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Costa Rica (part 3) Hyatt Andaz Papagayo

I can’t believe how 10 days flew by!  We chose Hyatt’s Andaz Papagayo resort in Peninsula Papagayo overlooking the bay for our final night.  Of the 3 resorts we visited, this was by far the most upscale, trendy, and architecturally brilliant.  After visiting the mountainside jungle at Arenal Paraiso, then lounging for days on the north side of Guanacaste at Dreams Las Mareas, we had decided to move ourselves closer to the airport on our final leg so that we wouldn’t have to crawl out of bed at 3:00 AM to make our return flight.

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We hated to leave Dreams, but that was tempered by the fact that we knew there was a fabulous photo op on the drive to Papagayo, and we also knew we were in for a treat at our next resort.  Besides the beautiful bay view our guide spied a monkey in the trees so we stopped for a look.  So we then got our shot, but our shuttle driver is a better driver than photographer ;o)  Still, you get the idea.

 

 

As I mentioned in the first of this 3 part blog, we did use Costa Rica Shuttle throughout our journey.  They did a great job with customer service, and I have no complaints about courteousness or promptness.  But the vans themselves are not equipped with excellent shocks.  Toward the back it was super bumpy!  I think their company is great to choose if traveling on a budget, and for shorter trips, but if you need a comfy ride you may need to find transportation that is more luxurious.

Arriving at Andaz Papagayo – all I could say was ‘Wow’.  The architecture of this resort is breathtaking.  Its main buildings and lobby are all open air, with comfortable yet artistic décor and furniture, large rooms, and complimentary non alcoholic beverages and wifi.  We were golf carted to our room just before sunset.  Scott shot some great photos around the resort before we lost our light.  Then we headed down a stone path to the oblong infinity pool to relax before dinner.  Although we couldn’t see the bay from the pool, we had a glorious view of the night time sky above.  I will say since we were swimming at the end of the day, towels were scarce!  But the water was warm and lovely.

 

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After watching the stars come out in the dusky sky above, we headed back to our well appointed room.  And our room was incredible.  Featuring a large sitting room with sofa, chairs, desk, large picture windows and a 2nd bath.  Near the master was a walk in closet, across from a bathroom big enough to live in.  It featured an open air shower with two heads, a full Jacuzzi tub and enclosed toilet.  Even the art on the walls was stunning.  The master was huge with a king bed and super comfy mattress, and a full balcony with lounge chairs overlooking the bay.

 

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The Andaz Papagayo is peaceful, luxurious, upscale, and invites a ‘see and be seen’ crowd for nightlife.  We’d like to come back as adults only!  But we didn’t feel out of place with our tweens and they were welcome in the restaurants.  The dining options are 3 plus room service.  We chose Chao Pesco, the tapas spot.  Set amidst the jungle foliage in the open air, with a brilliant mixologist (basic mojito for me, Scott had a house drink with egg white froth, and the girls had a strawberry Shirley and a mint Shirley – so good we wanted the recipe!) , and amazing local live music.  The artist played feel good tunes from musicians like Bob Marley, and accompanied them with a full range of percussion instruments, and even ‘monkey sounds’. I know it sounds weird, but it was amazing.  Relaxing and dining at Chao Pesco was a fantastic end to our 10 day tour.

Since Andaz sits above the bay, its not really a beach resort.  The beach is rocky and the path down is windy and steep.  Visit instead for the serenity and artistic atmosphere of the hotel itself.

Was it total bliss?  Well only one complaint — the ’24 hour concierge’ was actually very hard to reach at 5:00 AM.  After several failed attempts at calling for help with our luggage, Scott had to run down to the lobby to get a cart as none of the phone lines were being answered.  Including the ‘emergency’ line!  In the end, all was ok, our shuttle arrived on time, we did eventually did have help sent up.  As we headed back to the airport in Liberia, we could see the faint beginnings of a sunrise on our last day in Costa Rica.

After a quick and quiet 35 minute ride, we were ready for the hustle and bustle of our return flight.  But the airport in Liberia is very small, so check in was a breeze.  There were only 3 airlines – Liberia, United, and American.  From shuttle drop off, to stopping to pay the exit tax, to checking bags, we flew through in about 15 minutes.  We could have slept in another hour!  Luckily there was a small coffee shop and I fueled up with a peppermint mocha, while the girls browsed for gifts.

Although we crammed a lot of touring into one 10 day trip, there is still so much more to see next time.  We heard a lot of other travelers talking about the beauty of Lake Nicaragua, just over the border to the north, as well as the Zipline and Canopy tours we missed. And of course, we really would like to see a volcano next time!  If you are considering a trip to the Arenal Volcano or Guanacaste areas, feel free to reach out to us with any questions.  And to learn more about our time at Dreams Las Mareas or Arenal Paraiso, click the links.  Here’s to La Pura Vida!

 

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