Hotel Review: Andaz Costa Rica Resort At Peninsula Papagayo

by Anthony Losanno
Andaz Papagayo Sign

Advertiser Disclosure: The Bulkhead Seat earns an affiliate commission for anyone approved through the links below. This compensation may impact how and where links appear on this site. We work to provide the best publicly available offers to our readers. We frequently update them, but this site does not include all available offers.

We spent a long weekend at the Andaz Costa Rica Resort At Peninsula Papagayo a few weeks ago. The resort is a great use of World of Hyatt points and has a lot going for it, but there were some definite misses that would keep me from wanting to return to the property any time in the near future.

Anthony’s Take: I would not be happy if I had paid a cash rate for my stay. The hotel has beautiful grounds, nice rooms, and a staff that tries hard. There is not much in the way of elite recognition after check-in, service is flawed, the food is mediocre at best, the beach and pools are just okay, and after a day or two the phrase “pura vida” will begin to drive you crazy since everyone says it repeatedly (it’s Costa Rica’s equivalent of aloha).

Andaz Papagayo Booking


I booked three nights using World of Hyatt points at a rate of 29,000 points per night for a 1 King Bed Forest View room. If I would have paid cash for our stay, each night would have cost $1,676 plus a 12% Resort Fee. This was a great use of points as it would have cost $4,962 for three nights had I paid cash. This rate was only because I’m a Globalist and would have had the Resort Fee waived. If I was paying that, it would have added another $519 to the bill. This is excessively high since I do not think the service and amenities rank up there with comparably priced resorts in other parts of the world.

Andaz Papagayo Map

Transportation to/from the Hotel

We took an Uber from Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport (LIR). The approximately 20-mile ride took 38 minutes and cost $25. When we went to leave, no Ubers were available and the hotel struggled to even get us a taxi. We had to scramble and I paid our taxi driver $100 to speed in order to get us to the airport in time for our flight. I’d recommend prearranging transportation when departing this hotel.

Peninsula Papagayo


The hotel is located within the Peninsula Papagayo complex. There are several secured gates to pass through before you find yourself driving through impeccably manicured grounds that are shared with the Four Seasons Peninsula Papagayo. Nothing is accessible without a car outside of the complex.

Andaz Papagayo 1


We arrived at the hotel around 3:00 PM and were told that our room was not yet ready. The walkway above leads to the main lobby. Check-in for Globalists and other VIP guests is handled in a separate room away from the main lobby.

Andaz Papagayo 2

There is some seating near the check-in desks.

Andaz Papagayo 3

We were escorted to a separate room and checked in there.

Andaz Papagayo 8

It’s a nice lounge with some seating.

Andaz Papagayo 6

You’ll be seated for check-in (although there is also a desk).

Andaz Papagayo 7

The lounge offers some great views.

Andaz Papagayo 4

We were offered fresh coconuts to drink as well as some light snacks.

Andaz Papagayo 5

These macaroons were pretty tasty.

Andaz Papagayo 9

The agent checking us in told us all about the resort, its pools, where we could have breakfast (as Globalists we could choose between the main restaurant: Rio Bhongo or Ostra). She also informed me that a late checkout would not be possible and that there were no upgrades available. I did not see any suites available. There were several villas, but those are not eligible for upgrades. The exchange was rather formulaic and it felt like she was reciting a script. We were told our room was not ready and asked if we wanted to go to the restaurant. We declined and sat in the lobby for about 15 minutes before our keys were brought over.

Andaz Papagayo Resort Fee

The Resort Fee is a total ripoff and I was happy not to be paying it. $519 for three nights would have gotten us these meager inclusions. This is one of the biggest drawbacks of this resort and they should be ashamed to charge rates like this for access to the fitness center, some sodas, and other inclusions that most guests will either not use or should be offered on a complimentary basis.

Andaz Papagayo 10

The staff brought us to our room in a golf cart. It is a long walk and parts of it are hilly. I’d advise a golf cart for bringing your luggage to and from your room. The golf carts at the resort are otherwise annoying. There are tons of them, they drive fast, they take up most of the walkway, and I found them to be a general nuisance. The agent that escorted us to our room wanted to come in to show us the features. I declined and we went in alone. I hate when hotels do this as I can figure out how to operate the lights and it always just seems like a money grab since they’re providing a service and expect a tip.

Andaz Papagayo 11

Our room was on the first floor of Building 5. This meant that we had to go down some stairs to reach it.

Andaz Papagayo 12


Andaz Papagayo 13

The hallways are open air and were lushly landscaped.

Andaz Papagayo 14

1 King Bed Forest View (516)

There are 131 rooms and 21 suites at the hotel (plus the newly built villas).

Andaz Papagayo 30

A large foyer was the first thing we saw when we opened the door.

Andaz Papagayo 31

Two complimentary hats were hanging near the door. We took these home as souvenirs, but will never wear them.

Andaz Papagayo 15

The room was large and felt more like a junior suite. Upon entering, a closet was to the left. There was space for luggage in the center.

Andaz Papagayo 16
The left side held an iron and ironing board as well as two pairs of flip flops (the hotel should really give guests what they need since we could use one of the pairs, but not the small ones meant for a woman).

Andaz Papagayo 17

The right side held snacks, coffee machine, refrigerator, and safe.

Andaz Papagayo 18

The refrigerator was filled with complimentary soft drinks and beer for purchase. We don’t drink soda or beer, so this was wasted on us. The random plum was from a previous guest.

Andaz Papagayo 19

The snacks are also complimentary. We tasted one and it was gross, so the rest sat untouched.

Andaz Papagayo 20

The bathroom was on the right side. It was also spacious and included a toilet, vanity with single sink, and huge shower room.

Andaz Papagayo 22

The toiletries were LATHER brand. A bar of soap was on the counter.

Andaz Papagayo 23

A large bottle of lotion was also found there.

Andaz Papagayo 26

Bottled water was next to the sink. There were actually six complimentary bottles of water throughout the room.

Andaz Papagayo 21

I liked that the toilet was in a separate room.

Andaz Papagayo 24

The shower room was massive and opened up to the patio to let natural light in.

Andaz Papagayo 25

Large bottles of LATHER hair wash, crème rinse, and body wash were on a shelf along with another bar of soap. Both the water pressure and temperature were good here.

Andaz Papagayo 27

As mentioned, the patio was off of the shower and bedroom. It was spacious and I liked watching the geckos come out at night.

Andaz Papagayo 28

A desk was next to the minibar. Our welcome amenity was found here. The coconut truffles were tasty and gone in minutes.

Andaz Papagayo 29

The desk served as a dining table the one night we ordered in-room dining.

Andaz Papagayo 32

I liked the wooden lizards hanging on the walls throughout the room.

Andaz Papagayo 33

The bedroom area made up the other half of the space. It held a king-sized bed, night stands, a TV, table and chair facing the window, and a bench.

Andaz Papagayo 34

The table and chair offered a nice space to look at the beautiful views outside.

Andaz Papagayo 35

The TV was across from the bed.

Andaz Papagayo 36

The bench lined the left wall. We used it for our luggage.

Andaz Papagayo 37


Andaz Papagayo 44

Rio Bhongo

Rio Bhongo is the hotel’s main restaurant. It is located near the family pool and offers a buffet breakfast as well as an a la carte lunch and dinner options. We had lunch on our first day and breakfast twice in the restaurant. We were going to have dinner there one night, but they had a special Super Bowl buffet that was not appealing.

Andaz Papagayo 42


Andaz Papagayo 43

The menu offers what you would expect poolside at a resort.

Andaz Papagayo 38

For lunch, we ordered the Guacamole and Tortilla Chips to start. It was brought out with our entrees and was not that good. It really had no flavor.

Andaz Papagayo 39

I had the Andaz Burger. I ordered it medium rare and it was served closer to well done. The flavors were good.

Andaz Papagayo 40

My husband ordered the Bella Italia pizza. He said it was fine.

Andaz Papagayo 41

To drink, we ordered a ginger ale and a Tuanis cocktail. Overall, lunch was adequate but nothing special.

Andaz Papagayo 55

The restaurant is large and getting a table was not an issue.

Andaz Papagayo 58

We had breakfast at Rio Bhongo our first and last day at the resort. The breakfast buffet is rather extensive. Unfortunately, most items were mediocre like almost everything else we ate at the resort.

Andaz Papagayo 59

Cheeses, meats, smoked salmon, and yogurt

Andaz Papagayo 60

Salad ingredients

Andaz Papagayo 61

Tortilla with Ham & Cheese and Creole Chorizo with Potatoes

Andaz Papagayo 62

Vegan Chilaquiles and Cassava with Mojo

Andaz Papagayo 63

Potatoes and Vegetables Picadillo

Andaz Papagayo 64

Gallo Pinto

Andaz Papagayo 65

Scrambled Eggs

Andaz Papagayo 66

Fried Ripe Plantains

Andaz Papagayo 67

Sautéed Green Beans

Andaz Papagayo 78

Pancakes were made to order.

Andaz Papagayo 68

Breads and pastries. The Banana Bread was actually tasty.

Andaz Papagayo 71

More bread and a toaster for guest use.

Andaz Papagayo 74


Andaz Papagayo 69

Fruit and cereal

Andaz Papagayo 70

More Fruit

Andaz Papagayo 72


Andaz Papagayo 73

Orange Juice

Andaz Papagayo 76

Pineapple, Cucumber, and Celery Juice and Pineapple Juice

Andaz Papagayo 75

Cold Brew Coffee

Andaz Papagayo 77

I ordered a latte and it was delivered in a reasonable amount of time.

Andaz Papagayo 79

We had dinner the first night at Chao Pescao. This is the Andaz’ tapas restaurant. The service was bad and the food was poorly timed and not very good.

Andaz Papagayo 80


Andaz Papagayo 81

The restaurant is well designed, dark, and modern.

Andaz Papagayo 82

I like that the menu has dishes from multiple Central and South American countries as well as a few in the Caribbean.

Andaz Papagayo 83

A bowl of popcorn and roasted chickpeas was brought to the table while we waited. This was largely flavorless and we did not eat much.

Andaz Papagayo 84

Ceviche Puerto Limon came out first. This was the best dish of the night.

Andaz Papagayo 85

The Anticucho was also flavorful.

Andaz Papagayo 86

The Jerk Chicken tasted more like curry and was not good.

Andaz Papagayo 89

The Taqueños were some of the worst I’ve ever had.

Andaz Papagayo 88

The Provoleta was just melted cheese and the garlic bread was rock hard.

Andaz Papagayo 87

The Chicken Coxinhas was also dry and mostly flavorless.

Andaz Papagayo 91

We had a ginger ale and a Raspberry Mojito to drink.

Andaz Papagayo 90

Finally, we tried the Havannets a La Chao for dessert. It was so bad that we each took a bite and were done. The custard was curdled and the flavor was gross.

Andaz Papagayo 92

Andaz Papagayo 93Andaz Papagayo 94

Andaz Papagayo 95

On our second day, we had breakfast at Ostra. This is open exclusively for VIP guests and Globalists. It’s almost like a buffet, but items are brought to you along with an a la carte menu. Ostra is situated above the adult pool and through a really cool tunnel.

Andaz Papagayo 96

The menu featured small plates and some options that were brought to the table in lieu of a buffet. The items clearly came from the buffet, but were plated.

Andaz Papagayo 97

Fruit and yogurt was brought to the table.

Andaz Papagayo 98

This was followed by selections from a tray of pastries and bread (all of these are on the buffet at Rio Bhongo)

Andaz Papagayo 99

We chose several and they were pretty good.

Andaz Papagayo 100

Meats, cheeses, and condiments were also brought out.

Andaz Papagayo 101

Two beetroot shots were then brought to the table. We did not drink these as neither of us likes beets.

Andaz Papagayo 102

We ordered a few dishes. My husband had the Peanut Butter & Jelly French Toast. He liked it, but it was a small portion.

Andaz Papagayo 103

I had the Chorreadas (which are corn pancakes). They were okay.

Andaz Papagayo 104

I also ordered a plain scrambled egg.

Andaz Papagayo 105

We tried to order coffee, but were informed that the machine was broken. I don’t understand why one of the annoying golf carts couldn’t have gotten the coffee, but so be it. My husband had a smoothie instead. Service was spotty and inattentive even though there were many servers and only a handful of tables.

Andaz Papagayo 107


Andaz Papagayo 106

On our last night, we returned to Ostra for dinner. It’s designed to impress people who don’t have access to good restaurants, but the dishes were weird with odd ingredients combined. It tried to impress, but failed across the board.

Andaz Papagayo 108

Bread was brought to the table shortly after we were seated.

Andaz Papagayo 109

Our appetizers actually arrived before our drinks (around 25 minutes after ordering). I had the Ceviche del Dia and it was pretty bland.

Andaz Papagayo 110

My husband had the Creamy Purple Polenta. It was an odd dish with dried mushrooms.

Andaz Papagayo 113

I had another ginger ale and my husband tried a Tequila Spritz.

Andaz Papagayo 111

For a main course, I had the Grilled Costa Rican Grouper. It was fine, but lacked much flavor.

Andaz Papagayo 112

My husband had the Octopus and also found this dish odd. It had sweet potato gnocchi, pork, and pistachios.

Andaz Papagayo 114


Andaz Papagayo 115


Andaz Papagayo 116


On our second night, we opted out of the Super Bowl buffet and ordered in-room dining. It arrived quickly, but was awkwardly delivered with the server taking the tray and covers. They never came back for the dirty dishes and we stacked them in the hallway. We ordered Chicken Soup, a Caprese Salad, and two Andaz Burgers. Everything was okay, but nothing was memorable or made us want more.

Andaz Papagayo 46

Public Areas & Amenities

The resort has three pools (one is a boat ride away at the resort’s beach club), a fitness center, spa, several restaurants, and some basic activities that are included in the rip-off Resort Fee. None of the amenities feel particularly luxurious and the beach by the hotel looks rather run down. It takes away from the hotel’s vibe and just feels cheap.

Andaz Papagayo 45

The main pool is near Rio Bhongo. This is open to all ages.

Andaz Papagayo 47

Towels, water, and sunscreen were provided.

Andaz Papagayo 48

The pool was never crowded during our stay. We did not use it as we generally try to stay as far away as possible from children.

Andaz Papagayo 49

There were plenty of open spaces.

Andaz Papagayo 50

Behind the pool, you’ll find a path down to the resort’s sad beach. This is also where the boat picks you up to take you to the beach club. The schedule is loosely followed.

Andaz Papagayo 51

The boardwalk is only a few minutes to the beach.

Andaz Papagayo 52

The other path leads to the other side of the property.

Andaz Papagayo 53

As mentioned, the beach here was rather depressing.

Andaz Papagayo 54

There was a lot of furniture, but it was kind of strewn all around between the trees.

Andaz Papagayo 56


Andaz Papagayo 57

At least the trees look pretty here.

Andaz Papagayo 117

The adult pool is located below Ostra. This became crowded and boisterous in the afternoons.

Andaz Papagayo 118

The coolest part of the pool was a monkey sleeping in a nearby tree.

Andaz Papagayo 119

We took the boat ride to the Casa de Playa beach club one day. The schedule is loosely followed and it’s a quick ride across the peninsula. (This is the view of the resort from the boat.)

Andaz Papagayo 120

The beach club has a private beach, pool, restrooms with showers, and a restaurant/bar.

Andaz Papagayo 121

There were plenty of open chairs, but it was not a particularly nice beach. There were multiple lizards lounging on the beach.

Andaz Papagayo 122

The pool is set back.

Andaz Papagayo 123

It has a restaurant/bar.

Andaz Papagayo 124

The facilities were brand new.

Andaz Papagayo 125

We ordered Popcorn Shrimp, Mahi Mahi Skewers, and a Chicken Pita for lunch. It was overpriced as you’d expect at a resort and tasted fine.

The resort offers a limited fitness center and spa. We did not use either of these facilities or have any desire to check them out.

Overall Impression: The Andaz Costa Rica Resort At Peninsula Papagayo tries to bill itself as a luxury resort. It charges enough, but the service, food, and amenities do not equate. The exorbitant Resort Fee needs to be banned because it is offensively expensive and provides little. The culinary offerings are inadequate and largely not very good. It would take a lot for me to go back. It is a good use of points, but the grounds are depressing and the staff pretty clueless. We were out all day and our room was not serviced. The hotel receptionist told me they only work between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM. A few moments later (after 5:00 PM), someone showed up and asked to clean the room. We refused. Pura vida!

User Generated Content Disclosure: The Bulkhead Seat encourages constructive discussions, comments, and questions. Responses are not provided by or commissioned by any bank advertisers. These responses have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the responsibility of the bank advertiser to respond to comments.


Gene February 23, 2024 - 4:49 pm

Thanks for the warning. When this place first opened, it seemed like a very desirable hotel destination, but my recent looks at the property (prices, TSU availability) had left me somewhat uninterested. This review cements that we won’t be going out of our way to visit any time soon. Sadly, Hyatt in general seems to have been pretty disappointing lately. I’m not sure if I have become spoiled, but they do not seem to be maintaining their properties very well and the food quality seems to have declined.

lars February 25, 2024 - 12:39 pm

Thank you for this excellent review. You really gave a comprehensive and honest overview of the place and the pictures are also appreciated.


Leave a Comment

Related Articles