Having read lots of reviews for this hotel I was under no illusions regarding what to expect. I had been to Santa Susanna in 1970 when there were just a couple of hotels; I had stayed at the Reymar just down the road and that was ok.
The Riviera is a low cost hotel and for the price they do very well. I found that if you greeted the staff with a smile you would get one in return. Reception desk staff were helpful particularly when I had a problem with my return transfer notification. Maid service is excellent, fresh towels and sheets daily. As mentioned elsewhere, walls are paper thin so take earplugs if you are a light sleeper. The music at the Alhambra next door goes on until midnight so don't even think about going to bed until then.
The food is ok, but the buffet set up is a melée of colliding bodies. Breakfast grub is really good, but the queue for the slow, heaving coffee machines is a nuisance, especially when you need a caffeine fix. Tip: if you leave your table during the meal to fetch something, leave your meal ticket by your plate so your stuff isn't cleared away by the eager bus-ladies.
Dinner could feature some odd foods, but there is always a chef grilling fresh fish or meat and you can always have salads which are plentiful and fresh. Don't know about lunch, I went half board.
Drinks at the bar are reasonably priced: €1.50 for cafe con leche and €2.50 for a pint of draught San Miguel. Staff generally are hard working and will be as pleasant with you as you are with them.
The resort of Santa Susanna is thriving these days and there are lots of gift shops, bars, cafés and tapas joints. Malgrat de Mar is but a short walk away, but the Carrefour and Lidl stores will have to be reached by bus.
The beach is lovely, only about 100 yards away, with coarse sand that doesn't cling, but you are constantly bothered by hawkers and massage girls. A lounger costs €5 for half a day and a parasol is also €5. The sea is clean, but the sea bed drops away about ten feet offshore so you should be able to swim at least somewhat.
Take a train trip to Barcelona for the day. A return ticket costs just €8.60 for adults and the trains run about every half hour. Tips: Get the train at Malgrat station rather than Santa Susanna which can be ridiculously crowded; ask for "ida y regresso" meaning return, or show your Catalan by asking for "anado i tornado."
English is widely spoken, but you will be appreciated if you can use some key Spanish phrases and almost worshipped if you can use a little Catalan.
Lastly, be sure to visit Phil and family at The Drunken Duck pub; turn left outside the hotel, then left again at the alleyway, just after the San Jordi. They have plenty of British grub, British snacks and sandwiches, plus Sky Sports for football. His son runs The Drunken Duckling in the other direction just by the Alhambra. Other Brit bars are The Robin Hood, The Eureka which just had its 50th anniversary in Malgrat and a couple of others I've forgotten the names of.
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- Also Known As:
- Riviera Hotel Santa Susana
- Riviera Santa Susana