The huge pool is the centrepiece of the Riu Guanacaste. It’s got in-water loungers, a whirlpool bath and a swim-up bar. The little ones have a pool of their own, too. As for the dining scene, there are five restaurants and five bars. Everything from a poolside steakhouse to a club is up for grabs. And since this place is a 24-7 All Inclusive deal, you can snack all night long.
SPORTS & ACTIVITIES
On the activities front, take your pick from a list that includes volleyball, tennis, windsurfing and kayaking. As for indoor activities, the sports bar has you covered for games of pool and table football. Little ones are well looked after, too, thanks to the hotel-run kids’ club.
- Beach volleyball
- Tennis court
- Snorkelling equipment
- Introductory scuba diving lesson
You'll get one introductory scuba diving lesson in the pool as part of your All Inclusive package.
- Paddle surfing
FOOD & DRINK
As well as a help-yourself restaurant, there are four themed eateries, including a gourmet place, a rustic Italian, and an Oriental buffet that serves Thai, Chinese and Japanese dishes.
Ocotal has something of a split personality – in the daytime it’s the go-to place for lunchtime buffet grub and snacks, while at night it morphs into a steakhouse. There are views of the sea from here, too. If you get the midnight munchies, the sports bar has a serve-yourself snack corner that's open 24/7.
- Liberia buffet restaurant
Open for breakfast and dinner, with themed buffets and a terrace for al fresco dining. Just so you know, there's a dress code here - gentlemen are asked to wear shirts with sleeves for evening meals.
- Filadelfia lobby bar
- Pura Vida lounge bar
- Sports Bar
- La Plaza bar
- La Toscana Italian restaurant
Decorated like a traditional Italian trattoria, this restaurant serves up à la carte plates like beef lasagne, basil and pesto fetuccine and seafood risotto. Starters and desserts are buffet-style. Just so you know, there's a dress code here - gentlemen are asked to wear shirts with sleeves and full-length trousers.
- Furama Asian restaurant
Serving Oriental cuisine, this buffet restaurant provides the very best in Thai, Chinese and Japanese fare. Hot starters include dishes like vegetable tempura and noodles with tofu. At the show-cooking station, take your pick from specials like grilled marinated tuna, beef teppanyaki and Pekin-style roast duck.
- Ocotal Steakhouse
This is an eatery of two halves – by day it serves as the poolside restaurant but come sundown it morphs into an elegant steakhouse. There's a dress code, gentlemen are asked to wear shirts with sleeves and full-length trousers.
- Gourmet restaurant
This uber-contemporary eatery is known for it's popular dishes like Peruvian sea bass ceviches, beef fillet and quinoa with goat’s cheese and avocado. Just so you know, there's a dress code here - gentlemen are asked to wear shirts with sleeves and full-length trousers.
HEALTH & BEAUTY
The hotel shares a spa* with the neighbouring Riu Palace Costa Rica – it offers up a big hot tub, a steam bath and an impressive list of treatment options, from scrubs to massages and manicures. You can also get pampered al fresco, in the cabana overlooking the beach.
- Renova spa*
There are eight treatment rooms here offering things like hot stone massages, hydrating facials and aloe vera body wraps. Other facilities include a shiatsu area and a beauty salon.
Just so you can come prepared, you'll need sports shoes to be able to use the gym.
- Beauty salon*
- Adults-only steam bath - reservations required
- Adults-only whirlpool bath - reservations required
Filadelfia coffee bar doubles as a cocktail venue come sundown. There’s also a lounge bar and a sports bar with big screens showing the latest games. There are regular shows, too. Expect the likes of tribute acts and West End musical-themed performances on the agenda.
Close to the hotel, there’s a disco called Pacha and a casino – guests get free entry into both but drinks aren’t included. The venues are part of the RIU ‘complex’ which includes the Riu Guanacaste, the nextdoor Riu Palace Costa Rica and the Renova spa complex.
- Kids' club
There's daytime entertainment for the kids over at RiuLand. It's for age groups 4 to 7 and 8 to 12.
- Evening entertainment programme
The RIU team lays on entertainment each evening, which ticks off things like shows and live music.
It's free to enter, but drinks are at a charge.
- Pacha Nightclub
You'll have free entry to the nightclub but just so you now, drinks here are not part of your All Inclusive package.
Walk through the landscaped gardens towards the beach and you’ll find the pool. It’s an impressive scene – a big sweep of turquoise cocooned by palm trees, pergolas and thatched parasols. It comes with loads of in-water loungers and is regularly the setting for games and volleyball matches, organised by the entertainment team.
The pool is paired with a swim-up bar, which comes with lots of sunken seats where you can perch with a cocktail. There's also a whirlpool in an elevated spot with top views over the rest of the pool area. And the hotel-run kids' club is stocked with a mini-pool for little ones to splash about in.
- Outdoor pool
The huge lagoon-like pool takes centre stage. It meanders into different corners accessorised by things like in-water loungers and a swim-up bar area. In the middle of it all, you'll find a whirlpool bath.
- Kids' pool
- Free Wi-Fi
- El Poblado shopping area
- Greener and fairer hotels
As well as two hotels in the Matapalo region, RIU has set up a 200-hectare conservation area. This refuge is home to over 250 plant and animal species – some of which are on the verge of extinction.
Items marked with * incur extra charges which are payable locally
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