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“A tale of two halfs - Daytime then night time 5* + 0*” 5 of 5 stars
Review of IFA Catarina

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IFA Catarina
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Avenida de Tirajana 1, 35100 Playa del Ingles, Gran Canaria, Spain   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #21 of 137 Hotels in Playa del Ingles
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Bromsgrove, England, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“A tale of two halfs - Daytime then night time 5* + 0*”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2013

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.

Cheers

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 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.
egiersbergICA, Manager at IFA Catarina, responded to this review, February 13, 2013
Thanks for your review and thanks for taking the time to write your large and detailes comment. We appreciate it very much even your stay was as expected except the mattresses. We are already in negotiations with the local company to purchase for the whole place.
We hope than to welcome you back at the IFA Catarina and meanwhile we wish a great time.
Best & sunny regards and hasta la vista,
Enrique Giersberg
Hotel Manager
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1,061 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (204)
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English first
Keswick, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2013

The hotel grounds were well landscaped, picturesque, clean and well maintained. The third floor room for 3 adults we had overlooked the pool and entertainment area, was spacious and very clean. The room was serviced daily and towels were changed daily. The reception staff made checking in easy and dealt with any problems with efficiency and friendliness. The food was good very varied and catered for all tastes.

The entertainment was very good, particularly the Bejing acrobats and Pavarotti and friends. If you go in January you need to take a jumper or coat as it gets chilly sitting outside to watch the entertainment, but worth it. We also received a botle of champagne as it was my husbands birthday. Nice touch.

The only disappointing aspect was the house wine for all inclusive guests. This was served out of a plastic container and we found the sour smell was offputting and it was undrinkable. This applied to the white and rose both in the bar and in the restaurant. We did feel the the service in the bar area for all inclusive guests was intermittent compared with non all inclusive guests.

Room Tip: room we had was poolside good views overlooking entertainment area but not on top of it and you cou...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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.
egiersbergICA, Manager at IFA Catarina, responded to this review, February 5, 2013
Thanks for your review and for sharing your comment in Tripadvisor. We are glad you had a good stay and you enjoyed the hotel as well as the Island.
We took your advice regarding the wine and we change it already and hopefully we will not face any additional problems with the new supplier.
We hope to welcome you again at the IFA Catarina soon and remain hasta pronto...
with "sunny" regards,
Enrique Giersberg
Hotel Manager
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Durham, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2013

Stayed for one week all inclusive, last week in January 2013. A nice hotel with a friendly atmosphere, plenty of sun loungers and shady spaces to relax in, a children's pool & play area & an adult pool, all inclusive bar available from 11am until late into the evening, also serving snacks in the afternoon & cafe open in the afternoon between 3 - 5pm serving coffee, tea, icecream, cakes etc. Breakfast, lunch & evening meal buffet, with a good variety of food, so never found it necessary to eat away from the hotel. Staff very attentive in all areas of the hotel, room was cleaned, and clean towels daily. Beach only a short walk away, and CITA centre just over the road, so no need to travel too far. Daily activities including competitions, pool exercises & entertainment (really enjoyed Pavarotti & Friends), Pool table, table tennis etc. Had a really great time, looking forward to returning again next year! Chris :)

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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.
egiersbergICA, Manager at IFA Catarina, responded to this review, January 29, 2013
Thanks for your review and thanks for the time taken to write your comment. We are pleased that you enjoyed the stay, the sun and specially the friendly staff.
We look forward to welcome you next year and remain
with "sunny" regards and hasta la vista...
Enrique Giersberg
Hotel Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ireland
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2013

Stayed there in January 2013. Stayed in room on 5th Floor. Fine big room with great view, particularly when the sun was going down it was lovely. Staff were very nice and friendly.
Every place was clean. Food was good but could have been a bit warmer.
We were celebrating 2 special occasions and they left a bottle of champagne in our room on both occasions. Thanks Enrique.
Asked for a late check out and they gave us 2 hours extra which was brilliant.
Would recommend this hotel and will go back again.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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.
egiersbergICA, Manager at IFA Catarina, responded to this review, January 28, 2013
Thanks for your comment and thanks for sharing your review. We are glad you enjoyed your stay and the 2 celebration with this wonderful weather.
We are pleased to welcome you for the next 100 occasions to celebrate and remain,
with "sunny" regards and hasta la vista...
Enrique Giersberg
Hotel Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Essex
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2013

After reading some bad reviews, i went without any great expectations, but was pleasantly suprised, had requested rooms ( 2 ) for 4 adults close to amenties ( via facebook ) due to my sister having breathing problems on walking too far. We were given 2 beautiful rooms next door to each other with huge balconies. Thank you again mr F.book...LOL
I will be as honest here & point out good & room for improvement.

Good = rooms were beautiful plenty of space hangers etc,,,very very clean & quite modern marble floors...was worried about only having seasonal air-con, but this was def not a problem as we had gorgeous sunshine in the day, But the nights were chilly so really didnt need air-con....s.times in the late afternoon was nice to let the sun shine in to warm up the room.

Food was very good, normally go all inclusive but eat evening meals out...but we really didnt need to, always found s.thing nice...infact one evening i decided to treat us all an go out...next evening back in the hotel restaurant, my boyfriend said that meal was better than last nites that you paid for...so that sums that up, There is free wifi in maddison bar only, but i paid 42 euros for the week and had it everywhere worked fast and effiecient and was great for winding ppl up back home in the snow...hehe or u can just pay 1euro for an hour or 2e for 2hrs etc.

STAFF very friendly and extremely helpful, asked for a late check out, reception phoned me to say yes at no extra charge, only 2hrs but a lovely gesture i thought, most hotels jump at the chance to rip you off another 30 euros for that.

POOLS we only used main one altho beds seemed to be a little problem, but we always managed to find some...pool was always quite empty so felt more spacious in the pool than around it..

ENTERTAINMENT was quite ok, resident duo, but generally its what you make it, me and my sister love a boogie so every night we were up doing what we love, found others then followed suit. Dont miss pavorriti night ..i hate opera, but this was something else..opera yet mixed in with normal everyday singing...thoroughly enjoyed that considering i was expecting to be bored to tears..haha

TV only bbc world, more english channels would have been a nice touch

NOT SO GOOD spent the whole week on sangaria, usually a wine drinker but i didnt find the white wine that potent..rather weak. on 2 occasions we paid for bottle of san valentin...as i missed the taste of a more flavoursome wine....cocktails wernt up to much...but to be honest everything was drinkable, i just found s.thing i did enjoy and stuck with it...p.s had a lovely bottle of red left in my room, that was really gorgeous..Im sure e.one will find something to their own tastes and be happy with it tho.

Entertainment was held outside, found it to be a little too cold for january...do like to dress up, but many times had to send our men back for our leggings & cardys...so inside would of been much better for us.

Overall we had lovely weather, great hotel, and thouroughly enjoyed ourselves, plenty to do in the area shops bars restaraunts, sand dunes...a holiday is what you make it....so even my few moans would not stop me returning. P.s loved the entertainers love dance keep trying to practise it so i can join in propelry next time.,,Thank Ifa Catarina & Mr /Mrs facebook..lol for your kind hospitality

Room Tip: im not saying want to keep those special ones for myself if & when i return..sorry..hahaha
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
egiersbergICA, Manager at IFA Catarina, responded to this review, January 23, 2013
Thank you very much for your review and thanks for sharing your comment. We are very happy you and your fellows had a great sunny time in the IFA Catarina.
We already forward your email to our head of department for motivation sepcially for fiendliness. We had read your comment on the wine and took already action with our purchasing department to change to a better flavoured and tastier house wine.
We would be very glad to welcoem you again at the IFA Catarina and remain with "sunny" regards and hasta pronto...
Enriquie Giersberg
Hotel Manager
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Cheltenham, United Kingdom
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2013

From start to the finish of our holiday, we had a great time.
Booking in at reception was straight forward and friendly. (Thank you Oscar for your kindness.)
The hotel staff were all so friendly and always had a smile on their faces.They work so hard and are a credit to the hotel and manager.
The hotel were aware that my wife and I were celebrating a wedding anniversary and also my 67 birthday and kindly left cards and a bottle of bubbly in an ice bucket in our room.
Now for the food.We both thought the food was excellent with so much choice.Our only regret is that we both now have to diet for a few days.
The drinks at the pool bar were fine for us.No complaints whatsoever.
We had a very nice room on the 5th floor over looking the gardens and pond. The rooms were cleaned daily.
The hotel was kept very clean at all times.
The evening entertainment was very good and do not miss the Pavoroti and Friends show. Also the acrobatic act was brilliant.This is one hotel that we intend to re-visit in the future.The local area has good beaches and a walk across the dunes is enjoyable but a little tiring for us oldies.
My thanks again to all the staff and management for making our holiday special.

Room Tip: Room 574 has a good view.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
egiersbergICA, Manager at IFA Catarina, responded to this review, January 23, 2013
We are very glad to make your holiday something special and we appreciate your comment and your review. We have forwarded your comment to Oscar and he was very motivated and to have such a good reponse of his attitude helping all the guest.
We would like to welcome you again at the IFA Catarina and please feel free to contact us at your next booking for requesting the same room you had during this stay.
With "sunny" regards and hasta la vista...
Enrique Giersberg
Hotel Manager
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Hove, United Kingdom
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2013

i went for a winter sunshine break,first impressions on arrival excellent! clinically clean everywhere the first contact with staff reception very friendly and extremely helpful i arrived around 8.30 pm so when i was checked in and had my key the receptionist then advised me to leave my bags there and they will be taken to my room so i could go to the dining room and have dinner.The dining room, buffet style excellent choice and quality that's coming from a very choosy eater waiters and waitresses are all friendly always have a smile and will even stop for a chat i never waited more than a minute to be asked what drink i required and only another minute before it arrived excellent service finish your starter get up to get your main meal come back to your table and it is cleared of used crockery and cutlery again excellent service.The room very clean and comfortable although the mattress was a little hard i still slept well.Location of the hotel close to beach/dunes and shopping centre no complaints there.My one niggle is if you have been walking/exploring for a few hours and may go for a rest in your room if you want to watch tv forget it many german channels a few spanish and french channels only one english channel bbc world which gets beyond boring after a while repeating the same news reports over and over thats my one bug bear everything else about the hotel EXCELLENT!!!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
egiersbergICA, Manager at IFA Catarina, responded to this review, January 22, 2013
Thanks for your review and thanks for the time taken to write your comment. We are glad you enjouyed the friendliness of our staff as well as the sunny weather. We hope to welcome you again at the IFA Catarina.
With "sunny" regards and hasta pronto...
Enrique Giersberg
Hotel Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about IFA Catarina

Address: Avenida de Tirajana 1, 35100 Playa del Ingles, Gran Canaria, Spain
Location: Spain > Canary Islands > Gran Canaria > Playa del Ingles
Amenities:
Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#11 Family Hotel in Playa del Ingles
#11 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Ingles
#17 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Ingles
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — IFA Catarina 4*
Number of rooms: 402
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Ifa Catarina Hotel Playa Del Ingles
IFA Catarina Playa Del Ingles, Gran Canaria

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