San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Allegro Papagayo Hotel Reopens Halfway

The Allegro Papagayo Hotel on the northwestern Pacific coast has reopened almost two months after it was closed by the Ministry of Health for dumping wastewater into a nearby estuary.

Health Minister María Luisa Avila said the 300-room hotel received permission on March 19 to allow up to 300 people on the property, a number that includes both guests and employees.

Avila said the hotel’s water treatment plant – which has an approved capacity for 300 people – has been repaired and that the Ministry of Health will be sending inspectors during the week to make sure it is in working order.

Full occupancy of the hotel would require a second water treatment plant, Avila said. The hotel has submitted preliminary plans for a second plant.

Allegro Papagayo, part of the Spanish-owned Occidental Hotels & Resorts, was closed by the health ministry on Jan. 31 after inspectors found hidden pipes that were dumping wastewater into an estuary attached to CulebraBay.

The hotel had also been shipping raw sewage from its overloaded wastewater plants and dumping it in septic fields outside of the small town of El Gallo de Liberia (TT, Feb. 1).

Complaints against the hotel had languished before the Environmental Tribunal for a year before the Health Ministry moved to shut it down. (TT, Feb.8).


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