When we arrived to Sandos Papagayo we couldn’t believe it. It was huge! The receptionist of the central building gave us the all inclusive bracelet and offered us a map to explain how to get to our room:
We were at the G building, just in front of one of the pools. From the hallway that led to our door, we could see these views:
In our room we had everything we wanted, a large space with TV, sofa, and a giant bed with the most comfortable pillows that I have ever slept on. We didn’t have views of the sea like the buildings A, B, C and D, but there was a little terrace to see the starry sky at night. Just in front we had an infinite terrain that led to the beaches of Papagayo, and many people played with the stones to write messages on the floor and see them from the balcony (we also wanted to, but in the end we forgot about it).
The resort was practically a city, you really don’t need to go outside because it already has everything: shops, bars, theater, swimming pool, gym, spa, and even hairdresser and medical service! (this one offered from Monday to Friday from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm).
At the reception they also informed us about the meals:
- International Restaurant: free buffet where breakfast was offered from 8:00-10:30h, and also opened at lunchtime (13:00-15:15h) and dinner (19:30-22:15h).
- Pizzeria Venetto: Italian restaurant, opened for lunch (13:00-15:15h) and dinner (19:30-22:15h). It was also a free buffet, but focused on pasta and pizza. There was a giant Parmesan to serve yourself, which adds up a lot if you’re a cheese lover like me. The pizzeria was right next to the international restaurant, in fact you could be eating at the normal buffet and then go for a pizza and come back.
- Fusion Restaurant: this was more exclusive and opened only for dinner (19:30-21:45h) so you had to book in advance to go. We thought it would be an exception and that restaurant didn’t be part of the “all inclusive”, but we were wrong. It was also free! So we didn’t hesitate to book (at the reception) for two nights, because one day there was Asian food and the other was Mexican, and we wanted to try both. It is common to find Asian free buffets, but we hadn’t seen a Mexican one!
In addition to all the restaurants, there were also a lot of bars with their different schedules. For example, there was one in the theater, another in the pool, on the Chill-out terrace, in the Green Bar (for adults only) and if you wanted something at midnight, there was the Night Snack Bar too, opened from 22:30h until 8:00h, when the breakfast begins. So you could never be hungry!
There is always something to do, either at the pool or in the spa or play sports on the court. For example, you can do yoga with the monitors, play bingo or pétanque, do archery, darts, etc. So, no matter how old you are, you will enjoy!
We rented material to play mini-golf, paying 5€ (but they returned it later). Where we actually spent money was in the recreational area, which had consoles for video games, billiards, etc. It cost 1€ per Minigame. But the PlayStation or the Xbox wasn’t worth it, because you pay for minutes and they pass faster than it seems… (and half of the time you are adjusting the options of the game).
PS: While we were playing mini-golf, a photographer from the hotel approached and took some photos of us (the same happened the first day, when we went to dinner). These photographers will try to take you cool pictures, which you can see at night next to the international restaurant. But be prepared because if there’s one you like, at least it will cost 10€. You can also order several photos in a pen drive or a CD, but the prices will go up a lot more. Luckily, we already had our particular photographers…the tripod and the timer!
HOW TO GET THERE
From the airport the simplest way to arrive is taking a taxi, but it is also the most expensive (about 40€). So we chose a less comfortable option but a lot cheaper: the bus.
Google Maps didn’t have much information about the buses of the island, but we discovered a free application that had it. It’s called Moovit and it works quite similar to Maps, you have to write the origin and the destination.
We took the first option:
- Bus 161: Airport – Playa Blanca (3,30€ per person)
- Bus 30: Circular Playa Blanca (1,40€ per person)
When we finally arrived at the hotel, the receptionist told us that we had a free bus from the resort to Playa Blanca (and vice versa). So, the last day when we returned, we saved paying for the circular bus. But the hotel bus has a single stop in Playa Blanca (it doesn’t pass through several points), so we had to walk 15 mins approximately to the bus station called Estación de Guaguas (N 28º51’52” W 13º49’54”) to take the bus 161 to the airport.