My wife, our 3 year old daughter and I have returned home today from a 2 week stay at Playa Mar - we've been to the Pollenca region previously - 2 times in villas (no children) and once in an apartment when our daughter was a few months old, and this was the first time that we've stayed in an hotel as a family. I researched 'to death' before booking with Thomson - deciding that the quality of Trip Advisor reviews, Thomson (as a tour operator) and the hotels own website all seemed to point in the right direction. One of the main reasons for staying in a hotel was that, in my wife's words - we would all get an holiday.
I think it's fair to distinguish that this review aims to highlight positives/negatives for both Thomson and for the "Mar" chain of hotels.
As you'd expect the flight over from East Mids was good on a fairly new 737-800, transfers were smooth as you'd expect - Playa Mar is situated at the far end of the Port of Pollenca, so I suspected that we'd be the last drop off, none the less it was all done and dusted in about an hour.
On arrival at Playa Mar my expectations were exceeded by the quality and cleanliness of the hotel reception, walkways and landscaping - this created a very pleasant low rise set up of the site, with no buildings exceeding 3 storeys. We had to wait an hour for the room to be ready and as noted by other reviewers I was surprised that the hotel and Thomson can't make this a bit more seamless. This must be an easy hit for the hotel management considering that there is a 3-4 hour gap between room departures and arrivals. I noted a few people during our stay doing as we did - and that was to sweat it out as new arrivals in the bar area... when all you want to do is unpack and get in the pool!
I pre-registered with the hotel and requested a quiet, refurbished room with a view. I'm not entirely sure if it's worth while pre-booking on the hotels website - the check in procedure seemed the same for everybody. We were allocated a room at the rear of the ground floor of block 1 (1109) and I wasn't disappointed - any 'rear' room in any of the 4 blocks of accommodation will be quieter than the front facing blocks. Only minor grumble is that there its a service footpath at the rear of blocks 1 and 2 - so at 8/9am in the morning they wheel the supplies for the bar etc along on shopping trollies - lets say the concrete path isn't very smooth and theres a fair bit of noise - sounds petty perhaps but for a hotel that seems to strive for customer satisfaction - why not just go a buy a soft wheeled goods trolley? Unless you are particularly fussy about noise I would suggest that there isn't a great deal between front or rear - the entertainment ends at 11pm prompt every night - most people seems to stay up till at least this time. If I were to avoid any rooms - it would be the ground floor front facing units - as they all have paths running close by (no privacy?) and the front facing apartments at the top end of block 3 - these all overlook the kids play area - I'll come on to that shortly....
Sticking with the rooms for a moment - forget the kitchen if you're intent on self catering that doesn't involve anything more complex than making a; brew, toast, sandwich, warming baby milk/food. It's small and there's very little storage space. I was actually pleased with the rooms - really decent flat screen TV with BBC & ITV in english only (which seems weird as its Brit only hotel), average beds (can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to a night in my own bed tonight), reasonable patio/balcony and decent bathroom/shower room. Our cleaner was very good and in fact we turned her down a couple of times - so all credit due here. Our 'aircon' wasn't working one day - sorted out within the hour.
We originally booked for half board, but decided to upgrade to AI on arrival - 19 euros per adult and 9 for children - all considered I thought this was a fair deal and I'm happy that we got our value over the period of the stay. I cannot fault the bar and restaurant staff - all very friendly and extremely hardworking. We have stayed AI in some very nice locations previously and whilst the restaurant was not up to those standards it was a close runner - when I consider the cost then it puts the Playa Mar on a parallel. Breakfast is outstanding - absolutely top notch, lunch time is a more limited service and evening meals are varied enough. If I were to suggest an improvement it would be for some international styled food - again this is an all Brit hotel - so why not treat us to our national dishes - curry, chinese etc :-) I would suggest that the average person at Playa Mar doesn't eat as well when at home and it's the routine of eating so well that drags more so than the actual quality. My tip is to ask for the Cava - we were joined by some friends and were often just given a bottle for our table.
Entertainment was a mixed bag - depends on what you fancy - a mix of Thomson staff and hired in entertainment - the Kenian Boys last night were great. The Thomson team seems to comprise of day time children's team and the mainly evening team of Chloeoke, Cha Cha Charly and the brilliant Gee Whizz. Our daughter didn't gel with the day time 2 hour slots, well described by Tim W below - these seemed to lack some imagination - however she loved the dancing and adored the 3 main Thomson dancers - and that was fine by me. I thought the day time 'tots' session were akin to her typical indoor nursery activities. Chaos reigns in the children's play area and Thomson need to have a think about this - it got out of control some times - if they suggest with their signs that no more than 10 children should be in the play area and also state an age limit then who manages this when there's 15-20 or so kids tearing around? It was pretty wild sometimes!
The pool side beds and umbrellas are a running sore - and there wasn't a german in sight - problem is we all do it as if you can't beat them you join them. This morning as we were leaving (6.30am) there were numerous towels out and people turning up to place theirs. The hotel say that this shouldn't happen until 9am but make no effort to enforce. Thomson say they raise it with the hotel team but 'their hands are tied'... come on Thomson... you expect us to believe that??
A small negative in agreement with Tim W is the effort of the pool side cleaning team at the end of the day is not aligned with the other hard working hotel staff I mention. Resulting in some slippy floors etc. A good cleaning season would sort this out. It would be nice if the hotel got another dozen or so umbrellas - shade is so needed with younger kids.
One day we caught the bus to a sister hotel in Alcudia - Condesa De Bahia (i think thats about right) - whilst this hotel has the fantastic Playa Muro beach and is the same star rating - it is a long way off the standard that we experienced at Playa Mar.
I was seriously impressed with the quality of the entertainment building finished for this season and the subterranean spa. WOW. Well done.
The main area of Port de Pollenca is a good 20/30 minutes walk away across the very nice pine walk. When it's a heat wave like we (thankfully) had in the first week the pine walk is a rather sweaty affair - even late at night. Wouldn't want to do this on a regular basis, but if the weather is cooler then thats all good. Otherwise just pay 5 euro for the taxi and know that you're doing your bit for the local economy! I stress that Playa Mar is on the edge of the Port of Pollenca.
Overall we had a great holiday and loved the hotel - problem is is that when you do something really well it highlights the trivial points even more. Thank you to those that cared and made the effort!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- This complex in Puerto de Pollensa (Majorca) is surrounded by the natural beauty of Majorca's Northern coast. The excellent facilities offer fun and sports activities for the most demanding families. Disconnect at Playa Mar and get ready for your best holiday ever! ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Hotels.com, Booking.com, Ebookers, Agoda, Priceline, TravelUp, Odigeo, Travel Republic (UK), Traveltool, S.L.U. and HotelQuickly so you can book your Aparthotel Playa Mar & Spa reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Aparthotel Playa Mar Hotel Port De Pollenca
- Aparthotel Playa Mar Pollenca
- Aparthotel Playa Mar Hotel Pollenca
- Playa Mar
- Aparthotel Playa Mar & Spa Majorca/Port De Pollenca