We (a family of 5 with kids aged 12, 10 and 6) booked this hotel from the internet with no previous knowledge of the hotle and like most reviewers, were slightly apprehensive as a result of some of the negative comments and reviews. We normally go self catering holidays where we arrange it all ourselves but on this occassion we were going with friends and decided to get our first taste of All Inclusive.
Although living in Scotland, we flew from Manchester as the price was £1000 cheaper than flying from Glasgow (we went during the Scottish October half term holiday). The flight was well organised and despite being slightly delayed, our arrival and transfer to the hotel went smoothly. The First Choice reps and operation was well organised and very helpful. We had no delays at hotel check-in which was at around 10pm. No food was available at that time from the restaurants but there was a chilled meal in the room fridge. This was ok but would not have been to everybodies taste. We arranged our 100 euro deposit, tv remote and towel tokens at check-in. The rooms are reasonably large but if you are going all inclusive, the space taken up by the kitchenette is wasted space and having 5 in the room was a bit of a squeeze but as we only used the room for sleeping, this was not an issue for a week. Might have become more of a pain if we had been staying for a fortnight. The buffet restaurant was good. I had been expecting 'never mind the quality, feel the width!' but was pleasantly surprised by the quality, choice and variety. The food was regularly checked and reorganised by the staff and there was always something fresh being prepared by the chef's e.g. various grilled fish or meats. Salad bar, fish, meat, vegetables, pasta, rice, potatoes etc etc were always available. There was also a reasonable selection of UK style food through to local Spanish specialities to suit most tastes. There was also plenty of variety for the kids although, having been to kids hotels in Austria etc where the kids food is fresh, the chicken nuggets, fish fingers etc was generally of a poor quality. Drinks were always available in the buffet restaurant and in the bars. We had no problems with surly staff anywhere and always found them efficient at least, but on the whole friendly and pleasant. Only comment on this is that there was no tea or coffee available in the buffet restaurant at lunchtime or in the evening but it was available in the bars. We did not go to either the italian or mexican restaurants as we (and the kids) were happy with the buffet selection and variety. The pools were cold (it was October and c25C during the day) but the kids didn't mind. One day was colder and the kids went into the indoor pool and had a great time there too! The beach club is fantastic. The pools, slides etc are great to have in your hotel grounds. Comments here would be that the donut rings for the slides were only available on Sat, Mon and Wed and even then some of the slides were 'under maintenance' and not available. The donuts were also only available 11am-3pm but despite these restrictions still cost 5euro per 'day'. Also, the beach club closed at 6pm meaning that we couldn't go after this time to play football or tennis in the courts when it got cooler.
We had some of the usual issues with Spanish accomodation e.g. shower that leaked over the floor like a tsunami, noisy neighbours, noise from the showroom bar after midnight when the staff were cleaning and tidying up etc but these niggles did not negatively impact on our holiday.
They open atrium style of hotle means that all rooms are open to the common lobby areas and this could make the hotel noisy with kids etc particularly around midnight.
Being October, the hotel was not full but would not like to have been there at peak holiday season.Can see that the restaurants, check-in and pool areas would suffer if put under much more pressure that during our stay.
Whilst our kids seem to have an aversion to holiday kids clubs, what they did participate in and the shows at night, were excellent. The kids and entetrtainment staff were enthusiastic and seemed to be enjoying themselves. They were first class! In particular, the majic show stood out and was actually very entertaining.
Overall, a great holiday and excellent value for money. Would go all inclusive in October again.
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- Also Known As:
- Holiday Village Benalmadena, Costa Del Sol, Spain
- Benalmadena Holiday Village