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“Compound Riu is more accurate” 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 | Carrillo - Guanacaste, Sardinal, Costa Rica   |  
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Special Offer
Up to $2000 Resort Credit
Ranked #2 of 3 hotels in Sardinal
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Compound Riu is more accurate”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 2, 2013

This resort is a big beautiful, well maintained space. It has pretty much everything you could need behind the gaurd gate, but it isolates you from experiencing the real "Costa Rica". We took advantage of the excursions offered from the groups on the beach. Unique tours offered an incredible adventure package for a great price. Also not associated with the resort were some massage tents on the beach, which offered full body 1 hour massages for $65 per couple. AMAZING.

As for Riu, the rooms were nice. The food was pretty decent. We didn't like the restaurant organization. Reservations could only be made in person from 9-12 each day, for the next day so with excursions we missed being able to make any for the steak house which meant a lot of buffet. We did get in to Tucan which was pretty good, and the Japanese restaurant wasn't bad either. The pool is incredible. We had a great time, and the bartenders are fantastic.
I don't think we would use this resort again on a return trip to Costa Rica. Aside from the bartenders, the rest of the hotel employees were not very helpful and borderline rude.

For our first "all-inclusive" experience I believe we got our money's worth , and it really is a beautiful resort, which was very clean and well maintained.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    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 (1,095)
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English first
Tampa, Florida
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 2, 2013

It was a very nice hotel great room great food and great service but you have to pay 40 US dollars
For Internet and then it does not even work well the pool was great and the beach was cool to there is lizards all over the place they are cool you get a free chance to go scuba diving in the pool witch was fun I really liked how in every room you had a safe loved that and the food and the drinks are all FREE at this hotel so overall it was pretty cool

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Springfield, Missouri
Top Contributor
64 reviews 64 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 1, 2013

Overall a good place to visit. The food is OK, but not what I would expect from this type of resort. Drinks are again OK, but not very strong. The staff is good, and we appreciated their effort. We expected a lot more from the reviews we read about other Riu properties. We had a fun trip. Get out from the hotel and see some of the other beaches around Costa Rica.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2013 via mobile

My husband and I and our friends stayed at this hotel from April 20th till the 27th. The view was amazing, the staff was always polite and helpful. There always was someone cleaning something all day the resort was so clean!!!!! Our room was fine we had a basic room but didn't spend much time in it. The bartenders were a lot of fun Randall,Rocky, Edward,and only Larry were great just to name a few. Make sure to bring an insulated cup to keep your drinks cold and the bugs out. They have no problem filling them however large they are. The food at the buffet was very good with a large selection.there were only a few complaints we had gone with friends and they had upgraded the to the palace because they over booked the hotel with locals. They were unable to fix this till the next day,when people checked out but they had to check out of your room then wait till 3 to check into their new room. They should give a list of the days each of the separate restaurants were closed so you could go and not be surprised they were closed that day. They tell you reservations needed at the steak house but they neglect to tell you to go to the others early to put your name in because they only have so many settings and once those are filled you are out of luck. In general we had an amazing week we booked with Mauricio on the beach all of our tours, combo, atvs ,massages and boat ride to Coco beach all were amazing we especially liked Imer who was our guide for the combo day.

  • Stayed April 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa, Canada
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2013

I stayed at the RIU March 11-18. We were two adults and a 6 mos baby.
Rooms were comfortable and clean. They provided us with a pack n' play for the baby and it was in good shape. The staff LOVED the baby and he was known by all the staff. We normally ate in the main buffet for dinner, but one night we went to a specialty buffet (no reservations required for these) and one of the servers made a point to come over from the main buffet to say hi to the baby :) The Asian buffet is delicious!!!!!!
The pool is very big and never felt crowded. The beach is rocky and not many people chose to sit on the beach, therefore there were lots of chairs to choose from. You could walk along the beach for quite a while which was nice.
If you went to the beach (Monkey Bar) before the sun came up (5am-ish) or at dusk (6pm-ish) you could see monkeys in the trees!
The only other hotel in this bay was the other RIU.
Near the end of our trip there was some major brush fire along the mountains nearby. None of the staff seemed concerned about this since it was dry season and very common. Since we are not used to this, we kept our eye on the fire just to make sure it wasn't getting closer. One night there was lots of ash being blown around the resort.
Staff and management are very friendly and approachable. It's clear that they work had to make sure their guests are happy. For example, one day someone lost their pool towes (normally you are charged extra for this) but the manager didn't hesitate to give him a new one without charge. Little things like that appreciated.
My only complaint was that they were often late cleaning the rooms or sometimes the room wasn't cleaned at all. Since we had a baby we needed the room for his afternoon nap and sometimes they were in there cleaning at that time. So slighly annoying, but hardly a major complaint.
We never had any problems with getting chairs, using the elevator or getting service at the bar or restaurant.
I would definitely go back.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
Phoenix, Arizona
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2013

I just got back from staying here on a girls trip- we are in our 30's. I have stayed at a dozen all inclusive resorts, and this is the best service I have experienced. Everyone from the front desk (Jaison) entertainment (Lily) bartenders Rocky and Gerald to the maid service and photographers were friendly and helpful all the time. The rooms could use an update but why go to Costa Rica to stay in your room? The food was decent, what you expect from an all inclusive. The Tucan had a hip atmosphere and the Italian restaurant was excellent with no reservation. (You only need a reservation for the steak house). We did the Congo Trail zip line and had a blast and saw about 20 howler monkeys! We also booked a private tour day trip to arenal valcano and Tubacon hot springs through CAT tours in the lobby, our guide Carlos was very knowledgable and although it was a 3.5 hour drive it was well worth the $153 we each paid for lunch dinner, hike at base of volcano, Tubacon hot springs and dinner. We booked through Scuba Caribe a catamaran snorkel trip at sunset that was beautiful. The grounds are clean and the pool area is awesome but get out and enjoy the beach. Scuba Caribe loans out kayaks, paddle boats, stand up paddle boards and snorkel gear. Watch out for the jelly fish in the ocean and the beach. There are a lot of inebriated people at the pool that were very obnoxious- one guy had been there for 5 days and hadn't even walked down to the ocean( or the restroom I assume) also at other resorts I have been hassled on the beach by people selling jewelry, tours and hats/ t shirts, this was not the case here, reps were available but for you to seek them out, not the other way around. I have stayed at other places that tipping was expected and I didn't feel that way here- we would leave a few dollars here and there... We were 4 cousins on a girls trip and felt very safe here. I would recommend to stay here.

  • Stayed April 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Islip, New York
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2013

My Fiance and I along with 2 other couples just got back from a 1 week vacation and we could not have been happier. This was the first time we vacationed at an All Inclusive Resort and we highly recommend the Riu Guanacaste to everyone. The minute we arrived we were greeted with a cold drink (they should add a little rum in the future) which totally hit the spot after a long flight and ride to the hotel.
Checking in was a breeze, Mike was very pleasant and even changed our rooms around to make sure that our rooms were next to each other.
the food was very good and we all loved hte different choices. Entertainment was excellent as well. We all enjoyed going to see the shows every night, out favorite was Grease.
Kiara, Angie, Prince and Otto were excellent. I cannot wait till I go back.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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 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 | Carrillo - Guanacaste, 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*
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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