Somewhere in a Dream (Our First Trip to Costa Rica)
Our Costa Rica escapade was magical on every level. From the boat ride we enjoyed right off of the coast of the peninsula to the monkeys and iguanas sneaking into our scenic photos, it was the most amazing vacation I've ever been on. While many factors played a part in making this a dream vacay, it was the exceptional hospitality and customer service at our hotel that really made this trip something else.
The Andaz Papagayo Peninsula welcomed us at the drive with umbrellas and led us to the lobby where we were greeted by the the sweetest and most helpful front desk associate, Karol (who ended up in playing a big part in why I felt the need to write a whole blog post about this dreamy place.)
James and I were escorted in a golf cart to our room and our baggage was delivered to our door without us having to lift a finger. When I walked through the entrance, I nearly cried when I saw that Andaz concierge had set up balloons, a "HAPPY BIRTHDAY" banner and a delicious dessert dish for me!
After unpacking our shorts and tanks we set off to explore this fabulous resort. Our first stop (of course) was the bar where the mixologist whipped together a delicious cocktail consisting of a few local CR fruits (mainly Papaya), dark rum & a bamboo straw. My mind was blown at first sip!
The next morning, we took our exploration down the the beach in front of our hotel where we met the fisherman who took us out the next day on the best boat/fishing trip of my life (I'll get to that next.) We rented a kayak from the hotel which we rowed over to the empty beach next to ours and found hundreds of mini hermit crabs crawling around our toes. This beach is also a piece of the Andaz so it was only a short walk to grab towels after messing around in the water and we made our journey back.
The next morning, we went out with Alonzo and his primo on their boat where we were escorted to the north end of the peninsula and had an extremely successful fishing/snorkeling trip. We caught over 20 fish including a 35 lb. amberjack (on a hand reel!), a red snapper and octopus which we took back to our hotel to have them prepare and cook it for us for our next few meals. I couldn't have been more excited to munch on the fish I had caught earlier in the day (we told Alonzo to take the rest of the fish back to feed his family for the next few days). Francisco; the manager of Rio Bongo, took our fishing victims off of our hands right after pulling up to shore and assured us he'd take care of everything and have a meal in the works for us an hour and a half later (talk about fresh food!!) The next night, we finished our fish at Ostra ( the fine dining restaurant) and needless to say, they did not disappoint. I've never been much of a fan of octopus but I ate every last sucker! If only I could figure out how they did it!
Both mine and James' favorite part about our room was hands down the shower which opened up to our balcony and in turn made every shower something to look forward to. Unlucky for James, he had to tell me to get out of the shower each time or I probably would have spent the entire trip in there. Except... I'm lying because the food was too good not to get out of the shower for.
We called for In Room Dining each morning and much to our dismay, our orders never took more than 30 minutes to arrive. (We were even once called by Francisco to apologize for the wait on our food and we both looked at each other like... hasn't it only been 20 minutes?) Like I mentioned before, the customer service here is second to none.
This place is truly a hidden gem.. and I mean that; you can just barely see the roofs of a couple buildings when you snorkel out a few hundred feet (using gear provided for free by Andaz). The snorkeling just in front of the hotel was one of my many favorite parts of this trip. The reef is occupied by hundreds of different marine species. Our second time snorkeling out front of our hotel, we even saw a sea turtle (swimming right below me just a few feet) that must have been almost (if not) 100 years old! There were mounds barnacles covering its back we got to catch a glimpse of as he passed us.
James and I spent a lot of our time at the adult pool. Although every pool is equally as amazing, we enjoyed the child-less quiet time the adult pool granted us. Really it was mostly my potty mouth that kept us away from the family pools but I'll pretend we just enjoyed not being around kids. The service at the pool, along with everywhere else on at this Andaz was top notch. When we had already gone through most of the pool menu, our waiters then suggested we look over the Rio Bongo menu which opened our options immensely. Kuddos to the amazing fellas who took such great care of us at the pool(s) all week.
****Disclaimer*** This post is in no way affiliated with Hyatt hotels or Andaz. This is not paid advertising, this is all from my own personal wonderful experience in CR.