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“Four Seasons Costa Rica - Almost Flawless”

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Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo
Ranked #2 of 13 Hotels in Gulf of Papagayo
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 22 March 2011

My wife and I went to the Four Seasons in Costa Rica to celebrate our 10 year anniversary and the pending arrival of our third child. The resort is beautiful and feels very new...the rooms (each room has a great screened-in patio), pools, lobby, vistas (especially the drive in through the golf course) and restaurants are all gorgeous, but the thing that really stands out is the service. The hotel employees went out of their way to call you by your name and attend to your every need (in a non-intrusive way)...everyone was so courteous, kind and anxious to please. As an example, An employee at the concierge refused a tip for her help with retrieving our luggage from American Airlines (a completely different, and less pleasing story). If you are well-traveled in terms of beaches, the beaches are average (the views are beautiful, but the water is not especially so). I was actually pleasantly surprised because I had lower expectations based on previous trips to the Caribbean and Mexico...for a comparison, they are similar to beaches in Cabo, in my opinion.

The spa is incredible...had a deep tissue massage that was the best I'd ever had, and my wife said her pregnancy massage and facial were exceptional. The pool in the spa lounge has a great view (evening was a great time to see the sun start to set) and it was never crowded. They gym is very nice...the cardio equipment is better than the weights (virtually no free weights; just machines).

As noted by others, the resort is very isolated. Obviously, it’s not a bad place to be confined to (to say the least, with the possible exception of food choices). In terms of food, you are pretty limited to the Four Seasons or two other restaurants on Peninsula Papagayo. The choices at the Four Seasons are Papagayo, Tico’s (the bar lounge) and Di Mare, which is Italian. We had breakfast at Papagayo daily, but I would skip it for dinner. At our one dinner at Papagayo, we both ordered fish and it was flavorless and overcooked…the menu looks good, but its deceiving in my opinion. Di Mare was very good, and Tico’s was good for sushi and tapas (we had a much better experience with Tico’s than with Papagayo). We also went to the other two restaurants on the peninsula, Caracol and Marea (at the Prieta Beach Club). Caracol is a steak house and it was good (but we’re Texans and have a lot of great competition). Marea was excellent, and it was nice to go over to the Beach Club…it was beautiful and had a nice atmosphere. Food and drinks are outrageously expensive, as expected at the Four Seasons, so just be prepared and don’t sweat it. We did go to the Mini Mart near the tennis courts to buy wine…they had some decent choices for less than $20 a bottle, which is about the cost of a glass of wine on the resort.

Some additional thoughts: the resort will transport you anywhere you want to go on the peninsula; the resort charge of 10% covers things like tipping the guys who transport you. The hotel can be crowded…as the weekend approached, there was a definite uptick in the number of people. The pools especially seemed to get crowded, and the chairs are placed very close together, which can be annoying. There were some families, and we’re totally sensitive to kids having traveled with our own, but it was a little obnoxious to have kids playing in the pool on this particular trip (they were like 1 and 3; the FS seems like an unusual choice for such young kids in my opinion). The servers by the pool are awesome – they get you water, clean your sunglasses, come by frequently to check on you, etc. The region where the resort is located is dry and arid, at least during the time of year we traveled. It is not what you might think of when you think of Costa Rica…we had to fly into San Jose due to American Airlines issues (avoid this if at all possible and fly into Liberia), and actually enjoyed seeing other parts of the country, which were much more like what you might envision: lush, green, misty landscapes and forests. One benefit of the dry season is that we had a fantastic ocean view from our first-floor room because there is limited foliage. We took a side trip to Palo Verde with Tours Your Way (our guide Alejandro was excellent – good English and very knowledgeable), and that also exposes you to some different terrain than what you see at the resort (sugarcane fields in front of mountains; felt very Latin American). Palo Verde wasn’t particularly beautiful, but we saw lots of wildlife (birds, crocs, monkeys) and were glad we did it. There are a lot of things to do if you are so inclined, although the activities through the resort are absurdly expensive (I looked into fishing and I recall it was over $1,000 for the cheapest half-day fishing trip). If you are inclined for quiet and relaxation, it’s also perfect for that. All in all, it’s a great hotel and a great destination, and we would love to go back!

  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank TXattorney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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2  Thank PattyinNCtravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo

Address: Peninsula Papagayo, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Gulf of Papagayo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Gulf of Papagayo
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Gulf of Papagayo
#2 Luxury Hotel in Gulf of Papagayo
#2 Spa Hotel in Gulf of Papagayo
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Gulf of Papagayo
Price Range: $1,035 - $4,484 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo 5*
Number of rooms: 184
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
4 Seasons Resort Costa Rica At Peninsula Papagayo
Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica At Peninsula Papagayo Hotel Gulf Of Papagayo
Four Seasons Costa Rica
Four Seasons Liberia
Peninsula Liberia
Liberia Peninsula
Liberia Four Seasons

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