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Relaxia Olivina
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Reviews (2,336)
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All reviewsthe main hotelole olivinamain poolself serviceanimation teamfamily roomon tapsoft drinksair conplenty of choicesalt waterpool areaevening entertainmentbar staffceiling fanmeal timesplenty of sunbeds
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Reviewed April 2, 2014

We had booked our holiday in Early January 2013 to ensure we got the package we wanted. The Hotel is the Riu Olivina in Playas de las Poccilos Lanzarote.. We chose this hotel because it is a Riu hotel, and we know what to expect from a Riu standard having been using them for the last 10 years, it is also in an area where we have stayed before in the Riu Paraiso, which is just up the road.. We were so looking forward to this holiday.

Lets start from the beginning, Airport. This was the first time we have flown from Exeter, what a great experience, check-in staff were just brilliant. So professional, and happy, really great. The airport itself was really good, more like a family business than a cold building. The flight was good, the cabin crew again were top class, friendly, professional, brilliant.
Transfer smooth and speedy, looking forward to a great holiday.

Hotel reception, two very smart, efficient ladies, helpful and friendly, gave us our keys and directions to our room, the porter would follow with our luggage.
Room was more than adequate, happy customers getting unpacked.

We then went for lunch, the Spanish staff were, right from the start, wonderful, could not fault that group working in the restaurant. However, the fly in the ointment reared its head in the restaurant. Never before have I seen such ignorant rude behaviour, The French , like feral animals swarming over the food , using hands not tongs, like locusts.

Ok we put that down to their manners and maybe a one off, so after lunch we decided to have a short walk to the pool away from the reception area and that is when we found out about the hotel.

The area was adorned with banners proclaiming “ club Marmara “
By the poolside bar was a group of young people who were not wearing Riu animation team outfits or badges, but a scruffy set of clothes that were badged Club Marmara,
They had speakers blaring across the pool, constantly shouting and screaming, but to make it worse, everything was in French. Not what is expected in a Riu .Several guests approached them asking for the volume to be reduced, they were met with a Gallic shrug and a walk-away. These young people did not give a damn about anyone, except, the French that is.
The music got turned off at about 4:00pm and everyone around the pool breathed a sigh of relief. Then the Club Maramar team decided they would hold a quiz in the area in front of the bar doors, dragging the tables and chairs to block the walkway entrance to the bar. The quiz was of course run in French. No non French were asked to join in. The amount of shouting during this quiz was unbearable so we decided to go back to our room and relax and shower before dinner. We were asking ourselves “where is the Riu standard that we love? what is going on?, is this really the right hotel?

Later on we go down for dinner, the brochure had advised ( as per the Riu standard) that gentlemen wear long trousers for dinner , what a joke, people were wearing shorts, flip-flops, tee shirts with offensive slogans on them , it was truly like a zoo. Again the locusts went in with their hands and literally clearing tables of meat, yet nothing was said.
After our meal we thought we would sit in the covered bar area between the restaurant and the bar itself. Watching what was going on we were amazed.
The French were commandeering the side of the bar area, never mind if your jacket was on a chair, it was moved to the other side of the room and thrown onto a chair with other peoples clothes. They ( the French ) then made sure they had control over the stage , the microphone and half the bar seating area so they could play SCRABBLE in French using a board that was 4 feet square. Nothing was said to them, the first day ruined we retire to bed in shock.

Monday, up early and down for breakfast, Spanish staff brilliant, breakfast really good, no sign of the French , not early risers.. Lets head for the pool.
Went to same pool area as before due to its position to catch the sun all day, as we settle down other guests come along , we get talking, no-one can understand what is going on until we learn that Thomson have sold an 80% controlling stake in this hotel to Club Marmara, who come from ?? , that’s right FRANCE !! , so, I decide that will see the rep. Met with the rep at about 11:15 , he introduced himself as “ Henry Guest “, very politely I explained our concerns and was amazed by his reply, “ I’m fully aware of what is happening, we have had talks with the Director who is looking into it. Yes it’s true this hotel is now controlled by Club Marmara, but we have given you what you paid for so there is nothing more to say”, he then showed me several ring binders that were full of complaints about what was happening, he then had to leave.

On Friday 13th December I again visited Henry and advised him I wanted to put my complaint s in writing, he duly produced a complaint form and proceeded to complete it. I informed him that my main complaint was that I had been mis-sold the holiday due to the fact that Thomson/Tui/Riu had handed control over to Club Marmara, so therefore it could not constitute a Riu. I did expect to be treated with some decent customer service, or as a valued customer with what we have spent with Riu/Tui over the last 10years, but no, I was told “well that’s your complaint done, nothing will happen now or when you get back”.
To say I was shocked would be an understatement, I have worked in customer service for the last 30 years, from front line customer facing to boardroom level and I would never treat or speak to one of my customers in the way we were,
During the days that this had been going on we made friends with Dutch, Belgian and German people who were all getting the same treatment from the French team, they succeeded in alienating multiple nations in a single go.
I have never seen such ignorance before by any staff at any hotel in any country I have stayed in. Every day it got worse and was beginning to feel that some form of physical unrest was looming with the French going to be on the sharp end of it. Every day the noise by the pool area ( you may ask why we did not use the pool below reception , it was not an area we felt comfortable in, mainly due to the fact that there was only ONE ladies toilet and ONE gentlemen’s toilet for over half the guests, which falls far short of any decent levels of need..

In Total; I had Three meetings with Henry, none of which inspired confidence with me. He was due to be transferred shortly to the Riu Paraiso and the “newbie” there was coming to take over from him.

So My complaint is this, by changing control of the hotel over to Club Marmara ( as confirmed by your representative to ourselves and every other British tourist who complained ), you (Thomson) changed an integral part of your contract with ourselves without informing us or giving us the option to change holiday. This in my opinion is deliberate mis-selling.

Your actions ruined our winter holiday, your rep ( Henry), admitted to us that due to the Club Marmara not speaking English we had been denied some of the facilities that we should have received
We were also informed that our case would be placed in the folder along with “the hundreds of others “that he had encountered since the change over.


We have waited until now to post our review due to waiting for Thomson to sort something out. We were offered 12% of the cost of our holiday as a goodwill gesture, but more than 12% of our holiday was ruined. Be aware that Thomson will NOT contact you when you return home if you sign a complaint form on site. By doing this you are saying the matter has been resolved to your satisfaction.. This hotel proved to me that my father was right. The only time a Frenchman is polite or stands aside is when he is asking you to fight for his country.

I cannot rate this hotel using the button points , the Spanish were amazing especially Mama in the restaurant, however, the Frech killed it.

Room Tip: Try a hotel that has no French Connection
  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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13  Thank carlandsue
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 31, 2014

We just came back from a week stay in this fantastic hotel and we couldn't be any happier 30/03/14. Food was amazing, accommodation clean and comfy and hotel guests were pleasure to be around. I don't know what a lot of people are talking about that this hotel should be avoided because it's French orientated. I say go there because it's French orientated!!! It's true that Brits are a minority, but that makes this hotel very unique and peaceful . I speak 4 languages and French is not one of them and yet my husband and I had the best time ever. We are a couple in our early 30 ties , who were looking for relaxation and entertainment without loud and obnoxious behaviour of the clientele and we found just the right place. French and German and even British ( because they are outnumbered) make it cultured and polite . Staff is friendly ,entertainment is fine (all in French ) , but you don't need much language to dance around and sing karaoke or watch Flamenco or listen to a duet playing guitar and singing, do you? It depends what you are looking for. If you want to spend the whole day by the pool and count to be entertained ,then you will most likely be disappointed . If you're looking to spend a quality time as a couple or a family and can be entertained by your time together then this is a place for you. We, however ,had a lot of fun with French entertainment . We are a couple who wants to sunbathe and explore. We rented a car ( recommend PayLess just on the corner from the hotel 75 euros for 3 days) and visited the whole of the island, and I mean all around it. It was breathtaking , especially the wild west side and El Golfo and Haria up north. Playa Blanca and Playa papagayo are amazing. Take a ferry to Fuerteventura from Playa Blanca it's only 20 mins. It was a very relaxing holiday. We go at least 3 times a year to different places with Thomson and after all havoc we normally encounter from loud and embarrassing Brits we finally found a place where manners and politeness took over. Also pool area is always empty so don't worry about finding sun beds. Location is amazing and as a tip a beautiful dark skinned girl behind the bar ( I think her name was Aerias, sorry if misspelt ) makes mean drinks, go to her if you can ;-)

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank SabinaNic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 22, 2014

A great place to stay. My second time there, fantastic swimming pools,good food served in a massive dinning room.Staff are all exerlent.Five minute walk into a very busy town, full of great bars and eating places. La Brasa is well worth trying. LANZEROTE IS A MUST.

Room Tip: Hotel and apartments are equally good.
  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled with friends
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3  Thank Glyn W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 19, 2014

I have been going abroad since the late sixties and never had this experience, well maintained hotel (a bit tired in certain areas), lovely friendly, hardworking staff, excellent food BUT hotel is ruined by entertainment in the international bar and all the day activities are in French, Thomson please take note.

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled with friends
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11  Thank Clive S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 15, 2014

Beautifullly maintained hotel,lovely friendly, hardworking staff,excellent food BUT hotel is ruined by "entertainment" in the "international" bar ,which is all in French. There should be a separate venue for this. When it was quiet, the "craic" was good in the bar.Because of this, not recommended for non-French speaking people.

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank BiddyPlymouth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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