We have stayed at Iberostar resorts worldwide since 2004 and have always had excellent holidays. This year, we decided to book an extra special trip to celebrate a success and also to recover from a long hard year. Iberostar Salome looked perfect in this regard, with its promise of being an adults only, 5 star boutique hotel (located within the 5^ Grand Hotel Anthelia).
Before I start, I want to explain that we had not expected UK 5 star standards and had realistic expectations .However, paying Euro 417 per nite all inclusive, we found the hotel to be lacking in some major areas and was really not up to the mark. I highlight these below:
1. Salome is meant to be an adults only resort. However, no attempt was made to provide decent adult focused entertainment. The entertainment was focused on Children in the adjoining Hotel Anthelia complex. The only adult entertainment was a singer in one bar each night. Furthermore, the only bar in the hotel available after 18:00 O (i.e. the bar with the singer each night) is also full of children.
2. According to the literature, there are "5 bars" available to Salome guests. However, during our stay, there was only 1 bar available after 18:00 (the lobby bar) and this was packed with children. The Salome Club Bar (which provided the only decent service throughout the whole stay) closed at 18:00 each evening. I beleive that this may have been due to significant undercapacity in the hotel.
3. We paid for an all inclusive deal and apparently, the all inclusive arrangement had only just been established at Salome. We were given conflicting messages by reception, bar staff, pool staff and the in the weclome literature about what we could and could not eat/drink as part of all inclusive. This caused some stress in the initial days as we had budgeted carefully but were never sure whether we were being charged for items (the hotel does not operate a wristband arrangement and all guests are required to 'sign' for food and drinks to their room, even where all inclusive). During the stay, we were charged for beer (in the room) and some spirits (at the bar) that we had simply though were included. These charges were refunded by the hotel when we explained the position.
4. Despite being a 'boutique' hotel and offering, most of the literature provided to guests is the "Hotel Anthelia" literature and information. Salome has not yet had its own dedicated literature printed. This meant that we were given the wrong information in this regard too. For example, we were told we could not have the "Gourmet breakfast" in our room by reception and the literature unless we paid a hefty surcharge. However, we discovered a few days into the holiday that this information was incorrect and that, as a Salome guest, we were able to request Gourmet breakfast in our room free of charge.
5. The hotel literature indicated that there were three a la carte/non-buffet restaurants to choose from. However, we found that one of these restaurants, Le Buca, was closed for the entire duration of our holiday (it seems as a result of under capacity in the hotel) and the remaining two restaurants (Italian and fish restautant) were only open at alternate times during the week (they were never open at the same time apart from Saturday). This limited choice somewhat.
6. During our entire stay, the Salome management and representatives made no effort to really check how our holiday was going. Since there were only 5 rooms fullduring our stay, this was surprising. The hotel management appeared aloof from the guests and more concerned with holding management meeting (in various locations including the Salome bar and a la carte restaurant). The management also seemed preoccupied with organising a "Miss Espagne" photoshoot in the hotel grounds and other activities which did not seem at all focused on the needs of the guests
7. Service was really lacking in certain areas (e.g. very grumpy bar staff and reception staff who dont have a good grasp of English). It appeared to me that there was a morale problem amongst staff in the hotel as they did not seem happy and this really made for a strained atmosphere.
8. As mentioned above, the best service we received during the holiday was from the barman at the poolside club bar in Salome. He was friendly, attentive and made a lot of effort. However, he was clearly having to do more than one job as, at times, he was not there and could be seen cleaning tables in the adjoining fish restaurant. This meant that we had to wait for drinks at certain points.
In summary on these negative points, the hotel has simply not got its act together. It needs a lot of work and should be striving to offer a premium service by firstly getting the basics right. As it stands, Salome is really not good value for money and should not be charging premium prices in its current state.
Although the negative aspects of our holiday made it a really disappointing holiday overall, the positive points were the food, cleanliness and the private pool area. The food in all of the restaurants was excellent and, like all Iberostars, the cleaning and maintenance staff did an excellent job at keeping the place perfect. In addition, the "Thai Zen Spa" (which is included free in the price of Salome) was excellent.
With a lot of work on the basic propoistion to guests, getting the pricing right and sorting the service out, the hotel could be great. Unfortunately, it is simply not there yet. We feel let down by Iberostar and, despite trying our best to have a great holiday, were really hindered in doing so by the hotel .
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.