We visited IFA Continental in the first week of February.
The hotel is only a 20 min drive away from the airport which was handy. Upon check in, the staff were extremely helpful and informative and we had no problems finding our room.
The room was fine, pretty basic but very clean and tidy with a newly refurbished bathroom & an excellent shower! Our room looked out of the front of the hotel so the view wasn't great, we could just see the car park & some other buildings, but who spends that much time in their room on holiday anyway?! One thing we were pleased about was the amount of hangers in the wardrobe - plenty for both of us which is unusual as most hotels only seem to provide about 6 to share! You do have to pay for the safe but I think it's worth having for 2 euros a day. You do also have to pay for the towels - 10 euros deposit which you get back at end of week + 5 euros hire charge. However my tip is to just buy a towel when you get there - there are loads of shops around selling them for 5 euros each! (Unless you take your own towel of course!) There was no air con in the room but we didn't need it at the time of year we went, so it didn't bother us.You do need to buy water for your room - some people moan about this but it was literally 1 euro for a massive bottle and there are plenty of shops around all selling it at this price.
The pool area was nice and spotlessly clean. The main pool was big but not heated but there is a smaller pool which is heated. There are plenty of sunbeds, however most of them are in the shade so you do have to get up early to get a good sunbathing spot! Also the sunbathing area is right next to a main road so it can be a bit noisy during the day. However, the beach is only a minute walk away, straight in front of the hotel - this goes on for miles so there's no shortage of sunbathing space here! (But beware of the nudist beach which is right in front of the sand dunes!) The sea was freezing! But it probably warms up in the summer. There is also a bar where you can buy a cold coke or a beer. There is also a toilet - it's free of charge but I would advise to avoid it at all costs!! It stinks and is absolutely disgusting, you are better off weeing in the sea! :)
There is one main restaurant at the hotel and a pool snack bar. We loved the pool snack bar as they do the best toasted ham & cheese sandwiches we've ever tried! Also the soft drinks and beer are on self service which was great! There never seemed to be any queues either, but perhaps this is because we went outside of peak time. The food in the restaurant was absolutely amazing - we filled our plates up every time, there was just so much to chose from! I would highly recommend the hake, it was absolutely delicious and melted in the mouth! Our other favourites were the chicken fajitas, pork ribs, salmon, prawns, calamari, steak, beef and various salad mixes. So much choice of dessert too! The food was the main reason we couldn't believe the hotel was only 3 star! We met a couple who had been to the hotel 16 times!! I can understand why!
Re the entertainment, again, for a 3 star hotel this was brilliant - while we were there we watched a parrot show, Bollywood show, singers, African acrobats, fashion show (you could buy the clothes afterwards) and of course we played bingo! They also do a "guess who it is" competition every day - they leave a photo of a celebrity in reception and if you guess who it is correctly you go into a prize draw, and the winner receives a voucher for a nice cocktail. This can get a bit tedious as they do tend to draw it out a bit but it all adds to the fun!
The daytime entertainment consists of the usual water aerobics, basketball, football, poker, etc but it's very laid back and there's no pressure to join in if you don't want to.
The nightlife in the area is great - you can jump in a taxi and get to the nightclub area for about 3 or 4 euros. We went to China Whites & Pasha which are open until the early hours, and also went to "Yumbo's", the famous gay area. It was a great atmosphere here & really lively. There are also loads & loads of restaurants and bars all within walking distance of the hotel so you're spoilt for choice if you fancy a change from the hotel restaurant. We went to a great place on our last night called "Il Ponte Vecchio" where they had live entertainment (singing & acrobats) and for a starter, main meal, beers & a few cocktails each it only came to 85 euros which we thought was excellent value.
Re trips - we travelled with Thomson and our rep Luke was not very knowledgeable about the trips or the area as he had only been there 2 weeks! But he was very happy to try and help if he could! He told us about a few trips but in the end we didn't book anything through him - we found a kiosk up the road and booked a 2 hour horse trek through the mountains. This was 45 euros each and was absolutely amazing! (Thomson's were offering the same for 58 euros!) So it's a good idea to shop around.
There is a spa at the hotel but there was never anyone at the front desk! There's a bit of a strange booking system where you just write your name in a diary and turn up at the time you requested. My boyfriend did manage to get a massage which he enjoyed. And I also had my hair washed & cut at the salon for 15 euros which I was very pleased with!
Over all, we absolutely loved the IFA Continental and would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a budget holiday which is amazing value for money - I'd definitely go again! :)
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The IFA Continental Hotel is situated very near to the centre of Playa del Ingles, a few minutes walk from Playa del Ingles beach, the promenade and numerous leisure and shopping centres. The magnificent Playa del Ingles, with its famous sand dunes and its 6 kilometers in length, offers a perfect setting to have long and pleasant walks next to the sea, besides being located next to one of the most enjoyable and entertaining tourist zones of Gran Canaria. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Ifa Hotel Playa Del Ingles
- IFA Continental Hotel Playa Del Ingles, Gran Canaria