Spent two weeks at the Paloma Oceana Resort in August 2012. We were expecting good things having stayed at the Sentido Perissia the previous two years. Overall the hotel is of a good standard having recently been refurbished and extended to include family connection rooms and villa's.
We had booked to spend our stay in the bungalow rooms. The rooms were quite small but well appointed and very clean. The beds were large and comfortable. The bathroom was very small and did not have a bath, but a large shower cubicle which was fine for our needs. The overall standard of the bathroom was also good.
The bungalow rooms are housed in blocks of 24 rooms, 12 on each of the two floors. The big downside of this accomodation is that the central corridoors are tiled and noise reverbotrates into the rooms. Many guests quickly find that the corridoors also offer a quick shortcut around the vast hotel grounds, be prepared for noise until 2am in the morning, and again from 6 am when cleaning starts.
The main communal areas of the hotel are all very clean and modern in appearance. We felt that the main buffet restaurant completely lacked any soul and resembled a works canteen. The oudoor area was better, but frequented by many smokers. Food in the main buffet was warm tasty and well presented, but did not offer much in the way of variety, we had three mexican themed nights during our stay! The bulk of the food is offered daily, both at the lunch time and evening meal sittings. The booking system for the a la carte is via telephone and it is very difficult to book a restaurant if you phone after 09.02! This can only be done for the following evening and proved difficult to make a booking. A tip is to accept a table even if insufficient seats are available and then speak with guest relations who will alter the seating. We were lucky enough to book into the International restaurant, which was based on Italian food. The service and quality was first class, as was the Turkish restaurant. During our first week we ate lunch at the poolside snack bar, which offered the same meal day after day, a hot buffet, kebab, burgers, chicken etc, all fine but repetitive. After we ate at the international restaurant, we were informed that they also offered a luch time menu. We tried this the following day and the food was of a different class, all freshly cooked, very tasty and well presented. USE THIS FACILITY!! No need to book on a lunch time.
The bar service offered a range of local beers wines and spirits, service was always very fast at all of the bars we tried. You do need to watch what you are being served however as I was poured a cocktail containing gin and vodka for my 7 and 11 year old kids. The drinks you order and get very much depend on the barman, some of whom speak excellent English and some of whom speak none. Try the piano bar on an evening, one of the highlights of the hotel! There is a cocktail list behind the bar but you will specifically have to ask to see it. The cocktails on the list are included as part of the all inclusive package.
The hotel has three swimming pools outdoors, one of which has a selection of slides. The other two outdoor pools are large and we never had any trouble securing sunbeds. Drinks are brought around a couple of times a day and served at the bed, these being non alcoholic coctails made of fruit juice, and the option to add a shot of vodka!
The hotel has a great number of lifeguards on duty, all of the outdoor pools are a standard depth of 140cm so non swimmers will need armbands. There are two smaller pools that are 40cm available but these are small.
The beach are is clean and the water warm. There is a beach bar ideally located where you can also take lunch.
The evening entertainment was very similar to what we had seen at the Perissia, the ampitheatre was big enough to seat around 1000 people but chronically lacked any atmosphere! There was a permanent smell of sewerage in the area on a night time too which spoilt the general ambience.
One strange feature the hotel seemed hell bent on enforcing was the various games the animation team organised during the day. Children were not allowed to take part in the games organised for adults and vice versa. If you have slighlty shy kids this may be a problem as all of the kids stuff is organised through the kids club. Our kids were so dissapointed that we could not all compete in the darts etc as a family as we could at the Perissia, same applied for the pool games. Not quite the family experience we had hoped for.
Overall we would not return the the Oceana as we felt that the Sentido Perissia offered a better standard of food, ambience and accomodation for a similar price. The Perissia is also located closer to Side and situated on the promenade, which is ideal for a stroll into the town. If you are visiting Side for the first time and staying at the Oceana you will no doubt love it, but for those who have tried elswhere, there is better out there for the same price!
The hotel is good, but lacks those little bits that make it special, in my opinion, it is too large to allow for the personal touch, I was informed by a member of staff that 2000 people were staying whilst we were there.
The last tip is not to bother with a late check out. The hotel does not seem to want to provide them, we were offered use of the shower rooms that serve the spa area, These were first class, air conditioned spotlessly clean and housed in the main hotel. The cases are kept secure and you can access them whenever you want. This will save you £38. The latest checkout even for a late check out is 6pm.
Avoid the bungalow rooms if you can, Also, if you are staying in the main hotel, request a pool view...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.