Having just returned from an All-Inclusive week stay with my wife and eight year old daughter I feel compelled to spread some positivity regarding this hotel and in particular the entertainment staff...all 14 of them!
First things first, if you haven't arranged transfers from the airport then you can jump in a taxi at the airport and expect to pay circa €65 for the 50 minute transfer. FYI the hotel can arrange return transfers on a shuttle bus. Yes, it does take a little longer but it also allows you to get a flavour for some of the other resorts (in particular Cala Galdana) as you pick up en route. The cost is €14 per person but be aware that you are likely to be dropped off at the airport 3hrs prior to departure and the check in does not open until 2hrs prior so you have an hour to kill in a rather featureless airport.
Right, onto the hotel. I'll deal with the various aspects in turn;
* Surrounding Areas
First and last impressions of the reception area was that it was too small for a hotel with 493 rooms. The staff were polite without ever convincing of being the most efficient and it didn't take too many guests turning up for it to appear congested and unwelcoming. Thankfully visits to the reception area are relatively few and so it was not really an issue. When you check in you will be fitted with the ubiquitous wrist band which will convey to staff which package you've booked. We were on All Inclusive but if you've booked either half board or full board you can upgrade to AI, if you wish, for €17 & €14 per day per person respectively. You can hire pool side towels at reception for a refundable deposit of €14. These can be handed in at the end of each day and will be replaced with fresh towels.
The rooms are adequate but devoid of air conditioning. The ceiling fan does its best but struggles to negate the impact of the midnight heat. The beds are reasonably comfortable without ever likely to appear on TV advert. There is plenty of wardrobe space and the bathroom, although small, is fit for purpose. There is also a small fridge for you to stock your own drinks. There is a small balcony with table and chairs allowing you to enjoy a sundowner as you look out over the pool, bay, or if you're lucky, both.
There is one main restaurant in the hotel and it is HUGE. With approx 1000 guests in the height of season this is a military exercise, make no mistake about it. The time you choose to dine will impact significantly on your enjoyment. For breakfast I would strongly suggest avoiding the window between 9.15 and 9.45. The restaurant is quite manic at this time as the late risers are seeking sustinance before closure at 10am. The choice and general standard of fayre is very good and it would take an extremely fussy eater not to find something to enjoy. The staff are always friendly and extremely efficient (as they have to be in a restaurant on this scale). Be aware that if you leave your table for any reason during a meal it is very likely your plate will have been removed by the time you return! The staff are slightly over zealous at times but it's easy to forgive them on an operation this big.
The majority of guests are Spanish and, as is their want, tend to lunch as late as permissable (3pm) so, if you'd prefer a more leisurely lunch then I highly recommend lunching around 1pm. Once again the general standard of food is very good...and extremely tempting. I'd be amazed if anyone returns from the Almirante having lost weight! ;).
Dinner is similar to lunch in as much as the Spanish tend to dine later as opposed to earlier and so depending on your preferences you can enjoy a relatively leisurely dinner between 7-7.30pm.
Wine and soft drinks are available from a couple of drinks stations (Bodegas) in the restaurant. These are obviously free to All Inclusive guests.
For the ravenous/gluttonous guests there is a snack supper available from 10pm. A fork lift truck is also available to remove these guests at 11pm. If eating was an Olympic sport then quite a few guests would have been nailed on for a medal as the World Record for the amount of food piled on to a single plate was repeatedly broken. What dedicated athletes they were! ;)
The pool are has been very cleverly designed in a tier format meaning that everyone gets a good view of proceedings no matter how far back you choose to sit/lay.There are three salt water pools, one for toddlers, one for those who need to touch the bottom and/or do aerobic classes, and one for those who generally wanted to dive and swim in a deeper pool. The salt water was a bit of an issue for our daughter on the first day but she soon overcame it and ended up growing fins and scales by the end of the week.
There is a plentyful supply of sunbeds and as access to the pool is not permitted prior to 10am there is no mad rush to save the best seats. I have one serious word of warning. There are thatched parasols scattered around the pool area providing much needed shade. The problem is that they are not high enough and several guests and staff have been injured by walking into them. I ended up with a part of my head shaved and nine sterastrips in a wound as a result of walking into one. I should say that the medical attention was first class (they have a small infirmary at the hotel) and the medic, Diana, was excellent.
There are three main bars. The poolside bar, the terrace bar, the entertainments lounge bar.
All Inclusive guests have a good selection of drinks on offer, including Cava and three cocktails as well as beers, local wines, spirits and soft drinks. Children also have mocktails available.
The pool bar is open from 10.30-6pm and is also home to the entertainments troupe who provide the life and soul of pool activities throughout the day, both for children and adults. I cannot speak highly enough of these people and I have no idea where they get all their energy from. The way they interract with the guests is the best I have encountered anywhere around the world and some of their dance moves have to be seen to be believed ;). The children adored them and there was a constant game of who could throw who into the pool. One small caveat, don't select a sunbed too close to the pool bar if you don't want YMCA booming out at some stage. A particular mention for Sergei and Raphael who were always looking to get up to mischief when they weren't either dancing or diving off the hotel cliff into the sea.
The terrace bar is quite sedate by comparison by offers comfy chairs and a full view of whatever is going on poolside without the hustle and bustle. This bar also serves snacks in the unlikely event of you feeling malnourished.
The entertainment lounge bar is only open from 6pm and tends to be quiet up until 9-9.30 pm when the evening festivities kick off after the childrens disco (9pm). The lounge is vast and has a licence for 900 people. The consequence is that there can be some queuing for drinks at busy periods.
In addition to the daytime entertainment and mayhem there is a mixture of evening entertainment on offer. The entertainment troupe put on their own version of West End shows and they are very enjoyable. Their version of Blues Brothers was great fun while "Miss Farragut" turned into a hilarious show after a rather risque start. A selection of external artists also entertain and they tend to vary in terms of quality and content.
For those who enjoy bingo you'll get at least a couple of fixes a week :)
I was last in Cala'n Forcat 20 years ago and very little has changed. The Almirante is a 10 minute stroll from the "strip" where you'll find the usual selection of bars and restaurants. This is very much a family resort and there are no single sex groups to be found anywhere. There are a couple of children's parks(free entry) with bouncy castles and zip wires which are very popular. Hotel Los Delfines, where I stayed 20yrs ago, is still the only other major hotel in the resort and benefits from a small water park on it's doorstep. The daily entrance was quite steep at €47 (two adults and a child) but our daughter loved it and gave most of the shoots a good testing ;)
There is a Spar approx 100metres from the hotel which provides all the basics you may require. I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised at the price of beers. I didn't find a bar charging more that €2.50 for a pint of beer and quite a few were less than €2. Wine and sangria were similarly competitive.
A visit into Ciutadella is a must and a €1.65 ticket on the local bus is very easy as the bus stops directly outside the hotel. My wife adored the lace and linen clothes on offer. I would also recommend a lazy harbourside tapas lunch in one of the many restaurants touting for your business. There are many other island attractions and, as alluded to earlier, a trip to Cala Galdana is very worthwhile. It is simply stunning there with sail boats and motor yachts on anchor in the bay.
In summary we were very pleased with our holiday at the Almirante and believe it offers excellent value for money. We booked direct with the hotel and paid €47 per person, all inclusive, per day. It's a hotel, and resort, that we would heartily recommend to families and while we would have no hesitation in returning we like to explore other hotels and will try a new experience sometime in the near future.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC