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“Ignore the moaners...Great hotel, fab location...”

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TUI Sensimar Riviera by MedPlaya
Ranked #5 of 45 Hotels in Benalmadena
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed September 10, 2013

Firstly can I say that I have only reviewed a handful of places I have stayed for leisure purposes over the last couple of years, but my husband and I have been lucky enough to travel worldwide for work, over many years and have a vast experience of hotels, hospitality and customer service.

Location:
Great location on the beachfront with a lift goes to the promenade level therefore very easy for travellers with accessibility needs. Close to the Marina and some lovely beachfront restaurants.

Dining:
Good selection of tasty and interesting dishes. For breakfast you can opt for a tasty omelette cooked how you like it, Spanish style crunchy bacon with large juicy Spanish tomatoes. Traditional tapas were delicious. Service was great and waiting staff all very professional, friendly and efficient. The only negative comment would be that the plates are red hot and you need to use several serviettes (which are provided) to pick them up. I spoke to the restaurant manager to suggest a sign to alert customer, as sometimes you didn't realise how hot the plate was until it was too late, and he said he would look at arranging this.

Entertainment:
It is true that the hotel entertainment isn't really up to much. The two girls who make up the team are trying but not really hitting the mark. The poolside games are quite childish. The evening of flamenco dancing was really good and the Spanish singer was good but I would suggest he just play guitar and loose the backing track.

The room was clean and nicely decorated. The bed was comfortable. Bathroom was superb with his and her sinks and a fabulous walk in shower with a large rain showerhead. Our housemaid Cecilia was lovely and couldn't do enough for us.

Pool:
The Pool was clean and it wasn't a difficulty getting a sun bed. The hotel does not allow you to reserve beds with towels. The pool was very warm when we went and I thought it was heated but it may have been due to the lovely hot weather. Perhaps the hotel can confirm...?

Age demographic:
The average age of guest is around 50. I am 40 and I found it a pleasant surprise to see such a spectrum of ages from early 20s up to 70+ It’s great that people of all ages can have a nice time on holiday in the same hotel. If you want music by the pool and a party atmosphere this isn't the hotel for you, however if you want a nice relaxing time, listening to your own choice of music, or reading a book while basking in the sunshine with a cold beer to hand, then it is...you could say, your own happy little 'paracosm'

One last thing…it would be great if the hotel could invest in a nice bookcase that could sit in reception for the books available and not in a cardboard desk under the Thompsons reps desk. Brits love a book exchange!

All in all, I believe this hotel is great value for money and you will have a good time. Please feel free to contact me with any questions. I am more than happy to help dispel any negativity.

Room Tip: Top floor facing marina.
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  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank CandidOne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,369 - 1,375 of 1,853 reviews

Reviewed September 9, 2013 via mobile

Great food,service and rooms.very clean and modern.lovely location close to shops,banks,chemist and restaurants..entertainment in evening a little boring.lovely place to stay defo go back.cudnt pick fault if I tried,was great from start to finish,was a lot of maturer couples there.look out for mo wen u get there she will be waiting for u in reception,with ur free trips lol

  • Stayed: June 2013
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2  Thank tinsletoes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 8, 2013

Please let me have your next review where you stay your review was spot on I thought I was the only one who had negative views on this hotel.
I agree with most of the comments you have made although you were a bit harsh on the pensioners. The food was poor after a few days I had a sore tongue with the food having far too much salt in it my wife blamed the sea water from the beach but I know it was the food.I agree resident duo not very good at all although they did try, not BGT material there were 3 good acts on while we were there some good singers and dancers. We found the race for the sunbeds was between 8 / 9am we sat on our balcony taking bets with each other who would be first to grab there sunbed first. Pool and terraces very good temperature was O.K. for us, again food at the pool bar limited choice and poor quality. Rooms are quite nice but I would not pay again for a superior room as the other ones look O.K. and you get a side sea view as long as you get one facing the pool and not one on the 1st floor as you get people walking past your balcony. I would suggest the hotel reviews its policy on the room fridge and the deposit charges for pool towels the fridge should be free after all it is using power even if you are not using it??.
Please read Paracosm review it is a honest one and I am looking forward to him or her finishing the one that was started by them I had a good laugh at the comments made ( but not looking forward to getting any older ). To sum up we still had a good holiday here but thought it a bit pricey for what we got, but you tend to overcome the negatives and enjoy yourselves anyhow we only hope the hotels management read our comments and action on the them, only then will things improve.

Room Tip: Side sea view facing the pool but no sun after 5pm other side sun until much later do not choose one...
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  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank dickymintCumbriauk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 8, 2013

This was our 2nd holiday at the Riviera. The refurbishment was lovely and very contemporary. The age group was mixed both with delightful older characters and young dreamy couples . I was amazed at how disrespectful and ignorant one reviewer was. The staff are very helpful and professional, we found Christina to be a wonderful Rep with good knowledge and lots of fun .The food was of a very high standard with plenty of variety both for breakfast and evening meal . We went for our meal around 8.15 . The staff were constantly replacing dishes and didn`t start clearing away until after 9 pm .The location is perfect. I would recommend a visit to Palm 5 Bar and Benys Bar which are right when you come on the promenade and also recommend a beautiful bar called the Oceano Lounge run by Christopher in the Plaza Ole fabulous cocktails !! I would recommend this hotel to anyone and look forward to our next visit here.

Room Tip: Ask for a room overlooking the pool
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  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank dermot s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 7, 2013

stayed here with my partner from the end of august for 1 wk ,we chose this hotel because we know that the majority of its guests are 50 plus and that what we like. A guarantee of a sun lounger and no rowdy youths, we was right the guests were I would say 75% over 55 and the rest a mixture a few young couples but having conversations with a few we found that's the reason they booked.No children 18 plus .The transfer was a bit daunting it took the coach driver 1hr 20 mins to do the short journey ,he was driving very ,very slowly ,arrived at the hotel at 11.30 to find our room was not available and we had to wait until after2,30 to get in there and when we finally got in we were a little disappointed because the room ,superior sea view is not at all how it appears in the Thomson brochure If you book make sure you ask for a room not on the corner over looking the sea we were in605 we noticed 607 608 etc the rooms were very big compared to ours.
The restaurant could be a little more appetising the food is bland .We did eat out a few time.
Thomson rep Christina very helpful ,nice lady.
entertainment we saw was ok aa very good trio on a Friday night soul .
the pool was very clean,the gardens and bathing area immaculate and the cleanliness throughout the hotel was very good ..We will go back but maybe just ask for a standard room with sea view we met some very nice people

Room Tip: choose one that is not on a corner .oh and also beware of the extra charges of a fridge that's s...
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  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank susiehutch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 5, 2013 via mobile

We have just returned from a very enjoyable stay at the Hotel Riviera having stayed there for a week. I would firstly like to point out that we are a couple in our 30s and we found there to be a mix of ages within the hotel. I feel some reviews are very rude and disrespectful towards the older guests, many of whom we witnessed to be more jovial than the 'sour faced' people who obviously seem to expect to get a 5 star hotel when only paying the price of a four star hotel!
On arrival we were pleasantly surprised by the rooms, being of a good size with a very large bed and huge walk in shower in a wet room style bathroom. We had a fabulous view from our balcony on the 8th floor looking out to sea. It caught the afternoon sun until later on in the evening. The only fault I found in the bedroom was that the wardrobe was not tall enough to hang longer clothes up straight. There a shelf at the bottom meaning longer clothes such as maxi dresses ended up get creased easily.
The location of the hotel is fantastic set on the promenade with the marina a short walking distance and services buses which run regularly enabling you to visit many places nearby such as Malaga and Mijas.
The pool is of fair size but not huge and there is a rule of no lilos or runner rings in there. Until the last couple of days we had no problem in finding a sun bed later on in the morning or afternoon. However as new guests arrived they obviously felt the need to reserve a bed some of whom we spotted sit on their beds for all of an hour at most all day. The hotel had signs up to say bed should be returned to after half an hour or towels will be removed but we didn't see this followed.
The food in the hotel I would say was typical for a good 4 star hotel, you get what you pay for. I am a very picky eater but I found there to be plenty to choose from for both breakfast and dinner. We enjoyed many items from the tapas corner in the evening andthe omelettes and pancakes made freshly at the show cooking area for breakfast were very good. We were very happy to see good prices for drinks in the hotel as we expected these to be high with being a half board hotel.
The entertainment in the hotel was something we found not to be so good, but after reading reviews before arrival we expected this. The reps were lovely and did try hard to make activities and evening entertainment sound exciting and interesting but there wasnt the variety needed to cater for all ages and interests. There seemed to be singers on every night when maybe there should have been something with more variety especially if there is to be a mix of ages in the hotel.
On the whole we found all staff members to be friendly and attentive and they really wanted to help you to have a good stay which we did so thank you! We would return to this hotel and we will be recommending it to friends and family. We usually travel to 5 star all inclusive hotels but this hotel really made us think about getting more value for our money which you certainly get here.

  • Stayed: August 2013
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1  Thank Hbro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 3, 2013

Reporting live from the Riviera Hotel Benalmedina. Day 5 and here is the review so far.
PARACOSM
We are two experienced travellers in our mid 40s who have stayed in over 10 adult only resorts but have never experienced anything quite like this. I will be as honest and as fair as I can.
HOTEL
It is of a good standard rooms are light and airy with great views across the sea and to the marina. The public areas are nice and are generally clean, until I witnessed the cleaner wiping out ashtrays and then cleaning the tables with the same cloth! Pool is not heated but we don't mind that however it takes nerves of steel to get in.
FOOD
The safest bet at breakfast is to opt for the omelette as opposed to the burnt bacon, awful tasting sausages and watery tomatoes. The freshly baked bread is nice. Now, evening meals, there seems to be a fair choice until you look more closely but heaven help you if you' re not there by 18.30 as by 20.00 they're packing it all away. Nothing has any taste or flavour and normally there is soggy pasta then a choice of what I can only describe as four trays of slop advertised as either meat stew, an odd looking curry, a tray full of what seems to be toast toppers (from the 70s) chips, rice. The salad bar included raw onions, raw beet root, soggy tomatoes, pickled onions, gherkins and the occasional olive (tinned, not fresh). There is a tapas station where they have little bite size portions of supposedly Spanish dishes (like ham and cheese sandwich!) that sit under the hot lights turning all the bread soggy. Yesterday I saw margarita pizza with bacon bits on the top. The veggie option yesterday was a slice of pineapple on breads with a melted Kraft cheese slice over the top. Bloody awful. Mostly all the food is soggy and to me, inedible and believe me I'm not a fussy eater at all. There is a reason why the food is soggy.......which is addressed below. If you can find a clean glass to put your morning juice in then you are a better man than me, unclean plates and mugs and service with a snarl. We should have taken heed of the couple we met on the plane, they asked us where we were staying - then wished us 'good luck' having been here themselves last year. 
For lunch, drop out of the bottom hotel gate, turn right, walk 200 metres and try the Drunken Sailor, it's British food but hey this place is about as Spanish as Blackpool and we're hungry.
SIXTH SENSE
Now, this is a couples hotel and there are no children here. However the average age of the guests is around 70 and they return here every year so all I see is nearly dead people who hobble round with their walking sticks or shuffle around the hotel at tortoise pace especially at meal times when they fill their plates with the food they don't have to chew. But wait, all is not what it seems, come 7am in the morning, when its still dark!, the sunbed 100metre dash takes place and all thoughts of hip replacements are lost in the Olympic style race where the Luddites must get the same spot as they always have. They have created their own little paracosm ( a narnia or oz) type of place where only they exist. Be warned my friends, if these people try to engage you in conversation they will pull you into their dark, black world of illnesses, woe-be-tide stories of those who have died in their lives and how lonely they are, don't be fooled or you will end up having to adopt them for the period of your stay. Be wary, very wary not to get dragged into their paracosm.
ENTERTAINMENT
If you can call it that. A resident duo who resemble Renee & Renata who wouldn't get a gig anywhere else in the world, so why here Thomsons? We've been punished this week so far by a Charlie Chaplin act that at best was a bad juggler with a whistle, then we had Gordon - the versatile vocalist who looked like Harry Hill on acid and sounded much like that too, we had Roman, whom we couldn't understand as all the songs sounded the same. They all sing the same songs every night. Whilst watching this dogs tripe you can order awful premixed cocktails from the bar. Tonight, the resident Renee &Renata have a request night, no guessing what I will be asking for!!!!!!! We usually stay for the first two songs in hope of things getting better, then scarper out as quick as we can.
The Motown night was great a real lively group of guys with fabulous voices and bags of personality! More of this please.
REPS
They are clearly trying their very very best but to them I guess it's like trying to resuscitate a first aid dummy. They clearly need to be at a younger hotel, listen up Thomson. So, Thomson, this hotel doesn't belong in your Couple brochure, more like your G(old) catalogue, better still pass it on to Saga before you're reputation is tarnished.
So stand by holidaymakers for more updates as we have more than a week to endure yet.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank MacWat24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
vandamed, Guest Relations at TUI Sensimar Riviera by MedPlaya, responded to this reviewResponded September 3, 2013

Dear MacWat24.

Thank you for your sincere comment and for sharing your recent holiday experience. I am sorry to hear you don't enjoy your stay at the hotel. Hotel Riviera is a Couples Hotel open to public for all ages and we don't make preference in age of the customer.
Regarding the food, we haven't received any complaints about the quality and presentation of the food. Our main concern is to meet quality standards in all the aspects which we successfully achieve. I can assure you we usually receive positive comments from our guests and we make the effort to deliver the best service possible at all times.
Please feel free to contact me or reception in order to improve your holiday experience. Please rest assured your comments will be forwarded to the hotel management.

Thank you.
Kind regards,

Vanda Lehnerova
Guest Relations Costa del Sol
Medplaya.com

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about TUI Sensimar Riviera by MedPlaya

Address: Avda Antonio Machado 49, 29630, Benalmadena, Spain
Phone Number:
Location: Spain > Andalucia > Province of Malaga > Costa del Sol > Benalmadena
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#2 Spa Hotel in Benalmadena
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Benalmadena
#5 Luxury Hotel in Benalmadena
Price Range: $102 - $376 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — TUI Sensimar Riviera by MedPlaya 4*
Number of rooms: 189
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Hotel Riviera Benalmadena
TUI Sensimar Riviera By MedPlaya Benalmadena, Costa Del Sol, Spain

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