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“Tatty, poor service; but excellent views.”
3 of 5 bubbles Review of Caleta Hotel

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Caleta Hotel
Ranked #4 of 6 Hotels in Gibraltar
Cardiff, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Tatty, poor service; but excellent views.”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 31, 2011

The Caleta hotel has a nominal 4* rating, but seasoned travellers will find it falls far short of the standards expected of a modern 4* hotel.

To begin with, the hotel doesn't let you check-in until 2pm, even if your room is available (quite late by the standards of most hotels these days). As most flights into Gib arrive late morning, you will most likely end-up sat in the lounge area for a couple of hours waiting for your room. We had to do this and we saw a number of other people waiting throughout our stay. Travellers from the UK may be surprised to learn that they still allow smoking indoors in Gib, so bear in mind that people will be smoking in the lounge while you wait (including around children); or while you are having something to eat.

The staff in the hotel are a mixture of Gibraltarians, Spanish and Eastern European. While the Gibraltarian staff are generally good, the Spanish staff are slow, rude and unhelpful. Everything is too much trouble for them and they have no concept of customer service whatsoever. You are really made to feel that as a hotel guest you are getting in the way of their life. There was no excuse for this as the hotel was not at all busy while we were there.

As well as offering poor service, they have little respect for the guests, eg:
1) We witnessed a number of blazing rows between the housekeeping staff and management in the reception area.
2) The porter randomly accused us of parking in the disabled bay on three separate occasions, even though they were three different cars and we did not have a car at the hotel!
3) We complained to management about one waiter who rolled his eyes and tutted when we asked for some food. The Assistant Manager's explanation for his rudeness was "he is old and he gets grumpy sometimes".
4) The reception staff take pride in being slow and unhelpful and seem to enjoy making guests wait. It took us 45 mins to check-out and we were at the front of the queue (take note if you have a departing flight). This includes waiting while housekeeping check that you "haven't stolen anything from the minibar".

The room itself (deluxe sea view with balcony) was tatty and dated with a rust stained bath and sinks, stained carpets, loose towel holders and a dirty integrated hairdryer out of the ark. The soaps were not changed and the sink area did not appear to have been cleaned all week. On three different days housekeeping took the towels from our room but didn't replace them and I had to phone reception to get some (no apology given). You will need to ration your in-room tea consumption (no biscuits) as if you want more than your daily allowance, you are charged £5 for replacement teabags! The outside of the hotel could do with a lick of paint and some general maintenance. The steps down to the beach are uneven and poorly maintained and there was even a dead seagull on them that they did not clear up for two days!

The pool officially opens from 08:00 to 18:30, but they don't really finish setting up until 09:30 (with the pool itself out of bounds until then). It closes far too early in my opinion, especially when you consider that between 12:00 and 18:00 it is far to hot to be sunbathing. I found the best time to be by the pool was 08:00 - 12:00. I would have liked a dip to cool off later in the day after sightseeing; but as they close at 18:30 you can't. There are plenty of people on the beach until 10pm, so who knows why they close the pool so early. Most likely it is for the convenience of the hotel, rather than the guests (a common theme). The pool is a saltwater pool and less confident swimmers or parents with young children should be aware that apart from a very small shallow-end, the majority of the pool is very deep (12 feet) and there is a step change from shallow to deep, rather than a gentle slope. It is also worth noting that you can't get to the beach from the hotel when the pool is closed, as they lock the gate to the steps down to the beach. If you want to stay on the beach after 18:30, or go for a walk after dinner, you will have to go the long way round.

The range of food on offer is very limited and expensive and only served between strict times. We were denied afternoon tea because we were 1 minute past the cutoff time. The breakfast buffet is particularly poor value. I would recommend going out to one of the many nice cafes/restaurants in the town centre instead.

If, like us, you plan to use a laptop or smartphone to check your emails, look for things to do, find out about opening hours of attractions etc, then bear in mind that the wifi at the hotel, provided by the virtual monopoly GibTel mobile phone company, is slow, expensive and unreliable. In theory £20 gets you a week of wifi that you can use all over Gibraltar. In practice, there are few hotspots, the wifi is slow and unreliable and at least four days out of seven during our stay it was down altogether. At the Caleta, even when the wifi is working, the signal only penetrates as far as the lounge and lobby. Due to the smoking in the lounge, we found ourselves sitting in the lobby to use it.

I get the impression that the AA and RAC awarded the 4* rating about 20 years ago and haven't been back since! In terms of room quality and service, the Premier Inn at Heathrow is better and a third of the price. The only thing in the hotel's favour is the stunning location on the quiet eastern side of the rock, with direct access to the best beach in Gibraltar (9:00 - 18:30). I have to say it is one of the nicest views I have ever seen. If you are expecting 4* service, you won't find it; but if you can put up with poor service, then the hotel might be worth taking a chance just for the views.

Room Tip: Definitely go for a sea view.
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank djgriffiths
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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976 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (366)
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English first
Bolton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 24, 2011

A friend and I booked five nights here for a short break and for the price we paid just short of £300 for a delux twin room with a sea view we were very pleased with this hotel, we found the staff efficient and helpful and the room clean and comfortable, but it was the views and location that made this hotel a great place to stay. From our balcony which was right above the sea we had a clear view across the med to spain on one side and north africa on the other, the sunrise was spectacular as was the moon shimmering on the sea at night there were similar views from the bar breakfast room and from the pool from where there was private access to nice sandy beach.

The bus was free into gibraltar town and after a night out it was only a short taxi ride (cost about £5) back to the hotel where the only noise to be heard was the sea on the rocks outside our room no noisy drunks or traffic to keep you awake unlike other hotels with a more central location

All in all for £30 per person per night we thought it was excellent value, we booked the room through my gibraltar on the internet but if we had booked the stay directly through the hotels website the cost would have been nearer £600 at that price i may not have been as pleased

Room Tip: shop around for price there are BIG savings to be made i recomend mygibraltar on the net
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  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Steve_R2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
30 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 21, 2011

Had a great Holiday here with Family and extended family, Nuno's restaurant was 10/10 for service and food quality, try and book a table on the terrace if you can. The pool area is a little dingy and there is a creepy man who drinks and mumbles in the lobby bar, we just avoided eye contact but management really need to address this as he visited daily and was very intimidating

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank jenna7jenna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 12, 2011

Following a girlie trip to Barcelona, I then joined my husband in taking a train to Malaga and then driving down to Gibraltar. We stayed 3 glorious nights at the four star Caleta Hotel, located right next to Catalan Bay Beach.

We were allocated the Bridal Suite (!) on the 5th floor - a newly rennovated floor - which boasted 2 sea view balconies and a canopy bed. A fabulous stay at a hotel which boasts probably the best dining in Gibraltar - Nuno's Restaurant. Lunch and dinner here is highly recommended. The service is excellent and of international standard.

A must visit hotel / restaurant for anyone going to Gibraltar.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank KBP05
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Napa, California
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 25, 2011

We were unable to enter Gibraltar as a courier did not deliver our passports as instructed. We called the hotel as soon as it was apparent that circumstances beyond our control made it impossible for us to enter and we would not be able to use our pre-paid reservation. Repeated calls were not returned by management and a request for some reimbursement for the two prepaid rooms was finally addressed in an email stating that "the greatest majority of hotels around the world enforce a 24 hour cancellation policy which will result to one night accommodation charged in case of no-shows or cancellations after such deadline." Lesson learned. Do not ever pre-pay hotel accommodation. It is always up to the management to interpret such policies and it is clear that the management of the Caleta Hotel was not willing to make any exception even if the circumstances were unique and out of the control of the potential guests.

Room Tip: Never pre-pay
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Stayed April 2011, traveled with friends
Helpful?
3 Thank MMM3279
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
83 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 88 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 24, 2011

We were in Gibraltar for a wedding and over the four days of our stay, various family members had rooms in different parts of the hotel. My wife and I were up on the fourth floor with a sea facing room so lets start there.

It was a reasonable size and the view was terrific, considering we were looking at Gibraltar. The balcony could not be taken seriously, two feet by two feet but the doors and windows were all new. It was good to have a choice between AC or just a ceiling fan. The bathroom was clean although the bath did show signs of age and the water pressure was not always great enough to ensure that the shower stayed on.

My daughters were staying in a room quite a distance from reception and on floor -2. There is no lift servicing this part of the hotel and it was quite an effort to get all the luggage up and down several flights of stairs. Not good.

The pool is filled with salt water but the area is kept clean by a forever present attendant. It was easy to order food and drink while around that area and the sun did not disappear from there till quite late in the afternoon.

Once the bulk of our party had left the hotel, the average age of guests seemed quite high, I doubt whether a disco would be popular there.

Reception was clean and tidy, with very helpful staff. In fact this was true of the whole hotel with the exception of the Breakfast area, where the Maitre De was very aggressive. Continental breakfast was included in the price and represented very good value for money.

Overall I would recommend the hotel if you have to go to Gibraltar but suggest you ask for a room on a floor above the ground floor.

Room Tip: See facing and above the ground floor
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  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Alancohen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rome, Italy
Level Contributor
76 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 18, 2011

Caleta palace hotel has a great view, very clean and on the beach ! the only problem here is that you need to remember to close the windows as everynow and again 1 yukky cockroach would come in!! apart from this I recommend it , in the summertime.

one addition to the hotel is that they close the swimming pool way too early!

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank SelectedToursItaly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Caleta Hotel

Property: Caleta Hotel
Address: Sir Herbert Miles Road, PO Box 73, Gibraltar
Phone Number:
Location: Gibraltar
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 6 Hotels in Gibraltar
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Caleta Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 176
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Caleta Hotel Gibraltar

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