i knew going into this vacation that this hotel is incredibly modern, but had no idea how much. the outside looks like the typical alabaster white palace that many riu resorts resemble, but once inside it felt like i was in a modern hotel in new york, london, chicago, etc. not in the jungle area of guanacaste costa rica............mostly decorated with a very industrial, modern flair of clean lines, bright colors, marble and metals. it really is stunning, but longed a bit for that classic colonial spanish style i've become acustomed to when in the part of the world......the riu guanacaste, next door, has that style, but not nearly as opulent and high end when it comes to all the ammenities.
rooms are comfortable, again very modern, with an open concept design right out of a scandanavian design book.......purple glass block, marble, ikea-like furniture, bathtub in the room......beautiful!!! we were on the 5th floor, which was really the 6th, because the ground level floor is not counted as the first floor.
water fountain lined walkways led us to the pool area......5 pools to choose from and NEVER a shortage of lounge chairs.....the pool bar has it's own pool with a swim up bar and tables and stools too.....it was like i was in a flooded bar, very cool,.
the restaurants offered world class cuisine......4 specialty restaurants, which you need reservations to eat at 3 of them, were varied: a steakhouse, japanese, fusion, and italian (the only one located inside the hotel, the rest were accessible from outside lower level.)
for krystal, the fusion restaurant, men need closed toed shoes, long pants and shirts with sleeves......otherwise you won't be allowed inside!!! they're trying to keep some standards here. the rest of the restaurant, you can wear what you like, but men must have shirts with sleeves on them, tank tops are not permitted!.
the food at krystal was absolutely devine!!! beet gazpacho, peanut crisp and smoked salmon dome were among some of the appetizer........my steak was perfect!!!
at tokio (spelled with an I not Y) food was wonderful, but service was SOOOOOO SLOW!
the italian eatery was delicious too, allthough lacked any ambience....too bright, no music, but the service was SUPER friendly.....the appetizer and dessert buffet were better than the main course. the italian restaurant is also open for lunch, again, without reservations required, but we never tried it.
the steakhouse also was wonderful......large seafood collection appetizers, caesar salad and either bbq or steaks (also lobster) were the choices.....we all loved it here.
the buffets were spectacular......one night there was a mountain of chilled lobster tails and large shirmp that greeted you as you walk in......the buffets at the resort were better than most cruise ship buffets.......breakfast, lunch and dinnner were all perfect enough to write home about. just splended!!!!
service is friendly and quick.......the shows were hit or miss, go see the "crazy night" show, it was truly great!! entertainment was great too with wonderful local bands singing latin music that made you want to dance........
the beach was beautiful, longer than it looks and if you walk it all the way to the end, go into the jungle and walk a bit, you will see horse running about and monkeys swinging from the trees, as we did.
as a guest of the riu palace you are able to go next door to the riu guanacate for swimming, drinks, lunch or breakfast, but not dinner......they are not allowed to come onto the riu palace resort however.
we loved this place and we HIGHLY recommend it........time goes slow, but that's what we wanted. your vacation is what you make of it.....positive attitude gets you a positive experience.
***the only minor complaint we had was that smoking, not permitted on premises, was allowed along the walkway down to the beach, so that one is hit with a cloud of smoke coming up from or going down to the beach, and you have to maneuver your way through the clusters of smokers that are not willing to step to the side.....we wished that they had an area, with chairs or tables that the smokers could hang out at, but not be near us that don't smoke.......
- 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