4.5
Very Good 5293 Reviews
Jetsetter Approved
This Hotel meets our standards
This hotel meets our standards, but we haven't stayed yet

Amenities

  •  Babysitting
  •  Bar
  •  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.
restaurant Bar

Overview

Location

With a stay at Hotel Riu Palace Costa Rica – 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.

Rooms

Make yourself at home in one of the 538 air-conditioned rooms featuring refrigerators and flat-screen televisions. Rooms have private balconies. 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.

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 4 outdoor swimming pools are a perfect way to relax and recharge. Additional features at this resort include complimentary wireless Internet access, concierge services, and babysitting/childcare (surcharge).

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.

Enjoy a meal at one of the resort’s dining establishments, which include 4 restaurants and a coffee shop/café. From your room, you can also access 24-hour room service. Relax with your favorite drink at a bar/lounge or a poolside bar.

Business & Travel Amenities

Featured amenities include dry cleaning/laundry services, luggage storage, and laundry facilities. This resort has 5 meeting rooms available for events. Free self parking is available onsite.

How to Get There

Hotel Riu Palace Costa Rica – All Inclusive
Playa Matapalo- Sardinal
El Ocotal, Costa Rica

Reviews

4.5 Very Good 5293 Reviews
A brilliant hotel, have recommended to friends
thewordybird

There are some negative reviews on here about this hotel but I honestly can't understand why. We stayed as a family of 4 (2 adults and 2 teenage boys) and it was our best all-inclusive in 4 years of this kind of holiday. The hotel felt clean and airy (unlike the Guanacaste next door which we found to be dark and claustrophobic with corridors like a hospital). The pools were all appealing but we moved from the large, quiet pool to the basketball pool so our boys could join in the events. There were no problems getting a sunbed even partway through the day. We swapped places some days just to follow the sun, or get away from people who pulled over the shades when we didn't want them. (Or were too loud and obnoxious for us to stay close by...)

Check-in was fast and efficient, there was always someone friendly on reception, and our two rooms were just what we wanted for a bit of space to let our boys explore and have time to themselves. Typically, they (and friends they made) needed their keys re-booting because they kept them near to a phone, or lost them at night, and there was none of the bad attitude from staff that other people have mentioned. Both boys needed new wrist bands in our second week, too, and that was not a problem.

The rest of the staff were friendly, too. The pool waiters got to know us quickly and were friendly and attentive (we did tip, but not large amounts - take a few small notes with you each day). German and Sebastian were particularly kind to us. (Sebastian worked in other bars as well, and always recognised us and greeted us with a beaming smile and a handshake.) The bar staff were fun and as friendly as can be expected when they were rushed off their feet. But best of all were the entertainment reps - honestly, they made our holiday extra special. I could write a whole review about them and the special way they treated us, especially our boys. Greet them with a smile and they'll return it with a high five or even a hug. They all work so hard from morning until late at night, and are full of enthusiasm. They're great dancers, good sportsmen, and speak excellent English. Big shout out especially to Braulio, Luis, and Ruben. And if you only watch one evening show at the stage area, make sure it's the reps' Crazy Show - I haven't laughed so much in ages.

The evening entertainment was mixed, I guess to appeal to different nationalities, but always professional. We watched it most nights as it was a pleasant way to wind up the evening before bedtime (it finishes at 10pm and jet lag meant that we were shattered by then for over half of our holiday time). Take a pack of cards and entertain yourselves in the lobby bar or the theatre area until the show starts at 9pm. There was often a live band before/after the show, and the reps made an appearance to try to get people dancing.

We ate at all of the specialist restaurants and were lucky enough to be on holiday at a quiet time when queuing wasn't a problem. It is advisable to get there early though as they do only accept a certain number of diners. Steaks at the steak house aren't as good as the ones at Krystal or the Japanese. There weren't any vegetarian options listed on the menus so I guess you have to ask; however, the buffet lunch and dinner have plenty of veggie-based dishes. The lunch at the beach bar was just amazing, I preferred it to the evening buffet. There was food and drink available for literally 24 hours in the lobby area, and I worked out that there was only a 15-minute window in the day time when none of the other restaurants were open. If you like eating, come here!

If you want to go on excursions, head out of the lobby to the taxi desk on the right and ask there. We booked 2 days with a private taxi and it was cheaper than the TUI options, with our own driver taking us wherever we wanted to go. The guys on the desk speak excellent English and don't try to sell you anything you don't want - they just listen to the kinds of things you'd like to see, and advise accordingly. Other people booked with Eric or Luis on the beach and seemed happy, but I don't think it was any cheaper than we got.

The beach is lovely - not quite the Maldives, but better than the smelly seaweedy beaches in some parts of Mexico. It makes for a beautiful walk when the tide is not fully in. Head right from the hotel for rock pools at low tide, or left for a longer walk that takes you past mangroves; we saw sleeping howler monkeys at around 9.30am (on a free guided walk with TUI). We walked that way on another day to have a drink at the Monkey Bar (about 10 minutes from the hotel) and as we left at 4.30pm we were treated to an amazing display of howlers jumping around in the trees and feeding. We watched them for around half an hour before heading for home, and they were still there; however the sun sets early so we didn't want to end up walking in the dark.

There is so much going on that you'll never be bored. The sports kept our sons busy all day long (water volleyball, water polo, water basketball, plus beach soccer and beach volleyball) and they loved the foam party too. There was water aerobics every day, and some form of pilates, plus crazy competitions, table tennis, and a decent gym.

Clearly, I could go on and on, but I better stop. Genuinely, this holiday has ticked all the boxes for our family. Oh - one final thing. The beds are huge, I had the best nights' sleep I've had on holiday in a long time. No complaints from me about lumpy pillows or noisy monkeys (I did take earplugs as recommended, but didn't need them at all.) Happy days, happy nights.

Stunning location - Pura Vida!
meech_mash

We visited this hotel as a family of 4 and couldn't be more complimentary. First class treatment from the hotel staff from start to finish, they couldn't do enough for us.
The location is amazing for day trips to zip line in rainforests, visit Nicaragua and generally see more of Costa Rica if you so wish. For all your day trips I highly recommend using Geckotico tours and Roberto who you will find on the beach outside the sister hotel. He was fantastic at sorting us out with some amazing trips and really helped to make our holiday so special.
The hotel is incredibly clean with great food and hilarious entertainment. My kids are 7 and 5 and regularly used the child club (all included) and wanted to have a shout out to Leida for looking after them so well and her energy and enthusiasm!
I was a little worried that the rainy season would prove a wash out. but we actually only had one full day of rain and just used that to do other activities. Most days were brilliant sunshine all day. If you visit the rainforest, make sure you take a poncho though as it lives up to it's name!

Very nice hotel rubbish customer service
Deanandhan

Stayed here last year in August 2018 for our honeymoon after a week traveling around Costa Rica ! Hotel was very beautiful, very nice food and our room was very nice suite.
I was very disappointed to have to go down 3 times to complain as I asked for champagne ect in our room as we just got married! For them to forget so the time they did it the moment was gone.!

The beach was beautiful and nice too if your not doing to much there are monkeys down near the beach which you can feed as they are very friendly. Food was amazing. I would recommend this hotel as it is a good location to explore out.