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Hotel Riu Palace Costa Rica

Playa Matapalo, Sardinal Costa Rica
COVID-19 update: See the added health and safety measures this property is taking.Read more
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Traveler (6737)
Panoramas (21)
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Travel safe during COVID-19
What you can expect during your stay
  • All linens sanitized in high-temperature wash
  • Face masks required for guests in public areas
  • Face masks required for staff in public areas
  • Floors marked for social distancing
  • Hand sanitizer available to guests & staff
  • Paid stay-at-home policy for staff with symptoms
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Updated 06/18/20 Safety precautions are provided by the property and are not checked by Tripadvisor for accuracy.
A note from Hotel Riu Palace Costa Rica
Updated 06/18/20 Safety precautions are provided by the property and are not checked by Tripadvisor for accuracy.


#1 of 2 hotels in Sardinal
Travelers' Choice
The 24-hour all-inclusive Hotel Riu Palace Costa Rica opens all year round and is located directly on the beautiful Matapalo beach. Our guests may use the facilities in the sister Hotel Riu Guanacaste, except dinner meal. RIU Palace is the most elegant category in the RIU hotel chain, with hotels that meet the highest standards in terms of luxury, excellence and sophistication, creating a unique experience. The location is ideal due to its proximity to Daniel Oduber Airport LIR (33 km) and Playas del Coco (18 km) and invites you to explore the area. The hotel has 538 cozily furnished rooms with free Wi-Fi and offers many amenities. Relax in our spa, or get in shape at the fitness center. 4 outdoor pools, 1 children's pool. Day and evening entertainment, as well as our Pacha Discotheque. For lovers of gastronomy, we offer live cooking stations at our main restaurant, Japanese, Italian, Fusion restaurant and Steakhouse, as well as 6 bars and our Cappuccino patisserie & ice cream parlor.
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Room & Suite (976)976
Full view
Property amenities
Free parking
Free internet
Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room
Bar / lounge
Casino and Gambling
Pool / beach towels
Infinity pool
Pool with view
Outdoor pool
Fitness classes
Breakfast available
Breakfast buffet
Swimup bar
Poolside bar
Entertainment staff
Evening entertainment
Table tennis
Nightclub / DJ
Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly)
Kids club
Airport transportation
Car hire
Business Center with Internet Access
Conference facilities
Banquet room
Meeting rooms
Couples massage
Facial treatments
Foot massage
Full body massage
Head massage
24-hour security
Baggage storage
Currency exchange
Gift shop
Sun loungers / beach chairs
Sun terrace
Sun umbrellas
Dry cleaning
Laundry service
Ironing service
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Room features
Private balcony
Room service
VIP room facilities
Laptop safe
Flatscreen TV
Room types
Ocean view
Good to know
Great View
Languages Spoken
5,771Reviews1,793Q+A100Room tips
Traveler rating
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Popular mentions
Alejandro Montoya wrote a review Sep 14
Grecia, Costa Rica1 contribution
I am delighted to extend this review and thank Mr. Carlos Eduardo Rugama -restaurant supervisor- for his quality and attention provided during my stay at Riu Palace Costa Rica. Making sure myself and everybody-else's experience met all expectations and beyond. Kind and welcoming hotel staff, following health precautions and Covid-19 controls. Definitely looking forward to visit this resort again in the near future. Big thank you!
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Date of stay: September 2020Trip type: Traveled with friends
zerjzuw wrote a review Aug 2020
San Jose, Costa Rica22 contributions11 helpful votes
Full week in the jacuzzi room, Really, I thought it was going to be a great stay, the room was nice though it was outdated, the food was average, some restaurants closed and no 24h service... then the service at the reception was the worst I’ve ever seen, people attending in the bars were awful, and don’t you dare to call the reception at night or you’ll be rushed to cut the call with no empathy, it’s hard to believe that after paying thousands $$ for a week in the best room available would go to this kind of service...
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Date of stay: July 2020Trip type: Traveled as a couple
Response from Riu Hotels and Resorts, Owner at Hotel Riu Palace Costa Rica
Responded Aug 10, 2020
Dear Guest, Thank you for staying with us and for sharing your experience! We are so sorry to hear that your stay with us was not the best and your comment about our service comes as a surprise. We want all our guest to feel welcomed as soon as they step into our hotel. Please accept our apology that this was not your case. We will certainly follow up on this as it does not reflect our usual standards. We sincerely hope that you would still consider staying with us in the future and give us a chance to deliver a more enjoyable experience With our best wishes we remain, Hotel Riu Palace Costa Rica Online Reputation Manager
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MacFamily7777 wrote a review May 2020
Calgary, Canada146 contributions73 helpful votes
After much research of resorts in Costa Rica we decided to try the Riu Palace. It's situated in a lovely secluded part of Costa Rica, surrounded by forests and a nice long beach. There is so much to share about this hotel, so I'll try to summarize. - Riu Palace VS Riu Guanacaste, we walked over to the sister resort and glad we decided to book at the Palace. The Palace was less crowded, newer, the pool area was in better shape, better access to shade, nicer pools. We could walk over there to use the older resort, but they could not come to the Palace. - Food: The food was OK. I was expecting better. We had waited in line to eat at the Japanese as we heard such good things about it and we felt the food was so so at best. We could not figure out what all the hype was about. Same for the Fusion restaurant, all of our dishes were not great. The steak house was our favourite. But coming from Alberta we were hoping to try more local dishes and not eat more steak while on vacation! - Rooms: The rooms already need updating. Lots of knicks here and there. our room safe did not work and this too forever to finally get fixed. Our rooms key card kept de-magnitizing, so it meant long walks back to the front desk to have this figured out. For our family of 4, we got 2 hotel rooms, as traveling with teens and all 4 of us in a room is no longer fun! I highly recommend this to any family that can do this. The beds in the rooms were ok for one, I could not imagine sharing those beds with my teenage kids for a week. Plus, everyone had the space they needed. Our room was 2095 and we had a garden view, so we looked out on to the pools. Across the hall from us was 2105 and that would have also been quiet (looking out onto the forest) I believe and probably cheaper. I would recommend trying to get a room on this side of the resort or else you will hear VERY loud music from the shows at night. We brought a white noise machine to use in each room and I would also recommend doing that. - Entertainment: The shows were OK at best. The stage area is quite crammed so go early to get a seat. The dance team was great, they went on stage every night and did their best which was nice, my kids enjoyed the shows. One dancer, Veronica, was clearly pregnant and she was just a star on stage, smiling and amazing. One other dancer, Erica, honestly looked grumpy on stage, never smiled, it was a shame as it was very noticeable and weird! The best dancer on stage was Daniel, he stole every show! - Pools: the pools are amazing! Very large and clean. Lots of shade and chairs available at all times of the day which is the first time ever on a resort I've experienced this! Junior was an amazing drink waiter by the pool, always smiling and regularly coming by to see if we needed anything. Johan was so engaging with games by the pool. My kids participated in many activities and this is gave us many fond memories! - Beach: The beach is public, but there are resort chairs to use. The sand was grainy but not too bad. The water was fabulous, you could go in without water shoes as no ricks. Also no seaweed like Mexico, so we actually swam in the ocean a lot! You can take really nice long walks (about 45 minutes one way) to get some exercise with amazing scenery. This is also where we fed the monkeys! - Kids area: We walked by this area a few times on the way to the buffet. Even though my kids are older now I always like to check as we used to use the Kids daycare a lot. The pool was super tiny and the room looked small as well (but I never actually went inside). We never really saw many kids there. From what I could tell the hours were very sporadic. However, there were kids on stage every night before the adult show started, so there must have been some activities going on during the day. - Front desk: Mostly helpful staff. Line ups went fast. Johnny was the best associate to deal with. He always made sure our inquiries were attended to. Unlike Daniel at the front desk, was rude and made me feel like I was bothering him. Not cool. - Flight: we flew with Sunwing. It was our first time flying with that carrier. We had no issues except awful food on board we had pre-paid for. The bus from the airport to the resort was nice and air conditioned. The road is so small and very winding, up and down so if your easily car sick take LOTS of gravol. One man had to get off the bus and was sick at the side of the road, ugh! Our Sunwing Rep, Smiley, was good at sharing information. The one negative was going to see him after for a separate question, waiting 25 minutes in the hotel lobby and then when he was free being asked if I had made an appointment? He saw me standing there, he could have checked if I had an appointment as now I had already wasted 25 minutes in the lobby AND had to come back later int he day, not cool. Be mindful of your audience and there were many opportunities while couples were deciding on tours for him to just check in with the few people standing around. The highlight of out trip was the New Year's party on the beach, wow! Both hotels combined, so there were a ton of people. It was the best dance party I've been to since my University days! The had a HUGE stage, screens, live dancers, fireworks. It was quite the production and I could not believe my eyes. We would definitely return to this resort.
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Date of stay: January 2020
Room Tip: Be sure to have a room AWAY from the nightly shows. So loud! Our room was 2095 and this was better.
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2 Helpful votes
Response from RiuHotelsandResorts, Online Reputation Manager at Hotel Riu Palace Costa Rica
Responded May 17, 2020
Dear MacFamily7777, Thank you for thoroughly reviewing your stay with us. It is great to hear that you enjoyed the wildlife that surrounds our resort as well as the large pool and beach areas. We are, however, disappointed to learn about the inconveniences that you encountered and would like to assure you that our staff works on a daily basis to keep our facilities well maintained and that all our rooms are built considering the legal requirements regarding insulation. We will share all your comments with our leadership team and we sincerely hope you will consider staying with us in the future. With our best wishes we remain, Hotel Riu Palace Costa Rica Online Reputation Manager
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Kevin1962060 wrote a review Apr 2020
Norwich, United Kingdom710 contributions111 helpful votes
We moved to this hotel from the Riu Guanacaste next door 3 days into our stay due to low occupancy in the hotel. The room was excellent with a great view and balcony. The room had a walk in shower and a bath and was quite a large room. The food in the ala carte and buffet restaurants was excellent with a great selection. The bars did lovely drinks and cocktails which we made the most off. Upstairs they had a coffee lounge with pastries and cakes which we visited late afternoon before returning to our room to shower for the evening out. The entertainment was good and well organised. The pool area was good with lots of sun beds and different pools to relax by. We were always quickly served at the pool bar during the day although they had drinks waiters around the pool bringing drinks. The daytime food restaurant was very good with different food sections to cater for all. Hot food included burgers,hot dogs and chips with many other choices chicken,fish,chilli,cheese sauce and a Chinese section with a hot food and sushi section too. They always had fruit,cakes and ice cream. Drinks to serve yourself including soft drinks,beer and a coffee machine. We did go on a rainforest trip and was going into Coco beach but this was closing due to the pandemic. The hotel had a few return trips to Coco beach everyday which were chargeable. The last few days it was mainly only British people as most others had gone home due to the virus around the world. The staff were all very nice and we would highly recommend the hotel.
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Date of stay: March 2020Trip type: Traveled as a couple
1 Helpful vote
Response from RiuHotelsandResorts, Online Reputation Manager at Hotel Riu Palace Costa Rica
Responded Apr 29, 2020
Dear Kevin1962060, We greatly appreciate your review. We are so pleased to hear you enjoyed our excellent rooms, the selection of food and drinks as well as the entertainment programme. Our enthusiastic team cannot wait to share with you another wonderful experience! With our best wishes we remain, Hotel Riu Palace Costa Rica Online Reputation Manager
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Denise R wrote a review Apr 2020
16 contributions1 helpful vote
This Palace was wonderful. We loved the pools, jacuzzi in-room, grounds were awesome, and food at buffet and special restaurants were delicious! Anyone who says the food is mediocre should not do all inclusive's because buffets are hard to maintain, keep variety up, and excellent recipes; this buffet was top notch. The Steak House by the pool was a hit and miss, One night, steak sirloin was tough, the next night the filet was great. Seems like they change steak cuts from night to night? The black beach was very cool! We never saw one before. Closer to the ocean, where the surf comes in, the sand is black all because of volcano ash. People were disappointed that it wasn’t a fluffy perfect sand, but Riu didn’t advertise that and we weren’t looking for that. We wanted to experience beaches that are affected by volcanos. The Riu entertainment was not as good and Jamaica, or Mexican Riu’s. I think those kids work so hard in the entertainment and activities department, I just think some of those shows are getting kinda old if you are a fan of Riu resorts. There were 2 Riu’s next to each other so sometimes you had to go to the other Riu to see the show, no big deal, but rather stay at the Riu I’m staying at so I can stay put at night, shorter walk at night as well. The check in was fast, always a plus. But we have had really bad luck with Riu room assignment, and we have been Riu club members for a while now, plus we stayed at Riu’s before we became members. The reason why we joined their membership club was to get better room placement when we got in. We love most things about Riu’s except the way they give out rooms. First, if you don’t go through their website for reservations, then they don’t allow you to use it for complaints or concerns. You have to go through your travel agent and they do not get any voice with Riu. You must have a reservation # that matches the ones their website uses when customer’s place orders with them direct, so it is very hard getting into their site with questions or concerns on up coming trips. If you are like us, and there is not a lot of choices for direct flights, you have to book through a travel agent. If you do this, they really don’t care that you are a Riu club member. Their pattern is usually the same, if you come in too late, you get leftovers. We figure they accommodate any customer’s complaints about their room right away and the give anyone who complains are given a better room, but it takes away the good room from the people that come in later. They rarely follow instruction we ask for in the reservation. We are an older group and wanted to be closer to the pools so not to be bother with noise from Theatre or cafeteria. We had 8 couples, 4 rooms, and only one room was close to the pool, the others were way too close to the cafeteria, ON THE FIRST FLOOR, next to the noise. And this is after we emailed many times (I was able to get the Riu Palace Costa Rica’s email direct access, but that was after many tries to get thru to someone in their customer care center. We have been to other chains and it does seem it's more to our liking since they seem to give rooms at the time you make the reservation. We reserve our hotel plans in July in the year before, and still we are the same as last minute reservations since the Riu main office doesn’t give any reservations to the hotel until about 10 days before. We get the same treatment as someone who gets in last minute. So I think your best bet to be better treatment is to be a Riu Club member and always make the reservation through Riu website. This time it wasn’t to bad, but we have has some terrible choices for our room assignment. We’er going to start checking out other chains. The (2) chains we did other than Riu did good both times, we just like Riu layout better, but we had fun at the other (2) places.
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Date of stay: February 2020
Sleep Quality
Room Tip: Check review, Riu is terrible at room assignment, all you can do is complain if they give you...
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Response from RiuHotelsandResorts, Online Reputation Manager at Hotel Riu Palace Costa Rica
Responded Apr 30, 2020
Dear DeniseR3181, Thank you for sharing your recent experience at our Hotel Riu Palace Costa Rica! First of all, we would like to take this opportunity to thank you for being such a loyal guest of RIU Hotels & Resorts and a RIU Class Member. Although we are delighted you enjoyed our gastronomy and facility services, we are concerned about your comments and we hope for your understanding that, although we always do our best to meet the special requests of our RIU Class members, room allocation is subject to availability at the time of the visit. We are very sorry to learn that you left our hotel thinking otherwise and would like to assure you that all our RIU Class members are really important to us. Please rest assured that we have shared your comments with the relevant department for a proper follow-up. It is our sincerest hope to have the opportunity to welcome you back in the future once this difficult times are over, so that we can provide you with a better experience. Stay safe until then, Cordially, Hotel Riu Palace Costa Rica Online Reputation Manager
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$217 - $483 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Costa RicaProvince of GuanacasteGulf of PapagayoSardinal
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Frequently Asked Questions about Hotel Riu Palace Costa Rica
Which popular attractions are close to Hotel Riu Palace Costa Rica?
Nearby attractions include Monkey's Bar & Restaurant (0.5 miles), Playas del coco (3.9 miles), and Playa Danta (4.1 miles).
What are some of the property amenities at Hotel Riu Palace Costa Rica?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include a swimup bar, a pool, and an on-site restaurant.
What food & drink options are available at Hotel Riu Palace Costa Rica?
Guests can enjoy a swimup bar, an on-site restaurant, and a lounge during their stay.
Is parking available at Hotel Riu Palace Costa Rica?
Yes, free parking is available to guests.
What are some restaurants close to Hotel Riu Palace Costa Rica?
Conveniently located restaurants include Toucanoos, Restaurante Mar Azul, and Sentido Norte Restaurant.
Are there opportunities to exercise at Hotel Riu Palace Costa Rica?
Yes, guests have access to a pool, a fitness center, and fitness classes during their stay.
Does Hotel Riu Palace Costa Rica have an airport shuttle?
Yes, Hotel Riu Palace Costa Rica offers an airport shuttle for guests. We recommend calling ahead to confirm details.
Are any cleaning services offered at Hotel Riu Palace Costa Rica?
Yes, dry cleaning and laundry service are offered to guests.
Does Hotel Riu Palace Costa Rica offer any business services?
Yes, it conveniently offers a business center, meeting rooms, and a banquet room.
Does Hotel Riu Palace Costa Rica have any great views?
Yes, guests often enjoy the ocean view available here.
Is Hotel Riu Palace Costa Rica accessible?
Yes, it offers wheelchair access and facilities for disabled guests. For specific inquiries, we recommend calling ahead to confirm.