Dream vacation in a top hotel: unconditional recommendation.
One thing: on arrival, first time in the room, first time at the beach, look back at the hotel, first time at the restaurant, and actually several times every day with the view of the hotel/food/drink/pool bar/beach, you'll simply think: WOW.
Just a dream, this resort. One more thing: we can 100% - really 100% - recommend this hotel for young or old couples, families with teenagers, children, even singles. The hotel offers something for everyone, you can do something different every day for two weeks; different restaurants, different meals, different cocktails, different walks, different trips, different sport activities in ... the hotel, different 'entertainment', pool, beach - pure variety!
I don't want to write so much about the 'hard facts', as basically everything has been said:
Note: I constantly compare it to a similar vacation we took last year - 2 weeks at the Catalunya Gran Dominicus in the Dominican Republic. Also awesome, but I didn't know the Riu Karamboa at that time.
• room: we were lucky and were upgraded to a sea view - wonderful, almost every day there was a gorgeous sunset from the balcony, or of course the beach. Very large room, large bath, huge shower, and everything was perfectly clean and not at all 'old' or worn. New flat-screen tv. Huge double bed, super cleaning service. (Please give a tip, our cleaning lady was delighted, wished us a good trip at the end etc., super friendly and warm, very different from the staff in the Dominican Republic)
• restaurants: everything the heart could desire: always fresh, a lot is cooked/grilled/etc live, and despite that nothing is cold and everything is always there - mad, a logistical feat in the main restaurant. We found this almost always the best, you always got a reservation for the specialty restaurants for the coming evenings, but we only did that three times - only worth it for the variety, as we found that the food was better in the main restaurant.
Drinks are also great, very enjoyable wine, the beer is good. Soft drinks anyway.
• beach: awesome. Just unbelievable, just sandy beach right and left as far as the eye can see - super for a walk! We had also booked the Karamboa because there should be fewer waves there. Well, that worked out well, because at the Tuareg you can probably never really swim, at least in December? For us it was OK, yellow flags twice, but you could otherwise swim a bit, if you were very careful. if it is really dangerous, people are whistled out of the water anyway.
Beach chairs were always plentifully available, limited at the wind net, but still ok (see 'weather')
• Weather: Well - this surprised me somewhat. It was often sunny, but not as 'scorching' as in the Caribbean, and probably because of the wind. It's really fast, and if the sun doesn't come out, it also gets 'fresh' in the sense that a T-shirt makes sense. That is why places at the wind nets on the beach sometimes make sense - then you get the full package from above.)
Generally, we had a bit of bad luck, perhaps. 2 days 'bruma seca', sand in the air, rather hazy and 2-3 kilometers' sight, no proper sun.
It also rained for a whole day! The people wouldn't have believed it in the December. well, you were given free cards, poker games and so on there, and could pass the time well near the bar.
• Swimming pool: I don't find it that important, because I can't understand why someone would fly 8 hours flying to the sea, then sit by a pool where the loungers are centimeters apart from each other. But okay. went in the pool a couple of times, huge, nice to swim, and of course the pool bar is a special highlight. Swim-up, which means you can sit in the water at a table and enjoy a cocktail - that's really something, it's awesome.
Unfortunately due to wind and cold water it was often rather uncomfortable - shame!
• entertainment: funny entertainers, but they're not pushy - perfect! Boccia was always on in the morning.)
• Show: well. Always alternated between a show with playback (e.g. a musical) or live singing. Due to the poor sound system you often didn't know what to think was worse. Some of it was alright, for example the vocals at the karaoke night at the beginning were actually better than the pros a few days before. Live singing was mostly good and entertaining, personally I think the shows with playback were weak.
• disco and karaoke bar: as they only open around 11/11:30, we never succeeded - after all the fresh air, swimming, excursions, a meal and a few cocktails etc we were so tired that it was too late for us. The karaoke bar is supposed to be very good, there are probably other cocktails there.
• Cocktails: specifically mentioned again: they are very, very good. If you have a chat with the bar-ladies, sometimes they'll also happily make you their 'specialities' - really recommended. Also incredibly warm and friendly there, like all the service.
There are all the alcohol you could wish for, of course no 'brands', but all tasty and well presented - they don't hold back here! Tastes super!
Generally you just get the feeling that they don't hold back - drinks, cocktails, food, cleaning. You felt comfortable and well cared for, very nice staff, all around a great holiday! Will book Riu more often in the future, if the price is sensible. read hotel review