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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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Travel safe during COVID-19
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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 (1,010)1,010
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
Kid-friendly buffet
Swimup bar
Poolside bar
Entertainment staff
Evening entertainment
Table tennis
Nightclub / DJ
Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly)
Kids club
Airport transportation
Car hire
Taxi service
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
24-hour front desk
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
Hotel links
Special Offer:Receive 500 free points
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Popular mentions
Dubb C wrote a review Jun 16
Indianapolis, Indiana28 contributions4 helpful votes
This is not my first time at their resorts, however this is by far the worst experience I’ve ever had, at one of their resorts. First things first their staff, they were simply just the greatest people and most pleasant people to ever be around, they never had frowned faces, nor did they complain. Hence why they got a 2 out of 5 stars. However there was one young man that did not follow protocol and he did invade my privacy while being there the first night. Upon coming into the room, the room was not very clean as far as the floor it was rather dirty, not saying that the room itself wasn’t clean it was just the floors were really dirty. Also I came in wanting to get the air travel off of me, so I wanted to take a shower, so I went in ahead and got ready to get inside of the shower and the shower head wasn’t functioning properly so I had my partner to call down and let someone know, & they sent someone up to the room immediately, unbeknownst to me that they would be coming and refusing to leave the room while I showered. So I heard the door knock it was housekeeping, & my partner went to answer the door, she told him that I was in the shower, & I would be out soon, but he wanted to clean the room, so he refused to leave the room, as he was waiting he proceeded to clean the toilet area while I was still in the shower, then someone else knocked which was the maintenance guy, she told him also that I was showering he waited outside. Still the housekeeping guy was in the room, did not leave, he began to start cleaning the room, after she had just finished telling him that I was still in the shower. So when I got out of the shower, I told him that I needed to dry off and could he leave out. He again wouldn’t leave what he did was stood at the propped open door, inside the room. So I couldn’t get dressed, so I just sat on the bed, I then told him to go ahead and finish since he refused to leave, while waiting on him to finish cleaning what he needed to clean. I have ALL of this on video. So I went on ahead and let the other guy which was maintenance come on in and get the shower head replaced he came in and left directly out after replacing the shower head. So needless to say I was very embarrassed, and also uncomfortable while being in the resort after that. I then went out to enjoy the rest of the day came back to my room which was not cool at all, I didn’t know if we had did anything but I know we didn’t take the key out of the wall, so the room should have been cool still, it was not. So I called down they sent someone up to the ro they changed the filter which was awfully black and also he changed something out with the thermostat, after that it was running like a well oiled machine. The morning before we are about to leave we had to go and get our COVID-19 test, so we left the room to go and get that. We came back up to the room, to get dressed then we were going to go to breakfast and then the beach. Well getting up to the room, we couldn’t get in so we automatically thought we may have deactivated our cards so we went down to the front desk and got it reactivated only to come back to the room and the key still not work, I saw a housekeeper and asked her to let me in, she couldn’t get in either. So by this time I was hot and bothered I went back to the front desk, and I had to sit there for a while because I had to keep telling the receptionist that it wasn’t me deactivating the card something was wrong with the door. So I went on back up to the room, sat in the extremely hot hallway, waiting on maintenance, once they came, they had to go to the room across from me because they couldn’t get in either. They climbed over the balcony, & then they had to unscrew my lock on my patio to get inside of my room. They finally got in, & then we were able to get up off of the floor, & go into the room. By this time it had been over an 1 1/2 we had been sitting outside. By the time they were done with the door it had been at least 2 hours. Needless to say this was not a great experience, at this point, I had spoke to the night shift manager he reassured me that he would get the situation handled. Well he didn’t. Now a 2 months later guess what they send me a free 500 reward points, saying that they apologize. The sad part about this is they think this is reconciliation for me being invaded and they just don’t care. NEVER, go to the RIU, it will be the worst experience of your life. There’s other resorts that I will go with like Sandals or others. This is NOT the place.
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Date of stay: May 2021Trip type: Traveled as a couple
Room Tip: Chose another resort, just don’t waste your time! Anything that isn’t right their going to blame...
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PVRLoverOhio wrote a review Jun 15
Ohio3 contributions1 helpful vote
I recently stayed at the RIU palace for 8 nights with my 16 year old and 19 year old and had a wonderful vacation. The activities staff...especially Leida, Greivin and Johan...were excellent. They got everyone involved and made our stay especially fun. The waiters...Slayter, Paul, Dennis, Victor, actually all of them are excellent and work very hard. Of course things weren't completing up to par due to COVID but I gave 5 stars because everyone worked hard to make sure we had a great vacation and I have no complaints. We took a tour with Marco Polo who you can find on the beach to the right. He did an AMAZING job with our Buena Vista excursion and took lots of pics for us. I highly recommend Marco. Also, I had 2 massages and my daughter had 1 from Rebecca at the beach. It's $35/hour for relaxing or $39/hour for deep tissue. We both received deep tissue massages and they were incredible. Rebecca can be found at the beach to the left. My kids made lots of friends at the resort and we all want to return. Costa Rica is a beautiful country and the people are so kind and welcoming! Thank you RIU Palace and staff!!!!
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Date of stay: May 2021
1 Helpful vote
eeeeee wrote a review Jun 13
27 contributions5 helpful votes
The location of the resort was perfect to really experience Costa Rica as it was not in a row of other resorts. The staff work very hard- all of them from the cleaning staff to the groundskeepers to the entertainment staff The waiters were great, John Paul, Victor, Barillo just to name a few. You need to order strong or extra to actually get a buzz- but that is with a lot of resorts. If you ask them for suggestions, they will find something you like. It was weird to not have a menu like other resorts but we still found plenty to drink. There are plenty of activities all day to keep people busy. Adriana, Leda & Johan were a lot of fun and even got our teenager to join the activities! There was soooo much food to choose from so if you can't find something you like you are being too picky. You have to remember you are not in the US so the food will taste different but it was still really good. It was frustrating to have to be in line for the specialty restaurants to get in at 6:00 but was not a big deal and we got in each night. They make authentic lunches grilled right by the pool and they were great as well as different drinks. Our room was on the 4th floor with an ocean view and it was extremely loud every night with the entertainment so that was annoying. The rooms are weird with the bathtub right out in the open (that most people probably never even use) and yes they could use an upgrade but imagine how much work it would be to get the necessary supplies to the area. We really only slept and showered in the room anyway so it was ok. The coffee shop did not open until 10 AM (Riu- you may want to rethink that!) There was a coffee machine that made specialty coffee but it was broken most of our stay. I was very excited to experience coffee in Costa Rica and sadly did not get a lot as by 10 AM we were on an excursion or drinking on the beach. The beach has a beautiful view and the vendors will hound you to buy but if you nicely say no they will leave you alone. We did get some jewelry that was hand made on the beach by Ruth with the pink hat (ask for her!) She was very sweet and gave us a great deal. I also fed a monkey on the beach which was fun! We did an excursion with Esteban and it was AMAZING! You can find him on the beach in a black shirt as well. Costa Rican people are so nice and we had a great vacation. When reading reviews you need to remember vacation is what you make it and no place is exactly perfect. Traveling during Covid was not bad. no 24 hour room service but they have a snack bar with plenty of great options for everyone. They are doing their best to keep covid out. We had an antigen test at it was free so that was great too! The entertainment was subpar but I assume some of that is from covid as well. It was still nice to have a show to watch each night. I would recommend this resort- it has enough for everyone!
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Date of stay: June 2021
Sleep Quality
Room Tip: If you want an ocean view ask for one away from the stage if you want to sleep early or have...
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1 Helpful vote
randyr2988 wrote a review Jun 10
Irvington6 contributions20 helpful votes
Nice place to stay, food selection isn’t the greatest. The drinks are decent but limited in a sense (meaning a lot of drinks they either don’t have available or don’t know how to make them) the rooms are decent. Very clean. Not enough ac throughout the facility if you ask me. For as hot as it gets outside it should be much more ventilation in my opinion
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Date of stay: June 2021Trip type: Traveled as a couple
1 Helpful vote
Response from RIU Hotels and Resorts, Owner at Hotel Riu Palace Costa Rica
Responded 4 days ago
Dear randyr2988, Thank you very much for choosing us and for sharing your review. From your comments we understand that you weren’t completely satisfied with your stay, which we regret to hear. Your words will be taken into account as we understand that there is always room for improvement. 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. Have a lovely day, Hotel Riu Palace Costa Rica Online Reputation Manager
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scandell wrote a review Jun 9
new york12 contributions14 helpful votes
Had a good time at this hotel. As with any thing there were some pros and cons. My biggest con was the ocean view room. Room had a musty and raw sewage smell (someone in my travel group who had the same raw sewage smell in their room recommended that I keep toilet room door closed and that did help some. Others in my group didn't have the raw sewage smell at first but as trip wore on they began to experience it). I am very sensitive to smells, so my first night the combination of both smells kept me awake, and I had to put on some Vicks to overpower it so I could sleep, had to do that every night. When we checked in, the room was only surface clean, floor looked like it needed to be swept and mopped. The surfaces did look freshly wiped down and an inspection of bed linens showed they were clean and fresh. The furniture was modernish but dated, looks like the maintain it by painting it regularly. The shower stall is glass blocks and many of the shower blocks were cracked. The piece de resistance was the dead bug on the ceiling directly over my bed. I was tempted to attempt to take it down, but wasn't worth the risk of trying to jump up to get it, so did my best to avert looking it every night and hopedit didn't fall on me. I guess looking up is not part of the cleaning protocols. Bugs were a regular feature in my room. They weren't too big or annoying so didn't bother me too much, but if you don't like bugs, beware. Depending on the side of the hotel you are on, the ocean view room can be directly over the entertainment area. My room was over the entertainment area and the evening entertainment would be very loud, but usually ended around 10:30. So between the smells and loud entertainment, sleep was very difficult. Again, my room was biggest disappoint of my stay. The grounds of the hotel are immaculately kept perfectly. Clearly that is where they decided to focus, but the rooms are in need of a refurbish. Second con, was that many food options were salty. Whether it was the buffet or the specialty restaurants we encountered several over salted dishes. In the buffet, we would just stop eating the item and go get something else and hope it was less salty, was able to food other less salty options. Overall the dining experience was good. Restaurants offered a good variety and I didn't go hungry. The most unpleasant dining experience was Papagayo for dinner. For lunch it is a good buffet option. But for dinner, it's a steakhouse. Went one night for dinner. There's no menu on display nor printed menus. They seat you, offer beverages, then you wait. Eventually they bring you a caesar salad (beware the caesar salad offered every where at the resort comes with bacon, I don't eat bacon). I then had to wait for them to bring me a salad without bacon. Eventually someone comes and tells you the menu options. The night we went they weren't very busy, but we did a lot of waiting. As soon as we finished entrees we left to go have coffee and dessert at the buffet. The biggest pro was the service. From the moment we checked in until we checked out never had a bad interaction with anyone that worked there. Everyone was pleasant and friendly. Someone was right there to help with our bags and pointed out that room keys were needed to operate room lights. At the pool side they were very attentive and made sure we always had a beverage. Shout out to Jose and Olger at the pool for being beyond excellent. Covid protocols were enforced 99% of the time. All staff wore masks at all times, hand sanitizer was required before entering restaurants and they required guests to put on masks before being serviced. The 1% of the time was at the pool bar. I noticed that they would request most people to put on a mask before being serviced, but they were several times when they were inconsistent with enforcing that policy. Would I go back or recommend, yes. But I wouldn't go back or recommend you go unless it's at great rate.
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Date of stay: June 2021
Sleep Quality
Room Tip: Some ocean view rooms overlook entertainment area, so after booking contact them to determine...
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Response from RIU Hotels and Resorts, Owner at Hotel Riu Palace Costa Rica
Responded 4 days ago
Dear scandell, Thank you very much for choosing us and for sharing your review about your last stay with us. While we are truly happy to see you enjoyed your overall stay with us and that you appreciated our staff members dedicated service, we are sorry to read that we did not meet up with your expectations on several points, especially regarding the room cleaning. We would have liked to have been informed about your inconveniences during your stay so our team member could have helped you to enjoy a more pleasant holiday. Please rest assured that we will communicate all of your valuable feedback with our management team for an appropriate follow up. Thank you again for your feedback and hope to host you someday again. 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 (0.4 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 Sentido Norte Restaurant, Restaurante Mar Azul, and Toucanoos.
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.