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La Tahona Garden Bungalows(Fuerteventura, Spain)

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1 Review

Address: C/ Alcade Marcial Sanchez Velazquez 17 / Caleta de Fuste / Fuerteventura / Spain

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      13.10.2011 13:27
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      I've not long got back from staying here so have all the thoughts of this place still fresh in my mind. What made me decide that I wanted to come here on holiday? Good question. After all the holidays that myself and my husband go on are generally different to a relaxing holiday in the Sunshine. We have braved the streets of New York, Climbed up Vesuvius, wandered around Pompeii, Went to the Coliseum in Rome, and looked around the Acropolis in Athens. All in all we prefer the kind of holidays that are more about looking around things and not all about lazing around a Pool, going to the Beach. However the lure or a cheap all-inclusive break away from the Rainy Scottish weather sounded like a good idea, so we thought why not. After all so many people swear by these kind of holidays and when we got there we could make the holiday more to what we wanted to.

      I would like to state that this review is about the Hotel - as you would expect from the section, but I will touch a little on the area which this is in, but I'm sure you understand this is mainly about the Hotel. If it were about the area then I would be writing under the area section.

      I booked the Holiday through www.lowcostholidays.com and this Hotel was 1 of the ones listed. This wasn't the cheapest one, but the cheapest 1 was in the Corralejo area, which from what I understand is the more Tourist-y area. I wasn't against staying there, and the Hotel was £10 cheaper for the whole 7 nights, but it was 1 hour away from the Airport according to the site, whereas this Hotel was 15 minutes away. I had read up on the Calete De Fuste area and although it seemed that there wasn't that much to do there, it was deemed a bit of a quieter area but still with shops and eating out places.

      The price for this Hotel varies - as prices normally do. We stayed from Saturday the 17th of September and left mid day on Saturday the 24th of September. We booked 7 weeks ahead of us staying and got all inclusive for 2 adults for £330. There was the option of self catering and Half board as well, but the difference between self catering and all inclusive was £18 a day. So we thought we may as well pay the extra and at least that way we didn't have to worry about needing lots of spending money. So to cost the Hotel per night it was basically £47 a night. I kept trying to find an official site for this Hotel, but kept just finding Hotel booking ones, so guess the way to book this is through a 3rd party site. Before I stayed here I had read up on the Food not being all that great, but I will come to all that part later on. This Hotel has 102 1 Bedroom Apartments and 8 2 bedroom Apartments. The address details for anyone interested is Alcade Marcial Sanchez Velazquez, 17 Caleta de Fuste Fuerteventura.

      LOCATION
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      This Hotel is in a not bad location. There is restaurants from 1 minute to around 5 minutes from here. The food in the Restaurants outside of here cover Baguettes, Indian, Chinese, Pizza, Italian and just a good mixture of different foods. The prices are not bad in these Restaurants as well - probably due to the competition of all the eating places, and also since perhaps there is a lot of people going All Inclusive to keep the holiday cost down. About a 5 minute brisk walk away is the coastline, which we walked along a few times. It is here that you can find the Chipmunks and you can buy a bag of Monkey Nuts for 1 Euro and feed them. If you go down on the rocks they will come right up to you and eat out your hands - once they have gained their trust in you. There is a British Food shop nearby selling all British brands and frozen food from Tesco, Iceland and Asda. The shop is a bit expensive - 2 euro for a Pot Noodle (!). A few Supermarkets in the vicinity so you can get your essentials. The usual Tourist shops are a couple minutes walk away so all in all in a good enough Location I think.

      APPEARANCE
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      Well my first impressions aren't the same as my 2nd impressions. When we pulled up outside here I thought "Hmm, looks a bit dingy". The outside of this place isn't impressive and I think it can be made better. The wood is a dark brown colour and to be honest I think this looks a bit '80's Motel looking. Doesn't look inviting from the outside and a lot of the Hotels in the area look brighter and better. Inside we went and went to the reception area to pick up the Key. The whole place has Tiles on the floor - probably for the heat and maintenance factor. Nice and cooling though. The buildings look ok. The Complex is made up of many Bungalows, but they are stacked 2 high, which is alright as you aren't surrounded by people. The room number we were given was 301 and that was an upstairs one. That was ok as we had quite a large patio area and it was sunny being upstairs. Perhaps a downside was that on out upstairs landing bit there was 5 other Bungalows apart from our one, so people ended up walking past out door to get to their door. To be honest the 2 Bungalows could have went up a separate set of stairs to get to their, but our stairs were closer to the reception area, so closer as they would have walked out. There is a Pool in the centre of the Complex. Not the largest looking Pool I have seen and for the amount of Bungalows that there is here. There would be a bit of a crowd if most of the people all wanted to go to it. There is a larger section of the Pool and then a smaller part inside of it. There is also a part of the larger Pool blocked off so not sure if this is a more shallow part for young kids to use. Around the Pool is the Chairs and this area was always quite busy. There is also a Sun terrace off the Pool area which is above the building so a nice Suntrap area.

      The seating area downstairs in the bar and Restaurant area is alright. Plenty of tables and Chairs and these are scattered around the bar, the main restaurant, some in a sort of sun trap conservatory area, and then some more in a larger hall area before you go into the Bar. This area was pretty hot though as it seemed to get the sun all the time.
      So now to the important part - our Apartment. It was nice enough, but a bit basic and in need of a freshen up but I have found that people on trip Advisor are stating the same thing. The living room area was ok with a large couch and a chair in it. We had 2 patio Doors, so could leave these open and look outside while sitting on the couch. Gave a nice breeze in as well. There was a living room table, and a TV here, but the TV wasn't tuned in. we had a side window as well, which gave us breeze from the corner of the building as well. All the windows had shutters on them, so we left the Bedroom ones only on the shutters which kept the light out but let the breeze in. There was no Air Con in here, which was a shame, but since the Island is pretty Windy and the shutters were there then we got a good supply of cool air anyway. There was a kitchen table and 2 chairs in here too, and a good few cupboards which had crockery, pots, pans, cutlery, glasses etc. We used the odd plate but nothing else. The fridge freezer was an ok size for us to keep a few bottles in and it was turned up to the coldest setting so nice, cold drinks!

      The bathroom area was a bit odd. The Toilet seemed loose and everytime I sat down it would either move forward or back. Done the job and that's all that matters. In the Apartment information book it stated that we should do our best to conserve Water as they don't get much rainfall over there but there was no Plug in the bathroom Sink (!). So we had to keep the water running. There was a bath, but it wasn't a full sized one. I had to sit in it with my legs bent and I'm only 5 foot 7. There was a shower on the wall, but no Shower Curtain and not even any hooks to indicate that there should have been a Curtain there. So that's why I ended up sitting in the bath while washing my hair as I would have got Water everywhere.
      Another point to make is that in the Apartment manual it stated that the Apartment would be cleaned 3 times a week and bedding changed once a week. Given the Hot climate which ranged between 90-100 degrees when we were there then I would have expected the bedding to be cleaned more than once a week, but it's their rules. As for the Apartment cleaning we never once came back to having the apartment cleaned, and we were forever going down and asking for a new toilet Roll and Fresh Towels. We only had 4 towels in the Bathroom, and if you think about us both having a shower and also needing a towel for washing hands and that then you are going to get through them more than once every 2 days. Staff were ok when we asked for replacements and on the 3rd day of being there and still no cleaning had been done I asked reception for it to be done and someone came and down it about 2 hours later.

      All apartments only come with Single beds advised the receptionist, so we just moved them together and made a nice big bed. I guess this is to cater for single people sharing as well as couples. Not really a problem I would say.
      Some people have said that the Apartments were dirty and that there was Cockroaches, but ours was fine and I didn't see any Cockroaches.

      STAFF
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      I found the staff here to be ok. After reading on Trip Advisor some people said that the Staff were unfriendly and also that there wasn't enough of them, but I didn't have any problems. Throughout our stay we dealt with 4 people on the reception desk 2 females and 2 males. They were all pleasant, and when we dropped out Key in when we were going out for the day they always wished us a "good Day" and that. Some of the staff seemed to double up. For example to person who worked the Breakfast seemed to be on the pool bar until about 15:30, then the person who tool over around 15:30 went on to run the main Bar at night until it closed at 23:00. A couple of times I had to wait at both Bars to be served, but to be fair the bars were normally busy and people were stocking up on more than 1 drink. I don't think I ever waited more than 4 minutes and even that length of wait was few and far between. The staff seemed to work hard anyway, the only thing that the Bar staff didn't seem to know all that much English, which I would have thought they would have known quite a bit. I had to resort to the "international pointing" on more than 1 occasion to advise which Crisps I wanted and that. We got there in the end though.

      DRINK
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      What can I say, the best bit of the holiday. Juice and Beer were available from 8am-11pm. The Juice was branded pepsi Juice, so 7UP, Pepsi and Diet pepsi. The only Beer was a local Beer called Tropical and my Husband said it was nice. All other Alcoholic Drinks and Fruit Juices were available from 11am-5:30pm from the pool bar or 6pm-11pm from the main bar. The Spirits were branded spirit bottles (can't say if they were branded or just decanted into branded bottle) and the range was good - bacardi, Smirnoff, Gin, Whiskey, Jack Daniels and so on. A large range and surely something for everyone. Also on All Inclusive was a choice of 8 Alcoholic Cocktails and this was what I lived on drink wise. I loved the 1 called Paradise. This was vodka, Pineapple Juice, 7Up and Blackcurrant. It was lovely. All drinks were served in half pint plastic cups, apart from at night time if you wanted a drink in the main bar which was glasses - or if you wanted a drink to take out then it was plastic cups. The drinks were so nice and we made sure we got out All Inclusive price back this way.

      FOOD
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      Breakfast 8am-10.30am

      Probably the best meal of the day. A range of fresh bread (Toast it yourself if you wish), Rolls, Bacon, Scrambled eggs, Boiled Eggs, Mushrooms,Tomatoes, Hot Dog Sausages (instead of "real sausages), Beans, Fresh Fruit, Fruit salad, Cereal, Yogurt, Tea, Coffee, Fruit juice. All ok.
      Lunch 1pm-3pm

      This consisted of a Salad bar with lovely fresh Coleslaw which tasted home made, Chips and there was always a Fish Dish, 2 Meat Dishes and a Vegetarian Dish. I probably would have expected a Pasta Dish but you didn't get much pasta over here. The dishes indicated what it was by a picture of the animal eg Chicken, which I would guess would be good for all languages, but there was no telling in what kind of sauce the Chicken was in. There was a lovely Seafood Paella here 1 day, and although I don't eat Seafood I scooped some of the rice up and it was very nice. An adequate Meal, but just not what I would be used to eating at lunch time.
      Evening Meal - 6pm-9pm

      Again a bit of a choice here, but sometimes not for me I'm afraid. Much the same as lunch time so 2 Meat dishes, 1 fish Dish, 1 Vegetarian, a couple of side dishes, Bread Rolls, Soup and Salad. 1 night we went down and the main choices were Rabbit Stew and Squid. I don't like either of them. Another night there was a lovely Vegetable Curry, and battered bits of Chicken. Another time there was some lovely Lasagne The meals just seemed to be a bit hit and miss. We tended to eat out at night time as we were put off a bit with the food choices, but there seemed to be plenty people eating down there when we went down.
      I do think that the food bit could be improved and if it is down to costing then even think if they put the room rate up by £1 a day, then considering that there is 110 Apartments here and it seems a busy resort then I'm sure that could invest in some different food. There was a good few people complaining about the Food when we were there, but I heard 1 person complaining to the rest of his group and all he wanted to eat on holidays was Egg and Chips, Burgers and Pizza. The food here does seem quite European, which is not a bad thing, but perhaps some cheap fixes such as some Pizza, perhaps the odd night of Chicken Curry then this could be improved?

      This has been my first All Inclusive holiday so I cannot compare it to anywhere else. I don't know if this is quite average for the price, and if Food is normally not all that great in such a kind of resort?

      ADVANTAGES
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      - Price was ok
      - Drinks were great
      - Staff were ok and hard working
      - Location was good
      - Area was quite, but safe and plenty to do

      DISADVANTAGES
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      - Lack of Towels
      - Lack of Toilet Roll
      - Sheets only getting changed once a week
      - Food not great
      - Cleaning doesn't seem to get done 3 times a week
      - Rooms could do with a lick of paint and freshen up

      Would I recommend this place for someone to stay? Yes I would. The disadvantages can get overlooked, and if you are not fussed about drinking much then I would perhaps recommend staying self catering. The Supermarket down the road sells 750ml bottles of Tropical Beer for less that 1 euro, and the Spirits are not bad priced either, so it may be cheaper for you to eat out all the time and make your own drinks in the Apartment. I would stay here again as it was all ok.

      I think I have covered everthing, but if there is anything else you want to know then just let me know.
      Thanks for the read.

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