“Excellent standard hotel. Great family holiday.”
We stayed at the Riu from 26th July to 2nd August. We booked through Thomsons (First Choice). As both our boys are now 14 and 17 and need a room to themselves, it was the most expensive holiday we've ever been on so we were hoping we weren't going to be disappointed.
Flight, transfer etc, very smooth. As soon as you arrive at the hotel, you are 'branded' with a wrist band and asked to go to lunch while they get the room ready.
First impression was the sheer size of the hotel, and it was very busy and buzy. We had a snack lunch by main pool, then were told where our rooms were & had to make our own way.
Our rooms (1163 and 1164) were in the 'quiet' hotel which is a walk across a wooden walkway. There was no problem with that for us - it was a nice walk and I can't understand the negatives some people put. The rooms were the nearest to the pool, on the ground floor. At first I was a bit disappointed, because I had asked for rooms on the 2nd or 3rd floors - our rooms had palm trees right outside so the terrace got no sun and the rooms not much light. However, on reflection, they were very spacious, very clean and modern and in an excellent position and we felt we would have enough sun during the day, so left it - by the end of the holiday, when we had been back and forwards from the room to the pool so many times, we were very pleased we had stayed put (& you don't spend much time in your room anyway). Be aware that even if you make a specific request before you go, it doesn't necessarily happen.
We can't fault any of the staff at the hotel - very polite, very helpful, very friendly.
Food: Can't understand the negatives about the food (must be very fussy eaters). We thought the food was excellent. It was all buffet style and there was a massive choice and all labelled clearly - if not, there was ALWAYS a chef bedhind the counter to ask. Breakfast - cereals, yoghurst, fruit, full cooked, continental, croissants, rolls etc etc. Lunch - we normally had a snack in the cafe by the pool, but you could get a full restaurant spread if you wanted. Supper - particulary good if you like fish (which I do) and there was a traditional dish served by a chef every night (mussels, Canarian stew etc). Something for everyone. It was VERY busy at times, but you always got a table and staff were great. There are 3 themed restaurants but do book these AS SOON AS YOU ARRIVE (don't let reception tell you otherwise). The Canarian restaurant is only open on Thursday and Fridays, and Mexican the other nights, so if you're only staying a week you may miss out (we didn't get into the Canarian). Asian (gets very booked up) and Mexican both very good and much quieter and nice decor. No problems at all with tummies - think the negatives with food poisoining were just very unlucky and that can occasionally happen (not necessarily caught at the hotel). All drinks are free - wine not great as said previously (fizzy wine on bar counter is better then on tap wine), but lager fine, and cocktails great. You could eat all day as there were also pool side areas with burgers, pizza, chips etc and always loads of salad and fruit - must have eaten about 8 water melons during the week!
If you want to play tennis or ping pong, you need to book and pay 10 euro deposit for each racket/bat. Tennis is in full sun, so don't book mid-day!
Entertainment team really good. They work incredibly hard, and some of the shows were very watchable - our boys enjoyed them. They also have plenty of activities for younger children and aerobics, bowls, shooting etc so if you did stay on site all day there was plenty to do.
The hotel is basically in two halves - the more lively side, and the quiet side. We never actually sat round the lively pool - it was too far from our rooms, and we didn't want the constant noise of the kids entertainment etc. I much preferred the quieter area, but it's a personal thing.
A couple of minor constructive negatives (hence not five stars) and remembering this is a 4* hotel. The sun bed situation really frustrated us. Although we always found two together (eventually and not always with a parasol), you did have to be up at the crack of dawn to 'put your towel down'. Having never been on one of these holidays before, I found that bizarre. Some people were out there at 6.30 which would have ruined my holiday. My husband went for a run at 7 every morning, so he would put a couple of towels out, but only if we intended to use the beds. Some people would put towels out at 7, then not appear until 12 which I found incredibly selfish and I do think that the hotel pool attendants should be much more pro-active in removing towels that haven't been used for an hour or more. By the way, all nationalities did it (you had too, otherwise you simply wouldn't get a good spot)! If we went out during the day (which we normally did) and got back at 3ish, then we did always find somewhere, so people really shouldn't reserve spots.
There are a lot of Germans at the hotel (prob majority of guests) as other reviewers have said, but also a lot of Spanish, some Dutch, quite a few Brits. I didn't see any problem in that (that's Xenophobia for you) - it's nice to have a cosmopolitan feel and it was of course a few rogue Brits that were making the most noise, and being the most embarrassing!! The Germans were all very friendly and polite. To put a negative review because of Germans staying in the hotel is completely ludicrous.
Another negative which we actually found a big problem was the beds. They were basically two large single beds pushed together and on castors. If you're hoping for a romantic break, forget it. The beds move quite easily, so you get a gap down the middle, so it's like sleeping apart. We tied the beds together, but the maid untied them. They really need to look into that as it does let it down - most couples want a double bed on holiday! Didn't find them uncomfortable at all though like previous reviewer.
Another minor, but annoying negative, was that our side had been incredibly quiet most of the week. However, the last two mornings, the maids cleaning the main area outside our room woke us up at 6.30 with really loud talking - thought that was very bad.
No problem with either mosquitos or cockroaches (there was one outside our door, but hotel can't help that) - I'm normally bitten to death so was really pleasantly surprised.
Agree with negatives about hairdryer - takes an age to dry hair. TAKE YOUR OWN!
This is a top notch 4* hotel - they will answer any problem immediately - I think if previous reviewers really had problems with their rooms, then if they had taken it up with the management, they would have been moved. It's no good complaining afterwards.
We hired a car for the week which was only £96 - we hadn't pre-booked, but got it from Cabrera Medina car hire just a short walk from the hotel. Excellent service. DON'T GET THROUGH THOMSONS at the hotel - much more expensive. Thomsons trips are also really expensive especially for a family - much better to hire a car and do it yourself - caves, volcano part, Playa Blanca, El Golfo, Teguise market all worth a visit. Hotel in good position, and roads easy and fairly quiet.
All in all, a really good holiday in an excellent hotel. Grounds are beautifully kept and the hotel itself is spotless. There are a few stray cats around the hotel gardens - DON'T TOUCH THEM - my son did, and got badly scratched. Excellent weather too - took cardy and wrap for the evening, but never put them on! It does have quite a breeze out there and a couple of days were very blowy, but we loved that - really cooled you down.
Hope this was a fair and useful review - I would recommend the hotel and I'm sure you'll have a lovely time.
Ask for a room facing the pool.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC