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Reviewed 28 April 2021

Family of four with two teenagers. Staff was out of this world excellent!! Housekeeping and grounds are in great shape. Food was overall very good, but not quite the same as cruise would be - still no issues. Our family was so pleased with the entire experience...and there's lots and lots to do in the area as well; especially around volcanos, blue rivers, hiking, white water rafting, etc.

Prior to our trip, we read a few negative reviews and wondered about them. Having stayed on the property for 10 days...we believe the negative review folks might be chronic complainers...if you gave them a $100 bill...they'd complain and moan that it should have been five $20's...you get the idea.

The Costa Rica people we met (scores and scores of them) were entirely friendly; and this includes on and off property. It was a delight to visit and speak with them (and a great many speak english). This a genuine friendliness which one can not fake - wonderful!

While on property, you make nearly all requests via the free RIU app on your phone. This ended up being actually more efficient than expected and proved to be a good value as well.

For all of our AMSTAR excursions, we were picked up in very nice & clean vehicles with great A/C & excellent staff :)

You are not in the USA. A/C and accommodations are expected to be somewhat different...that's why you are taking a get-away trip! Bring a small fan in your luggage. Expect the same hotel room experience as if you traveled in Germany or France.

The pool-side beverage staff is awesome, the pool entertainment staff really does engage with folks in games, etc. Food staff is attentive and friendly. Nightly shows are amazing to watch. Very pleased!!

Room tip: Better views on higher floors.
Date of stay: April 2021
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8  Thank mdP1466DT
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed 27 April 2021

We had a nice stay at Riu Palace Costa Rica.. We traveled April2021, so covid had the resort mostly empty. Some services was scaled back but it wasn't to severe.. No room service, restaurants rotated nightly.

The room was a Jr suite. It was clean and decorated in white and bright accent colors.. The bed was comfortable and linens were nice, however the pillows are tiny.. Our room was right above the nightly entertainment on the 4th floor.. it went till 10-10:30.. still managed to fall asleep after being tired from diving.

The pools are spread out a long walk to the beach.. They were nice and clean. however, the only bath rooms are either back up the stairs by the hotel or a couple hundred feet away in Papagayo, one of the restaurants. There was a great amount of loungers available.. Towels were available at a shack in exchange for a card..

We did a resort dive class while we were there with Scuba Caribe, the contractor they use. John and staff were outstanding.. we felt safe and comfortable learning this great new activity..

Restaurants: the 4 specialty restaurants were open on a rotating basis due to covid and the very low amount of guests.. This worked OK.. We never had to wait for a dinner time. However service and quality was suffering.

Tokio, the asian restaurant we tried a few dishes that were very heavily cooked it soy.. not a light soy sauce, but seemed like straight soy.. I had Mahi that i scraped the outside off so so I could eat it.

L'Anfora, the Italian place, was better.. I had a veal dish that the meat was rubbery and chewy.. But not too bad.

Krystal, is there fusion eatery.. It was the better of the specialty restraurants..

Papagayo, the steak and seafood place was an all around disaster. They start with a salad and crab cakes.. That wen well. but they did even take our entrée order until we had finished our salad and crab cake. So, we ended up waiting for over 30 minute between courses for the entrée's. I had surf and turf, Steak was great, however the shrimp was way over salted.. Completely inedible, salted 3 times too much salt.. My wife had lobster, two small tails, one was fine, the other was the same 3 times over salted and way over cooked inedible mess. they offered to bring us other plates but by this time we had been there for almost an hour and half. we decided to just move on to desert.

Lunch was a buffet. items were OK. standard buffet with some items rotating daily.. But dont show up after 2 for the "snack buffet" Burgers were hard left over from lunch. Pizza was OK.. But very limited choices.

Breakfast buffet was good, many choices.

The Arenal Dinner buffet was our last night and exceeded our expectations.. Good variety. 5 different ceviche's.. yum.

Over all it a nice resort. food was just not up to par. It may have been because of covid and the low fill rate.. But we visited other places during covid and the food did not suffer this bad.

Room tip: ocean view suite had a great view
Date of stay: April 2021
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5  Thank sierrahiker68
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
RIU Hotels and Resorts, Owner at Hotel Riu Palace Costa Rica, responded to this reviewResponded 4 May 2021

Dear sierrahiker68,

Thank you for choosing RIU and for sharing your concerns with us.

It brings us joy to know that you enjoyed your overall stay with us, however we lament to hear that you encountered some inconveniences that made your stay less pleasant.

On the other hand, we are sorry you were not entirely satisfied with the restaurant´s food choices as we give great importance to meet all guests´ expectations. However, the current lack or reduction of choices and some of our services is because of our strict anti covid-19 protocols, which has been implemented to safeguard our guests and employees.

Again, we are sorry that we were not able to provide you with the holiday you were looking for and sincerely hope that we will have the opportunity to welcome you back again in the near future for a more satisfying experience.

All the best!

Hotel Riu Palace Costa Rica
Online Reputation Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 April 2021

This hotel was absolutely horrible! It is so run down. Our room was disgusting. There were stains on the bedding and towels. The sink was broken and there were stains on all the furniture. I did not feel comfortable at all. And the food was awful. We had to reach out to our travel agent to move hotels. The Riu Palace did refund our money so we were grateful for that! The only good thing about this hotel was that the staff was nice. This trip was for our honeymoon and this hotel did not even come close to meeting our expectations.

Date of stay: April 2021
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4  Thank sepollard92
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
RIU Hotels and Resorts, Owner at Hotel Riu Palace Costa Rica, responded to this reviewResponded 29 April 2021

Dear Stephanie,

Thank you for taking the time to review your special time at the Hotel Riu Palace Costa Rica.

You might have seen that the vast majority of the comments we have received so far from our guests highly value our food, the comfort, and cleanliness.

For this reason, we are terribly sorry to hear that you did not feel comfortable while staying with us, apologize that your stay was encountered with so many issues.

At RIU, we are constantly working on the renovation and maintenance of our worldwide hotel portfolio and have set ourselves the goal of bringing all hotels up to date, which is achieved step by step. However, your valuable feedback helps us better understand the needs and expectations of our guests and strive to consistently meet them. Be assured, we will earnestly work to meet those expectations and correct areas that need attention.

Congratulations on your marriage and all the best to you both! ❤ We hope you would give us another chance to welcome you back to one of our worldwide available hotels in order to provide a more memorable experience.

Respectfully,

Hotel Riu Palace Costa Rica
Online Reputation Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 April 2021

We spent 7 great nights in a 2 bedroom family suite over April break. The resort staff was nothing short of amazing. Everyone was friendly, helpful and attentive. It may seem trivial, but the ketchup was terrible. I was told that it is European style ketchup, but IMO it was inedible. I actually got a ride to the store and bought my own bottle. The rest of the food was good to great. I'd go back without hesitation.

Date of stay: April 2021
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Review collected in partnership with riu.com
1  Thank MiniChunks
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed 21 April 2021

I took myself and my 3 kids (ages 13, 10 , 10) on a Spring Break vacation to Costa Rica. We are world travelers been to about 47 countries, but this was our first time in Costa Rica. We had an amazing time at the Riu Palace Costa Rica. I honestly do not understand any of the negative reviews. Our experience at Riu was definitely a positive one. Check in was fast and informative. Room was ready prior to 3pm (we arrived at the hotel around 1pm), room was clean (it could use a little update, but nothing to complain about). All of the staff were always friendly. Great COVID protocols. Guests were always told to wear masks and hand sanitizer all over. Temperature taken once/day at breakfast. Always saw staff cleaning and sanitizing. Food was what you expect at an all inclusive resort buffet, choices were abundant and quality was decent/good. Pools were clean and amazing. We went to a different pool everyday. None were crowded, plenty of loungers in and out of shade. Entertainment/games were nice. I didn't care for the beach, it was nice, but I didn't like the fact that I had to drag 4 loungers myself. So we opted to stay by the pool. Nightly shows were amazing! My kids and I loved the dancers. Every night entertainment was provided. I used the Riu mobile app to restock the mini bar, never had an issue, they refilled it as many times as we wanted. We spent 6 nights/7 days and loved it! Americans are offered free Antigen Covid testing. Clear instructions are given during check in to book the appointment. It can be a little confusing, but nothing crazy. We showed up for our appointments and all 4 of us done in 15 minutes. Told results would be emailed in 24 hours, had results in 7 hours. One person I have to mention is Ani, she is a photographer. She is amazing, super friendly and takes great photos. Oh and...avoid mini market at all costs. The prices are INSANE! They wanted $31 USD for a soccer ball ( the kind you would buy for $3-$5 in 5 Below or Walmart) $45 USD for sunscreen that we pay $6-$7 in the States. I will definitely be going back to Costa Rica and staying at RIU Palace in the future!!

Date of stay: April 2021
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2  Thank gabrielleb570
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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