My family and I have recently returned from a 10 night stay at the Sun Tropical Island. Unfortunately upon arrival we were told that the ground floor adjacent accommodation that we had requested and had confirmed through direct email correspondence with the hotel was in fact not available. Given that I was travelling with a broken leg, was completely non weight bearing and unable to manage stairs, I was alarmed. With a small child we obviously required support from my family (my husband couldn’t manoeuvre a wheelchair and pushchair) so I had been sure to ensure they were accommodated close by, prior to travelling. We explained that we had been told that this would be provided, but, upon arrival the receptionist was clear that there was no ground floor accommodation at all, not even for me. After some negotiation they managed to accommodate me above the reception where there was a lift, unfortunately my parents were in another part of the complex. We explained our concerns (in case of a fire) and our dissatisfaction, particularly after we had taken efforts to have our needs met.
Anyhow....we didn't want this to overshadow the holiday and so with some careful co-ordination around meeting times etc, we just got on with it as best we could. Unfortunately during our stay the lift broke and the reception staff were unable to say when it would be mended. So having waited as long as possible until the end of the day, I had to access our room through a steep staircase external to the property with a towel strapped to my knee (very dignified!). I was quite upset with how dismissive and uncaring the staffs were simply saying there was nothing they could do....seriously, no apology.... or anything!
On a positive the complex grounds were well maintained of rubbish although the pool and surrounding areas were not cleaned regularly. There is only one place to get drinks during the day, around the main pool, which was mostly manned by one person so had huge queues. So with too few bars, they ensure that people do not make the most of the All-inclusive service. The living accommodation is well equipped, but in the area where we were placed they were tired and in much need of renovation. Furthermore, we found the cleaning to be of very poor standard (you couldn't tell they'd been in).
The poor hygiene extended to the dining area which was poorly staffed and sheer chaos. There were long queues despite many empty tables and people had to clear their own table, re cloth them and get their own cutlery before returning with their lunch to find others had been seated at the same table. There was always a good variety of salads, but the hot food (and I say that loosely) varied immensely with some days having a lot of variety and others being extremely poor. Furthermore, we know of at least two occasions when holidaymakers had to alert the staff to uncooked chicken. This was of course removed from service. We heard of many people suffering with sickness and diarrhoea and saw a few children being ill in the dining room. We were alarmed at how badly the subsequent cleanup operation was - they simply swept up the vomit! No mopping, disinfecting, nothing. Goodness knows what happened to the sweeping brushes afterwards. Just when we were thanking our stars it wasn't us, on the 5th day of our stay our little 3 year old also developed a terrible sickness bug and was extremely ill for 3 days. Despite being nil-by-mouth (other than water) for some 36 hours he continued to bring even the water back. My husband and I had to strip the bedding and bagged it up, before taking it to reception and requesting more. We were given more bedding but advised to empty the soiled bedding out of the bag and place it outside our room door....WHAT?! Needless to say we weren't prepared to empty it out of the bag but were shocked to find the now two loads of bedding had remained in the corridor in the heat nearly all day without a replacement even being left for us. At this point my very mild mannered husband marched downstairs and demanded to see the manager who ushered him into a back room and explained that we shouldn't take our son to the kids club (no really!!!- poor might couldn’t even hold his arm up) and that our room should have been disinfected and all the bedding changed....really? So......? 40 minutes later (now 8.30 pm) a maid arrived and mopped throughout our room, changed the bedding and left a cheap bottle of white wine (which remained on the side after checkout.) As a Clinical Psychologist in the NHS, I am maybe more aware than most about infection control and hygiene but I was completely appalled at the level of negligence. Thankfully, with medical attention my little boy improved but it is only now that he is well, that I can find humour in us mothers who were exchanging diarhoralyte in the foyer like it was contraband.
In summary, this holiday complex failed to meet any of my expectations- we have stayed in better 2* accommodations before having children. The staff were too few in number, worked too long hours, and appeared poorly trained in basic hygiene. One gem was the chap who ran the village taverna who appeared to take pride in his environment and couldn’t have been more pleasant.
Before travelling I read the reviews and hoped that the bad ones were just a ‘one off’, written by overly picky people, but as a family who aren’t too hard to please (clean room, sunshine, generally nice food) we were devastated that we picked this complex over some of the others we had shortlisted.
Thankfully the resort of Playa Blanca is LOVELY and for our last few nights we dined in some wonderful restaurants at the Marina Rubicon. Sun Island Tropical, I hope that you can learn from this review, employ more staff and implement better training because their appeared a real systemic failure from the top down and families save all year for much needed breaks!!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The THB Tropical Island **** is located in Playa Blanca, a quiet fishing village in the municipality of Yaiza in the south of Lanzarote.It was built respecting the environment and the architectural lines of the island, keeping the typical colors and heights. With an area of 102.000m ² of which 56.000 m² are green and leisure areas, 8 swimming pools, 2 giant pools (one of them 1300m ²), 4 children's pools, a Splash Park children water park, 2 outdoor jacuzzis, 2 pool bars, playground , 2 tennis courts, 2 multi-sports courts and 2 big show rooms for 450 people. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Sun Tropical Playa Blanca
- Sun Tropical Lanzarote
- Holiday Village Sun Tropical Lanzarote
- THB Tropical Island Lanzarote/Playa Blanca