Due to flight delay we had missed the transfer bus from the airport but were met by a taxi and quickly on our way. Our enthusiasm waned as we sped further out of town, and we realised that the Hotel was rather a long way from anywhere! First impression on entering the foyer was a massive 'WOW !' Unfortunately it stopped there- it was 10pm and the hotel seemed deserted! One lady on reception- politely greeted us and we were told that, no, there was no food available, 'dining closed'. The bar is open though, great, but it closes at 11pm, not so great! We were given our room card keys and pointed in the direction of one of many lifts, no offer to assist us, despite being the wrong side of 60. We struggled with our cases and located our room - quickly dumped everything and made a dash for a much needed drink, arrived to find just 4 people in the bar! Hardly what we expected on a Friday night, just 5 days before Christmas! With just 10 minutes to go before 11pm, we were told 'bar closing now' - and the lights were dimmed even as we left. We both agreed that the junior suite was great and well equipped. The beds were huge and very comfortable. The bathroom had twin basins, bath , bidet, loo and big powerful shower. The kitchenette was clean and functional, we only used the fridge for bottled water though, as we were all inclusive and ate in the restruant every day. Maintenance man was very quick to respond to our request of help with the tv remote,it was broken but replaced immediately. NOTE: you need to get the remote control at reception and pay 10 euros returnable deposit. Food seems to be a major source of discussion on other reviews...the main issue was that the meals were often no where near hot; best tip I can offer is to take advantage of the 'live grill' and get a lovely hot omellette made to order for breakfast!
The choices were varied and I cannot believe some of the moans I have read about the food. There was so much to choose- from 'full English' to croissants, pastries to waffles, fresh fruit, yogourt and cereals, great choice of bread and rolls, cold meats and cheese etc etc! My absolute favourite was the salad bar, which often included smoked salmon,asparagus, plus lots, lots more. As it was December we expected some things to be closed, but as it happened, the Polynesia was the only hotel in the group open- the wonderful looking water park with the huge elephants at the waters edge, was closed and padlocked. The Oriental and Polynesian restruants were both closed....the pool, which must be fantastic in the summer, was icy cold and only used by a few hardy souls during the 2 weeks we were there. On the other hand the spa was super! But surely the entertainment would make up for the lack of facilities? Sadly not!
It was laughable, a huge, undecorated congress room with a stage and chairs set out more like a theatre than a pleasant sociable area to sit and enjoy a drink with friends. Bearing in mind that the 'entertainment' mostly consisted of bingo 9pm-10pm and then the 'show', usually the same 3 dancers in different costumes prancing about! Everything finishes at 11pm. One night, the male singer went for a break after just 20 mins on the stage and when he returned the entire audience had left!! . Christmas day was not really celebrated, apart from Carols piped through every orifice right up to Jan 1st. Santa visited with a gift for the children, but a skinny santa without a beard was not very convincing! The Christmas show appeared to consist of the same 3 dancers - dressed in santa suits. I appreciate that 'when in Spain' and all that, but the majorithy of guests were British, many with children and everyone we spoke to agreed it was very disappointing. New Years Eve was ok...started with cocktails around the indoor lake in the foyer-a large influx of Spanish for this event and the whole evening appeared to be 'stepped up' to accomodate the locals. ( although the bar remained open, all inclusive rights stopped at 11pm). Same as every other night. All in all, the entertainment desperately needs improvement, and it wouldn't be difficult, just a few decorations on the totally bare stage, would make a big difference and offer a bit of atmosphere. The 'acts' were almost embarrassing to watch- a lady singer with a beautiful voice walked on to the bare stage, set up her own gear, changing the music between songs herself, very kareoke like, did her bit, packed up and left the stage un aided, then nothing, total silence under bright lights...not even canned music, show over, boom ..everybody out, doors locked!! AND.....no dance floor anywhere, no where to boogie away the 'free drinks' and create any sort of fun atmosphere. All the staff were friendly and helpful, unfortunately badly let down by the hotel management who seemed blissfully unaware of the many shortcomings. Will definetely NOT be returning, and advise anyone who is considering a Christmas in the Polynesia not to bother and certainly not if they expect anything remotely like a British celebration. On the other hand, in full summer season, with everything open, I imagine it to be a wonderful place to holiday in. The saving grace for me was definetely the excursions, (free if all inclusive), and positively 'Wow' decor in the hotel.
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- Also Known As:
- Holiday Polynesia Benalmadena, Costa Del Sol
- Holiday Polynesia Hotel Benalmadena