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“Package Holiday” 4 of 5 stars
Review of California Palace

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California Palace
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   C/ Ciutat de Reus 7-9, 43840 Salou, Spain   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #26 of 98 Hotels in Salou
Leeds, United Kingdom
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Package Holiday”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2013

Came here on a Jet2 package holiday mid July. We had been looking for a last minute deal and booked it 5 days before we went with not too high expectations. It was £400 each for 7 nights, half board.

Food:-
We knew we wanted to eat out most nights elsewhere as I feel that's a big part of the holiday trying new places, so we decided to change the dinner option for lunch. I thought we wouldn't eat much lunch but as it was there, we both ate lunch everyday. Breakfast is from 8-10.30 and we would normally eat breakfast around 9.30/10 then wait until around 2.30 for lunch (it was served between 1-3). Breakfast was good- cereal, toast, omlette, pancakes, bacon sausage etc. The only downfall of breakfast was the coffee- we brought a travel kettle and some instant coffee with us as we knew there was nothing in the room, and after trying the coffee which was on offer at the restaurant I am glad we brought our own for our room! There was no option of tea, and you had to pay for water. Lunch was also good- plenty of salad, and hot options- pasta, fish, chicken, sometimes chips and always fruit. At lunch there was no free drinks, everything had to be paid for but it's not too expensive- around 2euro for a bottle of coke/7up etc. If you are going to eat lunch later on like we did, don't go in later than around 2.45 because at 3pm on the dot the waitresses begin clearing away all the food from the buffet!

The hotel was clean, there was also plenty of sunbeds (although the kids hadn't yet broken up from school so this may be a problem in the holidays when the hotel is full). We had a street view room which we didn't mind, but if you like the sun on the balcony on an evening then try get a pool view- by 2pm there was no sun on our balcony. This is similiar to the poolarea, one side of the pool at a time gets the sun, we moved across the pool to follow the sun after lunch around 3.30pm, there was enough room and sunbeds to do this, but when the hotel is full not too sure how everyone would be able to be sat in the sun. We rented a safe and the minifridge- both fine but had to pay for both, 2-3euro a day for them each and a deposit of 15 too- 10 for safe and 5 for fridge. They give you receipts if you pay for this- make sure you keep the receipts as we couldnt find our receipt for the fridge for a while and from what reception were saying they wouldn't have given our desposit back if we hadn't found it. We also paid 30 euro for late checkout- well worth it as our flight wasnt until 7.50pm, we had until 6pm rather than 10am.

10min walk to the front where there are plenty of restaurants, prices vary. Of course the restaurants on the front are more pricey but they were not over the top, for us both to eat- share a starter, main each, bottle of wine or 1l of sangria and occasionally one dessert between us would be about 45-50 euro. One restauarant called Torresmar on the front which we saw was packed of locals everynight so we decided to try there- we ended up going twice in the week. There was a selection of tapas and main meals- we chose the tapas both evenings, mainly fish and it was lovely.

We did change 300 pounds each into euros on top of the 400 each for the package- we could have easily spent a lot less by not eating on the front or not drinking as much, but it was also easy to spend all of it- we often had cocktails in bars after our evening meals too and these could be up to 10euro each.

Overall had a lovely holiday and would recommend to families or couples.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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320 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 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 (70)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Perth, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2013

We really enjoyed our 2 week stay here. The hotel is beautiful inside and kept immaculate. The pool area is constantly kept clean as are the toilets and other public areas. We didn't use it much though as we prefer the beach for its cool breeze plus the beds were a bit tatty and uncomfortable. We were on a third floor room overlooking the pool (me, my husband and 11 year old son). The room was perfect for us and the bathroom was great. Shower was very strong and we always had hot water and room well decorated. Cleaners came in every day and made our beds which was great and they were all very friendly. In fact all the staff were friendly even though our Spanish was rusty and made them laugh sometimes. We do like to make an effort though and I think that was appreciated. We were half board and thought the food was fantastic. Even my fussy son was trying different foods because it was laid out in such an appealing way. He particularly liked the little mice made out of boiled eggs which sat on the cheese tray. The dining room staff and Manager were lovely and very efficient. I hate sitting for ages with a dirty plate in front of me and so appreciated that it was taken away quickly. We were easily able to swap dinner for lunch if we knew we were not going to be in for the evening. We did not use the bar area simply because we preferred to go out in the evening. Also, there was not much choice for me personally but I'm quite fussy for drinks. We like the location of the hotel as it is in a quieter, older part of Salou with nice shops and Spanish bars. The sea-front is about a 15 minute stroll and Salou Centre is about a 30/35 minute walk I reckon but nice to have a stroll after dinner anyway. The walk is down a palm tree-lined avenue next to the beach and very enjoyable although it's easy to get the bus or little blue street train either towards Salou or Cambrils from the beach front. Be aware though that the bus prices go up late at night. A journey to Port Aventura for example would normally cost the three of us 5.70 Euros in the daytime but at night this went up to 12 Euros. I think the prices go up after 11pm. All in all I would recommend this hotel and will definitely be back next year.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Belfast, N. Ireland
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2013

This is a hotel that looks very glamorous, the front of the hotel is 5 floors of glass with marble everywhere, unfortunately the owners of this hotel seem to have spent too much money on the surrondings and not enough on the service. This is a good hotel if you enjoy going to the pool and relaxing and if you never have any problems. Personally we had a good holiday but it was spoiled because the staff on reception were unhelpful and the bar staff were borderline rude, certainly unfriendly. I went to reception 4 times to ask for an extra blanket and each time they noted the request in the book and nothing happened. One time the man actually said he couldn't do anything because it was too late at night - too late to go to a store room and pick up a blanket?! I did get a blanket eventually by asking the maid but it was frustrating. I can't remember when I booked the holiday if it said you had to pay for the wifi but the last hotel we were in it was free. Not only did you have to pay but you have to pay for each device you use. This was very annoying, especially as the machine only takes 1 euro coins. Watch out for the lift, if the door is closing the lift will close on your foot or hand. I'm not sure if this is safe but it almost caught me a couple of times. *** Always press the button to open the lift and press the door button inside if a lot of people are getting in ***

The restaurant staff are great, the food was great, no complaints there and for the childrens entertainment - Trini was excellent. The pool is great, as I said if you can live in this hotel and not have any problems and avoid the reception and the bar - you will have a good time.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Liverpool
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2013

Just home from 7 days at this Hotel. We have been here now four times at various times of the year (May, October and now July) and can honestly say would have no hesitation in booking a fifth visit at some point. Yes, it's in a quiet, mostly residential location with little formal entertainment - but that's what we like. Trinny, who organises activities such as aqua aerobics, etc is fab, welcoming but never annoyingly pushy (the children in residence clearly adored her) The livelier part of Salou is only a 5 minute bus or taxi ride away. The local Planas buses are great for getting about. (get yourself a Planas bus card and load up with credit - each 'voyage' will work out approx 1euro as opposed to the cash journey of 3.30. The food has always been of a very good standard. We've never had a bad meal with plenty of choice (and my hubby is fussy!) No mean fete for the kitchen staff, when considering they cater for multi nationalities. The meat (pork, chicken, steak) is always cooked fresh and unlike some resorts, you don't have to guess if it is 'goat/rabbit', etc. There is always a selection of fish, and the usual salads,pastas etc (and lots of fruit, desserts) The restaurant Manager Gary is a really nice chap and very helpful and knowledgeable and runs the service in an extremely professional manner. (an earlier review suggested he doesn't change his clothes? I think that is rather personal and unfair comment - perhaps the misconception would be due to the fact that he wears a uniform of black trousers and white shirt/tie? In fact, all the staff are an asset to this establishment. Late one night, I asked at reception if we could have a couple of additional pillows when the room was made up the next day? They were delivered in less than five minutes! I'm actually rather loathe to 'promote' this hotel as from a purely selfish point of view - I'd rather keep this lovely peaceful place to myself!

Room Tip: Personally, I would avoid corner rooms as they have very small balconies (although they do have a do...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Glasgow
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2013

I have just returned from here after nine days half board with my 15 year old daughter. In terms of the hotel itself, it was clean and offered good things such as Air con (free in each room), a fridge and a safe ( for a fee). The hotel also offers wifi at various rates, which we rarely used as it is free every where else - even the beach. The location of the hotel was ok. It was quiet and not very far from beach. It was a fair walk or €10 taxi to any proper nightlife entertainment, which the hotel never provided of any note. Its also about €12 in a taxi to Port Aventura but you can also just walk to the beach front and get the bus. This hotel really lets itself down with the staff. The restaraunt manager was nothing short of unfriendly and never seemed to change his clothes. The reception staff were very young and inexperienced and had very poor English skills. This did cause us a problem when I tried to explain I had no towels in my room on the first day and as a result had to wait 4 hours to get a shower. Also the service at dinner was poor. You could order a first drink no problem but I would probably still be waiting if I wanted a second. All in all the hitel was good but Ifelt dissapointed with the overall experience. I would go back but only if it was a lot cheaper than what I paid this time.

Room Tip: Make sure you get a pool view. The other view is onto a horrible building.
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Bristol, United Kingdom
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2013

this hotel would definitely warrant a 3 star but not a 4.....
we found the hotel to be very clean and we would describe it as spartan. If you are hungry or thirsty between 10.30pm ish and 8 am then you are somewhat stuffed........you need to go out...there are no 24 /7 tea or coffees available on site,no in room drink facilities, no vending machine as a last resort...I am not a hot drink merchant but the option would be good.
Meals were ....breakfast lovely and dinner...if you like salad you are sorted. Its pretty poor quality and don't put your knife and fork down at any time as your plate etc gets taken....its a fast turnaround. Gary the restaurant manager is by far the friendliest ,most knowledgeable and most approachable in the building.....reception staff.....except the young chap are rather rude and dismissive. No wifi unless you are part of a certain booking group other wise its 2 euro an hour...buy a weeks at 25 BUT you can only use it on one device.
TV we didn't watch any as on hols but you can get the news.
Waiter service at pool???? no but the bar staff are nice and good fun. you cant take your own crisps etc pool side nor from the restaurant as big notice says food must not leave the restaurant.The entertainments guy works his backside off.

its clean and functional and you get what you paid for and that's it. We are not disappointed as its functional and serves a purpose but wont be back.

Room Tip: we were third floor...try to get pool view as other side looks into peoples homes
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Aberdeen, United Kingdom
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2013

Just home after a week's half board stay. Plenty choice at meals and as majority
of guests are not British we have to expect their need to cater for other's tastes.
Room was cleaned on a daily basis as were the towels.
The staff were friendly, the entertainment was ok and drink prices were reasonable.
Sun beds could do with being replaced as many were pretty tacky.
Enjoyed my time at the hotel as it was never too crowded.

Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about California Palace

Address: C/ Ciutat de Reus 7-9, 43840 Salou, Spain
Location: Spain > Catalonia > Province of Tarragona > Costa Dorada > Salou
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#7 Best Value Hotel in Salou
#8 On the Beach Hotel in Salou
#16 Luxury Hotel in Salou
#17 Family Hotel in Salou
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — California Palace 4*
Number of rooms: 163
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
California Palace Hotel Salou

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