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Madeira – an island of highs, views and pretty red roofs

Madeira – an island of highs, views and pretty red roofs

We take a trip to the home of Ronaldo – the beautiful Portuguese island of Madeira

There’s a spontaneous and enthusiastic round of applause as our plane touches down in Madeira.

We are cheering both the gentle landing and the stunning approach to this airport said to be so challenging to land at that pilots need special training.

Stepping off the plane, I catch a first glimpse of the countless red-roofed homes scattered over the hills which will become an abiding memory from this trip.

That and the view from our hotel room, pina colada slipping down as easily as the waves roll over the rocks in the Atlantic Ocean below us.

I’ll be as bold as to say this might be one of the best hotel room views we’ve ever had.

But then we are in Madeira – an island where stunning scenery is around every corner.

Our particular corner of this Portuguese island is the village of Canico de Baixo.

And our hotel is the Riu Madeira. A large, all-inclusive resort with two outdoor pools, an indoor pool, as much fresh food as you can eat and as many cocktails as you can drink.

One of the outdoor pools at the Riu Madeira hotel

One of the outdoor pools

There’s also a tennis court, games room, an area to play bowls and evening entertainment from singers, bands, magicians and a ballroom dancing duo who call up our daughter to help demonstrate her Strictly Come Dancing skills.

The applause makes her day. And it’s the staff here, especially those in the busy restaurant area, who deserve a pat on the back.

It can’t be easy to keep guests from over 300 rooms fed and watered but they come round to top up your wine glass with an efficient smile before it’s even half emptied.

We’re almost as quick to clear our plates of tasty food. The main restaurant is buffet style catering to every possible preference. There’s also a more adult focussed Kulinarium restaurant with table service. And a poolside bar and grill.

The main bedroom in our junior suite room at Riu Madeira hotel

The main bedroom in our junior suite

Our room is a junior suite with two large beds and a sofa bed for the four of us to choose from.

Having a separate lounge area allows us to spread out as does the large dressing room area – all kept spotless by our lovely maid.

Oh and that balcony I mentioned earlier overlooking the sea. It is literally a stone’s throw from the Atlantic Ocean.

Sea view from the balcony of a junior suite room at the Riu Madeira hotel

Sea view from the balcony of a junior suite room at the Riu Madeira hotel

And there are plenty of stones to throw on the rocky beach.

The area around the hotel is a fun place to explore with caves, a small seawater pool, exercise equipment and a busy promenade to enjoy.

The lure of the swimming pool at our hotel is just as popular with our children – indoors if the showers sweep in, or outdoors when the sun shines.

Fortunately the sun is out for most of our week in Madeira so we can explore the narrow, hilly roads around the island.

We head east to the stunning clifftop walk of Ponta de São Lourenço .

The view from our walk at Ponta de São Lourenço

The view from our walk at Ponta de São Lourenço

Drive north west through mountains and tunnels to the natural seawater pools and aquarium in Porto Moniz.

Seawater pools in Porto Moniz

Seawater pools in Porto Moniz

And go south to Câmara de Lobos – a fishing village made famous by Winston Churchill, who painted its pretty harbour when he came in 1950.

Children looking at Churchill's view in Camara de Lobos

Looking at Churchill’s view in Camara de Lobos

One must in Madeira is to head up high.

We take the cable car from the centre of capital Funchal to Monte. It’s a spectacular ride and at the top you can enjoy the beautiful Monte Palace gardens before riding back down again on the cable car.

A statue and flowers in Monte Palace Garden, Madeira

Monte Palace Garden

Another way down is by toboggan on a traditional wicker basket sleigh along steep streets, guided by two people with nothing for brakes but the grips on their shoes.

If you like heights it’s worth stopping by at the Madeira Skywalk. You can walk across a glass walkway on a balcony 580 metres above the sea attached to some of the highest cliffs in Europe.

Madeira Skywalk

Madeira Skywalk

After a busy week of highs, it’s nearly time to leave.

The cliffs beneath the Madeira Skywalk

The cliffs beneath the Madeira Skywalk

For a last time, we awaken and pull back the curtains to enjoy the view and the sound of the Atlantic from our bed.

Then it’s back to the airport, named after the island’s most famous export.

Not its fortified wine but the footballer Cristiano Ronaldo.

He was born here and returns regularly and this is one happy family which may follow suit.

 

Where we stayed

The Riu Madeira hotel in Canico de Baixo, a four-star all inclusive, read our full guide and review to it here.

What to do in Madeira

*Visit the capital Funchal and take the Madeira Cable Car up to the large Monte Palace Gardens which are set on the steep hillside.

*Take a toboggan ride on a traditional wicker basket.

*Visit the traditional fishing village of Câmara de Lobos, visited by Winston Churchill and find the spot where he painted the view. Also look for his statue in the village.

*Visit the salt water pools at Porto Moniz and the small aquarium in the town.

*Take a walk at inland Levadas – similar to canal paths – at various sites throughout Madeira. The Fanal forest walk in the north west of the island is one of the best places to explore.

*Take a walk at Ponta de São Lourenço for stunning scenery and ocean views,

*Visit Santa Catarina park Funchal with its large playground, busy lake and views over Funchal and its port.

*Football fans can stop at the CR7 Museu – a museum dedicated to Cristiano Ronaldo on the waterfront in Funchal. There is a statue of the footballer outside.

*Stop by at the Madeira Skywalk on the cliffs of Cabo Girão and walk across the glass walkway on a balcony that juts out of some of the highest cliffs in Europe, 880 meters above sea level.

RELATED CONTENT: Riu Madeira – all you need to know about this refurbished all-inclusive hotel

*We received complimentary accommodation for some of our stay at the Riu Madeira, all views are our own.

 

 

Riu Madeira – all you need to know about this refurbished all-inclusive hotel

Riu Madeira – all you need to know about this refurbished all-inclusive hotel

We review the Riu Madeira Hotel on the Portuguese island of Madeira and give you a video tour

We love a Riu hotel so when we found out the Riu Madeira had been refurbished, we were excited to try it out. Here’s our full review and guide to this four-star all-inclusive on the gorgeous Portuguese island of Madeira.

Name

Riu Madeira

Where is it?

The hotel is in Praia dos Reis Magos in Caniço de Baixo on the south coast of the Portuguese island of Madeira, east of the capital Funchal.

It is nestled in the hillside overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.

Outdoor restaurant seating at the Riu Madeira hotel

Outdoor restaurant seating

What is it?

It’s a four-star all-inclusive hotel with three restaurants and two pools and is one of the Riu Hotels & Resorts hotels.

As it’s all-inclusive, everyone wears a wristband and all food and drink is included. It also has a spa, hairdressers, lobby bar and a big room to watch shows and entertainment each evening.

Swimming pools and the sea at the Riu Madeira hotel.

Is it family friendly?

It’s great for everyone including families. Children will love the pools, location and food – there’s so much choice that there should be something for even the fussiest eaters including pizza and three pasta options every day.

There’s a tennis court and a place to play bowls. But there isn’t a RiuLand Children’s Club as we’ve seen at other Riu hotels and the two outside pools are deep although there’s a separate little paddling pool.

The lobby or reception area at the Riu Madeira hotel

The reception area

The rooms

There are 327 rooms, including single and twin rooms along with junior suites.

They all have air-conditioning, a balcony or terrace and free Wi-Fi, which was very fast and reliable.

The main bedroom in our junior suite room at Riu Madeira hotel

The main bedroom in our junior suite

We had a fabulous junior suite with the most stunning view over the sea, wonderful to enjoy from the bed or balcony. It had two double beds pushed together and a separate area with a sofa bed. There were two televisions, a bathroom with two sinks and a shower, plus bathrobes which you could wear around the pool (not available in children’s sizes). The sound of the sea from the room was so relaxing.

The second room in our junior suite at Riu Madeira hotel

The second room in our junior suite

Food and drink

There are three restaurants and all food and drink, including alcohol, is included.

The main buffet restaurant – we ate mostly in this restaurant which serves a huge selection of food for breakfast, lunch and dinner. There are plenty of tables inside and out, overlooking the pools. It only felt really busy on one morning, which was a Sunday.

The main buffet restaurant at Riu Madeira hotel

The main buffet restaurant

Kulinarium – this is an a la carte speciality restaurant. The food is delicious, made from local produce and the service is fantastic, staff are so attentive. The menu is small and there is no separate children’s menu but if there is nothing they fancy, you can always fetch something from the buffet restaurant. This restaurant gets booked up in advance so make sure you book a night on arrival.

Kulinarium speciality a la carte restaurant at Riu Madeira hotel

Kulinarium

Pepe’s Food – this is a poolside grill bar which has a selection of food and drink open during the day.

Pepe's Food pool bar and restaurant at Riu Madeira Hotel

Pepe’s Food

Sports and activities

There’s a hard-surface tennis court, a card games room and an area to play bowls plus a small gym.

The tennis court at Riu Madeira

The tennis court

We spotted lots of people running along the sea front and many stop to use the outdoor gym equipment dotted around on the path running behind the hotel.

We went in February half-term but from around July to mid-September there’s a daytime entertainment programme for six to 12-year-olds, six times a week.

Our hotel highlights

One of the outdoor pools at Riu Madeira

One of the outdoor pools

*The pools – the indoor pool, one of the outdoor pools and the paddling pool is heated during the winter months.

Indoor pool at Riu Madeira hotel

Indoor pool

*Entertainment –  after dinner in the show room there was a different music act each evening until around 9pm followed by a show from 9.15pm including a magic show, a circus-themed performance and an Elton John tribute. Our favourite was the ballroom dancing as our daughter got picked to have a go.

The bar area at the Riu Madeira hotel

The bar area

*Views of the sea – the view from our bed and balcony and many of the sunbeds of the ocean, were stunning.

View from the sunbeds at the Riu Madeira hotel

View from the sunbeds

*The staff – staff were so friendly and attentive throughout the hotel.

Top tips

Pool towels are available from a hut next to the outdoor pools. You are allowed one each but can swap for a dry one or for a pool card whenever you want.

The towel hut at the Riu Madeira hotel

The towel hut

Breakfast got busier later in the morning so go earlier if you can for a more relaxing experience.

If you want to eat at the a la carte Kulinarium restaurant book as soon as you arrive because it fills up quickly.

Tell us more about Madeira

Madeira is one of the Madeira Archipelago (group of islands), as well as Porto Santo, Desertas and the Selvagens. The islands are south west of Portugal, off the coast of Africa and are actually closer to Morocco than Portugal.

Madeira used to be hard to explore as it is so mountainous with rugged coasts, but today there are raised roads and loads of tunnels – two of them over 1.9 miles long.

My abiding memory of Madeira will be of all the red-roofed homes scattered over the hills and the pretty lights sparkling on the hillsides at night, which you can even see from the airport as soon as you arrive.

The view of red roofed buildings from the Madeira Cable Car from Funchal to Monte

The view from the Madeira Cable Car

Nearby

If you leave the hotel by its rear exit, you cross a narrow path to get to the pebbly beach.

It’s pretty to look at but not easy to walk on and quite hard to swim from – you’ll need shoes and there are a lot of rocks plus the sea seems rough. There is a jetty with steps down into the sea and further around to the left is a part sectioned off by rocks which feels safer to swim in.

The pebbly beach at Riu Madeira Hotel

The beach is pebbly

Madeira is a wonderful island to explore. We had a hire car and marvelled at some of the steep mountain roads.

The capital Funchal is just a 15-minute drive from Riu Madeira. We were lucky enough to be there during its Carnival celebrations and enjoyed one of the colourful parades.

We took a cable car from Funchal, it’s a stunning ride up to the top where we visited the beautiful Monte Palace gardens before riding back down again.

Monte Palace Gardens

Monte Palace Gardens

Another way back down but not for the faint-hearted is by the famous Madeira Toboggan Ride. Passengers on wicker basket sledges are helped down the hill by two runners wearing straw boaters, in a tradition dating back to the 19th century and experienced by my grandparents in the 1970s.

We also visited the traditional fishing village Camara de Lobos which was loved by Winston Churchill after he visited in 1950 and stood at the site where he painted a portrait of the bay.

Children looking at Churchill's view in Camara de Lobos

Looking at Churchill’s view in Camara de Lobos

We headed east to the stunning clifftop walk of Porto do San Lourenco and drove north west to the natural seawater pools and aquarium in Porto Moniz.

A seawater pool at Porto Moniz

A seawater pool at Porto Moniz

When to go to the Hotel Riu Madeira

We went in February when the average temperature is 20 degrees and the rain is 97mm. This was perfect for us as we don’t like it too hot. Here is a year-round look at the average weather in Madeira:

January 20 degrees, 80mm rainfall
February 20 degrees, 97mm rainfall
March 21 degrees, 53mm rainfall
April 21 degrees, 55m rainfall
May 22 degrees, 22mm rainfall
June 24 degrees, 6mm rainfall
July 26 degrees, 1mm rainfall
August 27 degrees, 2mm rainfall
September 27 degrees, 28mm rainfall
October 25 degrees, 89mm rainfall
November 23 degrees, 88mm rainfall
December 21 degrees, 118mm rainfall

Riu Madeira more information

Accessibility: The hotel is on a hillside but is said to be generally suitable for those with reduced mobility. There are stairs up from the pool area to the restaurant and reception but also a small lift.

Facilities: Gym, hair salon, spa, tennis court, bowls, three restaurants, three pools, paddling pool, free Wifi.

The gym/fitness suite/centre at the Riu Madeira hotel

The gym

 

Address: Praia dos Reis Magos, 9125-024 Caniço de Baixo, Portugal

How to book: Riu Madeira

RELATED CONTENT: Madeira – an island of highs, views and pretty red roofs

We were given complimentary accommodation for part of our stay in exchange for this review. All views are our own.

Big, family, all-inclusive hotel with water park opens in Dubai

Big, family, all-inclusive hotel with water park opens in Dubai

A first for Dubai with four-star beachfront hotel from Riu

The first four-star, all-inclusive, beachfront hotel has opened in Dubai.

Hotel Riu Dubai is a large family hotel with children’s pools and a water park.

Splash Water Park at Hotel Riu Dubai

Splash Water Park at Riu Dubai

It is Riu’s 100th hotel in the world and the chain’s first in the Middle East.

The modern hotel has 800 rooms, two children’s pools (one with slides), three large pools for adults, a children’s park and club and a broad terrace with direct access to a large beach.

The hotel has a ‘Splash’ water park, with slides and other attractions for adults and children over 1.2 metres tall.

A restaurant at Hotel Riu Dubai

A restaurant at Hotel Riu Dubai

There are four restaurants and six bars including swim-up bars at the hotel which is located 11km from the airport on the Deira Islands beachfront.

Riu is a Spanish chain with 100 in 20 countries around the world.

Its 24-hour all-inclusive concept includes all meals, snacks and drinks at all the hotel’s bars and restaurants, without limits or schedules.

A Riu Dubai suite

A Riu Dubai suite

It also includes enjoyment of all the facilities and services such as the water parks, day and nighttime entertainment and access to the gym and spa, where only the beauty and wellbeing treatments carry a charge.

Luis Riu, chief executive officer of RIU Hotels & Resorts, said: “The opening of the hotel Riu Dubai is a major milestone in our hotel chain’s international expansion, because this is our first hotel in the Middle East.

“This is a unique opportunity to offer all our experience with the 24-hour all-inclusive product, which is so popular among our European and American customers, but this time in a completely new destination.”

The lobby at Hotel Riu Dubai

The lobby

Riu partnered with developer Nakheel to build the hotel, creator of world-famous developments including The Palm Jumeirah and Dubai’s new coastal city, Deira Island.

*For more information on Riu hotels, read some of our reviews from our family stays in Fuerteventura and Lanzarote.
And link to those stories by clicking on Fuerteventura and Lanzarote individually, but the button just doesn’t work any more.
Fuerteventura’s Corralejo beach is full of surprises on a family holiday to the Canary Islands

Fuerteventura’s Corralejo beach is full of surprises on a family holiday to the Canary Islands

We take our children to review the all-inclusive Clubhotel Riu Oliva Beach in Corralejo, Fuerteventura

“Everybody is naked,” said my brother in a mock whisper.

The glorious beach at our hotel in Fuerteventura is full of surprises.

Not only is Corralejo bigger and sandier than any beach I can remember. With gently crashing turquoise waves, perfect for the children to try out their new bodyboards. And camel rides along sands which stretch for miles from the front of our hotel, the Clubhotel Riu Oliva Beach Resort.

A boy bodyboards in the sea on Corralejo beach in front of the ClubHotel Riu Oliva Beach Resort.

Bodyboarding in the sea on Corralejo beach

But one day as we turn right out of the hotel and venture further along in search of rock pools, we unwittingly gatecrash a naturist section.

This eye-opening experience was not part of the plan for a family trip away to celebrate my mum’s 70th.

My embarrassed mum picked up her pace, I tried not to snigger like a child while the actual children with us didn’t bat an eyelid, except my eight-year-old nephew who asked if it was legal.

While I had carefully dressed my son and daughter in their UV swimsuits, the youngsters in this area were in their birthday suits, while relaxed adults strolled in and out of the sea.

And the giggle we had about it later (apologies to naturist readers) confirmed this as a holiday to remember.

Hotel

The Riu Oliva Beach is a huge, all-inclusive resort set back from the sands.

We are Riu regulars and love the good food, child-friendly pools and fun feel of their hotels.

We knew this one was soon to be refurbished but the location more than made up for the slightly tired surroundings.

One of the pools at the Riu Oliva Beach hotel, with the beach behind

One of the pools at the Riu Oliva Beach hotel, next to the beach

The hotel is divided into a main tower and a lower rise annexe area better suited to families, where we stayed.

Our family room had a lovely large balcony, double bedroom and two single sofa beds for our children.

Swimming pools

There are two swimming pools – the fish-shaped one was where we spent most of our time. It is well designed for children with varying depths and an island to swim around.

Hotel guests relax by one of the wimming pools at Clubhotel Riu Oliva Beach Resort

The fish-shaped swimming pool at Clubhotel Riu Oliva Beach Resort

On one side is a handy shop, filled with temping inflatables for the children and buckets and spades.

Restaurants

On the other side of the pool is the smaller of the two main buffet restaurants.

There is also a restaurant specialising in Asian cuisine and another boasting Canarian favourites.

Our party of 11 – aged from three to 70 – all found something to their taste.

Entertainment

There is children’s entertainment daily with a party at 5pm, plus an adults’ show every night at 9.30pm.

A children’s disco would also have been welcome in the early evening which we have had at other Riu hotels.

All-inclusive

All-inclusive here means just that, all we paid for all week was a camel ride along the beach. And our inflatable dolphin for the pool!

Having all your food and drink included certainly makes it easier when you are in a big group as we were.

Surroundings

The nearby town of Corralejo has a pretty square, markets, a water park plus a ferry to nearby Lanzarote.
But we found plenty to entertain us at the hotel.

A camel ride along Corralejo beach in front of the Riu Oliva Beach Resort in Fuerteventura

A camel ride along Corralejo beach

In conclusion

Mornings in the pool, afternoons at the beach and evenings enjoying the food, drink and entertainment.

One magic show for children was especially good.

You might find plusher venues in the Canaries but I doubt you will find one in a better spot to enjoy the landscape.

Just remember to watch where you walk if you want to explore the sands.

Or pack extra sun cream.

*For a more detailed review of the hotel, see here.

Accommodation: We stayed as guests at Clubhotel Riu Oliva Beach Resort, an all-inclusive hotel in Corralejo, Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands, Spain, for the purposes of this review. All opinions are our own.

Submarines and volcanoes – the highs and lows of a family holiday in Lanzarote

Submarines and volcanoes – the highs and lows of a family holiday in Lanzarote

We review an all-inclusive week full of adventure in the Canary Islands with children

“That was brilliant Mummy, I loved it. Can we get off now?”

Erm, no. We are 100 feet beneath the sea in a (yellow) submarine.

A box looks through the viewport of the submarine to see the fish in the sea

Enjoying the view from the submarine

We’ve passed shipwrecks and divers  and hundreds of fish. And my young son loved every minute. But now he thinks we can just climb out and carry on exploring the pretty port where our hosts Submarine Safaris are based. 

Thankfully, the appearance of a stingray draws our little Octonauts-fan back in to the view outside our viewport. 

We are in Lanzarote – an island of highs and lows.  The day after exploring deep beneath the ocean, we are up among its staggering volcanoes. 

Flight

And it’s on a high that the holiday starts with a remarkably relaxing flight with Jet2. 

Thanks to the airline’s generous hand-luggage allowance (10kg per person, double that of our last flight with a different company) we were well-equipped with entertainment for our son and daughter.

Fortunately, the four-hour journey passed without a hitch – we even arrived early. 

Basking in the glow of compliments from other passengers on the children’s behaviour, we left the plane, expecting to further bask in the ‘guaranteed’ winter sun of the Canary Islands.  Unfortunately it stayed firmly hidden behind clouds for the duration of our stay. 

Hotel

Still, we had a bright welcome from the wonderful hotel staff at the ClubHotel Riu Paraiso Lanzarote Resort. 

Family pool at the ClubHotel Riu Paraiso Lanzarote Resort

Family pool at the ClubHotel Riu Paraiso Lanzarote Resort

It’s in a great location on the outskirts of Puerto del Carmen, sandwiched between the sea and a glorious volcanic vista.

The huge, 600-room, spotless complex, is set in beautiful grounds and we had a fabulous suite away from the reception and restaurants.

We were glad of the longer walk back to the room (and my daughter’s pushchair) after thoroughly tucking in to the sumptuous food on offer.

The hotel is all inclusive with a large, main restaurant and two other options for dinner – an Asian and a world food restaurant which was our favourite. 

Thankfully, most of the hotel’s six swimming pools are heated and our children particularly enjoyed ordering drinks at the swim-up bar. 

Family pool at the ClubHotel Riu Paraiso Lanzarote Resort

Another pool

Children

Children are well catered for with a playground and the RiuLand club.

The entertainers work hard to ensure they have fun during the day and at the evening’s ‘Mini Disco’ where a particularly hilarious entertainer kept the adults as amused as the children. 

Beach and nearby attractions

We wrapped up well to enjoy the expansive Playa de los Pocillos beach, which is just across the road.

It was too cold to swim in the sea, but Josh and I went one better with our trip in the tourist submarine, where tour guides talk you through a memorable hour-long view of sea life.

The submarine in the sea at Puerto Calero in Lanzarote

Submarine Safaris at Puerto Calero in Lanzarote

The interior of the submarine

Inside the submarine

There were more creatures to see back on dry land at Rancho Texas Lanzarote Park.

They have sea lion, eagle and parrot shows plus ponies, canoe rides and a water park with slides.

We couldn’t leave Lanzarote without exploring its volcanic history so we hired a car and drove to Timanfaya National Park.  The black, rocky landscape makes it hard to believe the last eruptions here were in 1824. 

Timanfaya National Park

Timanfaya National Park

Staff demonstrate the hot earth by setting dry bush alight, cooking food and creating great gushes of steam out of the ground.

Visitors also take a coach trip around the volcanoes – ours ended with a round of applause.

Whether our fellow passengers were moved by the sights or just grateful to be back in one piece after navigating the narrow, winding mountain roads and sheer drops, I wasn’t sure. 

In conclusion

Thank you Lanzarote – for the volcanic highs, the oceanic lows and everything in between. 

Accommodation: We stayed as guests at ClubHotel Riu Paraiso Lanzarote Resort, Puerto del Carmen, Lanzarote for the purpose of this review. All opinions are our own.

Travel: Jet2 – we received a discount for the purpose of this review.

We review a hotel in Lanzarote – Club Hotel Riu Paraiso

We review a hotel in Lanzarote – Club Hotel Riu Paraiso

Will Club Hotel Riu Paraiso prove a success for a family holiday with children?

Name

Club Hotel Riu Paraiso.

Where is it?

Opposite a beach in the resort of Puerto Del Carmen on Lanzarote’s east cost, not far from the airport.

What is it?

A large, all-inclusive resort with 600 rooms, three restaurants and four pools sandwiched between the Playa De Los Pocillos beach and Lanzarote’s volcanic inland area.

Is it family friendly?

Yes, there is a children’s club, plenty of dining options, pools of varying depths and sizes, a small playground, evening mini disco and friendly staff.

The rooms

The rooms are not ultra modern but are a good size with large beds, TV, bath and shower.

A suite bedroom

The further you walk from reception the quieter the rooms but the longer the walk to eat – so all options are covered. The hotel is set in lovely gardens.

Food and drink

Riu’s all inclusive means just that, all your food and drinks are free. There were three restaurants to pick from, all buffet style with a large, main restaurant and two other options for dinner – an Asian and a world food restaurant which was our favourite.

Nearby

There are shops, bars and restaurants within walking distance. There is a good public playground opposite and the sandy, if a little windy, beach has sun loungers for hire.

Our highlights

*Swim-up pool bar. There are four pools here, including a toddlers pool. One of them has a swim-up bar which our son loved as he could order a juice and sit on a bar stool in the water!

Swim-up bar and swimming pool

*Good range of pools. Our favourite pool in the quieter part of the hotel was a good shape for children to explore with a wide shallow end.

*The children’s staff were great with fun events during the day and a Mini Disco at night, one of the staff in particular kept the adults as entertained as the children.

*Range of facilities. There is a small playground and for older children a range of activities on offer such as tennis and shooting. You can do as much or as little as you want in terms of organised activities.

Address

Club Hotel Riu Paraíso, Calle Suiza, 4 | Playa de los Pocillos, 35519 Puerto Del Carmen, Lanzarote, Spain.

For more details go to the Riu website.

(We received free accommodation, all views are our own).

We review an all-inclusive hotel in Gran Canaria

We review an all-inclusive hotel in Gran Canaria

We enjoy a family holiday at Club Hotel Riu Gran Canaria

Name

Club Hotel Riu Gran Canaria.

Where is it?

In Maspalomas on the southern coast of Gran Canaria.

What is it?

A renovated, all-inclusive family resort with children’s pool area and restaurants, with views over the Atlantic.

Is it family friendly?

Yes, we think all-inclusive is a great option for young children and this hotel has a wonderful children’s pool with slides.

The rooms

The hotel has 600 modern rooms. Every room has whitewashed interiors with modern furniture and flat screen TVs with most balconies overlooking the sea.

A double room at the Riu Gran Canaria hotel

Food and drink

The hotel is all-inclusive and the food is great, it is all buffet-style and the main, large restaurant can’t help but have a school canteen feel.

Fortunately there is also a smaller restaurant which overlooks the sea, this is definitely the best spot for breakfast and dinner.

Nearby

The hotel is a 10-minute walk to the nearest beach – you can either turn left along a pleasant promenade to Maspalomas, or head right to the smaller but quieter Playa de Las Mujeres.

The hotel is in the heart of the town so if you want restaurants or shops then you won’t have to walk far.

Our highlights

* Sea view restaurant. A great spot to enjoy breakfast and dinner, this smaller restaurant overlooked the ocean and was a lovely spot.

* Children’s pool. One of four pools, the children’s one has been designed to impress little ones. Dragon slides and shallow waters makes is safe and fun.

Children's pool at the Riu Gran Canaria hotel

Children’s pool

The only problem if you are travelling in winter is that it isn’t heated.

Slides in the children's pool at the Riu Gran Canaria hotel

Thankfully there is a larger heated pool and an adult-only infinity pool with sea views.

Infinity pool at the Riu Gran Canaria hotel

The infinity pool is not for children

*Children’s club – there’s a RiuLand Club for children aged four to 12 and, our son wanted to try it out – we stayed with him and he loved it.

Riuland children's club

Riuland children’s club

*Calu – this giant turtle is the Riu mascot who makes regular appearances through the day and at the evening entertainment. The children can’t get enough of him!

*Children’s evening entertainment – our son also loved the evenings when the energetic entertainers lead music and dancing for the excited children.

Address

Club Hotel Riu Gran Canaria, Urbanización Las Meloneras, Avenida del Mediterraneo, s/n, 35100 Maspalomas, Gran Canaria, Las Palmas, Spain.

How to book

For prices and information visit the Club Hotel Riu Gran Canaria website.

(We received free accommodation, all views are our own).