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Andaz Peninsula Papagayo (Costa Rica) REVIEW - MASTER THREAD

Andaz Peninsula Papagayo (Costa Rica) REVIEW - MASTER THREAD

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Old Jul 12, 18, 2:56 am   -   Wikipost
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Last edit by: isaifan
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Overview of hotel, restaurants, menus, activities, pretty much everything you need to know: (Link)

Buildings 1, 2, 3 ,4 on higher level and will have steps or you can call for a shuttle
Buildings 5, 6, 7 will be at pool/restaurant level

Property Map (click here)

Parking: valet and self parking included in 10% resort fee

Free shuttle: was until 6pm, now extended to 10pm. Please check for the specifics. Shuttle from 6pm has a charge of $25 USD to Four Season. (2/18 - sign only spoke of shuttle to 6pm)

Vaccination:
Hepatits A and Typhoid vaccine before travel.
Mosquito repellent, especially at night and during rainy season due to Dengue fever.

Complimentary poolside and beachside sunscreen and ice water with citrus in it

Complimentary in the rooms- Sun hats and flip flops, as well as a modest minibar including chips and nuts

If you plan to drive:
1. Strongly recommend GPS, or iPhone app
2. About 30-35minutes from airport
3. 20-25 minutes from hotel to major road (route 21)
4. Road is 2 lane paved road
5. There are no shoulders, just ditches (for rain to drain)
6. Roads in small towns may be unpaved.
7. Roads are not lit. Scariest part about driving at night is not getting lost, but pedestrians walking or a cyclist right on the edge of the road.
8. Another guest at Andaz turned over a car on the first day out with a rental…and this is during the dry season!! (I have no idea how this is possible, unless the driver was incompetent. I rented a car and drove my family several times into town. No problems. Was considering not doing so based on the above sentence. if you have common sense, you will be fine.- Bikeguy)
9. Consider rent from hotel a couple of days instead of getting rental for your entire trip : $90 smaller car, $120 Toyota RAV, $190 Toyota Prado seats 7

Worthwhile activities:
1. At hotel: complimentary kayak, snorkels, paddle board
2. Golf at Four Seasons
3. Witch’s Rock: very close to hotel. Canopy (zipline- $75 pp), horseback riding, quad rental
4. Palo Verde:
• Boat tours are worthwhile
• Chose one that has sun protections or bring an umbrella for sun protection
• Best approach from the south end (eg Palo Verde Boat Tour in Ortega) since it is only an hour away from hotel (vs 2hours from the north entrance.) Stop by Guaitil and pick up some famous Chorotega pottery for souvenir/gifts.
• If approaching it from the north side, stop at nearby Llanos de Cortez waterfall for a dip.
• For bird lovers, consider a Palo Verde boat tour that includes Isla Parajos that can be seen with a tour from Puerto Humo (2 hours from the hotel)
5. Rincon de Vieja
6. Fishing, surfing in Tamarindo

Nearby dining:
At hotel:
• Rio Bhongo: great breakfast (especially for diamonds), recommend casado for lunch. Diamond can also get room service breakfast instead of at restaurant.
• Chao Pescao: recommend chicken arepas, apple cake (apple pie with crème brulee like custard and vanilla ice cream)
• Ostra
Four Seasons
Dive Bar
• at Marina
• A value for happy hour and Tuesday tacos and other specials, otherwise food were similarly priced as at the hotel and not as good.

Cambi:
• 8-5 free childcare, but with a 1 hour break at noon (so you can't do a full day trip while leaving the kids in Cambi). There is a charge for some activities
• Evening:
a. 6-10pm: $50 with meals served
b. Up to 3 hrs: $40 with meals served.

Miscellaneous:
• There is a supermarket right as you enter “larger” cities like Liberia, Playa de Coco, Santa Cruz. See if guide will make a stop if you are by a “larger” city. For example, if taking a tour to Rincon de Vieja or north end of Palo Verde, see if they will stop in Liberia for meal at Café Liberia (excellent well priced food, serving lunch and dinner but only snacks from 2- 5pm) and to pick up items at the supermarket
• Do It Center
• at 21 and 253
• Can pick up Sim card:
a. Need unlocked phone.
b. Kolbi at the pharmacy
c. Movistar in the Monge electronic store in the hardware store
• Pharmacy
• Pizza place
• Bank
d. Gas Station is across from airport, adjacent to Hilton Garden Inn
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Old Sep 13, 18, 7:41 am
  #1036  
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: SDF
Programs: Delta, Southwest, Hyatt
Posts: 118
A standard room is what you can book with point, correct? How come sometimes "Forest view king" is also available for 15,000 points? The resort appears to be sold out of standard rooms for all the dates I've looked at in March (Forest view is available for cash but not points), but on some other random dates I see standard and/or forest view available for 15,000. I'm guessing there's no chance I could call and get them to book me into the forest view on points in March?
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Old Sep 13, 18, 8:11 am
  #1037  
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 191
Originally Posted by waterandwoods View Post
A standard room is what you can book with point, correct? How come sometimes "Forest view king" is also available for 15,000 points? The resort appears to be sold out of standard rooms for all the dates I've looked at in March (Forest view is available for cash but not points), but on some other random dates I see standard and/or forest view available for 15,000. I'm guessing there's no chance I could call and get them to book me into the forest view on points in March?
I'd first trying calling WoH and asking them to book the room. If they can't, ask them to reach out to property to open up availability. There's not that many of the base rooms. Best I can tell, the higher floor roughly equates to better view / class of room (e.g., 2nd floor is partial bay, 3rd floor is full bay).
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Old Sep 13, 18, 11:51 am
  #1038  
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: SDF
Programs: Delta, Southwest, Hyatt
Posts: 118
Originally Posted by ClarkGriswold View Post
I'd first trying calling WoH and asking them to book the room. If they can't, ask them to reach out to property to open up availability. There's not that many of the base rooms. Best I can tell, the higher floor roughly equates to better view / class of room (e.g., 2nd floor is partial bay, 3rd floor is full bay).
Thanks, I'll probably give it a try but not expecting much. I don't blame them for making more rooms available on points when the resort is $200-300 a night vs. $700+. I'm also considering a new strategy -- going in the off-season. Has anyone been in late November? Is it extremely rainy then?
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Old Sep 13, 18, 2:07 pm
  #1039  
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 191
Originally Posted by waterandwoods View Post
Thanks, I'll probably give it a try but not expecting much. I don't blame them for making more rooms available on points when the resort is $200-300 a night vs. $700+. I'm also considering a new strategy -- going in the off-season. Has anyone been in late November? Is it extremely rainy then?
I went right at a month ago now in mid August, which is right in the middle green/rain season. It was delightful. Things are more lush, and even when it rains it's just briefly, not all day. Locals say it's their favorite time and quite a few of the guests were from San Juan who could come anytime. They said it's just a little hotter than other times, but I was comfortable (granted I'm from Texas). The Internetz says average rainfall peaks in september but in november is lower than when I went, so I'd say go!

Stayed on points the whole time. They bumped me up to full bay view. Two of the building were closed for renovations (they cycle them in off season), so not as many suites, etc available for upgrade. Get ready to walk alot. Food is pricey (more than standard resort pricing) but good. We rented a car for the stay and we enjoyed having transportation to explore elsewhere a day or two.
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Old Sep 13, 18, 8:14 pm
  #1040  
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: MCO, YEG
Programs: HH Diamond,, Club Carlson Gold, Marriott Gold, IHG Platinum
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Originally Posted by waterandwoods View Post
Thanks, I'll probably give it a try but not expecting much. I don't blame them for making more rooms available on points when the resort is $200-300 a night vs. $700+. I'm also considering a new strategy -- going in the off-season. Has anyone been in late November? Is it extremely rainy then?
we went thanksgiving week. Weather was fantastic, I don’t recall a drop of rain in 5 days.
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Old Sep 17, 18, 10:36 am
  #1041  
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: SDF
Programs: Delta, Southwest, Hyatt
Posts: 118
Originally Posted by ClarkGriswold View Post
I went right at a month ago now in mid August, which is right in the middle green/rain season. It was delightful. Things are more lush, and even when it rains it's just briefly, not all day. Locals say it's their favorite time and quite a few of the guests were from San Juan who could come anytime. They said it's just a little hotter than other times, but I was comfortable (granted I'm from Texas). The Internetz says average rainfall peaks in september but in november is lower than when I went, so I'd say go!

Stayed on points the whole time. They bumped me up to full bay view. Two of the building were closed for renovations (they cycle them in off season), so not as many suites, etc available for upgrade. Get ready to walk alot. Food is pricey (more than standard resort pricing) but good. We rented a car for the stay and we enjoyed having transportation to explore elsewhere a day or two.
Originally Posted by farnorthtrader View Post

we went thanksgiving week. Weather was fantastic, I don’t recall a drop of rain in 5 days.
Great information, thanks so much. A November trip is looking more and more appealing.
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Old Jan 12, 19, 8:53 am
  #1042  
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 189
Hi Everyone,

Thinking of booking a trip here for my parents. My mom isn't the most mobile (she can walk, but not really far and can't do a lot of stairs). I know she would have to make use of the golf carts around the resort and wouldn't be able to go to the beach on the property, but I have a question about the beach house since I was there before it opened. Is it very far from where the golf carts drop you off to the beach? Any hills or stairs? Thanks in advance
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Old Jan 12, 19, 9:04 am
  #1043  
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 191
Originally Posted by bjk497 View Post
Hi Everyone,

Thinking of booking a trip here for my parents. My mom isn't the most mobile (she can walk, but not really far and can't do a lot of stairs). I know she would have to make use of the golf carts around the resort and wouldn't be able to go to the beach on the property, but I have a question about the beach house since I was there before it opened. Is it very far from where the golf carts drop you off to the beach? Any hills or stairs? Thanks in advance
The golf carts drop you off right in front of the beach house structure (restaurant, bathrooms, etc). The water's edge is at most a couple hundred feet behind that. No stairs, a step or two at most. Not hilly. Maybe a tad rocky poking out between the sand on way to water, but you can easily navigate a smooth path around.

You'll probably want them to put your mom on the entry floor of the buildings which they should be able to do as these aren't the high demand rooms (the upper floors are partial / full bay view).

Last edited by ClarkGriswold; Jan 12, 19 at 10:39 am
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Old Jan 12, 19, 10:16 am
  #1044  
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 189
Originally Posted by ClarkGriswold View Post
The golf carts drop you off right in front of the beach house structure (restaurant, bathrooms, etc). The water's edge is at most a couple hundred feet behind that. No stairs, a step or two at most. Not hilly. Maybe a tad rocky poking out between the sand on way to water, but you can easily navigate a smooth path around.

You'll probably want them to put your mom on the entry floor of the buildings which you should be able to do as these aren't the high demand room (the upper floors are partial / full bay view).
Thank you!
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Old Jan 17, 19, 8:31 pm
  #1045  
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: NY Metro
Programs: Hyatt GP Diamond
Posts: 227
Hi -
Lots of great info in this thread/wiki - thanks to everyone for contributing, We're excited to have a family trip booked here in mid-Feb and have a few questions about the beach situation as the Andaz is on the bay side.

Have heard that Prieta Beach is still accessible if you're ok with taking the shuttle, then 750 steps to and from (and no club service) the beach - is this a giant pain? Does anyone know if Andaz guests can take the free shuttle to the Four Seasons and use the ocean facing beach (and vice versa)? How does the Andaz Beach Club compare? Any recs for snorkeling in the area?

Thanks!
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Old Jan 19, 19, 7:29 am
  #1046  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: SAF & RNO
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Originally Posted by gunksny View Post
Hi -
Lots of great info in this thread/wiki - thanks to everyone for contributing, We're excited to have a family trip booked here in mid-Feb and have a few questions about the beach situation as the Andaz is on the bay side.

Have heard that Prieta Beach is still accessible if you're ok with taking the shuttle, then 750 steps to and from (and no club service) the beach - is this a giant pain? Does anyone know if Andaz guests can take the free shuttle to the Four Seasons and use the ocean facing beach (and vice versa)? How does the Andaz Beach Club compare? Any recs for snorkeling in the area?

Thanks!
The free shuttle drops one off at a formal shuttle stop at the beginning of the stairway path to Prieta Beach. There is even an outdoor shower there. Not a pain, but a bit of a climb out. Snorkeling there can be outstanding if there is no to light wind with some mini underwater canyons. Best place is on the west side of the beach against the rocks. With wind the water can be very cloudy. We we're 1 for 3 on good conditions. We're staying our whole trip at El Diria Tamarindo starting tomorrow, but there is no snorkeling there, but some a little to the north, west of Brasalito.
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