We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
Hotel Riu Guanacaste
Nearby Hotels
Bahia Pez Vela Resort(Playas del Coco)
US$291
Expedia.com
View Deal
Certificate of Excellence
  • Free Wifi
  • Free Parking
Hotel Villa Casa Blanca(Playa Ocotal)(Great Value!)
US$43
Booking.com
View Deal
Certificate of Excellence
  • Free Wifi
  • Free Parking
Marina Loft Apart-Hotel(Playas del Coco)
US$180
Booking.com
View Deal
  • Free Wifi
  • Free Parking
Hotel Coco Palms(Playas del Coco)(Great Value!)
US$105
Hotels.com
View Deal
  • Free Wifi
  • Free Parking
Casa Chameleon Hotel at Las Catalinas(Las Catalinas)(Great Value!)
US$399
US$210
Expedia.com
View Deal
Certificate of Excellence
  • Free Wifi
  • Free Parking
Hotel Coco Beach & Casino(Playas del Coco)
US$117
US$99
Expedia.com
View Deal
  • Free Wifi
  • Breakfast included
Hotel Savannah(Playas del Coco)
US$55
Booking.com
View Deal
  • Free Wifi
Sugar Beach Hotel(Playa Potrero)(Great Value!)
US$145
Expedia.com
View Deal
Certificate of Excellence
  • Free Parking
  • Breakfast included
Hotel La Puerta del Sol(Playas del Coco)(Great Value!)
US$70
Expedia.com
View Deal
Certificate of Excellence
  • Free Wifi
  • Free Parking
Villa de Los Monos(Playa Matapalo)
TripAdvisor
View Deal
Reviews (7,037)
Filter reviews
7,037 results
Traveller rating
2,578
2,526
1,218
418
297
Traveller type
Time of year
LanguageAll languages
More languages
2,578
2,526
1,218
418
297
Show reviews that mention
All reviewscosta ricariu guanacastezip liningsports barmonkey barhorseback ridingpura vidasteakitalian restaurantspecialty restaurantshot springshowler monkeysmake reservationsocean viewrainy seasonblack sandsushi
Filter
Updating list...
5,827 - 5,832 of 7,037 reviews
Reviewed 5 April 2010

My husband and I took 3 sixteen year olds to the Riu for their spring break. We booked this hotel in September before it was even opened. I have to admit...I almost rebooked because of all the bad reviews! I have now decided that your vacation is all in the eyes of the beholder.
We arrived at 8:30 at night after 14 hours of traveling. I have to say thank you to our transfer and tour guide through-out our vacation "THANKS MEMO!" He was at the airport patiently waiting for us with an air-conditioned van. It is a little bit of a drive, but we found it fun to see some of the country, the homes people live in, and the nature that surrounded us. By the way...you can find Memo at www.memo-adventures.com he is absolutely wonderful and will make all of your tour arrangements so you can relax. He also doesn't take advantage and charge you an arm and a leg. You get personal service for the same prices as you will pay sitting in a bus full of people! :)
The hotel is very beautiful. You always have wait staff that are better than others, but that is anywhere you go, and I believe the language barrier plays a huge factor. (I wouldn't want to interact with someone if I could not understand them!) We found that everyone was more than willing to help us. Sometimes you have to ask. I read some reviews where people just "expect" to be waited on hand and foot, others do not want to be bothered. I would say overall they do a great job!
Food? We all loved it! We tried almost everything, and the things that we did not expect to like were usually the good stuff! Hey, you are on vacation...try new things so you don't get bored!
The beach is gorgeous! It is very hot, so take beach shoes.
The pool is very well laid out. It never felt overcrowded. We also swam at night and had the pool to ourselves.
All I can say if you are looking to go to this resort is "GO! Have a great time! Don't sweat the small stuff...enjoy the moment!
PS>>Don't take valuables to the beach. The locals hang out at night and we lost an Ipod :) just be smart.
Happy vacationing!!

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank shunsaker83111
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 April 2010

I have visited many all inclusive resorts world-wide. This was the first time visiting a RIU hotel- before booking, I did some research and learned that RIU resorts are generally excellent resorts.

We went for a total of 4 nights.

GOOD:
My boyfriend and I enjoyed the food (lots of variety)
The room was also very clean and nice.

BAD:
The shows were HORRIBLE.
THE Club waws OFF the resort(and the drink were NOT all inclusive in the club)
My boyfriend was DRUGGED in the sports bar. He began acting very agressive and taken overnight to a holding cell in the middle of the forest against his will- this was the scariest experience we have ever had. To confirm he was drugged, upon arrival to our home city, blood and urine tests revealed a VERY high dosage of a drug (similar to VALIUM).

This was our third week in Costa Rica (the first two were spent volunteering) and the third week was vacation- this was a complete disappointment and I would NEVER RECOMMEND ANYONE GOIGN TO THE RIU GUANACASTE IN COSTA RICA.

  • Stayed: January 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank CanadaBrown_sugar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 April 2010

My husband and I stayed at the Riu Guanacaste from March 21-28th, 2010. We were excited about it being a new hotel, but were a bit apprehensive about some of the negative reviews we found on here. However, we were very, very pleased with most everything about this hotel and location. We're in our mid-twenties, and this was our first all-inclusive vacation...HOWEVER, I don't think this makes us poor critics...I think it just makes us more appreciative than some others I've heard from on this site. Probably easiest to split this review up into sections, soooo here we go:

Location: Many people have complained about this hotel being too remote, hard to get to, etc. For us, remote was great. We wanted time to ourselves, somewhere on a beach that wasn't just resort next to resort next to resort. Because it's dry season, the surrounding mountains are not green as shown in some pictures, but rather brown and barren looking. I heard a number of people complaining about this. Personally, I'll take brown mountains and guaranteed hot sunny days, over green rainforest and thunderstorms. Thank you very much. The lowlands immediately surrounding the resort are green enough. I don't see the problem. The resort itself is stunning: Very open, airy, and polished. Part of the road to the RIU is on an unpaved road. This may have been as issue if we were traveling in a cart pulled by a donkey. However, we were in a full size, air-conditioned tour bus. Don't think I'm going to do any complaining about this one.

Temperature: It was sunny and between 35 and 40 celsius every day we were there (no humidity, just pure sun and heat). DON'T take chances with the sun in costa rica!! The sun is MUCH stronger than in the carribean. We tanned a couple times before going, and wore sunscreen every day we were there, reapplying after swimming. We saw some people with some crazy bad burns, but luckily we got along okay. The temperature makes the beach and poolside area VERY hot...you need sandals just to walk from you're lounger to the pool...and that's usually only about 5 steps! My husband ended up with a massive blister on his sole just from running back across the sand to where I had his water shoes.

Cleanliness: This resort is insanely clean. We couldn't get over the number of people cleaning the floors, pool beds, walkways, and skimming the pools at any given time during the day. We were very happy about this, as that is always my biggest fear when going to a hotel :)

Food: We found the food at the buffet to be varied, and tasty. My husband eats meat, and I do not, and we both found lots to eat. We ate at the Italian restaurant one night, and found it to be very tasty as well. If you can't find something you like at the buffet, there's seriously something wrong with you. The fruits and vegetables are so fresh and juicy, I found it difficult to even eat anything else!! :)

Rooms: Our room was spacious and clean. Every time we walked into it, we sighed with pleasure at how nice and cool it was compared to the heat outdoors! We were on the east (forest facing) side of the hotel, on the top floor. The first morning, we were awakened at 5:30 am by the howler monkeys, so we went out on the terrace and listened to them and the birds: pretty nice start to our vacation!!! To those people who complain about being awakened by monkeys: Seriously. How do you not find that exciting? Do YOU get to hear howler monkeys every day when you're not on vacation? Because I sure don't! Relaxation and rest are important, but it's also nice to take in the experiences unique to whatever country or region you're in.
We had a real king bed, not two double beds pushed together like in most resorts, so we were happy about that. The beds, as others have mentioned, are very firm, but we both prefer a firm mattress, and slept like babies. We had no noise issues at all...maybe we lucked out and didn't have many night owls in the rooms around us!

Service: I really cannot praise the service at this resort enough. EVERY person we met at this resort was friendly and helpful, not in a, " I'll help you because I have to, and then hopefully you'll tip me" way, but in a, "I actually want to do what I can to ensure you have the best vacation possible" way. Very refreshing. Check-in was a breeze, room cleaning was great, buffet service was outstanding. One evening at supper, the resort manager (Ricardo) came to our table and asked if we were enjoying our stay, and if everything was to our liking, even asking specifically about the room cleaning and buffet service. It was nice to see a manager taking a personal interest in our satisfaction with our vacation!!

Things to Do: Before leaving for our trip, we booked a full day tour with "Costa Rica for Everyone". Unfortunately, the day we were supposed to go, I wasn't feeling well so we had to cancel. We felt horrible, but the tour operator (Roy) was completely gracious. We didn't end up re-booking a tour, but everyone we spoke to who DID do the tours seemed to especially love the zip-lining, and river boat tour. We did take the water taxi to Coco beach, and spent 2 hours in the market area. We also had lunch at an open, 2nd storey restaurant right on the beach. Don't remember the name, but the food was INSANELY good! We also took a jet ski out two different days, for an hour each time. We went over to the white sand, found some shells to bring home, saw a sea turtle....it was pretty fun.

"Issues", and areas for improvement.............
Keep in mind that this is a very new resort, and some of these things the resort may be already working on putting in place.
1) Room Service: It would be really nice if there was room service. Just something that I, personally, enjoy, but not a deal breaker when choosing a resort.
2) Sea Snakes: This is kind of a biggie. Actually, drop the kind of: this is a really big deal, and the only thing that really disappointed me...and scared me. When we were out on the jet skis, we saw a fairly big black and yellow sea snake. Gross and scary, but it was just one, and it was pretty far from the shore. However, coming back from Coco beach in the water taxi the next day, we saw 7 or 8 of them, all pretty close together and only about 40 yards from the shore. The guide driving the boat informed us that they're twice as poisonous as a rattlesnake, and, once bitten, you have about 5 minutes to live, but also that they are not aggressive snakes, and due to their small hinges on their jaws, they aren't able to bite anything bigger than a finger or earlobe. I, for one, did not feel inclined to test this theory, so that was it for any friendship developing between me and the beach. Lots of locals and some tourists were out swimming, body surfing, snorkeling, etc., and apparently there haven't been any bites at that beach, but still. There are no snakes in the pool, so I liked it there better :) I understand this is a public beach, so the hotel is not bound legally, BUT it would be really nice if they would have a sign on the beach informing people of the sea snakes.

3) Nudity by the Pool: Ok people. I'm no prude, but this is a family friendly resort, and there IS a public beach if you'd like to go take your clothes of there. That's all I have to say about that. And while we're on the subject, (yes, I'm talking to you, 65-year-old-man with the George Hamilton tan), it is NOT proper pool etiquette to change swimsuits directly in front of my lounger. (Especially when the swimsuit you're changing into is a gold thong speedo...but to each his own...) There are restrooms and change-rooms for this...use them accordingly.

All in all, I was very impressed with this resort. There were quite a few things previously mentioned on TripAdvisor as being "problems" with this resort, that the resort is obviously already working to correct: for instance, the were several bartenders pushing carts about the pool area (people had previously complained about no poolside "butler" service), and there were plenty of security guards throughout the pool area (I don't know if this is new or not, but there had been complaints on tripadvisor regarding items being stolen from the around the pool area). The resort is definitely up-to-date with complaints people have, and are trying there very best to improve on these things.
When it comes right down to it, you can enjoy yourself or not based on your attitude. Some people have traveled a lot more than us, and thus have higher expectations, but keep in mind that you are not royalty (I'm assuming...). You're simply on vacation, and these people serving you and cleaning for you are truly doing their best to ensure your satisfaction. And seeing as how you're on vacation....SMILE! If you're polite and friendly, people will usually treat you the same way. Don't treat people like servants, don't be disrespectful or arrogant, and lastly, please PLEASE don't take off you're clothes in front of everyone at the pool.

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
9  Thank pow-wow10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 April 2010

We just returned from a one week stay at the Riu Guanacaste Resort in Costa Rica. It was one of the most relaxing vacations we've experienced. From the time we arrived, the service was wonderful. We had upgraded to a suite and were very pleased with it. The location was great - overlooking the pools. Everything in the room was first rate, from the marble and tile to the stocked mini bar. The daily maid service was impeccable and we were pleased that there was a daily check by a quility assuarance person.
The food was above average. I know people complain about the fact that is mostly buffet, but there was always a large variety and plenty fresh fruits and vegetables. If you couldn't find something to your liking, I don't know what to say. All of the wait staff and service personnel were very friendly and efficient. we ate at theItalian restaurant twice. It was quite good. We also tried the Asian one and were a bit disappointed in it, but you can't hit a home run every time.
The purpose of our trip was to just relax and unwind, which we did. We took one excursion to Palo Verde National Park. It was very worthwhile and a good value for your money. For the most part we lounged around the pool - heaven!
The entertainment staff does a good job. The activities around the pool were fun for those wished to participate. The shows in the evening were good, about what you would expect from a resort. We didn't see many of them, because they started a bit late for our taste.
I can best describe this resort as a cruise ship that doesn't leave port.
This new resort gets "thumbs up" from us.

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank lynnnste
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 April 2010

This is my first trip advisor review. I'm writing it because I relied heavily on the trip advisor reviews to make my plans. RIU Guanacaste is very remote... I repeat, Remote! The closest town (Playa Coco) is about 25-35 minutes by car away. There is no cell phone service at the hotel. Internet is spotty in Wifi hot spots in the lobby. Staff is very friendly. Rooms are nice and clean (tip your housekeeper and you'll be fine). Food is good, hit the omlette station for breakfast.. she does a great job. The all inclusive alcohol is generic well booze. The resort only has on beer, Imperial, which I drank gallons of and thought it was ok. The "restaraunts" are a weak attempt to give you variety. They are not worth waiting in line for reservations. Just hit the regular buffet and avoid the overdramatic hassle of dinner reservations at another buffet. The resort has you as a captive audience. Get away from the resort and you'll have more fun. take day trips to Conchal, Coco or Hermosa. We took a day in Coco and it made all the difference. I highly recemmend the fish nachos at CocoNutz. The half day snorkel and sunset cruise was nice, snorkeling wasn't that exciting, the reefs are not like caribean reefs. Seek out Sunbird Sailing and Captain Vic and Amanda. Their sailing trip was the highlight of our stay... Watch out for the vultures near the beach! The beach is public so tour guides and hawkers surround the walkway from the resort. They are mostly nice and don't hassle you too much, but they circle the beach and attack as soon as you touch the sand trying to sell you junk and tours. Read all the reviews on here... for the most part they all hit the mark on the good and bad of the place. If I were to do it again, i'd find a little hotel or inn in Coco or find a villa to rent... The resort is just too far from the fun stuff.

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank eagledriver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
View more reviews