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“Food, Fun and Super Excursions”

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Hotel Riu Palace Costa Rica
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Sardinal
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 21, 2014

I and my wife along with 2 friends had a super time at the RIU Palace July 11-18, 2014.The hotel is very clean and the STAFF from the Bell hops to the Cleaning Ladies were so friendly and helpful it was amazing. The food was excellent and there was a great variety. My favorite was the Arenal buffet where Marrico Diaz and other staff, too bad I cannot name them all,seemed to anticipate our every need while dining! There was so many hotel activities, we now know we need at least 2 weeks to take advantage of everything! Only downside is although the shows were very well choreographed, and performed, the music was not loud and crisp enough to do true justice for the performers. We used LAR transporters for excursions and got a driver named Alexander Villalobos (Alex) who we can truly say is so knowledgeable, safe driver, and friendly that we hired him four days in a row! :) We wanted to see the good, bad and ugly of CR living and he came through above and beyond our expectations. So when you go to Costa Rica look up ALEX and tell him James, Pernell, Cynthia, and Warren sent you, you will not be disappointed! PURA VITA!!!!!

  • Stayed: July 2014, traveled with friends
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank James A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 21, 2014

I recently stayed with my family and some friends the week of July 12 at the Riu Palace. The resort is amazing! The staff was very attentive and the grounds of the resort are very well kept and the staff continually clean the grounds. I traveled with 4 teenagers who had the time of their life. The food at the buffet was excellent, as was the food at the Italian restaurunt and the steak house. All I can say is that I would highly recommend this resort for a fun filled family vacation

Stayed: July 2014, traveled with family
1  Thank Thomas P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 21, 2014

We traveled to Costa Rica with our three children: 16, 13, & 10. The area is beautiful, the water is gorgeous, the weather was HOT (totally expected). The reviews you will read about the sand being hot are completely accurate, but was not a big deal, wear flip-flops. The staff are very nice. The property is clean and well manicured. We did several excursions (booked all in the lobby of Riu): zip-lining, ATV, and deep sea fishing. The Rio Perdido zip-lining and thermal bath is amazing. The area, equipment, and instructors were wonderful. The view is beyond words, and we felt completely safe. However, if you are the least bit prone to motion sickness the trip to get there is extremely rough. We were able to enjoy a thermal bath (volcanic) and a delicious lunch (best food of the trip), after zip-lining. The guys on the beach will negotiate prices for the two ATV excursions my boys took. They loved every second of this excursion. Deep sea fishing was gorgeous. It was a bit slow, but that's to be expected. We did end up catching several mahi-mahi, and blackfin tuna. We took the mahi back to the beachside grill and ate it for lunch. This was our best meal, by far at the resort. We were able to tell them how we wanted the fish prepared and the chef did a good job.
Rooms: We had two ocean view rooms. It was "bare-bones". There was nothing spectacular, tile floors, the shower did not drain. Beds were very comfortable, and a great (helpful) ceiling fan.
Food: UGH! This was by far the worst part of the vacation! Every single restaurant on the property was a disappointment. I realize "to each is own"; however, every person we struck up a conversation with held the same opinion. You do need to make reservations for dinner, except for the buffet. We ended up canceling our reservation for the "steak" restaurant because of all the horrible feedback we had heard. Our only "decent" night was at the Japanese restaurant. Virtually no flavor, greasy, or generic. We love to eat, and I actually dreaded it. Room service food was not any better.
The resort is very large, LOTS of people. We definitely decided this was not for us. LOVE Costa Rica, and the people. We would go back, but not to this resort.

Room Tip: Ask before booking an ocean view room. If it is close to the outdoor "stages", they do pe...
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  • Stayed: July 2014, traveled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank threecmom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 18, 2014

I stayed in Riu Palace for 3 nights. I have to say it was the best experience I had. Food was excellent, from breaffast, dinner buffet and restaurants everything tasted DELISHHH (I think I gained like 20lbs, lol). Staff are so friendly, helpful and welcoming. Hotel is a very nice complex, excellent taste for decor, very clean, the entertainment shows are awesome. I think if you are looking for to relax, feel stress free, and do a little bit of adventurues excurssions on the side I think this is a good place to go to and stay at.. I truly had a great time and YES i would go back again :)

  • Stayed: July 2014, traveled with friends
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Tita12341
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 18, 2014

The Riu is by far one of my favorite resorts; with five swimming pools, plenty of places to eat and wonderful staff. The rooms are large with a curtain to divide the room with the dressing area. They have extra-large balconies with plenty of room and equipment to hang your wet clothes. We ate in all the restaurants except the Asian and my favorite was the Italian. I had read many reviews before we arrived so I knew about the monkey which we did go down there for a look. One thing that wasn’t really clear was how to get there. If you go to the beach and turn left and keep walking you will see a sign, however the mistake most were making was there is a trail right before the beach with a paved road. Some locals will tell you to go this way, we started out in that direction and it was a little spooky. Go all the way to the water and walk along the beach, people are always out in the water so it’s actually a safer way to get there and definitely worth the trip.
We also went in to town; this is a little pricey, but also worth the trip for your souvenirs and such.
As far as activities we did of course the zip line, white water rafting and a 4 hour ATV ride that did jungle as well as beach. All highly recommended.
The hotel offers shows at night; the only complaint was it was extremely hot. They need more fans going or they need to have them in a different location. We saw the “Rock & Roll” show the “Michael Jackson” show and “Grease”. Get there early as it gets crowded.
Great place for couples & families.

  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank gldavis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 17, 2014

We traveled to the RIU Palace over the July 4th week. We traveled with four generations and some friends. The RIU was great for everyone. We loved Costa Rica and will go back.
The Good
The beds were very comfortable. The rooms were great. The sit down restaurants were very good. We enjoyed the short walk to the monkey bar just to the left of the hotel. The best part of our vacation was hooking up with Luis of www.luissolutions.com. We wanted to see a little bit of the country since this was our first trip to Costa Rica. Luis set us up on a great excursion the Buena Vista Family Adventure Tour, to zip line, horse back ride, lunch and mud bath. After that anything we needed Luis took care of us. We wanted a massage on the beach his wife Carolina took care of us.$30 and well worth it. We wanted to go to Cocoa Beach Luis set up a private tour with Oscar who was awesome. He really educated us on the Country and took us to a local restaurant for lunch. Luis can be found in a white shirt on the beach. We wanted coffee Luis took care of that too. Thanks for making our vacation special.
The palace is nice because you can go to the guancaste riu as well. It is a little crazier over there but fun to go hang out for a little while.

The Bad
It took forever to get a drink at the pool. There were also a lot of bees at the pool. Two of us did get stung. The buffets were nothing special. The food was cold a lot of the time. Stick to the specialty restaurants. We were there during a very busy time. The resort was sold out but it was frustrating how long it would take to get a drink.

Overall we had a great trip. When we did bring up a problem they were very quick to fix it. Would recommend for a family vacation. It worked out well for all ages.

  • Stayed: July 2014, traveled with family
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank hpatricia4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 16, 2014

We just stayed at the Riu Palace last week and it was such an amazing trip! We originally planned to stay at the Riu Guanacaste but they overbooked rooms and upgraded us to the Riu Palace and boy am I glad they did. The resort is beautiful and the room we stayed in was awesome! We had a great view of the ocean, mountains, resort, and landscape. I read on here that the location where our room is wasn't great because of the noise of the live entertainment but it wasn't too loud at all.

Speaking of the live entertainment - the dancers are incredible. I live in NYC and see live shows all the time and the dancers are on par with what I see here. The musical entertainment, not so much.

Food was great. We did not get a chance to have a sit down dinner at one of the restaurants because you can only make reservations between 9am and 2pm and when we tried they were booked up. We ate at the buffet which was really good, the Papagayo for lunch which was okay - they have a lot of American, Asian, and Italian cuisine, I would've preferred more Latin dishes. The L'anfora was really nice as well!

We read here that we shouldn't sign up for a tour with the vendors in the lobby of the Hotel that we should pick folks soliciting on the beach but we went against that advice and went with Jacamar tours...we had the BEST time!

Room Tip: Ocean view rooms have a great view of the horizon!
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  • Stayed: July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
2  Thank Karissa F
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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