Andaz Papagayo – Review

Recently we had the pleasure of visiting the Andaz Papagayo on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica.  This is a Hyatt property which just opened in December of 2013.  Oddly enough it was originally a category 6 in the system and recently they downgraded it to a category 4 which is a nice plus for award stays.  It’s also nice because you can use your Hyatt Visa annual vouchers to stay there. Not sure why it was downgraded (it might be because of the projected revenues, as the hotel wasn’t even 50% full when we stayed), but we were thoroughly impressed with the property and the service was just absolutely stellar.

We visited for a very quick weekend flying in Friday and back on Sunday which proved to not be enough but it was better than nothing.  We had two Hyatt vouchers that were going to expire and at only 15,000 Avios points round trip from Miami, we decided to piece this together for another successful almost FREE trip.

 Andaz

Check-in

The check-in process was more than smooth.  We were offered pineapple/mint juice which was very tasty and they offered coconut macaroons for the kids.  I was quickly recognized as a Diamond member and was provided an upgrade to a wonderful Bay View in building 4.  They were absolutely going above and beyond to make us feel pampered.

Our upgraded room needed another 30 minutes to be ready so we went to Rio Bhongo for lunch.

Once our room was ready we were picked up at the restaurant and provided a personal tour of the property.  Then they took us to our room where they had already dropped off our bags and gave us a full overview of the room and the rest of the resort layout.

One note about this property; although you can walk around the property, they have golf carts and are ALWAYS ready and willing to ride you around the property as needed.

  Andaz_papagayo_checkin Andaz_papagayo_lobby

Room

The room had a stunning view which makes you feel like you are nestled in the jungle with no one around you.  They offer complementary flip flops, snacks, drinks, and even hats!  The shower tries to replicate you being in the rain-forest showering.  Hence the open window out to the balcony and subsequently out to the bay.

This place really makes you feel like it’s a honeymoon destination although as we’ll review they have amenities for kids.

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Andaz_papagayo_room

Andaz_papagayo_bath Andaz_papagayo_shower

Andaz_papagayo_balcony

Restaurants

There are three restaurants on property.  Rio Bhongo, Chao Pescado, and Ostra.

Rio Bhongo is your breakfast, lunch and dinner spot and has a wonderful ceviche offering.

Ceviche

Ceviche

For breakfast they offer a buffet or you can order a la carte.  We tend to prefer a la cart and I was knocked off my seat when I had their Pork Belly Benedict which is served over cord bread and topped with a chipotle hollandaise sauce.  I’m a fan of Eggs Benedict, but this variation of it puts the traditional one to shame!  My wife had the  Coconut French Toast which was also phenomenal!

Andaz_Papagayo_benedict

Chao Pescado is your afternoon happy hour location and another dinner location option.  They are a tapas style restaurant with a real flare for tasty treats.  Happy hour was from 4:30-6:30 which offers 2 for 1 on some of their items.  They have mixology lessons and music some evenings.

Andaz_Papagayo_chao_pescado

Andaz_Papagayo_chao_pescado_seating

We tried a number of items here all of which were great.  The Big Patacon was our favorite.  It’s fried green plantains with a beef stew type meet, cheese, guacamole and a tomato sauce.  Being from Miami we cook plenty of fried green plantains but I had never had them with this combination of great flavors.

Big Patacon

Big Patacon

Ostra is typically only open for dinner but was closed due to the resort being at a low occupancy level.

Pools

This resort has two pools.  Your family pool which is just steps from Rio Bhongo and also an adults only pool closer to Ostra.  Both times we stopped at the pool we were greeted by top notch service and we pretty much had the pool to ourselves.

  Andaz_papagayo_pool2 Andaz_papagayo_pool Andaz_papagayo_pool_lounge

Cambi

If you are traveling here with kids they do offer a complementary kid’s camp called Cambi.  They operate from 8:00-5:00PM and if they don’t have kids during those hours they may close but a quick call will open it ASAP.  Our kids hung out there for a few minutes one afternoon and made it a point to go again for a few hours before we left.  Unlike some kids camps or activities centers where our kids are bored quickly, the attendant kept them busy and they loved the arts and crafts they were able to do.

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Andaz_Papagayo_cambi2 Andaz_Papagayo_cambi3 Andaz_Papagayo_Andaz_Papagayo_cambi4

 

The property also offers a spa which we did not visit but if it’s anything like the rest of their service it’s gotta be top notch!

Service

We were completely floored by the service but one afternoon we had the icing on the cake.  There are umbrellas all over the property which our kids were dying to use.  After our visit to the pool one afternoon it started raining.  Perfect, each of our kids grabbed an umbrella and made it a point to walk back to the room.  Being wet from the pool we decided to just walk without one.  On the way a maintenance man in his golf cart saw us, stopped dead in his tracks, redirected and ran to us with an umbrella all the while getting himself wet.  This was just the extra touch which proves to me that ALL the staff has been trained to make guests feel extra special and they got the point across with us!

Views & Relaxation

This property has wonderful views and is really conducive to guess what?  RELAX!!!  It’s not in my nature to relax too much but it was hard not to here!

andaz_papagayo_viewandaz_papagayo_sunrise

With this being such an easy destination leveraging Avios points from Miami and only just over 2 hour flight away, you can rest assured that I will be back to this property.

Andaz_Papagayo_View

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5 Responses to Andaz Papagayo – Review

  1. The Andaz Papagayo looks awesome, thanks for the review. We want to use our UR points to book Avios award tickets from MIA to LIB as you did and also book 3 nights at this resort. By the time we go on this trip later this year, our twin girls will be a little over a year old. Do you know if this place could work for us for a relaxing 3 day getaway with our little ones or better fit for kids around 3 and up? Just want to hang by the pool and spend QT. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Also, did you have to use Avios for your children’s flights on BA? Thanks!

    • travelguys says:

      I would say you can have a good time either way but the resort isn’t really setup for smaller kids. Cambi kids club is for kids 4-12. With that said, it’s all what you make of it. We took our daughter at 3 months to Vegas and still had a wonderful time! At 1 they will enjoy the pool and beach just fine and mom and dad can enjoy the view while they nap! Our kids are older than 2 so they had their own seat which we used Avios points for. If you are expecting to fly with them on your lap, then I believe you need to call the BA desk to help you setup the booking for the flights. At just over 2 hours it’s a short flight and a good candidate to saving the points by having them on your lap.

  2. Juan and Stephanie says:

    Thanks so much.

  3. Giddy for Points says:

    I so want to go to this property! Especially since they dropped a hotel category making it cheaper on points! Thanks for the great review 🙂

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