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“We loved it!”

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ClubHotel Riu Guarana
Ranked #3 of 8 Hotels in Olhos de Agua
Certificate of Excellence
Oxford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
38 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“We loved it!”
Reviewed 31 August 2014

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.

Room Tip: Request a pool view room, this offers the kind of scene you would see on a postcard.
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  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Julia J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (409)
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warrington
Level Contributor
16 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 August 2014

My husband and I stayed here mid July 2014 for 11 days. We've stayed in Riu hotels before so we knew the standard would be high and we weren't disappointed. Pleasant, well- maintained grounds with a lovely large swimming pool, medium - sized pool and outdoor jacuzzi. Everywhere in the hotel was spotlessly clean including around the pools. Food was well cooked with plenty of choice. Our room was meticulously cleaned and towels were changed daily.
Although there were a lot of sun umbrellas around the pools, there were more needed as some people were searching for an umbrella mid to late afternoon. Our room was directly above the show bar, overlooking the smaller pool and it tended to be a bit noisy until around midnight when the bar closed even with the balcony doors closed. We also had extremely hot sun on our balcony until about 8 pm with nowhere to shade.
The small local beach us about 5 minutes walk away and the lovely larger beach about 10-15minutes walk away. The beaches are very clean with grotty sand and they are tidal. When we were there the larger beach was busy in patches especially when the summer holidays began. To hire 2 sun beds and an umbrella was 15 euros or more which we thought was rather expensive.
The evening entertainment was not very inspiring, as we've stayed at Riu hotels in the recent past we've seen Grease and most of the other shows before. The singing duo in the pool bar were good( once per week) playing songs from the past with old video footage. Take care with wi if accessibility- it states that the wi if is free, however you only have 1 and a half hours per day to use it in the foyer then you have to pay for it.
Overall we had a lovely time. Plus no Mosquitos ! Hoorah!

Room Tip: Avoid rooms above the show bar as they are noisy later at. Isn't and there is no shelter from th...
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank ruthysimmo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wolverhampton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 August 2014

5 star service for all staff ..friendliness and attention to everything in the resort is the best I have ever experienced... this is the second Riu hotel I have stayed at. The food was great and there was something different for every day you stay there. Loads of sunbeds and umbrellas.. the only thing that could be better is the night entertainment they need more outside acts to come in... but that's only a minor complaint..if you are travelling with young children there are plenty of them in the main holiday weeks I would have preferred less having a teen ager lol but that was our choice. We used medical doctor who was excellent also tip most places don't take credit cards!

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Amanda W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Surrey
Level Contributor
36 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 August 2014

We stayed at the Riu hotel mid-August and agree with the majority of reviews on here. From arrival to departure the hotel staff were brilliant and ultra helpful without being intrusive. We have two boys who are 14 and 15 and there was plenty for them to do other than dip in and out of the pool. The tennis/football court is put to good use and should you want to play tennis then you will be able to find a slot or two on each day if you don’t leave it too late in the day. This also applies to the table tennis tables as there is a booking system in place so no one person can hog it all day which works well. There is enough room in the pool/s to play ball games between 2/4 of you should you want to and the “swim up” bar makes a nice resting place for refreshments where Julian will look after you.
The walk to the beach will take about 10 – 15 minutes depending on how hot it is but is well worth the visit. It is well worth checking the tide times which are published on a weekly basis and can be found in reception. At high tide you can be a little cramped for room, but when it is out there is plenty of space. It is worth mentioning that you could easily get caught out by the tide if you wonder too far and it is on the way in as some of the beaches are guarded by rocky areas.
The local shops are what you would expect from a beach seaside resort and bats, balls, flip-flops, Lillo’s etc..etc are on offer from more than one outlet. However, if you need anything other than beach items then you may need to talk the 20-30 minute walk to the (almost) local superstore.
There are many trips and excursions available and depending on your tastes you should be able find something to do or go and see. We went to the Aquashow water park which is well worth a trip and we also did the dolphin spotting on the rib boats which was very good. After quite a long time searching for the dolphins we wondered if we were going to be part of the “unlucky” crew who didn’t see any but luckily a call from one of the other boats meant we did actually get to see the wild dolphins in action.
The hotel rooms are big enough for the little amount of time you spend in them. There is little to no noise to hinder that much needed rest at the end of a busy day relaxing by the pool.
There are 3 restaurants in the hotel and the main room can take about 200 people at a time. This can get busy but the seating system means you don’t have to do your own search which makes things that bit easier getting a table. If you want to eat at the other two restaurants you will have to book a day in advance although we found that if you were happy to eat at 19:15 then you could even find a space on the day. The Grill is a much quieter room with a more relaxed feel but the food isn’t much different to the main hall really apart from maybe a bit of steak or veal depending on the day.
The Asian restaurant is much smaller than the other two and is again very quiet in comparison. Whilst they try very hard to get the vibe and food of Asia right it doesn’t quite work. I think that it perhaps demonstrates how lucky we are in the UK with our Asian restaurants and food as the Chinese food is about a 5 out of 10 and I would rate the Indian curry dishes about a 4 or 5 out of 10.
We ventured out to Vilamoura on a Friday and the taxi cost is about 20 euro’s each way. We were going to go on the Thomson coach but thought we would go a bit earlier and didn’t have any issues getting a taxi back from the main rank in Vilamoura although we did have to queue for about 30 minutes. There are plenty of restaurants and bars to choose from and range in price depending on how close to the water you want to be. We plumped for the Mayflower where the food and view was spectacular. I will be writing a separate review on this restaurant soon.
The evening entertainment at the hotel is mainly the “in-house” team doing the very best they can to keep everyone happy. This can get a little be “samey” but if you stick with it there is usually a moment or two to make you smile. There is the occasional live band/duo at the pool bar and they are quite good if you are happy to sit in the wind and drink out of the plastic cups. If you are expecting to see previous Xfactor winners or anything from London’s West end then you could be disappointed. For all of its faults the team do try very hard and for the ladies there is a very talented dancer from Cuba who also does the water aerobics. I think he is one of the most bendy men I have ever seen but there is no doubt he can dance. Do be careful ladies as If you watch him for too long you can easily become hypnotised!!!
All in all the hotel is a very nice place to spend a holiday and we would go back.

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank TheCarrollsSurrey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Huddersfield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 August 2014

Just back from a week at the Riu Guarana. Changed to come to this hotel at the last minute for fear that my son wouldn't have enough to occupy him at the original hotel I had booked....I was not disappointed.
The entertainment team work their socks off, there's no pressure to be involved though - my son enjoyed the football and the water polo. The evening shows were good and we really enjoyed the fete themed night where they had "stalls" out on the terrace with hoop la etc.
The hotel itself is lovely, staff really polite and welcoming, the cleaning staff were great and the place was always spotless. Food choice really good - something for everyone.
We found that the beds were fine and the room we were in had view of the pool and tennis courts (room 004 on ground floor).
Sun loungers round the main pool do get reserved but we found if you were there before 10am you could get a bed without having to put a towel down. On the day there weren't any we spoke to the pool staff and they moved one from somewhere else for us.
Must recommend Zoomarine and Slide & Splash (the pick up is early for slide and splash but worth it) both me and my son really enjoyed the excursions.
All in all can't fault the hotel, we had a great holiday.

Room Tip: We were in room 004 on the ground floor which is a twin room - it's an end room on the corner of...
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  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank NatTom2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 August 2014

the hotel was very good all the staff where helpful and friendly and could not do enought for you.facilities and food very good.entertainment for kids and couples where excellent choice of food on offer covered all tastes even if you are vegetarian there was a good selection with out any fuss

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank david t
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lisbon, Portugal
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 August 2014

First of all, we found out that this "4 star" hotel doesn´t even deserve this title, as they shut down the general air conditioned machines during the night (in August), without customers' knowledge, and after our complain saying that the air in the room was unbearable, they said that we may open the window!!!... in a place where we pay 190 euros/night/room...

Other negative points:
- poor food, and the same food every single day;
- didn't clean one of the rooms one day;
- some other incidents proved us they don´t have a clue of what customer service/satisfaction is. They are interested in your money, not in your wellbeing. I don't blame the staff, though, it's obvious they have instructions from the greedy administrators.
- the entertainment at night is simply ridiculous.
- some cocktails have a horrible taste (caipirinha, strawberry daiquiri,...)
- It's extremely difficult to find a place to park the car. The alternative is to pay almost 9 euros per day to park in the garage...
- Towel game in the pool...
- Hotel geared to spanish customers: spanish food, flamenco shows, spanish night at the buffet... if someone goes to Portugal on vacations, wouldn't they prefer to have a Portuguese experience???

We don't plan to book this hotel never again, as there are a lot of great hotels and restaurants throughout Algarve, and it's easy to get a much better value for our money (this year we also stayed in Belmar spa & beach resort (Lagos), and Pestana Vila Sol (Vilamoura), and we had a great stay in both of them). All inclusive hotels are good in Mexico or Dominican Republic, but not the best option here...

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank 4familyLisboa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about ClubHotel Riu Guarana

Property: ClubHotel Riu Guarana
Address: Quinta do Milharo | Olhos D'Agua - Algarve, Olhos de Agua, Albufeira 08200, Portugal
Phone Number:
Region: Portugal > Algarve > Faro District > Albufeira > Olhos de Agua
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 8 Hotels in Olhos de Agua
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:4 star — ClubHotel Riu Guarana 4*
Number of rooms: 500
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

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