I have to start this review by qualifying it...........we discovered on this holiday that we no longer want to go on resort package holidays, no particular reason I think we've just grown out of this type of holiday - with that in mind please read on...........
The first view of the hotel as you pull up is stunning and it lives up to the promise as you enter. From the cascading waterfalls to the open plan vistas everything is set out to impress and it surely does.
Check in was swift and helpful and we were provided with very clear instructions on how to find our room and a map in case we got lost - you will need the map, this hotel is huge.
We had booked a family room and I had also emailed the hotel in advance to ask for a quiet room away from the reception area and the bar having read previous tripadvisor reviews. We got exactly what we asked for - room 3128 is a top floor corner room overlooking one of the pools and the mountains the only drawback is that the bathroom window does not have a blackout blind (in fact it does not have any kind of blind) so our son was disturbed in the mornings - that said his bedroom at home is like a cave so maybe it will not be a problem to others. The room was very large, absolutely spotless and had all the usual touches such as toiletries, bathrobes, pool towels and a beach bag and also the bane of my life the hotel hairdryer - you know the ones that only work if you hold down the button? My advice is take your own hairdryer as not only is the one provided awkward to use it is not very powerful. The beds in this room are queen size and very comfortable. There is ample wardrobe and drawer space and because the room has a vestibule we didn't spend 2 week tripping over our cases. There is a large bath and a huge shower which has a hand held shower as well as the overhead.
It took 3 phone calls to get our luggage delivered, the hotel like to bring it to you - so if like us you are delayed in arriving and are in a hurry to get to the restaurant before it closes you may want to hang on to your bags and take them to your room yourself.
The two buffet restaurants are large - one is air conditioned the other is not - and both have outside terraces - which have sun shades but if it has been a misty night they drip onto your breakfast, we found it nicer to sit inside in the airconditioned restaurant for all meals (we were on half board). The food is plentiful, fresh, well presented and bland. The concept of herbs and spices appear not to have reached this hotel - in addition to which when I'm in Spain (or Spanish Territory) I really would like to eat Spanish or local dishes NOT Indian, Greek, Chinese, Japanese and what appeared to be leftovers night. Paella appeared once a week - and that brings up the other gripe about the food - it is on a one week menu so if you are there a fortnight you get it all twice. The restaurant staff are very friendly, quick to take your drink order and serve the drinks but slow to bring the bill if you are paying cash rather than charging it to your room, and even slower to bring the change.
The grounds of the hotel are magnificent, clean and beautifully kept with 9 swimming pools and plenty of sunbeds, sunshades and natural shade from the trees and shrubs. The pool that appears to be the favourite is the lazy river and if you want a prime position here set your alarm - you have to put your towels out early (7.30am) - there are notices by the pool and in the room asking you not to do this but do not be fooled, nobody takes a blind bit of notice and the hotel do not stop it, there were beds available at all times by some of the other pools but we were there before the majority of the English schools had broken up so this may not continue to be the case in the middle of August. You can change your pool towels daily if you wish. There are bars in the grounds which provide the usual drinks, toasted sandwiches (very expensive) etc and also the Pili Pili buffet restaurant which does a sit down service or Pizza takeaway. The cheapest way to eat by the pool is bring your own in from the supermarket just down the road, also bring in water it is much cheaper to do this - there is room in your mini bar to chill the water and the hotel are relaxed about this - I have stayed in places where it was necessary to smuggle in snacks and drinks. We also noticed parents with very young children were using the breakfast buffet to take fruit and make up sandwiches for lunch, there is a sign asking you not to remove food from the dinning rooms but again the hotel seem not to mind. There are also plenty of toilets in the grounds, all spotlessly clean.
The hotel has one large bar - the Richard Burton Bar, as well as a bar in the reception area, which seems weird - who wants to sit inside in the Canary Islands in the summer? The reception bar has an outside terrace with a few seats but it is difficult to get a seat out there. The Richard Burton Bar has free wifi access which is great during the day but useless at night when the bar is crowded, not a problem for us as we needed it for daytime business emails but there were some very fed up teenagers. I think you may also be able to access the free wifi in reception but we did not use this. There is also a bar at the Plaza Marimba where the evening shows are held but this appears to close when the shows finish and that causes a huge problem as the Richard Burton Bar has nowhere near enough seating and although the hotel provided extra bar tables and stools whilst we were there unless you are prepared to get to the bar very early or very late you will not get a seat which is a pity as the bar prices are reasonable and the bar itself is fantastically themed like the rest of the hotel. There are also not enough bar staff which means the service is extremely slow - 20 minutes to half an hour to get served some nights and when they are very busy they will not serve you directly from the bar.The live music acts in the bar are awful and loud - what happened to the concept of backgound music? And unless you like hearing the Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Elvis and Dire Straits being mangled by a variety of acts (they all appear to have the same repertoire) make sure you are sitting as far from the band as possible.
We did not go to any of the Plaza Marimba shows as we like to linger late by the pool and have a very late dinner but if you have been to the Canary Islands before (we are frequent visitors) you will already have seen all the acts or ones very like it.
Underneath the Richard Burton Bar is a television area where they show some sports, we were able to watch, if we wanted to, the mens Wimbledon final, German Grand Prix, the open golf, international youth football but not the cricket. There is also an indoor bar behind this which is not in use during the summer but has a large screen and is used every afternoon to show a cartoon film for little ones - which is a nice touch to get them out of the sun for a while.
The childrens entertainment (Animacion) team were lively and friendly but the things on offer were limited to football (5 a side), ping pong and bingo and our son chose not to participate. The youth club (which is for teenagers) did not start until the end of our second week and offered more or less the same with the addition of water volleyball. The problem for the hotel is that the majority of the site has been given over to rooms and pools so there are no tennis courts or any other spaces where activities can take place. The ping pong tables are packed away after the organised acitivities and there are no pool tables, card tables, chess tables or mini golf. Other hotels offer a much more extensive childrens and adults entertainment programme with other activites on site for self goverened activities - so if this is an important part of your holiday then this may not be the hotel for you.
In short the hotel is large, modern, beautifully kept, and clean but it falls short of being a 5 Star hotel in my opinion. If we were looking to do this type of holiday again we would not return here because of the lack of facilities and the fact that the food and entertainment seem to be stuck in a 1980's timewarp.
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- Also Known As:
- Lopesan Baobab Hotel Maspalomas