Holiday Village Hotel
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Historical Traveler Reviews Holiday Village Hotel Benalmadena
Not an all year round hotel, as it is promoted to be.
We went to this hotel for two weeks between 25th March - 8th April. We had read the reviews previously, and going self catering thought we new what to expect. The on site shop is, as previously described, hideously expensive. However, we did think that it may be possible to get some form of decent food in one of the restaraunts on site. This turned out to be mainly slops - we were thouroughly shocked at the low standard of food.
The representatives were mostly very young, and whilst they were good with the kids, anything we asked of them seem to be met with a 'dunno', and no offer of help to find out. One was particularly rude when collecting us from the airport to take to the hotel - her approach was as though she was rounding cattle.
The weather was poor whilst we were there, but given what we
had seen on the first choice website, thought there would at least be plenty to do on-site...... Not a chance. The hotel was freezing, not helped by the open plan layout. There were seating areas here, however, when the weather was not good, this merely became a wind tunnel as it was all so open. The only bar, was draughty and cold with no comfortable seating. And the few daytime activities seemed to be held in draughty corridors. In fact there was no proper place allocated to activities, and no-where nice to sit. I had to have a hot bath every evening to warm up, and we had extra blankets in the room, as there was no heating.
To escape the place, the buses actually only run every half hour and not to time. We did wait at the bus stop one day for an hour, and when the bus finally came it was full and wouldn't stop. This did not fill us with joy. It was cold and we had 2 children under the age of 6.
We only went down to see the entertainment once on the last weekend of the holiday, because we were so cold. We felt like we were at a chimps tea party because the bar would only serve our drinks in plastic cups, and to top it all the entertainment was laughable. I have never seen such an unprofessional show in my life, which was then finished by a quiz in which you had to answer questions all about the lives of - no you didn't guess it - the unprofessional stars of the show, who we knew nothing and wanted to know nothing about. I can honestly say a hot bath, and an early night is living it up in comparison.
The police were called out twice while we were there because there was trouble.
need I go on.................
"not as it says on the tin"
This hotel has a four star rating but believe me it's certainly not a four star hotel it's more like a three star , please read my full review it's worth it. I will tell you the good points first. All the staff are pleasent and helpful. The rooms are excellent and the the hotel is generally lovely and clean.The main piano bar is nice and friendly.The pool area is nice there are two pool areas one is on the other side of the road and access to it is over a bridge although we didn't go there as my gilfriend and her son suffer from vertigo and the trip over the bridge was a bridge to far. Now the bad points...
The hotel is about three miles away from Benalmadena in fact it is closer to fengyrola than Benalmadena.
Don't be fooled by the glossy pictures that seem to suggest that the hotel is situated on the beach. The beach is across a busy road and access to it is hard to find. The beach is very very poor and it is dirty and very small no room to sit down let alone lie down to sun bathe. All the prices at the hotel as you would expect are expensive but this hotel tops them all when it comes to expense eg. 9euros for thirty mins for the dryer in the laundry room,and 1euro for ten mins internet access it's on average 1 euro per hour in the internet cafes at the most. You do have to remember that the hotel is in the middle of nowhere so if you don't want to use public transport (which is good by the way ) then you are going to pay dearly. The kids clubs are good and the all action leaders that run them are enthusiastic and make the kids feel welcome, but they have a very poor adult to child ratio and as long as there are no problems all will be well. The other problem with the kids clubs are that they are oversubscribed and when the hotel is full as it was when we were there then most kids miss out as many did and if it is your last night at the hotel when you miss out it's hard to watch all your friends enjoying themselves with kids who only arrived that day. 43 places is maximum in the club room and there is the potential for ten times that amount of kids wanting to attend. There was an incident that felt as though we were in a prison camp . The children at the hotel were very fond of kicking football in the main areas around the bar and lift which brought about complaints from parents who had seen the odd little child knocked over or hit by a ball. I had nothing but sympathy for the complaint, however the first choice reps at the hotel responded by issuing a tannoy anouncement telling all youngsters playing ball will have their footballs confiscated.That is fine if that's what they think will stop the ball playing but as i said to the reps why don't they give them somwhere to play while there mums and dads are drinking in the bars, the kids clubs are full so where are they supposed to play? no answer or suitable compromise was forthcomming.
Finally ive left the worst till last. I am a chef by trade I have been for almost 26 years and I have worked in the some of the finest places in England. We were fully inclusive as we have been on the last three holidays we've taken and I am aware of the standard of the food and my expectations are always in line with what i expect for what i am paying for as i think thats only fair. This place had the worst quality food i have ever come across on a hot food bar. Most of the food is unimaginative very greasy a lot is reheated from the previous evening and served in disguise as something else the next day some is blatently from the day before. There are far too many examples for me to list but believe me it is the very worst I've seen at a four star rated hotel in Spain or Putugal or France. When i told a hotel receptionist what I thought she was in full agreement with me and told me that everyone here thinks that is what english people want and has a little chuckle when people praise it. The two sattelite restaurants that you have to book seperately for are equally useless - I suggest that you just have the pizza as thats ok.
Very cold due to problems with the air-con.
Hotel accomodation was very good with a decent kitchen containing kettle,microwave and hob. Small lounge area and large bedroom. It was extremely windy when we visited and inside the hotel in the area where all the entertainment,bars and restaurant are located the air-con was on full! It was so cold everyone was well wrapped up with coats and trousers. It mean't not spending time in the bars and going back to the hotel room early to get warm. Everyone was complaining and we were told by the rep that a management meeting had been held and they were trying to turn the air con off as it was on some sort of programme that couldn't be altered???!!!
Food at this hotel was not great and nearly always cold, however there is a microwave to heat your food up. 2-3* food. This hotel did not compare to 4* hotels that I've stayed in before and would only rate it as 3*
Not For Us
Just came back from the holiday village 2 adults +1 child aged 11 we booked self catering as ive a special diet , this complex is great for A/L but not for s/c as shop very expensive and limited in supplies . We could have up graded to A/L at 42 euro per person per night making another 1106 euro for the week as we dont like to be restricted to the hotel and like to go on day trips this we desided was not for us. the weather was bitterly cold and we only had 2 half days of sun shine. there was'nt much to do in the hotel and some of the kiddy club night i had to pay 5 euros for per night they had a craft night and chocloate night these things you pay for if they attend . Also if you go out of the hotel take your room card with you as you will be asked for this to allow you back in through the security gate . and friends are not allowed in to visit you they have to remain outside . We also found that it was much cheaper if you booked your trips in town and not at the welcome party in the hotel as Gibralta was 11 euro per person cheaper in benamedina than through first choice . We definatley would'nt go back there . in the last 12years we've taken 14 holidays in different contries this was the worse
Brilliant Hotel !!!!!
We visited the Holiday Village in September 2006, and it was so good that we've just booked to go back again at the end of April.
The hotel was fantastic and the facilities were just great. The complex is set out over two sites, with the hotel, entertainment centre and large pool on one side of the main road and the Beach Club and further other pools on the other side. These are connected by a bridge so families with children have no worries about crossing the road. It is a bit of a trek, especially for older guests, but we found we needed the exercise to burn off the calories from all the food!!
Breakfast and evening meals were served in the main restaurant and lunch was served at the beach cub. If you don't feel like going across to the beach club, you can get food at the snack bar. However, if you're all inclusive be careful, not everything on that menu is free. To be honest, the only time we found we needed to use it was our last day because we had a late flight and our all inclusive allowance ran out at midday. (That was probably our only gripe about the holiday).
The food was pretty good overall and we found something we liked most days. If you go AI, then you also get to visit the Mexican and Italian restaurants, but you need to book these in advance. Again the food and service were very good at both.
Drinks were also good and tasted like the top named brands. My wife normally drinks Malibu and often finds that the local brands taste nothing like it, so she was really surprised when she tasted the Malibu here. However, I think she regretted it on the last day when she woke up with a hangover!!
That was probably because we had such a great last night, watching the main entertainment and then going onto the Irish Bar. The entertainment, by the way, was one of the best parts of the holiday. The singers and dancers were brilliant and the entertainment catered for the whole family. I don't know how they remembered all the routines, as there was something different every night. Then after each performance, they all came down to the Irish Bar to sing again.
The rooms were spacious and kept very clean. Our apartment had a large bedroom, living space, kitchen, bathroom and large balcony which overlooked the crazy golf and had a nice view of the sea. There was only the two of us in the room, but I would imagine that a family with children would be fine. The bathroom was particularly well laid out as it has a separate bath and shower and double sinks, so there was no need to wait to use it.
The gym and indoor pool were good, especially the hot tubs, which were a good way to wind down before getting ready for the evening.
The staff were all very friendly and helpful. Even those who were working with the children's clubs took time to come across and find out if we were enjoying ourselves. The only bad point was that my brother-in law had some cigarettes taken out of his hand luggage before we left. A carton in the bottom of his bag had been opened and some packets were taken out. He assumed it must have been one of the cleaners because no one else had access to it, but he didn't find out until he got home and opened them.
Would we go again? Obviously yes, and we cannot wait to get there. It's got to be one of the best hotels we've visited so far and we know we're going to have a great time again.
Holiday Village is the place to go with the kids! ! !
It is a very friendly place to go staff and holiday makers, the rooms are lovely and very clean. The food is nice and the choice of visiting the two restaurants is great too They have an Irish bar for those who want to carry the night on after the family room or you can relax with a night cap in the piano bar. The entertainment staff are brilliant not forgetting Bingo Bobby!
The pool areas are great especially as you have a choice of pools and there are always plenty of sun loungers no need to set your alarm clocks like some! yeah its true they do shut them down maybe once per day but it is only for hygene reasons which who should complain about that!
You have to go its great!
A great family holiday
We booked our holiday a few days before on the First Choice website, we confirmed our booking by calling the Call centre and from this moment on we were pleasantly surprised by the assistance, helpfulness and general attitude of all the First Choice staff from the start of our holiday to the end. This is the first holiday I have ever been on where the staff are always available and ready to help and this made the biggest difference on our holiday.
we were able to hire a buggy for our 3 year old and if we had forgotten anything for our 7 month old baby it was not a problem as we were either able to hire from First Choice in the hotel or buy from the hotel shop - the price in the shop is more expensive but that is the price you pay for convienence.
The Kid's Club was brilliant, there was a huge selection of actvities for children. the staff again were very helpful and great with our 3 year old.
The evening entertainment was provided by a hired company who did a fantastic job. The highlight of my son's day was the evening entertainment. The entertainers were very versatile in that they did shows with singing and dancing (including dancing to bollywood music with authentic costumes and being from an indian origin this was a welcomed surprise!) to pantomines to entertainments involving adults and children from the audience.
Where do we start? the resort was massive so many facilities, so much choice on the things that we could do no matter what time of day. For this reason we stayed for 4 days in the hotel, which is something we never do.
There was so much choice on where we wanted to swim; the indoor pool was small but great and formed part of a small but well equipped health club - offerring gym facilities aswell as relaxation and beauty.
The outdoor pools were huge in comparison, with the choice of the main beach club where the elephants and pirate ship kept our son amused - not to mention the water play area and relaxation pools. we were very impressed.
Our room was spacious and adequately equipped (you have to pay a deposit at reception for the TV remote and safety deposit box). The beds were very comfortable and the housekeeping staff did a very good job no matter what time of day we left the room to be cleaned. Although i do think that the kitchen could have been better equipped with basic requirements such as washing liquid and a sponge.
However there is a train track on the back of the hotel and our room faced on to this. There is also lots of building work but this did not pose a problem to us as the veiws were still fantastic.
FOOD AND DRINK
All 3 meals were in the form of a buffet in the 'la perla' restaurant. Although we were allowed one visit to the Italian and one visit to the Mexican restarant which made from a great change to the meals we would usually have. The food in the buffet catered for all, I only eat white fish and meat and i did fid that i was eating different things everyday. There was also the healthy option of lots of fruit, vegtables and salad. Also every evening the buffet was themed so there would be lots of choice to eat.
I was not very impressed with the Snack Bar as the portions were very small and not of good quality. The choice was also very little.
We were very impressed with the hotel, it is great for family holidays and I would definitely recommend for all. For us the location was great we were away from the busy towns but not to far to go to. The next time we go here would possibly be with our extended family.
This hotel has improved so much
We visited this hotel in May 2005 and it had only just recently opened so lots of problems. We decided to go back this year to see if it had improved any. Well the answer is, yes it has, we requested the room we had in 05, room 520 overlooking the Stupa 'Buddhist temple' which is stunning when lit up at night [--] We were asked to wait for a while and they would see what they could do, The receptionist apologised they could not give us room 520 but had to give us 521 instead, how's that for service. The bar had sufficient staff to cope this year and were friendly and polite and Ramon did his usual dancing around the bar. The food was extremely good, this was also the case in 05 and the waiting staff very friendly. The room was very clean and the view spectacular. All in all I would recommend this hotel and will definitely go back again as it's such good value for money. The only downfall is its location you can walk into Fuengirola but it is a bit of a trek not a problem for us who like to walk off all that food! Benal you cannot walk to as the road runs out but the bus stop for both locations is right outside the hotel and its only costs a couple of Euro's each way.
Accom excellent, but location out of the way
Overall the room was of an excellent standard. Very spacious, clean and tidy as was the hotel. Plenty of choices of pools and things to do for kids. Night time entertainement could have been better for adults. we were S/C so found drinks and food a little expensive. The supermarket in the complex is very expensive. Location is a taxi ride of €12 to either Fungerola or Benalmadena. You are in the middle of nowhere with regards pubs or restaurants.
Kids loved it!
S/C or A/I
We went self catering and LOVED it!!
If you have booked to go S/C and have read you will need to go A/I then don't believe it.
We put 1300 GBP into a Nationwide flex account for our total holiday spending money and came home to find 109 still in the account. :0)
You DON'T have to upgrade. Why anyone wants to go to Spain and then eat in the same room surrounded by the same people night after night I do not know. We ate at the Mexican twice and the Italian once for approx 50 E a time - each visit we shared 2 starters and 3 of us had a desert and 1 drink each. This was more than enough food. The Mexican was good but the Italian was pretty poor. There was only pizza and pasta on the menu, no meat or fish dishes at all.
If we had gone A/I our holiday would have cost us another 1700 pounds- we saved 500 and enjoyed eating out somewhere different every night!
There are some beautiful restaurants over looking the sea in Benalmadena where steak and fish is barbecued in front of you. We also ate in Fuengirola a few times where a family of 4 can eat and drink for 35 E at very "British" restaurants. We went to Puerto Banus (on local transport) where we had our most expensive meal at "Picasso's - well worth a visit!!This cost 77E.
For our money we also went to Gibraltor for the day - costing 75E using a local firm, all A/C coaches and the same itinery as the reps trip which would have cost 170E.
We also took a taxi to Benalmadena Pueblo - a mountain village which is really beautiful, ask Ivor about it.
We also went to Marbella on the bus and Malaga on the train. You can have a good holiday and get around without spending the earth. Those people who say you are stuck in the middle of nowhere have no imagination and no energy to actually do anything!
They encourage you to upgrade when you are there for 34E / 20 E per day if you do this for 11-14 consecutive days. This is cheaper than the brochure so people who book A/I from the start must be pretty annoyed.
If you want to stay in the same place and drink an awful lot and put on a stone or more then you can probably get your moneys worth. We met an A/I family who'd still spent 400 pounds in a week and also people who hadn't left the complex. The buses and trains are so easy to use and as you can see by my sums you will have a better holiday and spend less by going S/C.
(Drinks wise we took our own drinks down to the pool/ stage when we needed to, my favourites weren't A/I anyway)
These were good, though rather strangely designed - obviously a male architect! The bathrooms were enormous and, as many people have already described - 2 of everything. This really helped when getting ready for an evening. The living area was on the small size but we did get an end room; these have an extra 2 windows and about 2 metre squared floor space more than the other rooms which helped a lot. Request one if you have time. We overlooked the crazy golf and had good sea views ( which I requested) we wanted a quiet room and apart from hearing our neighbours use the bathroom at night, we got one. The kitchen was adequate as was the bathroom. You also get 2 large wardrobes and an enormous balcony which could have been smaller to give more living space.
Best we've ever had and there are so many!
Ivor was great and told us how to get around using the buses and trains and where to see real Spain. He made a vague attempt to sell their over priced trip
The daytime kids clubs and adult's stuff was excellent. We enjoyed family archery and our kids loved the kids club sessions. It was good fun watching them in the pool-based sessions.
Pool/ Beach club
The main pool was great when you woke up early enough to get down to get a bed and shade. However it was closed from lunchtime for the rest of the day on 3 days in 5 due to kids pooing in it! This got very annoying. Yes you could go to the Beachclub but it was a 10 minute walk on your own - 20 with a 6 year old, and when you've got to go backwards and forwards to take the children to the kids clubs they want to go to, you get very fed up of the Beachclub bridge. (They make you go a very strange way round)
We only spent 3 evenings here as we like to get out and about - but we stayed in cos of the kids clubs - chocolate parties etc. They come out covered in the stuff!
The evening shows were not for us at all- really desperate at times but we just don't like this sort of thing so if you do maybe they're good!?? However there was nothing else to do. We played golf until it got too dark and sat around the reception area reading about the area. They should really keep the health club open in the evenings.
Brilliant! A lovely A/C gym which was very quiet and we also had a facial and massage - this was included in our original holiday money - Just realised I'm really impressed with what we got for our money!;)
If you've booked have a great time!
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