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Reviewed June 30, 2017 via mobile

Just returned from a week in Riu Guarana. Holiday didn't get off to best of starts - not sure if it's temporary due to alterations at airport but there was a really very long walk from plane to transfer coach so not suitable for less mobile tourists. Our coach had technical problems so we were told we needed to wait a few minutes without shade for a replacement one (Portuguese minutes equal about 10 times British ones). We were mistaken thinking platinum holidays meant a first or second drop off and were starting to become a bit despondent - however once we arrived at the hotel the holiday began in earnest.
We were greeted with a refreshing drink and the check in was speedy and efficient.mark the Tui rep was always readily available and obliging.
Our room (011) was overlooking the pool- it was spacious and immaculately clean. Air conditioning was adequate and a ceiling fan assisted in keeping us cool.
Day 1 and our fan exploded tripping our electric. Upon reporting this to reception the Maintenance team could not have been more efficient and we were back up and running in no time. From here in the holiday got better and better.
The food in the main restaurant was fab in choice and quality - something for every palate. At times noise levels were very high and possibly some calming background music would have created a calming ambience.
The speciality restaurant grill and Asian were very good although i felt being served instead of self service would have made it even better and would have made guests feel even more special .
Sunbeds and umbrellas were readily available although their close proximity at times made you feel like you were getting into bed with your neighbour!!!! The entertainment team worked so hard to cater to everyone's needs. I thoroughly enjoyed the aqua aerobics sessions - especially with Joel who had everyone in hysterics with his antics.
Matteo was in charge of entertainments and he seemed to be everywhere making sure everything ran smoothly and guests were invited to become involved if they desired but weren't pushed into joining in. Bar staff were obliging and keen to please.
We did the 'best of the west' day trip which was great - apart from the start when the guide chatted to the bus driver and didn't keep travellers informed what was happening until the coach was full after all the pick ups (this took almost an hour). Once she started imparting information the trip became interesting .
The week flew by ( always a sign of a great holiday) -I'm giving this holiday a 5 rating mainly because of the hard working staff though I feel improvements could be easily made so 4.5 prolly would be more accurate. Would I return? Yes....definitely and probably will xx

Date of stay: June 2017
Trip type: Traveled as a couple
2  Thank DawnPace
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 30, 2017 via mobile

We spent 11 days all inclusive at the Riu Guarana and had a wonderful relaxing holiday. The hotel is spotless with well kept gardens and all of the staff are friendly and helpful.
The rooms are well set out with huge comfortable beds and efficient quiet air conditioning. There was plenty of storage, a spacious balcony and small fridge, although you had to leave the cupboard door open for it to stay cold. No kettle in room, but they have them at reception.
There is a choice of restaurants - the main one has loads of options for breakfast, lunch anc dinner, including gluten free bread if you ask the waiting staff. Ana Lucia was very friendly and helpful so we tried to sit in her section. There are also the Grill and Asian restaurants on alternate nights, both of which were very good.
There are always hot and cold drinks available, including frozen cocktails from the pool or saloon bars as well as the swim up bar in the main pool. There is a smaller pool as well if you prefer a quieter time, as most of the activities (including aquafit & water polo) were in the big pool or the pool bar. We never had a problem getting a sunbed and umbrella and towels were included which you could swap every morning by the pool.
The animation team provided the entertainment most evenings (after being around all day), although there was live music and a fantastic 'exotic dance' show one night - belly dancing & samba.
We also had a massage in the Spa which was good value at €25. The town and beach are only 5-10 minutes walk away and a taxi to Albufeira is about €8 - €10 although the bus stop is just outside the hotel. The open top bus tour (hop on & off) also stops outside.
We had a great holiday and I would highly recommend the Clubhotel Riu Guarana.

Date of stay: June 2017
Trip type: Traveled as a couple
2  Thank Tracey P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 29, 2017

This was a wonderful hotel stay from start to finish, the reception staff were lovely, very friendly and nothing seemed too much trouble for them, there was no question that they couldn't answer and in any combination of languages you would like to ask them in, brilliant! The rooms were spacious and well appointed and spotlessly cleaned everyday.

I defy anyone to not find something that they enjoy on the buffet counters all beautifully presented and always well stocked, although there are set opening and closing times room service is available and an early breakfast is made available for those leaving on early flights or trips. There was a queuing system in operation for an outside table, the downside of eating outside however is the amount of people that smoke during their meal, you are likely to get kippered if there are large tables of smokers surrounding you, but the temperatures are pleasanter outside. This is a family oriented hotel so one of the downsides of meal times is the incessant noise of children crying, screaming or running up and down the aisle ways or around the buffet counters seemingly without any control from their parents or guardians - separate areas for smokers and children would be nice but finding sufficient room for this to work might prove problematic. There are two smaller themed restaurants that both serve great food, and it must be said that all the restaurant staff are very friendly, helpful and efficient in all three venues which somewhat balances out the disadvantages provided by some of the diners.
Our TUI representative, Mark, was brilliant and again nothing seemed too much trouble for him, his idea of running a quick tour around the area, pointing out pharmacies, shops, bars, cafes and bus / taxi pick up pints was very helpful and saved us a lot of time attempting to find out this information for ourselves.
The shows were all entertaining and the team never stopped working from first thing in the morning until last thing at night, they were always laughing and joking and genuinely lifted the atmosphere of wherever they appeared - and I must say that I TrueType admired the poor person that had to dress up in the bear costume everyday to entertain the children, in those temperatures they certainly earned their money. The bar staff were also very friendly, fast and efficient - again I take my hat off to the staff serving in the Caberet bar, the air conditioning was not brilliant there and some of the staff were dripping with sweat while rushing from one customer to the next! The drinks were also very good although they were none too generous with the size of the plastic beakers that they were served in, but to be fair if they were larger, given how hot it was,there would probably have been much more waste, who wants to drink warm beer?

There were some really good facilities here and plenty of sun beds around the three outside pools. What may have been nice would be a bar area around the reception area, but again all available space is utilised and this could only be done by reducing the seating available and so crowding out the currently spacious reception area. Other than the little areas for improvement mentioned this is the perfect spot for taking a holiday, we loved it there and didn't hear anybody else complaining about any part of their stay either - a well deserved 5 stars for the Riu!

Room tip: Rooms at the rear of the hotel overlook the pool areas the front rooms overlook a road which is pretty quiet most of the time
Date of stay: June 2017
  • Trip type: Traveled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank Graham O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 29, 2017 via mobile

We stayed here for 10 nights. We emailed Thomsons for sea view room which they catered for.
The rooms are lovely but half way through our stay we went back to our room around tea time after being by the pool all day to find our door had been left open, By the cleaners. Thankfully documentation and money were in the safe but it wasn't the point EVERYTHING is in the room! Reception staff made us aware the cleaning manager would be informed and it would be dealt with effectively! But we never heard anything after that, no apology either.
The food is great to start with but very repetitive with the roasted veg, sautéed potatoes and sliced pork. We enjoyed the different soups and deserts. We've been to many of places where they have different themed evenings each night but this Riu didn't. We booked into the Asian night which is a MUST, it is so delicious!
We did go out to a Mexican in Old Town too which is 8 Euro each way in a taxi. It's a lovely evening with all the bars and shops, that's a must too!
Be aware the beds get reserved really early! 8am! And as we was checking out we saw a few oldies making their way down at 6:45!
Also when we checked out, there were a few of us that had left our towels in our rooms, my partner was made to go back up onto the 4th floor and collect them but the other guests behind us were told "oh it doesn't matter we will get them" laughing it off. I would like to know why it was different for us? Also lunch time we went into the pool restaurant, I had a cover up to my waist, after seeing much older male and females with tight speedos on and just bikini tops eating I thought I would be ok, as it was really hot! I was told to leave and cover up! but the lady and gent who were sat there eating had much more on show than myself. I didn't think that was fair at all. Really disappointed with one rule for younger guests And a different rule for older guests, we found as did some other holiday goers.
The animation team made this holiday for us, Matao Joel Raf Simone and Vanessa made the evening shows/day time activities! They were so friendly and made us all laugh. The other members didn't really engage with us, they were much more serious like a boot camp attitude,a lot of people made the same comments.
We loved Portugal and will return but not to this hotel, if it wasn't for the entertainment guys we wouldn't have enjoyed it. They work so hard!

Date of stay: June 2017
Trip type: Traveled as a couple
Thank Kayleigh B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RiuHotelsandResorts, Online Reputation Manager at Hotel Riu Guarana, responded to this reviewResponded July 3, 2017

Dear guest,

Thank you for taking the time to give us such honest and detailed feedback.

As part of our service, the security of our guests is our main priority and we make a huge effort to ensure a safe and secure stay for our customers. We will share your comments with the corresponding departments so that it does not reoccur.

We would like to clarify that it is very important to us that all our guests feel welcome at our resort and treated in the same way regardless their country of origin, religion or age. We regret to read that you have left our hotel with an opposite idea in your mind.

On the other hand, we are glad to read that you enjoyed the selection of soups and desserts and highlighted our entertainment staff. It is always a pleasure to read how members of the team go that extra mile to ensure our guests feel at home and well taken care of.

We hope to see you again in RIU so that you can enjoy the quality, service and attention that define our hotels.

With our best wishes we remain,

ClubHotel Riu Guarana
Online Reputation Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 29, 2017 via mobile

Just came back from a fabulous week here at ClubHotel Riu Guarana. This hotel is run very well and there is a clear higher managerial presence on the floor. Both the General Manager and Deputy were always around and so welcoming.

Staff were all brilliant, genuinely so happy and full of enthusiasm. Mateus, who manages the animation team was great. He was so full of energy and hilarious. He took us up on to the roof of the hotel for a phenomenal 360 degree view of the local area. His team were all great. Every member of staff we came across was friendly and helpful. The Reception Manager was also particularly helpful.

Mark our Tui rep was really approachable and knowledgeable of the local area. He took us on a tour of the local area and the local Cabana Bar for a Sangria which was brilliant.

The hotel has a main Buffet as well as an Oriental Restaurant and Grill. You do need to make a reservation the day before for the second two however both are part of the all inclusive and you can visit as many times as you like. I would recommend visiting both, they are great and offer a change from the normal buffet. Our personal favourite was the Oriental. Food was of good quality and a wide variety for everyone. Drinks were also very good with brands such as Coke, Lipton etc. The bar was well stocked with all kinds of alcohol. We loved the Irish Whiskey and I enjoyed the iced cocktails! Litre bottles of water are free and you can pick these up at reception. Again, you are welcome to have as many as you like. Wifi is strong throughout out the public areas. You can pay for it in your room if you wish.

Our room was prepared by Kelly and immaculately clean. We were even able to check in 3 hours early which was great. Our room was made up each day. The room had a safe, fridge, hair dryer, tv, A/C and fan. There was ample wardrobe and draw space. We were lucky enough to be given room 402 which had a beautiful view over the sea and pool. The room was also so quiet. The beds were up there with some of the comfiest we have slept in. The decor was modern and up to date, clear that it has recently been given a full make over.

We loved the area this hotel was in. Plenty to do yet also very low key. Within walking distance was the beaches, restaurants, bars and shops. We visited Albufeira and we're glad we chose to stay in Olhos de Agua!!

The pools were a great size and very clean. We were slightly disappointed the indoor pool was closed during the summer but enjoyed the saunas and jacuzzi. There are two outdoor pools, one simple and the other with lots going on! There are sunbeds in the water which we loved, a jacuzzi area, swim up pool bar and of course the animation team carrying out activities! There are plenty of sun beds and lots of signs to say you cannot reserve sun beds. While most were full, we had no problem finding a sun bed at anytime.

There is a wooden staircase down into the beach. Yes there are lots of steps and for pushchairs and wheel chairs this may be an issue however for able bodied people, it's really not that bad. There are also lots of benches a long the way and we enjoyed the views. The beach at the bottom is so beautiful and quaint! Well worth visiting.

We had a brilliant stay here and would recommend to anyone staying in Algarve. Thank you Riu.

Date of stay: June 2017
Trip type: Traveled as a couple
2  Thank Wanderlust595
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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