TRANSFER: 40 mins, making 2 drops first. No rep - had to go to the Thomson desk to find the correct transfer bus.
HOTEL: Quiet area and very large c.471 rooms. I found what people said about the walls to be true - they are paper thin. Could hear the guests next door quite clearly although couldn't make out the conversation (not that I would want to). They were very noisy! It doesn't help when guests run down corridors and bang on doors in the dead of night to get into their room - you can ask for an additional card for the door!! Room was average sized - can fit three beds or 2 beds and cot, obviously dated - again as people have already said. I suspect that Viva hotels have acquired this hotel and it will go through a programme of refurbishment, which the reception has already been through as it is very nice. If you look at the brochure of their hotels which is in your room, you can see that there is a certain 'style' to their hotels.
POOL: lagoon style with infant pool. Again as people have said it is very busy and there's only a small part where the pool is deep so wasn't much good to me as I'm a tall one and as the teenagers were in that part. Apparently when the hotel is refurbished, it will have a roof top pool for adults - happy days! Life-guard doesn't come on duty till 10 am so people still go out and reserve their sunbeds. Someone put their towels out before I arrived around the pool so I suspect about 7ish. They came back at 11.45 to find their towels missing and thought it was "terrible". I don't think so, they had reserved their beds for nearly 6 hours depriving other guests of using those beds. It's only fair! I suspect the life guard had them as they go around looking for unused beds. You are warned (by a notice left on your bed) that if they aren't used within 40 mins then the towels are removed. I think this system works well as you can usually find a sunbed somewhere.
ENTERTAINMENT: hit and miss for me. The tribute acts are quite good - which has already been said on this review site. If your room is stage side don't think about sleeping before 11.30ish. Bingo is 5 Euros a go!! Naturally the prize is in excess of 100 Euros though so you have to judge whether you are going to pay that price. I would prefer a Euro per ticket and then people can choose how many to buy. Viva hotels have an annoying jingle that they religiously play when activities are going on.
FOOD/DRINK - on all inclusive. Queues sometimes at bar but fair play the staff were on top of it and served efficiently so not too much waiting. Snack Bar outside; usual fair of sausages, burgers, chips, sandwiches, ice cream. Can't comment at lunch inside as didn't use it. Evening: lots to choose from and would confirm that it could be a little hotter. Food when left will dry out - this is mass catering!
STAFF: I don't know what people area talking about when they have said on this site that the staff are miserable. Just looked like you and me at work and don't forge that - to them it's work, to us it's holiday and you can't do happy smiley 24/7, it's impossible! They are busy people - hospitality isn't for the faint-hearted - it's hard work!
REPS: I've brought up my family on a diet of Thomson holidays and there's a different approach to their working style now. Airport reps are just that and resort reps stay in the resort. What I saw was reps doing a job that I could do having a nap between jobs and whilst I was doing my ironing - and we are paying for this. Other reps are Viva reps providing the entertainment. What I saw were reps either sitting at a desk, tapping on an ipad, getting a drink - I just think this company has deteriorated. When I mentioned about the high chair situation (I'm now taking grand daughter on a diet of Thomson holidays and she's 1 year old) there was ONE at the snack bar. The answer should have been "Thank you for your feedback, I will make sure that the management knows that one high chair isn't sufficient for the amount of families with infants and we will see if we can improve that". The answer I received was nothing like that so families found themselves feeding their children in their pushchairs. In the dining room there was a shortage of high chairs but fair play to the staff when we asked for one, they found one from somewhere.
ARRIVAL: On arrival at the hotel (turned noon) our room wasn't ready - and it had to happen to the family with the infant!! Again this was reported to the rep but at least he did a bit of an apology. Thomson you have definitely gone down the nick and I wouldn't book another holiday just at the moment with your company - I'd look around as a company I once trusted, that trust has been dented. What do reps do for a living but paper push?! Even the welcome meeting was awful. No effort regarding telling people about the excursions, but just wanted to sell them to you.
EXCURSIONS: if you are going to Palma Aquarium - the Aquarium doesn't charge until children are FOUR. So why do Thomson's charge after TWO? Also take a walk up to the taxi rank, there's a company there where you may get better deals than Thomson. Had my grand daughter been over two years of age I wouldn't have booked that trip with them as I could have acquired it cheaper near the taxi rank (just saying!) Also there's a guy at the bottom of the road near McDonalds who may also be worth a look, but I didn't use it!
BEACHES: lovely with shade but be warned the sunbeds and parasols at 3.50 Euros each!! Take a walk to the small beach up the road (20 min walk) but don't go Sat/Sun as Spanish are there. Lovely little beach with lots of natural shade :-)
KIDS AND THEIR PARENTS: Hotel naturally suffered from parents who didn't control their kids. Kids running around reception on a wet day wasn't good. Eventually when they were playing with the lifts on a different day the receptionists told them off. I'd prefer the parents controlled them. To the two teenage girls who thought it was good fun to run around my suitcase when I'd been on the road since 3.30 am - silly billy, grow up!!
OVERALL: There were a lot of good things about this hotel, but I wouldn't rush back mainly because I found it to be sensory overload it was so loud. I'd choose a room roadside if you want to sleep without entertainment. My grand daughter found it difficult. If they are going to make it a four star then I think they ought to consider the thickness of the walls/fire exits where noise penetrated. If guests are all inclusive then why can't you provide picnic bags for days out? Improve the Thomson reps. Parents to be given advice on arrival e.g. no playing with lifts or running in public areas - it was what broken legs are made out of as the floors can be slippery when wet and there's lots of families with pushchairs and I saw a few wheelchairs too. Parents are in control of their children not the hotel staff! The hotel, in my opinion, have to up their game as it goes beyond a roof top pool and refurbed rooms. I've put the sleep quality as 'terrible' because it is! Also it charges an arm and a leg for kettles and fridges. Don't bother with their inflated prices for keeping your room as apparently they have a courtesy room (50 euros to 6pm and 80 Euros to midnight!!) Wifi is also very expensive - go to McD's down the road where it is free, apparently.
AIRPORT: large with a huge duty free. Again like the hotel, sensory overload! lol
If you do online check in you go and say to the rep there that you have already booked on line and they will show you to the correct desk, according to the resort rep. No sorry Thomson that didn't happen. She was standing at the check in desk with a board in her hand - she didn't meet us off the busses where she should have been in my opinion. We asked at the Thomson desk just inside the door.
If you have baby water in a bottle, we had to have ours tested in an amusing machine that my daughter was fascinated by. If you aren't doing anything wrong, then you don't have anything to worry about.
Sorry this review is a bit disjoined in places lol - need another holiday! :-)
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Within 200 m. from the stunning beach of Santa Ponsa, the Viva Rey don Jaime hotel features a wide range of facilities for children such as games, animation programme, pool, playgroung and much more, which make this exclusive 4-star resort the ideal accommodation for some family holidays in Majorca. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel Rey Don Jaime
- Rey Don Jaime Santa Ponsa
- Viva Rey Don Jaime & Spa Santa Ponsa, Majorca