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Riu Guanacaste Boulevard, Playa Matapalo 60602 Costa Rica
COVID-19 update: See the added health and safety measures this property is taking.Read more
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Traveler (9347)
Pool & Beach (1812)
Videos (3)
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 Guanacaste
Updated 06/18/20 Safety precautions are provided by the property and are not checked by Tripadvisor for accuracy.


The 24h All Inclusive Hotel Riu Guanacaste opens all year round and is located directly on the beautiful, fine-sandy Matapalo beach, in the Playas del Coco region, next to the Riu Palace Costa Rica. The location is ideal because of its proximity to Daniel Oduber Airport LIR (33 km) and Playa del Coco (18km) and invites you to explore the area. The hotel has 701 cosily furnished rooms with free Wi-Fi and offers many amenities. Relax in the Renova Spa, or get fit at the gym or on the tennis courts. 3 outdoor pools, 1 children's pool. For the youngest guests, there is the RiuLand Kids Club (for children from 4 to 7 years & 8 to 12 years old) and for adults, day and evening entertainment, as well as the Pacha Discotheque. For lovers of gastronomy, we offer live cooking stations at our main restaurant, various specialty restaurants with Asian and Italian cuisine, gourmet restaurant, Steakhouse, and 5 bars.
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Room & Suite (781)781
Full view
Property amenities
Free parking
Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room
Bar / lounge
Casino and Gambling
Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly)
Hot tub
Pool / beach towels
Outdoor pool
Fitness / spa locker rooms
Breakfast available
Breakfast buffet
Swimup bar
Poolside bar
Tennis court
Entertainment staff
Evening entertainment
Table tennis
Nightclub / DJ
Kids club
Kids' outdoor play equipment
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
24-hour front desk
Dry cleaning
Laundry service
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Room features
Air conditioning
Private balcony
Flatscreen TV
Room types
Ocean view
Family rooms
Good to know
Great View
Languages Spoken
8,688Reviews1,961Q+A100Room tips
Traveler rating
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Popular mentions
Lubica H. wrote a review Sep 8
Toronto, Canada80 contributions11 helpful votes
Even though it’s not the best time for travelling, it’s still a good time for planning your next trip. Here goes my tip. Costa Rica was on my bucket list for years and a dropped price at the end of November last year was a clear signal to try this destination. The flight was comfortable (no food though) and the cheerful young lady – a representative of Sunwing in Costa Rica with an interesting nick name “Charlie” made the trip from the airport to the Riu Guanacaste resort very enjoyable. The complex is big but well-designed and attractive with a lot of green. The hotel is a bit old and needs some upgrade, but rooms are spacious and comfortable. We got a room on the fifth floor with a view towards forest and the very first morning, I was lucky to see a black monkey jumping on the trees. What an amazing experience! After living in a very quiet part of the hotel for two days, my friend and I were interested in an ocean view, asked for it and couldn’t believe our dream came true on the fourth day of our stay, with no additional cost. Thank you, hotel management, for accommodating us. It was a fantastic gesture! Truly appreciated! Now, what we liked and what we didn’t like much… Food was tasty but being spoiled by Mexican and Jamaican huge choices of meals, we were slightly disappointed at the beginning. This completely changed ones we “discovered” A la Carte restaurants. We checked out all four and loved both the food and service. A few words about the beach and swimming. If you are looking for a calm water, this is probably not the right place for you. A bit windy weather was to blame for waves almost throughout the whole stay. Anyway, it depends on how good swimmer you are – my friend was swimming all the time while I was sometimes scared and didn’t go far. The beach is wide enough to offer comfort to many people. The sand is darker and not completely gentle but still very comfortable for walking, even a long distance (we walked every day and loved it). If you are full of energy and don’t want to spend your vacation on the beach/pool and restaurants only, you can enjoy plenty of activities in and out of the resort. Out of many exciting trips, such as ziplining across the rainforest canopy, exploring tropical rainforests, admiring waterfalls of Blue River and many others, my friend and I agreed on visiting Nicaragua and we made a great decision. Even though the trip was a bit long and tiring (15 hours), it was very informative and enjoyable. A big thank you belongs to our tour guide, a native from Nicaragua (I forgot his name but Charlie will tell you), who spoke about the history of the country so enthusiastically and knowledgeably that we didn’t want to miss a word. Since he knew many people on the border as well as along the way, all of our visits went extremely smoothly, and we were able to see a lot. We explored Granada, the oldest city in Nicaragua, admired various colonial buildings, looked into the Masaya active volcano crater, enjoyed a boat ride in the Lake Nicaragua with beautiful nature, and shopped at the Artisan market. Without exaggerating, it was an amazing trip, worth the money and time. Now, I can put a check mark on my bucket list beside Costa Rica but wouldn’t mind to put another one sometimes soon as I am planning to come back.
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Date of stay: November 2019
Sleep Quality
Room Tip: Corner suites on both sites of the hotel are quieter, especially if facing the forest.
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Tiffany R F wrote a review Sep 8
San Jose, Costa Rica8 contributions7 helpful votes
We came here 6 years ago and it was awesome. This time...not so much! We live in CR and have for many years but were treated pretty terribly. They set up a poolside bar. Costa Rican’s lined up without masks so we assumed it was like the swim up bar, no masks needed. So my husband stood in line like everyone else...everyone was served but my husband was sent away to get a mask but he was the only one. I went to the bar...two ladies in front of me (yes, Costa Rican), were leaning on the bar and face in the hole of the plastic opening to order drinks, when I went to order, I put my forearm against the edge of the counter and I was immediately told I wasn’t allowed to touch anything. We went to celebrate my daughters birthday, we asked them if they were able to get candles for us so we Could put it in a piece of dessert to sing to her, we were told because of Covid we couldn’t...but the table near us (yup you guessed it, Costa Rican), staff brought out a plate of brownies put together made to look like a cake with candles on top and sang. Hmmmmm......not to mention 5 of us staying in a family suite and everyday only giving us two towels and I had to call EVERY day we were there...the cleaners know how many people are in the room, what the heck!?!?! At check out I was asked how my stay was, I answered “some was ok and other stuff not so good.” He replied, “oh I understand, that happens.” Never asked what wasn’t good, etc... The Italian restaurant was great, the other food in buffet was ok but always the same. Some staff were great, but most were only great if they thought you were Costa Rican...which is sad because living here for as long as we have, we have always thought Costa Rican’s to be quite welcoming people so this was a MAJOR disappointment....I reccomend Costa Rica, just not this resort.
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Date of stay: September 2020Trip type: Traveled with family
3 Helpful votes
Response from Riu Hotels and Resorts, Owner at Hotel Riu Guanacaste
Responded 3 days ago
Dear Tiffany, Thank you for taking the time to write about your experience and the opportunity to respond to your concerns. As a frequent traveler we know how important it is to receive a friendly, efficient amd warm experience while staying in a hotel. We are so sorry to hear we failed to deliver. Please accept our sincere apologies and be assured that this does not reflect our standards. For this reason, your comments have been shared with our management team for a proper follow up. We hope to have the chance to better demonstrate the abilities of our staff and facility in the future. With our best wishes we remain, Hotel Riu Guanacaste Online Reputation Manager
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Sir Than II wrote a review Aug 2020
1 contribution4 helpful votes
I've always loved this hotel from the very first visit when I was a kid 6 months after its opening. The place is beautiful, the amount of bars and restaurants are reasonable and they serve from good to excellent food (*1) and decent to amazing cocktails (*2), the bedrooms are well packed and very clean, the receptionist are amazing at their job and they work with lot of empathy so do the bartenders and for the most part the staff in general are all nice and respectful. The pandemic response is very good(*3), the staff keeps reminding you to wear the mask in the places where is needed and there is antibacterial gel in most parts where contact is frequent. However if there is anything borderline bad, terrible or more appropriately said, mediocre is the entertainment, the pandemic isn't to blame here; all shows have been pretty much the same for quite some years already: a "singer" (just kind of lip-sync) dancer with a notorious outfit and the rest of the dancer crew in another outfit, all shows are dances in at least 90% of their duration which gets boring fast specially when you have seen them literally anywhere else, this along the pool closing really early (6pm) means that only few people can do something at night those being: heavy drinkers, dancers and gamblers (close during the pandemic though), watching TV might be an option but streaming services proved that TV ain't that entertaining either, so the nights are quite boring. Side notes: *1 : Riu chefs at the normal restaurants don't know how to cook pasta, the one time the spaghetti had any flavor was when they were basically mac'n'cheese the rest of the times they just didn't had any flavor whatsoever *2: Despite the cocktails being amazing most of the times, I had quite the bit where they went ultraconservative on the alcohol, particularly few Mariachis I had from the Sport bar where nothing but ice, also on one Michelada they threw a spoon or two of salt in the beer, so the cocktails are kind of a gamble since some of the bartenders don't put enough effort even into the simplest cocktails *3: The issues during the pandemic are minor, but the snacks on the Sport Bar were pathetic, just cheese and ham semi-sandwiches if you were lucky and mostly just nachos with cheese, they were clearly leftovers from lunch or dinner but I remember before the pandemic seeing that fridge almost always full of hamburgers, burritos, pizzas and a variety of sandwiches at all times of the day. Also the lack of information about the special restaurants was also very annoying as their schedules were either not planned or not informed. Final thoughts: The hotel is still good, you can eat and drink very well but you should be prepared to either drink till sleep or do nothing till sleep as the nights just get exponentially boring.
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Date of stay: August 2020
Sleep Quality
3 Helpful votes
FellowTraveler824872 wrote a review Aug 2020
San Jose, Costa Rica4 contributions4 helpful votes
Hotel Riu and his people never stop to surprising me. This week i spend a few night with me wife, even the Covid emergency make peoples fill warm and help you to be confortable. Mr Harley was an excellent
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Date of stay: August 2020Trip type: Traveled as a couple
Jostin M wrote a review Aug 2020
1 contribution3 helpful votes
If you are the type of customer that makes sure to review the comments before booking in any place, then good. My experience is very similar to other people that visited this hotel. The re-opening does not have all the publicity that they place in order to attract more customers. When I went to this hotel with my family, the pool closes at 6pm. The disco is closed (of course for health regulations), so after 9pm or 9:30 pm there is nothing else to do but to stay drinking something before going to sleep. The pool table is not functioning in the snack bar and the snacks I saw were only "Nachos" or a few types of sandwiches, there was no time I went to the snack to find something different than that. The beach activities like kayaking, paddle surf, etc, were mentioned in the All Inclusive Document however they were not functioning, Not even in the 5 am to 8:30 am slot allowed by the Government in regards to beaches usage. In the rooms we booked, there was no alcohol in the mini bar because "the delivery has still not arrived to the hotel" after one or two weeks being opened. For me Customer Service was average like 50% or less, the only people that treated us with empathy, were the receptionists and thats it. All these specific situations could have been tolerated if it was specifically mentioned and written on the publicity or the "All Inclusive" doc that you can download from the page , before doing any booking. And after all this, they never reached out to me to provide any answer or apology for all the things that were not clearly specified before me doing the booking. Again, this is only my personal experience with my family, but pretty sure there are similar reviews like this one.
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Date of stay: June 2020
2 Helpful votes
Response from Riu Hotels and Resorts, Owner at Hotel Riu Guanacaste
Responded Aug 5, 2020
Dear Jostin, Thank you for taking the time to give us your feedback and for expressing your concerns. On our website we do indicate that in order to meet each country’s hygiene requirements, there may be some changes to each hotel’s services or facilities that differ from what is described. All the changes that may occur are only to ensure our customers’ wellbeing and peace of mind. However, we hope for your understanding that our protocols are being continuously updated with the latest information available, always taking into account the recommendations of expert bodies. At RIU Hotels & Resorts, we strive to provide our guests with exceptional service and wonderful memories. As you can well imagine, we are very disappointed to read your comment about your stay and we are sorry that your experience was not at all reflective of the quality standards we set for ourselves. Please accept our apologies for the inconvenience you encountered. We would like the opportunity to welcome you back to one of our worldwide available hotels in the near future and to provide a more superior experience and to prove that your unsatisfactory stay was an exception! With our best wishes we remain, Hotel Riu Guanacaste Online Reputation Manager
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$189 - $408 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Costa RicaProvince of GuanacastePlaya Matapalo
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Frequently Asked Questions about Hotel Riu Guanacaste
Which popular attractions are close to Hotel Riu Guanacaste?
Nearby attractions include Monkey's Bar & Restaurant (0.6 miles), Playas del coco (3.7 miles), and Playa Danta (4.2 miles).
What are some of the property amenities at Hotel Riu Guanacaste?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include a swimup bar, a pool, and an on-site restaurant.
Which room amenities are available at Hotel Riu Guanacaste?
Top room amenities include a minibar, air conditioning, and a flat screen TV.
What food & drink options are available at Hotel Riu Guanacaste?
Guests can enjoy a swimup bar, an on-site restaurant, and a lounge during their stay.
Is parking available at Hotel Riu Guanacaste?
Yes, free parking is available to guests.
What are some restaurants close to Hotel Riu Guanacaste?
Conveniently located restaurants include Toucanoos, Restaurante Mar Azul, and Sentido Norte Restaurant.
Are there opportunities to exercise at Hotel Riu Guanacaste?
Yes, guests have access to a pool, a fitness center, and locker rooms available in the fitness center during their stay.
Is Hotel Riu Guanacaste located near the city center?
Yes, it is 0.4 miles away from the center of Playa Matapalo.
Are any cleaning services offered at Hotel Riu Guanacaste?
Yes, dry cleaning and laundry service are offered to guests.
Does Hotel Riu Guanacaste offer any business services?
Yes, it conveniently offers a business center, meeting rooms, and a banquet room.
Does Hotel Riu Guanacaste have any great views?
Yes, guests often enjoy the ocean view available here.