We have just got back from a week away at clubhotel Riu Chiclana. It was our first family holiday abroad with my 3yr old and 18 month old daughters. We all absolutely loved it and did not want to come home. The staff were so friendly and would do anything for you. The food was just fantastic in all the restaurants for all of us, the place was spotless and pools and beach were amazing.
One day the maid knocked at our room door to come and make it up, but my daughters were having a nap so I said they were asleep, the maid said what time shall I come back I gave her a time and while we were at the pool she came back and did it with no problems this happened on two occasions.
People have said on hear how the steps down to the beach were a lot but they weren't at all we did it every day to and from the beach with two young children a huge beach bag, buckets and spades not a problem at all. The beach is just lovely fantastic for children and adults a like. Defiantly worth a visit.
The staff couldn't if been more polite and always had a smile, welcome meeting is a must best one I have ever been to. The sun set is a must to watch some great pictures. The airport and transfer were great no rushing.
All in all a fantastic first family holiday and we would go back in a heart beat. I'm smiling ear to ear just writing this as it was the best.More
Natalie T, Reading, England, United Kingdom
What a great hotel
Just back from a great week at this hotel. Couldn't fault it. From the moment we got picked up from the airport to go to the hotel and back again at the end of the week.
Jerez airport is very small and only took about 25 minutes from vacating the aircraft to picking up our luggage and finding the coach to transport us to the hotel. On arriving at the hotel we were greeted with a welcome drink of orange juice. Hotel is very clean and tidy and staff are very friendly. On our third day we had a leak from the ceiling in our bathroom and within half and hour we had 2 maintenance arriving to fix the problem and then within 10 minutes of them leaving the cleaners were arriving to clean the bathroom. Excellent service. Restaurants need to be booked for the evenings but that's no problem, food is very good , plenty of choice. Pool area is good, plenty of sunbeds and beach is lovely just a short walk down some steps.. We booked one of the excursions to Jerez which is well worth doing. The evening entertainment is ok, We went as a couple in our early 50's looking for a relaxing week away and definately got that. Would certainly recommend it and visit again. Well doneMore
Carol L, Berkshire, United Kingdom
Family holiday we would happily repeat.
I would like to start this by saying straight off the bat, we had a fantastic time at this hotel, we have no complaints and would happily return for another holiday. This was our second 'all inclusive' holiday having, until last year, avoided them purposefully. Last year we went to Sentido Mikri Poli in Crete which was a lot smaller but converted us to the 'all inclusive' package.
We felt we struck lucky last year and were worried our second venture would be a disappointment; we wanted to avoid the water park, stack it high, full throttle venue. Leaving our booking until late, we were looking for a good deal and whilst that proved difficult, we finally found ClubHotel Riu Chiclana, through First Choice.
We were not disappointed.
This hotel strikes a good balance between the all out family orientated venue and the quieter, more sedate hotel. It is large enough, with four pools and four restaurants but not so large that you feel lost and maybe overwhelmed. The atmosphere is intimate enough so you don't feel just like a number.
I should maybe state that we are a family of 4 but our daughters are 16 and 20.
We went in the week straddling August and September and we suspect to be fair that the hotel was slightly quieter than at absolute peak season. For example, you don't book for the main restaurant for dinner but you need to book for the Grill, the Italian or the Andaluse restaurants. When we were there though we could have turned up to any and easily found a table. In peak season I can see how you would need to book though.
The food was excellent. Anyone complaining about the food I have to say either has very specific requirements or just looks for things to complain about. There is plenty to choose from with ample supply and it is consistent and good quality. Overall I'd say it is quite international. Whilst I'll pretty much each anything, my wife and daughters are far more picky and they found the food great.
The hotel is spotless. Extremely well looked after with plenty of staff who all have a sunny disposition from the bar staff, the restaurant staff, gardeners and chamber maids. The maids amused us daily with folded creations from towels and blankets, incorporating our hats and t-shirts.
The pools and pool areas are all clean and safe. Plenty of sun loungers and we didn't experience any issues finding places to settle. The hotel states you can't reserve loungers but when we were there people did, however, even at 10am I'd say only 15% had towels on them. By later morning it filled up.
There has been mention of the wait to check in. For us this took about half and hour and we came in with I think two coach loads. It is hardly a hardship. They even organise taking your bags to your room for you. Drinks on arrival and a separate desk for families with little children.
The rooms were clean and well supplied. I'd say a few years dated, not the contemporary style which is emerging with the refits and new builds but nothing to complain about.
I also notice people commenting on internet access. To be honest I don't go on holiday to work and keep abreast with social media but I did check in every couple of days if I could. The hotel provide free, 90 mins of wifi internet access each day in reception. They may have had some offer for the room but I'm not sure.
We didn't make use of everything. We used only one pool, what I'd call the main 'adult' pool. The one with the swim up bar. The other main pool, which surrounds the lighthouse was more surrounded by younger families. The Pirate Pool was for small children and the tiny pool was for, well, tiny children! There was also a play centre for kids and specific staff to look after and entertain groups of them.
The sports centre offered loads of activities with tennis, volley ball, shooting etc but we didn't use it, nor the indoor pool. There were spa treatments on offer and some people we hooked up with did go, and said it was good, but we didn't. The gym seemed to be in regular use.
The Entertainment staff were excellent with a great cheery attitude. They worked hard with loads of activities but never put anyone under pressure to do anything. They also put on evening shows which varied in quality but were always energetic and to be honest fun.
This was all inclusive so when I see that I also see many talk about the drinks and food. As I said the food was good and snacks took the form of one of the restaurants practically open all day, serving meals. Mix and match but you could get burgers, hot dogs, salads, sandwiches, puddings, ice cream and a variety of local dishes. Drinks at various bars, one a self service. The alcohol, to my surprise was branded. Not single malts but Johnnie Walker Red Label, J&B or Gordons Gin etc. Loads of other spirits, cocktails, whatever you wanted. And they don't give you measures, they give you huge slugs. They'll mix to whatever strength you like. I asked for a scotch and got half a tumbler!
People have commented on the steps to the beach. Really, they are nothing. Decent wide wood steps and easy to use. The beach is public. It is huge, about 6km long and deep. It is very popular and the surf is great. It isn't a leisure swim beach but the waves are fab for crashing in to! It is clean, I have read one of the best beaches in Spain and the sea at the end of August was super warm.
Travel to Chiclana or Cadiz is easy. There is a bus stop right outside the hotel. They run regularly and the connections are easy. Plenty of excursions to book if you want. We were there a week, if we'd had two weeks we would have taken a couple. We did go to Chiclana for a change of scenery and regret not nipping up to Cadiz. We heard that is well worth a visit.
The immediate area around the hotel is sparse. It is an hours walk to get to the 'Promenade' where there are some bars, restaurants and small nightlife but if you want the head banging experience you might want another location.
So we would highly recommend this place and we would be happy to return.More
From start to finish this place is fantastic. Rooms are kept very clean and tidy with daily maid service. Very well maintained gardens and above all very good food and a excellent variety. Absolutely no issues with sun beds no queues for drinks, well mannered and very polite staff at your service.
Our 4 year old daughter played in complete safety in the kids pool no hazards and good to know that lifeguards are at each of the 3 pools. The hotel is 90% Spanish and the rest made up of English and German. The beach is one of the best I have been to in Spain, the staircase to the beach is no problem. We didn't use the kids club as our daughter made friends with plenty of children around the pool area. We cannot think of one bad point about this hotel, the grill and the Italian were our favourite restaurants, either book in the morning at breakfast or for a later table after 9 at the reception. You only have to book the grill, Italian, and the Andalusia as they are smaller, this place reminded me of the Spain before the Brits abroad brigade got into Spain and wrecked parts of it. This is a very Spanish resort and the Spanish holiday here, if you want a Sunday roast, Karaoke and McDonalds don't go here. We loved it that much we have already booked for next year. The nights are cool so we didn't bother with the Air conditioning, the days were not as hot as we thought and speaking to local Spanish found out that's why the Spanish holiday there. Don't bother packing towels for the pool as they supply them along with free water at reception.More
A young couple at Riu Chiclana and we had a fantastic time!
So, me and my girlfriend (20 and 22) came here with high expectations and can say we certainly weren't disappointed! Ignore people who say this isn't a holiday for couples.. There were all sorts of groups there; families, groups of friends (young and old), couples etc, and the place caters for everyone. We came back feeling we could of stayed another week! And it beat all initial expectations.
Food: The food was lovely and there was plenty of choice. They had something for everyone to choose from for example, a continental breakfast and an English breakfast. There was food for children such as chicken nuggets too and a separate little section for them. The Italian, Andaluz and Grill restaurant which you have to book to be honest aren't much different to the main restaurant, however there were a few things in the italian that you don't get in the main restaurant.. but i wouldn't really call it an italian. They are all still buffet style restaurants which makes the experience feel exactly the same as the main one. Nevertheless the food was all still lovely and had a different meal every day. (The Grill and Italian share the same building)
Rooms and Complex: Rooms were cleaned daily and fresh towels were given each day. The maids done an excellent job cleaning the rooms as well as everyone else cleaning the whole entire complex. The place was spotless and they'd be up before sunrise cleaning the complex. However, one day we did come back and spent a while trying to find my girlfriends shoes, which we eventually found just kicked under the bed which was a bit suspicious.
The complex is massive housing 3 pools, 3 bars, 3 restaurants and more... The pools were fantastic, we mainly stayed up by the top one as there were more adults here rather than down by the bottom, we always managed to find a sunbed for the two of us but if you had a larger group you may struggle if leaving it too late. The bars offered a range of soft and alcoholic drinks and you could also get a plate of nuts which went down well. (Watching the sunset from the top bar never got old and was one of the most beautiful i've seen.
Staff: From the maids, to the waiters and waitresses, chefs and reception staff, everyone was extremely welcoming and friendly. Everyone seemed happy to do their job, singing along and wishing you a good morning/evening and couldn't do enough for you.
Beach: We spent most of the days down here, the sand was gorgeous and the beach stretched for miles and was lovely to walk up and down kicking your feet through the sea. Unless you buy an umbrella from the hotel shop.. the only other shade offered is if you purchase a sunbed down there for the day (5 euro each) which comes with an umbrella and is well worth it you're there all day.. The sea can get quite vicious, the waves are big and the tides are strong, and if you're not careful can drag you far away from where you first got in.. It was loads of fun in there though and boogy boarding is a must! As the hotel doesn't own any part of the beach, there isn't any where to get drinks so i recommend getting a few bottles from reception before going down there first.. There is a little beach bar down there open till 11pm so you can watch the sunset, you can buy meals and drinks from here, but it's easy enough walking up and down the stairs back to the hotel.
All in all there is not really a bad thing i can say about the place, we could of done with another week and even though i like to visit new places, I would strongly consider coming back here!
Tips: If you're someone who likes to get out the hotel and have a look around then there isn't really much to do as this is located in a pretty secluded spot. There is a shopping center about a 30 minute walk away which has some pretty decent shops and bars and is worth visiting.
We stayed in block 36 which is one of the best i reckon.. It is on the beach side and away from the evening entertainment, leaving it lovely and quiet.More
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