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“Pick the midweek to stay” 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   |  
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Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Sardinal
Certificate of Excellence
Fairfield, Connecticut
Level Contributor
12 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Pick the midweek to stay”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2014

My family checked into the hotel on a busy Saturday afternoon. The lobby and the the grounds were buzzing with people of all ages. We found out that many of the weekend guests are locals coming up to the hotel for a weekend getaway.
The hotel was very nice. New construction with lots of marble and fancy touches everywhere. The room was also nice. Kind of on the small size but our family of four functioned well in it. The shower was large but the tub was seperated from the sleeping area by a curtain. Not much privacy for an intimate stay. The food in the four resturants was good to above average. You have to make reservations in three of them in the AM. They have a steak house , japanese and a fusion theme. The steakhouse was the best of the three in my opinion. We did not care much for the fusion one.There was plenty to choose from in the two large cafeteria style halls. The wait staff was very good. always there to clear the table or bring another adult beverage.
Each night we attended the shows in the caberet area. They were great! Wonderful dancers!!
The music was a DJ but overall the shows were very exciting and very well done. In addtion to the shows there is a small shopping area next to the hotel which includes a VERY SMALL casino. The shopping area is a cute venue but not a major draw to this hotel. The pools and beach area is the real attraction. Wonderful views of the pacific are just off the beach. A very short walk from the pools gets you to the beach. Small rollling waves and warm temps. Vendors on the beach are there to sell you everything from wooden bowls to day trips to SCUBA and sail and fish. We did not take advantage of these offers.

Be aware of the local infux of people on the weekends. The personality of the place changes completely. After the weekend, we stayed until wednesday, you could count the number of people in pools on your two hands. The food venues were nearly intolerable on Sunday with the crowds. Everyone was pleasant but the crowds and noise made for a less than perfect stay. During the week the crowds were gone and the feeling of the hotel took on a more intimate and personal feel. However, each day the pool staff did their best to engage the guests in poolside activities and contests. They were very good.

Room Tip: request a room nearer to the pool. it is very quite early on so you will not have to contend with la...
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  • Stayed August 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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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1,779 reviews from our community

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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
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (650)
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English first
Claysburg, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2014

Nine of us arrived at the Riu Palace, Costa Rica on Sat., Aug 16 and departed on Sat., Aug 23, 2014. We had read about some problems on Trip Advisor like some bees at the pool bar. Not true, we saw a few but no problem.

On Trip Advisor, we heard about the noise from the nightly entertainment. In most spots you could not hear it in the room. Our rooms were Courtyard View. In a few rooms near the entertainment, you could hear some of it, but it was over by 11pm. If you want away from the entertainment side, request rooms on the left side of the hotel facing the ocean.

Also, some complained about food, but we gave it a thumbs up, and we are Food Critics and write cookbooks and Cook for lots of people! The buffets by all means give a much larger selection, and the food is excellent.

Service from the staff was excellent and especially at the pool bar. All bartenders were top notch. Our hats go off to all of them, but a few exceptional ones were Eduardo, Luigi, Marlon, Nicole, and Julio. These people entertained as well as supplying refreshments.

The individual restaurants were above par - the Steakhouse, Krystal, Italian were great. Tokyo was good but not quite as good as the rest.

We took an all day trip with Apple/Swiss called the Mega Tour which included zip lining, a 1400' water slide, horseback riding, a mud spa and lunch for a full day event. It was the most entertaining side trip that we had ever taken in all of our travels which include a lot of places.

Also, we four guys did a deep sea private charter and were very successful with all catching fish and one of our buddies caught a 40# Mahi Mahi - yes, a 40# one on a half day trip!

The rooms and hotel overall was spotlessly clean. We saw staff continually cleaning. The front desk staff and all others were most accommodating.

Also, a hidden gem is at the main lobby where a little area has food and drinks - 24 hours a day like hot dogs, burgers, snacks, popcorn, breakfast in the morning, etc. It was a very active place where people could play cards, play games, watch TV or just relax.

Sometimes, I believe that reviews are only done by complainers or people who want to make a place look great. We are neither, but we are being truthful. This place is a gem. The layout is beautiful, lots of pools, beautiful beach, friendly staff, great food. All nine (9) of us agreed that this was our best trip to date.

Room Tip: On Trip Advisor, we heard about the noise from the nightly entertainment. In most spots you could n...
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  • Stayed August 2014, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Germantown, Maryland
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2014

The hotel was outstanding -- very clean, modern, ample public spaces, ample seating in pool area and main restaurants. The friendly staff go above and beyond to make your stay feel like you are at home. The trip was made ever more pleasant due to the extraordinary service we received on a daily basis from Mauricio Diaz and William Contreras (both of the Arenal restaurant). Mauricio knew what i and my family wanted/needed before we had a chance to ask. William always offered a warm smile and service with genuine care. The pool area is great -- offering five different pools to choose from. The great service extends to the pool area -- request David Soto when you are in the pool area. His service, smile and efficiency are worth asking for him. The theatre, casino, shops etc, all far exceeded my expectations. My family and i booked exercusions through Jose of Hotel Beds. His recommendations were spot on -- he could "read" my family members and i and knew what we would enjoy. My teenager daughter and I did ATV'ing and got to experience the natural beauty and wonderful people of Puta Verda. The icing on the cake was the all-day exrcusion to the Rio Perdido (Lost River) where we zip lined, water tubing down the river, massage, volcanic mud baths and soaking in the hot springs. Definitely experience the hidden oasis known as Rio Perdido. Now, I'll end with the food and drink. I have traveled a lot and experienced many all inclusive resorts. This resort, by far, surpasses others in its vast selections of food types and styles -- catering to every palette and every dietary need that may exist. The food was good, fresh and there are so many choices to pick from. The drinks are good and top shelf is included in the all-inclusive. The only "negative" i would say is the comfort of the beds. The beds were not the most comfortable but they served their purpose. My family and I thank the Riu Palace and the staff, especially Mauricio Diaz, William Contreras and David Soto for making our trip such an enjoyable one. I'm already checking the calendar looking for the dates to return to your great country.

  • Stayed August 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Arkansas
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2014

The Hotel was outstanding. Very clean and the staff was outstanding. The restaurants were all wonderful! We especially enjoyed our dinners and breakfast at the Arenal Restaurant. Our waitress Gina Mora was super and made us feel special each time we ate there! Just a wonderful all round experience! We would definitely enjoy returning someday and recommend the hotel highly!

  • Stayed August 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Level Contributor
33 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2014

This was one of the best hotels my family and I have stayed at. The check in all the way down to the beds were perfect. Food was great in ever restuarant! Massages were amazing! Pool was always clean and lots of beach chairs. Everyone friendly. Entertainment was awesome! I could go on and on about this hotel. We travel a lot but this hotel has everything covered!

Room Tip: I really don't know that any room would be bad at this hotel. It just depends on what you would...
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2014

We had seven people staying in this hotel. We are pleased to say that we enjoyed our stay at this hotel very much. The service of the staff was excellent. Our family is vegetarian so the staff of Arenal (one of the many great restaurants in the hotel) made sure we had an ample variety of foods. They specifically made special dishes for us every evening. We would like to specially thank Chef Christian, Mauricio, Jessica, Vanessa, and Christina. They went out of their way to make our stay "Pura Vida." The property grounds, pools, and beach are clean and beautiful. Furthermore, the rooms were clean and spacious. I would recommend this hotel to anyone.

Room Tip: Choose beach view rooms on the higher floors for a nicer view.
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  • Stayed August 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Grand Rapids, Minnesota
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2014

Second trip to Costa Rica to stay at the Riu Palace. Beautiful resort & great staff.
Special thanks to our server in the Arenal Buffet Gina Mora for making our dinner experience wonderful! She was very personable and kind. Our family remembered her from the year before, so happy to see her smiley face again!
Its those experiences that brought us back to Riu Palace.
In addition... a BIG thank you to all the activities staff. Our 4 children are again bringing wonderful memories back from a great vacation. The hotel is well maintained, food was amazing, Spa had top quality service and treatments.
Thumbs up for the Riu Palace for making a fun filled vacation destination for this Minnesota family.

Room Tip: Garden view king room... bed was an amazing, California king size. Greatly appreciated!
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  • Stayed August 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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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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 Casino and Gambling Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa 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*
Number of rooms: 538
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Hotel Riu Palace Costa Rica Guanacaste

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