logo Old Reviews - Allegro Papagayo by Occidental
Allegro Papagayo
Gerry 
Vancouver
December 2008
Arrival: Dec. 2008
We stayed for two weeks at this resort Dec. 11 to Dec. 25. We really liked the check in that they did on the bus from the airport to the resort. It saved a lot of time. Good work.
Rooms
The room we had was in building 9 - great view and that is where it stops. We had to beg for toilet paper more than once. Towels - some days you got 2 towels, some days 3, some days 4. Bathmats more days we did not get one than days we got one. Coffee maker in the room, yes, but,most of the time we had to beg for coffee for the machine. Some days we did not get any at all. Over all very bad service from the room staff even though we gave them a tips most days. I would not want to see what would have happened if we did not give them a tip. Also the A/C in our romm worked the first three days of week 1 and then stopped. The first three days of week two the A/C worked and then it stopped working again. I was so upset with the place aI did not even complain. Wake up service - one day we did not get our call and it was the day that we took the big trip whioch cost a lot of money.
Restaurants and Bars
There were several days when the resort was full - the buffet dinning room was not big enough to hold all of the people and there were long line-ups to get a table. When the resort was not full there were small line ups for the tables. The food was OK - Christmas dinner was wonderful. The rest of the time the food was very repetative. We did go to the Italian rest. The food was good. We could not get into the Tex-Mex rest. It was always booked up for when we wanted to get in and we tried to get a table several days in advance.
Beach/Pools/Grounds:
Pools was nice and big. The white sand beach was wonderful, the black sand beach at the resort was nice. There were a lot of beach chairs at the white sand beach. At the resort there were a lot of chairs if the resort was not full. When it was full you had to look hard for a chair. We did manage to get a chair all the time. The grounds were clean and nicely kept.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
The activities department was realy good. We took a couple of tours - The Pala Verde river tour is great and if you get to a coffee roasting place great.
Other Comments:
The white faced monkey's on the beach were great, the birds at the place were wonderful and you saw an iguana everyday. As for the rest of the place - old run down with very poor service from the room staff. I would not stay there again and I recommend that unless you want to fight for toilet paper and towels do not stay there.
Allegro Papagayo
Nancy 
Ontario
January 2008
Just got back from beautiful Costa Rica. The people are super friendly and the land, from what we seen, was very clean.
First the negative:
The rooms are average to slightly below average with a bit of a musty smell, but they were clean. Hey you are only in there to sleep. As long as I got a bed and bath and the room is clean, that is fine with me.

Also we could not get a key for the room safe, they didn't have any, but you could use the main one up in the main lobby for nothing. You also have to pay for your first bottle of water and then they have filling stations at each unit to fill up.
Now the positive:
I injured my knee before we arrived and on their own they switched us to the unit down the hill, by the pool, restaurants and beach. They catered to my every need, which was so much appreciated. The buffet, in our opinion, was amazing. So much choice and a different theme every evening.

The view is amazing, the birds everymorning, the monkeys at the beach, the beautiful black sand glistening in the sun light everymorning, the lizards and the heat. Wow , what a holiday.

The drinks are good and strong , cause they used the good rum, and served them in real glass or patio cups. No throw aways here cause that causes garbage.

Yes the resort is built on a hill, but you know that ahead of time and the shuttles ran constantly. Never a long wait.

We too were nervous about this resort from the reviews we read, but there was nothing to be nervous about. The place is great and yes it is a holiday. Take life easy. Pura Vida
Allegro Papagayo
Ronald 

January 2008
Just returned from a 2 week stay at the Allegro Papagayo (January 10th-24th) and LOVED EVERY MINUTE! They had some small issues...and none that you could not work with. They ONLY MAJOR ISSUE we had was being uninformed of NOT TO USE the room phone or the lobby phones prior to talking to the front desk! We arrived late on the 10th and proceeded to place a brief call back home to Canada to the tune of $97.00 dollars, ($50.00 connection fee and $3 a minute). The way around this is to have the phone line in your room opened up through the front desk and the charges are $2.00 a minute flat fee! Talk to Stewart with Signature Vacations, he's a wealth of knowledge and the only Signature Rep that we found knew any answers to our questions.

The Resort is beautiful,,the staff (Gerald,Oscar,Jimmy, Alberto) are all incredible people(bar staff) and work hard. Introduce yourself,,,tip them a couple of bucks and your needs are met for the rest of your stay, I promise! Walk on the volcanic sand beach....its gorgeous!,,,, get your butt out of bed (5:30am) and go hand feed the white faced monkeys on the beach,,,take a day trip to Nicaragua,, take in the Santa Cruz Bull riding (you won't believe what you see!),,,,go ATV-ing,,,fish the ocean for tuna and roosterfish,,,listen to the howler monkeys barking above you...want me to keep going?

It's all what you make of it,,, I got nervous reading the previous reviews but was pleasantly surprised,,one must learn to relax just a little for time does slow down just a hair.... but isn't that what a holiday is all about?
Allegro Papagayo
Catherine 

December 2007
Just came back from a wonderful wedding at this resort, unfortunately a bunch of us ended up with confirmed (by lab results) food poisoning. We can not decide which buffet food gave it to us as the nurse said we would have eaten the contaminated food 2-5 days before it shows up in our bodies. Staff is great, more a young persons resort or people need to be in shape to hike the hills in the heat to their rooms. Other than the "after effect" we enjoyed our stay.
Rooms
November 15-22,2007 Our room had two double beds and we had paid extra to have a king. The front desk and signature vacations rep handled it and the next day we were switched to a lovely room with an awesome view.Extremely friendly staff everywhere on the resort.
Restaurants
We were impressed with the buffet but we only have Cuba's buffets as guides and this was much better. The Italian restaurant was great.However....we did get food poisoning there. This has been confirmed from lab results and we were a party of 20 and several got sick. With true food poisoning we did not get sick until we were home. The health department said we would have contacted it 2-5 after arrival. Now taking antibiotics.
Activities
Were stung by something the locals call "sea lice". Feels like a jellyfish sting and lasts until you shower it off with soap and water.We did not swim on the closest beach but did swim at the white sand beach that the resort boat will take you to daily. Other than being stung it was a fun day. Fun to go down and see the monkeys in the trees at the beach every morning.
Tours
Definately do the zip lining and the "Cloud Walk" Well worth the bumpy rides. The people are so proud of their country and are so informative. We stopped to take in a sloth up in a tree on the way there. They stop and let you get out of the bus at everything of interest along the way.
Conclusion
Friendly staff and clean rooms. The buffet changed themes about every other night. Hopefully they have found the contamination by now.
Would not stay there again only because there really was not anything close to the resort to go and see. The closest trip was 45 minutes away into a very tiny town to shop.
Allegro Papagayo
Jennifer 
Vancouver Island, Canada
July 2007
We went to this resort in February 2006, and spent two weeks. The second week our family (40 in total) joined us for our wedding which we had set up with the resort and wedding planner during the first week. To make a long story short, we paid $1200 US for our wedding including ceremony and licence. Since then we have had to call the resort monthly with no resolution as we never have received our licence. A year and a half, and approximately five managers, later they have finally told us we should just get married here as we will never get our licence. They had us calling them, resending information, and many times would not return emails, and never returned calls, all to this end point. When I advised in my final email that we should be reimbursed for the wedding portion of our trip, they refused to email back. We will be getting married in Canada, a year and a half after our original wedding. I would never recommend this resort to anyone.
Allegro Papagayo
Michelle and Alex 
Nova Scotia, Canada
May 2007
We spent 12 days at the Allegro Papagayo in April 2007 and thought the hotel was fine. Our room was clean and in good repair, no problems with the air conditioning. The grounds and amenities are all attractive, except the volcanic sand beach is not good for swimming, but nice for walking. The private beach reached by boat shuttle is definitely worth taking the time to visit. The open air buffet was the only disappointment, with food never being hot or even warm, and flies or wasps all over the dishes and sometimes the food. We have been to many resorts in the past and this buffet was not up to par. The a la carte restaurants were much better. There was an active kids club for those with children, and the pool was very nice. The landscape is very steep, but not a huge hike like many of the reviews will lead you to believe and the shuttle van runs every 10 minutes. The internet services ($) in the lobby worked well and the computers were not too slow. The staff were all very nice and friendly. We would recommend the day trip to Arenal volcano and the Hot Springs, a long day, but so worth it. Monteverde Cloud forest and the Sky trek are amazing. A shopping trip to Playa de Coco for local souvenirs at reasonable prices is also a must.

Do not be intimidated about renting a car, the driving is not that bad and many of the roads are recently paved. The mountain roads are still bad, but just take you time and make sure you are not driving after dark in the mountains (it gets dark all year round by 630 PM, as they are so close to the equator). An excellent road map of the area is available by National Geographic for about $10. Liberia is good for a day trip and for a huge, delicious and very reasonably priced meal; check out Pasa Real just opposite the town square. This Guanacaste region of CR is nice, but dry and not representative of the rest of CR. Be sure to get out and see the lush country side as well as trying some of the local cuisine in the sodas (diners). Be sure to say the local phrase of “Pura Vita”, meaning pure life, it is a common greeting when meeting someone or toasting over a drink.

Overall, we loved our trip to CR and plan to go back, hopefully next year. However, we will not stay in a resort; rather rent a car and just drive, getting hotels where we please. Local hotels are available for about $35-40 a night in the mountain areas, and are usually privately run, just ask to see the room and then decide of you want to stay. Still for those wanting a resort, the Allegro Papagayo is just fine, I would rate it a 3-3 1/2 star but not a 4. All the best to those planning your trip, be sure to pick up a travel guide at your local bookstore to help you out, we found Frommers very helpful and accurate. Most everyone involved in tourism can speak some English, but a Spanish/English phrase book did come in handy in some of the more non tourist areas.
Allegro Papagayo
Freda 
Canada
March 2007
This is our second visit to the beautiful country of Costa Rica. Last year we were further south and now in the northern area. We fell in love with this resort. Even though the resort is situated on a very steep hill, a van comes by very frequently, certainly more often than very 10 minutes. There are covered bus stops with water coolers so one never needs to wait standing in the sun. We enjoyed walking up and down the hill but I would caution those with difficulty walking – they would probably be better off at another resort. The staff was very helpful; most of them knew English quite well. Our room was clean, we had lots of towels, and we had no trouble getting keys to the room safe. Our friends’ a/c was leaking quite a bit but the staff came and fixed it within a few hours. The food was excellent; every day there was a “theme” and different food. We went to the a la carte Italian restaurant – which I certainly enjoyed – like a 5 star restaurant. I had been somewhat concerned when I read that there was only 1 pool but the layout was great. The one pool was very large and designed in such a way that it seemed like there were 6 pools but all connected. We loved walking on the beach, black soft sand. There are some broken shells on the beach but I walked with bare feet and had no trouble. The water was quite calm though we did not swim in the bay – other people did go swimming there. The volume of music by the pool wasn’t super loud (one of my major complaints at other resorts) so we could relax by the pool. We always found lounge chairs, we also sat under the trees on the beach with the monkeys playing over head. The monkeys certainly knew when meals times were. We took 2 trips off the resort, one to a pottery village south of Santa Cruz via private taxi and also a tour to Monteverde Cloud Forest. I love the country and it’s vast diversity. I certainly would recommend this resort and have trouble understanding some of the negative comments I have read. To me, it certainly qualified for it’s 3.5 star rating – I would give it a 4.
Allegro Papagayo
Arleigh 

March 2007
Resort is located on a very steep hillside that offers a scenic view of the bay. Minibuses provide transportation since walking is difficult. The staff is poorly trained. The front desk registration was poorly organized. We had to wait for a room to become available. When house keeping said our room was ready, we were taken to the room. We walk in the room to discover the toilet is full of fecal matter. The toilet would not flush. I immediately call for a plumber. He did come promptly and fix it. Can you imagine that house keeping would approve a room for occupancy with this condition? The rest of the room was poorly cleaned. Even the soap dish in the shower was dirty. The A/C was a joke. One morning, water poured into our bathroom from the rooms above us. Food and Bar were acceptable but certainly not great. The Mexican cafe was the best. Basically, I was glad to get out of there without getting sick. The staff was friendly, but poorly trai. I put 100% of the blame for this situation on top management. They obviously do not set high standards, nor do they properly train their staff. I would never go back to this resort.
Allegro Papagayo
John & Wendy 

February 2007
We have just spent a most enjoyable week at this resort. It was great advice to request accomodation in the lower buildings. We stayed in bldg. #15 and this was perfect. We didn't need to go to the "White Beach" via the resort's shuttle service. There is nothing wrong with the black sand beach and the swimming was fabulous. Calm, warm waters most of the time. The staff are very friendly, helpful & interesting. The entertainment, which included audience participation if you wanted to learn local Latin dancing, was fun, informal and easy to participate in. The shows were full of energy, good dancing & great costumes. Food was good with lots of variety. The Italian restaurant was definitly a worthwhile experience, both food and service wise. We did not try the Mexican restaurant. Rooms were comfortable and well appointed. We have no reservations in recommending this resort, provided you are ok to either hike the steep terrain or take the shuttle bus, if you can't get accomodation in the lower units. John & Wendy.
Allegro Papagayo
Dave and Suzanne 
Schnecksville, Pennsylvania
December 2006
We vacationed at Allegro Papagayo for a week from Dec 4th to 11th/06. The hotel was very nice. This a hotel with a very picturesque view of the bay. The hotel is constructed on a steep hill side. over looking the bay. The sunsets are breathtaking. The hotel provides shuttles every 10 minutes so if you don't want to walk the up and down the very steep hills just wait for a van to give you a ride. The pool and food facility are at the bottom of the hill so if you have trouble walking there is transportation.

The food was outstanding. There were so many choices and everything was very clean and prepared so it was fresh. There were no problems with food setting in steam tables for long period of times. The waiters and waitresses were very professional and always dressed in very clean uniforms.

We rented a car so we could see some of Costa Rico for ourselves. We flew into the Airport near Liberia, rented a car and drove 35 minutes to the hotel Allegro Papagayo. We took two tours booked through Michael Mills/Vargas tours. Our guide Roberto was the guide for both our tours. The first tour was the Barinquen tour. My wife and I were the only two people escorted and guided by Robeto. Roberto was outstanding. He had a tremendous enthusiasm for Costa Rico, the wild life and the environment. He actually got excited when we saw wild life or something unusual that we needed to see. Spending two days with Roberto was an education in Costa Rican history, geography and culture. We were really fortunate to have him as our guide. After the second tour "the river tour" we felt we really knew him and his family. I don't know if you can pick your guide but ask Michael Mills if you can have Roberto Mora as a guide for your choices in tours.Roberto also has his own tour company called Geckotico Tours. Web: www.gecotico.com email ........ reservations@geckotico.com

We decided to see two towns in Costa Rico. Tomarindo and Cocoa Beach. The road to Tomarindo is very rough in many areas. Roberto told us that the conditions of many roads in Costa Rico were affected by the rain from recent hurricanes. It take about an hour an a half to get to Tomarindo from Allegro Papagayo. With good roads it should take a half hour but if you rent a small car like we did you want to drive slow as possible over the unpaved roads. Tomarindo is a town influenced by American Culture more so that any place we were at in Costa Rico. The beaches are coveted by surfers with excellent waves. I hope that Costa Rico makes every effort to control the influence of American investors. The country is beautiful. I am not saying that Americans will trash the place but there needs to be controls on what American dollars can do in Costa Rico. Dave and Suzanne ~ Schnecksville Pennsylvania
Allegro Papagayo
Carla 

May 2006
We were at the Allegro Papagayo in March 2006. What a disapppointment! Location very remote! Miles from anything and there is no beach to speak of. This is a 2 -star hotel that is rated a 3!! and that's pushing it!!Our room was horrible. The air conditioning did not work for 2 days.The beds were terrible. The bathrooms were never cleaned. Our bathroom door was so warped from the air cond. dripping on it over time is was bowed and would not close! They refused to move us although the hotel was not full. The food was mediocre at best. Only one dining area and bar on the entire property. There actually was a little area they called a mexican restaurant and the food was so bad we could barely eat it!

The web site makes this place look great but beware! This was our second trip to Costa Rico and we love the country but this property ruined the trip!!! Low Rent!!!
Allegro Papagayo
Don 

May 2006
My wife and I recently returned from a 7 night stay at the Allegro Papagayo resort and have the following comments and travel tips.
General
We stayed from April 24 thru May 1, room 130. After reading other reviews about proximity and access to the pool and restaurants we requested a room in building 15 (no ocean views though) but were told nothing was available for several days, so we declined. We are in relatively good health and often walk, but the layout of this resort leaves much to be desired.
Personally I'd revoke the architects license who designed this facility, much too hilly, and not at all walkable. There are few sidewalks in the complex, none connecting the upper buildings (1, 2, 3, 4, 9) to the beach area. All travel from those buildings and the lobby/bar/gift shop/mini market building to the pool/restaurant area is primarily by bus. I don't mind walking in the roadway but the grades/slopes are in excess of 40% in places. So, if you're prone to ankle or knee injuries take the shuttle bus.
Not too bad a choice but the bus never seems to be there when you need them
(tip: use the phone near the ice machine to call for one). But, considering the amount of food consumed I needed the exercise and would rather have walked. The beach although black sand it is the softest you'll ever walk on finer than powered sugar and cool to the touch. Overall we would rate this a 3+ star, but not quite a 4.
Room
We were in room 130. The room was comfortably sized about 12 by 20 feet not including the bathroom, one king sized bed, mattress no box springs. Since we didn't spend much time there size really didn't matter that much. A small balcony overlooked the buildings below and had a great view of the bay. The A/C worked fine, daily maid service (Ms. Yamil) was very good, always clean towels, although it appears wash/face cloths are in short supply since we got one only every other day.
Food
The food is excellent. The buffet is one of the best we've experienced; every night is a different theme (Mexican, CR) with foods to match. Meat lovers or those on low carb diets will love the wide selection of fish, beef, pork, chicken, hash, cheeses. Vegetarians will be okay too; always a plentiful supply of steamed broccoli, cauliflower, potatoes, two rices, beans (black of course), and a variety of fruits (mango, papaya, pineapple, cantaloupe) and salads during lunch and dinner. My wife enjoyed the array of deserts as well, even chocolate cake.
The Italian restaurant is to die for; we ate there twice. Call ahead for reservations the day before. The Mexican restaurant is horrible, avoid it unless you must. The room reeked of a fresh Clorox bleach cleaning. The food was bland and flavorless.
Weather
This Allegro resort is situated in the more dry northwestern part of CR. The dry season is from mid-November thru mid-May. Daily temperatures ranged from 70-90 F with relatively mild humidity while we were there.
Volcanoes
Unless you have a desire to lay by the pool and vegetate rent a car and visit the interior of the country, you won't soon forget the landscape, the friendly people and small towns. We drove to both the Arenal and Miravalles volcanoes. The Arenal is still active. The weather was so clear and cloud free that we could see the Arenal's caldera with hot molten rock cascading down the slopes. We enjoyed the sight so much we decided to stay and see it at night when it was said you could see the red glowing rocks, they were right it was spectacular. It's not often you see an erupting volcano from 2000 feet. We stayed the night at the Cangreja Lodge (Silvia and Milton propieteros) 9.5 kms west of La Fortuna ($50). The rooms look directly out onto the face of the volcano. My wife didn't sleep at all for watching hot molten rocks bounce down the slopes, you could hear them crashing from the hotel room.
Rental Car
We rented a car from Hertz and drove about 550 miles during our stay. Ernesto was very helpful and courteous. Seven days cost $220 for a 4 wheel drive Toyota Terios including mandatory insurance (for uninsured motorists I think). I would caution anyone not to drive the road from the town of Arenal to La Fortuna during the wet season (tip: be prepared for the roads, in places they are worse than horrible, filled with pot holes and broken asphalt pavement).
Language
Remember your grade school Spanish you'll need it. Only a very few native people we encountered spoke any English at all, most none.
My thoughts.
Allegro Papagayo
Lawrence 
Toronto - Canada
January 2006
My wife, 8 year old daughter and I just returned to Toronto, Canada after a week (December 26 to January 2, 2006) at the Allegro Papagayo. We had a great trip and would recommend Costa Rica for anyone wanting something a bit different. We are frequent travellers. This is a four star hotel (not more)and overall pretty good. Here are some featured comments:
The Food
The buffet restaurant is good with plenty of choice and overall good presentation and taste but not great.
A four star. Some dinner selections: always pasta, salmon, grilled chicken, beef or fish. Good bread selection, paella, soups, rice, potatoes, etc etc. You will never leave hungry. Too much pork. Breakfast is excellent and so is lunch. All the fruits & vegetables are very tasty and safe to eat.
The snack bar is available for burgers, hot dogs, fries, pizza and snacks. The pizza is really good.
The Italian ala carte restaurant is very good. The pizza is a must have (we had one in addition to our main meal). The breaded chicken breast, paella, and pastas are also good.
The Tex Mex ala carte is new and we did not try it but heard it was okay.
Overall food is a four star.
Room
The room is a three star. Beds not firm, decor okay, no kleenex, no soap dish, coffee maker has seen better days and no coffee provided. Basically the rooms really need a makeover. All the rooms have a magnificent view overlooking the bay of Papagayo. We were in bulding 10. We recommend building 10, 11 or 15 because they surround the main area (pool, restaurants, beach etc). If you get a building other than these three be ready to sweat as you hike the steep mountain. We are marathon runners but found the hotel landscape a tough hike.
Service
We had water streaming down from our ceiling. Hotel staff responded within 10 minutes. We needed towels and received them within 10 minutes of calling.
Everyone was helpful and responsive. Overall service is a four to five star.
Entertainment
The entertainment is basic and just something to do but not anything that would get ranked higher than a 2 star.
The Beach
Costa Rica has beautiful white sand beaches BUT this hotel is on a black sand beach. No one sat on the beach or even played on it. If you want a beach holiday go to another hotel. As an accomodation the hotel will take you by boat to the Beach Club that is a beach with white sand where the hotel has placed lounge chairs and clean, nice hammocks and they have a bar and some staff of about three. At that beach you can also go see plenty of howler monkeys. The black beach is a zero star.
Things to do at the Hotel
There is a free guided tour of the hotel property where you will see howler monkeys and some iguana/lizzards and snakes. There is also,ping pong, pool, rifle shooting, archery, water volleyball, beach volleyball,water aerobics, and swimming in the beautiful pool with swim up bar. There is also a good kids program. Overall a four star.
Excursions
We booked with Swiss Travel who has a desk at the main lobby area. They were very helpful and professional.
By far the best excursion and the one most recommended is the combo mega tour. The canopy tour is popular if you like rides because you will swing through the forest. We took the cruise at Palo Verde National park and saw plenty of monkeys, iguana, birds etc as well as having an excellent authentic lunch. The roads are full of pot holes and to get almost anywhere takes at least 1 1/2 hours. Apprently the volcano is 4 hours to get there and 4 hours to get back. Most found it just too much bus time.
Weather
The weather starting mid December to May is dry season. We had perfect 90 degree weather every day although weather.com calls it cloudy. Bring plenty of sunscreen.
Bug Bites
You will get bitten on the beach.
If you are on the sand wear bug spray.
Everyone gets a few bug bites on their legs.
Overall
Rooms very basic, beach non existent, but everything else was quite good. You will have lots of fun, sun, good food and more at the Allegro by Occidental a FOUR STAR.
Allegro Papagayo
Suzi 
New Mexico
July 2005
Just returned from our first, but not our last trip to Costa Rica. Our group (sometimes as few as eight, sometimes as many as 14) has traveled in Mexico and Jamaica every year since early 1990's. Costa Rica and the Allegro Papagayo are favorites.

I'll give you the con's first. The resort is located on a steep hill, which makes for a tough walk to the lobby. There is, however, a shuttle that runs approximately every 10 minutes. So don't be in too big a hurry to get to the top, they will come by and pick you up. The shuttle drivers are very helpful and even waited a few minutes on the day of our departure to help us lug our very heavy luggage to the shuttle.

The pool side bar closes promptly at 5:00 P.M. In July there is still much daylight and we were not quite ready to vacate the pool that early. It would be nice if the bar would/could stay open until 6:00-6:30 P.M.

There are refrigerators in the room, but no drinks were provided. Our first night there I woke up wanting a big bottle of water. Silly me, I had not checked out the refrigerator prior to going to sleep. I had to get up, throw on some suitable clothes, and go on a search for water. It took me about 15 minutes, but I eventually found the water and ice dispensers. We did not make the same mistake again and filled our ice/water pitcher provided in the room every night before turning in.

We flew Continental Airlines from Midland/Odessa, Texas, had a lay-over in Houston, Texas, and then into Liberia, Costa Rica. Our flight over was uneventful. Returning, however, was a mess. Continental delayed our flight out of Liberia for one hour. At Houston, Continental then delayed our flight back to Midland/Odessa twice. Now I remember why I hate flying Continental.

My final complaint has nothing to do with Costa Rica or the resort. We were not informed by our travel agent that upon departure you must pay $26 US departure tax per person. This oversight truly belongs to our travel agent only.

Now on with the good stuff:

The rooms were neat, clean, and very comfortable. We were in building 11, which was closest to the pool and restaurants, farthest from the lobby. Our room overlooked the pool and the beautiful bay. Other than no drinks in the refrigerator, we had no complaints whatsoever about our room.

Pool was immaculate and large. We never had any problems finding lounge chairs.

We did not spend a great amount of time on the beach. However, the few times we did go to the beach we all agreed the beach could be groomed more often. There was quite a bit of washed up debris. However, the view from the beach is beautiful and you'll enjoy watching all lots of crabs on the beach. Water in the bay was very warm.

We scheduled three tours through >Michael Mills. The river tour was incredible and our guides Manuel, Manuel, and Antonio were very informed. Our second tour was a canopy tour at Witch's Rock. Not very far from the resort. Yes, I have to admit, I had to be pushed off the first platform. It was an experience. Most of the group loved it and would do it again in a heartbeat. We book the sunset cruise, but the owner of the boat had trouble with the motor and, sadly, we missed that tour. I would highly recommend using Michael Mills for any tours.

Food was very good. We did not get to eat at the specialty restaurant because they were booked solid. The buffet was good and there was an excellent variety of food. The snack bar food was okay. Not much variety. We did miss the Pico de Gallo and Guacamole at the snack bar that we enjoy while traveling in Mexico.

I give this resort and Costa Rica a "two thumbs up" and can't wait until our next trip there.
Allegro Papagayo
David 
Regina SK. Canada
July 2005
I think I met Anita and her friends from Edmonton and sailed the yacht with them on my last day - small world, huh? I went to Costa Rica (C.R.) for the diving, was on my own, I got a very cheap deal from Calgary in a "Deluxe" category room. It was just over a thousand Cdn dollars, with single surcharge, taxes, everything. A deal. Booked with Sunquest through Travelocity.ca/itravel2000 I say it's a deal despite. well, everything is relative. All inclusive's don't go by the same star system that North American hotels use. You had to demand the "deluxe" extras in the mini bar if you wanted them for instance, and they would be replenished after 14 phone calls, several notes, and yes, you're on your way home by then. Sunquest staff at the resort say all the rooms are the same (but they charge you more for some of them?) and had no clue on what Sunquest offered and no control over the hotel operators either - but they were good at selling trips :-) In 7 days, they never had a lock for the safe - which I think is very bad. But the room was refreshingly cool, clean and apart from a late night amorous couple next door making the place shake (and hearing all their neighbours try to beat the walls down to shut them up) it was a pleasant stay. Hot in April, it was 42C the day I left. SkyService was good, booze was plentiful at the resort, I thought the food was pretty darn good - compared to some reviews I see here. It depends on what you pay I suppose, how you set your sights. One night I had a giant fried fish on my plate, steak in the steak house - but don't go on your own, you'll feel like a loser :-( the fruit and cakes were truly awesome. The granadillas were superb, I ate cart loads of those. The staff are overworked in the heat, many places like the pool bar are understaffed, and of course, get used to the "tourist push and shove" - as even though it's all you can eat and drink, usually the last person to need another pina colada or a sticky bun is usually pushing their way to the front of the line. there is no lovey-dovey united nations when it comes to fruity freezy drinks and confections.

The place is well kept, I got free internet with my room, but I'm not sure how they bill it as the machines were (slow) usually always logged in anyway, so I'm sure you could sneak in if you wanted. No place for laptop to connect or wireless. The gift shop has a great deal on local Britt brand coffee and no, there were few bugs and no scorpions.I never saw an assassin bug (or will I find out in 20 years when my heart explodes?, yes, they bite you in the night and you don't find out for 2 decades.), except at a Butterfly Farm in Monteverde.

Monteverde is a must, the cloud forest takes your breath away. Arenal by night with CAT tours, is a very long drive but as the volcano is in a rainforest, yes, you guessed it - it is usually covered with cloud so no lava for you (reputedly there are lava flows every night if the clouds clear, if you press the tour people very hard you hear it's once in every 73 years (kidding!)) Guanacaste is still developing tourism, so expect garbage just thrown outside homes like you see in Peru and London. However the locals (Ticos) are super friendly. And they love their food. On the few tours I did, the food was awesome. So many things you can do with rice and beans.

Costa Rica is an amazing place in many ways, and I've seen a few in my life. Most amazing of all are the lines of hundreds of windmills in a region around Tillaran on the way to Lake Arenal. It's so windy, trees literally grow sideways. But Costa Rica burns no fossil fuel for electric power - it's all hydro, geothermal and windmills. Amazing!

As was the diving. Resort Divers of Costa Rica runs from the hotel opposite the Allegro across the bay. www.resortdivers-cr.com They pick you up in a panga in the morning from the Allegro's beach. The water is not that clear, prepare for lots of backscatter with underwater strobe, try and take an external strobe unlike stupid me who kept on taking it off and leaving it on the boat. Photos are attached. The water may not be so clear, but there is LOTS to see in a short space of time. Prepare for heavy current in places and rapidly moving thermoclines - the cold can tire you quickly when it hits. Prepare too for sharks, turtles, mantas, stingrays, all manner of fish, sea horses - not much soft coral. I was impressed. Being so cloudy you need lots of extra light even at shallow depth. Snorkelling on the yacht with Anita & Co. (above) we saw a whole schwack of stingrays and a few mantas near the surface, they were coming out as that area was already shaded from the sun late in the day - right before we made the trip back in a to-die for sunset. It's just one example of many. There's lots of life to see here, underwater and above. There are howler and capuchin monkeys at the resort, most evenings and mornings by the main lobby. I never saw the scarlet Macaws (which papagayo means in some old Indian tongue apparently.) Some guests said they did.

All in all worth it, even for the single traveler. Always lots of people to talk to on trips and tours/diveboats, and the buffet restaurant is so busy you don't mind being on your own. I would go to CR again, but likely San Jose or somewhere to see something different, Liberia is far from many of the famous parks - but about the only diving region in CR. It's not as clear as Curacao or Bahamas, but in many places here they do have a lot more fish. Michael Jordan and Madonna supposedly have property at the 4 Seasons hotel, right next to the Allegro. Much the same view. But look what I paid, air in! I bet they paid a little more...
Allegro Papagayo
Carrie 
Guelph, Ontario, Canada
May 2005
Hello Debbie,

We just came back from our holiday May 7th - 21st/05 at the above resort.

First a comment about some of the other reviews of this resort - I did not experience most of the negative aspects mentioned in the reviews I read on your site and if I did, I guess I am more tolerant. I also consider myself a seasoned travellor of Carribean destinations and know from experience that hotel ratings in the Carribean are not comparable to those of US or Canada or even Europe. This resort is rated 4*. Most everything is that or higher in my opinion. The only qualities that may reduce this rating is as a result of the climate and nature (high humidy causes dampness and overacting A/C and bugs are attracted to lights on balconies). Costa Rica is like one big nature reserve. If you don't like nature, Costa Rica is not for you. I am very far from being physically fit and had many worries about this resort due to my being overweight and having asthma but the end result was that I had no problems at all.

We had a room in the ideal building (as far as I am concerned)...#15, same level as the pool and on the third floor. First room (#1530) for a little over a week - you could look over the side of the balcony and see 2 - 3 iguanas sunning themselves on the roof below. We moved next door (#1531) though as the A/C malfunctioned causing major dripping. They tried their best to repair it but I think they had to order a part so asked us to move to the next room to give them more time. Second room wonderful. Perfect A/C and comfy beds, etc. Rainy season started in second week but it was incredible that almost over night the land went from brown to green. My father who I travel with mentioned a baby iguana in our room. I think it was more like a salamander or a newt but it didn't pay us any bother. Lived behind the fridge during the day and on the high sloped ceiling at night. Only about 1.5 inches long. We did have tiny ants in the first room but no bother either. Not the biting kind and just did a little squishing per bathroom visit as all. I did make sure I shook out my essentials bag before packing it up for the journey home though. I was amazed at the hundreds of different insects and bird species they have at Costa Rica. I guess the one suppliments the other. We didn't see the insects until the rains started. Again, no bother, other than shaking out our clothes that dried on the balcony and wearing a little repellent in the evenings. Some insects were beautiful colours. We also had a lovely surprise near our room of a dove nest with mother and 2 chicks that we could watch every day as we climbed the stairs to our room. What a wonderful experience.

People were very friendly and loved the Fun Club group. Excellent entertainors. Made sure you were not bored even when the rains cancelled some activities. Food incredible...no chance for dieting though as either butters, salts or creams...but sooo delicious. My father got his share of shellfish (he donned a chef's hat and apron and assisted in making Paella one day) and I enjoyed the chicken, beef and pork, not to mention the huge variety of fruit and desserts. My only comment...they need bran/grainy muffins. All muffins were more cakey in nature. Did have granola which was wonderful with a little yogurt on it in the mornings.

Pool is huge and there is always a shady part of it to swim in if you need to stay out of the sun. I actually got involved in water aerobics for the first time and felt great. Hope to continue this now that I am home. Definitely reliant on the shuttles to get around the resort. Hills too steep for walking up or down as hard on ankles and knees. But they come every 5 minutes on average so no inconvenience at all. Recommend at least a 45 sunblock. I used 30 and still got burnt a little. Also, I recommend you bring along an old towel (you can leave it behind when you go home and it makes room for souvenirs in your luggage) so that you can use it to reserve your favourite lounge on the way to breakfast. Yes, we are a couple of people who some of the other reviews mention about, but since we came during the off season, there were no complaints and still lots of other lounges for other people.

Beach incredible. Black sand and very natural...not the kind of disinfected/raked beach you find at most resorts. Water very warm and since you are located on a bay, no high waves so safe swimming, we didn't though. Tons of shells and my first time seeing crabs about. We even saw monkey foot prints too. Howler monkeys in the trees along the trail from building #15 and sometimes near the Lobby bar too. Very vocal birds about as well. Never made it to the white sand beach...had to reserve it and it was only from 10 am - 2 pm four days per week. Heard no shade there so didn't want to be stranded there during hottest part of the day. Also tried to reserve the indoor restaurant (8:00 am the day before as instructed) but they managed to not find our reservation. Okay as buffet food wonderful anyway.

Excursions wonderful - especially the hot springs at based of Arenal Volcano - aaaah! (bring hotel pillow with you for the ride home - trust me - you will need it as road windy and lots of pot holes.) Palo Verde Riverboat cruise incredible - saw many bird species, huge grasshoppers, baby crocodiles, howler monkeys, many different iguanas and even a baby boa constrictor (thank goodness it was just out of reach to prevent the guide from bringing it on the boat). Coco beach excellent shopping place - tons cheaper than other areas and internet only 50 Colones (may 10 cents american) (or 500 Colones, can't remember) for half an hour compared to $6 US per half hour at resort. Resort internet slow and malfunctions most of the time. Coco beach fast computer like here at work. Papagayo Seafood Restaurant at Coco Beach is a definite must experience place....the most incredible food. I had chicken a la meniere which was in butter, white wine and lime juice and herbs. My father had stuffed prawns that must have been at least 6 inches long each that he thoroughly savoured every morsel. Liberia shopping tour okay - it was fun however going into the grocery store to buy coffee when you don't know any spanish and they don't know any english. Luckily they know the word "dollar" and when you say that, they take out their calculator, figure out the exchange and let you look at the screen to see the US dollar conversion. Coffee cheapest here. Sunset tour very nice too - incredible sunset but not till the ride back as storm in distance obstructed view - didn't see dolphins though but have excellent photo of sunset with silhouette of monkey head island in foreground.

The only downsides to the holiday really was that it ended too quickly and that the Liberia Airport is not very organized but more chaotic. We got there 2.5 hours prior to flight and it took the entire time to endure three different line ups (over 100 people in each of 2 of the line ups) to deal with checkin, paying the departure tax and immigration/customs/security. They need more staff and more organization at the airport.

Over all, I would definitely recommend this resort, especially to nature lovers. Definitely a 4 star resort. We plan on coming back to Costa Rica...maybe trying the San Jose area so that we can experience other adventures and more of Arenal volcano or Coco Beach area where there is lots of do and the safe community is full of friendly people and more affordable shopping.
Allegro Papagayo
Anita 
Canada
May 2005
Greetings Fellow Travellers! We are from Edmonton and in our late 40’s….

We were in Costa Rica April 6-20, 2005 .We split our two week vacation into 2 resorts…The 1st being the Grand Papagayo……absolutely gorgeous resort! The beach we thought was great, everything was luxurious..we stayed in a unit with about 6 rooms overlooking the ocean ..incredible views…beautiful rooms. Large and spotlessly clean..no complaints..very quiet though, so if you are looking for nightlife this is not it! The Gym is finished and good quality. The Oriental restaurant and the Italian were amazing. The quality of drinks was good and even the wine was not bad!

Allegro Papagayo..2nd week ..met 3 other couples from Edmonton …here is the deal, the rooms were not as nice, the drinks including wine not as good quality but the pool area was better and a lot more going on. The beach is black sand so we didn’t like it as much as the Grand beach so this is when we got into tours. We contacted Michael Mills, a Canadian living in Costa Rica and operating tours under Allegro Tours. He set up the tours for us and was great. We went on the Zip Line to Witch’s Rock which was a riot! Not the lush jungle but no matter, the zip lines were safe and great fun and very close to the hotel! Palo Verde River Tour was a wildlife spectacular. We had Roberto as a guide and he went out of his way to show and tell us everything he knew about the plants, wildlife, herbs etc. We got to feed the white faced monkeys bananas from our hands. They were all over our boats and a lot of people on the same tour with different guides did not get to do any of that. Great Experience!

We also went on the sailing/snorkeling tour twice it was so much fun! Ist time on Michael Mill’s Catamaran…great fun..about 5 hours in total…2nd time Michael booked us on a sailboat for the same tour and we ended up paying more to stay on the boat for the whole day coming back with the dolphins playing in our waves after sunset.

All in all we would go back to Costa Rica in a heartbeat! The only thing we thought we wasted our $$ on was a shopping tour to Liberia..go to Coco Beach instead..a lot more fun, better shopping and good prices …..Have a great time……you will love it!
Allegro Papagayo
Larry & Michele 
Olive Branch, MS, USA
April 2005
We are not “world travelers” but have been to the Caribbean on a cruise, Jamaica, Mexico, England, Ireland and around the U.S. in the past 25 years. This was our first trip to Costa Rica and, something we usually won’t do as we usually say..Been There, Done That, but we will definitely go back again. We were unable to do all the things we wanted to do while in Costa Rica…see the rain forest, volcano, etc., so a return trip (for a longer period of time) is a necessity. The people are super nice and helpful.
We booked our trip through Vacations Express who, rather than using one of their charter airlines, booked us on Delta Airlines from Memphis through Atlanta to Liberia, Costa Rica. We arrived in Liberia after a smooth flight and, thanks to the warnings, didn’t laugh out loud at the size of the Liberia International Airport. It is a very small airport, but that made the clearance through Immigration and Customs that much smoother. We walked out the door and there was a young lady standing there with a sign with our names on it. She introduced us to our driver and told us she would be our guide. The drive from the airport to the resort was about 20-30 minutes through some farm country. Upon arrival at the resort, the view was spectacular, overlooking the Gulf of Papagayo.
Resort
We walked in to the lobby and were greeted by Ronald, the representative from Swiss Travel Services. We were quickly handed drinks (Pina Colada’s) and Ronald told us that he was there to take care of anything we needed. The check in was smooth (they did ask for a credit card) and our room was immediately available. As suggested by others on this forum, we requested a lock for our room safe and were told that none were available. It was suggested we check back the next day, which we did and got our lock. We asked to exchange some travelers checks for local currency (Colones) which turned out to be very difficult. I went through 4 travelers checks before they were satisfied with my signature matching top and bottom. Next time we go, we will take cash and/or credit cards, but no travelers checks. We were driven to our building (#5), which is about midway up/down the hill with a good view, and our luggage was taken to the room by the bellboy/driver.

As stated by others, the resort is on a hillside and the roadways are very steep. While there is a shuttle available, and the wait isn’t long, we chose to walk up and down the hills for the exercise. Believe me, after eating all the food that is available, you will need the exercise! The rooms are comfortable, though not lavish. The bed is a mattress on a box spring but the “spring” is pretty much gone out of it. Still, it was comfortable enough as you don’t spend a lot of time in the room anyway. There are bottle water stations (with cold water) and ice machines at all the bus stops but the ice machines were usually empty (I’m sure they were emptied by other guests and the machines just couldn’t keep up). Small complaints…only one hand towel and washcloth, and no coffee for the coffeemaker until we left a note on the bed that said “Dos Café, Por Favor”. We left it everyday and had coffee every day.

If you want Internet access, it’s available for $6 for 30 minutes from the front desk. Their server is slow and the keyboard is strange (the @ sign is Alt-6-4) but it’s readily available when you want it.

There are a lot of iguana’s around the resort and some white faced monkeys. We never did see the howler monkeys that are suppose to be around, though. We didn’t have much problem with mosquito’s or other bugs, other than the few ants we saw in the bathroom.
FOOD AND BEVERAGES
The food is plentiful and very good. Remember…this isn’t the Crowne Plaza, or Hyatt resort in Florida. This is Central America so the food isn’t 5 star quality, but is very good when everything is considered. The service is good (most of the time) but all they really do is bring drinks, and you can get them yourself if you want. They have Coca Cola Light (Diet Coke), Fanta Orange, Sprite, juice, tea, water (it’s safe to drink at the resort) and a few other items, plus mixed drinks.

For breakfast, there are pancakes, waffles (make them yourself in a unique (at least to me) wafflemaker), omelets, bacon (you might have to wait for it but it’s very good), lots of fruit and a variety of local foods. For lunch, there is pasta (available for lunch and dinner) with a red or white sauce, plenty of fruit (again), grilled chicken, steak or pork and usually, wonderful ice cream for dessert. Oh yes…deserts…all I can say is WOW! There are beautiful pastries available for lunch and dinner and boy, are they good! For dinner, there is a different theme each night. There was usually some variety of fish (salmon, red snapper, etc), pork, beef, lamb, along with plenty of chicken dishes, pasta, local selections, wonderful bread (lots of choices), fruit and deserts. There is also a snack bar open all afternoon and evening for hamburgers, hotdogs, nachos, fruit, etc. One night, they had a dish with shrimp, miniature lobster tails (or extremely large crawfish) tails and was to die for!! All the meats were very tasty and well prepared. The food is served in an open air, no a/c facility. The one thing that could improve this would be large ceiling fans.

We made reservations for the Las Reses restaurant one night (our 25th anniversary) and we both ordered the lobster. It was a $22 upcharge but was very good. You got a decent size lobster tail and the body was stuffed with mashed potato’s.
POOL
The pool is large and warm. I wouldn’t spend a long time considering what’s in the water…we heard people complaining about it, when looking at the water at night in the lights. Heck…it’s a resort! It won’t be the cleanest pool in the world..so don’t drink it! I played pool volleyball almost every day and had a ball. There’s a swim up bar (very nice!!) and the deepest section is about 4’-4½”. Towels are available from an office under the steps but they run out quickly so BRING YOUR OWN TOWELS! The Fun Club staff offers aqua aerobics, pool volleyball and other entertainment. There are plenty of loungers but people put their towels on them first thing and then we never saw them again. But, we were still able to find a couple of loungers together whenever we went looking. It’s a little harder to find some in the shade, though. Believe me, you will want some as the sun is extremely hot and you will burn fast.
BEACH
The beach is black, volcanic sand and is very hot. The tide was out during the day so there was plenty of beach. There are chairs and hammocks by the beach and lunch was served (bbq style) down on the beach, under the trees on a couple of occasions. It was too hot for me (Larry) at the beach but Michele liked it. Get some beach/water shoes to take with you, preferably 2 pair so one can dry while you wear the other. The water is warm and shallow. There are catamaran sail boats available along with jet ski’s but we didn’t check into them so I can’t tell you anything about them.
FUN CLUB
The fun club group are a bunch of fun loving, talented employees. They wander around the pool, greeting everyone and helping you with your Spanish (you will quickly learn what Pura Vida means). They put on two shows in the evening…one for the kids, followed by one for the adults. They dance and sing and do a commendable job.
TOURS
We went on 3 tours, all booked at the resort. All the tours were small groups and the guides were very friendly and helpful. We used Swiss Travel Services for the shopping trip to Liberia. The cost is $17/person and they take you by bus to two tourist traps and in to town. They drive you around town so you can see what’s available, then give you a couple of hours to wander. Go to the grocery store for coffee, liquor and other foods as they are cheaper than anywhere else. Lots of t-shirt shops with a large variety of shirts, hammocks (we bought a 2 person rope hammock for $17), hats, etc. If you want American food, there’s a Pizza Hut, Burger King and Subway. It’s also a good place to get on the internet as it’s less expensive than at the resort.

We booked a horseback riding tour through the agency that is down by the pool (I think it was called Charlie’s), under the stairs. I think it was $45 and included a boat ride across the bay, the van to the stable and about a 2hr guided trail ride. The horses are gentle and sure footed. The trail is both steep and flat in places and gives you a great view of the bay and the resort from the opposite side of the bay. They will give you a cold bottle of water after about an hour but you should bring your water bottle as it gets hot and dry while riding. They bring you back to a little restaurant by the water at the end, where you can get something to eat and/or drink and wait for the boat ride back.

We also booked a snorkeling/beach/bbq/mangrove tour through the same group. It is an all day tour (8am-3pm or so). They take you by small boat to their larger boat and then over to a good spot for snorkeling. On the way out, we got to see a bunch of dolphins swimming around the boat and they drove the boat in circles to give us a good view. Then we went over to the snorkeling spot. It’s probably about 30’ deep and there were a lot of fish. Then, they take you to the beach to relax, eat from the bbq (prepared by their personnel) and go in to some caves. We did some more snorkeling from the beach as the water level was too low (low tide) for the mangrove tour.
Suggestions on things to take with you:
Bug spray (we found some small ants in the bathroom)
Drink holders (we took 16 oz sipper bottles with insulated bottle cozies to keep the drinks cold) or insulated mugs
Talkabout radios (we didn’t, but could see where they would come in handy if someone is at the pool and someone else is in the room, or elsewhere)
Extra pairs of sunglasses (Michele lost 2 pair and I broke one pair)
Lots of sunblock
Lots of aftersun lotion
Off bug spray or equivalent
A small fan to blow the a/c in to the bath wouldn’t hurt. ( There’s no fan in there and it stays quite warm after a hot shower)
Allegro Papagayo
Scott 

April 2005
my husband and I, stayed at the allegro papagayo in late February 2005, after visiting a few countries and staying at various hotel chains I think I can give a fair review.

we arrived in Liberia, everything went well, the country tourism people handed out maps of the country for you which I thought was very nice, and the bus was waiting no problem, your hotel personal holds up signs for you. on the bus, they hand out hotel info, and along the way tell you some things about the country, and give you some small Spanish verses that might help. we got to the hotel in about 30 minutes, maybe 45, it was very dry in the area with fires going on and off in the area, thankfully nothing to worry about. I heard the road was closed the day before we got there because the fires were up to the road that leads to the hotel. I think only one way in, out by water if you have to. not sure though.

the hotel is nice, we got a welcome drink when arriving, most of the rooms were ready for everyone that was on our bus, there was only a few people waiting to get rooms, we were one of them, I paid 200 more for superior ocean view, and sent them an email telling them I would like to be in a certain building, which was closest to the pool,[ I did realize it was hi season and they couldn't promise anything] when I got there they tried to give me something that was not what I paid for, they were trying to put us in a building far away,, so I asked for the building I wanted, I told her I paid for superior ocean view, and she said no problem but you have to wait, so we waited, and we got what we wanted, but they should have taken my 200 extra dollars into account when I booked, I shouldn't have had to ask for it. they were trying to put us into a regular room that didn't cost extra.

so to the rooms, we were in building 10, which is closest to the pool and buffet and everything. really the only good thing about these rooms are the convince, otherwise no different then the rest, buildings 10, 11, 12 are nice because you don't have to wait for the shuttle [or bus] to get you to go to the pool. you only have one flight of stairs. the rooms are average hotel rooms nothing fancy. and I've heard a lot of bad things about the maids, but I think the problem is the HOTEL not the maids, they don't have cleaning stations on all the floors. if you watch, like I did, the maids have to wring out their mops on the first floors, them bring them up, we were on the 3rd floor, so it didn't get cleaned as good as one on the first floor. the hotel needs to accommodate their personal better. they have to carry everything up the stairs bedding and all.

ok on to the bars, I feel the same way here, the bartenders, and wait personal work 12 to 14 hours a day, and need more help!! the lobby bar maybe does not, but the pool area is always swamped, and they need more help, their should always be at least two people or even three for this area. and there is for a very short period of time, but not long enough I guess, also the suns shines in on these guys at 5 or so and they need some shade provided for them, some kind of screen or something, they do there best but it is slow going here, and its not the bartenders fault. the disco lagged personal also, we went in there about 11;00 and it was 20 people deep to one bartender, we left. enough said.

the buffet was ok, I've had a lot better at the breezes chain, or beaches even. it seemed they reused every thing and made it into something else, and both times it was no good. again they were short handed, they had the major cook handling everything and it was to much for her, she was cooking omelets for everyone in line, trying to cook bacon, and trying to keep up with the French toast and keep that pan full also!! it was way to much for one person.

if you did find some bacon later in the morning it was almost raw, from her trying to keep up. again this is not the cooks fault, the hotel needs to hire more people. the steak place was good, we had the tenderloin it was awesome! a lot better beef then in the buffet! I heard the Mexican place was not the greatest don't waste your reservations, because you only get 2 per week, between the both. the steak or pork in the buffet was not that good.

the beach is a black sand beach it is nice but not the Caribbean beach! don't go down there thinking it is! or you will be disappointed! what amazed me was how the tide went out so far, I never seen the tide go out for blocks! you had to wade out for a long ways to get into the water on low tide. it was very different!

you really don’t come to this hotel for the ocean, just the country. maybe other hotels have a better beach. this hotel is in a bay maybe that’s all the difference. when it comes to the tide in this area.

there was a lot of crabs on the beach, this was pretty cool, they would hide when you got near, their more afraid of you. all in all it was a cool beach.

there were monkeys by the lobby bar everyday that live in the trees there. that was cool, also the tours we took we saw a lot of monkeys. so on to the tours, we did the mega combo tour with Vargas tours, we prebooked this before we left, I did research on all the tours and thought this would be best. we did the canopy tour, waterslide, horseback, and lunch which was awesome! the canopy tour is nothing to be afraid of, I'm a chicken and I did it. it was the best adventure I've ever did! in fact 2 kids 6 n 7 did it first. I was only afraid the first time then it was nothing.

I was glad I reserved something with Vargas after hearing our rep. have his say. the reps people have way to many people going and its crowded, with Vargas tours you book and it's only 4 to 8 people on your tour. and they make sure to leave 1/2 hour earlier then the rest of the tour companies so you feel like you have the whole place to yourselves! they are great! lupita and Ricardo started the company, they worked for another company for 6 or so years then got married and started there own company, and they are the nicest people, I got to meet lupita on our sailing cruise, we seen dolphins, and swordfish jumping, the snorkeling was ok, for the pacific ocean, and lupita was very informational when we went to the private beach. they are trying hard to make a good name for themselves and are doing a great job! they really care if you had a good time! and she will ask you! our guide was Manuel he was a school teacher doing this to make extra money, and going back to school to make more money. they hire good people.

a lot of the tours are 1-2 hours away some are 4 hours, you have to decide what's good for you for your time frame when down there. we wanted to relaxed alittle and didn’t do to much.

the hotel offers tours by boat to go shopping this is a lot of money, 25 per person and I heard it was not that good. 1 hour by small boat, also by taxi 60 per person 120 round trip, unless there is a bunch of you this is very hi priced! I did my shopping at the hotel. Vargas tours will take you into Liberia shopping on the Palo Verde boat tour I would recommend this if you want to go shopping other then the hotel.

don't switch any money to theirs you can get by without it, NO TRAVELERS CHECK EITHER, they don't want them! bring 100s only for paying for your tours. maybe a couple 50s, then 20's, and maybe 30 in 1 dollar bills for tips, works great. my final thing would be to say the hotel needs to hire more people and make the work stations better for the maids, and also if they cared about their people more, their consumers would be happier customers! and I think the food at other hotel chains is a lot better. HAPPY TRAVELS!!!!!!!!!!
Allegro Papagayo
Dave 

March 2005
We just returned from a week at the Allegro Papagayo Resort.

We flew Skyservice and were pleasantly surprised by their service level. They actually left early both going and coming back. I enjoyed the movies and the food was OK.

The Liberia airport is small, but we moved through the line quickly and were on our way. It doesn’t handle outbound flights with 300 people on them, as the line was pretty long. Probably because they have no baggage xray, and they hand search certain lucky people’s luggage.

It took 30 minutes to get to the resort, and it was dark when we got there. We had asked, in advance, for a king size bed, the top floor and a no smoking room. None of these requests were fulfilled.

Others have suggested not bringing Traveller’s Cheques, but I noticed that several Tour Companies and the hotel were cashing them.

We did see monkeys (howlers and white-faced) around the hotel, but not much else.
Reception Area
My interaction with the front desk consisted of my daily trip to try and get a lock for the safe in the room. If anyone from the hotel reads this, I suggest they spend some money and buy a few more locks as they seem to be extremely short of them. I never did get one.
The Room
I agree with those that call the room OK.. Not particularly clean, the AC took the whole week to bring the temp down from 30 to 22. There were always towels available, but some days there were no face cloths. There was a coffee maker with no hint of cups or coffee to use in it. There were also some ants around, both of the miniature variety and the regular size. Sometimes the light in the bathroom did not work if the humidity was high, as it had no cover on it. The room could have used paint.
The Grounds
The grounds are nice, sprinklers keep it green. Pretty dry elsewhere, in the dry season.
The Bars
The drinks are powerful, I guess coke costs more than rum. The beer is good. For some reason, the coffee urn in Pablo’s bar is always empty. Some days there was tea and cups but no sign of hot water. Tables were pretty messy.
The Pool
The pool is nice. I had to “reserve” a chair by 7am. Lots of cups/glasses around every morning, sometimes they wouldn’t clean them up for a few hours. The activity staff are really good at entertaining, including volleyball and water aerobics.
The Beach
The black sand beach near the resort is kind of ugly, and I didn’t use it a lot. The white sand beach near the resort is really nice, but you can only spend 3 hours/day there. The snorkeling at the white sand beach is as good as the snorkeling that you pay to travel to, near the rocks.
The Food/Restaurant
The food is pretty good, maybe because most stuff is floating in butter. I found that the offerings were pretty repetitive, which is OK for one week. The ala carte restaurant is OK too, good beef.
Really good ice cream.
Some waiters/waitresses were very good, some were non-existent.
On our last day, the hotel lost water pressure in most buildings and all common areas. No bathrooms and showers for more than 10 hours is scary. Hopefully they got it working later that day.
The Tours
The sunset tour available thru the water activity office is quite good, the mangrove/snorkeling/bbq tour is lame.
The Palo Verde National Park tour thru Vargas Tours is really good. Lots of crocs and birds.
Beware of some of the souvenir stores that the bus stops at if you take the Liberia shopping tour, they are really really expensive. Buy liquor/coffee at the supermarket in Liberia.
Suggestions
I have some suggestions to the Occidental people if they want this resort to really be a four star destination.
. put a lock in every safe in every room
. apparently, theft is a big problem around the pool area, maybe have some security people keep an eye on it
. spruce up the rooms so they are as nice as the lobby
. keep coffee urns, juice machines, milk jugs etc. and hot water full at all times
. make a bigger main dining room, it’s pretty crowded and frequently lined up
. ping pong balls that aren’t dented and pool tables that have a complete set of balls
. better communication regarding when stores are open, and when tours are actually leaving and where they are leaving from
. clean up all of the glasses/cups/plates all over the resort more often. I saw them everywhere, sometimes for hours/days.
Allegro Papagayo
Margaret 
Mississaug, Ontario Canada
March 2005
First of all I would like to thank our travel agent who works with Elgin Travel in St. Thomas Ontario. She put up with a lot of minds changing from time to time.
We had originally booked our trip in April 2004 to go to Riu Bambu Punta Cana Dominican Republic. We had heard about the “Malaria Scare” and had bought our cloroquine tablets and were ready to go. One week before departure our TA called us and suggested we move to another location due to the “Gastrointestinal Illness” going around the DR. Our travel party consisted of 26 people so time was of the essence to book some where else. With in hours we (20 of us) had booked the Allergo Papagayo in Costa Rica, six of us decided to stay in the DR.

I am the type of person that likes to research everything before I do anything…now I was feeling a little anxious going somewhere which I knew nothing about.
Flight
We flew out of Toronto Pearson on February 14, 2005 at 7:45 AM. Our pilot was Julie and we landed 4 hours and 55 minutes later. When the plane doors opened the first thing we said was “WOW is it hot”. Customs went smoothly and a Sunquest bus was waiting outside to take us to the hotel.
It took 30 minutes to get to the hotel; the last few minutes were going down a very steep hill.
Check in
Check in was a little unorganized, my husband was asked for a credit card, one of my brothers was asked for a credit card but my father and other brother were not asked…strange… We were asked if we wanted to use the safe for a $1.00 US a day. We were handed a safe key and told the rooms would not be ready until 3:00PM (it was now 1:30 or so) we went down to the restaurant to eat and look around. At 3:00 PM the rooms were ready and the bell boy loaded our luggage into the shuttle bus and took us to our room (712).
Rooms
We have two daughters ages 11 and 12, and right away we noticed that this was going to be a bit cramped! The rooms are quite small with 2 double beds, a desk, one chair, one dresser with three drawers and one end table and a fridge with nothing in it. The closet had about 8 hangers in it. The bathroom was small as well, no bathtub just a shower. That did not bother us we are the shower type of people. The patio had two plastic chairs on it again very small. The rooms were decorated very nicely but could have been cleaned a little more. Dust bunnies in the corners and tiles coming off the wall in the bathrooms.

Our toilet leaked so we kept a towel on the floor, our AC well that is another story. Our first night we set it to 23 and went to bed. Around 1:30 AM my husband and I heard a noise which sounded like our dog walking on the ceramic tiles, our dog was at a kennel so we got up to investigate. It was ice pellets coming out of the AC hitting the floor….we laughed at first re-adjusted the temperature and went back to bed. A few hours later we heard dripping water. This time the water was leaking out of the AC onto the floor. Another towel on the floor helped this matter out. After the third night of the same routine (not funny any more) we decided to call and have some one fix the AC. Our AC was fixed twice and still caused the same problems so we just lived with the wet towel on the floor and the noise.

We had no problems with the safe but other people in our travel party did.
Food
I have been to Cuba, and Dominican Republic and I have never seen so much fruit! There was mango, cantaloupes, whole apples, bananas, pineapple, plums, nectarines, watermelon, papaya, and a fruit that looked like a small mango but when you opened it, it was full of seeds this was very tasty!

Every night they would have two kinds of pasta with a white sauce or a red sauce, chicken breast (boneless) pork chops and a fast fry steak. Then the rest of the food varied from night to night. Rabbit, lamb, roasted turkey, whole roasted pig, red snapper, shrimp, mussels, lobster claws, potatoes, veggies and always rice and beans.

Breakfast consisted of cereal 3 or 4 types, muffins, croissants, banana loaves, scrambled eggs, rice, beans, bacon, (make sure you go early for the bacon, once in a while it would be crispy!) sausage, fried bologna, pancakes, French toast.. Make your own omelet station, or waffles. Juice and coffee or tea were available.

Lunch you could either go to the snack bar which the kids loved and they served, hotdogs, hamburgers, (with all the toppings for you to fix yourself…pickles, lettuce, tomatoes, hot peppers ,ketchup, mustard, mayo) French fries, nachos and cheese sauce. The second option was the restaurant where it was a full course meal. (Bathing suites were not permitted)

On the whole the food was good but nothing to get too excited about. The First week it was hot and good the second week we noticed a different manager in the restaurant and the service and quality of food had seemed to change for the worst.

The restaurant is outdoors not contained in any sort of walls. I would have preferred a indoor restaurant with air conditioning…that is just my opinion.

They have two a la carte restaurants one steak house which we tried and loved the tenderloin and sirloin steak and the other Mexican which we did not try.
Weather
14 days of sun, and hot hot hot. Not a cloud to be seen. The days were extremely hot and the nights (while eating dinner were just bearable).
Beach
The beach was a nice size, maybe 1 to 1 1/2 KM long. We walked along it in the morning as the sand got extremely hot after 10:00 AM or so.
Yes the sand is black…it is volcanic sand but it feels just like the white sand. The kids liked the fact that the sea shells were clearly visible in the morning because they glittered like diamonds against the black sand. The water was not to clear but nice and warm!
Lots of loungers and shade found at the beach. For those of you who need a white sand bech the hotel offers you a 10 minute boat ride to the “beach club” You must book this one day in advance and you are allowed to stay there from 9-1 or 11-3 and only 38 people at a time. Food and drinks and washrooms and hammocks are there. This was a nice change for a day!
Pool
Beautiful and very warm! Always lots going on around the pool at different times of day.
Grounds
Nice and well maintained. Flowers are deep and rich in colors.
The nature trail beside the hotel is a must to go on. Once you are inside it feels like autumn, the leaves are different colors and crunchy beneath your feet. Vines to swing on, neat trees to sit on and of course the howler monkeys to look at…just make sure you do not make them mad. Apparently when they are mad at you they will throw dung at you!!
Fun Club or Animation Team
This is where our entire trip came together! I was introduced to Nani she was the one that braids everyone’s hair. She introduced me to her fiancé Pedro. Nani and Pedro are two of the nicest people you will come in contact with. The rest of the Fun Club are great people too but we felt a connection with Nani and Pedro.
Okay lets see if I can remember all the names. Zeydi, Damaris, Hamlet, Vera, Jullianna, Emillio there are more but these were the ones that we spoke with everyday.
These people work very very hard and long hours. They provide water aerobics, nature walks, water volleyball, water polo, riffle shooting, archery, coloring and games for the kids, dance lessons, Spanish lessons The day we left it was Nani, Pedo Hamlelt and Zeydi’s day off. Nani and Pedo live an hour away from the hotel, Hamlet and Zeydi live on the grounds. The four of them came to the hotel lobby to say good bye to us. All of the kids were in tears!
Calling Home from Costa Rica
Before we left we bought an international calling card from bell. It cost us $20.00 and we were told that it should have at least 25 minutes on it as long as we used the correct “Canada operator Code” (which was 088-015-1161). When we made our first call home, the operator told us we had 8 minutes! Needles to say we were not happy! They do sell calling cards in the hotel lobby gift shop. We bought a $10.00 card and had 26 minutes to call Canada. This is the cheapest way to call home. We learnt the hard way.
Excursions
We did four excursions while there. We booked with Swiss K travel through the hotel. The first one was the Palo Verde Boat tour. The second one was the 5KM hike through the Rincon de la Veja. I enjoyed this one a bit more than the first. We saw bubbling mud, sulfer ponds a 40 foot waterfall. The third one was the Skywalk. This was amazing! Make sure you take rain gear! Our fourth one we rented a mini van for the day and drove to Playa de Coco and Tamarindo to do shopping and watch the people surf. The men went deep sea fishing and caught yellow fin tunas and Jackfish that they brought back to the hotel and the chef cooked them up for dinner.
Conclusion
Your holiday is what you make of it. Yes we had some problems but we did not let them stop us from having a good time. The weather and people are amazing. Would I go back? I would go back because of the weather, people and the amazing excursions!

If you are lucky enough to visit Costa Rica, please do not just sit around the beach or pool the excursions are a must do!

Would I recommend the hotel to my friends and family? Possibly, depending on your likes and dislikes. The hotel was on a very steep incline and walking around for people with disabilities or strollers made things harder to get around. Yes they do have shuttle buses but, standing waiting for 10 minutes while on holidays…we did not like.

Our travel party took up 6 rooms and the ages ranged from 2 to 60. Most of us had problems with the AC; some of us had problems with the safe. I believe most of us thought the rooms could have been a little cleaner. The rooms and slight problems would make me stop and wonder. I would definitely try a different hotel in Costa Rica.

If you have any questions please feel free to e-mail me (just be sure to put Allergo Papagayo in the subject box) Mcaruso2393@rogers.com
Allegro Papagayo
Robert 
Canada
March 2005
We just spent an exciting week at Allegro Papagayo in Costa Rica.The weather was perfect over 35c every day.The people(ticos) were awesome.We are already planning a trip back, but it isn't soon enough. The food was terrific you could cut the beef tenderloin with a butter knife,the lobster at the buffet was plentiful, the shrimp was bigger than my fists. Our room 1512 was terrific with the coldest air unit at any resort it was big, clean with comfortable beds. We've been to Barbados,Jamaica,Dom.Republic,Italy,Austria,U.K.,Mexico,Las Vegas ect... by far this is the best...The excurions are plentiful and should not be missed.We had a great time we met some great people, the entertainment was great very Hot,Hot,HOT.The staff very very friendly and wonderful, I have never met more beautiful people. I couldn't have been happier with this resort or staff especially GianCarlo from the WaterSports Center YOU ARE TERRIFIC. Dear Henry he deserves a huge reward he is awesome, P.S. so is Boney.
Allegro Papagayo
Dave C 

March 2005
We just returned from 8 nights in the Allegro Papagayo Resort, and loved it. We were in a group of 38 people (school teachers on February Vacation). Our stay was from 2/19 returned on 2/27.

The first thing you'll do upon landing in Liberia, is laugh at the tiny "International Airport". But, it's quick to get through with no hassles.

Trip to the resort was about 45 minutes by bus, and it was so dark we didn't see a thing. It was a tour company's bus that took us to the hotel, and one of their employees, Dennis was very fluent in English, and explained many things about Costa Rica, including "Pura Vida", meaning Pure Life. Dennis worked for Eco-Tours, and had a degree in Ecology. He offered to come by the hotel the next day, and tell us about the day trips his company offered, and we took him up on it. During the trip to the hotel, Dennis answered all questions with a smile and was very helpful. The next day, we all booked tours through Eco-Tours, and had a great time, as Dennis was our guide.

We also got in on the deals of the $10 ride into town for the Festival that was happening in Liberia, and while interesting, it was quite small.

Oh, one thing.. don't bring Travellers Checks with you to Costa Rica. Most places do NOT cash them, including the hotel lobby (seems to be a bother for them), but the good news is, almost everywhere accepts US Currency.

Near the beach, the white faced monkeys were around early mornings, and were quite fun to watch. Travel around the resort was always coming around about every 10 minutes, and the drivers were very friendly.
Reception Area
The reception area is nice, if not a bit devoid of people. I think I saw more than one person at the front desk only once. Major disappointment is the fact that neither the front desk, or 2 small stores ever had change for US money. (example, looking for 2- 10's for a 20 dollar bill) Also the fact that they frown upon travellers checks is an annoyance. It is nice to be able to get to the Internet from here for $6 for 30 minutes.
The Room
The room was ok, as hotel rooms go, though when we turned on the A/C upon arriving, it proceeded to leak like a faucet after only a few minutes. Upon calling the front desk, they had people to fix it within 15 minutes, and it never leaked again during the trip.
Towels were always clean and plentiful, including one face-cloth a day. Note, the rooms could have used a bit of "sprucing up", as compared to the outside of the grounds and buildings.
My rating, 8 out of 10
The Grounds
This place is VERY beautiful, even in the dry season. The outsides of the buildings, the other public areas, are always clean and well maintained. For the dry season, things were still very green, as they water at night. My rating, 9 out of 10
The Bars
Drinks were wonderful, and I found that if you wanted one stronger, all you had to do is ask for it. The Pool Bar and Pablo's Bar were always well stocked, bartenders very friendly, and drinks plentiful. One bad note. All the bars except for the disco close at 11pm. The "disco" is way too loud for anyone but mostly deaf kids to go to, so the adults were out of luck after 11pm. It would be nice if Pablos were open later, for the older crowd. 9 out of 10 (would have been 10 if not for the last part)
The Pool
10 out of 10. Period. (would be 11, but that would be cheating) Large, very clean, refreshing. 'nuff said.
The Beach
Well, it's a black sand beach. It was quite hot while we were there, so sitting on the beach was like sitting inside an oven. Walking on the sand required water shoes. Even people with sandals were too hot. The water was clean, and warm, and you could walk out quite far before it got even close to deep.
My rating, 7 out of 10
The White Sand Beach (by boat ride)
While this sounded great, the beach isn't really very special, but there are hammocks over there to relax on. The bar there is ok, but no frozen drinks are available (no electricity), and food was way below the level at the resort.
My rating, 6 out of 10
The Food
Outstanding. There was always a huge selection, always something different, and very tasty.
The "dine in" restaurant was nice, but the lady that ran it was like the Seinfeld "Soup Nazi". If you showed up even one minute early, you wait outside in the blazing hot hallway.
She was also very unwilling to accommodate groups of more than 8. We went up one night, with a group of 8, and a group of 7, and she put us at a table of 7, of 4, and of 2, quite far apart even when there was tables close to use she could have used instead.
The food was excellent, though they tend to undercook beef, and overcook fish. Salad bar was very small, as was desserts in the dine in restaurant. My rating, 9 out of 10

I could go on and on, but all in all, I would go back to this place in a heartbeat.
Allegro Papagayo
Cansunseeker 
Toronto Ont Canada
March 2005
We've just returned from Allegro Papagayo on Tuesday Feb 22/05. We were a group of 7 in our late 20's mid 30's. We had a great time you will love this country!! The people are so polite and gracious….

The flight there was great we flew with Skyservice AKA Skysquish or Skysardine almost no turbulence the seatbelt sign remained off for the entire trip. We were served a hot breakfast and a complimentary soft drink. The flight time was 4h44 min we landed in sunny Liberia to a balmy 33C be sure to bring a change of clothes or wear light clothes before departure. Baggage claim was quick and we were greeted by a friendly rep who whisked us on to the bus. We were briefed on the history of the country . To our surprise, the landscape of the country is different shades of brown. We were told that this is the dry season and we are located in the driest region of Costa Rica. Regardless This Country is Beautiful!!.... The Bus ride to the Hotel is about 45 min to Hour from the Airport lots to see it's beautiful.
Hotel
The Hotel as most already know is on a cliff with beautiful yellow colonial style buildings. The Buildings are numbered from 1 to 15. Building 1 being on the top of the hill with the best view closest to the Lobby and quite a strenuous walk up & down to & from the buffet, pool area and 15 being at the bottom closest to the pool & buffet no view. Do not be alarmed if you are placed in buildings 1 and 2 there is a Van every 10 min. which will transport you up and down the hill. The resort is well laid out most rooms have a view of the Bay. Buffet, a la carte restaurants, Disco, Sports, Bars and Pool are located on the beach level at the bottom of the cliff if you prefer to be where the action is the buildings 10-15 are great. The lobby view is gorgeous. We stayed in Building 5 first floor we had a beautiful view of the bay and to the right a view of the mangrove area in front of building 9 where every morning around 6 - 11, 2 to 4 white faced monkeys played in the trees beside the ice machine, you could see them from our room! Building 5, 6, 7 are centrally located close to everything without having the hustle and the noise of the pool and restaurant areas. The resort grounds were beautiful and green not as many flowers as you would expect from a resort due to the dry climate. Rating: 8/10
Room
The room itself was clean except for the bathroom well it needs a little scrubbing once in a while there is mineral build up on the floor & shower tiles. We tipped the maid 3$ every day no additional cleaning was done the counter in the bathroom was never cleaned. We had killed tiny flies that dropped on the counter and they remained there all week. At the end of the week we stopped tipping and the service was no different than any other days. That was the only down fall that I could find about the resort. We had a problem with the safe on the first day and called front desk, the maintenance person knocked on our door within 5 min and fixed it we never had a problem with the safe since. NO mould smell in the room as we experienced in other Caribbean countries and the air worked fine. Rating 7/10
Pool
The pool is huge with lots of room to find a lounger. The universal towel system is used in Costa Rica. The same rude people that visit other countries find themselves doing it in this one. I get peeved to see a palapas saved from 7 to 3 and not once being used or visited. Some brought there own towels from home saved there spots early in the morning, went on excursions or other activities all day and to returned at the end of the day to pickup there towels and go to their room !! OK save the loungers and palapas if your going to use it for most of the day but if you plan on not using them don't save them !! Lot's of activities at the pool. But you can always find a spot to lounge and relax thanks to the design of the pool. But if your looking for a quiet spot to read best bet is the beach, besides it's cooler with nice breeze from the ocean. Rating 9/10 great pool.
Beach:
OK guys quit moaning and gowning it's not a white sand beach get over it. The qualities of the beach are the same as any white sand beach it's just volcanic. The views every morning from your room while sipping good Costa Rican Coffee far out ways having a white sand beach with no view. And if your in Costa Rica your most likely there to experience it's diverse eco-systems not for white beaches. That said, beach combers should not be afraid to visit Allegro, the beach is great for swimming, lounging and exploring, the sand is a fine black and brown sand which gets really hot when not wet. We walked the long stretch of beach and found cactus growing on the cliffs, lots of sand crabs peeking in and out of their burrows and found lots of shells that wash a shore. It's just as beautiful as any white sand beach well not as beautiful as the ones in Punta Cana and Cuba. If a white sandy beach is what you looking for make sure you wake up early and reserve the free boat shuttle to the private beach club. It can only be booked in the morning around 8 to 830 am and when the door opens at 8 there is a line up. We unfortunately only got the chance to go once. It's well worth waiting in line. It's too bad it has to be that way. Rating :7/10
Food:
FABULOUS!! The fruit is so fresh and it's so good. The beef, fish and chicken were great. Not one of us got sick. That's a success in my book. We were only able to try the Mexican a-la-carte and It was OK but we preferred the buffet. Rating : 9/10
Bars:
Service was OK. But drinks were not strong enough. Having been to DR. you become immune to these drinks…. And well the disco is OK a little variety in the music would be good the same music every night yawn…. The pool tables are always being used. Party animals should reconsider and choose another resort. We are usually party types but after getting up early every morning to soak the sun and go on excursions you tend not to stay out too late. Rating: 7/10
Excursions:
Playa Coco:
Offered through the hotel for 25.00 US per person by boat left around 1030-1100 returned around 1400. We missed the 1030 departure. Went up to the Hotel lobby asked how much it would cost by taxi it ended up costing us a lot less 10.00 each !! Great shopping really cheap buy hats, sarongs etc. in this area. Remember to barter they are tuff but be persistent and I would recommend changing money to colons. Good Seafood restaurants. Don't plan on swimming, the bay is polluted by fishing boats. If you want to buy coffee ask the driver to stop at a Grocery store on the way back you will find the best prices for coffee there. The trip was worth the 10.00$ it cost us. Rating: 7/10

Liberia:
We lucked out again…. Liberia was celebrating a week long festival for the independence of Guanacaste province from Nicaragua. The Hotel taxi was offering a special 10$ per person for a return trip to Liberia we could select any departure time from 100 pm to 6 pm and Return form 6 pm to 1am. For and additional 7.00 pp we could see a typical Bullfight. We left at 6 pm and opted to return for 1130. We regretted it, it was not enough time to enjoy everything. On our arrival the driver pointed out that the days festivities included a parade and once the parade done everyone goes to the bullfight. He suggested a good restaurant with a terrace over looking the street where we could watch the parade go by. What an experience Music Dancing what a great time. Once the parade done we followed the crowd down to the fair and Bullfight grounds. Great shopping was to be had exceptional prices!! Good music, good times. But we only had 1 hour at the fair grounds and not enough time to go to the bullfight.:( I must say that Ticos (locals) are great they treated us as one of their own. I can't say how much we appreciated their hospitality!! Rating: 9/10

Mega Combo tour:
Wow what an experience. A great time was had by all. The day started at 8 am we drove to the Rincon de la Vieja Volcano about a 2 hour drive from the hotel. It's the mountain range that you see when you first land in Liberia. Upon our arrival we were strapped up and ready to go on our canopy tour. Wow what an adventure. Unfortunately we only saw one white face monkey, it was quite windy that day and we were told that was the reason why they weren't all out, the howler monkeys could be herd in a distance. 11 cables are not enough we wanted to go through it again…. Once the canopy tour completed we headed to the waterslide again what fun!! Then we headed down to the restaurant for a great lunch buffet the fish was incredible!! After Lunch we were provided with horses and rode up to the spa. We stopped on the way to trek down a ravine to see a waterfall if your in good physical shape go for it, it's worth the 15 min trek. They saved the best for last after a long day of good exercise we were treated to pure relaxation. First you must start in the natural steam sauna were they say this causes your skin pores to open, next step a warm mud bath Ahh this was fun. After you wash off the dried mud on to the hot spring pools. They suggested to start with the warmest first then gradually transfer to the cooler pools until the last pool which was almost unbearably cool. I must say this was the cherry on the sundae. It was great we then met our horses and rode off in the sunset back to the bus. Rating: 9/10
Overall:
I loved Costa Rica and I will certainly return. I cannot compare this to any other Caribbean destination as it's truly unique. If your looking for a little relaxation, a lot of exploration and adventure than this is the country for you. But if your looking to party and lounge on the beach consider other destinations. Allegro Papagayo was at par with other 4* Hotels (other than the cleanliness of our room.) and I would not hesitate to recommend this resort, I will most likely return if given the chance to visit this area again…. Hopefully this helps you in your decision.
Allegro Papagayo
Darlene & Kate 
Canada
February 2005
We have just returned from a fabulous week in Costa Rica. Allegro Papagayo Resort was everything it was advertised to be. The frequent shuttles throughout the property made it possible for those less able to navigate the hills to be able to navigate the resort. It is a beautiful spot with breathtaking views.

The resort was busy and at times staffing was stretched to the limit in the main restaurant. The steak house was a much more relaxed atmosphere and service was excellent. The menu choices were great and it was a nice change to be served your food as opposed to the buffet.

The staff were pleasant and friendly. The Entertainment staff in particular worked hard to get people involved in the activities of the day. They were an enthusiastic and fun loving group. They work very long hours as do the staff in the dining areas. Despite long hours of work, the staff never failed to smile and execute their duties efficiently.

We booked two tours through Mike Mills, a Canadian who has re-located to Costa Rica. The small group approach to tours is the way to see Costa Rica. Our first tour was Paola Verde Wildlife Sanctuary and the river cruise. It was exciting to see the many birds, monkeys and crocodiles in their environment. Every effort was made by our tour guide David Blanco and boat operator to allow us time to take photos as well as to observe the wildlife. A stop at a local restaurant for a delicious lunch was a great end to the tour.

I would not hesitate to recommend Allegro Papagayo Resort as a place to vacation. Having traveled extensively in the Caribbean I feel this resort is great value for your money. Likewise, the tours booked through Mike Mills were exceptional. The knowledgeable tour guides, David and Maynor, both possessed a sense of humor which added to each tour.

The second tour we embarked upon was Rincon National Park. Once again our tour was exceptional. Two other participants had cancelled at the last minute which resulted in a private tour for us. The tour was conducted by Maynor of Tours Your Way and we were very fortunate to have such a knowledgeable guide. We stopped for several photo opportunities enroute to the park. Maynor reversed the path of our tour through the park so that we saw the volcanic areas in the early morning and were able to walk in the shaded areas when the sun was at it's hottest. Maynor went to great lengths to spot birds, monkeys etc for us. Once again we stopped at a lodge for lunch and were able to enjoy yet another aspect of the countryside.
Allegro Papagayo
Ralph and Sheila 
Canada
February 2005
Our party of eight has just returned from the Allegro Papagayo Costa Rica. First and foremost I would advise you to check your passport. Costa Rica's rules are that a passport must be valid for at least 30 days after the return date. Two of our party were turned back at Toronto airport because their passport expired on Feb.13-extremely disappointing and expensive.

Once we arrived in Costa Rica, our trip ran smoothly. The Allegro Papagayo is beautiful. Very well kept grounds and clean well-maintained pool area. It was hot! Our group chose to sun on the beach and most of the time we could find some shade. There was a very gentle breeze under the trees most of the week.

The food was very good, though I agree with other reviewers that the beef was a little chewy. We particularily liked the abundance of fruit and vegetables. The ceviche and smoked salmon were excellent. We found the staff attentive but a little rushed. A few more staff at mealtimes might have been helpful.

The entertainment tended to be the same every night, just different costumes. The entertainers were certainly enthusiastic however and many seemed to enjoy them. There is an open air seating area around the bar, that is great for playing cards in the evening. We also enjoyed watching the sunsets from the hotel lobby bar.

We went on two trips-a half day trip to the Palo Verde national park for a boat cruise, and a long day trip to the rainforest,Arenal Volcano and hot springs. A warning-be prepared for extremely bumpy roads. However, the scenery and a chance to view how Costa Ricans live and work is worth it. We are a group of Niagara grape growers so naturally we were interested in the sugar cane and melon operations. Our guides were very helpful and explained a lot about Costa Rican life.

All in all, it was a terrific vacation and we'd go back to Costa Rica anytime.
Allegro Papagayo
Costan 
Bostic-Lundy
January 2005
Don't believe the bad press given to this resort! This is not Cancun. This is a country that is just really getting into tourism. The beaches are black or muddy looking because of the ash from the volcanoes; these are black sand beaches. White sand beaches are at the beach club or on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica. This is still a third word country and it amazes me how people from industrialized countries fail to understand where they are going or what they are getting into.

My husband and I went October 2004 and the grounds are lovely! We stayed in Building 10 on the second floor at the end and had a vaulted ceiling. Do bring your own face towels; we received face towels two of the seven days we were there (you do get an abundance of the other towels). This has happened to me previously in other Spanish speaking countries. A Spanish person at my job smiled and explained that they use hand towels, not face towels, so the resort people really do not understand what all the fuss is about. The room was kept clean and we did not have any problems with bugs. Bottled water stations are located all over the compound, so just keep your bottle to refill. Coffee makers are in the rooms so we brought our own coffee, cream and Equal to have an early morning coffee before going down to eat. The resort was situated in the mountains overlooking a bay which gives a beautiful sunset or sunrise view. There is also a lookout tower you can climb for photos.

Shuttles run consistently to take you around the complex. The only thing I would suggest is that an elevator be put in for handicapped and elderly to get down to the food, pool and entertainment areas. Its about 50 steps, I counted them. My husband is on a cane but he made out OK. The resort personnel did everything they could to accommodate my husband’s handicap and make our stay enjoyable. The only negative thing I have to say is that the beds are too low and hard. I am surprised that no one every mentioned this. I would take a blow up mattress if I went back to make sleeping more comfortable for me.

The food was very good. There was a good variety for all three meals and between meals there was the snack bar. Every night was a different theme. We tried to stick with the same waiter since he was seasoned and understood our needs. He learned our names and on the second night automatically brought things to our table that we had requested the previous evening. We did not eat at the specialty restaurant but heard that the food was good. A note about the cows, while taking a tour it was explained that the cows are from India that is why they are so skinny. Cows from India can take intense heat (this country is close to the equator).

Since we do not drink alcohol, the all natural fruit drinks were delicious. I did see brand name alcohol, but if you drink high end, such as cognac, buy it at the duty free store when you leave the US and you can retrieve it when you arrive at the Liberia Airport. I did see several passengers doing that.

The river tour is very nice but it is only a half day tour. We had a great tour guide (Vargas) but we were disappointed that crocs were not out. We did see a variety of bird species, a few monkeys and some bats. The tour included lunch and a stop at the souvenir shop. Souvenirs in Costa Rica are pricey, whether you buy them at the hotel or at a shop. I would suggest going into Liberia and talking to the locals to get better prices.

The Nicaragua tour was also very nice; it is a full day tour. Breakfast and lunch were included. Wooden items are cheaper in the town square than in the resort complex. Because they have just started to cater to tourist, they take you to one large market place area. Never pay the first price, barter to what you are comfortable with. They have a lot of alligator products, purses, shoes, etc. This tour also included a boat ride on Granada Lake where a lot of little islands have developed from volcanic activity. Mansions with yachts sit on some of the islands and natives live on some of the other islands. There are even islands for sale. We went to an island where we fed some white face monkeys and a spider monkey.

All and all, my husband and I had a great trip. We also met some great people!
Allegro Papagayo
Pat & Reece 
Newmarket, Ont
January 2005
We have traveled extensively all over the Caribbean, Mexico and Central America for over 35 years now and now feel compelled to finally write a review. This is our second trip to Costa Rica and this trip confirms what we felt the first time we were there.

This country has the largest diversity in landscape we have ever seen, one hour you can be laying on a beach, next hour be in a rain forest or at any number of completely different valleys or mountainsides. There are a tremendous number of different eco-tour options which you can take to fully experience all of the natural beauty of this unspoiled country.

We had a smooth check in when we arrived at our hotel and were in our room within the hour (on Dec. 28th the busiest period of the year, not bad) .the room was fine as were all the facilities. The hotel is on a Cliffside so you use shuttles to move up and down the hill. We never had to wait more than a few minutes for a ride. The food is as good as we would expect for a hotel in this category, always lots of choice. Neither our friends nor we experienced as much as an upset stomach and that's a first with me. We had brought down our own liquor and wine after our unfortunate experience at the Santana Beach hotel in D.R. last year where both were of such poor quality that they were undrinkable. No such problems here, Brand name liquors, and the wine was Concho Toro from Chili which I drink at home, needless to say we were happy campers.

The dance troop type of entertainment is typical; they entertain the kids for an hour beforehand and seemed to have a good turnout We believe what can make or break any holiday is the people you have to deal with. At this hotel the staff is friendly, your servers smile and seem to enjoy their jobs and the facilities are clean and well maintained. What a pleasure.

The extent of our complaints would be no facecloths some days or the maid forgetting to reload the coffeemaker in the room. There is only one ale carte restaurant which can be booked the day before. The tenderloin steak we had was excellent; others ordered huge lobsters for a $20 up charge.

We thought the water excursions were expensive seadoos were $90 per hour, the sunset cruise was $70 in a small boat. We took their boat to coco beach at $25 a person and then were told to stay together as a group and our escorts would take us into stores they recommend, supposedly For our safety (commissions or kickbacks anyone?!), this is baloney and an insult to the Costa Rican people (ticos) who are the nicest and most honest people you will ever meet. We went our own way and spent time in the local bars and stores. As on our previous trip to this country no problem anywhere anytime with the locals who never bother you.

Costa Rico is excursion country and you can go on your own or by large bus arranged by the tour operator. We recommend you use someone like True Tours. Best eco tours of Costa Rico. Call Luis Corrales at 506- 816-2047 or Email him at corralesgonzo@yahooo.com . Luis used to drive transport truck in Ontario so we felt very safe with him at all times, speaks English well. His trusty sidekick’s name is Danny who you will act as your guide all day long. The best part is it costs less than a bus excursion. $120 a day! $150 a day with guide. This is for your own 12 person bus!. I am not talking per person so get a group together; you pay your own way into the sights you go to see.
We had Luis take us to Hotel Borinquen, an upscale spa (www.borinquenresort.com) we spent the day there with Danny. They have a rain forest trail where we saw monkey etc. then to the steam baths, mud spa and hot spring tubs, pool and Jacuzzi. All for $40 per person, they serve an excellent 3 course lunch for $10. Afterwards our guides stopped wherever we wanted for a beer or a picture. You cannot beat this for value and we highly recommend these amiable guys.

In closing I will relate our experience on new year’s eve. The hotel was packed so we were sitting in an overflow area having arrived late for the festivities. The area we sat in was served By a kid who must have been brought in from “inland”. We just couldn’t get any service out of this boy, because every time some young thing came walking by wearing a halter top and micro min skirt with pierced navel he would seen halfstep, jaw open, in frozen animation, mesmerized. Rather than bitch and complain we just cleaned up our own dishes, poured our own wine and watched the kid. It was hilarious. Thank you Allegro, we had a great trip.