on a positive note....we booked this holiday 42 weeks prior and was really looking forward to it as as a family we counted down weekly towards it.
With the facilities that were available we made our holiday what we could using the amenities available..
The transfer time from the airport to hotel took just over 2 hours... we had good communication at the Airport and Reps were readily available until we got on the coach. The Rep made a guest appearance, stating that there would be a number of stops,( Hotel Atalaya being the last.) then she did a Houdini...The driver made no attempt in telling us what hotel he was stopping at along the journey.
On arrival, Receptionist was awaiting us and was polite, however this was not always the case throughout the holiday they seemed bugged by you approaching the desk.
Some food was made available to us which was prepared at dinner time -. very basic and cold meat and salad with bread..
We were shown to our rooms. The rooms we had were reasonable in size. I believe that our room which was described as a family room was very spacious and consisted of 2 single beds pushed together which was very uncomfortable for a couple to share also the pillows were very limp and didnt do the job they were supposed to, a single bed and a double sofa bed was more than enough for myself, wife, 5 and 2 year old. i feel that my mother in law could have put her 13 yr old in with us . (my personal opinion).her room was basic (3 single beds 1 of which was pulled 3-5 inches apart from the other beds - not ideal for a couple and a 13 yr old sharing) plus bathroom and balcony.
Air con smelly and not effective enough. and noisy
Food - minimum 3 meals daily. my 5 and 2 year olds are fussy so they had issues in food but we worked around it. food did get a bit boring at times. my daughter turned 2 out there. the hotel kindly made a birthday cake free of charge(i left a donation to the catering staff).
Lots of meat and Fish were served so if you dont eat meat or fish the food is poor as 2 of us had cheese and biscuits several nights running.
The pools were great.. my son excelled in swimming abilities.
On several days the pool area was very smelly (eggy sulphur) and the same smell came through the air conditioning unit in the room when used.
Pool games were set up for use in the shallow end of the family pool which prevented smaller children who could not swim to go in and they had to use the deeper end with an adult or they had to wait for the pool game to stop. There was a language barrier for all of us as the instructions for these games and activities were given in Spainish
In my opinion the language used throughout was 95% Spanish hindering the activities to a minimum. this was also reflected in the evening entertainment for kids. I found that the mini-disco had the same songs that my 5yr old son learnt when we went to costa brava 3 years prior....the entertainers catered more for the spanish... There were a few nights where we had to leave as the arranged entertainment was poor/boring(bingo and sketch nite - which was offensive in places..taking the mickey out of other countries which was funny in places however homosexuality not so funny)...
Other entertainment such as flamengo dancing and magician night and international show was of an excellent veiwing.
On 1st week 4th day of stay parts of hotel facilities (bars, restuarants) questioned the validity of our all inclusive wristbands. We had to go to reception to confirm the bands were still ok.
we found that wearing an all inclusive wristband the staff would ignore or make us wait whilst they served the paying / spanish guests (tip orientated)
The beach was disappointing as there was no sand, shingles and rocks - you need to wear approapriate foot wear to enter the sea - whilst we were there there was an invasion of jelly fish and our 5 yr old was stung - the beach was closed off as the jelly fish were washed up on shore. (first aid administered by life guard at hotel effectively)
Our planned holiday excursions were hindered as there was no rep on site at any time and the morning meeting that was supposed to happen the next day after arriving did not happen and any questions we put to reception about our holiday we were told to look in the First choice folder. this was confusing as we book with Thompson.
Venturing out - the walk up to main road took about 15 mins to walk and then there was only a small shop and a cafe. as well as other local shops such as furniture and air conditioning, none of which are of any use to tourists.
Bus into Marbella - bus was every half an hour however we found this to be longer than stated. bus stop situated on a dual carrageway which was very unnerving when travelling with small children. You need a good full day in Marbella to truly shop allowing siesta closing for certain shops. this was worth while
shops in hotel - the prices are of average affordability however on one occasion whilst shopping for gifts we had an item which was clearly marked 29.50 euros was doubled at the counter and the sticker removed and typed in as 59.50 euros - just to add we declined the item and found it in Marbella at 29.50 euros.
Photography - EXCELLENT SERVICE we had a photo shoot and recieved a number of prints, albulms and cd with all photos taken throughout the whole holiday for a very reasonable price.
Coach leaving - we had to walk to the top arch of the hotel entrance as the hotel manangement had allowed the guests with cars to park their vehicles along the coach path. This meant that the coach could not pick us up from the main reception area. We wallked to it struggling with suitcases, buggy and children , no help from porters as none were made available.
When we arrived at the 3rd hotel on route to the airport the holiday rep reappeared to give us instructions about how to check in and show our passports!!!??? Thanks!
Had a rep been on site we feel that our stay at Atalaya park would have been easier and less repeatative. We would have gone on excursions to the bull ring which is what a few of us really wanted to do or go to the waterpark etc...
Equally Thompson have let us down on this holiday and the hotel had left us feeling fed up and annoyed most of the time. having paid £6k for a family all inclusive holiday this rating should be higher than avaerage but as you have read factors on both the hotel and thompson have let us down.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.