Just back from a week in Benidorm, 14th-21st Oct '12. Had booked through Onthebeach for the week in the Gala Placidia and was looking forward to it. We, myself and my wife, landed in Alicante and after over two hours on the shuttle coach eventually arrived at or rather 250metres from the Gala, they dumped us and our cases outside the Dynastic, the 4star sister hotel of the Gala which sits down the hill from the Gala. Having dragged our luggage uphill to the hotel we proceeded to reception to be checked in by a delightful man called Jose who informed us that our room wouldn't be ready for a couple of hours but allowed us the use of the luggage room for our cases and suggested we head to the restaurant for lunch to kill some time which we gladly did. Jose was the 1st member of staff we met in the Gala and I'm delighted to say that all the staff were from the same mould, so helpful and always willing to oblige with a smile that is with the exception of the hotel manager who I will get to later.
Food; from the initial lunch we had on arrival up until our departure I can safely say we did not part-take of one solitary poor meal, the food in this hotel is on a par with any 3star hotel I've ever stayed in while on holiday, yes sometimes the microwave was required to boost the temperature but where else in spain would you expect roast beef and yorkshire pudding, homemade apple crumble and hot custard etc etc etc
Drinks; as many as you can carry on all inclusive and very little in the way of queues, problem was so many guests carried as many as they could from 10am to 12pm.
Pool area; the pool was the biggest let down for this hotel, about 20ft long and only 4ft deep, the pool area was badly situated given all the highrise buildings in the vicinity and only got the sun from about 1.30pm to 5pm and that was only on an area the accomodated about 12 sunloungers or should I call them torture racks. I must say they were the most uncomfortable plastic slabs I've ever encountered.
Entertainment; poor and very much directed at the spanish guests.
Rooms; very basic but very clean, infact the same can be said for the entire building, ancilliary staff work very hard to keep the place clean, trouble is they're having to clean around cracked tiles, flaking paint and rusty metalwork. Walls are literally paper thin in this hotel so much so that you would be afraid of breaking wind for fear of annoying the neighbours. If only all the guests would show as much consideration!!!
That's where the trouble started. I don't know if it was the time of year, the fact that the Gala is fairly cheap to book in comparison to other Benidorm hotels or maybe we were just downright unlucky to be there when all the drunkards from all arts and parts of England were there too. Don't get me wrong there were other decent people there while we were there but I have never seen so many alcoholics under one roof and of course we had the misfortune of having the worst offenders in the room next to ours. This particular couple drank themselves to oblivion every day and fought every night. On the wednesday night he was so drunk and unruly she took him up to the room and locked him in it while she proceeded to continue drinking. Myself and the wife retired soon after only to be met with the sound of furniture being thrown around his room and him kicking the door to get out. This went on for about an hour or so until she had finished drinking (the bar closed) and returned to the room, a very vocal arguement ensued for another hour or so which resulted in her throwing him out of the room and he spent the next hour and a half kicking the door to get back in. At no time did anyone (hotel staff) intervene, myself and several other guests asked them politely to desist but they took no notice. The next day another guest told us that at about 4am a security guard appeared from nowhere and took the guy to a settee in the lobby to sleep.
Next morning we went to reception to complain about the previous nights events and the receptionist told us this was the third complaint he had on this matter. We asked to be moved to the Dynastic, the sister hotel, as by then we knew of several couples and families that had done so. He, the receptionist, said he would make enquiries and to call with him again after breakfast. We did so and he informed us that the hotel manager told him it was impossible to switch from a 3star to a 4star, we explained that several others had already done so and even supplied him with names of a few of them that had switched, he apologised and pointing to another guy at the other end of the reception who was in heated conversation with other guests, said HE, ( the manager) said no. At this point we moved to the other end of reception where the manager was talking to the other guests and without getting too close deduced that these people were also looking to be moved as rooms around theirs had been burgled and they obviously didn't want the same to happen to them, he finished with these people by saying and I quote, "If you get burgled them you call the police." At this point I made my presence known and asked him if had any sense of responsibility for his guests and proceeded to inform him of our own complaint, he was just as sympathetic to our plight and said he wasn't responsible for people who got drunk and rowdy even if their behaviour impinged on other guests. I then drew his attention to a code of conduct taped to the counter directly under his nose where he was standing which clearly stated that guests were expected to conduct themselves in a manner which causes no disturbance to other guests, he then poceeded to tell us if we had any complaint we should phone the police. At this we walked away in disgust and with a complete feeling of dissatisfaction but my wife wasn't prepared to tolerate this attitude and went down the hill to the Dynastic and talked to the receptionist there telling him all that had taken place. Immediately he checked his computer and with an apologetic tone said there were no vacancies on that particular day but would be happy to offer us a room the next day for the remainder of our stay at no extra charge.
When you witness the effort the reception staff, the bar and restaurant staff and the cleaning staff put in to making this hotel a pleasant stay for the guests it seems an awful pity the the top man (the manager) lets the place down so much. The hotel obviously can't vet the visitors they get and it seems the price they charge for all inclusive is their downfall, perhaps if they were to cut out the all inclusive and promote their clean rooms and wonderful food they might weed out the all drinking non eating guests which would surely improve the clientel they attract. Having had surgery on my spine recently we booked this break to unwind and relax, to sleep at night and chill out during the day but unfortunately that expectation was a far cry from what we actually got.
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel Gala Placidia
- Gala Placidia Benidorm