First things first, this hotel is NOT a British 4*, but I generally book 4* abroad on the basis that they are going to be a good 3* - 3*+ and that, I feel, is what we got with this hotel. I was a little concerned having read some of the reviews on here, people saying food awful, staff rude, mainly Spanish people and no entertainment - well, I think those people either have extremely high expectations (possibly unrealistic) or are just miserable, our little family had a lovely holiday (10 nights AI).
We travelled with our 2 children, 6 & 4 and my mother-in-law. We arrived to a friendly member of staff at reception, she explained the AI to us and check in was very quick. Wi-fi is available pretty much on ground floor of the hotel, I got wi-fi on my phone at the pool also, but there is NO wi-fi in rooms, if you don't take a computer/pad with you then you can pay for wi-fi access in the reception area where there are 4 hotel computers.
The rooms were a good size and clean, the bathroom was very clean and sparkly. We had a room which faced out over the front of the hotel and it was nice, we looked out over towards Port Adventura and the children thought it was great that we could see the huge rollercoaster from our room! My m-i-l had a room facing out onto some apartment blocks and looked out onto the pool, she got the evening sun on her balcony.
When we arrived the weather was already very warm and our room was hot and stuffy the first night, the air con didn't seem to be on. We mentioned this to reception the next morning to be told air con didn't come on until 1st of June (high season). We said that this was not mentioned in any of the hotel information and asked that management consider putting it on as it was quite uncomfortable for our family at night! I think it was put on 2 nights later and it seemed as if a lot of other guests had complained and management had buckled under the pressure/requests!
The food is very good, we were all very pleased with it and the children loved it. In the mornings at the hot plate/grill section fresh pancakes, omelettes and fried eggs are cooked on request. There was one chef called Pablo who was on that section most mornings and evenings and he was lovely, he soon remembered that we had 2 children and would always put chocolate sprinkles on their pancakes, which was really sweet! This section would always have a small queue of people waiting and only 1 chef, so I think people need to just be patient and appreciate how hard these people work. I heard other people complaining 'oh it's taking too long' or 'you'd think there would be more chefs on this section', honestly, you're on holiday, relax, what's a couple of minutes wait! The restaurant was very hot in the evenings, don't know when the air con gets put on in there! We tried to avoid direct sun window seats and my daughter would take her fan down with her so used that if she got too hot!
Breakfast there was the usual, meats, cheese, fruit, yogurts (even tubs of ice-cream) pastries (which were delicious) chocolate donuts, cakes, biscuits (which we stashed for later on by the pool or if we were going out in the day!) omelettes, pancakes, eggs (boiled, fried, scrambled) and the usual bacon, beans, sausages and bread etc.
Lunch there would be fresh salads, pasta salads, coleslaw etc, bread rolls, puddings, and a selection of hot food too.
Dinner pretty much replicated lunch and there was always a good selection. My husband favoured the freshly cooked meats, I loved the salads and the children loved the salads, chips, meats, my daughter loved the calamari (which was the best we've had anywhere, delicious). There would be a gala night once a week I think, where basically you'd be greeted with a glass of cava and there were fresh prawns available on a separate section in the restaurant, there would be freshly roasted joint of meat this night also. We had beef, which we all said was the nicest tasting beef any of us had ever had! You could order soft drinks, bottles or red, white or rose wine (we had white and it was very pleasant) or beer (which was San Miguel - can't complain about that!).
You can request picnic boxes if you are going out for the day, you need to inform reception before 8pm the night before and they give you a little receipt to hand into the restaurant the next morning, where you collect your picnic box. These were good and contained a sandwich (cheese and ham), packet of crisps, fruit, bottle of water.
The entertainment staff deserve a special mention, they were fantastic and extremely good with the children. My two came away not wanting to leave them, they thought very highly of them. Veronica, Zineb and Giovanni (who was very funny!) all came and got the children involved in games in the daytime and in the evenings at 9pm provided very noisy and energetic mini discos, which again, my two just lapped up! The adult entertainment then followed at about 10pm, there were 2 memorable evenings, the tropical dancing which was very good and a Michael Jackson impersonator who was very good and who my daughter was in awe of and had to have her picture taken with! The rest of the entertainment revolved around audience participation really, Mr Piramide, Miss Piramide and Karaoke spring to mind, which I wasn't really into but by then the children were ready for bed so I managed to avoid those...lol!
The pool was very nice but at the beginning of the holiday was absolutely freezing, it is not heated! Towards the end of our 10 days there it had definitely warmed up and was really pleasant. The sun is at the far end and not on part of the pool until about 11.30-12pm when it starts to creep around the side of the building, I would say the whole of the pool is in the sun at about 2pm. Some of the sun loungers were broken, the front legs having given out, but we didn't really have a problem getting ones that were fully functional! The pool area is really pleasant and my 2 just spent pretty much all day in and out of the pool. You can get pizzas and toasted sandwiches from the pool bar all day, also you can get tea, coffee, and soft drinks and alcoholic drinks. They do the ice slush drinks and milkshakes too but you have to pay for those.
The hotel is very well located, it's about a 5 minute walk to the beach, 10 mins if you're walking slowly, the front is really pretty with a long promenade and a lots of shops and bars, but we didn't really bother with these as we were happy in the hotel. If you go out of the hotel, turn right, go straight over that road and then turn right, there is a great little childrens adventure park. My 2 went there twice, it's lots of zip wires and tight rope walking etc, they get strapped into a harness and get shown how to go around the course. The 2 guys who worked there are called Israel and Carlos and were absolutely lovely, we returned about 5 days after our first visit and they remembered my 2 children's names and were very very welcoming and friendly - it's a lovely place to let the children have fun for half an hour or so. There are different courses depending on the age of your children, some of the courses were high up in the trees there, my 4 year old has requested we go back when he's big enough to go up in the trees!!!
We had 2 days out, one to Port Adventura water park, that was a great day, our 2 loved it and had a lot of fun. We booked this through one of the reps in the hotel. We took a taxi there and back and I think it cost us around 15 euros return. We took a day trip to Barcelona which was brilliant, it was a long day and hard going towards the end with the children but we saw a lot, Camp Nou (Barcelona FC's stadium), the Olympic Stadium, Montjuic (giving a beautiful view of the city), the unfinished Cathedral, Port Vell, the aquarium and finishing off with the beautiful fountains near to the palace in Barcelona, that was beautiful and I really look forward to going back to Barcelona and spending a lot more time getting familiar with this beautiful city.
All in all, this was a comfortable hotel, with good amenities in a good location, with the vast majority of staff being very friendly. Yes it could do with a bit of freshening up here and there, but the rooms are clean and spacious, the food is great and the staff, well if you treat them politely and with respect (they are people just like us after all) then that is how I found they treated you too! For us, with a 4 and 6 year old it was brilliant, the children were old enough to take advantage of the pool and games room (air hockey, pool and some computer games) and also enjoyed spending time with the entertainment staff, I could see how it wouldn't have been as much fun for much younger children i.e there isn't a playground at all, a broken slide and I think a play kitchen, but I didn't really take any notice because my 2 were too big for that.
Don't let the negative reviews put you off, we were quite content with our stay here and wouldn't rule out returning!
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- Also Known As:
- Med Playa Piramide Salou Hotel Salou
- Sol Melia Salou
- Sol Piramide Hotel Salou
- Sol Piramide Salou