Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Resort Review

Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Resort Review: Romantic Luxury Hotel in Costa Rica

By: | September 19th, 2017 | 0 Comment


To celebrate our 11th anniversary this summer, we enjoyed a romantic getaway to Costa Rica and Nicaragua while the kids spent time with family. As Hyatt Globalists, it was an easy choice where to stay in Costa Rica. We wanted luxury, romance, relaxation, beach, and a bit of adventure since we cannot sit still for too long. At Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Resort in the beautiful Guanacaste Province of Costa Rica we enjoyed all of that and more. We stayed for 4 nights on Hyatt points and reward nights and are here to share our experience with you. There are many luxury hotels in Costa Rica, so we hope our Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Resort review helps you decide where to stay.  If you’re looking for a romantic couples getaway in the lush tropical forests of Costa Rica and also on the beach, then Andaz Papagayo is your place. In fact, it won Travel + Leisure’s award for one of the 20 best getaways for parents (only), as well as TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Award and Condé Nast Traveler’s Best resorts in Central and South America award. Furthermore, Andaz Costa Rica is an incredible bargain if you have Hyatt points. We had such a great time that we plan to come back and bring the kids next time, since it is also a family-friendly resort.

Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Resort Review

Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Resort entrance

Costa Rica Luxury Resort Review Andaz Peninsula Papagayo

View of Culebra Bay when entering Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Resort in Costa Rica

How to Stay at Andaz Peninsula Papagayo (a Hyatt in Costa Rica) for free

Andaz Papagayo is a category 4 Hyatt property, which makes it eligible for Hyatt credit card reward nights. Since we both have a Chase Hyatt credit card, we each were able to use our free reward night and then pay for the remaining two nights with points. It is a real bargain for Hyatt points at only 15,000 points per night. Plus, there is no resort fee when you pay with points, which saves a lot of money. For a mere 15,000 points we had 2 pools, 2 beaches, and 3 restaurants housed in lush tropical paradise. Standard rooms at this luxury Hyatt resort can be as high as $1,400 per night during high season after sales tax and resort fees. Booking with reward nights and/or Hyatt points is definitely the way to get luxury for less!

As Hyatt Globalists, we also received free breakfast every morning, which saved us $30 per person daily. If our kids had been with us on this visit, we would have saved even more money. The breakfast was plentiful and delicious, so this was a great perk. Read this post with tons of photos and details about breakfast at Andaz Papagayo resort.

Again thanks to our Hyatt Globalist status, we were able to get a free upgrade to a suite, which is based on availability. Summers are actually low season in Costa Rica since it is their rainy season. We recommend going during low season to have a better chance of snagging a free upgrade or to pay a lower rate if you don’t have Hyatt points. Plus we think it’s nicer to stay in resorts when they are less crowded. That definitely helps when you are trying to have a low-key romantic vacation to celebrate an anniversary or another special occasion.

Andaz in Costa Rica

Entrance to open-air lobby at Andaz Papagayo in Costa Rica

Luxury Hotel Papagayo Peninsula

View from lobby at Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Resort in Guanacaste region of Costa Rica

Service at Andaz Peninsula Papagayo

We’ve stayed in another Andaz property in Napa Valley and are huge fans of their personalized service and attention to detail. The service at Andaz Papagayo was excellent. As soon as we arrived, we were greeted by their concierge Carolina with welcome drinks, cold aromatic washcloths, and a huge smile.

Andaz Papagayo welcome drinks

Welcome drinks and washcloths to refresh upon arrival at Andaz Peninsula Papagayo in Costa Rica

She also met us at the restaurant really late one night to go over sightseeing options and transportation options to Nicaragua. She spent at least an hour sitting at our dinner table giving us suggestions until 10pm and then gave us a ride to our room. Now that is service!

The resort is a bit spread out, so if you aren’t up for walking then you can call for a ride any time day or night. We took advantage of the golf cart many times during our stay. We also enjoyed a little tour of the resort in the golf cart upon arrival to get a feel for the resort.

Andaz Resort Costa Rica Pool

View of pool deck and open-air restaurant during our tour of Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Resort Costa Rica

The service from the bellmen, housekeeping, and restaurant staff was very good. Everyone was friendly and happy to help in any way. It doesn’t hurt that we are outgoing and warm people. Bertaut never forgets a name, so he was calling everyone by name by the end of our stay. We’ve come to realize through feedback on our travels that not everyone who stays at luxury resorts is friendly. We follow the golden rule- treat people as you would like to be treated. If you’re really nice to people, they will return the favor and take good care of you. So smile more, open up, and get to know the staff. They are great people at Andaz Papagayo.

Andaz Suite

Our bellman escorted us to our room and was so excited to show us around our beautiful suite. We fell in love with our suite at Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Resort. The modern decor highlighted Costa Rica’s aesthetics with a lot of natural wood. The colors were very soothing and the whole suite felt tranquil and calming. Our suite had a large living room with a work area, bedroom, walk-in closet, bathroom with a huge soaking tub and walk-in tropical rainforest shower, separate half bathroom, and large balcony. Allow us to show you around.

Here’s the living room with the desk area behind the couch. The mini bar is hidden in the wooden drawers next to the couch.

Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Resort Review

Living room of Andaz Suite at Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Resort

Review of Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Resort

Work area of Andaz Suite at Andaz Papagayo Costa Rica

They provide free use of espresso maker and plenty of gourmet tea bags. We also love how Andaz provides free non-alcoholic drinks and snacks in the mini bar, which is restocked daily. Ours had soda, bottled water, plaintain chips, yuca chips, and some other kind of chip. We also received a welcome amenity of a bowl of fresh fruit, which was a nice touch.

Minibar at Andaz Papagayo

Free drinks and snacks in the mini bar at Andaz Papagayo Costa Rica

Andaz Costa Rica Welcome Gift

Welcome amenity at Andaz Papagayo for World of Hyatt Globalists

The bedroom had a comfortable king bed overlooking the balcony. The master bedroom of our corner suite was filled with light from windows on two sides of the room. It was incredible one night to be in the room and on the balcony during a thunderstorm. You truly are surrounded by forest at Andaz Papagayo so you get the feel of Costa Rica during a tropical thunderstorm. The balcony was right up next to trees and you could hear howler monkeys early every morning. Some guests even saw monkeys on their balconies, probably looking for some food to snatch. We loved sitting on our balcony looking out at Calebra Bay’s sapphire waters.

Review Andaz Costa Rica

Bedroom of Andaz Suite at Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Resort

Review Andaz Papagayo

Balcony of Andaz Suite at Andaz in Costa Rica overlooking Culebra Bay

After the relaxing balcony, the bathroom was my second favorite part of the suite. The shower is impressive. First of all, the whole wall of the bathroom is a floor-to-ceiling window. Don’t worry, it’s clouded so no one will see you naked. You can also pull down the shade if you are worried about it. As you shower next to this giant window, you kind of get the feeling of being outside, but without the heat, humidity and bugs. There’s a rainshower head on the ceiling and 2 detachable shower heads- one on each end of the shower that spans the entire bathroom. It’s open with no door or curtain, which in my opinion makes it sexier! It is huge! It’s perfect for a steamy shower together on a romantic couples vacation. I mentioned that we were there kid-free celebrating our 11th wedding anniversary. So you better believe that we took advantage of that enormous shower! 😉

There’s also a soaking tub that makes for another romantic evening. The toilet is in a separate little room which is always nice. Even after 11 years of marriage, some things need to remain private. LOL.

Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Resort Review

Luxurious bathroom of Andaz Suite at Andaz Papagayo

The toiletries by Lather smelled very nice. Each product had a different scent and they were all wonderful. Housekeeping brings you more during morning cleaning and turndown service, so we had a lot of extras to take home. We love using them at home to transport us back to our romantic getaway, even for a few minutes in the shower.

Andaz Costa Rica bath products

Toiletries by Lather at Andaz Papagayo in Costa Rica

The walk-in closet had plenty of space for both of us to hang up our clothing and unpack our luggage. They also provided us with complimentary Andaz flip-flops and fedora hats, which was a great souvenir. Our kids look adorable in hats they gave us to take home for them. There’s also a beach bag that you can use while at the resort and can be purchased. That came in handy because I somehow always forget to pack a beach bag for our beach vacations.

Andaz Costa Rica review

Closet with safe, complimentary flip flops, and beach bag to borrow

Andaz Costa Rica fedoras

Fedoras are gifts to guests at Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Resort

The Andaz Suite also has a fun hanging chair in the entry-way as well as a half bathroom. It’s definitely nice to have a second bathroom, especially if you are traveling with children or if someone likes to spend 3o minutes or more on the toilet. 😉 Ladies, I know I’m not the only one who’s had this complaint.

Andaz Suite Costa Rica

Foyer of Andaz Suite with fun hanging chair and half bathroom

Andaz Papagayo Pools

The pools at Andaz Peninsula Papagayo are gorgeous. We aren’t usually ones to spend a whole lot of time relaxing by the pool on vacation. We are usually out running around chasing adventures like zip lining and visiting animal sanctuaries (both are a must-do in Costa Rica). However, the pools at Andaz Papagayo are so welcoming that we spent a whole day swimming and relaxing poolside with a delicious pina colada.

The pools are surrounded by tropical forest just like the rest of the Papagayo resort. There’s a family pool and an adults-only pool, which is why this resort is great for both romantic vacations and family vacations. Even though we were there kid-free, we hung out at the family pool. It was low season so it wasn’t crowded. Both pools are infinity pools surrounded by lush tropical forest. It is very relaxing to spend a day there.

Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Resort Review Costa Rica

Family pool at Andaz Papagayo

Andaz Papagayo Costa Rica Luxury Resort

Poolside bar and family pool with a beach-like entrance at Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Resort Costa Rica

Costa Rica luxury hotel Andaz

Infinity pool surrounded by tropical forest at Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Resort in Costa Rica

Andaz resort Costa Rica romantic getaway

Adults-only pool at Andaz Costa Rica resort in Papagayo Peninsula

We loved the little extra touches provided at the resort, like free sunscreen and extra flip flops at the pool. They also have bug spray throughout the resort for guests to use, which was very helpful since the mosquitos are heavy during rainy season.

Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Review

Complimentary sunscreen, bug spray, water, and flip flops at Andaz in Costa Rica

They also provide complimentary lemon-infused ice water at the pool and a tasty Costa Rican specialty called a copo. A cute little cart sits by the pool so you can make your own, or staff can make one for you. It is similar to what we Americans call a snowball or a snow cone, but with condensed milk added on top of the shaved ice and syrup. We both enjoyed our copos by the pool, which was a refreshing treat to cool us down. It definitely brought me back to my childhood, when I would get snowballs with friends all summer long.

Copo at Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Resort Pool

Costa Rican snow cone poolside at Andaz Papagayo

Copo cart at Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Hotel

Make your own copos free of charge at Andaz Papagayo family pool

Beaches at Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Resort

Wander down from the pools to the beaches. There are two- Sombrero Claro which is just for relaxing, and Sombrero Oscuro, which has activities and food and drink for purchase. You can enjoy complimentary water activities of kayaking, paddle boarding, and snorkeling. They also got a water bike just days after our visit, which looks fun. For an extra fee you can go surfing, diving, fishing, jet skiing, and on a sunset cruise. Swiss Travel Costa Rica also operates several sight seeing tours that you can purchase from their stand on the beach, such as horseback riding, zip lining, and volcano tours. We didn’t take any of those tours though since we rented a car and did our own exploring.

We went kayaking and had fun swinging on the beach while the tide was high early one morning. There are several beach chairs and a hammock to chill by the beach. Hundreds of tiny crabs crawl in and out of their holes. We know that our son would have been chasing them around all day long. We also saw a coati, which is related to a raccoon, run across the path to the beach early one morning. You will also see and hear monkeys as you wander around. You truly feel like you are in the middle of the rainforest. We loved it!

Beach Andaz Costa Rica

Two beach options at Andaz Costa Rica

Beach Costa Rica Andaz Papagayo Peninsula

Beach swing at Andaz Papagayo

Costa Rica beach swing at Andaz Papagayo Peninsula

Beach during high tide at Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Costa Rica

Sombrero Oscuro at Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Resort

Chillin’ at the beach at Andaz Papagayo

Beach Costa Rica hammock Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Resort

Relax in a hammock on Sombrero Oscuro Beach at Andaz Papagayo in Costa Rica

Andaz Costa Rica Review

Sombrero Claro Beach during high tide at Andaz Peninsula Papagayo in Costa Rica’s Guanacaste Province

Andaz Papagayo coati

Costa Rica wildlife roam freely at Andaz- here’s a coati

Onda Spa at Andaz Peninsula Papagayo

The spa at Andaz Papagayo is nestled into the forest with beautiful views. One morning we woke up super early and sat up in the open air lobby relaxing while some howler monkeys howled nearby. It is a lovely spot to enjoy the peace and serenity of the resort.

The spa offers suites for couples massages complete with large soaking tubs, an indoor shower and an outdoor shower. We were treated to a couples massage and it was oh so wonderful! The spa also has locker rooms, gender-specific steam rooms, an exercise room, and a relaxation pool. The spa is a must-do for any couple on a romantic getaway.

Onda Spa Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Resort Review

Onda Spa lobby at Andaz Papagayo

Onda Spa Andaz Papagayo Resort

Spa lobby sits high in the forest at Andaz Peninsula Papagayo in Costa Rica

View of Culebra Bay at Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Resort

Enjoying the serene view from the spa at Andaz Papagayo

Couples massage at Andaz Papagayo Costa Rica

Massage suites are nestled in the tropical forest of Costa Rica at Andaz Peninsula Papagayo’s Onda Spa

Andaz Papagayo Spa treatment room

Massage suite at Onda Spa with soaking tub, bathroom, double sink, indoor and outdoor showers

Onda Spa private treatment room Andaz Papagayo

Massage suite with indoor showers, or step outside on the private patio for a romantic outdoor shower in the forest at Onda Spa

Fitness Room at Andaz Papagayo

The fitness room at Andaz Peninsula Papagayo was well-equipped and larger than many we’ve seen in resorts. There was a good selection of weight machines, free weights, treadmills, ellipticals, and yoga mats.

Andaz Peninsula Papagayo exercise room

Fitness room at Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Costa Rica

Andaz Papagayo fitness room

Treadmills and ellipticals in gym at Andaz Peninsula Papagayo

Andaz Papagayo Hotel Review

Free weights in exercise room at Andaz Papagayo Costa Rica

Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Hotel Review

Cold washcloths, yoga mats, and apples in the exercise room at Andaz Papagayo Costa Rica

Andaz in Costa Rica Papagayo Peninsula

Steam room at Andaz Peninsula Papagayo

Andaz Costa Rica

Ladies locker room for Fitness Room at Andaz Papagayo

Hyatt Costa Rica Guanacaste

Relaxation pool at Onda Spa and Fitness Room at Andaz Peninsula Papagayo

Chao Pescao Tapas Bar & Mixology Class

Chao Pescao is Andaz Papagayo’s hot spot for night life at the resort. They serve tapas and mouth-watering cocktails. My favorite was their signature drink- the Chao Pascao. The bar has a fun vibe with live music several nights per week. The atmosphere puts you in the mood for dancing and socializing. We enjoyed a mixology class (it costs $40 per person) which is a must-do for anyone who likes cocktails. Diego taught us how to make some very creative drinks and the perfect technique for shaking a cocktail. We even got to practice. This is a really fun activity for couples or solo travelers who would like to meet people. At the end of your class you get to create your own signature cocktail.

Andaz Costa Rica Papagayo Restaurant

Chao Pescao Tapas Bar at Andaz Peninsula Papagayo

Cocktails at Andaz

Learning about Costa Rican liquors during our mixology class at Andaz Papagayo

Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Mixology Class Cocktail

Cocktail at Chao Pescao made during our Mixology Class at Andaz Papagayo

Breakfast at Rio Bhongo

We already mentioned that as World Of Hyatt Globalists we enjoyed complimentary breakfast during our stay at Andaz. Breakfast is served in their main restaurant Rio Bhongo, which is open-air overlooking the infinity family pool. The breakfast buffet is $30 per person (if you’re not getting it free as a Hyatt Globalist) which is pricey, but it really does include a lot. You can order off the menu in addition to the enormous buffet and get fresh-squeezed juice, fruit smoothies, and choose from a large selection of coffee drinks from the barista. Check out this blog post with way more details and photos of the food at Andaz Papagayo restaurants. We enjoyed a leisurely breakfast each morning and saw capuchin monkeys swinging in the trees from our table. That’s something we’ve never been able to say about any other luxury resort we’ve stayed in across the world. Costa Rica is truly amazing! You definitely get the authentic feel of Costa Rica at Andaz Papagayo. They embody the Pura Vida (pure life) philosophy of Costa Rica.

Andaz Papagayo restaurant

Rio Bhongo restaurant at Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Costa Rica

Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Resort breakfast buffet

Selection of bread and pastries are a small part of the huge breakfast buffet at Andaz Papagayo

Rio Bhongo breakfast at Andaz Papagayo Costa Rica

Bountiful breakfast at Andaz Peninsula Papagayo

Andaz Papagayo monkey

Capuchin monkey seen from our breakfast table at Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Resort in Costa Rica

Ostra Restaurant

Ostra is Andaz Papagayo’s finest restaurant, which specializes in seafood in a romantic ambience designed to emulate a private residence. We enjoyed a delicious meal there, which started with a welcome cocktail. We’ll fill you in on more about our meal at Ostra in the next blog post about dining options at Andaz Papagayo, which are some of the best in the Guanacaste region of Costa Rica. We heard that the Kardashians dined here during their visit to Costa Rica.

Fine dining at Ostra in Guanacaste Province of Costa Rica

Ostra Restaurant at Andaz Peninsula Papagayo in Costa Rica

Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Resort Ostra Restaurant

Walkway to Ostra Restaurant at Andaz Papagayo

Free children’s program!

The resort is not only romantic but also surprisingly family-friendly. The property is teeming with wildlife including monkeys, iguanas, coaties, crabs, and birds. We cannot wait to come back with our kids who will go bananas over the monkeys! If you have kids but still want some kid-free relaxation time during your stay at Andaz, take advantage of their FREE children’s program CAMBI. It’s for kids from age 4-12 and offers complimentary day camp from 8am-12pm and then again from 1-4:30pm daily. You can also pay $35 for 2 hours or $50 for 4 hours of night camp if you want to have a romantic dinner and perhaps a couples massage. We cannot believe that CAMBI is free and are so excited to try it out when we return. We’ve seen kids programs at many luxury hotels but have never seen one that is free! Some of the activities the kids enjoy include swimming, arts and crafts, learning Spanish, yoga, nature meditation, building sand castles, gathering shells, and beach games.  I think our kids might have more fun at the program than they would with us all day. 😉

Costa Rica Luxury Hotel Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Resort

Iguana at Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Resort

Conclusion of Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Resort Review

We had an amazing time during our stay at Andaz in Costa Rica. The resort is beautiful, romantic, and luxurious which made it perfect for celebrating our anniversary. Service is excellent and personable. The price (free for us thanks to our Hyatt points and reward nights) cannot be beat for World Of Hyatt Globalists. Deals can also be found during low season for those who don’t have Hyatt points, starting at $350 per night. There’s a nice mix of relaxation and activities, some of which are free and others are not. We loved the Mixology class and also heard that the Barista class and Sangria-making class are great. The food and drinks at Andaz are delicious. We especially enjoyed the cocktails at Chao Pescao and the ceviche at Ostra.  Make sure to try the pico de gallo! We couldn’t get enough of the stuff, starting with a large scoop from the breakfast buffet.

One thing to take into consideration when budgeting for your trip is that Costa Rica is one of the most expensive countries in Central America. The food at the resort and throughout the country was priced higher than what we expected. However, it is typical of what you’d spend at a luxury resort. So don’t come expecting things to be dirt cheap like in neighboring Nicaragua. More to come on Nicaragua soon on the blog!

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Where to stay in Costa Rica: Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Resort Review

**A special thanks to Andaz and Jose Carlos for treating us to dinner, a mixology class, and our couples massage which made our stay even more memorable and special. As always, all opinions are our own.

About Bertaut & Alexis

Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Resort Review: Romantic Luxury Hotel in Costa Rica
Travel addicts and proud parents of two young kids who make exploring the world a priority while working full time. Bertaut & Alexis enjoy traveling like millionaires without spending a fortune and share their tips on how to get luxury for less.

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