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“Enjoyable vacation- march 2013” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Riu Palace Costa Rica

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Hotel Riu Palace Costa Rica
4.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Playa Matapalo, Sardinal, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 3 hotels in Sardinal
Charleston, South Carolina
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Enjoyable vacation- march 2013”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2013 via mobile

We had a great time. ATe steak and lobster 3times. . They have improved the reserving dinner reservations. when we were leaving they were starting with a new procedure of not having to reserve most of the restaurants. I don't know whether that will make you wait to get a table. But if we went in the afternoon, there seem to be cancellations that allowed us to get in where we wanted to.
I agree that they should have a bathroom at the pool, instead of having to walk back to your room or the nearest restruant . MOst times it was easy to get a drink at the swim up pool. The service at the walk up bar in front of the pool was not as easy to get a drink.

Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (420)
Date | Rating
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English first
Brantford, Canada
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2013

This is the 3rd Riu I have been to in as many years and I can say that for me it was my favourite. The modern decor may not be for everyone but it did have some interesting features,some good some not so good. Your room key turns on your lights ,which pretty much solves the problem of leaving your key in your room . The overall interiors are very clean ,almost sterile. They finally figured out that a coffee maker in the room would be a good idea for those early morning risers.The safes are digital as well so no need for a key ,you just enter your own code and thats it. Great feature. The entertainment staff was the best I have seen., and I don"t go for the shows. Don't miss the Michael Jackson show,you would swear it was him . The meals where as usual, good but not great, and if you want something hot you better ask for it to be made as you wait. I prefer to sit outside to eat but the group i went with all wanted to eat inside the buffet area (which was like a cooler). Maybe this accounts for the cold food? The resort itself is well laid out except for the washrooms as mentioned.,and there is a pool for everyone.lots of chairs to sun in and some very effective shades instead of umbrellas. Another great idea. The resort is located basically in the middle of nowhere so if quiet is what you want then this is the place. You can take a taxi to Coco Beach which is about 15 minutes but you could take a water taxi which is way cooler. Our excursions included a river boat ride though one of their parks. Saw lots of Crocs and a variety of birds and Iguanas. this is a very laid back ,for everyone type of tour. All the guys in our group went fishing which was one of the highlights of my trip as my nephew landed a 45lb Rooster fish (Papagayu). along with 20 or so Black tuna. There is also a nice white sand beach to the south of the resort were you can learn to surf. Another really cool excursion. They guarranty you will stand up and catch a wave ,Everyone did!!! On our last day we rented a Catamaran from the Scuba Caribe people (they run the water sports hut on the beach) ask for Diego he will hook you up. It is pricey $900 for 6hrs which accomodated a group of 13. about $75 each but well worth the cash. I was able to sail the boat and learn alot of geography while we sailed. We stopped to Snorkel at a private beach and then chased Dolphines across the bay . VERY RELAXING DAY!! If you head out early in the morning, 7 AM ish, you are pretty much guarranteed to see monkeys just down the beach . One morning we helped a location Conservation Officer harvest baby Sea Turtles from their nest,right out in front of the resort. The people of Costa Rica are very friendly and always greet you at anytime of the day . If you can, try to stay longer then 7 days, as there is just too much to see and do in a week. Pura Vida (Good Life!!)

Room Tip: The rooms facing the Riu Guanacaste dont have the best view but are very quiet.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Springfield, Missouri, United States
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2013

First off, if you are expecting a white sand beach like in the caribean, you won't find it here. I knew this before I went there. Because of volcanos in CR, the sand is black. NOT DIRTY. The black is from the past volcanic activity which I find very interesting and it was a nice change of scenery. The mountainous regions surrounding the beach made it a sight to see. Another thing to keep in mind: CR has a rainy season and a dry season. If you go to the beach during the dry season, It will not be very lush and green. So if you go from around Dec-March, the land around the beach is very dry and brown but still beautiful. If you go inland about an hour and a half you will come to the lush green rainforests, which are very beautiful! So with that said, KNOW WHERE YOU ARE GOING. I went during march and the weather was beautiful, and I thought the entire country was beautiful. I can't imagine how much more beautiful it would be if I had been during the rainy season.

The staff there are so friendly. I didn't feel like they were annoyed by tourists, or annoyed that our Spanish wasn't very good. They even tried to teach us a little which was fun. I thought the food was great all around. My favorite was the Italian restaurant. It also is nice that you don't need reservations except for the Steak House. However, don't expect to be sat down right away since you don't make reservations. When we had to wait, the staff was very friendly and did their best to make room for us. The bartenders were a lot of fun, especially Freddy and Jeffry in the lobby bar and Luis down at the pool bar. And if you aren't a drinker, no worries! They will allow you to take different stuff from the lobby bar and will make you something tasty! I also had several staff members remember my name every day I was there.
The hotel is very modern and not as european as other RIU's. But very nice and very clean. Mini fridge stocked and room cleaned every day. It is safe to buy excursions from the beach. I purchased a mega combo adventure from Carlos Compos. I highly recommend him. He set us up for a private tour with a bilingual tour guide that made it a very educational experience for us. I highly recommend a visit to Costa Rica, right here at this Riu. HOWEVER... If you are wanting a white sand beach and a warm ocean water, make sure you consider everything I said above in my post. It really is a beautiful country and I don't see how someone wouldn't like it unless they didn't know what to expect.

  • Stayed March 2013, 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 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Biggar, Canada
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2013

We had a great time in Costa Rica and the hotel was awesome... If we had to complain about anything it would be to have more bathrooms closer to the beach ..

The sidewalk to the beach should be extended. The sand is so hot on the feet even with sandals.
We used the waiters on the beach alot... that was a great service. they brought us loungers, tables and drinks for as long as we were there..

The staff was freindly and very attentive and accomodating.. We would definetly go there again.

  • Stayed March 2013, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stony Plain, Canada
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2013

Beautiful 2 Week Holiday. Staff was wonderful and talkative, they even tried to help speak a little more spanish. Our room was fantastic, center of resort looking right down the middle of the pools to the ocean. We had 4 a la carte' restaurants and they were super. The only one not that great was the steakhouse. We went one nite and the lobster was dried out (what little chunk that I got) and the steak was over cooked. The trees are pretty imature, give it a couple of years and the pool area will be lush and tropical looking. Resort next door is nice and lush but very, very noisy and full of very young people.

Room Tip: We had a junior suite with ocean view on 4th floor. People above us kept moving furniture around la...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Toronto, Canada
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2013

This hotel is v.modern (eclectic) with all the traditional elements of Riu chain hotels.The rooms
are v. spacious with toilet separate from the bathroom and whirlpool bathtub outside opposite to
the mirrored closet, seperated from the rest of the room with only a fabric curtain.Everything was spotless clean.The interior decorating is v.beautiful and interesting.You won't get bored just
walking around the hotel and admiring lobby, lounge area, entrtainment area, restaurants
and bars (coffee bar too). The restaurants are one floor below the lobby, avoids unnecessary
traffic.The grounds are vast with 3 large pools and 3 levels of chairs. The top level has a foldable canopy. The entertainment area is large with two stages on opposite ends. On one side live band performs a v. good repertoir of dance music and on the other there are dance
shows: v.proffesional, interesting and enjoyable performed by wonderful dancers with this
typical costarican warmth. During the day there is a lot of activities, something for everybody
like yoga, dance lessons, bingo, ping-pong, riu art etc.
The beach is large and clean with dark sand, but a lot of people enjoyed it anyway.
The staff is amazing, very accomodating and extremely kind. We enjoyed our vacation a lot
and recomended to friends and family.

  • Stayed February 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Espanola, Ontario
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2013

As a new resort we expected some problems but what we experienced for problems were very minor. I have been on a number of all inclusive vacation but I have never experinced a staff this pleasant and catering to your every need I would name a few but it would not be just to the others I don't by name RIU must be proud of the staff they have. My only recommendation would be washrooms closer to pool area. The palace for us was very relaxing if you want to party more the Guanacaste would be were you want to stay. we stayed for 2 weeks food was great was not fond of the specialty restaurants the buffet and service were fantastic, if checking reviews believe in the positive ones.We booked all our tours on the beach with Luis which I would recommend more flexible and private downfall all payments are in cash no credit cards.
I will be returning.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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.

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Additional Information about Hotel Riu Palace Costa Rica

Address: Playa Matapalo, Sardinal, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Gulf of Papagayo > Sardinal
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 hotels in Sardinal
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Riu Palace Costa Rica 4*
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Hotel Riu Palace Costa Rica Guanacaste

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