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“Not quite 4* but still very good”
Review of California Palace

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California Palace
Ranked #48 of 93 Hotels in Salou
Reviewed 24 October 2011

My partner & I have recently returned from a 5 night break at this hotel as a "last minute" cheap holiday. The hotel is very modern & the rooms spacious - the beds are a bit hard but thats nothing unusual. The staff were very pleasant at reception & booking in was quick. The pool area was very nice with a jacuzzi section in the main pool, plenty of sunbeds (not the most comfortable unfortunately) & parasols. Thats the pluses - now the slight minuses......
The drinks at the hotel are very expensive, much better to try the selection of bars in the area for beer at 1.50 euro & generous spirit & mixer abt 5 euro. The food was generally pretty good but not 4* - no carvery or speciality dishes & not always as hot as it could have been but there was a microwave to give it a quick "ding". We felt that it was maybe because the season was coming to an end & most people seemed to be on a "cheapy" break. The entertainment at night was very poor & badly attended - probably due to the cost of the drinks!! If the hotel improved on the "minuses" it would be very good, especially for those wanting a quieter holiday away from the main hustle & bustle of the new town. Overall we had a lovely holiday, the weather was fab, and altho its a 10 minute walk to the beach & prom its all on the flat so no prob and worth the stroll. Salou itself is lovely, the prom is beautiful & there seems to be something for everyone. We obviously had good value for money as it was a last minute deal.

Room Tip: We had a room overlooking the road but this was no problem as its not very busy & the patio door...
  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank janhew
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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243 - 247 of 560 reviews

Reviewed 4 October 2011

Me and my boyfriend stayed in this hotel after we found a good package holiday deal with Thomas Cook. Which was great because Thomas Cook has it's own holiday rep who you can find most days around the hotel if you need any help (they'll tell you anything you need to know), and they will also give you a list of trips that they offer (like to Barcelona, local bars, activitys, etc...) which you do have to pay for if you want go on them but all the prices are listed with the trips.

The location is nice and quiet - it's about a 10 minute walk to the beach and about 5 minutes away from the train station if you wanted to get a train to Barcelona. Personally I found the centre of town to be to loud and you get a lot of people trying to get you to go into their restaurants and bars, so this is ideally located if you want to avoid all that (the main stretch from the hotel to the beach doesn't have a single place that harrases you to come in).

We had a room that looked over the pool and our balcony was a good size, so we spent a lot of nights sitting out on it with some fruit and sangria. The room was cleaned every day and the air con worked instantly (it was alot better than all the other hotels I have stayed in in Salou) which means you don't have to worry about being too hot at night. Like most hotels in Salou there is a fridge but you have to pay for it (I think it was €3 a day).

When we were looking up reviews about this hotel we found alot of people mention the beds are really firm. Me and my boyfriend did not find this a problem at all, we did not have a problem sleeeping in the slightest, the beds really are not as bad as they are made out to be (however, we are a young couple so other people might have different opinions on this).

MOST IMPORTANTLY - THE FOOD:
When we stayed there we paid for half board. It sounded like a great idea, because we thought we were going to save money eating breakfast and our evening meals in the hotel. The hotel even said you could swap your evening meal for lunch if you were planning on eating out and said they would even make you a kind of take out picnic basket if you were going to be out for the day (24 hour notice is required). The breakfast is fine, it's a buffet of normal breakfast things like bacon, egg, sausage, toast, pancakes, fruit, cereal, pastries, etc... and all drinks are free - they have a tea/coffee machine and a fruit juice despenser. I never tried the lunch so I have no opinion of this, but if you want to eat your evening meal there then the food is horrible - it is bland and completly caters for the tourists so you can get chips and lasagne and buffet food like that - there was a few things like cold sardines and anchovies that you wouldn't find in a normal buffet but they were not nice at all. All I had when i had the evening meal was fruit because the rest of the food was just horrible - I probably sound really fussy, that's not the case - the food is just really bad and doesn't serve any local dishes. You also have to pay for the drinks - I don't remember them being expensive, but I also don't remember them being cheap either.

Overall, I would definitely stay in this hotel again, and I would get it as part of the Thomas Cook package holiday if I could afford it. I just wouldn't pay for half-board or all inclusive, breakfast wasn't too bad so I would look at getting it as a bed and breakfast deal.
I would have given the hotel 5 stars if it wasn't for the food letting it down

Room Tip: If possible, ask for a room that overlooks the pool - they're better than looking at the street...
  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Lucii16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 September 2011

Just returned from a weeks holiday at the California Palace.

Room: We were allocated a room at the side of the hotel, the room room was large and clean and we overlooked some apartments at the side of the hotel. We arrived mid morning and the room was ready for us. Downsides: There was a horrible plastic sheet/mattress cover on the bed which felt like you were sleeping on a very large crisp packet! The beds were also very firm. The towels in the bathroom were very thin and tatty.

Pool area: Large pool area, lots of sunbeds and we never struggled to get a bed, even if we went to the pool mid afternoon. The pool was very clean and there was a small jacuzzi in the pool which was nice. There were enough parasols to go around. The pool didn't get the sun until about 10:30ish. Downsides: Possibly the most uncomfortable sun loungers ever! They sagged in the middle, were tatty and stained and had two bars across the sunbed which made them uncomfortable to lie on.

Restaurant: Very disappointing. The standard of food wasn't great, and I don't think was to a 4 star standard. There was pork in some form every night, bar one, when there was a change to the menu and we had chicken! The salad bar was nice, although wasn't extensive. The deserts although looked nice weren't particularly pleasant. There was fresh fruit every night. Breakfast was okay, but again lacked in choice. There was no show cooking for breakfast or evening meal. On the whole the food was only luke warm and could have done with being much hotter.

Surrounding area: The hotel is in the old part of Salou and is a good 10-15 minute walk to the promenade, and even further to the new part of the town. There was a nice bar over the road to the hotel - a large beer was 1.50 euros and a jug of sangria was 6 euros.

We walked to the far end of Salou to cap Salou one day, and into Cambrils another day. Cambrils is lovely, much nicer than Salou. We caught the catamarn back to Salou which was a reasonable 8 euros. The buses ran frequently along the coast and were reasonably priced.

All in all, I would say that the hotel is a 3 star, rather than a 4 star. We were lucky enough to get a really good deal, and paid much less than other people we spoke to at the hotel, and I would have been disappointed if we had paid full price.

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled with family
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3  Thank Mollymaid1972
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 September 2011

Just returned from a fortnight in Salou. We stayed half board at the California Palace.The hotel is very cosmopolitan not a 'brit' stronghold. The hotel is very clean and stylish. The bedrooms are cleaned every day and the sheets and towels changed every other day. The food was varied and there was a lot of choice. Soup, starters, pate, Meat , fish , prawns, pasta, salads, veg, potatoes, etc. You could always find something you liked. The desserts were to die for. Avoid the 7.30 rush for dinner as its 'elbows at dawn'! Much better to wander down at about 8.15 - 8.30 when it's a bit calmer.

Plenty of sun beds but again people put their towels on and reserve the best 'spec' and then fail to use the beds. The lifeguard, who is on duty every day, should be instructed to remove them after an hour.

The drinks in the hotel are expensive. 3.60 euro for a pint and 2.10 for a diet coke. There are numerous small bars directly opposite the hotel charging between 1.30 - 1.50 for a pint of beer.

The weather was 30+degrees when we were there and the air con was a real bonus.

I would recommend the Califoria Palace without hesitation to anyone.

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank roxyhart64
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 September 2011

First impression of the california palace was that it was very clean and very modern looking. Me and my boyfriend went here for a week in august and had a great time. Our room was great, we asked for a pool view when we booked and were glad we did. During our holiday we met a couple whos room looked out onto the street and they said it wad rubbish.

The location of the california palace is in the "old town" which is quite a walk away from the nightlife in the "new town" which is kind of a down side cos you have to walk for ages to get to all the good pubs and clubs. However, if u walk for 5 or 10 minutes down to the promenade you will reach the fountains! :) amazing fountain show comes on most nights at 10pm, well worth a look at!

The only down side to the california palace is meal times. The food is okay, the choice is average (not to everyones tastes) but dont go down for dinner when it starts as it is far too busy and I even felt like people were racing to get their plates full! Had a woman barge right into me one night! Lunch at the pool snack bar is great and we did this most days we spent at the pool.

Apart from that I cannot fault the california palace and would recommend it to anyone!

  • Stayed: August 2011
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4  Thank Caldog90
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about California Palace

Address: C/ Ciutat de Reus 7-9, 43840 Salou, Spain
Region: Spain > Catalonia > Province of Tarragona > Costa Dorada > Salou
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#16 On the Beach Hotel in Salou
#32 Luxury Hotel in Salou
Price Range: €50 - €145 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — California Palace 4*
Number of rooms: 163
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
California Palace Hotel Salou
California Palace Salou, Costa Dorada

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