As I write, I sit in the gardens of the Belvedere with just a couple of days remaining of our two week stay. A good indicator of a hotel's likeability, for me, is the ten day milestone. If I'm ready to get back to normality at this stage, then there's something missing at the hotel - I could quite easily stay another week here.
We booked the Belvedere as a bit of a cheap getaway. I'm quite happy with 3* for self catering purposes, but where all inclusive is concerned I've previously insisted on 4* or better, purely for a better chance of decent food. I've seen so many disappointed reviews of 3* hotels, telling of mile long canteen queues for burgers and hot dogs. My view here was that if the food was dire, then we could eat out for dinner as the cost of the holiday was very reasonable.
Fortunately, the food here is pretty good in terms of variety, but as normal in mass hotel catering, completely unadventurous so as not to offend the delicate palates of some of our European cousins (I'm English)
There is nothing remotely spicy in the restaurant apart from a few bowls of pickled chillis. Don't let this be a deal stopper though, just in terms of variety, there's something for everyone.
A quick summary of breakfast as it's the best meal of the day here.
Cold meats, cheeses, breads, pate, cereals x 4, juices x 3, yoghurts x 6, bacon (more like fried ham), 3 types of sausage including 'English' style, beans, scrambled, boiled and fried egg, carrots, onions, chips, pancakes, cakes, croissants, tea, instant coffee.
Missing - Brown sauce, decent coffee, mushrooms. Ok I'm being picky..
Generally, I'd say the food was fresh, hot and plentiful, but from the cheapest possible source.
If you need spicy, I'd recommend the Nawaab Indian - take the steps that start by the Blue Bay Hotel all the way down past the Church to the main road and it's right in front of you next to the Trattoria.
The standard bedroom is just that, a bedroom. Don't expect a seperate seating area or lounge. You will get 2 beds, a wardrobe, dresser and bedside tables. They can just squeeze in an extra bed to make a room for 3 but it's quite cosy. Cleaning, towels, replenishment of soaps and shampoos was perfect and daily. I didn't see the family rooms so I can't comment.
Pool and sunbathing.
Possibly the most uncomfortable sun loungers ever invented. Take an air bed or roll up mattressto provide som cushioning. Also, they are flat and not adjustable apart from eleven we identified. Even now in the peak season, there are just enough beds for everyone - even so, the 4am stealth sunbed ninjas are out placing towels in the best spots. Some even before they go to bed. And it's the Brits much as any other nation. The pool guys don't remove towels from the early grabbers, but they do soak them accidentally on purpose with a fire hose used to clean the pathways.
On site shop with basic stuff, newspapers, snacks, sun cream, souvenirs. Expensive.
Wifi is 15 euro for a week and has really good coverage even in the gardens.
It doesn't go faster than about 1 meg.
Massage. Not had one but watched the thorough work. A full hour is 35 Euro.
Animation team. Mildly irritating during the day but not in your face.
Evening entertainment consists of a mini disco, snake show, clown act and a bingo night. Poor.
Queues. If you like to queue, come here. You can queue in the restaurant, outside bar, inside bar, snack bar and for the ridiculous dwarf sized lifts. On a couple of occasions, having seen the 20 minute bar queue, I left the hotel and returned with booze from the shop down the road which I'd rather pay for than waste 20 minutes of my life. Hotel response is that you can get 3 drinks while you're at the bar. Not good enough, put more staff on.... But why would they, the more you drink, the less profit they make? In the restaurant, eat early or late to beat the queues, and for the lifts, when you book ask for a low floor and take the stairs.
Staff. Generally miserable until you make the effort to converse.
'Ein bier' is not a conversation starter. Try bit of Spanish, have some fun getting it all wrong and get a free bar side Spanish lesson. Then get larger measures served. Fact.
What's missing to make this place better?
The hotel grounds, rooms, bars and facilities are as good as some of the 4* places we've stayed in.
This is what's missing in my opinion, and could contribute to the 4th star.
An alternative dining option. Maybe once a week, you can reserve a table in the unused pizza restaurant building and receive table service for traditional Mallorcan cuisine. Wine by the bottle and a menu?
Room service. Non existant. Even with a small service charge this would add to the hotel's offering.
Beach Towels. Available to rent at a hefty premium if there's a few of you. Should be included.
Wifi should be included. Currently chargeable
Safe should be included. Currently chargeable
Self Service for beer and wine. Looking at the pump locations, I think this used to be the case here, where guests could self serve beer and wine. But no longer. I don't need to wait 20 mins for someone to pull a handle for me. I can manage it myself.
Because this is a relatively low cost hotel, it attracts a larger proportion of Jeremy Kyle types than in more expensive hotels. The entertainment throughout this holiday has been people watching, rather than the animation team.
This almost 4 star hotel is being held back from realising its true potential by the 2 star clientelle. It IS possible to come on holiday without looking like a bad commercial for Umbro sportswear.
It is not reasonable to dine in the restaurant in the evening wearing nothing but your 'Stoke City till I Die' tattoo and your trunks.
It is not reasonable to chuck your paper cups in the streets around the hotel.
It is not reasonable to let your screechy chav kids run around the restaurant when people are carrying plates of hot food.
It is not reasonable to abandon your 9 year old all day by the pool while you get bladdered elsewhere in the hotel.
It is not reasonable to punch people in the chest for no reason while mumbling in drunken Russian about Chelsea. True, but the police dealt with him swiftly.
Don't barge to the front of the bar queue.
When your 150 kg wife says 'Does my bum look big in this Playboy mini skirt', for the sake of humanity, please tell her the truth.
You can keep going back to refill your dinner plate as many times as you like, and your kids can too. There's no need to make a one tenth scale model of the Alps out of chips and nuggets on your plate. Take what you can eat. It's not hard.
Do the owners want to be a more expensive 4* or is it more lucrative to have a fully booked 3*? I don't know about the economics of the hotel business, but this isn't far off a 4. Increase the prices, get the next star and frighten the chavs away with a dining dress code.
I'd come back here. You will enjoy it honestly, just accept it for what it is at the moment, The Solana on the hill :)
Ask for low room, floor 1 to 3 away from the lifts.
Pool view room balconies are generally sunny PM...
See more room tips
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC