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“Great Sports, Clean 60's Style Hotel, School Dinners”
Review of Hotel Abamar

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Hotel Abamar
Reviewed August 13, 2008

This 60's style hotel situated on a beautiful beach and backing onto a National Park area of pine forest, is GOOD AND BAD in equal measures.

The majority of customers are with Mark Warner Holidays and have come for the fantastic range of sports facilities they offer at the Abamar. In the main season there are also a number of Italians who stay here.

HOTEL
Very clean overall, with bedrooms that have been redecorated, if not completely refurbished. The bathrooms still look rather old style although new basins and loo's help lift them a little. The balconies are poorly lit at night and contain very basic furniture. The pool area is fine and fairly quiet during the day, when most activities take place on the beach. The hotel staff are all Italian with very little English, but there are plenty of British Mark Warner staff around to help you.

BAR
Horrendously expensive for what is only a 2/3 star hotel and the poor support it receives from guests explains why. There are much cheaper Beach Bar options right next door on the beach and in the evenings there is a very popular Karaoke Bar a short walk outside the hotel.

FOOD
Served outside (in all winds and weather) although there is an alternative indoor restaurant that staff will move the buffet into (UNDER GREAT DURESS!) although hopefully you will have glorious weather for most of your stay. The choice of food is very samey, not as exciting as you would normally expect of Italian, rather tasteless AND COLD! ~ JUST LIKE SCHOOL DINNERS. You won't starve, but it won't set your palate alight either and the wine, which is very basic indeed, is only JUST acceptable.

ENTERTAINMENT
One evening whilst queuing for some warmish food to arrive from the kitchen, an argument broke out between the Head Chef and one of the waiters, which spilled over into the restaurant. The waiter was chased all around the restaurant and repeatedly hit upon the head with a stainless steel serving dish from the buffet ~ very amusing, although not very professional behaviour.

SPORTS
Excellent Mark Warner sports staff on hand. Loads of watersports on the beach, sailing (various), windsurfing and canoes. As I'm more of a land animal, I played tennis and took coaching (although the hotel only features ONE court!) and went Mountain Biking. The bikes were fairly basic Specialised (hardtails), but most of them seemed to work OK and the guide was terrific, great trails along the cliff tops, with stunning views of the ocean.

Overall, we enjoyed the sports ~ the hotel was only just OK ~ but the food was a great disappointment. A lot of customers questioned WHY Mark Warner were still persevering with this hotel caught in a time-warp?

  • Stayed: September 2007, traveled with family
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4  Thank Millardski
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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36 - 42 of 252 reviews

Reviewed August 6, 2008

We booked a week at the Abamar, the Mark Warner resort, through Travelzoo all inclusive for £385 - & I definitely wouldn't suggest paying anymore. The food was so bad we could only each there twice - waiting in queues for very bad buffet food. The beach & surrounding setting are gorgeous - which was just as well as unfortunately the hotel itself was like something out of Austen Powers - you can tell it would have been quite swish 40years ago & it wouldn't take much to restore. You can't help think MW must not be giving them a good deal! I was disappointed with the room - the rooms at the front have a fridge so you should request these as they have a sea view too for no extra cost. Having said that the staff were fabulous, the included activities were plentiful - you could learn how to sail & windsurf amongst others, the instructing was excellent (its a YHA centra) and the equipment was top noch.

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank misstraveller07
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 23, 2008

We got this holiday cheap and for the price of £385 each it was adequate. I really do feel sorry for the people who pay full price – they definitely get ripped off. We did have a great time though - hardly staying at the hotel but venturing out and doing our own thing. Not sure if i'd do a Mark Warner again - felt a bit claustraphobic being so isolated and seeing the same people day in-day out. We took the little orange bus into Pula (the nearest town) a few times to have a walk around and have a change in scenery. We were lucky that my friend happened to work in the next hotel so she took us on a boat trip around the South of the island which was fabulous. She also took us to Cagliari the island’s capital on the last night. It was really lovely; we shopped, ate, walked around and drank– well worth going to. Mark Warner offered their own excursion to Cagliari for 30 euros a rip off when the bus can get you to Cagliari for about 5 euros. Probably best to hire a car if you want to get around.

Beach
The best thing about the hotel. It was absolutely gorgeous... white sand, turquoise water – comparable with the beaches of Mauritius. Excellent to swim in.

Hotel
Clean but stuck in the 1970s. It has 4 stars on the entrance when clearly it is barely 3 stars. I’ve heard the standard of Italian hotels is generally low.

Room was very basic – décor is old, cheap furniture. Bathroom looks like it is from the 1970s. No TV, no fridge, Air Con is not very cold. We were on the first floor , overlooking the terrace and sea so it was very noisy. However the room was cleaned everyday and we were given free water.

Dinner was good – different options every night. Wine was awful. Breakfast was not great…the fried stuff was very greasy. Beware! If you are on HB there are not many places for lunch, the nearby shop closes at lunch and the café/beach bars have limited supplies.

Bar in the hotel and the beach bar were very expensive. About 2 euros for a can of coke. 3.5 euros for a can of beer.

Activities
Didn’t do any watersports as we didn’t realise we had to book it on the first day. If you ask them during the week they won’t allow you to try anything – which is quite annoying. Did the mountain biking one morning and this was quite difficult – not for the faint hearted or those who are not fit. Only 4 bikes available – 3 were broken. If you can manage it, it is well worth the views and scenery. Don’t do it when it is too hot.

Nightlife
Non-existant.

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled with friends
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4  Thank Lucy1979
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 26, 2008

We booked last minute on the Mark Warner website and read the reviews and arrived with trepidation! The hotel is 3 stars so don't expect too much; it is clean enough but very tired. Our room was at the front of the hotel (facing the car park) and quite dark and noisy. Our bathroom smelt of drains as soon as we arrived and when we asked to change one of the staff admitted that a lot of the rooms tend to be a little on the smelly side so we made sure the bathroom door was kept firmly shut! Also, make sure you bring all your insect repellent stuff as most of the people we met complained they'd been bitten extensively by mosquitoes. However, some plug ins are available at reception free of charge. There are only 8 hairdryers available from reception so bring your own.
The staff are very friendly and extremely helpful and nothing is too much trouble. There are plenty activities for all including aerobics/fitness as well as the watersports and cycling. However, there were only 4 bikes available, which had seen better days (one was missing a set of brakes). No gym though. We couldn't fault the beach - great setting.
The food is adequate, a bit like school dinners. Ok for a few days but my objection is that it's LUKEWARM, sometimes cold and bland and not much variety. .
The resort is quite secluded. If you are want to explore the area there is a bus to Pula, ideal for a half day walkabout including some eateries - a good pizzeria in the square, a few boutiques etc. You can also take the bus to Cagliari which is an hour away and happily spend a day wandering about, eating and shopping, otherwise we'd advise you hire a car and see Sardinia.
On the whole, not a bad holiday; friendly, lively staff, plenty of activities, but we personally would not have been satisfied had we paid full price.

Stayed: June 2008
2  Thank Rasterberry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 20, 2008

INVITE THE STAFF TO DINNER,they do not get the same food as the guests.
The hotel was ok,rooms not bad,kept very clean.Nice bar area, a bit overpriced but the supermarket on the main road is cheap.
Mark Warner staff were very good,friendly and helpful.
The hotel is a bit isolated,nothing else to do around although Pula is ok for a couple of hours.
My main complaint about the hotel was the food,,Good choice of food,good variety, BUT 75% OF IT WAS LUKE WARM OR COLD.

SORT IT OUT. This let the hotel and Mark Warner down.
Oh Yes...there was a microwave to heat it up so it was,nt all bad.Ha Ha

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank SKYZIP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 1, 2008

The Mark Warner staff made this a very enjoyable holiday. Everything was done efficiently and with a smile, right from the moment we were met at Cagliari airport until our departure.

The Abamar had been spruced up and thoroughly cleaned, the furniture in public areas was in good condition, and the housekeeping staff kept our room spotless throughout our stay.

Try to get a room on the 3rd, 4th or 5th floor with a sea view, as these seem to be the nicest and brightest. We started off in 304 which had a view of the car park and seemed dark as the sun didn't get round to it at this time of year. We got a move the next day to 310 which was still a standard room but much brighter and with a nice sea view.

The rooms are functional, with plenty of cupboards and drawers, a dressing table, fridge (in some) and full length mirror (again in some). We found the bed too hard, but we like a soft bed so others may be perfectly comfortable. The bathroom had a shower, loo, sink, bidet and plenty of shelves for your toiletries. It had seen better days but as mentioned earlier it was kept very clean so no complaints there. The towels were a bit thin but this meant they dried easily which is handy in a hot climate when you're taking plenty of showers.

The meals were all served alfresco in the seafront restaurant. Starters were local meats, cheeses and bread plus a choice of salads. Mains consisted of a pasta dish, fish and meat, usually with rice and potatoes and a choice of veg. Dessert was fruit, cake and a mousse or creme caramel. There was plenty of water and wine, and the tables were cleaned as soon as you put down your fork. More variety in the daily menu would have been appreciated, but really the only complaint here is that the plates were cold, and as this was outside at the start of the season in fairly high winds, so was the food!

Abamar is an adult only club apart from school holidays, so as this was half term over 6's were allowed. We travelled as a couple and were never once bothered by children because they were entertained throughout the holiday by the Mark Warner childcare staff.

There were plenty of activities on offer for the adults too. The watersports were limited by high winds but the staff still managed to offer land-based tuition and most people managed to sail by the end of the week.

Tennis was very popular - there was a daily scramble for slots on the one tennis court.

The only disappointment was the mountain biking. We've previously been on a Crystal Active holiday in the alps, where the choice of equipment was extensive and all of the bikes were maintained on site. Mark Warner aren't in the same league at the moment, and seemed to be just trying it out. There were only six bikes, one of which was for the guide, and one was already broken before the first guided ride. As a result the rides booked up really fast and the guide had to put on an extra one each day to ease the pressure (which reduced the opportunity to hire bikes and do your own thing because they had to be back within a couple of hours). The main complaint, however, was that none of the bikes were equipped with tool kits, not even a spare inner tube, which seemed risky particularly for the off-road rides.

  • Stayed: May 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank Pottermiss
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 26, 2007

Having read some terrible reviews of this hotel we set out on this Mark Warner holiday with some trepidation.
I am delighted to say all our fears were unfounded and we had an excellent fun and activity packed week. 3 things were great:
1. The range of activities on offer and the good standard of the kit provided.
2. The wonderful Mark Warner staff who were always helpful, enthusiastic and very proffessional instructors.
3. The great bunch of other guests there on this the last week of the season.

True the hotel is looking a little tired in places, the rooms were basic (but spotlessly clean with firm and comfortable beds) and the bar prices expensive. The self service food choice was good with always lots of fresh fruit and vegetables whilst the table wines were quite acceptable and the waiters cheerful and helpful.
If you are looking for a 4 star hotel with 'haute cuisine' this is NOT the place for you. If however you want a value for money active fun filled week with adequate accomodation and food, in the company of enthusiastic staff and like minded people, then this holiday might well suit you.

  • Stayed: October 2007, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank RobertWarwick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Abamar

Address: S. Margherita di Pula, Km. 40, 09010 Santa Margherita di Pula, Pula, Sardinia, Italy
Location: Italy > Sardinia > Province of Cagliari > Pula > Santa Margherita di Pula
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#10 On the Beach Hotel in Santa Margherita di Pula
#12 Luxury Hotel in Santa Margherita di Pula
Price Range: $93 - $265 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Abamar 4*
Number of rooms: 80
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Also Known As:
Abamar Hotel
Hotel Abamar Sardinia/Santa Margherita Di Pula, Italy

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