We stayed at the hotel from July 27th - August 3rd and had a fantastic family holiday. We arrived around 6pm and check-in was empty so we were all sorted within 5 minutes. We used Resort Hoppa for our transfer and they were waiting for us on arrival, and picked us up bang on time at the end of the holiday.
The hotel has two beautiful pools, and most rooms look out onto one of the pools. There is also a large paddling pool type pool at the far end near the children's club. Our favourite pool was the one with the sandy beach, and it was always possible to find free sun loungers. The hotel also has a little football pitch, a play area, a volley ball area, pool tables, air hockey and Xbox stations, so plenty for the kids to do.
We had a standard room in the Aribe block. Our block was only 2 stories high, and we were on the top floor, so noise wasn't an issue at all. The room was perfectly adequate for our needs, it was clean, the air-con was effective, the decor all in good condition and a lovely view of the pool from the balcony. We only had one child on the sofa bed, but I think if you were travelling with two older children you would be better off having four proper beds rather than squeezing both on the sofa. There was a fridge in the room, but ours was pretty ineffective apart from keeping the drinks vaguely cool! The bathroom had a bath towel and hand towel for every occupant which were changed daily, as were the sheets on the bed (which invariably get sand in them!). There was also shower gel and shampoo provided in a dispenser by the shower. The shower itself was great! The rooms had very effective blackout curtains, so the early morning sun didn't wake us up at all.
You have to choose a breakfast slot for each day of your stay at check in and we chose the 10-10.15am for most days. On the days I needed an earlier breakfast, guest services on the check-in desk simply swapped my tickets over without any problem. That said, I saw people at 10.15 handing in a 9.45am ticket, so I really don't think they are that fussed about it within reason.
If you are half-board you can either eat in the Caribe buffet any time between 7.30-10.30pm without having to do anything. If you want to eat anywhere else (any of the other hotels on site, or the other restaurants in Caribe) you have to go to guest services before 6pm and they will issue you with a ticket. We ate at the Portaventura buffet a couple of nights, because you aren't limited to a specific time, and can just pop in whenever it fits in with your park visit.
We found the buffet food at the Caribe to be excellent with a very wide choice each night. There were always a good selection of hot dishes plus a range of meats, salads, breads, cheeses and desserts. There is a little freezer that children can help themselves to ice lollies/mini pots of ice-creams. (adults too of course!). Apart from water, drinks are not included in the half board price. A glass of wine cost €2.50. The range of food was the same at the Portaventura Buffet, but the service wasn't as good - always a queue to get in and a wait until drinks arrived.
If you eat at table service restaurants, you get a voucher equivalent to €22 per adult and €11 per child to use against the bill. I ate in the pizza restaurant at Caribe, and after starters, main course, drinks for the kids and wine, only had to contribute €1.50. The restaurant was quite though because most people go to the buffet, and didn't have a lot of atmosphere, so we only did this once, but the food was good.
The portaventura snack bars all sell the same range - mainly hot dogs (€4.95+) burgers, pizza slices and toasted cheese sandwiches. There are also fruit stalls, yogurt stalls and of course ice-creams. Being half-board, we found that we didn't need much in the day anyway.
There is a water/juice machine at breakfast, and also tea, coffee and hot chocolate all included. I took water bottles down to breakfast & filled them up with cold water each day to give us a head start on the drinks bill! In the park a bottle of pop costs €2.70 and a small bottle of water is €2. There are water fountains dotted around the park as well. I took a few of the little Robinsons squash concentrates with me and made water into Ribena very easily!
If you don't like queues you have two choices - either buy a fast track pass (buy from the hotel to avoid the queue at the park) or go in the evenings when the queues drop down to 10, 20 or 30 minutes (compared to a 3 hour queue that we once saw in the day, though to be fair, the average queue seemed to be 1.5 hours) Make sure you go to some of the shows which are excellent, especially Bang Bang West. It takes a while to get your bearings in the park, but there is a great app that can be downloaded that has an interactive map showing you where you are!
We used the free land train to get up to the park. It is walkable, but you do so much walking when you are actually there, we saved our feet. They do sometimes check your hotel passes though, especially coming back at the busier times in the evening, and I saw them frequently ask people who didn't have a pass to get off the train. The train drops you off just outside the main entrance, and this is also where you pick up the tourist train to Salou. There are 4 different routes, but they all go down to the beach at some point, and they all drop off at Portaventura, so you can't really go wrong. There are a few cashpoints in the park and one in the drop off area before you enter.
Guests staying at the Portaventura hotels get 30% off the water park admission price, so for three adults (a child over 10 is an adult) it cost €58 for one day. It was great fun with lots to do. You can rent a locker and we found sunbeds towards the back of the park easily even though it was a busy day.
I found a week more than enough to do the theme park, the water park and a beach trip to Salou. All in all a fantastic holiday at a beautiful hotel.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Just an hour from Barcelona, come to an oasis of peace where you do not have to lift a finger for yourself, providing you with the opportunity to recover some of the adrenaline expended in PortAventura Park. Enjoy the serenity, white sands and freshwater of one of Europe's largest man-made beaches, surrounded by palms and exotic gardens that will transport you to a faraway tropical island. Become acquainted with this magnificent 4-star resort, a perfect combination of fun, sun, beach and tranquillity at the heart of the Costa Dorada. Complete the experience with an ample choice of gastronomic delights, unlimited access to the PortAventura theme park with admission included throughout your stay, and an extensive programme of sporting activities with special offers and rates available at associated golf courses. Visit the Wellness Centre & Spa, where you will be looked after and spoiled, making your holiday the ideal opportunity to restore energy and vitality. So what are you waiting for? Grab your sun lounger and dedicate your holidays to peaceful relaxation and enjoyment. Let yourself drift away and take it easy, with direct access to one of the best theme parks in Europe. 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:
- Hotel Caribe Resort
- Caribe Hotel Salou
- Hotel Caribe Salou
- PortAventura Hotel Caribe Salou, Costa Dorada