Secrets Papagayo Costa Rica Resort – Review

When you want a luxury vacation in Costa Rica, Secrets Papagayo Resort is one of the places to visit. It’s one of the most stunning resorts in the Gulf of Papagayo, situated on the beautiful Playa Arenilla. While all Costa Rican beaches are public, the ones on the peninsula are gated and secluded.

My partner and I visited this exclusive resort for our 10th wedding anniversary. We had a memorable time, and I would not mind visiting again, even on a solo trip. Secrets Papagayo offers an all-inclusive package where, at a fixed rate, you will enjoy everything the resort provides at no extra charge. 

Key Takeaways From This Article

Secrets Papagayo offers a variety of activities, whether during the day or at night. One of the most impressive adult-only resorts in Costa Rica, Secrets Papagayo provides a vacation like no other. Here are a few key takeaways about Secrets Papagayo Resort. 

  • Secrets is located in Playa Arenilla, a few minutes from Liberia International Airport, and is near three different beaches.
  • Secrets Papagayo has a combination of 202 rooms, suites, and preferred clubs. 
  • The resort has a vibrant nightlife comprising live music shows, karaoke nights, and wine and rum tasting sessions. 

What Are the Secrets of Papagayo Costa Rica? 

It is one of the most massive resorts in Costa Rica. Secrets Papagayo is situated on a large property where guests need cars to move around. The resort caters to adults only, and I highly recommend it if you need a luxury vacation, whether alone or with your partner. 

On Playa Arenilla Beach, Secrets is the only major resort. It will take you around 20 minutes to reach the resort from Liberia International Airport. Playa Hermosa, Playa Del Coco, and Playa Panama are all located south of Secrets. Rincon de la Vieja National Park is one hour away. 

Because Secrets Papagayo is isolated, I recommend you shop in Liberia Town. 

Accommodation options at Secrets Papagayo

In total, the resort has 202 rooms and suites. Secrets Papagayo offers three different types of room accommodations with varying charges.

  • Bungalow suite: Each room or suite has two double beds or a king-size bed. It has a private, furnished balcony or terrace with a tropical view. 
  • Deluxe Oceanview: The room has a king-size bed and a private, furnished terrace or balcony with a view of the gardens. 
  • Preferred Club: The resort has 65 upper-room levels with additional privileges, such as a separate sitting area with sofas, hot tubs, and plunge pools. You also get access to the preferred club lounge and other designated areas throughout the resort. 

All rooms have a wall-mounted TV, well-stocked minibars, and bar stations with coffee machines. I loved that their rooms felt more like villas because they were so spacious. 

The rooms have sleek bathrooms with large vanities full of hotel-branded bath products. Enjoy showering under the rainfall showerheads. Inside the bathroom, there is a closet with personal safes. 

Exclusive Dining at Secrets Papagayo

All guests at Secrets Papagayo pay for an all-inclusive package that covers all meals at any restaurant within the resort. You don’t have to make reservations. The package also includes room service and no limit to any top-shelf spirits of your choice. 

It’s the only resort I’ve heard of that offers cooking lessons. The resort’s restaurants and bars are highlighted in the table below.

PlaceFeatures
Market CafeThe main restaurant serves an international breakfast, lunch, and dinner buffet.
Open from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
CoCo CafeIt serves coffee, pastries, and other snacks and is open 24 hours a day. You can request to have the snacks and coffee brought to your room. 
Seaside GrillFor some delicious seafood and grilled specialties, visit the grill. The meals are à la carte, and you can sit by the pool for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
HimitsuServes à la carte Asian cuisine.
AquaEnjoy light and fresh, healthy foods.
Revive barThis bar, which offers natural and healthy drinks and cocktails, is located next to the spa.
PortofinoItalian cuisine is served with your choice of wine.
BarracudaIt is a swim-up pool bar.
Sugar ReefEnjoy tropical cocktails at this beach and pool bar while admiring the ocean views.
ManateesThe restaurant serves signature cocktails if you’re around the beach or the pool.
RendezvousIt’s a lobby bar with chic furniture, where you can enjoy your cocktails.

Things to Do at Secrets Papagayo

The all-inclusive package at Secrets caters to non-motorized watersports and various entertainment activities. You can do so many activities at Secrets Papagayo because it is on the beachfront (did I mention it was my first time to see a beach with black sand?) and surrounded by jungles, gardens, and several beaches. 

Swimming

Secrets Papagayo has two pools open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. You can swim in the pools or in the beach’s calm waters. The sea temperature at Arenilla Beach is suitable for swimming even during October, the rainiest month in Costa Rica. 

The area around the beach has lush vegetation, offering privacy as you swim. Unfortunately, the sand can get hot, so bring some walking sandals. 

Spa

The Secret’s Papagayo spa is large and has a full-service beauty salon, a whirlpool, and a sauna. I had a one-hour massage every day. We also enjoyed a couple’s massage. But the most memorable was a fish therapy pedicure.

You soak your feet in a basin of water and let gura fish eat away at the dead skin. The spa has a full-service salon if you need to make your own hair. 

There is another pool at the spa with ocean views and loungers to relax after your spa treatments. You have two options: rejuvenating facials or an Elasto firm facial.

Fitness

Secrets Papagayo offers a fitness center for those who want to continue their fitness regime while vacationing at the resort. The well-equipped fitness center has a weight-lifting area and multi-purpose fitness equipment. 

At the fitness center, you’ll also find the following equipment:

  • Stationary bicycles
  • Stair climber
  • Treadmills
  • Elliptical machines

There is a dedicated yoga area. 

Beach Hopping

While Secrets Papagayo is located on Arenilla Beach, it is also close to other beaches, most of which are within walking distance. All the beaches are suitable for paddle boarding, kayaking, boating, scuba diving, and jet skiing. When you visit Secrets, you can set up a time to visit each beach.

  • Playa Panama is 3km away from Secrets Papagayo Resort. Panama is as secluded as Arenilla, and it is on the southern border of Snake Bay (Bahia Culebra). We had good times sunbathing and swimming in its calm waters. It does not have a town center, but development is slowly taking place.
  • Playa Hermosa is 5km away from Secrets. Playa Hermosa, meaning “beautiful beach,” is only 2km long. The sand is gray, and the beach is surrounded by volcanic ridges and tropical forests. Because of its warm water temperatures, it is ideal for swimming. Join one of the local tourist companies that organize fishing trips. 
  • Playa Del Coco: Secrets Resort is a 20-minute drive from Playa Del Coco. It’s one of the best beaches for fishing, watersports, diving, and walks. You’ll find small parks, basketball courts, various stores, and supermarkets along the beach. When we needed to buy things from the supermarket, we would always come here.

Sunbathing

You’ll enjoy sunbathing at the pools or at Play Arenilla Beach. The pools have comfortable loungers with beach umbrellas for sunbathing on a hot, sunny afternoon. 

Fortunately, the beach is usually uncrowded, even during the high season. Only the guests occupying the hotels along Arenilla have access to the beach. Because Secrets is the only major hotel, there are no crowds. You can walk from your suite to the beach, as the resort is on the beach. 

Palm trees line the beach, which provides enough shade for the sunbathers. Secrets provides some loungers for guests who want to sunbathe at the beach. 

Arenilla Beach is beautiful when small crabs scurry all over the sand. No matter the weather, Arenilla Beach has some stunning views. 

Night Entertainment

Secrets Papagayo has a very vibrant nightlife. The resort schedules live music, dance lessons, a Costa Rican night, karaoke, musical trivia, and blackjack. You can attend all of them, or only those you find entertaining. 

Every week, there is a manager’s cocktail party that everyone at the resort can attend. But the fun continues with rum, coffee, and wine tastings. Attend live musical performances, or participate in beach ball and pool volleyball.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Secrets Papagayo truly all-inclusive?

Because it is an all-inclusive resort, you can enjoy everything Secrets offers without paying extra. You’ll enjoy all activities, unlimited drinks, meals, entertainment, room service, and accommodations.

Do you tip at Secrets Resorts?

Tipping at an all-inclusive resort such as Secrets Papagayo is not mandatory. While the staff doesn’t expect any tips, you can still tip them if you’re happy with their service. 

Hence, enjoy your stay at Secrets with no pressure to tip anyone. However, if you want to appreciate anyone, please do so. 

What happens at the adult-only resort?

In adult-only resorts, activities and entertainment are specifically for adults. Most adult-only resorts have an age limit of 16–18 years, depending on the country. Hence, don’t travel with your kids under 18, as Secrets Papagayo will refuse admission. 

In adult-only resorts, there are no facilities or activities for minors. Most are outside of big cities and offer a very relaxed atmosphere. 

Conclusion 

Secrets Papagayo is one of the most beautiful adult-only resorts in Costa Rica. Surrounded by stunning beaches, you’ll enjoy scuba diving, snorkeling, and swimming in the warm waters. Alternatively, spend your days swimming in the resort’s pools and relaxing at the spa. 

Please share your experience or the beautiful memories at Secrets Papagayo with us. 

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About 

Tim Schmidt is a 20+ year Entrepreneur and Digital Marketer. A Fort Lauderdale-based "Digital Nomad," he enjoys traveling as much as possible with family and friends. AllWorld is his escape to document all of his adventures, including being a hardcore "foodie." He has property in Costa Rica and visits several times each year and is happy to offer his expert advice for planning your trip.

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