Just returned from a stay at Gloria Palace Royal. Went with high expectations having read some of the glowing reviews on here, and overall the hotel met the expectations.
Driving up to hotel, first impressions were very good. The setting is spectacular, and the reception area was very impressive. We were met by very helpful staff, and offered a very welcome glass of cava.
Rooms are large, and very clean. Balcony also very large, with stunning views over the resort/beach. Our room had a "kitchenette" consisting of a fridge, coffee maker and microwave, which was handy to have. Somewhat disappointing that there was no water provided in the fridge as we were there on an all inclusive basis. Double bed was in fact 2 singles pushed together, which was ok. Found beds very comfortable.
The communal areas of the hotel are very well maintained. Spa is worth a visit for the various water jets in the heated indoor pool. Steam room is of a decent size. Gave the sauna a miss as it was so warm outside! Pool area downstairs fairly busy during our stay, the infinity pool is beautiful, but the upstairs pool seemed much quieter when we passed by.
Staff in general are very friendly and helpful. Service at bar downstairs could be quicker, but on the occasions we went up to the bar rather than wait for a waiter, this didn't seem to be a problem for the staff.
Food was ok, hardly fine dining, but for a buffet it was good. Lots of choices from meat cooked every day to extensive selection of salads and veg. I would be surprised if anyone would have a problem finding something that they would like. Lunch at the poolside bar was great. They have a selection of burgers/pizza etc, which is part of all inclusive deal. Extensive drinks menu, clearly marked with what is part of all inclusive, and what price would be payable if the drink was outwith. Yes the spirits that are served are local spirits, but we had no issues with these (in comparison to Gordon's/Smirnoff etc). All inclusive bar stops at 11.30 pm, with the bar actually closing at 1 am.
All in all this was a great holiday in a lovely hotel, but I would have to mention a couple of more negative points to give a completely objective view.
The long trouser rule - as part of your "welcome pack" there is a leaflet which informs guests that all males are required to wear long trousers for dinner at night in the main restaurant. We dared to bare (our ankles, these were not shorts but in fact 3/4 length trousers) one evening, and were met by a maitre d' who did not look even remotely pleased that we had done this. We were handed another copy of the leaflet to "remind" us what was expected. If there had been a similar rule for all then I would have no real issue with this (although I do think it's a bit ridiculous), but it seemed really pointless when female guests were in the same restaurants with very short shorts/cut off jeans etc. Seems a bit out-dated (and in fact sexist) to me!
Entertainment - there is "entertainment" provided every night in the bar. Now, while I would stress that the fact that entertainment was provided was no part of our reason to choose this hotel, it is hard to listen to the same singer, singing the same songs (looking bored with the whole affair) night after night. There are themed shows on most nights, but these were very poorly attended. Listen out for her trademark rendition of Gloria by Laura Brannigan. Glorious it ain't! This was a first experience of an all inclusive holiday, and I find myself at a loss as to what the animation team add to the whole experience. Granted there are activities offered (very randomly) every day from darts to aquagym, but the team that tries to involve guests seem a bit underwhelmed by what they are doing. Their lack of enthusiasm is infectious, and they don't have a great deal of success in recruiting guests to join in with activities. In the evening the team are still evident, but what they are actually doing remains a mystery to me. They seem to wander back and forward from inside bar to outside bar and back again on a very regular basis, but make no attempt to involve/encourage patrons to join in with whatever show happens to be provided. There is certainly room for improvement in this area.
Overall this is a great hotel in a lovely location, with a couple of areas that could be improved. I would absolutely stay here again, without hesitation, and would recommend the hotel to anyone wanting to stay in a quiet resort for a relaxing holiday. If you want lots of bars/night life, a cab into Puerto Rico costs around 3 euros. A walk round the beach path there takes around 20 minutes.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.