Review: Andaz Costa Rica Peninsula Papagayo Resort – A Luxury Oasis in the Jungle

Nestled on the shores of the Peninsula Papagayo, Guanacaste, Andaz Costa Rica Peninsula Papagayo Resort is a luxurious getaway experience. This oceanfront resort opened its doors in 2013 and has 153 guest rooms and 21 suites.

We were thrilled to experience the renowned Andaz hospitality and couldn’t wait to explore everything that Andaz Papagayo has to offer. Let’s take a closer look!

Booking

We used our Hyatt points to book a stay at Andaz Papagayo. Since it was a Category 5 Hyatt hotel at the time of booking, we only redeemed 17,000 Hyatt Points per night for a Standard Room (on the off-peak night). The cash rate per night during our stay would have been $4,418.53 ($631.21 per night), so we redeemed our points at whopping 3.71 cents per point.

Note that Andaz Papagayo got bumped up in its Category earlier this year during Hyatt’s annual chart updates and now is a Category 6 Hyatt Hotel with 21k, 25k, and 29k on off-peak, standard, and peak nights.

Our favorite current offer from the Chase Bank to earn Chase Ultimate Rewards transferrable to Hyatt at 1:1 is from the Chase Ink Business Cash.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Chase Ink Business Cash

You can earn a signup bonus of 75,000 Ultimate Rewards points when you get the Chase Ink Business Cash card and spend $6,000 within the first six months. This valuable bonus is worth around $750 in cash back or at least $1,500 in travel when you redeem through Chase or transfer points to airline and hotel partners.

REWARDS RATE

1x-5x

BONUS VALUE

$1,500

SIGN-UP BONUS

75,000 points

ANNUAL FEE

$0

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Chase Sapphire Preferred

You can earn a signup bonus of 60,000 Ultimate Rewards Points when you signup for the Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card and spend $4,000 in the first three months of card membership. This bonus alone is worth at least $1,200 in travel rewards when transferred to travel partners such as Hyatt!

REWARDS RATE

1x-5x

BONUS VALUE

$1,200

SIGN-UP BONUS

60,000 points

ANNUAL FEE

$95

Getting there from the airport

The nearest airport to Andaz Papagayo is in Liberia, Costa Rica (about 35 minutes away), which is where we flew into. This time, we did not rent a car and instead took the shuttle to the resort.

You can contact the hotel directly and ask them to arrange shuttle services, or you can book a less expensive option online prior to your arrival. We booked Liberia Airport Shuttle online, and it was $69 one way, paid with cash after the ride. The service was prompt and efficient, and they took us to the hotel without any issues. We highly recommend it.

Check-in

We arrived at Andaz Papagayo in the evening and were greeted by a friendly staff member who took care of our luggage immediately.

Later, the concierge escorted us to a separate area to complete the check-in process. We were unaware at first that this area was reserved specifically for Globalists like ourselves, and we later noticed other guests checking in at the open-air lobby. The staff kindly offered us refreshing beverages such as water, fresh coconut water, and delicious coconut cookies (the girls surely appreciated it).

We had already confirmed online beforehand and knew the hotel had no suites available for an upgrade during our travel dates. However, we still asked if there was any possibility of finding a larger room for at least half of our stay, as we were concerned about fitting a crib and a roll-away bed in our current Standard room. Unfortunately, the hotel was very busy during the week, and the staff were unable to offer us any alternatives.

The map of Andaz Papagayo

The map of Andaz Papagayo
The map of Andaz Papagayo

Kid-friendly things to do in Peninsula Papagayo, Costa Rica

Peninsula Papagayo is a hidden gem on Costa Rica’s Pacific coast that offers families pristine beaches, lush landscapes, abundant wildlife, and exciting yet kid-friendly adventures. This enchanting peninsula has many natural wonders for families to discover.
Continue reading →

The Room

We got the Standard 560-sq. ft. (52 sq. mt.) Forest View room at Building 6, with floor-to-ceiling windows, a river stone rain shower, and a spacious private balcony.

Our room featured one King-sized bed, a rollaway bed for our oldest daughter, and a crib for the little one (both could actually fit in the room just fine).

1 King Bed Forest View Room, Andaz Papagayo
1 King Bed Forest View Room, Andaz Papagayo

A nice touch was complimentary flip-flops and fedora hats for everyone!

Among other things, the room also included an office desk and a 55-inch TV. There was a coffee maker, kettle, and, most importantly, a complimentary minibar with snacks and non-alcoholic beverages that were restocked daily (our girls enjoyed the plantain chips).

Balcony

We particularly enjoyed our spacious private balcony with tropical forest views. This time, we can say that we were more excited about this view rather than the Bay view. Imagine stepping out here first thing in the morning and seeing a white-faced monkey in its natural habitat; the girls were thrilled! It was quiet and secluded and felt like the experience itself.

💡Good to know

During your stay, you will encounter various wildlife such as white-faced capuchin monkeys, howler monkeys, coatis, and more. While some of these monkeys may try to snatch your breakfast muffins, they are not aggressive.

You will also find bug sprays at the pool area, beach, and restaurants. We strongly suggest that you use it, especially in the evenings.

Balcony at 1 King Bed Forest View Room, Andaz Papagayo
Balcony at 1 King Bed Forest View Room, Andaz Papagayo

Bathroom

The bathroom featured plush robes, a counter with one sink, and a river stone walk-in rain shower. You may notice that the shower room has an additional set of doors from the inside; it’s because you can open those doors to your forest-view balcony and practically enjoy your shower in the jungle!

A bathroom at 1 King Bed Forest View Room, Andaz Papagayo
A bathroom at 1 King Bed Forest View Room, Andaz Papagayo

Dining

Andaz Papagayo features four onsite unique open-air restaurants with breathtaking views. All of them were kid-friendly and offered a fantastic kids’ menu!

Please keep in mind that the Andaz Beach House located at Nacascolo Beach is currently closed for renovations.

Dinner reservations are highly recommended; you can make them yourself at OpenTable or contact the front desk.

💡 Good to know

Great news for the families with the little ones is that the kids under 5 eat for free at all the restaurants at all times!

Rio Bhongo

Rio Bhongo is the only restaurant that is serving food all day and is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

💡 Good to know

If you are a Globalist, you can get your complimentary breakfast either at Rio Bhongo, served both buffet and menu style or at OSTRA with the resort’s new Rise & Vibe breakfast experience (available only for Globalists or guests staying at the Villas).

For your complimentary breakfast, you don’t have a breakfast credit or limitations; you don’t even have to sign a check!

Breakfast at Rio Bhongo

For breakfast at Rio Bhongo, you can enjoy both the menu and buffet style. The restaurant offers a nice selection of dishes, including the Costs Rica local breakfast favorites and traditional American breakfast choices.

If you are looking for a quick breakfast (let’s say before a day trip or an early flight) but not less amazing (compared to OSTRA), we recommend going to Rio Bhongo. Also, note that Rio Bhongo opens its doors at 6:30 am, whereas OSTRA opens at 8 am.

Buffet breakfast at Rio Bhongo, Andaz Papagayo
Buffet breakfast at Rio Bhongo, Andaz Papagayo

Dinner at Rio Bhongo

OSTRA

Breakfast at OSTRA

As we already mentioned above, OSTRA is another onsite restaurant serving breakfast for Globalists. The hotel has just recently launched it, and it is called a Rise & Vibe breakfast experience.

Breakfast at OSTRA, Andaz Papagayo
Breakfast at OSTRA, Andaz Papagayo

While we were offered a bowl of fruits, pastries, some cheese, and a deli for the table, we could also order from the menu. You should definitely try the cheese waffles with guava jam!

The breakfast menu at Ostra, Andaz Papagayo
The breakfast menu at OSTRA, Andaz Papagayo
Breakfast at Ostra, Andaz Papagayo
Breakfast at OSTRA, Andaz Papagayo

Dinner at OSTRA

While we really enjoyed our perfect meal, what amazed us the most was that the restaurants at Andaz Papagayo offered a fantastic kids’ menu! Our girls enjoyed their steaks with veggies (and our 3-year-old did not even pay for it).

Kid's menu at Ostra, Andaz Papagayo
Kid’s menu at OSTRA, Andaz Papagayo
Kid's steak at Ostra, Andaz Papagayo
Kid’s steak at OSTRA, Andaz Papagayo

Chao Pescao

Embark on a journey through Latin America and the Caribbean with a tapas menu at Chao Pescao! This was our favorite restaurant to have dinner at Andaz Papagayo. We really enjoyed the empanadas from Costa Rica and the steak from Chile.

Dinner menu at Chao Pescao at Andaz Papagayo
Dinner menu at Chao Pescao at Andaz Papagayo

La Piazza

La Piazza is an Italian pop-up restaurant located by the lobby.

Rio by the pool

You could enjoy your lunch at the Main Pool area and order straight from your chair. The menu below was also available at the Playa Sombrero Oscuro.

Playa Sombrero Oscuro

There was also a limited lunch menu at Playa Sombrero Oscuro. The tuna tartare tostada was terrific, but since they didn’t offer anything for kids, we ordered from the Rio Bhongo Pool menu.

Tuna tartar tostada at Playa Sombrero Oscuro
Tuna tartar tostada at Playa Sombrero Oscuro

The Beach

Andaz Papagayo offers three swimmable beaches; let’s take a look at them.

Playa Sombrero Oscuro

Playa Sombrero Oscuro is located down the stairs from the main pool area (by the Rio Bhongo restaurant). Note that the access to the beach is not accessible and requires a short walk down the stairs through the forest.

Playa Sombrero Oscuro, Andaz Papagayo
Playa Sombrero Oscuro, Andaz Papagayo

💡 Good to know

Andaz Papagayo is spread across several acres, and sometimes, it requires some walking (up and downhill) to get from one point to another. However, you can request a golf cart ride, which can be arranged by calling for one or asking the staff at any establishment on the property.

Also note that not all the places are accessible, for example, the beach.

Things to consider about the Playa Sombrero Oscuro:

  1. At the beach, you can find comfortable beach seating shaded by trees.
  2. Playa Sombrero Oscuro is a volcanic sand swimmable beach with shallow waters and practically no waves, and is perfect for the little ones.
  3. The water was 86F at the end of November.
  4. You can enjoy food and beverage service.
  5. You have access to complimentary water activities like snorkeling, paddle boarding, and kayaking.
  6. On the beach, you can find beach toys, sunscreen, bug spray, and even spare flip-flops.
  7. The restrooms are located in the main pool area (yes, you would have to take the stairs up to the pool).
  8. The boat transfer to Nacascolo Beach leaves from this beach.

Playa Sombrero Claro

Sombrero Oscuro Beach is a sand beach five minutes from the adult pool area.

Playa Sombrero Claro, Andaz Papagayo
Playa Sombrero Claro, Andaz Papagayo
Playa Sombrero Claro, Andaz Papagayo

Things to consider about the Playa Sombrero Claro:

  1. This beach is the starting point of the coral snorkeling circuit; hence, it has a rocky bottom. You can grab the snorkeling gear at Playa Sombrero Oscuro and walk to this beach for snorkeling.
  2. This is a natural beach, and there are no resort services.
  3. Restrooms are available at the Adult pool area (by OSTRA).
  4. The access to the beach is not wheelchair accessible.

Playa Nacasolo

To get to Playa Nacascolo, you need to take a boat ride from Playa Sombrero Oscuro (below the main pool). Andaz boat ride transfers operate daily (weather permitting) from 9:30 am.

A boat transfer to Playa Nacascolo
A boat transfer to Playa Nacascolo

Keep in mind the boat stops service from 12 pm to 1:15 pm, and the last pick-up from Nacascolo is at 3:45 pm!

The boat ride to Playa Nacascolo beach takes about 10 minutes, and we really enjoyed it. The girls were thrilled about the boat ride, and we highly recommend checking out this beach.

Playa Nacascolo, Andaz Papagayo
Playa Nacascolo, Andaz Papagayo

Things to consider about the Playa Nacascolo:

  1. This is a swimmable white sand beach with no waves, and it’s perfect for the little ones.
  2. Sun-protected beach lounge chairs are available for seating.
  3. Limited food and beverage items are available. Unfortunately, they did not offer any options for kids, so pack snacks or return to the resort for lunch.
  4. There is also a shuttle transfer operating daily on a schedule from the lobby (for guests with mobility issues).
  5. Sand toys, sunscreen, and bug spray are available at the beach.
  6. You have access to complimentary kayaking and snorkeling gear.
  7. You may notice friendly and sneaky coatis on the beach. Some advice: keep your food safe!
  8. Access to public restroom facilities required a 6-7 minute walk.

The pool

Main pool area

The main pool area is located by the Rio Bhongo restaurant and features three infinity pools that overlook Culebra Bay. Guests can relax on lounge chairs and enjoy food and beverage service.

Main pool at Andaz Papagayo
Main pool at Andaz Papagayo

Adult-only pool

The adult-only pool is located by the OSTRA restaurant and offers lounge chair seating and the food and beverage service.

The adult-only pool, Andaz Papagayo
The adult-only pool, Andaz Papagayo

Cambi Kids club

Cambi Kids club, Andaz Papagayo
Cambi Kids club, Andaz Papagayo

Here’s great news for families with young children: the resort offers a complimentary kids club called Cambi Kids Club! While it’s for kids aged 4-12, they allowed our 3.5-year-old to join in too.

We left our girls there several times, and they absolutely loved it! They played, made new friends, and took part in various activities (though some of these weren’t free).

Cambi Kids club, Andaz Papagayo
Cambi Kids club, Andaz Papagayo

ONDA Spa & Wellness

ONDA Spa & Wellness Center offers a variety of treatments, classes, and amenities focused on relaxation, rejuvenation, and overall well-being. Signature treatments include outdoor massages, purifying Costa Rican clay wraps using local volcanic mud, coffee, and brown sugar exfoliation treatments, hydrating cocoa and Guanacaste oil massages, and botanical-infused body scrubs.

Area Attractions

Marina Papagayo

There is a paved path that leads from the hotel all the way to Marina Papagayo, if you are looking for a place for a morning stroll.

For all the activities you could do in the Peninsula Papagayo while staying at Andaz Papagayo, including what kind of wildlife you can encounter during your stay, please read the Kid-friendly things to do in Peninsula Papagayo, Costa Rica post.

Bottom line

Nestled along the Pacific coastline, Andaz Papagayo is a stunning resort that boasts modern design, eco-friendly architecture, and personalized service. 

From the infinity pools overlooking Culebra Bay to the meticulously designed rooms with local artistry, every corner reflects the vibrant spirit of Costa Rica. Andaz Papagayo is definitely one of our favorite family-friendly resorts to stay.

The things we liked the most about Andaz Papagayo are its location in the tropical forest with wildlife, access to 3 swimmable beaches (including the boat ride to one of them), complimentary water activities gear (kayaks, paddle boards, snorkeling), and complimentary kids club.

On Points With Kids Summary

We redeemed 119,000 Hyatt points for seven nights at Andaz Costa Rica Peninsula Papagayo Resort. The cash rate for our stay was $4,418.53 ($631.21 per night on average, including taxes and fees), which equals 3.71 cents per point, an outstanding value!

You can apply for the following credit cards to earn Hyatt points that can be redeemed at Andaz Costa Rica Peninsula Papagayo Resort:

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