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Hotel Riu Palace Costa Rica
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Sardinal
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 5, 2013

Hotel is awesome best vacation yet. I would recommend that you avoid the excursions because they take away from your time at resort and they are not worth it. The food at the hotel is excellent along with the staff. There are a lot of name brand alcohols and the wines are very good. The hotel is very modern and when the trees in the pool area mature, the grounds will be beautiful. We spent a lot of time at the ocean which I would recommend, the waves were fun to play in, made us feel like kids again. This is my second RIU and is by far the better of the two. I cannot not stress more, avoid the excursions, they are not worth the time the take away from the resort.

  • Stayed: March 2013
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2  Thank Brianbv449
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,272 - 3,278 of 4,034 reviews

Reviewed March 4, 2013

I have been to various areas in Mexico, Punta Cana, Jamaica, Cuba & others but this is now my favorite place. Amazing hotel, top notch service in all areas, great food and so much to see. Its not a party place, if you want more noise and party atmosphere next door the Guanacaste is perfect. This place is very classy & well designed. Not the best beach by far but still nice to walk & great snorkling right on the beach on the Guanacaste side at the end of the beach. Saw many blowfish and a few stingrays plus many other fishes. So much to do, wish I was there for a month... we took a tour with Luis on the beach right in front of the hotel. We had our own private van for 4 took us to zip line, the to see an amazing fall, horseback riding, rain forest, inside a crater with natural sauna & mud bath including lunch, 7:30 to 5:30 but was worth it for $125 per person. The rooms are modern but very well designed, large safe, plenty of drawers and closet space. The staff is polite and courteous. Amazing garanteed weather was another big bonus, sunny and hot and very warm in the evening. Can't believe some of the reviews I saw before I went... I guess some people will never be satisfied.

Room Tip: Tours on the beach are great, the hotel will try to discourage you, no one I spoke to said they had...
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank pierre l
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 4, 2013

We stayed at Riu Palace 5 nights on Feb. 17. 2013.Hotel is 1/2 hour from airport & we pre-booked roundtrip airport vouchers thru Swiss Travel.Hotel room is very cool & modern. We loved the purple decor & modern bathroom/shower. We switched rooms after 2 nights from garden view to ocean view ($30/nt more) & got the most beautiful view of the pool & ocean & mountains which was well worth it! We never smelled bad odor from toilet room.We didn't hear show noise or monkey noise.We had great excursion to zip-lining nearby pre-booked thru Swiss Travel. They also have ATV rentals there. We had a blast. My 12 yr old loved it. Some kids & adults bailed early due to fear of heights. I went to beach & booked 2 1/2 hr ATV rides for $70pp for next day that leave from the beach. We had a blast. It was our 1st time on an ATV. My 12 yr old had a guide riding with him by choice. We also booked horse back riding through beach guides for $30/hr. It was very slow & relaxing. My husband booked a massage at beach for $30/hr which he loved. We loved the pools & especially loved the lounge chairs built into the pool.My son played darts, ping pong & bingo at the pool.They also have an art studio near the ping pong table. We ate at the buffet or Italian restaurant every night. We thought the food was delicious. My son loved the chicken fingers, pasta & pizza. There was plenty of variety for kids & adults. The pasta station, ice cream & fruit were delicious.The lunch buffet is open all day at the pool restaurant where the bathroom is. We went to the show every night at 9 which was entertaining.The other bathroom near the pool is next to the bar where the shows are.There's a few shops near the hotel next to the Photo Shop where you buy photos taken by the hotel photographer. There was a cute shop for souvenirs at the ziplining course. The airport had the best souvenir shops. The food at the airport is pricy but good like pizza & Quiznos. I loved the beautiful breeze. It was very hot even with the breeze. Going in the pool helped cool off. We had a perfectly blue sky everyday.We never heard the monkeys screeching. We barely saw any. We didn't see the turtles hatching-that was difficult to catch. My family didn't feel like taking a 12 hr excursion so we didn't go the volcano. We heard there's ziplining over the volcano.It sounded like a great excusuion.The staff really keeps the place spotless-everyone's always sweeping. The beach with dark hot sand & ocean weren't so inviting. Very few people at beach. I highly recommend staying at this hotel with an ocean view.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
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4  Thank kim-melnick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 4, 2013

Fantastic hotel!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
People are super nice, staff is very very friendy, super hotel! Nothing is perfect but really can't complain about anything!
Make sure you walk to the small white sand beach, it's made out of broken coral and shells. Its so peacefull, like your own private paradise.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank joe d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 3, 2013

My wife and I just came back from Costa Rica,we were there from Feb18-28 for 10 days,first leg of our trip were at time share unit at Playa Del Coco area and the last 5 days we enjoyed at Riu palace.All we can say is DO NOT READ NEGATIVE REVIEWS.You need to go there or anywhere in the world where its safe to travel and experience the trip for yourself.LOVED COSTA RICA !!!!!! will go back there again.Just read the review that was posted by SloPitch recently CANT GO WRONG!!! every penny is worth it.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank TONYR69422
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 3, 2013

My wife and I just finished a week's vacation at Riu Palace in Guanacaste, Costa Rica. We were part of a 100 person group. Everything went perfectly. The particulars were:
a. Costa Rica has many outdoors/ eco-tour opportunities. If you're just interested in the pool/beach, then the place is great but not distinguishable from other high end resorts. There are many eco tour companies in the lobby presenting tour opportunities. Rain forest tours, boat down jungle rivers, zip lining, white water rafting. Take advantage of these
b. There were three large pools, large enough to do uninterrupted lap swimming any time of day, using salt water instead of chlorinated water. The salt water was perfectly clean, I don't know how they pull that off, but it was refreshing. Also a swim up bar fourth pool.
c. The food was excellent. There are several specialty restaurants and one "all comers, no reservation needed" buffet restaurant. To our pleasant surprise, the buffet food was every bit as good as the specialty restaurants, and the variety was amazing.
d. The place was clean all the time, staff was pleasant.
e. Despite the remote location, it's only about 15 miles, 20 minutes ( the roads are paved) from Liberia airport. The airport has direct flights from Miami, Dallas and Toronto.
f. Room was big and comfortable. Great bay view.
Overall, terriffic.
Three notes:
1. There's an adjacent Riu, a couple years older. Hard to tell the difference between the two, but I think the Palace is higher end by a tad over the older Riu.
2. Beach has small waves, good for swimming. Surfers should go elsewhere. The are horses to ride stationed near the beach , which is good, but their "fecal release" does disturb one's sense of a pristine beach.
3. Costa Rica has a $ 29 departure tax . We paid at the hotel, but you can pay at the airport.

Room Tip: They all have bay views. Closer to center possibly better
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with friends
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5  Thank TomBBaltimore_Md
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 3, 2013

My husband and I were at the Riu Palace Feb. 3-13 and had an amazing time.
We are truly puzzled by the negative reviews...... Do you not check into things before booking a resort ???????? Do you not see pictures of the decor? The decor is not traditional Spanish, but for us we knew this going into this resort. Change is not a bad thing.
Now for us, we had an amazing experience and trip to Riu Palace.
We had an ocean view on the fourth floor and the view was beautiful. What more could you ask for while drinking your coffee and sitting on your balcony every morning with beautiful views of the resort and ocean. (tip: if you prefer stronger coffee, simply call room service and they will bring you a fresh pot)
We travel each year to get away from our wonderful Cdn. winters so we treasure being in tropical temperatures.
We found the food excellent each and everyday.
I guess we were lucky as we did not wait in line once to reserve(but we also didn't go right away either...maybe that is the key) and had no problems what so ever. We really enjoyed the Italian Restaurant which did not require reservations.
The staff were amazing, very friendly and accommodating at all times. Perhaps those who had problems with Costa Ricans should be reminded that people will treat you as you treat them.
It is very hot there ...which we love .The beach sand was hot , but nothing a pair of sandals didn't address .
We found the resort very clean and loved the various animals that Costa Rica has to offer. Just Amazing!!!!
We did our tours privately, as my husband and I like to just do our own thing when we want to learn the culture of other countries. Alex on the Beach provided us with tours tailored to our liking and schedules . He and his team were wonderful and we were able to do everything we wanted to. We would highly recommend these folks. One of the drivers on our tour had lived in Canada for 3yrs. so it gave us lots to talk about and he was very knowledgeable of his country.
We did the River tour, went to the falls, and a day to Arenal (Volcano)
We also went to Baldi HotSpring & Spa, very nice place.
Costa Rica is a beautiful country and we would recommend a getaway to this wonderful country for anyone. We will be back!

Room Tip: Request higher floors with oceanview. You will not be disappointed.
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank SloPitch
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 Carrillo - Guanacaste, Sardinal, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Gulf of Papagayo > Sardinal
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access 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 2 Hotels in Sardinal
Price Range: $270 - $510 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Riu Palace Costa Rica 4*
Number of rooms: 538
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The hotel lies directly on the beautiful, fine-sandy Matapalo beach, next to the hotel Riu Guanacaste. * The guest of Riu Palace Costa Rica may use the facilities in sister hotel Riu Guanacaste, except dinner meal * Main Building 6 floors 538 rooms * Next City Liberia 42.0 km approx. * Airport Daniel Oduber International Airport (LIR) 33.0 km approx. * Next ATM / Bank: 200 m * Credit cards accepted: Visa, MasterCard ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Riu Palace Costa Rica Guanacaste

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