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“Good wild west theming but several problems”

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PortAventura Hotel Gold River
Ranked #18 of 93 Hotels in Salou
Frankfurt, Germany
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Good wild west theming but several problems”
Reviewed 23 August 2013

I chose this hotel because it has a direct entrance to the park which is indeeed very nice and just around the corner from the hotel. However, there were some problems too: Hotel Gold River is really not recommendable if you arrive by train because the train station is about 5 kilometres away from the hotel and it's pretty much in the middle of nowhere, ie no taxis or anything. So you'll have to call the hotel and they may send a shuttle to pick you up but there's no guarantee for this, it's a completely voluntary service provided by the hotel. Another problem I had was that I had bought some things in the park and I had had them sent to my room. However, the day I was leaving they couldn't find one of the things I had purchased so I had to fill out a form and they promised to send it to my home address as soon they'd find it. Then they drove me to the station. I had to wait about 45 minutes for the train and 5 minutes before the train arrived a staff member came back to the station and brought me the missing things that I had purchased. That was good service but of course it shouldn't happen in the first place that things you buy in the park get lost on their way to the hotel. Breakfast was also a big disappointment as I was given the choice to have breakfast at 8:30 or 10:30 - nothing in between! I could only choose between these two times... not very customer friendly if you ask me! In my holidays I want to have as much freedom as possible and I don't want anybody to dictate me when to have breakfast...

Stayed July 2013, travelled solo
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1 Thank kauai_sunset
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Kent
Level 4 Contributor
20 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 August 2013

Everything is there to make this a great hotel, yet somehow they haven't pulled it off. We stayed 4 nights and it cost about £2000 bed and breakfast, park tickets also included.

We had a standard 6 room as we are a family of 2 adults and 4 children. The room was lovely. The children had a large room that slept 4. A double bed, a sofa bed and a pull out bed. There was a connecting door to our double room. In the large room there was a kitchen with a large fridge, microwave & hob. However, no glasses, cutlery, plates or anything to cook with, not even a tea towel.

The rooms were clean and nicely decorated. We didn't have enough towels or pool towels for our party of 6, so we contacted reception and they assured us they would be up in 5 minutes. They didn't turn up until the next morning. Then on our last full day, and after a hot day in the park, we went back to our room for a quick dip in the pool. All the pool towels had gone. We called again, got told 5 minutes, after several calls we got them over an hour later and it got a bit chilly to be in pool. We then ended up rushing around trying to do the other last minute bits. A real waste of our time.

You have to choose your breakfast slot, we opted for latest 10:15-10:30 as we were hoping to sleep in. This was not to happen. For some unknown reason about 08:30 everyone seems to get up and slam their doors about 20 times. Also kids knocking on doors and running away.

Despite the timeslot, there's still a queue for breakfast, which is standard buffet style with hot and cold food.

We needed to book a transfer to the airport. So we went to guest services and after about a 20 minute wait to see someone we told that they could not do this, we would have to do it, they did give us the number of coach company and we could use their phone! What kind of hotel can't book airport transfers??? So we went back to our room and book a cab online. We couldn't connect to the wifi either as it only works in the main building. Most rooms are not in the main building. The queue for guest services is always really long as is the queue for reception.

Breakfast aside, the food is not great and very expensive. The food in the River Bar is pricey and bland. Ham & cheese toastie is over 5 euros, Chicken strips over 7. We ate in the Grand Opera one evening, that was a mistake. The restaurant was nicely decorated and we thought we were in for a treat, however it was the same bland food they just charged more for it. Two of the children fed up with the burger or chicken strips kids menu, wanted meatballs and spaghetti from the adults menu. They wouldn't do a smaller kids version for them, so we said they could share one. But they wouldn't put it on 2 plates. So they bought it out on 1 plate and gave us an extra 1 and we had to divide it up!!! This dinner cost about 120 euros.

We ate in a far nicer restaurant in the park called raco de mar and it was cheaper.

The main problem with this hotel is you cannot get out without walking through the park. This caused problems for us when we arrived as we had taken the train from Barcelona. After a 10 minute walk dragging cases & 4 kids up to the entrance we found a sign showing the hotels. For gold river it simply had a picture of a person walking with a line through it and a phone number underneath. We asked the man standing outside the El Paso hotel how to get there and he said take the bus from the train station. Back we trotted to the train station and waited 15 minutes for any sign of a bus. Nothing. We started to head back to the El Paso again when a little courtesy bus for gold river turned up in a completely different place to where we had been advised.

On our first night we wanted to go into Salou, which of course means trekking through the park to get there. We had a nice evening in Salou with dinner on the seafront. We decided to buy a big bottle of coke and a carton of apple juice to keep in the fridge in the kitchen in our room. When we tried to get back to the room through the park, they wouldn't let us take the drinks in. We explained that we were going back to our self-catering room in the gold river and that it's the only way back. We were told no. We went to guest services and after a heated discussion and 15 minutes later we were allowed to take the drinks through the park to our room.

The park itself was difficult for us as our youngest 3 children 8,6,4 were two small for the rides, unless accompanied by an adult on a 1-1 ratio. With 2 adults and 3 kids, this made things difficult. This was for small children rides, mini rollercoasters etc. Our 4 year old wasn't even allowed on the rapids, something he could easily do at Thorpe Park. Our 8 year old had to wait for us while we went on the monorail ride and then swap over. She can go on Tower of Terror in Disneyland. They have gone overboard with the height restrictions and are very rigid with it.

You can use your room key to charge things to your room both in the hotel and in the park. But despite having taken card details, you have to go and activate it separately. So off to reception again, and for some odd reason they had re-issue all the cards to do this, even though only one card could be used to charge. Of course we didn't have all the cards with us so another trip back to the room and reception. There's a 500 euro limit on charging to your room. At which point you have to go and pay it off. Our last night we could not charge dinner to our room as it would have taken us over the limit. Also not all the places in the park will take the card as payment. For example photo purchases.

The pools are nice. There are 2 large pools and smaller kids one. There are plenty of sun loungers. There are also lots of showers, which people use constantly and if your lounger is near one prepare to get sprayed. Also no-one comes round to take drinks orders. You have to go to the bar and bring them back on a cardboard tray, it was a few minutes walk up and down steps.

Checkout time is 11am, a lady banged on the door at 10am to see if we were going. We had an envelope slipped under the door with the bill in. There was a covering letter explaining that express checkout was open from 9am-12pm. Off we went to the express checkout at 11am, no-one there. Turns out no-one is ever there. It never opens. The queue for reception at this point was about 45 minutes long. My husband threatening to walk out without paying got us to the front. Utterly ridiculous.

In Summary, we did have a nice trip but it could have been so much better, without a lot of effort. The service needs to be improved drastically and so does the food. But the hotel itself is very nice although pricey.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Kerry1977
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nicosia, Cyprus
Level 5 Contributor
33 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 August 2013

We have stayed there in a family room in August 2013. It's a nice hotel. First experience when arriving at Barcelona airport was the taxi driver trying to overcharge us about 50 euros. The trip to Salou is fixed for around 180 euros and he tried to charge 230. Arriving to the Hotel, you have to carry your luggage around, until your room is ready. At check in, you have to prebook your breakfast time for every day, for your whole stay, in fifteen minute span. For ex., Mond. 09:00-09:15, Tuesd. 09:30-09:45, etc. There is no limit on how much time you spend on your breakfast, as long as you arrive there between these preset times. Guests are mainly from Russia and France, in this order. What surprised us, is that the staff does not speak English, except at the reception. You can imagine, what a frustration this was, trying to order a vegetarian dish at the restaurants. Trying to explain to the waiters that I don't eat meat and them repeating over and over the same stuff in Spanish. Actually they didn't understand a word of what I was saying. So, if you plan to communicate in English, be prepared for that. The same thing applies for the taxi drivers by the way.
The rooms are ok, but the cleaning procedure surely needs some attention from the management. The basin has never been cleaned during an one week stay. The floor was not cleaned every day. One day, they did not put WC paper and we had to call the reception at 23:00 when we returned to the room. Plus point: They brought us immediately.
Another plus point in service. They called from the reception one evening ton ask if everything was ok.
Sound insulation is good in regards of door and window. Between walls it is terrible.
At the restaurants, the waiters lack a basic training as well. They leave the empty dishes on the table until they pile up, they make a table ready next to you, although there are plenty others table done so there is no rush, but they leave all the empty dishes and glasses on your table. One day, at a table next to us, a waiter, as he was collecting dishes, he dropped a piece of melon on the floor. Although he saw it, he didn't picked it up. For about five minutes, himself as well as other waiters, walked over that piece of fruit and they just left it there. When I was at the coffee machine, filling the glasses a waiter reached over, almost pushing me to the side, because he wanted to pick up some glasses. He put his trolley right behind me. When I turned, with filled glasses in my hands, I almost hit the trolley. You get the feeling that the staff is people from the area, employed for the peak season with out any serious training.
They have a badge on them, something with a smiling face. I do not know the meaning of this, but I got the idea that they think that the smile on the badge is enough. They don't smile.
For a dinner for four, four soft drinks, no alcohol, prepare to pay about 100 euros.
At the snack bar, for two Cokes, two sandwiches and two french fries, we have paid 20 euros. Of course the waiter did not bother to tell us when ordering, that french fries, or chips, are actually 2 packages of Lays Chips!!!!

So, if you can skip some details, the hotel is fine. If not, then there is a 50-50 chance something will really upset you.

+)The hotel and all public areas are clean
Nice surroundings
Wild West theme is very well blend in the facilities
Good for families

-)
Non English speaking
Not a four star hotel in regards of service and sleep comfort (noise)
Not very good room cleaning
Not good Air Conditioning, first two nights I was sweating in bed, until they finally did something with it and it was just enough at maximum settings
Overpriced

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank ConEfChriMa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ulm, Germany
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 August 2013

We stayed a few years ago at Hotel El Paso, and have visited PortAventura some other times before, so my expectations were quite high.

However there were some things I found really annoying this time around. First of all, all the rooms are connected to the one next to it (except in one of the buildings, but we couldn't upgrade since they were all taken). So it was really noisy and you have little privacy. The other annoyance was that there's basically no way to exit the hotel premises on foot! (except through the park, when it's open - unless you jump fences or go a long way round, through the highway exit). Also the weather was windy and most rides were not working... so we spent 2 days just waiting in lines, not riding anything while having paid quite a lot for this. One could say this wasn't the park's fault, but it wasn't THAT windy in my opinion and they were being overly cautious.

Other than that, the hotel looks awesome, the pools are great and the breakfast was also good. Could have been much nicer in different circumstances...

Room Tip: Rooms in the main building, as they are not connected to the adjacent room
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  • Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Vlad B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Warwickshire, UK
Level 5 Contributor
52 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 August 2013 via mobile

All was great on day 1, with a friendly greeting and well presented room at Lucy's Mansion at Gold River. But, then it should be with a family room wading in at over £400 a night, right? Admittedly, this rate included breakfast and full park entry, but it was still a premium price, but no complaints on this front. What has really let it down, is the draconian policy to provide and iron in the room, or even an iron to be delivered to the room or an ironing facility at all. This hotel expects guests to rely on the hotel laundry service offering a 24-hour turnaround. For most at this hotel, like us, I am guessing we are all living out of a suitcase and need to iron clothes as needed day in and day out, in quick time. I really had thought that this old practice to coin further revenue from guests had disappeared, but like the Wild West theme of the hotel, it's truly like stepping back in time on a number of fronts!!

  • Stayed August 2013
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Mark C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oxfordshire
Level 5 Contributor
50 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
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
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank 40somethingboy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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Helpful?
4 Thank bristol062011
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:
#12 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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