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Playa Matapalo - Sardinal, Playa Matapalo 60602 Costa Rica
COVID-19 update: See the added health and safety measures this property is taking.Read more
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Traveller (9404)
Pool & Beach (1855)
Videos (3)
Travel safe during COVID-19
Visit our Travel Safe hub to see how we're helping you make more informed travel decisions during COVID-19.
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
  • Paid stay-at-home policy for staff with symptoms
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Updated 20-06-18 Safety precautions are provided by the property and are not checked by Tripadvisor for accuracy.
A note from Hotel Riu Guanacaste
Updated 20-06-18 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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Room & Suite (811)811
Full view
Property amenities
Free parking
Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room
Bar / lounge
Casino and Gambling
Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly)
Hot bath
Pool / beach towels
Outdoor pool
Fitness / spa changing rooms
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
Great View
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Hotel links
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Popular mentions
Chantelle C wrote a review Jun. 12
Orlando, Florida5 contributions1 helpful vote
Food is very good, service is great. Pool and beach are very nice. Room is average but good size. My only complaints are the beds, very uncomfortable and the shows at night are very loud and our room was right above the theater. Other than that we loved it and we will be back!
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Date of stay: June 2021
Joseph B wrote a review Jun. 8
Staten Island, New York12 contributions19 helpful votes
This is one of the worst all inclusive resorts that I have ever stayed at. The food is horrible, the drinks are so watered down and there are only 2 restaurants open that you can't get in to. I was up at 5am and could not get a cup of coffee. The guy at the front desk had the worst attitude. I guess no Pura Vida for him. There is absolutely nothing here as far as options to buy anything. Its just the 2 hotels and they are small. Never again will I stay at another RIU. Cant even get a cup of coffee. Ridiculous.
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Date of stay: June 2021Trip type: Travelled with family
Response from RIU Hotels and Resorts, Owner at Hotel Riu Guanacaste
Responded 5 days ago
Dear Guest, Thank you for taking the time to share your experience. We have realized that you have have written the same review on another channel which we already replied. As we mentioned before, we are very sorry to hear of the challenges you encountered during your recent stay. Please accept our apologies for not delivering what should have been a memorable stay. Your experience is contrary to the high level of service we strive to maintain, and very unusual for our house as many previous reviews would indicate. Rest assured we will share this with our teams and ensure we make the necessary adjustments to address your feedback Again, we are very sorry for a less than satisfactory experience and hope that you will give us an opportunity to provide the experience you should expect and deserve at our property. Best regards Hotel Riu Guanacaste Online Reputation Manager
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AngelaVB757 wrote a review Jun. 7
Virginia Beach, Virginia14 contributions23 helpful votes
An all inclusive is never my first choice and I didn't expect anything great, but I booked here thinking it would be easy for the return antigen test. After I booked I read the bad reviews about people never getting their test back, I booked the test at the airport for $65. I didn't expect anything and I wasn't disappointed. My real problem was with how loud the nightly entertainment is. I had briefly thought about switching my room the first night, but quickly realized the way the hotel is shaped there would be no way to escape it. That is my overall complaint. All staff that I came in contact with was polite and helpful.
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Date of stay: June 2021Trip type: Travelled solo
Room Tip: Avoid rooms above the entertainment plaza
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Response from RIU Hotels and Resorts, Owner at Hotel Riu Guanacaste
Responded 3 days ago
Dear Angela, Thank you for the time you have taken to write us about your experience in our hotel. At RIU Hotels & Resorts, we are specialized in holiday resorts and over 70% of its establishments offer its acclaimed All Inclusive by RIU service. While we are grateful for your compliments on our polite staff, we regret to learn that All Inclusive is not your personal preference and are sorry to hear that you sometimes felt disturbed by our nighttime entertainment. Please be assured, our priority is always to do our best so that all our guests feel comfortable. For this reason, we take great care to keep the balance between the noise level of a hotel of our dimensions and the tranquility of our guests. The night time entertainment ends before midnight. Furthermore, all guestrooms are built considering the legal requirements regarding insulation. We apologize for any inconvenience and have passed your comments to the involved department in case our standards have not been fulfilled at some point. We sincerely hope to have the opportunity to serve you in the future in of our other hotels that might match your preferences. Respectfully, Hotel Riu Guanacaste Online Reputation Manager
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KimTa2305 wrote a review Jun. 2
Alajuela, Costa Rica1 contribution
Very relaxing. If what you are looking is for a time to enjoy in the pool, drink something, eat a lot and just have a good time, this is the best option. Not for wild souls, there are not to many options to go to party.
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Review collected in partnership with riu.com
Date of stay: May 2021
Sleep Quality
Response from RIU Hotels and Resorts, Owner at Hotel Riu Guanacaste
Responded 1 week ago
Dear Guest, Thank you for choosing us and for such a rave review! It is wonderful to hear that you had a great experience at our Hotel Riu Guanacaste and we will be sure our staff knows of your kind words for them which are encouraging and rewarding for all of us. Please know, the reduction in the entertainment offer is part of the precautions implemented to safeguard the health of all our guests and employees. We hope you will return to make more memories in the near future. With our best wishes we remain, Hotel Riu Guanacaste Online Reputation Manager
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Ravi B. wrote a review May 2021
Las Vegas, Nevada10 contributions6 helpful votes
Was planning to go to Spain, but Covid restrictions would not allow tourism from the United States at this time. Found this all-inclusive on the beach in the Papagayo Gulf of Costa Rica (not too far from Coco Beach (where Tiger Woods lives)) and near Culebra Bay, where Secrets, Andaz, and the Four Seasons are located. I think because Costa Rica is recovering from Covid lockdowns and restrictions, the hotel was not even at half capacity, which was nice. Not all the a la carte restaurants are open every night, but very helpful and attentive staff, like Supervisor Leiby, were there to make sure we always got a table, to make sure the table was decorated before we arrived, and was accommodating enough to leave a bottle of red wine on the table and replace it as many times as needed throughout the meal. Even the buffet was very comprehensive, with grill stations, and awesome local cuisine. The room lacked little things like hair conditioner or hand lotion bottles, but other than that, everything was top notch. The small pillows were not ideal either, but we managed to sleep well regardless. Each night during dinner, a musician would play in the courtyard, every night following dinner we were treated to a Las Vegas - type show with dancing and music. And following each show, was a solo musician for about an hour. It was a nice was to wind down after a day of fishing, snorkeling, kayaking, paddle-boarding, boating to other beaches, smoking Cuban cigars on the beach, and just chilling with a mixed drink (like a Mono Susio - Dirty Monkey) under a tree on a lounge chair with periodic dips into the warm water of the Pacific (with almost no waves). The price was amazing as well. It was less than $150 for two people, per day, all inclusive, including alcoholic drinks (not just bear and pina coladas). You cannot beat this deal. Costa Rica does require a travel insurance, but we found a company called Trawick, and we were able get insured for $30 per person for the week. This complied with Costa Rica's requirements. The US required us to get a negative Covid antigen test 3 days before coming back, but since we booked this trip through Apple Vacations, the testing was free of charge.
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Date of stay: May 2021
Sleep Quality
Room Tip: I asked for an ocean view and got it without paying extra.
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3 Helpful votes
US$189 - US$408 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Costa RicaProvince of GuanacastePlaya Matapalo
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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 Toucanoos.
Are there opportunities to exercise at Hotel Riu Guanacaste?
Yes, guests have access to a pool, a fitness centre, and locker rooms available in the fitness centre during their stay.
Is Hotel Riu Guanacaste located near the city centre?
Yes, it is 0.7 km away from the centre of Playa Matapalo.
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.