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“Bad management, Serious health and hygiene issues - poor infection control” 2 of 5 stars
Review of THB Tropical Island

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THB Tropical Island
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   C/ Fragata #2 | Urb Costa Papagayo, 35570 Playa Blanca, Lanzarote, Spain (Formerly Sun Tropical Island Resort)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #24 of 35 Hotels in Playa Blanca
Nottingham, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Bad management, Serious health and hygiene issues - poor infection control”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 23, 2013

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!!

Room Tip: If you have already booked and had children take plenty of medications (i.e.dioralyte) it is extorti...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (209)
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English first
Liverpool, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 23, 2013

went to sun tropical island on 10th june 2013 for 7 nghts all inc, great place loads to do lots of great pools but they were cold , entertainment team fantastic English and Spanish ,good choice of food .they had a kiddie food section to chicken nuggets and chips , hamburgers and hotdogs . my 3 yr old granddaughter had a slush from the pool bar and that evening she was very sick vomiting every time we tried to give her a drink , we were due to fly home that day and the rep told us to go to a hospital and we could get her an injection to stop her being sick it will cost about 200 euro . when we went to reception to ring for the doctor they told us we could go to a hospital that was only 5 mins away and use our E1 11 card and it wouldn't cost us much, she was right it cost us 1 euro for a some medicine that stopped her being sick and we flew home as planned . SO DONT ALLWAYS LISTEN TO THE REP I think they get commission for sending you to a private hospital . oh yeh don't drink the water there unless its bottled and don't have ice in ur drinks . apart from that 1 thing IT WAS A GREAT PLACE . I would go again . the staff there couldn't do enough for you they were all very friendly .

Room Tip: all rooms were in lovely surroundings
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
THBHOTELS, Director Comercial at THB Tropical Island, responded to this review, July 30, 2013
Just to thank you for spending few relaxing days with us. I would like to inform you that pools are only heated in winter season, not in summer. In reference to your child’s discomfort, we would like to inform you that there were more children with the same problem, but after investigations carried out by a recognized company, which analyzed all the products, the tests were all negative, so we are pleased to inform you that the problems were not due to hotel factors. I would like to see you in our hotel on another occasion.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glasgow, United Kingdom
2 reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 23, 2013

I agree with the negative reviews, in particular Claudia H's.
I was not expecting 5 star luxury, but these apartments are 2 star at best!
Keeping it brief....
Food disgusting, would not feed what was on offer to my dog! The 2 'A La Carte' restaurants were a joke.
Travelled as a party of 4 ( 2 A + 2 C ) and every time we wanted a drink we would have to stand in a queue for approx 20 mins for 2 drinks, and then queue again for 2 juices for the kids. I cannot understand how the previous reviewer did not notice the 2 drink rule as everyone I spoke with on holiday was complaining about this.
Chicken shack/pool bar only place you were able to get anything semi edible to eat but by the second day hollow chicken nuggets, burnt hot dogs and soggy chips got very tiresome!
Entertainment was awful, I particularly agree with reps pleading with guests to give them excellent scores, even on the first mornings welcome meeting before you had even witnessed first hand how poor they actually were. Chocolate party, what a joke, paid a tenner to get my eldest covered in chocolate and flour head to toe (finished at 10pm) in her hair and everything. Very unhygienic! They passed a lump of Nutella around like pass the parcel and whoever it stopped upon they had to take a turn at rubbing it on their face and hair! Was raging when I picked up and discovered what had went on.
Rooms are very very dated and we too were infested with ants. Beds like sleeping on a rock.
Reception staff very unhelpful and rude. Check in was a nightmare, but only a sign of what was to come.
There was an inspector or someone official lurking around with a clipboard half way through our week and that was the best entertainment, watching the staff for that one morning bending over backwards tidying up, put 3 bar staff on and generally being happy and attentive. As soon as the guy with the clipboard left it was back to business as usual, in other words making it as difficult as possible for you to enjoy your holiday.
Only a matter of time before this place is dropped from Thomas Cook! Until it is, i wont be booking any holidays with them in the future as this was meant to be 3 star, but was actually 1 - 2 star at best!
Honest review from disgruntled holidaymaker who was hoping for a cheap and cheerful getaway in the sun (3star expectation!) but just feels conned!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
THBHOTELS, Director Comercial at THB Tropical Island, responded to this review, July 30, 2013
Dear Customer, after reading your comments on this page, which is recognized at many levels, I would like to inform you that most of your suggestions have been resolved: queues, number of drinks, restaurants. Only mention that it helps us to improve our service, thank you.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 22, 2013

Travelled here on 10th June for 10 nights with my husband and 2 children (age 5 and 12months) and enjoyed it so much we didn't want to come home. I honestly can't believe Claudia H's review I'm sure she wasn't in the same place.

Check-in
We arrived and yes there was a queue to check in but it was all done quickly. We were given a map of the complex with our room clearly marked and also a piece of paper giving opening times for the restaurant etc.

Rooms
Perhaps they are a bit dated but they are spacious and clean and compared to some all inclusive hotels where you just have a room the facilities were brilliant - fridge, hob, kettle, toaster, juicer, microwave etc. the rooms were cleaned thoroughly 7 days out of 10 including the floors being mopped. We were on the first floor which we requested as the balconies are more secure than downstairs rooms. One day the lift wouldn't work so I notified reception (as we had the pram) and it was fixed very quickly.

Food
I wouldn't say the breakfast choices were basic, there was a huge range of foods available every meal time and we never got bored. We ate at the pizza restaurant twice which we really enjoyed. Pizzas are not cheap frozen ones as you can watch them being made. There was a queue most mealtimes but during our stay the other restaurant opened which helped. Tables were cleaned quickly and you never had to wait long.

Entertainment
Kids Club was not just sitting on the floor drawing! We couldn't keep our daughter away from there! They have a big ball pool and did lots of craft, games, sports etc. our daughter went to the chocolate party and had an absolute ball, she was covered (which we were told about before) and the staff were so friendly and made an effort to learn the children's names.

Daytime entertainment was varied, volleyball, football, darts, French boules, whatever you fancied! They also had picture quizzes, bingo and pub quizzes round the pool. There were queues at the bar but another has now been opened.

Evening entertainment was great - splash dance for the kids with lots of dancing and games followed by a music quiz (we won 4 times) and then a show. Again these were varied, we saw a few local acts - magician and contortionist and the Entertainment team put on some great shows - the cube, music quizzes as well as lots of cabaret shows. Michelle and Steven have fantastic voices. After the shows the team make an effort to come round and speak to guests.

Hotel
This is a huge complex with each block of apartments having a pool, jacuzzi or play area outside. It has a supermarket, spa, gym, laundrette, computers etc. yes there is a bit of a walk into the main resort but you have everything you need here. The grounds are lovely and well kept with lovely gardens with turtles and fish etc. There are boards up in reception showing what is on each day etc.

We visited this hotel 2 years ago and decided to return this year. I was a little bit worried as sometimes when you go back somewhere it's not as good second time round but it was honestly better. We had a fantastic time and I'm sure we'll return again!

Room Tip: We requested first floor rooms as the balconies are enclosed, ground floor rooms are more open.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ely, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 22, 2013

just got back from sun tropical for the 4th year running and still as good as ever the hotel never is a let down there was 6a 2c for 2 weeks ai the food was good lots to pick at .rooms cleaned every day bar Sundays. the spa is great you get to use once a week for free not to be missed. pools for kids lots to pick from the main pool and pool bar not to be missed plus food at poor bar if you like a snack from 10 the dome open till 00.00 for drinks and the shows in the dome not bad but not great Thomas cook reps doing there best one thing will say kids show could do with starting at 19.30 hrs. but all good and I will return next year as this hotel ticks all the boxes and will not let you down if you pick to go there. do not listen to bad comments from stuck up people who want the 5 star at a 3 star hotel and a very good one at that it not to be missed

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester, United Kingdom
2 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 22, 2013

Im always very aware of people making bad comments on sites like these and therefore dont tend to read much into them but in this instance i felt i had to put a post...
as a travel agent of 12 years, we have booked many guests here and always received good feedback so decided to try for my family holiday, we travelled with 2 adults and 4 year old.
on arrival check in was a little bit slow but nothing to complain over, given details for buffet times etc and had to return later to collect key as room wasnt quite ready.
room was fine, clean and tidy, yes we did have some ants in the room but possibly our fault as we left sugar out and they went for this the spray they provided sorted this straight away.
cleaners was fab always polite and helpful and reception staff would always help with any problems.
we stayed all inclusive and out of the 2 weeks there was only 2 days where i would say i struggled to find something to put a meal together...partly because im such a fussy eater, my husband is a catering manager so eating anywhere with him is a nightmare he even he was pleased with the food and ate well every day and night, could have maybe done with a bit more choice for the little ones but again my daughter didnt starve!!
the theme nights they did was good, yep the beef one time was a bit chewy but hey ho just pick something else to eat!!!
entertainment.... where do i start..... not a great deal in the day to do but this didnt generally bother us, nightime all i can say is thank god my daughter was tired by 10pm the shows wasnt the best and on a couple of occasions we did leave early, they do work hard but they cannot sing etc for love nor money, but we had a laugh. the quiz and bingo was a good laugh and we won a few times at both, mini disco was ok but again could be more geared towards some of the younger children as well.
Drinks wise i never came accross a 2 drink rule.... I do agree we had to wait a while to be served but not that long, it soon went down.
kids club.. the staff was fab and worked from 10am - till gone midnight 6 days a week, they had various activities and did a few parties from 7pm-10pm at 10 euros extra well worth it, my daughter came back covered in chocolate one night and a pirate the next she had fun.
All in all this place is what you make it aswell, i never had any problems with staff etc.
1 tip is hire a car for a couple of days, we did and saved a fortune for going up to the volcano etc, they charge 7 euros and children under 6 are free, the tour operators charge 30-50 euros each!!!
I would return to this property no questions asked
rooms yep they are a bit tired looking and could do with a bit of a refurb but lets face it how much time do you actually spend in them!!
beds are a bit hard but i slept fine bit strange at first as mine at home is alot softer.
location great 10 mins walk to town and i would get the back gate key for 10 euros which is refundable on check out

Room Tip: we was in block 1 had own pool and kids pool right off reception and not right near the dome
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 21, 2013

Food is not the greatest. Staff are not interested. Have seen people complaining in reception to the reps and get moved to another resort. Entertainment is terrible compared with other hotels we've stayed at. Queues for drinks are incredibly long and the two drink limit is ridiculous, especially if you have one or more kids. Plenty of pool areas and haven't struggled for sunbeds, but unfortunately doesn't make up for the disappointment when eating or spending an evening here. Wont come back.

  • Stayed June 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about THB Tropical Island

Address: C/ Fragata #2 | Urb Costa Papagayo, 35570 Playa Blanca, Lanzarote, Spain (Formerly Sun Tropical Island Resort)
Location: Spain > Canary Islands > Lanzarote > Playa Blanca
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Best Value Hotel in Playa Blanca
#12 On the Beach Hotel in Playa Blanca
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — THB Tropical Island 3*
Number of rooms: 416
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

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