Mitsis Hotel Serita Beach (Crete)
We stayed at the Mitsis Serita Beach Hotel in Hersonissos in Crete for 7 days at the end of April/beginning of May 2013. This was our first trip to Crete and the hotel is located approximately 23km from Heraklion Airport and 180km from Chania Airport (these are the only 2 airports on the islands to my knowledge). In advance, ... I'll warn you that this is a REALLY long review, so grab some matchsticks to keep your eyes open!
From the moment we pulled into the car park at 10.30pm in our hired car (which took about 30 minutes from Heraklion Airport), we were in awe of how lovely the resort looked in the dark.
A friendly greeting at in the luxurious reception followed and we were checked in within minutes. We were quite pleased that we didn't have to wait ages for the reception staff to take our passports and photocopy them as happens in many European hotels; we just had to enter our nationality and passport number on the registration form which was short and very easy to complete as well as showing the booking confirmation. Hubby and I were both given our all inclusive tags on our wrists which were bright green with the hotel name written across them.
We were slightly disappointed to receive only one room key between us but decided not to let it be an issue.
We were delighted with our room when we walked in with our luggage (very kindly brought to the room by a porter on a trolley) and found some sandwiches waiting for us in the fridge which were very welcome! On entering the room you need to put your room key against a little panel as it had a magnetic activation for all the electrics and you need to leave the key there whilst in the room to keep your lights on!
We thought our room was very pretty on arrival, one might think it strange to call a room pretty but the décor was understated with pale blue walls and a lovely bedspread which had a light blue print on it which matched the headboards. We had booked a double room but it was actually two single beds pushed together with separate bedding and one large double bedspread to make it appear like a double bed. A bedside table on either side of the bed made it handy to keep things like mobile phones, glasses of water, etc, overnight and on each side of the bed were light switches to control the main room lighting as well as the pleasant looking bedside lights. One thing to mention here is that, unlike many hotels we've previously stayed in, there was ample lighting in the room.
The room had a large window with blinds on the outside which could be locked from the inside, these blinds were very efficient at keeping the light out (remember the sun comes out very early in Crete at this time of year, it starts to get very warm as early as 6am) and more importantly keeping the sun and light out helps keep the room cool without the need for the air-conditioning to be switched on.
The room had a chaise lounge as well which could actually be used as a 3rd bed if there were 3 people staying in the room. The beds were comfortable and the bedding was of very good quality and felt amazingly soft against the skin.
There was a large wardrobe with amply space to hang your clothes on the numerous hangers provided; I imagine it would be no problem to hang up clothes for a 1-4 week stay! There were also lots of shelves and a couple of drawers in the wardrobe to stores items of clothing which don't need to be hung up and shoes as well. The wardrobe also contained a safe which you need to pay for to use, but we tend not to bother with hotel safes as we generally keep our valuables with us at all times on holiday.
It was a nice touch as well that there were 2 pairs of hotel slippers awaiting us in the wardrobe when we were unpacking and these came in very useful during our stay as the marble floor really was too cold to walk around on barefoot! The air-conditioning was very effective, albeit somewhat noisy but as I mentioned the marble floors kept the room cool so we didn't have much need for the a/c during our stay.
There was also a dressing table with a fairly large mirror which had amply storage space below for even more of your clothing or other items. This table also housed the TV which was an old fashioned CRT. We didn't even switch on the TV till our 3rd day at the hotel as we just didn't even think of it, I just wanted to check what channels were available - there were a handful of local channels, no satellite channels at all and a BBC News channel in English so we were able to keep up to date with the outside world when necessary.
Within this dressing table was also a fridge with an ice compartment. As we had called to say we were arriving late evening, the hotel had kindly arranged for 4 rounds of sandwiches to be left in the fridge although there was no water, which we thought very odd. This did become an issue during the week as we had to keep remembering to buy bottled water from the on site shop which is open from 08:00 to 22:00 every day.
I must point out here that we stayed in what is referred to as a bungalow suite which is less than a minute's walk from the main hotel which is only 3 storeys high. The hotel has 276 rooms most of which can accommodate a minimum of 3 people.
The bathroom was a not very large but sufficient for your needs, a clean toilet and sink and bathtub with a very decent power shower. There were some lovely toiletries provided, a couple of good quality bottles of shower gel and a couple of bottles of shampoo with two each of various sizes of towels as well as a towel for use as a floor mat (thank God)!
I thank God for the floor mat as there was no guard for preventing water going everywhere when you have a shower and every single day we had a bit of a nightmare drying up the sink counter and floor after having a shower as water was just going everywhere! We spent quite some time mopping up wet surfaces and having to put towels out on the balcony to dry.
~TALKING OF THE BALCONY~
Our balcony (if you can call it that) wasn't exactly private, there are no walls either side and there were two chairs, a table and an ashtray in this "balcony" area outside the room. Now some people might not like the idea of not having privacy on the balcony but we thought it was quite pleasant and it actually encourages you to get into conversation with your neighbours, as we did and we became friendly with the neighbours on both sides, an English couple to our right and a Polish couple to our left.
It was nice for me or hubby to sit outside the room whilst waiting to pop out for a meal or go to the swimming pools, as one of us would invariably be ready before the other. We had a nice view of the well kept gardens and pool from the balcony and we were far enough away from the main hotel building so as not to hear the evening entertainment (music) if we chose to return to our room early (which, erm, we didn't actually do during our stay).
We found the chambermaids to be very efficient during our stay. They were always ready with a smile and very happy when we greeted them with "Kali Mera" (Good Morning) when we passed them outside and gave us beaming smiles and jolly responses.
I noted on our first full day when we left the "Do not Disturb" sign on the door when we went out as the room was tidy and we had only arrived late the night before so no cleaning or emptying of bins required that they cleaned the room anyway. On the third day they also took no notice of the "Do not Disturb" sign, so we didn't bother using it again, we realised they wanted to clean the room and do the beds regardless of the sign. One morning, after breakfast I wanted to have a nap and half an hour later a chambermaid came barging in and said "Why you no put "do not disturb" sign. I sighed and told her that they had completely ignored it when I used it so I hadn't bothered. I thought this was quite funny and she just quietly popped in and changed our towels. They were very efficient at replacing towels (which was necessary as we had to do a lot of mopping up after every shower) and the shower gel and shampoos.
One of the other things that made our stay so wonderful was the superb service received from the bar staff. I have to make a special mention to the delightful Niki who runs the pool bar, she is an absolute diamond and is on her feet from 9am to 6pm every day and is always smiling and cheerful. There is a Marina who works the inside bar in the evenings (what a superstar) and the lovely bubbly Crisi who runs the bar during the day is a sweetheart. There's another Marina who looks after the outside bar area during the days and she was fabulous too. All of these ladies were amazing with their customer service skills, always ready with a smile and happy to have a conversation with you. They ALL remembered our names AND our drinks and even when the bar was busy in the day or the evening, they seemed to deliver superhero-like super speedy skills so that people weren't waiting long. The best bar staff we've ever encountered!
They have a large selection of local spirits available and they are not at all mean with the shot sizes, in fact, we had to request smaller sizes as their spirit measures were just a bit too strong for us! The staff were happy to make up cocktails with the available drinks too. There was also a selection of lagers on top as well as tea and coffee and a cappuccino machine.
There was a chap who waited on the tables outside the bar in the evenings on the patio but I didn't find him as efficient as the others. He was friendly enough but we (and others) found him to take absolutely ages to return with your drink (think 30 minutes or more) so we soon realised it was easier to go get it ourselves from the bar as did many others. One evening a couple we were sitting with ordered their drinks from him and I went to the bar twice for myself and someone else in the time it took him to return with the drinks!
In the bar area was also a flat screen TV (not overly large so as to be intrusive) but this came in handy as the semi finals were on and we watched both Dortmund and Bayern Munich win to go through to the finals here at Wembley.
One thing which was a bit of let down was that near the bar/entertainment area were a set of ladies and gents toilets which although looked very nicely maintained, I found that they ladies toilets had an awful smell the whole week and no matter that the window was always open and I saw staff regularly mopping and cleaning in there, this awful smell just would no go away.
The pool bar is run by the wonderful Niki and this bar serves only beer and wine in the way of alcohol and soft drinks along with tea and coffee. There is also always a selection of snacks available for those who don't want to go into the restaurant - i.e. when sun bathing or swimming, it's not really appropriate to wear your swimming trunks or bikini and enter the restaurant dripping wet so the pool bar was very handy for those who didn't want to waste time getting changed for lunch. The sort of items on offer daily were hot dogs, cheeses, ham, soft bread rolls, pastries, ice cream, pop corn, etc. We spent a lot of time at this bar just relaxing and talking with Niki and other guests we got to know during our week there.
The main restaurant is open from 07:00 - 10:00 for "American" breakfast and from 10:00 - 10:30 for continental breakfast. American breakfast consisted of bread, cheeses hams, boiled eggs, Greek style baked beans, frankfurters, scrambled eggs, bacon, crepes, various cakes and salads. Saying this, there was only bacon available on one morning when we went, other mornings we were told there was no bacon available that day, yet one morning, as we left the restaurant at about 08:30 the chef came out and started cooking bacon and omelettes. I was quite peeved that the scrambled eggs were cold on both occasions that I tried them and the sliced bread available for making toast was hard and seemed stale (every day)! The other breads which you can slice yourself were always fresh and always fully stocked.
There was a tea and coffee machine and also a juice machine which also had cold still water. The fruit juices were the worst I've ever tasted anywhere so we didn't touch them again after the first morning, watered down is in understatement, we tried all of them and they were awful. They regularly ran out of glasses for the drinks and on some days we saw people hanging around for 5-10 minutes before clean glasses were brought out. We found this a real issue and were not impressed nor were most of the other guests who had already left their food on the table and returned to cold food!
For lunch and dinner there was always soup available which was handy as I didn't enjoy most of the food on offer at lunch or dinner, lots of fish available which kept hubby happy and pasta and spaghetti (which was often cold). I kept myself full by having soup and cheese, cold hams and bread mostly and the desserts, although plentiful did not cater for diabetics. I tried to stick to having fruit although I did indulge a few times in the delicious sweet treats that were available.
My biggest gripe about lunch and dinner was that there were never any glasses available to help yourself to water, you have to wait for a waiter/waitress to come over and take your drinks order and several times we had to ask 2 or 3 times for water. We then ended up grabbing coffee cups and filling them with water from the drinks machine or bringing our own drinks in from the bar. On our last evening meal we were told there was no ice available for the still water although when we went to the bar later they were fully stocked with ice which made me wonder why they didn't go and get some ice from the bar (the restaurant wasn't even busy when we were told there was no ice).
The restaurant manager was always there near the door to greet people with a smile and I noticed that there was no anti-bacterial soap available when entering the restaurant like they have in Spanish hotels. But I would also mention here that in the week that we were there we did not hear or anyone getting ill and we did meet and get chatting to many of the other guests all week. We found it amazing that the restaurant manager was there at every meal from first thing in the morning till last thing at night when the restaurant closed. Lunch is from 12:30 - 14:30 and dinner is from 18:30 to 21:30. The staff really do work hard and long hours at the Mitsis Serita.
Aside from the main restaurant and the availability of snacks at the pool bar, there's also the Tavern, a poolside restaurant, which you need to book lunch or dinner at from the reception. We didn't visit this as the people who'd eaten there mostly said it was just an extension of what was available in the main restaurant on a smaller scale with the addition of freshly cooked pizzas available which didn't interest us.
Please note if staying at this hotel that you are expected to dress for meals, e.g. men are expected to wear trousers for dinner rather than shorts.
There was a multi-lingual animation team of 4 or 5 people who started at 10:00 and worked till midnight every day that we were there. We were quite shocked by this as they only seem to have a couple of hours off during lunch time and then from 17:00 - 19:00, during these breaks they are supposed to have their meals and organise the entertainment for the next session.
The kids entertainment seemed quite fun and the kids loved it, there were probably about 30 kids from toddler to early teens during our stay and all of them bar none were exceptionally well behaved and seemed to be having the time of their lives. There were dance sessions, children's discos and little competitions to keep them amused with prizes for all. Adult entertainment during the day included Boules, water polo, dance sessions, aerobics and beach volleyball which everyone seemed to enjoy.
I have to say that the evening entertainment was really not to my taste. One evening they had a "Mr Serita Beach" competition where the animation team got guys from different countries to represent their countries and do things like a dance, collect items of clothing from female members of the audience, like bras, (good grief!!!) and "Miss Serita Beach" with similar activities, I got quite a shock when I walked in to use the communal toilets and saw countless men from young to elderly sitting there with just their underwear on, it was enough to put my off my food and drink!
On one evening the animation team were told to put together a comedy act and it was the most painful show I've even had to sit through! No disrespect to the entertainers, they were only advised each morning what sort of show they had to put together in the evening and bless them, comedy was not their forte, they had begged everyone sitting outside on the patio (where we spent most evenings so as to avoid the entertainment) to come inside and support them, we didn't last more than 10 minutes before we escaped back outside again. I was so embarrassed when one of the team asked me the next day what I had thought of their show that I just smiled and said "It was fine!"
~SWIMMING POOLS & OTHER FACILITIES~
The swimming pools and surrounding areas, like the rest of the hotel, were beautifully maintained and even though you had the usual behaviour of a handful of people putting their towels on deckchairs to reserve them for the day, this was not an issue as there were ample deckchairs available around the pools. Two fairly large swimming pools were available as well as one by a large water slide and some children's pools with children's slides. Everything was just so well organised and everyone seemed so happy and relaxed there.
We met lots of wonderful people during our stay - some Brits of course (although a fairly small percentage compared to other nationalities), some lovely Germans, Dutch, French, Polish, and many Russians who didn't speak much English but were really friendly. It's amazing how much conversation you can have without speaking the same language using body language, eye contact, gestures and smiles!
I have to point out how well behaved ALL of the children were the whole time we were there. No tantrums, no bored kids begging their parents to go do something else. Everyone from babies to the oldest guest was happy, relaxed and content.
The beach is right outside the hotel and within a few seconds you can splash around in the sea (or swim in it if you're brave enough) or relax quietly in the free deckchairs - the beach volleyball was fun for my husband who played a few times with other guests arrange by the animation team as well as water polo in the hotel pools which was fun for adults and children together.
At the front of the hotel is a pretty large car park as well as 2 floodlit tennis courts. The hotel also offers table tennis, pedal boats and canoes free of charge. Windsurfing is also available on production of a valid certificate.
There's a hairdressers on site which we didn't use but met a couple of ladies who did use it and said they were very happy with the service and the price. A change machine is available if you want to break larger notes (handy for getting changes to give tips to staff which we felt very inclined to do) and a couple of PCs are available for internet use, which was reasonably priced at 1 Euro for 30 minutes. Free wifi is available in the reception and bar areas. There were also a handful of arcade games and children's rides near the shop and internet area.
There's also a shop on site selling everything from sweets, cigarettes (at the same price as anywhere else on the island), clothing, footwear, toiletries, souvenirs, soft drinks, snacks, etc. A large bottle of water is 70 cents which is very handy and cheap considering no water is provided in the rooms.
The cleaners are hard at work from early morning cleaning the pool area, bar area, etc, and they all seemed happy in their work and always greeted us with a smile and cheerful "Kali Mera". They seem to start around 06:00 and finish by about 08:00 by which time people are surfacing for breakfast and some to even sun-bathe and swim that early.
The main hotel is disabled friendly although I imagine some of the slopes wouldn't be too easy for a wheelchair to move around to, say, get to the pool. Car hire can be arranged near reception as well as currency exchange if required. There seems to be one iron available across the whole hotel and when hubby borrowed it he was asked to return it within one hour in case anyone else needed it, he returned it after 3 hours but it wasn't an issue as no one else seemed to need one!
As I said, these were small niggles, on the whole, I would definitely recommend this beautifully maintained resort which can really boast exceptional customer service and a huge thank you to the wonderful staff who really made us feel welcome the whole time we were there.
~PRICES AND CONTACT DETAILS~
Unfortunately as we booked through an external company with flights and accommodation together we can only tell you how much we were told the hotel was for the week. Our return flights were about £400 together (including checked luggage) and the hotel itself was just over £200, that's TOGETHER! That's about £100 each for 7 nights accommodation in a 5* resort and all meals and drinks included. I'm fairly sure you won't get it at that price, I imagine it was so cheap due to just having reopened the week before went after being closed for winter.
We had checked Trip Advisor reviews before going and the hotel website. Having read many positive reviews and the negative ones seeming somewhat petty; we found the photos on the site were a very accurate representation of what the hotel and facilities actually look like.
Hotel website: http://www.mitsishotels.com/Hotels/serit​a-beach-hotel/welcome_195.htm
Mitsis is a chain of hotels founded in 1976 and there are 3 in Crete, Laguna Resort and Spa, Rinela Beach Resort and Spa and Serita Beach Hotel. There's 1 in Corfu, 5 in Kos and 6 in Rhodes.
Mitsis Serita Beach's address is Chersonisos, Greece, 70014, telephone number is 0030 28970 24542 and email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Mitsis Serita Beach, we'll definitely be returning to your wonderful resort! Our first visit to Crete (hopefully of many) was made extremely memorable and wonderful due to this fabulous hotel. The facilities, customer service, rooms, etc, get a high 5 out of 5 from me, although the 2 out of 5 I'd give for the restaurant brings the overall rating down to 4 out of 5. We did ask the many people we'd met during the week what they thought of the hotel and the restaurant and everyone agreed that the hotel itself was worth of its 5* rating but the restaurant definitely wasn't.
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Puku Vai Hotel (Easter Island)
Puku Vai Hotel - Easter Island We spent three nights in this hotel while we were On Easter island. We booked this as part of a tour through Llama travel and so it was not a hotel we specifically chose but when we looked oit up on the internet it seemed to have quite good reviews so we were happy to go along with the ... choice.
When we arrived at the airport we were met and our luggage stowed away. We were given a lae and told to get into the van. Once a few more people had joined us we were taken to the hotel which was about 200 yards away from the airport building!!
We wheeled our bags in to the Reception area where the owner was waiting. She offered us a welcome fruit juice while we competed the forms for checking in. After the lady told us all about when and where breakfast was, that we could book tours, that they would lend us towels for the beach and so much more she gave us our key and pointed us in the direction of our room.
The Reception area was the first part of the huge main building that was also the dining room and th bar as well as having a number of nice comfortable seats to sit and relax in while you waited for your tour bus to arrive or enjoy a drink from the bar.
The large building was rather like a wooden barn with tiled floors and a wooden beamed roof. It was cool, light and airy. Te kitchen was off on one side and there were two toilets at the back near the bar which were clean every time I used them.
The grounds were lovely tropical gardens with pawpaw trees, and flowerig plants. A large number of beautiful hibiscus I particularly noticed. The hotel was really a long low curved building on single story height. It curved around away from the main building with a pool in the inside of the curve.
The rooms had their main door towards the main building an dthe bathroom window but they really looked out with double glass sliding doors out towards the pool. The wall on the main building side had carved decorations in Easter Island style on the white painted walls.
Our initial reaction was wow as it seemed very big with a double bed as well as a single one. To one side of the room was a sitting area with a low table, a sofa with soft stuffed cushions and a chair. There was also a fridge which was a mini bar, paintings on the wall and fresh flowers on the table.
In the bedroom area was a huge wardrobe whose door didn't shut properly but inside was hanging space, shelves and a coded safe. Sadly there was no kettle as it would have been nice to have a cup of tea when we came back from sight seeing and not have to pay silly money at the bar for it.
The bathroom was tiled with white sanitary ware , a bath with shower over it and a basin with toiletries and once again nice fresh flowers left on the basin edge. It was quite large and all we needed for the stay.
We opened the sliding door and the sun was shining , the gardens were beautiful and there was a lovely pool complete with Moai heads at one end and a lovely view beyond. It all seemed quite perfect.
We unpacked and went to find out if there was any bottle water in the fridge, yes indeed there was a at a price so we made up a supply of sterilised water with our little pills for cleaning our teeth and decided to walk into Hanga Roa to buy some water and have a loo around.
firstly it got quite cool at night and after we had eaten in Hanga Roa we walked back and really fancied a lie in a relaxing bath. Problem no one was that there was no plug. We fashioned one from a suntan lotion lid which worked but was not great. However we manged to have a pleasant lie back in the bath that night.
Next morning I let the water run for absolutely ages and gave up waiting for it to warm up, ending up with a very luke tepid to cold shower. I was not impressed. We thought it might be solar but whatever the reason the water didn't get hot until 8am every morning which was annoying as breakfast started at 8am and the tours we had booked were for 9am so we really needed to be having a shower before 8am.
this was basically a small buffet with yoghurt, strangely with the pots served upside down. Cereal in jars, a small plate of cut up fresh fruit which was a bit on the mean side as I would have served that amount for two people and there were four of us there when we sat down. The fruit juice was pureed fresh and never arrived before 8.15 . As we went to sit down the lady owner came over to ask if we would like scrambled eggs or omelette and would we like ham and cheese in it. My husband said yes to scrambled eggs and as I don't eat eggs I said no thanks.
The rest of the breakfast offered was a plate of some cheese and cold meat, a small dinner plate size, there was a side plate sized dish of a sort of sweet pie and something else that I forget. My husband's egg - ye one scrambled egg arrived minus the ham and cheese. The following mornings I siad yes and ordered the same and he ate mine as well.
The fruit juice was nice as was the fruit but there should have been more of it and the same pie came out every day so after day one I didn't have it again.
ANY MORE FOOD?
If you wanted to eat dinner at the hotel you had to book early in the day. Having experienced the breakfast we didn't bother. They also offered a packed lunch if you were out on a tour for £25 per person. We didn't bother with that either.
ANY THING ELSE?
It was too cold while we were there for a swim so can't say what that was like but it did look nice and the chairs around looked a great place to lie and relax.
We were told that they offered a laundry service and once in the room we read that we were asked not to wash any of our clothes in the room. I checked the prices and at $1 a hanky and pair of socks I decided that I would risk the wrath and wash our socks and undies. If they made the laundry prices cheaper then people might use them but to wash my socks would cost more than the price of my Primark socks!! I managed to dry them over night so no one was any wiser.
THE SHOCKING FACTS
I looked on the tariff board at Reception and discovered that the cost of the room per night was a whopping £240 US per night. I was even more shocked to see they offered an airport transfer one way for the bargain price of $10 US - seriously it was across the road and took two minutes to walk there!!
Hard to say as all the hotels on the island were in this sort of B&B style and quite homely. This di have free wifi in the room and it worked but that is a lot to pay for a basic room with no hot water in the morning, no kettle and a pretty average breakfast. We have had better breakfasts in the US for under $50 for four of us. There was no complementary bottle of water in the room either. I realise this island is in the middle of nowhere but local fruit and eggs should not cost that much. This was a very expensive island and every time you turned around it cost you money so this was probably an average price for a hotel room here.
Thanks for reading. This review may be posted on other sites under my same usename.
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Hotel Melia (Benidorm, Spain)
My partner and I stayed at the Melia Benidorm in June 2012 for a week all-inclusive. Location: The Melia Benidorm is described in the Thomson brochure as being located in an area named Rincon de Loix close to Benidorm, and so I believed that it would be in a nice little town within walking distance of Benidorm, which we ... could venture into for a bit of shopping etc. However, once there we realised that this hotel is pretty much in Benidorm itself. If you want to be very close to Benidorm then this hotel is therefore in a good location, with the shops and bars within very short walking distance, and a beach only about a 15 minutes walk away. Unfortunately I cannot comment on what the beach is like during the day, as we loved the pool area at the Melia and so stayed at the hotel in the daytime, but it looked decent enough when we walked next to it in the evenings. I have to say that my partner and I really didn't enjoy holidaying in Benidorm. We were aware it was probably going to be quite tacky and full of bars, but it was worse than we were expecting, and we were disappointed that the only shops we could find seemed to sell fake designer goods and naff souvenirs. However, I know that a lot of people do like Benidorm, and so this hotel would be very well located for you, if you want to be close to the action. The Benidorm Palace is also within close walking distance, and so it would be very easy to get to if you wanted to watch a show here. However, the old town of Benidorm is much further away; it is within walking distance but it isn't exactly round the corner.
First impressions of the hotel were great, as the lobby area is quite impressive, being quite big and airy with lots of plants, and a nice lounge with a piano on your left as you walk in. However, we had to wait in a huge queue to check-in for nearly half an hour, which isn't what you want after travelling for a few hours. As well as the passengers from our coach, there were many other travellers that arrived at the same time as us, and so maybe we just had bad luck with our timings. Once we were finally able to check-in it was a fairly quick process, and so I don't why it had taken so long for everyone else in the queue before us, and the gentleman who checked us in was polite and friendly enough. I feel it is important to note that the hotel does provide a safe in the room, which is something I always feel necessary when taking passports, plenty of currency etc. on holiday, and we had to pay a deposit for this and possibly a small fee.
Our room was a reasonable size with a balcony that overlooked the lovely pool area. However, we weren't impressed with the cleanliness of the room, as the inside of the wardrobe was a bit dirty and the bathroom didn't seem to be overly clean either. The bathroom had a bath and a shower located over the bath. I tried to have a shower but found that the water kept going from cold to hot and wouldn't stay at the right temperature, and so eventually I gave up and resorted to having a bath every day instead. The room had air conditioning, which worked fine. There was also a small fridge in the room, which was handy for keeping bottles of water nice and cold. The TV was a very good size but unfortunately there weren't many English channels available to watch. My partner and I tended to mainly watch the music channels, as we struggled to find anything else to watch and it was nice to listen to music whilst getting ready to go for dinner. We really struggled to have a decent nights sleep, as we were only about the fourth floor up and could hear the live music entertainment really loudly. Also, on the last couple of nights that we stayed there the hotel got packed with big groups of males and females (obviously on stag and hen dos etc) and we could hear them shouting and screaming as they came back to the hotel, and we could hear people stomping around in the rooms next to us too. This lead to an unpleasant day of travelling to get back home, as we had hardly any sleep all night. When I look back now I realise that we should of asked to move rooms in order to try to get a decent night's sleep, but at the time we didn't want to make a fuss. If it's a quiet and relaxing holiday you're after, then I don't think this hotel is the best for this, as it will always attract stag and hen parties, due to it's location.
Food and drink:
My partner and I felt that the food at the Melia Benidorm was OK. We didn't particularly enjoy dining here, as it felt more like a canteen than a restaurant, although I believe that many resorts offering all-inclusive packages have the same issue. I felt that the best meal at this hotel was breakfast, as there was always plenty of choice, with fruit juices and hot drinks, cereals, doughnuts, fruit and hot breakfast, although I'm not sure that some of the sausages had been cooked properly, and my partner said the same. The food at lunchtime was usually fine, some days were better than others for choice, and a favourite of mine was the salad bar, as on most of the days it had a good range of salad plus cooked meats and cheeses. However, I found it to be a bit hit and miss at dinner times. I'm not a very fussy eater but I did struggle sometimes in the evenings to find something nice to eat. There were usually some types of meat, and plenty of fish, however there also some more bizarre items, such as pigs trotters, which I really didn't feel like trying! There was also an Italian corner providing pizza and pasta, which was useful to fall back on if I was struggling to find anything in the main buffet area. There were always a number of desserts on offer every day and ice cream and sauces. In terms of drink, included in the all-inclusive package were bottles of water, certain types of beer, soft drinks, wine and certain cocktails. I have to say, the barmen certainly didn't hold back on the alcohol when making cocktails, they were rather strong! You could also have ice cream from the pool bar for free if you showed your all-inclusive band.
The pool area was definitely the best part of this hotel, as the pool was huge and it was a lovely well-kept area, with palm trees to sit under if you wanted some shade. The great thing about sitting around the pool at this hotel was that, unlike in many hotels where the beds are all in a line, here the sunbeds were dotted around in different areas, and it was nice to lie in a fairly secluded spot where you could spend the day looking at palm trees and grass rather than at all of the other holidaymakers! We found it OK getting sunbeds for most of our trip, but as the hotel got busier towards the end of the week, we had to get up early to get a bed before people reserved all of them with their towels, but this is a problem you encounter in many hotels. There was also an indoor pool that could be accessed through the spa reception. Unfortunately, I can't comment on the spa, as I didn't have any treatments during my stay. However, I also wasn't able to use the indoor pool, as the staff at the spa reception advised us that you had to have a swimming cap in order to use it.
The live entertainment in the evenings wasn't great, with the singers singing many songs that my partner and I didn't know, as they were quite old songs. The best entertainment was the flamenco dancing, which was something a bit different. The hotel offered entertainment for children, which I think may of been every other night, which usually comprised of a few games and singing and dancing. Every evening, the piano located in the lobby lounge was played live, and it was nice to sit and listen to it after dinner with a cocktail from the lobby bar.
We found the staff in the hotel were OK most of the time, however my partner mentioned that one member of staff was very rude when he went to get a drink from the pool bar and so he wasn't very impressed. I think it's fair to say that some members of staff were friendlier than others.
The best part of this hotel in my eyes was definitely the lovely pool area. However, I won't be going back due to the negatives I've listed. It's probably a good hotel if you are with a big group of friends and want to go on a drinking holiday, and if you like Benidorm then this hotel is very well located. I personally wouldn't recommend it if you are a couple who want a peaceful and quiet holiday.
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