Costa Rica is a destination that’s become quite popular over the last few years, and with good reason. It’s an incredible country that offers lots of fantastic activities.
This was my second trip to the country but my first to the Peninsula Papagayo region of Costa Rica. This area is in the Guanacaste province in the northwest part of the country. I chose to stay at Andaz Costa Rica Resort at Peninsula Papagayo.
So what makes this better than all those other Andaz Costa Rica Reviews? I’m going to show you everything you need to know about this resort including:
- Location and distance from the airport
- Hotel grounds and amenities
- How to book the Andaz Costa Rica with Hyatt points
- Nearby activities
Andaz Peninsula Papagayo: At a Glance
Location: Peninsula Papagayo, Guanacaste, Costa Rica
Type of Resort: Luxury, boutique
Price Range: $250-$1,000 per night
World of Hyatt Category: 5
Points per Night: 17,000 off-peak, 20,000 standard, 23,000 peak
Resort Fee: 12% of the room rate (the resort fee is waived if you pay with Hyatt points)
Parking Fee: Included
Amenities: Adults-only pool, 3 beaches, complimentary water activities, spa, fitness classes, pet-friendly
Dining: 4 locations
Distance from Liberia Airport (LIR): 32 minutes
Distance from Juan Santamaria Airport (SJO) in San Jose: 4 hours
Contact: [email protected]
Andaz Costa Rica Review
The Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Costa Rica is a charming resort nestled in the trees along the Culebra Bay on Costa Rica’s northwest coast.
It’s the ultimate in rustic luxury. Building facades are covered in bamboo and guest rooms look out on trees that are home to families of white-faced monkeys.
There are 2 seasons in this area of Costa Rica — sunny or rainy. The rainy season is from about May to October. Usually, even during the rainy season, it only rains for an hour or 2. However, I chose to visit during the rainiest rainy season ever, so it basically rained about half of the time we were there. Ideal? No, but we made the best of it. Thankfully, there are plenty of covered spots in the Andaz to relax so even a little rain won’t get in the way of your vacation.
The Rooms at Andaz Costa Rica
Andaz Costa Rica has 153 rooms, including 21 suites, that face Culebra Bay.
The rooms are modern yet still possess that rustic charm that’s felt throughout the resort. Each room also has a private balcony where you can sit and watch the monkeys playing in the trees.
And the best part — the shower. The Andaz Costa Rica has the best hotel shower I have ever seen. It opens up to the balcony for an indoor/outdoor experience. My new goal in life is to own a home with this type of shower someday. If you just come to the Andaz Costa Rica for the shower, it’s worth it!!
Dining at Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Resort Costa Rica
Andaz Costa Rica has 4 dining locations:
- Rio Bhongo Restaurant: The main restaurant serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
- Ostra Restaurant: Romantic restaurant that features fresh seafood and ceviche. Dinner only.
- Chao Pescao Small Plates & Bar: Tapas bar featuring Latin American flavors. Happy hour and dinner.
- Andaz Beach House: Beachside dining on Nacascolo Beach. Breakfast, lunch, and drinks.
Rio Bhongo offers a selection of traditional Costa Rican food plus a few tried and true favorites (you can get a basic burger or steak.) Plus there are vegetarian and vegan options (the portobello mushroom was dee-lish).
We enjoyed the traditional Costa Rican breakfast called Gallo Pinto, and the coffee was excellent. They have an entire menu dedicated to coffee so if you are a java lover, you will be in heaven. (If you have never tried Costa Rican coffee, you are missing out!)
Chao Pescao is Andaz Costa Rica’s tapas and cocktail bar. Everything we had here was fantastic! If you like beef, try the Vaca (I would eat this every day!). The drinks are excellent, too. The smokey pineapple comes in a fun bamboo cup, and the Figs and Butter is heaven in a glass.
Happy hour is offered a few nights a week. They have a special drink menu offering basic drinks at half price. The red wine sangria was great — not too sweet and very refreshing.
Chao Pescao was my favorite place to eat at the Andaz Costa Rica.
Ostra is the fancier restaurant at Andaz Costa Rica and requires reservations. It has a lovely atmosphere and the food was good. However, it was my least favorite of the restaurants at the Andaz.
Amenities at Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Costa Rica
Andaz Costa Rica Pools
The Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Costa Rica has 4 pool areas — 3 family pools and 1 adults only. None of them are huge, but since the property isn’t too big, they never seem crowded. All 4 offer an infinity-edge feature.
There is food and drink service at the pool so you can enjoy a cocktail and lunch from the comfort of your lounge chair.
The one bummer when it comes to the pool situation is that there is no hot tub. A hot tub would have been very nice on some of the rainier days at the resort. But, no place is perfect I guess.
Andaz Costa Rica Spa
The Andaz spa, like the rest of the hotel, is nestled up in the trees so you feel like you are in a jungle treehouse. The reception area is lovely, but the waiting area is somewhat basic. Don’t get me wrong — it’s very nice. But, it’s a peg short of what I would expect for this type of hotel.
The seating area is all outside, so if you are there in the rainy season you might end up just standing around waiting for your treatment. Yes, that’s beyond a first-world problem.
Prices are about what you would expect from a nice spa, and the weekly specials are great. I got a 90-minute massage for the price of a 60-minute massage — which was about $140 before tax and tip!
Make sure you request an open-air room — they are phenomenal! They are perched up high in the trees with a lovely view of the bay. It was raining during my massage which made for a nice soundtrack.
The massage itself was wonderful. It was definitely one of the better ones I have ever had. If you have the pleasure to stay at the Andaz Costa Rica, do yourself a favor and book a massage…you deserve it!
Beaches at Andaz Peninsula Papagayo
If you are looking for white-sand beaches and crystal clear blue water, you will be disappointed with the beaches at the Andaz Costa Rica. But, if that’s what you are looking for, Costa Rica probably shouldn’t be your destination of choice.
The beaches in the Culebra Bay (Peninsula Papagayo) area are a little more rugged than what you might find in the Caribbean. Still beautiful and wonderful, just different.
There is a small beach called Sombrero Oscuro a few steps down from the Andaz that offers snorkeling, kayaks, jet skis, and other water activities.
Or you can choose to take a quick boat transfer to the Andaz Beach House. This beach area is a little bigger and offers more comfortable seating. There are water activities available here in addition to a restaurant. You can also order food and drinks from your seats. The Andaz Beach House is a very shady area and has some comfortable lounge beds to use…but you will get tree stuff rained on you, so be prepared.
Activities At Andaz Peninsula Papagayo
While this is a pretty laid-back resort, they do offer activities daily if you want to do more than lay by the pool. You will get a weekly schedule of activities when you check in. Most of these activities have an additional fee.
- Bird watching
- Salsa dancing
Mixology Class At Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Costa Rica
The mixology class offered at the Andaz seemed to be in high demand. At $40 per person, I didn’t have much interest in it at first. But, I found myself with some time by myself while my husband was getting a massage, so I signed up.
I am so glad I did! It was worth every penny. The class was taught by the resort’s head mixologist (a charming guy who is a Costa Rican mixology champion and will soon be going to Scotland for an international competition!)
He taught us his philosophy about making drinks and about the fresh, local ingredients he uses. He showed us how the Andaz Costa Rica is dedicated to sustainability — they use bamboo straws and even make their own glasses out of things like bamboo and cocoa pods! Then he demonstrated how he blends flavors to create a perfectly balanced drink and made us 4 amazing drinks to try.
Yoga At Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Costa Rica
I love yoga so I was thrilled to see that Andaz Costa Rica offered yoga classes. Each class costs $20 and both beginner and immediate classes are offered.
The setting was incredible and the teacher was wonderful. My class was held in one of the studios located right by the lobby. The studio’s doors opened onto a balcony overlooking the trees and Culebra Bay. It was very zen.
Things To Do In Guanacaste Costa Rica
There are plenty of things to do in Guanacaste Costa Rica to keep you busy during your vacation. Here are a few suggestions:
Is The Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Resort Costa Rica a Good Fit for You?
While the Andaz Peninsula Papagayo resort in Costa Rica is a fantastic resort, it’s not going to be a good fit for everyone. I loved every minute of it, but it probably won’t suit every type of traveler. Here’s a quick guide to help you decide if Andaz Costa Rica is a good choice for you.
The Andaz Costa Rica Will Be Great If You…
- Enjoy quiet tranquility
- Like a pool that doesn’t play loud music
- Love nature
- Just want to kick back and relax
- Love a good indoor/outdoor shower
- Are traveling as a couple
I Would Find a Different Hotel If You...
- Have mobility issues and/or have problems with lots of stairs and hills
- Are looking for a lively party scene
- Are looking for a white sand beach and ocean waves (if this is you, Costa Rica might not be what you are looking for…get thee to the Caribbean pronto!)
- Want lots of activities very close to your hotel
- Are traveling with kids (The Andaz Costa Rica welcomes children, but as someone who has traveled with a kid, this isn’t the type of resort I would enjoy with children.)
How to Use Hyatt Points to Stay at the Andaz Costa Rica
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Hyatt has the best hotel award redemptions!
- You earn elite night credits on award stays
- You never pay a resort fee on an award stay
Pro Tip: For all of the most up-to-date information, check out my best credit card offers page.
Using Hyatt Points to Stay at the Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Resort Costa Rica
The Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Resort Costa Rica used to be one of those sweet spots in the Hyatt award chart. Until recently, this was a category 4 hotel which meant that Hyatt’s free night certificates were valid here! That was a big deal. Unfortunately, the Andaz Costa Rica has since moved up to a category 5 hotel, requiring 20,000 World of Hyatt points per night.
But even at 20K points (standard) per night, it’s still a great deal! This hotel can go for anywhere between about $430-$850 a night for a base-level room. That means you are getting about 2.2-4.2 cents a point in value. Plus you won’t be paying any resort fees.
Andaz Peninsula Papagayo FAQ
Q: What is the Resort Fee at Andaz Costa Rica?
A: You’ll pay a resort fee at Andaz Costa Rica that’s equal to 12% of your base room rate — that’s a lot! In order to avoid paying this fee, use World of Hyatt points to pay for your room.
Q: What is the Pet Policy at Andaz Costa Rica?
A: Andaz Costa Rica is pet-friendly. You can walk around the resort with your pet on a leash however, they aren’t allowed in restaurants. Each pet must be less than 50 lbs, and if you are traveling with 2 pets, their combined weight can’t exceed 75 lbs. You’ll need to pay a one-time fee of $285.50 that includes ped bedding, meal containers, food, water, and deep cleaning after departure.
Q: Is Andaz Costa Rica family-friendly?
Yes, technically the Andaz Costa Rica is family-friendly. However, as someone who has traveled with kids, this is not a place I would bring them to. When I was there, there were only a handful of kids around and they seemed out of place. But, kids are welcome and there is even a kid’s club so it’s perfectly acceptable to bring them.
Q: Is Andaz Papagayo all-inclusive?
No, the Andaz Papagayo is not all-inclusive, but you can get a room rate that includes breakfast.
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