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“Strange place for a business trip”

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PortAventura Hotel Gold River
Ranked #16 of 94 Hotels in Salou
Portugal
Level Contributor
45 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Strange place for a business trip”
Reviewed November 16, 2013

Bearing in mind that the property was being used for a golf show, I found it the strangest place on earth. However, if I was on holiday with my family I would certainly have liked it more. On the first day it seemed the hotel teams were not ready for such a big event. Not enough staff and certainly not educated in terms of the concept of the event. However, more staff arrived and slowly things were appearing in my room: Amenities in a box on the first day, slippers on the 2nd day and bathrobe and glass glasses to drink on the 3rd day. I heard from other guests that they had none of these things, so I was glad I had them. I had a family room just for myself and I felt very comfortable in it. The Opera restaurant is okay, not fantastic. The saloon only served hot dogs. On one night they decided to open the buffet for dinner and I loved the starters and the desserts. The main courses were fine and with a big variety, but not excellent. Breakfast was good, with many options. Not a cosy restaurant, but certainly big enough for all guests!!

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Katy4Smile
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Bratislava, Slovakia
Level Contributor
17 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed November 12, 2013 via mobile

We were staying in this hotel while my husband attended a fair in Portaventura. First of all, it was a travel fair-with travel agents, media people and various reps attending, so you would think that the hotel will want to present its best to attract new potential visitors. Well very wrong!! We certainly won't send any tourists here after our experience!

The staff at the hotel really is most unhelpful! Check in did take almost an hour and there was noone in front of us! Entering our room we found out that we were given a twin (we're a recently married couple and the reception staff knew that this visit was part of our honeymoon). After returning to the reception, we were told that there are no double rooms in the main building (it has 7 floors)-ehm WHAT?? The second receptionist then exlained that the don't see in the system what kind of a bed a room has-again WHAT?? We ended up paying extra 40€ per night just to get a double room at Lucy's Mansion. Yet it was worth it-the rooms are much nicer, they're also much bigger and not shabby as the rooms in the main building. The only annoyance was that we had only one pair of slippers, the mini bar was empty (and not refilled) and the amenities were wrapped/packed in a box. It looked overall as if the room was closed for the season already a d no guests were expected soon. The shower gel and shampoo are placed in a dispenzer which is not usual for a four star hotel (and looks just hiddeous).

We came in the off season, so there was neither staff in the Mansion, nor any breakfast served. We had to go to the main building for breakfast, which was no problem but it would be useful receiving this info at check in.

Breakfast was poor, not at all what you expect at a four star hotel. The breakfast room is ugly and load, due to metal furniture on ceramic floor. We went to get some fruits after having eggs and our table has been cleaned away in the meantime..

We were here at the beginning of November and the hotel and the whole park already had Xmas decorations. It is a theme hotel in western style, so be prepared that everything is in western style. It's definetely not our preference but I guess some guests can like it (mainly children probably). Just Xmas decor and western style was a bit too much.

Our recommendation: If you want to go to Portaventura, go, but do stay in another hotel or your whole holiday can get ruined.

Stayed November 2013, traveled on business
Helpful?
4 Thank DiaMel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PA_PortAventura, PortAventura at PortAventura Hotel Gold River, responded to this review, January 17, 2014
Dear DiaMel.

We truly regret that our stay in the park hasn’t been fully pleasant. We really appreciate your comments in order to improve our services. Please accept our apologies.

Best regards,
PortAventura
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed October 28, 2013 via mobile

The hotel was immaculate staff were always making sure that there was no dirt anywhere-they even swept outside and cleaned down things like bridges and statues. The room was a great standard and was always the right temperature(stayed in city hall)
In addition to the constant tidiness the staff were always ready to help (they even called the room to make sure we were having a good stay) when we asked for some extra pillows they brought them within half an hour and there was even a few English tv channels on the tv.
The hotel complex was exiting and fun (keeping the Wild West theme throughout the resort) and it was also very clean and enjoyable. There is 3 spotless pools which were a nice temperature (when I went the outside temp was 23-26) and the pools were very attractive too.
To get to the portaventura theme park you cross a bridge in the Wild West city it takes a few mins but is a nice walk and a good lead up to the park.
Once you are through the gates the park is yours to explore the question are kept minimal and the rides are fun and exiting: there is something for everyone.
Food at the park is good value and tasty however each restaurant there is pretty much the same menu.
Food at the gold river complex is also good quality and there is a wide verity of international foods at all mealtimes my stay was excellent and I would go there over Disneyland anyday.

Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
Helpful?
5 Thank Gareth S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Birmingham, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed October 12, 2013

I have recently returned from a stay at Hotel Gold River with my family, and I have to say that for a supposed 4* hotel at a "European Destination Resort" I was left incredibly disappointed.

Often, the staff can make an average hotel excellent. In this case, the staff made an OK hotel awful at times. With the exception of the waiting staff in the restaurants (who were excellent, as was the food), almost all of the staff treated everyone like prisoners, barking orders and never going out of their way to help. When we checked in, my son asked a question and he was shot down and almost shouted at by a surly staff member. It also took over an hour to check in, despite the line not being very long. Lifeguards at the pool were inattentive and clearly preferred to talk amongst themselves, and in one case were not watching the pool for at least half an hour.

People smoking in the restaurant seating areas was consistently annoying, and the hotel should introduce a policy on this. You could not sit anywhere outside or near the pool without smoke being blown in your face, especially in the busy afternoons. The fact that the hotel has several cigarette vending machines alongside the 'Fun Photo' booths is shocking - and the hotel is aimed at families.

Most hotel areas were dirty or in need of deep cleaning, despite the hotel being only a few years old. Carpets were stained and dirty, the bar in reception was filthy and more.The cleaning staff wore different uniforms to hotel staff, and it looked like some sort of two tier system, with cleaners being at the bottom which made them stand out - this seemed unfair. Thankfully our room was clean, but the toiletries were limited to a single bar of soap and some shampoo in a dispenser, which was not what you would expect from a 4* hotel. The decor was very basic and there is only Free WiFi in the main building, but it was manageable. I was pleased to see a fridge in the room, although it was never full (water and soft drinks cost around 2,5 euro per bottle).

The theme park was the redeeming feature of the resort, and the Shambhala coaster was simply amazing. If you do visit the resort (ideally staying anywhere but this hotel), take time to watch the shows - they really set the park apart from other European parks. We didn't visit the waterpark, but we paid to visit the Lumine Beach Club which was excellent - a complete contrast to the hellish hotel pool at times. It was definitely worth the cost - but is only open for the summer season.

I would not return to Hotel Gold River, and was extremely disappointed with the staff, cleanliness and value of the hotel. I would consider returning to the theme park in future, but probably as a day trip as part of a stay in Barcelona (an hour by train).

Room Tip: Rooms in the main building have free Wi-Fi.
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
2 Thank npr2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
35 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed October 9, 2013

I stayed at Hotel Gold River with my family for 6 nights in August, having previously stayed at Hotel PortAventura in the resort in 2008 and 2010. Since both stays, the park and hotel have clearly changed, with the most obvious differences being the constant nickel and diming and decline in service.

On arrival at check in we received a sour greeting from the reception staff, and didn't feel that they went out of their way to help us or that they were particularly knowledgeable. Whenever we needed anything it always seemed too much trouble or they could not understand what we said, and this was never a problem on our stays previously. After 40 minutes waiting and being served at check-in, we made our way up to our room, which had a really impressive view of the theme park.

The room was clean but basic, and there was no amenities or gifts like there was on our last visits, and also benefits like free PortAventura Express (now costs extra, one of the many adverts in reception will tell you), one free waterpark access, free beach club access etc. have all disappeared.

Public areas of the hotel were a mixed bag, many were dirty (pictures included) and were not addressed at all during our stay. The lifts had chewing gum in the corners and the carpet outside our room was heavily stained and the reception area was flooded by the fountain on one day!

Evening entertainment during our stay was non existent and was quite honestly a joke. On our last stay there was a nightly children's show and a two hour long Mini-Disco, in addition to the regular activities at the pool including volleyball. This time around - nothing - no entertainment staff at the pool and the 'character breakfast' involved only one character and they weren't even in the restaurant!

You do not feel valued as a hotel guest at all, and sometimes are worse off, e.g hotel guests get 30% off waterpark access, but day visitors get 50% off if they retain their park ticket. I would recommend the Unlimited Express band option for hotel guests however if you are staying for a couple of days, as the pass is valid for your entire stay for the cost of a one day band in the park.

Smoking was my other major gripe at the resort in general - you could not enjoy a meal at some of the restaurants (many exclusively outdoor seating only) because of smokers, and at the pool you couldn't relax as you would like. Lifeguards even allowed smoking IN the pool!

I would not recommend this hotel based on our stay.

Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
Helpful?
5 Thank Oliver P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Moscow, Moscow City, Russia
Level Contributor
40 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed September 27, 2013

We stayed for only one night to visit Port Aventura park. The price was great provided that it includes access to the park on all days of stay (including arrival and departure).
All buildings in the hotel are amuzing - you are like in Wild West. And the park is just in 3 minutes with private entrance.
The room is simple, but ok. However the minibar was empty, not even water.
Breakfast was ok, but upon arrival you gey a card stating your time of breakfast. Ours' was at 8.30. So you've got to enter not later than 8.30.
Check-in is quite late - at 3 p.m. But you can go to the park even in the morning leaving your luggage.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Olga_Pskov
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Horsham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
253 reviews
57 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 192 helpful votes
Reviewed September 11, 2013

We spent a week at the Gold River in August, our second visit to the park after staying at one of the original hotels around 7 years ago. Hopefully this will help you make up your mind which hotel and what package and some tips whilst you visit - if it does click to say it was helpful, it makes the review worthwhile!

Overall the hotel was clean but lacked the FUN out of functional - they need to work at this like Disney or Universal do - the staff wre pleasant and efficient but need to SMILE , especially with the kids, that's what these hotels are all about. The park is good enough to warrant the difference in flight times and price to the USA, especially if your kids are younger. The food was good quality wherever we ate, no problems with that.

There are 4 hotels at the resort and two have direct entry to the park, Gold River and The Aventura. The El Paso and the Caribe are a short walk (or free trolley ride) down from the front entrance. On the half board package you can eat dinner at any hotel or at a few restaurants in the park. We ate at Aventura a couple of times and Caribe once and as we stayed last time at the El Paso have therefore seen all of the hotels.

The Gold River is a nice idea, a main hotel block where we stayed and then a 'town' of western style buildings housing other room blocks, you could find yourself staying in the undertakers...! Our room was clean, average size with two double beds, good air con, flat screen TV, bath with shower, free minisafe and fridge which you can stock with overpriced resort drinks or your own that you buy in Salou :)- The beds are hard, and the pillows very thin, we asked for more and were told NO, should have insisted. There were about 6 hangers for three people - ask for more...

A bug bear of mine is when in hot climates the water is a premium charge and in the hotel or park you pay $1.80 for a 500ml bottle - should be far less. Make sure you keep your bottles and you can fill these up at the water machines in the restaurant at dinner or breakfast, keep them in the fridge and take them to the park.

When we arrived a small queue formed at reception of maybe 10 families and this took OVER AN HOUR for three people to check us in. This was torture and I hope the hotel read this as every day we saw tired faces in the queue, it really should not take more then a couple of minutes. The reason for this is that I guess they are targetted at selling you the fast pass for the park which was about $15 euros for one day, one ride only on the main rides or $49 for the week. We decided to check out the park first and yes its busy during the day but the queues in the evenings were not so bad so we did a few rides in the day, saw the shows, had pooltime then back into the park in the evening after dinner. You can buy the fast pass at any time.

You get allocated a 'slot' for breakfast to manage the very high numbers and these can be different for each day and we were told you can change them - when we asked a couple of days in we were told NO - not available but in reality if you went down before or after they were not too fussed.

There is customer service in reception, where you change your dinner location or ask general questions. Again if there are two people in front of you this can take 30 minute, Gold River you need to improve this, I know I have to queue in the park but in the hotel? They also gave us mis-information on day one when we asked how to get to Salou - they said you can't walk (the park is surrounded by fences which means walking out from Gold River is too long and a taxi was $15. They said we had to go to Reus to hire a car - WRONG on both counts. As we had been before we knew the park entrance was at Hotel Aventura and from there buses go every few minutes and you can actually get the trolley to Caribe and walk to Salou from there in 15 mins. The bus costs between $1 and around $3 to go to Salou or Tarragona or the local beaches. In Hotel Aventura there are car hire desks - did they really not know that? The train station is near the park entrace - you can walk accross the park from the GR to the entrance then out. Trains go to Tarragona (8 mins) and to Barcelona (1 hour) - Barcelona is well worth a day out.

The prices for food in the hotels (or the park) can be expensive so I seriously recommend half board and drinks were more than you would expect for Spain but this is a captive audience and to be fair they are probably pub prices in England. The dining room at the gold river is very large, stone floored and metal furniture so can be very loud especially at breakfast, you can eat outside if there are tables. If you eat at another hotel buffet this is included, if you eat in the park or at one of the 'a la carte' restaurants you get an allowance of $23 per adult and half that for kids and this does not go very far on those menus but actually the buffets had plenty of choice, the food was good and always re-stocked.

The pools are nice - two good sized ones at the Gold River and plenty of sunbeds as residents are generally in the park. We thought it would be mad at the weekend but it didn't seem to be. You can ask reception for pool towels which appear from the back office, when we asked to change these after a few days we were told NO - so we just asked for

We used the waterpark once - last time we went in May and this was included, this time it cost the three of us around $50 for the day and it was OK but personally once was enough.

The park itself has some good scary rides and plenty of smaller ones and good shows - the western show in particular was fun. If you can survive until 11.30pm the fireworks were on each night and there is a laser light show on the lake near the entrance which is worth seeing.

While we were there we visited Tarragon on the bus - not much to see there and the Capellana beach which we felt was overcrowded, Salou has a beach as well.

What about the choice of hotel? The Gold River seemed to have a high percentage of europeans, the Caribe was very 'English' when we ate there for dinner. Closest to the parks are the Gold River and Mediteranee (own entrance gates). Most character - Gold River but its a bit false perhaps.

I hope this helps you plan your stay better.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
18 Thank Smaske1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about PortAventura Hotel Gold River

Property: PortAventura Hotel Gold River
Address: Avenida Alcalde Pere Molas s/n | PortAventura Resort, 43840 Salou, Spain
Location: Spain > Catalonia > Province of Tarragona > Costa Dorada > Salou
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#10 Luxury Hotel in Salou
#14 Family Hotel in Salou
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — PortAventura Hotel Gold River 4*
Number of rooms: 549
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Just an hour from Barcelona, with direct access to the Far West area in PortAventura, this hotel is the perfect destination for family holidays. It recreates a Far West town in the grip of gold fever, where water is the protagonist with immense swimming pools simulating the twists and turns of a river. Journey back more than 200 years and visit Sullivan, the most flourishing city in the Far West, and enter 1803 when Lucy Callaghan found the gold nugget next to the Gold River. Designed to amaze visitors and provide them with a totally new experience, the exclusive facilities of Hotel Gold River combine history with cutting-edge technology, all aimed at maximum comfort for our guests. With unlimited admission to the park throughout the entire stay! The rooms, divided over different buildings, form a reconstruction of the most important parts of the town: Main Street with wooden bungalows on the outskirts, the main hotel The City Hall, abandoned railway wagons and Lucy's Mansion, a 5***** hotel inside Hotel Gold River itself. In 2015 the 20th anniversary of the opening of doors PortAventura is met and to celebrate in style with family, friends or partner, we expect you to live unforgettable moments. This year PortAventura presents the new how will offer its Soleil Cirque in the Resort, Amaluna. Furthermore, in 2016 Ferrari Land will open in Europe PortAventura resot to offer a real race track, the highest and most rapid vertical accelerator in Europe and the first luxury hotel themed for the first time in the history of the Ferrari brand, including other surprises. ... more   less 
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