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“stunning resort!”

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Hotel Riu Palace Costa Rica
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Sardinal
Certificate of Excellence
Cleveland, Georgia, United States
Level Contributor
29 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“stunning resort!”
Reviewed 24 July 2014

We had an amazing time during our stay at the Riu Palace. The resort is absolutely beautiful! We drove to Riu Palace after spending 4 rainy days in the rainforest of La Fortuna and were pleasantly welcomed with sunshine and smiling faces. The pools are amazing and the resort staff has activities in the afternoons that were a lot of fun. We played water polo, participated in the darts tournament and the frisbee toss.

The food here was great, in comparison to other all inclusives that we have visited. I am not a huge fan of buffets, but the buffets here were well-attended, clean and offered a huge variety. We also at at the Italian and Steakhouse restaurants (reservation only) and were pleased with the food there, as well.

The rooms are very contemporarily and eccentrically decorated. My daughter loved the purple highlights in the decor.

There are shops at the hotel, but they are very expensive! (I bought a bottle of sunscreen for $34.00USD). If you need souveniers-wait until you get to the airport! The Liberian airport had a huge selection in the Britt shops at reasonable prices....lesson learned!)

In the mornings, you might find monkies playing in the mango trees-head toward the beach from the hotel and to the left...(hint, hint) ;)


The hotel was very clean and friendly!

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank MitziDuRN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
21 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 July 2014

I visited here with my family over Christmas break/New Year. I have stayed at the next door Guanacaste a few years ago before the Palace was built. They did a fantastic job with the landscaping, you really feel like your staying in a Palace walking through the grounds. I was surprised to see how grown in the old Guanacaste has become it looks much nicer with the tall palm trees now...the Palace will surely look similar in a few years.

What makes this hotel so unique is how isolated in the mountains it is. A few years ago there was not even a paved road leading here, thankfully there is now. The scenery is beautiful with the surrounding mountains and the beach is very nice. You can walk to the end of the beach where it is public and there is a stream there that leads out into the ocean. The ocean water is very warm, I would say at least 80 degrees and it's warmer then the swimming pool.

The design of the bedrooms is very strange and they will have to renovate these in a few years. The decor is very feminine and the washroom has no door or walls, only the shower has a glass wall and the toilet has a door. If you face the inside of the courtyard you get a view of the property and the ocean from any room, and if you face the outside you get to see the mountains.

There are monkeys who live in the trees at the edge of the resort and you can usually see them when the sun starts to set, lots of other wildlife lives on the property as well including iguanas and frogs, and turtles also use the beach as a hatching ground. If your lucky, you can see some baby turtles crawling to the ocean around the new year.

What I love most about Costa Rica is the eco-tourism but you are looking at a minimum 1 hour drive to the closest activity (usually more). We went to Arenal which was 4 hours but it's worth the trip to see the volcanic rainforest and use the world famous Tabacon hot springs which I highly recommend. The river safari is only an hour and a half away and is also a great experience as you will see all kinds of tropical birds, and huge crocodiles.

My only complaints about the hotel are that they have no sailing, and no basketball court. The WiFi was also off/on the entire time so don't expect a guaranteed internet connection. If you are lucky you can get a signal from the balcony of the room. The alcohol for a 5 star hotel is also no different then what they carry next door which was disappointing.

All in all it is a fantastic hotel and a nice addition to the Riu property in Costa Rica. I would definitely go back, but more for the country and not so much the resort experience.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank MattSharf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 24 July 2014

Our stay was between May 18-26th. Overall, not fantastic but not terrible. It's accommodations are more suitable for adults rather than children.
The rooms: spacious, the view isn't bad, the beds are hard for those that prefer pillow top/down. The in room liquor dispenser was filled often but getting bottled water was a challenge. They only give you two liters at a time. The room was cleaned well and often. Only a small divider between bathroom and bed so for American visitors- not much privacy.
The food: for an all inclusive I was a bit disappointed. The overall quality was good. The accessibility however was an issue. There are 3 full service restaurants. You must make reservations for one day in advance no sooner and only two are open a night. Seating is limited so if you attempt to make these late afternoon one day prior good luck getting a table. If you go out and come back anytime after 10 pm with the drunk munchies the rui has one self serve lounge with burgers, hot dogs, and nachos. This menu doesn't change. Don't waste your time on room service it was cold!
The service: Service was above average. The staff if friendly and accommodating in any way possible. Being personable to the bar tenders will be immensely favorable. I remembered several names and I was always served first with a new off the menu concoction. Any trips you want to book are well worth it! They truly care about your good time! We went on 6 excursions, all were awesome!
Amenities: didn't get into the spa however pool, entertainment, and beach excursions were fun. The jet ski tour is amazing. Make sure you bring cash though as they do not accept credit cards. Pool and beach gets VERY HOT! Bring water shoes. The casino and nightclub are non air conditioning and quite small.

Overall, wouldn't stay here again but Costa Rica itself is a beautiful country and the ticos are hard working inviting people.

Room Tip: Something close to the ocean. These rooms not only have a better view but easier access to beach, po...
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Klmore377
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Deux-Montagnes, Canada
Level Contributor
17 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 July 2014

Stayed twice at the hotel - excellent service - clean beach but don't expect white sand and turquoise water we are on the Pacific side but very nice beach - good animation - nice bar near the beach - you can hear the monkeys, birds early morning and nice to wake up to this sound. Rooms are spacious and well cleaned. The only thing that I would have to say you cannot compare the food with the other Rius like in Punta Cana, Mexico, less variety nevertheless it was good. A must the Palo Verde excursion - zip lining - visit of the falls - excursions on the river you can see crocs, Arenal Volcano etc. If you have the chance you can go to Tamarindo nice little village lots of boutiques, nice place for the surfers I loved it for a one day excursions. I would definitely return to Costa rica for a 3rd time the little Swizerland of Central America that's how they call it.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with friends
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank scorpion51
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
madisonville, tx
Level Contributor
13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 July 2014

We took our 3, 9, and 13 year old grandkids to Costa Rica and the Riu Palace Resort. It was fantastic! The people, the food, the shows, pools, beach, rooms, and the excursions were excellent! You need to try it. This was our first time to visit Costa Rica and it was a great experience!

Room Tip: We had the 2bedroom 2 bath jr suite and was great
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
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Helpful?
1 Thank maxcelia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brampton, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 24 July 2014

We recently stayed with 42 family and friends the weeks of July 7th to 21st for my daughters wedding. We have stayed at several Riu hotels, and while the wedding was amazing and went off without a hitch, were not overly impressed by the standard of all of the hotel as we have been in the other Riu's we have stayed in.
We had our grandson staying in our room and had asked for two beds and were given 1 king sized bed and a regular couch. We were given another room but still no bed for him ? After another visit to the front desk we given a room with a king bed and pull out couch. The rooms were comfortable,clean and restocked everyday. The hotel in general is very clean and the staff worked constantly to keep it that way. All the maintenance staff were very friendly and always took the time to smile and say "hello." The gardens are beautiful and maintained constantly. It is a beautiful property.
As I mentioned, the wedding was amazing and the wedding coordinator was very nice and helpful and ensured the day went smoothly. We had a beach wedding, semi private dinner at the Steak house with reception after at the pool bar, which was decorated beautifully and we had a fantastic evening. The weather was perfect the setting was spectacular for photos and the food was delicious. We were a little disappointed they charged an extra $24 each for the two children's meals and extra for pop for the reception, as both children barley ate or drank anything especially the 2 yr old.
We had read mixed reviews about the food and were a little wary, but was not disappointed. The buffet was our favorite and due to the large number in our party, ate there most evenings. The food was well cooked, restocked regularly and the variety was good. Even our fussier people always found lots to eat.
Most of our group went on excursions, some with the hotel and others with the beach operators. All had great experiences it is a beautiful country and well worth taking the tours. We opted to use Caesar Tours on the beach and were very happy we did. His tours were cheaper and we customized our tour to suit us. We had our own tour guide Marco, who was amazing very knowledgeable and kept us informed through all of our tours. We would highly recommend going to see Caesar to book your tours and asking for Marco as your tour guide. You will not be disappointed.
The pools were lovely but were over run by wasps, three of our party did get stung. They are especially bad around the pool bar. It did make you very uncomfortable and they were even a pest as you swam in the pool.
The bar service varied and it did help a little if you tipped the waiters. The exception was in the lobby bar, the female waiters were very hard working and pleasant. How ever, the barmen are very slow and certainly favored the Costa Rican people, even when we tipped. It often took us a very long time to get served at the bar, and they could be quite sullen.
On the whole it was a lovely vacation and we certainly had a good time mainly due to our company. The hotel was nice and I certainly would recommend it, just don't expect the same standard as the Riu's in Mexico.

Room Tip: Ocean view rooms away from the main lobby very quiet, beautiful views all around.
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Joshybear
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, Illinois
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 23 July 2014

This is a great hotel, but I did not think the beach was that nice. I would not go to costa rica for its beaches. The mountain area is very nice. We went to Arenal area from Liberia, it is much nicer over there.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank JC1614
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Riu Palace Costa Rica

Property: Hotel Riu Palace Costa Rica
Address: Playa Matapalo | Sardinal Carrillo - Guanacaste, Sardinal, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Gulf of Papagayo > Sardinal
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Sardinal
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Riu Palace Costa Rica 4*
Number of rooms: 538
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The hotel lies directly on the beautiful, fine-sandy Matapalo beach, next to the hotel Riu Guanacaste. * The guest of Riu Palace Costa Rica may use the facilities in sister hotel Riu Guanacaste, except dinner meal * Main Building 6 floors 538 rooms * Next City Liberia 42.0 km approx. * Airport Daniel Oduber International Airport (LIR) 33.0 km approx. * Next ATM / Bank: 200 m * Credit cards accepted: Visa, MasterCard ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Riu Palace Costa Rica Guanacaste

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