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“v. good experience, with some issues”
Review of IFA Catarina Hotel

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IFA Catarina Hotel
Ranked #28 of 134 Hotels in Playa del Ingles
GreenLeadersGold level
Brussels, Belgium
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“v. good experience, with some issues”
Reviewed April 2, 2013

Overall a very nice stay in what is rather a good 3 star than 4 star hotel. Good value for money (half-board).

Good points:
- location: close to beach, dunes and Yumbo entertainment centre
- clean rooms
- polite and efficient service, with a smile
- impressive buffet breakfast and dinner
- nice pool
- great animation team at the pool (especially Jose - always with a smile and Francois - always fun, though taking his job too seriously: no need to scold old ladies for not doing the aqua gym properly or to enforce the bingo rules so rigidly)
- possibility of late check out for 35 euro

Bad points:
- disgusting coffee, especially at breakfast; no possibility to order it at restaurant after dinner (!!!); good coffee would dramatically improve this place.
- old decor, especially worn out and dirty-looking carpets in corridors;
- no snacks / sandwiches available 24/7: at 16:30 it was impossible to get a sandwich in the hotel, we were told to get a piece of cake at the cafe (which we did, though it's ridiculous)

Conclusion: a good stay. Could come back (especially if coffee is better!).

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank MijauG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
egiersbergICA, Manager at IFA Catarina Hotel, responded to this review, April 8, 2013
Thanks for your review and thanks for sharing your experience of your stay and we are very glad you had a great holidays even with some issues. Indeed, the hotel is already 37 years old and the style is accordingly to the age. But "retro" is coming back...
We had read your comment and we are already improving in some of the mentioned points and we hope, we will welcome you again for the next season.
With "sunny" regards and hasta la vista...
Enrique Giersberg
Hotel Manager
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (278)
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Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed March 31, 2013

Arrived in the evening for all inc stay ....reception staff friendly and efficient room clean tidy (Mrs H says hairdryer worst ever !!!)....All the staff in the hotel were friendly and helpfull food canteenish but OK and what youd expect.
All inclusive was strange to say the least ....this could only be had at the pool bar and with a mix of Non-AI (paying guests) and Ai non paying the service varied considerably eg if you waited for a waiter it could be 30 plus mins as the waiters had "selective pherifial vision" ie the would pass 3/4 times not catching your eye or signals .... you go to the bar get your own then 10 seconds later they are taking your 30min old empties away (especially Robbie Williams lookalike !!!)
Entertainment EXCELLENT on ONE night Pavarotti and friends ----I think this group of professionals were auditioning for the Lopesan Group and all staff were on their toes as the "Lopesan Grey Suite Brigade" oversaw the the evening ....too good for AI hotel !!!! and will prob never be back in IFA Catarina !!! rest of the evenings were keyboard and signer ....what you would expect.
Late checkout of room from 12 to 5Pm was £20 extra

Room Tip: 4th 5th floors good views
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Erichotx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
egiersbergICA, Manager at IFA Catarina Hotel, responded to this review, April 2, 2013
We thanks for your review and thanks for the time taken to write your comment and are very sorry, you are not returning to the IFA Catarina.
We already forwarded your remark regarding the beverage service at the bar to be improved immediately and to be fast and friendly as it should be usually.
We hope to welcome you at least to Gran Canaria and remain
with "sunny" regards,
Enrique Giersberg
Hotel Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sunderland, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
34 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed March 27, 2013

Stayed at the hotel caterina 3weeks ago , I decided to go all inc for the first time, I won't be doing that again. The hotel was ok a bit dated but clean and the room was a good size, I thought the food was ok if you like canteen food ,I would rather eat out but that was not a problem . What I did not like was the way all inc were made to feel 2nd class , the reason for all inc is that you have already paid so why did you have to pay for drinks in the Madison bar?. The only place you can get a drink is by the pool , if you didn't want to sit by the pool you had to pay. On the last night of the holiday it was torrential rain and the wind was blowing the tables into the pool! But you still had to pay in the Madison bar , the barman even said you could get your drinks from the pool bar and bring them upstairs ! Perhaps the manager would like to explain . Because of that I would not go back to the caterina.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank Eddie801
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
egiersbergICA, Manager at IFA Catarina Hotel, responded to this review, March 31, 2013
Thanks for your review and thanks for your comment and we are sorry you had trouble having drinks and the lobby bar. According to the information you could get when booking as well as at the arrival, we do not offer all-in at the Madison Bar except at rainy days as we had exceptionally few weeks ago. We we already put this into attention to our head of department to react immediately when weather is changing. Just for your information, inside the pool bar we have a very nice and coozy place and we do offer all-in. Rainy days are in the south of the island and exception and we are not glad you had these days during your stay.
We hope to welcome you again at this nice & sunny destination and remain
with best regards,
Enrique Giersberg
Hotel Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sunderland
2 reviews
Reviewed March 23, 2013

It is very annoying that this hotel could be brilliant except for some poor management decsions . Its 'all inclusive' package is OK-ish except be aware food is not availiable all day. The 'all inclusive' drinks rules are very odd. You can drink all day but only in the Pool side bar. Not suitable for everybody. The Madison bar is better, nicer, quieter but you are not allowed to get 'all inclusive' drinks. Why? Enquiries reveled the Manger has decided that the two bars must have separate accounting systems. WHY?????
You may consider this is not a real problem as you can get 'all inclusive' drinks at the pool bar and take them to the Madison bar. This is nonsense and involves a 50 meter walk to the pool bar down a long flight of steps - get your drink - walk back up the long flight of stairs for 50 meters holding your drink.This is clearly nonsense. The waiters in the Madison bar are not allowed to get your drinks from the pool bar. All the British people at the hotel I spoke to very clearly bemused and confused by this very odd ruling. We have been to this hotel many times but whether we go again is open to question.

Room Tip: Rooms on the Garden side have a better aspect
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank UpNorth321
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
egiersbergICA, Manager at IFA Catarina Hotel, responded to this review, March 25, 2013
Thanks for your review and for your comment and we feel sorry that you did not enjoy your stay as usual.
Tha Madison Bar has been reopened with a wide range of offer of drinks for guest in and out of the property. In this place we have free Wi-Fi zone and in brief we will offer Sport TV and hope you understand that all this effort is done to have a return. Until now the Madison Bar was not in use as you could remember of your stays before.
We hope we could satisfy your request and would be very glad to welcome you again for your next holidays.
With best regards,
Enrique Giersberg
Hotel Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Guildford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
12 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed March 18, 2013

Stayed in this hotel between 2-9th March & had a very pleasant stay. People moaning about the watered down drinks - I didn't find this at all, infact some of the cocktails were very strong! I celebrated my 30th birthday here & on the day of my birthday the hotel staff left a free bottle of fizz - I wouldn't call it champagne in our room. The rooms were spacious, I agree the beds were a little hard but this is typical of a Canary Island hotel! The maid service was excellant, one day we left the do not disturb sign on the door & we were left a note saying they took notice of this & we could phone down if we wanted it cleaned later in the day. I travelled with two very fussy eaters & they even managed to find something to eat in the restaurant, they always had a good selection of food & their deserts were definitely the best part! The one thing I would say is that I wasn't impressed with the pool snack bar, didn't have much choice on offer but this wasn't really a problem as we just went into the restaurant for lunch instead. It was rather annoying having to move the sun loungers around the pool as it became shaded in the early afternoon but after a couple of days we became adjusted to this & worked out the best place to sit. The hotel grounds are lovely & well maintained, the gardens are beautiful. I couldn't fault the animation team, they were very friendly & always tried to include us in the daily activities & didn't get offended if we refused. Francois in particular has excellent communication skills & can talk fluently in many languages, he always brightened up our day just because he clearly loves his job, we loved watching him signing & dancing as he walked around the hotel grounds. My only real complaint is that we had a late flight & were unable to get late checkout, the hotel does have a hospitality room & left luggage but one female & male shower for the volume of people using it wasn't adequate & also the shower was broken away from the wall so u had to hold the shower head. I would suggest they maybe give guests set times that they can use the shower room so to avoid everyone trying to use the room at the same time. I thoroughly enjoyed my stay at this hotel & looking to return later this year. Thank you for a lovely stay!

Room Tip: Ask for a high floor as you get away from the noise of the evening entertainment which takes place r...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Lauralou5383
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
egiersbergICA, Manager at IFA Catarina Hotel, responded to this review, March 20, 2013
Thanks for sharing your experience and thanks for the time taken to write your review. It is our pleasure to make your holiday a good choice. We hat forwarded your email to François and it was great to see his smiling face. He realy enjoyed your comment on him and his job. Thanks again.
We offer late ckeck out for a little surcharge until 8.00 pm as far as we have availability and we are sorry you could not have a propper shower. We will try to find a better way to organize this trouble.
We would be very happy to welcome you again at the IFA Catarina and remain with a sunny regard and hasta pronto,
Enrique Giersberg
Hotel Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
England UK
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed March 15, 2013

Firstly to get the glitches out of the way. The hotel could do with getting it's smoking and non smoking areas sorted out as in and around the pool bar area gets very smoky, there are small areas where no smoking is designated but these are overpowered by the smoke from all the other areas blowing around, obviously you cannot smoke inside the hotel but more smoke free areas by the pool would make it more pleasant. There is an indoor bar but this is not part of the all inclusive package although you can take all inclusive drinks in there with you, some light entertainment in there would be good as an alternative to the outside area especially when it is a bit cool, however to the hotels credit they did turn the indoor bar all inclusive two nights when it rained. (Think this also had something to do with First Choice's excellent rep Paris).
Also the evening restaurant dress rules are enforced very strictly especially for men but maybe the tour operators should make this more clear in their literature.
Apart from this the hotel is good, with good food, excellent staff, large rooms and it is kept spotlessly clean all the times. There is a large well furnished naturist area on the roof and the hotel is ideally situated for access to the beach and dunes.
The gardens are beautiful and very well maintained and the hotel is in a quiet area and we had no trouble with noise at all either by day or night.
All in all we would recomend the Catarina and would gladly return.

Room Tip: High floor away from pool area
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank John-Phil
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
egiersbergICA, Manager at IFA Catarina Hotel, responded to this review, March 18, 2013
Thanks for sharing your experience and thanks for the time taken for your review. We are very glad you had a wonderful time during your stay and you are right regarding the non smoking areas. We already started at the restaurant's terrace where we added a "non smoking" area and it's been very appriciated.
We hope to welcome you back soon to Gran Canaria and remain with best weather and hasta pronto,
Enrique Giersberg
Hotel Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Scunthorpe, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
40 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed March 13, 2013

Stayed here on 2/03/13 to 10/03/13. If your are staying fully inclusive you are not allowed the cakes that in the little coffee shop in the counter, but you can have the cakes that were out for breakfast which have been sat on the table for a couple of hours. You are not allowed any food that is on the menu at the poolside restaurant unless you pay. The bar closes at 11p.m and you can not get a coffee unless you pay. You can not get drinks at the bar inside the hotel only at the poolside. If your half board the bar closes at 10 p.m then you have to use the pool bar. There are no tea or coffee facilities in your room. So take your own. If you are half board you can get fully inclusive (part inclusive lol) but I would not recommend you do this as you will feel that you are a lower class standard. I was told that the cake in the little coffee shop was expensive so,we could not have it, as we were fully inclusive. We paid for it and it was only €1.50 is that expensive? If you complain then the service you get is not good. The food in the restaurant needs to checked as the temperature is cool and not hot. You are expected to get dressed up for dinner then they expect you to sit outside all night in the windy weather. If it wasn't for Paris the rep for first choice then we would have had to sit outside in the rain to. To the management on your list for your fully inclusive when it says pastry is included. A pastry chef makes cakes and that is what is in your little cafe if you do not want people to eat them then either change your leaflet or put a sign up to say that they are not included. The rooms are large, but the cleaners need to make sure they clean all of the mirror in the bathroom not just what they can reach, as people write there names in the steam at the top. You do not get the sunshine at the pool until 10-11a.m you need to keep moving around to get out of the shade. The entertainment is not good. The best night was with the animation who gave us laughs and worked extremely hard.
I have been to many inclusive holiday's around the world and this hotel is not worthy of a 4 star. The quality of the inclusive food and drink is quite poor.
I understand the management read these reviews. So my suggestion to you is listen to the holiday reps when they come to you with complaints from customers and may be take on board suggestions made, because it only takes a few people on this trip advisor that could make your hotel not one to return to.

Room Tip: Room 167 and Room 168 has not view only a very large palm street.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank shell e
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
egiersbergICA, Manager at IFA Catarina Hotel, responded to this review, March 15, 2013
Thanks for your review and thanks for the time taken. We are very sorry that your holidays wasn't as you expected.
Regarding the All-In offer in the IFA Catarina, we inform our guests via tour operator as well via our web page about our schedules, where and what we offer and not offer. At arrival you got a leavelet again with detailed information of the all inclusive offer like from what time until what time, snacks, lunch and dinner time, etc. Additionally we have a card with offer of drinks and cocktails included in the all in. In the lobby bar we also got a sign for "not all in" service.
As you can see we provide our guest with the information and it is important for you to take the time to read it during your holidays.
We thanks again for sharing your point of view and remain
with best regards,
Enrique Giersberg
Hotel Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about IFA Catarina Hotel

Property: IFA Catarina Hotel
Address: Avenida de Tirajana 1, 35100 Playa del Ingles, Maspalomas, Gran Canaria, Spain
Location: Spain > Canary Islands > Gran Canaria > Maspalomas > Playa del Ingles
Amenities:
Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#3 Green Hotel in Playa del Ingles
#19 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Ingles
#20 Family Hotel in Playa del Ingles
#22 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Ingles
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — IFA Catarina Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 402
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Also Known As:
IFA Catarina Hotel Playa Del Ingles, Gran Canaria
Ifa Catarina Playa Del Ingles

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