My family (nine adults and three children) stayed AI at the IFA Buenaventura for 11 nights in November / December.
Having read lots of conflicting reviews we really didn't know what to expect. Thankfully the reviewers allaying our worries were right!
Our spotlessly clean room was large enough for four of us to sleep comfortably. We had a nice big bathroom with a decent shower. Extra pillows and extra towels were promptly provided when i asked our lovely cleaner Victoria (Morrena i think?) who cleaned our room every day we required. I would have loved air conditioning but it was bearable (just) at this time of year. I wouldn't go anywhere in the summer months to a hotel without air con...
The hotel and the hotel grounds are well kept and there are plenty of staff available when needed. The reception staff are always keen to help, check in/out were quick and efficient.
There are three pool areas at the hotel, a busier pool which held activities throughout the day, a quieter pool which had some more relaxing activities and a tiny babies pool which was next to a little play park. We spent lots of our time around the quieter pool, not because we didn't want to join in the livelier activities, but because our kids were safer and enjoyed the smaller 'bubble' pools in this area. The two main pool areas have bars which you are able to get drinks from. The water in the pools is cold but you soon get used to it :)
When you check in you are given a time slot with which you can go for dinner. Three slots are available, 6.30, 7.30 and 8.30 Our hour was 8.30 which was too late really with kids, but we were able to change our slot to 6.30 when we asked at reception. Getting seats at mealtimes is a bit of a struggle but you always eventually get somewhere. Some people queue from 6 which causes more queues at the food counters and you do have to have a little bit of patience....at the end of the day you still get a table and still get food. Having fussy eaters for kids, it did get a little bit monotonous for them but they always ate something and were happy with being able to eat what they liked without Mam and Dad moaning! For us adults who enjoys meat, fish, pasta, salad, fruit etc etc, the food is pretty good. It was a bit samey what can you expect? There was always something I liked :)
Breakfast was served till 11am, then a snack bar opened from 11ish, and then nibbles were always on offer then it was dinner time!! You could all day if you really wanted!!
When we were at the IFA, there was one all inclusive bar which was closed, but there were three other AI bars available. One pool bar (Banana Bar) was open till 6pm. Antonio seemed to serve here most days and at first you'd think he was a grumpy sod, but once you got used to him, he was a grumpy sod who could have a laugh too ;) The other pool bar (Honolulu) was a good bar to have a few early evening drinks. This was open all day and night. One evening we spent the night chatting and having fun with Anthony and Radu, the barmen. Anthony was a wannabe magician and Radu, in his own way a funny guy. The main AI bar is Bar Freddy's which was a large bar near to the large pool. There are plenty of staff who are eager to please. If you like you can get drinks brought over by the friendly waiters, every one seems to be happy in their work (this is true of the ladies in the snack area and the restaurant staff) and will stop and chat and share a joke....just remember to tip occasionally. Unfortunately i can't remember the names, but they are all great! There is a bar near reception which we didn't go to which wasn't all inclusive, this had entertainment on some evenings but wasn't our thing to be honest. The other bar, again not all inclusive, was the British Bar. This was open late evenings and had a singer on, Bryan. He was a good singer and it was worth it to pay for a few beers and to stay up a bit later for. Daisy behind the bar was lovely too. Most footie games can be watched here as can be throughout the hotel if you wish.
The entertainment team were excellent! They put loads of effort into everything they did and always with a smile. As a group they compliment each other so well. Yunior (crazy), Marina (great dancer & gorgeous), Anna (hardest worker & gorgeous), Giovanni (super friendly & gorgeous), Mike (fun but left now) and the German DJ (sorry, name escapes me) are all excellently kept in check by Kitti (the boss & gorgeous)! Just help them out and try to join in their games and activities! The evening entertainment was good, especially the Queen tribute we got to see. The shows put on by the entertainment team were great fun too, especially the horror show which i swear is the only time my son sat still!!
The hotel is mainly German people, there weren't many Brits. Now, i'm not for stereotypes, but....there were a lot of old naggy Germans who wouldn't know fun if it smacked them on the nose. Let them have the best sunbeds right up to the edge of the pool and let your kids splash them when they jump in. Just try to ignore the horrible ones, try to involve them (as i did), talk to as many as you can because you will find some lovely ones too (as i did).
In summary....we had a lovely holiday, in a lovely hotel at a lovely time of the year. We met lots of lovely people who made our holiday memorable, especially the entertainment staff! We never go back to the same place, but this could be a hotel we may return to....even more so if air con was installed and the entertainment staff were still there!!
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- Also Known As:
- Ifa Buenaventura Resort
- Hotel Ifa Buenaventura
- IFA Buenaventura Hotel Playa Del Ingles, Gran Canaria