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General policies & fine print
Check-in Policy - Deposits or credit/debit card hold authorizations are not requested at check-in. Minimum age of 18 is required for check-in, an ID/Passport will be requested upon arrival.
Convention Policy - Individuals attending a convention cannot book this property for their stay. If found attending a convention, guests may be subject to higher room rates upon arrival.
Hotel Spring Break Policy- Student Groups/Spring Breakers (either groups or individuals, regardless of age) are not allowed at any time during the year. Guests disturbing or generating complaints from other guests or hotel may be removed from the property, at their own expense. Parties in rooms are not permitted.
Transfer Policy - A price may display when children stay free, if your vacation includes transfer to your hotel.
General Information - Room taxes and service fees are included in vacation price.
Minimum night stay restrictions may apply.
Reservation changes may not be permitted unless authorized by the hotel.
Ratings & reviews
TripAdvisor traveler rating9658 reviews
Perfect honeymoon getaway
Our stay at Riu Guanacaste was perfect. From having our room upgraded for our honeymoon to the activities and the overall ambience of the hotel. The staff was very friendly. The food was your typical resort food, some days better than others but overall was happy with it. Was a great experience and would recommend to anyone
Riu Guanacaste - You get what you pay for
Our family spent 6 nights at the Riu Guanacaste in August, 2023 hoping to relax after spending the prior 30 days travelling around Costa Rica. We originally were booked for 7 nights but checked out early to salvage vacation days lost here. The property lists as a 5 star, but definitely is much closer to a 3, possibly 4 star. As an example, during pretty much all meals, service was non existent and I had to search around for small things like cutlery or drinks to bring to the table. Once done eating, after eventually realising that no one was coming around, I would take all of our dishes and scrape them into the garbage and stack them on the service trays, all the while the workers stood by and watched. I don't mind doing this kind of stuff, but when paying for a place that advertised itself as a 5 star, it was definitely different for me to be searching for utensils and cleaning up plates. I've stayed at Riu resorts in the past, and the food and drinks at this place is no where near what we were used to at the resort chain. The sushi was good, but in all honesty, unless you want to eat over cooked leather for meat for the week or food that seriously isn't covered or protected in any way and is covered in flies, please look elsewhere. There were no hand washing or sanitising stations anywhere near the buffet and I watched people handling food and putting it back. We honestly are not high maintenance and have travelled the globe as a family, and know what is, and what is not the norm. As far as the drinks, I had read reviews prior and thought, really, how bad could they be?? Yep....... that bad. They definitely use the cheapest jet fuel tasing alcohol to make the drinks, and they are awful. Even with tips and requests, no actual good drinks were made. Thankfully the Riu has stores that sell actual rum, tequila, etc, and for the first time in our lives, we had to go out and buy stuff to make our own drinks because of how terrible tasting the drinks were. As far as service, it is honestly hit and miss. Some people worked hard and seemed to be happy to be there while others not so much. (and yes, I do tip when picking drinks). At times, I eventually left the bar after being overlooked by a bartender a few times even though I had been there before other people coming and pointed it out to the workers. (buuuuuut at least you do have the option to buy your own alcohol to make something that doesn't taste like cheap jet fuel). I could go on for hours about the service, but to even give one more example, after a floor was cleaned, it was super wet with no signs etc out. My wife slipped and took a fall. All the guests in the area gasped as she fell and then regained her feet. Meanwhile three men working leaned on mops and guarded the Coca-Cola drink station while doing nothing. A few minutes later they tossed up a slippery sign. Thanks for that..... Not even a simple check to see if she was okay, if she wanted help up, nothing. Just standing around. We were there during Mother's Day in Costa Rica and for some odd reason, the service was actually terrific and the food was good. It was definitely the only one off on the whole trip there. The rooms were dated as I expected, but that wasn't really a concern for us going in as we knew what to expect. All in all, the grounds are looked after, but honestly everything else at that place is poor. I'm not writing this review for the typical response from the online reputation manager of "we are sorry this didn't live up to your exceptions........" response, but as someone who has been there and knows what else there is out there, please give this resort a second thought if you are thinking of booking this place. As a family, our only regret was that we didn't check out earlier than we did, and can definitely say that the Riu is out moving forward.
This hotel is NOT 5 stars. It should be more aligned to a 3 or 4 star. The hotel itself is nice and clean and the grounds are beautiful. It is located on a average beach with a nice view across a small bay. Positives - The hotel did upgrade our room on arrival due to to bring a special occasional. Organised all our transfers to day activities and to the airport very easily. The far end of the beach is peaceful. It is a true all inclusive, no extra hidden costs. Close to several eco parks and reserves. OK range of activities to do. Staff are friendly. Negatives - NO sanitary stations at the buffet. Hundreds of people using tongs to get food and not one cleaning station for hands. Disgusting especially post Covid. Watered down alcoholic drinks. I drank 12 drinks in the space of 3 hours and did not feel very drunk. Food is average, Asian restaurant was the best but the lines build up quick if you’re not There by 5:30/6. The pool is dirty and there were things floating in it. They also blast party music ALL day which means you cannot relax around the pool. This is super annoying and attracts the wrong crowd. A lot of people there only seem to be there to get drunk and party. It doesn’t feel like a nice place to bring a family and does not feel romantic at all. The hotel is located near nothing. You will have to pay to travel anywhere and there is nothing around the hotel to walk to if you want to escape for a day. Overall the vibe of the hotel seems tacky and very American focused. If you want to see the real Costa Rica avoid this place at all costs, however it is good value for money if you’re into all inclusive resorts.
A great vacation
My family trip to Riu Guanacaste Costa Rica was fantastic we love the the staff was amazing I will definitely go back there all those activities for my kids was fantastic and the food was awesome love it.
Riu Guanacaste - Excellent (again)
This is our 2nd time at this resort. The first was in 2012 and we loved it then. The rooms look dated this time around but the grounds are so well kept, the parties so well organized....the food is excellent. The weather was blazing and like in 2012, the pool water was so warm, you barely got relief from the heat. The only complaint I would have is that the steam room was out of order for the whole week. It happens but I was really looking forward to that. Overall, it was an excellent trip. I figure they will renovate this hotel sooner than later judging from the excellent upkeep otherwise.