After reading the rave reviews of Tripadvisor, I was expecting something at the top end of an all inclusive hotel. I booked a suite all inclusive and paid £1600 for the hotel alone for two of us for 8 nights. We have been on two previous all inclusive holidays to Malaga and Lanzarote at approximately half the price - this latest experience has made us decide it will be our last!
I had done my research and we both loved Majorca. A car hire through Sixt (highly recommended) ensured we saw what this beautiful Island has to offer and overall we were blessed with lovely weather.
So why have I given it only an average rating. The staff overall are pleasant, waiters professional, cleaning staff polite, bar staff very welcoming but Reception, generally unhelpful with the exception of two of the Receptionists.
I had booked directly with the hotel and was led to understand there are only 20 suites, some in the Park and some in the Playa. The Park suites are in Block 1 approximately and the Playa suites in the blocks up to 7. Undoubtedly, Block 1 suites have direct sea views and we were allocated one of these originally - the suite was spartan, gloomy and devoid of sun on the two small balconies. We went back to Reception and were offered another suite on the second floor with no sea views and it was far worse than the original. One Receptionist took the attitude take it or leave it but I stood my ground and we were eventually offered a Suite in Block 7 on the third floor which had nice views, was more modern but again only had sun on the balcony for a few hours in the early morning. We took it and in fairness, it suited our purpose except for the lack of evening sun. Having seen some of the standard rooms I am glad we went for a suite as they were small in the extreme, most having very small balconies, some overlooking the car park, some the pool and some had side/sea views. The blocks nearer to Block 1 are the Park and those nearer to Block 7 the Playa. Do not believe the Receptionist if you are told the only suites are in Block 1 as he originally told us. There are 4 floors in the Playa but he insisted the hotel didn't have a fourth floor and I had specifically booked and paid for the Playa prices and it is a far nicer hotel and does have four floors.
Our suite itself had a large balcony, two bathrooms and a separate if functional sitting room. Do ensure you are specific in what you book and if not happy, don't accept second best. As I was checking out, other English people were having a similar argument with Reception!
Be aware that the resort is predominantly catering for German tourists and all the staff are geared up for this. There were a few Russian tourists and a smattering of British and French. The staff automatically addressed us in German and this became a bit tiresome after a week.
The pools looked nice but were cold and the sun loungers are so regimented that they were ridiculous. Even though the hotel/s were about half full and there were plenty of loungers, some people were putting their towels on their 'pitch' three or four hours before they arrived to sunbathe even though the hotel says it doesn't allow this.
When a hotel is charging top rates, it is almost 4000 Euros for two people in a suite all inclusive in July (if I had paid that I would have been annoyed!) there is still a charge for the safe even though the hotel says it will take no responsibility for items not put in the safe.
I needed wifi for work and even though it wasn't expensive at 27 Euros for our eight night stay, the hotel should get its act together and include it in the price.
Another gripe was that we wanted to watch a football game on Sky but the Receptionist said that the hotel doesn't subscribe to Sky Channels and the nearest sports bar was about 7 kilometres away - ridiculous at the prices charged.
Be aware that the Playa and the Park are in effect one hotel and in summer it would be crammed with people, some may like this, we wouldn't.
The beach was beautiful as were the sunrises and if you are into naturism, the naturist section of the beach is about a 10 minutes walk along the sand towards Can Picafort.
The drinks were generally branded varieties and it was pleasant sat outside the bar at the time of year we visited and there were plenty of places in the day and evening. The snacks were almost non existent, on two days there were some rolls available but they soon ran out but the main offering was croissants left over form breakfast. You can ask for peanuts from the bar however.
My main grouse was the food which seemed mass produced, much of it unappetising and served to the hordes. In fairness, we took breakfast each morning sat outside and there was a variety of fruit, cheeses, meats and cooked. The cooked was not well done but the bread selection was excellent.
We had lunch at the Terrace Bar above the pool and again, it was pleasant to sit outside, the freshly grilled fish was the best of the food and there was enough selection to get by. I avoided the chicken however because as someone else has said, the chefs use the same tongs for putting on the raw chicken as serving the cooked pieces. We saw this on several occasions and it is a prime problem for cross contamination.
We didn't enjoy the evening meals at all until the last night when they laid tables outside. The main dining room is like a cafeteria, brightly lit and in our opinion, not conducive to nice dining. Again, there was plenty of selection of varying quality, the freshly cooked meat and fish was the most appetising but the selection of salads were dull and uninspired as were the pre-cooked dishes.
The overall experience may appeal to some and if you have children, it is probably a reasonably priced holiday but take with a pinch of salt some of the rave reviews on trip advisor as they raise expectations which weren't, in our case, realised when we arrived.
The hotel is somewhat on a limb and you couldn't really walk to get a nice bar but we did find one on the beach at Can Picafort, approximately a 25 minutes walk along the beach.
All in all, an average experience at top cost for an out of season visit to a resort that was huge, lacking in finesse and in my opinion, catered for the masses - not our scene at all.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The IBEROSTAR Albufera Playa hotel is located on the sea front of Playa de Muro, one of the best-maintained sand expanses on the entire Mediterranean. This is a highly recommended hotel to enjoy a family holiday with children or as a couple. SPA, cuisine, sports, entertainment... The services at the Albufera Playa hotel are wide-ranging and will allow you to enjoy an ample variety of entertainment for adults and children alike. These include five restaurants and two bars in the all inclusive accommodation type (optional); Miniclub (ages 4 to 7), Maxiclub (ages 8 to 12), Teenieclub (ages 13 to 17); as well as a playground and children’s pool. There’s also SPA Sensations, the space where you can restore the balance between body and mind, a fitness centre, and Fit & Fun activities... there’s something for every member of the family. And if you’re also looking for some added exclusivity, the Albufera Playa hotel offers its Star Prestige service with luxury services, such as a rooftop VIP zone featuring Balinese beds, Jacuzzis, Open Bar with drinks and amazing views of Playa de Muro. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Iberostar Albufera Playa Hotel Playa De Muro
- Iberostar Playa De Muro
- Iberostar Hotel Albufera Playa
- IBEROSTAR Albufera Playa Playa De Muro, Majorca