Occidental Papagayo

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Overview

The marvelous, open-air lobby of the Occidental Grand Papagayo transports guests with the exotic trappings of a pure tropical escape. The untamed, natural beauty of Costa Rica's Northern Pacific coastline echoes the sentiment. From spectacular bluffs to warm ocean waters below, the unspoiled eco-diversity this rich land offers simply carved out the perfect spot for the Occidental Grand Papagayo. This exclusive, adults only resort where premium service meets a breathtaking location is just half an hour from Liberia International Airport.

Location: Situated in Guanacaste on the Northern Pacific coast on beautiful Buena Beach, 20 min to Playa del Coco with its restaurants, bars and shops, 30 min from the airport.


tripadvisor Traveler Reviews
  • Joy_loves_traveling : Oregon
Overall would definitely go back!

I feel our experience is best listed in pros and cons with some sloth tips after.Pros:-overall the staff is awesome!! There were a couple ladies I absolutely loved at the breakfast buffet, the pool bar guys, one of the towel ladies, the lobby bartenders and the a la carte restaurant staff with a special shout out to Ricardo!-the room is a good size and the bed and pillows were surprisingly comfortable!-the view from our room was so gorgeous, we didn’t expect it but looked out over the bay from high up-the Italian and oriental restaurants were amazing!! We ate at them 4 of our 7 nights and kept binging because the food was just so insanely delicious.-the pool bar is the BEST. It was rarely busy once it got shady (I prefer to be in the shade) and even when it was busy there was never a problem with getting a chair.-the grounds are gorgeous, well groomed overall and clean. I really appreciated the mosquito fogging as I didn’t get a bug bite until my 5th day (be careful hanging out under the trees on the beach at dusk...)-lots of activities every day. We opted mainly to sleep, drink and hang out at the pool bar, but we did go snorkeling and Bryan was a great guide. Also took advantage of the sunset hike which had a great view after an easy hike since you can’t see the sunset from the resort.-overall the resort is quiet and we were never woken by any noises.-we got to watch fireworks across the bay on our last night from our porch!Cons:-housekeeping is inconsistent. When we arrived there was no bag in the trash can (all toilets we encountered in Costa Rica require toilet paper be put in trash cans instead of the toilets). The first time we had the room cleaned (we didn’t want it done daily and they were very respectful of our wishes), they didn’t replenish soap, tissue or beverages so I had to call for them. Honestly none of it was a big deal, but it was comical. I also knew it would probably happen based on other reviews, so really not a deal breaker at all.-the buffet food can be pretty bland. I found if I added salt it made everything taste better. In general I never add salt to meals I don’t personally prepare, but it really helped the buffet food (and the queso fresco)-they tell you that you can call to make restaurant reservations every day between 8 and 3, but they don’t ever answer the phone, and if you go after 9 you risk the restaurants being booked. Not a huge deal, just slightly annoying. I would just make sure I woke up at 8, got my reservation, and then had my breakfast omelet (my favorite part of the buffet by far).-they seem to have a very odd strict policy about not allowing guests into their rooms prior to 3pm. We learned the property wasn’t sold out, but they still wouldn’t let us in until 3pm, even when we offered to pay extra to get in early. I know they offer early check in for a fee if you book through Barcelo.com but I booked using credit card points and got frustrated about this policy. On the plus side, though, they gave us our wrist bands when we arrived at 9am so we could eat and hang out by the pool napping until we could get into our room.-WiFi is AWFUL. We got it so we could make an important phone call and found it wasn’t good enough at all for doing WiFi calling. It was infuriating how many times we were kicked off. I find it crazy they charge for such terrible WiFi, but this also wasn’t a deal breaker, just insanely annoying.-the snack bar was pretty terrible so we tried to avoid it.**to see sloths, drive 1.5 hours to Bijagua and hire Bijagua Rainforestours. Marlon is responsive and hooked us up with Freddy who showed us sloths in the wild within 5 minutes of us getting there. So much better than a zoo! It took me forever to figure out where to go for them, so hopefully this tip will help someone!**All of this said, despite the cons, my husband has already been talking about living here and how we could afford to do that because he loved it so much! :)

  • Yeamonn : Toronto, Canada
Amazing time!

I just returned from a one week stay at the Occidental Papagayo with my wife. The resort was beautiful, the staff were extremely friendly and helpful and we really had the perfect vacation.Check in: Upon arrival we were greeted by guest services, offered a welcome drink and booked into the hotel within 5-10 minutes. We arrived at 1:00 PM however, our room was not ready until 3:00 PM. We expected this heading into the trip so no surprises there. We changed into our swim gear, grabbed a bite to eat, had a few drinks and returned at 3:00 on the dot and were informed our room was ready to go. We then took a jitney to our room where the driver explained how to use the safe, how to turn on the power etc. I really wished I remembered the name of the Guest Services woman as she was extremely helpful throughout the week answering all of our questions, booking our dinners and even booking an excursion for us.The Resort:Beautiful! The view from the lobby is just breathtaking. The sunsets every night are breathtaking from the lobby as well. Hotel has 2 pools 3 bars a disco one buffet 3 a la cartes and one snack bar a gym a spa etc. Lots of hilly walking but they have jitneys to drive you around. Lots of wildlife like monkeys, birds, raccoon type things, geckos and lizards. They had lights on all the palm trees as of December 1st to celebrate Christmas and it really looked magical, they also had a Christmas Tree which was very entertaining to watch them set up (took them four days lol). I do not often say that I would return to a resort but I would definitely come back to this one. The food:Not a lot of options at the buffet but the food they did prepare was all delicious! I could see if you were a picky eater you would not enjoy the buffet as compared to a lot of other all inclusive resorts, there was not a lot of options. That being said, the food they did prepare in the buffers was some of the best tasting food I have had when eating from a buffet at an all-inclusive. Breakfast usually had rice and beans, 3 different egg options, salads, potatoes, hash browns, bacon, sausage. Lunch usually had chicken, fish, chicken wings, pizza, burgers, rice, salads, etc. Specialty restaurants; The resorts policy is a limit of booking 2 specialty restaurants per week but we were able to book 3 meals, just ask the guest services clerk before noon and they should be able to fit you in. We tried all the specialty restaurants; the grill, the oriental and the Italian all were good, my favorite probably being the oriental my least favorite the Italian. Pools:As of the end of November, there are now 2 pools. One brand new one with a swim up bar which is located on your way to the beach and a renovated main pool which judging by the before pictures they renewed the concrete around the pool as well as the liner/ entries into the pool. The larger main pool is nice with areas to sit in that are in direct sunlight or in the shade. The pool itself is in direct sunlight for the majority of the day so it is quite warm, just make sure to wear sunblock! There is no swim up bar at this pool but they have servers walking around all day asking you if you would like a drink, they will even serve you if you are in the pool, there is also a bar located in the snack bar just mere steps away. They have music playing and entertainment such as pool volleyball, Zumba, water aerobics, bingo etc throughout the day. The music is played at a fairly quiet level so you are able to sit and read/ relax as well. The pool with the swim up bar is a little smaller and tends to be shaded throughout the day so the water is a little cooler. Even though this pool has a swim up bar it is a lot quieter than the main pool. Neither of these pools get really rowdy throughout the day. The resort definitely attracts an older clientele (at least when we were there). We are early thirties and were about the youngest people there. If you are looking to party and get wild, this resort may not be for you. Beach:Nice at low tide, very relaxing and swimmable. The sand is a darker colour but still nice. Alcohol: Beer is Imperial- quite good beer actually but it is pretty light. I believe it was 4.5 percent. All mixed drinks were pretty good but not really made fresh (They had pre mixed pina colada, daiquiris etc that they would just add rum to, still tasted pretty good though. Drinks are not pored overly strong, if you want a stronger drink, just ask they will be happy to oblige. Service:Excellent, no issues at all, everyone was more than happy to stop and speak to you/ help you out. Tips are not expected but do go a long way and are definitely appreciated/ noticed by the staff. It seemed people did not tip as much at this resort as I have seen in Jamaica/ Mexico/ Cuba I am not sure why but if you receive good service I would definitely tip if you are able to do so!Rooms:We were in Building 3. Room was very spacious with a walk in shower, flat screen TV mini fridge and a king sized bed, all you need on vacation! Most channels on the TV are Spanish but with the wifi in the room we were able to watch Netflix. Entertainment is lacking at night time so we would usually watch a TV show before bed on our iPad after dinner. Fridge was refilled with 2 beers a Coke, a Fanta and 2 waters every other day. We brought bubba kegs and each night we would fill them up with water in one of the water stations located in the adjacent building as 2 bottles of water does not go very far in the heat!No smoking in the rooms or on the balcony, if you are a smoker you are designated to the beach or one designated smoking spot next to the lobby.Excursions:We went to Diamante Adventure park to do a canopy tour and see sloths, it was fun! We also booked a sunset cruise with Marlin Sailing tours which was an amazing experience; we saw Dolphins, snorkeled, drank lots and ate lots of food, this trip is highly recommended, the guys on this tour really take care of you and make sure you have a great time! We booked Diamante through guest services and catamaran through Air Canada Vacations. There were people selling tours on the beach, I am sure they were reputable but at the end of the day we felt more confident booking with Air Canada, just in case something happened. Feel free to make your own judgement when it comes to this though as the guys on the beach did seem legit/ seemed like they had a great knowledge of the area.I also booked a jet-ski for an hour which was a blast!Some Tips:Watch out for the birds/ raccoons, they will try to steal your food!Keep an eye out for monkeys near the beach/ a lot of wildlife at the resort!Costa Rica is a lovely country with lovely people, try to talk to the workers/ locals you will definitely gain an appreciation for their countryBring a drink container for water at night/ to carry to the beach as there is no bar on the beach

  • CBC9960HF : Toronto, Canada
Occidental Papagayo

Beautiful Vistas, Ocean Beach and Poolsanybody with mobility issues would find it difficult though they had vehicles to TransportBooking Restaurants was difficult because of the limited room and Days available

  • PGrambler : Vancouver, Canada
Overall good experience

We stayed 11 nights Papagayo and we really enjoyed our stay. The staff is friendly, the grounds are clean and the food was good. We were disappointed with the nightly entertainment because there was little to none. The beach was great! Snorkeling wasn’t amazing but it was the best we have seen at a resort. On the first day our AC was Incredibly loud but the maintenance man fixed it right away. We ended up using a towel to block the gap between the floor and the main door of our room because we woke up to a scorpion in our room one morning and very large spider the next morning. Overall we would stay here again next time we visit Costa Rica

  • 834sergem : Battersea
Nice relaxing vacation

Excellent place to relax, quiet and slow pace, very good food and drinks. Beautifully kept grounds, well maintained. Loads of shrubs and flowers. Some wild life, seen some Racoons and lots of birds, wild Parrots flying around the resort. Accommodation were very comfortable and spacious. Nice view of the bay from the balcony. A decent size black (darker) sand beach which is not over crowded makes for relaxing times on low tide, the beach desappear at high tide.

Vacations packages include round-trip flights, accommodations, round-trip transfers (unless outlined below) to and from the hotel, and tourist cards (if required, unless outlined below).

If selecting an all-inclusive resort option, the package will also include the all-inclusive features as outlined by each resort.

Items not included:

  • Travel insurance (mandatory if traveling to Cuba)
  • Tourist cards ($10USD) if traveling to Dominican Republic with Sunwing Airlines
  • Departure taxes ($20USD) if traveling to Dominican Republic with Sunwing or Signarture Vacations
  • Resort fees (if applicable) must be paid directly to the hotel
  • Hotel transfers for packages to USA
  • Hotel transfers for packages to Europe
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner daily
  • Snacks
  • A la carte dining w/reservations
  • Domestic & International brand drinks from 10am-10pm
  • Non-motorized water sports
  • Kayaking
  • Snorkeling
  • Introductory scuba diving lesson in pool
  • Day & night tennis
  • Yoga
  • Fitness centre
  • Spanish lessons
  • Dance lessons 
  • Daily activities & entertainment
  • Big Costa Rican theme day
  • 169 rooms & suites in several low-rise buildings
  • 1 buffet restaurant
  • 4 restaurants, including 2 a la carte restaurants: Italian and Asian, dress code & reservations required
  • Snack bar
  • 3 Bars
  • Disco
  • 2 pools
  • Tennis court
  • Fitness centre 
  • Spa & beauty parlor
  • Car rental
  • Scuba diving on-site (fee)
  • A range of watersports available
  • Internet access (fee)

Deluxe Rooms include:

  • Located in bungalows
  • 1 king or 2 double beds
  • Air-conditioning
  • Cable TV
  • Bathroom w/shower
  • Hairdryer
  • Safety deposit box
  • Mini fridge
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Balcony or terrace w/garden or bay view
  • Max occupancy 2 adults 

Note: Not suitable for the physically challenged due to a large number of stairways.

Honeymooners - Receive a room upgrade (if available at time of check-in), special check-in, flower arrangement upon arrival, 1 breakfast in bed (1 per stay), 10% discount on massage services. Request at time of booking. Requires proof of marriage certificate.

Early Booking Bonus - This hotel may offer early booking bonuses at certain times of the year. If early booking bonuses apply to your vacation, prices shown online have already been adjusted accordingly. Please inquire for complete details.

Resort Location Map


  • Occidental Papagayo
    Liberia,Costa Rica

  • Hotel Contacts
  • Extra Info
  • Disclaimer
Occidental Grand Papagayo by Barcelo
Playa Buena, 485000 Costa Rica

Some restaurants may be open for certain meals only and limited visits may apply. Reservations required and dress code in effect for a la carte restaurants. Time restrictions may apply for water sports.

Child pricing may only be available with select tour operators and valid for select dates and durations. Child pricing rules are subject to change without notice. Please contact one of our vacation specialists if you require assistance with child pricing.

Photo identification and/or credit card or cash deposit may be required at check-in for incidental charges.

Extra-person charges may apply and vary depending on hotel policy. Rollaway beds and cribs (infant beds) may be available and should be requested at the time of booking; fees may apply.

Special requests are subject to availability upon check-in. Special requests cannot be guaranteed and may incur additional charges upon check-in to fulfil.

Hotels do not condone unruly behavior, parties in rooms, excessive noise or any other actions that violate the hotels terms of use. Guests may be removed from the property at their own expense in the event of any disturbance or complaint from other guests or hotel staff. Escapes.ca cannot be held responsible for any guests who may be removed from the hotel due to a violation of rules.

Escapes.ca makes every effort to ensure that the information on this page is accurate, however, all information on this page is subject to change without notice. Escapes.ca is not responsible for any changes, errors or omissions that may occur.