A couple of years ago, we caught an end-of-season sale on Apple Vacations to go to Costa Rica. While we had many options of excursions, we really didn’t leave the resort for much. If you want to see what we left the resort for, you can check it out here. There was so much to do at the RIU Palace!
Hubby and I love getting massages and the first thing we did was get a chair massage poolside the day we arrived. Not a bad start to vacay! We then made an appointment to visit the resort’s spa, which was a Renova Spa. We had a nice relaxing couples massage that also included hanging out afterwards in their quiet community Jacuzzi.
The next day, we discovered the beach spas set up on the beach by locals. As much as we love massages, and when we discovered that their massages were half the price of the spa, we reserved time for two more massages each, for later in the week. It sounded so relaxing to have a massage on the beach. During the beach massages, when you can hear people walking by, laughing and chatting, and the massage ladies are recruiting their next appointment from passers-by during your time, you realize that it maybe wasn’t as relaxing as it sounded.
In hindsight, I preferred the spa massage more even though it cost more.. The quiet and serenity of Renova Spa, was just what I needed on vacay.
On the beach, we were also lucky enough to have vendors who were peddling all kinds of souvenir-worthy wares. You could find anything from wood-carvings to pottery, from dresses and cover-ups to jewelry. I had a particularly good time shopping with the jewelry lady. She had so many incredible pieces, and sometimes finding the matching sets in what she had, became challenging. It took quite a bit of time to stock up on sets for my friends, but it was worth her while. I ended up buying a LOT of it!
So much, in fact, that she threw in a wood-carved vase for free! She was such a sweetie!
Later in the week, we discovered there was going to be a poolside class on carving fruits. One of our travel buddies, Paula, and I showed up for it. Wow! Could these guys carve some incredible designs!
And they did it so fast and made it look so easy! But here’s what mine turned out like:
I’m not the craftiest one in the bunch, but I’ll keep practicing…
If I haven’t mentioned before how incredible the food is at a Riu Palace (oh wait, I have here) I must bring it up again, since we spent a lot of time dining on resort with our friends. We had a sushi restaurant where I could get Sake—I love the stuff! The Papagayo, which was the steakhouse, gave you the options of steak and lobster. It was so good, we went back twice! Saving the best for last, our themed buffet restaurant had seafood night the last night we were there.
The line for lobster tails stayed 20 people deep the entire time we were there for dinner. Luckily, hubby made friends with our waitress who admirably kept going over to the cook for more lobster, so we wouldn’t have to stand in the line. I believe he polished off 8 tails in the end. I might also add, that was ALL he ate. He loves lobster so much, he said there was no room for sides.
The last thing I discovered at our resort, that I really took a liking to were Cassava chips. Cassava is similar to a potato, but is actually what tapioca is made from. While I’m no fan of tapioca, I really enjoyed the chips.
The next time I go to Costa Rica, I do vow to leave the resort and experience more of the culture and environment. However, for this trip the Riu Palace was a great experience.