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Reviewed 9 July 2014

HOTEL AND ROOM
On arrival at the hotel, we were amazed the building and decor is lovely the photos do not do it justice. We somehow managed to by pass the queue of people waiting to check in and we were told our room number which was easily found, whilst the porters delivered our luggage. Our room was better than we had expected (we booked a limited sea view room) the bath is very big with separate shower, both plenty big enough for two people. The rooms are cleaned to a high standard, which is really nice. However, our room faced the main club ocean area, where they play dance/chill out music at night. It was finished by around 11pm every night though so we didn't grumble too much.
TIP: Do not be fooled by the green choice system as it is not that clear, as we thought the discount came off all charges to the room (including massages) this is not the case. It can only be spent on food and drink, we came to settle our bill at 9am on our last day as we were leaving at 10:10, to find out we had 60 euro to spend before we left (we couldn't spend it on anything as nothing we could pay for was open!) and the sensatori staff were not that helpful either. This was a shame as we felt this situation had dampened the experience for us, and left us feeling a little conned on our last few hours of holiday.

DISCOVER COURSES
We wanted to book the discover sushi course, and asked a really helpful lady on the sensatori desk as they are all English. She was very helpful, and these courses can only be booked the day before. We also tried wine tasting. The courses are very sociable and interesting.

RESTAURANTS
The restaurant booking system is not as terrible as previous reviews seem to make out. A member of the sensatori staff initially showed us how to work the booking system, and she recommended a BBQ at Ocean grill which is only on a Friday night, we chose this and duo tapas and wine bar for Saturday night. The BBQ was lovely and we were seated with views over the infinity pool. The waiters were very attentive and kept topping up my wine without being asked. We would recommend the BBQ as it is really nice. We managed to try out every restaurant, apart from la terrace which serves French cuisine and is situated near the red level section. The Nami and Market Grill were probably our favourite restaurants, there is a lot of hype about the Italian which is nice, but not amazing. The Nami is great if you love sushi, but my boyfriend, who doesn't like sushi, also found a dish he really enjoyed. And the market grill does the best Caesar salad!

After speaking briefly to other guests, we believe we had the best package in terms of value for money (full board plus). The all inclusive is still limited on what drinks you can have, and there doesn't seem to be a package where everything can be already paid for.
TIP: we found eating outside in Pangea is where you receive the most attentive service, as there are specific waiters for the area which is quite small. When eating inside the waiters have to cover a larger area so they are not as quick to serve individuals.
Also we decided to Drink at Pangea after paid meals as this is free.

EXCURSIONS
During our trip, as a young couple we wanted to go to the main attractions on the island. Loro parque was really good, and we would definitely recommend the dolphin and orca whale show. We also did Siam park, which was really fun and we went on all the rides.
TIP: if you have a twin ticket for these attractions the small ticket you receive after the first park is essential to enter the 2nd park! Also get to Siam early and you can avoid all the long queues for all the rides. (It opens at 10am)

SERVICE
We enjoyed fantastic service from a waiter called Jorge, he served us numerous times at Pangea and when we ate in the Duo restaurant, we gave him considerable tips, as he really made us feel special. All the waiters are very attentive, and although on the full board plus package, which advertises one drink per meal, this was not the case for us and our drinks were frequently refilled, including 4 glasses of wine in one night and lunch! Thank you Jorge. Some reviews say the measurements are small, but the glasses are large, and they do get topped up often.
We were sensatori guests, and at no point did we feel like second class citizens, as some reviews have mentioned. We feel we were treated very well, yet we did stand out as we were probably the youngest couple there. The sensatori staff are attentive, apart from one man who seems to be all helpful and smiley, yet we were met with little help and he seemed very fake (We were not the only guests who thought this). There is a lovely older Scottish lady, who seems like the sensatori manager and she is fantastic, along with the sensatori girls.

OVERALL
As a young couple, we did not really want to be near children. And when we booked the holiday, the travel agent told us the hotel was marketed through Thomson as 'adult only' with kids areas that are secluded. Unfortunately, this does not mean adult only areas for pool areas, restaurants and accommodation as we were next to a baby that we could hear crying through some nights and other children during some meals. So be very prepared for kids with inconsiderate parents. On both the outbound, return flights and transfer we were surrounded by children, even though we booked our holiday for before school holidays. (I am currently writing this review while being kicked in the back by a toddler whose parents seem incapable of saying no, this seems common for parents on holiday). Also, although there is a children's pool, parents seem to want to convene around the shared infinity pool which is too deep for young children(1.5m). We had no problem with this, until I witnessed a grandmother violently shaking her grandchild to tears and creating bedlam whilst we were trying to relax and enjoy our holiday. We have had a few niggly problems, and the worst thing is they were only small and really should not have occurred, which is a shame. But as a first holiday together we have learnt a lot and the hotel really is fabulous and highly recommended.

Room Tip: We requested a room on a higher floor based on other reviews we had read on trip advisor. The hotel really is beautiful.
  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank Tiny_Tourist101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pablo Q, Red Glove Service Manager at Gran Melia Palacio de Isora Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 14 July 2014

Dear Mr. Lockeyy2014

Thank you for choosing Gran Meliá Palacio de Isora to spend your last holiday in Tenerife and for deciding to share your impressions on TripAdvisor.

Firstly, regarding our Green Choice initiative, we would like to remind you that, as it is written on all the Green Choice information available in your room, this credit can be just used for bars, restaurants, water rituals at YHI Spa and Balibeds, and specifically not applicable for massages at our YHI Spa. We are sorry if this misunderstanding besmirched somehow your experience.

Also, we would like to inform you that in Gran Meliá Palacio de Isora we do not commercialize any All Inclusive package, although it is possible to book a Full Board +, as you did, and then upgrade to a Silver or Gold Drinks package, which include several drinks (depending on the package, the included drinks may change) served in our bars and restaurants.

Finally, we would like to inform you that there are adult only pool areas, such as the Adults Pool and a section of our Infinity Pool. However, if you are interested in enjoying a complete adults only experience, we would like to recommend you our Red Level boutique hotel inside the resort, which has its own private pool, check in area, bars, restaurant and rooms.

We hope to welcome you soon to our resort.
Best regards,

Pablo Querol
Red Glove Service Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 July 2014

The Gran Melia Palacio De Isora is a resort hotel situated in a quiet Canarian village. The hotel design is stunning with contemporary furniture and a relaxed atmosphere. The gardens and pool areas are beautiful and well maintained. Staff are friendly and professional and I was surprised at other reviews saying otherwise. The hotel is in the quiet village of Alcala which has an authentic Spanish feel, not full of tourists, so you can eat at restaurants with the locals in a relaxed atmosphere at low prices. Our favourites were Sauco on the promenade overlooking the sea and Toni's in the village centre.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank RichardBU4191FD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pablo Q, Red Glove Service Manager at Gran Melia Palacio de Isora Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 11 July 2014

Dear Mr. RichardBU4191FD,

We would like to start by thanking you for the nice review you shared on TripAdvisor about Gran Meliá Palacio de Isora, and for the time you have spent to write it.

We are delighted to know that you had a lovely holiday with us and that you enjoyed our facilities and service, as we strive every day for our guests to enjoy the highest standards of quality. Furthermore, we are glad to know that you have enjoyed our beautiful surroundings and the unique charm of Alcalá town.

We are looking forward to welcoming you soon to our resort.
Best regards,

Pablo Querol
Red Glove Service Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 July 2014

Having just returned from a week at this hotel I can only say that it is the best holiday we have ever had.

We booked a package through Thompson (Sensatori) and the experience at the Gran Melia exceeded our expectations.

The hotel is absolutely stunning. Amazing architecture with great attention to detail. Our room on the top floor had partial sea view (as requested). It was of a very generous size, spotlessly clean and even had a little fridge to keep our drinks cool. Bedding of a very hight quality (I loved the pillows and duvets, so snuggly), air con was spot on, kettle and a good selection of tea and coffee (although no bottled water, which would have been nice). The fittings in the bathroom were all good quality. The toiletries were also very nice.

It seems that the Sensatori rooms are a little bit further away from all the restaurants and pool areas but this did not bother us at all but for someone with mobility problems is something to be aware of.

Breakfast at the buffet restaurant was delicious. Even at peak times, it never felt busy or rushed. There was something for everyone. Healthy options, sweet and savoury.

The offerings at lunch time were also very good. It was mostly the same throughout the week, but with so many different dishes to choose from, we never got bored. As part of our full board plus package, we also had the option to have lunch at the Oasis Pool Grille. We ordered the vegetarian paella, which was absolutely delicious.

We had no problems booking a table at the restaurant we wanted for dinner (but then again we were always up early and went down to the machine around 7.30 am every morning). All three of the restaurants included in our package (Market Grill, Oasis and Club Ocean) were great. But our favourite restaurant by far was the Oasis Pool Grille. The staff and food there were top class.

The pool area was always immaculate. There were plenty of sun loungers. The infinity pool was simply out of this world. We went down to the beach a couple of times for a quick dip in the sea. It is only a few minutes walk from the hotel. Between the beach and the hotel, there is a lovely promenade, which is great for a brisk walk or run.

We also made use of the sports facilities. There is a good gym with 24 hour access and plenty of exercise classes on offer. The fitness instructors are all very enthusiastic and helpful.

I would definitely recommend this hotel. I was a bit apprehensive after having read some of the negative reviews about Sensatori guests being treated like second class citizens and the food not being very good. I can honestly say that this was not the case for us. The staff were absolutely lovely. Always greeting you as you passed them and being very attentive. We found the food to be of a very hight quality - especially the Oasis Pool Grille, which I would definitely recommend to all seafood lovers.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Natalie K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pablo Q, Red Glove Service Manager at Gran Melia Palacio de Isora Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 11 July 2014

Dear Mr. linksys77,

Thank you for the time you have taken to let us know your comments regarding your last stay at Gran Meliá Palacio de Isora through TripAdvisor.

It is truly a pleasure to read your compliments on our facilities, gastronomic offer, specially our Oasis Pool Grille, and rooms, although we would like to remind you that the allocation of your room depends on the type of room you have booked, and Sensatori rooms are situated in various areas and floors of the resort, therefore their position is as good as the rest of the rooms we have in the whole resort.

We appreciate each of your comments, as we think that just through listening carefully to accomplish our proposal to the service excellence.

We remain at your complete disposal.
Kind regards,

Pablo Querol
Red Glove Service Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 July 2014 via mobile

To everyone out there basing wether to go to this hotel or not on these reviews, do not listen to half of them!! I have just returned from a fantastic week staying in the Gran Melia with my 1 year old daughter and my father. We booked through Sensatori Thomsons and despite everyone's negative reviews they couldn't have been more helpful and the holiday was as pleasant as could be.

The decor, location and layout of the hotel are fabulous. It is so grand and beautiful that those reviewing saying it isn't of 5 star standard, are speaking rubbish. This to me is on par with the likes if Dubai standard for 5 star. The staff are fantastic they couldn't help us enough, the room is immaculate and huge, all communal areas are very tidy and the choice of foods is delicious and of very good quality.

The pool areas are kept very clean, and there are plenty beds even at the kids pool! My daughter attended the nursery for a few hours on 3 occasions, once in the evening which we pre booked, and after going down to meet the staff I was more than happy for her to spend time there. She had a ball and the facility is very well equipped & clean with friendly attentive staff and their safety procedures are very adequate.

We ate in Pangea the buffet restaurant every morning and a few evenings. All food was delicious and the choice was great! We also tried the Oasis bar & Grill and had some of the most fresh & delicious flame grilled sea food I have ever had. Staff in all restaurants were so accommodating to my 1 year old and again couldn't have been friendlier and more attentive to us all if they tried.

Great selection of pools for family's, children and adults only. The children's pool filled with a giant pirate ship, lots of toys etc. Is great for all ages and is kept so clean. The only thing I wasn't keen on was the fact the family pool was salt water, neither myself or my daughter enjoyed that.

Every evening the bar at the end of the hotel had different entertainment on outside overlooking the sea, the children could safely run around and enjoy while the adults relaxed and the evening fountain show was a lovely touch too.

All in all this hotel is really fantastic and I would recommend it to anyone, we are already looking to return in December!

Stayed: June 2014
2  Thank PaigeeInnes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pablo Q, Red Glove Service Manager at Gran Melia Palacio de Isora Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 11 July 2014

Dear Mrs. PaigeeInnes,

Firstly we would like to thank you for your preference in selecting our resort for your holiday, as well as for the time you have taken to share your comments with the travelers on TripAdvisor.

We are delighted to know that you have enjoyed a lovely holiday, as it is due to the effort and dedication of our staff, that we are able to achieve our goal – the total satisfaction of our guests. Also, your compliments on our facilities, rooms and service are highly appreciated. Regarding to your comments about our family pool, we would like to inform you that it is not salt water, it is fresh water heated to degrees.

We are looking forward to welcoming you again this December.
Kind regards,

Pablo Querol
Red Glove Service Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 July 2014

We returned from a two week break from Sensatori Tenerife and have to say compared to last year in Sensatori Crete this was a huge disappointment. To summarise just some of our grievances:-

1. On arrival to the hotel which was late we were told where our room was and left to find it for ourselves. Like I said it was late and my wife and I were with our very tired two year old daughter. We eventually managed to find our room through the darkness only to find that the key did not work. I found my way back to reception and got them to activate the key before getting back to my wife and daughter standing outside our room. We then managed to open the door only to find that there was no Cot in the room despite one being booked and promised to us at reception.

2. We booked a garden room mainly so at the end of the day we could relax there before going out to dinner and so our 2 year old could play in the garden. The garden was made up of sharp black gravel which would have been impossible for her to play on as it was hard for even us adults to walk on. Also it was so dark when the sun went down you could not read with the outdoor light on as it was so dim. It was our intention before we went that after putting our daughter to bed, my wife and I would relax on the balcony area before turning in. The area was so small and dark that this was impossible which meant that we were going to sleep a lot earlier than we wanted most nights.

3. We managed to get into the Ocean view restaurant once in two weeks despite it being half empty at the times we wanted to eat. This was by far the best restaurant included in our all inclusive package but we couldn't get in it.

4. The all inclusive drinks during our meals and after were undoubtedly watered down especially the wine.

5. After our meal we would go onto the terrace for a couple of watered down drinks. A lot of the time the waiters would just walk past you and I had to constantly stand in front of them to get them serve us. I had to approach the bar area itself a few times to get their attention.

6. Sun-beds. We were told that these could not be reserved and any towels left out on them before 10 o clock would be removed. They wasn't.

7. Our daughter became very ill out there with tonsillitis. On one day she was too ill to come out the room so I went and had dinner at the Pangia restaurant on my own. Out of courtesy I asked the waitress there if I could take a small amount of food back to my sick little girl back at the room. She was lovely and subsequently asked the head waiter who responded with a resounding No. Any food eaten in the room would have to be ordered by room service. My daughter could hardly eat anything and I only wanted to take her back some bread and a banana perhaps but this was not acceptable according to the head waiter.

8. As a rule I don't watch TV when I'm on holiday but there were a couple of sporting events that I wanted to catch. Unfortunately the TV in the room was rubbish unless I wanted to watch anything in Spanish.

All in all we felt massively let down after paying what we thought was a lot of money for this holiday. Hence to say we won't be going back to this hotel or will be using Thomson again after my comments above to them were met by them with a “Sorry but better luck next time attitude”.

Not impressed

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Simon P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pablo Q, Red Glove Sevice Manager at Gran Melia Palacio de Isora Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 14 July 2014

Dear Mr. Simon P,

Thank you for the time you have spent on sharing your impressions with us through TripAdvisor.
We regret not being able to cover your expectations during your last stay at Tenerife, as all of our team puts all their effort and dedication in pampering our guests so they can enjoy a lovely holiday.

Referring to the situation you mentioned at our Pangea restaurant, we would to inform you that when a guest is ill, we allow his companions to come to the restaurant and select some food for him, which will be taken to the room by our Room Service staff.

We hope that this situation did not besmirched your overall experience and you may rest assured that we will take into consideration each of your comments for future improvements.
Best regards,

Pablo Querol
Red Glove Service Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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