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All reviewspool barhalf boardsuperior roomsea viewla gomeraair confantastic viewslos gigantes cliffsold dogs new tricksplenty of sunbedsanimation teamrelaxing holidayreception staffthomson repplenty of choiceevening entertainmentlunch and dinner
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Reviewed July 2, 2012

Just returned from holiday this week after reading the previous reviews before we went we emailed hotel to request a high floor with views of La Gomera, On arrival we were given room 338 which had the most beautiful views as requested with sun on the balcony all day.however the room was a big let down the furniture was very chipped and the bathroom had a horrible smell,which we reported to reception theysent someone to fix that day however the smell came and went all week. When we asked for a room change we were offered a room on the lower floor but declined as we had been told they were worse.

Reception The reception staff were helpful with the exception of head receptionist who had a bit of an attitude.
Reception Bar: The staff at the reception bar Ramon David and Abraham were lovely and very friendly and efficient nothing was too much trouble many thanks to them.
Pool bar was the place to eat in our opinion as food was far nicer than the restaurant which was a let down,if you like fish you'll be fine worst AI i've been to so far sorry to say
Sunbeds were the usual with people getting up as early as 6am to put their towels out and even men sleeping there from 7am to ensure they got the beds, we found when we decided after three days of no beds if you can't beat them join them. Then there were the greedy people who not content with one parasole also took one of the few mobile ones (shame on you you know who you are) however if you got a sunbed the views were amazing.
Overall holiday was good but if you have walking difficulties I would not go here as the hills are everywhere and there are very little shops in the area a bit too quiet for me.
I would not rush back though I think it depends on what floor you are given and what food you like whether its for you hope this helps

Room Tip: Rooms on higher floors seem to be better request a room with views of la gomera as they are very peaceful and get the sun all day
  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank suizee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 1, 2012

met on arrival with sparkling wine and porter service to room. great views from room234 facing the dramatic cliffs of Los Gigantes. Aircon worked, loads of hot water for showers very quiet room for sleepling.overall room absolutely fine.
Restaurant as good as they can be in a buffet situation-freshly cooked food always available vast choice , dont worry about the queueing for an outside table you never wait longer than 3 or 4 minutes.- only problem with this area is that you can be seated next to a table of inconsiderate smokers who like to sit chainsmoking for a while after their meal,-ok its outside but if the breeze happens to be blowing in your direction it can be quite offputting- the Hotel needs to address this situation.-I wouldnt bother with AI unless youve got kids or are massive eaters and drinkers- the drinks were not extortionate prices- and there is a reasonable choice of bars outside the hotel- Sad to see so many of the restaurants totally empty in the evenings though- this is the effect AI is having,
Great location- lovely evening walks- whale watching trips from harbour worth every penny.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Debbie A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 29, 2012

My partner and i stayed there at the end of April 2012 and totally agree with previous comments
The standard of the accommodation was the worst i have ever experienced in any hotel let alone a so called 4 star the bathroom was very shabby the furniture was chipped and the quality made MFI look good The toilet flush broke 3 times and was never fixed properly (im a retired engineer ) The Food was passable so long as you liked Pork and the Bacon as always streaky but there it was also grilled on a burnt griddle and covered in bit of carbon and cold eggs were just piled up on the side of the hotplate .We conveyed our concerns to Thompsons who other than the accommodation seem to dismiss them as no one else had complained
Its a shame that a once great British company seems to have lost touch with there customers (nothing to do with who owns them now im sure )?

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Dave187064
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 28, 2012

My partner (aged 21) and I (aged 20) have just returned from a two week stay at the Barceló Santiago. We arrived in the early hours of Wednesday 13th and left late tuesday 26th. It has been our first holiday as a couple and we decided to get a last minute deal through Thomson. Although I myself had never been to Tenerife before my partner had, and after some very in-depth research we chose the Barceló Santiago. As far as we could tell the hotel only catered for all-inclusive and half-board guests, and we stayed half board as we wanted to sample some of the local eateries and restaurants.

We only experienced one major problem whilst abroad, and are sorry to say that we were not helped by reception staff or the Thomson 24 hour rep helpline.

On the fourth day of our holiday my partner accidentally broke one of his teeth, and five days later began developing an abscess. The usual painkillers were working at first and we seemed to have it under control, but by the eve of Friday 22nd the pain had become unbearable and it became clear that we needed to seek medical help. On the Friday evening I used my iPod to connect up the hotel’s slow wifi in reception in an attempt to locate a nearby medical centre that could help us. However this proved fruitless, so I decided to ask the reception staff. After explaining the problem, the lady at reception stared at me blankly, shrugged her shoulders and told me she did not know; she informed me that it was Saturday tomorrow and muttered something to a colleague. She then proceeded to talk to someone else, so I reverted to plan B – texting the 24 hour Thomson rep helpline. I explained the problem to them and they gave me the contact number for a dentist in Los Gigantes along with the opening hours of 9:30am to 4:30, suggesting I ask reception to phone them in the morning as soon as they open to book an emergency appointment. Satisfied that the Thomson 24 hour rep would not give us details of a closed dentist we went to bed, glad in the thought that the problem would be sorted the following day.

As soon as 9:30 came in the morning I was down at reception asking one of the staff if she would please phone the dentist to book an emergency appointment for us. She raised her eyebrows at me and said something to a colleague and then dialled the number. After there was no answer she curtly told me that it was “too early” and to come back at 10am. That I did, and once again the lady at reception acquiesced to dial the number, and once again there was no answer. Starting to feel the despondency of the situation I explained the problem and asked her where we could go for help. Again, she curtly informed me that as it was Saturday, and told me the nearest open medical centre was in the town of Alcala (about a ten minute drive away). Armed with this information I texted the Thomson helpline again, asking them to confirm that this medical centre was open for such emergencies as ours, they replied twenty minutes later saying “reception should know as they refer all our guests for medical help”.

By this time it was 11am, so we got in a taxi and asked them to take us to the Alcala medical centre. The taxi driver dropped us off at the door, and as soon as we got inside we saw a sign saying “we do not speak English, please bring a translator”. A man then appeared who incidentally could speak English, and informed us that as we were not residents of the island he could not help us, and we should try the other medical centre in Alcala. So we set off again, walking the short distance to the next medical centre on the high street. Once inside there we approached reception and asked if anyone spoke English. The lady behind the desk said no, so we proceeded to try to explain what the problem was and showed her the abscess. She then got out a calendar, pointed to Friday the 29th and said “dentist”. Since the 29th was a week away and we were going home on the 26th this was no good. By this time I had realised that the only way we were going to get any sort of help was to travel across the island to the nearest Hospital, in Playa de las Americas. We caught the 473 bus (the only bus running on a weekend to Playa de las Americas from our part of the island) and travelled the hour and a half journey.

Once there my partner was seen straight away, everyone spoke English and they were extremely helpful and annoyed that we had not been able to get help in our resort. One of the staff informed us that there was a doctor in Los Gigantes that the hotel should have given us the details for to get help there. Unfortunately, due to not knowing we would need our passports as well as our EHIC cards at the hospital we had to pay a €200 deposit that we only got back once we had gone back to the hotel to collect our passports and returned with them to the hospital. All the staff at the hospital were very sympathetic; they were the first people on the island who seemed to care about us and want to help.

We feel extremely let down by the reception staff in this respect. We fully appreciate that it was a Saturday, but all the staff on reception that I spoke to seemed very irritated at me for simply asking for help. Whenever we asked for anything else the staff were excellent, but when we really needed their advice and help they failed us deeply. It seemed that none of the staff knew where to send us, and were more concerned with talking amongst themselves than helping us. Both my partner and I were in clear distress yet the reception staff seemed almost angry at us for inconveniencing them. If they had simply informed us that our best option was to go to hospital and to receive medical care we would need our passports we would have gone to A+E straight away, and perhaps we would not have lost an entire day of our holiday.


The Rest of the Holiday:

When we booked with Thomson we chose a double room with a sea view, and requested a high floor room. Taking advice from fellow tripadvisor reviewers I emailed the hotel a week before we were due to arrive explaining how we were looking forward to visiting and reiterating that we had requested a room on a high floor. Due to us taking a last minute deal we had to fly at night both there and back, and we arrived at the hotel at 1am on Wednesday the 13th. We were greeted by a lovely man at reception who checked us in straight away giving us our keys and within five minutes we were on the way to our room. We were given room 428, the largest room on the floor and we enjoyed the privilege of two balconies due to being on a corner! We could not appreciate the fabulous sea views until the next morning, but when we awoke we were not disappointed! There are no words to describe it, but it certainly was stunning. We had views of the magnificent cliffs of Los Gigantes, and we could see, hear and smell the sea bellow us. Not only that, but on a clear day we could see Tenerife’s neighbour island of La Gomera.

The housekeeping maid service was exceptional. They were all very friendly and polite, and we always came back to a spotlessly clean room. They came everyday at around 10am, and on the days when we wanted a lay in the maids dutifully came back in the late afternoons. One the day we kept the ‘do not disturb’ sign on the door all day reception called our room and asked if we would like our towels changing because the maids hadn’t been able to do it!

The pool area was fantastic in our opinion; it was all kept exceptionally clean, there were staff to help you move the sun beds, plenty of parasols for shade, a bar for drinks and snacks, as well as a sun care expert giving out free advice! The hotel has four pools, a main one that progressively gets deeper from nothing up to about 1.6 metres, an infinity sea water pool that is 1.6 metres all the way across, one for water sports that is 1.4 metres all the way across, and a small children’s pool that is 0.40 metres across. All are a decent size and as well as these four pools there is also a Jacuzzi.

In terms of entertainment we can’t really say anything as we never joined in during the day and didn’t attend any during the evenings. Activities varied during the day from water sports such as volley ball and aqua gym, to out of the water activities such as shuffle ball and aerobic dance classes. We never joined in any activities (we were content to sit and relax soaking up the sun) and we weren’t pestered to join in – the only way we knew they were going on was due to the music. If you sat near the water activities pool the music was quite loud, but it didn’t bother us as we always sat by the infinity pool.

The resort of Puerto de Santiago was very quiet (certainly nothing like Playa de las Americas or Los Cristianos); there are only a handful of shops and restaurants but it is certainly very beautiful and the towns of Playa de Arena or Los Gigantes are only a short distance away. If you’re after buzzing night life and parties this is definitely not for you – if like us you’re after peace and quiet then it is perfect.

We only went on two of the excursions that Thomson offered, but both were fantastic and well worth the money. We paid €52.90 each for a trip to the Loro Parque Zoo, tickets cost €33 and the rest paid for the Thomson coach. My partner had been to Loro Parque as a child and was adamant I would enjoy it too (I was not so sure!) but it was much better than I expected, the whale and sea lion shows were particularly good! It is definitely worth a visit, especially if you have young children. Our only qualm was that the coach took the long way round the island, this meant that a forty-five minute journey took over two hours. We discovered that you can catch a bus that takes an hour just up the road to Puerto de la Cruz (a return ticket costing around €9) and then walk the short distance to Loro Parque from there, had we known that the Thomson coach would take the scenic route we would have made our own way there saving both time and money. A tip for if you do decide to go: wear comfortable shoes and take your camera!

We also decided that we wanted to do something a bit special whilst abroad, and after talking to our rep decided to go on the ‘Teide by Night’ trip. It cost us €75 each and at first we were a bit concerned we were not getting value for money, but we soon changed our minds! The trip involves taking the scenic route up and around the island’s largest volcano during the evening. The price includes a three course meal with glasses of beer and wine, several photo stops with breathtaking views, travelling up above the clouds and then stopping at seven thousand feet to watch the sun set with champagne, a rest stop at one of the highest hotels on the island for hot drinks, and finally a star gazing session at about eight thousand feet. Because there is no light pollution so high up, and there is a no-fly zone over the mountain the views of the stars are magnificent. My partner and I were very impressed, never had we seen the stars so clearly, and we were even lucky enough to see a shooting star. It was well worth the €75 we each paid, so if you want to experience that something extra special we would certainly recommend it.

Areas that could be improved:

In our opinion there are only three areas for improvement. Firstly, implementing no-smoking areas around both the pools and the outside part of the restaurant would be a good idea. As non-smokers we found it extremely difficult to get away from the smoke, and found it highly uncomfortable due to the high numbers of smokers. In the hotel’s guest comment book we read a lot of comments suggesting that the entirety of the hotel grounds should be non-smoking, we feel that this is not necessary; simply having specific areas for the non-smokers would be fine.

Secondly, the hotel needs to implement their rules over sun bed reserving. The Barceló TV channel on the television in our room stated that the reserving of sun beds is not permitted, and towels will be removed. This did not happen; people were getting up at 7am, putting their towels down to reserve beds and then not returning until 3pm in the afternoon. We discovered that unless you jumped on the bandwagon and got up at 7am to reserve the beds you would struggle tremendously to find space. By 9am all the sun beds were taken. We realise that this is obviously a commonality across all hotels, but because the hotel was full it proved even more difficult. Although the pool area is quite large and there were many sun beds, the area seemed inadequate to cope with all the guests.

In our opinion every aspect of our stay lived up to the four star rating except for the food during the evenings; last year I stayed in the four star Barceló Albatross hotel in Mallorca and the food there was of a much higher standard. Although certainly not bad tasting, it did not live up to our expectations of four star food. My partner struggled a lot more than myself; he does not like fish and on several occasions the only other alternative to fish was tough pork chops. It also seemed odd to us that on one night there were chips as well as boiled potatoes, sautéed potatoes, roast potatoes and spicy potato cubes, whereas every other night the only carbohydrate options were chips and pasta. That being said, all the chefs and waiters worked very hard to keep everyone happy; food was replaced regularly and always kept warm, and the show-cooking table was impressive. There was an abundance of good quality fresh bread, salad, fruit and deserts; it was only the mains that weren’t up to scratch. The food at breakfast could not have been any better; anything you could possibly want for breakfast was available from continental to full English. As we came last minute and only paid £570 each for a fortnight of half board we do feel that we got what we paid for, had we booked six months ago and paid over £800 we would have been a lot more disappointed.

Overall:

All in all we both had a fantastic holiday even despite our dental emergency! We thoroughly enjoyed our two weeks in Tenerife and we are considering returning to a different hotel in the village. We would recommend the area, both trips we went on, and the San Francisco restaurant across the road where we befriended the owner, Oscar, the friendliest man on the island. We would also recommend the hotel, just as long as you don’t plan on needing emergency health care on a Saturday!

Room Tip: If you have any special requests such as a high floor or a double bed, email the hotel a week before you are due to arrive to reiterate your requests. Their email address is on their 'contact us' section of their website.
  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Pugliv
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 28, 2012

Just back from a week at the Barcelo Santiago in Tenerife.A fantastic Hotel in a great location.
The views were lovely and our room overlooked the sea - always makes a Holiday special.Food very good and service excellent.Staff very helpful.
Overall a great Holiday.Will return.

Room Tip: Higher floors have a better view - worth paying for a Superior Room
  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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2  Thank Jane O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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