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“Fantastic quality, great food & good location. Try and miss the school holidays” 5 of 5 stars
Review of ClubHotel Riu Guarana

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ClubHotel Riu Guarana
4.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Quinta do Milharo | Olhos D'Agua - Algarve, Olhos de Agua, Albufeira 08200, Portugal   |  
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Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Olhos de Agua
gloucester
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Fantastic quality, great food & good location. Try and miss the school holidays”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 27, 2013

My wife and I were here for 10 nights at the Riu Guarana at the start of July.

I emailed the hotel prior to departure requesting a room with a pool view. They replied by email saying they couldn't guarantee, but they would check availability. On arrival they allocated a great room overlooking tennis court/pool on end of hotel. rooms all floors 01 - 04
We were in 204.
beds are hard, but request a mattress topper and they are fine.
Air con is rubbish but fortunately the room we had didn't get sun all day, so it was bearable.

The choice of drinks and quality were absolutely fine and the food was cooked perfectly and plentiful with loads of choice.
This was our 3rd trip to a RIU and the food has been great and service exceptional at them all.

We sampled the Asian restaurant on a couple of occasions which needs to be pre booked which is effortless and the standard was excellent. The grill restaurant was ok if you like everything battered

We love Sardines, which Portugal is renowned for but they were only on the menu once in 10 days.

Only two little annoyances to mention.

We went right at the start of July to miss the school holidays, and Thompson who we booked with recommended this for couples, as our children were old enough to go on their own holidays this year.
it was fine for the first week, but then the Spanish/ Portuguese families started arriving.
This shouldn't have been a problem as there is an absolutely huge family pool with slides etc and away from this is a quiet/ couples pool with no inflatables, ball games and such. but obviously this doesn't apply to our foreign types who blatantly ignored all this and inundated this area with children. the staff were complained to numerous times by dozens of British couples but to no avail.
So note to couples go slightly earlier or after school holidays.

Also i know you shouldn't really expect entertainment, and the animation team did work very hard, but their shows every night were awful. just very bad miming to music everyday.
Which is a shame as other RIU's have been excellent.
Overall summary excellent location, just few minutes walk from beach. excellent food and staff and cleanliness.
Would definitely go again but outside holidays (check foreign holiday dates also)

Room Tip: Try and get a room on end. all floors with rooms ending in 01 to 04 email before hand.
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (229)
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England
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2013

Stayed here in April. Good hotel, the entrance is pretty impressive when you arrive, up the steps and into the large marble and glass foyer.

The room was fine, not particularly large but not on the small side. I would say it was a pretty average size. We had a view over the pool and down to the town which was nice, and our balcony was a decent size (some appeared smaller than others). It also enabled us to watch what was down by the pool some nights. The linens were changed once during our week stay and the towels were changed whenever we wanted- just threw them in the bath. There was adequate hanging space for clothing and if we wanted anything the maids were more than amenable in doing so (she brought us some extra cups one day.)

We stayed at the hotel on an all inclusive basis and it was the first time (we have since this now stayed at others who employ this method) we'd been to a hotel that had self service pumps. As we stayed in low season, April, this wasn't a problem because the hotel was largely empty but I imagine this may get to be a problem in July/August when the hotel is busier. However, this was fine but didn't feel like the billed stars with having to serve yourself. It also meant that some of the younger Portuguese teens were having a great time in the middle of the day! The cocktails were alright too and the beer is quite nice.

The entertainment team were also quite good, despite the fact that I usually am not really into the hotel entertainment. However, as there wasn't much going on in April we decided to watch the show a few nights and join in. The sangria making by the pool was particularly fun, and amazing to see how much alcohol went in! One night the staff were also riding the lifts with champagne for guests on the way to dinner which was funny.

The food at the hotel is alright, there is always something to eat, however we were surprised because in April none of the other restaurants were open (it said in the brochure one at least would be open). This was particularly disappointing because when the buffet themed 'chinese' night was on for a taster of the Chinese restaurant, the food was the best we had all our stay. However, as all inclusive goes it is the standard local dishes, themed dishes, and general chips chicken etc.

The surrounding area is nice and even in April when it was quiet the bars down by the shore were open and welcoming. The Italian restaurant was particularly nice in the square just over the road and a special mention to the Chinese across from the hotel which was a fabulous meal, run by an absolutely lovely young Chinese woman. It is upstairs over a bar and she is wonderfully accommodating and friendly.

Overall our stay was fine, the hotel was nice for a weeks stay. However, I don't think I could justify paying the price for it in the summer months when this hotel reaches over a grand a week. When we stayed we were lucky that the children were mostly at school however it is a much more family orientated hotel than adults. Perhaps if adults were travelling they would be recommended to go to the half board Riu over the road (which we looked around and would stay in, spectacular views of the coast).

Room Tip: Pool facing rooms are better than those over the tennis court which don't have a particularly g...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
north lincolnshire
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 3, 2013

We had emailed for a sea view/pool view room before. Apparently we had booked a land view room with Thomson but were not given a choice. However we received a reply from Mr Castro saying he`d do his best. He did. Lovely room 431 with views, spacious and comfy double bed, fridge, (free water -just collect from reception also beach towels) FREE safe, balcony, plenty of sockets, lovely 4 piece bathroom with shower and TV with BBC1 and ITV1 plus other channels. AND, a first for us, while we were unpacking reception rang to check if we liked the room and every thing was ok!
Luggage was delivered to our room after a speedy check in and a cold fruit juice was provided while we completed a simple form.
Rooms were spotless as was every part of the hotel and grounds and cleaning was on going continuously. All the staff were friendly and helpful and always passed you with a smile and greeting.
Food was lovely with a great variety. It is hard to believe some comments on Trip Advisor as choice was excellent. There was a fantastic choice of bread and fruit at every meal. Breakfasts catered for all from omlettes to cold meats or sausage and bacon etc. Lovely soups, a pasta station, best pizza station outside Italy , always a couple of Portugese specialty dishes, plus a variety of meats, a roast, various fish and several times smoked salmon and giant tiger prawns. Lots of salads and dressings plus a great range of sweets and ice creams. Even though it was late in the season there was the Asian restaurant to book into (24 hours in advance) and we enjoyed this. In the 10 days we were there we always found we were spoilt for choice. Afternoon tea and snacks were available but we never found stomach room to avail ourselves of these treats.
Drinks were good, almost anything one could want. Some have commented on the slush cocktails but they were lovely and cooling but the bar staff would make any combination of drinks one wanted.
The gardens and pools were immaculate and there was a great choice of sunbeds. The weather in late October was mixed , hot sun our first and last few days and rain or cloud in between. But the village was lovely to wander around and the beach area was pretty. It is a steep road back but by stopping off we made it! The hotel`s beach is also very attractive although it is down a lot of steps. However each flight has a walkway with seats so we enjoyed it by resting at each seat. No problems if you are young and fit.
We did take a taxi ( 9 euros) to Albuferia old town but thought it awful. Same shops as in the village but with drunken English (mid afternoon). We also booked a trip with ticket shop just below the hotel on the street to the sea.(ticketshopalgrave@gmail.com) . Their prices were much cheaper than the Thomson`s but I think some on the trip had booked via their rep. For Euro9 we were picked up and returned to the hotel and visited Lagos and Sagres and various interesting places in between. On the day we had originally booked to go it was awful weather but they rang us and asked if we`d prefer to postpone until the next day. We did and then had the weather to appreciate the sights. Excellent value and they offer a range of trips.
The entertainment team were offering lots of activities during the day and evening shows. We did not participate but there was a variety of things for all ages. We did not go to the shows preferring to take a drink to our room and watch TV or look at the stars.
We hope to return and will also look for other Riu hotels as their standards are exceptional if this hotel is typical. A really good autumn break.

Room Tip: Room 431 was quiet , comfy and had good views. We slept really well.
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
torquay
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 3, 2013

Based on the reviews on Trip Advisor we expeted it to be pretty good. The rooms were fine, the beds terrible - it would have been softer and more comfortable to sleep on the carpeted floor. As for the food, the best that can be said is that it was boringly repertitious and if you do not like pork you're in real trouble - it was on the menu every day, lunch and dinner. One lunch time the only meat was pork, cooked three diferent ways but all looking the same. All the meat dishes (and the fish) were overcooked, as was the veg and this was barely warm. There's nothing ouside the hotel locally worth seeing, if you want a change it's expenive excursions.
My advice is to look elsewhere for a GOOD holiday.

Room Tip: Book another Hotel or send an email to the hotel asking for a pool view on the 4th floor
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
bodmin
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 2, 2013 via mobile

We travelled as a couple in late October the hotel was not at full capacity which was nice plenty of room at meal times . Reception was very efficient at check in where water is always available, this is where you also get your pool towels from. Our room was on the fourth floor plenty of lifts at both ends of the floor. Our room was spacious with a small balcony and shower over bath with loo and bidet, hair dryer and shaver point located in bathroom also. The hotel is modern with excellent facilities located in the basement was a heated indoor pool,steam room,jacuzzi,sauna and freezing cold plunge pool. We had wet weather for the first two days so we fully made use of these facilities aqua aerobics was excellent in the indoor pool. The beaches are beautiful with wonderful golden sand no rubbish to be seen at all and amazing views from the top of the cliffs, the water was a lot warmer than the hotel pool. The hotel is set about a 10 min walk from the beach with a few small shops and cafe/bars along the way. We went on the Guadiana river cruise which takes you up river for two hours with a delicious lunch at the restaurant in a small village we had grilled sardines with Portuguese salad followed by piri piri chicken and fresh melon for dessert. An excellent week all in all nice food in the hotel and delicious cocktails . The algarve is an excellent holiday destination and the riu guarana was a good choice for us .

Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alderney, United Kingdom
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 31, 2013

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!

Room Tip: Book a different hotel!
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Durham
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 28, 2013

My wife and self have just returned after 10 nights at the Riu Guarana and it was fantastic.

I emailed the hotel prior to departure requesting a room with a pool view. They replied by email stating Thomson holidays had only booked a land view room on our behalf but they would check availability. On arrival our wishes were granted with a beautiful sea and pool view from the room. The hotel is immaculate.

The choice of drinks and quality were absolutely fine and the food was cooked perfectly and plentiful with loads of choice.

We sampled the Asian restaurant on a couple of occasions which needs to be pre booked which is effortless and the standard was exceptional. The grill restaurant was not open as we were nearing the end of season.

I love lamb chops and these were available on at least four occasions during our visit to the main restaurant.

We also visited the hotel's indoor pool which consisted of a hydro pool, Jacuzzi, Sauna and plunge pool and its design would sit well in a millionaires mansion as it is so nice.

There is also a gym and wellness centre that carry out holistic therapies at an extra charge. My wife had a pedicure at a cost of 32 euros which is expensive, but there is little else to spend your money on.

The hotel is All Inclusive with food and drinks available from 8am in the morning until 1am if you wish to visit the night club. During our stay I did not witness any drunkenness or over indulgence in the dining rooms.

The entertainment was provided by the six member animation team who worked tirelessly all day
It was amateurish but the bar salon where they performed always commanded a full audience.

The beds in the rooms are hard but we soon got used to them. There were also plenty of sun beds
with a minority of early morning reservations which was not necessary.

The trip to the Fiesa sand statues which also included a visit to an equestrian centre to see the Lusitano horses was a great day out and excellent value.

Room Tip: email the hotel prior to arrival requesting a pool view
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
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

Address: Quinta do Milharo | Olhos D'Agua - Algarve, Olhos de Agua, Albufeira 08200, Portugal
Location: Portugal > Algarve > Faro District > Albufeira > Olhos de Agua
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 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):
Opened summer 2008. 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, Amex, Visa, Diners. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Clubhotel Riu Guarana Albufeira
Clubhotel Riu Guarana Hotel Albufeira
ClubHotel Riu Guarana Olhos De Agua, Portugal - Albufeira

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