Okay, here's the deal...
The room was clean (housekeeping was on top of it), very comfortable, and a good size. The bed was huge. The molding was impressive and there was plenty of room on the balcony. Nice double vanity and shower, etc. The built in safe was a plus. It smelled a like the prior occupants were smokers so maybe they have non-smoker rooms available. You might have to ask them to re-stock the fridge. And when they say all inclusive, that doesn't mean WiFi. It's free in the lobby for 90 minutes each 24 hour period (and the free kind doesn't allow downloads). If you need to, you can $10/hour, $15/day, or $70/week.
FOOD & DRINK
The food was good, not excellent, but very good nonetheless. And they had a great breakfast spread. Tucan had a tasty filet mignon (they could use some music to lighten up the atmosphere a little). If you want to eat at one of the restaurants, make sure you get to the reservation booth nice and early. Wine and beer selection was just that, wine or beer - no options. Unbeknownst to us, top shelf liquor was available if you asked for it. Bacardi, Jose Cuervo, etc. It was kept behind cabinets under the bar. Who knew?
The high ceilings and moldings were impressive. The staff were very friendly. On the last day, like most days at other RIUs I have been to, they even came around the beach and asked if we wanted drinks. Gym was decent but jacuzzi and steam bath weren't terribly warm, they could have been about 20 degrees warmer. Pool's "jacuzzi had nice jet placement", a few ladies remarked. Landscaping was tight. No need for a travel adapter as rooms fit US plugs.
Bring cash. Dollars are king down here and ATM doesn't like all debit cards for some reason (and it's only available in the casino from 6:00 p.m. until 2:00 a.m.); you'll want to make sure you have tips for your guides. That is, if you do any excursions. We went White Water Rafting downt the Tenoria (Swiss Travlel), ATV/Canopy (Luis Solutions - on the beach), and rented a 4-Runner (Alamo) for a day trip to Tamarindo. If you do that, there's a short cut that will take you via a mountain road and multiple beaches. If you go that way, you WILL need a 4x4. Seriously. I would highly recommend each trip and we were pleased with each vendor, including Luis who, is not an "approved vendor" of the hotel. The rafting wasn't too crazy, except one 12' drop and subsequent cliff jump into a pool that apparently had a boulder that could have caused problems had we jumped any more to the left. ATV/Canopy was intense and not for the faint of heart. Alamo had a much better deal than Thrifty (located in the lobby) and in general, you can negotiate the price of just about anything down there. Massage on the beach with Elena and Carolina were fantastic - also not approved by the hotel.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel Riu Guanacaste Costa Rica