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Playa Matapalo, Matapalo 60602 Costa Rica
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Traveller (9540)
Pool & Beach (1889)
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Travel safe during COVID-19
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What you can expect during your stay
  • All linens sanitised in high-temperature wash
  • Face masks required for guests in public areas
  • Face masks required for staff in public areas
  • Floors marked for social distancing
  • Hand sanitiser available to guests & staff
  • Stay-at-home policy for staff with symptoms
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Updated 21/11/10 Safety precautions are provided by the property and are not checked by Tripadvisor for accuracy.
A note from Hotel Riu Guanacaste
Updated 21/11/10 Safety precautions are provided by the property and are not checked by Tripadvisor for accuracy.


The 24h All Inclusive Hotel Riu Guanacaste opens all year round and is located directly on the beautiful, fine-sandy Matapalo beach, in the Playas del Coco region, next to the Riu Palace Costa Rica. The location is ideal because of its proximity to Daniel Oduber Airport LIR (33 km) and Playa del Coco (18km) and invites you to explore the area. The hotel has 701 cosily furnished rooms with free Wi-Fi and offers many amenities. Relax in the Renova Spa, or get fit at the gym or on the tennis courts. 3 outdoor pools, 1 children's pool. For the youngest guests, there is the RiuLand Kids Club (for children from 4 to 7 years & 8 to 12 years old) and for adults, day and evening entertainment, as well as the Pacha Discotheque. For lovers of gastronomy, we offer live cooking stations at our main restaurant, various specialty restaurants with Asian and Italian cuisine, gourmet restaurant, Steakhouse, and 5 bars.
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Property amenities
Free parking
Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room
Bar / lounge
Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly)
Hot bath
Pool / beach towels
Outdoor pool
Breakfast available
Breakfast buffet
Snack bar
Swimup bar
Poolside bar
Tennis court
Entertainment staff
Evening entertainment
Table tennis
Nightclub / DJ
Kids club
Kids' outdoor play equipment
Business Centre with Internet Access
Conference facilities
Banquet room
Meeting rooms
Couples massage
Facial treatments
Foot massage
Full body massage
Head massage
24-hour security
Baggage storage
Currency exchange
Gift shop
Sun loungers / beach chairs
24-hour front desk
Dry cleaning
Laundry service
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Room features
Air conditioning
Private balcony
Flatscreen TV
Room types
Ocean view
Family rooms
Good to know
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Hotel links
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Popular mentions
LeoJLF wrote a review Yesterday
Torquay, United Kingdom17 contributions1 helpful vote
First and foremost I must repeat what many others have previously written - Do NOT believe the negative comments about this place, i work in a luxury 4star spa hotel in SW England and this place ticks all the boxes for me. Anyone who picks faults with Riu Guanacaste must have had a bad day or lost some valuables (likely their own fault), and then decided to let that spoil their whole experience. The staff - They really stand out for me in this hotel, the level of work-rate and effort is astonishing... They have lots of bodies on hand and they all work tirelessly. The grounds keepers trim the bushes and prune the flowers and water/cut the grass so that it all looks picture perfect every day. The cocktails made are always perfectly made and the selection is excellent... Im a drinker and there was always something tastey on offer, made as strong as you like =) The waiters and bar staff are always friendly **despite what others reviews have remarked on.... leading me to imagine that they werent exactly friendly initially when approaching the bar or restaurant... which would inevitably and understandably provoke a less than over-the-moon response!** Special mentions for RICHARD, and MOISES who work the restaurants. Built an amazing rapport with these gents, nothing was too much trouble and they are a credit to the hotel truely. The housekeepers and cleaners never let the hotel public areas, toilets and pool area get into a poor state. They are extremely efficient everywhere. When you allow access for the housekeepers to enter and clean the room, they leave it spotless every time. And occasinally make swans out of your towels - thanks for that! The hotel - Ever so slightly dated in decor and furnishings in the rooms (but with A/C, a safe and balcony seating what else do you need???) Its comfortably modern in the public areas with plentiful seating and sun loungers in all areas of the pools and restaurants and Beach. So no need to reserve any at 6am! The surrounding areas and beaches are STUNNING with free roaming capuchin and howler monkeys in the trees, and massive iguanas scuttling about the pool areas. Theres a water park just outside the resort but still on site as its only a 5 minute walk, its all included in the all inclusive tarriff so your wristbands will grant you access. Its actually pretty good, I recommend the slides, and they dispense free soft drinks and have clean toilets and ample seating/sun loungers. Few tips and pointers... Book your excursions with the boys on the beach. ALAN HALL was the guy we booked our day trips and activities with. Fair prices and very informative. Also I highly recommend 'looking after' a couple members of staff a few times during your stay. Its well earnt and deserved and they honestly treat you like royalty if you do so... A small gesture goes a LONG way, trust me. All in all, TOP hotel with TOP service in a stunning location.... I highly recommend! Thanks guys PURA VIDA!!! Big Love, Leo & Steph
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Date of stay: January 2022Trip type: Travelled as a couple
JDEKAM wrote a review Mar 2021
Eden Prairie, Minnesota78 contributions36 helpful votes
Hotel's Favourite
Normally I write only one review and forget many of the key details. Thought I would try a different approach. Riu Guanacaste is a short trip from the Liberia airport. We rented a car this time VS the shuttle but either is pretty painless. Check in was very smooth! No long lines and we were able to converse with the very helpful staff easily! Their English is FAR better than my Spanish thankfully! Lobby and resort grounds are very clean and well kept so far. Our room directly faces the ocean and view is great! It was pretty loud last night during the show. Until ~ 10pm. Then was pretty quiet. If you have little kids I would recommend a garden view room facing away from the court yard. Many families here (maybe due to the water park?). But there appears to be a mostly separate pool w a bar the adults are using. Beach was very clean and waves were not too bad last night. It’s very easy to get towels and chairs at both the pools and the beach so far. We went to 2 restaurants so far. Both times staff sprays our hands with sanitizer prior to entering. Pretty typical resort buffet food. Our group of 4 all found things to eat (semi fussy crowd) and all interactions with staff here have been positive so far! The only semi strange thing here is the beds. There are 2 “queen” beds that normally are ~4 inchs apart with one big headboard. I saw this in the pictures and to answer the question I had.... Yes you can push them farther apart! We also have a portable bed in our room so we put it in the middle with our youngest daughter on it. Using the RIU app I was able to easily and quickly get more towels and pillows. All in all a wonderful stay so far!
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Date of stay: March 2021Trip type: Travelled with family
4 Helpful votes
GKK wrote a review 25 Jan
1 contribution
After reading the reviews, I was skeptical but we went ahead with the stay. We visiting this resort 12/26-1/3. Yes it was a busy holiday and the resort felt it. Here are the pros and cons of our visit. Pros: Staff, incredibly friendly and helpful Pool, nice large area and we were able to find chairs every day Splash area fun for the kids Daily housekeeping which we appreciated as some resorts aren’t doing it due to covid Beach, nice beach that wasn’t crowded at all even though the resort was Cons: Outlets: they are so old that all plugs you have fall out of them. Mold: yes it smells terrible in the shower (had read about this) Leaking ceiling: in the bathroom and we reported it to housekeeping and the front desk. Nothing was done. Bugs: we had bugs in the room. I know, you’re in Costa Rica and it’s the jungle but we had a vat of ants crawling all over our stuff on the floor. Again, reported it with no response. We just kept everything off the floor (gross). Food: repetitive and redundant. You could see which items weren’t eaten in the restaurants bc they wound up on the buffet. The food quality was just ok. Smell: the rooms smelled musty and the bathrooms reeked of mold. Location road: the road to get to this hotel has enormous pot holes (I know that has nothing to do the resort but just a PSA) Shows: the entertainment or lack of in this resort
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Date of stay: January 2022Trip type: Travelled with family
iamthebennett wrote a review 25 Jan
Rochester, Massachusetts32 contributions49 helpful votes
Should've listened to prior reviews. The grounds are beautiful and well kept up. Very clean so no complaints there. Service... sub par at best. Had no idea where anything was. Was told upon check in that they would move us to a jungle facing room as originally reserved. The next day we called down before packing kids and everything before trekking all the way to lobby. Room was not ready for 3+ hrs. Finally switched, fridge didn't work, but everything else was fine. Not a jungle facing rm! Also the food at the buffets was terrible!!! You can find edible things, but few and far between. So basically breakfast and lunch were a wash. Ended up going to town and spending money on decent food there. Kind of defeating the purpose of all inclusive hotels. Dinner was good if you go to one of the nice restaurants and not the breakfast buffet one. Trying to get ahold of the front desk was impossible. Tried calling multiple times about broken fridge no answer... the next night our daughter leaked through her diaper(8pm). No answer husband had to go down and get linen himself. Honestly I was hoping to feel a bit spoiled and taken care of. Instead we felt a bit loss and abandoned. The rest of our stay in Costa Rica at non all inclusive hotels was amazing putting this hotel to shame!
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Date of stay: January 2022Trip type: Travelled with family
Timothy B wrote a review 24 Jan
Souderton, Pennsylvania3 contributions
If you want peace and quiet don't come here. There is annoying loud music all evening till late. We upgraded to an ocean view room on the 5th floor. At 10:15 pm the horrible echoing music is still going
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Date of stay: January 2022Trip type: Travelled as a couple
US$189 - US$408 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Costa RicaProvince of GuanacasteMatapalo
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Frequently Asked Questions about Hotel Riu Guanacaste
Which popular attractions are close to Hotel Riu Guanacaste?
Nearby attractions include Monkey's Bar & Restaurant (0.9 km), Playas del coco (6.0 km), and Playa Danta (6.8 km).
What are some of the property amenities at Hotel Riu Guanacaste?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include a swimup bar, a pool, and an on-site restaurant.
Which room amenities are available at Hotel Riu Guanacaste?
Top room amenities include a minibar, air conditioning, and a flat screen TV.
What food & drink options are available at Hotel Riu Guanacaste?
Guests can enjoy a swimup bar, an on-site restaurant, and a lounge during their stay.
Is parking available at Hotel Riu Guanacaste?
Yes, free parking is available to guests.
What are some restaurants close to Hotel Riu Guanacaste?
Conveniently located restaurants include Sentido Norte Restaurant, Restaurante Mar Azul, and Che Sirloin.
Are there opportunities to exercise at Hotel Riu Guanacaste?
Yes, guests have access to a pool and a fitness centre during their stay.
Are any cleaning services offered at Hotel Riu Guanacaste?
Yes, dry cleaning and laundry service are offered to guests.
Does Hotel Riu Guanacaste offer any business services?
Yes, it conveniently offers a business centre, meeting rooms, and a banquet room.
Which languages are spoken by the staff at Hotel Riu Guanacaste?
The staff speaks multiple languages, including English and Spanish.
Does Hotel Riu Guanacaste have any great views?
Yes, guests often enjoy the ocean view available here.