Andaz Costa Rica Resort at Peninsula Papagayo
Andaz Costa Rica Resort at Peninsula Papagayo
Our family spent a lovely and relaxing eight nights at the Andaz Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo. We stayed eight nights in early September to celebrate my 40th birthday. We arrived via taxi and were warmly welcomed by the Andaz Papagayo staff. We were escorted into the beautiful open air lobby and offered a seat and green welcome juice.
The lobby has a snack station with ice water and coconut donuts. Its also a nice spot to catch a good view of the bay.
After check-in in the lobby we were given our room keys and a resort map and activity guide and introduced to another staff member who would be giving us a quick ride via golf cart to our room.
Andaz King Bed Room
We were escorted over to building two where we were assigned a room on the ground floor (#217).
This is a basic King Bed room but after seeing the room I thought it was pretty impressive for a lead-in room. They also set up a large cot for our son to sleep off to the side of the room.
A nice surprise was the room was decorated for my birthday! There was a table set up with a cakes and some confetti and a happy birthday banner hanging near the entrance. That is appreciated!
The bed was large and comfortable and there was a large entertainment center merged with a closet on the other side that separated the room in half sort of.
The other half of the room was the bathroom with large walking shower that actually could be opened up to the outdoor patio.
We did typically like sitting out on our patio when we were in the room. It was very comfortable and there is a ceiling fan to help keep cool and keep any potential bugs away.
A huge perk of the Andaz brand is the complimentary snack bar and mini bar (non alcoholic beverages). They restock the snacks and drinks daily and this is really convenient if your feeling a bit peckish.
ROOM WALKTHROUGH BELOW:
We enjoyed this room for the first three nights then when the occupancy levels decreased at the resort we were then upgraded to the Andaz Suite.
Prior to our stay I reached out to the resort’s GM and asked about potential complimentary upgrade due to us celebrating a special occasion. He agreed to upgrade us on the last five nights of our stay which was much appreciated! We enjoyed the extra space when our son was napping.
The Andaz suite is much larger which is to be expected. You walk into a large living room and it has its own half bath right upon the room entrance. There is a large couch and desk in the living room. A really nice feature of the room is the floor to ceiling windows can be folded open to let the space turn into an indoor/outdoor space.
An interesting thing to note is the Andaz Suite gets more snacks than the regular room and gets some might tasty nut packs (non pictured).
The bedroom was nice as well with views out to the patio and onto the bay. We were initially given a suite with limited privacy near some steps (#215). We eventually changed suites again the next day to a more private room which was identical.
A huge upgrade from the King Bed rooms is the bathrooms in the Andaz Suites which are LARGE. We really liked the bathroom. It also has a tub which is nice for our son to take a bath. The shower also has a huge glass window to look out to admire the views from the shower however the lower part of the glass is of course frosted for privacy.
The patio in the Andaz suites feel slightly larger than the normal rooms. The Andaz Suites appear to be located on the ends of the buildings so they are all corner rooms with views both ways.
FULL ROOM WALKTHROUGH BELOW:
All in all if you can get an Andaz Suite go for it but the normal rooms are appointed nice enough to not be terribly disappointed.
The Andaz has several pools which we enjoyed. There is a smaller “upper” pool that is bit more peaceful. This pool overlooks the primary larger main pool.
The main pool had the towel and drink station and also an area for some pool toys. The bar is also directly near this pool. Service is friendly and they have some really tasty drinks
We loved the pools in the morning as we were typically the only ones there and had the pools to ourselves. In the afternoon there were more guests in the pool but never ever got crowded or uncomfortable. There are plenty of lounge chairs to relax in too.
On the other end of the resort is an adult pool which we didn’t use at all but I did check it out to take a photo. Later in our stay the adult pool was closed for a day or so for cleaning or something of that sort.
Our son had tons of fun at the pools.
Just off the pools is a pathway that takes you down to the beach. Now I must say the only negative about this entire resort is the beach. There is no views of the beach from the pool and the beach itself is very “natural” looking. Its sort of dark due to lots of trees and the sand is dark which is the case in much of Costa Rica.
There was never anyone down here either time I stopped down to check it out. Kind of like a ghost town.
It appears when most people want to go to the beach they go to Andaz’s Beach Club instead which is much nicer with full food and drink service.
Food and Beverage
Rio Bhongo is the primary restaurant at Andaz Costa Rica. This is open all day and where breakfast is served. We had breakfast most every morning, sometimes having the buffet and sometimes having a la carte meals. Our three year old ate for free during our vacation here.
Breakfast was really good and we pretty much tried everything since we had eight mornings. Costa Rica is known for its coffee and my wife was sure to try a few coffee drinks from the barista menu.
We also had lunch here a few times too.
Only one night we had dinner here. Overall the food was fine to good.
The standout restaurant is Chao Pescao. We ate here like 5 nights! We loved it here. Really good, high quality tapas with tons of variety on the menu. Also twice a week they have live latin music which our son loved.
The mixologists work wonders and craft amazing cocktails here! We had at least two drinks every night during dinner here.
The restaurant also has some nice views of the bay.
My favorite is the “Papagayo” tapas and then you MUST have the roasted bananitas for dessert!!! WOW!
Must eat at Choa Pescao on your visit to the Andaz! They also have a seafood restaurant called Ostra but we never ate there as one night we were going to try it, it was closed. Plus generally we prefer tapas over seafood.
The Andaz has an offsite beach club. The resort provides a complimentary shuttle every hour that takes guest to and from the resort to the beach. The beach club is a much nicer option than the beach at the Andaz.
There is a covered seating area if you want to have a more proper setting. They also have showers and bathrooms here too.
The beach is more traditional white sand and the waves are very gentle. The water was warm and there were quite a bit of smaller fish swimming around.
They have good service here and we enjoyed a pitcher of cocktails during our time. Food was not quite as good here as it is at the resort.
Our son loved playing with the toys in the water here which is nice because sometimes he’s scared of the bigger waves but the beach club water is really calm.
Our son LOVED the Andaz’s Cambi Kids Club!! He wanted to visit everyday of our stay! The kids club is available for children four and above however our son was only three at the time of this trip. Usually in our case we have to stay in the kids club with him which we did plenty of times but we signed a form and they were ok with him staying there without us as he is just about fully potty trained (he did have a small accident one day of course!).
And my wife and I have to say the ladies at the kids club were amazing!! Yoselin was great with our son. They had so many activities for him to do and arts and crafts projects.
In the morning time they would do morning stretches and exercise.
Our son loved the Incredible Hulk and spider-man masks! They even let them take a mask back to our room for a day or two so he could play with it more. It never got very crowded and I would guess at most there were two other kids there when our son was there at the same time. They also have a recycling program in which you save your empty plastic bottles from your room and give them to the kids club for projects you get a prize or treat. We brought in 10 bottles and got a coupon for free ice cream.
On one evening we even had Yoselin come to our room to babysit for two hours so we could have dinner (at the Four Seasons). We almost never ever leave our son alone on vacation but here we felt super comfortable.
Its been about four months since our stay (at the time of this writing) and our son still talks about wanting to go to this kids club! I think that is the ultimate compliment.
Spa and Fitness Center
The Spa and Fitness Center are located right next to each other. My wife and I booked a couples pedicure which was lovely. This was only my third pedicure ever and really enjoyed it. Also note the best views from the resort are at the very top of the spa in the relaxation rooms.
The Fitness Center is just below the Spa. There is another very quiet small pool at the Spa.
We briefly used the Fitness Center as my wife took a class there one day.
Cash prices for our stay were reasonably cheap but I really wanted to use our bundle of points to save some money for this trip. Cash prices for our rooms were $400/night for the Andaz Suite and $275/night for the standard room however both of those rates had the 4th and 8th nights free. That brought the real rates down to $300/night for the suite and $200/night for the standard room.
Instead of paying around $2000 with taxes we decided to use 15,000 Hyatt points per night. So, over the eight nights we paid 120,000 Hyatt points.
The really nice thing was during our stay Hyatt had a promotion in which they offered 10% back on all points redemptions. Thus we got 12,000 Hyatt points back from our stay. Not only that there was another promotion in which staying 10 nights we got another 5000 points back (since we also had two other nights during the promotion). So in reality we paid closer to 13,000 points per night for our stay here which is really nice!
Whether paying cash or points the Andaz Costa Rica at Papagayo Bay is a must visit! We had a great time and would love to return!
World of Hyatt members can do really well here!
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