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Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo
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Reviews (2 107)
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All reviewsgolf coursecanopy suitecena socialesol y sombracielo roomcosta ricagolf clubburger shackscreened in porcharnold palmerplunge poolcomplimentary activitieszip liningcatch of the dayocean sidecooking classice water
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Reviewed 1 July 2017

The service we received here was exellent. Staff really were friendly, warm and professional. They remembered our name and they really took a pride in their work. That part of the experience was exceptional - which is why I have rated this four out of five.

The place itself was less impressive. The layout of the resort is centred around the pools and feels rather dated. Two of the restaurants and the bar are adjacent to each other, rather than making use of the space or really taking advantage of the location. Each night the music from one restaurant clashed with the different music from the bar. It felt more like sitting at a food hall in a shopping mall than in a five star resort in a beautiful location.

We were lucky enough to be upgraded to a suite - which was an impressive size, but which was not a luxury experience. We were woken every morning by the slamming of the door and shutters in the suite underneath ours (which made the walls shake). The dressing room lacked good lighting and carefully positioned mirrors. The interior design was dated.

I also have to mention the pricing of the wine. This resort marks up wine to a level at which you feel you are being completely exploited - we stayed at other luxury resorts and hotels in Costa Rica where the wine was less than half the price. When you feel taken advantage of to this extent, it really colours your view of a hotel group. It's very poor form.

We understand that the resort is about to close for a major refurbishment and I hope that this will address many of these issues. I also hope that it will introduce some much needed personality and intimacy to this place. It's not romantic or authentic. At present it feels like a corporate interpretation of luxury which could be anywhere in the world. If you want to experience Costa Rica, there are better places to stay.

  • Stayed: June 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank mcamb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Danielle F, Public Relations Manager at Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo, responded to this reviewResponded 1 August 2017

Dear Mcamb,

We appreciate the feedback and have since spoken with you about your stay. We look forward to sharing news of our upcoming renovation with you and welcoming you back then.

Warm regards,

Danielle Finnegan
Director of Public Relations

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 July 2017

Excellent stay service and food was amazing . Really enjoyed tour of the giants . Can't wait to return and see the up and coming remodel. Staff was very accommodating and helpful. Really enjoyed the spa and had an amazing massage.

  • Stayed: June 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with Four Seasons
Thank Lisa W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RaJIV M, General Manager at Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo, responded to this reviewResponded 11 July 2017

Greetings Lisa W,

Thank for you for your review. We are happy to hear that you had a wonderful stay. Trail of the giants is one of my favorite activities as well and it is great you were to able to experience it first hand. We look forward to your visit after our transformation.

Pura Vida,
Rajiv Malhotra
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 June 2017

Few hotel destinations in the Western Hemisphere earn an unqualified “Go!” This would be one of them. For now. The asterisk gets details at the end of this review. If you’re reading in advance of your own trip to Four Seasons at Peninsula Papagayo this coming July or August, relax. You made the right choice. The complainers need to calm down.

Here are the hard facts you’ll need to illuminate your stay in advance. First, the airport outside Liberia is perhaps a 30-minute ride from the hotel. Most of the drive is winding your way up a ridge line to the campus entrance at the west end of the peninsula. There are plentiful taxi drivers hawking their services as you walk through customs, itself a more serene experience than you might have, say, coming to America. FS offers a private car service, and if you have a few extra bucks, take their private SUV. But don’t worry. The road to the hotel is smooth black asphalt without a single traffic light. The connection from airport to hotel is a cinch.

Check-in at FS is an open air experience in the lobby whilst reclining on a sofa and answering questions about your preferences. Apparently, they read minds at reception, because my unspoken preference was for an upgrade, and going from a ground floor double to a canopy suite suited my taste. (Bias alert: upgrading me to a suite puts a permanent smile on my face and absolutely infects this review. But isn’t that the point of the upgrade?)

Resort-grounds transportation is strictly on foot for the fit, and golf carts to and fro for the sedentary. The cartmen run constantly. Affable, fluently bi-lingual staff will stop to collect you from anywhere on the pavement, but there are taxi shelters with phones for the impatient. Look for Luis, easily the most helpful driver, who will explain everything about the operation as he lugs your bags to a capacious dressing room.

Canopy suites are so named owing to their position within and above the forest canopy, some with sweeping views of the bay below. Step down to an outdoor deck with sleeping couch, fan, table and chairs across a short bridge to your front door. These decks give room service an entirely different feel. However, you should know animals can easily smell your food and will drop in uninvited to beg for handouts. (NB: when a raccoon comes calling, paws outstretched, be kind. It is better not to feed the animals, but I can’t stress this enough. Jumping on a chair and screaming in horror only encourages the beasts.)

Inside are a full sized living room and bedroom, plus a bath and dressing area larger than many hotel rooms. Two separate sinks and a third counter with mirror and settee can easily accommodate a family crowding for access. The suites provide ample drawer and hanging space for four people.

Like many FS resorts, there are complimentary laundry facilities strategically placed around the facility, complete with detergent and Bounce. You can pack light if you don’t mind doing laundry during your stay.

Three pools (two family, one adult) and a raft of seating areas separate the two beaches flanking the property. Food and beverage service poolside is prompt, accurate, and attentive. Props to Xenia for waiting on me hand and foot.

Three in-house restaurants are accurately described on the web site. Two of the three are open air, with indoor-outdoor seating. They are immediately adjacent to the pool area, so the dress code is perhaps less formal than the hotel guide recommends. I saw no-shoes-no-shirt get service at the bar with food on multiple occasions. Pura vida.

About the complaints: 1. FS is a resort hotel. It is trying to make money. If you book a large corporate group, you can reserve a restaurant for your private party (like calling a restaurant with a 50-seat capacity in advance and making a reservation for 65.) If you don’t like to stay at a hotel with corporate groups, call ahead. Most hotels will tell you if your desired dates conflict with group stays.

2. A hotel cannot control boorish behavior unless it crosses the line into public indecency, harassment, or invasion of privacy. One need look no further than the American political landscape to understand that boorish behavior is in vogue. Do your best to deal with it.

3. FS costs money. The hotel provides the freshest food and drink from across the country to a remote promontory. They impose an automatic 10% gratuity on every check in addition to local taxes. Food and beverage servers are always at hand. My vote goes to Esteban (“Tebi”), who, after 13 years working every corner of the resort, remains an ambassador and an FAQ first responder. Want to control costs? Stick to the buffet at breakfast and small plates from Tico’s instead of dinner. Local cerveza costs $6 a bottle.

I am not a golfer. Pero, there is a free afternoon tour of the front nine on golf carts, where you can take in the spectacular views from different tees and greens. The Arnold Palmer-designed course looks spectacular, with water views from nearly every hole.

I am a tennis player, but I did not realize the golf club features four Har-Tru and one grass court, all of which appeared to be in immaculate shape and little used. I should have brought racquets. Next time.

Which brings me to the asterisk. The resort is shutting down in September for a facelift. The signs of wear and tear are plain, from roof shingles to floor tiles. The current projection is four months, but it started at two. My suspicion is six. The property (including the golf club and Andaz up the road) has been sold to new ownership (the Costa Rican government owns the land, but the improvements and licensing are transferable.) The resort will remain a Four Seasons property, but new ownership means new management, subject to Four Seasons’ exacting standards.

The current GM, Rajiv Malhotra is reportedly staying on, which would be a blessing, as this is one well-run hotel. But all staff are being laid off for the shut-down, and each will have to interview for a job under new ownership. I simply cannot predict how such a change might affect the experience. If cost-cutters take a machete to personnel and service, Costa Rica will lose its crown jewel of Guanacaste. If the current level of service remains, I shall return. Dios quiera.

Room Tip: Non-suites are all comparable, difference being floors 1-4. Call to make sure you're not in the same area as a large group.
  • Stayed: June 2017, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
3  Thank jackfurlongesq_123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RaJIV M, General Manager at Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo, responded to this reviewResponded 11 July 2017

Greetings jackfurlongesq_123,

Thank you for taking the time to write such a kind and detailed review of our resort. We are thrilled you enjoyed every aspect of it from your canopy suite to the beaches and restaurants. Most importantly we are happy to hear that you received our Four Seasons service we are so proud of from Xenia, Luis and Esteban and the rest of the team. We will indeed be under going a renovation later this year, but this will by no means change our levels of service, only make it better. We hope to welcome you back after our transformation.

Pura Vida,
Rajiv Malhotra
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 June 2017 via mobile

After a red eye into the resort, my girlfriend's birthday vacation got off to an amazing start at the pool with all the free sunscreen you could dream and the charming Xenia delivering drinks poolside. My recommendation is get the green juice with rum to get the best of both worlds.

Stayed: June 2017, travelled as a couple
Thank Trevor W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RaJIV M, Front Office Manager at Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo, responded to this reviewResponded 30 June 2017

Greetings Trevor W,

We are so delighted to hear that your girlfriends birthday vacation was a success and you were able to enjoy sometime poolside. Thank you for the tip on the green juice. I will make sure to share this note with Xenia and the team. Happy Birthday to your girlfriend and we hope to welcome you back soon.

Pura Vida,
Rajiv Malhotra
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 June 2017

What a luxurious and convenient stay at the Four Seasons in Costa Rica. Beautiful Resort in a stunning landscape. Top service delivered by highly professional and passionate people. I can highly recommended this place.

  • Stayed: May 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with Four Seasons
Thank 268ramons
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RaJIV M, General Manager at Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo, responded to this reviewResponded 30 June 2017

Greetings 268ramons,

Thank you for taking the time to write such a kind review. We are delighted to hear you had such a wonderful stay while visiting our resort and experienced first hand our Four Seasons service we strive to give each and every guest. We hope to welcome you back in the near future.

Pura Vida,
Rajiv Malhotra
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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