We are a couple in our early 60’s and chose this hotel from Thomson because it is next to the sea, is only a short (about 20mins) transfer time from the airport(which after all the waiting around at the airport , a 4 hour flight , plus waiting around for luggage and coach to actually depart is definitely an advantage) and seemed to have good reports for cleanliness and food quality, and it lived up to our expectations on the whole for what is after all described as a family hotel.
We booked a week half board rather than All Inclusive to keep costs down, but after booking, we wondered whether we would regret this decision as we do enjoy a drink with our meals. On arrival we found that there is the option to upgrade to All Inclusive for 13 euros each for minimum of 7 days, but decided to stick to our decision to pay for drinks as we went along. We were then pleased to find that at the evening meal you can pay 3.95 euros each to drink as much as you like from the sangria/red or white wine/beer available in the dining area. Otherwise a small beer lager) is 2e, wine 1.5e , and a bottle of still or sparkling water 1.5e. The wine was drinkable but nothing special, and even AI guests had to pay more for better wines. We ate enough at breakfast not to need anything more than a packet of crisps from the supermarket at lunch time.
The luggage allowance was 15kg + 5kg hand luggage so it is useful to know that the rooms are very well equipped with towelling robes, kettle, cups, glasses, corkscrew/bottle opener (very civilised to acknowledge that you might buy wine/ beer/spirits and soft drinks from the supermarket and keep in the fridge provided). There is a fixed hairdryer in the bathroom but it is hot air without much blow. Toilet paper is adequate but not soft, there were small packs of shower caps, hankies, aloe vera hand cream in the bathroom, but soap/shower gel was in a dispenser and did not have a particularly pleasant scent to it. Plenty of nice white towels replaced daily. We had packed beach towels, but the hotel gives you a slip of paper to obtain a dark blue pool towel each from the hut near the pools. Beware!-the hotel charge 20e if you do not return the slip, so don’t discard it if you don’t intend to use it. If you lose a towel the fine is likewise 20e.We found the heated pool still too cold for us-so only used it once. The week we went the outside temperature was only 18, but got warmer as the week went on, so the pool probably warmed up too.
Room safes cost 17e plus a 3e deposit, which is the most we have paid anywhere, and as they are operated by an actual key, rather than a keypad password, you then have to take it around with you.
We did not pay extra for a sea view room, but requested a “higher the better” room, so to be given level 3 of an 11 storey hotel was a little disappointing. However we are never particularly lucky with rooms (once in Tenerife we were in a basement with a brick wall to look at) so always try to see the positives in everything-it was low enough to manage the stairs if the lifts were busy and we could just about see the sea horizon over the tops of palm trees. With the patio door open at night we could hear the sea when the breeze was in the right direction. We were just above and to the side of the entertainment area, but the music was not overloud and quite pleasant and finished early so did not keep us awake. The rooms were quite spacious and split level with settee and armchair and desk in the lower level. The 3-4marble steps down, I could imagine, might be a hazard for very young children or infirm elderly guests (no rail-just the TV next to it) so I was surprised to see that in a family hotel .There was plenty of storage space. The balcony was of a good size and had table, 2 chairs and a pull-out washing line contraption.
A nice touch was a welcome pack of crisps, small red wine, 2 chocs, tea, coffee and UHT milk. These are not replenished, but the cleaner did leave chocs on 2 further days. The TV had 28 channels which included BBC news channel and several English- speaking channels, but channels labelled BBC 1,2 etc were not those channels. There was a channel showing films in spoken English with Arabic subtitles-not that we were looking to watch TV –just reporting back for those who have to retire early with sleeping infants etc. This is very much a large hotel catering for families, the majority of whom are Scandinavian at the time of year we went (March into April). The children’s entertainment does not cater for English children until May-October.
We used the “adults only” dining area, which was very pleasant. There were still children in the help-yourself buffet areas, but it wasn’t always the children that would suddenly change direction or stop in front of you! As grandparents we noted that the facilities for children in the restaurant seemed very good-with many high chairs from a well-known Scandinavian store, and a special children’s buffet in addition to the main one. If you did not have an AI wristband, you were checked in to the dining area and given a chitty marked with room number and either the AI drinks option or the waiter would mark it with your order which was served efficiently and promptly. All the restaurant staff were efficient and friendly. Food was good especially if you like salads with things like capers, olives, artichoke hearts. All sorts of herbs, and dressings were available. Cooked dishes varied and there were themed nights. There was always plenty of choice-so sometimes we would try a taster of most things and then go back for a better sized helping of something particularly tasty. There were some disappointments-tasteless squid and some rubbery fish (the best was “local grilled fish”. The carvery was usually the best option with the roast chicken being of particularly fine flavour and the chef worked really hard and was very helpful and pleasant. Desserts were disappointing-pretty samey and the chocolate fountain poor quality, and ice cream fairly bland, so we usually made the most of the savoury dishes. Breakfast was good with plenty of choice-very continental-all sorts of cold meats, cheeses, and fish. We kept mainly to bacon and eggs which were being cooked fresh. Omlettes were cooked to order. I would have liked to have seen proper croissants (there were croissant shaped cakes). The coffee machines dispensed surprisingly good coffee for these type of hotels –the expresso with milk being my favourite.
The hotel was all very clean, grounds immaculate and wheelchair friendly. We liked the local beach where you could watch windsurfers, and paddle quite happily with some sandy patches. We found that you could walk a long way Westwards with a bit of ingenuity. If you are a birdwatcher or like flowers and plants there is a lot to see. There were sufficient shops in the immediate vicinity for our needs, and there were also cafes and restaurants nearby –more than some reports suggest. The quietness suited us.
Buses (pay on entry) were accessed over a wheelchair/buggy friendly bridge but were not buggy or wheelchair –friendly! You could carry a fold- up buggy on-but it actually said “no prams” on a notice. They were good value but unpredictable timetable-wise. Puerto Mogan was 4.95e each single and interesting coastal journey 1 hour 20 mins. Faro Melonares (for Maspalomas) 2e each single. There was a really good long promenade walk there. We hired a car from opposite the hotel entrance very reasonably (30e) for 24 hours, and saw the amazing interior mountains and canyons-breathtaking!-very scary driving-hairpin bends and sheer drops.
The Thomson Rep Joanne was particularly helpful and informative and worked very hard.
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- Also Known As:
- TUI Family Life Orquidea Bahia Feliz, Gran Canaria