In November 2021, I decided to take a vacation to the rainforest country known as Costa Rica, which is in Central America. Costa Rica is known for its beaches, volcanoes, and biodiversity.
Built in 2012 and renovated in 2019, RIU Palace Costa Rica is an all-inclusive hotel found on the beach in Guanacaste, Costa Rica which is about 20 minutes from the Libera Airport.
The resort is huge and sits next to neighboring Riu Guanacaste where you have access to that property, during the day, as well as the Splash Water World Water Park.
This resort had your typical RIU feel to it. Everything in white with a purple accent for the décor. Huge grounds with numerous manicured greeneries.
Amenities at Hotel RIU Palace Costa Rica
- RIU Palace Costa Rica has 3 swimming chill swimming pools and 1 swimming pool with a swim-up bar where you can find all the party people and action.Free Wi-Fi throughout the resort and not just in your room.
- 24-hour room service—which is particularly important to me when selecting a resort.
- 5 Restaurants and a coffee shop
- Daytime activities
- Live music and shows at night
- Free on-site COVID testing for USA residents.
RIU Palace Costa Rica Room Review
Stayed in Room 3088, a Junior Suite Garden View room. Immediately walking into the room, this RIU is a little dated. It is decorated with your standard RIU colors of Purple and white with all white furniture.
The furniture consisted of a King bed, dresser, a separate living area that had a sofa, coffee table and dining table area that I used for a desk and my office.
This room had a view of the garden that is in the middle of 2 of the buildings and a view of the pool from the balcony area. The balcony housed 2 chairs and a table with a drying rack. At night I could hear the waves from the ocean which is always nice to hear.
The bathroom area was equipped with a nice size walk-in shower that included a rain shower head, double sinks and a tub that was positioned between the bed and the sinks. There is no privacy between the shower, tub and bedroom. It is an open floor plan. No curtains or anything to separate the room.
I must mention that I was in a King Bedroom therefore, you better be comfortable with your body and the person you are sharing the room with.
Other amenities that were in the room were:
- Coffee pot
- Plenty of glasses and mugs
- Mini fridge
- Liquor dispenser
- Iron/Ironing Board
- Flatscreen TV
There was a lot of drawer space and a lot of hangers. A lot of hangers are normally lacking in hotel rooms however, this room had plenty.
One important and cool thing to mention about the rooms at RIU and the one that I was staying in, is that several of their rooms can be connecting rooms through a private hallway.
This resort would be great for groups and families to be connected and still have separate rooms and beds.
RIU Palace Costa Rica Restaurants
Upon checking in, the front desk informed me that reservations were not needed for their specialty restaurants. It is a first come first serve basis however, it is best to arrive early so that you can get a table. You can dine at any specialty restaurant, reservation free and as many times as you please.
As with many all-inclusive resorts, you have your main buffet that is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner offering a variety of food options and a fantastic way to try different foods and open yourself up to something new. RIU had a huge buffet area and for breakfast, they also offered a small intimate dining area for breakfast that I ate several days because there was no crowd, it was quiet and relaxing.
The specialty restaurant options included an American, Japanese, and Italian restaurants that supplied a’ la carte dining.
The resort also offered a coffee bar with specialty coffees and pastries.
There were several places throughout the resort where you could get a drink and I found that there was food located throughout the property and at all times of the day. There was no shortage of opportunities for food and drink.
RIU Palace Costa Rica Entertainment
There was no shortage of entertainment on this resort.
During the day, the entertainment staff played many pool-side games for the guest to take part in, as well as watch and enjoy while laughing and drinking.
My favorite is the Splash Water Park found at RIU Guanacaste that is open to guest staying at RIU Palace. This waterpark has five amazing super fun and fast slides that everyone of all ages would enjoy.
The resort also offered exercise programs called RIUFit, art classes and several activities for children at RIULand.
When it came to the night life, the resort offered live music and shows.
Located on the property is also the Pacha night club and a casino. There was literally no shortage of entertainment for everyone’s pleasure.
In addition to the resort having a water park, casino, pools, and being on the beach, it also had a little village-type area that had a doctor’s office, a convenient store, coffee shop, souvenir shopping and more.
When I tell you that anything and everything you could imagine was found on the property it was.
Popular Attractions Close to RIU Palace Costa Rica
One thing that I loved about the location of this resort was it was remarkably close to Diamante Eco Adventure Park. In fact, I saw the RIU complex while I was ziplining. At the Eco Adventure Park, you will find ziplining, animal sanctuaries, butterfly farm and more. It is a must visit park for tours, activities and fun.
The ever-so popular Coco Beach is found about 25 minutes away from RIU Palace Costa Rica. It is the cutest little area that has many restaurants and bars found up and down the public beach. You can sit at your table with your feet in the sand and enjoy great food and drinks with a magnificent view. There is also plenty of shopping and rooftop bars found on other streets in the area as well. You can also find a pharmacy there should you need bug repellent or something to stop the itching, like I did.
One of the best things that I enjoyed about RIU is they offered shuttle service to and from CoCo Beach throughout the day for a small fee of $15 round-trip.
Difference between RIU Palace and RIU Guanacaste
Many people will often ask what the difference between the two properties is and why I picked one over the other.
Although I only stayed at RIU Palace and never stayed at RIU Guanacaste, I only stay at RIUs that have the word “Palace” in it for 3 reasons
- I like 24-hour room service
- I prefer wi-fi all over the resort and not only in my room
- Most often they serve Jack Daniels at a Palace vs a non-Palace. That is especially important to me!
Additional Things to Know:
- I used Nexus Tours for transportation to and from the airport
- There are numerous beach vendors. As soon as I began to walk towards the beach, they were swarming me with their offers, products and tours. All I wanted to do was go and enjoy the beach. I didn’t like that I had to walk through the vendors to get to and from the beach.
- I traveled during COVID (November 2021) and I wore my mask while getting food and talking to staff at the front desk. No mask in the outdoor areas and during outdoor entertainment.
- COVID testing was onsite and included in your stay for returning back to the United States.
- I always book my excursions through Nexus Tours in the majority of all of my destinations.
- The RIU does have an airport shuttle that will take you to the airport for a small fee. I believe it was $25.
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