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Hotel Riu Guanacaste

Riu Guanacaste Boulevard, 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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Prices are provided by our partners, and reflect total costs of the stay, including all taxes and fees known to our partners. Please see our partners for more details.
Payments made by partners impact the order of prices displayed. Room types may vary.
Traveller (9409)
Room & Suite (812)
Videos (3)
Payments made by partners impact the order of prices displayed. Room types may vary.
Travel safe during COVID-19
What you can expect during your stay
  • All linens sanitized 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 sanitizer available to guests & staff
  • Paid stay-at-home policy for staff with symptoms
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Updated 18/06/20 Safety precautions are provided by the property and are not checked by Tripadvisor for accuracy.
A note from Hotel Riu Guanacaste
Updated 18/06/20 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 (812)812
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
8,779Reviews1,973Q+A100Room tips
Traveller rating
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Popular mentions
Tommy S wrote a review 22 Feb
3 contributions8 helpful votes
I'm a father of 7 year old twin boys and a husband to a beautiful woman. My wife and I decided to take a vacation during these social distancing and mask wearing times, so we gave it a try and decided to go to Costa Rica. We've visited Dominican Republic, Jamaica, and Honduras, so why not try Costa Rica? I have friends who have visited and recommended I take my family over there. We stayed at Riú Guanacaste. The ride from the airport to the hotel was comfortable; almost 30 minutes. Upon arriving, we were greeted warmly. A lady gave us hand sanitizer while a camera recorded our temperature. The staff at the reception were courteous and professional. They helped us with our check-in and are fluent in English (for those who fear visiting Spanish speaking destinations). Being that it was 4 of us, including my twin sons, they accommodated us to a suite with septate rooms so my wife and I can have our private space. The pool is not your typical infinite pool; it's more amoeba shaped with 3 parts, including the swim-up bar. The beach is BEAUTIFUL! The waves can get strong at times, so there's signs advising beachgoers of riptide. With Covid-19 I like how the hotel put signage and graphics all over to remind visitors to wash hands, swear masks and practice social distancing. They have hand sanitizing dispensers everywhere including in the elevators; all the staff wear there masks; and in the cafeteria only the staff was allowed to handle and serve food. Tables were tagged to provide social distancing while dining. Great work fighting the pandemic! The selection of food was enough of a variety to satisfy all diets and enough to appeal to picky children. The only bad thing was the flies; the cafeteria by the pool (Ocotal - which was where lunch is served) and outside Liberia (the cafeteria that serves breakfast and dinner) presented the problem of having to wave away flies while eating. Entertainment crew was friendly and fun. My boys enjoyed all the games by the pool and the treasure hunt. I really enjoyed the shows at night. The performers are talented! They had various shows every night, including 80s night and Michael Jackson night - all were captivating. We stepped out the hotel for a day and went into town for lunch and to pick up some stuff at the local pharmacy. We ate at "El Barco. The food was delicious and our can driver Ricardo was personable. He took us to the local ATM as well. We didn't get a chance to do Diamante which is highly talked about, but we did manage to visit an animal sanctuary while doing ATV riding with the twins. They got a chance to feed goats and turtles. One thing that blew my mind is the amount of iguanas you see while at the Riú. They're by the pool, by the beach, and even outside your room. They don't bother! I went to go get a massage by the beach with a local masseuse and there were white-faced monkeys in the trees. They frequently visit the area to get fed by tourists. The best part about the hotel, if you're going with your family, is the water park Splash. Splash was our reason why we had to book with Riù Guanacaste. Our twin boys love water and why not take advantage of staying at a hotel that has its own water park? One thing that did put a damper on our stay is the fact that the Disco was closed. That's not anyone's fault. During these times, rules and regulations must be followed because of coronavirus. After the night shows, there isn't really no nightlife, but the hotel is a great place to stay. I can imagine how much alive it would be minus the pandemic. A plus I must mention before concluding my review would be the on-site testing. With the requirement of having to have results before departing any country, it's convenient to not have to go to any local clinic in search of nasal swab testing. The nurse at the hotel clinic is gentle. The hotel does a great job in reminding you of your test scheduling as soon as arriving and checking in. My family enjoyed our vacation and I would like to thank the staff of Riù Guanacaste for that. Shout out to Rafael! He was our go-to server at Liberia. Airways smiling and willing to go above and beyond to help us enjoy our dining while staying at Riú; Richard, Danilo, Moisés, Olga, and Randall. Great staff! Great times! Thank you Tinchu for pointing and shooting with professionalism. Great photography skills! Sergio, Esteban, Wilmer, Steysy and the rest of the locals were as genuine and humble! PURA VIDA!!
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Date of stay: February 2021Trip type: Travelled with family
Lushuslaura wrote a review 22 Feb
Fenelon Falls, Canada74 contributions42 helpful votes
Our friend stays their with business clients and suggested going. My partner has never been to an all inclusive and after staying here never wants to again lol. We thought the restaurants would be open but they weren't and the buffett was boring, bland and the same each day. I asked why the swim up bar and jacuzzi weren't on but the staff said the bubbles carried covid lol. We stay in La Fortuna etc and all the swim up bars were open and restaurants. Drinks were like 7 eleven slurpees with no fruit and all ice and cheap booze. The tiles in the pool are coming all out and it was dirty. Many people had babies and the one had some floaters which ended my swim in the pool. The rooms are nothing special and our elevator was out. They will only replenish drinks in your room every other day and didn't make up our room. I was very disappointed in it. I have stayed at dream. papagayo, secrets etc in Costa Rica. The food in all of them were better and I prefer the thermals and less heat in the La Fortuna area. My advice much better places to stay for the price. We went to sports bar to play pool but after 6 pm we weren't allowed to use it...ministry of health we were told. Seemed like a different excuse for everything.
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Date of stay: February 2021
Sleep Quality
Room Tip: Very dated and we had a hard time since the actual key kept spinning in the lock. I didn't...
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Response from RIU Hotels and Resorts, Owner at Hotel Riu Guanacaste
Responded 2 days ago
Dear Guest, Thank you for taking the time to write a review about your recent stay at our hotel. We are sorry you were unhappy that not all facilities were available and that we did not provide you with the quality of service you deserve. It is never our intention to provide anything but a great experience to our guests, so that we apologize this was not your experience. We take COVID-19 very seriously, and therefore are applying strict anti Covid-19 protocols that our health security experts have developed together with the prestigious company Preverisk Group which is a global leader in auditing, consulting and training solutions for the tourism industry in the areas of Health and Safety expertise. Please accept our sincerest apologies for the ongoing restrictions. We can only imagine the frustration this may have caused making your experience not what we are known for nor what you expect from us. At the same time, we hope you can understand that all the changes that may occur are only to ensure our guest´s and employee´s wellbeing and peace of mind, which especially now is our number one priority. At the same time, you can be assured, that the issues you are describing are not typical of our standards, and your satisfaction is very important to us so we try hard to make sure all of our beloved guests have a rewarding stay. As we are committed an opportunity to win you back, we will take your comments under consideration in order to adjust where necessary so this does not happen again. Again, thank you for your feedback, and we hope you will consider staying with us again; We are confident we can provide a seamless and comfortable stay. With our best wishes we remain, Hotel Riu Guanacaste Online Reputation Manager
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Allandelgado7 wrote a review 21 Feb
San Jose, Costa Rica1 contribution1 helpful vote
It was pretty good, all COVID guidelines seems to be followed by the hotel, although they should open all the gourmet restaurants now, specially when you have expectations to taste one of them (Italian) and recommendations not to go to other one (Asian) because the menu doesn’t have many options. Should only consider opening all of the restaurants, anything besides that was perfect!
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Review collected in partnership with riu.com
Date of stay: February 2021
Sleep Quality
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
sarahAngilley wrote a review 4 Feb
cornwall8 contributions4 helpful votes
Magical stay, great service, staff, food and facilities. The staff are kind, helpful and attentive. The beach is superb and has a lovely family who sell gorgeous dresses and other useful bits. You can take a water taxi to a neighbouring town or catamaran trip, scuba dive. Yoga on the beach, volleyball and lots more. Totally recommend,
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Date of stay: February 2021Trip type: Travelled with family
Response from RIU Hotels and Resorts, Owner at Hotel Riu Guanacaste
Responded 2 weeks ago
Dear Sarah, Thank you for choosing RIU Hotels & Resorts. We appreciate you taking the time to share your experience! To provide each guest with an exceptional, personalized experience through our friendly service is what we strive for, and we are delighted to hear you enjoyed your stay with us. We can´t thank you enough and certainly, we will be sure to share these kind words with our entire team! It is our hope that you offer us the opportunity to host you again soon! Warm regards, Hotel Riu Guanacaste Online Reputation Manager
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Ashley J wrote a review 3 Feb
Chicago, Illinois3 contributions1 helpful vote
We stayed for 5 days and I was impressed with every single one of the staff during our stay. When deciding where to stay we decided on the RIU Guanacaste because it was all inclusive, near a beach and was super affordable. Our room was nice and the view looking out to the ocean was gorgeous. As this stay was during Covid we had to get a test to re enter the US and they had a place on-site and that was quick and we received our results within 48 hrs. Super accommodating. I would say the downside of this resort is that it is further away from local shops and restaurants. The food at the resort was amazing but I was hoping to have more authentic food. Also having the casino and disco place closed was a bummer but I completely understand. The beach is public and a lot of locals try to sell excursions and stuff. It can be a little frustrating but after a couple of not they leave you alone. We booked our excursions through Amstar. Based on what the locals said it was a lot more expensive but I would say it was worth it. We did 3 different excursions. Sensoria- beautiful rainforest hike and seeing 2 waterfalls and enjoying 3 hot springs all with different temperatures. Make sure to bring a rain coat. Next excursions was Arenal Volcano- this is a long day but amazing trip. Hiking through the rainforest, climbing hanging bridges, visiting hot springs and an amazing dinner. Last excursion was a sunset cruise on a Catamaran we saw humpback whale which is extremely rare, sea turtles, devil rays and much more. Snorkeling was hard and not much to see but seeing the whale was worth it. The service on all of these were outstanding and to me worth paying extra. Driving was a bit rough but the drivers are experts. They call it a costa Rican massage. At the Riu I would have like to see break fast start a bit earlier both of our excursions had us leave the hotel by 7 and we were unable to eat breakfast. I would still the RIU 5 stars!!!
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Date of stay: February 2021Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Response from RIU Hotels and Resorts, Owner at Hotel Riu Guanacaste
Responded 2 weeks ago
Dear P782RCashleyj, Thank you for your great review. We are really glad to learn that you enjoyed your experience during your stay at our Hotel Riu Guanacaste! We would be delighted to welcome you back in a near occasion. Have a lovely day, Hotel Riu Guanacaste Online Reputation Manager
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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 Toucanoos, Sentido Norte Restaurant, and Restaurante Mar Azul.
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.