My enduring memory of the holiday at Riu Papayas is the constant cigarette smoke everywhere except the restaurant where the hotel is forced by law not to allow smoking. Everywhere else smokers are prioritised by the hotel with non-smokers exiled to the worst possible seating, in part actually surrounded by smokers, part in the exiled pool bar area where, during shows, we were also interrupted by the laughing and shouting of the bar staff and their constant trips to and from their supply room. There was nowhere where one could sit and enjoy a drink without enduring smoke from cigarettes and cigars blown into your face even when you sat in a “non-smoking area” – one example is the so-called no-smoking Dunas bar area,
The hotel itself is really nice, a good standard and recently refurbished. Service throughout is excellent at all levels. The food is good and varied although sometimes cold – special diet requests were responded to positively. Afternoon snacks are awful and seem to consist of leftover burgers and hot dogs from lunch – one experience was enough to avoid this completely.
Drinks were the usual AI quality and we went out on a number of occasions for drinks of a standard that we are accustomed to. It would have been nice to have international brands provided with some discount. It was nice to have bottles of water provided at the Dunas bar.
The room we had was small with limited storage space. It was bright, clean and well maintained. The safe was free, no deposit required. There is a strange opaque panel between bathroom and room which means you cannot leave any light on in the bathroom overnight. Also, ANY sound in the bathroom is heard in the room, so no privacy.
The hotel is situated a little out of town but within reasonable walking distance of shopping centres etc. Playa del Ingles was disappointing – for example, we struggled to find good restaurants to break the monotony of the hotel diet.
The pool area is OK and kept tidy and clean. Non-smoking areas would have been helpful. Towels go out with the breaking of dawn and no attempt is made to dissuade people from putting out towels and only using the sunbeds for a few hours in the day. Sun brollies are limited but there are areas where a canopy can be spread out to provide shade – we still have no idea who decides this can be done.