It was dark. Our spirits were low. We have been travelling for almost 16 hours. In the eight hours after we landed in Costa Rica, we had queued for over an hour to get through customs, spent another hour sorting out our rental car, been caught in an epic thunder storm, fought frenetic traffic and driven for hours across the country. After the stress of this journey it would be a reprieve to arrive anywhere. However…
The relief when we arrived at the Four Seasons Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo was overwhelming. The relief was unbridled. The relief was completely, indisputably and absolutely affirming. The Four Seasons Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo is what we had made our traveller sacrifice for.
The guard at the gate buzzed us through, and asked if we knew how to get to the resort. An odd question, when sitting at the gate? His directions were simple, but I’m glad he told us to “just keep going …for 7km.”
Well if a 7km driveway wasn’t an indication of the exclusivity of the resort, I’m not sure what would be.
Four Seasons Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo Review
Set on the its own private peninsula in Guanacaste, the Four Seasons Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo is a sustainable haven for those seeking to reconnect and relax. We arrived after dark so didn’t get the full sense of the location until the next morning. We were too tired, stressed, and mentally and emotionally compromised. But when we did wake up: wow, was it magnificent.
Most importantly – Does the hotel and room do what it’s supposed to do?
The entire resort is geared towards personalisation. If you visit and just want to relax, there are three pools, a hot pool, a spa, two beaches …you get the idea. However if you’d prefer to seek out wildlife or play volleyball on the beach, you can do these too. Your room is a cool haven to return to after a long day in the sun, and is set up to enjoy the magnificent views across the bay or out to sea, with a fridge stocked high with cold beverages to enjoy.
How did we rate the experience before we stepped into the room?
The impressive “driveway”, flanked by double rows of palm trees, followed by a 7km drive through the golf course to the reception was certainly a magnificent way to start our stay at the Four Seasons Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo. We were greeted by several staff to organise the valet parking of our (now very dusty 4×4), whisk away our luggage on their golf carts, and offer us a much needed cold towel and welcome drink. The check in process was, as usual, a seamless affair whilst sipping our refreshingly exotic drinks and perched on their comfortable sofas.
Does it cover the basic needs?
Breakfast – a sumptuous buffet of fresh fruit, juice, cheese, cold meat, warm breads, pastries, freshly made pancakes and traditional gallo pinto …the list could go on.
Comfy bed – a huge, cloud like mattress, cool cotton linen and plump pillows.
Decent towels – of course, lovely huge towels and soft robes.
Fridge – yes, and fully stocked. Although this does mean that you can’t put anything else in there.
Good pillows – yes, see above
Parking – you definitely need a vehicle (or transfer) to get down the property’s 7km drive, but the valets are waiting for you when you arrive and take care of everything seamlessly.
Safe – large, sturdy safe and easy to use
Shower with decent water pressure – a big rainfall shower
Wifi – free wifi across the property, you can pay to upgrade if you need to. Although we tried not to focus on our devices and instead enjoy our surroundings.
What makes your stay feel special?
The Four Season’s legendary customer service will always make you feel like they are invested in you personally. Especially after a long journey to the property, your check in experience from the comfort of the sofa certainly makes a difference.
The resort also offer lots of activities and tours, some with a small surcharge and some complementary. At check in you will receive the timetable for that week so you can schedule your experiences. These range from early morning yoga sessions, sunset stand up paddle boarding tours and cookery classes.
From the pool area you can see both sides of the peninsular and both beaches, one looking out to the Pacific Ocean and the other to the bay. This unique view reinforces the exclusivity and seclusion of the location.
The towels are laid out at sunrise, the cool flavoured waters refilled and the sun cream is replenished ready for the hot day ahead.
Although it is not the case, it often felt like the staff outnumbered the guests, ensuring that there was always someone friendly nearby to lend a hand and offer advice. There was no queuing or waiting …for anything.
Does the hotel and room make sense?
When you first arrive and are driven to your room around the winding paths, it can seem like it is a fair distance from the reception. However, the rooms are all centred around the social area with four swimming pools, including a warm waterfall pool, two main restaurants and lounge bar. The reception perches on top of these and is easily accessible through the bar.
The wonderful thing about the room was the natural flow of the air. The balcony has a screen to prevent insects from getting in (without spoiling the views). It was soothing to keep the doors wide open to hear the waves lapping at the shore and feel the cool sea breeze. The spacious bathroom was separated by sliding louvred doors, adding that extra touch of luxury with views directly out to the sea whilst relaxing in the bath.
On our first night we ordered the House Burger (getting into the local cuisine, I know) with caramelized onions, Swiss cheese, and bacon served with crispy potato wedges to share at Tico’s open-air lounge. Between the jet lag and time differences we weren’t particularly hungry so decided to share. The chef thoughtfully split the meal into two separate servings, which were the perfect size. The burger was succulent and juicy, and paired beautifully with the Malinche and Passion cocktails from their extensive cocktail menu.
The spectacular local market style breakfast buffet is served in the Latin inspired Sol y Sombra restaurant, with sweet fresh fruits, including my favourite physalis fruits (which are hard to get in England), freshly squeezed fruit juices, cold meats, freshly baked breads and pastries, and an omelette station. There were also hot delicacies in the International and Local Corners.
We were provided with a take away box to enjoy our food later on the beach for lunch.
Essentially, the food was intensely flavoursome, locally sourced and served in hearty portions, you can’t go hungry here.
Due to the location on it’s own private peninsular, you are limited to the facilities within the grounds. However, there are so many activities available, you could be active from sunrise until after sun set if you so wished.
Although the property is expansive, there were always friendly staff ready to take you to different areas of the resort in a golf cart for the residential side or air conditioned 4×4 to visit the golf course and restaurants over there too.
The Four Seasons Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo is simply an oasis of luxury; great service, beautiful food and amazing views. We couldn’t have wished for a better introduction to the captivating country of Costa Rica.
Thank you to The Four Seasons Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo, whose website you can visit here, for partially sponsoring our stay, however our opinions are always honest and our own.
Last modified: 15th June 2017