Going to Costa Rica? The Riu Resort Has it Pros and Cons But Good for a First Visit.
I recently spent 10 days in Costa Rica with my Wife for our honeymoon. I often wonder how we chose Costa Rica as our destination. Originally we wanted to go somewhere neither of us had ever been and somewhere memorable and beautiful. Lucky I speak a bit of Spanish and it turned out I was better at it than I thought I would be. Anyway I wanted to review some things about what we saw and what we loved and also what we didn’t’t like so much. We stayed at an all inclusive RIU Resort on the Pacific side of Guanacaste the 2nd largest province in Costa Rica. The resort is just west of the Matapalo Beach.
This was the first time I had stayed in an all inclusive resort. It was recommended to us because it was our first time there and we wanted to make sure the essentials were taken care of, such as food drinks and entertainment. If you are considering staying at the RIU I would recommend it for the price that we paid and what we get, however don’t expect the world or five star service when you visit any all inclusive resort.
1. ALL INCLUSIVE FOOD AND DRINK: All inclusive meant the food and drinks including alcohol were available to us anytime. However I’ll tell you by the 8th day into our trip I did not want to set eyes on another buffet! It can be tough to get a good quality alcoholic libation if you don’t develop some good rapport with the bartenders as well. The resort had three restaurants that were not buffet style, but you had to have reservations 24 hours in advance.
Our room was gorgeous with a free mini bar they would replenish every 48 hours a huge Jacuzzi tub and walk in shower. The only real bummer is there is no internet service in the rooms. You had to hang in the lobby to enjoy the wireless internet and catch up on emails. Essentially if you ever needed a bite to eat or a good cocktail you really didn’t have to go very far to get it.
2. FUN FRIENDLY SERVICE STAFF: The service staff was always friendly and they had some great entertainment. I speak a bit of Spanish and it is easy to make friends with bar staff and service people. They are eager to entertain and make sure you are having a good time. Throughout the duration of your trip you should get a chance to make many Costa Rican friends.
3. GREAT NIGHTLY ENTERTAINMENT: Every night they had a dancing show such as Greece, Mama Mia and a Michael Jackson Impersonation that was actually quite good. Throughout the day there had a lot of different entertainment which was great, such as wacky contests, salsa dancing and games. This was a surprise to us as we had no idea about the entertainment. If you like ballet and musicals you won’t want to miss the nightly entertainment.
4. GREAT POOL AREA AND BEACH ACCESS: The pool was one of the best I’ve been at and great for just lounging or reading a book or you can relax in the pool or at the poolside bar. The beach there is also great with wildlife randomly running around and beach activities, souvenir peddlers and some great water. The waves there were not big enough to surf but great for cooling off. They also include a disco club and a casino but I can’t speak on them because we spent no time at either place.
5. EASY ACCESS FOR SIGHT SEEING AND TOURING: If you are the type of person that wants to go on ATV tours, go Zip Lining across one of the famous Canopies or take a tour of an actively erupting volcano, the tours can be booked right at the front lobby. We personally took a few tours that were well worth it like a Jungle River Cruise where we had wild white faced monkey’s in our boat eating bananas from our hands. I would really recommend a few of the tours however you should get out and rent your own vehicle and do some of your own exploring too. Just make sure you get four wheel drive as some of the roads are VERY rough!
The best way I can some up my experience there would be a cruise ship that never leaves port. If you’ve ever been on a cruise you know what I mean. The resort itself is quite isolated, being about 13 KM from any town or main road. Over all I would recommend the RIU as long as you don’t care about eating buffet food don’t mind not getting room service. If you don’t want to spend a lot of money on all the professional tours. You should absolutely rent a car and explore the country like we did.
Until Next time Here is to your success! Jason Wheeler 925-285-2172
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