Planning a tropical getaway and considering the Costa Rica Andaz resort? Read a full review of Andaz Papagayo. It's one of best resorts in Costa Rica!
*This post was in no way sponsored by Andaz and we have paid for each of our stays here.*
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 articles listing it as one of the best values for hotel point redemptions.
Costa Rica Andaz Papagayo is listed as a Hyatt category 5 property. This puts it at just 17,000 World of Hyatt points per night for "off-peak" dates, 20,000 for "standard", and 23,000 for "peak". A steal!
Jake and I decided to take advantage of this incredible value and plan a trip over Christmas a few years back. We've returned five times since and now consider this one of our go-to vacation spots.
We rarely stay at the same hotel twice, let alone five times. This speaks to just how special Andaz Papagayo is. We've tried other resorts in the area...eh hem...W Costa Rica...and were very sad we wasted days not staying at Andaz.
If you're looking for a tropical getaway, or like me, have had your eye on Costa Rica Andaz Papagayo, continue reading for my full experience.
Getting to Andaz Papagayo
We flew Southwest airlines to Liberia airport from Dallas taking full advantage of our companion pass.
Renting a car was a breeze being a 10 minute shuttle from the airport. It's very affordable at about $40 a day. The drive to Andaz Papagayo was 30 minutes, easy to navigate, and felt perfectly safe.
Another option is to book a shuttle through the hotel or via LIR Shuttle.
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.
One thing I really enjoyed about Andaz 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 most unique Hyatt resorts.
Andaz is a completely open design. Common areas like the reception and restaurants are free of walls. This ensures that every meal includes spectacular views and sometimes feels like you're in a treehouse as you overlook the treetops.
This Hyatt resort is on the smaller side with 132 guest rooms and 21 suites.
We've been multiple times when the resort was 100% occupied...yet it's never felt crowded. We've never been in a position to not find a spot by the pool nor lost the sense of a peaceful retreat.
Costa Rica Andaz Papagayo Activities and Amenities
There are four pools (one is 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 at The Beach House for those that want to stay through lunch or an early dinner.
Every beach had calm, relatively 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 unique 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 can 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 has 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 zip-lining, 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 would still 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
There are four restaurants at Andaz Papagayo Costa Rica. 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 like to go here our last night and order a tapas style dinner with several appetizers.
Chao Pescao is our favorite spot for a lively/casual dinner. While the dishes are small, we are fine ordering two items (since we eat such a large breakfast...more on that later).
Our favorite dishes are the chicken cazuela, pork belly, and chaofrijo. All these options are under $20 and large portions compared to many of the other menu items.
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 $35 and one of the best I've ever had. The options are substantial; plantains, eggs, fresh fruit, avocado and salmon toast, pastries, incredible banana bread, chia seed pudding, overnight oats, yogurt bar, bacon, chorizo, spicy potatoes, corn pancakes, etc.
You can also order a la carte. I recommend at least one person gets the buffet so you can try an assortment of Costa Rican specialties along with American options.
*breakfast is free if you're Globalist status on the World of Hyatt program! This is probably the best free breakfast you'll get from Hyatt resorts and Hyatt hotels.
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 6:00 pm as it gets dark around 5:30 pm. We found that the breakfast buffet easily kept us full until dinner.
One of the best resorts in Costa Rica at only 17,000 to 23,000 points per night
Costa Rica Andaz Papagayo resort is one of our most memorable tropical vacations and we plan to continue returning each year! 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 17,000 points!
We transfer our Chase Ultimate Rewards points to World of Hyatt to pay for our stays and usually spend about $100 to $150 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.
Andaz Peninsula Papagayo is hands down 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 stories highlights. I have a video showing the entire property.