Tucked away in the mountains and jungles along the northwest coast of Costa Rica is Secrets Papagayo, a big-name resort with a relaxed vibe. This luxury adults-only all-inclusive resort in Costa Rica delivers on all fronts, from exciting entertainment and activities to limitless food and drinks. Plus, a variety of packages make Secrets Papagayo Costa Rica a great choice for honeymoons and destination weddings.
If you’re considering staying here, you’re probably wondering what other guests have had to say about it. We’ve waded through the Secrets Costa Rica reviews to bring you this complete overview of Secrets Papagayo to help you decide if it’s the best resort for you.
Secrets Papagayo Costa Rica Reviews: Overview
Part of the World of Hyatt, Secrets Papagayo is a luxurious adults-only all-inclusive resort set on the beach in the northwest province of Guanacaste. The vast majority of Secrets Papagayo Costa Rica reviews on Google are 5 stars, and Secrets Papagayo Costa Rica reviews on TripAdvisor rank it #1 out of 4 all-inclusive resorts in the Gulf of Papagayo.
Reviews of this Secrets Costa Rica adults-only resort especially praise the location, service, and serene atmosphere.
Secrets resorts have a distinct social atmosphere but it’s not a wild party resort. The crowd at Secrets is a mix of older couples and young adults who are looking for a healthy mix of mingling and relaxing, and the romantic setting makes Secrets Papagayo a popular honeymoon destination.
The lobby has an eclectic tropical decor with thatched roofs, large windows, and colorful mismatched sofas that somehow manage to look put together. The property is large with lush, tropical gardens and stunning views of a serene beach, which can be reached via two access points.
The resort is so spread out and hilly that there is a shuttle service just to drive guests to their rooms and around the resort. Some Secrets Costa Rica Papagayo reviews complained about this, saying that guests sometimes had to wait for the shuttles.
The surrounding community is quiet and safe, with no bars or restaurants within walking distance. In fact, there aren’t many things to do off-site unless you want to drive or arrange transport. The resort provides plenty of activities and entertainment, and most guests are happy to stay at the resort and take advantage of the amenities, restaurants, and peaceful surroundings.
Secrets Papagayo Costa Rica Reviews: Rooms & Suites
More than 200 rooms and suites offer beautiful ocean views or overlook the resort’s gardens from a private balcony or patio. Standard rooms come with 2 double beds or one king-size bed and a large bathroom with a walk-in rainfall shower. The decor is tropical and welcoming with a soft color palette of neutral beige, white, and brown, wood accents and pops of teal.
All rooms come with a fully stocked mini-bar, coffee maker, and plush bathrobes. One cool feature is a two-door compartment for room-service drop-offs. Instead of leaving your tray on the floor, staff can leave it in the container for you to receive. While some Secrets Costa Rica reviews said the rooms were dated, the majority of guests found them very comfortable and clean.
Preferred Club suites are in a reserved section of the resort that offers oceanfront access and come with nicer amenities. The Presidential Suite comes with 2 bedrooms, both with king-size beds, a living room with a full bar, and a private plunge pool. The Junior Suite also has a plunge pool that overlooks the bay.
The Honeymoon Suite has the best location of them all on a hilltop that faces the sea, providing stunning romantic views of the ocean from your four-poster king-size bed. The large private terrace comes with a hot tub.
Secrets Papagayo Costa Rica Reviews: Food & Drinks
There are 6 a la carte dining options and 1 buffet restaurant. As part of the Secrets Papagayo Costa Rica all-inclusive package, all are included in the cost of your room. Unlike many all-inclusive resorts, reservations aren’t required. Unfortunately, that means you may have to occasionally wait for a table.
Dinner options include Himitsu for Asian-inspired dishes; Portofino, an elegant Italian eatery; and Aqua, a lighter, healthier option that is also open for breakfast and lunch.
The buffet restaurant is called Market Cafe and is set up to resemble a farmer’s market with rustic wood tables, fresh produce adorning the shelves, and garlands of garlic suspended from posts. It serves a varied buffet 3 times per day. For coffee, pastries, and snacks, CoCo Café is open from 6:30 a.m. till 10:00 p.m..
For outdoor dining there are two open-air restaurants around the pool, the Barefoot Grill and the Seaside Grill. The Barefoot Grill is in the main pool area and opens between 11:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. The Seaside Grill serves dinner for all guests between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. It is also open for breakfast and lunch for Preferred Club guests only. Preferred guests also have access to an exclusive lounge just for Club members.
While some reviews of Secrets Costa Rica found the food to be delicious, others were not happy with the quality. One complaint was that room service could take a long time, and some guests noted that none of the restaurants serve authentic local cuisine.
There are 3 beach or poolside bars, a lobby bar called Rendezvous, and a swim-up bar called Barracuda. Next to the spa, you’ll find Revive, a quieter spot to grab a cocktail, a fruit smoothie, or fresh juice.
The first pool bar, Manatees, is located near the Main Pool and has a swim-up side and a dry seating side with barstools underneath a thatched roof. The second pool bar, Sugar Reef, is located between the Main Pool and the beach, offering easy access to both sides. It’s open until 1:00 a.m. and has pool tables and comfortable cushions to sit on.
Many Secrets Papagayo Costa Rica reviews rave about the quality of the drinks and the bartenders.
Secrets Papagayo Costa Rica Reviews: Beaches
Secrets Papagayo is located on a strip of unspoiled beachfront called Playa Arenilla. The beach lacks the classic white sand one might expect (the sand is a dark gray hue instead), but it’s a quiet stretch of beach just for guests at Secrets. There are lots of loungers set up and shade provided by trees. The beach is serviced by waitstaff.
Can you swim at the beach in Secrets Costa Rica? Yes, you can. The water is calm and ideal for swimming, snorkeling, and other water sports. Most Secrets Costa Rica reviews found the beach to be stunning. However, some mention that vendors frequent the beach, which they didn’t enjoy.
There are two access points to the beach from the resort. The first one is from the Main Pool, down a set of stairs and across a patch of grass. The second access point is just off the spa, opening up to the other end of Playa Arenilla.
Secrets Papagayo Costa Rica Reviews: Pools
Lounge chairs and umbrellas surround one two-tiered swimming pool. The upper and lower decks are connected by strategically placed flights of stairs leading to the beach. There is also a small hot tub. While guests enjoyed the pool, some Secrets Papagayo Costa Rica reviews said that it was hard to get chairs.
Off to the side of the pool area, you’ll find a large sundeck with plenty of benches and swings to enjoy the sun, fresh air and a good book. For a quiet soak, you can head to the Relaxation Pool in the spa. It’s open to all guests, and you don’t need to book a spa treatment to use it.
Secrets Papagayo Costa Rica Reviews: Activities
There may not be much outside the resort, but there are plenty of activities to keep you busy onsite; most guests are content to spend all or most of their time at the resort. Activities at Secrets Papagayo Costa Rica include shows and events like dance classes, karaoke, poker, and trivia nights almost every night.
Volleyball courts and giant games of Jenga and connect four can be found on the beach or around the pool. Foodies will love wine, rum, and coffee tastings, and the weekly cocktail party allows guests to mingle and socialize.
Tours, mountain biking, scuba diving, and fishing can all be arranged with the concierge for an extra cost. Guests are also welcome to indulge in a spa or salon treatment (also for an extra cost) or relax in the sauna or whirlpool. Non-motorized watersports equipment is available at the beach. There is also a large gym for guests who like to stay active on holiday.
The majority of Secrets Papagayo Costa Rica reviews about activities were very positive.
Secrets Papagayo Costa Rica Romance Packages
Secrets Papagayo prides itself on providing an ultimate romantic setting for a wedding or honeymoon, and they have several packages and add-ons to enhance your special trip.
A standard wedding package is complimentary if you book 7 nights or if your wedding party books 5 rooms for a 3-night minimum. If you want a more personalized ceremony, a custom wedding planning service is available for a fee. If you have your destination wedding at Secrets Papagayo they’ll gift you with free nights for your anniversary or honeymoon.
Secrets resorts also offer several honeymoon, vow renewal, engagement, elopement, and anniversary packages with extra amenities like complimentary sparkling wine, breakfast in bed, and a discount on spa treatments.
Secrets Papagayo Costa Rica Inclusions
At Secrets, their “Unlimited Luxury” rates cover unlimited food, 24-hour room service, and juice, soft drinks, and international and domestic premium alcoholic drinks. The cost of your stay also includes non-motorized water sports and all entertainment, as well as beach and pool service and Wifi.
Some Secrets Costa Rica reviews mention that tipping is not included, so that led to additional expenses that they weren’t expecting.
Secrets Papagayo Costa Rica Location
Secrets Papagayo is built on a quiet beach in the northwestern part of Costa Rica. It is the only large-scale resort in the area. The surroundings are quite unspoiled and the community is quiet. The nearest airport to Secrets Papagayo Costa Rica is Liberia, around a 20-minute drive away. A shuttle service is provided to transport guests between the airport and the resort.
What is the closest town to Secrets Papagayo? Popular touristy beach towns like Playa del Coco and Playa Hermosa are less than a 30-minute drive away, but there isn’t anything to do near the resort that’s within walking distance.
If this sounds like the best Secrets resort for your holiday, consider streamlining the planning process by letting our Secrets Resorts travel experts assist you. If it doesn’t seem just right, they can help you find another. Or read our roundup of the best Secrets resorts to help you choose the one that’s perfect for you.
Google Rating: 4.5
Booking.com Rating: 8.5