Firstly I guess I have to ask why some people go back here every year for decades (and they do).
The best thing I can say about this place is that the waiting staff in general try and make you feel special ... With some exceptions. Special recommendation goes to Pepe who is head waiter at the pool cafe at lunch time and main dining room in the evening. He definitely goes over and above the call of duty. Thanks Pepe!
Hotel reception staff very pleasant and helpful although I don't really like walking through the smoke exhaled by a male member of staff from reception as he stands by the front door smoking and then breaths smoke all over you when he answers your queries.
Be warned quite a few of the staff (waiting and bar ) have very little or no English and will disappear to find someone else who can speak better English than them. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.
Room was a Junior suite and was largish with the most uncomfortable chair and sofa bed I have sat on for a long time. The room is situated above the terrace restaurant which hosts all meals. This can make it susceptible to noise and we had to ask reception if they would quieter down some drunken French men who were swearing and shouting mid to late afternoon. I am amazed that no management were present on site or that the senior waiter on duty did not ask them to be quiet. After the receptionist spoke to them they toned it down a little but not a lot. A siesta lost that day.
Air con didn't work ever in the room even after asking for it to be fixed. Bathroom was the most weirdly lit with no light shining into the shower over bath area so you showered in the dark. Toilet though was lit like a stage show!
Beds were rock hard and not comfortable.
Food and menu was very limited. Set menu was a choice of one meat, one fish or one vegetarian. If you went to al a carte they only allowed you 20% against the bill. Make no mistake this hotel is there to make money out of you and they will do it any which way they can. Small bottle of water, or a coffee is €3.50!
Luckily Pepe was at hand to offer non menu listed items if the choice was not what we wanted...and it often wasn't.
Wine is expensive and far more so than Llafranc but a reasonable selection. The Cava is especially good.
Pool is lovely but not enough room or loungers for the amount of people staying there. We were reminded of 70's hotel were they packed them all in as small an area as possible. The pool attendant was brilliant and kept the area spotlessly clean and also the changing rooms.
Public rooms are bland and open and feel airless. Newspapers from around the world are available attached to long wooden poles. Maybe only a Brit would consistently rip the crossword puzzle off the back of the papers instead of asking for a photocopy copy?
There are no other cafes or restaurants close by so unless you pay for taxi (expensive) or walk or have a car you are stuck here. No beach as such and everywhere you go there are steep slopes or lots of steps. Walk to Tamariu and be warned there are over 700 steep steps up and down each way!
I guess this is either a place that you love and therefore keep going back or you visit once and move on.
Personally I think it is getting tired and is a downmarket 4*. Waiters in white jackets at night and enormous balloon glasses for a G & T don't quite help it reach the mark.
We will be one of those couples that won't return - not even for Pepe.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A four-star hotel with amazing sea views, located in one of the best beaches of the Costa Brava, Aiguablava, in Begur. Surrounded by beaches with crystal clear water and golden sand, and beautiful towns like Pals or Tamariu, the hotel offers its guests a charm that is hard to forget. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Aigua Blava Begur
- Aigua Blava Hotel
- Hotel Aiguablava Begur, Spain - Costa Brava