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“RIU Guanacaste, Great Hotel” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Riu Guanacaste

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Hotel Riu Guanacaste
4.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   | Playa Matapalo, Sardinal, Costa Rica   |  
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Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Sardinal
Elizabeth, Indiana
1 review
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“RIU Guanacaste, Great Hotel”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 2, 2012

The hotel was great, nice room , view as promised, friendly people . Plenty of activities; however, we spent all our time on tours with Alexonthebeach.com. If you have a desire to see the real Costa Rica, call Alex. This was our first trip to Costa Rica and hopefully it will not be our last. Most of our tours were just my Sister and I with Alex. What fun, fun, fun,fun. There is a difference between personal service and tour bus. It rained everyday, but it was the rainy season, so we adjusted. We saw things and ate it restaurants that other tourists only dream about. Alex made our trip exciting, fun, memorable, and most important: SAFE. If you don't want to be a "groupie" call Alexonthebeach.com; you will not be sorry. The prices were competive to the Bus Tours. The local people were extremely nice, nothing like in Mexico. I am glad we walked on the beach the first day and met Alex and his associate. We did a tour of Lake Nicaragua and Granada that was unbelievable, but each day as better than the day before.
Phyllis ( Indiana) A Satisfied Guest and Tourist

Room Tip: We had RM3071, directly in the middle, good view; however it was a bit noisy when they started the...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,667 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (1,158)
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English first
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 1, 2012 via mobile

My boyfriend and I had a wonderful time. We didn't have any negative experiences and felt we got our money's worth. The staff was friendly and the food was good. The location was nice and secluded for someone looking for a relaxing time but not too far out from other beaches. The weather was perfect and the hotel was kept clean. I really enjoyed the entertainment part of the hotel. We also got massages at the beach with certified massage therapists half the price the spa was charging and they were great. We recommend you ask for Juanita & marlyn down at the beach. Overall, we enjoyed ourselves and will return.

  • Stayed July 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Norman, Oklahoma, United States
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 30, 2012

We traveled Sept 29-Oct 6. The weather was perfect! The hotel was beautiful and clean. Staff was helpful, service-oriented and friendly. The food was good, we mostly ate at the buffet each meal. The beer and drinks were great. We bought a Palo Verde river trip through Esteban on the beach and it was one of the best day trips we took while in Costa Rica. Our guide, Tony was excellent and showed us a lot of things "off the beaten path" in Costa Rica. We also got beachside massages from Juanita and Marlena on the beach (not associated with the Rui). They were so good, we went again the next day! We went to Nicaraugua through Central American Tours- awesome trip! Also went to Playa del Coco on the hotel shuttle. Went to a Gringo bar there- La Vida Loca and Coconutz sports bar. The best day trip was to Hotel Borinquen for horseback riding, ziplining, lunch, and mud bath. Our driver, Tony was excellent on that trip too. We will definitely return to Costa Rica. Not sure we will stay in a big hotel again like the Riu, but the Riu was GREAT! It is true about the locals coming in on the weekends though. The pool and beach gets VERY crowded and it was a bit of a rough crowd out there the first couple of nights. But by Sunday evening they are all gone. Great trip, great hotel, great tours and FANTASTIC beach massage and tour through Esteban and Tony!!

Room Tip: We were upgraded since it was our anniversary. The room was plenty big and clean.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 30, 2012

ok, I've read lots of reviews about the hotel from cracks in the hotel do to earthquakes, crazy kids running around, locals over running the joint and good things like the staffs great attitude and smiles.

The hotel is fine!

For one thing, you are in Costa Rica....leave the resort and explore this marvellous place, from volcanoes, scuba diving, deep sea fishing, 4x4's, zip lining above the canopies, natural mud baths, surfing, white water rafting and rapelling and thats only a few...and leave the pool bars to the over weight drunks who as we know are very annoying and not easy on the eyes.

I was usually so tired after my adventures I couldnt remember what the hotel was like....if you are that particular about hotels...go to an exclusive place with private butlers (i've been) there $10,000 a week. Dont expect much for a couple of thousand.....you are out to lunch.

For ALL your excursions and private taxi rides, talk to the guys on the beach with green shirts, more specifically - Jose, great guy and super honest, pleasant and knowledgeable.

Pura Vida

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kitchener
1 review
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 29, 2012

We planned this resort for our honeymoon because it was in Costa Rica and a little more rural with a touch of "nature". We had a lovely honeymoon at the start of June. I thank the previous reviewers for alerting me to the construction, because the FIRST thing we did when we got to our room was switch it to the jungle side. The room was cleaned very well daily (former housekeeper...high standards), the bar was stocked and I found service to be excellent. I was polite to every staff member, and found they were wonderfully cheery and professional and polite back (funny how that works...some people on here could probably use that tip!). The resort is gorgeous and private and allotted for some hiking around the area. We did the white water rafting excursion and loved it, the restaurants were great (steakhouse is the best!) and the grounds of the resort were great. The lobby was beautiful, the gardens were beautiful and the shows were great. The beach is not pristine white sand.... which is no problem but watch those tootsies on it!!!

Only complaint/suggestion is the Disco. The night we were ready to go and party we found people lining the walls. The Disco is a really nice club inside, but the free drinks stop at the door and you have to pay in order to drink inside.....I can see where they were trying to go with this but it appears to have backfired as we stayed for about 10 minutes then left to go find a bar. We are paying a good buck for this resort....and found it insulting that they would charge drinks for the disco. I think opening it up to free drinks would really bring in the crowds more, it is a really nice bar inside and a shame they have shot themselves in the foot. Another complaint was that we had to cancel an excursion we had booked in the lobby due to an illness, and they requested a doctor's note in order to refund the trip. I was IMPRESSED they were going to refund our money and had planned to make note of that in this review...until I saw that no refund ever showed up on our credit card they told us it would take "ten business days" conveniently enough two days prior to our leaving. Shady, shady.

Food was great, staff was wonderful, I even made use of the medical facility there and found the nurse very helpful and clinic hours to be very accommodating. The antibiotics they gave me saved our honeymoon!!!

Costa Rica felt very safe, the only strange situation being pushy excursion people, and one gentleman in particular in Coco Beach that tried to suck us and other couples in with a fake lottery ticket who wouldn't take no for an answer and became a little too angry. Overall though, people in Costa Rica were very friendly.

Reality check: oceans sometimes wash fish on shore, sand isn't always white depending on where in the world you are, if you are rude to customer service they will be rude back.

We had a wonderful honeymoon thanks to the helpful reviews on here, our expectations were met exactly. I would definitely go back, but maybe stay at the Riu Palace once it is done!!!

Room Tip: Jungle view is quieter!
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
2 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 29, 2012

The resort location is a little off the beaten path, but a good view and tour of the local life.
This was a honeymoon trip for my wife and myself and it was a perfect time. Perfect balance of seclusion and fun. The staff was pleasant, kind, and friendly. The service at the steak house was iffy, but the food was good. Overall, a great place to stay, very kid friendly, and super clean.
Would definitely recommend to other travelers. To visit volcanoes and take great activities, we booked three tours with Easy Tours Guanacaste before our trip to Costa Rica. We liked knowing that we would be able to do what we wanted while we were there.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grimsby, Canada
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 28, 2012 via mobile

Very clean, friendly staff. Food not overly impressive. This is not a five star restaurant in my books. Nightlife very entertaining. Got to experience a 6.6 earthquake a second time in my life. Yahoo!! Otherwise a relaxing vacation.

Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Riu Guanacaste

Address: | Playa Matapalo, Sardinal, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Gulf of Papagayo > Sardinal
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Sardinal
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Riu Guanacaste 4*
Number of rooms: 701
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Opening winter 2009/10. Situated in northern Costa Rica, in Guanacaste. Located on Playa de Matapalo beach. Complimentary sun loungers on the beach. 6-storey main building. Surrounded by 35,000 m2 / 41,86 sq. yards of lush gardens. Closest village: Nuevo Colon. 13 km / 8.1 miles from various shops. 33 km / 20.5 miles from Liberia airport. Credit cards accepted: MasterCard, Amex, Visa ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Riu Guanacaste Costa Rica

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