Stayed for a week at Cala Verde, Ibizia with First Choice and thoroughly enjoyed every minute. Cala Verde is one of two hotels within a few minutes of each other operated by the same company and occupies a cliff-side location overlooking a beautiful bay with sandy beaches.
Our arrival at the hotel was very welcoming and we found every single member of staff helpful and friendly throughout our stay. We carried our own bags to our room, be prepared to ask if you need assistance. There are trolleys available.
We took two rooms, one for my wife and I, one for our children, aged 12 and 14. Both rooms were in the main hotel building, with sunny balconies and views across the beaches and to the tree-covered hills beyond. My wife and I especially enjoyed the sunny aspect in the late afternoon after a tiring day on the beach! Each room was spacious, clean and attractive and came complete with a fridge and even a little sink and cooker (though we didn't use this). The bathrooms were spotless and well equipped with bath/shower, generously-sized basin and even a bidet.
The location of Cala Verde is best described by a look on Google Earth, it is close to the safe (life-guarded) and sandy beaches, accessed by a short downhill walk (there is also a set of steps that lead from the pools to the beach). The beaches and swimming pools are all perfect for children and grown-ups alike, however there are no water sports (jet skis, windsurfers) on the beach, swimming only I'm afraid! There is, however, a stone jetty mid-way along the beach and that is ideal for a spot of fishing. Try catching the little silver mullet, we found scraps of fish, calamari or even bread to be the best bait, don't waste your time trying bacon, it doesn't work!
Parasols and sunloungers on the beach will set you back about €3.60, so if you're on a budget consider getting one of those day-tent hings form Decathlon or similar. Beach towels are completely free from the hotel, on payment of a returnable deposit, we changed ours every day.
There is a little family-run restaurant, shaded by trees, set back from the beach a couple of hundred metres away form the jetty. We ate lunch there a number of times and found it perfect when we were having a day on the beach.
At the hotel itself we stayed half-board and found it perfect for family dining. the terrace is sunny in morning and evening, whilst the buffet-style food means children can afford to sample foods not found at home without fear of wasted meals. Breakfasts covered all tastes from full cooked bacon, beans and egg to luscious Mediterranean fruits to crossiant, pain au chocolat and every type of bread and cake you might think of. My youngets developed a taste for chocolate doughnuts, not quite the healthiest, but hey, it's a holiday! For me, masses of coffee and croissants usually does the trick.
Dinners included a very wide choice and allows you to really take you time. Start with the local aioli, olives and bread, move onto fabulous selection of fresh and tasty salads, really get going with some fresh shell-on prawns and mayonnaise or rose-marie sauce (don't forget to make yourself up a little finger -dip of lemon and water). Each night there seemed to be at least two different fish dishes, perhaps one in a delicious sauce (monkfish and plaice are two that come to mind) and another simply grilled such as sole of cod. Meat lovers won't be disappointed with plenty of well-presented lamb, beef and pork either in asuces on freshly grilled. There is a separate barbecue area down some steps and one is free to visit this to choose from steaks and chops plus freshly made pizzas too.
A little bonus was that at lunch and dinner soft drinks, mineral water, pression lager and wine on tap was all included. With a family you'll know that drinks can really add up over a holiday. Bear in mind that if you want a bottle of fancier wine or champagne it's going to go on your bill.
From the beach there is a regular ferry boat (9.30am) that can take you to Ibizia town and the island or Formentera. We didn't have time to fit this in, but if we visit again we'd like to do it, it looked like fun and could make quite long day trip out.
We did take the hotel's bus (a few Euros) after dinner one night to the local evening hippy market. This was really a lively spot with some surprisingly good music/singing going on. The market is full of twinkly, colourful stalls, much handmade jewellery is in evidence, though I'd say the prices are high, of course you are not obliged to buy. You get a couple of hours which is enough really, be prepared to pay €2.50 for a glass of iced tea, perhaps take a bottle of water with you if you're on a budget. The pound/euro rate is not good at the moment and the price of odd drinks and snacks was certainly noticed everywhere. One might consider that the 'all-inclusive' deals that are offered by First Choice could be worthwhile, certainly if one planned to lunch at the hotel.
Incidentally, there is little SPA grocery a walk away from the hotel, chilled 2 litre bottles of iced tea for about 2 euros, great for beach or pool, so you don't have to pay a fortune. remeber siesta time, it is closed from 12 noon 'til 4.40pm, I think.
There is a hard-working animation team at the hotel which did their best to get everyone involved, certainly for younger children this looked like a lot of fun. The evening entertainment was weak, I thought, but certainly a lot of effort was being put in. My kids really enjoyed the performances of Grease and Saturday Night Fever. A member of staff suggested that entertainment was sometimes better at the sister hotel, Cala Blanca. As you are free to enjoy that too, I went along to the Cala Blanca's Flamenco dancing – it was very professional, much better thatn at Cala Verde, don't miss it!
I had one cause to complain, the irritating rock/musak played over the speakers at breakfast. Guess what? The manager totally accepted my view and from now on music only starts at 9.30am – a result!
In summary, a lovely spot with a charming, family-friendly hotel. You don't need to hire a car, just relax and walk from meal, to pool, to beach, to room, over and over again.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.