I literally just came home from my third year in a row (yes third) trip to Costa Rica. The first two stays were at the Riu Guanacaste, the third at the Riu Palace (jan25th- Feb 3rd). I'm assuming by now you realize that I love it there since I have gone back so many times. I really don't know why I still read these reviews after 3 years, but before I actually went to the palace I was nervous because it had so many bad reviews. Once again, I am baffled as I don't know where the negative reviews are coming from? Upon arrival @ 2pm we were greeted by a very welcoming woman with the traditional Costa Rican Fruit punch and immediately given our room keys. I had reserved a Jacuzzi suite with outdoor jacuzzi balcony. We got to the room and were unhappy because it was on the ground level (no privacy). I went back to the reception and requested a higher level room, but was told none were available. I spoke to a woman named Melissa she apologized and assured me that they would get me a higher level room. Needless to say Melissa came through on her word and the next morning moved us into the top floor Jacuzzi suite. Melissa greeted us every day with a smile, a hug, and constantly asked if we needed anything and made sure we were enjoying ourselves. (She even sent a bottle of champagne up to our room!) There was not one single person that we came across that was not welcoming, helpful and pleasant.
Food: They have multiple places to eat at, some need reservations, some do not. The reservation process is really not as bad as people whine about. They do reservations from 9-2 everyday of the week and you are allowed to book for the same day and the next day. We did not have a problem with this once. We ate at the steakhouse, the Japanese, the Italian, and the buffet numerous times. Not once did we leave any restaurant unhappy or unsatisfied. Again, not sure why so many people whine about it, if you don't want to wait in a reservation line, if you don't want to wait, don't show up at 8:45 with the rest of the nuts, show up at noon! As a side note, we also did get room service and it was prompt and excellent!
Beach: This is the pacific ocean, its not white sandy beaches! It is volcanic Central America, the sand is soft, dark and hot! Once you get past the break in the waves the water is clear, clean and warm! The drink servers on the beach are very attentive and will gladly get you whatever you want!
Pool(s): We went to the pools almost everyday after the beach and lunch. There are approx 5 pools, one with a in water bar and seats, all other have in water lounges. The drink staff at the pools are very fast, and love to serve! Pools were always very clean and refreshing.
Bars: There are 5-7 bars in the entire hotel. The bartenders and wait staff as usual are more than happy to serve everyone and will make any drink requested. Unlike what most of the negative reviewers say THERE IS top shelf liquor. If you ask for it once, they will continue using it in all of your drinks for the entire stay!
Rooms: The rooms are very modern as pictured. Beds were extremely comfortable. We had a king size bed, a sofa, love seat, 50" TV, table and chairs, mini fridge (very well stocked daily), luggage seat, 2 closets, a in room Jacuzzi tub, double sinks, toilet, bidet and what seemed to be a 10 person shower with a rain shower, and a hand shower. The complaints about the rooms I am baffled on, just like all of the rest of the complaints.
Sorry to ramble, I wanted to squeeze in as much as I could. Please take my word for it, go there, enjoy the RIU, enjoy Costa Rica and most of all enjoy the Costa Rican people. Also one more thing, these hotels and this country is so nice we went three times! Whats more crazy than that is we ran into the same group of people we ran into the year before there as they loved it just as much as us. We are already planning to go back next year. A vacation is what you make of it, if you want to be pampered, have your feet kissed and treated like royalty stay at the four seasons in America and pay quadruple. If you want to be treated like family, with respect, and actually have people make you feel like they want to be with you and serve you go to the Riu and more importantly go to Costa Rica. Pura Vida!
I will gladly answer questions if anyone has any!
-Joe from Boston, MA
- Also Known As:
- Hotel Riu Palace Costa Rica Guanacaste
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Hotels.com, BookIt.com, Expedia, Priceline, Caribbean Online Mgt Corp., Tingo, Amex, Agoda and Otel so you can book your Hotel Riu Palace Costa Rica reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.