$226 Avg/night
Rate and special offer based on Check-in: May 3, 2015 Check-out: May 6, 2015

RIU Guanacaste - All Inclusive

4 stars
View map of Sardinal de Carrillo, Playa Matapalo, Guanacaste,

Hotel Overview

Ratings and reviews for RIU Guanacaste - All Inclusive

Overall score

4 / 5
5.01.0
320 out of 320
Amenities:
4.1
Cleanliness:
4.3
Hotel staff:
4.4
Comfort:
4
Location:
4.1
Value:
4.1

84% would recommend to a friend.

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Review of RIU Guanacaste - All Inclusive

Reviewer score

4
5.01.0
Moe Moe21
Business
New York, New York
May 31, 2014

Great 5 day stay

The staff is extremely friendly and helpful. Just be nice to them and they will treat you the same. Bugs around pool bar and dining area is a little annoying but it is a tropical place. Food is good, Japanese place better than the rest in my opinion. Buffet was good, a lot of variety. Night entertainment was nice for the family. Beach is okay, but beware of the extremely hot sand. (Think about bringing water shoes) overall I enjoyed my 5 day trip for my 21st bday. Will stay here again. Wifi speed needs to be improved, you only have an hour and a half to use it in the lobby.

Hotel features (5 = best, 1 = worst):
Amenities:
4
Cleanliness:
4
Hotel staff:
5
Comfort:
4
Location:
4
Value:
5
Trip purpose:

Business

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Review of RIU Guanacaste - All Inclusive

Reviewer score

5
5.01.0
Andrea Marie
Business
Long Island, NY
May 27, 2014

Pleasantly Surprised - Wonderful Stay!

The hotel premises and guest rooms are very clean. The lobby, courtyard, and bars are beautifully decorated. The buffet food was surprisingly delicious and beautifully presented. Making reservations for the restaurants were no problem and they were delicious as well. The staff was very accommodating and truly seemed happy to have us as guests. The pool area was nice, but we preferred the beach because the pool tends to get crowded. The ocean view room was beautiful but you may want to ask for a room on the fourth or fifth floors. They have liquor dispensers in the rooms but it's mostly local brands so we bought a bottle on our way at the duty free in the U.S. Make sure you have a shuttle service scheduled because the going rate for two people from the airport to the hotel is about $80, we haggled to $55. As far as excursions we scheduled with Costa Rica Best Tours, you can find Erik or Jose on the beach during the day. They offer a ton of combo tours, the Buena Vista Combo was about $110/pp, and included ziplining, waterslide, horseback riding, a waterfall, and hot springs/mud bath. The Pura Vida bar has entertainment from about 8-11, the casino is pretty small and not worth it, they have a few nice shops down the road. The hotel compound and beach is shared with Riu Palace hotel and is private. Playa del Coco is about 20 minutes away and is a great shopping area on the beach with some restaurants; if you aren't planning on doing any excursions you should check out Playa del Coco. Overall the hotel was perfect, food and staff were great and it was very clean and up-kept. There was a nice balance between a family friendly hotel and a couple atmosphere. Their rainy season is from May to October but we had perfect weather. We definitely plan on returning (possibly to the same hotel!)

Hotel features (5 = best, 1 = worst):
Amenities:
4
Cleanliness:
4
Hotel staff:
5
Comfort:
5
Location:
4
Value:
5
Trip purpose:

Business

Money-saving tip: Not Applicable

This hotel doesn't have a free shuttle so be sure to schedule your airport transportation beforehand. Going rate for two people one way is $80 (we were able to haggle to $55)

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Review of RIU Guanacaste - All Inclusive

Reviewer score

3
5.01.0
KayRay86
Business
Huntsville, AL
May 26, 2014

Average Place

My husband and I traveled to Riu Guanacaste for our honeymoon on 5/19/14. We arrived a few hours early and was told we were unable to check in until 3PM so we had to wait until our room was ready. I believe this was the norm for everyone arriving early. Overall, the restaurants were average. All but 2 are buffets. They provided a VERY large selection, but everything was pretty mediocre. We made reservations at the steakhouse one evening and the dinner there was much better. Room comfort was extremely sub par- the beds were very hard, pillows very flat and the towels felt like sandpaper. The housekeeping staff did a very good job on keeping the rooms clean and stocked. Overall, the staff was very accommodating. One disappointment was the alcohol selection. There was only one beer choice (Imperial Light) and the quality of liquor offered was horrible. Drinks also seemed watered down. This place would be great for families as there were HUNDREDS of kids! Not really what we were looking for our honeymoon spot. My advice would be to book several different excursions or you may find yourself bored from being at the pool/beach everyday all day. We went on the Catameran boat trip and took the shuttle to Coco Beach and spent the day there. Both were well worth the money spent. On our last night we went to the Monkey Bar down the beach. This place was awesome and a nice break from the resorts food and drinks! The coconut shrimp and fajitas were great as well as the Margaronas. It was a little pricy, but well worth the money we spent there.

Hotel features (5 = best, 1 = worst):
Amenities:
3
Cleanliness:
5
Hotel staff:
5
Comfort:
1
Location:
4
Value:
4
Trip purpose:

Business

Dining tip: Short walk from hotel

Monkey Bar

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Review of RIU Guanacaste - All Inclusive

Reviewer score

3
5.01.0
Just Got Married
Business
Providence, RI
May 20, 2014

Wouldn't stay here again

My husband and I went here for our honeymoon. I'll try to make this review quick but informative. For starters, the bed was as hard as a rock. Which is really unfortunate, because I really look forward to the comfort of most hotel beds. There was a lack of good food choices at the buffets, and I'm not usually a picker eater. If you don't want to eat at the buffet for dinner you have to make a reservation the day before between 9 am - noon. You can't book more than one reservation at a time, and you should get there for 8:50 at the latest because the lines get ridiculous! The spa was AMAZING. We had a couples relaxing massage for an hour. We went early and relaxed in the jacuzzi. The staff came to get us when they were ready for our appointment. The bartenders were super friendly, remembered our names, and kept the drinks coming. Even though we watched the bartenders open up new bottles of liquor and saw that the drinks weren't watered down.... they were not strong at all. The proof of the liquor must be really low. I wasn't expecting an all-inclusive resort to have really strong drinks, but I was disappointed that five mojitos later I still did not have a buzz. Most of the nightly shows were good. In particular the "Crazy Show," and "Grease." Unfortunately the sun drained us out and we couldn't stay up past 9 p.m. to watch some of the shows. The resort only has two designated smoking areas, the beach and a little hide-out in the middle of the resort grounds. Being a smoker, it was kind of annoying to walk a quarter mile every time I wanted to smoke. The pool is decent. Plenty of pool chairs but only one swim up bar that is at the end of the pool as opposed to being in the middle. There's a DJ during the day and different activities are offered, from flip cup to ping pong to water aerobics. The casino was a COMPLETE FLOP. All of the slot machines were really outdated, the screens resembled the old Nintendo games. Three black-jack and one roulette table. Drinks are not included. We didn't even bother going to the disco. It did not look like a good club and drinks were not free there either. We booked a canopy tour through the resort. It was $50.00 each and lasted about 45 minutes. We were the only two on the tour so the tour guides were able to make sure that we had the best time possible. We also rented jet-skis on the beach for a half hour, which cost us $70. Can't complain. The beach is okay. There were plenty of fish swimming around us and we were only a few feet in. Don't bother renting snorkels, the fish are literally right there! I didn't find the place to be 4-star material at all. The decor was outdated and lacked any sort of "wow" factors. We made the best of the trip but I wouldn't go there again and definitely would not recommend this place to anyone.

Hotel features (5 = best, 1 = worst):
Amenities:
3
Cleanliness:
3
Hotel staff:
5
Comfort:
1
Location:
3
Value:
3
Trip purpose:

Business

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Review of RIU Guanacaste - All Inclusive

Reviewer score

5
5.01.0
Stefania Grace
Business
Pennsylvania
May 11, 2014

May getaway

By far one of the best vacations we've ever had. The hotel staff was friendly and extremely accommodating. Would definitely revisit this beautiful country.

Hotel features (5 = best, 1 = worst):
Amenities:
4
Cleanliness:
5
Hotel staff:
5
Comfort:
5
Location:
5
Value:
5
Trip purpose:

Business

Shopping tip: In Hotel

Do not utlize the shopping mall from the hotel, everything is overpriced, better off to take a cab for $10 to coco beach and buy anything you need from the pharmacy or Mercado.

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Review of RIU Guanacaste - All Inclusive

Reviewer score

4
5.01.0
islandgirl23
Business
Iowa
May 6, 2014

Great place for a wedding!

Loved the authentic food and the entertainment shows. Rooms are nice. Like that there are many restaurant choices!

Hotel features (5 = best, 1 = worst):
Amenities:
4
Cleanliness:
4
Hotel staff:
4
Comfort:
4
Location:
4
Value:
4
Trip purpose:

Business

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Review of RIU Guanacaste - All Inclusive

Reviewer score

5
5.01.0
vacationher
Business
Eastern Pennsylvania
May 4, 2014

Couples vacation

Had a fantastic stay at this RIU. Some staff spoke better English that others, but ALL were very kind, pleasant, and accommodating. There were plenty of options for meals with many restaurants to choose from. Drinks were also very enjoyable! Pool facilities were great. Despite being one big pool, there were 3 distinct separate areas to hang out. The area with the swim up bar had a lot of "energy" so if you wanted a more mellow time, you just hung out at a different area or went to the beach. Plenty of activities for both onsite and offsite. Rented ATV's, went zip lining and fishing. Overall I think the best part was the beach. Both RIU's are next to one another. But there are no other hotels in the area. So the beach is very quiet and there isn't the hustle and bustle of a touristy location. Only the people staying at the RIU are there. Of note when considering one RIU over the other.... With the more expensive one being new - the trees haven't grown in yet and there is little to no shade around the pool. But I think either way - you can't go wrong. I would definitely recommend for both families and couples and will plan on staying there again.

Hotel features (5 = best, 1 = worst):
Amenities:
5
Cleanliness:
5
Hotel staff:
5
Comfort:
5
Location:
5
Value:
5
Trip purpose:

Business

Dining tip: In Hotel

Specialty restaurants that need reservations, can only be reserved a day ahead of time.

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Review of RIU Guanacaste - All Inclusive

Reviewer score

4
5.01.0
OffPath
Business
Waterbury, VT
May 3, 2014

Great Getaway for a Short Period

This is a great resort for a short period of time. We stayed for 5 nights and thought at start it was going to be not long enough, but we found ourselves bored by the 3 day and started wanting more. If you want to sit on the beach and do nothing but drink and eat all day, this is the place for you. If you want to do that part-time and explore the local area you will pay for tours and get nothing but the tourist attractions. If you want to get out to the real community and take in the local surroundings get a rental car and be aware that Costa Rica is rough in certain areas.

Hotel features (5 = best, 1 = worst):
Amenities:
4
Cleanliness:
4
Hotel staff:
5
Comfort:
4
Location:
3
Value:
5
Trip purpose:

Business

Money-saving tip: Not Applicable

Do not buy anything on the tours. It's all made in china or other areas and branded "Pura Vida" or "Costa Rica" but they're knock offs from other areas. If you look hard you can find hints of these. The locals will approach you for money, don't give it to them. When you go out on the tours. Find a way to separate yourself from them and find back streets that have real shops that locals shop at. Lower prices, better products, and lower pressure to buy.

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Review of RIU Guanacaste - All Inclusive

Reviewer score

3
5.01.0
Jason of Alexandria
Business
Alexandria, VA
Apr 29, 2014

Costa Rica is nice, hotel was ok.

The internet was not good even when you paid for it which was a bog deal needing to do some work while I was there. The food was so-so, it is all buffet so you can imagine what to expect, even the steak place that required a reservation seemed buffet quality despite them bringing it to your table. Room sizes were good, view was nice, staff was nice, at the end of the day think Cruise style vacation except fixed and at the beach.

Hotel features (5 = best, 1 = worst):
Amenities:
4
Cleanliness:
4
Hotel staff:
4
Comfort:
3
Location:
4
Value:
3
Trip purpose:

Business

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Review of RIU Guanacaste - All Inclusive

Reviewer score

3
5.01.0
Type A wife and mom
Business
Fort Worth, Texas
Apr 20, 2014

Family friendly getaway

The staff work incredibly hard to keep everything neat and clean and are friendly and helpful. The beach isn't all that nice but we knew that from previous reviews that we read before our trip. We did several excursions during our stay including zip lining, horse back riding, hot springs and mud bath tour, sunset snorkel catamaran tour and the Palo Verde National park tour. Our five year old son went on all the excursions with us and had a great time. One thing I would recommend taking is a key ring that you can put around your wrist. The key they give you is on a large piece of plastic with the room number on it.

Hotel features (5 = best, 1 = worst):
Amenities:
3
Cleanliness:
3
Hotel staff:
5
Comfort:
3
Location:
3
Value:
4
Trip purpose:

Business

Dining tip: Not Applicable

Do not wait to eat at the airport in Liberia it is way overpriced. You expect that food would be more expensive at the airport obviously but this was ridiculous.

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