As always, we were once again wowed at the opulence of a Riu Palace. Although the trees need to fill in considerably, and due to that there is very little shade to be found anywhere near the pool, it is still an amazingly beautiful resort. I am a big fan of the new look in the Riu rooms. Great colors and very clean lines and look. Again, major props there. We never had an issue sitting down to eat. The food was excellent as always and tons of choices to choose from. You ca. Never beat the dessert bar. :)
The pool area has to go down as my favorite of the Riu's we've stayed. Absolutely huge with numerous areas to sit and it never seemed crowded. They just need more personality working in the swim up bar. (See next paragraph)
Couple negatives and the first ill attribute to newness and growing pains, but the staff at this resort was not nearly as helpful or courteous as we've experienced over the years with Riu's. they seemed to not know what they could do to help with questions we may have had or what they were supposed to do to be generally courteous. One thing I've noticed staying at Riu's every year is whenever I pass an employee in the hall out outside, they always say hello. Not here. Head down and keep walking. We also had a couple of minor requests for the front desk that they made no effort to assist or even try to find a way to assist. The second item was, this is not a smoker friendly resort in any way. To smoke you must walk halfway down to the beach. Nowhere in the patios or in the resort. Although I found that this may be more of a Costa Rica thing than specific to this resort or a change in Riu's policies.
I am on the fence whether I like Costa Rica as a whole. The black sand beach is rough on the feet, especially when it's 98 degrees every day and the water isn't quite as clear as I prefer. But walking down the beach and seeing the howler monkeys every morning was awesome. As well, beyond what we experienced in the report, the people of Guanacaste are amazingly nice. They never seem to he putting on a fake smile and greeting just for the tourists sake. Genuine smiles and greetings everywhere. We were there during the dry season so looking out across brown dead grass and trees wasn't appealing at all. I realize we could have taken a 3 hour bus ride to the rain forest, but that just wasn't on our agenda.
Overall, great resort, iffy customer service and nice country.
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel Riu Palace Costa Rica Guanacaste