About Hotel Riu Guarana

  • high speed internet in room
  • swimming pool
  • restaurant
  • free internet
  • bar lounge
  • fitness center
  • spa
  • suites
  • public wifi
  • dry cleaning
  • meeting room
  • laundry service
  • concierge desk
  • multilingual staff
  • airport transportation
  • breakfast buffet
  • outdoor pool
  • parking
  • housekeeping
  • private balcony
  • breakfast available
  • sauna
  • heated pool
  • indoor pool
  • facilities for disabled guests
  • paid internet
  • kids activities
  • tennis court
  • swimup bar
  • poolside bar
  • kids club
  • safe

Reviews summary

( 2502 reviews)
  • 4.5 room
  • 4.5 pool
  • 4 beach
  • 5 service
  • 5 dining
  • 5 amenities
  • 5 value
  • 4 food
  • 4 cleanliness
  • 3 location

15 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog

Great holiday at amazing price.

Reviewed Thu 16th of June 2016

"Just come back from a week here, it was an amazing holiday from start to finish all for £300.
Our own private transfers, food laid on for late arrivals, excellent service, rooms clean. Hotel and gardens spotless, Bar small but excellent service.
Food good. Always got a sunbed. Just the annoying people reserving them with towels and don't turn up till 2 in the afternoon.
Nothing was too much trouble staff so friendly and helpful.
Never got one mosquito bite. EXCELLENT HOTEL AND STAFF a credit to you all."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Mon 30th of May 2016

Rating breakdown

  • 3 Location
  • 3 Beach
  • 4 Room
  • 4 Pool
  • 5 Service
  • 5 Value
  • 3 Food
  • 4 Cleanliness

That's my job! Enjoy your holiday

Reviewed Mon 27th of June 2011

"Just returned from Riu Guarana, and it was brilliant! From the georgeous food, to the top notch cleanliness. All the staff bent over backwards to make the holiday superb. Having experinced RIU prior, I can honestly say that this hotel en masse is up there with the best!. Nothing was too much trouble even to the point that we couldn't move a table without a staff member requesting us to let them do the task for us as "You are on holiday, please be looked after by us"!. The restauarants were well run, busy but no problems experinced. Lots of babies& children all appeared well catered for. Huge variety and choices available daily for breakfast, Lunch & Dinner. The attention to detail was first class, the inside and outside areas wern't just cleaned they were disinfected then polished daily. Hence not one single bite from a beasty. The gardens were beautiful and well maintained. The staff were so friendly I have never been to Portugal prior to this trip but I will deffinately be back. "

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Thu 23rd of June 2011

Rating breakdown

  • 5 Beach
  • 5 Room
  • 5 Pool
  • 5 Service
  • 5 Dining
  • 5 Amenities
  • 5 Food


Reviewed Sat 22nd of December 2012

"We stayed for a week with our 15 year old daughter in July. The hotel was OK, but not, we felt, up to the normal Riu standards.

We had no problem reserving sun beds, but then we wanted to sit around the smaller quieter pool. The main pool was lively -too noisy for us. The sunbeds weren't very comfortable though - not the same as the type shown in the brochure.

Most of the drinks are self-service, which is just as well as the bar service was awful. It wasn't worth using either, as the cocktails were the worst I've ever had; the barmen just went through the motions - e.g. pulsing the blender for a fraction of a second instead of properly crushing the ice. They were also very variable. Twice I was served Irish coffee which was the colour of lager - the coffee machine had run out, dispensing dish-water, and the barman had not even noticed.

Food was plentiful, with a very wide choice - salads, cooked fish and meat, pasta, pizza, but totally bland and boring. There was a good choice of cheeses, though. Others have complained about waiting to be seated, but I don't think that is the hotel's fault. In the evening, the restaurant would be almost empty for a couple of hours, then at 9pm they would be inundated, and overwhelmed for perhaps 15 minutes, before getting back to normal.

Rooms were standard - on the small side. The bed was too hard, and the air conditioning was feeble. Lighting and air-con are controlled by the room card-key, so the room would be hot when we returned to it, and took for ever to get cool again.

There aren't enough lifts - when we arrived, it coincided with a time that many people were leaving the pool area - We must have spent over 20 minutes waiting with our cases to try to get into a lift. Why were we with our cases? we would have expected them to be brought to us - this is a 4 star hotel , supposedly, but the way the receptionist asked us if we could manage our cases, left us in no doubt that there wasn't an alternative.

The location, though is fine. There are three routes down to the beaches; down the road past a number of shops and restaurants, to the main town beach, down a large number of wooden steps opposite the sister hotel, to a small cove or skirting a self-catering complex, and down a different set of steps to an area with a large number of comfortable sunloungers and parasols; that cost 15 euro per day for 2. It is possible to walk between the three sections of beach except at high tide, which was about 5pm when we were there."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Wed 3rd of September 2008

Don' t worry be happy!!

Reviewed Wed 31st of October 2012

"I have just come back from a two week holiday in this hotel and my only complaint is that it wasn't long enough ! I won't go on too much cause I've just about said it all on the tripadviser forum ! The hotel was great ,the staff were great ,the food was great the weather was great what more can I say except to tell any one still to go that they will have a lovely time and to the people who have been whinging STOP MOANING AND HAVE SOME FUN ,WHAT ON EARTH WERE YOU LOOKING FOR !?!"

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Tue 2nd of September 2008

Fantastic Hotel!

Reviewed Tue 16th of October 2012

"After reading all the other reviews we really wasn't sure what to expect but to be honest we could not fault this hotel!

I can see why people who had previously stayed at the Riu Algarve Palace were not keen on this but what you have to bear in mind is that this is a clubhotel and geared up for none stop entertainment and is ultimately going to attract families.

The animation team were great and did not hassel you if you did not want to join in which suited us fine.

The food after a week could become a little repeatative and I highly recommend you try the asian restaurant just once which was a little quieter and more refined.

The fact that the Brits are in minority here was a little overwhelming at times but once again did not spoil the holiday.

We would fully recommend going here if you get the right deal as I wouldn't have paid the full price that Thomson were advertising it for!"

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Tue 26th of August 2008

Good hotel, great friendly staff

Reviewed Sun 9th of December 2012

"My wife and I stayed at this hotel from 31/7 to 7/8. The hotel is new this year, and the decor and finish reflects this. The rooms are spacious and well equipped. We requested a pool/sea view and were given room 533 which had both. However we found this room was directly underneath the hotels air con system on the roof and the noise at night was horrendous. We complained that evening and were given a different room to sleep in. In the morning they moved us to room 413 which had a similar view and was fine. We found the staff were very helpful and spoke excellent english. We found the food excellent and ate in the main restaurant every night except the frist one, when we were put in the Grill restaurant. You had to book this and had set times, and we found we were hurried to finish. The grill restaurant opens at about 3.30 each day for burgers etc, and you can have as much as you like. We both put on several pounds during our stay. Drinks are help yourself for soft drinks, beer, wine...also slushes for the kids...and they're unlimited and completely free including spirits and cocktails.
Unlike other reviews, we found the entertainment very good indeed. Alex and Maria's animacion team put on some very good, original and funny shows....don't miss the Grease show.
Again unlike other reviews we found sunbeds easy to get. We came down at about 10am most days, and you could virtually sit anywhere. We even came in about 3pm one day, and there were still plenty of beds, and the hotel was full.
The main guests are a mixture of Spanish and Portugese, but there are also many british guests staying, with very few Germans. Again the entertainment caters for all nationalities.
The hotel is large and therefore is very lively with lots of small children...we have not been used to a hotel like this for a while, but honestly didn't find it a problem.
The surrounding area is very quiet and fairly unspoilt, and some parts are a little run down...this will probably change with the new hotels now establsihed.
We walked to Villamoura along the beach, which took about an hour and a half...then took a taxi back which cost about 13 euros.
We also took the Thomson's..Best of the West tour which we didn't think was great value...although the lunch laid on was excellent."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Mon 11th of August 2008

New hotel but the cracks are already showing

Reviewed Thu 6th of December 2012

"We had originally booked direct with RIU way back in January for the Algarve Palace. We were due to fly out on the 20th July, but on the 18th we received a phone call from RIU with an offer - would we be prepared to be transferred to the Guarana in a family room in the annex building with a pool view - and with a price reduction if we accepted the change. Now we never quite got to the bottom of the reason why, but I suspect they had overbooked the hotel - and as we had booked direct with them we could have said no. Before we committed ourselves we checked all the reviews we could lay our hands on - which were a little thin on the ground as it was a new hotel. As the reviews were somewhat mixed we agreed to the move but only if we were to be permitted to transfer to the RIU Atlantico in Isla Canela and RIU paid for the taxi if we were unhappy with the Guarana - believe it or not - they agreed !! This was the sort of offer that we could not refuse.

So for all the whingeing people who complained that the Guarana is not like the Algarave Palace for example - what did you expect ? This is an all inclusive hotel where you are fed, watered & you and the kids entertained for 14 hours per day, so you are not going to get Algarve Palace food & service - if you want that, go and book there and pay for it !!

The location is somewhat remote - but what a beach if you are prepared to walk down to it. Olhos D`Agua is a something & nothing - you need to go further afield for some real life - but it is relatively peaceful & quiet.

The hotel itself is new - very clean & tidy. The staff are all very pleasant and helpful. As had already been said in previous reviews - the majority of guests are Spanish/Portuguese with some Belgian & Germans - but look on the bright side - at least most of their kids behave themselves - and if you are xenophobic why do you go to foreign land for a holiday ?

Soft drinks (Coke, Coke Zero, Sprite, Water), beer, and wine (red, white & rose) are all available to help yourself throughout the day - in both restuarants and also outside the pool bar and "theatre". Ice cream and a tea/coffee making machine are also available - along with bar service for cocktails etc. The beer is Super Bock (the Portuguese beer) and is palatable. Cocktails (of a sort - all in straight glasses) are available. The swim-up bar was not in operation during our stay.

Food - well, you are being fed for 14 hours per day - so you have breakfast, lunch, afternoon snacks (hot dogs, ham & cheese toasted sandwiches etc) and dinner. Quite honestly, it does get rather mundane - although for dinner you can try either the Asian (not impressed on our one visit) or the Grill (somewhat better). You can put your name down for the Asian & Grill on the list outside the main restaurant door, or alternatively someone will walk around the pool and ask (nice gesture). All meals are pretty much of a muchness and if you are going for more than a week be prepared to be bored with it - but you pay your money and you get what you get !! However, it is well presented and properly cooked.

The pool areas are all kept clean with staff walking around regularly and clearing up plastic cups, glassess etc. On the subject of pools, the cracks are (literally) beginning to show already. Not quite sure how they secured the small tiles to the bottom of the pools, but the one we frequented had areas where the tiles had become detached - this problem will need resolving sooner rather than later - and that will mean emptying the pool. Around the edge of the same pool, the tiles have subsided slightly (nothing too serious at this moment). There are no mattresses on the sunbeds - they are stretch fabric - not quite sure how they will fare after a lot of use. Bear in mind that this hotel has 500 rooms, so there are a lot of people about at peak times - get your beds/parasols reserved before 09:00 or they`ll be in short supply - and pretty crampted together. A word of warning - a stiff breeze gets up in the afternoon and it was not unknown for umbrellas to be blown over or even become detached from their base and go for a fly - somebody sooner or later will probably get hurt by one of the flying ones !!

The animation team do their best to keep the kids amused during the day and do a pretty good job of it - there is generally plenty going on if you want to get involved. They also do the nightly show - but they are amateurs - bear that in mind and just go along and enjoy it.

All in all ? I would NOT have paid full price to stay at this hotel. For the stay time & family room with say, Thomsons Platinum, it would have been going on for £3,000 for the 3 of us (and we didn`t pay anywhere near that sort of price) - this hotel is not worth that sort of money. The RIU Atlantico & Algarve Palace are better - but they are half board and you get the additional service. Having said that we pretty much enjoyed it."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Mon 4th of August 2008

A Lovely new hotel!

Reviewed Sun 9th of December 2012

"We have just returned from a weeks stay at the Riu Guarana, which on the whole was very good. I think most things have been covered by previous reviewers.

The restaurants were good, We didn't find them overcrowded, but we tended to eat late. The Grill restaurant was our favourite. We may not have been so exuberant about them if we had stayed 2 weeks!

The beaches were lovely, if you have seen the photos that JonathanR posted, the picture doesn't do the steps to the beach justice, There are 300 steps, we counted them all. but it is well designed with long straight stretches and lots of seating along the way, don't let it put anyone off, it leads to a wonderful quieter beach.

We had no problem with children, yes, there were loads, but so well behaved, and the majority were Spanish, probably well able to deal with later nights. They caused no problems at meal times.

My main problem with the hotel, was the unavailability of a drink of tea of coffee after the bars close until breakfast at 8.00, and no drinks available in the accommodation building. I really think that either Tea/coffee making facilities need to be introduced in the rooms, or a drinks station on each floor. or even in the reception area, they have managed to find space for a cigarette machine!!!! If you often have the need for a later than midnight cup of tea, I would recommend taking a vacuum flask and taking hot water to bed with you for those emergencies.

Extra sunbeds were put into the footpath areas while we were there, easing the pressure on the unofficially prebooked loungers. This morning we observed towels being placed on beds at 06.20! The staff are aware of the problem and if you can't find a sunbed, they are prepared to remove towels and find you a space! I didn't test this myself!!!

Generally a good hotel, no need to worry about the scary posts that have been put on here, if there were problems, they seem to have been ironed out!"

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Sat 2nd of August 2008

What a let down

Reviewed Sat 22nd of December 2012

"We stayed at the Club Riu Guarana for two weeks at the beginning of July. Last year we stayed at the Riu Palace Algarve and have spent the last 12 months singing its praises.

As the Palace was booked up this year we decided we would try the Guarana (after all it was a Riu 4* hotel so we thought it would compare favourably) Not so.

This year we haven't stopped talking about our holidays but all for the wrong reasons - too noisy, too busy and too many people for the size of the hotel.

The majority of guests were Spanish. This would not normally be a problem, as we are usually in the minority, however children were left to run round the complex unsupervised and it was positively dangerous in the dining areas as people were milling around with hot plates. We were advised that the reason there was so many Spanish was that they were at the hotel on a BOGOF offer. This no doubt explains why it felt like a posh Butlins. Everyone whom we spoke to at the hotel said they would not be going back again.

My main objection is that Thompsons are now advertising this hotel as a 5* Platinum the same as the Riu Palace Algarve. There is no way that these two hotels can be compared.

If you are looking for a bit of luxury then do not go to this hotel."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Wed 30th of July 2008

very good break

Reviewed Tue 20th of November 2012

"Hi , Just got back from the Riu Guarana , We had booked the Algarve Palace direct with Riu but the Thursday before leaving we had a call from their booking department saying they had an over booking problem and asked if we would mind being moved to the sister hotel adjoing , The Guarana , they offered us a very good deal , charging us less money and also giving us all Inclusive . We are used to all inclusine in Mexico and the Dominican Republic so agreed to the change . My wife and I and our youngest son (10 ) went on 20th July for 1 week. We enjoyed our week , I would say it is a 4star not 5 but was very good . The room was a good size (345) with a pool and sea view . The hotel was only opened a few months ago so all the fittings and furnishings are good.
The food was good , a little repetitive but fine , we liked the Asian and ate there 3 nights , 2 nights in the grill and 2 nights in the main buffet , we prefered the smaller restuarants as they were much less busy. We also ate our breakfast in the grill for the same reasons .The bar service was very good with drinkable wine and some premiun brands ( gordons gin ).
Sun beds are in demand to get the best postions you need to reserve by 7.30 am , after 9 it is hard to find 2 together.
The entertainment was ok , the grease show was good and it was all quite good fun ,
We found very few British mainly Spanish , Dutch and German , not a problem apart from our 10 year old found it difficult to make friends.
All in all a good week and no complaints , also very nice indoor pool which we used on the last day before using the showers as we had a late check out .
We did visit the Algarve Palace , it seemed grander and alot less busy , it has a nicer postion in the front line on the cliff top , but all in all with the all inclusive we were happy that we changed."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Mon 28th of July 2008

Brill Holiday

Reviewed Thu 6th of December 2012

"Just back from 2 weeks in the Rui Guarana & can honestly stay we enjoyed it very much. We had our welcome drink & our cases were brought up to our rooms shortly after. We had requested a high floor with a sea view & got exactly that. The food was very good & we especially enjoyed the Asian Restaurant. The entertainment was fine & the entertainment folks worked extremely hard from early morning to late at night. Everywhere was spotless & the staff were polite & helpful. I would recommend this hotel to my friends & family expecially those with kids."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Thu 24th of July 2008

Not what i expected

Reviewed Tue 20th of November 2012

"Having returned on the 19th, after months of checking the forum i have had time to reflect .
The hotel is far to small for the amount of guests they cater for.

The dining rooms does get busy only because the Spanish & Portuges like to eat later than us British.
Evening meal opens at 19.00 closes at 22.30 if you go before 20.30 you get a table no problem any later than this it does get very hectic. Same for breakfast as long as you go early enough then no problem.
Food very bland and repetative Beef Pork fish (do not expect whole fish only scraggy bits)
they do a nice beef stew in the grill.
If you want to get away from all the toddlers and there are loads ,use the pool just outside the main buffet, the water is cold so did not go in there we used the indoor pool don't forget it's there down the stairs pass the spa
Saloon bar in the evening can get full early they have childrens disco ther untill 20.30 they then all go to eat leaving belongins on the chairs so they can come back and watch the show ( Grease is the best one they do) i found this very annoying. Watch out for the pushchairs in this bar they get parked all on the aisles anywhere they can even by tables in the middle we counted 12 within our area one no body saw anything wrong with this.

Rooms were spotless cleaned every morning 8.00 she was there ,so if you want a lie in use your do not disturb sign.

If you have any mobility problems this hotel could cause you problems when we were there one family had a wheelchair for there Mum ,she went home telling us she never got to see the sea it is quite hilly.

All in all we had a nice holiday met lovely people, it is what you make it
We would not go back as i think this is not a platinum standard property.and miss sold in this country."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Thu 24th of July 2008

Hotels near Hotel Riu Guarana

Hotel Riu Guarana is also called

  • Clubhotel Riu Guarana
  • Riu Guarana
  • Clubhotel Riu Guarana Albufeira

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