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One of the very best values in the World of Hyatt award chart is undeniably the Andaz Papagayo in Costa Rica. This property is a Category 4 Hyatt, which means you can use your Category 1-4 certificates or just 15,000 Hyatt points per night to stay at a resort that otherwise can easily run you $300 – $400 per night during peak seasons. It has been on my ‘must visit’ list of properties since it opened in 2013, but we have now finally made the short flight from Houston to Liberia (and then a quick shuttle ride) on to Papagayo to experience it for ourselves.
If you use Instagram and want to see some real glimpses of what the Andaz Papagayo is like check out my Instagram Story before it disappears, but I’ll also share some first impressions here.
The Andaz Papagayo is very easy to get to, but feels super remote.
For many in the US it isn’t that hard to fly into Liberia, Costa Rica, as it is served by the major carriers as well as Southwest, Alaska, and JetBlue. From Houston it was roughly a three hour nonstop flight on United to get to Liberia, and as a bonus we even flew over an active volcano! From the airport in Liberia it is about a 30 minute drive to the resort, with many companies offering a shuttle service starting at about $59 one-way.
Since the resort is on a peninsula shared pretty much only by the Four Seasons, once you get here you feel like you are somewhere far, far, away. Not only that but the Andaz has only ~135 rooms and suites, so this is not one of those huge resort factories, but rather your own calm jungle oasis.
Breakfast at the Andaz Papagayo is an event.
I love to eat on my travels and the Andaz Papagayo does not disappoint with its breakfast offerings. This is somewhere that you will really enjoy your Hyatt Globalist status if you have it, but if you don’t you could still book via something like the Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection program and get breakfast included in that paid rate. No matter how you pay (or don’t pay) for your breakfast, you will not be disappointed.
Not only do they have everything from sweet plantains to smoked meats to fresh juices, but their barista menu is out of this world good. Speaking of, I highly recommend the barista class as you will learn a ton about coffee and come prepared the next morning to make the most of the Barista Bar menu.
Bring good hiking shoes.
The Andaz Papagayo is built into a hillside, so you are hiking up and down stairs and trails to get pretty much anywhere. This can be a challenge even on a dry day, but when it rains it also gets slippery, so you certainly want some sturdy shoes at the ready. If you have mobility challenges there may be some portions of the resort you can’t easily access (like the beach), but they do have golf carts available that can take you most places.
The beach isn’t the best, but that’s okay.
Speaking of the beach at the Andaz Papagayo, it isn’t the best in my opinion. It is small, on the bay, and has a fair number of bugs thanks to the jungle-esque setting. However, don’t let this dissuade you from coming here because those staying at the Andaz get free access to a separate private beach club on a larger and nicer beach with full amenities. It is about a 15 – 20 minute free shuttle ride away, but it is worth the effort to get there to enjoy a larger and nicer oceanfront area.
The Hyatt Globalist suite upgrades are great.
If you have some Hyatt Globalist suite upgrades at your disposal, or you just want to spend some extra Hyatt points to book your family into a suite, you won’t regret it as the suites at the Andaz Papagayo are quite enjoyable. The base level Andaz Suite here rings in at over 1,100 square feet and has a large separate living area, a huge main bathroom, a half bath, and of course an elegant bedroom. I’ll share a much better look at the suite when I put together a full video review of the property in the coming weeks.
I promise more is coming soon, but know for now that the Andaz Papagayo is living up to our expectations, and really even exceeding them in most areas. If you have been thinking about a trip down to Costa Rica be sure to include the Andaz Papagayo in your travel planning as it is not only a very good value on points, but a very enjoyable destination for those looking for good food and relaxation.
Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.