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ClubHotel Riu Papayas: all-inclusive Playa del Inglés

January 18, 2017
ClubHotel Riu Papayas, a Gran Canaria all inclusive

Looking for somewhere to stay on a Gran Canaria holiday? Mr Gran Canaria Local recently packed trusty notebook, ballpoint pen, and handy camera in his overnight bag for his visit to ClubHotel Riu Papayas in Playa del Inglés. To bring you this latest review.

First of all, we’ll explain how you get to the four-star ClubHotel Riu Papapayas. Before offering you a summary of what you can do there. Finishing with an overview of the food and drink options available at this all-inclusive establishment.

  1. ClubHotel Riu Papayas: where it’s at
  2. ClubHotel Riu Papayas: what to drink
  3. ClubHotel Riu Papayas: what to eat

1. ClubHotel Riu Papayas: where it’s at

ClubHotel Riu Papayas is very much located in the heart of Playa del Inglés the resort rather than on the beach itself. Meaning that this establishment, one of Riu Hotels & Resorts‘ all-inclusive Gran Canaria hotels, is situated closer to shopping centre than sand. Its postal address is Avenida de Gran Canaria 22 and it’s well served by Global bus lines. Allow around 20 minutes if driving from the island’s airport.

Originally, the Riu Papayas was opened along with the adjoining Riu Flamingo in 1985. However, in February 2016 both closed as part of a €15-million makeover which saw the two open as one in June last year. The new ClubHotel Riu Papayas has 468 bedrooms and Mr GCL’s was classically Riu minimalistic, in keeping with the rest of the resort, without making any concessions on the comfort front.

There’s a swimming pool and children’s pool, complete with mini water park. If you want a change of scene, there’s a free bus service to Playa del Inglés’ beach. On the entertainment front, Mr Gran Canaria Local found himself tapping his feet more to the children’s entertainers at the RiuLand Kids Club than a country-music duo who were less Johnny and June Carter Cash than Dolly Parton and Sly Stallone.

The ClubHotel Riu Papayas is smaller than other Riu resorts we’ve stayed at. So whilst they find room for a gym, there’s no space for spa. We did, however, like the idea of RiuArt open to guests aged 12+ who are after some encouragement for their creative efforts.

2. ClubHotel Riu Papayas: what to drink

As ClubHotel Riu Papayas is an all-inclusive hotel, it operates on an all-you-can-drink basis. The Lobby Bar Dunas stays open from nine in the morning to midnight, the Bar Piscina from 10:00am to 6:00pm, and the Bar Salón from 6:00pm to 12:00am. There’s an extensive cocktail menu but these are largely pre-made rather than mixed before your very eyes.

Of the cocktails Mr GCL sampled, he preferred Brazil’s citric caiprinha to Cuba’s mojito which tasted of mint sauce more than anything else. You could always keep things simple by opting for a long drink such as cuba libre, good old rum and coke. There’s lager on tap and soft drinks for teetotal/younger members of your family.

3. ClubHotel Riu Papayas: what to eat

The main buffet restaurant, yes sticking with the all-you-can approach, opens for breakfast from 7:30am to 10:30am, from 12:30pm until 3:00pm for lunch, and for dinner between 18:00 and 21:30 hours. Brekky includes the option of going for a full English and/or continental with cereals and pastries. Lunch and dinner are pretty samey with soups such as cream of vegetable, hot starters of the likes of battered squid, show cooking with the chefs preparing fancy dishes live, grill featuring hot dogs, side dishes of potatoes, rice, and vegetables, and desserts including compotes, ice cream, and seasonal fruit.

Although menus change on a daily basis, those seeking even more variety can book an evening meal a day in advance at the thematic Zhú and Olé restaurants. As both are smaller establishments than the main restaurant, there are two sittings. The first is at 6:30pm and the second at 8:30pm.

Zhú’s also a buffet where starters may include spring rolls. When we stayed, the show-cooking option was pork with fried noodles whilst they were grilling beef teppanyaki to keep the oriental theme going. Meanwhile, over in Olé, there are cold tapas such as gazpacho in a glass and tapas of the cooked variety like empanadas (pasties smaller and lighter than their Cornish cousins).

Disclaimer: Mr Gran Canaria Local was invited to stay free of charge at ClubHotel Riu Papayas. Ordinarily, a double standard on an all-inclusive package costs from £59 per person in the low (summer) season and from £73 per person in the high (winter) season. Do have your booking number with you when checking in as security is tight at the entrance.