Very Good 7168 Reviews
Jetsetter Approved
This Hotel meets our standards
This hotel meets our standards, but we haven't stayed yet


  •  Babysitting
  •  Casino
  •  Free WiFi
  •  Gym
  •  Handicap-accessible
  •  Kids Club
  •  Parking On Site
  •  Pool
  •  Restaurant
  •  Spa
Disclaimer: This content was accurate at the time the hotel was reviewed. Please check our partner sites when booking to verify that details are still correct.
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With a stay at Hotel Riu Guanacaste – All Inclusive in El Ocotal, you’ll be on the beach and close to Ocotal Beach. This 4-star resort is within the vicinity of Haras del Mar Equestrian Center and Coco Beach.


Make yourself at home in one of the 701 air-conditioned rooms featuring free minibar items and flat-screen televisions. Complimentary wireless Internet access keeps you connected, and satellite programming is available for your entertainment. Private bathrooms with shower/tub combinations feature complimentary toiletries and hair dryers. Conveniences include phones, as well as laptop-compatible safes and complimentary bottled water.

Spa, Wellness & Premium Amenities

Relax at the full-service spa, where you can enjoy massages and facials. Before a night out at the casino, the 3 outdoor swimming pools are a perfect way to relax and recharge. This resort also features complimentary wireless Internet access, babysitting/childcare (surcharge), and gift shops/newsstands.

Food & Drink

This resort is all inclusive. Rates include meals and beverages at onsite dining establishments. Charges may be applied for dining at some restaurants, special dinners and dishes, some beverages, and other amenities.

Satisfy your appetite at one of the resort’s 5 restaurants. Relax with a refreshing drink from a poolside bar or one of the 5 bars/lounges. A complimentary buffet breakfast is served daily from 7 AM to 10 AM.

Business & Travel Amenities

Featured amenities include dry cleaning/laundry services, multilingual staff, and luggage storage. Event facilities at this resort consist of conference space and meeting rooms. Free self parking is available onsite.

How to Get There

Hotel Riu Guanacaste – All Inclusive
Sardinal de Carrillo
El Ocotal, Costa Rica


4.0 Very Good 7168 Reviews
Reviewed 3 hours ago

This is by far the worst all-inclusive resort I've been to and it definitely gave Riu a bad name! I've been to other Riu resorts and this one does not come close to the others!

1. Rooms are old and dated. We paid for a premium room and got a standard one, when we told the front desk that they informed us all other premium room were booked and we would have to wait 3 days for one to become available!
2. Beside the buffet on the resort, all 4 other restaurants are first come basis, and if you don't get there before 6pm there's no chance you will get to eat. And the food is not good! Don't get your hopes up...They don't even have mangoes and it's in season!
3. There's NO ROOM SERVICE!?!? It's unheard of in an all-inclusive resort.
4. All restaurant closes around 10pm, if you're hungry after that, your only options is the Sports Bar where they have burritos, ham sandwiches, and burger in the fridge and an old microwave for you to warm up the food.
5. Drinks are watered down and cheap alcohol bottles
6. The beaches are full of rocks that are painful to walk on, the sand are black due to the volcanoes, and there are Jellyfish in the water!
7. The WIFI sucks! you are only allowed 2 users per room, any other devices is extra at $15/per day. And half of the time WIFI does not work, it's so spotty all over the resort!
8. Most of the hotel staffs are NOT very friendly and are unresponsive when you have questions, they definitely catered more to their local guests.
9. The hotel is old and the elevator breaks down twice while we were there.
10. Night time entertainment shows is a joke!
11. The room key is an actual key with a giant key chain, there's no key card or sensor, so you have to physically put the key in the lock!

Over all, this is a terrible resorts and came in as a total disappointment. Save your money and skip this place!!

Reviewed 4 hours ago

Food is awful. That's first and foremost. At first it's simply not great, but by the time you leave, you'll actively resent it and wonder why people are bothering cutting in front of you to get any of it. Someone else on here said they "simply lost the will to eat" after a few days, and I can relate to that statement. Themed restaurants are more of the same lousy food as the buffets, but this time with a long wait to get a table and service that can only be described as glacial.

Drinks are severely watered down and beer is like 4.0%. Don't expect to get drunk, or even buzzed, if that's why you're thinking of an all-inclusive resort.

The pool was nice, although pee-filled, and the swim-up bar was cool, although swarming with bees. Too bad it all closes at 6. Or earlier if someone barfs.

Common areas are not air conditioned, only rooms. The "Sport Bar" was sorta air conditioned I guess? You couldn't really tell. Also it's the only place open 24 hours and if you want something to eat late at night, you're limited to refrigerated hot dogs and/or burritos that you have to microwave.

The rooms themselves weren't too terrible, and we managed to avoid some of the insect-related catastrophes that others have posted about, but I can vouch that there's no attempt to control populations of animals and birds. We saw a bunch of stray cats and dogs wandering about, and I had a bird poop on my head while eating breakfast one morning. Pillows are tiny little bags of cotton balls. Mattresses are firm, but I slept OK anyway. Get a room facing the eco park next door; it's dead quiet and you won't get much of a view of the ocean anyway.

Bring plenty of sunscreen and aloe unless you want to spend $30 on a new bottle of either at the shop between here and the Riu Palace.

Oh, and be prepared to deal with obnoxious people blocking the walkways and lots of kids yelling, I'm assuming because they're bored because there's nothing for them to do.

They did do a beautiful job with our friends' wedding. We all had a blast with that. And there are a few places to go off-property that make for a nice break. But if we had it to plan all over again, we'd have spent a heck of a lot less time here. Avoid.

Run far away from this Dump
Reviewed 14 hours ago

Horrible experience, If you have stayed at other All Inclusive Resorts dont waste your time here. To start the food is just ok, the alcohol is all bottom shelf, you can only eat when they open restaurants a few times a day, they have a "sports bar" open 24hrs with food, so its a room with a refrigerator, some pre-made burritos, hot dogs, and sandwiches, with a microwave on a table next to it for you to heat up if you want food. The bars have about 10 drinks to choose from, all with no name liquor. The pools are nice, no food service offered. Again you can only eat when they open the restaurants. We check into the room and realize the bed is as comfortable as laying on a piece of plywood, and they so kindly give you three small throw pillows that are hard as a rock. We wake up to ants all over the room and the bed. After calling down to the front desk and asking for a new room, they said we could come talk to a supervisor if we wanted to. We get downstairs and are told there are no other rooms to switch to, but they can come do a bug bomb in our room! No thanks, we called travelocity and asked for help switching to another resort, they were no help. So we found another hotel close by, and switched, but Riu got us again, and said to cancel the reservation it would be 50.00 per person per night for the remaining days of our trip. Travelocity said they could do nothing either. Overall the hotel and staff are horrible and unwilling to help with something as simple as having ants all over a room. So dont waste your time or your money. The whole place it terrible.

Expected Better of this resort
Reviewed 1 day ago

Where shall I start. You can't make reservations at the restaurants, it is first come first serve basis. If you are not there at 6pm forget about it. We went at 7pm and they told us there was 125 people in front of us. So it is impossible to eat at any of the restaurants other than Liberia. We had to eat at Liberia for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner as it the largest sitting restaurant on the property and it is buffet style. The bars have cheap liquor and of course it is watered down. Bring your own liquor if you want a real buzz. OMG the elevator closest to the Liberia restaurant went out everyday. We had to walk up the 6 flight of stairs or walk the 10 minute walk to the lobby elevator. If you are looking for white sand beach and blue waters at this resort, you will be upset. The beach area has black/dirty sand and the water is dark. No umbrellas to rent. If the waters are choppy you can't do any boating activities. If you are scared of animals don't go to the beach, we saw monkeys, iguanas, and all kind of other jungle animals. The rooms were old and in need of an upgrade. They still use keys to get into the rooms and the beds were super hard. Overall, I can only give it 3 stars and I will not visit this property again or recommend it in the future.

One of the worst hotels I've ever been to. PLEASE READ!!!!!!!!!
Reviewed 1 day ago

I travel frequently. Like everywhere tropical, Caribbean, hot, and sweaty. This hotel was beautiful in looks, but the interior lacked IMMENSELY. Service was HORRIBLE as well. I indulge in nice hotels with exceptional service, which I have almost always received except for this place.
1. This should be a new, renovated hotel. THEY STILL HAVE KEYS as hotel keys. Literal keys. Not a card key, but a key that you must unlock the door with. I found this very annoying. I like to carry small purses and they give you a freaking key with a giant key chain that could barely fit my purse.
2. The rooms were atrocious. Like I can't exaggerate this. Our showers were nasty, there were bugs on the bed, ants ALL over the balcony, and the rollaway bed they gave us looked like it came out of a prison.
4. Complaints to management were not responded well at all. They were very rude to me and did not solve my problems in the SLIGHTEST.
5. Management was horrible in recording our problems. We told all of our problems to the front text before we left and nothing.... apparently our complaints were lost in transit.
6. BUGS BUGS BUGS everywhere all over. I know it's Costa Rica, but that does not mean I should be finding BEES all in my drinks everywhere. I have photos to provide for all of these points.
7. Too family friendly for me. I'm in my twenties... way too many kids in my opinion.
I would never recommend this place.
8. The worst nightlife I have ever seen. The "club" that they have is a complete joke.