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Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo
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Reviewed 21 March 2011

I have never written a Trip Advisor review but was so impressed with this hotel, and its offerings, that I am compelled to share. We spent one week at this hotel - me, my husband and two children (girl/12 and boy/8). From the minute we arrived until we left, we loved every minute. Rather than gush about everything (which I could), I will do my best to make this review helpful and explanatory.

Some things I wish I knew: Bottled water and fresh filtered water is available everywhere and is complimentary so do not feel like you must stop at a local convenience store to buy before hand. We had plenty on hand and the few times we needed a bottle (because left some back in the room) we had them in hand in a moment. There are also bottles of bug spray, sunscreen and aloe available at multiple sites throughout the resort right near the pools and beaches. We did use our own, but having the resort's supply was a nice benefit. There is a complimentary laundry facility with detergent and fabric softener so if you wanted to do laundry/pack lighter, have a spill, etc. you can use the guest laundry (there is also a laundry service for a fee). Fresh towels are available without short supply. The pool staff comes by and offers fresh ice cold water regularly. Throughout the day, other fun perks are offered: sunglass cleaning, water spray, cold lemon-scented washcloths and fruit popsicles (all complimentary). There is a complimentary fresh fruit stand set up each day on the beach to the right side of the hotel if you are facing the pools from the restaurant area. There is also a complimentary snow cone stand set up each day from 3-5pm on the upper pool deck - quite a yummy treat. There are plenty of complimentary water sports as well - kayaks, paddle boats, snorkeling equipment. I did see Jet Skis on the right side beach but we did not ever inquire about using them so I'm not sure if those are also free of charge.

The rooms are lovely - we were in the Cielo room and it slept 4 very comfortably. My daughter even enjoyed sleeping on the sofa on the screened in porch one night - no bugs, etc. ever came in. Great L'Occitane products (as per all Four Seasons) available. Bug Spray in the room so if you forget yours - a bottle is offered (also complimentary).

The food was good (great in some places, ok in others). Breakfast in Papagayo's each day - very good buffet items - lots of offerings. We did not order off of the menu, although there were some good items. Fresh juice each day is offered (a different kind of local fruit blends).

Lunches on site we either ate at the pool or Congo's - really good salads, nachos, burgers, etc. Congo's at night is a Brazilian meat based restaurant - where they come around with various meats on skewers and give you all you want. Our daughter loved it - the rest of us don't eat meat but were very happy with the salad bar, hot food bar and ceviche bar so we were also pleased and had plenty to eat.

Tico's - great sushi - casual dining; sushi was expensive but good.

Caracoal - restaurant on the golf course open for dinner only - eat outside if you can - very good seafood. We did not eat at Di Mare or Marea. Papagayo was good for dinner as well. The food generally was good and very enjoyable but not out of this world amazing. Prices were a bit high for some items and reasonable for others - nothing too unexpected.

We ended up doing room service one night, because we waited too long to get a reservation at Di Mare (so make your dinner reservations early!). Ended up being so fun - great set up out on our balcony and not really much more than eating in restaurant - and very expansive choice. Kids appreicated "eating at home' and chilling that one night.

When we arrived, we were greated with enthuastic hellos. They greeted my kids by name and had all this birthday stuff for my daughter, who turned 12 during our stay. They gave her a present and bday card, as well as each kid a stuffed animal. Our room was decorated with balloons, another card and cake! They won my kids over right away (and us too)! I had sent an email in advance to the concierge advising of her birthday and my kid's names and ages.

Everyone who worked there was so nice and helfpul. We did not encounter one rude staff member and each person really seemed eager to be helpful with whatever was needed "con mucho gusto" - with much pleasure. Most spoke very good engligh and were happy to give impromptu spanish lessons if asked. My kids are taking spanish in school so they had fun with that.

There are golf carts to drive you whereever you may need, although we did not have to walk far to get anywhere (again we stayed in one of the main buildings though - not one of the "houses/villas" up on the hill).

You must do day trips while there to break it up and to get off property. We used Mainor Lara's company - Trips Your Way (for hotel/airport and for our day trips) and recommend him without any reservation - getting us at the airport; taking luggage; having fresh cold drinks of all kinds available; offering to take us to a convenience store for food, etc. The day trips were great and our tour guides (Martino and Marlon) were wonderful, caring, helpful, did lots of fun extras for us, and are very good at what they do. The hotel/airport cost through Mainor's company is less than what the Four Seasons charges and it is private - so definitely use him for that, if nothing else.

For reservations at this resort, I used whatahotel.com - great deal - automatic room upgrade, $100 spa/golf credit, early check in/late check out if needed, and a few other perks. It is the website for Lorraine Travel, based in Florida. Chanel was my contact and she was very responsive and helpful. Definitely check this option over booking direct through the website. Still able to take advantage of the 5th night free deal!

While a pricey resort, definitely worth it!!!! Loved loved loved it!

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled with family
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6  Thank rhyatt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 March 2011

Four seasons CR was just an amazing hotel. We have stayed in many other FS and this one is just incredible in every way. Gorgeous resort, great food with lots of choices both fancy or burgers and great pizza...we used "Tours your Way" for both airport transportation and the mega combo tour with Ray, both were terrific. Ray was incredibly nice and went out of his way to show us wildlife and make sure we had a terrific day, he also took loads of great pics of our family and just made the day totally wonderful!

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled with family
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Thank philly510
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 March 2011

I cannot say enough good things about this resort. The rooms were large and comfortable and the service was spectacular. The most surprising thing was the quality of the food--it was much better than I expected at a resort. Even the room service food was excellent. The only off resort activities we did were ziplining and golf, and both were fabulous. The weather was perfect as was the water. There were jelly fish on one beach for two of the seven days we were there, but they were not a big problem. Absolutely fabulous!

  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled with family
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Thank travelpsychologist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 March 2011

We loved The Four Seasons Costa Rica. Absolutely the best vacation yet!

WHAT WE LOVED:
The people are hard working and fast and the service was exceptional.
Monkeys everywhere on the resort! No need to drive 1.5 hours to see them!
The resort was gorgeous with a lot of options for dinner and fun.
As many excursions as you could possibly want- the resort is isolated and some excursions are 2 hours away.
The food is divine............ I mean divine! A simple lunch was spectacular. Sushi everywhere :)
The kids are absolutely taken care of and very family friendly but not in your face!
The Beach Club is a hidden gem they don't tell many about - the food and the setting is gorgeous and more adult but they do take care of the kids. Infinity pool, hip beds on the beach. This also has unbelievable surfing and boogie board options not found at the hotel.
The rooms were spacious and the porch was fantastic and completely netted so no bugs! Left doors open at night
Kids can be independent and were catered to for extra events due to spring break - with evening events such as outdoor movie, camping party, magician (I do think this was due to spring break)

A COUPLE OF POINTS FOR OTHERS:
TV is only in Spanish- only one channel for kids in English.. bring DVD's or renting movies will be expensive
The best rooms are on the pacific side not the bay
If you have to be on the bay (where we were) get closer to the pools so you have a beach view. We were on the end and not much beach to see
Expect to spend $1,000 a day on food, drinks and excursions/ spa if you are an average traveler (not excessive but not penny pinching either)
Bees- there are a lot of bee's and hornets.. make sure to have Benadryl and your own stash to take care of this. If you are allergic do not forget your epi-pen
There are small jelly fish that do bite on the pacific side.. not a big deal but be prepared (the hotel does have a stash of stuff to put on it)
USAIR is overbooking flights and people are very frustrated- they attempted to bump Amy and of course she said hell no! The airport seems to be under construction and getting upgraded which is desperately needed.

It was expensive but worth every penny!

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled with family
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2  Thank PattyinNCtravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 March 2011

A five night stay at the Four Seasons Guanacaste was just about the perfect duration. The location is very remote - at the very end of the Papagayo Peninsula, which, although not a terribly long peninsula, is sufficiently remote to require a vehicle if you plan to leave the property. Rooms are lovely, with a large screened balcony looking out onto either the Pacific or the Gulf of Papagayo.

We took offsite excursions (arranged by the hotel) on 3 of the 5 days. Two of them were private; the third a shared van. The Borinquen Hot Springs for some volcanic mud; the Monteverde Cloud Forest; and finally a boat tour of the Palo Verde National Park. All of them were interesting and fun, although the cumulative amount of driving (ranging from 2-4 hours each way, much of it on very choppy dirt roads) was tiring.

Quality of the resort and the food & beverage, spa, etc., was excellent. Prices were very high. We had our driver make an unplanned stop in Liberia at the supermercado so that we could buy some basic food and wine. For the comparison shoppers, we bought a $45 bottle of malbec from the Four Seasons (which is actually $55.35 once they add on the 13% tax and 10% service charge). I'm not sure what the "service" was that we got for the 10% adder, since I walked down to the restaurant, bought the bottle, and then walked back to the room to open it with my wife. The following day, we found the same bottle in Liberia for $12. So be aware that you are a bit of a captive, due to the 45 minute drive to a grocery store, and the prices reflect it.

Overall, though, we had a blast, and for a first visit to Costa Rica, it filled the bill nicely.

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank luv2travl003
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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