This is my second trip to the Cye Holiday Centre hotel (the previous trip being September 2011) and again I was not disappointed. Last year we went full-board, but this year we went self catering, so we had a slightly different experience.
Despite having booked a 1 bedroomed apartment, we were very pleasantly surprised to be given a 2 bedroomed apartment which was very spacious. Each room had twin beds, plus there was a further two sofa-beds in the living room.
The apartment was clean and tidy, though admittedly when we came to use some of the utensils to cook dinner, we found that one of the spatulas had not been washed up properly, but that wasn't a huge problem - we just washed it ourselves!
We had the foresight to bring out own pair of kitchen scissors, and can opener - it was just as well as these were not provided, but everything else we found within the drawers and cupboards, so were able to cook quite adequately (though obviously a lack of an oven meant that we could not make anything that required roasting or baking, but that's to be expected really).
Fernando, the hotel entertainer, was as charming as ever and remembered us as soon as he saw us and welcomed us all back to the hotel.
Unlike last year, the kids' mini-disco was a bit hit and miss. Last year, it was 10pm every night without fail. This year there weren't as many children of mini-disco age (Fernando explained that it just depends on the week really), so some nights he didn't put on a disco, or, if he did, it was just a short one. My three kids (aged 6, 5, and 2) were the only ones up on stage at one point, so he only did 3 songs for them, but we appreciated the effort.
The evening entertainment (aside from the mini-disco) was much the same as last year. A lot of karaoke nights, plus a magic show and a parrot show. These shows were absolutely identical to the ones we saw last year - the acts had not changed at all. Nothing wrong with the acts mind you, but we thought maybe after 12 months they would have changed them slightly, but no. Well not to worry - the kids enjoyed watching them again anyway, even if my husband and I found it a bit same-old-same-old. Lovely if you have never seen them previously.
The pool water was freezing, as it was before, but they never claimed otherwise. For non-heated pools you can't expect any different I suppose. The hotel was meticulous about cleaning it every night. At one point I went to bed at 2am whilst they were cleaning it, and woke up at 7am and they were still cleaning it. I was impressed by the cleanliness efforts on their part!
The drinks in the hotel are overpriced, but readily available if you want one. I found it cheaper to buy drinks from the supermarket and store them in my fridge in the apartment.
Speaking of the supermarket, if you are wanting to self-cater and cook for yourselves, don't go to the small Michelangeo supermarket down the road - it's overpriced and not worth it. Far preferable to go to the Mercadona supermarket in the opposite direction - much larger, cheaper, and you know it's worth it as it's the one that all the locals use. Try and go around 1-2pm to avoid the rush, as it can get manic if you go at any other times.
Directions : head out of the hotel and turn left, cross over the train bridge. Once down from the train bridge, get to the main road and turn left. A couple of minutes walk, and the Mercadona is on your left in a pedestrianised area. Ask Fernando for more information if you think you might get lost! Really it's not far at all though.
Staff at the reception were friendly, lobby and pool area were clean, lots of sunbeds available around the pool (though we went 7th-17th September, this might not be the case if you go in the height of summer, I imagine you might have to fight for your sunbeds in July or August!), everything in the room was fine.
Maid service was every 3 days - beds made, fresh towels placed in the bathroom, and 2 new toilet papers left. If you find you need more toilet paper than that though, it's not terribly difficult to ask one of the maids for some more when you pass them in the corridors. I did this a couple of times and they happily gave me more without any problems.
Beach, bars, and restaurants are all close. We had cocktails in a bar called Lunatic one night - Pina Colada (served in a pineapple), Coco Loco (served in a cocktail), and for the kids a non-alcoholic drink called a Pink Panther - which, I have to say, was absolutely delicious.
For dining out, I cannot recommend higher than Caffe di Mare restaurant (next door to the above mentioned Lunatic). Their Paella de Carne was really lovely and big, and their goffre (waffles) were amazing. Kids meals were really good value - 6 euros for a meal, drink, and ice cream - and the size of the kids meals were HUGE. One day my daughter ordered a ham pizza and chips, and it was enormous - easily big enough to feed 2 children. She managed to eat 5 slices (there were 8 in total) and then she practically rolled all the way back to the apartment.
The dancing fountain show in Salou was really breathtaking - even better than last year we thought. Bear in mind there are 2 fountain shows. If you are facing the beach and head left (towards Lunatic and Caffe di Mare), the round fountain there has a show at 10pm every night. It's not bad but we preferred the other one.
The other one (the really really good one) is right towards the harbour (as though you are facing the beach), and is at 9pm every night. Really beautiful and well worth seeing.
Beds were quite comfortable within the apartment, balcony very safe for children, bathroom has a bidet which is handy, one minor quibble would be that 4 of the lights in our apartment didn't work (one in our bedroom, one in the kids' bedroom, one above the dining table, and one in the bathroom), but as each room had at least 2 lights it didn't seem to matter too much.
I would highly recommend this hotel to anybody - okay it's basic, not fancy by any means, but clean and comfortable, close to all amenities and the beach, and friendly. For the price you can't go much better I shouldn't think.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- This building is placed in the center of Salou and only 250 meters from the beach and nearby Port Aventura theme park. Certified building as a FAMILY HOLIDAY DESTINATION, specialized brand created by Turisme de Catalunya granted to destinations that especially cater to family tourism.The best in- and outdoors facilities will let both adults and children spend great holidays: terrace, swimming pools, games room and playgrounds. You will also find a permanent reception service that will help you at any time. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Cye Holiday Centre Hotel Salou