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RIU Palace - Couple of questions

Minneapolis...
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RIU Palace - Couple of questions

Hello -- My wife and are are contemplating planning a week long trip to the new RIU Palace which is opening in November. We have been trying to do some research and are hoping someone can answer some questions. Thanks in advance :)

1) What types of excursions can we plan through the hotel that aren't 4 hour drives? We are hoping there are horse back / atv / national parks close by. How about a snorkel catamaran trip?

2) How is the beach in this area? Is the water safe enough to swim in?

3) My wife has celiacs so can't have gluten. Does anyone have experience with food allergies and the RIU chain? Are they able to accomodate?

4) We haven't seen any of the non montorized watersports stuff in any pictures or videos. Are you easily able to get kayaks, wind surfing etc easily or is it just a marketing ploy :)

I put an email with question in to the RIU but I'm not excpecting a response any time soon. Thanks again!

Chicago, Illinois
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for Costa Rica
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1. Re: RIU Palace - Couple of questions

We can't offer much in the way of useful advice about a hotel that hasn't opened yet. The Riu Palace is in an isolated location on a not so great beach right next to the existing Riu. You can also read tripadvisor reviews for the existing hotel to see what excursions visitors enjoyed most. Its a long haul to excursions. If you want more info on Riu 's negative impact on the environment surrounding these 2 resorts you'll get an earful if you do a search on this forum. I would urge you to consider other options including the Westin Playa Conchal on arguably the best beach in Costa Rica.

Minneapolis...
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2. Re: RIU Palace - Couple of questions

I've been researching the Westin since my original posting and it looks like it's on a better beach (which is very important to us). I guess I'd have similar questions for the Westin in regards to the excursions and dietary needs....

San Jose, Costa Rica
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3. Re: RIU Palace - Couple of questions

Dear ken78...

Nice that you are taking the time and comparing two resorts...which in reality ...they are not comparable at all..WESTIN Conchal is by far the best AI in my country...

1- You can visit Rincon de la Vieja Volcano...about 2 hours from Conchal..check Hotel Hacienda Guachipelin...great tours great volcano...

2- In Conchal great beach...one of kind!

3- At Westin just ask the chefs how they can help...you!

4- Yes you can get sailing tours...and almost any water sport!!

As a Costa Rican native...THANK YOU for thinking to stay in a resort that we feel great about it...WESTIN CONCHAL!

roadadvisor

San Jose, Costa Rica
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4. Re: RIU Palace - Couple of questions

To answer your questions on Riu Palace

1) What types of excursions can we plan through the hotel that aren't 4 hour drives? We are hoping there are horse back / atv / national parks close by. How about a snorkel catamaran trip?

You can enjoy some of the following excursions: Palo Verde National Park boat tour, ATV by Coco Beach, Rincon de La Vieja Park, Combo tour at Rincon de La Vieja (Horseback, tubing, zipline, hot springs), Heliconia Hanging Bridges and rain Forest hike just to mention a few. They will all pick you up at your hotel

2) How is the beach in this area? Is the water safe enough to swim in?

The Beach at any of the Rius is fiine, safe to swim and their Matapalo Beach has a blue flag.

3) My wife has celiacs so can't have gluten. Does anyone have experience with food allergies and the RIU chain? Are they able to accomodate?

This you need to check with them and make sure you tell the waiters at every meal.

4) We haven't seen any of the non montorized watersports stuff in any pictures or videos. Are you easily able to get kayaks, wind surfing etc easily or is it just a marketing ploy :)

they will have kayaks available, wind surfing might be at an extra cost

Grecia, Costa Rica
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5. Re: RIU Palace - Couple of questions

Thanks MikeA943 for those concise answers, as I was about to do the same. They had asked about the RIU, just the RIU, and you answered without the sales pitch for some other 3 star place, that happens so much on this Forum.

Punta Uva, Costa...
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for Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
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6. Re: RIU Palace - Couple of questions

With all respect CajonTraveler, if you referring to the Westin Conchal, I would not classify i as a three star resort, by far is the best AI in Costa Rica. They have no need to give away their rooms like the Riu often does. Another important issue to remember, last off season they had special on the weekend and the place was out of control with people looking for cheap drinks and food, you might want to ask them if they are doing it again this year before you book.

Grecia, Costa Rica
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7. Re: RIU Palace - Couple of questions

Thanks Cubanon, I would never put the Westin in that category, my error, not directed there, but no need to beat up the RIU because it's a more laid back resort. All hotels will comp rooms for certain clients.

Punta Uva, Costa...
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8. Re: RIU Palace - Couple of questions

Pura vida canontraveler, just saying!

Canada
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9. Re: RIU Palace - Couple of questions

I just spent two days at the Westin Conchal and it was fantastic. - report to follow... Unfortunately I also heard some sad stories from some Weston staff members who were former employees of the RIU .... "just saying"

Minneapolis...
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10. Re: RIU Palace - Couple of questions

Thanks for all the comments folks, much appreciated. We spent a fair amount of time reading reviews and looking at pictures/videos of vacation footage of these two places and I think we are going to go with the Westin.

I'm sure we'd enjoy our time in both places; but the RIU just seems a bit too far removed from everything else and the beach didn't look near as nice.

As far as the Westin is concerned; is there any "town" or something that's within walking distance? We've been to St Kitts and it was nice to have the option to go off site to check out some of the local food / soueveniers / etc. (or a beach bar :))