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“Almost Four Stars (3 1/2) For A Four Star Rated Hotel”

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Cabogata Mar Garden Hotel Club & Spa
Ranked #4 of 4 Hotels in El Toyo
Reviewed 8 September 2013

I've given it three stars because I can't do three and a half, and it is not quite a four.
An excellent hotel. Clean, efficient, super friendly. Front staff all speak excellent English and even when we tried out our Spanish they replied in English - possibly something to do with our Spanish! The rooms were very clean and well appointed. Efficient air conditioning. A litre of bottled water came with the daily room service. Clean towels. Spotless bathroom with endless supply of toiletries. NB No tea or coffee making facilities, so take your own kettle, mugs and tea bags, if you have room in your suitcase. The food was great - not sure where the adverse comments from other TripAdvisor reviews come from. Breakfast, lunch and dinner were all buffets, with an enormous supply and variety of cold meats, cheeses, salads, cold fish, sea foods. Likewise an excellent and varied supply of hot foods, meats and vegetables. Desserts to suit all and bottomless supplies of ice cream. Copious amounts of fresh fruit available in enormous piles and similarly vast amounts of bread of all types. NB butter is only served with breakfast! Be aware that the Spanish tend to eat much later than the Brits, so the last half of the sittings for all three meals became incredibly crowded, with pandemonium ensuing from the large number of children (see comments below on children too). For a quite meal eat at the beginning of the sittings. The Snack bars opened at lunch and tea time too, so it was impossible to be hungry. The all-inclusive bars had a good variety and quality of drinks. The only beer I saw available was San Miguel. More bar staff would have reduced the long queues for drinks. That said they were queues, not a free for all, with everyone waiting their turn, so we must be grateful for the politeness of the Spanish.The pools provided more than enough sun beds and parasols, and as with the rooms, and all public areas, they were kept spotlessly clean. We saw the public lavatories being cleaned continually and they were still servicing them at eleven at night. The facilities and rooms were first class. My wife and I both had full body massage in the Spa whist we were there. It was first class and very well done, and at €38 for 50 minutes very good value.
There were just a couple or three flies in the ointment -
The Spanish approach to children being the first. The hotel was at about 80% capacity whilst we were there, about 700 all together (the vast majority being Spanish), of which I would estimate 400 were children, average age 7 to 9. During the day the children enjoyed themselves around the pools, laughing, shrieking and running around. To be expected, and not a problem. The entertainment available for them was excellent, again around the pool areas. The problem was that the entertainment for the children continued until ten thirty in the evening (far too late) and by this time it was on the staging used for the adult entertainment, consequently the adult entertainment didn't start until around ten forty five in the evening and of course the hordes of children were still around too, with no sign of them going to bed.
There were safes in the rooms but only available at some €13 per week. They should have been free.
WiFi was available free of charge. Accessible in the public areas of reception and the indoor bar, however the speed was not good. I checked the download speed a few times and only managed a meagre 1mbps download speed once. Obviously the more people on line the slower it became.
All told a good, clean, friendly hotel supplying excellent food and drinks, but just a little let down by the late night childrens' entertainment.

Room Tip: Rooms overlooking the pools can be noisy. Eat early to avoid very noisy and busy dinning room. Be pr...
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  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled with friends
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4  Thank Les B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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58 - 64 of 755 reviews

Reviewed 17 July 2013

Well where do I start! A couple of week before my boyfriend and I were due to go away for 11 nights I had a sneaky look at previous reviews of this hotel and I have to say reading them instantly (without sounding too dramatic) broke my heart. We had been so excited about our first holiday away together and to read such negative feedback about the hotel and the surrounding area was so disheartening. We'd been looking forward to our break away for months! Worried, we went into our local Thomas cook and told them that ALL of the reviews we had read were negative and whether it was too late to change hotels or anything just to avoid disappointment upon arrival. We were told our only other available option would have been to stay in the next resort along Retamar, which we were told was awful to put it bluntly. So.. We had no choice but to board that plane and experience cabogata garden hotel for ourselves (feeling less that optimistic).

Once we arrived first initial impressions of the general hotel were 'WOW, this is actually really nice'! And honestly the building and the decor was beautiful! Marble floors and the place was absolutely spotless! The standards continued in the bedroom (once we eventually got in there after being told our room wasn't going to be ready for an hour which was the last thing we wanted to hear after travelling all day! Then.. Back at reception after waits an hour for our key we were told it STILL wasn't ready and we had to wait ANOTHER hour which quite frankly was taking the biscuit. My boyfriend complained and eventually after a long fight they transferred us to another room - why the hell they didn't just do that to start with I don't know!) the bedroom (family room) between the two of us was luxury! We had twin beds which was the only issue but the room was absolutely huge which made up for it, also a sofa, tv, bath/shower and a HUGE balcony so we were in our element! We had met another couple and their room did have a double bed but their room was tiny so I'm not sure whether that is a compromise or what but sleeping in separate beds is definitely worth it if that is the case; the beds are easily pushed together anyway :)

Another issue we had was trying to contact the UK. NO ONE, I repeat NO ONE in that hotel knew how to use the pay phones located on the ground floor, it was actually ridiculous - not the rep 'Marcia' or any of the reception staff (we even asked the restaurant staff, the ones that spoke good English yet they still hadn't a clue) it was sooooo frustrating! You don't expect it to be so difficult to use a bleedin phone! At reception they told us to use the phone in our room with the 0+00+44 followed by the area code (minus the zero) followed by the number we wanted to call but yet again luck was not on our side we had countless problems with the phones, nothing worked and they even 'apparently' sent up a technician to take a look but nothing changed. Even the public phones wouldn't just simply take euros, they needed a card which we had no idea where to get one from and surprise surprise neither did any of the hotel staff, again including the rep. Eventually some people we got talking to lent us their phone which was lovely of them and i was extremely grateful for that! So Note to anyone going: TAKE YOUR MOBILES!

Now... Onto the area that had the most complaints the lovely food. Mmm mmm scrummy! No seriously it wasn't 'scrummy' at all, far from but unlike the majority of people have described it as, it was edible. I think we had gone expecting the absolute worst because some of the reviews were very critical of the food and over dramatic, so I suppose in a way that helped and nothing seemed as bad as people has made out but don't get me wrong it still wasn't good and definitely wasn't four star cuisine.

Chips were raw and soggy

ALL of the rice dishes tasted like plastic bags (no joke)

Meat was often pink +/ fatty

Desserts were rainbow coloured to make it look appealing to guests but all tasted the same (one night there was a plate of sugar puffs with chocolate dribbled over the top, I was like 'seriously'?

Baguettes often stale BUT you will get the odd time and its absolutely divine - fresh, warm and crispy (this soon wears off after its served for breakfast, lunch and dinner)

Lemon meringue pie was nice but I was only fortunate enough to have this one night as some greedy guest decided to take full advantage of the all inclusive to a new level - he took the WHOLE pie to his table, ate one slice and walked off, I was like 'reallllllly?' (So upsetting)

The kiwis were good as a refreshing snack and bananas good for filling you up after a rubbish meal!

We spent a lot of money on snacks in the supermarket which is about a 15 min walk from the hotel, (which we discovered ourselves, no one said anything to us)!

Also a lovely restaurant we discovered was (something like) LA MARACOMA in the tourist plaza mar area just down the road. It sold HOT food (not like the Luke warm of the hotel) hot dogs, burgers and the best carbonara we'd ever tasted! - we wish we'd discovered it sooner! If you're going all inclusive and fancy a decent dinner or lunch this is definitely the place! It's cheap too 4.50 euros for a burger and chips. Many of the eating places were a little hesitant of the English and one place even refused to seat us for dinner but you'll have no problem here the staff are lovely and welcoming! Highly recommend it! - all hope is not lost!

The beach... Yes it was gritty and yes the sea was very stoney but nothing some water shoes won't solve! Seriously they were life savers! Once we had these we were quite happy poncing about on the beach. Taking advantage of the free sun beds and umbrellas we had the whole beach to ourselves pretty much because everyone before even trying it had turned their noses up so really it was a result for us! Be warned there are lots of sea urchins about so I'd either get some water shoes or not bother to be honest!

The surrounding area was deaddddd, literally nothing around although we were quite happy of an evening going for a nose about, they has little market stall nights and we hired some go karts and a tandem and pedalled about the promenade which was nice. El toyo is beautiful at night and so quiet (out of the hotel) I'd recommend watching the sunset on the beach! It was gorgeous! And passed some time - time that we didn't have to spend watching the all Spanish entertainment.

The entertainment in more depth was ugh, awful. I'm not really a fan of all these screaming kids and stuff anyway so my opinion might be a but biased but it was so loud and the children's entertainment didn't start until 9.30! I thought that was ridiculous! The main entertainment didn't finish until 12 and it was all rubbish if I'm honest.

Grease
The Lion king
Some rubbish game nights

I think that's about it really, we tried to avoid it as much as we could!

The all inclusive drinks were definitely value for money but so so strong! Good variety!

Oh! Also if you want to get out for a day! The trip worth doing is 'mini Hollywood' the zoo. The daytime trip. We went and it was so picturesque the views were stunning and again it was dead! So quiet, it was like the coach we went on, we were the only lot van there, it was lovely! Obviously if you're funny about zoos and don't like the idea of caged animals you won't like it but for 50 euros each it was a good day out!

Overall it really wasn't as bad as people made out, yes we had had enough after a week but we managed to keep ourselves busy and we didn't get bored. There are more areas we would have like to discover, like the nature reserve - hire bikes and have a lo around there because apparently there's some lovely sandy coves but unfortunately we didn't get item to do that!

The area is beautiful, desolate and is the perfect location to unwind and relax, away from everything but if you're looking for a lively nightlife, you're in the wrong place as the club there doesn't get going until 2am!

Room Tip: Facing the pool, top floor, end nearest the beach (furthest away from rowdy entertainment with a gor...
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  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled as a couple
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8  Thank Charlotte B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 June 2013

Stayed for three days as a break away from all the stress of hassle - only to be confronted with it when we booked into our room. To be fair the staff were excellant and really could not do enough. The rooms were ideal (provided you were at the front or side of the hotel) and even better if you can get the top floor. The meals were dreadfull - cold soggy and very often picked up by the previous guest and put back again!! The breakfasts were very good but mainly because i usually only have coffee and toast. Whilist we were there we were 'entertained' by a load of what i can only describe as University football holligans (male and female although at times difficult to distinguish between the two) Their manners (I know an old fashioned word) was awful and if they could dribble a football as well as their food then i suggest the best team would be from Portugal. The staff took no action regarding dress (ie shorts and vests for meals - sweaty) and took no notice of my complaints other than a shrug of the shoulders. I live in Spain and am well aware of the standards of Spanish hotels and after ten years i must say this is the worst i have been in. The room was very good, lots of space and once the air con was sorted out we had very comfortable nights - but not before midnight due to the rowdiness of others!!! We were able to use the fridge free of charge and bottles of water were freely supplied. Plenty of entertainment for the little ones but did go on very late. Pools very good but the beach was lousy with grit rather than sand and very stony in places. All in all a bad trip for us hence this review but others may well find it a good hotel. Good luck !!!

  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Alan J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 June 2013

When we arrived at hotel we were greeted politely although a little hesitantly in what needed to be filled in, parking of car etc. The hotel itself was excellent - we had a room in Block 1 overlooking the car-park but away from the noise of the disco, pools etc and we could just see the sea. The room was large and comfortable, (could have slept a family of 5 easily) the bathroom was also large with good fittings. All seemed ideal and then we went to the restaurant, the room itself was OK, but the food was terrible. My husband and I live in Spain so are used to eating 'spanish' but the choice was very limited, the only decent meals I had were the breakfasts as the bread was fresh, so I could make Toast with tomato and slices of cheese. My husband who believes that what he has on his plate he should eat, amazed both me and himself by having to leave meat and so called vegetables because they were over-cooked, soggy and just not edible.
The pools were beautiful and there were plenty of chairs and shade positioned round them. Unfortunately when we were staying at the hotel there were a great many young football players from all over Europe who were representing their Universities in a football competition, day by day they got noisier and noisier and their behaviour had much to be desired.
One other gripe was although wifi was available it was very intermittent and only available in the reception area.
On the bright side, we had no trouble getting drinks in the large bar, in fact one night we were the only people in there and the inclusive choice of drinks, was generous and good quality.

  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Terry J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 October 2012

The hotel was fine with good facilities and nice and clean. However on our first night there was a wedding reception that went on till 5am. Totally ignorant of other hotel guests. Also every night they had an outdoor disco in the middle of the hotel that went on till midnight. Hard disco music all in spanish night after night. None of the staff spoke English but they where friendly enough. Also we went all inclusive but at times of the day we couldn't get a coffee or tea. On the plus side near to Almeria airport and lovely clean walking areas near the beach. Take your earplugs, the nightly disco is relentless. Also the matresses in the rooms where cheap and uncomfortable. Only 2 English news channels in the room all other channels in Spanish.

Room Tip: Ask for a room away from the pool area. It's noisy overlooking the pool. It's probably quite...
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  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank gary a
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 July 2012

Good welcoming when we arrived by the receptionist SANDRA, lovely smile and helpfull with all we asked.

Very sympathetic and nice restaurant employees like JUANANJO, and the Chief JOSE MARIA, and all the others too (sorry if I can´t write all the names) but with much work to do all the time, they never could chat a little or be even more friendly with costumers.
Please Mrs. Director of the Hotel Cabogatamar, you should have some more employees like those in you staff. Most of the days the swimmig pool tables were filthy, because the person in the pool bar could not do better, busy most of the time (only two arms...two legs...and a lot to do!).

Good suite with sea views and spacious bathroom. The cleaning ladies were friendly and did a nice job.

We were in all inclusive regime, and it worked alright. With well cooked dishes (Mediteranean food wich is a plus), variety and branded drinks.

The SPA was relly disapointing an bad experience. We booked two massages two days in advance, and in the hours that the MINICLUB was open (we even confirmed with the MINICLUB staff so that the children were safe with them, when we were on the massagel). In the day and hour booked, me and my wife arrived in the SPA to relaxe in the massage. The lady in there said then that the massagists changed trhe hous and will give as the massage beggining in one more hour and separatly... so that was not good service because we were not warned and it was simple and easy to do, just a call to hour room.... when we said that was not ok for us, because the MINICLUB would have closed in the hours that they changed, the lady in the SPA suggested that the children coud be in the swimming pool all by themselves and that was not OK for any reasonable parents.

The MINICLUB satff were a must. JAVI, IOLI and CARMEN have always a smile and could really cheer up the kids. And that´s the happiness that families and children expect of this kind of hotels.

Good parking with plenty of sapce without extra payment.

Thanks a lot to all personal for this week and hope to come back again next year. We loved Almeria town too that is not far and cosmopolitan so you can shop arround.

  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled with family
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8  Thank migu_nu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 September 2011

We booked this holiday just a few days before we travelled through fleetwood travel and were glad to find it given it was last week of august and week before bank holiday weekend. Given we were travelling with two children (11,13) we wanted somewhere where there would be plenty for them to do, wherewe could be guaranteed of good weather and all inclusive so that we didn't have the hassle of eating out and dealing with their sometimes picky eating - we weren't disappointed.

On arrival the transfer to the hotel is just 20 short minutes, we booked a private transfer which was well worth the money as we din't have to pick up at any other hotels.

The hotel is mainly occupied by spanish residents and most entertainment is in spanish however when the annimation team knew we were english they made a big effort to ensure they did everything in both languages. We didn't mind there not being a lot of english speakers around.

The rooms were spacious, cleaned rigourously by an army of cleaners each day and all had big balconys. Ours was at the side of the hotel which we were pleased about as we could see the view and couldn't hear the annimation from our room in the evenings.

Everyday there were plenty of sunbeds right throughout the day - no getting up at 6am to bagsie one, brilliant!

The pebble beach is just 100 yrds from the back of the hotel although we spents most of our time around the two large pool areas.

There were plenty of activities around the pool each day for adults and children each day. The evening annimation was different each night from Kareoke (all in spanish so tis was pretty hard going) to a full production of the lion king which the girls were thrilled by.

Just left of the back of the hotel is a small complex of bars, ice cream parlours (the owner of the main one is a HUGE Beatles fan and if he knows you are from the UK will want to talk to you for ages) and small restaurants. we were all inclusive but went for tapas and cocktails one evening which was very reasonably priced

Bus to Almeria is right outside hotel and costs just 1E per person and takes about 25 mins. Worth a trip if you want to have a nosy round or visit the historic castle.

Only down side for me was the food was VERY repetative, typical all inclusive fare. Great for the girls as never any problem with finding them something they would like but I was glad to get home for some variety. Other than that a great holiday!

Room Tip: We were glad to have a room at the side of the hotel which got the sun in the late afternoon and ove...
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  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with family
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4  Thank Skenners
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Cabogata Mar Garden Hotel Club & Spa

Address: Calle Juegos de Languedoc Rosellon s/n | Retamar, 04131 El Toyo, Spain
Region: Spain > Andalucia > Province of Almeria > El Toyo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 4 Hotels in El Toyo
Price Range: £47 - £179 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Cabogata Mar Garden Hotel Club & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 270
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Cabogata Mar Garden Hotel Club And Spa
Cabogata Mar Garden Hotel Club El Toyo
Cabogata Mar Garden Almería
Cabogata Mar Garden Hotel Club & Spa El Toyo, Almeria, Spain

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