Arriving at the hotel the staff are very welcoming, helpful and really make you feel like a valued customer.
We were on the second floor (in the room area of 270+) a very long distance from the main reception which involves a trek to get to.
This is not a straightforward task as it involves approx. 60-metres of walking to get to some steps which have to be negotiated...and which lead to another set of steps that go back down again! Eleven steps up, four steps down in a pyramid shape effectively! It must have been an hotel extension or something as they go nowhere apart from up and down? Anyway, after that it's about another 50-metres and then a flight of stairs (but there is a lift) up one floor to get to the room.
The room was nice, clean and overlooks palm trees in the hotel grounds. A really nice aspect.
Once unpacked we went back to reception and paid for a Safe. The safe is in all rooms, but you need a 'bolt' to activate it and this is 24 Euros for the week, but 10 Euros is a deposit so you will get that back. The safe requires you to input your won six-digit number so feels very secure and it's 'large'! I got a camera bag, laptop, cables, wife's handbag, bag, curling tongs...it's a big safe ;)
We stayed 'All Inclusive' and the variety of food is very impressive, although it did feel that some food not used/eaten at lunchtime, returned later on? There was veal at lunch, that (I felt) came back as Veal stew, there were boiled eggs, that then came back in the 'Chef's Salad'.
Of-course hotels need to save money, and I never felt that this was my only choice. There was Salad, multiple meat choices, olives, crackers, fresh bread (rolls/baguettes) that you cut your own size from. The sweets included prunes, apricots, lots of fresh fruit, cakes, ice-cream (of which there was many varieties), I mean seriously you'd have to be a vegan allergic to wheat and nuts, not to be able to find something to dine on! The Roast pork, Turkey and Beef at lunchtime (wish it was evenings) were really nice and always vegetables to go with them.
So food is really nice.
The Staff all around the hotel are friendly, helpful and really do give the impression that they are happy to help.
The room was cleaned well each day, although we had to track down some soap during or stay as the bars of soap in the bathroom are about half the size of an after eight mint, but twice the thickness.
Evening entertainment was enjoyable, although the first evening was loud (as we retired to bed early after being really tired from the day's travelling) and could be heard through the closed patio doors. The Friday night act of Paul McCartney nd John Lennon were really great and got the crowd singing along nicely.
The pools are a mixed bag really. Two of them, in a week of being there, I only saw three brave souls venture into. THEY WERE FREEZING COLD! One guy went in, lasted about 15-seconds...and got out again. I never braved that one. The main pool (in my pictures) is large but only about 5-feet deep maximum. It says it's heated...and it is, but oh my it's really not warm at-all. However if you get into it and suffer the first initial shock, it does get better and is more than usable. The other two though would qualify you for the iron man challenge!
The local Sand Dunes are really impressive to visit and are no-more than 300 yards away from the hotel and worth a visit. With a little more effort you can walk to Maspolomas through them and that is worth a visit for an afternoon or day out. A taxi can take you there for just 5 Euros. Well worth the effort.
The Hotel also offers a free bus service at-least five times a day with regular visits and retruns to the Playa del Ingles beaches. The Bus driver is a hoot and great fun.
The Beaches are not too busy at this time of year, but temperatures were in the 25-26 degrees Celsius areas and we managed to get a lovely tan during our stay. Beware though that the wind does pick up for about an hour in the afternoon and the sand does blast down the beach a little. It also crosses the Sand Dunes and makes for some impressive sandstorm pictures!
I do now have to add a negative sadly and that is the Beds. OH MY GOD!!! THEY ARE HARD!!!
In fact I had to sleep on the sofa bed of the room as I was in so much discomfort! My wife and I had about 5-hours sleep at most per-night. The mattresses are truly ridiculously hard! After complaining at the reception desk we were told it wasn't the first time it had been complained about (that week), but the hotel had bought them new last-year and it wasn't (currently) practical to change them again.
We had a great daytime at a great hotel and location, as we did for the evening. But night-time when we should have been resting, was unpleasant and my only reason to say we wont stop there again.
Seriously if they change the mattresses, I'd go back in a heartbeat, but until then, 5* for everything 0* for the beds and that means I can't go back, which is sad as I really enjoyed everything else about the trip.
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- Also Known As:
- Ifa Catarina Hotel Playa Del Ingles
- IFA Catarina Playa Del Ingles, Gran Canaria