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“Perfect place for a family vacation”

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Playaballena Spa Hotel
Ranked #5 of 10 Hotels in Rota
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed June 10, 2014

Playaballena Spa Hotel is a comfortable hotel for a family vacation, presenting a lot of facilities for adults and for kids as well. The Atlantic Ocean is almost in front of the hotel, but there is also a nice outdoor pool in the hotel, extremely attractive for everybody. Very nice both indoor and outdoor design, good service, a big variety of dishes in the restaurant. Very picturesque towns (Cadiz, Arcos and Jerez da la Frontera etc.) are nearby. The parking is a problem - the parking places are limited and at an additional charge.

  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled with friends
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4  Thank Stavros360
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
P-Stor, Gerente at Playaballena Spa Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded June 23, 2014

Thank you very much for your comments, highly appreciate the opinion of our customers therefore fills us with satisfaction to know that they have enjoyed their holiday. We hope you can visit us again. Next up!

Luis Rossell
Gerente

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21 - 27 of 2,002 reviews

Reviewed June 2, 2014

What an experience!
Lovely pool for kids and very kind and skilled lifeguard who has to deal with a bunch of people shouting, eating and drinking everywhere and anything edible!.
You can enjoy cava for breakfast. All the rest....A horrible experience in a 2 stars hotel NOT 4!
The food, horrible, tasteless and the cheapest quality possible. Everyday you have the same choice of food for: breakfast, lunch and dinner ...eggs, omelette and not nice fresh looking salads. There is a fish, meat grill choice...you will chew for days (i gave up).
Dirty toilets and communal areas, I think this is also the responsibility of the kind of people visiting this place. In the night there is shouting everywhere from room to room, we were wondering how many people were staying in each rooms. It is not good value for money and their 4 stars should be reviewed.

  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled with family
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3  Thank TopExplorer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
P-Stor, Gerente at Playaballena Spa Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded June 23, 2014

Dear Guest,

First of all to thank his criticism through this we have the best way to learn about the experiences of our guests during your holiday, marking us as well road in favour of getting a product to suit.
We have in mind their impressions and will work on improving the marked points to make in an upcoming visit their perception of the product received fully satisfactory.

Luis Rossell
Gerente

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 20, 2014

Enjoyed a relaxing Spa day with a group of girlfriends!! Although we all live here in Rota, Spain, it was such a treat to spend a relaxing Spa Day without having to actually be on vacation. Upon arrival our group was given a warm welcome by Manager, Luis Rossell. We ate in the hotel restaurant, El Arpon, for breakfast and lunch and they offer huge Buffetts. Our group was probably most excited and I highly recommend the made-to-order Omelets! There was even Sparklin Wine on the buffet so we created Mimosas. The selections during the lunch buffet were just as impressive complete made-to-order Crepes! The dining room was large with a attentive kitchen staff that was friendly and kept the tables and food areas clean. The Spa was fairly small but we went during the middle of the week so we practically had the place to ourselves so we truly enjoyed hoping from one whirlpool to the next, as well as popping in and out of the Sauna and Steam Rooms. What girls day wouldn't be complete without a little shopping?? After the Spa we meandered into a fantastic little Boutique where several of us found great Resort Wear without the Resort prices. Did I mention Great Prices?? I'm not sure if Lili was the manager or the boutique owner, however, she was very helpful. The swimming pool area is beautiful and looked like a place that families with children could really have a great time. There were plenty of clean lounge chairs and the bathrooms were also very clean. The hotel bar makes an Amazing Sangria. Thank you Playaballena for treating us to such an enjoyable and relaxing day. I look forward to returning in the very near future with my family

  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled with friends
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Thank littlebombs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
P-Stor, Gerente at Playaballena Spa Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded June 23, 2014

Dear Guest,
We stay in your entire disposal and hope that you return to visit us in other occasions, meanwhile we will continue working in achieving our goal that is that our guests enjoy their stay along their holiday in our establishment.

Luis Rossell
Gerente

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Reviewed January 2, 2014

We stayed from the 28th Dec to see the New Year in. We have been to similar hotels on an all inclusive package before, but must state that this has been the best so far, the difference been the staff: hard working, attentive, service orientated, polite and courteous at all times. The rooms are amply sized, clean with good facilities, naturally the pools and exterior facilities could not be used during this season but all areas were kept immaculately clean despite wind and nearly full capacity. The food, although on a buffet basis, was varied, in very good quantity and of a high standard. The new years eve meal was imaginative, well served and simply delicious. We enjoyed the spa facility and the hotel is well situated for those with gastronomic cravings from the Puerto de Santamaria (fish, shell fish, king prawns etc), Rota & Sanlucar de Barrameda known for its excellent "Fino", Manzanilla sherry and other gastronomic delights. The whole package was well priced and balanced with the selection of alcoholic drinks featuring a good few named brands and the wine was of high quality & good variety. All in all, a repeat trip looms before the end of the year.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Delli2005
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 29, 2013

we stayed the last week of September, family with 2 small children.

The good thing about the hotel is that is next to a very nice beach.

But for a 4 star hotel, our expectations were higher. Here some of the bad points:

- this is a very big hotel, so the dining room can be extremely crowed and very noisy. End of September was not high season, the weekdays were OK but during the weekend it was very very crowded!

- the pool area has some very strange policies for children. It is forbidden to accompany your child on the slide, although the life guard suggested to send my 2-year old alone down the slide??!! Plunging into 80cm of water on the bottom did not sound like a good idea. The lifeguard also have no visibility on the exit of the slides.
Result: children not happy and they could not understand why slides were off-limit for them.
The same applies to the jaccuzi outside: it's nice, but forbidden for children....

- the buffer hours are very late. For example lunch from 13u30-16u30, dinner only starts at 20u, Not ideal with a 2-year old child... Also keep in mind that it can take up 30 minutes between opening of the buffer and availability of eg fried bacon in the morning.
Usually by the end of the dinner our table was complete filled with used dished since they are not well taken away due to limited staff

- the inside pool is closed from 14-16hr. I have no clue why, since there is no lifeguard. But that how it is. We had one day of bad weather, but we could not swim inside between 14-16hr. Another strange hotel policy

- quality of the food is sometimes reasonable, but on some days was pretty bad. Vegetables are always over-cooked and everything is very salty

-basic facilities are limited for a 4-star hotel: limited wifi access, safe in room required additional 4euro/day, ...

We are certainly not spending our next holiday in this place...

Stayed: September 2013, traveled with family
4  Thank jos73
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
P-Stor, Gerente at Playaballena Spa Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded October 11, 2013

Dear Guest,
Thank you for your comment. Unfortunately has not been 100% satisfied in our hotel, will of course take note of the points that tells us to improve them. I hope that you understand that even though high season that does not mean that we have no guests, since weather is still favorable. As he has seen more than 80 percent are domestic customers reason why we have these times of food, already starting from mid-October will advance them as usual.
The opening hours for the inside pool is for technical reason due to the amount of people using it.
I sorry you won t come back to the hotel but I can tell you that we have many good references and maybe you don t have asked or understand the season you was looking for your holidays

Luis Rossell
Gerente

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Reviewed September 6, 2013

The hotel is located in a fantastic beach... but well, you know... in august there are a lot of people! We got a "standard" room for my wife, my and my 2 daughters... one considered as an "adult"... There were just two beds quite limited for all us... and you know... you pay 4 but you have to ask all the time for chairs, towels, etc...

The buffet was ok... but to some extent "limited" for a 4 stars hotel... and you can imagine that in the rush hours it was terrible... service people was ok, nice people, but as they were not enough we used to accumulate a lot of dishes in the table...

In the buffet there were a lot of mosquitoes as well as in the lobby... and in the terrace, even with a lot of families with children, it was sometimes annoying when the neighbors were smoking...

Wifi... As a 4 stars hotel again it was "limited" that wifi was restricted to the lobby... and just for 1 hour per day!!!

If you travel by car you have to foresee to use the parking of the hotel... that you cannot book in advance... and that the only entry is before to the main entrance of the hotel... so I had a "dispute" with someone blocking the access because he was doing the "check-in"... as this is a private property you know... you could park in the main entrance of the hotel... only a judge could ask your car to be retired... I joked about that complaining in the reception about the rude attitude of the "guy" that did not want to move 10 meters his car because he was doing the checking asking me to introduce a denunciation... what I did even if maybe for nothing...

The swimming pool was nice... we used to go in the morning when there were not a lot of people going to the beach during the afternoon... I appreciated that it was not needed to "book" places at 7.00 a.m. when going running by the beach!!!

In the surroundings there is nothing... just a commercial center half km away and there is not cash distributor... well... we just wanted the beach! But to find "people" you have to go the the next villages...

In summary it was ok... maybe I have focus more in negative aspects... but next time, if we visit again Costa Ballena, I thing we will go for renting a house or an apartment...

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank CutoCalleja
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
P-Stor, Gerente at Playaballena Spa Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded October 11, 2013

Dear Guest,
First of all thank you for that some have taken minutes to make his comments. I would have loved that they had communicated their problems at the front desk to have thus tried to remedy the problem. Anyway with great pleasure we take note of our opinion to try to improve things which were not satisfied to 100 percent.

Luis Rossell
Gerente

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 28, 2012

This hotel had everything from tropical birds (aviary) to semi outdoor glass elevators. We booked a standard double room which was spacious but extremely musty smelling when we first entered it. The room should have been aired prior to our arrival as there was always a hint of this unpleasant smell throughout our stay which lingered on our clothing.
I found the staff to be helpful and friendly but not many of them speak English so take your phrase book if you don't speak Spanish.
The dining room is enormous and quite noisy, hectic and even confusing at peak times. I think the food was somewhat average despite the fact that fresh fish or a cut of meat can be cooked to order.
The entrance hall / reception area is magnificent and features a traditional marble staircase which gave the hotel character.
I enjoyed the indoor pool and spa whirlpool but only when other residents were not present; some local families were staying there and were noisy and intimidating at times.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Christine F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Playaballena Spa Hotel

Address: Avenida Juan Carlos I s/n | Costa Ballena, 11520 Rota, Spain
Phone Number:
Location: Spain > Andalucia > Province of Cadiz > Rota
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Family Hotel in Rota
#3 Business Hotel in Rota
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Rota
#4 Romantic Hotel in Rota
#5 Luxury Hotel in Rota
Price Range: $53 - $183 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Playaballena Spa Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 324
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Playaballena SPA Hotel enjoys a beachfront location, next to Costaballena Golf Club and set amongst charismatic spots such as Rota, Chipiona and Sanlucar de Barrameda in the heart of the Bay of Cadiz. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Playaballena Hotel Rota

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