We went to Bungalows Dona Rosa, booked with Travel Republic, the first 2 weeks in August last year. Flew RyanAir which we were dreading, but it was all good. We arranged our taxi transfer through Sky Transfers and that was perfect and only about 25 minutes transfer time.
We arrived at Dona Rosa evening time and were shown to our lovely villa. It couldn't have been more perfect. 2 bedrooms, separate little kitchen, comfortable lounge area (the settee can be used as a single bed if you take the back cushions off), and good bathroom. The villas are arranged in a 'figure 8' layout. The reception in in the middle and each side of the '8' has 20 villas which are around 2 pools. You can see this if you look on Google Earth. The villas are cleaned and beds made almost every day (i think there were 2 days of no maids) and you get clean towels and tea towels. Beds were changed once or twice through the holiday. (Take your own pool towels though).
The kitchen only has a 2 ring hob and a toaster and a microwave but this was perfectly adequate. BUT there is no kettle! You do get a coffee pot thing but they had no idea when I asked for a kettle! There's plenty of pots and pans though so we just boiled enough water in a saucepan for a couple of cups of tea every time. In fact is was quicker than waiting for a kettle to boil! The tap water was fine to boil for tea/coffee.
We quickly got our bearings and located the Cita Centre which was a 5 minute walk and has 2 supermarkets, loads of shops and loads of restaurants.
After stocking up (expensive euro though) we turned in for the night.
We had 14 nights of beautiful weather, about 28 degrees every day. None of that awful Lanzarote wind here! You open your patio door onto your own patio which has a table and 4 chairs. 10 strides from the patio and you're in the pool! Wonderful.
This is just what we love. Each villa has 3 sunbeds allocated to it, with the villa number written on them so no-one can take them. There are also lots of 'free' yellow sunbeds for anyone, we had 4 sunbeds all holiday.
It is so perfect for families. You can take drinks, food etc out to your sunbed. Its so close you can talk through the kitchen window!
Our villa was at the deep end of the pool so it was great for our 2 kids (age 13 & 7) for diving. It says no inflatables in the pool but everyone did! There's also a kids pool at the other end. All around the pool is astroturf which is lovely and soft to walk on but beware, it does get incredibly hot to walk on!
Out and about there's the Cita Centre I've mentioned, there's the Jumbo Centre which is a 15 minute walk away and all the beach restaurants 15 minutes the other way.
The Jumbo Centre is massive. It's full of restaurants and the usual tacky gift shops over 3 levels. Be aware, this is the gay capital and my kids eyes were well and truly opened by what they saw! There are also posters for 'late night clubs' everywhere with rather explicit names! In saying that, it's a great buzzing place.
The sand dunes are directly behind the Dona Rosa and they are huge. They get red hot so only attempt to walk on them early morning or in the evening! You walk along a promenade to get to the beach restaurants - there are loads. Mainly pizza, pasta, steak etc and 2 fab Chinese's where you can eat all you want for a really good price. Kids loved those. The only drawback here is you are constantly pestered by the waiters as you walk through, trying to get you into their restaurants. It becomes a real pain after a couple of visits and you feel like telling them to bog off!
The beach here has loads of sunbeds. They charge 2.50 euros per sunbed and 2.50 euros per umbrella. Red hot sand so a sunbed is a neccessity! We all prefer the pool though so we spent most of our time at the villa.
We went on a boat trip to see dolphins, eat lunch etc. A great day but it was expensive. The kids jumped in the sea off the boat, went on the banana boat but we didn't see dolphins!
The market is a 5 minute taxi drive away and sold the usual stuff. My son bought a 'rolex' but it doesn't work particularly well!
We went to the Go Carting, that was good. A small track but good fun.
Everywhere you need to get to is only a short taxi drive away. Most journeys cost no more than 5 euros so you really don't need to hire a car unless you fancy driving out into the island.
A word of warning - we were caught by a timeshare guy who gave out scratch cards. Being a sucker I got reeled in big time!! Amazingly I won(!!!) and we had to go to a 'wonderful resort' called Anfi Beach where we awould spend a great day using all their amenities. No mention of timeshare at this point. Free cab there and back. But my husband twigged and had the right hump that I'd agreed to go! We all piled in taxi on the promise of lots of food and a wonderful day. Even the cab driver agreed we were mugs! We got there, saw there was a tiny sandwich after a 2-3 hour grand tour and got the next cab back! You live and learn!!
Back to my title - No English! This is a very Spanish resort. My daughter made friends with a little girl next door who went to an English school so she could speak to us. We were told that the same families come here every year and spend the whole summer holiday here. They tend to live in the city so they all drive there. There were a few Dutch families and a few German families but more English would have made it perfect. Luckily my daughter became one of quite a gang of small kids but my older son had no-one to be with apart from us, so keep that in mind.
Dona Rosa Bungalows are very safe and secure. You enter the resort via locked gates which you get a key for. There is a back gate which is handy but they lock this at 7pm.
The reception sells basics: water, rolls, lollies etc and Miguel speaks reasonable English. The kids were made to feel really comfortable in there as they ran in & out and generally mucked around. There is a computer in there too which you pay a few euros to use.
The windows in the villas are quite high and they are double glazed with bars on the outside - fantastic security. We backed onto the carpark and this gets a bit noisy Friday/Saturday nights with the local teenagers. So we just closed our windows those nights and put the air conditioning on which was absolutely fine. The air conditioning is activated by a box on the wall which you just poke your key thing into and leave on.
The villa has loads of satellite tv channels but only 2 in English. BBC World news and a film channel showing old very 'mans' films like cowboys or Terminator! But you can get WiFi in the villa and around the pool so take your laptop or iphone and you'll be fine!
We found a beautiful restaurant upstairs in the Cita where the old chef cooks a flambe steak in front of you. Beautiful food and fabulous service. Only 8.50 euros for a big dinner. We went 3 times! He has a parrot that wanders out the front too!
We didn't bother with the water park as it's expensive so can't comment on that.
All in all a really lovely holiday and if you're looking for a central location, quite low key and relaxing and you're happy with your own company then this is for you.
- Also Known As:
- Bungalows Dona Rosa Gran Canaria/San Bartolome De Tirajana
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