Thursday, May 10, 2012

I Want to Go To Riu

I mentioned on Monday that Nate and I stayed at the Riu Guanacaste in Costa Rica.

Costa Rica 390

The reviews on Trip Advisor for this resort are very….interesting.  It must be one of those love or hate it kind of places.  Also, the things some people complain about make me laugh.

Nate and I enjoyed our stay at the Riu.  It’s not a five star resort….but we also did not pay a five star price.

Our room was nice. A little smaller than most American hotel rooms but definitely big enough.  It was clean.  The fridge was fully stocked with various beverages.  The air conditioning worked.  No complaints from us.

Costa Rica 237

Costa Rica 242

They are building a new hotel next door.  I had read reviews about how awful the construction noise is and you should request to be moved right away.  We always travel with a small fan for noise. Nate slept until 9:30-10:00am most mornings (as I bonded with my Kindle). The noise wasn’t really a problem for us.  It was more the construction workers who spent the majority of their day scanning the balconies for tourists.  We could have asked to move but actually enjoyed the ocean view…and we were only in our room to sleep so it wasn’t a problem.

Costa Rica 250

The grounds at the hotel are beautiful.  All of the spaces were very clean and well cared for.

Costa Rica 467

Costa Rica 470

Costa Rica 471

Costa Rica 517

Costa Rica 457

Costa Rica 460

Costa Rica 462

There were reviews about people complaining about the lack of air conditioning in common spaces.  It’s called open air people.  And it’s fabulous.  No cardigans on this vacation!

On Monday, we mentioned that the beach totally received our approval.

Costa Rica 392

The pool at the Riu is also beautiful.  And giant. And we didn’t take photos of it.  Oops. We are more beach people than pool people.  (We can enjoy pools in Iowa.  Beaches are a little harder to come by.)  We did enjoy the pool at the Riu and would end our day with a swim in the pool because it was usually shaded in the later afternoon.  Our poor pale skin loved the break.  There were a lot of complaints about not being able to find beach chairs and pool chairs.  We had no problems the entire week we were there.

So far I’ve given this place a glowing review.  We both had one complaint about the place….the food.  Bleh.  It was buffet three times per day.  We both enjoyed the breakfast buffet (it’s really hard to screw up bacon and eggs).  The lunch and evening buffets weren’t so hot.  I ate a lot of fresh fruit and ice cream.  The following photo sums up my food experience at the Riu.  Ice cream and Coca Cola Light.  I should Photoshop in a plate of pineapple and watermelon.


Eh, ice cream and Diet Coke aren’t all bad, right?

Would we stay at the Riu again?  Yes and no.  Yes, if I had a money tree. I would totally go back for a nice and relaxing getaway.  It was perfect for enjoying the beach and the pool.  No, because we would like to explore other parts of Costa Rica.  The Riu’s location is farther away from some of Costa Rica’s more popular destinations.

Have you stayed at a Riu?  Are you one of those annoying reviewers on TripAdvisor that complains because the combo hair/body soap in the shower isn’t very good? Wait, don’t tell me. I don’t want to dislike you.  Are you a beach or a pool person?


  1. The reviews people leave on hotels really make me laugh. Like, oh, the hair dryer was old and lame? No kidding. It's a hotel.

    You're making me want to go to costa rica really bad. So pretty! So sunny! So not full of renovation projects!

  2. hahaha i always get a kick out of hotel reviews. when we went to italy, we stayed in this beautiful hotel in downtown florence that got a lot of flack from reviewers that it was a "noisy" location....REALLY!?! a downtown location noisy!?! who would have thunk it? LOL, people are funny!

    also those grounds are incredible. i'm looking out at the water from my desk right now and it is completely shrouded in fog and rain...blehh.

  3. I stayed at a Riu in Playa del Carmen, Mexico last March. It was nice, but definitely not the nicest resort I've stayed in. We got a good deal and were there to escape the ridiculous winter weather in the northeast, and it definitely did that. And I agree on the food. I can only handle buffet food for so long.

    Looks like you guys had an awesome time!

  4. Gorgeous! I'd stay there! Such a pretty view, even with the construction. I dont know why people care so much about their room. As long as there's air conditioning, a shower and comfy bed, what else do you need?

  5. You're going to hate me, but I'm not a beach person, sadly. The ocean and I do not get along (there have been some aggressive waves that stole my sunglasses and knocked me down). Your photos make Costa Rica look so nice (maybe I can one day become a beach person!). Seriously though, who complains about hotel soap??

  6. Yea the idea of a hotel review is good, but I think it gives the crazies a platform to rant about ridiculous things.
    On our trip to Italy we read constant complaints about small room sizes and lack of "normal" ammenities like giant bathtubs, king size beds, and "American breakfasts". Dummies, you're going to Italy. It's in Europe...another part of the world. If you wanted to stay in the US, go to Disney World.

  7. I prefer a pool that overlooks the beach, you get the views without all the sand. Perfection.

  8. i like to walk the beach and find seashells, sea glass, stones, and interesting things.... but i like to hang out by the pool with my pina colada and swim in the pool!

  9. The resort looks beautiful! Bummer about the food though! Food usually makes or breaks a vacation for us lol. I like the beach and the pool, but my husband isn't really a pool person or a swimmer (he hates activities that prevent from breathing normally), so we dont do both very often.

  10. What a coincidence! We stayed at the Riu Palace Pacifico in Puerto Vallarta just a few weeks ago. I too was worried after reading some of the reviews but we had an absolutely wonderful time - and our food was good too! We even upgraded for a very minimal fee to an end suite with private balcony overlooking the ocean with a hot tub! I saw the Costa Rica site in their magazine and wondered what it would be like. Definitely looks like you and Nate had a great time!

  11. That looks so pretty. I'd stay there! But food can be a make-or-break for me. That was my favorite part of our cruise--the amazing food.

    I also laugh at some of the reviews people leave. When I was buying a new straightener, some person kept complaining about this one attachment that they hated/it was in their way. The attachment was removable. (Duh?) Also, we were just reading reviews on cell phones and read a lot of complaints about not being to upload your own photo to the background. Maybe it's just me, but um, seriously?

  12. Beautiful pics. I'm too lazy to put an online review for anything, but I will complain IRL. Love the orange bag I saw in the room pic. Would you consider staying in the newly built hotel next door? It looked purty.

  13. Ooo, I like their quatrefoil fountain. The grounds do look really pretty. That stinks about the food not being very good. But fruit and ice cream sounds like a substantial vacation diet to me.

  14. very pretty photos! i lol and peoples reviews on trip advisor all the time. one person complained about our honeymoon hotel air vents. they actually took the grid off and took a photo with some dust inside....really

  15. Love the photos. I am so jealous. I dream of being able to travel, but at this point in my life, it isn't possible. So instead I live vicariously through others. blogs and books (such as Jim Harlan's latest book, "Drifting on a Headwind") really hits the spot.

  16. We stayed at a RIU in Mexico a couple of years ago. That was my first all inclusive experience and I was impressed.

  17. I love reading reviews (and rely on them for a lot of things) but it's hard because I think a lot of times people review to complain. Glad you guys had a great experience, looks pretty amazing to me!

  18. Hi,
    I found your blog over Chelsea. I love your blog, house tour and dog. I'm looking into a trip to Costa Rica, but overwhelm with the different areas. If we like to explore Costa Rica in combination of beach, mountain, rainforest; what city would you recommend? Thanks!

  19. Just got back from staying at the Riu in CR. Loved it. Enjoyed your photos, makes me want to go right back.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

My blog has moved

You will be automatically redirected to the new address.

If that does not occur, please visit'.