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PortAventura Hotel El Paso
Ranked #36 of 93 Hotels in Salou
Reviewed July 14, 2006

Just got back from the El Paso yesterday. We stayed for 10 days and we had a brilliant time Draw backs would be the food was barely lukewarm and we were not allowed any toys i.e. balls etc in the pool which the children found frustrating as they would get bored in the pool quite quickly. The hotel its self was brilliant and the staff for the children and shows were great. The front desk needed more people with better english as they got quite confused sometimes! But overall it was great.

  • Stayed: July 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank orlanicconuladh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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A TripAdvisor Member
Swansea
117
Reviewed June 25, 2006

I have been to Hotel El Paso twice, first time August 2004 and then again June 2005, both times for 1 week. The weather was good on both occasions.

When we arrived (myself, wife and son Ryan aged 6 (now)) we were greeted by bellboys off the bus (people didn’t half stare at us from the bus) who took the bags to reception for us on their trolleys. The reception staff were very friendly and spoke good English. The bellboys took our bags to our room for us. On check out, if you confirm with them they will come and collect your bags and take them to reception for you. The first time I went I struggled with them for about 200yds (I didn’t know the score then).

The rooms were about adequate and that’s all. Televisions was rubbish and foreign (the cheek of it), there were good size beds and there was air conditioning. The rooms were clean on both occasions but the towels were very rough (not good with sunburn).

The pool is brilliant; there is a large children’s pool which was fairly warm. The adult’s pool was also large and again fairly warm. By the end of the second holiday my boy was jumping in on his own with me and the wife chasing after him (the daring bugger). There were aerobics every day and the usual games. There were more than adequate deck chairs. There is also nice food, beer and ice cream served around the pool area. Beware of the shingle sand around the pool area as is hurts like hell (you have been warned). There is a small climb and slide thing by the Fort, which houses the kids club. The pool was also open until 9.00 p.m. in the evening.

The entertainment was fairly low key but then again most people were in the theme park most nights. The entertainment stage was outside in the hotel gardens. The entertainment that I saw mostly included crowd participation.

I did not get up for breakfast once over the holidays (on the two occasions) but the people I talked to said it was fairly good. The only complaint being if you didn’t get there early enough the food was cold.

The evening meals were very good with a wide selection of meals on the menu. The meals were self-service and if you wanted a drink there were waiters on hand. Again go early if you want warm food.

You could have meals elsewhere in the Hotel if you requested at the reception. They would give you a meal voucher for 15 euros for the adults and about 9 euros for the children. The meals around the pool were very nice and came to about 30 Euros for two adults and one child including a round of drinks.

The Port Aventura theme park is brilliant for people of all ages. The park is very large so when you get tired go and see one of the many shows, they are superb. Use the fastpass to avoid long queues. I went mostly at night so the queues were not long anyway. At midnight when the rides shut down for the night try to get a good seat by the lake because there is a brilliant Light Show to be seen.

The Costa Caribe Water Park is also very good with a couple of areas just for the kids (one of the areas is under cover). In July and August you can go once free because you are staying in the Universal Hotels, you get allocated you day on arrival but ask to change the day if you want. Off peak months you get unlimited access to the Water Park.

Just outside the theme park there are a few mini trains which take you into Salou and Cambrils and back again if you want to do a round trip. There are various stops for this service, one of them stopping outside McDonalds. The blue trains are for the public and the green one is for the Hotel Caribe residents only. It costs about 2 euros for adults and 1 euro for the children. The buses run frequently and are a cheaper option. The mini trains stop about 9.00 p.m. in the evenings. There is a taxi service by the fountain in Salou if you get stuck at night.

The Hotel also runs a scheduled mini bus back and fore to the beach and town.

The whole holiday is brilliant and I have no hesitation in recommending the Hotel.

  • Stayed: June 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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17  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 19, 2006

I had reservations about staying ina hotel room with our 4 yr old as we were used to self catering appts and villas for other holidays. Our Room had a very large double bed and a little single bed for our son. The hotel was fantastic!!! The buffet food was really superb as buffets go. The queues were sometimes bad but they moved quite quickly and after 1 night you could time it correctly. Entertainment for the kids was great. The bar had queues but we ended up buying our drink in a supermarket in Salou and bringing it down to the kids entertainment and drinking it there. I would definitely go back to the Hotel. We staying in the Iguana Block. I would request to stay in one of the blocks way over by the swimming pools - The Armadillo Block as it is the furthest away from the main hotel block the restaurants and the kids shows! Theme park and water park great. The positives far outweigh the negatives and I was very apprehensive going on this holiday but I will definitely go back.

  • Stayed: June 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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8  Thank NicolaHIreland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 11, 2006

This is our second time at the El Paso and it is a great place to take the family.
No its not perfect, but remember its in Spain and not Florida and remember what good value for money it is.
The good points, the food is excellent and this year there didnt seem to be the chaoctic queues there were last year, try and go early and you will have no trouble getting a table. There is plenty of choice, including salad and fresh fruit.
The complex is spotlessly clean, far better than your average Costa hotel.
The entertainment is OK, yes its the same every week, but its professional and it entertains the kids, if the weather is poor take a trip down to the Caribe resort, where the enterainment is inside, the place is worth checking out, yes it looks like Butlins from the outside but once you are through the doors its actually much smarter than the El Paso.
The pools are great and very well supervised with lifegaurds, no inflatables allowed this year though, so dont bother taking them.

Entrance to the theme park and water park are unlimited, when you arrive you cant get your room till 3pm but still check in and you will get your theme park passes which are valid immediately, the hotel will store your bags, so bring a change of clothes and spend a few hours in the theme park.
The theme park is easily as good as Alton Towers, plenty of big rides and also a good selection for the kids, height restrictions are strictly enforced, too small and you wont get on. Try and avoid the weekends, when the park is obviously busy, best bet is to go in early till lunch and then go back to the pool.

One big change this year is the fast pass system, last year your hotel pass got you to the front of the queue as many times as you wanted, this year its restricted so you can only use the pass once on each of the big rides, there has been lots of complaints to the hotel over this so it may change.

Another plus is the water and firework show normally at midnight on Saturday was put on on Friday night after the park closed solely for hotel guests, a nice touch and a lot less busy than Saturday.

The water park is a must, even the smallest kids can go on some of the bigger slides, again spotless and well supervised.

On the downside, some of the rooms are looking a bit tired, ours was in need of some decoration, and as others mention there are 30 odd TV channels but only 2 news channells in English.
The bar is still the same it can take an age to get served, but there is a way round it, if you can get a table at the terrace there is a waiter service and a euro tip gets you immediate service all night.

All in all its great value for money, good half board food, decent hotel , entertainment nightly and unlimited access to the theme and water parks.

  • Stayed: May 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
15  Thank dtm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Blackburn, Lancashire
116
Reviewed June 3, 2006

My family and I (ages 35,32,9,8) have just returned from a 2 week break at the Port Aventura El Paso Hotel in Salou. There were many good points about this hotel and also many bad, which unfortunately niggled me so much that I would not consider staying there when we are planning to return to Port Aventura theme park in 2008 unless I read in some later reviews that the problems had been sorted out. On the first 2 days of the holiday my daughter aged 8 was quite poorly and we didn't leave the hotel room much. I was appalled that there were about 30 TV channels which were all in Spanish, Russian and German and the only ones in English were CNN, MSNBC, some fashion channel and the Travel Channel which of course did not interest the kids or myself in the slightest. I had read on previous reviews that you could buy extra English channels for 5 Euros a day which when I asked reception about they didn't have a clue. I asked 3 different people just to be sure but to no avail. There were plenty of TV programmes on like My Family and Spongebob Squarepants but they were all dubbed, so we turned down the volume and tried to amuse the kids that way. To say that they majority of the customers at the El Paso were English and Irish I found this completely unacceptable. As for the entertainment in the evening, pray that it doesn't rain as the stage area is outside and is not covered. On the 2 nights that we had rain we were squashed into the bar area which is not big enough on a normal night for the amount of queues that accumulate due to extremely slow and poor service. There were people with glasses trying to weave their way through kids trying to dance at the kids disco with hands full of glasses - how there wasn't an accident I don't know! Also the entertainment is the same every week, so there are these 4 singers from South Africa who make an appearance twice a week, firstly they do an Il Divo tribute called Renaissance which also has Take That and Boyzone songs which is great if you like that type of music (not really our thing but the kids liked it) which is on Tuesday evening, then on the Thursday evening they are back called Reload with a Village People and 70's tribute and once you've seen the magic show, its a bit tedious the following week. The staff on the bar were all really miserable except for one Irish girl who was great and seemed to be doing all of the work herself - the Spanish lot ignored me for more than 5 minutes at one point when I was the only customer needing serving (this was just after 6pm before the bar got busy) and I stood there with a 20 Euro note in my hand while they talked and wiped up the bar avoiding my hands with the money in it - this wound me up no end, they wouldn't get away with it over here and one bar person in the UK could have done the work of 5 of them easily. The reception staff were either really friendly or really rude, there was no happy medium. On the 8th day our room which was in Iguana block facing the car park had a blocked toilet which it had had since we moved in, we had the maintenance out 3 times and they just stood and shrugged their shoulders at me as neither they or the maids can speak English (apparently they don't like the English in that part of Spain and most of them refuse to learn it even though its the British tourists that bring all the money in) but the main problem was is glugged really loudly all day and night so I went to reception and asked for a change of room which they didn't want to give, so I persisted and they eventually agreed and told us to pack all out stuff up (this was 10am in the morning) and take it into the lobby to put in storage until 3pm where we could queue up again for another room. I told them that I went through that fiasco on the Friday when they wouldn't let us check in until 3 and we were sat at the poolside when it was 25 degrees in jeans and thermal socks. Anyway they eventually caved in and gave us a great room which had a large 6ft wide bed, bunk beds and a sofa bed too, so I was chuffed and the last 6 days in this room were comfortable and also not a noisy as they one previously which had an adjoining door which at one point you could hear next door spraying deodorant! Anyway I think thats it for the bad stuff, the good side is that it is extremely child friendly, lots for the kids to do, organised events around the pool and the kids clubs (which was free) kept them quiet during the day and the characters walking the reception and the buffet kept them happy getting autographs. There was also 5 PC termnals which you could get onto the internet for 10 mins for 1 euro which is where most of the older kids congregated but it was very busy and sometimes they couldn't get on one. The hotel was spotlessly clean and seemed quite safe we just let our two aged 8 and 9 have the freedom of the hotel as they are already at an age where they are sensible but it gave them some independence too and they were always either at the maze or the PC's. The other Port Aventura hotels were not as child friendly as this one. The other good point was that the food in the buffet was fantastic and I'm fussy about food, there was plenty of selection including a fabulous salad bar and providing you avoided the busy times there was no hassle eating at all. You also have to pay for your drinks for the evening meals if you are on half board and we just ordered a bottle of 1ltr water at 2.20 Euros as this made a refreshing change to Cola and Beer with the meal. The other thing I wanted to say that was apparently there was a death in a pool in Majorca last Season and Spain took the blanket decision not to allow any inflatable's in any pools so don't bother taking any as we did as they are not allowed and the lifeguards who couldn't speak English would blow their whistles at you and shake their fingers which we took as a "NO". The Pool was nice and there were lots of sun beds, easily 100+ which we only found to all be taken on one occasion when we turned up about 2pm, so we were a bit late anyway - all I would say is please try not to leave cigarette stubs in the sand and if you have unruly kids try and control them as it was always British kids that were throwing stones at the stage and kicking the heads off the flowers which was a shame as the grounds were really well kept. You could also hire beach towels to use at the beach or by the pool at the cost of a 15 euros deposit which was given back when you returned the towels so therefore it was free. The rides were good especially the Hurakan Condor which we had to do twice as the first time it didn't take a picture, but there were no fast passes on this ride as it was new for 2006 so the first time we had to queue for 1 and a half hours and next time 45 mins. Most of the rides only had a 5 - 10 minutes queue so it wasn't too bad at all - not like Alton Towers for instance. All in all it was a good holiday - 2 weeks was too long, we should have taken the 10 day option like our friends and we loved the park and the Costa Caribe which we had unlimited entry to, (but I believe this changed in the peak seasons) but what can only be classed as racism towards the British with the TV channels and the non speaking English (I'm sure that they can speak English but they chose not to) and snubs made us decide not to stay there again when we go back unless some sign of improvement is shown which is ashame as the kids liked the hotel layout. I tried to speak some basic Spanish to them like 2 beers please and they just repeated what I had said to them in Spanish in English which made my efforts all pointless so by the end of the 1st week I have up all hope of trying to speak Spanish to them. I do hope that they make some improvements as this is a lovely hotel with lots of potential and it is a shame that it was such little niggles that are so easily put right - get better/more bar staff, get some English speaking childrens channels and get the rude staff not to be so rude.

  • Stayed: May 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
16  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 2, 2006

This was our second visit to this hotel this last trip three years ago when the hotel had just opened. We wondered if it would be just as good-it was!

But a few downsides lets get them over with first. The bar area in the evening-well you would never get tipsy let alone drunk, my husband waited for half an hour to get our drinks, and it only got worse. There was not enough bar staff and the bar area was too small. We were at the hotel on the 19th of may for 11 nights and as the school holidays approached it got busier(I don't know how they cope in July and August) As we were staying at the El Paso we could also visit the other two hotels Port Adventura and The Caribe the Port Adventura also had problems at the bar.

Now the good news hotel very clean beds really comfortable food excellent. Theme park and water parks excellent for all ages. I would not bother going to Alton Towers with a short flight to Salou and great weather a long weekend here is much better and around the same price as a night stay in a Alton Towers hotel. If you can put up with the bar service(maybe buy drinks from the supermarkets or vending machines)this is a great place to visit. Salou town is ok but a typical seaside town,is worth a visit in the early evening. Barcelona is only an hour away by train and is great to visit. We went and did a bus tour but you can get on and off as you please they ru every five minutes. Go to the El Paso and have fun.

12  Thank lovage
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Halifax, UK
111
Reviewed June 2, 2006

This hotel is one of the best I have stayed in. The staff are very friendly and the rooms are first class. Its a large hotel sat right on the portaventura theme parks, only a short 5 min walk will bring you to the parks entrance. The hotel pool is massive with a bubble pool and play areas for the children, plenty of life guards on duty all day, 2 pool side bars selling drinks and snacks. The hotel grounds are well kept and very clean. We stayed bed, breakfast and evening meal and I must say that the food was everything that I could have expected. what a choice, something for all and as much as you like. The hotel room was cleaned daily and a free bus was provided to you to and from Solou if you wanted to. There was also live entertainment on every night for the kids

Having said all that the only downside to the hotel was that the service at the bars was too slow. I often qued for at least 1/2 hour for some drinks at the hotel bars. Looking at all the goodpoints my last comment may sound petty but its just one small point, It did not spoil our holiday and I would go again for sure. Well done El Paso Hotel.
Dave Kaye and Family

  • Stayed: May 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
11  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about PortAventura Hotel El Paso

Address: Rambla del Parc s/n | PortAventura Resort, 43840 Salou, Spain
Location: Spain > Catalonia > Province of Tarragona > Costa Dorada > Salou
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#27 Luxury Hotel in Salou
Price Range: $180 - $410 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — PortAventura Hotel El Paso 4*
Number of rooms: 501
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Just an hour from Barcelona, El Paso offers a "All Inclusive" designed for families, from which you can enjoy both the hotel and the park PortAventura. The hotel recreates a traditional Mexican hacienda with authentic Aztec decor. The spectacular gardens and the friendly treatment of its people will make you leave behind the stress of everyday life and delve into the beauty of colonial Mexico, just a few minutes from the gates of PortAventura Park.Tumbate really huge pool and relax in comfortable chairs while you impregnate all the excitement of the exotic and extreme comfort of Hotel El Paso. Your children will have fun playing in their pools.And nothing better for fun swimming around a sunken galleon in full pool! Structured in different buildings around a central gardens and crystal blue pools. In our restaurants, savor the best Mexican cuisine and will have espectaculos.Las colorful colonial-style rooms are ideal for a family stay, surrounded by gardens create an atmosphere of serenity and relaxation. Ideal for after hours fun dive into adventure at PortAventura Park break, as tickets are included in the price of your stay! 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:
El Paso At Portaventura Hotel
Hotel El Paso

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