Stayed 24th July - 7th August 2012
Firstly, we are not “Moaning Minnies”, we are merely people who believe if you pay for something you are entitled to get what you pay for. When you pay for a 4 star experience you should not accept being used as a ‘snagging service’, at the moment that is what you are for the owners and management of Seabank. To these ends we have an e-mail from the General Manager who incidentally shares the same surname as the Owner (draw your own conclusion there) which states: “Although it is no bone of contention for you personally, all issues raised with this room have now been resolved”.
So what were the issues? No extractor in the toilet/shower room, a door that didn’t fit the door frame to the toilet meaning the door would not shut, no working lock on the door (so even if you could shut it you couldn’t lock it), no safe (contrary to First Choice holiday advertisement), air conditioning didn’t work (contrary to contrary to First Choice advertisement) which meant using the fans (which do look like they are hanging from a thread), shower fitting that exploded with corrosion, no plugs in the bath or sink, towel rail hanging off the wall, sink that leaked damaging everything that we put underneath, TVs that continually lost signal and pixelated, adjoining door that didn’t close, mould on the ceiling by the non-working A/C unit, coffee cups not changed for clean when used just rinsed out by the Maid (your guess is as good as ours what she used to dry them with, needless to say we washed them again before using), patio door lock that was dangerous and could have resulted in locking the room occupants in if there was a fire in the hall, razor sharp stair treads leading to the upper terrace, razor sharp ends on the unfinished stair rail, no handrail/fence on the upper terrace for one and a half weeks of our 2 week stay rendering the terrace unusable for our children and therefore us as a family, room and terrace covered in cement dust and cement overspill, no blackout curtain for the first few days, main curtains that didn’t fully close for the first couple of days and no lock to the rear gate leading to the bar and pool area.
Yes we did report everything to Reception who seemed very helpful, promising to get the issues resolved and noting them down in a folder. But the promises were hollow and other than a few issues like safe, curtains, plugs and a new shower hose nothing else was resolved during our stay, despite also bringing them up with our First Choice Rep, Thomson’s email helpline and the hotel’s Reception numerous times. But apparently, all these issues have now all been addressed so if you get Junior Suite number 1459 let TripAdvisor know if the repairs have now been done.
Sure some rooms will have been lovely, I don’t doubt that, and I am sure by next year the hotel accommodation will be fantastic if they spend the money they need to make it safe and habitable, but our experience was of a hotel managed by people who seem to think you owe them something!
In Conclusion: The accommodation was NOT 4 star and barely scraped 2 star when we were there. But when all the refit is completed and assuming the Owners have the willingness to make it safe and clean it should get there, just not in 2012. We are gutted!
So that’s the accommodation, what about the food etc. In our experience of 4 star establishments we can only say that the inspectors have given there other 4 star establishments a mis-service classifying this hotel as 4 star. Seabank should have been classified lower 3 star this year and prices reduced accordingly. You are entitled to a semi luxurious experience at the price we paid for this holiday, so to the people that think you should just put up and shut up, you clearly have more money than sense or you don’t work for it. I have never been to a 4 star establishment that served (in our opinion) watered down alcoholic drinks, that felt it acceptable for flies to be walking all over the buffet food in there restaurants and for customers to have to cover drinks with serviettes to stop a fly taking a sip. A-la-carte in my book does not mean shabby, tired cafés on the harbour front serving a shortened menu to all inclusive customers, only draught drinks and no sweet. Be prepared to be treated like a low class customer if you visit the Mexi Co or Maya Cafes on the harbour, you food will be served after ‘paying’ customers and you will find your children will be served before the adults (apparently that’s there policy, but we suspect that they gave our order to another table). The La Vista café also treats you like underclass customers (as above), but beware if you are served by a grumpy woman named Rita, she messed up our order, didn’t listen to what we wanted and was very rude. The Chinese Restaurant is nothing more than a self-service small version of the main restaurant with a very, very limited menu. Drinks again are on draught, self-service and in our opinion watered down. The fizzy drinks throughout the complex often ran out of syrups and were not replenished promptly. The food in the Coral Restaurant / self-service café, was probably the best with a good choice of local food and all seemed reasonable fresh. As per the previous review sometimes they seemed reluctant to replenish some stocks when they were low. Yes we did expect a more intimate eating experience, with all the choices advertised we didn’t expect so many people being served by so few people every time we went to the main eating areas. If you like junk food when you travel abroad by far the best eatery is the pool café area, the pizzas were very good, but as none of our family really like deep fried/ junk food we mainly used the Coral Restaurant.
In Conclusion: The food is not as good as any other 4 star establishment we have ever used, the Coral Restaurant Chefs gave it their best shot but were let down by all the other options available. We are gutted!!
The pool and surrounding areas were lovely to look at and the landscaping is coming along, but there was still plenty of work going on. We also found the pool floor incredibly abrasive, to the point that both our children had grazes (not just redness) on their feet and knees and had to wear sandals in the pool. If you are visiting the Seabank get some of those slip on waterproof slippers you can get for the kids, it will save you plenty of moaning about feet hurting. On the first week or so they seemed to get the water balance wrong as my son’s white rugby shirt ended up ruined, it’s now yellow. As are all our swim wear that had white in them, they are all now yellow.
In Conclusion: The pool (had it have been finished properly with a smooth finish and not sandpaper) and the surrounding areas will be very good when they are fully finished, maybe by the end of 2012 season.
The Animation team deserve a pat on the back, they worked hard, always had smiles on their faces. When they were eating in the restaurant areas they were always polite to the children who went up to them and even sat with guests when invited to do so. They clearly work with a tight budget but let’s put this into perspective the entertainment is aimed at the children, our children and those of other guests we spoke to all enjoyed it, which meant as parents we could relax and enjoy our non-alcoholic alcoholic Cocktails straight from a chilled drinks machine.
In Conclusive: Well done Animation Team, the kids will love them!
The general ambiance of Seabank is unfortunately very flat overall. There is no music in the bars, reception or restaurants, other than the Animation Teams PA System around the pool during the day and of course the ear-splitting music in the dome at night. There are no finishing touches, very little to indicate what country you are in around the hotel. Some art or photos from local artists would be a welcome finishing touch, but then again maybe not in 2012.
In Conclusion: Seabank does not have the kind of relaxing ambience you would expect from a 4 star establishment. If you have high expectations of a relaxing luxury holiday have a rethink. If you have only ever been to 2 star hotels you may be pleasantly surprised, if you are used to 3 star establishments you may wonder why you paid a premium for Seabank.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.