ClubHotel Riu Guarana

, Albufeira, Portugal
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ClubHotel Riu Guarana

, Albufeira

Rooms: 600

Olhos d'Agua, 08200 - Albufeira - 08200 - Portugal | 35 1289 598 140
373 Traveller

Reviews - ClubHotel Riu Guarana

Historical Traveller Reviews of ClubHotel Riu Guarana

Not sure!!!

from PJSKent
My wife and I returned on 24/06 from 2 weeks at the Riu Guarana.
For the last 4 years our son has been working as a Thomson Kids Rep, so we have been staying in whichever resort he was working in. (His mum couldn’t stand 8 months not seeing him!). So this year we drew up a shortlist of 5 hotels (3 of which happened to be Riu) and the Guarana came out on top, based on the information in the Thomson brochure (little did we know that some of that was inaccurate!)
I must first point out that we have never been to Portugal before, never stayed at a Riu before and the only time we have been all inclusive was on a Thomson cruise a couple of years ago for our Silver Wedding Anniversary.
We had never experienced such a multi-national hotel with everything being announced in at least 4 different languages. It seemed to take forever to get anything going!
The Guarana is a lovely hotel and I won’t dwell on describing it too much as other reviewers have already done so quite accurately.
The Thomson brochure and website states “A good place to start unwinding is at one of the two swimming pools. These lagoon-like lovelies have adjoining Whirlpool Baths and are flanked by teak sun beds with cream cushions and elegant parasols.”
The swimming pools are fantastic although the swim up bar is only half built and not open yet. No work is being done to complete it and it doesn’t look as if it is going to start. The sun beds are not teak, but the usual plastic ones, and there are no cream cushions as per the Thomson site. (In fact we are taking this point up with Thomson, as this was one of the key factors in deciding on this hotel, as my wife has a degenerative spine condition and cannot lay around for too long so we thought comfortable sun beds would help. We believe they have misrepresented the situation.) The hotel at first offered to get a cushion for the sun bed then changed their minds. One particular member of the reception staff was quite rude about it.
There are also no adjoining whirlpool baths although there is one in the larger pool. We had to be at the pool by 10 am during the 1st week to reserve our beds and earlier during the 2nd week when the hotel seemed to be overrun with (Spanish?) families and kids); however some of the worst culprits were Brits. We also felt like a couple of sardines, as it does get very crowded by the pool at times, there’s certainly not the space indicated in the brochure.
We often stayed there until around 7, so it thinned out a lot by then. Mind you the downside of that was when the gardener decided to place sprinklers all around without testing them first. We all got soaked!
There will be a problem with the pool, as the floor tiles in the pool are already lifting. Also the disabled rail had come away from the floor and had been blocked off while we were there. The pool towel service is however excellent.
The room we had was of small to average size, but adequate, with two large single beds made into a super double and overlooked the waste land at the front of the hotel. It was tastefully decorated and included two bucket style arm chairs and a small table. A small balcony with two plastic chairs and small table there is a fridge, safe, large wardrobe space drawers, and bath with shower over. Air conditioning is available in all rooms. We were told by one couple that Thomson guests were allocated these rooms – I don’t know if that’s correct. However as we didn’t intend to stay in the room for long each day, we weren’t too bothered.
The main restaurant did seem small for a hotel this size, especially if large numbers went to eat at the same time. However the meal times were very flexible and opened for Dinner from 7 pm to 10 pm, so ample time. We both found the menu disappointing and have discovered that we are not fans of buffets. If I see another piece of hake or pork fillet again, I’ll scream. A week was just as much as we could take in the main restaurant, and we ate twice in the Asian and once in the Grill restaurants. We also went out a couple of times. On saying that the food was good quality, it was just so repetitive and often bore no resemblance to the menu at the door. Often it was poorly labelled, so you didn’t know what it was you were putting on your plate. One particular gripe about the main restaurant – why say that men should wear long trousers during the evening and then allow men with shorts or ¾ lengths in? What’s the point?
We often ate at the pool restaurant during the day. Although the selection was more limited than in the main restaurant, it was less hectic. The afternoon snack bar was the same every single day – burgers in buns hot dogs, chips, sometimes salad.
We were also a little disappointed in the lack of choice at the bar. There was only one type of beer and limited spirits, liqueurs. The Sangria was on tap alongside the wines and the cocktails were pre-prepared. The Cointreau was actually Triple Sec, a cheaper version, Tia Maria, was also a local version. However if you specified you could get real Smirnoff or real Bacardi or Gordon’s gin. The local brandy was good though and the entire bar staff were really helpful. I did like the drinks machines, especially during the day. They saved so much time.
Our biggest gripe about the evening club room is the massive columns blocking the view of the stage. At a guess I would say that you can get a decent view in less than 30% of the seats in the room. Why?
The staff work very hard and you do get good service and the Hotel itself is kept very clean. The entertainment staff are generally very good and the entertainment itself fairly standard. The Animation team were quite good especially the males, but some of the shows lost a lot in the repeated translation into different languages and the terrible miming.
We did have a few problems during our stay and it didn’t help when we were amongst the last two to get to our room, some 3 hours after our arrival. When we finally got to our room there were no bath towels and it took 2 phone calls and 2 visits to reception to get some. On two separate occasions we had no hot water and while theses things do happen, we had a bigger issue with the way there were dealt with ( or not). I don’t appreciate being told that Reception staff were too busy to answer the phone, after trying continually for nearly 10 minutes. The air conditioning failed, although they did offer us a new room at this point.
As well as going out on our own, we also did a couple of the Thomson trips, which, although weren’t cheap were fun. Especially the river cruise with Sean and the dolphin interaction.
Despite all that I have written we did have a relaxing time and the weather was outstanding. We have decided that all inclusive is probably not for us, as we enjoy the ambience of eating out at local restaurants and being in a local town. Perhaps we should have researched a bit better and gone for a Riu Palace rather than a Clubhotel or even self catering as we like to get out and about. We are in the in between stage of kids left home, but no grandkids but not ancient enough for Thomson Gold. Would we return – probably not!
PS Don’t forget to ask for the free bottled water.

Misinformation in brochure

from lighthouse45
My husband and I returned from this hotel last saturday after having spent a week there and felt I had to write a review to let other holidaymakers know that things aren't what is advertised in the brochure. I have read other reports on reviews and forums of this hotel and it seems that for the first couple of weeks everyone enjoyed themselves (probably not fully booked)but the week we were there the hotel was taken over by spanish people with hordes of kids and every British couple we spoke to (and there were very many throughout the week) all said they wouldn't go back and that it wasn't what they expected. We felt sorry for the rep because she took so much flak from all the Brits who were there. Firstly the brochure stated teak loungers with cushions -NOT SO- just ordinary mesh covered loungers without cushions which I couldn't use because of a back problem. Secondly jacuzzis adjoined to the outside pools -NOT SO- there weren't any. Thirdly 15 minute stroll to the beach -NOT SO- to reach any of the two large beaches you had to walk up a hill and down over 100 steps and worst of all there was nothing in the brochure to state that the hotel was on a hill and if you wanted to go in any direction you had to either walk up a hill going or coming back . There was a bus stop not too far away but to get to it once again you had to walk up a hill. It wasn't too bad for healthy young people but for people with any sort of walking difficulties as my husband and I are it was very difficult and my heart went out to a person in a wheelchair who was having to spend the week in the hotel because his partner couldn't push him up the hills. There is only one indoor bar in the evening which is in the entertainments room and while we were there the hotel had put up a big screen for euro 2008 football. The night the spanish team were playing was horrendous with the Spanish football fanatics blasting hooters, blowing whistles and shouting, it was impossible to have a drink in peace and there was no other bar to go to. There was a bar by the pool but you either had to forego dinner to grab a seat or you had no chance. I'm not against people enjoying sport in fact we were in Spain when Wales won the grand slam this year and I joined in with everyone else cheering them on but the difference was that there was a separate television room and we didn't annoy other holidaymakers. While we were there I would say there were 80% Spanish, 10% German/Dutch and 10% British and the kids shows were all in Spanish, the evening entertainment was spoken in Spanish first then German and then English which tended to take away the flow of things. The pool area was choc a block with sunloungers all on top of one another like sardines in a can and as one furious British couple said "We booked a 5T platinum holiday and ended up in Butlins" but personally I never found Butlins that crowded. I don't want to put anyone off whos booked this hotel but I always feel that forewarned is forearmed and had I known that this hotel wasn't what was in the brochure and been told that it was not suitable for people with walking difficulties we would never have booked it. Don't go expecting what you've seen in the brochure as we did, perhaps we chose the wrong week with regard to all the Spanish being there (who were SO noisy). In all fairness there were some good points, the staff were probably the best we've seen anywhere and the food although it tended to be quite oily (catering for the Spanish) having travelled the world we were used to this.It was all freshly cooked and we enjoyed it but they do cook a lot of pork and fish at dinner time which was fine for us but for people who don't like it you will probably be fed up with the food after a few days. The Asian was basically Chinese with sushi but it really was exceptional and we ate in there three nights -SUPERB. To sum up, the food was very good for a foreign hotel, staff excellent, but around the pool areas there were far too many loungers pushed together in too small a space and while we were there we watched staff bringing out more loungers and trying to find a space to squeeze them in and the location on a hill should have been stated in the brochure that it was not suitable for people with walking difficulties. To improve the hotel they need to reduce the number of bedrooms and replace them with a television room and games room and also another bar for the evenings for people who didn't want to watch the show. Thomson were wrong to grade this 5T and Riu were even more wrong to build a hotel with so many rooms with so little space, what could have been a first class hotel was spoilt by too many bookings and location.

Good All Round All Inclusive, in Great Location

from PNorthampton
On the whole we throughly enjoyed our weeks stay at this hotel. Having read the other reviews, they do sum up fairly well what we made of the place.

Major pluses for us were:
Location - walks along the main beach were fantanstic (unless you can't manage the steps down - there are loads!!!)

Brand new room, east facing so nice and cool in the evening/night (over looking Porto Bay hotel - room 420)

Food nice and hot - Asian very good - Grill no so.

Indoor pool and well equiped gym.

Outdoor pool crystal clear and just the right temperature.


Dining room too small for number of guests, and with hotel full, quite noisy.

A lot of children and busy by the pool, and a bit crowded round the sun loungers.

Surprised at pool towel deposit, when not required at other Riu ClubHotels we've been to, and it would have been nice to have addiitonal complementory towels with the indoor pool.

No quiet bar area (e.g near receiption) just to sit with a coffee.

As for the sun loungers - these are quite comfy, they ARE plastic, but have the mesh stretched covers, and are not hard. Mattresses aren't needed. they do go flat, which is better when you want to lay face down. They are a bit stiff, because they are new, but will no doubt wear in.

We would go back, more out of season, as i think we must have caught the spanish/portugese kids holidays (hardly any brit kids).

If you have any questions, feel free to e-mail me, and i'll do my best to help.


Thomson 5* Rating is a bit misleading

from EdsSwindon
Had 1 week here 10th June, (1 week was enough for us). It's brand new, so very clean, which is nice. Had welcome drink which was nice, but stood in a hectic queue and checking in amongst utter chaos, lost the intended nice touch really. We took our own cases up, as the wait was long & wanted to unpack. Rooms are clean, but plain, no fancy frills, 2 beds pushed together, fridge supplied & there was no charge for the safe. We had problems with our bathroom, had to hold our shower over our heads to shower as the fittings didn't fit the cheap shampoo rinsing shower head supplied, which was a pain, (not what you would expect from brand new 5*!) we did report it twice, but it was never looked at, although having to hold the shower above your head was luxury compared to one night when the water was freezing, we had no hot water at all! There are 2 tiny lifts for so many rooms, so if you are not good with the stairs, it's a bit of a wait sometimes, to enter a tiny stuffy, cramped lift.
There was just the right mix of different nationalities plenty of Brits to talk to, which was nice. Restaurant (as usual for abroad) was too small for the number of guests here, although I must say I personally thought the food was very, very good (lunch & dinner anyway), had no complaints there, although it was just stressful getting your food sometimes! it was so chaotic most of the time, only problem had with food was breakfast times, where we had cold tea & coffee quite a few times and the orange juice machine was always empty, queue's at the toast machines as it had to go through 4-5 times and no fresh eggs on offer. The pictures in brochures & on the net are a bit deceiving, i.e. - the posh sun beds & smart white building etc, it looks posh and classy, but in reality it's an orange building with the usual plastic sun beds, cramped together, didn't ever feel like I was in a 5* hotel that's for sure. There will be a problem with the pool later, as the floor tiles in the pool were lifting, although they did seem to be looking in to this one day we were there. The pool towel service is excellent. The swim up bar was not finished. There are self service drinks dispensers in each bar, although not 5* service, good idea, beats queuing!
The so called night club is lousy! The evenings were very, very boring, the evening bar was chaotic like the restaurant and you could never get a seat where you could see the stage, for the so called shows! Olhos is quiet, few shops & bars, but shops were not open in the evening and it was just too quiet for me. Albufeira old town though is wonderful, full of life and shops galore! draw back is it costs about 7-8 Euro + tip each way to go every time, so gets a bit expensive and the queue to get a taxi is sometimes a long wait. Beach is a long walk down & back up, using the steps for the Falesia Mar Hotel was a little kinder! Lovely beach, but not much down there, we had a drink at the little beach bar along the beach front and it was 9 Euro for 2 very small beers! Posh glass though! Scenery is lovely. Weather was great, only cloudy/rain one day, evenings can get bit chilly. Most of the staff & entertainments team were all friendly.
I have maybe made it sound a bit negative in places, but don't get me wrong there is no real problem, and as I say it’s spotless and the food is good, it's just from the 5* rating Thomson gives and the impression they gave me, it wasn't quite what I was expecting that's all, but if you want a good hotel based family holiday, in a clean hotel with good food, self serve drinks etc, then this is ideal and you probably won't be disappointed.

Not much else to add except

from minkymoo2
Just returned after a week at this new hotel.
We have never been All Inclusive before and loved the fact that we needed no extra money to feed ourselves between getting up and going to bed.
I will leave the hotel description to the other posters but would like to add that you need to ask for the free bottled water at the reception, there is NO shop on site, the closest minimarket is 400m down a reasonably steep hill (not recommened for anyone with a heart problem or with motability problems) and the beach is reached by 195 steps down a wooden walk way. We id it at 7am.. wouldnt have fancied it in the heat of the day. There are no late check out facilities available until after the main rush in August (honestly !!).
The visability in the main bar is poor with several large columns blocking your view of the stage so you need to get there before 8pm to stand anychance of getting a seat for the show.
The lifts are so slow to arrive when was often quicker to run up the stairs !!
The hotel reached capacity on Thursday night..and thank goodness we left on Sunday as the swimming pools all looked like the final scenes from Titanic (just after the boat goes down). It felt abit like a cattle market at meal times because of the sheer number of people in the main restuarants.

That all said, I thought it was a great holiday and would recommend it to anyone looking for a relaxing break out of peak season.

Brand new and good.

from JohnSouthWestEngland
We got home yesterday from this brand new Riu hotel and we are pleased to report that it is completely finished and fully open.
The rooms are lovely, good sized and modern. The food was excellent with a very large choice of meals, bearing in mind that this is a fully inclusive hotel.
All the staff are very friendly and helpful. The pools are large and all the sunbeds etc brand new. Entertainment in the evenings is good, although a bit 'holiday camp style' as are the daytime events.
We went with Thomson and we felt that this holiday was very good value for money.

Excellent new all-inclusive hotel

from JonathanR
My wife has just read this and told me that I go on a bit! So, for those that don’t want to read it all, I will quickly say that you can book this hotel with confidence. It has 3 great pools (one indoor), excellent facilities, nice well equipped rooms, wonderful staff and is in a great location in a fantastically friendly country! Food was a little disappointing, but not terrible, but there is no shortage of other places to eat if you don’t mind breaking the all-inclusive rules! I can heartily recommend taking up a couple of glasses of Cointreau to your room to drink on the balcony last thing at night! Enjoy this excellent hotel!

For those that want a bit more information! We stayed in this hotel just 6 days after it fully opened from June 7th-14th 2008. All concerns about whether it would be finished in time were soon forgotten, and the hotel had undergone a huge transformation from the work-in-progress pics posted recently. The only major thing left to complete was the swim up pool bar, and they were still doing some hard and soft landscaping around and about the grounds.

First off, the location of the hotel is excellent. Just far enough out of the town to not worry about noise, but just a short wander into the small town of Olhos d'Agua, where there are the normal touristy shops, quite a few nice looking restaurants and a couple of English bars. We only ate in the hotel, so others can comment on the town restaurants. After walking down from the hotel, if you turn up the hill towards the traffic lights, you will find a chemist and cash point a short walk away. Albufeira is about a 10 Euro taxi ride away, Vilamoura 15 Euros away.

Olhos d’Agua has a lovely little beach, but just round the corner to the left, either via the beach or the wooden stairway next to the Riu Palace, there is a massively long beach that stretches almost as far as the eye could see. Olhos has a fair bit of building work going on, but nothing too drastic.

The Riu Guarana pool areas are large-ish, but only just large enough for the volume of people that the hotel can accommodate. The sunbeds are tightly packed, and so don't expect to see the wide open expanses shown on the computer generated images - and no teak sunbeds, either! Availability of sunbeds wasn’t a problem though, and you can change the supplied pool towels daily if you wish. 10 Euro deposit per towel.

The smaller of the two outdoor pools was much quieter, and children mostly avoided it in favour of the much larger pool. Be aware that neither pools have any great depth, so watch the diving! The indoor pool is lovely and seemingly underused. There is also a warm jacuzzi, sauna, massage area and well-equipped gym near the indoor pool. Much to my wife’s disappointment – no hairdresser (yet!)

The reception area has a classy feel to it, and the staff are very, very efficient. Don't forget to ask for your free all-inclusive bottles of water! There is supposed to be internet access near reception, but I couldn’t find it!

Our room was brand spanking new, spotless and appointed to a high standard with plenty of room, carpeted in the main area, tiled in the entrance and toilet areas. We had a huge "proper" double bed, a sofa-bed, large wardrobes, free electric safe, fridge and fairly small balcony with two plastic chairs and a table. Water runs fast, the bath fills quickly and the shower is refreshing. Watch the slippery bath though - no anti-slip texture at all. There is a hairdryer in the bathroom (handy for demisting the mirror!) and shaver sockets, and a couple of electric sockets in the main room. We were on the first floor, overlooking the pool area and one floor above the Saloon Bar, which was initially a worry due to noise, but it was fine, and the maid kept the room nice and clean each day.

The hotel is spread over two buildings, with the largest part being either side of the reception. A smaller building is over the other side of the grounds, opposite the main pool with the rooms over the snack bar/grill restaurant and underground nightclub. I would say the rooms facing away from the pool in this building would be those avoided if possible, as that is where most of the hard landscaping is still going on. Noise from the nightclub was virtually unnoticeable.

It has been mentioned elsewhere that jutting into the hotel grounds is a white building which is a local bar/restaurant and residential dwelling, (conveniently not shown on any official pictures) and it is surrounded on three sides by the Riu Guarana. Whilst this is a bit odd, you don't notice it after a while (and it is partially hidden by trees), although some of the rooms at the very far end of the largest block do face this building directly.

Because of the many different nationalities, and the Spanish seemed the most prominent, followed by the Portuguese, Dutch then German and English, the entertainment is pretty much standard. The Animation team were very good, but apart from the Grease musical night, none of the shows really inspired us. Daytimes, the same entertainment staff were enthusiastic and friendly, arranging beach volleyball on the sand-filled court, football, tennis, gymnastics, “crazy” games etc etc. All take place around the main pool, so avoid that area if you want a snooze. You hardly notice it around the smaller pool, though, so that is well planned. Early evenings they do a lovely little sing-a-long for the youngsters – done with enthusiasm even though they do the same songs every night!

Onto the all-inclusive side of things. Drinks, from what I could tell, were mostly well-known brands but the draught beer was a refreshing local brew, although I did notice some were asking for bottled beer, which the bar staffed seemed to keep hidden! Although at the main (500 seater) Saloon Bar it could get pretty manic at times, they really did serve people quickly and efficiently, and speaking as somebody who is often overlooked at the bar, this rarely happened here. You may need to speak clearly though, as on a couple of occasions, Tia Maria coffee turned into Tia Maria and coke - I didn't have the heart to tell the barman! Without fail, the staff served with a smile and, if they had time, friendly conversation. If they can all keep that going - the staff are going to be the jewel in the Guarana's crown!

Self-service Coca-Cola, Coke Zero, Fanta Orange, Sprite and ice cold water, as well as beer and wine (rosé, white and red) are all available in several places around the grounds, including in the Saloon Bar if you wish. Good coffee machines, too. The waiters clearing tables do not take drink orders, which helped to get the drinks flowing quicker, but some found that disappointing I think. There is also a smaller bar towards the larger pool that serves till around 11.00pm I think, and is a good place for a quiet chat away from the entertainment. We briefly ventured into the nightclub. It seemed small but perfectly formed (like me!) - and again all drinks available.

Now the restaurants and the food. I have never been a fan of buffet service, but there is no getting away from the fact that it is the only way to get such a large volume of people served. However, having previously stayed at the Riu Palace Madeira, we were expecting two sittings for dinner, but that is not the case here, and although the staff did everything they could to get you seated, at times the restaurant proved to be way, way too small. At lunchtimes they were often turning people away. Our advice is, in the evenings either eat late (open from 7-10pm), or book the Asian or Grill restaurants (7.00pm or 9.00pm pre-booked sittings) - or eat in the town! For lunch, we wouldn't go near the main restaurant, preferring the quieter restaurant in the separate building, which from around 3.00pm turned into a snack bar serving burgers and toasted sandwiches etc etc. Before that it serves similar food to the main restaurant but was much, much quieter for us.

In the main restaurant, we found the food in general to be disappointing. Not terrible, just not quite what we expected. Everything is fried, and whilst breakfast was OK, with the usual bacon (streaky), fresh fruit, eggs, sausages, beans, pancakes etc etc, it is a shame that currently there is no fresh cooking of omelets - maybe that will follow soon. The food at dinner just didn't meet the standards in our opinion. A bit samey each night, and the fish was very disappointing. Chicken was boney but OK, carvery pork was OK, and the veg was nice most nights. You will need strong teeth for the stir fried beef!

The separate Asian restaurant served the nicest food in our opinion. A nice mix of Japanese and Chinese food, but still nothing too stunning. The Grill restaurant disappointed a few, but it turned out to be my favourite. Both need to be pre-booked. Again though, the staff in all the restaurants were superb.

So, in general, it is a great hotel. Obviously brand new so it has that smell to it, and no rough edges yet, and it certainly doesn’t look as though they may have rushed to get it finished! I think Riu have been careful not to directly compete with their other hotels (especially the Palace opposite!), and I think if you took away the all-inclusive price and facilities, then maybe they would rank it a 3 and not a 4 star. It does lack the special feel that the Riu Palace hotels do, especially in relation to the food, and Thomson will perhaps need to consider giving it 4 T’s instead of 5. Also the prices need to settle down a bit, because if we paid much more than we did, I would have been disappointed.

Book with confidence and have a great time – and don’t let the all-inclusive facilities stop you going and enjoying the wonderful area and people of The Algarve!

Start of a new experience

from steve4746
Having just returned from this new Rui Clubhotel arriving on 3rd June and staying for two weeks. The hotel is big and impressive. Spotlessly clean having only been open for 2 days when we arrived. The Management and staff would bend over backwards to help you and were open to any suggestions being offered by guests.

The food in the main restaurant is typically "all inclusive" with breakfast being the same every day with no variation. Lunch was buffet type with plenty of eggs, salad of all types with fresh grilled fish and other meats. Evening meals were varied but I wouldn't rate this more than a 3*. The Asian Restaurant open the day we arrived and the Grill Restaurant open the following Thursday and these were more personnal.

Unfortuanately the entertainment left a lot to be desired. Whilst the team of the youngsters were vary enthusiatic and arranged numerous events throughout the day (french bowls, rifle and pistol shooting, aqua aerobics, keep fit, beach volleyball and numerous other activities the evening entertainment consisted of the same crew and although they tried very hard there was little by way of evening entertainment - it must be said that the football tournament did interfere with this somewhat because the evening show did not start until after the football had finished and lasted 3/4 of an hour. The children's "disco" was demoted to the outside in order to accommodate the football - it must be said it was very hot and I think the children were glad to be outside jumping and dancing around.

But I can report that this great olympic event which was invented by the Germans is very much alive and kicking - if you are fed up with your entertainment and your balcony faces the pool set you alarm clocks for 7 am and watch the event of towel spreading begin

All in all a very good holiday - met lovely people - didn't see one drunk in the whole two weeks (may be something to do with the strength of the alochol).

Steve - a very rested holidaymaker

Shiny and new

from Jack43
Came back yesterday from holidaying at the Riu Guarana and let me say right away, Thomsons have this hotel as a 5* it is deffinately not 5* standard and the Riu chain only rate it as 4*.

Everything is obviously brand new the reception light and airy the bedrooms good standard, my only gripe there was that the beds were rock hard and the bathroom towels were like cheap rough towels you would but off the market.

There are various dining options there is the main dining room, and swimming pool restaurant, there is also a Asiatic restaurant for evening meals and a Grill Restaurant for evening meals. Dining room food was very good with lots of choice both for breakfast, lunch and evening meals even the fussiest of eaters could find something to eat. The swimming pool restaurant serve snacks in the daytime for the burger/hotdog lovers but there is not as much choice there as in the main restaurant. The Asiatic restaurant serves asian food and is a welcome change from going in the dining room all the time. The swimming pool restaurant is converted into the Grill restaurant at night where the food is the same as the main dining room but with more grilled meats. There is also a pool bar serving only drinks and then there is the bar in the theatre serving only drinks. there are drinks dispensers i.e. tea/coffee machines, beer pumps, wine, and dispensers for coke/orange/lemon/water situated all round the grounds at verious locations, they are uncovered at 10.00a.m. till midnight. There is no afternoon tea and biscuits and no late night snacks but the dining room stays open till 10.00p.m. each evening.

Now the drinks: beer nice and light and very pleasant, red wine not to my taste but seemed to go down well with lots of guests, rose wine not bad taste but the white wine very enjoyable and tasted nice with different types of food. The spirits; I had an Irish coffee with whisky in it and it was a bit crude, I drink gin and but if you want Gordons gin you have got to ask for it when ordering one. You can drink as much or as little as you want it's up to you.

The entertainment; the hotel has a resident entertainment team who organise all the daytiome activities (if you like vollyball, darts, bingo, shuffleboard, air rifle shooting, etc. and then you go on the stage in the evening to get your certificate if you are a winner) and they also do the evening shows some nights, they are not the best i've seen they need a few more months together.

There is an underground indoor pool (not heated), jacuusi, sauna and steam room, pleasant but with a strong smell of chlorine with it being indoors. there are two outdoor pools and a kiddies pool.

The public areas e.g. toilets, showers are situated all over the hotel grounds and are a very well equipped.

The downside in my view there are too many guests and not enough sun beds and what there are all packed in like sardines and there is still not enough beds, there is not enough shady seating areas for those who can't get bed.

The shady seating area there is at the snack bars is taken up by those people who can't get sunbeds.

This hotel has been designed with the young family in mind with all the daytime activities and entertainment laid on.

great new hotel

from tukes
We have just returned from a week at the guarana. We arrived on tuesday when the hotel had been open for two days . It has a cool contemporary feel there is a spacious seating area in reception however that is all you can do there as there is no bar nearby to get a drink so its just a quiet area really. There are two lifts on each wing of the hotel these can be busy at times however there are stairs which provide a chance for some exercise after all the eating and drinking! There is a free safe provided in the bedrooms which are just as the pictures on riu's website show them, the beds were fine if a bit on the firm side. Tv has bbc 1 and world news in english.
Food and drink is good and plentiful. We particularly enjoyed the asian restaurant which you can book in advance dine at 7 or 9pm same as grill restaurant which we didnt enjoy as much. The main restaurant is very nice with adequate seating but has a busy feeling to it compared to the other two restaurants choice of salads hot and cold dishes ,desserts, fruit ,icecream etc
Two outdoor pools still a bit cold for swimming but a few people did brave it. swim up bar not finished yet. Seemed to be adequate sun beds hotel was full 2 days before we left but had no problem even up to lunch time finding a couple of beds however shade could be difficult to get as there is one parasol to every two sunbeds and there is very limited space for moving things around
. All areas of hotel are finished to a good standard there are some bits of cosmetic work ongoing but this is causing no disruption at all.
there is a reasonable gym and an indoor pool, slightly cold but ok once you are in it, small sauna and steam room.
Very good staff keen to help and ensure you have what you require.
The evening entertainment venue is quite small for the size of the hotel there is only one bar plus self service area for soft drinks wine beer and coffee although this didnt appear to cause any real problem that we were aware of. Animation team did their best and were enthusistic we didnt try the disco which is between 11pm and 1am.
olhos d agua is a pretty village with a small beach acessed via a narrow road it is a bit hilly but caused no problems. There are other beaches the one near the riu algarve is small and there are 220 steps down to it! there is another beach acessed through the falesia hotel 150 steps down and this beach takes you all the way to the pretty harbour at vilamoura should you wish to walk there as we did takes about one and a half hours.
all in all a very enjoyable holiday indeed

Other names for ClubHotel Riu Guarana

  • clubhotel riu guarana hotel albufeira
  • clubhotel riu guarana albufeira
  • Address: Olhos d'Agua, 08200 - Albufeira - 08200 - Portugal
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