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“Excellent Service at Riu Palace Costa Rica!” 5 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
Hamden, Connecticut, United States
1 review
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Excellent Service at Riu Palace Costa Rica!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2014

Mid august 18 of us visited Riu Palace all inclusive in Costa Rica. The grounds were immaculate. As was the pool. The noon pool side barbecue was delicious. From shrimp and steak and chicken to guacamole to sides. We looked forward to that every day. The amenities were superb. No money is really needed on the resort as tips and all food is included in the all inclusive price paid. We had a suite and it was huge! With a jacuzzi on the patio and in the room also Yes 2. Also a walk in shower and separate toilet. Top notch in terms of decor. The service was exceptional and really made the trip. The entire staff was friendly and on first name basis with the guests. They were accommodating in every way. Two couples traveling with us were celebrating their 10th year wedding anniversary and we hosted a pajama party in their honor in our suite. Jairo the manager set the entire party up for us. sent up food and drinks and cakes in advance and even decorated the room! For no additional cost. He also sent up a server to serve the party and all we had to do was tip him. Excellent time we had. A group of the fellas with us went on a fishing trip. Upon return they brought back what they caught and the kitchen staff cooked it up deliciously for us to have for dinner! There was a nominal fee of $5 per person for this. The hotel arranged for a private tour for our group for a small fee. we didn't have to travel with others on excursions. Free wifi, the monkey bar on the beach, the massages on the beach. The exhilarating Mega combo of horse back riding, man made mountain water slide, zip lining, the lunch on the organic farm, the mud bath and hot springs. Fun, adventurous and exhilarating. They printed our boarding passes to return home. they were most accommodating to the guests. And this really made the difference. I personally want to thank Jairo and the Riu Palace staff for a memorable vacation and the love and service extended to us all! Here is to COSTA RICO RIU PALACE!!! The only small issue is that the air conditioner didn't work that well. It was hot but you get used to it after a few days!

  • Stayed August 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,354 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 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (502)
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New Jersey
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2014

Me and my boyfriend originally booked a room at the Riu Guanacaste but it was overbooked so we got upgraded to the Palace. We will definitely be booking at the palace on our next visit. The hotel was clean, the staff was fantastic and the food was good for the most part. Finding a place to have a cigarette is a bit inconvenient if you're a smoker but not the worst. The only thing we weren't happy with was that there isn't a bar open 24 hours so we had to take the walk over to the Riu Guanacaste's sports bar since we're not really fans of drinking in our room.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
New Braunfels, Texas, United States
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2014

This hotel was fairly new with very nice amenities. The pools were nice and not crowded except on the weekends when their is an influx of locals. We stayed there from August 2-August 10 with a family of 5. The restaurants are good and the buffet had more selection and better food than most all inclusive resorts. The quality of the liquor and wine was also better. Service was excellent all around. The only restaurant besides the buffet that you do not have to make a reservation is the Italian restaurant and my kids age 13, 12 and 3 found it to be their favorite. You can order off of the menu or eat off their small buffet which was really good. The beach was not crowed at all and a short walk down to the Monkey Bar in the afternoon around 3:30 or 4 is a must if you want to see the Holler Monkeys. We did many excursions and the best way and least expensive is to walk to the beach and find Rolando or his brother Juan Carlos with Brothers Adventures. They are the absolute best and give personal service if you want to do excursions without the big crowds. Ask for their tour guide Alex...you won't be disappointed. He took us on every one of our tour and went above and beyond what the tour usually includes. They will also customize tours for you such as what we did. Alex took us to 3 VERY DIFFERENT beaches one day so that we could see the diversity of the landscape. Shell beach and snorkeling there is a must! Do not rent a car as most of the places to go and see are off the beat and path and you will not find them without help. Use Alex with Brothers. Be All in all the best family vacation so far. There is so much to do off of the resorts and the resort is fabulous!!

Room Tip: We had a 2 room family suite that was perfect for a family of 5!!! It overlooked the courtyard and...
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  • Stayed August 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2014 via mobile

The hotel, the view, the water are great. The service is excellent. Our morning waiter, Gina Mora was very attentive. We told our preferences on the first morning and she had it ready for us every morning! This really made a difference in feeling welcomed. Thank you Gina Mora.

  • Stayed August 2014
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Fairfield, Connecticut
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
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.
Claysburg, Pennsylvania
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
17 helpful votes 17 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
1 helpful vote 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.
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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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