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O'Callaghan Eliott Hotel
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Reviewed September 7, 2010

Just returned from Gibraltar after a five night stay visiting friends, with this being my first stint at this hotel. The most noteable thing was how understaffed the place seemed to be on occasions, and the fact that all the staff looked so miserable....EXCEPT Kevin who was a star. Not sure what his exact role was, although he was always between the bar and reception.

On arrival I waited a good two minutes at reception before even being acknowledged by the staff member on duty. There was also no concierge or porter on duty.

Paid for a Junior Suite with breakfast(just over £100 per night)......and the room was the first disappointment which was more like an oversized executive. The bed was a decent sized King, although it was quite hard and not particularly comfortable. There was a sofa(with stuffing coming out of the bottom) next to the bed and a small table and two chairs. The flat panel tv was also small for the size of the room, being about a 28" screen with Sky and in-house movis etc. The balcony which looked like an afterthough and an add on, had a stainless steel barrier, was accessed through double sliding doors, but it was only 2 feet wide and 5 feet long so it was impossible to sit outside due to the very small size. Housekeeping was poor which was borne out of the fact that the two large mirrors in the room were very dusty when we arrived and stayed that way for the whole of our stay. I did actually write my name in the dust on the morning we left.
One area where the room could be immediately improved by the hotel would be to upgrade the lighting. There were two wall lamps, two bedside lamps and a standard lamp, none of which had more than a 40 watt bulb, so with everything on the room still had a dark and depressing feel to it, bering in mind the dark 70's looking decor.
The bathroom was also small...........Bath with shower over, basin and toilet but NO Bidet.

There was a small air-con unit mounted on the outside wall of the room, but this looked quite old and struggled most days to keep the room under about 25 degrees.

The other main disappointment was floor 8.........Restaurant, Pool and Pool Bar.

We only ate breakfast(7.30 till 10am) on 2 out of 5 occasions, simply because of the hassle. While the food selection was fine(full english or continental selection) the place was tiny for a hotel of this size. I estimate with all tables in use, there could have been no more than 35 covers which meant on both occasions we had to queue, and when you did get a seat it was very cramped with about 12 inches between tables. Again two very miserable over worked staff members on duty both days.

The pool was also tiny......more like a pool for a villa 8m x 2.5m?. Never saw the small pool bar open during our stay.

The ground floor main bar was pleasant with a very nice outdoor patio area............again let down by staffing. Usually only one member on duty during 5 visits with sometimes two in the evening. On at least two visits we had to wait in excess of ten minutes to be served at a table. Got served quicker if I went to the bar.

The hotel itself is in a good location in the centre of the old town, just off main street. However, the four star rating I would say is very generous. 2 star at best for service and 3 star plus for the building and facilities. Maybe if there was more competition in Gibraltar they would have to up their game.

I wanted to finish my review on a positive note....which is that there is free parking.....but get there early as it is very limited.

  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Plateglass
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 30, 2010

Good clean hotel, Good service, Friendly and helpful staff, First class location. Will stay here again when we return.

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled with family
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Thank 84nod
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 24, 2010

We stayed for 6 nights, leaving on 24 August and found the hotel to be fairly good in terms of accomodation. We also received very good service from every member of staff and so would recommend this hotel - particularly for its location.

The rooms are large, and provide a good level of comfort - including a good modern shower room, flat screen T.V. with a good range of channels, offering all the UK terrestrial stations, plus SKY and a few others. To listen to the radio, you need to select the Gib TV channel. I'd recommend you take a portable radio for a wider choice. The rooms are also provided with a steam iron and board with a good number of hangers, a free electronic safe, and a (poor) hair drier, so better to take your own. There are lots of UK sockets around the room to accommodate the iron and electronic devices such as mobile phone chargers.

The breakfast (if included) is more than adequate with a good "traditional English breakfast" and selection of cereals, pastries, fruit etc. If it is NOT included however, my advice is to pay the standard tarrif of £5.00 elsewhere, rather than the £17 the hotel will ask for.

Maid service was excellent and rooms were made up and towels changed every day. Our only real criticsim of the rooms was the (very) noisey and outdated cooler systems. They regularly froze up under constant use - and then completely stopped blowing any cold air. It's also a shame that they STILL haven't introduced fridges in the room. Our room information pack said that there were ice machines on the 2nd, 4th and 6th floor - but they didn't exist and we were told that they had been removed some while ago. The bar will gladly give you a loaded ice bucket if you want one however.

The balconies are of the Juliet style - which are fine for standing on to look out - but not designed for putting a chair on to sit down. We paid extra for a sea view, and luckily got one on the 7th floor. Believe me however, the 'sea view' supplement isn't worth paying extra for - especially if you are located in a lower part of the hotel - take pot luck and save the money. The hotel's pool is okay and uses fresh water. It has tables and chairs around it which are also used by some guests in the morning for an al fresco breakfast. If you fancy a dip during the day, the pool doesn't get much use, so you're likely to have it all to yourself. The 'gym' can be dismissed as one exercise bike and a small bench press with no weights. There is a sauna too, but it was never on or in use during our visit. Above the pool and up a flight of steps you will find a small plain sun terrace with a dozen or so loungers. Whilst there is a pool side bar located at the far corner of the pool, we never ever saw it open. So, whilst the pool served its purpose and it was okay, a bit more 'set dressing' with a splash of colour and some plants would have made it more inviting.

Overall, the prices for drinks in the hotel are 'expensive' and a night-cap cost us twice the price of a pub. The bar and Terrace are attractive and well maintained - and the service is very good.

A few pointers you might like to consider.

Gibraltar has recently introduced new 'noise nuisance' legislation which means that you cannot listen to ANY music outside, after 11 pm. This has had a major impact on Casemates Square and any outside venue. Incidently, Casemates establishments charge high prices. (I expected a VAT and Duty free environment to be cheaper than the UK - but a lot of the prices are very inflated.)

The taxi service is now almost non existant because they focus their whole attention on "rock tours". We couldn't even get back and forth to the airport when we arrived. Equally, when when we popped over to La Linea for a meal, it was a LONG walk back to the hotel that night. I believe that you can book one in advance however - with a service charge AND then paying an extortionate rate (£15) for a journey of 1.5 miles to the hotel. Taxis on the Spanish side are cheap and easy to get hold of.

A superb bus serviced does exist in Gib however, running every 15 minutes mid-week, costing 0.60 single - £1.20 return and £1.50 for an all day ticket. My advice is get on the (air con) bus and travel around like that. The service finishes at 9.30 pm regretably.

If a Liner is visiting the Rock ... Main Street and all of the attractions are a nightmare to get round during the day. Then come evening, the place turns into a ghost town with only a few bars or restaurants opening after 7 pm - and those that do, close between 10 and 11.30 pm. We were surprised at how little there is to do in the evening with nowhere to go. There is a superb entertainments centre with ice-rink, bowling alley and brilliant cinema at the King's Bastion (£5 for a movie).

Speaking of attractions - take note: the Cable Car does not stop at the mid station point, between May and September, meaning an arduous walk to get back down. A return ticket means - if you walk down from the top of the Rock to the Apes Den, or to St Michael's caves, you either have to walk all the way back up to the top (VERY STEEP) ..... or all the way back down to the bottom of the Rock. 'Tip', it cost us £18 each for the cable car - take a rock tour for £17 instead (admission to sights included) and save your legs.

The prices for shopping and socialising on the whole are equateable or more expensive than the UK, (yes, pubs too) so no great savings except for bottles of spirits and tobacco. Again a tip, buy them at Gib airport - which is VERY, VERY cheap and much cheaper than UK Duty Free at airports or even on Gib's Main Street.

A standard pack of ciggies costs £1.50 everywhere in town, and a pint of lager between £2.50 to £3.20. Most pubs serve plain "pub grub" with little imagination shown towards any culinary imagination. The pubs that are open ALL show sport on big screen TV's ... (groan). There are also no smoking restrictions in 'most' public venuee - pubs in particular.

Finally, I love Gibraltar and its people, but it does look a bit like a building site at the moment . I hope they smarten up the place soon. It also appears that most of the residents choose to "go up the coast" at weekends, leaving the Rock appear very desolate for the tourists then.

It was also disappointing to see that it really can take up to 2 hours to cross the border in a car - we took the bus to get to the frontier, to cross over by foot for a meal - and ended up getting off the bus to walk, after sitting in the traffic jam for half an hour. Even as pedestrians we were held up by Spanish customs checking people's bags, and making us all wait in line until each check was complete. Another local issue at the moment is the proposal by La Linea's Mayor to introduce a 'border crossing tax' for all pedestrains and vehicles in the near future - I wonder how this will affect movement across the order?

We did find that the attractions and border crossings had no queues on Saturday and Sunday (there were no Liners in) otherwise it's a case of stand in line and "hurry up and wait". Choose your timings carefully, late afternoon is best.

The weather was fantastic ... averaging between 29 -33 C during our stay with no rain. We hope you have a good time - it is a great place, but needs a bit of a polish.

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Denis L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 23, 2010

Arrived with expectations of a wonderful 4 star hotel - Believe me I have stayed at better 2 star places. We asked for a bedroom with three beds, got a room with one double bed, then had to wait for a poxy camp bed to be put up. They charged us £80 more than agreed and then wanted to charge us extra on top for breakfast. A pathetic excuse of a balcony, more like a window sil. The pool is misleading, very small, badly maintained, hardly any sun lounges, the so-called gym consisted of one excercise bike and two weights, the sauna was turned off and uninviting. The pool side bar was closed, you have to phone down to reception to get a drink which is ground floor and the pool is on the 8th floor, by the time drinks arrived due to staff shortages, they were warm as well as very expensive. The children went down to reception to get water and were told if they wanted drinks they had to phone down using the pool side phone. This they did, and the drinks turned up at our room not at the pool. Eventually our thirsty children went to a local shop to buy refreshments. (Apparently, the hotel has laid off most of their staff, and the poor staff that remained were exhausted). Boardband and in room movies seriously expensive. Many guests were also complaining about so-called sea views, so-called queen size beds, lack of towels, and basic breakfast. When we complained to the deputy manager, he lacked any customer care, gave no apology and said maybe the Eliott Hotel didn't suit us and next time to go to a different hotel... THE ONLY THING WE ACTUALLY AGREE ON!!!

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled with friends
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1  Thank explorer7134
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 10, 2010

We stayed at this hotel at the beginning of August for 6 nights after previously having stayed at the Rock (q.v) it is in a great location and very hany for MainStreet and within easy walking distance of all City centre highlights.
The welcome was good and our two rooms (one twin one single) were fine except that having previously been at the Rock one several occasions we booked a 'Seaview Room' at extra cost via myvacations. co. uk. But the so called 'seaview' we had from both rooms, one on 4th floor and one on 5th floor, was VERY limited to glimpses of the water through gaps between new tower buildings and should have been sold as 'Limited Seaview'. If you really want a good view of the water then demand a room on the highest floor:7th.
The rooms were clean and the housekeeping was very good but there is no modern air conditioning rather a quite ancient and noisy fan unit with cooler in each room. It cooled the rooms OK but was too noisy to use all night. On arrival in one of our rooms one light bulb was defective and was speedily replaced as were batteries in the TV remote. But doors to the small juliet type balconies were both filthy and despite request to have them cleaned were not attended to.( By the way we had expected proper balconies where one could sit on a chair and read or sunbathe but the balconies are all so small you could hardly get to sit on a milking stool on them.
There was no fridge in the rooms and teamaking facilities were adequate but no biscuits were provided.
Although there is a modern flat screen TV in each room the reception/pictures were not very clear on some channels but I believe this is a Gibraltar-wide problem.

The staff were efficient and friendly but it did seem as though the hotel was understaffed.In the Verandah Bar there was olny one member of the staff on duty when we wanted a bar meal. Poor fellow was trying to do everything with as much sucess as he could muster but I understand that the management has chopped jobs recently so the outlook for service in future looks a bit choppy!

Overall I would sum up, in comparison to our more usual haunt of the 'R***' that this hotel is better located for walking to city centre business or leasure facilities but lacks the character, and the (fading?) elegance of the R***. Food is expensive both in the Verandah bar which we tried and enjoyed and in the 8th floor restaurant we we tried not due to its expense. The included breakfast from buffett was adequate but not up to the quality we would have expected for a leading city centre and expensive hotel.
As I said "could and should do better" 7/10.

I would recommend this hotel in preference only if my friend wanted less walking and a city centre hotel, otherwise give us the R***.

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled with family
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1  Thank Ibrahim11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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