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“Very relaxing, but............”

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Garden Playanatural Hotel & Spa
Ranked #4 of 5 Hotels in El Rompido
Nottingham, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Very relaxing, but............”
Reviewed 10 August 2014

My partner and I have just returned from a really relaxing week at this hotel. We did look at the previous reviews before booking but thought the overall holiday would be a good experience.

Don't get me wrong, we can not say anything wrong about the hotel, as it is extremely clean, the room we had was very spacious, the shower looked quite basic but surprisingly it was a great shower. The staff were very helpful, albeit their English is not strong, but they still understood. We were greeted on arrival with orange juice or champagne, again a lovely touch.

The location is remote, which is what as a couple we wanted so we didn't do trips, etc.

I read previous reviews about the loud locals that arrive on Friday and Saturday, but to be honest, they were no problem and didn't make excessive noise. We didn't really take much notice of the entertainment, its not our sort of thing.

Down sides, the sun loungers at the top pool are dated and very uncomfortable and in need of re-newing. The loungers at the salt water pool are soo much better and it was great to see plenty of parasols too.

Our only main complaint, which I can not believe those people writing previous reviews stating the food was good. I don't think so, unless they have no regard for cooked food. Also the food had no taste what so ever, it is very very bland!! .... Breakfast mmmm scrambled egg which you sliced like cheese, very fatty bacon, part cooked sausages, beans etc.... Don't get me wrong I try all food, but refuse to eat cooked cold food and yes it was cold. the saving grace was the ancient microwave next to the toaster machine in which we heated food up to prevent food poisioning. I saw lunch and evening food. Again chicken, turkey, fish ALL in some state of raw... Again every shred of food I put on my plate was cold and half raw if not raw, so hence my week consisted of eating salad and fruit. But for my partner was a different story, he barely ate the entire week and ended up poorly thru lack of food. It would not be so bad but when you pay all inclusive you expect a damn site better.

OMG the A La Carte - We thought the food could only be 100% better, as it was an anniversary we went on 4th August. What can I say, but 4 courses, my partner only ate a bread roll. The soup was horrible, followed by what looked like rocket salad wrapped in cucumber (which I was fine with) but the meat what ever it was looked like worms. We got excited by the two main courses on very hot plates, but yep again the hake fish was colder than cold and so was the pork or was it beef, who cares that was mmmm cold and very greasy. Only nice part of tis horrendous meal was the ice cream.

Please do not think I am being cruel (both my partner and myself are telling this how it is) , this hotel is gorgeous but terribly let down by food, which also looks and tastes of grease. We got to a point were we actually thought of getting a taxi and eating out! But having paid the all inclusive we had to be very selective on what we ate, which was very little.

Overall, we came home feeling very relaxed, but the holiday was tinged with disappointment due to the restaurant. Advise to anyone going here, please look at the food before eating and the microwave will be very useful if only to reheat the chips....

Room Tip: If you enjoy the entertainment which is loud, ask for a pool view/sea view. If you like the quiet t...
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  • Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
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    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank chiley3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Bangkok, Thailand
Level 6 Contributor
380 reviews
75 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 162 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 August 2014 via mobile

We stayed at the Garden Playanatural only for one night. The hotel is well located on a hill offering good views of the area. It is a hotel for Adults only and also accepts Pets. This is worth mentioning. The room we had was OK with beds that could have been more comfortable though. An old style TV with a 24 hour adukt movie channel! The breakfast is just average with canned orange juice when orange trees are growing all around!

Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
4 Thank TequilaPepita
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gravesend, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 August 2014

Lovely hotel ,good food well cooked lots of variety.Eat all you can...Location ,a bit isolated but if all you need is a pool & a pool bar ,then it's ideal.
Staff friendly but not too sure of English language. All in all pretty good.

Room Tip: All rooms OK
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank Alpinageezer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Herne Bay, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 July 2014

OK so despite some amazing reviews, I read the terrible ones too.....if you are likely to allow small imperfections such as: a little mildew around the bath, a few loose tiles in the upper pool, and food getting cold towards the end of service, ruin your holiday, then choose somewhere else! Likewise if you are looking for a typical tourist resort catering for British holiday makers, then this is not the place for you.
Now onto the good stuff! This is a lovely clean hotel, away from the hustle and bustle of life; the staff are friendly and hard working, the rooms are huge, the food is great with loads of choice, and the beaches are nearly deserted.
We were offered Champagne or orange juice on arrival, and again at our Thomas Cook welcome meeting. As the hotel is quite remote we booked trips with our tour rep which probably cost more but was less hassle, other guests used local bus and taxi services. We went shopping in Huelva, a half day trip to a market (stall holders refused to barter with us although they were bartering with locals), and a busy shopping street, it was short and sweet, but a nice trip. We did a full day in Seville, a beautiful city with lots to see, so one day is not enough really; avoid the boat trip which is offered as you pay extra and see nothing more than you do from the coach, you may as well use the extra time sightseeing. Finally we did the Guadiana River cruse; in hindsight we would add the Jeep safari one way as the scenery from the boat is quite dull! The lunchtime stop in Portugal is amazing, a little restaurant set on protected farmland with a pool and bar. the meal is traditional Portuguese chicken which is to die for, and all food and drink is unlimited!! Also live music at the meal and on the boat back, with room to dance if you choose.
The hotel has two outdoor pools and a Jacuzzi, and an inside spa pool. There are plenty of sunbeds and Balinese beds at addition cost which are rarely used. The spa treatments are expensive, but well worth it, especially as almost everything else is free, including air-con, safe, and mini bar in rooms. There are fountains and a pretty courtyard so plenty of areas to sit away from the pools and bar areas.
The entertainment team work very hard with activities through out the day including aqua gym, rifle shooting, football and darts. The evening entertainment is fun although a little chaotic and largely in Spanish, although they do an English translation; they also have professional acts including a rock band and Spanish dancers.
The beach is amazing, all hotel guests get one free ticket per day for the boat across the lagoon, which is a must. The hotel has sunbeds and Balinese beds on the beach for an additional fee. We chose to walk through the pine forest and through the subway to get to the boat (go to the loo at the beach before you go across and take plenty of water as there is nothing there). There is a wooden walkway through a nature reserve to get to the sandy beach, which goes on for miles and can be almost empty. The sea is shallow with little pools forming with the tides; there are lots of shells and the water is clear, to see fish, starfish and sometimes crabs. The boat goes back every 30mins with a break between 3 and 4pm.
The local fishing village of El Rompido is 30min walk away, we did it 3 times with no problems. There is a number of cafes and bars, a few shops and stalls and a supermarket up by the lighthouse. This is not a tourist village, so don't expect to get British newspapers! We discovered a little boutique for ladies fashion and a delicatessen selling traditional local produce at great prices including Orange wine which is very nice. We also stopped above the Harbour at the Casa Blanca café for coffee or ice-cream a couple of times, as there is plenty of shade and great views.
We never return to holiday destinations twice, but we found this such a quiet relaxing and chilled out holiday, we will definitely go back. It was the perfect destination for our family as we all work hard throughout the year, and our son and daughter had just finished exams, so needed to wind down. Bliss!!

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
26 Thank Kerry356
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nottingham, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 July 2014

A lovely hotel in a very quiet location .The staff were excellent despite most having limited English.This hotel is unsuitable for people wanting nightlife and shopping as its remote and the nearest town is only a small fishing village.The food choice was great but typically Spanish but with so much on offer even the fussiest diners should find something delicious to eat.The only complaint i have is it could be warmer but as with all inclusive buffet restaurants it can be cooler than we eat it in UK.The hotel and pool area were kept spotless .We enjoyed 10 days here and are certainly going back soon but just 1 final warning mosquitoes are a real problem so i would advise you take a jungle formula plug in and a skin lotion or spray with you

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank Glynis C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 July 2014

Although not far from the Algarve we were keen to explore this area in more detail. We decided to book a superior room with a balcony,this overlooked the pool and had a sea view and all in all was excellent. The hotel was very quiet and although there was some music in the evening this was on the opposite side of the pool(s) and finished at a very reasonable time- it was quite pleasant listening to it on our balcony
During the day restful music was played around the pool and the pool attendant actually did us a copy before we left!
The staff were very helpful,we were offered a glass of sparkling wine on arrival.
All in all a very pleasant place to stay for a restful holiday.
On the downside however-
We included breakfast in our stay but unless this is included would not do so again- there was the usual cold items but all the hot food was awful- badly cooked and cold.
Can't comment on the evening meals as we went out

Room Tip: On the opposite site to the evening entertainment
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Robert P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Leeds, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 July 2014

My girlfriend and I (both 19) have just returned from a week at this lovely hotel and we both feel a week wasn't long enough. On arrival we were greeted with a glass of champagne which was a nice touch, and the receptionist told us opening and closing times for everything, however, none of the reception staff speak English very well, but they get by. The staff in general are very nice and friendly but speak very little English, so it can be hard to communicate at times. The entertainment shows on a night are in Spanish with little bits of English translation thrown in from time to time, but it is still funny to watch. The entertainment is from 10:30pm to 12am and I would highly recommend going to the Karaoke bar after this, however you could be waiting until 12:30-1 ish before people turn up, so be patient because once they do turn up it is very fun. They have entertainment through the day from sports activities; football and aqua gym, to pistol shooting and darts. At first, English people don't get asked to join in with these activities, as the hotel is predominantly Spanish, but once you have joined in they are extremely friendly and will interact with you more so I would recommend to join in the activities from the start.

The beach is full of locals and we couldn't find the ferry to take us to the bigger beach, so we didn't end up going to that, but the hotel was nice enough to stay there, which as good as there is nothing else in the surrounding area of the hotel.

When we arrived on a Thursday morning, there was 4 people, including us. We were told the hotel was quiet but we didn't think it would be this quiet. From Friday to Sunday, the locals come to the hotel and it gets a bit louder, but its nice to have a bit of life in the place

Finally, the food is inedible at times, with meat not cooked properly and food tasteless, we had veal 5 nights in a row and each time it tasted different, even though it was cooked the same, so we pretty much lived on bread and chips for the week. The food is the only bad thing I can say about the hotel, once you get used to the staff and the entertainment in Spanish, its not really a problem. Overall, I would highly recommend this hotel to anybody it is extremely relaxing and everyone is very friendly. Me and my girlfriend would definitely return.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Callum N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Garden Playanatural Hotel & Spa

Property: Garden Playanatural Hotel & Spa
Address: urbanizacion Miguel Angel Sol s/n, 21459 El Rompido, Spain
Region: Spain > Andalucia > Costa de la Luz > El Rompido
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Luxury Hotel in El Rompido
#4 Family Hotel in El Rompido
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:4 star — Garden Playanatural Hotel & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 230
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Hotel And Spa Cartaya Garden
Hotel Cartaya Garden
Garden Hotel Cartaya

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