4.5
Very Good 4400 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 4400 Reviews
The BESTTT!!!
Reviewed 14 hours ago

The staff here is amazing and super friendly, shout out to Jean Carlo from the main lobby bar, Juan Carlos and Martin for serving us at the restaurants and pool. Amazing food, services and overall just a very welcoming, clean resort. Please pay your visit there is worth every cent !!!!!

Great hotel, activities, service ***
Reviewed 2 days ago

Room was large. Most employees were very pleasant. Food was good (not great). Activities and activities staff were excellent and made the trip (Shout out to Johan, Alfonso and Adriana...made the days fun in the pool, by the pool bar and at shows - they are GREAT!!!!). Waiters were ALWAYS asking if you needed drinks. Shuttle perfect and no complaints!! Can't wait to go again!

Overall good
Reviewed 2 days ago

This was a Mother's Day treat for my mom and I. It was our first time in Central America and at an all inclusive resort. As a first timer, I learned that it is easy to gain weight eating at buffets for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Also, there are bugs EVERYWHERE. I used mosquito spray so I was not bitten, but the bugs were crawling all over.

PROS: Two weeks before arriving, I booked a roundtrip shuttle to pick us up from the airport and drop us off at the resort. It was $100 USD for two passengers. The hotel uses LAR Transport. I highly recommend them. They are professional and point out interesting things about the landscape.

Upon arrival at the resort, we were greeted with glasses of delicious fruit punch. Kay, at the front desk, was very personable. Our room was not ready upon arrival so they held our luggage in the lobby labeled with our room number. We were flying in from NY so we were way over dressed! They had a changing room for guests in such situations. The room had a spectacular view of the pools and mountains. The room had a liquor cabinet with rum, tequila, gin, and vodka. Our room had a balcony.

They had activities every half hour from 7 am to 11 pm. There was always something to do. There is no need to leave the resort. Upon arrival, we were greeted by ENTERTAINER EXTRAORDINAIRE Alfonzo. He is an amazing guy. He is always happy and excited. You can tell he loves his job. Everyday he dresses up as a character. He was a french maid, Fred Flinstone, and a bullfighter/matador while I was there. I looked forward to running into him and watching him lead the games. He is hilarious.

The food was good. I try to avoid eating meat. I loved their plaintain, yuca, fried basa filets, french fries, and omelets. They also have a pineapple ice cream that is a must try. I dined at the Arenal buffet every night, Gina Mora was the most gracious hostess. She always greeted us, asked how we are doing and made sure we were OK.

For the most part, Riu staff appear happy and almost always greet you with "Hola!"

CONS: Unfortunately, within 10 minutes of walking in the lobby to the pool, my windbreaker jacket must have fallen on the ground without me noticing. I retraced my steps and I could not find it. How a jacket could just disappear in a few short minutes in a short distance, is unbelievable to me. I asked at the front desk daily if my jacket was turned in to the lost and found, but to no avail. I do not know how someone could see a person drop their jacket and just take it, or not let the person know so they could pick it up. I do not know what kind of clientele they attract, or if it was personnel. Who would do such a thing? It left a bad taste in my mouth. I would really appreciate a response from management about this situation.

I read previous reviews which noted the musty odor in the rooms. I brought my essential oil air diffuser and eucalyptus oil so I could drown out that smell. It knocks you out upon entering the room. I told the front desk about it when they asked if everything is to my liking. They said if any other major issues arise, please let us know. Basically, there is nothing they can do about the mildewy air in the rooms. We had two sinks in the bathroom area, one was clogged. I reported it and it took them two days to fix it.

I am glad it was all inclusive with food, drinks, activities, etc. because the souvenir shopping almost broke my bank. Be careful with souvenir shopping. If you break it, you bought it. I learned that the hard way. My mom broke three bottles of hot sauce, totaling almost $60 USD! I did not go to the tourist area-Coco Beach. It was $15 roundtrip ride per person. I bought my souvenirs on the resort. I was told it would be more expensive to buy souvenirs on the resort. $10 per fridge magnet, $12 per key ring. Buy three get one free. If I had known the souvenirs at the airport would have been much less expensive and made by locals, I would have waited until I got to the airport to return home to buy them. To add insult to injury and put salt in the wound, a four pack of the same size bottles of hot sauce my mom broke were $7 USD at the airport!!!

MISCELLANEOUS: We walked along the beach. It appeared not to be part of the resort. Locals were offering trinkets for sale and massages. I saw no massage tables, oils, or towels in sight so I am not sure how that transaction would take place. They are not too aggressive. You say no, they walk off and ask the next person, but you pass at least three people offering massages and another three offering trinkets. A short walk along the gray beach leads you to the monkey bar. Go early, before it gets too hot and sunny, because the monkeys do not come out when it is too hot. We went in May, around the rainy season. The sun goes down by 6 and by 7 it is pitch black out on the beach. It is almost creepy when you see lights from people who are walking on the beach in the darkness.

I recommend Costa Rica and I recommend Riu Palace. They have a resort next door, Riu Guanacaste. Guests staying at Riu Palace can take part in Riu Guanacaste activities. It was a short stay so I did not have enough time to see what they were offering, but it looked fun. They have a spa and when you check in, you get coupons toward their services. They have plenty of pools and poolside bar. The bartenders keep the drinks flowing. I enjoyed the "Winnie the Poo". It is a frozen virgin mango drink topped with a frozen virgin strawberry daiquiri. They also had poolside dining for lunch and feature new drinks every day. For the first time, I drank coconut water from a fresh cut coconut. They also have professional photographers on site. They will take pictures and before you checkout, you can view the pictures in their shop. Pictures are $15 USD each for digital copies, and $10 for each print. I went during the rainy season, so we had few days when there was thunder and lightning. After it stops, the sun comes out and you cannot even tell it had rained. I participated in the yoga and body and mind classes and sat in on fruit decorating class. There was live entertainment at night too. You can do a lot of walking around the pools in the evenings as it is well lit. No one ventures into the pools at night, but the pools are crowded during the day. They have towel cards to get towels. I recommend changing your money at the airport. Change your money anywhere else, you may get a lower exchange rate and pay a fee. You get 495 (Costa Rican currency - colonnes) for $1 USD. Vendors do not accept ripped bills, so check your currency before walking away from the counter. Also, if you exchange $800 or $1200 USD you can change any colonnes that you do not spend back to USD when you return to airport. Also, before paying for anything, ask if it is better to use USD or colonnes or credit card. Sometimes there is a surcharge for using credit cards.

Ignore any bad reviews..
Reviewed 2 days ago

Brilliant resort. Staff are very friendly and helpful and all appeared really happy and pleased to give a service (Three staff members however really did make our holiday - Giovanni and Victor at the pool area and Daniela at the Melody bar always gave fantastic service).

All inclusive really was all inclusive and available 24hrs and optics in room!

Accommodation excellent huge comfortable bed, spa bath and wet room spacious and kept super clean. Ps. The pillows aren’t that bad like most reviews claim.

Good variety of restaurants and food, every day they had a different theme. Bar staff super efficient. Highly recommend trying a Dirty Monkey cocktail.

Entertainment and animation team excellent offering large range of activities. We personally enjoyed the nightly entertainment, a little cheesy but fun.

Spacious well maintained grounds pools and open areas. Always plenty of sun beds available and services on beach too. Beach much better than expected and good walks along it and surrounding area with added beauty of local wildlife.

Fantastic Holiday!!! Pura Vida! 😬😬😬
Reviewed 3 days ago

Returned from here early this week. What a fantastic holiday we had in fact one of the best. The hotel had all the usual Riu high standards of cleanliness and service. Food was good and varied no complaints at all. Being Riu diamond members we had an upgrade to 5th floor ocean view room which was great.....you can hear the theatre shows from here but they did not bother us at all....sat on the balcony one evening listening to a band.

There is something for everyone..... catering for those that want to just chill, those that want a party and those that want a bit of both. We met some great people from across the UK, USA and Canada and had many conversations and laughs everyday for the 2 weeks!!!

The staff work tirelessly and so hard to keep all areas clean, and guests served with food and drinks, not forgetting the gardeners that are continually working to keep the grounds looking lovely and housekeeping that kept our room spotless ......a massive THANK YOU to all staff.... the list of names is endless......we found the reception staff, bar staff and restaurant staff all helpful and provided excellent service .....never waiting to be served and they did not expect tips.....the service provided was because they wanted to provide good service and for you to have a good time. The staff at the pool and entertainment again did not stop and were great fun.

You can walk around the grounds and spot birds, butterflies and the howler monkeys around the back tree areas and white faced down by the beach. But do go,out and explore the province there is so much to see....

We did a couple of trips with Brothers Adventures on the beach and they were great (I will review these separately) = 2x great days out!

We found nothing wrong with the beach it is the Pacific and not the Caribbean so don’t expect white coral sand it is volcanic!!

Ignore the negative reviews on here as these people clearly did not stay at the same hotel as us. If you want white sands, Caribbean Sea, adults only and complete quiet and isolation then pay the very high prices and go elsewhere!!!

We cannot wait to return to this fantastic country and this hotel

Dawn & Graham