Very Good 2553 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
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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


Enjoying our honeymoon so far!

Just wanted to write a few words for those people coming to the RIU Guanacaste soon but are perhaps being put off by all the bad reviews. Before the trip, we considered upgrading to the Palace... we’re so glad we didn’t bother!

Firstly we were welcomed into the hotel, helped with our luggage and offered a lovely refreshing welcome drink. Easy and quick check in and we were able to go straight up to our room. We have a standard double room with an ocean view - it is a spacious room and we are confused by all the reviews we’ve seen about the bad rooms and unfortunately beds. The bed is massive and so comfortable with normal sized, comfortable pillows too?! We saw a review that recommended bringing your own from home - glad we ignored that! The only problem we had in our room is that the toilet wouldn’t flush but within 10 minutes of letting reception know, they had already sent someone up to fix it and was all sorted in 5 minutes. Yes the room smells a tad damp but what do you expect? Your in a tropical country that is extremely humid - it’s really not that bad!

We also read about the queuing systems and the food. So far we cannot fault the food so far - it has all been delicious! Especially breakfast. We haven’t had to queue once - we are bearing in mind that this may change by the weekend but we were expecting it to be packed every single night and it hasn’t been.

And the staff! Wow they are all so lovely and cannot do enough for you. So friendly! We really cannot understand where all these bad reviews are coming from and if we are even staying in the same hotel as them?!

Will write up more at the end of our trip but right now I’m going to get back to enjoying my honeymoon with a Pina Colada and my husband!

Honest review

First il start by saying, we stayed as 2 friends, aged 32 and 45! We both enjoy to sunbathe, we enjoy to drink and we enjoy fun lively evening entertainment. We enjoy doing all that while talking to other people we meet round the pool. And for that reason we had a great week at the Riu Guanacaste.

If you enjoy a serene pool scene, quiet evenings and not many people: stay next door at the palace.

The grounds were immaculate, the rooms big and clean, if yes a little bit dated but who cares what colour the curtains are!

Food; typical buffet style, not awful, not amazing.

Smoking- you have to smoke in a separate area rather than at bars or by the pool, however you can smoke on the beach.

Staff were all perfectly friendly, we tried our best to speak very basic Spanish to which they respected.

Wine- awful! Undrinkable, however we did enjoy the wine in the special restaurants this was of a better quality.

Locals- yes at the weekend lots of locals turned up and enjoyed themselves but come on, saying you did not enjoy a holiday in Costa Rica because there were too many Costa Ricans really is quiet silly!

Long story short, for £700 each for a week in the sun! We had a blast

Disappointed Stay

We arrived at Riu after spending 5 days in The Arenal area. Upon arrival, the property looked beautiful. We saw a brand new water park, some shops, a casino and disco. The lobby of the hotel was filled with people and we were greeted with a welcome drink. So far so good.. Entering the room, we were met with the most unpleasant odors. A cleaner that was so strong we didn’t request any further services for fear we wouldn’t be able to breathe. The toilet/pipes would run at any time of day or night. The pillows were just awful. Small and very old. The drawers on the nightstand constantly came off the hinges.

The pools were nice. They were big and had great “loungers” inside them. We are not “big drinkers” we did not take advantage of the liquor in our room, by choice so I can’t comment on them. Though it was well stocked. The drinks at the bar were just bleh. They lacked a lot of taste.. Dining- this was disappointing. Having stayed at another Riu resort in the past and another resort in CR, we had high expectations. The buffet varied from good to terrible and often we ate nachos to not go to sleep hungry. If you wanted to eat at the specialty restaurants, you had to line up before 5:45 for any hopes at getting in. A reservation system would be so much more conducive. We were able to eat at the steak house one night. The appetizers were very good but the tenderloins were dry and tough. We arrived back from another tour at 6, and they’re was no hopes of getting into the other speciality restaurants .. very disappointing.

The staff was cordial, however not very friendly . Rarely anyone smiled, greeted you first, or went out of their way to be accommodating. The only pleasant staff we encountered were the ones arranging the water sports. We were lucky enough to pick a sunset catamaran, run by Alex and Tito, which was amazing. They gave us a delicious snack of homemade pico de Gallo and guacamole, which was great.