For us our stay at Allegro Papagayo was everything we expected - a clean resort, beautiful pool and decent food. To help you assess this destination here are our observations
The check in - maybe we hit it at a good time but for us efficient and hassle free. The view from the reception area is special. Changing US$ to Costa Rican colones was easy.
The rooms - as others have mentioned the rooms are pretty basic but ours was clean, made up every day and for the most part without problem. How much are you in your room anyway? Upon arrival our phone and one light did not work. Both were repaired within an hour. In spite of being on the ground floor there were no ants or bugs in our room. Nothing went missing although on vacation we would never leave anything of value in a room.
The hills - yes the hills from the beach/pool/restaurant to the reception at the top are steep, but if you don't want to walk it there are the shuttles. We never, and I mean never, found a shuttle bus to be more than five minutes. Perhaps we were just lucky but the service was prompt and the drivers very friendly.
The pool - very nicely designed pool with numerous lounge chairs. But if you don't claim one by 9:00 or so it can be difficult to find a few together until the afternoon. The swim up bar is nice as is the the bar inside, the pool tables etc.
The beach - yes it is black sand but actually quite nice to walk on. Yes there were hermit crabs but they were kind of cute scurrying around and darting into their holes. One can walk a considerable distance along the beach from the resort - very peaceful.
The Beach Club - a nice trip, not so much for the 'white sand' beach (although it was nice) but just the opportunity to do something different. The boat ride is a bit longer than indicated as you need to take a smaller boat to a larger one. Once everyone is on the larger boat it is perhaps 15 minutes to the beach. Food and drinks are served throughout your stay. Snorkling is mediocre at best. All in all an enjoyable excursion.
The food - we were very pleased. The main buffet (breakfast, lunch and dinner) offered a very nice variety of food - both Costa Rican and traditional. For a buffet serving hundreds of guests the quality and variety of food surpassed our expectations - fresh fruit smoothies, lots of fresh fruit, themed nights, and in particular very attentive, always pleasant always smiling staff. The eating area is open air and not air conditioned. At times it was a bit warm - try to sit down towards the beach end and yes there are birds that fly through. We experienced no bugs or bees. The snack bar is a snack bar. Generally fried finger foods, but as always fresh fruit.
The Italian and Mexican restaurants - we were told to call at 8:00 am the day before to make a reservation. A bit frustrating at first when we not immediately successful as the apparently one person who books the restaurant had not yet arrived. While it is surprising someone else couldn't write down a reservation hey you're on vacation. Try again in half an hour and presto, we were in both times. Both the Italian and Mexican are good, but not as good as we were expecting based on the comments of others. We found the service was better at the Mexican. As much as we enjoyed the buffets both of these restaurants are a nice change of scenary.... and they are air conditioned.
The entertainment - each night there is a themed show preceded by an hour or so of attention to the kids. Although we only made a couple of shows the staff appeared to be having fun and making a good effort at entertaining the guests.
The location - the resort is 20 km from the nearest town (which actually isn't much) and about 45 minutes from LIberia. If the isolation is going to be an issue for you there are two options - take a number of tours or rent a vehicle. Our 17 year old son took an Adrenalin Adventure tour and was well looked after. However a great way to see the beautiful countryside of Costa Rica is to rent a vehicle. We rented a 4 wheel drive for $245 for a week. Gas cost us another $90 but included an all day trip to Arenal, along with another two days out on the road. Makes it very easy to stop at craft shops or whatever. Driving was no problem, although if you get off the main roads potholes can be common (get the 4 wheel drive!)
Overall - it is perplexing to read the wide variety of reviews. Based on our experience we would both recommend the Allegro Papagayo to our friends and return some day.
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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