We booked a room at the Costa Galana for two nights. We stayed in BA for four nights, but wanted to take a side trip. We didn't have time for Mendoza or Iguazu, so we chose to visit Mar Del Plata - about 5.5 hours (by bus) from Buenos Aires.
Mar Del Plata is a really interesting city. We visited the first week in December, which is apparently right before high season. The beaches were full of empty cabanas waiting to be filled with vacationing portenos! The Costa Galana was really a lovely hotel. The service was excellent. Unfortunately, my husband and I speak very limited Spanish, but the English speaking staff was very helpful in suggesting things to do and see during our short stay. The weather was, unfortunately, pretty cool and blustery. We had one day where we were able to lay out by the pool and get some sun.
I also took advantage of the spa - I had a wonderful shiatsu massage with a reflexology treatment. Very relaxing, and the prices were very reasonable!
You have to insert your keycard into the wall to turn on the electricity in the room (including the air conditioning). It was pretty cool when we were there (highs in the 70s), but I could see the rooms becoming pretty steamy in the middle of summer. That's a pretty minor negative - overall our experience was great. Also - if you order room service in the morning (medialunas, pastries, juice, yogurt, coffee, cereal, etc.) it's very inexpensive ($12)!
I spent 4 nights with a contingent of 1500 people attending a medical meeting in Mar del Plata. We had a booth and paid for 60 nights (md´s and nurses).
Our experience in the hotel was not a worldwide 5*.
I assume this was related to the incredible load of people that arrived in a few hours to the hotel and the result was that the hotel could simply not handle the situation.
In detail what I liked was:
- Great unbeatable location.
- The staff are very helpful in general: reception, bell boys, concierge, restaurant, etc. No matter what you do, they are there to serve you, a big +
- The jacuzzi overlooking the beach is nice.
- Breakfast is good for Mar del Plata standards.
What I did not like was:
- The hotel has not changed in many years meaning... It looks outdated, and it needs a new face.
- The rooms look quite old and decor could be improved.
- The treadmills and machines in the gym are quite old.
- Internet did not work for about 24 hours, and we had a power outage for about 10 hours, in all booths in the lobby, causing some pain. On a sidenote, they charge $ (pesos) 30.- for internet per day, standard for a 5* hotel, a ripoff in my opinion in ANY hotel.
- Telephony was not working well. Too many people? Maybe. Took ages for operator to pick up the phone.
- It is quite expensive for Argentine standards. The regular room was about $ (pesos) 395 + 21% VAT.
Would I go again? I would go to the Sheraton first or look for a boutique hotel before returning.
Wonderful Hotel. I have stayed in the Sheraton too and this is by far the best hotel in Mar del Plata. All staff are super corteous and the access to their own beach is second to none! It really is nice when hotel owners care about every single bit of customer feedback and always ensure to meet all customers who have a problem or commendation.
Definately stay here
The Hotel Galana was very beautiful and the suite is a must. However, the city of Mar Del Plata is quite awful. The city is depressing, the sea is cold. It is tijuana on the sea. For us Americans that are use to Laguna or Key West, expect third world poverty. As an American I would only stay in BA, this city does not offer enough to entice me to return.
My partner & I have stayed at this hotel at New Year for the last two years - it's the best hotel in town.
The hotel is set opposite the best beach in MdP - with a private tunnel linking it so you don't even have to cross the road. If you are not a beach person there is a great pool (second floor, no sea view) with staff who are attentive, but don't try to Sell at every opportunity.
The hotel's interior design is not "beach-side casual" - if you moved the hotel to the best area of Buenos Aires it would fit in just fine - but the staff are charming and helpful. A really nice atmosphere.
Housekeeping at the hotel is Immaculate. Everywhere is very well maintained and clean. Manicures and massages are good value.
If you like a morning walk there is a super sea front promenade that runs all the way into town.
Two blocks behind the hotel is a street with many bars. It doesn't really get going till after midnight, but even then it has a very nice relaxed atmosphere.
A few more blocks back (take a taxi for next to nothing) is a great street (Guemes) with many nice shops and eateries. Perfect for lunch.
Breakfast in the hotel has lots of choice. Didn't use the hotel's restaurants as there are so many places to eat locally - try the place three blocks back opposite the Cemetery ... I know that doesn't sound enticing, but the food is great and it's a real place for Argentines not tourists.
Being the best hotel in town (we visited the other 5 stars for drinks and they don't compare) it does price accordingly. Even by European standards it's fairly expensive. However if you want the best ...
This year we're off to Chile - but make no mistake, next time we're in MdP we'll be back at the Costa Galana!