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Which hotel - Riu, Hilton or Occidental?

Cambridge, United...
posts: 6
Which hotel - Riu, Hilton or Occidental?

After a heavy two week schedule with lots of remote hiking, am after two nights all inc on the coast in the Papagayo/Guanacaste region to wrap things up.

Sadly, the Four Seasons and Westin are too much, but what's the feeling for these three?

Riu seems to get a bad rep, but then so does the Occidental. Then, others think the Riu is great.

Any thoughts between the three?


San Jose, Costa Rica
posts: 3,527
1. Re: Which hotel - Riu, Hilton or Occidental?

I have stayed at Riu several times this year and always had a great time. It is very deluxe, great service, excellent food and activities. I was once at the Occidental Papagayo and I did not like their rooms nor their food. The other one you can checkis the Grand Papagayo (Whic is also an Occidental hotel)

Grecia, Costa Rica
Destination Expert
for Province of Alajuela
posts: 6,417
reviews: 36
2. Re: Which hotel - Riu, Hilton or Occidental?

I would choose ANY hotel over the RIU...

RIU is luxury, but they have a horrible environmental record, in fact one of the worst. They destroyed protected land and ignored the environmental laws. They bribed local officials, killed local wildlife and habitats. To this day there are protests over the harm they have done and continue to do in the area.

IMO you could not pay me to stay there and support a corporation that only cares about money while trying to use Costa Rica, a pioneer in sustainable tourism and development, as a backdrop.

These are personal feelings, I do not expect the world to share my view and if you choose the RIU then have a great trip. Every once in a while, even though my feelings are well documented on this forum regarding this, I feel the need to reiterate it.


Costa Rica
posts: 21,878
reviews: 26
3. Re: Which hotel - Riu, Hilton or Occidental?

That makes two of us, Incabod!

There are a number of good, luxury hotels to choose from without supporting what the RIU has done.

One option is to contact Capitan Suizo in Tamarindo and ask them to give you a quote for an all-inclusive stay. This way, you get a beautiful place to stay and very convenient to all that Tamarindo has to offer. Most of the all-inclusives are rather isolated so for me, this would be a good choice and give you more options for things to do, etc.

If you are looking for a beautiful place to stay that isn't an AI, check Punta Islita. It is isolated but such a great place.

Edited: 1:56 pm, October 10, 2011
Destination Expert
for Bermuda
posts: 2,681
reviews: 26
4. Re: Which hotel - Riu, Hilton or Occidental?

Riu has earned its bad reputation for destroying ecologically sensitive wildlife havens. I'd sleep in the swamp with the mosquitoes before I spend a dime in that criminal establishment. Many cr operations care about the environment, they don't.

Playa Conchal...
posts: 1,740
reviews: 53
5. Re: Which hotel - Riu, Hilton or Occidental?

hear, hear

Lake Havasu City...
Destination Expert
for Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
posts: 6,768
reviews: 5
6. Re: Which hotel - Riu, Hilton or Occidental?


Calgary, Canada
posts: 1,181
reviews: 45
7. Re: Which hotel - Riu, Hilton or Occidental?

That's interesting and very sad.

It's the first I heard about that - and I think I've read almost every thread on this forum. I'm glad you all voiced your concerns over that hotel chain.

Otherwise others will never know !

We had initially chosen that hotel chain as our first choice for our vacation this year but then decided not - only because of how many hotel rooms it houses - we wanted a smaller resort with a little more attention to customer service than the big hotel chains seem to lack.

San Jose, Costa Rica
posts: 41,665
8. Re: Which hotel - Riu, Hilton or Occidental?

RIU while they were buliding that plastic hotel...some of the workers ...almost killed all the monkies around...they destroyed some great humedales...hard to find a hotel in Costa Rica that was builded with so many violations to our laws...I really do not think they will have my support...I stayed at the hotel for some work in the area...but really hard to sleep there thinking of how many great CONGOS were killed ...there...

Of course and based on your question...Hilton...


Costa Rica
posts: 21,878
reviews: 26
9. Re: Which hotel - Riu, Hilton or Occidental?

Gaileb: Every time the RIU name comes up, I always write about the poor environmental record so I'm not sure how you missed it!

Some people protest this hotel by staging protests at the gates to the property or by protests in the streets of the municipality responsible for it. This is my way of "protesting".

Calgary, Canada
posts: 1,181
reviews: 45
10. Re: Which hotel - Riu, Hilton or Occidental?

What a shame, all in the name of tourism and the almighty dollar.

We have an issue in Canada with our beloved Grizzly Bears, whom I figure were here before we were. Anyway, their numbers are decreasing rapidly, something like less than 500 living in the wild. Yet they still do what Grizzlies do, they forage for food. Now that winter is setting in (boo!) they're trying to find enough food to tide them over for hibernation.

So, stupid tourists go into the "bear warning zones" and wonder why they're chased up trees - and then in all the wisdom that I can't figure out, they destroy the bear - for doing what nature does best - finding food and chasing intruders.

Then 'they" will wonder what happened to all the bears when they're gone or totally extinct.

Sorry, that's my rant for the day. So you're not alone and I feel your pain. The mighty dollar always superceeds what the great creator intended for this world. Put animals on the earth to live off the land, create synergy and humans are destroying it in every way possible.