This was our first time in Costa Rica and at Secrets Papagayo. We went with another couple and we all four had a good time.
We used FRANK THE TANK for transport to the hotel from another hotel 2 hours away,
We also used his service for a private all day tour for the four of us,
saw waterfalls, monkeys, sloths, frogs, had a tour of coffee plantation, lunch, a mud bath and hot springs. a fun way to see some of the sites.
This resort is very different from most Secrets we have been to, it had a cottage feel to me, the bungalow rooms are all up the hills, but you can call a van for a ride.
It is small, only 200 rooms, but spread out over a hilly property.
There are only r a la carte restaurants and the buffet.
As we were preferred guests, we could have an a la carte breakfast and lunch at the Seaside, we were were served every day by Marcos, Christian and Nelly, with a great ocean view. Seaside and Himitsu were our fav for dinner,
Agua, and Barefoot Grill for lunch, and of course every morning the Coco Cafe for coffee.
There were two pools,
the main pool where the activities were was very busy, we did not like it after lunch as it got dirty with all leaves blowing in it (windy most days), and because it was usually windy, we could not keep up the umbrellas and it was very hot.
The quiet pool by the spa, was nice, very relaxing.
There were a few bali beds by both pools that you could reserve at no cost the day before, we did not try one.
We had a couples massage at the spa and it was very good.
No real hydrotherapy, just a woman's and separate men's sauna and hot tub.
Overall the layout and the hotel grew on us, but I do not feel its my taste and unsure if I would go back.
The weather got warmer as the week went on and I being a sun lover actually sat in the shade the last few days.
Recommend for a week
(Colchester, United Kingdom)
Jan 25, 2023
Lovely staff, clean & well maintained. Food great. Accommodation great too. Quiet pool lovely but main pool very loud with party types particularly in the afternoon. Sun beds could be improved. Entertainment basic. Drinks good. A week is more than enough though.
A++ Secrets Papagayo! Muchas Gracias!
Jan 25, 2023
Where to begin! The resort is beautiful, it is quite spread out, and surrounded by very hilly terrain, so if you aren’t in great shape you are definitely going to be reliant on the shuttles which are always around. Otherwise, when you book ask for some of the rooms that are closer to the major amenities.
The rooms are nice & newly updated. Just smaller than I would have expected. The reality is, when I’m on vacation I spend a small fraction of time at the room, it suited my needs just fine.
The staff were absolutely fantastic, Mario in the preferred lounge checked me in and made sure I had everything I needed. One of my favourite restaurants any time of day was the Seaside Grill. All of the staff on any shift wether it be Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner were all spectacular, a special thanks to Mauricio & evening manager Anna.
The food was spectacular, definitely far better than I was expecting… There was not a single meal o was not thrilled with. Great cuts of steak for an all inclusive.. Regardless of where you eat, you will be happy, the food was great everywhere I ate. ????
Sugar Reef is the place to be later in the evenings! One of my favourite bartenders on the resort Guillermo was always there making sure I had a drink in hand and to have a nice conversation with. A+ for sure.
All in all, this resort is a very special place. It may not have all of the splendour that people might be typically looking for in a Secrets. But it was so rich in so many other ways, from all of the spectacular staff, to the charming & intimate layout and feel of the resort. As well as the wildlife everywhere you go! I can’t help but feel like it has a very magical feel to it. Definitely right on track with Costa Rica’s sense of environmental preservation. It’s very hidden into the countryside with minimal impact on the surrounding ecosystem.
A++ Secrets Papagayo! Muchas Gracias!
Fabulous trip to Costa Rica - Secrets Papagayo
Jan 22, 2023
This was our annual incentive trip for my company. I plan it so I get to go :-)
Executive team stayed 7 nights, qualifiers stayed 5 nights. The resort: the rooms are spread throughout and there is a lot of walking, however, you can take advantage of the shuttle if you have any issues with walking hills. Our room was in the 400's, all the way to the top. We could easily walk down 4 minutes to main pool area and there were plenty of times we would walk back up, but after dinner and a few drinks, I preferred to take the shuttle.
The staff was amazing - they would call every day to see if there was anything we needed. The bar and wait staff were super friendly and always smiling. Mareira (Mary) with the activity group was also fabulous with her water aerobics daily at noon. She was high energy. Our group event coordinator was always available, answered questions quickly. Mario and Daisy at the front desk staff were also wonderful and helped with our group check-ins.
We ate at the Market Cafe, Seaside Grill, Portofino, and Himitsu. Never made it to Aqua. All were very good. We did not get a chance to do hibachi, but heard it was fabulous, albeit a little warm inside. Make your reservations early for the same evening.
We mostly stayed at the pool, that is just our vibe. The beach had maybe 16 chairs and we did not sit down there ever. I would say for this size hotel with the # of rooms, there is not enough seating for either the pool or the beach. But maybe they figure a portion of their guests will be on excursions some days and therefore do not need more seating, however, our last full day there we decided we were going to get a couple chairs by the pool. We went down at 7:30am (just missed grabbing the 2 next to the pool bar and closest to the pool by 5 seconds), and a lot were already reserved and no one was sitting in them. Folks would place books or bags in chairs and then go to breakfast. On this particular day, the 4 chairs to our left were held by a book each and 2 of the chairs were empty for at least 3 hours. Finally, a couple walked up and asked if anyone had been using them and I confirmed they had not, so they asked the staff if they could use those chairs and they happily obliged. We did notice the staff got a little more strict on the chair saving the further we got into the week and even added a sign that if your chair was vacant for more than 30 minutes, your items could be removed.
We had a Std panoramic room and it was adequate. Coffee maker, ipad for ordering a spa or room service and checking daily activities. There was always a glass bottle of water in the room, but we used it for coffee so I would suggest always bringing a bottle or 2 back with you from the pool bar, etc., to stay hydrated.
There are a couple hiking trails on the property and we hiked the one near the 300 rooms one day. Make sure you take water - we walked the entire route (it was more than 15 minutes like the sign stated at the beginning of the trail). If you do the entire route, please note there are a couple spots where there is not much walking space and the 1st spot went down into a ravine. I was quite scared there...be sure to where good walking or hiking shoes (I had on running shoes, which were fine, but still...) There were monkeys in the trees around us at one point, but I was watching my footing, so didn't get a picture or video. Once at the top, there were a couple benches to view the surroundings - it was a fabulous view! I think this is where they do the sunset hike at 5pm.
All in all, I would definitely recommend this resort. Not to much to complain about - PuraVida!
Improvements would help
(London, United Kingdom)
Jan 19, 2023
We stayed for one night and enjoyed ourselves however anything longer than a couple of days would prove tedious. If you’re looking for a low-key All inclusive resort then go for it but at £700 per night which I paid it was extortionate. The buffet is small with very limited options, we missed breakfast and there wasn’t anywhere else to eat bar a 45minute room service wait. So it’s not 24hours - most of the staff are lovely if a little unprepared to go above and beyond. The rooms are FAR so be prepared to wait 25/30mins for a shuttle as we did twice. The beach needs a clean up and they would be better off placing shares by the shore for you rather than expecting guests to do so - there was one waiter who came to the beach but no one else. It’s definitely a pool resort - which I don’t understand as the beach is lovely if they put some effort into it. The rooms are nice, but again it’s the price that doesn’t match the standard so I would say this hotel is a £400pn hotel and no more unless they step their game up. I also had food poisoning which is why I missed breakfast - now I can’t blame the hotel as I was only there one night and I wasn’t prepared to make a fuss - but they were not super helpful when I was after a mere piece of bread to line my stomach. A nice man in the buffet eventually did but again for £700 I would expect better