I led a group of 22 to this hotel in April. Agree with what others say - reminded me of many Mexico all inclusives. This reminds me of other Riu's we've stayed at. Large, lush, clean, staff friendly and helpful - nothing unique but certainly perfect if this is what you are looking for. Some thoughts I wish I'd been prepared for: There is no cell phone signal at the hotel - 6 days without business e mails was a blessing - until I got back to the US and had over a 1,000 to respond to!!! (someone said you can have the front desk program your phone for 90 minutes - not sure if this was part of the internet cost they can charge.) Hot, hot, hot - 100 degrees at 9 in a.m. (We were told April is hottest month of year). Humid, humid, humid - rainy season is expected to start in a couple of weeks so the humidity is linked to that! We were told only (2) hotel sites in all of Costa Rica are not on the (clean) water line but use wells - Riu Guanacaste and next door Riu Princess!!!. So we needed to watch brushing our teeth, etc. with the tap water. We still had several people get 'upset intestinal tracks'. Not sure if it was food borne or viral. Very isolated - Not a lot to do except lay around pool or walk beach - you need shoes as sand is very hot. There is disco type and shows for entertainment in the evening. Massage on beach was great! took bus into Coco Beach to visit several small touristy shops for souveniers for grandkids but could have shopped on beach just as well. Many in our group took the excursions - loved them. We've heard how lush and beautiful Costa Rica is but isolation did keep us from seeing the real 'Costa Rica'. Other than hotel property, everything we saw was dried up and dead (just moving out of the dry season when we were there). Overall, nice, average all inclusive. You have to pay $29 US for a departure tax (that can not be paid before you come to CR,) or they won't let you leave the country. Never saw that before but understand many tourist countries are beginning to implement that. Also, AFTER all security screening at the airport, we purchased water ($8.50 a bottle!!) then they wouldn't let us take it or any beverages on the plane & we had to toss it!! Only complaint - there was a 'sewer' smell everytime we flushed, and when we walked the property. Assumed it was backdraft from septic tanks. If I went back to Costa Rica I'd make sure it wasn't during the humid season. That was a bit much!! But lots of sun and fun with friends!!!
- 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