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“Good location; best hotel on the park but things have changed!”

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PortAventura Hotel Gold River
Ranked #19 of 93 Hotels in Salou
Oxfordshire
Level 5 Contributor
51 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Good location; best hotel on the park but things have changed!”
Reviewed 9 August 2013

Stayed at Gold River 2nd to 9th August 2013, (Family 43, 45, 19 & 14). We have stayed at the El Passo 7 years ago and the Port Aventura 4 years ago so this seemed a logical choice this time. In our opinion, this is the best hotel on the park and best located; don't be put off by the slightly boyish theme of the wild west as it works really well. The hotel is a couple of years old and feels modern; Wifi only available in the main reception building which is a bit of a let down in this day and age.
We travelled with Thomas Cook arriving for check in at 8-30 am; after a long(ish) wait we were told the rooms won't be available until 3pm - the reps response was 'it's in the small print!' not very helpfull Thomas Cook!
The room was good and furnished along with the theme; nice kitchenette and fridge which was very useful. Clean towels every day for the bathroom and a set of towels for the pool to last a week. English people are generally in the minority to Spanish, Russian and some French; hotel staff speak variable English but try some Spanish and they'll apperciate it in my experience.
Food caters for all at each meal time and you'll find something you should like every day; after seven days you get a bit tired of it however.
In the past access to the excellent and exclusive beach club as well as one entry to the water park at peak season was included - not any more! A barometer of the Spanish economy or profiteering by the park - either way, both are harsh cuts. Each now cost 20 Euro per adult per day and child age stops at 10 - very mean.
Typical for theme parks are the prices of food and drink - astranomical! Magnum ice creams, Fanta and coke run in at double UK prices; burgers and hot dogs are similarly priced. Best one is the price of water, around 3 Euro for a litre of just under 2 for half litre. Take a short trip to an off site supermarket (either in Salou of in the nearby 'Decathlon' buliding 15 mins walk) where 5 litres can be bought for 1 Euro - keep in the room fridge and decant into smaller bottles daily! Get some snacks while you're at it and save a small fortune; a family of four will need 60 Euro per day just to eat and drink modestly without alcohol - you have been warned!
The hotel were running an opinion poll while we stayed, one alarming question asked was 'how important is included access to the theme park in the pirce of your holiday?' Port Aventura...if you cut this out there's no point in your hotels.
The park and shows have changed little over the years but do provide a great opportunity to fill time and salami slice days between the pool and park to break up the days and nights. Make time for the firework display at 11-15pm but get there early to get a good spot. New rides added each time we've been, this time 'Shambala' roller coaster - good fun. Waiting times can be very long at peak times (we saw over 2 hrs); various fast passes are available at extra cost. Be warned the ride supervisors are strict about height limits - we saw some families waiting hours only to see a child refused to ride for being an inch short!
Overall, a week here works well for families and folks who like parks; avoid Salou town as it's a dump but a trip to Cambrilles for the Wednesday morning market for a bargain is worthwhile.

Room Tip: Main building for WiFi if that matters or one of the blocks adjacent to the main building for quicke...
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
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2 Thank 40somethingboy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 151 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 August 2013

Just returned from a 4 night break. The family (3 adults and 4 kids ranging 13 to 4) stayed in two family rooms which were in the main building (city hall). This was not our first time in Portaventura but was our first time staying on site.

What's great: The quality of the hotel and surrounding area is very high. The theme is well done - not tacky and you genuinely feel you are in the scene of a Western! For the size of it I expected to see a lot more people but the pools were quiet and only breakfast was busy - as a result the hotel had a laid back feel. Room was clean and reasonably sized and great that they provide pool towels in your room for use during the stay. We ate breakfast only and the food and variety was very good with plenty of fresh fruit as well as the usual cooked, continental and cereal options. Churros and pancakes were a nice treat! The side access to the park is very quick and really makes you feel you're getting ahead of the crowds!

What's not so great: Check in is slow despite the queue being short and there being plenty of staff. Our only real gripe though was the arrangements for the waterpark. Firstly you have to pay though there is a 30% discount, but you must use the tickets whilst you are a guest - i.e. you cannot come back at a later date (we were heading to another resort and the children didn't want to forego a day at the theme park for a day at the waterpark - and neither did we as we had effectively paid for the theme park in the cost of the stay already!) Why not let guests have the discount and return at a later date to use the tickets - seems greedy to us.

Be aware of: We couldn't find any English channels on the TV (not that we were in the room much!) The rides all open at various times - some 2 hours after the park has opened at 10, so although you get into the park quickly, you don't really gain an advantage queueing for those rides - which all seem to be at the back of the park where hotel guests have quicker access. The restaurants in the park close at 4 and re open around 8pm - so you need to plan ahead on eating times (we were caught out on the first night with 4 hungry children in tow!)

Nice touches: Being able to pay in the theme park with your room card is very very handy!

Overall: Excellent hotel in its own right but as our kids said 'amazing to have a theme park in your back garden too!'

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
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4 Thank bristol062011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
LONDON
Level 4 Contributor
36 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 August 2013

Just home from a fabulous week in Lucy's Mansion at Hotel Gold River, Port Adventura, Salou. What a great hotel - lovely English speaking staff, separate check in, delicious buffet breakfast with hot items such as bacon, sausage and eggs or pancakes cooked fresh to order - delicious.
The rooms are absolutely spotless - we first stayed at this hotel 4 years ago and the rooms still look brand new, lovely amenity pack in the bathrooms which include everything you could possibly need and a really cute kids amenity pack which is just delightful. Swimming pool is crystal clear and not at all busy, got sunbeds, umbrellas and tables every day with absolutely no problem. direct access to Port Adventura which is a fantastic theme park, we went into the park every single day of our holiday. Staying at Lucy's Mansion entitled us to fastpass wristbands which meant no queuing for us at all. The visitors to the hotel are mainly Spanish but that doesn't bother us - when you stay at Alton Towers Hotel the guests are predominantly English!! Go Go GO !!! and definitely pay the extra to stay in Lucy's Mansion if you can it is well worth it :)

Room Tip: Lucy's Mansion is mind blowing - everything is so well themed you really do feel like you are in...
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank TRACYBABY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
Reviewed 1 August 2013

Just come back from a weeks stay at Gold River.Stayed in City Hall 2 adults and 1 child aged 7.We really enjoyed our stay here,half board included breakfast and dinner.For breakfast they give you a card with a certain time you need to be there but for dinner it was more open 7-1030pm which is a good time.Plenty of food choices including English,food for kids hot dogs etc and plent for adults.My only gripe would be that you get a drink e.g orange juice included in breakfast but not at evening meal.There didn't appear to be many English families there mostly Spanish or eastern Europeans.

The park itself is fantastic but be prepared for lots of walking.Rollercoasters were excellent as where water rides which is a welcome relief in the hot weather.Kids rides were also plentiful,if you get to see any shows throughout day be sure to see Wild West Show there really is something for everyone.Ride queues vary from 5 min to 1.30 on some rides but as park is open until midnight you can go back to hotel for a bit and go back to park around 9pm when if it isn't a themed night you can go on most rides within 30 mins.

Would I return? Probably but in around 5 years time and although very pleased with our hotel choice we might stay in one of the others next time.Going to try Florida next

  • Stayed July 2013
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Izzybizz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
UK
Level 5 Contributor
71 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 89 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 July 2013

We stayed here in May 2013.

The Hotel was really nice, really good for kids of any age and adults alike.

The Rooms are pretty basic but they are nice. They are furnished with an old western theme. We did have to change rooms twice, the first smelt badly of cigarettes and the 2nd had some sewage issue, they were quick to change us over though with no fuss.

It is really busy with coach loads of kids at half term, this did ruin the restaurant, we tried to go at different times but could never get a quiet time and the kids were like ants.. grabbing, pushing etc any food insite.

we ended up coming home two days early as we got bored due to the weather being poor, not that this was the hotels fault but they might have put some additional enternatinment on to keep people occupied.

We would return but probably for a few days rather than a full week, and would recommend to others.

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Victoria-Twirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ardee, Louth, Ireland
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 July 2013

upon arriving check in took to long and staff seemed uninterested and not very helpful. the hotel is very clean as you would expect from a new hotel, breakfast and evening meals were poor and not much to choose from, no entertainment in the evenings and no holiday atmosphere at all, as with the park there seems to be a lot of cost cutting going on. we stayed with our 2 boys (11 and13) and would not recommend it to a family, value for money very poor, we stayed in june 2013 and will not return to it again, there are better hotels with night time entertainment for a lot less money out there, the park is no longer universal Europe and does not seem to have the same feel to it, over all it was over priced and disappointing.

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank zachjosh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PA_PortAventura, PortAventura at PortAventura Hotel Gold River, responded to this review, 2 August 2013
We have noted your comments and shall act accordingly to improve our service.

Regards, PortAventura.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Johannesburg
Level 4 Contributor
17 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 July 2013

Two families of five (ages of children ranged between 10 and 17) stayed at the Hotel Gold River for two nights from 28 June. The hotel has some excellent, average and poor features, so it comes out as average overall. I'll highlight a few of these attributes below:

Excellent:
- Location: It was a very short walk to the entrance of the Port Aventura Park. This was particularly useful when the adults and younger kids returned to the hotel, knowing that it was only a short walk back for the older kids. It was a short taxi ride to the beaches of Salou - that said, the Hotel PortAventura much closer to Salou.
- Express Pass: Our hotel package included an EXPRESS PREMIUM GOLD bracelet that allowed us unlimited access to 8 of the 10 main attractions with minimal queuing (i.e. between 0 and 5 minutes), plus one single access to the front row of the three main roller coasters. This cost us only EUR44 per person for three days - i.e. less than EUR15 per person per day. Given that the queues of the main attractions ranged between 20 minutes and 1hr 20 minutes when we were at the park, the express pass was a mammoth benefit.

Average/Good:
- The hotel layout and cleanliness were acceptable.
- The rooms were OK, but a bit tired.
- The staff were friendly and helpful.
- The breakfasts were average.
- The pool area was good.

Poor:
- The restaurant was like a boarding school canteen in both feel and and quality of food and yet the meals were very expensive. We paid EUR25 per person (kids too) for a dinner consisting of a low quality buffet that excluded drinks. My tip is to rather order a few sandwiches/tramezzinis from the area outside the bar - they were tasty and cost EUR5 each. Note that the food quality in the park is even worse than the hotel, so there is no respite there.
- There were often long queues at reception.
- The hotel was very expensive.

I thought that the nearby two of Salou was very pleasant. It might be better to stay at Salou if one could still purchase the Express pass for a reasonable price.

Stayed June 2013, travelled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank AustinJohannesburg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about PortAventura Hotel Gold River

Property: PortAventura Hotel Gold River
Address: Avenida Alcalde Pere Molas s/n | PortAventura Resort, 43840 Salou, Spain
Region: Spain > Catalonia > Province of Tarragona > Costa Dorada > Salou
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#13 Luxury Hotel in Salou
#14 Family Hotel in Salou
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:4 star — PortAventura Hotel Gold River 4*
Number of rooms: 549
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Just an hour from Barcelona, with direct access to the Far West area in PortAventura, this hotel is the perfect destination for family holidays. It recreates a Far West town in the grip of gold fever, where water is the protagonist with immense swimming pools simulating the twists and turns of a river. Journey back more than 200 years and visit Sullivan, the most flourishing city in the Far West, and enter 1803 when Lucy Callaghan found the gold nugget next to the Gold River. Designed to amaze visitors and provide them with a totally new experience, the exclusive facilities of Hotel Gold River combine history with cutting-edge technology, all aimed at maximum comfort for our guests. With unlimited admission to the park throughout the entire stay! The rooms, divided over different buildings, form a reconstruction of the most important parts of the town: Main Street with wooden bungalows on the outskirts, the main hotel The City Hall, abandoned railway wagons and Lucy's Mansion, a 5***** hotel inside Hotel Gold River itself. In 2015 the 20th anniversary of the opening of doors PortAventura is met and to celebrate in style with family, friends or partner, we expect you to live unforgettable moments. This year PortAventura presents the new how will offer its Soleil Cirque in the Resort, Amaluna. Furthermore, in 2016 Ferrari Land will open in Europe PortAventura resot to offer a real race track, the highest and most rapid vertical accelerator in Europe and the first luxury hotel themed for the first time in the history of the Ferrari brand, including other surprises. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Gold River Hotel
PortAventura Hotel Gold River Salou, Costa Dorada

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