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“GOOD - BUT SHOULD BE BETTER” 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 #16 of 47 Hotels in Benalmadena
skewen, wales
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2013

On our arrival 6 th June 2013 as a family of four (with our two children aged 4 1/2 and 5 months) we found the check- in at the hotel to be good, but we were unable to book the safe and pay a deposit for the towels, we were told to come back later because other people were checking in behind us, but it was only one more family, I think the receptionist wanted her coffee break.

The entrance into the hotel is lovely and we stayed on the 5th floor which was really quiet - but hard work when you have a buggy because you have to navigate the lifts which are tiny once you put a buggy inside. The reception is on level 0, the restaurants on level -1, and the shop, pools, games room, bar and outside theatre on level -2.

My main problem with the hotel is that the layout doesn't suit a young family, and nothing flows between the different areas within the hotel. The jacuzzi and small kids pool is not near the main pool , so if you have two children of different ages then both parents might be split up to keep an eye on each child ( not an ideal situation). The two play areas are tiny and one is part of the kids club area so it is closed off for the children in the kids club in the day and re- opens for everyone in the night.

The entertainment around the pool during the day is average and well below the standard of other hotels we've been to. The entertainment in the night is poor and if you are outside watching it then wear insect repellant and order lots of drinks at once ( maximum of 5) - you will probably be waiting 5 - 10 minutes for a drink when the show is on.

The pool area is nice with plenty of sun beds and they have two lifeguards at all times up to 6 in the evening. The pool bar is good and the snack area at the side of the pool is what you would come to expect from an all inclusive hotel. The toilets around the pool areas are regularly cleaned but one toilet had no soap dispenser for our entire holiday and only had a few small bars of soap for a few days and some had no toilet paper - which quite frankly isn't good enough for a 4 star hotel. Also the shop is really poor and is more of a gift shop , if you need essential things then you might be lucky - but if not catch the bus at the bottom and head two stops towards benelmadena and you will find a kick save , loads of British goods in there.

The main restaurant area and table settings are lovely and the staff in the restaurant are excellent. We always enjoyed our meals every night and there were plenty of fish and meat dishes. The food is really good if you are prepared to try different dishes.

The room we stayed in was lovely and spotlessly clean with an adequate kitchen area, lovely bathroom with shower, bath, two sinks and plenty of clean towels and hair dyer. The bedroom and beds were great - but the pull out bed was adequate. Our daughter slept in the hotel provided travel cot which had a really comfy mattress for her and she slept fine all holiday.

The location is awful and in between fuengirola and benelmadena, there is nothing near to this hotel and everything is a bus ride away. The hotel bus only takes you to the bottom of the hill which is about 5-10 minutes walk otherwise. This is where you get off for the beach club which is overrated and is a real hassle if you have really young children - beware if you want food at the beach club restaurant you must book it in advance.

Overall it was a good holiday and no- one was ill , and I had a discount when I booked this hotel
late. If I had paid full price then I would have been a little disappointed. I will not be coming back to this hotel even though our holiday was good. You had the feeling here that they were giving you all inclusive but didn't want you to have too much!

There are much better holidays for the same money , don't be fooled by the hotels four stars. I have given it a four star rating because of what I paid for the holiday, if I had paid top whack then it would have had a three star rating

Room Tip: If you want to put the kids to be early then don't get a room by the outside entertainment area.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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1,668 reviews from our community

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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 (361)
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English first
Newark-on-Trent, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
22 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2013

We stayed at hotel Polynesia in Benalmadena between 24th May and 4th June. We booked through Thomson, If you book through First choice you stay at the Holiday World Hotel next door which is an older Hotel and the rooms aren't as nice, so I would advise booking with Thomson and not first choice.
I will try and describe it fairly giving you our experience of the good and bad points which I think may help you before you book, I am not one to moan about everything but I would have liked to have known a few things before we went.
In our party was 4 adults and 2 children, first thing people comment on is the hill you have to go up and down to get to the beach club, don't worry about this it takes 5 minutes to walk or there is a regular free shuttle bus but we mainly walked as it was quicker.
The Hotel itself looks stunning inside, the decour is amazing and the rooms are absolutely faultless with seperate living and bedroom areas, also there is a fridge and full kitchen facilities, but as some people have mentioned before yes the beds are extremely hard !
The Food:
There is so much food to choose from and even if you are a fussy eater I'm sure you will always find something to eat, but do not have very high expectations as the food at best is only luke warm and the cook to order chefs can't cook, on certain evenings they cook to order pork, chicken, beef etc but everytime mine was still raw inside despite me waiting longer telling them I wanted it well done.
Also at breakfast the fried eggs and omoletes where not cooked either, I cut into my omolete and it just had raw eggs in the middle.
I personally think the problem in the dining area was due to being under staffed they had 1 person doing too many things on the cooking side, also there wasn't enough waiters which led to tables being left dirty for long periods of time.
One tip when you go in the restaraunt you will be asked what you want to drink, order double because you don't get asked again during your meal although you can just go to the bar and fetch it yourself.
If you go to the beach club during the day you have to book the restaraunt down there the day before in order to eat at lunchtime, make sure you do this early as it gets booked up and that is the only place to get your all inclusive food at the beach club, and this was the best food we had all holiday.
The beach club is o.k but I must admit we were expecting a bit more of a water park and slides, although there are plenty of pools there are only 2 slides and you have to pay for the rings to use on the slides at a price of 6 euros a day, and too be honest they are pretty poor, we only rented them the once and most people seemed to not bother using the slides. This dissapointed us a bit that we had to pay for the rings when we thought we were all inclusinve, the other thing that you have to pay for is the use of the spa which I think is 5 euros for 30 minutes.
One other point about the pool areas is the sunbeds don't adjust they are just flat beds, not had such poor beds in a 4 star hotel before.
The bar at night also didn't seem to have enough staff working and there was sometimes long queues to get served, the amusement area was great for the kids although they kept running out of change and a lot of the machines didn't work meaning we lost our money.
We did go to the speciality restaraunts the Polynesian one was lovely and the food was great, we did book the Wok one but didn't stay when we found out the chef cooked your food in front of you, we didn't want to risk it due to not having one cooked properly in the other restaraunt.
The entertainment was very poor while we was there, it was different shows being acted out in Spanish with someone intepreting, it really was cringworthy when most people was english.
One of the children in our party went to the Kids club and loved it and the staff in there was brilliant.
Please don't think I am moaning I am just highliting the things we were dissapointed with, we still had a cracking holiday and none of these points spoilt it for us, If I had known the water park only consisted of 2 slides of which you had to pay for, we may of booked somewhere else.
I just think that the Hotel could really be top notch, the place itself is absolutely amazing it just seems that the small details have been overlooked, such as better sunbeds and more staff, although the majority of the staff they do have working are all great.
Just one final point, we booked through Thomson and the reps where brilliant, we had a small problem with our taxi transfer but they sorted it out brilliantly and also the trips we did to Gibraltar and Marbella where excellent.
The taxi transfer from the airport cost us £36 return and it is well worth it to get straight to the hotel it takes about 20 minutes but I have heard some people taking 2 hours on the bus by the time it has dropped other people off a other hotels first.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 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
    • 5 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.
cardiff uk
Level Contributor
9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 14, 2013 via mobile

I just returned yesterday from the Hotel Polynesia after holidaying there as a family with two children aged 6 and 4. Firstly, it's a lovely looking place and the rooms are excellent and very clean. I was aware prior to booking that it was in quite an isolated position so this was no surprise to me and the bus service to Benalmadena was excellent and cost just 1.50 euro per person.
The food was at all times very good, a huge selection to suit every taste and always hot. Even with two very fussy children, none of us had any problem with the food at all. We used the Polynesian restaurant once but found the main restaurant better though the waiters in the Polynesian restaurant were lovely and very good with the children. The food at the pool was the usual burgers, hot dogs, pizza, chips etc with fesh fruit, yogurt and cakes too. Always plentiful and constantly being replenished. After reading reviews on here I was concerned about the food but need not have worried at all.
The drinks left a bit to be desired however. The only lager was Cruz Campo with no choice other than that. The spirits were local brands which I know is the norm with all inclusives but they weren't great. The main issue though was that there were never enough staff, usually just one serving hence long queues to get a drink at several times. But apart from this the bars were nice, clean and airy and lots of space.
The amusement arcade was a great attraction for the children and yes it can get expensive but we limited ours to a few goes each evening and they really loved it. It's a nice thing to have in a hotel as a treat for the children.
The pools were freezing I have to say. Even during really hot days the water was very cold. Apparently this is due to the bad winter they have had. The hotel pool we only used twice as I was disappointed that we could never get a sunbed close enough to the pool. We used the beach club most days which is superb. The water is really cold there too but with so much to do it didn't seem to matter! You have to book lunch the day before at reception but it was well worth it and the food was excellent. All staff were really friendly and helpful there too. It was never difficult to get sun beds as its so large. It was a real highlight of our holiday.
I have to mention the kids club which is excellent. Ours attended a few times and really loved it. The staff went out of their way to make every child feel welcome and at home. They were the best kids club staff I have ever seen and it was certainly by far the best kids club I have come across, with a huge range of activities on offer and all children looking as if they were having a great time.
The mini disco is at 8 o'clock each evening followed by the children's show at 8.30 till 9.30. This was later than I expected but was fine. It's mainly in Spanish but our kids loved that and have come home learning some lovely spanish songs and all the actions. You get the feeling that the mini disco and show is run on a very low budget but again the animation team were wonderful and kept the children really well entertained, along with the parents too who were all happy to watch their children enjoying themselves, which they certainly did!
All in all we had a really good holiday. The only faults would be the lack of staff, poor drink selection and freezing cold pools. Apart from that we loved the Polynesia.

  • Stayed June 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Level Contributor
4 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 12, 2013

We stayed at the Polynesia hotel in benalmadena for a week at the end of may 2013 myself my mum my 4 year old son and my auntie. The hotel is located at the top of a very steep hill. But hotel run bus operates every 10 mins from 10am-6pm. Hotel is just stunning. Has its owm animals some love birds and terrapins. Rooms were very well equipped plenty of room. Food was fantastic. Was worried as I read a review on here and it was given 3/10. This was not the case for us. It was hot with plenty of choice. Cooked fresh meat while you waited. Nice pools and aqua park but only problem we had was that we were not told that if you were at the hotels aqua park and you wanted to have your all inclusive lunch in the restaurant there you needed to book this at reception the day before. When we went there they had spare tables but were very strict and told us to go back up the hill to the hotel restaurant. We went to sea world which my son loved (so did we) had a nice day in Gibraltar but quite a long bus ride so would say go for the sail and rock tour option. Would definitely recommend this hotel and would go back there again. 9.5 out of 10. :-)

  • Stayed May 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
14 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 12, 2013 via mobile

As our first family holiday away with our 10 month old we decided to book something we considered to be at least 4* and unfortunately it def is not!

Good points
It's clean and spacious.
The rooms facing the pool and beach are lovely, we only found this out as we had to change rooms on the second morning due to waking up to a fowl smell of sewage in our room it was so over powering I was almost sick (no apologies from front desk and indeed Anneka was actually quite rude..)
The pool is fab (for children and families)
The beach club is also good
The view on the terrace in the restaurant is delightful.
The beer is good!

That's it... Now on to the bad points:

Front desk are not particularly helpful and some are quite rude.
Check in is painfully slow about 25 mins! We took a taxi to avoid the long transfer which i am so grateful we did as it took so long to check in.

The food is DIABOLICAL so much in that my husband has food poisoning on day 4 he is currently trying to recover...
Food is undercooked, not correct temperature, thank god I brought pouches for my daughter as I would not dare give her anything here!
Food is tasteless, bland and dull same old slop night after night.
There is 0 entertainment - just a kids outdoor disco where screaming children run riot until 10pm. So many bored looking Middle Aged couples and bored looking children it's quite shocking that a supposed 4* hotel can carry on this way
Your rooms are not cleaned the beds are made and bins emptied again not 4* service.

Poor poor poor. Am hoping a visit to the marina will make up for it once my hubby has recovered.

Not 4* and Thomson should be ashamed of themselves for stating it is.

Lots of negative feedback on here yet no hotel response frankly says it all

  • Stayed June 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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York, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 12, 2013

My children and I just got back from a lovely 2 week stay at the Polynesia and we can honestly say the hotel is stunning... very clean throughout, the junior suites are large enough for a family of 4 and had everything we needed. The staff are friendly and efficient. The restaurant food was above average and catered for absolutely everyone, the chocolate fountains were a hit!
The water park is a must, just a miutes ride down the hill on the hotels open top shuttle bus 'Julia'. Just remember to book your lunch at reception the morning before you are going as we forgot most days and there is no free snack bar once you are there.
The Thomson holiday reps were fab, Gary and Sophie, very helpful and friendly, Stephen was chatty and helpful on our trip to Gibraltar, just such a lovely team.
The only downside to the holiday for us and a few people we spoke to was the lack of good quality entertainment in the evening. we found it very boring after dinner. Unfortunately it is not Thomson run and is well below average, my 11 year old son found it boring as the kids club catered mainly for the little ones and myself and my 18yr old daughter found most of the acts cringeworthy to say the least! Had we been closer to Fuengirola and Benalmadena we would have gone out every night and found our own entertainment but a 10 euro taxi ride each way adds up over a fortnight.
Overall we had a fantastic time, the hotel, the staff, the food was all very pleasant, sort out the kids club for the over 10s and get some decent entertainment for after dinner and we would come back.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Armagh, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 11, 2013

I booked this hotel in April 2013 for my sisters hen weekend away, there were 14 of us so i was a little apprehensive as to how the hotel staff would welcome us, I shouldn't have worried at all.
We were put on the 5th floor in 4 rooms at the corner, out of the way of other guests so that we could tastefully enjoy ourselves. On a few occasions we were making noise and having a few per-party drinks, but not once did we receive any complaints from staff or other guests.

The pool area was superb, very relaxing and had plenty of sun beds available. The bar and snacks were very reasonably priced and we ate and drank throughout the day here. The hotel mini-market had everything you could possibly need (especially as we had carryon luggage only) and we spent plenty of money on alcohol and snacks etc..

The hotel setting is unbelievable, very picturesque and extremely well maintained and clean.

The hotel was very busy at this time of the year and they made us feel very welcome throughout our stay.
Several members of our party have rebooked this hotel to revisit with their families, that's how impressed we were with it.
Excellent choice!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Family Hotel in Benalmadena
#12 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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