Booking a trip and staying at the Costa Rica Andaz Papagayo resort had been on my travel list for quite some time. Andaz Papagayo first sparked my interest because I had read several blogs and articles listing it as one of the best hotel point redemptions. Costa Rica Andaz Papagayo is one of the best resorts in Costa Rica and way undervalued. It's categorization as a Hyatt category 5 property puts it at just 20,000 World of Hyatt points per night. A steal! Jake and I decided to take advantage of this incredible value and plan a trip over Christmas. If you are looking for a tropical getaway or like me, have had your eye on Costa Rica Andaz Papagayo, continue reading for my full experience.
We flew Southwest airlines to Liberia airport from Dallas, TX taking full advantage of our companion pass. Renting a car was a breeze being a 10 minute shuttle from the airport and affordable at about $40 a day. The drive to Andaz Papagayo was 30 minutes and easy to navigate.
Continue reading about one of the best resorts in costa rica - andaz papagayo or save it for later!
Peninsula Papagayo and the Guanacaste Region
Costa Rica Andaz Papagayo is located on Peninsula Papagayo. The 1,400 acre private peninsula is pristine and offers stunning views along 11 miles of coastline. Manicured yet natural landscaping, 7 sandy beaches in all colors, and home to plenty of wildlife including monkeys, stingrays, and iguanas. The only resorts currently on peninsula Papagayo are The Four Seasons and Andaz Papagayo. Many times I felt like Jake and I had the peninsula to ourselves as we went for walks or rode the free electronic bikes.
One thing I really enjoyed about Andaz Peninsula Papagayo and the peninsula itself was how natural it felt. You could tell the designers made an effort to work around the natural landscaping instead of just tearing everything up...which is one of the many reasons why it's one of the best resorts in Costa Rica and one of the best Hyatt hotels. Andaz is a completely open design. Common areas like the reception and restaurants were free of walls. This ensured that every meal included spectacular views and sometimes felt like you were in a treehouse as your looked over the treetops.
This Hyatt resort is on the smaller side with 132 guest rooms and 21 suites. Since we were there over Christmas the resort was 100% occupied, yet if you had asked me I would have guessed around 50-60% because it felt that secluded. Thinking about it, I’m not surprised that the place never felt crowded with everything the hotel and peninsula Papagayo had to offer, which is one of the reasons I could stay here for a full two weeks and not get bored.
Costa Rica Andaz Papagayo Activities and Amenities
There are four pools with one being adult only and three beaches. Two of the beaches are reachable by a long pathway of stairs. One beach is black sand and the other is white. The other beach is reachable by boat and aptly named The Beach House. Andaz Papagayo provides the boat, it leaves about every 30 minutes, and takes less than 10 minutes. The Beach House is truly unique. Comfortable lounge chairs and drink carts are set among the mangrove trees. There is also a full restaurant there for those that want to stay through lunch or an early dinner.
Every beach had calm, very warm, and clear water…perfect for snorkeling. Sometimes it would get windy in the afternoon so we would try to snorkel in the morning to get the best visibility. We snorkeled right off the beach and saw stingrays, a sea turtle and too many puffer fish to count. Costa Rica Andaz Papagyo provides complimentary snorkel gear, kayaks, and paddle boards. The calm beaches, complimentary water gear, and the unqiue Beach House, are a few of the standout reasons why this hotel is not only one of the best Hyatt resorts but also one of the best resorts in Costa Rica.
Walking, Hiking, and Biking Peninsula Papagayo
Along with water activities you could explore peninsula Papagayo via the walking paths or by using one of the free electric bikes. I highly recommend doing both as the views were unforgettable and we came across monkeys and Mexican racoons each time we ventured out. The hotel also had a calendar of activities, some free some extra, each day including barista, ceviche, and mixology classes, yoga and fitness classes, hiking and biking excursions, moonlight kayak tours, and more.
If all the above doesn’t keep you busy you can also visit the golf course or Onda Spa. The Andaz Papagayo staff can easily organize a day trip to Arenal Volcano, one of the national parks, or rainforests. There are also tours for adventures like ziplining, ATV tours, water rafting, and rappelling. Private or shared snorkel tours, sunset cruises, and fishing trips are also available.
Andaz Peninsula Papagayo - Rooms with a view
After reading all of the above it’s pretty obvious you won’t be spending much time in your hotel room. Andaz Peninsula Papagayo could have given me a shoebox sized room and I still would rave about this hotel just because the common areas and activities are so spectacular. Thankfully the rooms are much larger than a shoebox and are just as impressive as the rest of the property.
My favorite thing about the rooms are the rain showers that open onto the balcony. It was quite depressing coming home and staring at my tiled shower wall when I had grown used to gazing out onto treetops and ocean views while showering. The rooms are modern and what I would call simple luxury. Floor to ceiling windows and nest inspired balconies allow you to take in the views 24/7. The beds are comfortable, I never heard my neighbors, and the free stocked mini bar with plantain and yuca chips, waters, and soft drinks was an added bonus.
Dining and Restaurants at Costa Rica Andaz Papagayo
Andaz Papagayo exceeded my expectations in every category thus far. Now what about dining? There are four restaurants. The Beach House is located at the beach reachable by boat. The menu is simple and includes tropical drinks, burgers, grilled fish, salads, and tacos. Ostra is the romantic and “fancy” restaurant. The menu focuses on fresh seafood and ceviche. We didn’t dine here as it was on the expensive side with mains priced around $30-$40.
Chao Pescao Small Plates & Bar was our spot for dinner most nights. It had a lively atmosphere, a hip cocktail bar, and well-priced dishes. We typically ordered two items each night and never spent more than $40 on dinner. It’s a small plates style, but if you order right your dish will look more like a normal sized meal. Our favorite items were Chicken Cazuela, Pork Belly, and Chaofrijo. All these options were under $20 and large portions.
Breakfast Buffet at Rio Bhongo
Rio Bhongo offers all day dining and is where the breakfast buffet or special themed dinner buffets take place. The breakfast buffet is one of the best I have ever had and I highly recommend choosing the Continental Buffet priced at $19. This includes everything in the buffet area except hot items. Barista drinks and a smoothie are also included. Frozen coffee drinks, hot chocolate, soy lattes, cortados, americanos, iced coffee…pretty much any coffee drink you can think of is included in $19 buffet price.
*If you're Globalist status on the World of Hyatt program breakfast is free! This is probably the best free breakfast you'll get from Hyatt resorts and Hyatt hotels.
The baked goods were outstanding most notably the homemade banana bread, corn bread, and these goey dough balls that were being baked fresh in the pizza oven. There is a yogurt parfait bar with homemade granola, all kind of nuts and seeds, and other toppings like coconut. Fresh veggies like cucumber, tomatoes, carrots, and salad, along with smoked salmon, deli meats and cheese, and cereals are also offered. The fresh fruit includes watermelon, cantaloupe, papaya, pineapple, mango, and whatever else is in season. Your smoothie is made to order at the smoothie bar where you pick your own ingredients.
The other buffet option is the “American Buffet” which costs $35. The only difference is this includes hot items like grilled plantains, rice and beans, pancakes, omelets, eggs, etc. With all the items to choose from the continental buffet, we didn’t think the hot items warranted the extra $15 nor could our waistline handle the additional options.
Breakfast is served until 10:30 so you could do like we did and go around 9:30/10:00 and make that be your breakfast and lunch. We usually had dinner around 6:00pm as it gets dark around 5:30pm. We found that the breakfast buffet easily kept us full until dinner and if we needed a snack until then we would grab a few of the fresh baked coconut macaroons at the reception area or clear out our free minibar snacks.
One of the best resorts in Costa Rica at only 20,000 points per night
Our stay at Costa Rica Andaz Papagayo resort is one of our most memorable tropical vacations and we can’t wait to be back! This is a wonderful luxury vacation that doesn’t have to break the bank since it’s such a good point redemption value. Seriously...you can stay at one of the best resorts in Costa Rica at just 20,000 points! We transferred our Chase Ultimate Rewards points to World of Hyatt to pay for our stay and spent less than $100 per day on food. Many airline hubs have non-stop flights to Liberia airport. Southwest Airlines flies here which is great for companion pass holders.
Overall this is one of the best Hyatt hotels and definitely one of the best resorts in Costa Rica. If you're looking for one of the most unique Hyatt resorts to spend your points for a free stay...this should be your top pick!
If you want to see more pictures or videos of the property head to my Instagram account, abroad_with_ash, and go to the Costa Rica and Hotels stories highlights. I have a video showing the entire property.
Now that you know Andaz Peninsula Papagayo is one of the BEST resorts in Costa Rica AND one of the best Hyatt hotels to use your points...it's time to book your tours and activities!
If you love beach vacations then you will adore Greece!
Have you stayed at Costa Rica Andaz Papagayo? Let me know about your experience and if you think it's one of the best resorts in Costa Rica and one of the top Hyatt resorts in the comments below!
Some links in this article are affiliate links, which means that if you purchase through them, I earn a small commission. This will never cost you extra and the income goes to keeping this site updated and free for everyone!