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“This is a family hotel” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Holiday Polynesia

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Holiday Polynesia
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Avenida del Sol (antigua CN-340) P.K. 215,6, 29630 Benalmadena, Spain   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #14 of 47 Hotels in Benalmadena
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Cramlington
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
63 helpful votes 63 helpful votes
“This is a family hotel”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 17, 2012

My wife and I who are in our mid 60’s have just returned from a weeks holiday at the Hotel Polynesia on May 13th 2012. This hotel is without doubt the most family orientated hotel we have ever stayed at.
On entry the hotel has a truly wow factor and is very large and certainly not for anyone that struggles with walking. The beach club which is shared with the three other hotels in the Holiday World Group is half a mile down a hill. An excellent open top bus runs up and down every ten minutes. Most people seemed to walk down and get the bus back up the hill. The one thing no one tells you about is that after you get off the bus you have a further walk to cross the busy main road. The hotel group has installed a very elaborate bridge that has a walkway that winds round and round one side of the road then a bridge over the dual carriageway and then a winding walkway down the other side. Probably from bus the Club entrance a further half a mile. Saying that it was not an issue to us but could be to some. The Club is very large any very well managed but is primarily for children and is very busy and noisy. The Club restaurant is very large and has a very good outside area which we used. It is totally self service but certainly adequate. I think the best way to sum up the food is “samey”, burgers, hot dogs and chicken nuggets for the kids and a couple of fish dishes, at least one chicken and pork dish and a veal dish. Found the meals much hotter in the Club than in the hotel which an several occasions were on the cold side. The hotel itself has 3 restaurants, a Chinese, a Polynesian and the main restaurant. The Chinese and Polynesian are full waiter service and the main restaurant is self service apart from drinks that are served at the table. The pool bar also serves the usual type food all day long. We did not hear any good reports about the Chinese so gave it a miss but enjoyed our Polynesian. The food is again samey but adequate and often on the cool side.
The hotels major plus are the bedrooms, probably the largest I have ever stayed in and that includes The States. Fully fitted kitchen, bar with stools, table and chairs and lounge area with sofa that doubles as a bed and a large TV on the wall with several English channels including BBC & ITV. A separate bedroom with enormous bed and full length wardrobes in both the bedroom and the living room.
The hotels major minus is the evening entertainment for those without children. If you have children this hotel is great. After an evening meal you have a choice of the Ukulele Disco Bar or the Piano Bar. The Disco has the usual kids disco followed by the usual award ceremony and bingo with children competing to be the noisiest and fastest to run around. The evening entertainment for some unknown reason does not start till 22:30, possibly hoping the children would have quietened down by then but from our experience that was not the case. The Piano Bar has nightly entertainment which is normally a singer but due to the room having its fair share of children due to their parents not liking the disco the singer has to compete and therefore the speakers are turned up so high trying to have any form of conversation is impossible.
We could not understand why a hotel of this size could not provide an area where adult conversation can take place. The other criticism is that although the bar staff are very nice and friendly the staff are regularly on there own and the queues at times can be long and slow to be served.
To sum up this is a very good hotel but has several issues that need addressing

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    3 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (313)
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English first
Newcastle, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 17, 2012

We stayed here in may 2012 & thouroughly enjoyed our stay. We are a party of 2 adults & 1 child of 20 months. The hotel is very clean & our room was cleaned every day. Food was great, we have stayed in alot of all-inclusives and had no problems with the food in this hotel. The pool was a little cold but it was may so i would imagine it will get warmer through the peak season. The beach club was great, we didnt get to go into the wave pools etc as our child was too little so we stuck around the toddler pools for her. There is a bit of a beach 15 mins walk away but we found it too stoney so stuck by the pool most days. We did visit the bipoarc zoo, crocodile park & had a trip to marbella while we were there & enjoyed all 3 days. If your looking for a hotel that has everything for the kids then this is a great choice, we will be returning.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Swansea, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 14, 2012

My husband and I (a couple in our 30's) went to the Polynesia for 1 week with our 16 month old and 2 year old from 6th - 13th May.

Having read the previous reviews, we couldnt decide whether to book the Poly or Holiday Village but opted for the Poly preferring the rooms and extras e.g. bowling alley, mini-golf, cinema etc and hoped the bad reviews re food were unfounded ... BIG MISTAKE!!

Entering the hotel

As we entered the hotel, yes it is big but size certainly isnt everything ... there was no lighting, fish or turtles in the aquarium and as a previous reviewer correctly said, it felt like we were surrounded by strange, eerie swamps. The 'theme' was already tired and dated and very disappointing. The hotel was half full and we asked if we could have a sea view room as requested (we had a car park view) but we were told we'd have to pay 18.40 Euros per day for this (although others had been given these rooms without paying extra) so we stayed put.

Junior Suites

Overall, very pleased. Spacious with a kitchenette with microwave, hob, kettle, fridge etc, lounge area with breakfast bar and stools, table and 4 chairs, sofa bed (v.comfortable as a sofa) and tv, double room with 2 queen beds and a cotbed on request and lots of wardrobe space and a bathroom with bath (tap hanging off), seperate shower (shelf hanging off), bidet, toilet, duel sinks and a hairdryer. The balcony overlooking the carpark was lovely, spacious and actually extremely sunny in the afternoon/evening (more so that the room overlooking the pool/sea which we tried for a few hrs).

Facilities

The outdoor pool was large but unheated. There were ample sunbeds and chairs/sofas outside the bars surrounding the pool. The view over the sea/beach club was stunning (despite the trainline). The most ridiculous thing I have seen is the steep slope to the childrens pool, jacuzzi, mini golf and playground ... my fit hubby had to run up it with a double buggy and struggled!! The cracked concrete in the communal areas isnt good for kids. The jacuzzi (not fully working) contained the only heated water in the hotel and beachclub which meant my 2 barely went in the water. Dint use the indoor pool/spa/gym as refuse to pay 30 earos full day/15 half day for facilities that are no way worth paying extra for. Used Bowling alley which was fine (6 euros - 2 people, 9 for three etc) and cinema was a room with a large screen which we didnt use as the weather was fab!!

Kids club/creche/entertainment
My eldest was 3 in one month yet wasnt allowed to use the free kids club, therefore we paid 10 euros per hr for them to use the creche which has fairly good facilities but was spanish run and fairly limited (not as good as Holiday Village) and on the 3rd day they cried when we put them in for the hour so we didnt bother. There was NO entertainment for my children although there may have been for those 3 plus. They were bored stiff. The outside atrium - where we expected the shows etc to be, were dead, nothing going on, not even open. The kids disco at 8.30 was ok but mainly spanish songs. Even the TVs had limited childrens channels, it had CBBC but disney channel was in spanish and my children missed their cartoons. Dont go if you have children under 3!!!

Food
One word ... CRAP! The breakfasts were good but thats it. The food was cold and Taybarns style (nowehere near as good). Poor choice, bland, luke warm at best ... ok if you love living off chips and chicken nuggets. The soups were watery, the mains were fatty meats, runny veg and cold chips/potato, the desserts were mainly synthetic cream, watery yoghurts or samey pastries.The fruit was mouldy, actually green on the oranges a few times!! The coffee was rubbish. The Polynesia a la carte was fairly poor (not good choice) but the Uru Wok was great, really enjoyed the fresh, tasty food for a change - one go per person in these 2 restaraunts. Also on All Inclusive, they dont do sparkling wine but the beer is nice (and I think most drinks are covered).

Beach Club

FAB!! The reason I chose the Holiday World and the one redeeming feature about this below-average hotel. The pools, slides, water features were great and Le Mirage restaraunt was great - the food, although buffet was plentiful, different and HOT!!! My 2 yr old loved it here, loads to do for children, and bars for the adults, definately a saving grace!! The topless Julia (?bus) runs every 10 mins or so and takes guests from the hotel to the beachclub although the hill isnt that steep at all!) The Holiday Village is right next to the Beach Club.

We looked at the Holiday Village and the outside ares are great, brilliant playground on the same level and lovely pool, safe and soft flooring and entertainment around the pool ... next to the Beach Club.

To conclude ... The Ploynesia is a 3* Hotel at best. Its tacky theme is already outdated and rundown, around the lower floors its dark and gloomy (and empty), the food is cold, samey and boring and there isnt enough to do for young children. The beach club is great and great for kids. The hotel isnt within walking distance of a non-stoney beach although it is inbetween Fuengirola and Torremolinos so plenty to do and regular buses. Really recommend Paloma Park, Benalmadena as its free and has animals roaming freely, a cafe/coffee bar, lake and excellent playground area for children of all ages ... for FREE!!

Room Tip: Rooms overlooking Holiday Palace/ carpark are sunniest in afternoon/evening and you can see the sea...
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stourbridge
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 10, 2012

Hotel Stunning but we certainly picked the wrong week! We went 29th April - 6th May weather mostly cold and rainy! The rooms are fantastic we had pool and sea views so couldn't fault it. However, weather didn't help and entertainment wasn't up to much. Not the place for couples really. We love kids and have 15 of our own grandchildren but would have expected to have different entertainment venue on night would probably be better when weather good and takes place outside. Guess the hotel is more suited for families and would definetely recommend for families. Our highlight of week was the rep for Thompson - Phil, first rep in over 30 years I have found to be in awe of. He was totally professional very courteous and more than anything else knew his job inside out! Couldn't do enough to help - Thanks Phil!! A credit to Thompsons!

My husband unfortunately had his wallet stolen the day Phil was on airport duty and must say a very firm thank you to the receptionist (sorry didn't get her name long dark blonde hair who was superb) in helping us sort everthing out.

Were very disappointed last day no courtesy room and if you don't pay 40 euros for room you have to have a shower in the the pool showers next to the two toilets! With all the luxury of the hotel very poorl!!!

Meals were as most people reported mostly warm would recommend eating at the other restaurants for change.

Although out of the way and nowhere to walk to at night not that much of a walk 15 mins albeit very steep hill (was lot better than I expected) to the main road and the buses are fantastic every half hour didn't bother hiring a car which we thought we would have to.

Fabulous hotel would be great in hot weather and for families.

Carole and Kev

Room Tip: Try to get higher floor hotel echoes a lot.
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
yorkshire
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 8, 2012

Got to the hotel on 1st May, and was amazed! The reception and general atmosphere was great! Our room was perfect, one bedroom, living room area, perfect for us! Was very dubious about previous reviews, fear not we had no complaints!! The food was fantastic! Yeah some dishes were tepid but I had to blow and cool down most of my 15months old food! The sausages for breakfast were really good!! The salad bar was amazing, we had yogurts and buscuits on tap for the the boy. Really could nt fault the place! The water park was amazing for the boy, just book food there 1 day in advance. Yes I suppose its out of the way but...as a young fit couple what is a 10 min walk uphill? Not a problem to us in fact we walked 2 mile or so towards Fuengirola on our first day, lovely walk!! We also walked 1 1/2 hr the other way (towards benalmedena beach) which again was a pleasent walk! I think some people are born to moan, we never had a bad meal, bad experience. Can not comment on the entertainment as we had a little one, so was a quiet one every night. Please pay for the safe, thats my only advice. Overall an absolutely fantastic holiday and cant wait to go again, please ignore the people who love to complain and find bad things in everything they see/do. If I had to to complain about anything, it would be the orange juice for morning breakfast...was very sweet and not like orange juice at all"! Great staff, great food, cant wait to go again and would definitely recommend!!

Room Tip: Please get a safe, the walk up and downhill is not as bad as you think, there are free buses though...
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leslie, null, United Kingdom
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 8, 2012

Travelled April 2011, we managed to get a 7 day all inclusive, last minute deal, family of 4, for £1200, was a real bargain!! When we holiday we looking for nice, clean hotel, with great food, the chance to chilax & go exploring local culture.......this trip met all of these requirements. Its easy to list all the things that your not happy about, but can't say this hotel was really as bad as some make out, below I have given my opinion:

Hotel - Really beautiful, quite literally overwhelming when you first arrive.
Rooms - All rooms set up with small kitchens with larder fridge, so if you like your tea/coffee take these along with you. They have separate bedroom, which I like. They are spacious, clean & comfortable, good size balcony too. Would recommend the rooms with the hot tubs on the balcony.

Staff - friendly, good with kids, efficient.

Food/drink - loved the choice, the 2 restaurants you get to visit once each were also good & nice change. Red wine on offer was good, enjoyed with lunch & dinner. Alcohol was all branded European labels (smirnoff, etc) A lot of people complained about food not being piping hot, but I think in buffets this can often be the case, there is a microwave you can use, which no one ever seemed to use. Food was never cool enough that didn't enjoy.

Kids - Our kids were older (12 & 10) so they didn't use the childcare facility, but it did look ok. The cinema room was great & showed some great films throughout the day & evening. There was shows on at night, not really our thing, we were all happy to have a drink in the bar, play cards, just chill, we met an Irish family after a couple of days & we ended up hanging out with them, this made our holiday!!

Water park - really fun, nice place to hang out, you have to hire the big rubber rings per day though, bit pricey. You can also book lunch there the night before at reception.
Location - Bit far out from the town, but you can easily jump on a bus (cheap) to go into Benalmadena or in the opposite direction to Fenguerola, nice change for a day out!

Lots of Spanish families holidaying in this hotel, which we didn't mind, may come across as bit rude, queue jumping, etc, but this didn't really bother us. There are 4 hotels in this resort, one of them is solely for English holidaymakers, this would have been my worst nightmare, but may suit others, this is the one closest to the waterpark.

Only gripes are:
-the quality freshly ground coffee - had to be paid for (think was 2 euros each)
-the Gym had to be paid for (think was 15 euros a shot)
-Spa expensive, but again just what you expect.
-the games room/ten pin bowling was to be paid for, which is the case in most hotels now, just to be expected, we gave our 2 10 Euros each for the week & once it was gone, that was it!!
-obviously weather a bit of a hit or a miss in April (Canary Islands would be better if you want good weather)
-can imagine in the high season, the staff struggling with the sheer number of holiday makers, April was ok & I think October would be fine too
Tip - try & make friends with other families, this certainly helps in the evenings, really made our holiday.

Have a great trip ;-)

Room Tip: Try & get a pool view
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  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gibraltar, null, Gibraltar
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 2, 2012

Last year was ok, this year very dissapointing. i was there the 29th of April for long weekend.....
The whole ambiance of hotel is a large lagoon at the bottom of the hotel with fountains and lights and fish,,,but,,,this year....all lights in water off....all fountains and waterfalls off......all fish gone......so basically your left with a large gloomy area not pretty to look at...more of a haunted swamp look... we stayed 3 nights and there was only entertainment for about and hour and a half on one of the nights which mainkly consisted of women in spandex bondage suits singing madonna and gaga songs...def not suitable for young ones.... and that was it...nothing else... very very weak.....The food was also bad compared to last year most things dry and overdone and the sausages so burnt on the side theyd been left on i couldnt even cut through them..... I think they know they have got worse as theres no one there asking if youve had a good time on your break or questionaires etc.....My advice...dont go back.....I wont....

Room Tip: Choose a different hotel!
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Holiday Polynesia

Address: Avenida del Sol (antigua CN-340) P.K. 215,6, 29630 Benalmadena, Spain
Location: Spain > Andalucia > Province of Malaga > Costa del Sol > Benalmadena
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Family Hotel in Benalmadena
#4 Spa Hotel in Benalmadena
#11 Luxury Hotel in Benalmadena
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Holiday Polynesia 4*
Number of rooms: 328
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Also Known As:
Holiday Polynesia Benalmadena, Costa Del Sol, Spain
Holiday Polynesia Hotel Benalmadena

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