I will never stay at this hotel again! It looks quite nice on the surface, but when you stay here it is not up to the standards I expect from a Riu. It is rated as a 4* and I think this is pushing it. I'd say its more like a 3* and thats being generous. I've stayed in Riu hotels before and they really are beautiful and its a name you can trust. So I thought this hotel should be good. How wrong I was.
The weather didn't help the situation as it rained most of the week we were there, but we were confined to the hotel. There is nothing to do here! Most of the guests spent the rainy days sitting bored out of their minds in the main bar with a game of bingo to keep them entertained. Even on nice days there really isn't much to do. The facilities are very limited and they charge for pretty much everything except the basics in the all inclusive plan. The pools are clean but not heated, so in the october weather you can't stay in the water for too long as you get cold very quickly.
The rooms are very basic and very outdated. We had a family room at 1st but had to change it the family rooms come with 2 marble steps leading to a sitting area. Now with a 10 month old who is crawling and learning to walk these steps are very dangerous. Not the most ideal rooms for families with young children.
We changed it to a suite (which we were told we were booking in the 1st place) and were charged an extra £300 for the privilege of wanting to move to the room we had booked and a safer room for a our daughter.
This room had a separate bedroom and lounge. The bedroom was the same as the standards room, just a bed and clothes storage. All out dated furniture and linens. The lounge was furnished with 1 sofa bed and a table. That was it! There was a built in cupboard with a tv on. But the room was very sparse!
The beds are rock hard. I considered sleeping on the floor 1 night as it would have been more comfortable.
The restaurant - the table cloths were stained most of the time and the cutlery was very old and worn.
The food was awful, unless you enjoy eating copious amounts of fat and salt that is. And there was not a huge choice. Every meal had the same fish, pork and chicken, alleged baked mini potatoes and some sort of traditional Portuguese dish. The only variation would be alternate days would be lamb, veal or rabbit.
Everything was fried, including the veg! I watched the 'chefs' 1 night heat up some tinned veg - they poured it into a frying pan, douse the veg in oil and salt and they fried it! By the end of each meal, the plates were swimming in grease. 1 lady were spoke to stopped eating the food altogether and lived on bread and plain pasta for the week. You couldn't feed very young children this food. We took our own food for our daughter and thank god we did.
A lot pf people, including myself and my partner, were struck with a mystery rash. It is too much of a coincidence that so many people had the same rash appear on the 1st morning of staying at this hotel. So its either an allergic reaction to what they wash the linens in or a reaction to the food.
The staff were really friendly and brilliant with our little girl. But that is probably the only good thing about this hotel. I will never stay here again. And I advise anyone thinking about booking this place - DON'T!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Renovated in 2017. Located in Olhos d'Agua in the Algarve. 6-Storey main building and 2-storey annex building. 15 Minutes' walk from Praia da Falesia beach. Access to a small cove from the hotel Riu Palace Algarve is via cliff side steps (an approximate 10 minute walk). 8 Km from Albufeira. 500 M from various shops. 35 Km from the airport. 500 M from a bus stop. Credit cards accepted: MasterCard, Visa. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Clubhotel Riu Guarana Albufeira
- Clubhotel Riu Guarana Hotel Albufeira
- ClubHotel Riu Guarana Portugal/Algarve - Albufeira