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“On balance not a bad hotel”

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PortAventura Hotel Caribe
Ranked #38 of 94 Hotels in Salou
Leigh-on Sea, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
13 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“On balance not a bad hotel”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 11, 2014

As with all package holiday hotels you get good and bad points.
Our visit started disappointingly as although the hotel confirmed our request was on record they did not allocate us a room with 2 double beds, although did change our room the next day. It was unclear from the brochure and website that the hotel has several different types of room even the standard room can either have 2 doubles beds or twin and a small sofa bed. The sofa bed has a thin uncomfortable mattress and not suitable really for more than one small child. No drawers, only one small wardrobe with hanging one side and 3 shelves on the other, have to use a suitcase for some of clothes. Hotel note there is room to add a chest of drawers to the room. Rooms are fairly small in comparison to other hotels I have stayed in, more like a holiday chalet than a hotel room, but saying that we weren't in the room much of the time. Bathroom shower great, was a little bit of black mould on tiles, where no air circulating.

As with all other reviews the hotel needs to sort out the long queues to check in - 30 minutes on arrival and then another 20mins to get room number at 3pm. Also any questions at guest services, a wait of up to 20 mins depending how many people and type of question in queue. The restaurant food was OK although sometimes food was cold. A variety of dishes each night and to keep away from repeativeness then the dine around option is good, where you get vouchers to use at the park or other restaurants’ in the hotels.
We had ground floor room overlooking beach swimming pool, we preferred to swim in the actual swimming pool so had to walk to other end of hotel area to use that pool. Easy to get sun beds any time of day, although very little shade. No inflatable’s allowed and only got away with playing with a small ball in the water if kept out of lifeguards view.
Easy to get on courtesy bus into Salou in the morning or we went by cab for €7. Lots of other places you can visit by local bus service, we didn't do these as too hot during our August visit.
On the whole as so close to theme park and tickets meant we could pop in out and out at our leisure then this makes a great location to base yourself.

  • Stayed August 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Teresa B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PA_PortAventura, Manager at PortAventura Hotel Caribe, responded to this review, August 12, 2014
Dear Teresa. We truly regret that your experience at Hotel Caribe wasn’t fully pleasant. We regret that our hotel and customer service didn’t meet your expectations at the check-in service as is one of our mai priorities. Your complain have been reported to the corresponding department in charge of the reception in order to provide you a better service next time.
Please accept our apologies for all the inconvenience you have been caused. We thank you very much your comments around and have noted your suggestions. Regards, PortAventura
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,053 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (134)
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Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 10, 2014 via mobile

We travelled in early august 2014. With so many conflicting reviews it is difficult to know what is fair comment. Here is a hopefully balanced list of the good and bad points as we found them

Good
This hotel is all about location, 10 minutes from the theme park by the hotel 'train' service and free entry.
Maid service is fine. Rooms were cleaned daily etc. it is a tired hotel and there is a limit to how clean it can be made but they do try. Reports of 'filthy conditions' would in our experience appear to be exaggerated. Towels changed daily.
The breakfast is very good except perhaps for the coffee situation.
The evening buffet is excellent and is varied during the week. Tapas restaurant is also quite good. Half board is valid for the theme park restaurants which is a real bonus.
The pools are excellent (if shallow) and there is no issue with supply of sun beds (but see comments below). For children the pools cannot be bettered and there is always a lifeguard on duty.
The grounds are attractive / fairly mature, but regrettably it is difficult to find places away from the crowd and you cannot escape the Muzak.
They have the best free wifi that we have ever experienced in an hotel... A real plus point.
AC in rooms is excellent. We were cold in August!
Kids - don't come here if you don't like kids. We are grandparents so we like them!
Lastly, the mohitos are highly recommended.

Not so good
The rooms are in need of refurbishment / modernisation, especially the bathrooms. Any amount of cleaning will not address the mouldy grouting.
Crass Muzak is played from dusk to dawn and they appear to have only one tape. If you happen to have a speaker outside your room, then there is no escape. Thankfully there is relief when the doors are shut. When we asked a bartender what his opinion was he said 'try working here and listening to the same music for 3 years'!
Ants are a definite problem on the ground floor. They were even in our mini bar! One of our party got in the pest controller but was eventually moved to an upper floor. The room was immediately allocated to another unfortunate guest!
If you happen to have a sprinkler outside your ground floor room, expect to get woken early and don't leave anything on your patio.
Our bed was the worst you can imagine, like sleeping on a plank, but others in our party had better, newer mattresses. I think the issue is with the twin beds. The double beds are better.
Sun beds are frankly worn out. They are uncomfortable, some are broken, they are past their sell by date.
Breakfast coffee is an issue. It is self serve and the machines work erratically. It can be quite annoying. We did not manage to get a decent cup of coffee all week.
Pool towels are an issue. You have to queue at reception to get a towel. There is a 15E deposit and the towel has to last your stay (no clean replacements). If you were to lose it you would pay 15E for a towel that wasn't worth close to that new and these towels are very tired! Can't understand why the lifeguards (who thankfully did nothing during our stay) cannot hand out towels.
A lot of people at the hotel didn't understand the English eccentricity of queuing and the staff appear not understand it either. You are advised to adopt a pushy selfish demeanour and then you will be lost in the crowd.
If you want to eat anywhere other than the buffet, be prepared to loose half an hour at reception to book your table. So called 'Italian restaurant' is not really to be recommended but this is purely subjective.
Entertainment - there is none for adults.
Kids entertainment is very basic and was usually only in Spanish which we feel is extremely poor in peak season
The reports of the nightmare reception are fairly accurate. It is pot luck how long you will have to queue, there is always a queue of some description. We found them to be courteous at reception but if you have anything negative to report they tend to be of little assistance

In conclusion there are obviously good and bad points, although the facilities are 4 star you will probably be disappointed with the accommodation but this is quite often the case with 4 star hotels. All of the issues must be known to the management but clearly they don't need to address them in order to make this a profitable enterprise

Hope you find this of use

Would we come again?

On balance no, for the money we paid in peak season there are better places to spend a weeks holiday, but probably not if proximity to the theme park is really important to you

Stayed August 2014, traveled with family
Helpful?
5 Thank Brian G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Haywards Heath, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
21 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 9, 2014

The overall appearance of this hotel is very pleasant. The public areas are very clean modern and up to date. The accommodation is in small blocks situated around 2 large pools which are free to use, with a bar area in the middle of one, however there is not enough shaded areas around these pools. Breakfast is a buffet and upon check in you have to choose a time slot which isn't that great. Check in is very slow due to the fact the really nice staff seem to have to supply you with so much information and the very slow computer system. The accommodation is disappointing very old and outdated and not very clean not really 4 star standard. I certainly couldn't spend more than a couple on nights in these rooms they really need modernising! You can catch a little train to the park or walk up passed El Paso towards park.

  • Stayed August 2014, traveled with friends
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Bricksit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PA_PortAventura, Manager at PortAventura Hotel Caribe, responded to this review, August 12, 2014
Dear 1965Woodie. We are very disappointed to hear that your experience at PortAventura Hotel Caribe was less than what you expected. Please accept our apologies for all the inconvenience you have been caused during your stay. We thank you very much your comments around and have noted your suggestions about restauration services, as well as check in and room mainentance. Best regards, PortAventura.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Margate, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 8, 2014

I stayed at this hotel back in 2008 so was really looking forward to going back there with other family members. It didnt disappoint. The sand bottom pool was as wonderful as ever. We never had a problem getting a sunbed or shade under a parasol. The restaraunts and food were all first class. Even for the fussy eaters in the group there was plenty of choice and something for everyone. The landscape had a carribbean feel to it which was lovely as ever.
The only critisism i have is that the rooms although clean and comfortable still looked rather worn. But hey, i was on holiday and that was not any thing to worry about.
Ow, and i wish they would of changed the outside background music. For a week solid we had to listen to Kid creole and the coocnuts on a loop!!!
Overall a fantastic holiday and yes i would definatly go back for a third visit.

Room Tip: We stayed in curaco block 302 which was right by the sand bottom pool
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  • Stayed August 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank louderama
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rochester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 8, 2014

We spent a 4 day holidays in Club San Juan at Hotel Caribe. What a great holiday this has been!! A completely stressed free stay! We were two couples travelling with three children age six and eight.

The sandy pool is amazing. Kids loved it and so did we! There are several restaurants. We only tried “Puerto Viejo” and the food was amazing.

Breakfast was the best I have ever had. There was some buffet lied out plus a la carte (included). You can select from English breakfast to pancakes or churros. Really good and peaceful enviroment.

The park entrance is about 800 metres away but there is a good mini-train service running all day from door to door. This was not a problem.

We spent mornings in Portaventura, went back to the hotel for lunch and pool in the afternoons and off to the park again in the evenings. It was a good recharge of batteries –break and gave us the chance to have nice food and the children could splash in the pool for few hours.

The hotel includes unlimited fast track in the major rides. This was fantastic as as the queues can be quite long in some of the attractions.

I would recommend this hotel for a very pleasant stay 

  • Stayed August 2014, traveled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Ana N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Beith, Scotland, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 7, 2014

Family of four spent a great 10 day holiday at this resort (mum,dad,16 and 12 year old boys) during beginning of July. The hotel is made up of 14 separate low rise buildings - no more than 3 storeys - which surround two separate poolside areas. The room was freshly decorated very clean and although not huge, was big enough for us. Two double beds meant that there was no uncomfortable pull out or sofa bed for the boys. Free wi-fi throughout the hotel including poolside was very welcome.
The food was the usual buffet affair, though we had no complaints. As we were half board one of the great benefits of staying at Portaventura hotel was that we could exchange our evening meal for a dinner at some of the theme park restaurants. We were given an allowance of €22 per adult and €15 per child for these meals and this made a welcome change to dining in the hotel.
The theme park itself was only 5-10 minutes walk from the hotel although a regular 'train' was also available. Plenty variety of rides which kept both boys thoroughly entertained, and as free entry was included as part of hotel package we made frequent use of this. You can purchase 'fast pass' option from the hotel at a cheaper price than inside the park itself and this is good value for money if you love your roller-coasters.
Salou itself was not brilliant. We spent a day in Barcelona and 1/2 day with downhillbikessalou.com which were both excellent.
A couple of downsides - there is no entertainment put on at the hotel (nobody organising water polo, volleyball etc) and nothing in the evening. This is pretty much because the hotel considers that the theme park caters for all your entertainment needs. Also you can here whats going on in your neighbours room, but to be honest we were often so exhausted that we crashed out most nights anyway. All in all I would go back to this hotel.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank JDewdrop
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Birmingham
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 7, 2014

We stayed at the hotel from July 27th - August 3rd and had a fantastic family holiday. We arrived around 6pm and check-in was empty so we were all sorted within 5 minutes. We used Resort Hoppa for our transfer and they were waiting for us on arrival, and picked us up bang on time at the end of the holiday.

Hotel Facilities
The hotel has two beautiful pools, and most rooms look out onto one of the pools. There is also a large paddling pool type pool at the far end near the children's club. Our favourite pool was the one with the sandy beach, and it was always possible to find free sun loungers. The hotel also has a little football pitch, a play area, a volley ball area, pool tables, air hockey and Xbox stations, so plenty for the kids to do.

Rooms
We had a standard room in the Aribe block. Our block was only 2 stories high, and we were on the top floor, so noise wasn't an issue at all. The room was perfectly adequate for our needs, it was clean, the air-con was effective, the decor all in good condition and a lovely view of the pool from the balcony. We only had one child on the sofa bed, but I think if you were travelling with two older children you would be better off having four proper beds rather than squeezing both on the sofa. There was a fridge in the room, but ours was pretty ineffective apart from keeping the drinks vaguely cool! The bathroom had a bath towel and hand towel for every occupant which were changed daily, as were the sheets on the bed (which invariably get sand in them!). There was also shower gel and shampoo provided in a dispenser by the shower. The shower itself was great! The rooms had very effective blackout curtains, so the early morning sun didn't wake us up at all.

Food
You have to choose a breakfast slot for each day of your stay at check in and we chose the 10-10.15am for most days. On the days I needed an earlier breakfast, guest services on the check-in desk simply swapped my tickets over without any problem. That said, I saw people at 10.15 handing in a 9.45am ticket, so I really don't think they are that fussed about it within reason.

Half-Board
If you are half-board you can either eat in the Caribe buffet any time between 7.30-10.30pm without having to do anything. If you want to eat anywhere else (any of the other hotels on site, or the other restaurants in Caribe) you have to go to guest services before 6pm and they will issue you with a ticket. We ate at the Portaventura buffet a couple of nights, because you aren't limited to a specific time, and can just pop in whenever it fits in with your park visit.

We found the buffet food at the Caribe to be excellent with a very wide choice each night. There were always a good selection of hot dishes plus a range of meats, salads, breads, cheeses and desserts. There is a little freezer that children can help themselves to ice lollies/mini pots of ice-creams. (adults too of course!). Apart from water, drinks are not included in the half board price. A glass of wine cost €2.50. The range of food was the same at the Portaventura Buffet, but the service wasn't as good - always a queue to get in and a wait until drinks arrived.

If you eat at table service restaurants, you get a voucher equivalent to €22 per adult and €11 per child to use against the bill. I ate in the pizza restaurant at Caribe, and after starters, main course, drinks for the kids and wine, only had to contribute €1.50. The restaurant was quite though because most people go to the buffet, and didn't have a lot of atmosphere, so we only did this once, but the food was good.

Snacks
The portaventura snack bars all sell the same range - mainly hot dogs (€4.95+) burgers, pizza slices and toasted cheese sandwiches. There are also fruit stalls, yogurt stalls and of course ice-creams. Being half-board, we found that we didn't need much in the day anyway.

Drinks
There is a water/juice machine at breakfast, and also tea, coffee and hot chocolate all included. I took water bottles down to breakfast & filled them up with cold water each day to give us a head start on the drinks bill! In the park a bottle of pop costs €2.70 and a small bottle of water is €2. There are water fountains dotted around the park as well. I took a few of the little Robinsons squash concentrates with me and made water into Ribena very easily!

The Park
If you don't like queues you have two choices - either buy a fast track pass (buy from the hotel to avoid the queue at the park) or go in the evenings when the queues drop down to 10, 20 or 30 minutes (compared to a 3 hour queue that we once saw in the day, though to be fair, the average queue seemed to be 1.5 hours) Make sure you go to some of the shows which are excellent, especially Bang Bang West. It takes a while to get your bearings in the park, but there is a great app that can be downloaded that has an interactive map showing you where you are!

We used the free land train to get up to the park. It is walkable, but you do so much walking when you are actually there, we saved our feet. They do sometimes check your hotel passes though, especially coming back at the busier times in the evening, and I saw them frequently ask people who didn't have a pass to get off the train. The train drops you off just outside the main entrance, and this is also where you pick up the tourist train to Salou. There are 4 different routes, but they all go down to the beach at some point, and they all drop off at Portaventura, so you can't really go wrong. There are a few cashpoints in the park and one in the drop off area before you enter.

Water Park
Guests staying at the Portaventura hotels get 30% off the water park admission price, so for three adults (a child over 10 is an adult) it cost €58 for one day. It was great fun with lots to do. You can rent a locker and we found sunbeds towards the back of the park easily even though it was a busy day.

I found a week more than enough to do the theme park, the water park and a beach trip to Salou. All in all a fantastic holiday at a beautiful hotel.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank VickiBirmingham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about PortAventura Hotel Caribe

Property: PortAventura Hotel Caribe
Address: Rambla del Parc s/n | PortAventura Resort, 43840 Salou, Spain
Location: Spain > Catalonia > Province of Tarragona > Costa Dorada > Salou
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#26 Luxury Hotel in Salou
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — PortAventura Hotel Caribe 4*
Number of rooms: 497
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Just an hour from Barcelona, come to an oasis of peace where you do not have to lift a finger for yourself, providing you with the opportunity to recover some of the adrenaline expended in PortAventura Park. Enjoy the serenity, white sands and freshwater of one of Europe's largest man-made beaches, surrounded by palms and exotic gardens that will transport you to a faraway tropical island. Become acquainted with this magnificent 4-star resort, a perfect combination of fun, sun, beach and tranquillity at the heart of the Costa Dorada. Complete the experience with an ample choice of gastronomic delights, unlimited access to the PortAventura theme park with admission included throughout your stay, and an extensive programme of sporting activities with special offers and rates available at associated golf courses. Visit the Wellness Centre & Spa, where you will be looked after and spoiled, making your holiday the ideal opportunity to restore energy and vitality. So what are you waiting for? Grab your sun lounger and dedicate your holidays to peaceful relaxation and enjoyment. Let yourself drift away and take it easy, with direct access to one of the best theme parks in Europe. 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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Also Known As:
Hotel Caribe Resort
Caribe Hotel Salou
Hotel Caribe Salou

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