"My husband, I and 3 other couples booked this trip to see Costa Rica and enjoy warm weather and beautiful scenery. This resort did not disappoint! I ... " More

By a verified traveler on Tue 20 Feb 2018

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Hotel Description

An all-inclusive stay in El Ocotal awaits you at Riu Guanacaste - All Inclusive. You'll be 19.4 km (12.1 mi) from Coco Beach and 19.8 km (12.3 mi) from Flamingo Beach. Highlights at this beachfront resort include 5 restaurants, 3 outdoor swimming pools, and a full-service spa.

You can enjoy flat-screen TVs with satellite channels, and all 701 rooms feature free WiFi, free bottled water, and ceiling fans. Additionally, free minibar items, safes, and hair dryers are available.

A day of pampering at Renova Spa can include deep-tissue massages, body wraps, and body scrubs along with access to the sauna and spa tub. The buffet restaurant, Liberia, serves international cuisine and is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. With 5 bars/lounges and a poolside bar to choose from, you can enjoy a drink at the resort. Spend the day at the beach and enjoy the onsite nightclub, free kids' club, and health club. Additionally, you'll find a casino, free WiFi in public areas, and a sauna. Free buffet breakfast is available daily between 7 AM and 10 AM. There's also the convenience of free self parking.

With a stay at this 4-star El Ocotal resort, you'll be 21.9 km (13.6 mi) from Hermosa Bay Beach and 24.8 km (15.4 mi) from Conchal Beach.

Superior Room

Bed Count 2 Full Beds Maximum Occupancy 4 Max

Standard Room, Ocean View

Bed Count 2 Full Beds Maximum Occupancy 4 Max


Bed Count 1 King Bed Maximum Occupancy 2 Max

Suite Jacuzzi Ocean view

Bed Count 1 King Bed Maximum Occupancy 2 Max

Standard Room

Bed Count 2 Full Beds Maximum Occupancy 4 Max

Standard Latam

Bed Count 2 Full Beds Maximum Occupancy 4 Max

Riu Guanacaste - All Inclusive ratings based on 55 Verified Reviews

Review Summary
3.6 out of 5 3.5 out of 5.0
Room cleanliness 4.0 out of 5.0
Service & staff 4.0 out of 5.0
Room comfort 3.0 out of 5.0
Hotel condition 3.5 out of 5.0
5 out of 5

Great, all-inclusive stay

Pros: The beauty, friendly staff, cleanliness...overall a great place to spend a few days.
Cons: Get rid of the bedspreads.
Location: The resort is about 45 mins from the Liberia Airport and the roads near the resort are a bit rough but definitely worth the trip. Nothing very close
My husband, I and 3 other couples booked this trip to see Costa Rica and enjoy warm weather and beautiful scenery. This resort did not disappoint! It is beautiful, clean and the staff is very friendly. The rooms could use some updating but they are not old looking. The beds have bedspreads, I think they need to be replaced with sheets and coverlets that American hotels use that are washed every time the room guest changes. We were given one hotel size bar of soap for 6 nights, we managed but it wasn't enough. Also, the towels were changed when the room was made up but after the first night we were given two bath towels and wash cloths but only one hand towel. It is posted not to drink the tap water and they supply ample bottled water. We requested an ocean view which we barely had because the palms trees have gotten so tall...no complaints because the courtyard is beautiful. There is entertainment every night until 11 pm which is quite good but if you want to sleep earlier than that, request a mountain view and you may see monkeys. The restaurant choices and food are quite good, you may not like one but you'll like another, the buffet selection is huge and service great. The pool area is lovely. We saw monkeys and a turtle release. Use bug spray if you go in the sand, sand fleas attack your lower legs and we didn't even realize it until we got home. If you do an excursion from the resort, check driving distance.

Posted by , from Albuquerque, NM on Feb 20, 2018

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3 out of 5

Hotel is ok, but can be better.

Hotel is ok, people are nice, service was really good. But the bathrooms of rooms needed to be more clean like you can tell they have been worn out etc. Food was a 3-5, passable but not the best for the money you pay overral I will go again but only if I had to.

Posted by on Dec 5, 2017

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2 out of 5

U get what u pay for

I picked this hotel because of its proximity to the beach. Unbeknownst to me, the beach did not have clear blue water as pictured on their site. It was black sand beach with muggy water that I didn't even go in the ocean. Hotel pool water was not crystal clear and all of their beach towels and towels for the room were old and sand paper-like with bleach spots all over. Rooms that were ocean facing were also facing the pool so it was noisy from 9 am to 11 pm. Elevator broke the first night and they did not bother to fix it so that I had to walk up and down from my room on the 4th floor during the entire stay. Free wifi did not work and front desk staff did not know how to fix it or even bothered to get an IT person to fix the issue. So we had no wifi during the entire stay. Bath tub did not have any leveled surface and was very narrow that I fell twice coming out of the shower and bruised and scraped my knee. Shower curtain was actually not a liner so all the water would soak thru the curtain. Ventilation did not work so the smell from the toilet or steam from the shower had nowhere to escape. There were no lights inside the shower so you are basically showering in the dark. All of the bathroom faucets and handle bars were rusted, I didn't want to touch them. Pillow shams, duvet, sheets had bleached spots or stains. They still use a physical key instead of an access card. Restaurant food were basically same food for all breakfasts and lunches. I would not stay here again.

Posted by , from Atlanta, GA on Nov 1, 2017

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5 out of 5

Very nice resort with private beach

Pros: Location, pool, beach, food and drinks, friendly staff
Cons: Buffet hours- I think they should be coordinated with some of the excursions which start really early and come back really late.
Location: Great location; plenty of activities to do
Had a great experience! The resort provided great food, entertainment and service. The beach was nice and private with water sports available. The hotel was near other activities such as zip lining. Plenty of excursions to pick from. The only thing I would say I would improve is the buffet hours. I think they should be coordinated with some of the excursions offered. We did one that started at 5 am and we came back at 9:30 pm. Maybe offer some muffins or bagels with the coffee in the lobby in the morning since breakfast does not start until 7 am. Also, we had a bus of hungry people running for the buffet when we came back since they close at 9:30. They stayed open for us but kind of put most of everything away.

Posted by , from Washington DC on Jun 26, 2017

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5 out of 5

Beautiful resort for all

Friendly staff, beautiful resort, good food and lots of activities (we booked with people on the beach) if your the active vacationer. Huge pool with lots of chairs (sun & shade), excellent pool bar, fun pool activities and good nightly entertainment.

Posted by , from Muskego, WI on Apr 24, 2017

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5 out of 5

Great stay, Amazing Staff!!

The hotel is beautiful and close to the beach, lots of entertainment, all that you can expect from a Riu hotel, but what sets Riu Gianacaste apart is the amazing staff! The servers are so incredibly nice & accommodating, the Chefs are great!

Posted by , from Los Angeles, CA on Jan 23, 2017

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3 out of 5

Not worth the price they charge!

I expected a much better overall experience at Riu Guanacaste - the staff wasn't very friendly for starters and that goes from the check-in all the way to the wait staff. There were a few who were helpful but not the majority. They don't have free wifi everywhere within the hotel, which now-a-days should be standard. The pools were a highlight at the hotel but the beach was pretty disappointing. I will not be vacationing here again!!

Posted by , from G on Jan 22, 2017

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3 out of 5

2 time to visit , not so good.

Pros: The pool, beach in close proximetry, and food service was excellent.
Cons: Wifi would be great in rooms, instead of just lobby area.
Location: There are many excursions available to do. Most of them are costly, so choosing is essential. There are water sports, hiking, trip to the volcano.
We picked this all inclusive hotel because we had such a great experience the first time. Facilities are very nice. Our room was not so nice. Notified staff that our room had animals between the walls and made noises all night. They assured me they would take care of it. They did not. No offer to change rooms after complaining. Maid service was not consistent with supplying towels , wash clothes, and soap in bath. Loud noise from nightly entertainment. Staff in morning were loud when transferring supplies etc to work destination on walkways etc. If we return again, will ask for higher floor to stay on.

Posted by , from Kennesaw Ga on Aug 24, 2016

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3 out of 5

Not worth the drive...

Pros: The facilities and most of the staff is very polite and helpful.
Cons: Food!, Bartenders service and drinks provided, this and the false advertisement for the wifi.
Location: Location is very far, there is a grocery store, a casino and a disco close by, walking distance, casino looked nice, not sure about the disco.
It was an ok experience, not as awesome as I am used to, specially due to the high rates they hold, overall the staff was great, only thing that stood up to the challenge (except for the bartenders) they were helpful and very polite. Other than that, food was not good with taste, most things either lacked flavor or didn't taste like they are supposed and let's not forget that they got me a little sick; now with the bartenders, they are nothing but helpful, not willing to explain the drinks or to provide a suggestion and forget about the quality of the drinks, they completely miss the liquor and even if you asked them to be "loaded", they are just ok for a regular drinker like me and even for my wife who doesn't drink that much. Also and very important thing here THERE IS NO COVERAGE FOR MOVISTAR OR CLARO around the hotel area, like not at all!, and they take advantage of this to charge you for the Wifi at a not at all cost of $15 per day!... Needles to say this is really the biggest downside. Let's put it this way if you have a place that's closest to you location, could even be a little bit more expensive (although it will most probably be less) and with at least some warning on the internet coverage or statement that there is a charge for the wifi, take it and save yourself some bad road, long drive and even some disappointment.

Posted by , from Costa Rica on Jul 11, 2016

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3 out of 5


Needs new towels , over used but clean ............................

Posted by , from New Jersey on Jul 11, 2016

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About the Riu Guanacaste - All Inclusive

Location Sardinal de Carrillo, El Ocotal, Guanacaste

All-inclusive Details

This resort is all-inclusive. Onsite food and beverages are included in the room price (some restrictions may apply).

Gratuities and taxes
Gratuities and taxes are included. Additional gratuities at guests' discretion are accepted.

Food and beverages

  • All buffet and à la carte meals, snacks, and beverages included
  • Room service during certain hours
  • In-room minibar (all beverages included)

Activities and facilities/equipment
All non-motorized water sports are included.

Water activities

  • Kayaking
  • Snorkeling
  • Windsurfing

Land activities
  • Volleyball


  • Onsite entertainment and activities
  • Access to onsite clubs
  • Onsite live performances
  • Theme parties

Not included

  • Motorized water sports
  • Sailboats
  • Scuba-diving excursions
  • Snorkeling excursions
  • Premium or imported alcoholic beverages
  • Airport transfers
  • Spa/beauty facilities and services
  • Activities and services offered by independent operators
  • Offsite tours
  • Transportation to offsite activities

Property Features

Riu Guanacaste - All Inclusive is an all-inclusive resort. Room rates include meals and beverages at onsite restaurants and bars. Other items and amenities, including taxes and gratuities, and access to recreational activities and entertainment may also be included. Additional charges may apply for meals at some restaurants, special dinners and dishes, certain beverages, and other amenities. Riu Guanacaste - All Inclusive offers its guests a full-service spa, 3 outdoor swimming pools, a health club, and a sauna. There are 5 restaurants on site. You can enjoy a drink at one of the bars, which include 5 bars/lounges and a swim-up bar. Free breakfast is available daily. Public spaces have free WiFi. A casino, a children's pool, and a nightclub are also featured at the family-friendly Riu Guanacaste - All Inclusive. Free self parking is available. This 4-star El Ocotal resort is smoke free.

  • 1 building
  • 701 guestrooms or units
  • 6 levels
  • 5 dining venues
  • 5 bars or lounges
  • 5 conference rooms
  • Buffet breakfast (free)
  • Casino
  • Nightclub
  • Bar by the pool
  • Swim-up bar
  • Kid's club (free)
  • Supervised kid's activities (free)
  • Childcare (surcharge)
  • Umbrellas for the pool
  • Conference space
  • Dry cleaning
  • Staff is multilingual
  • Storage area for luggage
  • Tour and ticket information
  • Wedding services available
  • Pool or billiards table
  • Garden
  • Gift shop
  • Beauty salon
  • Onsite shopping
  • Bellhop
  • No smoking on site

Family Friendly Amenities

  • Family Property
  • Number of outdoor pools - 3
  • Free WiFi
  • Children's pool
  • Supervised childcare/activities (free)
  • Children's club (free)
  • Babysitting or childcare (surcharge)
  • Babysitting or childcare
  • Playground on site


Available in all rooms: Free WiFi

Available in some public areas: Free WiFi


Free self parking


  • Airport: Liberia (LIR-Daniel Oduber Intl.) (32.9 km / 20.4 mi)
  • Parking: Free self parking

Room Amenities

Riu Guanacaste - All Inclusive offers 701 air-conditioned accommodations with free minibar items and laptop-compatible safes. Flat-screen televisions come with satellite channels. Bathrooms include shower/tub combinations, complimentary toiletries, and hair dryers. Guests can surf the web using the complimentary wireless Internet access. Additionally, rooms include complimentary bottled water and irons/ironing boards. Housekeeping is provided daily.

  • Stocked minibar (free)
  • Flat-screen television
  • Satellite channels
  • Shower and tub combination
  • Housekeeping (daily)
  • Hair dryer
  • Laptop safe
  • Toiletries (free)
  • Telephone
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Blackout drapes
  • Climate control (air conditioning)
  • Ceiling fan
  • Ensuite bathroom

Food & Drink

Guests are served free buffet breakfast daily from 7 AM to 10 AM.

Liberia - Overlooking the ocean and pool, this buffet restaurant specializes in international cuisine and serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Furama - This restaurant specializes in Asian cuisine and serves dinner only.

La Toscana - This restaurant specializes in Italian cuisine and serves dinner only.

Tucan - This restaurant specializes in international cuisine and serves dinner only.

Ocotal Steak House - This poolside restaurant serves dinner only. Reservations are required.

Nearby Activities

3 outdoor swimming pools are on site along with a children's pool. Other recreational amenities include a health club and a sauna. The recreational activities listed below are available either on site or nearby; fees may apply.

  • Snorkeling on site
  • Water skiing nearby
  • Golfing nearby
  • Mountain biking nearby
  • Volleyball on site
  • Beach volleyball on site
  • Kayaking on site
  • Windsurfing on site
  • Ziplining nearby
  • Playground on site
  • Ecotours nearby
  • Boat tours nearby
  • Fitness classes on site
  • Scuba diving on site
  • Hiking/biking trails nearby
  • Golf lessons available nearby

Spa Services

Renova Spa has 8 treatment rooms. Services include deep-tissue massages, hot stone massages, sports massages, and Swedish massages. The spa is equipped with a sauna and a spa tub. A variety of treatment therapies are provided, including aromatherapy.

  • Number of treatment rooms 8
  • Manicures and pedicures
  • Body wraps
  • Body scrubs
  • Facial treatments
  • Aromatherapy treatments
  • Hot stone massage
  • Deep tissue massage
  • Swedish massage
  • Sauna in spa
  • Spa tub in spa
  • Sports massage
  • Massages


If you need to make special requests for accessibility needs, please note them at check-out when booking your stay.

  • In-room accessibility

Hotel Policies


  • Check-in time starts at 3 PM
  • Minimum check-in age is 21


  • Check-out by noon

Payment types

Children and extra beds

  • Children are welcome.
  • Kids stay free! Children 2 years old and younger stay free when using existing bedding.
  • Rollaway/extra beds are not available.
  • Cribs (infant beds) are not available.


  • No pets allowed


Extra-person charges may apply and vary depending on property policy.

Government-issued photo identification and a credit card are required at check-in for incidental charges.

Special requests are subject to availability upon check-in and may incur additional charges. Special requests cannot be guaranteed.

  • No rollaway/extra beds available
  • No cribs (infant beds) available



The charges below are included in your overall room price:

  • Resort fee

We've listed all charges provided to us by the property, but they may vary based on length of stay or the room booked.

Optional extras

Hotel Names

  • All Inclusive Guanacaste
  • Guanacaste All Inclusive
  • Guanacaste Riu
  • Riu Guanacaste
  • Riu Guanacaste All Inclusive
  • Riu Guanacaste All Inclusive El Ocotal
  • Riu Guanacaste El Ocotal
  • Hotel Riu Guanacaste All Inclusive El Ocotal
  • Hotel Riu Guanacaste All Inclusive

You should know

  • Reservations are needed for massage services and spa treatments. For reservations, contact the resort before arrival using the contact information on the booking confirmation.
  • The total price shown includes a resort fee.
  • Children 2 years old and younger stay free in the same room as the parent or guardian when using existing bedding.
  • Registered guests are the only ones allowed to be in guestrooms.

Awards & Affiliations

Green / Sustainable Property
This property participates in Travelife, a program that measures the property's impact on one or more of the following: environment, community, cultural-heritage, the local economy.