We arrived at the Riu Palace to a glass of bubbly and a warm welcome. We spent our holiday in a very spacious, well equipped and tidy room. My only slight complaint might be that the mattress was very hard, but I believe that if this is a problem for you the housekeeping department are happy to change it. The food at this hotel is awesome - a great selection of fresh fruit and salad, together with a wide range of meats and fish. It is the first hotel I have ever visited where there is no rush to book the alternative restaurant because the food in the main restaurant is that good. The waiting staff are friendly, attentive and efficient. A special thank you to Nelson, who made our dining experience a delightful one with is wit and charm - a true asset to the Riu Palace team. Another quite outstanding aspect of our holiday was the ever present management team. Always smiling and very friendly, they were at the doors of the restaurant to greet you for your evening meal and breakfast. We were introduced to the restaurant manager, reception manager, house keeping manager, bar manager and the hotel manager. We considered this to be a really nice touch. The outdoor area is serviced by a pool bar, which has a very nice seating area inside and outside. Another big thank you to Manuel - very shy and unassuming, Manuel delivered a top class service throughout our stay. There is a good range of cocktails and ice creams available that are all delivered to your table or sun lounger with a smile. The pool area was clean and well presented. This is possibly the only area though that stops this from being a 5 star hotel. There is NO pool side entertainment. This is something that we enjoy as a family so the absence of any action by the pool was a little disappointing. That said, I am sure there are some people who this set up would ideally suit. There is and indoor pool complete with sauna, steam room whirl pool and showers. The beach was accessed by a great many steps - but lets face it, if the beach is down a cliff side what can the hotel do about this?!! The steps were well worth the effort, with the beach extending over miles of sea and sand. There are a couple of good restaurants on the beach for meals and drinks. However, the tables tend to get booked very quickly.
The little village in which the hotel is situated is a small walk out of the hotel and this is where we headed in the evenings to avoid the 'pub singer' in the hotel. Entertainment is definitely the only area where I feel this hotel is lacking. Riu Palace pay attention to every detail and provide a seamless service that is very friendly and obliging. Nothing is ever too much trouble. I would thoroughly recommend a stay in this hotel if you are visiting the Algarve.
Portugal was a lovely place to visit with wall to wall sunshine, but it is not somewhere I would make a return visit to in a hurry. As a family we enjoy taking part in the excursions and experiencing a little of the foreign culture. The excursions in Portugal were failing on every level - it all seems half-hearted and surrounded by health and safety red tape. Even though I took out holiday insurance to cover us for our chosen activities, the Portuguese laws made us unable to take part in the things we love. (Jet skiing, quad biking, etc.) We visited a water park called Slide and Splash, which according to reviews is the best that Portugal has to offer. It was ok but nothing special, especially compared with Sian Park, Tenerife.
Riu Palace really made our holiday so many, many thanks. If they could just liven up the entertainment a little, there would be no where better.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located in Olhos d???Agua in the Algarve. 4-Storey building standing on a cliff. 15 Minutes' walk from Praia da Falesia beach. Access to a small cove from the hotel 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:
- Riu Palace Algarve Albufeira
- Hotel Riu Palace Algarve Albufeira, Portugal