Yes, we loved it! My (large) family and I travelled to the Riu Guarana in July through to August. The party consisted of 7 adults aged 28 to 65 and three children aged 10, 7 and 7. We caught a very early flight from Gatwick and when we arrived at 11, our rooms were not ready until after 12. We felt a bit lost and headed for the restaurant next to the pool for the late breakfast.
Eventually we were given four rooms on the fourth floor, three with views of the circus tent and field across the road from the front of the hotel and the fourth (mine) a family room with a view of the gorgeous pool area and the sea.
The room itself consisted of a double bed for my husband and I and a sofa bed for the girls. The sofa bed had large metal bars on the sides which we had to cover with cushions so the girls wouldn't hurt themselves in it in the night. We found that the 'bed' would sink in the middle causing the children to roll into each other so we stuffed a spare pillow under the sheets and put a pillow between them too. This seemed to sort the problem out.
Our bed was as hard as a rock and when I asked for a mattress topper the cleaners packed blankets under the sheets to make it softer. Later on this was exchanged for a beautifully soft mattress topper.
The room was quite spacious and there was a fridge, a suitcase table, a glass topped table, a long chest of drawers, a TV and a large wardrobe. The shower is brilliant and hot water is immediate, just what you need after a long day on the beach. There is also a bidet.
There are three pools in the hotel: the large pool next to the pool bar, a smaller pool next to the main bar and an inside pool with a sauna, jacuzzi and cold pool. All of the pools were freezing compared to the pools we have experienced on holidays in Greece.
Despite there being a 'no reservation' policy for sun beds, most of the numerous loungers were covered by a towel as early as 8 in the morning and there was no sign of the person who left it there. This didn't bother us much because we didn't want to sit by the pool but I can imagine it is frustrating for other people.
You can access the amazing beach by walking down a set of steps at the back of the hotel or walking down the road through the village. Sun loungers and parasols cost about €15 to €20 on most of the beaches in the area and the sea is freezing compared to the Med. The beach is wonderful though with rock pools and golden yellow sand.
There are three restaurants in the hotel, the big main restaurant which you don't need to book for, the grill and the Asian. We tried all of them and the food is great and varied. You would need to be a very fussy eater not to find something to eat every night.
There is food available practically every minute of the day. There's breakfast, late breakfast, two lunches and dinner. You could literally eat all day long.
The staff are friendly and helpful and there is no lack of them, they line up in the evening to welcome you to dinner. The entertainment team are amazing and spend all day making sure you are having the best time you can have. There is a full timetable of activities that you can participate in if you wish and in the evening there is a mini disco for the kids and then some late night entertainment too. We liked the 'show tunes' show best. Hilarious!
Wifi is available in the reception, tea can be found at the pool bar, main bar and is available at lunch time, balconies do not have a light and before dinner Mr Bean is shown on the big screen in the main bar. You can ask for peanuts at the bar too.
To conclude, my family and I had a brilliant time at the Riu Guarana and would recommend it to all.
- 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