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“Amazing hotel, amazing hotelbeds/sunwing rep” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Hotel Riu Guanacaste

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Hotel Riu Guanacaste
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Sardinal
Les Cèdres
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Amazing hotel, amazing hotelbeds/sunwing rep”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 September 2012

We were staying at the Riu from sept 03-sept 10. Yes. We were there during the earthquake. And i really cannot understand all the people giving bad reviews about the sunwing rep or the hotel itself. Hey people wake up it is called an ACT OF GOD. The earthquake happened at 8:45 AM, and we were on a coach bus at 6:30 PM, going to another all inclusive. You cannot understand how many time they need to relocate more than 300 clients. It is a big logistic thing, they need to call every hotel to see if frist of all they have the availability to accomodate more than 75 rooms. After, they need to make sure that they send their clients to a secure hotel. I think that 10 hours to do that is really good. You sunwing/signature rep did an awesome job, it was great. And... For all the stuck up people who think that those rep did not what to take care of them... Just imagine what YOU would do if you were at their place... I would have ran to my car and go home the fast as I can to make sure nothing happened to my family. If you are telling me that is not what you would've do, let me tell you that you are selfish.

  • Stayed September 2012
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
10 Thank minijulie001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 September 2012


I'm lucky to have made it home with my family... no thanks to sunwing/signature vacations! The hotel had no evacuation plan, and once the big one hit, my family and I looked for a sunwing rep for two hours. They evacuated and we felt helpless. We wanted their help to find out the next flight out because there were warnings of aftershock and worse, tsunami. We decided to find our own way to airport and try to book next flight out.. But there was no one there. We called family back home to reach a sunwing rep. And they said there was nothing they can do. Our family back in Canada told them they need to get a rep to speak with us at the airport... Once they came, they had the audacity to charge us $10 a head to go back to the hotel for a meeting at 4 pm, or else we would have to stay there at the airport.. Where there were no flights available. Robbed during a natural disaster. Where were they when we needed them? The meeting was not a meeting. No emergency plan was in place. I have the meeting recorded and I will place it on YouTube very soon. They were saying "sleep in the lobby on the pool lounge chairs we have laid out for u, or sign a waver saying, it's at ur own risk if u go back to ur damaged rooms. No flights til Monday. Wait here for 48 hours before we send u to a 3 hour away hotel that is closer to the coast where the earth quake started, and btw that hotel is older and is in a little better situation than our hotel." our hotel was in bad shape. I had a crack in my wall just above my room, longer than my king size bed. Y elevator door was half way leveled. Pipes were leaking causing floods. My parents room was the worse cuz it was on the first floor. Some of the ceiling and pieces of drywall fell on their bed. If they were sleeping at that time, they would not be be here today. The embassy of costa rica thinks we were okay. But we were not safe. We were put in danger by being told to sleep in the convention center under very dangerous circumstances. If it was so safe, why would we need to sign a waiver before going upstairs. The Riu hotel where we stayed, gave false info to the embassy, or all of them just had no emergency plan at all.

  • Stayed September 2012
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
11 Thank Lindaincanada
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Jose, Costa Rica
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 September 2012

I went with my family to the Riu from Sept 3rd to Sept 7th (initially); therefore, we were there for the earthquake. Like every single tico that live in Costa Rica, we are used to have earthquakes and we understand that it's not anyone fault; however, I have never seen a building cracking as it did! I was outside of the restaurant with my baby girl when the earthquake started; the windows from the restaurant broke and material from the walls fell down. We were told to walk to a safer place but no one from the emergency response team (ERT) went with us. When my husband asked what was going on and why they did not have an emergency plan, a guy from the ERT said they have to wait instructions from Spain!!!!!

It has been very disappointed since disorganization, lack of commitment from the staff to their clients were kings at the hotel. I am still waiting for a call to see if we are alive. When I call back and ask if they had picked up the things left my mistake in the room (as we came back to San Jose that very same day without checking out because no one was at the reception) they said: "if you lost or forgot something it is now in a lost and found box; if you want it back, come and pick it yourself!!!"

The hotel was very damaged, despite what they say. I strongly recommend you to wait for a while if you want it to go there and make really really sure that the building has been completely repair.

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled with family
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank esquimar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tewksbury, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
19 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 September 2012

We stayed at the hotel for one week. Overall it was a pleasent experience, mostly thanks to the great staff and especially our new friend Michael who was at the desk and made us feel right at home. The food in the main dining room was fine, plenty of choices, no need to go to the specialty restaurants, which were ok too. We like the beach which had enough chairs and shade for everyone. Poolside was good in the afternoon. Our room was well taken care of. Bring your own soap and lotions. The real sensation was the tour trips of the country, These we booked thru Costa Rica Best Trips group, a local company not associated with the hotel, also not as expensive as the hotel.. Costaricabesttrips.com gave us all the fun we could ask for. We did the ziplinning, horse back riding, mud bath, hot springs trip with lunch one day and the river cruise and waterfall another day. Please refer to our lengthy review of this company on tripadvisor. We love these guys, especially "crazy Alex", our personal tour guide. When I say personal, I mean he took us on private tours that really made our vacation worthwhile. Even a small thing like stopping at a cane juice stand with a wonderfull old fellow who spoke no english but had the look of merriment in his eyes. Thanks Riu and Costa Rica Best Trips for making great memories for us.

Room Tip: We like the "jungle side". Quiet and away from entertainment at night. Also hear Howler m...
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  • Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank alfwilde
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Waco, Texas
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 September 2012

We went with friends on vacation Aug 18th-Aug 23rd and had a great time. It was the rainy season so it did rain at least once a day but most often it was late afternoon. The staff was super nice and we didn't find anyone who was not helpful. One night a gecko was in our room and I called to see if housekeeping could come to get it off the ceiling and they came within minutes. They looked all over for him and even offered to switch our room for us but I said no that we would survive. The food at the buffet was great, lots of choices. Restaurants were ok and the steakhouse was my favorite. The Asian restaurant I wasn't as impressed with and they didn't enforce the so called dress code. I felt the resort was very nice and clean. Rooms were good size but the bed was pretty hard. Booked trips w/Central American Tours and they were well worth it. Also Scuba Caribe by gift shops had great tours. We did sail boat sunset tour and it was beautiful. Overall trip was great and I would definitely go back.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank 1-honestopinion12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York, NY
Level Contributor
55 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 September 2012

We enjoyed our stay at the Riu and did not have any problems at all. The resort is well maintained and is in a beautiful property. The hotel has all the amenities--the pool is big and nice and the beach is beautiful. Our hotel room had all the basic amenities and was sufficient for us. The cleaning ladies were very nice and it's good to give them a little tip to make sure they can take care of your extra needs like extra bottled water, extra soap etc. The restaurants had good food but don't expect gourmet food. They have wide selections of all kinds of food and it is overwhelming and we didn't have any complaints. They have typical buffet food that you find in most all-inclusives and it was sufficient for us. Service was also great and our plates were constantly cleared. No complaints. The kids love the variety. You also have the option of eating at the specialty restaurants (Steakhouse and Italian) but you have to sign up in the morning for the same night's reservation or the next night. The 24-hour sports bar has snacks (popcorn, nachos, and sandwiches) and if you have early morning departures for excursions, it is good to pack food from the sports bar or if you are an early riser, you can get coffee ahead as breakfast in the restaurant doesn't open until 7 am.

Staff and service was great. The property is well maintained and we observed staff constantly cleaning everywhere. It must be difficult to maintain such a large property with a constant mob of people.

The kids actually liked the beach and it is great for early morning walks. Try walking to the far end of both sides when you hit cliffs and can't go further. Watch out because when you reach farthest end of the beach on the left side from the hotel, you will see a sign saying "Beware of Crocodiles". The beach across the hotel was nice and the water was calm and you can actually see fishes including big ones and if you feed little pieces of bread, they will surround you. Tip: the snorkeling gear is part of the all inclusive and you can borrow for 30 minutes from the Caribe tent near the pool. You should try the massage by the beach. You will see the tents and the ladies on the left side as you go out to the beach from the hotel.

The only caveats I can think of: 1) The resort is in a secluded town and about 40 mins. from Liberia so it is best to rent a car. We used Dollar Costa Rica and did not have any problems. We reserved online through dollarcostarica.com not the US website and the price quoted was same as what we paid. No scams. Dollar does not have a counter in the airport but they will have a shuttle waiting outside with your name to take you their office which takes like 10 mins. Again all went smoothly. Make sure to rent a 4x4 because the "dirt" roads to the main tourist sites were horrendously and shockingly very bad like driving on large moon craters. Another tip: make sure to rent a GPS with the rental car because Costa Rica does not have road signs but the GPS works great everywhere and it will find even the hole in the wall restaurant you are looking for.
2) The resort does not have many organized kids activities or a great kids program like Club Med but my kids enjoyed the night entertainment and the performers strutting by the pool. The kids' club is tiny and the playgorund and kiddie pool are meant really for babies and very young toddlers. 3) I am not sure whether this place is really for couples looking for romantic quiet time. I think it is best for families.

Enjoy your adventure. Costa Rica and the Riu are memorable.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
7 Thank NewYorkWorldExplorer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Jose, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 September 2012

I visited Riu on September 9th, before I decided to visit this hotel, I decided to call, in order to get more information about how was the hotel after the earthquake, the receptionist told me that everything was fine and back to normal. But as soon as we got in the hotel we noticed that it was a lie, the hotel was dirty, a lot of people working in the hotel repairs, construction tools everywhere, and it was obvious that the hotel was not ready to receive clients after the earthquake, the rooms and hallways were in very bad condition.
The worse thing was that in the check in the clerk gave me the room keys, I went in to the room and everything was a disaster, the room was not clean and the bed unmade, this was really disappointed, we let the reception know about this, and the changed our room, but this is unacceptable.
We woke up early everyday due to the noise of the repairs, we were really angry for this. The food was not the best, specially the lunch, they were not good. Definitely this hotel is not 5 stars and they should not open it after the earthquake, the managment did not think in their clients.

Room Tip: Bad service, bad food.
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  • Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Nancy B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Riu Guanacaste

Property: Hotel Riu Guanacaste
Address: | Playa Matapalo, Sardinal, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Gulf of Papagayo > Sardinal
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Sardinal
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Riu Guanacaste 4*
Number of rooms: 701
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Opening winter 2009/10. Situated in northern Costa Rica, in Guanacaste. Located on Playa de Matapalo beach. Complimentary sun loungers on the beach. 6-storey main building. Surrounded by 35,000 m2 / 41,86 sq. yards of lush gardens. Closest village: Nuevo Colon. 13 km / 8.1 miles from various shops. 33 km / 20.5 miles from Liberia airport. Credit cards accepted: MasterCard, Amex, Visa ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Riu Guanacaste Costa Rica

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