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Riu Guanacaste

Costa Rica-Guanacaste Beach Region

Our Rating
4 Nights with Air from $989 All-Inclusive
Info Customer Reviews Questions & Answers

This little gem of a destination lives up to its rep - you know - adventurous, wildly green, unique animals to see (the ... More

Customer Rating 250 Reviews
Value
 
4.3
Service
 
4.3
Beaches & Pools
 
4.2
Dining Options
 
3.7
Room Comfort
 
4.0
4.2 out of 5
"We just returned from Riu Guanacaste on January 26, 2013 and we had a wonderful vacation! We heard mixed reviews before departing from Michigan but I can honestly say we had the best vacation ever! The..." – Suggie
241 out of 283 (85%) customers would recommend this product to a friend. Read All Reviews
Customer Rating
Value
 
4.3
Service
 
4.3
Beaches & Pools
 
4.2
Dining Options
 
3.7
Room Comfort
 
4.0
4.2 out of 5
"We just returned from Riu Guanacaste on January 26, 2013 and we had a wonderful vacation! We heard mixed reviews before departing from Michigan but I can honestly say we had the best vacation ever! The..." – Suggie
241 out of 283 (85%) customers would recommend this product to a friend.
the lobby zip line canopy tour Heading to the beach white water rafting tour with Tenorio River Night view from the Hallway Balcony The Beach! The beach at the resort Dinner Playa Del huevo View from our Room A waterfall that our tour guide went out of his way to take us to that was not part of our paid excursion. GREAT EXPERIENCE! Quick Recap of vacate View from our room on night 1! Street party Nacho statioin at Ocotal. Looking back at the resort Coco Beach View from our fifth floor room. sun set on the black sand beach out at night Endless palapas/chairs at the pool Our last selfie before headed to the airport. Bed Rooster Fish On the mega combo tour mold in bathroom. Swim-up bar. Resort Beach Bathroom basics Fun excursions
All Customer Reviews
1-4 of 250 reviews. Sort by
February 20, 2017
Fair Trip

The hotel ambiance was amazing very stylish and beautiful grounds. The staffs did fantastic job and worked really hard. Good shows and water sports options. While dinner options were good, breakfast wasn't good. We got tired of the same breakfast by the 3rd day, beach wasn't good, scuba diving made up for the unappealing beach experience. This is our 4th Riu hotel in 3 years and no other Riu we've had to pay for drinks in the disco not in Jamaica ( Riu Ocho Rios & Riu Montego Bay) Mexico ( Riu Caribe) So that was confusing.


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Overall Rating: 4
Value
 
4.0
Service
 
5.0
Beaches & Pools
 
2.0
Dining Options
 
2.0
Room Comfort
 
4.0
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From: Washington D.C
Age: 25-34
Travel: 3-6 trips/year

February 14, 2017
Nice little resort

This pacific-side resort was a perfect little getaway. If you've never been to Costa Rica, this is a great primer for you. Literally, right next door to the resort is a fantastic Eco-Park with 5-run over the canopy zip-lines and a newly built zoo. Very affordable pricing for a full day of access and activities. They also have a small private section of beachfront where they have snorkeling equipment, kayaks and a bunch of hammocks available for your use included in the price, and prowling the trees overhead, groups of monkees. Next door the other direction, is another RIU resort that's clearly newer. They share a long stretch of beach nestled between two rocky sections of shoreline which lead to some great trails for exploring to the south. The food, while very good, is the weakest part of this resort, the restaurants, Asian, Italian and a modern bistro have schedules that are mostly consistent, it just seemed while we were there that at random nights, different combos of restaurants were closed. Just have to be watchful of that. The main buffet is spacious and well-stocked and staffed by a great bunch of folks. No complaints about the staff here. One last thing, if you haven't been to Costa Rica before and you're a fan of coffee, prepare yourself for something special. Great coffee wherever you go. Overall, I would definitely return here and to Costa Rica in general.


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Overall Rating: 4
Value
 
3.0
Service
 
4.0
Beaches & Pools
 
4.0
Dining Options
 
3.0
Room Comfort
 
5.0
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From: New York, NY
Age: 45-54
Travel: 3-6 trips/year

February 11, 2017
Wonderful vacation

Resort was clean, employees were very helpful, food was good. Only problem we had was we were put in a different building than other family but got rooms together after the first 2 nights. Very accommodating about the change. The Italian restaurant was always crowded so we waited in line the last night of our stay - was worth it, food was excellent. Shows in the evening were very enjoyable. Would definitely recommend this resort and this trip to Costa Rica.


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Overall Rating: 5
Value
 
5.0
Service
 
5.0
Beaches & Pools
 
5.0
Dining Options
 
4.0
Room Comfort
 
5.0
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From: Indiana
Age: Over 65
Travel: 1-2 trips/year

January 30, 2017
Wonderful experience but Outside influences mar it

I recently traveled to Riu GNC Jan 18-23 for a birthday trip with my friend, this was our first experience at an all inclusive so keep that in mind when you read my review. PROS: 1) the staff were very friendly and cheerful! I was honestly surprised how approachable everyone was, even back-of-house like maintenance and housekeeping staff. Everyone spoke English and were eager to talk. 2) The grounds are beautiful and well maintained, and there's a real sense of pride in how they maintain it. 3) I read reviews before going that the drinks were watered down and I respectfully disagree, there were 4 bartenders at both of the the pool bars and they gave us great service regardless of if we tipped or not. A waiter also brought us drinks on the beach even though we hadn't brought money to tip. I really expected to have to tip for service and I feel like I was misled there. The Dirty Motherf**er and Liquid Marijuana were our favorite off-menu drinks. 4) We did the Arenal zip lining adventure through Louis at the Swiss travels table in the lobby because it seemed less sketchy than the guys on the beach (see cons) and it was the highlight of the trip. The bus ride was bumpy to be sure but the added activities were completely awesome 5) The room was well stocked while we were there with liquor bottles and the mini fridge, we ran out of beer one day and when I asked the guy restocking the other rooms if I could have another he gave me 5 more. 6) the room felt very secure, while we used the room safe... one day we left it unlocked and open while we went to the pool. Nothing was touched. I felt very safe keeping things out. NEUTRAL: 1) When we arrived at the airport we found a guy in a black shirt that said 'tourist info' who pointed us to a legit cab that cost $60 one way. We ended up getting his number and he drove us back to the airport at the end of our trip. 2) some reviews talked about the distance from room to pool and initially I just thought it was people being lazy but the place is HUGE and if you forget your towel in the room, you will have second thoughts about going back up for it. We are both marathoners and even we decided it wasn't worth the walk sometimes. Not necessarily bad but still worth noting 3)We originally had a partial ocean view but the hotel lost the keys to the room and gave us a jungle view instead. I'm bummed that happened because the foliage is mediocre and drab compared to the beautiful view we had before. The main reason this isn't a con is because we got to see the monkeys AND zip liners from our balcony which was super cool. 4)The food was good for buffet style, but by the 4th day I was ready for some different tastes. The steak house was very good so try that out at least once. I agree with other reviewers that the first-come-first-serve was weird but we eat early enough that it didnt impact us too greatly. I was expecting a very americanized buffet so I enjoyed the Costa Rican food interspersed throughout! 5)We ran around the property (training for a race) and in case you're wondering: it's a half mile from the lobby to the front gate of the property and if you turn right there is a road that loops back to the beach that is a mile long (it ends where they stage the ATV and horse back riding). If you turn left out of the gate may God have mercy on your soul because the hills are crazy. More like hiking than jogging! We felt very safe jogging, there's really nothing there except for the hotels. CONS: 1)The beach is terrible for wading. The beach is steep, very rocky and the water is rough. We ended up at the beautiful white sand beach that is about a 1/2 mile walk to the left down the beach. Definitely go to this beach! And take tennis shoes if you go to get around the rocks. 2)The wifi is a big draw back. It's free in the lobby but costs $15 a day to get it in the room or at the pool (unless you're at the exact perfect spot). If youre looking to come and unplug then it's perfect, but it was annoying to me. 3)This is not a fault of the hotel but more a symptom, but the people selling stuff on the beach are pretty invasive. They were friendly enough and went away with a polite"no thank you" but I didn't feel comfortable leaving My stuff alone to go swimming. 4)We rented jetskis from a guy on the beach and it was a great deal! $180 for two jetskis for two hours. That was better than anywhere else I could find. We paid up and had an absolute blast looking at puffer fish and going in and out of the island that are about a mile out. We even jumped off and Swam at one is the beautiful deserted beaches for a bit. But when we got back the guy was yelling at us that 'two jetskis for two hours' meant an hour each for two jetskis and that we weren't supposed to leave his sight (even though he had recommended we go to the islands and Coco beach originally). He tried to charge us for the second hour (an additional $180!). We firmly said no and walked away and the guy yelled at us until we got on hotel property. On reflection it may have been a true misunderstanding but it really put a negative spin on the whole day. 5)I wish there was an employee whose sole job was to keep the bar-pool area clean. I was disgusted by the number of people who finished their drink and dumped it into the pool, straws and all. A drunk lady actually had a family size bag of Cheetos and was throwing them at her friends in the pool. I specifically came in January to avoid kids and this is what happens? TL;DR- we had a great time at the riu guanacaste with good service and friendly people! The other tourists and hawkers on the beach were a draw back along with charged wifi. They only allow 2 photos so you can see the rest on my insta at bal_world_travels I would rate this as Good for my first all-inclusive resort and would recommend it to a friend thinking of going to costa Rica. Pura Vida!


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Overall Rating: 4
Value
 
5.0
Service
 
5.0
Beaches & Pools
 
4.0
Dining Options
 
3.0
Room Comfort
 
3.0
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From: Washington DC
Age: 25-34
Travel: 3-6 trips/year

Room Information

The 701 guest rooms are all equipped with central air conditioning, Satellite televisions, radio alarm clock, hair dryer, direct dial telephone, mini bar and liquor dispenser, laptop size in-room safe, iron and ironing board, and balcony or terrace.

Room Details

Double Room ROH (DBSB)
Hotel/Studio Unit Details

Double Room Superior (DBJB)
Hotel/Studio Unit Details

Double Room Ocean View (DBMB)
Hotel/Studio Unit Details

What's to Love

The all-inclusiveness: the food, the drinks, the everything.

No reservations needed at any of the restaurants.

Three sparkling pools, surrounded by lush greens keep you refreshed and cool. Pool side bars quench your thirst.

The liquor dispenser in the room lets you craft your own cocktail (soda water and mixers are stocked in the fridge.)

The beach isn't crowded and the tropical background adds to its peacefulness. Find your perch.

The stunner of a view with green lush landscapes and rolling mountains off in the distance - breathtaking.

Riu knows how to put on a show and the live entertainment day and night won't disappoint.

Some great rocks nearby for snorkeling - pack your own gear if you want to make sure you get a mask.

 

What We'd Change

The walk from the lobby to the pool doesn't offer much shade. Luckily, the pool's swim-up bar offers quick relief with ice-cold beer.

 

Why You Should Go

Riu is not far from the airport in Liberia - a quick 20 minutes to your tropical oasis.

A great spot for adventure-seeking tourists with excursions like Rincon Nature Park and the Safari Park nearby.

The beachy tan sands are sometimes rocky under the water - just grab shoes to wear & you'll be set.

Laid-back Costa Rican resort with lots to experience in the area - unique foliage and wild life add to the charm.

Much-needed spa time lets you get uber relaxed - massages, steam baths, facials in tropical paradise.

Activities galore - tennis, ping pong, beach volleyball, windsurfing, kayaks, paddle boards. Game on.

Available Amenities

  • Tour Assistance
  • Car Rental Available
  • Banquet Facilities
  • Beach
  • Casino ($)
  • Babysitting/Child Care ($)
  • Children's Activities
  • Children's Pool
  • Conference Facilities ($)
  • Cribs Available on Request
  • Currency Exchange
  • Daily Maid Service
  • Fitness/Exercise Room
  • Gift Shop
  • Golf Course ($)
  • Jacuzzi
  • Kayaks
  • Kids Club
  • Laundry Services ($)
  • Lounge Chairs/Umbrellas
  • Nightly Entertainment
  • Swim-Up Bar(s)
  • Tennis Court(s)
  • Windsurfing
  • 24 Hour Front Desk
  • 24 Hour All-Inclusive
  • Poolside Bar
  • Safe Deposit Box
  • Medical Services ($)
  • Nightclub/Disco
  • Billiards
  • Scuba Lessons
  • Horseback Riding ($)
  • 4 Restaurants
  • 5 Bars/Lounges
  • Porter/Bellhop
  • Nightclub
  • Multilingual Staff
  • Elevators
  • Honeymoon Packages ($)
  • Beach Volleyball
  • Sports Bar
  • Swimming Pool
  • Connecting Rooms Available


Nearby Excursions & Attractions

  • Beach
  • Eco-Adventure Tour(s)
  • Fishing
  • Golf Course(s)
  • Nature Park(s)
  • Scuba Diving

Map of Local Area

Costa Rica is an exhilarating land of luxuriant rainforests and mighty volcanoes, of natural hot springs and shimmering oceans, of colonial charm and captivating nightlife. The ultimate delight of Costa Rica is its people.

Riu Guanacaste

Sardinal, Canton de Carrillo, Playa Matapalo

011-506-2681-2300

Hotel Description

Riu Guanacaste: All-Inclusive Palatial Retreat in Tropical Costa Rica

This little gem of a destination lives up to its rep - you know - adventurous, wildly green, unique animals to see (the sloth is big here and so adorable), volcanoes to hike and ocean waters ideal for all kinds of sea faring folks. Have you tried surfing? Why not give it a go here. And Riu Guanacaste makes traveling to this oasis a breeze - delicious cuisines, cocktails for days, all the activities you'll want and gorgeous palms to settle in for a day of everything you want. Poolside, beachside, spa side - you choose. Ready to see Costa Rica? We thought so.

It's Time to Get Your Riu On.



DINING

Here you can get a great combo of taste bud-slaying cuisine. Chow down at the plentiful (and varied) buffet where you can enjoy tasty breakfasts/lunch/dinner along with "live" cooking stations. You'll find those favs from home (think pizza, hamburgers and pastas), plus a la carte specialties like made-to-order steaks and Italian cuisines that will make your mouth water.

La Toscana
Type: Italian
Hours: Daily, 3 seatings at 6:30pm, 7:30pm and 8:30pm
Description: Main course with table service, buffet for starters and dessert.
Dress code: Long trousers and shirts with sleeves for gentlemen.

Furama
Type: Asian
Hours: Daily, 3 seatings at 6:30pm, 7:30pm and 8:30pm
Description: Buffet.
Dress code: Long trousers and shirts with sleeves for gentlemen.

Ocotal
Type: Steakhouse
Hours: Daily, 3 seatings at 6:30pm, 7:30pm and 8:30pm
Description: Poolside restaurant, a la carte menu.
Dress code: Long trousers and shirts with sleeves for gentlemen.

Liberia
Type: International
Hours: Breakfast - daily, 7am-10am; Lunch - daily, 12:30pm-3:30pm; Dinner - daily, 6:30pm-9:30pm
Description: International buffets and cooking stations.
Dress code: shirts with sleeves for gentlemen.

All restaurant hours subject to change.



BARS/NIGHTLIFE

Bars run plenty - you'll find one at every turn. And, the friendly bartenders are more than ready to craft you whatever your heart desires. Even better - it's unlimited 24-hours a day. Drink up.

Filadelfia
Lobby bar with terrace. Daily, 10am-11pm.

Pura Vida
Lounge bar with terrace. Daily, 7pm-midnight.

Santa Cruz
Poolside, swim-up bar. Daily, 10am-6:30pm.

La Plaza
Intimate outdoor bar. Daily, 6pm-midnight.

Sports Bar
Open 24 hours.

Casino Las Olas
Daily, 6pm-2am.

Pacha Nightclub
Daily, 11pm-3am.



BEACHES AND POOLS

Three refreshingly bright blue pools dot the lush landscapes at this palatial retreat, and those tan colored sands along Costa Rica's Mata Palo Beach offer plenty of sunny seaside relaxation. Grab a lounger, a cocktail and dive in.

SPORTS/ACTIVITIES

Water

  • Windsurfing
  • Pedaloes
  • Snorkeling equipment
  • Kayaking
  • Scuba lesson in the pool

Sports

  • Table tennis
  • Fitness center
  • Beach volleyball
  • Tennis

For an additional charge:

  • Billiards
  • Horseback riding

Golf
Enjoy a round of golf at Papagayo Golf & Country Club or Hacienda Pinilla Country Club.



INTERNET

Guests can use Wi-Fi in the lobby area for 90 consecutive minutes, daily. Wi-Fi is available in guest rooms for an additional charge.

SPA SERVICES

Renova Spa is a full-service spa.
  • Massages
  • Body treatments
  • Facials
  • Salon services


WEDDING SERVICES

Riu Guanacaste offers several wedding packages. Contact the front desk for more information.

CHILD CARE

Kids Club is available for children ages 4-12. Daily, 8:30am-3:30pm.
  • Daytime entertainment program
  • Children's swimming pool
  • Children's playground


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Location
20 mi from Liberia Airport (LIR).

Check In/Check Out
Check-in: 3 pm. Check-out: Noon.
A valid credit card may be required upon check-in for possible incidentals not included in your hotel reservation.

Minimum Stay Requirements
A 4-night minimum stay is required at this resort.

Departure Fees
Please be advised that there is a $29 USD per person departure fee due and payable upon leaving Costa Rica. Fees are subject to change without notice at the discretion of the Costa Rican government. It is possible that this fee is included in the cost of your airline ticket. Please consult the airline on which you are traveling to verify.

Holy Week
In observance of Holy Week, some resorts in the Dominican Republic, Mexico, and Costa Rica may put limits on the use of motorized water sports, and loud music.

Spring Break Policy
At least one person 21 years old or older is required in every room at this property during March and April. The hotel may require guests to show proof of age and reserves the right to refuse admission to anyone. In-room parties, unruly behavior and spring break groups are not allowed at any Riu resort. Guests can and will be removed from the property at their own expense in the event of any disturbance or complaint from other guests or hotel staff.



All hours, fees, amenities, information and services are subject to change without notice.
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