliant cocktails. Catch him if you can; he sometimes works in the Sugar Reef bar. Also, Minor who is brilliant mixologist and magician (trust me). Andres the pool concierge was the guy to see to sort out the palapa beach beds down by the shore line (or any other pool related request) TIP - if you are PC you can reserve one of these beds for the following day from the PC lounge but, do confirm the booking as they sometimes get lost. Yotjani in the Seaside Grill was brilliant; she made the several evening meals we had there most memorable; she was attentive, charming and professional. The Secrets entertainment team are a force to be reckoned with; they have some brilliant games to get even the most reticent guest involved, this coupled with the most infectious and energetic team – brilliant. The evening shows in the auditorium were some of the most professional we’ve seen and were really enjoyed. This is praise indeed as we run for the hills when someone mentions ‘entertainment’. We met many interesting people both guests and staff, during out brief stay; no names, to protect their reputations, well, apart from Kim – you know who you are (and we’re still waiting for an email). Everything else (3*) Hotel generally felt a little tired, though the rooms were clean and tidy and in (mostly) good repair and there was regular evidence of painting and so on. The pools on the ‘lively’ side of the hotel were fabulous. The music wasn’t all day – on average 10.00-12.00 and 14.00-16.00. It was a party atmosphere but not too full on. We never saw any management out and about, talking to guests. Watch out for the wildlife – there’s plenty of it around and you’ll have fun spotting it. Preferred Club just can’t be justified here; access to a restaurant for breakfast and lunch, a couple of reservable palapas, small and basic lounge (with a sad little food selection that wasn’t even available on three evenings – how damming is it that it wasn’t even missed?). There is no PC beach area and no PC pool. If our room is anything to go by, the ocean view option is barely worth it, you could just about see the bay and probably would have just as good a view from many of the other rooms. If you’ve been to other Secrets, you may be disappointed in the facilities available here, if you’ve not then don’t judge the Secrets brand by this one and do consider others across the Caribbean – we’ve been to several and had a really good time. The only thing that saves this hotel is the staff; in the majority, they work tirelessly, with a smile and make genuine connections with the guests.

    Individual ratings:

    Service

    Service-5

    Value

    Value-4

    The best service ever!!

    Reviewed by OhhGirl999() on Feb 19, 2020

    		
			TripAdvisor users rated this property 
			5
			 out of 5

    At Secrets Papagayo there is a hidden gem. The restaurant Aqua. The food is terrific, but the service is even better. From the manager William to the staff- Star, Diego, Bryan, Elena and Carmen, they all genuinely welcome you and make you feel like a special guest of their family. Each meal we had with them was outstanding. The chefs care and meticulous presentation is something that you would experience at a starred restaurant. I recommend this restaurant at Secrets to anyone who is staying here. Seek it out as it is worth it.

    Amazing resort for honeymoon!

    Reviewed by oliviamay2720(Boca Raton, Florida) on Feb 19, 2020

    		
			TripAdvisor users rated this property 
			5
			 out of 5

    My husband and I just had our honeymoon for a week at the resort and we couldn’t have loved it more! From the staff to the activities everything was amazing! We were able to eat at every restaurant and our favorite by far was the Asian and Italian. The spa services were top notch