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.
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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