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Riu Guanacaste

Costa Rica-Guanacaste Beach Region

Our Rating

4 Nights with Air from $1,129 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 638 Reviews
Value
 
4.1
Service
 
4.2
Beaches & Pools
 
4.0
Dining Options
 
3.6
Room Comfort
 
3.8
4 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
571 out of 729 (78%) customers would recommend this product to a friend. Read All Reviews
Customer Rating
Value
 
4.1
Service
 
4.2
Beaches & Pools
 
4.0
Dining Options
 
3.6
Room Comfort
 
3.8
4 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
571 out of 729 (78%) customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Cortez Waterfall what we got View from our room. Wish we were closer to the ocean Dirty sheets View from our Room Sunset @ Coco Beach Zip lining through the jungle On the mega combo tour zip line canopy tour Torn towels Rooster Fish Pool View of the beach Night view from the Hallway Balcony Breathe taking first day Resort Beach Guanacaste Tree Bed Arenal 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! Nacho statioin at Ocotal. Red Eyed Tree Frog Heading to the beach Masaya Volcano The beach at the resort white water rafting tour with Tenorio River Lida's Special Services!! Amazing! Beautiful beach! Bathroom basics Beach at Riu Guanacaste Hotel Dinner Fun excursions Nacho bar is amazing The Beach! Our last selfie before headed to the airport. Coco Beach View from our room on night 1! Beach Endless palapas/chairs at the pool Pool Area Sunset!! Guanacaste Sunset View of the ocean from our 4th floor room. Quick Recap of vacate Looking back at the resort Swim-up bar. Spider monkeys Baby Sloth sun set on the black sand beach view from our balcony view from our balcony out at night the lobby mold in bathroom. Playa Del huevo Love the almond tree umbrellas! View from our fifth floor room. One of our excursions.. Arenal Volcano Garden view Street party
All Customer Reviews
1-4 of 638 reviews. Sort by
January 13, 2020
Better than expected!

There were mixed reviews for this Riu, and since it was our first Costa Rica visit and our first Riu, we did not know what to expect. The front desk: fast check in, very accommodating for my extra drinking water request and Coke light instead of regular. They also helped when we realized our flight changed and we needed to change our transfer. There was no time share pressure, which was greatly appreciated. Rooms were fine and very clean. Air conditioning worked great and the small pillows were usable. We enjoyed the monkeys in our tree! The shower/tub has a very high step in and is narrow. If you don't like late night noise, ask to be on the other side, and it was quiet. The swim up bar was the nicest we have seen. Lots of sun, tables, chairs and bartenders! We enjoyed Jonathan in the Sports Bar, it seemed like he was always there, from coffee in the morning to drinks in the evening. There were lots of food choices that did not change much over 8 nights, but you just choose something different each night. The Asian restaurant was buffet style which was very efficient and tasty. The beach was not like Riviera Maya, but we knew that going in. You can walk for about 35 minutes total unless the tide is out. Victor (his office is on the beach in a hammock, Vic Tours Guanacaste) did a fabulous job on our excursions. We traveled 2 hours to zipline, walk natural bridges, and mud bath and hot springs. He goes along and is very knowledgeable in the history and plants of Costa Rica. We also did his ATV excursion to swim by the waterfall. Our next trip there: we would spend some days closer to the coffee plantations and volcano, and then end up on the beach and the Riu for a few nights.


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Overall Rating: 4
Value
 
3.0
Service
 
4.0
Beaches & Pools
 
4.0
Dining Options
 
4.0
Room Comfort
 
4.0
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From: Wisconsin
Age: 55-64
Travel: 1-2 trips/year

December 28, 2019
Worst resort ever

From the moment we arrived I knew I had made the wrong selection. CheapCaribbean is awesome. Riu Guanacaste is not. The onsite AmStar representative was who we talked to first. He explained the check in process and said the Riu staff would take us and our luggage to our room. The underwhelming staff at the Riu simply pointed us in the direction of our room with zero additional help. Our room was dirty. Wrinkled blankets and sheets, TV didn’t work. Remote needed batteries. My wife went to the dreaded front desk to ask for batteries and was refused. They had to send someone to our room. So, the next day, maintenance came to our room and put batteries in for us. The TV reception was similar to a TV from 1982 with rabbit ears. On day 3 we were told that a cigarette smoke detector had to be reset in our room and that smoking was verified by housekeeping. This is a complete and total lie. When I went to the front desk they said that this was just a warning and the next time they thought that I might have smoked anywhere on the premises we would be charged $300. After a heated conversation the front desk admitted that there was no detector that was reset, nor was there any verification by housekeeping, but the warning would remain in place. Smoking cigarettes is illegal in Costa Rica so you are a criminal as soon as you get off the plane. They provide 3 smoking sections with no light, on gravel, and unsafe with unsteady concrete tables. Due to the lack of lighting and non level ground a gentleman fell knocking himself out on one of the concrete seating benches. It took an hour for staff to get him medical attention. The worst part was staff and security gathered laughing about what happened and doing nothing else. The man was tended to by other guests until help arrived. Absolutely unacceptable, but appropriate for criminal smokers I guess. They have more food options than I have ever seen before. Unfortunately I could only find one or two items that were edible. The swimming pool should have been closed everyday we were at the resort. Broken covers, cloudy water, missing tile, unsafe conditions. From Jamaica, Dominican, and from Cancun to St. Thomas, I have never seen such a lack of cleanliness or ability. They had shows in the evening. Not child friendly. Very inappropriate for my 9 and 11 year old, disgusting and not entertaining in the least bit. The whole property is rundown due to a lack of care. Our ceiling fan couldn’t be run at night it made so much noise. The front desk staff would do nothing to help us with this issue. The air conditioner never got the room below 74 degrees. We stopped putting valuables in our safe after noticing it had been tampered with and our belongings had been gone through. Staff can open the safe with a key and they cannot be trusted. The staff doesn’t even acknowledge your existence and people are treated like cattle, and the Riu creates an environment of competition when it comes to eating which makes the day even more unpleasant. People lining up an hour early to get a table at the so called specialty restaurants. Don’t waste your money. Find a real vacation location. The Riu Guanacaste is not a location to be considered at all for vacation. They failed in every way.


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Overall Rating: 1
Value
 
1.0
Service
 
1.0
Beaches & Pools
 
1.0
Dining Options
 
1.0
Room Comfort
 
1.0
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From: Minnesota
Age: 35-44
Travel: 1-2 trips/year

December 20, 2019
Poor Resort, Beautiful Views

My visit at Riu Guanacaste is not what I expected. My friend and I choose the resort compared to others because it showed promising night life. When we arrived we were informed that the club and casino advertised were actually OUTSIDE of the resort and not all inclusive. Secondly we requested a double bed room and ended up with only one king size bed. During our stay we found bugs in our room and one in our bed which was very uncomfortable. It was difficult to communicate with staff as Spanish was the primary language which is fine but my friend and I almost felt that we were shamed by staff due to our lack of Spanish we could speak. We noticed guests who spoke Spanish got better service than we did. Of the 5 restaurants 4 of them you needed to make reservations for to even eat at. They accepted reservations at 6pm but lines started forming at 5pm so days were cut short by the pool and at the beach to stand in line to make a reservation or else our only option was the buffet. I will say the food was exquisite but the process of having to make reservations was tiring. The best bar was the pool bar but unfortunately my friend and I wanted to spend lots of time at the beach but having drinks delivered to the beach was not offered. So we had to carry drinks from the pool bar all the way down to the beach. I have stayed at Riu Resorts previously and they have had staff who took drink orders and brought drinks down to the beach but this was not offered here. Almost every 5 seconds at the beach locals would come by trying to sell merchandise or excursions which made it hard to fully relax there. Even though we dealt with all of these things Costa Rica is beautiful which made these issues minor in comparison. We were able to paddle board which was included at the resort and see wild monkeys and lots of other animals. I recommend the zip-lining nearby! Just want to make sure everyone is informed on the reality of this resort before and if choosing it.


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Overall Rating: 3
Value
 
4.0
Service
 
2.0
Beaches & Pools
 
3.0
Dining Options
 
1.0
Room Comfort
 
2.0
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From: Kansas City, Missouri
Age: 19-24
Travel: 3-6 trips/year

December 8, 2019
Fantastic Trip

This was an amazing trip with so much to do. We enjoyed the beach, pool, drinks and food. The whole resort was always clean including the bathrooms. Everyone was very nice and friendly!


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Overall Rating: 5
Value
 
5.0
Service
 
5.0
Beaches & Pools
 
4.0
Dining Options
 
5.0
Room Comfort
 
4.0
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From: Lafayette, IN
Age: 35-44
Travel: 1-2 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

Family Room (DGSB)
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.

Tucan
Type: Gourmet
Hours: Daily, 3 seatings at 6:30pm, 7:30pm and 8:30pm
Description: Serving gourmet cuisines.
Dress code: Long trousers and 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

Internet is available throughout the resort, with the following condiditons:
Limited to two devices per room.
Available the basic services that anyone uses in their day to day, and blocked those that are of more specific use and that can be acquired with a ticket of payment.



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.

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.

MIN CHECK-IN AGE/SPRING BREAK POLICY: Student/Spring Break groups or individuals, regardless of age are not allowed at this hotel at any time. The hotel reserves the right to use reasonable means to identify suspected student/spring break groups. At least one person of 21 years or older is required in every room during March and April. The Hotel may request guests to show passport or official ID to proof 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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