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Sol Marbella Estepona Atalaya Park by Melia
Ranked #10 of 33 Hotels in Estepona
Reviewed August 17, 2012

Overall a nice week away, however, a few things were slightly below the standard I was expecting! The guests were mainly Spanish and as such all the entertainment was in SPanish, with only the odd words translated, the Mini club entertainers again all spanish with limited English so my son struggled to understand what was going on. The Mini CLub does not operate a "sign in" policy so the kids could come and go as they pleased, fine with a sensible 9 year old but whilst we were there a 5 year old girl was found wandering the hotel looking for Mum! (the kids club staff had not noticed this!) The food was lacking in variety and although plentiful, I was disappointed to see tinned vegetables. The usual malarky of having to bagsy sunbeds by 9am to secure one for the day! The staff were generally polite and friendly and certainly the bar staff had very good english but seemed to appreciate our efforts to order in our "pigeon Spanish" and helped whilst smiling! The entertainers were the biggest let down on this holiday! The stars of the week for me without a doubt were the cleaning staff, our room was cleaned to a really high standard daily and the communal areas were all well maintained. Overall a pleasant week but nothing to recommend it over any other holiday we have enjoyed! I think we were spoilt by our visit to the Hotel Holiday village Viva in Majorca - that place was amazing!!!!

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank Wagbo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed August 13, 2012

on a positive note....we booked this holiday 42 weeks prior and was really looking forward to it as as a family we counted down weekly towards it.
With the facilities that were available we made our holiday what we could using the amenities available..
The transfer time from the airport to hotel took just over 2 hours... we had good communication at the Airport and Reps were readily available until we got on the coach. The Rep made a guest appearance, stating that there would be a number of stops,( Hotel Atalaya being the last.) then she did a Houdini...The driver made no attempt in telling us what hotel he was stopping at along the journey.
On arrival, Receptionist was awaiting us and was polite, however this was not always the case throughout the holiday they seemed bugged by you approaching the desk.
Some food was made available to us which was prepared at dinner time -. very basic and cold meat and salad with bread..
We were shown to our rooms. The rooms we had were reasonable in size. I believe that our room which was described as a family room was very spacious and consisted of 2 single beds pushed together which was very uncomfortable for a couple to share also the pillows were very limp and didnt do the job they were supposed to, a single bed and a double sofa bed was more than enough for myself, wife, 5 and 2 year old. i feel that my mother in law could have put her 13 yr old in with us . (my personal opinion).her room was basic (3 single beds 1 of which was pulled 3-5 inches apart from the other beds - not ideal for a couple and a 13 yr old sharing) plus bathroom and balcony.
Air con smelly and not effective enough. and noisy

Food - minimum 3 meals daily. my 5 and 2 year olds are fussy so they had issues in food but we worked around it. food did get a bit boring at times. my daughter turned 2 out there. the hotel kindly made a birthday cake free of charge(i left a donation to the catering staff).
Lots of meat and Fish were served so if you dont eat meat or fish the food is poor as 2 of us had cheese and biscuits several nights running.

The pools were great.. my son excelled in swimming abilities.
On several days the pool area was very smelly (eggy sulphur) and the same smell came through the air conditioning unit in the room when used.
Pool games were set up for use in the shallow end of the family pool which prevented smaller children who could not swim to go in and they had to use the deeper end with an adult or they had to wait for the pool game to stop. There was a language barrier for all of us as the instructions for these games and activities were given in Spainish
In my opinion the language used throughout was 95% Spanish hindering the activities to a minimum. this was also reflected in the evening entertainment for kids. I found that the mini-disco had the same songs that my 5yr old son learnt when we went to costa brava 3 years prior....the entertainers catered more for the spanish... There were a few nights where we had to leave as the arranged entertainment was poor/boring(bingo and sketch nite - which was offensive in places..taking the mickey out of other countries which was funny in places however homosexuality not so funny)...
Other entertainment such as flamengo dancing and magician night and international show was of an excellent veiwing.
On 1st week 4th day of stay parts of hotel facilities (bars, restuarants) questioned the validity of our all inclusive wristbands. We had to go to reception to confirm the bands were still ok.
we found that wearing an all inclusive wristband the staff would ignore or make us wait whilst they served the paying / spanish guests (tip orientated)
The beach was disappointing as there was no sand, shingles and rocks - you need to wear approapriate foot wear to enter the sea - whilst we were there there was an invasion of jelly fish and our 5 yr old was stung - the beach was closed off as the jelly fish were washed up on shore. (first aid administered by life guard at hotel effectively)

Our planned holiday excursions were hindered as there was no rep on site at any time and the morning meeting that was supposed to happen the next day after arriving did not happen and any questions we put to reception about our holiday we were told to look in the First choice folder. this was confusing as we book with Thompson.

Venturing out - the walk up to main road took about 15 mins to walk and then there was only a small shop and a cafe. as well as other local shops such as furniture and air conditioning, none of which are of any use to tourists.

Bus into Marbella - bus was every half an hour however we found this to be longer than stated. bus stop situated on a dual carrageway which was very unnerving when travelling with small children. You need a good full day in Marbella to truly shop allowing siesta closing for certain shops. this was worth while

shops in hotel - the prices are of average affordability however on one occasion whilst shopping for gifts we had an item which was clearly marked 29.50 euros was doubled at the counter and the sticker removed and typed in as 59.50 euros - just to add we declined the item and found it in Marbella at 29.50 euros.

Photography - EXCELLENT SERVICE we had a photo shoot and recieved a number of prints, albulms and cd with all photos taken throughout the whole holiday for a very reasonable price.

Coach leaving - we had to walk to the top arch of the hotel entrance as the hotel manangement had allowed the guests with cars to park their vehicles along the coach path. This meant that the coach could not pick us up from the main reception area. We wallked to it struggling with suitcases, buggy and children , no help from porters as none were made available.

When we arrived at the 3rd hotel on route to the airport the holiday rep reappeared to give us instructions about how to check in and show our passports!!!??? Thanks!

Had a rep been on site we feel that our stay at Atalaya park would have been easier and less repeatative. We would have gone on excursions to the bull ring which is what a few of us really wanted to do or go to the waterpark etc...

Equally Thompson have let us down on this holiday and the hotel had left us feeling fed up and annoyed most of the time. having paid £6k for a family all inclusive holiday this rating should be higher than avaerage but as you have read factors on both the hotel and thompson have let us down.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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6  Thank Carlos A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 11, 2012

Rooms are outdated and tatty, Patches of warnout carpet on corridors, food was not for a 4* hotel and had a lot to be desired. Staff were friendly and pleasant. Entertainers for the mini club did not understand english therefore kids had problems communicating with themand felt left out. Overall enjoyed the stay but would not make an immediate return any time soon.

Room Tip: Sea view were best as you have a brilliant view of the beach, sea coast and gibraltar in a clear day...
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank 6508Joe1962
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 7, 2012

I have never written a review before, but I really felt so strongly I had to warn others. We have just returned from two weeks at Atalaya Park and are really disappointed at how we were treated as all inclusive guests. Quite often we were ignored at the bar by the very rude bar staff, once they seen your all inclusive band you were treated with disdain. I was reduced to tears at the pool bar as I was completely ignored by the elderly male staff! The hotel is 13km from Estepona! The beach is more shingle than sand so you will need appropriate footwear if you enjoy walking. The comments on all inclusive are correct. You had to pay 50% if you wanted to eat at the pool, so if you wanted to eat you had to go to the main restaurant, so lunch and dinner became the same thing. the entertainment was ok for young ones but non existent for adults. I feel very let down by First Choice. I understand that First Choice / Thomson are withdrawing from this hotel next year and really that says it all! I worked hard and paid over £4k for my holiday and feel really let down. costa del sol has better hotels to offer than this one, please dont go!

Room Tip: The sea view rooms have a great view but it will cost you and the view will not compensate you for t...
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  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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7  Thank Anne M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 7, 2012

Booked a 7 night stay at the Atalaya with First Choice and, as said by another reviewer, this company has a very minor role in this hotel. On our transfer journey we were told by the FC rep that our hotel was 'independent' ie. FC have no rep there, no welcome meeting, no port of call if you have a problem - well, you can use the 24hr hotline or text them! Plus there is a small file of info on a shelf in a corner of the hotel - How helpful! As far as I could see, the reason for this was because the company have only a very small number of rooms in this hotel and the guests are primarily Spanish. Consequently the Kids Club / Entertainment is led by Spanish youngsters with very little English so our children did not want to go or join in many things.
Furthermore the All Inc option is also only for the English guests and this only applies to food in the main buffet and certain drinks. To eat in the pool cafe you get 50% off and the same for the Italian restaurant onsite. Therefore when FC say All Inc, there is fine print to be read!
The majority of the staff in the hotel were very nice and the maid service there is excellent - rooms cleaned and new towels daily, with no need to pack beach towels as you can hire them for 10euro refundable deposit, which I wish I had known. Rooms are dated and the hotel itself is 'worn' and sometimes a little grubby. The pool is nice though the pool floor desperately needs redoing and the water clogged grounds are sludgy in places, but on the positive side there were no issues with sunbeds. Also, the nearby beach is rocky and unsuitable for children.
I did enjoy my holiday, the food was quite nice, the weather was scorching hot, Puerto Banus was well worth a visit and we made the best of it, however,I shall not be returning and I shall certainly not be booking All Inc with First Choice again.

Room Tip: We saw four room choices before picking one in the main hotel on the 4th floor with fab sea and pool...
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank HarbourMaster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 7, 2012

Having been on many First Choice all inclusive package holidays I found this to be great value for money. I cannot understand why people are saying it wasnt all inclusive. On the day we arrived I asked the friendly reception staff what we could/couldn't do and was informed in a helpful way. I never spent any money on drinks or food. Why would I need to when I was served three meals a day and drinks from the bar from 11am - midnight? The hotel was a little dated and I have been to nicer but what made this holiday so good was the authenticity of it. It was very Spanish with lots of Spanish families staying and living their way of life. We never once had to go down early to reserve a sunbed which made a refreshing change! There was no urgency or queues for anything and for these reasons alone I have never had a more relaxing holiday. The location was beautiful with gorgeous views and the pool and outside areas just fantastic. People were still playing in the pool at 8pm. All the staff were friendly and helpful and fellow travellers too. On the last day my two children stayed in the pool until 7:30pm with fellow travellers from Germany, France, Spain, Ireland, Scotland and England! Just fantastic. We as a family were sad to leave and we would definitley go back again. This hotel had no gimics but it was a relaxing, safe, family friendly hotel set in a stunning location.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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5  Thank Lolac34
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 5, 2012

Just returned from 10 nights August 2012. Hotel not all inclusive had to pay 50% by pool bar. Was told couldn't use restaurant downstairs as had children turned out not true. Majority of bar staff very rude. Entertainment ok for young children but terrible for older children and adults. Hotel needs updating urgently. How people go back year after year I don't know. Definitely not 4* or 3*.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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3  Thank Beverley C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sol Marbella Estepona Atalaya Park by Melia

Address: Avenida Golondrinas 2, 29688, Estepona, Spain (Formerly Atalaya Park Hotel)
Phone Number:
Location: Spain > Andalucia > Province of Malaga > Costa del Sol > Estepona
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Estepona
#9 Luxury Hotel in Estepona
Price Range: $91 - $248 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Sol Marbella Estepona Atalaya Park by Melia 4*
Number of rooms: 484
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sol by Meliá present Hotel Sol Marbella Estepona - Atalaya Park is between Estepona and Marbella. Set within extensive gardens, offers 6 swimming pools and two 18-hole golf courses. Is set next to Atalaya Isdabe Beach, on the Costa del Sol. Rooms have a private balcony, with views of the mountains, gardens or pool. Sea views are available for an additional cost. All the rooms have air conditioning, a minibar and a safe. The complex has football, archery and volleyball facilities, free to all guests. There are 9 tennis courts, a gym, sauna and Turkish bath. In summer, the hotel also offers a watersports centre. Offers free public Wi-Fi access. There are 3 restaurants and 2 bars. The family entertainment programme includes shows and live music, and there are activities for children. The popular Puerto Banus is just 7 km away. Free private parking is possible on site. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Atalaya Park Golf Hotel Estepona
Atalaya Park Resort
Atalaya Park Hotel
Sol Marbella Estepona Atalaya Park By Melia Spain - Costa Del Sol

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