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“Another marvellous fortnight.”
Review of Arena Center

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Arena Center
Ranked #21 of 34 Hotels in Roquetas de Mar
Reviewed July 23, 2012

We stayed 21/06 to 05/07 on half-board, a week later than last year but we were in time for the St. Juan festivities on the beach on our first weekend. This was our second stay here and this time we took along my niece and the wife's best mate. Yes lads, me and three mature women (I did have my doubts)....but it was a great holiday with a couple of people seeing everything through fresh eyes. We don't know why people moan about the food or what they expect at this hotel. It's all perfectly adequate and plentiful. No, it's not piping hot - the Spanish people don't like their food to be too hot - but it's not a big deal.
As other people have noted the pool attendant (Angel by name) was on the case every day ensuring sun loungers were not reserved. Even when the place got busy at the weekends there were always plenty of unoccupied loungers around the pool area. The hotel is to be congratulated for enforcing this policy. It's a real plus knowing you can wander back in after a few beers & tapas in the afternoon and get a spot by the pool if you want one.
Being a party of four we got out and about a bit to visit a few places. We got the local bus to the bull ring in Roquetas town but it was closed again. The museum opened the day we came home so we'll have to go back one more time for the free tour. We walked back along the prom (a few miles) but stopped at the 'Aurora' tapas bar by the little harbour for 'refreshments' - half of beer and an English tapas snack for 2 euros. This bar is English owned and great value for money. We also stopped a couple of more times on the slow walk back. 'La Pirata' on the prom near the Hisperia Sabinal hotel was great. Again 2 euros for a beer and a tapa.
We went on the local bus to Almeria for day out and went round the old castle - the Alcazabar. It was great, really interesting. The moorish castle has been partially restored and it's free to visit for Brtish & EU passport holders. It's full of water features, gardens, ponds & fountains plus the old ruins and archeological stuff. It overlooks the old town with its narrow streets and little squares. There are some great views out across the port and city. We walked back down through the old town through the arab quarter - more history and culture. Guess what? We found another tiny tapas bar - El Tropezon - on a little square and had some more refreshments, chorizos all round and really cheap.That was our cultural day out. Hint - it's about 6 euros in a taxi from the bus station to the Alcazabar (not open on Mondays) and it takes about an hour to walk back. The bus fare from Roquetas (Hotel Golf Trinidad) was Euro 1.80. A brilliant coach trip for Euro 3.60 each.
Locally from the Arena Centre (out of the back door and down to the main road/prom) there are still plenty of bars, cafes and restaurants open but quite a few have closed since last year. Bit of a shame really. The Spanish are really feeling the pinch - still out walking the prom in the evenings at weekends but not spending anything. Our favourite tapas bar nearby is the 'Bar Cullar' (try the liver and onions) and our preferred best-value bar is 'Marc's Bar' next to 'Y Da Wakes'. Marc-Antonio does happy hour all day and night - 2 for 1 on the drinks. His tapas cost 1 Euro each and he does a good cheese & ham toastie.
We watched the European Cup Final next door in the 'Tropic' bar surrounded by the Spanish fans. We had a brilliant night. The bar sold sangria in pint glasses - say no more. Thank you to Youssef and Jose for a good laugh.
We never got back in before midnight so were not bothered by ' noise' from the entertainment in the hotel. We like the Arena Centre and will go back again sometime.
Give it a try if you want a chilled out relaxing holiday with not too much to do.
It's not easy to get to, Thomas Cook only do one flight per week from Manchester and one from Gatwick.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with friends
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5  Thank rosado99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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45 - 51 of 432 reviews

Reviewed July 20, 2012

Stayed here at the beginning of July for one week.

The trip from the airport is only 45 minutes, we had to wait about 30 minutes for our room but we did arrive early.

I have never been on a package to Spain before, the trip to the hotel was quite depressing, lots of empty builfings and barren land, miles of scruffy looking tomato sheds, but don't let this put you off.

The hotel appears to cater mainly for Spanish families with young children, they were all very well behaved and the evening entertainment by the pool always started with dancing/mini disco which they joined in with enthusiastically.

There is a back door which leads to the main street, beach and supermarket, all less than five minutes away. The bus stop is also near, and only about 1.15 Euros each way to a few local places, slightly dearer if you go to Almeria. (I didn't it was too hot.)

Our room was as described by others, I was glad it overlooked the path at the back as there was loud music by the pool day and night.

The food was plentiful and a good choice but needed to be a bit warmer.

No problem getting a lounger by the pool, the attendant as others have said was vigilant about people reserving.

The service everywhere was nice and polite, you can even borrow books from reception which saves carrying if like me you still like a paper copy in your hand, there was quite a large choice typed out in a list and you just say which one you want.

I would definately go there again.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank zostar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 16, 2012

Have to say that our first experience of Spain wasn't a good one. We can only compare with our many trips to Greece, Turkey, Cyprus and Austria where we have stayed in 3 star accommodation that was better than this "4 star" hotel.

The positives were the size of the room and the cleanliness. The cleaning ladies were lovely and really friendly. We had a nice view towards a pool and tennis court to the rear of the hotel.

The pool is large and the area is clean. The lifeguard does a really good job of patrolling. The bar area and restaurant are attractive and again very clean.

But.........

We had to wait a couple of hours upon arrival as check out was 12.00 noon and our room was being prepared. We've never had this problem before as usually the previous occupants had left for the airport before we arrived. We were told by the rep to leave our luggage and go off and do something whilst the room was ready. Hardly easy when you have 2 pieces of hand luggage with you!! When we got in the room it had obviously been occupied by a smoker. A couple of days of spraying air freshener eventually freshened up the room. The room itself was tired but as I say very clean. So we could live with the rest.

The food was the worst we had ever eaten. A big selection but all cheap - chicken drumsticks, pizza, slivers of pork, burgers (not sure what they were made from!). Fruit in the morning just left in bowls rather than pre-prepared for guests to pick up. And everything was lukewarm and at times with flies around it. I know it's hard to control nature but you would expect an indoor air conditioned restaurant to have found a way to stop the flies - very off putting. There were very few English people in the hotel but of those we spoke to all were very disappointed with the hotel food. It’s the first time we've stayed half board as we usually like to eat out and sample the local fare. But friends told us that buffet style food was great and usually meat was cooked in front of you at your request. Not here, unless you call frying a pile of thin cardboard looking burgers and putting them in a warmer, show cooking. Our view was that this was more like a cafeteria rather than a restaurant.

The sun beds were dirty with stains on them and bird droppings. Unlike in other hot countries the sun beds didn't get washed down each morning to freshen them up. Nor for that matter were the sunbathing areas around the pool hosed down each day. We found the state of the sun beds very off-putting.

The hotel was very much geared up for the Spanish. We're happy to eat their food and try to speak their language, after all we’re visitors to their country, but the reception staff were very cold towards guests. We weren’t even asked if we'd had a good holiday when we took our keys back to reception.

I'm sad that our first trip to Spain has been tarnished by this experience. But Spain’s not a future destination for us.

Room Tip: Don't ask for a pool view unless you want to listen to the noisy Spaniards until 8.30pm each day...
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  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Sue S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 9, 2012

This hotel is fanstatic i would advise it to anyone. Aparthotel is so clean everyday they clean your room and the cleaners get to the hotel early to clean outside near the pool area to ensure you wake up to a clean hotel. The bar staff are amazing they are so friendly and try and talk to you. The man who works at the outside bar is a nice friendly man and speaks full english, Me and my partner have became really close friends with him and still keep intouch. I would advise you to speak a little bit of spanish before you go tho because the people like to see you making an effort and lets be fare they try speak english. Overall this place is the place to go its got a supermarket 2 mins walk away from the back gate of the hotel but u need to take your key to get back in. When you reach the supermarket either left or right there are lots of bars to choose from. Go stright on at the supermarket to get to the gorgeous shingle beach for those beach lovers. You can book a number of fantastic trips for all ages. i really enjoyed the waterpark it wasnt that bid but lots of things to do, your also allowed to take food in and eat it at the picknik area in the park. In the hotel there is kids entertainment through the day and have got it most nights too. If you go hear i hope you really enjoy your stay at the hotel im sure you will its fantastic.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with family
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4  Thank Owen B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 1, 2012

Just back from a very relaxing week at the Arena Center. This aparthotel was in a very good location for just chilling out and enjoying the very hot sun! It was a quiet stay and all the more enjoyable for that. The studio we had overlooked the path at the back of the hotel. It was very peaceful and provided a pleasant walkway across to the supermarket and the beach front. The room itself was large and well air conditioned and the beds very comfortable. The maid service was excellent and our room was made up and fresh towels provided every day. Staff in the bars and restaurant were friendly and the food was very good. It was not the hugest of choices, but there was always something we liked every night. This hotel may not be for you if you want chips every day!! The pool area is gorgeous. The water lovely to cool down in after enjoying the desert sun on one of the numerous sun beds. No towels left on sunbeds here. The lifeguard will take them away if you walk off and leave them. I do not know if it is usual, but we found that there were a lot of flies about. This was the only thing about the holiday that was not quite so pleasant. There are a lot of trips to go on but we only did Mini Hollywood. A great day out but very long. It was one of the holiday highlights seeing the original filmsets from some great westerns. We followed in Clint Eastwood's footsteps through the saloon doors and watched the shows that are very well done. If you want somewhere to stay that is a short flight away, can guarantee you some wonderful sun and relaxation, you cannot beat this hotel. We will certainly visit again.

Room Tip: If you want a very quiet room ask for one overlooking the walkway at the back of the hotel.
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  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with family
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4  Thank Rachel B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 8, 2012

We stayed here late May and the resort is very quiet only really gets busy end of June to mid Sept. We stayed at the Arena on a half board basis. The studios all appear to be located toward the back of the complex with views out toward a path that is solely for walking and another apts pool and its very quiet and pleasant to sit on your spacious balcony. The ground floor rooms have a garden area so that would be nice if you have children.
The room has a small kitchen area with a 2 ring hob, a full kettle,fridge with little freezer section plates, cups and glasses. There are also a couple of pans. You then enter into a separate room which is huge and this has 2 large single beds a large built in double wardrobe and then a sofa which has a pull out bed underneath. It has a large sideboard with lots more storage and a small coffee table. The bathroom has a full bath with a powerful shower and is big. The rooms are spotless as well as everything in exceptionally good condition. The maids come every day and do a fabulous job of keeping everywhere so clean. The rooms operate on a key card system and the rooms all have a/c. The pool area is very clean and there are 2 one indoor and one outdoor, there is also a small gym and sauna. The food was basic with limited choice but the chef did try and cater for the lots of different nationalities. There is a bar and a pool bar (which I dont think opens until end of June) and prices are decent. There is a back door out of complex that a 3 minute walk will take you to a fully stocked supermarket for everything you could need and the beach is a further 2 mins past this. Its all flat so great if you have pram or walking difficulties. Beach is stones but kept clean and the prom runs for miles and has little bars /local sellers/few little shops along the way if you go strolling.Taxis from the aiport(Almeria) around 50 - 60 euro each way we used a pre booked service return and this was much cheaper so search internet for best bargain.Cannot recommend this place highly enough due to its location and how clean and well cared for the complex is. Dont think its suitable though if you want loads going on entertainment wise and english food at the hotel as you would have to go outside for that. There were some wonderful restaurants serving delicious spanish dishes and fresh sangria really close by. We had a truly relaxing stay and really enjoyed this complex.

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled with family
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8  Thank Alex M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 31, 2012

Just got back to reality after two weeks of manana living. Firstly let me tell you about the Arena Center,very high standard accomodation. we went self catering and we were well pleased with the fully equiped kitchen,only two rings but with oven and grill,microwave and kettle. the bathroom was large enough, the shower very powerful and oh yes girls there is a hair drier.The living area and bedroom were a good size and the beds very comfortable,all this with air conditioning too. I don't know if it was because it was early season but we had maid service every day,and always with a cheerful "hola".
The resort of Roquetas de Mar is a lot bigger than we thought with miles and miles of beaches and promenade. It took an hour to walk from the Arena to the castle,beyond the castle is the marina and harbour for the fishing fleet. On the other side of the harbour is yet another stretch of promenade and beach.
If you turn inland at the castle you will find a very busy town with a busy high street. Back to the promenade tho,the resort was very quiet for the time of year which didn't bother us and everything is at the manana pace,as a result we didn't have any problem finding a table anywhere for the evening meal and the locals are very freindly.
There are more Spanish holidaymakers in Roquetas than in other resorts around Spain and we didn't see many Brits but that gave it more of a Spanish feel if that does'nt sound too obvious.
All in all a chilled out fortnight and we will be back.

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank latic_8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Arena Center

Address: Paseo Central s/n | Urb Playa Serena, 04740, Roquetas de Mar, Spain
Phone Number:
Location: Spain > Andalucia > Province of Almeria > Roquetas de Mar
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#17 Luxury Hotel in Roquetas de Mar
Price Range: $51 - $136 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Arena Center 4*
Number of rooms: 210
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Also Known As:
Arena Hotel Roquetas De Mar
Arena Center Hotel
Arena Center Roquetas De Mar
Arena Center Almeria/Roquetas De Mar, Spain

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