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Riu Guanacaste

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Hidden away in lush Costa Rica right on the beachfront, Riu Guanacaste has a real back-to-the-nature feel, but it isn't just for the quiet types. There are plenty of activities to do in and outside the resort. As well as a superb range of leisure possibilities, the hotel features its own casino, an exciting disco, a beautiful spa and fitness facility, and with the more active traveler in mind, plenty of watersports and a fantastic kid's area.

Location: Directly on Matapalo beach in Guanacaste. 30 minutes from Playa del Coco and 45 minutes from the airport.

tripadvisor Traveler Reviews
  • Rebeccafiona1 :

Myself and my partner came in last August for a 2 week break, it was honestly paradise.The weather was amazing although every afternoon around 3 it rained for 30 mins appx it would soon brighten back up and was in the 30's in the morning!The pools are large and spacious which means you always have some privacy. The pool bar tends to get busy but we chose to take our drinks away from there and go into the larger pool with them which was fine!There is always a variety of food and the food is quickly refilled and the waiting staff will do anything to help and make you feel extra special! We booked lots of trips through Thomson which were amazing but do not go to Nicaragua it was terrible, its just a day of travelling and when you complain to Thomson they don't really care! TOP TIP-go to the main beach turn left and walk, keep walking and you'll come to a little mini hill, climb this, its better in trainers but i did it in flipflops and was fine! You'll come to your very own private white sand and clear water beach!! it was where we spend most of our 'down time' as it was just us there usually which was amazing! On our last day there was a shark in the water but we previously did diving and saw the shark he's actually quite friendly apparently but i'd advise not going too close!The hotel has its own padi diving school, we did the day dive for 90 dollars each, which was amazing, as said previously we saw the shark, string rays, star fish and lots of schools of fish! it was incredible and it was only me, my partner and the teacher so we had lots of personal time and a little extra in the sea! Yep so I'd go back in a heart beat but we are off to explore somewhere new this year! 2 weeks is the perfect amount of time to spend here!

  • swickey99 : Stayner, Canada
March Break 2014

We stayed at Hotel Riu Guanacaste for a week in March of 2014-The Hotel and ground were extremely clean.-The Beach wasn't the nicest, but we knew that going in. -Edwin at the Pool Bar owes me a bottle of Advil. lol-Monkey sanctuary was very cool and cheap-Did a Zip line, horse back ride and mud spa excursion (Awesome)Highly recommend

  • eferrari2015 : Montreal, Canada
Beautiful resort, crappy beach

The resort is nice and the rooms are acceptable. The food was good but was cold if you did not go eat at the buffet right from the start. The biggest negative of this resort is the beach. No parasols and the first 20-30 yards are rock. We had no water shoes and paid for it. Very painful experience getting in and out of the water. Once in the, the water is nice and bottom is sand. I don't understand why they don't try to manage this. All in all it is a nice place but the beach was a disappointment.

  • Nicholas S : Kingswinford, United Kingdom
Overall a great hotel but one week is enough

We spent the second week of our Costa Rica holiday in the Rui Guancaste and overall it was a great experience.The rooms were great although the maid service involved being usually in late afternoon which at times made things a bit awkward when you fancied a siesta.The buffet restaurant served a wide variety of food and the clearing of tables and the serving of wine was carried out efficiently,similarly the lunchtime restaurant.The swimming pool was well provided with sun loungers but it was a bit surprising as to see so many people in the pool with drinks in their hands which I believe has already been mentioned.My two main negatives about the hotel are the specialist restaurants,this ridiculous method of queuing for a table was a joke and proved to be not worth it.For two nights we attempted to book the Italian restaurant at 7pm and were told there was a 100 people waiting list even though there were loads of empty tables.On the third night we joined the queue at 5.45pm and a second queue at 6pm to book for 7.15pm.When we got to our table the starters and desserts were buffet and the only thing you order is the main course.We ordered two fish dishes which turned out to be a slab of fish with a sprinkling of spinach and two meat dishes,the meat was not cooked to our request but did include some mash potato.On the dessert side they probably had the best cheese selection we saw all week but they had nothing to go with it.A chef did arrive sometime later with crackers but it was to late.The waiting staff standard was way below that it the buffet restaurant w is ridiculous.My second negative is that all the bar staff seem to be trained to fill your glass completely with ice which makes it at times difficult to work out if your not only drinking flavoured water.

  • lovinbrandy : Winnipeg
Pura Vida at Riu Guanacaste!

We stayed here for 6 days to relax after our 1 week amazing Caravan tour of Costa Rica! This was our first time here but we have stayed at many other Riu's in Mexico Dominican and Cuba. We arrived about 2pm but our room wasn't quite ready. But they offered for a bell boy to Take us and luggage to the room anyways. We were on the the 2nd floor, view of pool, not ocean view I had requested as it was our 20th wedding anniversary. Although the room looked clean and ready, bellboy said we couldn't stay and to check in again at 3 for the keys. Seemed odd but ok. Had 1 drink at bar and 40 minutes later at 3 we checked in again and the room was ready. Looked identical. There was a nice fruit basket and note on the king size bed for our anniversary.very nice. Room was very nice, mini bar(which is stocked every 2nd day)'was stocked with water beer and pop and there was a liquor dispenser on the wall with vodka, tequila, rum, there was no coffee maker in the room but Riu's usually don't so we bring our own 1 cup coffee maker from home. There are no little bottles of shampoo or conditioner provided either. The bath towels were not soft and kind of scratchy all week. Bed was comfortable. Nice balcony. We would have loved to have a quick nap after a long day but that was not to be. We soon realized our room faces the "activity pool" and the crazy game was starting. Very loud musicAnd a guy yelling into a microphone at the top of his lungs. Not so relaxing. After that we avoided afternoon in our room. Not sure why they have the activity end of the pool right by the rooms.Other than the minor room issue, we loved the Riu. The food was excellent at the buffets and there was a huge selection. I have to eat gluten free and I had no problems finding lots to eat! They have 4 ala cartes and they do not have a reservation system. First come, first serve which we liked very much. We usually went around 6:30 and had no problems getting in. I really liked the steakhouse, hubby liked the gourmet. There was also Italian and Asian. Pool was one giant one with a swim up bar and activity area and a quieter end. Lots of palapas for shade. You will need that shade as when we were there it was 35 celcius everyday and uv index of 11plus! Never seen so many sunburns ever so be careful. Bring lots of sunscreen as on the resort it costs $40! Bag of pretzels $13! Beach was beautiful but it it is rocky and there are no palapas for shade, just some trees.water is very cold and most days it was too wavy to enjoy.But walk to the left for about 5-10 minutes and you will come across the best feature of the area. Monkey bar. Lots of wild white faced monkeys that are so used to tourists, you can feed them fruit! Get there by 8am before it gets too hot and they disappear. They loved grapes, papaya and pine apple. Some were picky little beggars and once hubby tried a strawberry and it slapped it out of his hand, lol. Bring a good camera and some fruit and you will get great pics and memories. This is a must see. We also took a van to coco beach which is 20 minutes away. A nice little town for shopping and lunch and van will pick u up every hour. Cost is $15 each round trip. Good place for souvenirs and normal priced sunscreen, drinks were cheap at the restaurants and beach is really nice, less rocky.We also went to the animal sanctuary next door to the Riu which also has zip lining. Cost for just the sanctuary is $38 each. It's a great zoo with sloths, jaguars etc. On the resort there are wild howlers monkeys in the trees and lots of iguanas running around. In the 2 weeks in Costa Rica, we did not see 1 mosquito, and they love me, lol.One note, if you stay at the Riu Guanacaste, you do not have privileges at the Riu palace next door, can't even get a drink, but they can use everything even alacartes at Guanacaste. Palace is very modern looking with lots of stairs to get to beach, we preferred ours.Service was simply excellent here, the friendliest staff we have ever met. The nightly entertainment was very good, though I thought they could have had more entertainment during the day, besides the loud crazy game, aquasize and Spanish lessons.We really enjoyed our time here and would highly recommend it. Pura Vida!

Vacations packages include round-trip flights, accommodations, round-trip transfers (unless outlined below) to and from the hotel, and tourist cards (if required, unless outlined below).

If selecting an all-inclusive resort option, the package will also include the all-inclusive features as outlined by each resort.

Items not included:

  • Travel insurance (mandatory if traveling to Cuba)
  • Tourist cards ($10USD)if traveling to Dominican Republic with Sunwing Airlines
  • Departure taxes ($20USD) if traveling to Dominican Republic with Sunwing or Signarture Vacations
  • Hotel transfers for packages with WestJet to USA (with exception to Honolulu)
  • Hotel transfers for packages to Europe
  • Items of a personal nature

  • Buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner daily
  • Domestic drinks
  • Non-motorized watersports
  • Tennis
  • Entrance to disco & casino (drinks extra at both)
  • Daily activities
  • Nightly entertainment
  • 701 Rooms
  • 3 A la carte restaurants
  • 5 Bars including Swim-up bar and 24 hr Sports bar
  • Zero entry pool with adjoining Jacuzzi
  • Watersports
  • Scuba diving centre (fee)
  • Fitness centre
  • Spa (fee)
  • Steam bath & Jacuzzi
  • Beauty salon (fee)
  • Lit tennis courts
  • Casino
  • Gift shop
  • WiFi internet in lobby
  • Conference facilities (fee)
  • Golf nearby (fee)
  • Horseback riding nearby (fee)

Hotel Room includes:

  • 1 king or 2 double beds
  • A/C
  • Ceiling fan
  • Satellite
  • TV
  • Phone
  • Radio/alarm clock
  • Mini-bar with soft drinks, water, beer & liquor dispenser (replenished regularly)
  • In-room safe
  • WiFi (fee)
  • Iron & board
  • Full bathroom with double sink, hair dryer
  • Balcony or terrace
  • Max occupancy 3 adults & 1 child, in existing bedding

Family Room includes same as above, with: 1 king and 1 double bed. Max occupancy 4 adults or 2 adults and 3 kids.

Kids Deal - Kids stay and eat free. Up to two children 12 and under in Hotel & Superior room only, limited availability.

For the Kids - Kids' pool, Supervised kids' club & playground (4-12 years) and Babysitting available for a fee.

Honeymoon Bonus - Surprise welcome gift in your room, King-size bed, Late check-out, and Complimentary upgrade to next available room class. Request at time of booking. Proof of marriage required. Subject to availability and subject to change.

Free Weddings & Renewal of Vows - Please inquire for more details.

Early Booking Bonus - This hotel may offer early booking bonuses at certain times of the year. If early booking bonuses apply to your vacation, prices shown online have already been adjusted accordingly. Please inquire for complete details.

Resort Location Map

  • Riu Guanacaste
    Liberia,Costa Rica

  • Hotel Contacts
  • Extra Info
  • Disclaimer
Hotel Riu Guanacaste
Playa Matapalo, Sardinal Costa Rica

Some restaurants may be open for certain meals only and limited visits may apply. Reservations required and dress code in effect for a la carte restaurants. Time restrictions may apply for water sports.

Child pricing may only be available with select tour operators and valid for select dates and durations. Child pricing rules are subject to change without notice. Please contact one of our vacation specialists if you require assistance with child pricing.

Photo identification and/or credit card or cash deposit may be required at check-in for incidental charges.

Extra-person charges may apply and vary depending on hotel policy. Rollaway beds and cribs (infant beds) may be available and should be requested at the time of booking; fees may apply.

Special requests are subject to availability upon check-in. Special requests cannot be guaranteed and may incur additional charges upon check-in to fulfil.

Hotels do not condone unruly behavior, parties in rooms, excessive noise or any other actions that violate the hotels terms of use. Guests may be removed from the property at their own expense in the event of any disturbance or complaint from other guests or hotel staff. cannot be held responsible for any guests who may be removed from the hotel due to a violation of rules. makes every effort to ensure that the information on this page is accurate, however, all information on this page is subject to change without notice. is not responsible for any changes, errors or omissions that may occur.