Stayed here the October Half Term week with three of my children with ages ranging from 17 to 8. We had chosen a 2 bedroom villa. The Villas are located at the rear of the hotel complex away from the pools and restaurant. They are not villas but apartments. We had a first floor 2 bedroom apartment which was exactly that, 2 bedrooms and a bathroom. The Villa was spotlessly clean and the ladies came every day to clean it, remember to put your "Do Not Disturb" on the door if you dont want them walking in from 8am. Our apartment was quite noisy being attached on all sides to other apartments and also suffering from noise nuisance from the apartment below. Screaming babies in the night was a slight issue for me. The two rooms were equipped with a television each but suffered a lack of English speaking channels, we watched Cartoon Network all week so I am now heartily sick of it. There was BBC World showing the news and CNBC which had American programmes on but these were repeated constantly throughout the week. The television would not have been an issue but the weather was decidedly cold in the evenings and so there was a lack of animation which the children wanted to take part in, so we were forced to spend our evenings in the Villa.
The hotel did not appear to be completely full despite the holiday time and we were definitely not the only British in the place, however the majority are German and Russian which is not a problem except at meal times as they have different views on queuing to us. The pools were cold due to the time of the year but this did not put my children off using them and they especially enjoyed the water slides. There was an indoor pool available which was quite popular if you could not hack the cool outside water temperatures.
A special mention to Driss, a member of the Entertainment Crew. He worked so hard in multi languages to get people to participate in activities throughout the day and evening. The Smiley Team were also commendable and happy to help with any little queries or problems. We paid for a Photo Shoot whilst at the Hotel and were very happy with the results, although be careful it can end up quite pricey.
We used the bus service to go into the town several times. This is extremely easy to use and only costs 1 euro per person each way. The buses come along every 10 minutes so you dont have to wait long. You do have to go outside the hotel complex to catch these, just a 2 minute walk to the "Apothecary" opposite the Hotel Linda.
My only negative was the dining experience. This was the first time I have gone All Inclusive and will probably be my last. Yes, it is great to have the drinks on tap and the children can go and ask for a drink at any time of the day and the bottles of water were extremely welcome but the evening meal times were a nightmare for me. I like my evening meal when on holiday to be something of a special event, usually trying a different restaurant every evening and being served at your table. At the Otium it was more like sitting in the middle of Kings Cross Station whilst eating. First of all you had to wait to find a table, we tried different times of the evening and found it busy whenever we went. The noise level was incredible, my youngest daughter even commented that it was like "school dinners in the school dining hall" and you were constantly bumped and jostled whilst trying to serve yourself food and also whilst sitting at your table. I enquired about booking a table in the A La Carte Restaurant but unfortunately this was closed early for the end of season so we had no alternative but to put up with the "Cattle Market". The food was plentiful, rather bizarre concotions which I assume were for the benefit of the German and Russian clients but I found it all a bit bland. The children lived off pasta all week. The breakfast and lunches were much better I have to say. The beautiful cake creations on the dessert stand looked fantastic but after a couple of days you realise they all taste the same and are extremely sweet. I had one day of illness which I think was probably food or water related and the last day my son also came down with the same thing.
On our last day we were booked on a late night flight. The hotel staff allowed us to stay in our Villa until 3pm but after this time we had to hang around the hotel lobby until 6.30pm when our transfer collected us.
All in all it was a lovely little break away before the Winter arrives but we will not be returning to this hotel. It wasnt that it was a bad experience but I prefer something a little more up-market.
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- Also Known As:
- Otium Eco Club Side Hotel Side