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“Nice resort” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Hotel Riu Palace Costa Rica

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Hotel Riu Palace Costa Rica
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Sardinal
Certificate of Excellence
Whistler
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Nice resort”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 21, 2014

I stayed here with a large group for a wedding a couple of weeks ago. We all really enjoyed ourselves. There were a few mix ups with the rooms when we first arrived but this is to be expected with such a large group and they were quick to fix everything.

The service was great. The front desk staff were really friendly and you never had to wait very long to speak to someone. They never seemed to be short staffed. There was constantly someone serving you when you were at one of the bars or by the pool. When I checked in someone approached me with fresh juice, a really nice touch, especially when you have been travelling for that long.

The only complaint that I have is that whenever we called to have something delivered to our room it would take about 45 minutes or not come at all. This was especially frustrating since our room was not very close to the front desk.

This was my first time at an all inclusive resort so I didn't really have any expectations but I was happy with everything. For being such a new property they are doing a good job so far. When I checked out they gave me a card and ask me to write a review so that shows that they do value guest feedback

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Christina K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (1,186)
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English first
Brooklyn, New York
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 21, 2014

We were guests a few weeks . The service was terrific. Specifically would like to compliment Mauricio Diaz and Johana for their friendly and efficient service in the buffet restaurant. They were attentive, professional and welcoming. I would be remiss if I did not also mention that the entire staff was exceptional.Had a wonderful vacation!

Room Tip: Be aware that we discovered that our room key opened the adjoining room. We had it re keyed and it w...
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Victrolavb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 21, 2014

The Riu Palace has a modern feel to it with clean cut looks. Here's a breakdown:

1. Rooms:
The toilet and shower are in separate rooms, which is good. There's a hot tub in the shower area but it's not enclosed so if you're going on a trip with someone you don't know well, then you'll get to know them! Towels, etc, was not an issue. We tip the maid so she stocked us well. The fridge and mini bar are all inclusive. The best part was the coffee. Keep drinking and keep asking for extra. The Britt Costa Rica Dark roast is amazing!

2. Resort lay out:
The beach was a bit of a let down since it's a 3 min walk. Not a lot of people were on the beach. Most people stayed in the resort itself due to the wonderful pools. It's not a massive complex and everything is relatively close.

3. Food:
Buffets are actually better than the A La Cartes. You have to make reservations for the A La Cartes and they weren't impressive. The buffets attempt to have different theme nights, but it all blends in after a while. Fruits and veggies are a plenty! Beef was always tough and overcooked, even at the steak house. The best restaurant was the fusion: Krystal but it wasn't a lot better than the buffets. Yep, I ate two dinners most nights!

4. Entertainment:
There's a kids show then a show for a more mature audience. I'm not that into shows at the resorts but I was entertained by the Crazy Show the most. This one has the resort entertainment staff performing not so great hits. Best entertainer at the resort: Jeffrey. He does the entertainment during the day at the pool too. Amazing and energetic guy. Loves music and dancing and wants to teach. Can't say enough about him, you just have to ask for and meet him.

5. Excursions/Trips/Tours:
Some involve a lot of travel (3-4 hours each way) and some are close by (1.5 hours). I did the ATV tour and the Buena Vista Combo package. I did not book with Sunwing/hotel. I booked with Luis Solutions, on the beach. Luis is also an amazing guy. He'll let you know what's good, what requires a lot of travel and what's worth it. I was skeptical at first even after reading some other great posts about Luis, because you never know, but he delivered. Honest guy.

Also went to Coco Beach: not impressed! Dirty and the shopping wasn't great!

6. Massages:
Get it on the beach. Not with the hotel. $35 for an hour! Luis' wife, Carol, does massages on the beach. She's tiny but strong! Lovely couple and once again totally honest!

7. Disco/Club:
It's not all inclusive and it's closed on Monday nights. It's not crowded during the week. You'll probably have to get the party started! On the weekends, a lot of locals and Latin music. However, if you talk to the DJ he'll play top 40.

8. Costa Rica as a whole:
If you're into history it's fascinating! The people are friendly and well educated. Most people at the resorts/tour guides etc. have a University education! The Government puts an emphasis on ensuring access to education. The country doesn't have an army due to the emphasis on social infrastructure. Can't believe it since it's neighbour is Nicaragua!

Overall, Costa Rica and Panama will be my vacay spots from now. No more Mexico, Cuba or DR.

Enjoy!

Room Tip: The resort is not that high, only 3 floors, so go as high as possible.
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Salamander G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Slinger, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
41 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 20, 2014

My husband, 10 year old daughter & I just returned from a week at the Riu Palace and loved every minute! The food was fantastic, we really loved the BBQ at the pool in the afternoon. Guillermo in the breakfast buffet was so friendly, and after a few days recognized us with a happy smile to go along with delicious, freshly made-to-order food (the variety changed daily). I would skip the steak restaurant; the food is not at the same standard as the rest of the buffets or restaurants, and it's outside, but they lower screens, so there's not even a breeze coming in. It was too hot to eat and most of the food went uneaten and wasted. We ate in every restaurant and didn't have any stomach problems at all. We are adventurous eaters and tried a lot of different foods, most of which we truly enjoyed.
The entertainment crew at the pools went out of their way to make us feel welcome, and did a great job keeping people happy and busy. The waiters bringing drinks to those of us in the shade were very friendly, and we never had to wait too long for drinks. Even though there were a lot of people at the resort, we were always able to find lounge chairs in the shade, and the resort never felt crowded. The Riu Guanacaste next door, which we walked over to at one point, felt more crowded by far. The Guanacaste has more of a tropical feel with the layout and trees, and the Palace has more of a modern, minimalist feel. The room was clean, the shower huge, and the wi-fi worked great (we were in room 5059). We went kayaking twice, and the only small issue was having to wait into our assigned time to get the kayaks. If they only give you an hour to use them, they should be a little quicker about getting them to you. We walked down to the Monkey Bar, a very nice and easy walk down the beach. The monkeys had moved to different trees by the time we got there, but oh well. Can't control wild monkeys I guess. We did see a lot of iguanas around the resort, that was fun.
We went on 2 excursions with Swiss Travel, both were great. We did the Arenal Sky Tram and Trek and the Palo Verde half day tour. I get bus-sick, and the 2 - 3 hours each way on the bus for the Arenal tour wasn't fun (not their fault) but the zip lining, hot springs, dinner, etc were great.
We would absolutely recommend this to our family and friends, and would definitely go back.

Room Tip: Room 5059 is above the nightly entertainment, which was fine for us as we would stay up until 11:00...
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Sue B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 20, 2014

I just returned from this property with my girlfriend on Friday.Apr.18. We stayed for one week. As a travel consultant for Sunwing Vacations and selling multiple properties on the regular, I would definitely recommend this property to all types of clientele whether its couples, families with young children/teenagers or even seniors. It is a fairly large property but never felt over packed.

The main buffet called Arenal, had several options of food to cater to all types of people. Almost anything you would want, they had. They even have low calorie desserts, vegetarian food, or if you are picky and just want your average french fries with pizza, you will never have no food options. There was so much different types of food, we wanted to try it all but of course you can only eat so much.

The rooms were very well kept and tidy. The maids did a fantastic job and we never once had a problem or had to call front desk for anything. The one thing I really enjoyed most about this hotel was the staff. The staff were very friendly and said hi to you even if they saw you 10 times in a half hour period. Always smiling and full of joy. Another great thing was the local people who you will see on the beach at times, they just have a little picnic amongst themselves and never bother you for anything, maybe just to smile and say hi.

If you are going to the beach, you must wear flip flops or water shoes. Not because of rocks, but because of the very hot black sand that this beach has. You will also want to wear them around the pool as the tiles get very hot also.

We took part in several excursions off the resort that we loved. ATVing, mud bathing, zip lining, river tubing, waterfall sightseeing, snorkeling and a catamaran tour. The wildlife and landscapes of Costa Rica are beautiful so do not miss out on one of the above excursions I mentioned!! You will also see a lot of Howler Monkeys in the trees if you walk down the beach towards the Monkey Bar. (if you cannot see them, trust me you will hear them howling!).

My girlfriend and I fell in love with this property and all the staff that made our stay a wonderful, fun and memorable stay and we thank all of you for that and hope to return one day and see all of your faces again!

Room Tip: We stayed in room 1097. Perfect view of the ocean and pool, and away from the loud shows at night bu...
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank cjcuffie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New jersey
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 20, 2014 via mobile

During my many travels in life, I have to say that this resort has it all! The food was fresh, delicious and had variety everyday! The staff was professional, friendly and a complete joy. The entertainment was great and of course the resort itself was immaculate and had countless activities on the beach and on the grounds. The Costa Rican people are kind and have such a respect for others. Of course the beautiful landscape of Costa Rica was remarkable, but this resort made our time there perfect in every way....I don't usually write reviews, but I had to share this dream place for all to enjoy.

Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
Helpful?
7 Thank S S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Peterborough, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 18, 2014 via mobile

Awesome resort!! Best surprise was the lunch BBQ! Everything cued from Ribs, shrimp! Beef, chicken, sausage! Shout out to Zenanita at the pool! The BEST animation coordinator- Love you Jeffry Jaminez! We'll be back for sure! Eric and Jose had the Best Safari Ziplining/river rafting trip ever!! Can't wait to return . Shout out to Juan Jose in the lobby bar and All staff at the breakfast buffet and speciality restaurants , We'll done ! ( Happy Canadians ) PS . Flip flops Mandatory , Hot Hot on the feet !

Stayed April 2014, traveled with friends
Helpful?
4 Thank Mike O
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

Property: Hotel Riu Palace Costa Rica
Address: Playa Matapalo, Sardinal, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Gulf of Papagayo > Sardinal
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach 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 3 Hotels in Sardinal
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Riu Palace Costa Rica 4*
Number of rooms: 538
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Hotel Riu Palace Costa Rica Guanacaste

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