The Andaz Papagayo in Costa Rica

Mar 10, 2016 Avatar Dan Ilves Dan Ilves

On my Costa Rica trip I visited the Andaz Papagayo resort, one or our Signature hotels & resorts. The property opened two years ago, and was conceived by Ronald Zurcher, an award-winning architect known for innovative design. The hotel is part of the upscale Papagayo Peninsula, which contains villas, the Four Seasons resort, private residences, a beach club, and this Andaz resort. The property is built on the side of a mountain on 35 acres, and the buildings blend into forest that surrounds the property and goes all the way down to the beach. The architecture is striking and modern, with many indoor/outdoor spaces and open terraces.

The property is spread out, consisting of seven separate buildings with accommodations, a main building where reception is located, as well as separate areas for the various restaurants and Onda spa. The rooms that are closest to the front desk and the main/family pool are in buildings 1, 2, 3, 6, and 7. If you want to be closest to the adult pool, request a room in buildings 4 or 5.

In all, the Andaz Papagayo offers 153 rooms and suites in three main categories. The Andaz, Andaz Relax and Andaz Bayview all offer about 500 sq ft of indoor/outdoor space. What varies is the view, with the Bayview rooms being on the higher floors with views of the Pacific. There are two categories of suites, the Andaz suite at 1000 sq ft, and the popular Large Suites, which offer nearly 1,700 sq ft of space as well as private plunge pool. All rooms have terraces, and bathrooms that can open to the open air, with a very clever design that brings the outdoors in, while offering privacy. There is also one very large presidential suite on property.

Guests can choose from various dining options, including all day dining at Rio Bhongo, dinner at the informal, tapas-style restaurant Chao Pescao, or Ostra, the hotel’s fine dining restaurant, which is adults only and was my favorite meal on property. Andaz has two pools, one open to everyone, and an adults-only close to Ostra restaurant.

There are two beaches. Sombrero Oscuro is open from 8am until sundown, offering all day service, chairs, towels, shade, kayaks, and watersports. The other beach is Sombrero Claro, which is undeveloped and has no services other than towels.

Note – the best time to go to either beach is at low tide, as the sand basically disappears at high tide. The property gives every guest a list of low/high tide times, so you can plan ahead. I would also recommend water shoes for anyone interested in Sombrero Claro beach.
One of the property’s strong suits is the Onda spa, which is an enormous indoor/outdoor area with over 11,000 sq ft of space.

Treatment rooms are beautifully designed, stand-alone casitas, with views of the property and the sea. There is a good gym near the spa, as well as a children’s program called Cambi Beach Club.

Andaz offers a wide range of options for guests on and off property, including jungle walks, cooking classes, fishing, yoga classes, Arnold Palmer Golf course, sailing, Spanish lessons, kayak tours, ziplines (about 15 minutes away), and surfing. Parque Nacional Santa Rosa is about 1 hour away. Andaz also offers its guests a courtesy shuttle to the nearby Prieta Beach Club, another beach option off property, about 15 minutes away.

Andaz Papagayo is about 45 minutes west of Liberia (LIR) airport, so it’s the perfect place to start or end a Costa Rica vacation.

Katie Cadar