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“Hasn't changed in 3 years”

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Golden Donaire Beach Hotel
Ranked #2 of 8 Hotels in La Pineda
Certificate of Excellence
Scotland
Level Contributor
16 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 120 helpful votes
“Hasn't changed in 3 years”
Reviewed September 8, 2013

I visited the Donaire Beach hotel in September 2010 with my wife and her family and we returned there with our own 19 month old daughter in August/September this year for 11 nights.

The hotel has not really changed a bit since we were last there but has been well maintained and subtle improvements. Having just read the previous 2 pages of reviews I would say that most of the points good and bad about the hotel have been covered quite accurately.

A few other pointers to add to what they have to say...

WiFi - there is now free WiFi in the reception and main bar areas. You can get a code from the reception desk to enter once you connect to the wireless network, and this lasts a few days. They will provide you as many codes as you need if you lose the one you had. The connection is acceptable, but the reception area is almost always busy with people using it so the bar is sometimes better and quieter to use your smartphone/tablet/laptop.

Lifts - the lifts were always busy and this was a bit of a headache for us while using them with a pushchair. There were constantly able bodied and fit young people taking lifts 2 or 3 floors down the way to the pool or reception when they could easily have walked. Besides this, there are only 3 lifts servicing 8 floors with over 400 rooms and in the height of season they do become busy. We were on the 6th floor so the lifts coming up or down were filled before they got to us. The other gripe about the lifts is that people become so anxious about getting in that they will try to walk in before anyone gets out and when you have a buggy or a toddler with you it is pretty rude and ignorant of others needs. And yes, mostly it was the Russians but not always, and some of them were kind enough to allow us to step out before getting in without us having to say anything.

There is a lift at the back of the hotel where we were, but it only goes to floor 1 and not 0 (Reception/Dining Room) so if we did leave the buggy we could use that and walk the baby through the bar to the main stairs and down 1 flight of stairs to the dining room.


Fridge/Safe - The cost of a fridge was €5 per day with a €20 deposit. I was a bit anxious about getting a fridge as we emailed ahead to let them know we would need one to keep milk for the baby. The reply advised me that they would not reserve one, so basically it is "first come first served" which I don't think is very good service.

When we arrived we were lucky that there were a couple left. When we paid for the fridge we were also given an electricity card which was to be left in the slot in the room at all times. The obvious advantage of this is that the Air Conditioning also stays on so when you nip out for a walk or a swim you can come back to a nice cool room. So effectively your €5 a day for the fridge also comes with 24/7 AirCon.

The safe, as I said in my previous review of the Donaire Beach, is merely a moneyspinner for the hotel. I still believe that these should be provided as standard in this day and age. That said, they know that people will pay for peace of mind and to satisfy your travel insurance requirements. We were charged €30 with a €5 deposit for use of the safe.

The safes have not changed, and are fixed in the room. You are given a lock barrel and key from reception. I posted a picture previously of the type of lock barrel (but forgot to refer back to it myself - d'oh!) so if you plan ahead you could get one and take it with you and use the safe for free.

Other pointers...

Food was good as usual at all times of the day, no complaints there. Waiters were usually quick to take drinks orders. Bottle of mineral water (500ml) €1.60. Bottle of own brand (local Catalan) wine €7.40 or €5.40 for a carafe of "house wine". Beer €2.50 for a pint. Soft drinks/juices etc also all about €2 each.

At breakfast, tea/coffee/juices are included.

Picnics are available. They are delivered by another company (we saw their van delivering in the yard, and the same picnic boxes etc at other hotels...) These usually have a sandwich, a small roll, an apple, a biscuit/pastry and bottle of water. This comes in handy if you are full board and want to have a day trip away somewhere.


Pool - we were never down at the crack of dawn to put the towels down although it does seem they do not open the doors until 8.15 or so from other reviews. We managed to get a couple of loungers without much problem most days despite that, and if you are only going for a dip there are plenty of empty chairs/tables on the terrace to sit at as long as you don't mind the shade.


TV - They have upgraded the TV since the last time with a flat screen digital (Spanish equivalent of Freeview) TV. There are 30 local channels and also BBC World News, BBC1, ITV and C4. The remote controls for the TVs are available from reception but you need to put down a €10 deposit to get them.


Rooms - The rooms are quite small and very basic. The beds are fairly low and as usual supplied with only 1 pillow but the reps (Thomson for us) will organise a spare for you if you need it. The rooms have had a coat of paint over the brickwork but are still quite dated looking. There is a fitted wardrobe but very little drawer space, with only one small drawer on a bedside table and one on the desk. There were only 2 sockets in the room, one of which was used for the TV and another for the fridge we hired.

To use chargers/hairdryers/straighteners etc etc we bought a European 3-way adapter and plugged the fridge into it and our UK converter into that and then a UK 4-way adapter and everything was tickety boo with it. (disclaimer - I cannot be held liable if your stuff gets damaged by similar setups!)


Bathrooms - The bathrooms are pretty small and in need of proper refurbishment. The bath we had was small with a small poor shower head. There is no mat to stop babies or the elderly slipping. The bathroom waste bin was very small which filled up quite quickly with nappies and was the only bin in the room. The room, bizarrely, has a bidet which we did not use. This was no good as the toddler just wanted to skiddle in it all the time. There was no lock on the door and no extractor fan in our room as it had a window, but the window opens to the balcony. Not ideal if your other half is sitting on the balcony while you are sitting on the can....


Overall, as people have already said, this is a solid 3 star family hotel. The clientele is predominantly Russian, British and Spanish. You will enjoy yourself if you are not snobbish about your surroundings and do not go with massive expectations. If you have kids aged 5-12 this place is the ideal base right on the beach and Port Aventura 10 minutes away. The rooms may be basic but they do the job and the food is more than you would expect from a 3 star buffet. For couples looking for some more luxurious surroundings, as I said last time, you will get better value elsewhere. The Donaire is what it is and it does it well.


Other local tips

Bus cards (Plana Bus) can be bought at the Tobacconists just along from the hotel for €15 which is the cost of the card and 10 journeys, then cost €11.40 to top up another 10 journeys. One journey is a single trip for 1 person. So if 2 of you go to Port Aventura and back, that equals 4 journeys, but it is still pretty good value.

Port Aventura - Brilliant for all the family. We didn't use many of the rides as we had the baby with us and didn't want to leave each other for the entire day queueing, but we found the Sesame Street (Sesamo Aventura) area was good for her with a show, outdoor soft play and so on. Also some of the adult shows were more than suitable for her, such as the night time Polynesian fire show, the bubbles show and exotic birds show. It is expensive

Costa Caribe (Port Aventura Water Park) was also brilliant for the little one (or any toddler confident enough to swim). There were a few shallow pools that she could wade/splash in as well as water fountains she could walk over and through. Great for adults too and do the King Kahuna if you dare!

Careful about taking juice/picnics into the park as they do look in your bags, but if you are subtle enough about it you will not be made to throw away perfectly good food or drink.


**Message to the hotel management**

Your hotel is obviously very good at what it does, and I think that is why it does not change much. But you could easily make the hotel even better by the following improvements:

WiFi throughout the hotel including rooms and balconies.
Notices asking people to walk down the stairs rather than needlessly use the lifts.
Better room furnishings - drawers to put clothing in.
Safe provided as standard.
Update the bathrooms and get rid of the Bidet.

I think this hotel has great potential to be even better with the proper improvements to the rooms and with proper modernisation. The location is excellent and Pineda has improved as a resort overall.

Room Tip: If you ask for a "quiet" room, you run the risk of getting a room on the street from the m...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank GB2007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (335)
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English first
Cirencester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed September 8, 2013

Very happy with hotel. All staff very friendly & helpful ( except 1 on reception). Rooms basic but good & clean, food plentiful & large choice, location perfect for family & kids Would go again.
Only gripe having to pay 20 euros for safe key (+ deposit ) and poor reception on tv but not major problem.

Room Tip: Probably try & avoid lower level rooms on swim pool side due to evening entertainments.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank 403HowardM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wigan, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed September 6, 2013

We stayed at the Donaire for 1 week AI at the end of August as a family of 3 with a 5yr old in room 408 - sea view with a balcony.
After reading some negative reviews we were unsure of what to expect and extremely apprehensive about our holiday.
We were VERY pleasantly surprised.
The photos on the Thomson website and others don't do the hotel justice.

As a 3 Star it exceeded our expectations in every way.
The hotel staff are excellent, they work tirelessly from morning till night and Sebastian in the bar is the most friendly, approachable and accommodating server you could wish to meet.
The hotel animacion team are excellent and provide activities all day and all night for both children and adults alike ~~(all free).
The Thomson kids club reps are just fabulous (Jazzy Gemma, Rhea Rhea and Fab-ulissa). They provided so much fun, care and kindness to the children, and our little boy who was reluctant to attend the kids club couldn't wait to return each day when they operated - (some sessions are free).
The facilities and rooms are well maintained, clean and the sea view rooms give the perfect photo opportunity for the beautiful sunrises.

The pools are clean and although unheated this didn't put my son and husband off.
Our son loved the pool and swimming in the sea.

The food was excellent and differed at every meal time.
Although AI we planned to eat out on a couple of occasions but the food provided by the hotel kept our interest and we looked forward to meal times.
Our little boy tried every fish dish even down to the whole baby octopus.
There is a huge selection to meet every taste and every diet with a variety of salads, meats, roasts, Spanish dishes, children's options and many more

The drinks were to our liking too, the house lager was far nicer than most of our regular types here in the UK and the cocktails were beautiful. The local spirits were nothing to complain about either.

The AI option provides so much all day long until 11pm with snacks, provided between certain times, the small charge for items outside of the AI was heavily discounted and met with our satisfaction.

The entertainment was excellent and varied each night.
We did note some guests complaining that the entertainment was too loud but in our opinion this is a lively family hotel and exactly what we were looking for. The entertainment ended by a reasonable time every night which didn't affect us being able to get up in the morning to catch the sun rise and head for breakfast.

All in All, we would say don't hesitate to book this hotel and make sure you opt for the All Inclusive before you get there. It was a god send for us and saved a fortune in water and snacks alone.

We will book again with any one of the Golden Hotels, they are excellent value and provide way more than we expected for a 3 star.

We met some lovely people and will maintain friendships with an amazing family from Yorkshire.

Room Tip: 408 sea view
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank Scr4bbleR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
cleveland england
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed August 31, 2013

Been coming here since 2009 with husbanD and 4 younger children and even came with older son and his partner and child in July for a week this hotel is excellent food staff you carnt fault it the entertainment staff are fantastic David ,Jose. Max are just great going back 14th sept this year for 2weeks carnt wait already looking 2 book for next year don't believe the bad reviews you read on here I think some people just like 2 moan

  • Stayed July 2013
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Helpful?
3 Thank julie s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hertfordshire
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed August 28, 2013

Just returned after an amazing two weeks, Food was 1St Class and lots to choose from. the Hotel is very clean maids cleaned our room everyday with fresh towels. The entertainment was brilliant as the hotel brought in acts nearly every night and it was not repeated like some hotels. The location is good right on beach and my family and I loved the cocktails in the hut on the beach. Looking to demo book next year highly recommend this hotel

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank sazzHertfordshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tralee, Ireland
Level Contributor
14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed August 27, 2013

We went to this hotel for a week half board in August 2013 and were extremely happy with everything about the hotel - we got a room on the 3rd floor with a sea view - yes the rooms are not extremely large but you have to bear in mind that the time you spend in the room is small - the staff in the hotel were excellent from reception(very helpful) ) to the bar staff - special praise to the Animation team who kept young and old entertained throughout the day - the Thomson reps also were very helpful with any queries we had

Food : We were half board but found the food to be excellent - great choice to be had at Breakfast and Dinner and twice we swapped Lunch for Dinner( no problem swapping) and the food at lunch was as good as at dinner with a wide variety .

Entertainment - lots to do throughout the day ( if you wanted to ) and at night was the Mini Disco (the songs are still in our heads) and then Bingo which is good fun - they then had shows with the best being the Temptations and Mr Donaire - the show with the Irish dancers was good but not brilliant - overall there was a lot of good shows and of course the location of the hotel meant if you did not want to stay for the entertainment you could always walk to LaPineda bars or go to Salou (15mins on bus) - Salou itself is nice to go into and have a look around

Overall the holiday was very relaxing and we all enjoyed it and hope to return next year - it is a hotel that offers a lot but you have to remember it is a 3 * hotel and you get what you pay for - for us it was excellent ( 2 Adults and 1 * 9 year old ) and the pool was first class for her

Room Tip: Pay extra for the sea view rooms - worth it Get the Bus card as the local buses are excellent
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank IanBMT_M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Doncaster, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed August 24, 2013

Me and my family have recently arrived back from having spent two weeks at the Golden Donaire Hotel and I can truthfully say it was one of the best holidays we have been on.
The hotel is kept very clean and tidy as are the rooms. Admittedly the rooms are basic but are no different from anywhere else we have stayed in a 3 star hotel.The air con was great when you needed to chill out for a bit in the afternoon and on a night time when it was time to sleep. We also had a great view from the room which consisted of the sea the pool and the road leading up to the main strip where you could sit on the balcony and watch the world go by.
The food in the hotel was very nice and there was always plenty of choice as well. The waiter service was also very good and you didn't have to wait very long to have to order your drinks.
The entertainment and activity's that went on through the day were fantastic and the staff always made you feel welcome and got you involved especially for the children.
The evening entertainment was also not bad but saying that we liked to go out most evenings so we never got to see all the acts that were on.
We mostly went for a walk up the main strip and had a few drinks in various bars.
If you came out the hotel and turned right then left at the crossroads you would come to a great little bar called Legends which is run by a top bloke called Martin. Here you could sit back and listen to some great music from past and present.
We never had any problems getting sunbeds on a morning either as there were always plenty to go round.
We found most of the staff very friendly and the Thomson reps were brilliant and always willing to help and give advice.
Some people bang on about the Russians and what not but this didn't really bother us its just how some folk are.
The resort is a quiet resort but we already knew this before we booked and didn't want any hustle and bustle.

All in all I would definitely recommend a holiday in la pineda and to stay at the Donaire Hotel.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank 19Royster99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Golden Donaire Beach Hotel

Property: Golden Donaire Beach Hotel
Address: Platja del Raco, 43840 La Pineda, Spain
Location: Spain > Catalonia > Province of Tarragona > Costa Dorada > La Pineda
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in La Pineda
#3 Romantic Hotel in La Pineda
#3 Family Hotel in La Pineda
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Golden Donaire Beach Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 416
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Hotel Golden Donaire Beach
Golden Donaire Park
Golden Donaire Beach La Pineda
Golden Donaire Beach Hotel La Pineda, Spain - Costa Dorada

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