We chose the H10 Vintage Salou for a week's holiday from 16th May for various reasons; the Location, near the Town centre and Beach, the Price, late deal and from the many good "Tripadvisor" Reviews. However, first impressions tend to set personal expectations and unfortunately ours did not meet with approval. However, to the review and to set out some recommendations for improvement.
After an early morning flight from Glasgow, a very busy Arrivals at Reus and a fairly short bus trip to H10 Vintage in Salou, we were left to find our cases after a thoughtless driver had packed them in the wrong order of hotel stop, which almost led to the loss of a cabin bag. Not a good start.
Next on entering the Hotel, a queue had formed across most of the main public area. Only two staff were on duty to check in quite a number of guests, one being the Duty Manager, who should make up his mind whether he is doing "Check-In" or being a Manager answering Mobile phone and presumably resolving problems.
First recommendation; it is not too difficult to know when guests will arrive from the hotel guest list and to estimate at what time they will arrive as it is usually by bus about an hour after flight arrival. So, check flight times and have enough check-in staff on duty to handle the guest numbers. This led to the next not so good point. With an advertised check-in time of 14.00 Hrs, the "Manager" was at pains to ensure that nobody got their room before this. So another queue at 14.00 to register for room keys and various sundries like Safe Key and Pool Towels. Check-out time is certainly 12.00, but in most cases the people checking out have their bus back to airport arranged for around 08.00 to 08.45, surely some rooms could be readied and so avoid second queues.
And to the room. We were allocated a fifth floor room (540) at the side of the hotel, overlooking a play ground. Fairly small in area, with barely enough space to pass the bottom of the bed to reach the Balcony window. On checking the bed, which was not fully made up, there was dirty marks on the bed sheet along with other marks that looked like blood that hadn't washed out. Reported this to Reception not once, not twice but it took three times plus a report to Paul, Thomas Cook's Rep, and the threat to throw the sheet into the corridor, before it was replaced. The bed side light was not working and again despite reports to reception, it was still not repaired by the time we left. Just adequate space for hanging clothes, which unfortunately by the end of the week had a rather damp, musty smell. The beds were on the firm to hard side and dependent on one's requirements, did affect sleep quality. In the bathroom, the shower head looked like something from "Poundland" and needed replacing. The toiletries and bath/hand towels were, however, replaced daily and the room area was maintained and cleaned daily by the maid. Despite being advertised as having British TV Channels, the ONLY English language Channels were "News Channels" and though not the most important aspect of a holiday, it is nice to have something to watch whilst changing for the evening ! First impressions- not what was expected.
Next first impressions were of the Dining Room. The lay out of the tables was on two levels and on the better weather days and nights had some on an outside patio and around the Buffet serving area. There was also a separate cooking point for Eggs/ Pancakes at Breakfast and for Roasts at Dinner.
At the beginning of the week the Staff seemed to be few and had difficulty in maintaining available tables at busy times whilst the Maitre flapped about.
The choice of food was very limited and very repetitive and empty trays were slow to be replaced. Some of the trays were very warm whilst others, even straight from the kitchen, were tepid, to say the least. The Sweet/Dessert area was also very repetitive in choices of cake, ice cream or fruit and on two occasions a "Chocolate Fountain".
Recommendation for Dining is to mix the various menus to allow a choice of meats, fish or vegetarian; more staff to ensure quick turn round for incoming diners; Kitchen staff to be aware of trays needing replacing and not to be "surly" and "Tut" when asked for tray to be replaced.
The Bar, between the Dining Room and the main entertainment area, also served the Pool during the day and appeared to be the only area that was over staffed, even though it was never exceptionally busy. Waiting Staff toured the Pool during the day and took orders, which were delivered fairly quickly. Can't comment on the service after dinner as we knew of other places in town. Prices, though, were comparable with other hotels and bars and served adequate measures.
Outside, there are two pools. A small kids' pool, with water feature, and the main circular pool, that allowed some swimming but was mainly used for "cooling off" as facial expression on those using it confirmed. The sunbeds were placed around the pool and in a small plaza outside the bar door. There were tables and chairs also around this area. There was no British/German? syndrome of "reserving" sunbeds, though there were certain areas that got more sunshine than others and these were first to be taken by the "early" breakfasters ? There was also seating for watchful parents around the kids' pool, which in itself was next to the Kids' "Daisy Club" and from where the "Daisy"character appeared. The pool area, for us, was the best part of the hotel.
The day time entertainment was rather sporadic but was of the usual aspects of holiday hotels of darts, bowls, TT etc, whilst there was the "Kids' Club" hosted by "Daisy" (see photo).
Cannot comment on the evening shows as we were out, but from other guests, they seemed to be of a good standard, especially the "Lennon/McCartney" tribute act.
The Hotel was "Refurbished" during the winter and the public area certainly looked to have been updated and had comfortable seating and sofas, with a lot of artifacts placed around the room. From comment at start of review, when refurbishment was done, the surely the Reception Desk could have been extended to allow for more staff to use especially at busy times, i.e. check-in/out. The Bar area, also, looked to have been renewed and had an area of strange seats at high tables. The rooms don't appear to have been renewed as yet and for the one we had certain updates are required.
As a last comment, the long corridors from the two lifts to the rooms was the noisiest I have walked along, with even soft soled shoes "clattering" on the hard wood flooring, so what a noise from leather soled or high heel shoes.
Weather wise, we had a couple of overcast days, but mainly warm sunshine during the day but getting cooler at night.
As said, this review was based mainly on "first impressions" and may have caused a certain amount of bias, but taking everything into consideration, we enjoyed the day time round the pool in the sunshine and at night went out to our Quiz and Bingo pub at the Black Bull Pub.
Would we return; "Yes" to Salou but "No" to H10 Vintage.
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- Also Known As:
- h10 Europa Park Salou
- h10 Europa Park Hotel Salou
- Europa Park Salou
- H10 Vintage Salou Costa Dorada