More about Riu Palace Algarve
We visited this hotel in February 2007 with our baby daughter who was 7 months old at the time.
On arrival, we were greeted by a porter and a lovely glass of champagne. The welcome was superb, with friendly and polite staff.
Our room was on the second floor and overlooked the tennis courts with a partial sea view. Full sea view rooms were available at a supplement, with breathtaking views.
Our room was immaculately clean and well furnished. In fact, I have never stayed in a hotel as clean in my life! Everywhere was immaculate.
The main benefit of this hotel was most definitely the staff. They simply could not do enough for you. Everyone smiled and was incredibly polite all of the time. Nothing was ever too much trouble. Fantastic!
The food was excellent too. There was superb choice at dinner every night and the cava at breakfast was a bonus too. Something that you may wish to know before booking this hotel, is that on arrival you are allocated a time slot for dinner. As it was the winter when we travelled, we ate at 7.30pm which was fine for us. Some people may be put off by this, therefore check before you book.
The indoor pool area was again immaculate and well presented. Beware though. The hotel was full of Germans who entered the mixed sauna completely naked. We did complain to the management about this, but were told that they were trying to cater for all international guests. Personally, I felt that towels or bathrobes should have been worn, as this is a family hotel and regardless of this, I did not feel comfortable entering a sauna full of naked German men!!!!!!
However, this was the only gripe. I would definitely return to this hotel and would highly recommend it. As someone who has stayed in many hotels around the world, the Riu Palace Algarve was most certainly one of the best for the money.
The most amazing hotel. We went for my birthday for 3 days and we will definately be going back. Staff excellent, food very good. Room had a sea view and would highly recommend booking this as stunning views. We were treated as if we were royalty!
Read all available reviews before booking, but was more than pleased to find the Palace even better than expected. The food was a bit limited in some aspects, but was as high quality as any of the other Rius we have visited, and always a good range of choices. The staff were as usual extremely helpful and efficient, and the dining room waiters were great fun. We don't go for pools, but found all other aspects of the hotel excellent.
The resort is small but very well provided with bars and restaurants, and is far preferable to Albufeira. It is quite a long walk to the beach, whichever way you go, but what a beach! Miles of sand, suntraps, rockpools, superb cliffs with erosional features geologists would travel to see. We walked it twice, and my wife has to use a stick.
On the main street are a few bars at the end of the road to the Riu complex. The best is O Escondidinho, set back in a suntrap, where the food is OK but the atmosphere is great. One evening there was an improvised "concert", amateur and ad hoc, but great to hear.
Two pieces of advice, the best rooms are those from 0-10 on each floor, with unbelievably peaceful views. And go quickly, for directly in front of the hotel is a huge Riu Club hotel under construction. There wouldl appear to be only one road in and out of what will be a Riu complex of 3 hotels and quite a few appartments. The Club hotel may spoil the atmosphere, but we will be going back in a few years to one of the best hotels we have stayed in.
What a fantastic hotel, one of the best I have stayed in in Europe. Nice and quiet, great friendly service everything that you could ever want for a nice relaxing holiday. I travelled with my wife and six month old son, this being the first ‘family’ holiday so was a little nervous but from the moment we arrived to the moment we left, the hotel and its staff put that nervousness to rest. A cot was provided in the room, good quality as well. Dinner was in two sittings 6PM and 8PM (changed as we left to 6.30 and 8.30), the 6PM sitting was great for us as we could have dinner and then put our son through his usual bedtime routine. The food was of good quality and lots of choice at both breakfast and dinner – too much to choose from at times!!!
OK bad points and I am being picky – the pools were a little cold and too cold for our son but this was probably more to do with it being early May than anything else and also the hotel could have done with a bar that served real snacks like sandwiches/burgers etc at lunch rather than meals as the snack bar did, saying that it was only a 5 - 10 minute walk to some good local eateries.
As some have mentioned below there is a new Riu Hotel going up near to the Riu Palace, but the works did not disturb us and you could not hear anything.
The village the hotel in is small and pretty undeveloped (at the moment), a few bars and restaurants about, the quietness we loved. Well worth the 10 minute (probably 5 if you don’t have a pushchair) walk down to the beach, this was sandy, quiet and relaxing.
Overall a fantastic place and I would go back again (and this is from someone that has to go someone different every time!), totally recommend this hotel but I would go sooner rather than later as I can see this resort getting bigger and busier over the next few years.
thiswas a great hotel,however,there were a couple of things that let it down but only minor gripes!Although it was a five star hotel(according to Thomson)there were no coffee/tea making facilties in the room which one would normally expect from a hotel of this standard,and there were no "finishing touches" in the bathroom to make it special with budget shampoo/soap etc.The evening entertainment was poor,with the same act on five nights in a row and the Thomsons rep was appaulling but no reflection on the hotel.This is a very good hotel but there was afight for sunbeds when the hotel is nearly full with some selfish guests reseving the sunbeds and then going out for the day! and some getting two matresses for their beds instead of one.The resort is shabby but very cheap for lunch,if they did give it a face lift then the prices may go up.The staff were very freindly in the hotel and helpfull,which is more than I can say for the Thomsons rep,and Vila Moura is an hour and a half walk along the beach.I enjoyed our stay and would recommend it to older travellers and couples.
Should be rate 5 star!!
This hotel offers excellent value for money.
On arrival we were given a champagne welcome, well not champagne but who cares! We were not expecting a sea view, however, we were given one, the rooms were fantastic, good size, exceptionally clean, housekeeping was excellent.
Staff could not do enough for you, both on reception, in the bars, and in the restaurant and by the pool. The staff here made us feel like royalty. One time, we were not even allowed to carry coffees up to our room. A waiter came along with a tray and carried them up for us. Note: this was the one downfall, there were no kettles in to rooms, so take your own if you go. It wasnt a huge problem, we just ordered coffees, but it is nice to have your own.
The food here was great. Great choice, great service.
Karen, Andy, Sue, Netty (Norfolk)
The hotel was exceptionally clean in all areas.
The spa was great.
Cant say much more, all in all great hotel, exceptional value for money. Should be rated a 5 star.
We travelled independant with Globespan from Glasgow & booked hotel via Riu website for 10 nights. We have done this before & again saved quite a lot money compared to Thomson package which actually was not available around the time we went anyway.
I have rated hotel as "Above Average" but there were a number on points that I will make in this report about the hotel - one potentially disastrous & that is that this holiday was ruined because my wife had a tummy upset (diarrhoea & vomiting) on the day after arrival which was not sorted out until day 5 after a visit from a local doctor. Of course we cannot be sure where she caught this - whether it was at the hotel or not cannot be determined. If it was at the hotel then the rating would have been "Terrible"!
Apart from this the hotel is quite new & it shows. Great location on a clifftop overlooking the beach & cliffs. We booked & got a room with a sea view - brilliant & definitely well worth the extra money. Beware some of the non sea view rooms would have a pretty grim outlook especially on the ground floor.
Room nice & had everything you want including a ceiling fan which was great if you don't like air con whirring away,
although we have had larger rooms in similar type hotels. Also beds hard & uncomfortable as we have found previously at a Riu hotel - I think this would put us off Riu again as my wife has a bad back.
Food typical Riu half board stuff with plenty of choice but gets a bit repetitive. I personally stuggled at breakfast because the only milk available was creamy UHT & horrid - it ruined cereal & tea. Also all the bacon was smoked (a lot of Germans stay here) & I can't stand smoked bacon.
Outdoor pool too cold in May as expected. Indoor heated pool, jacuzzi, steam room & sauna all free to use & great. I think the indoor pool was heated by candle power - it was warmer than the outdoor pool but not by a lot. Also some guests (& not exclusively Germans) ignore the hotel dress code rules for the sauna & steam room & go in naked. If the hotel has a rule - then they should enforce it.
Just enough sunbeds & space around pool in our second week when hotel was filling up.
Evening entertainment pretty ordinary as usual.
Staff generally very attentive, pleasant & good fun & in keeping with Portugese people in general & more friendly than on equivalent Spanish holidays - & speak better English.
Reception staff OK but I had 2 issues. First they tried to charge us 9.30 Euros for something we didn't have from the minibar in the room. Secondly when my wife was ill I asked for the loan of a kettle so that we could make mint tea for her unsettled tummy. They couldn't or wouldn't oblige. They would deliver hot water or a pot of tea to the room but that would be room service & would cost you. Beware if you have a baby & want hot water for bottles etc.
Would I stay here again? Probably not because I could never be confident about possible food poisoning & the beds are uncomfortable. Otherwise great.
LOCATION & RESORT
Good location overlooking beaches & cliffs which are reached via 135 steep steps through the neighbouring Riu Falesia Hotel. To get to village of Olhos D'Agua you have walk round a building site where yet another Riu hotel in being built. It takes about 10 minutes to get to the village which is small but has a nice beach, a few bars, restaurants, usual tourist shops & supermarkets.
Albufeira nearby. If you go there the taxis are about the same price as the bus fare for 2 & are more convenient & quicker. You have to change buses en route to get there.
Don't go to the Sheraton beach bar on the beach (the one to the left as you hit the beach from the steps) - a beer here was twice the price (4.50 Euros) that we paid anywhere all holiday.
A nice day is go to Vilamora (by bus) & walk back along the beach to Olhos D'Agua - it will take you about 2 hours to walk + stops (there are a couple of beach bars on the way).
Costs generally pretty good - beers & soft drinks aound 2 Euros. You can also get a simple lunch (omelette, decent sandwich etc) for around 4-6 Euros - even in prime seafront/marina locations.
Spent a week in this excellent hotel. Staff where friendly and attentive without being obtrusive and got a free drink when having to wait 5 minutes for bar service one evening. Food excellent with a wide choice to meet most tastes. Rooms to a good standard. Building works at the back of the hotel not pretty but did not affect us except when walking into the town (not a lot there) and then no great problem. Did not tell the staff but they decorated the dinner table and free bubbly on wife's birthday plus a round of "Happy Birthday" from the restaurant staff, a nice touch.
10 minutes to the beaches either down reasonably steep but managable road or steps through adjoing sister hotel. Loved it and going back in the Autumn
excellent hotel & holiday but....
We have just come back from this wonderful hotel & really enjoyed our stay there. The hotel is very clean and the staff are very pleasant and friendly. Plenty of sun beds and if they are non available the staff will look round to get one for you. The food was very nice and you always had a wide choice including the table service. There is also a “Grill” restaurant where you can book a table for any night or nights at no extra cost during your stay.
The only reason we did not give it 5 out of 5 is because of a couple of gripes we had. When ordering a taxi from the hotel make sure you ask for a metered taxi and it should cost you half the price. We ordered a taxi from reception to Albuferia and it was nice car but cost 10 euro’s to the town but in a metered taxi on the way back it was 4 and a half euro. The taxi driver on the way back was not very happy and said to always ask for a metered cab or use the taxi rank which is only about 5 minutes walk from the hotel. For two of the nights that we ate in the Grill, the service was very slow and it took 45 minutes to get our starter one night and the waiter admitted he forgot us, but on the final night it was spot on, so it looks like they are getting things right . Also the hotel does not provide room service (apart from breakfast) so if you fancy a coffee in your room you will have to go down to the bar and bring it back up.
Not wanting to end on the negative side of our holiday we will say this is defiantly a 4* hotel and has some of the friendliest, helpful staff we have met. Even all the holiday makers we meet where all very friendly as well which made our stay a very pleasant and enjoyable one and we will be defiantly going back !!
Riu Palace only just!
Riu Palace hotels were once a very good 4* option, not 5* as many clients would believe, if you believe the ratings in the holiday brochures. Above average standards for a 4*star rated hotel are expected with the "Palace" brand and generally expectations are fulfilled.
Staff are excellent, can't do enough to rectify any problems you may have, at least that is our experience. eg, we waited 30 minutes for a waiter to take our lunch order, then I complained, he apologised and didn't charge us for our lunch. Can't get better than that!
As with all things in the hotel industry the number crunchers dictate. I will explain! Having stayed at many Riu Palace hotels over the past 7 years we have noted cost savings. eg the carvery at dinner included meatloaf and chicken on 2 occasions. Where were the roast joints beef/lamb/turkey etc? We pay an extra cost for a "Palace" product.
Overall we can't really fault the package, the gripes are only based on experience with visits to other Palace hotels so don't let it put you off, it's still a good place to go.
If you want the 5* Riu Palace deal then you will have to go to the Caribbean, it's awesome.