Got back on Saturday 6th August 2011 and had a good time. We chose it because it was close to a beach and walking distance to a local town. Here's my thoughts on my two weeks with family.
Very nice with large dining room, lounge, clean modern toilets and poolside bar with plenty of seats for the evening. Does need more sunbeds unless you get up early! Good staff (with all speaking English who I came across). Yes lots of German guests the first week (90%) and many more Italians, French etc the second week. So what though? - we weren't really there to have conversations with people and mix (not because we're rude but there was 6 of us and kept ourselves to ourselves). I wouldn't want to go somewhere full of Brits either but I suppose more Italian guests would be expected.
We had a family sea view that had a front door leading to two separate rooms. Both spacious and well thought out. The kids room had no lock on the bathroom door and a very small, safe balcony - nice. Ours had a bigger balcony with great view across the beach/sea. Each room had a fridge and a safe (2 or 3 Euros per day). Bed was firm which suited me. Staff were great at cleaning the rooms and very efficient. If you can get a Deluxe sea view - big terrace with your own hut tub, loungers - go for it.
Bit small compared to many hotels found in Spain, Tenerife etc but ok for me. I've been to Sorrento and pool was smaller there. I suppose for the amount of guests it could do with being a touch bigger. Cleaned everyday with lifeguard at most times. Be aware that you can't leave towels on a sunbed and go to breakfast - the lifeguard whips them off as you can't 'reserve' them. No one told us but you soon realise. Best way is one of you to stay with the beds whilst others go to breakfast as the sunbeds do run out. Wasn't busy by the pool until 8.30am onwards so have breakfast early if you want to go together and still secure beds. If you've seen older aerial pics then the swimming pool has been updated - see my pic.
Short life ride down to the beach with shingle type sand - fine shingle so ok but not soft, fine sand. The beach by the sea has a few stones along the shore but once past this (about a metre) you'll be swimming in clear, warm water. However there were several days the water was a bit choppy and wasn't clear. The water dips into the sea quite steep so think again if you have young children you want running in and out! Also has lifeguard and amazing pizza restaurant including in the inclusive price - see my food section.
They have 2 computer terminals that you can use for free plus free wifi that reaches the poolside - great for iphones, ipads etc.
In the rooms they have flat screen tv's with about 12 channels. Only English channels were CNN and BBC World - both news and bit boring but to be honest I don’t go on holiday to watch TV. All other channels were German, French, Italian.
Food & Restaurants
Breakfast - great buffet with cereals, pastries, donuts, jams etc. There were fresh bread, rolls, toasting machine along with a hot buffet of scrambled eggs, bacon (not the same as uk but nice), fried eggs, pancakes and the traditional cold buffet of salami, cheeses etc.
Lunch had a great selection of salads with more than you could ever want. All the food seemed local, simple veg found across Italy. GO TO the PIZZA place by the beach - salad/buffet bar but there is a traditional wood burning clay oven with pizzas made to order. Only takes 5 mins with a choice of about 6 pizzas - excellent.
Dinner - we were there for 2 weeks and the first week was a bit hectic. During the first week the mostly German guests did want to get into the restaurant bang on 7pm. Whilst the second week dinner only got busier about 8pm as there were more guests from Italy, France etc where they tend to eat later. At first glance the food goes but the staff do come out and replenish. It's all buffet style but I found it good - not 5 star/top London restaurants, but good fresh local food. The hot counter had baked fish, a roast meat dish plus other hot stuff. The pasta counter was excellent usually serving three or four types of pasta. They also have a BBQ outside cooking meat (veal quite a lot, chicken) plus fish (local fish, squid, prawns). Lunch and dinner does offer an amazing choice of salads/cold meats, fish. Few examples would be roasted red onions, peppers, tomatoes cooked with garlic and breadcrumbs, slices of marinated octopus, courgettes, rolled ham with cheeses. Ice cream not included by the bar but is if served at dinner (3 or 4 times). Not relaxed waiter service meals found in many hotels but good food nonetheless.
All inclusive did give you a decent choice. The draft beers were Nastro Azzura (Italian), Helles and Weisbeer (both German). Red and White wines were both good. Spirits were included but they weren't the strongest or well known brands although I did like the Limoncello. Bar staff were good and all could speak English but I got the impression they appreciated you trying Italian - fair enough.
You can walk 5 mins and find a supermarket, chemist and café/ice cream bar - but this isn't the main town. Opposite hotel is a pizza restaurant, tobacco shop. The town is about 15/20mins walk to the heart of the centre (i timed it!). Not all paved but more or less everybody walks in road and drivers expect it! A cab cost 10 Euros into town (would be a fiver in UK). Drinks in town are about 2-3 Euros for a small beer, 4-5 for a large so quite expensive like much of Italy. If you're inclusive not a worry. Found a good couple of restaurants (De Cece and La Lamia) in town. Also La Pergola very good just 5-10mins walk from hotel. Town is a great place full of side streets and alleyways with good views across the local church and sea. Lots of cafes, bars, restaurants with locals coming out late, 9-10pm onwards, similar to Spain but quite a contrast to the hotel guests!
Looked good with plenty of activities but our two never wanted go. They did all sorts and had English speakers. A swimming pool and sunshine is enough for ours!
Wasn't really expecting any to be honest but fair play to the staff. There were things each night ranging from comedy show in the outdoor theatre (no language barriers for the acts) to a German pub quiz! They did put on a good show by the swimming pool one night. Some entertainers better than others but if you want that sort of thing then maybe stick to cruises or Butlins. Someone has mentioned pool activities - I only saw aqua gym twice and water polo once each day - only takes 20 mins each so an hour out from each day is not too bad and you can still use the pool. The entertainment staff 3 times a day gave it large to the Euro hit (or miss) of Choco Latte. Not sure why as not many joined in and thought that sort of thing best left to the Brits in Majorca or 18-30s resorts. Not too annoying though and I suppose a bit of theme song for them.
Look at the inclusive price from the operator then work the cost out by breaking it down. If you pay between £1500-£2500 per person for two weeks during August then say…... £250 for the flight, £80 per person per room per night, £10 breakfast, say lunch £15 per day, evening meals £25 per day (cheap for hotels and for the quality) then all that works out at £2070. THEN the drinks. Italy is expensive like much of Europe and hotels even more so but if you look at 3Euros a beer you have maybe 3 at lunchtime, 7 in the evening (halves remember) then £30 per day is over £400s worth of drink, not fogetting any teas, coffees, hot chocolates, sprites, lemonades, bottles of water we had. I would say it might seem pricey but does work out and to be honest we would have a total bill much higher if drinks weren't included.
Who should/shouldn't go
Good for families with young children, family groups, older couples who might want to take in some local culture. Wouldn't recommend for young couples, same sex groups, party animals.
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