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Papagayo is a magical peninsula in Costa Rica, a short 20-minute drive from the Liberia International Airport. Blessed with year round heat and a lush landscape of sandy beaches, rugged coastline, cloud-forest havens and rainforest canopies; expect a stay here to not only satisfy your beachside dreams, but also to offer a surprising array of exciting wildlife in stunning surroundings.

Papagayo is great all year round. December to April is the dry season where you are virtually guaranteed no rain but the landscape can get a little parched. May to November is a mix of sunshine and showers making the countryside a lurid green but you do risk occasionally getting drenched before the sun comes out!

In this article, we review the top 3 best luxury resorts in Papagayo. These include the modern, luxury Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Resort, El Mangroove and the Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica. All three are exceptional, see why below!

ANdAZ Papagayo

Nestled where the Gulf of Papagayo meets the sapphire blue waters of Culebra Bay, Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Resort, (pictured above), extends over a vast hillside with breathtaking views over the ocean and to the mountainous behind. The reason to travel to this Andaz Papagayo Resort is to bathe in infinity pools shaded by jicaro trees and framed by views of the cobalt blue bay.

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The 153 deluxe vibrant yet stylish rooms become one with the lush natural vegetation found behind the resort. There are and 2 cascading outdoor pools. The main infinity pool (complete with complimentary sun tan lotion) overlooks the trees where monkeys pass by. Sit out by this pool in the evening and expect to see families of white-faced monkeys jump past in the trees making their way down to the beach. There are also iguanas and lizards, hummingbirds and butterflies that are attracted to the flowers in and around the resort.

Spend the afternoon on one of two of the resorts secluded sandy beaches. The Prieta Beach Club which is about 15 minutes away by shuttle is offered exclusively to the Andaz and Four Seasons guests. The black sand hotel beach is closer, shaded by trees with a drink and towel service, countless beach chairs, free kayaks and snorkelling gear.

The Andaz Papagayo is stunning and has made it onto “The Hot List” of Conde Nast Traveller in the UK and USA and Travel + Leisures IT LIST- so it is not just me that thinks this place is rather special.

El Mangroove, an Autograph Collection Hotel

Panama beach in Costa Rica’s north-west corner is home to the trendy El Mangroove, an Autograph Collection Hotel (which means that it is part of the Marriott group). El Mangroove sits in 17 acres of lush, tropical grounds and takes its name from its location in dense mangrove forest, on the chocolate sand shores of Playa Panama.

It is also situated on the Papagayo Peninsula, where you will find the Hyatt Andaz and the Four Seasons, and the bustling Playa del Coco and offers tranquil waters ideal for swimming, snorkelling and paddleboarding. Golfers are well served by the nearby Arnold Palmer signature golf course, and scuba divers should try the shark-friendly Bat Islands.

This eco-sensitive property promises “20 minutes from touchdown to sand” as it is the closest resort to Liberia International Airport. This means that you can be lazing in the Presidential Suite in under half an hour and enjoying its plunge pool and direct beach access.

Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica

The Four Seasons in Costa Rica commands views over the undulating and forest-covered peninsula. The resort stretches over 250 acres, with the bay on one side and the Pacific Ocean on the other. The entrance gate is cleverly positioned where the bay first comes into view, making the Vista look straight out of the movies.

The hotel foyer is an airy mix of pillars and bamboo ceiling. Head down the stairs and the room opens up to showcase two of the hotel’s pools, including a main pool and sundeck and a separate family pool. Staff cannot do enough, offering towels, cool washcloths, and ice water, plus the stations supply complimentary sunscreen or after-sun.

To one side of this Four Seasons peninsula is a grey–sand beach, on the other, a crescent of palm–shaded white sand. Other facilities include an excellent spa, golf, numerous eateries and a lobby bar. Everything you need for that luxury trip away.

Wherever you choose to stay in Papagayo, you will be blown away by its beauty. A stay here is the stuff dreams are made of.

Disclosure: Our property, service and product reviews are sponsored by the proprietor or brand being appraised. All opinions remain our own and are in no way influenced by the sponsor.