We stayed at the Baobab for two weeks in October 2013 and were pleased we'd picked the Baobab for lots of reasons, although I would add that we're giving the hotel 4 out 5 because while it's rated 5 star there are lots of things which bring it down a notch for us compared to other 5 stars we've stayed in.
There are quite a few pros and cons to staying in this hotel so I'll list them here and then write a more in depth version below if you want to read on...
The PROS for us were:
It's a clean hotel and the toilets around the reception and snack bars were spotless
Impressive architecture and different to run of the mill hotels
Great staff, particularly the bar staff, snack bar staff and buffet restaurant staff who were super friendly
Great location as Meloneras is lovely and quiet and not built up like Playa Del Ingles for example
Bar was great, cocktails were fab, but stick to the Richard Burton Bar as they make the best cocktails
Band in the RB bar were fantastic - called the Rafikis, an African band..they were fab.
Bedroom spacious and balcony is a good size
Variety of food is generally very good, breakfast is great (skip the greasy bacon though) and lots to choose from but dinner can be hit and miss (see CONS below)
Grounds and pools are very well kept, large variety of trees and it doesn't feel like Gran Canaria...they've definitely got the African vibe right
Here are the CONS as we saw them:
Dinner Buffet: there is a LOT of cold food and most of it is seafood or teeny weeny hors d'oevres which look beautiful but don't always taste that great. Same with desserts....they look amazing but taste of nothing special. Our advice to the head chef of the Baobab is that presentation isn't everything and it's more important to get the taste right.
Regarding the food at the buffet...while there are little cards to say what things are, it's not always clear that you're going to get fish or meat in a salad for example. It might say "Chef's Vegetable Salad" but then there are lumps of tuna in it! The buffet does not feel "5 Star" compared to other buffets we've had, but towards the end of our holiday the hotel seemed to have upped their game a little so maybe they've been reading the review on TA and are taking note of what people are saying. The food on our second week was remarkably better than the food on our first one.
The hotel is definitely much more a "family" friendly hotel than a romantic destination, but as a couple in our late thirties we'll definitely go Adults Only next time as way too many screaming and spoiled children running around like lunatics at dinner (if you have kids you'll absolutely love it though...)
There was Cat Poo on man made beach (see my comments further below) which is very dangerous for children
No adult only pool so if you want a swim in The River, get in there early in the morning before the kids take over
Sun Loungers are really hard to lie on, unlike some reviewers we didn't like them
The safe cost us 35 quid for 2 weeks - NO 5 STAR HOTEL SHOULD BE CHARGING GUESTS FOR A SAFE!!!
Towels in bedroom are old and raggy and worn, management need to replace them asap, they're so thin you can actually see through them, same with the napkins at dinner - there were actual holes. Again, not a 5 star experience for us and when you're paying 3 grand for 2 weeks it should be perfect.
No soundproofing between bedrooms. Enough said.
And here is the in depth version if you want to read on...
Immediately when we arrived quite late in the evening from a long flight and seemingly never-ending journey by coach from the airport (we booked with Thomsons like many of the other reviewers) we were greeted by a staff member who took our luggage from us which was a nice touch. On arrival, the hotel itself is impressive architecturally and during our stay our Rep told us that the hotel had cost 110 million to build. It's easy to see where the money went, as the hotel is unlike any other we've stayed in and is indeed, quite unique in its style and ambience. Check in at Reception was long - we queued for 25 minutes waiting to be checked in but another staff member gave us a non-alcoholic cocktail to sip while we waited. As the wait was quite long, we did feel it would have been better to seat people rather than let them stand for so long. We'd been on the go since 11am that morning when we left our house and at this stage it was 9pm and we were starving. The Reception staff were extremely polite and helpful, with the exception of one guy - Alan - who I am sorry to say, is most definitely in the wrong job. We had the misfortune of having Alan as our check out person and it would be hard to meet a more sombre, disinterested receptionist. Unfortunately he didn't even ask us if we'd enjoyed our stay at the end of our 2 week holiday (which, I might add, was not cheap) and he treated us as if we were simply an annoyance to get rid of (we didn't have any complaints or anything but yet we were met with lots of sighing and shoulder-shrugging...never a good idea when you are a receptionist dealing with paying hotel guests).
Our room was clean and spacious and we were very lucky as we'd requested an upper floor room with a pool view and that was what we got. Our room overlooked The River - if you decide to stay here then ask for a room on the 3rd floor overlooking the River, it's the best view in our opinion. On the downside, the walls quite literally are PAPER THIN in this hotel and we could hear everything next door...from their mobile phone vibrating in the mornings (could have been something else but let's not go there...), the sound of peeing in the toilet, toilet flushing, coughing, laughing, speaking etc... Why oh why did the owners of this hotel spend 110 million on building it and put in such horrendously thin walls? The soundproofing really is non-existent...we wear earplugs anyway wherever we travel so you may want to invest in a pair before you go to the Baobab. There is also a lot of noise from outside the bedrooms which isn't helped by an enormous amount of open space and glass between each floor and the ground floor is like a huge atrium filled with plants. Everything is in the open air so it has the feeling of outside being inside, if that makes sense.
We would also mention that the bed was probably the hardest bed we've ever slept in. 5 star luxury it was not. Again, the owner/management seem to have put all the money into the building itself, the grounds etc but things like comfy beds and little luxuries are what makes a hotel feel more 5 star than 4 star. We have stayed in 3 and 4 stars with more luxurious beds.
The hotel generally is very clean and well looked after, however we did have a chipped drinking glass in our room which was there for the entire 2 weeks and the maid did not notice the chip during that time. Neither did she notice the hairs (not belonging to either me or my partner I hasten to add)
We were given a survey to fill out at dinner during our first week which we did and (in Spanish I might add) I wrote on it that the toilet button in our toilet was broken. (it helps if you learn a few words of Spanish before you go by the way...it's generally appreciated by the staff). The toilet button remained broken so either they didn't read our survey or they didn't care about it enough to fix it. The button actually came out of the wall into my hand once and I spent 20 minutes trying to fix it. So my advice is, if you're given a survey to fill out, well, don't bother as they won't actually read it.
The bathroom is a little different to normal bathrooms in that the toilet is one tiny little room (larger sized people take note, you may struggle a bit in this tiny toilet if you are extra large in size), the sink and mirror is separate and is outside the toilet (again, management - why not invest in better lighting if you're going to spend 110 million on a hotel, the lighting makes you look about 20 years older and more tired than you really are so I avoided it as much as possible) and then the shower/bathroom is another room entirely. Be careful of the floor of the shower room as it is slippy and there is no mat to stand on - I had visions of slipping and whacking my head off the side of the bath in dramatic fashion but thankfully it didn't happen as I was extra careful and moved very slowly).
There are numerous pools in the hotel, 8 in total I think but it would have been really great to see just one "Adults Only" pool area like most 5 star hotels we've been to. Instead, every single pool was overrun with screaming kids and babies and we would definitely see this hotel as a family hotel and not a "romantic couples" hotel (unless screaming kids really don't bother you and you're immune to constant whining and whingeing).
On behalf of the children and families who might be considering staying at the hotel I want to mention one very important thing that management do not seem to be aware of. There are several cats on the property and unfortunately they do go to the toilet in the sand of the man made beach, so please be careful if you have little ones running around barefoot. There was a really nice guy sitting near us who had kids and he spent ages trying to dig up all the cat poo and remove it to another location so his kids could play. Unfortunately the smell was so bad we had to move eventually, so it's just something to be aware of.
Overall our experience of the Baobab was a positive one and I've mentioned the band and bar staff in the Richard Burton bar who were outstanding. Big thanks to the excellent restaurant staff who are very friendly (if a little over-enthusiastic....want to take a break to digest but you haven't quite finished your plate? Don't put your knife and fork down on your plate or a waiter will whisk it away while you are blinking).
It's also quite nice being able to order drinks from your sun lounger without having to get up and go to the bar but we'd have expected this service in any 5 star resort hotel.
Buy your bottles of wine, water and beers in the supermarket down the road from the hotel, it's way cheaper and you can put them in the fridge in your room to chill
Bring earplugs for noise - the band play in the bar until 11.30pm each evening so bear this in mind if you like to go to sleep early and get up early
Ask for a room on the third floor - we heard some people complaining about cockroaches and ants etc but we didn't get anything so I suspect ground floor rooms might be more susceptible to crawlies
Bring your own kettle as there is none in the room and we definitely missed making our own cup of tea
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Lopesan Baobab Resort Location Exclusive luxury Lopesan Baobab Resort was inaugurated in 2009; it is located in the south of the island of Gran Canaria, in the exclusive Meloneras holiday area, just a few walking minutes away from the extensive, several kilometres long, Maspalomas beach and the impressive landscape of sand dunes. Famous Maspalomas lighthouse is situated nearby, as well as the long coastside promenade. ExpoMeloneras Convention Centre is also located only a few steps away from the hotel. General description Five-star hotel Lopesan Baobab Resort has become one of the preferred destinations for family holidays of Spanish national tourists. Thanks to the uniqueness of its architecture inspired by the African continent, its impressive water landscapes with pools, rivers and waterfalls, as well as the high quality services offered, this hotel shows off ethnic charm, modernity and refinement. The hotel’s main entrance leads guests over a picturesque wooden bridge to the reception area, passing a grandiose aquatic landscape with waterfalls. From the lobby you can reach the hotel rooms or the large garden area, on a surface of 56,000 square metres, in the centre of which a large 21 metres high wooden African lodge is located; this lodge houses a restaurant and a bar. Common areas are connected by an extensive sheet of water crisscrossed by small bridges. In total there are nine swimming pools (all of them heatable at different temperatures) covering a total surface of 4,245 square metres. Specially outstanding are: the “lazy river”, two artificial beaches, pools with waterfalls and caves, the “chocolate” pool (the name of which refers to its brown colour) and the “two palm trees” pool, as well as a pool with water attractions for children and babies. The hotel’s leisure and recreation areas are enriched even more by a complete entertainment programme with a variety of activities during the day and in the evenings. Materials used for the hotel’s interior decoration and design were carefully chosen searching the appropriate item for every single corner of the hotel complex. On the walls of the hotel’s buffet restaurants guests will appreciate layers of natural coconut and wooden bricks, as well as French porcelain stoneware on the floors of the pool areas. Regarding the hotel rooms an exquisite finishing with high-quality woodwork and sound insulation was chosen. Other materials which can be found around the hotel are dry bamboo, die-cut steel or coloured mortar with added shredded straw to simulate adobe. Rooms The rooms’ interior design carefully combines colour schemes and African ambience. The Lopesan Baobab was built on a plot of 72,000 square metres with a total of 522 standard double rooms, 8 of them modified for guests with limited mobility and 17 deluxe double rooms with pool, perfect for guests looking for privacy, romanticism and/or relaxation; there are also 55 family doubles and 15 family doubles with direct access to the “chocolate” and the “two palm trees” pools, as well as 8 superior double rooms, 40 junior suites, 20 senior suites and 1 royal suite. There is no doubt that the hotel’s different room categories can meet any requirement or need guests may have, since they can choose from comfortable standard rooms, spacious family rooms, luxury rooms or magnificent suites for young and old. All rooms offer excellent views which vary depending on their location, as for example beautiful panoramic views on the dunes, on the nearby palm oasis, on the hotel’s garden area or the island’s mountain landscape. Gastronomy The Lopesan Baobab Resort offers high quality cuisine in all restaurants, characterized by an elevated level of creativity. For this purpose the hotel’s select kitchen staff puts special emphasis on using the best products and on preparing them in presence of the hotel guests. The ‘Akara’ Restaurant is only open for dinner and its name refers to an African recipe; it offers flavours from the very heart of Africa with a menu committed to originality. The hotel’s second a la carte restaurant is the ‘Pili Pili’ Restaurant, open at lunchtime and specialised in paellas, seafood and grilled meat. Furthermore, there are two buffet restaurants, the ’Marula’ and the ‘Baobab’, the premises of which are conveniently separated to provide differentiated atmospheres where delicacies from international occidental cuisine are served. The restaurants’ wine cellar provides an excellent selection of the finest wines from around the world as a complement to the great gastronomic offer. The hotel also hosts five bars, two of them located in the pool areas; Henry Stanley bar and Mungo Park Bar complete the resort’s restaurant and bar options. Leisure and sports activities The hotel has at its guests’ disposal a complete and varied entertainment programme, offering something for everybody. Many of the organised activities take place during the day and in the evenings, when it’s just the right time to have a drink or enjoy professional shows on the hotel’s outdoor plaza, on a specially designed stage, next to the magnificent African lodge. Furthermore the resort offers a fully-equipped gym and a varied wellness programme, as well as other activities for sports fans. For golf fans the golf courses of Meloneras Golf and Maspalomas Golf are available and a free bus shuttle service to these golf courses is provided by the hotel. For the little hotel guests fun is guaranteed at the hotel’s Panchi World Mini-Club with a stage and two pools for children, one of them with a water-slide. The Lopesan Baobab Resort also houses specially equipped rooms for conferences, conventions and events with highly functional and stylish facilities which can be easily modified and adapted to hold particular events. The hotel’s large panoramic ‘Karisimbi’ room is specially outstanding with a size of 1,002 square metres and a capacity for 800 persons, the perfect choice for any kind of celebration, conference or event. To complete the hotel’s range of services there are, among others, a hairdressing salon with beauty treatments and massages, a boutique & souvenir shop and a private parking area (with extra charge), as well as a babysitter/nanny service (with extra charge). ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Lopesan Baobab Hotel Maspalomas