The lively ClubHotel Riu Guarana caters for the whole family. A pair of outdoor pools hands out activity and quiet zones, and the entertainment team puts on a child-friendly line-up.
This hotel fits a lot into its clifftop spot – including two big outdoor pools and three restaurants. The beach is just a 10-minute walk away, too.
Palm-lined lawns surround a pool area that’s a honeypot for activities like water polo, aqua gym and al fresco sangria-making classes.
TripAdvisor Traveller Rating
Based On 1819 reviews
- Official Rating
- Floors: 6 in the main building, 2 in the annex
- Lifts: 4 in the main building and 2 in the annexe
Holidays in premium hotels
- 4T and 5T hotels
- Minimum 4/5 Trip Advisor score
- Luxury properties
- 20kg luggage allowance on Thomson Airways
Food & Drink
|Dining options||Breakfast||Lunch||Evening meal||Drinks||Snacks|
Full Board buffet meals, themed buffets twice a week and a choice of dining in the Asian or Grill restaurant. Unlimited local alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, until 24.00. Snacks at set times.
Facilities ► View all
Main buffet restaurant
A mixture of international and themed meals are served here. And just so you know, for dinner smart casual wear is required, so men need to wear full-length trousers.
A range of treatments are available, from manicures and pedicures to facials and eyebrow-shaping. Massage options include head, face, full body and hot stone treatments. The saunas are open from 8am 'til 6pm.
RiuLand Kids' Club
There's two kids' clubs here - one for 4 to 7 year-olds and another for 8 to 12 year-olds. A range of activities take place from art classes to evening entertainment.
Rooms ► View all
double room with pool view and balcony or terrace
Double rooms offer a little extra in the form of a pool view.. It comes with a bath, hairdryer and a balcony or terrace so you relax outside.
1 bedroom family room with balcony or terrace
These comfortable rooms offer a little extra space, with a double bed and an extra bed for an adult or two children. They each come with a shower in the bath, and a balcony or terrace to give you some outside space.
TripAdvisor Reviews Show more reviews »
Just returned from two weeks at this hotel. First time there so a little anxious as you never know how its going to work out. Fantastic holiday staff brilliant, location great , management visible and approachable , going back later in the year. Thanks to all . Ray ,Carmel and George.More
Not at all what I expected from a "platinum" Thomson Hotel. Arriving & Departing was manic to say the least with queues outside the door ! All the coaches arriving at the same time -cattle market springs to mind! Rooms were fine cleaners did a great job however a fridge with not even a bottle of water supplied on arrival disgusting! although you can ask at Reception for water! It was the asking for everything that bothered me, this hotel penny pinched for everything!! Drinks was a real problem with this hotel no decent choice even if you were willing to pay extra you could not get it. Glass of wine with dinner was only fine if you topped with lemonade, there was no table service at all anywhere drinks were pumps in the buffet & self service machines. 4/5 star don't think so!! Cocktails were not made for you with fresh ingredients but again from ready made machines with cheap products. The entertainment was not good but there were no other places to go to have a quiet drink and the only bar for hot & cold drinks was in the entertainment area! Not convenient at all a piano bar would have been a nice change for us grown up guests! Nibbles with your cheap drinks don't be daft what are they didn't see any anywhere!! Even the Reception lounge was uninviting it echoed was bright so more like an office with no atmosphere. Peace and quiet in your room I suppose but if you don't fancy the water you had to ask for then it's a trek to the one bar for a freezing cup of coffee as no tea & Coffee supplied in your room. The pool area was lovely with fabulous tendered gardens plenty of sunbeds however as fabulous as the pools looked they were freezing and hardly anyone went in them such a shame. I love swimming but entered the pool twice in a week out of desperation. The food was awful we stayed in a very similar Riu hotel in Spain last October for Â£200 less ppn and the food was outstanding so much choice & so fresh but this hotel was the same everyday and bland worst I've ever had you couldn't even get an omelette made for you. We went out for food when we could which makes this holiday not great value at all. The beaches are lovely with little coves to choose from and in the height of summer can imagine spending a good deal of time there so pretty and a few good restaurants too. This hotel has the potential to be good as the staff were friendly enough but I felt it was more 3 star than 4/5 as it claimed to be. Would never return.More
We will genuinely miss this place!
Our stay at the Riu Guarana was superb from start to finish! In particular, the friendliness, helpfulness and professionalism of the staff was exceptional throughout (especially Anna in reception and Carlos in the restaurant!) For the kids, we were grateful for the wonderful swimming pools, unlimited ice cream and the on-site pokestop/pokegym. Our family enjoyed the three nearby beaches which were all easily walkable and wonderful, two of which were accessed via sturdy and scenic cliff steps. The buffet restaurant was almost always open and served consistently lovely food and drinks. And a special thank you for the weather, which was consistently mid-20's and sunny throughout the Easter week. Loved it!More
Nice last minute Easter break
Nice hotel, very clean and good service on the whole. Management at the welcome meeting and always visible around the hotel checking service and greeting customers. Staff worked very hard and had excellent customer service. Very fast service in the restaurant (apart from an odd one) and bar even when very busy. Arrived Easter Sunday, do not book with Thomson for an early Sunday morning arrival! Approximatimately 4 or 5 coaches along with taxis and minibuses arrived at the same time. Our Thomson coach was full, with everyone going to this hotel. I have never seen a queue right around the hotel just to get in the doors, never mind check in at reception. People passing were actually taking photos of the queue! To be fair to the hotel staff they were at the doors with all inclusive wristbands so that you could leave your luggage and go to get a late breakfast. Good job it is a large reception area there were so many suitcases lined up in it. Got into room around 12 so that wasn't too bad. Leaving the following Sunday was even worse. Seven coaches to transport people to the airport starting from 6.30am. None went on time. Hotel opened restaurant early for a very minimal breakfast. Beware checkout, take your pool towels or they will charge you. Get a receipt for anything you get during the week, they tried to recharge me for wifi and other guests for various things. Refused to pay again but time taken to argue the point left us 5 mins to grab half a piece of toast each. Checking in at Faro airport with Thomson was a nightmare! So much so just about made it through security and passport control, ( although these queues look long they moved a hell of a lot quicker than Thomson checkin) to board the flight. Everyone was panicking about missing their flight, one couple in front of us at passport control by the departure gates said his flight was due to leave in 4 mins, we had 10. No time to grab a drink or trip to toilet etc, bearing in mind this was nearly 10am and we had had half a piece of toast at 6.50am! Never again with Thomson even if this was the best hotel in the world. Back to hotel We had a family room which is in a separate block. Room was very modern and clean, not a 1 bedroom family room as I expected, with a bedroom and separate lounge area, all one room with twin beds and sofa bed in a stepped down area. Room was overlooking the pool which was nice but did not get the sun in the afternoon. Fridge and safe in the room. I took a kettle and iron with me as I emailed hotel to hire them and they said it was down to availability when we arrived. TV has ITV, ( was able to watch finale of Broadchurch before reading spoilers) BBC news, CBBC, and a few other English speaking channels. Shower was powerful and refreshing. I paid 20â¬ for wifi for up to 4 devices, in the room and it was well worth the money, very good and reliable, son could stream netflicks etc, never had to re log on once during the week, as I have had to do in other hotels with free wifi. Bottles of water available from reception as well as pool towels. Food was ok, nice for breakfast and lunch. Does get repetitive from lunch and evening meal. Tried to vary and have just fish and salad for lunch then try meat in the evening. Breakfast: bacon, sausage, beans, scrambled, boiled or fried eggs, Spanish omelette, toast. Fresh pancakes, salad, cheese, ham, bread, fruit, pastries, cereals. Lunch: salads, pizza, pasta, soup, chips, potatoes, rice, freshly cooked fish, freshly cooked meat, mostly chicken and pork, veg, some meats and fish in sauces, bread, crackers, cheeses, cakes, fruit, ice cream etc. Afternoon snacks in main restaurant: burgers, hotdogs, ham & cheese toasted, chips, cakes, small salad selection, tea & coffee. Dinner: much the same as lunch but included a carved roast meat, freshly cooked steak, some nights other specialities such as prawns, smoked salmon salad, bruschetta with various toppings or Parma ham. Some speciality puddings, such as a large pavlova or almond cake etc. Also a specialitity dish such as catalpana or paella. All the food was fresh and ok quality, it is a buffet and if you waited and got it freshly cooked it was ok and nicely cooked. I had various freshly cooked fish and salad for lunch every day and it was all nice. Evenings were hit and miss. Restaurant is noisy as are all buffet type AI. We tended to sit at the back of the restaurant which took some of the edge off this, however we had a long day trip one day and didn't get into the restaurant until 9pm and were forced (by a grumpy waitress trying to set up for next days breakfast) to sit at the front near the serving stations and it was awful, we didn't even finish our meal! Didn't help that most of the staff were trying to clear up and set up for next day. Not a pleasant experience so don't go in at this time. Also one morning at 9.30am this waitress was turning people away from this area saying it was closed, bear in mind it is open until 10.30am, until a couple refused to move to the front and just sat down, the restaurant was busy and families were struggling to find tables after being told they couldn't sit here, so just stand your ground and sit down. They booked us into the grill restaurant for the first night, was ok but didn't feel I wanted to go back. Quieter than the main restaurant but not as much choice. Didn't bother with the Asian after reading the menu. Drinks: I had the beer (Superbok) which was Okish from the bar at night but very weak from the self service in the pool bar. The soft drinks were hit and miss from the self serve, sometimes very weak, also wasn't keen on the self serve coffee machines. Agree with a previous reviewer that glasses are very small. Entertainment was not my thing but they did appear to try hard to please and a lot of people seemed to really enjoy it so suppose this is down to personal taste. We just sat outside and played cards, though could get quite cool at this time of year so needed a fleece. Sun beds: some people did reserve them early but then did seem to use them most of the day. From what I could see there were sun beds available up to about 11am as there are a lot of them. Yes it may appear at certain times as though they are reserved and left this could be down to people going off for lunch or short activity etc. We were very lucky with the weather and hotel is not far from some lovely beaches, one a 10 minute walk down the road and another down some steps and a short road. Be careful of the wooden steps behind the hotel as they only take you down so far then a precarious climb down some narrow, steep pathways and a climb over rocks to get to the beach. Walk up to the Luna hotel and these steps are much better. All in all had a nice week but most probably wouldn't return,(especially through Thomson, which is a shame as Angelo, the rep was excellent and very knowledgeable about the Algarve and worked his socks off to try and sort out the chaos) prefer a one bedroom apartment accommodation (which I thought this was, when something states separate living area, I expect it to be separated by a door not just two steps down), entertainment not to my taste prefer more shows and outside acts brought in, rather than audience participation karaoke, dancing competition etc. however, as I said earlier those taking part had a great time so this is personal taste. Would have preferred a bit more variety daily in the food, maybe a couple of themed nights, although what was there was ok and there was plenty of it, just wasn't up to some other AI I have been to. Drinks could have been better.More
Jeanette's review is so right!
I've just been on the same week break as Jeanette (below). We flew from Stansted and were part of the same 400 or so herd that had to endure the unbelievable check in and check out that she describes. It really was as bad as she says. I read a review whilst on holiday that said about the rubbish breakfast on the last morning of just toast and cereal. Shannon the rep assured me it was a full continental. In reality it was pre-sliced bread and 2 toasters for 400 people, some cocoa pops and some rectangular processed ham and cheese with a side of watermelon. The final day was a complete shambles. Having said that though, we loved our week at the hotel - staff were great and food and drink pleantiful. We did do the asian night as well as the grill night - was pretty poor. But the main restaurant was fab - loads of meat and cakes :-) And the entertainment was superb - very Ant and Dec and perfect for a carefree break!More
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