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All reviews pool area tuesdays and thursdays sea view lovely hotel salad german guests soft drinks animation team on tap great holiday evening entertainment bar staff every night cleaned times a week pool was cold parrot show english food
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Reviewed 8 October 2018

We booked the Playa Dorada through First Choice, so before I go further I think I need to make it clear that they (FC) need to be a little more honest in their own reviewing, and the costings they apply to the holidays they sell. This came up when I searched the FC website for 4* and above, and was booked on this basis (at a cost I would attribute to this level), but when you look more closely it turns out that this is FC's rating - not the official one (which is a 3*) or the more realistic view (it's a 2* imho) – be warned if you are booking through this company. Anyway – we stayed there for a week in late September 2018 (23-30). When we arrived, it looked OK from the outside; roughly the same as most of the other hotels along the beach.

Pros:
The views from the rooms are lovely – all of them can see the sea. The weather was great, the beach to the left of the hotel (beach side) is lovely and really well maintained.

Not so pros:
The issues started when you get to the reception. We had rooms 408 and 415 and were told that it would be an extra 70 Euro each for the use of aircon and the safe. I was expecting a small charge, but thought that this was really quite high for what I would expect as standard, even if the hotel was only a 3*.

When we arrived in the room it was basic but appeared clean. I think they have been designed to look ‘minimalist’, which I guess also means it costs less to furnish, because they had seemingly spared every expense – sofa? No, two bits of plywood and a foam topper; that’ll do!. I was upset that there was no kitchenette area, or even a sink and microwave, because the reason we had booked an 'aparthotel' rather than just a standard room in another hotel was that we had our little boy with us, and wanted to know we had somewhere to make snacks or heat milk, wash up and sterilise his bottles etc. As it turned out we had a fridge (which didn't have a light and didn't get very cold) and the bathroom sink; which is not ideal and not terribly hygienic. It is basically very large hotel rooms with a wall in them - I would not classify that as an aparthotel. On closer inspection, it also wasn’t properly ‘clean’ and there were multiple maintenance and décor issues (e.g., the shower hook hanging off the wall so we had to hold the shower head rather than standing under it, the ‘clean’ towels reeked of cigarettes, the hooks meant for bag/coats were hung badly and were falling off the wall, the beds were like camp beds and very uncomfortable, the doors on the wardrobe were loose, the furniture on the balcony was broken, peeling paintwork etc). Our bedding also wasn’t changed all week, and on day 1 my son spilt some small crisp things, some of which went under the couch thing where I couldn’t reach without a broom – they were still there when we left. My parents had the 'studio' apartment, and had similar issues with their room, so our problems don't seem to be isolated bad luck.

The majority of the other guests were German, which isn’t an issue on its own, but there does seem to be some major cultural differences between us which can cause friction (e.g. they don’t line up at the canteen [deliberate use of that word], so just barge their way through and past you; which after a few days gets irritating, and they ‘reserve’ tables for entire meal services, so bigger groups have to cram around smaller tables whilst the bigger ones sit empty). It’s also clear that the hotel knows who their primary clientele is, so they don’t deal with the bad behaviour by telling them not to push people or removing the reserved signs, and the food was not only not poor and repetitive in general, but also very German in its makeup - fine if you like schnitzel and bratwurst, not so cracking if that isn’t your bag. Ultimately, we ended up eating 13 of the 21 meals we could have had in the hotel out, which cost us a considerable amount of money we hadn’t banked on spending. The meal we did ‘eat in’ tended to be breakfast, because although it was basic, you could generally find something. We never touched the ‘snack bar’, although I am assured there was one; but I couldn’t tell you where it was, because I never saw it.

The alcoholic drinks are local but not too bad if you stay away from the premixed illuminous cocktails, and the beer is about 1% dishwater, but you almost expect this at AI, so not much to complain about. The barman was also funny and always smiling, which helped. The soft drinks are overly watered down and the coffee is just awful. Take your own teabags!

There are 3 lifts in the hotel which are incredibly small (4 people can just get in if you stand tightly packed together), so trying to get downstairs in the mornings was a nightmare as the lifts are always full and the stairs are not really suitable for dragging a buggy down.

The ‘entertainment’. I don’t even know where to start. The animation ‘team’ is 2 young girls, one of which is clearly shiny new and hasn’t a clue what she’s doing (but she’s very sweet), and the other one is treading water as best she can, but bless her heart; you can’t polish excrement. When we were there, maybe once were we asked if we wanted to play a game, but there was nothing really happening in the day. The day time kids club is for 4-12 year olds, and from what I could see involves colouring books and small tables (not much else). During our stay, the evening entertainment included the kids disco nightly from 2030 (this was the 2 animation girls wearing random poor quality costumes - one night it was like flintstone type dresses, which had nothing to do with anything; and trying to get kids to dance to German / Spanish nursery rhyme type songs for 40 minutes), a parrot show (this was a bloke with some parrots and a selection of small bikes which he had the parrots ride up and down a table for an hour), a movie music quiz (the animation girl and a bit of paper) and a flamenco dance (they were actually alright).

The entertainment being of a very low standard is one thing, but the main issue for us was the hotel next door – they have some fairly good stuff going on 18 hours a day – SUPER LOUDLY. It looked like fun too, so not only was I irritated by the noise level; I was also kind of jealous, because ours was so pap! Watching the kids looking through the gaps in the fence at the children next door having fun when there was nothing for them to do on our side was just sad. The noise though – seriously – so very loud and intrusive. In our room, with all the windows and door shut I could hear next doors entertainment going on until gone 11 every night as if I was sat next to their speaker system, and it was murder trying to get my son to sleep as a result.

The pool was cold, and although the maintenance man was out there (at 0730) with his pool hover thing, and the lifeguard was forever fishing bits out of the water; it didn’t seem all that clean; but that could have been because there are lots of the small mosaic type tiles that form the floor and walls of the pool missing, so bits of tile adhesive float into the water? I don’t know, but it didn’t seem like much money had been invested into it recently. The sunbeds are awful, old and ‘fixed’ in a semi reclined position, so you can’t move them to find comfort.

I could go on about countless other little things all day, but it won’t help and will undoubtedly just vex me, so just to quantify - I’ve been to a fair few hotels, in multiple Countries. I am far from a snob, and have stayed in hostels, hotels, villas and apartments. I try to be balanced and see the good in where ever I am – after all, we work hard for those precious few weeks a year to be stress free and lovely for our family. I WANT to enjoy my holidays – I am not one of those people who look for things to complain about. With these facts in mind, I don’t say this lightly – this hotel is not good. Overall; its somewhere to rest your head, but for the price I paid I expected A LOT more. I would personally never return there, and I won’t be recommending anyone I know goes either.

Room tip: Go to another hotel
Date of stay: September 2018
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
4  Thank emmylou01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 October 2018 via mobile

We are currently staying here room 604 and for what we paid for our all inclusive holiday is far from what we would expect. We have a lot of experiance of all inclusive holidays.
Star rating is more a 2☆.
Food very poor, lack of choice and tasteless. Bar area ok and you can make your own drinks, the bar and restaurant staff are very nice and friendly.
The room, clean but basic and beds very uncomfortable we have hardly slept.
Pay extra for air con and safe and Wi-Fi which is rubbish.
Pool area and entertainment. Where do I start! The music is on all day which is fine but the location of adjoining hotel, which also has music on all day and evening makes it less then enjoyable. "Bring ear defenders" better still don't both coming.
Very little entertainment through the day but a show most evening which where ! Entertaining/laughable.
Very expensive holiday and sad to say we are so looking forward to going home

Date of stay: October 2018
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
1  Thank Melissa T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 September 2018

My wife and I have just returned from here, we stayed between 19-26 Sept
We chose this one at random from the first choice site and after reviewing trip advisor reviews
I emailed the hotel in advance asking for a specific apartment which we were given.
The hotel and apartment was very clean, all staff were polite, hard working and very efficient.
As said in previous reviews there are several other nationals who use this hotel as well so expect an international mix of people.
The food was varied at all meal times and we always found something to suit us, yes there was pork but also other meats, fish and pasta dishes. In fact they provided a good Mediterranean diet.
The restaurant staff were very efficient as were the cleaning staff.
The bar staff were very friendly and made you feel welcome.
The pool area always had sun beds available and the pool was kept clean by the lifeguard when on duty.
The only downside we found with the hotel was:-
1 the paid for wi-fi (5 euros) was very poor and kept dropping out and you required to log in almost continually to use it. We ended up just using our own 4G which was also faster than the hotel wi-fi. Parents with children beware who may rely on the wi-fi for social media and games etc. When the wi-fi drops out your devices may default to your own 4G so may rack up additional charges, be aware.
2 the sunbeds are of poor quality, uncomfortable and you cannot change them to a sitting up position.
3 the evening entertainment is of poor quality and was always drowned out by the superior entertainment from the next hotel.

If the management sort out the wi-fi, upgrade the sunbeds and provide better evening entertainment this will vastly improved the quality of holiday experience

Room tip: Read previous reviews for guidance to find your requirements
Date of stay: September 2018
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
4  Thank brianbmac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 September 2018

This hotel has a fantastic location right on the sea front, This is an all inclusive hotel and the food was a little bit repetative and seemed to by more catered for the German Guests which were by far the greater %. Rooms were clean and bright, but noise could be loud from the hotel next door on an evening. Would stay their again just for the location and view.

Room tip: HIgher floors are quieter
Date of stay: September 2018
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank AndyB1961
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 September 2018

I have again visited this hotel for a family holiday and I can only say I am more impressed than ever. It has been 2 years since my last visit (haven't had time to take a holiday in that time) and the hotel has not only maintained it's high standards it has actually improved them.
Since my previous visit the rooms have been re-furbished and upgraded, The tired kitchenette units have been removed and the rooms are now tastefully decorated, The cold tiled floors so often found in hotels have been replaced with a nice laminate flooring (tiles still on balcony and in bathroom) The beds are very comfortable and I always had very good nights sleep.
The food in the restaurant is plentiful and of very good quality, It was ALWAYS hot and the staff constantly monitoring it and fresh supplies were requently brought out and the tired food returned to the kitchen.
Waiting staff are very friendly and go out of their way to help and make diners feel welcome and valued. I had 2 young children in my party and the staff interacted well with them amusing them and communicating with them.
The bar is well stocked and although all inclusive some drinks such as spirits are bartender service. I have never had to wait ti be served no did i ever see a long queue for the bar.
The bar staff are as friendly as ever. and really contributed to the enjoyment of my holiday
Reception staff are always friendly and helpful even those guests arriving late at night find a receptionist who is multilingual and friendly, also catering for the needs of early morning arrivals the management leave a cold table of food in the restaurant so people can always have something to eat and drink no matter what time they arrive.
The entire hotel is exeptionally clean the housekeeping is excellent with rooms being serviced 5 times a week.
The pool is exeptionally clean probably the cleanest pool I've seen and te surrounding area is kept clean and tidy with plenty of sunbeds and umbrellas. I've never had an issue with finding a sun bed.
Also the hotel is ideally situated with easy access to shops and a lovely sandy beach about 2 mins walk away
I have had far worse in an alleged 5 star
I can't wait to go back next year

Room tip: Upper floors tend to be quieter. All rooms have a sea view and pool view
Date of stay: September 2018
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
6  Thank Martin B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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