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“Pleasantly surprised bt this excellent hotel.” 5 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
Glasgow, Scotland.
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
112 helpful votes 112 helpful votes
“Pleasantly surprised bt this excellent hotel.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 26, 2009

My wife and I read all the reviews of the Polynesia Hotel in Benalmadena and were slightly put off by earlier reviews. The hotel was opened around May 2009 so obviously it would have had teething problems which is only natural. Basically, most negative comments have been made by people travelling between May and July, but in my opinion this hotel has improved alot since these initial teething problems. Hopefully this review will cover all aspects of this hotel in depth and I really think it deserves it.

We booked our stay through Thomson's and paid a fair price for all inclusive. We arrived on the 18th September and stayed until the 25h September 2009, so we are not long back.

The hotel has a Benalmadena address but having looked at Google Maps, the Polynesia Hotel sits plumb between the town centres of Benalmadena and Fuengirola. Saying that, as Fuengirola is larger, you can walk to the outskirts of Fuengirola (where the large overhanging road sign is positioned) in about 15 minutes (where there are bars and restaurants). It takes around 35 to 45 minutes to walk to the marina and town centre.

Restaurant prices at Benalmadena's Marina are pricey. How about €7.50 for a bowl of Onion Soup or £20 for a main course in some restaurants. The marina is well worth a visit though but be very wary of prices in bars and that perfume shop.

The hotel is outlying with no shops, bars or supermarkets for at least 15 minutes walk. The only issue we had with that was that the hotel's shop prices were alot more than the local shop prices which is the norm these days. For example, a litre bottle of water was €1.50 but a two litre bottle of water at the supermarket in Fuengirola was double the amount of water but only cost 30 cents. More on the shop later. The hotel is perched on the hill so it is a 5 minute walk up and down a fairly steep gradient to and from the main road. There is a free open top bus transferring guests from the hotel to the main road and vise versa, but we preferred to walk.

Thomson must be praised for several things. Firstly, the airport transfer took you directly to your hotel as the bus for the Polynesia was only for guests staying there, so there was no travelling from hotel to hotel and it only took 20 to 25 minutes. Also, the Thomson representative got us to fill out our hotel information cards for check-in which saves time filling it in on arrival at the check-in desk. While checking-in, the receptionist checking us in was also answering calls and speaking to a Spaniard who arrived at the check-in desk while we were being checked in. It was not fair to get diverted while supposedly dealing with us, but honestly, this was a minor issue as the reception staff were helpful and very polite the remainder of our stay, plus the check-in only took several minutes anyway.

You get your armband fitted on arrival for the all inclusive deal.

The hotel is large and imposing with security guards at the main entrance. The site that greets you when you enter through the large hooded entrance is awesome, with water features, a high ceiling and much, much more. I wont say too more as you can perceive it in your own way when you arrive.

The hotel has eight lifts and we loved this as you never ever waited too long for a lift. They were nicely spread out throughout the entire hotel.

Most hotel guests are British or Spanish.

Our room was on the third floor looking over the pool, water park, sea and Fuengirola was in the distance. The views were simply stunning. I am sure that the rooms at the hotel are all suites of some kind (whether junior or a standard suite) and our room was a junior suite and was fantastic. It was the best room we have experienced anywhere in over 25 years of travelling at this price range. It had loads of space and great storage areas for your clothes and belongings. There is a safe that is well worth the €2.50 per night (if you want to keep your valuables safe and insured, as not taking this option in my opinion is simply crazy). The overall decor was beautiful and we had no issues at all. The air conditioning unit cover flips opens (via the raised tab on the top surface) and you can adjust the settings to your needs. You get two room keys so you cn leave one plugged into the wall to keep your room cooled on your return if you like. The fridge does its job perfectly and the bed is very comfortable. The bathroom is spacious with a walk in shower and his and hers sinks. There is even a music system in your room for chilling out on the balcony, and a decent sized flat screen TV with dozens of channels. There has been negative comments about there being no English speaking TV channels. Trust me when I say that there are at least six English Channels including BBC World News, CNN and Euro News. The first set of channels are designated as "DTV" channels. The next set are fourteen "Radio" channels. The English channels are located after these on the "TV" designated channels. You have to pay a deposit for the TV remote but we did not use or need it. The balcony was roomy and just perfect with doors leading from the lounge area and bedroom.

Our room was cleaned, beds made and towels replaced (when needed) every day of our stay.

The amenities at this hotel are fantastic. The hotel has a huge dining area, a small air conditioned cinema room where an English film is shown every night at 8.30pm, a three lane ten pin bowling alley (as extra cost of €3 per eprson, per game...but great fun), internal and external concert areas, two themed restaurants (Chinese and Polynesian), a shop, piano bar, gymn (at NO additional cost), kids club area, hairdressers, spa, aviary, games room, internet and Wii room (with six spacious internet desks and several wall mounted Wii's) ............what more do you need! The pool is large if a touch chilly for most peoples taste and there are ample sun beds. We went up the ramp beside the dining area and towards the jacuzzi, kids play area and outdoor putting course which was a bit quieter and hardly used by other guests during our particular stay. There are also outdoor games played in or around the pool during the afternoon and they were funny to watch, especially the pool bingo and the putting competitions.

The children' s entertainment starts around 8pm in the main concert area. We did not attend any but there was reptile and bird shows (Eagles, Owls etc) amongst others. Adult night time entertainment starts at around 7pm outside the Piano Bar, and at 10pm within the main indoor concert room that also has a bar . We had tribute bands for Westlife, The Beetles and Cool and the Gang during our stay. All activities are shown on the public notice boards for that day and Manyana! All were simply superb acts. Miss them at your peril especially the Cool and the Gang tribute act as these guys are talented beyond belief and surely deserved better than this. One of the guys did a solo Michael Jackson number (35 minutes into the show) that made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up as to me he was as good as Michael Jackson (and this comes from a life long Michael Jackson fan who saw him live in concert)! I had to buy their CD.

Now food.

The buffet breakfast is huge, with everything from freshly cooked (and rather large omelettes (on request and with any filling you like), quality cereals, loads of fresh fruit, varieties of yoghurts and jams, cheese, all the major fried items like perfectly cooked eggs, bacon, black pudding etc etc. The toast machine is located near the coffee machines. The coffee is excellent plus right beside it is the hot milk machine, so no cold coffees at this hotel. All the tea options are there too. Take your time and check out the entire buffet as it is spread about a bit. Note that the breakfast is between 7.30am and 10.30am with most guests heading down between 9.30am and 10.30am, so there may be some light queueing that only takes minutes to subside. If you head down before 8.45am it is pretty quiet.

We rarely had a buffet lunch that was served at the Beach Club but latterly at the hotel as we were pretty full after our breakfast. It is vast.

The dinner buffet was also large in stature. There were chicken, fish and pork dishes plus everything you need to accompany them. Your drinks are bought by the waiters and waitress in glass tumblers. The food was hot most of the time but slightly cool on occasions. It was never an issue with us, and we are normally fussy. It did get slightly repetitive after several days though. Like the breakfast, there may be some queing for Dinner but the queue goes down very quickly as the staff are quick to process everyone to a clean table .

You get a choice of one visit to the Chinese and one visit to the Polynesian Restaurants during each week of your stay. We never went to the Polynesian restaurant but we did sample the Uru Wok Chinese restaurant. We loved the food here. You order your drinks from the wairer or waitress then head up to get your soup or starter (that included satay chicken for example). Your main course is more interesting as you choose you vegetables and raw meat (whether chicken, pork or beef) and place them on a small plate then head up to the kitchen counter where you choose your Chinese sauce (whether Red Curry, Hiosin, Chilli, Garlic and herb etc) then watch the chef cooking your main meal in front of you. He transfers the cooked meat and vegetables to the large plate when you can then go and add your rice, crackers or whatever from the main buffet. Wonderful. Then there is a choice of sweets.

There is finger food stuff at the pool bar area consisting of hamburgers, pasta, pizza, fresh fruit and yoghurts, cheese and ham toasties and chips etc. You can also get the local small pot ice creams at the pool bar (on request) and they are also part of the all inclusive deal. Did I mention that they come in vanilla, strawberry and chocolate and are 100% addictive? There are all drink types available at the pool bar, plus chocolate, vanilla or strawberry milk shakes too.

Drinks are available from the pool bar, piano bar, beach club and are free until midnight. The local Cruzcampo beer is excellent, plus there is everything else you need including local and international alcoholic drinks to satisfy your every drinking need. There is even Ballantines Whisky and Martini's available at no additional cost. Coffee and Irish Coffee's are freely available too at the Piano Bar.

The Beach Club is across the main road at the Elephant Roundabout and is accessed by getting the one minute open bus ride or five minute walk down the hill to the pathway beside the security office hut. Walk down the netted pathway, up the spiral staircase, over the terracotta foot bridge and down the other spiral staircase and you are there. This water park is for Holiday World guests only. Once again, the pools appeared not to be heated but that did not put off the kids or brave adults. The lunch buffet is huge there too.

The bus to Fuengirola or Benalmadena is the number 120 and is always between €1.20 and €1.35 per bus ride. (Why it varies for the same trip to and from Fuengirola is beyond me). The bus timetable is in the hotel foyer. Check the times, head to the bus stop and then be very patient. It was never ever on time and was usually 30 minutes late. The bus stops to both Benalmadena and Fuengirola are down the hill to the Elephant Roundabout, turn left and go under the terracotta foot bridge. The bus stop to Fuengirola is on the hotel side and the Benalmadena bus stop was on the Beach Club side of the road.

You really have to get up early and go for a nice early morning walk along to Fuengirola when the temperature is cool. Fuengirola's beach has always been superb and may be worth a visit for a change of scene.

The entire hotel staff were wonderful and the Thomson reps very helpful.

All I can say is this. Go and enjoy your holiday.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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  • 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
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2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2009

I had a really good time there and was great for my 16 month old. He had the best time of his life at the Kids Disco, the Eagle show and in the fountains at the Beach Club. The food was good not excellent but good for a buffet style. I found breakfast the best meal of the day. The Polynesian and Wok restaurants were good for a change and food was good, service not brilliant though. Rooms were really nice and very spacious - great that it had a kitchen in the room too. The entertainment was suprisingly good apart from the Famenco night!

The location is the only draw back, if you like to go out at night for a walk. However there are local buses (1Euro 35) at the bottom of the hill which takes less than 5 minutes walk to and goes to Fuengirola, Torremelinos and Benalmadena. However we tended to get the bus in the day and went to a few places however the hotel has entertainment bars and a nightclub so plenty to do.

I only wish I had gone for 10 days or 2 weeks instead of only 7! I would definitely recommend this hotel.

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1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 21, 2009

me and my husband went to the polly for our honeymoon.we didnt want a long haul flight so we chose spain,we norm hol in costa del sol and have stayed in a few hotels,but this hotel is a dif class,the hotel is amazing, reception area is massive and words cant describe, photos dont do it justice either.the rooms are appartments seperate bedroom,barthroom,own kichen lounge,breakfast bar, and dining table balcony massive,lovely pool and sea views.the food is excellent, the best mass catering food u can get,i am afussy eater and hard to please but food v good.staff were all v friendly which is not the norm 4 spain ,the spanish guests at the hotel were also friendly , a dif class of people go to this hotel ,very relaxed and stress free,like i said earlier we have stayed in a few hotels in the area and this is a dif class all round.the best u can get without going long haul.u can get 5 drinks at a time at the bar on all in clu ,u norm only get 2 in others.pool area is excellent lots of room and plenty of sun beds all day,spa is well worth doing but u have to pay 11 euros 4 half day, entertainment not soo good the only thing we enjoyed was the hypnosis show my husband went up v funny,the hotel is well out the way but 10 mins on bus and u r in the centre of benalmadena its only 1.20euros marina def worth a visit, there is the ice bar on the marina well worth a visit,if your thinking of booking u have my word you wont be dissapointed the neg reviews ime sure they were old reviews, every 1 we spoke to at the hotel loved the place and all said they would go again .the thomson/1st choice reps were also v good which again is not the norm,i could go on 4 hrs praising this hotel and only a min complaing as u can prob tell we loved it

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 21, 2009

You have to judge not just the hotel but the Holiday World resort as this is effectively what you are paying for. Therefore I would say that this is a fantastic resort that is great for all travellers but especially for those, like us, with children.
I've never been to a hotel where there is as much to do for kids but, given that it is fairly isolated, there is probably not enough in the hotel to keep you going for 7 days. However, if you make full use of the beach club as well as the hotel there is more than enough to keep you going throughout your stay.
As a holiday it does exactly what it says in the brochure, yes there are limits to what the all inclusive actually includes, but you're going to struggle to find better elsewhere in the Med and if you're after ultra all inclusive then you need to be dipping further into your pocket and going to the Caribbean.
My one complaint would be that this could have been a really great hotel had they not clearly rushed to finish it in time. Our room was just a little rough around the edges, as were some of the outside areas.
I would definately recommend this resort to others and would say that this was probably one of the best family holidays I have been on.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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west lancs
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2009

fantastic place , very luxorious and spacey absolute jem.

Rooms are big modern and well equipt, clean and the decor is very jazzy brand new hotel my little girl told me "its the bestest isnt it daddy" she loved every minute the kids club and staff where great keeping the kids entertained in the hot parts of the day out of the sun the whole hotel is air conditioned , the food is good with so much to choose from its un real (and the missus is a veggie she normally struggles)..Not here
there is a small army of staff cleaning for which seems 24 hrs a day.and a window cleaner who must nt have a home i couldnt fault it.

shows in the evening were quite good especially the magic show and the circus act (the only thing i didnt like was the parrot show because i found it a bit cruel creatures should be in their own habbitat etc,

the beach club is great and again another big resaurant there offering so much food
it is at the bottom of a big hill and walking back is a struggle (but burn some calories off)although ther is a open top bus which takes you up and down

inside the hotel is a bowling alley and a decent arcade for the kids there is 4 pool tables and enough to keep the kids entertained
the bar staff were terrific and very polite nothing is too much.


  • Stayed September 2009, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
West Yorkshire
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2009

My wife and I have just returned from the Polynesia Hotel. I have got to say 7 days was long enough. The hotel is pretty new and the place was spotless also we thought the food was very good, One problem we found was having to go down the winding road and over the main road to the other complex if you wanted lunch (even though a free bus is provided) as the bits of snacks on offer round by the pool bar were not very good. We have never seen as many pre-school kids (baby's etc) in any hotel we have stayed in previous to this one, so if you don't want to be surrounded by children, don't go to the Polynesia. The hotel is very cut off from any where else unless you travel by the local bus (no 120) so I tended to get quite bored because I enjoy walking and all there is (once you get down the hill from the hotel) is a main road with only one small cafe and a very steep slope down to the small beach. But if you just want to chill out for a week and do nothing but eat and drink that could be the hotel for you. The staff were realy fantastc and pleasant and were always available.
The people who were staying at the hotel were British and plenty of Spanish (all with kids)

Stayed September 2009
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Hereford, United Kingdom
20 reviews 20 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2009

Stayed here for a week with my partner. We did read the reviews here before and think they are too harse initially. You do have to remember this was the first season they had opened so initally they had some teething problems. For example, Maria the thompson rep told us they only opened the extra bar and snackbar 3 weeks ago so they are listening to peoples comments on here.

The first thing you will notice when you walk in is the scale of the hotel.

We stayed in a Junior Suite (most of the rooms are this) - was really nice, we had a see view.

The Water park is there is amazing spent most of the time over there, the food there is brilliant. The ate at the wok & polynesia once during our stay, really impressed make sure you book this.

There is a huge selection of food for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Breakfast was by far our favourite. We was picky and looked at the board everyday to see what theme night food was tomorrow so we could book the 2 free restratant visits. Tex Mex night was by far the best. I believe they run a 2 week rota system though. You can preorder the day before a breakfast or piknik lunch if you are going out.

To get the beech its about a 10-15 minute walk, or you can get on the local bus for 1euro 35 and go down the road. We stayed on the complex most of the time, it's absolutley massive you could call it a resort. They do plan on building a further 7 hotels there at some stage (theres 3 at the moment).

Hats off to all the staff they were great and all spoke good english.

What the brouchure doesnt tell you:
- All inclusive ends at 12pm on day of checkout. You can get away with this in the beach club, snackbar and the bars but not for main evening meal usually.
- All Inclusive drinks are only until midnight, from midnight till 2 you have to pay for drinks (we just loaded the table before 12 with drinks)
- Only place you can get drinks from in a glass is in the Pineo Bar from 6pm, we just kept ours and then tipped them into it after, so no problem really when your outside
- You can pre order
- Safe costs around 15 euros to rent for 6 days
- Deposits needed for towells, tv remote unless you give them a swipe of your card (which we did).
- Bowling, spa, and mini golf are extra cost.

Things people have said that are not true: Railway line is close however it runs once, twice an hour and you cannot hear it at all.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
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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
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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