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Reviewed June 19, 2011

We've just returned from what can only be described as the most chilled out holiday we've had for many years.

The Barcelo Santiago is one of the best hotels, ticking all of the important boxes, and I would even go as far as saying it beats most of the longer haul destination hotels I've stayed at.

I've been reading reviews on here for months preceding our visit and they were a mixed bag, so I'll takle the more negative comments that I saw on here as it seems the hotel may have tackled the issues.

Firstly I spotted a comment about rude staff, I found this totally untrue, the staff are excellent and are some of the best hotel staff on the island in my experience (I used to work in hotels in Tenerife as a UK tour op rep) very friendly and professional. Speak to them, be polite to them and they'll really look after you.

Sun beds, yes people do reserve them, just like at every other holiday hotel. But there are LOTS of sun beds, granted they may run out quickly right next to the pool, but there is a massive sun deck and terraces around the hotel all with sun beds. We managed to get 2 beds together every day and the hotel was pretty full.

Food, some people on here have said it’s repetitive, I found the buffet restaurant to be of a great quality, sure the general themes were similar each day eg: the salad bar, fish, paella but most days there were different options within these themes. Fish plays a big part in the island cuisine so you can expect it to make up part of the buffet offering, but each day was different, from Tuna steaks to Dorada to Salmon to Hake to Bream. The other hot options were various and all great tasting and plentiful. It did get busy at peak times, but still provided a pleasant eating experience, it was even better if you could get a table outside.

Breakfast is excellent, lots of tasty options!!

The pool bar also offers food when the buffet is closed, and the All Inclusive options on the pool bar menu are all very good. The pool bar is also open till 1am, so is a nice place to go after your evening meal to watch the sun set over the option over once of the many cocktails or beers on offer!

- Speaking of which all of the drinks that we tried we're excellent, mixed perfectly. I have found that some hotels treat all inclusive drinks a bit haphazardly, but this was certainly not the case at the Barcelo Santiago! - In fact I blame the pool bar for some 'light hangovers' in the mornings!! :-P

Our room had a commanding view over the ocean over looking La Gomera, it provided a mesmeric vista, we loved sitting on the balcony staring out to sea in the afternoons. The room was comfortable and well apointed. The beds are a little on the hard side, but comfortable no the less!

The pools and surrounding area are all very well kept and tidy, the pool terraces overlook the Los Gigantes cliffs and out towards La Gomera, which thanks to the glass that surrounded the Terrance edge was totally unobstructed, so you have an excellent view whilst sun bathing.

The rooms and communal areas are all kept excellently clean and tidy, and smelled (Thanks to reed diffusers dotted around the place) amazing.

The Reception staff are, just as their colleges that I've already mentioned, very accommodating, professional and friendly. We asked for extra pillows on the first night, and they were waiting for us by the time we returned to the room! They will do all that they can to make your stay comfortable. As a side note, the reception area has free WiFi available.

The only down side that I thought I'd mention (other than not wanting to come home) was having to pay 2€ to change your pool towel, but I guess this is to reduce the number of towels being laundered on a daily basis (thinking about the environment and all that).

Nothing to do with the hotel, but a general note, if you book a trip to Loro Parque with Thomsons (not sure about other companies, may be the same) the transfer is VERY long, Los Giganties / Puerto Santiago seem to be the first stops, after an hour on the coach we were still picking people up!! - but don’t be discouraged, as Loro Parque is worth the trip (and on the bright side, you get to see some more of the island whist travelling there!)

So in a nutshell we had an amazing holiday, if you’re going, I'm jealous!!

Would deffo return to this hotel.

  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled as a couple
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9  Thank sminthinnotts
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 18, 2011

Great food and drink. Staff polite enough. Room was beautiful (only negative was that the double bed was two singles pushed together) and view was great. Would love go back again!

  • Stayed: June 2011
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1  Thank Adtaylor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 13, 2011

This hotel is in the most beautiful location! It is so clean and modern, and the staff can't do enough for you. This was my first all-inclusive holiday and I was very impressed. The choice of food was fantastic and it was all very tasty. There was a great selection of wines, beers, spirits and cocktails included, and you could eat all day every day if you wanted!

If there was any slight criticism I had a room at the front of the hotel overlooking the street and it was noisy until midnight with the live music from the bars over the road. Once you knew this was the deal though you just ignored it or stayed out later! It didn't keep the kids in our group awake which is the main thing.

  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled with family
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2  Thank hayrh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 13, 2011

The hotel is in a breathtaking location with regards to scenery, sea views etc and the whole local area is very clean. The sunbed area overlooking the sea is amazing and there are pleanty of beds. Excellent if all you want to do is relax but if like us you like to have little things to do within close proximity of your hotel then this is not the place for you and is definitely not ideal for teenagers. The bus stop if you are using public transport is up a very steep hill and if you want to go to one of the busier areas like Las Americas it takes at least 1 hour and 15 minutes on the bus.

All areas of the hotel were immaculate and our room was comfortable enough apart from the air conditioning which was totally ineffective, making it very uncomfortable during the night. We had it checked by the maintenance man but he said it was working as it should. The patio doors onto your balcony could be opened for air but with very easy access to and from your neighbouring balconies the likelyhood of you leaving this open during the day or at night is very slim. Also when you open the patio doors the air conditioning cuts off.

We are not fussy eaters but with practically the same menu every single day we were glad to eat out a couple of times. The fruit is really nice and the bread is always fresh but apart from that we were not that impressed. Always fish (hake I think) on the menu and the smell of this cooking is you are not a fish lover is a BIG problem. We eventually discovered that when the restaurant is shut the pool bar area serves bar lunches - some of which are free on AI basis - and this was by far a much better and tastier option. AI drinks are good with San Miguel being the local lager. Food and drinks menus are available on all tables for your use.

Evening entertainment was watchable but mainly consisted of the animation team miming to various songs / sketches.

I read a few reports of the staff being rude / unwelcoming but I found this to be totally untrue. I found them to be the most pleasant and accommodating hotel staff we have ever had. One barman even remembered our drinks order after he had not seen us for 3 days........quite impressive considering the amount staying in the hotel.

One thing I did find a problem with was due to the way the hotel is built (hollow up the centre), if it it windy outside there is a loud noise like howling wolves which kept me awake quite a bit.

Room Tip: Sea view rooms are breathtaking.
  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled with family
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6  Thank MadeInFife
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 4, 2011

My friend and I spent a week here and had a lovely time! I won the stay from Tenerife Magazine by 'liking' their facebook page. We had half board but for only 20euros a day extra you can go all inclusive which is worth it and much easier as you get a wristband. You can get food at the pool bar when the buffet is not open and they serve nice snacks. When they have extra things on like lobster you get a discount when you're all inclusive (which my friend did and it cost only 12 euros for lobster!). The cocktails are about 4.50 so when you have a few of those by the pool during the day you've spent your 20 euros!The hotel is on 8 floors with the reception on floor 5 and the restaurant and pools on floor 6. As our room was on floor 4 it took us all week to remember to keep going upstairs to the food! Our room had a stunning view of Los Gigantes and across the sea, couldn't have been better. Hotel was very clean, in fact we saw people cleaning all the time. There are 3 pools and as there is a clear perspex screening all around you can see the wonderful views, they really have made the most of it. It's true that people do put their towels on the sunbeds to reserve them and seeing as it seems this is not going to stop you may as well do it yourself! Having said that there are lots of sunbeds available and a couple of times when my friend and I came back from a walk in the early afternoon we still found beds available, so it's not that bad. We had a free pass to the spa which we did on the first day. The spa is ok but why sit in the sauna when it's hot and sunny outside? It's good for a rainy day I suppose and we did actually see people use the gym! There are spa treatments available but we didn't use them. The buffet does get busy but there is plenty of choice even for fussy eaters like me. There's a large salad bar, lots of choice of breads, counters with hot food and a freshly cooked counter for meat and fish and also a permanent pasta/pizza area. There's a section with all cold meats and vegetables etc and the desserts are lovely! Lots of pastries, cakes, mousse etc and 6 different flavours of icecream with every topping you fancy! If you want to sit outside for dinner get there at 7pm or after the busy time. The busiest time is about 8pm to 9pm. The breakfast is excellent. We got omelettes the first day which weren't available the rest of the week which was disappointing as we liked them! But there were fried and boiled available. Every night at 10pm there's a show on in the large hall which is different every night for 2 weeks and is worth watching as they are fun. The all-inclusive ends at 11pm when the show ends, at which point we went across the road to the bar called Route 66. Live music is on until 12pm, they can't play any later due to local residents but there is still music on there. Old Dogs New Tricks play Sun-Thur (they are good) then Friday is a rock band and Saturday a blues band, both also good. Anyway we thought that this hotel was in a great location, stunning views, clean, good food, fab entertainment (day and evening) and well worth a visit!

Room Tip: Sea view on the 4th floor
  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled with friends
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8  Thank TravellingTree
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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