Riu Palace Costa Rica
- What's Included
- All Inclusive Features
There are many positive attributes to this hotel. The location is amazing and the service is excellent. All of the employees are helpful and friendly. The drinks were plentiful and top shelf liqour was provided as long as you ask. Shout out to Allen in the Daiquiri bar and Anthony in the entertainment bar. Both are great bartenders who make sure your glass is always full. The entertainment team worked tirelessly to make sure you had plenty to do but were not pushy. Extra big shout out to Adrianna who taught all of fitness classes with enthusiasm and a huge smile on her face. Also Johan who taught me some great drink recipes! The food was not as good as other Riu's I have been to but it was not awful either. The Krystal was our favorite. Our room was very clean and I did not experience any of the problems other reviewers mentioned. It did smell musty but you are in a humid area so that is to be expected. The room does have a weird configuration with the bathtub in the middle but since we were traveling alone, it did not affect us. We were near the entertainment area which could be too loud for some but the music ends at 11pm. The casino is small but I don't feel like that is the focus of this location. We went next door to the other Riu and you can tell the difference. The hotels are located in an isolated area but there are plenty of ways to get to more populated areas. Lastly the spa was pretty but making an appointment to use a hot tub seemed weird to me. All in all the positives outweighed the negatives for me and I would return to this hotel.
Decided to give Riu a try and even though the Motel was very nice its just not for me. The rooms, staff and grounds were nice but I could do so much more with what it cost to stay there. If you are not a big drinker I don't see it. The food is at best average in my opinion. Not that it was bad it was just not what I expected. Very little activities planned unless you wanted to lay around the pool. Views from our room was very nice.
Overall, most people would enjoy their stay here. However, they have some unfair policies which will impact us every wanting to stay here again (I'll explain at the end).The pros:>As far as all-inclusive resort food, most places I've stayed are very basic. They put so much work into the presentation, and there were some tasty meals. There were a few things that didn't taste great, but there are so many options that you will find something you'll enjoy.>The staff is incredible. My son loved seeing Monica at meal time. One of the male dancers took time to bring my two-year-old on stage when they were practicing to show him some dance moves. He won't stop talking about it! The people make it a wonderful place and are the hotel's greatest asset. >They work very hard to keep it clean. I know some people complain about the bugs, but after staying in Costa Rica multiple times, this is the cleanest place I've stayed. We had a few small ants in our tub, but I promise anywhere you stay in Costa Rica, you will encounter bugs. There is no way around it! I'm very picky about cleanliness, and I never felt uncomfortable in my own room.The cons:>This is the only higher class hotel I've ever stayed that didn't have a dedicated concierge, or at least have one point of contact (like the front desk) to help plans tours, meals, get a taxi etc. It was such a hassle trying to figure out where I go to for different things. Booking a taxi or shuttle to a local beach was in one place. Restaurant reservations are in another location. Some activities or tours are on the beach where you have to walk around and try and find who might be in charge of it. Booking other tours is in the lobby bar where they have different representatives there (these are larger chains, and it was not clear at all who specialized in what kinds of tours. I had no idea who I should approach). Not to mention they are open at different times. It was stressful figuring out what to do and where to go. Vacations shouldn't be stressful.>This is long, but this situation is the reason we will never stay here again. I've traveled all over the world and stayed at many higher-end resorts, and I've never encountered a hotel that doesn't allow guests be picked up at the lobby simply because I didn't book a tour with one of their partners. We had an early tour to Nicaragua at 5:30 am, and we were notified at that time by the front desk we had to walk off the property limits to get picked up for our tour, because this was not one of their tour partners. I thought there was some kind of misunderstanding, so we didn't argue and started walking about 10-15 minutes to leave the property, because now we were going to be late for our tour pickup. If it were just my husband and I, I wouldn't care so much. But we had a half-asleep 2-year-old who had to be carried, his 30-pound car seat, and multiple bags for our long tour. My husband and I are athletic and I run marathons for fun, but that was very tough. I strained my arm by the end of it. We don't ever anticipate carrying that much stuff that far. The next day we asked the front desk what had happened, because we were very confused since every single other hotel we've ever been to (including the Four Seasons close by) allows people to pick them up from the lobby. We explained how hard it is to walk with that much stuff and a small toddler for that long of distance. They showed absolutely ZERO compassion and did not apologize. It is their policy to only allow their preferred partners on site. This is the rudest policy and it only punishes their paying guests. Since they weren't willing to budge on the policy, we asked if we could receive some assistance a couple days later to get to the front gate, because we had another tour with that same company. Nope, they will not help in any way. I was in tears because I was so shocked we would be treated that was as paying guests. I wasn't asking for them to roll out a red carpet and bring us in a horse-drawn carriage. We simply needed some help. We almost brought my handicapped mom on this trip with us, and I cannot even imagine how I would have reacted if they made her leave the property to go on a tour. What if someone is elderly or handicapped? How is this in any way respectful?? I appreciate having security, but there are ways to keep their property secure but still allow guests to be picked up (example: I can provide proof I have a tour, so they can be allowed on the property).For our next tour, we coordinated with our tour company to bring us a car seat so that it would be one last thing we would have to take on our walk to get picked up. On our way to the front, our tour driver spotted us and said they allowed him on the property this time. Because of our complaining, they granted our tour company a "permit" this one time, but did not communicate that with us or the tour company. Again, we were so confused. If you are making guests apply for permits to get picked up from the lobby, that is incredibly ridiculous. For the record, I read every single piece of literature they provide at check-in and in the room, and in not one place do they mention any of this policy. Please communicate with your guests.When it came time to leave for the airport, we went with their taxi partner even though we had a cheaper deal and could have saved $15 because we could not physically carry all our luggage, carseat, bags, son and stroller off that property to get picked up. Again, the customer is being punished.I was so upset by all of this, we almost cancelled the rest of our reservation to go to another hotel. We also tried booking one tour with their "preferred partner, " but they wouldn't allow my son on a boat. So we were forced to go outside their partners. We chose Tico Tours Guanacaste who I HIGHLY recommend! Unlike our hotel, they were so supportive to us and agreed how unprofessional all of this was. I dislike that this hotel discourages us from supporting these locally owned tour companies versus some of their internationally owned tour partners, which only helps the local economy.I cannot wait to go back to our favorite country next year, as we go every single year. However, we will never be back here. I would simply ask that management takes a look at their policies, because they seem to be in place for the benefit of their partners and not the customer.
My husband and I stayed at the RIU Palace for one week. The hotel was beautiful, the staff very friendly and helpful, the food amazing and the drinks plentiful. I would say, this is one of our best vacations.
We had stayed at the RIU Guanacaste 7 years ago so we had some idea what to expect. Check in was quick and fast but they try to explain everything in 60 seconds and it was a bit daunting. The resort is very large, the grounds are beautiful, they had just had a hurricane 4 days prior to our arrival, but there was no evidence of any damage. There are at least 5 pools, very nice pools with plenty of chairs and towels. Some of the tiles are popping off the pools and thru out the resort primarily due to poor grout. The entire staff of the resort are truly committed to you having a great vacation experience. I did see some favoritism to the Ticos staying at the resort, but the other guests are NOT ignored. The bartenders make great drinks and the liquor quality is great. The food was great, much better than at the RIU, 7 years ago. The entire resort was clean. The rooms are your basic all inclusive type rooms with everything you need for a great vacation. My wife is very picky about the room and she was happy. The wi fi was better than expected about 12 MG up and 12 MG down. Most disappointing was there was only ONE channel in English and it was a news channel. We were not there for the TV though. The $1,500.00 resort credit that you get is the biggest scam going and not worth the paper it is printed on. There were a few young kids at the resort and they were all bored, there is nothing for them to do. Overall the resort greatly exceed our expectations and I would highly recommend it.
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
- 3 Meals daily plus 24 hour snacks
- All drinks 24hr (domestic beer and cocktails, select international brands)
- Table Tennis
- 1 introductory scuba diving lesson in the pool
- Daily activities
- Evening entertainment
- Nightclub: Complimentary entrance, drinks are not included.
- 538 Rooms
- 4 Pools
- Spa (fee)
- 5 Restaurants, including: 1 Buffet and 4 a la Carte
- 1 Patisserie & ice cream parlor
- 5 Bars
- Free WiFi
- 5 Conference Rooms (fee)
- 24 Hour Front Desk
- Casino (fee)
- Tennis Court
- Water Sports
- 1 King or 2 Double beds
- Air Conditioned
- Ceiling Fan
- Hair Dryer
- Satellite TV
- Turn Down Service
- Iron & Ironing board
- Liquor Dispenser
- Coffee Maker
- Radio alarm clock
- 110 Volt
- Mini bar (restocked daily)
- Hydro-massage tub
- In-room safe
- Living area with sofa or sofa bed
- Free WiFi
- Maximum Number of Adults 3; Maximum Occupancy 4
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.
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 Palace Costa RicaLiberia,Costa Rica
- Hotel Contacts
- Extra Info
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.
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