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“Mixed feelings”

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Ocean Heights Apartments
Reviewed September 8, 2010

Stayed in a one bed apartment in Ocean Heights for a fortnight in August and have very mixed feelings about the experience. We are regular visitors to Gibraltar but due to financial circumstances were only able to return this year by renting cheaply in Ocean Heights rather than staying in one of the hotels or the nice new apartments advertised on some owner letiing websites. The old adage you get what you pay for is certainly true so we went along with very low expectations having paid less for a fortnight than any static caravan costs for a week in the UK during August!
Booked through Herald Travel who were quick to respond by e mail and friendly, no issues with arrangements at all including arrangements for collecting key as our flight arrived after the office closed.
Ocean heights is a mixture of holiday lets, private holiday homes and residents both Gibraltarians and ex pats.
The building itself is an unattractive 70's concrete block of apartments with electronic fob gate opening, so quite secure. Once past the tiled foyer the corridors are quite dark and dingy, some are tiled but the floor we were on had nasty carpet along it. Inside the apartment was basic but had everything you needed although rather dated and with artex everywhere. It was generally clean apart from round the skirting board and under furniture. This was seen to immediately when I complained and was due to the regular cleaner being ill and a temporary replacement being overwhelmed as it was very busy with changeovers. The soft furnishings were also rather grubby from use.
The kitchen area included a toaster, kettle, microwave, oven, electric hob, fridge and washing machine. All appliances were clean and there was no evidence of any cockroaches, insects,flies or other creepy crawlies during our whole stay. The only niggle was that the fridge was not very cold.
The bathroom was tiled with an effective shower over the bath and everything was clean.Towels were provided but only 3 sets when the booking was for 4, an extra set given willingly though when we asked.
We had a bed settee in the living area but despite saying in several e mails we had 2 teenage daughters with us it was barely wider than a single bed and impossible for two to sleep on in the heat., Possibly OK if you had 2 children up to about age 8. Again an extra futon bed was provided immediately when we complained. Bedding provided was clean but rather threadbare and old (one set of sheets had a Brentford Nylons label and how long ago was it that they were trading)!
There were ceiling fans in the living room and bedroom but their effect was minimal in the heatwave which was on whilst we were there. Some of the apartments do have air con and I would say this is a necessity in the Summer.
Bedding and towels were changed on a weekly basis and the apartment cleaned through. The girl in the Herald office asked after what time the maid could come in which I thought was nice, trouble was she didn't turn up at all on the allotted day! Another visit to the Herald office the following day and again seen to straight away, within 10 mins the cleaner was in!
It was an advantage that Herald Travel have their office in the building so all niggles were easy to sort out and to their credit were dealt with swiftly but on the other hand they were things that should have been right in the first place.
Our apartment was on the 7th of an 8th floor building and had lovely views over the bay to Algeciras and beyond,great lying in bed at night and watching the twinkling lightsof shipping moving around and the Spanish towns and villages over the water. great sunsets here too. If you were the other side of the building you had spectacular views of the town and rock. Being so high up traffic noise was minimal and did not disturb our sleep but the constant traffic could be a problem noise wise on a lower floor where the views would not be great either.
One weekend the lift broke down so it was a long hard climb in the heat up to the 7th floor and would be a problem for the elderly, infirm or with toddlers in tow. Various residenrts said it was quite a common occurence and being the weekend wasn't sorted out until the Monday.
There was also some sort of bad incident that had occurred where there was a pool of dried blood outside the main entrance and inside the foyer and it was 24 hours before the maintenance man cleared and hosed the area, very unpleasant, though realise this was just an unfortunate one off.
The building is situated just outside Casemates square, literally one minute away and barely three minutes to the new Ocean Village which links into Marina Bay so restaurants, bars, shops and activities are right on your doorstep. Buses are also a minute away and are cheap and give access to all areas of the Rock. It is only a 5 min walk to Morrisons supermarket and there were a few little corner type shops on the ground floor of the building, fine for buying water,sweets etc but expensive for other items and need to check that products are not out of date! There is parking on both sides of the building but spaces fill up rapidly.
The pool for residents is on a first floor rooftop, open 9 am to 8pm and is large (1.0 to 1.8 metre depth)and very well maintained. Every morning a hoover type of cleaner went over the bottom of the pool cleaning it and the maintenance man was to be seen checking the water quality, hosing down the surrounds etc and he also had a tidy round and clean up when he came to lock up at 8pm each evening. There are toilets and showers. You had an electronic fob to open the gate into the pool area and also each person had a ticket which were checked on a random basis, usually at weekends. There were plenty of sunbeds around the pool and with no plants there were no flies , a problem we had encountered before at The Bristol Hotel's pool in a tropical garden courtyard. Lovely views in all directions from the pool, especially up the Rock.. Really have to say that the pool is the icing on the cake here both size wise and how well it is maintained and with the electronic access no chance of outsiders wheedling their way in. We went to the top of the Elliot hotel to admire the views and the pool there is much smaller, anyone in theory could just turn up at it and the upper sundeck was disgusting with overflowing ashtrays, broken glasses that had been knocked over and not cleared up, really dangerous and at a place that costs 4 times as much as where we were. The pool at the Bristol Hotel is also tiny by comparison.
So in conclusion would we stay at Ocean Heights again or recommend it to others? A difficult one... the problem is the apartments are sublet by Herald so there is no definitive standard, you could get one that had been refurbed which ours had not, I would ensure it did at least have air con another time and would definitely want to be on a high floor again for the views and away from traffic noise. They are in a great location and the pool was the best we have experienced in Gibraltar. Yes I would use Ocean Heights again if that was the only way i could afford to get back to Gib, no if our financial situation improves, I would go for an apartment advertised in ownersdirect/holiday lettings etc. To be honest Gibraltar needs to pull its socks up re standards of holiday accomodation and this actually represented much better value than The Bristol Hotel which has similar dated furniture and fittings at a much higher charge and was similar to the Both Worlds aparthotel where we stayed in the 80's. which says it all really!

Stayed: August 2010, traveled with family
12  Thank earthtravelller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 7, 2010

we booked a apartment late £500 for 9 days, 4 of us including 2 teenagers, the corridors are the worst thing as the carpet is old and the wooden doors need replacing with modern ones.
the flat itself was ok, basic but it was cheap so you cannot expect 5 star, the pool was the best thing it was great and never really busy the location is within 300m of the town square casemates, the teenagers loved it, they can go drinking in bars at 16 in gib, ocean village was great just round the corner, great bars, good restaurants, modern casino with a casual approach to what you wear. a good value cheap holiday, latte coffee in the square 1-40, food and drink are cheaper in gib and get your Duty free at the airport on the way out, 200 lambert and butler £10-95, big bottle of bombay gin £9-00, shops in the town are a bit more. the thing with gib is the hotels are not much better, we stayed in o callaghans and it was 3 star and very pricey, so paying 500 for 4 of us was a bargain for the flat, stay on ocean village if you can as its very good. gibs great and cant understand why more holiday makers do not go.
we also logged on to wifi.

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled with family
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4  Thank 602,511
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 7, 2010

I rented a one-bedroom duplex apartment with the Herald Travel agency at Ocean Heights, Gibraltar, for 4 nights in April 2010, with my children, aged 1 and 4 years. I can honestly say this is probably the worst place where I've ever stayed - the flat, n° 115, on the first floor of the building, is dark and gloomy, with 1970's decoration; it doesn't seem to have been renovated for years... The state of the kitchen was appalling - really dirty... the microwave is old and rusty, the fridge and the kettle were dirty and the toaster was full of breadcrumbs. I had to buy a packet of antiseptic wipes for my stay - I can honestly say the kitchen was in a disgusting state, a real disgrace to rent the flat at 65 pounds a night in this state!! I did not cook in this kitchen during my stay...
The washing-machine, in the bathroom, is out of order. There is no remote control for the TV, and you have to change the channels manually... but even worse is yet to come... This flat faces an extremely busy road at almost all hours and is on a bottom floor, so as you can imagine I suffered from insomnia during my stay, due to the extreme noise... fortunately my children were able to sleep...
Even worse, you can hear continual dripping noises of water during the night - at one point I went down to the bathroom to check the shower and bath, but no sign of water - concluded the noise must come from rundown water pipes in the building...
The steps going up to the duplex bedroom are wooden and varnished, and are not at all adapted for young children or the elderly - in fact, my son slipped and fell the first day, but fortunately did not get hurt...
My baby daughter's wooden cot was placed in the living-room, which means I could hardly watch TV anyway during our stay...
I was in fear and trepidation because of "cockroach" reviews concerning Ocean Heights, but decided to go out and check myself, due to better recent reviews... in fact, after seeing the state of the kitchen, I was quite paranoid... on arrival Herald Travel gives you a notice where it warns you against leaving uneaten food outside and uncovered as this might attract insects, and about the importance of throwing away refuse, quite amazing... I had a look everywhere, and for 3 days did not see anything and was quite relieved, but on the 3rd night, I did see a "baby cockroach" in the bathroom, which I flushed down the toilet immediately, and so I can confirm that there must be cockroaches in the Ocean Heights building - in fact, I saw 3 dead ones in the corridor the last day!!
This rental was a real rip-off, and I definitely won't be renting again with Herald Travel, and don't recommend these flats to anybody - it was a relief to leave on the last day... a nightmare of a holiday...

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled with family
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2  Thank Wilhelmine8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 15, 2010

This is the second time we have stayed at Ocean Heights, both through the company Jade Lettings. Although the flats are small they are perfect for what we need and a lot cheaper than staying in any of the hotels. As well as being cheaper they also offer the ability to self cater, something which is not commonly found in Gibraltar. We are the sort of travellers that are up at the crack of dawn and visiting places all day. We like to come home to relax in our own space. With an on site swimming pool, Sky tv and all the amenities you could need indoors it makes it the perfect space. Small yes, but cosy, well maintained, reasonably priced and the service offered by Jade Lettings is excellent.

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled with family
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2  Thank Rosie1985
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 26, 2008

Stayed at the Ocean Heights for 4 nights, booked through Jade Travel on the internet. The room was very basic, but clean so if you are looking for a cheap place to stay this is perfect. Our room was on the third floor and had air con (which we discovered is a must in the summer, however very few rooms in Ocean Heights have it), clean sheets on the bed, clean towels for the bathroom as well as clean beach towels in the wardrobe and fresh milk and a new bottle of water in the fridge. There was also quite a lot of left over tea, coffee, sugar, biscuits, etc in the cupboards. This room also has a washing machine which came in very handy as we washed all our clothes before we went home. The swimming pool is ok and clean, although there were building work outside the pool area during our stay. The corridors are dirty and a bit scary at night especially when some of the lights are not working. The building itself looks like an old concrete block from the 70's, but if you are just looking for a place to sleep that is close to the city center, then this is perfect.

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Bellas_adventures
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 18, 2015
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  • Stayed: July 2015, traveled with friends
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Thank 112DAVYDOV
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ocean Heights Apartments

Address: Montague Place, Suite 1E, Gibraltar
Location: Gibraltar
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Specialty Lodging in Gibraltar
Number of rooms: 7
Also Known As:
Ocean Heights Apartments Hotel Gibraltar

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