Andaz PapagayoGuanacaste, Costa Rica
The Andaz Papagayo, which opened in December 2013, is the first venture into Latin America for the group. This beachside hotel, which overlooks the sapphire blue waters of Culebra Bay, has been cleverly designed by local architect Robert Zurcher to reflect and blend in with the environment. Some of the buildings look distinctly like strange armadillos, and there is extensive use of wood, bamboo and other natural products.
The Andaz brand offers luxurious accommodation coupled with uncomplicated and personal service and this is immediately obvious in the striking open-air lobby where guests are checked in on tablets with no desks or complicated formalities.
The hotel offers 132 deluxe rooms and 21 spacious suites with private plunge pools. All rooms have balconies and face the ocean, though some have better views than others. There are two restaurants – Rio Bhongo and Ostra – and two pools (one of which is ‘adults only’ and the other of which is ‘family friendly’). The adults only/family theme is reflected on the pair of beaches, with one reserved as a quiet beach and one with activities and watersports, many of which are included.
The Onda Spa has nine treatment rooms and offers a range of massages and therapies, and there is also a decent gym next door.
Overall we think that the Andaz Papagayo is a good choice for couples or families that like a slightly larger hotel with good facilities and beach activities.