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Reviewed 1 March 2012

This is truly a 5 star type resort in every sense of the term. The property is immaculate and service top notch. Some of the scenery at this hotel is the finest in the world.

Every meal I had was fantastic, no trouble with the "stomach flu" from the water, food prep, etc...

Our room was clean, and had enough space that I felt comfortable. The Beaches were pretty, even though I prefer the white sand of the carribean, this was great. Take the "tour of the giants" to see the grounds and golf course - best vacation photos I've taken.

All of this comes at a price, so bring your wallet. Breakfast was $83us for 2 people, Lunch was about the same, and dinner was around $200. If you have some drinks throughout the day, you could easily spend $500 per day at the resort (heck an orange juice was $5). It felt like they took advantage of the fact that we were in a seluded area with no options of going into town for another dining option.

That being said, if you can pay-to-play, this is the type of place you are looking for. A visit to the duty free store on your way in can help a little....

All, in all, if you are looking to treat yourself to a world-class type vacation, this will fit everything you are looking for.

Room Tip: All rooms have a good view and are ocean front. Top floors might have a little better view though.
  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Traveln01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 February 2012

The Four Seasons Hotel is an unbelievable property at an unbelievable location... with unbelievable prices! We were 15 family members traveling together; 7 adults and 8 kids ranging in age from 7-17. So many things were amazing, but for the prices they charge everything should have been perfect.

I will start with the good:
The rooms are large with a very nice sized bathroom and big screened in porch couch, chairs, table and ceiling fan. It was very nice to sit on the porch and not worry about mosquitoes. It was also fun to watch for howler monkeys in the trees. The rooms are nicely appointed, however we thought it was weird that there was only an old fashioned clock (not digital) that you could not see in the dark. All the rooms are either ocean or bay views (really the same kind of view). The housekeeping staff was excellent. I was relieved that after 10PM I heard no noise outside my room (other than the sounds of waves and then the morning birds waking us).
The hotel property is big but not really so spread out, which was nice because it was easy to go from pool to beach to restaurant as well as back to the room if you forgot something.

The restaurants:
We ate at all the restaurants. We did not love Di Mare; was just OK, although very pretty. The other restaurants ranged from good to very good. Papagayo offers a delicious breakfast buffet but you can also order off a menu if you don't want to spend $40 on the buffet! Although the buffet for the kids is only $10 - a great deal! It is worth going to the Beach Club restaurant Marea too. All the restaurants are very accommodating to kids palates and have plenty for them to choose from on their own kids or teen menu - anything from pizza to mahi mahi. And I think you can get anything on any menu at any restaurant.
The service overall was friendly but not the most professional; definitely room for improvement.

Activities:
We took advantage of a few free activities including a guided sunset hike, guided kayaking, paddle boating, volleyball, golf cart tour with beautiful views - all a lot of fun. My kids did a few activities at the free kids club; art project and donut decorating. They were a little old for the club, but for younger kids it seemed really great. We also all enjoyed our massages at the spa.
We booked our excursions, as well as our airport transfer through Tours Your Way (see my review) which we loved because it was private and we could do what we wanted on any day we wanted. The airport transfers were also considerably cheaper than the Four Seasons'.

The nice extras:
The staff was very nice and friendly always.
The staff would come around with glasses or pitchers of ice water, cold towels, offers to clean your sunglasses, spritzes of Evian water, offers of juice smoothies in little sample cups.
Plenty of sunscreen - 15, 30 and 45, aloe, moisturizer, bug spray, cold water and cups at all the towel stations.
Bug spray (needed for outside at night) and umbrella in the room.
Free washer and dryer with soap and dryer sheets at the end of each hall.
There is a large kids' game room that has free air hockey, ping pong, pop a shot, video games, as well as drinks and snacks.

The not so good:
With the prices they charge you really expect everything to be perfect and it wasn't. First of all when we arrived were expected to have connecting rooms. We had rooms next to each other but they were not connecting. This would mean My husband and I would have to sleep in different rooms with our kids (age 7 and 10). The hotel's initial response was that they had a request for "adjoining" rooms - meaning next to each other, not "connecting". This did not make sense to us especially since they had the ages of our children with our reservation. Additionally, they told us that it was very safe here and we could sleep with our doors open to hear our kids!! I was appalled. After some pushing by my husband they found a connecting room for us. It was within about 3 hours of us arriving so that was only a few hours of stress.

Additionally, my family has several allergies - peanut and dairy. These were communicated to the hotel prior to our arrival. The hotel did a very poor job of dealing with these allergies. We had to explain what we could and could not eat at every single meal. There was a lot of confusion about whether the kitchen did or did not use peanut oil and whether or not there was dairy in certain breads and other foods. We were extremely disappointed in all of this especially because the hotel knew about it ahead of time, but did very little to actually prepare the staff.

To respond to another reviewer about the ever presence of kids, since we were there at the same time - unfortunately, they chose to take their vacation during one of the U.S school vacations (President's week). If I was traveling without children I would make sure to not travel during a school vacation or go to an adult only resort. I thought for the most part, the many children that were there were well behaved, acting appropriately. (although I can understand the frustration about constantly being surrounded by so many children)

Overall it was a fantasy type of vacation and if you have the money to spend you will likely enjoy it immensely.

Room Tip: If you need a connecting room, make sure you say it explicitly.
  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled with family
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3  Thank LBMLongIsland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 February 2012

By all evidence, my American Express card number was stolen by a uniformed Four Seasons employee during my recent stay at their resort in Costa Rica. I booked a vacation there because I'd heard that it was not just the best hotel in Costa Rica but in all of Central America. Here's what happened---Upon arrival, I discovered that my new Verizon phone wasn't operable so I asked the concierge for advice. He told me that I could either go to Verizon in Liberia, an hour's drive away, or rent a cellphone, a service offered by the hotel. I opted to rent the cellphone. When I asked him to bill the charges for the cellphone rental to my hotel room, he told me I had to give him a credit card. I gave him my American Express reluctantly and was alarmed when I saw him take a CARBON PRINT of my card. In the meanwhile, my office stateside managed to get my cellphone up and running so I very shortly returned the rented cellphone to the concierge manning the desk, this time a woman. When I examined the receipt she gave me for the cell rental, it stated I'd used 120 minutes of service when, in point of fact, I'd only had the phone in my possession for an hour. I pointed out the mistake to the concierge who promised to rectify it but only if I tendered my Amex again. Again I balked at handing over my card, but eventually I gave in. Turns out my suspicions about handing over my Amex and allowing a carbon to be made were right on target as shortly thereafter American Express called my office in NYC seeking to verify charges made all over the country totaling thousands and thousands of dollars for items as varied as lumber and sporting goods. Needless to say, I was forced to cancel my card and have a new one issued at great inconvenience to me. What has the world come to if I cannot even check into a Four Seasons Hotel with a guarantee that my credit card information will be kept secure? Further, I take issue with how the matter was handled by the resort itself. I had an employee fluent in Spanish speak with front desk personnel including the General Manager and after initially promising to get to the bottom of it, they stopped returning my office's calls altogether. I am a longtime customer of the Four Seasons chain worldwide, but after this incident I will never stay at one of their hotels again.

Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
18  Thank DeLoNYC956
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FSCos, General Manager at Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo, responded to this reviewResponded 3 March 2012

I would like to express my sincerest sympathies for the inconvenience and stress caused to you as a result of the fraudulent charges made on your credit card.

At Four Seasons, we take the security of our guests very seriously. We have investigated the matter on property and spoken to representatives from American Express and the local credit card processing agency in Costa Rica and we are confident that the security breach did not happen at our resort. I realize that taking carbon imprints of credit cards is unusual, but it is still common practice by many places of business in Costa Rica. While we have discontinued this practice at our resort and take steps to ensure the security of our guests' credit card information, the imprint was nonetheless required by the cell phone rental company.

Again, I’m sorry that your experience at our Resort was a negative one. I would be pleased to speak with you directly if that would be helpful. Please feel free to contact me directly at Pascal.Forotti@fourseasons.com if you would like to discuss further.

Pascal Forotti
General Manager
Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 February 2012

Great Hotel !
You can hear the sound of the waves in many places at the resort. The pool area included, there is no loud music playing in the background just the sounds of the ocean and the birds. I sat on my screened balcony facing the ocean and watched the monkeys traveling through the trees. The room was very clean and calming. The restaurants were all good. I enjoyed trying different fruits each morning for breakfast. The spa was comfortable, and the staff was very welcoming. The golf cart Tour of the Giants, was a fun way to get out and see different areas of the resort.

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled on business
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1  Thank Jersey856
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 February 2012

The layout of the hotel is not gracious, graceful or particularly inviting. The setting is nice, between two beaches and they have a lot of land but the swimming pools are right "on top of" the restaurants, which are all jammed together and almost indistinguishable. To go from most guest rooms to the lobby, restaurants, or spa, one always has to walk through the pool area, around people, kids, chairs, noodles, towels and personnel cleaning the pool. And the noise of the pool area is always present. It all felt very jammed together
The worst thing for us while we were there was about a 2 to 1 ratio of kids to adults. There were groups of 4, 5 and 6 children standing outside doors talking, standing or eating in the bar area with their parents, cutting through or playing hide and seek in the restaurants between tables and spreading out through all areas usually without regard for others. Sometimes there was an adult with them and sometimes not. There was no way or place to escape the noise or play, including in the hot tub or the supposedly "quiet pool" Nor was there any adult space in the bar to simply have a drink without children at the next table or couch. Very disappointing and I think very unfair to those of us who were not there with children and would have appreciated a place where children did not take over.
The rooms are pleasant and well designed, good beds, good bathrooms and lots of storage, but nothing out of the ordinary. Housekeeping and room service were efficient. So we could retreat to our veranda for quiet, and for a reasonably quiet meal, except for the children next door periodically. The spa was also very nice, a very good treatment and a pleasant setting if not spectacular. The gym was ok and had nice views. Some of the trips were fun, like the zip lining. And they have walking or running routes along the internal roads, though not much in the way of hiking, except up and down stairs. As others have said, all trips are a pretty long ride away so I would not use this as a base to see Costa Rico. As to service, I found it medium, it was better in the restaurants, but the beach areas and the bar were extremely slow and sometimes it was apparent that people just ignored that you were there to be served. Certainly I did not think up to FSor other luxury service levels.
All in all I would not go back to this FS.. It was not graceful, the prices for everything matched the prices in NY and I did not get even a smidgen of the relaxation that I wanted because of the lack of a place reserved for adults (not even the bar) where the large numbers of children were not present. Other choices in Costa Rico are better focused on value, and service to all their guests

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Chicago60604
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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