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“Lower middleclass hotel for lower middleclass British”

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Zafiro Rey don Jaime
Ranked #4 of 36 Hotels in Santa Ponsa
Certificate of Excellence
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Lower middleclass hotel for lower middleclass British”
Reviewed 26 August 2014

This hotel will upgrade itself into 4-star next year even though the lever is hardly 3-stars now.

The hotel itself has great opportunities, but management has failed to take advantage of them. Instead, they jeopardize even the three-star level.

Their biggest challenges are: level of service and rooms, quality of food and unprofessional reception staff.

For example, all inclusive does NOT include bottled water. So if you have rented a kettle (12 eur/week) you have to go to the pool-side bar and fill it there (if there is any water left in the container).

When I questioned this Jose in the reception answered (in his own words) that bottled water is a luxury that you have to pay for. I tried to reason him that water actually is a necessity. He disagreed but because of his poor English skills it was quite difficult to understand what was his objection to this argument. In the end I felt like trying to discuss with a donkey and gave up.

This water episode seems quite silly now, but when you add it up to all the other minor shortcomings you'll have quite a pile.

No beach-towels (not even for rent)
Expensive WiFi
Tasteless, always lukewarm or cold food.
Leftovers from breakfast are served (recycled) at lunch. For example scrambled eggs (in the morning) -> scrambled eggs with mushrooms (for lunch)
Clientele (British blue collar workers with their undisciplined offspring... you get the picture)
Very small room (but clean)
Very crowded pool side where sun loungers are crammed side by side touching each other
You have to pay for a fridge and deposit box!
Paper thin walls (consider yourself lucky if you happen to have quiet neighbors)
Very old and squeaking mattress/bed
Continuous noise from the corridors

This hotel needs more fundamental changes to obtain the fourth star than simply new headboards to beds and other minor improvements in rooms.

All in all I don't recommend this hotel to anyone else than British who enjoy their own kind and are more accustomed to fish and chips than any culinary delicacies. They willingly pay extra for services that are normally free of charge and enjoy "entertainment" (bingo, karaoke) every night. Simply, this hotel is suitable for tourists who don't know any better.

If you still think that you want to spend your precious holiday in this dump, a word of caution:

Be aware that room door doesn't always go into the lock. Check it every time when leaving the room.

Finally, I wonder, for how long are they expecting the terrace pool to stay at roof before crashing down. Maybe a room not directly under it is well worth considering in the future.

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Susanna627
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Viva h, Gerente at Zafiro Rey don Jaime, responded to this review, 2 September 2014
Dear customer,

We regret not having met your expectations during your stay in our hotel.
Please be assured that we always take the positive comments into consideration and they will help us to improve our services.

We are very proud of our staff, not only for their professionalism but also for kindness towards our clients, is one of the most important goals for us, maybe that´s why we have many customers who visit our hotel year after year and is for us a honor to retain customers regardless of nationality, all are always welcome to our home.

Kind regards
Mónica Sánchez
Hotel Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2,062 reviews from our community

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1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 August 2014

We had a fantastic family holiday. 11 nights all inclusive and we couldn't fault a thing. Excellent transfer 20 mins no problems at all. Hotel very very clean and impressive, staff very very friendly and efficient in all areas. They work very hard and always have a smile and speak politely to their guests. Food was amazing, Head Chef couldn't do enough he liked to make sure everyone had enough to eat especially from the carvery (home made yorkshire puds every night!). Food was excellent spoilt for choice. The only annoying thing was a French couple who abused the hotel rules and stole LARGE amounts of food at breakfast time (not fair for us British who paid up front for all inclusive - maybe the hotel should ban large bags going into the dining area). There was a daytime BBQ with Champagne Sangria one day and always plenty of food to snack on during the day. We were glad we were all inclusive as family of four (2 teenagers). The entertainment was excellent - the staff speak several languages and do very well we found them very approachable and friendly and saw the funny side when they did struggle with the languages - they have a hard job encouraging people to join in and should be praised. (If you go out of the hotel you would not find better family entertainment). Beatles tribute was the best we have ever seen. There was Rod Stewart, Tina Turner, Spanish Dancers, Magicians, Parrotts - something for everyone. Can't understand why people complain a holiday it also what you make of it and we had a fantastic time. Reps always around, friendly, helpful and approachable. We have been to Santa Ponsa many times it is a lovely family resort beach and shops only a couple of minutes walk from hotel and suitable for young children. We would definitely keep going back to this hotel and resort. Tip find out for yourselves and don't listen to the people who moan if they don't want to go back, this hotel is better off without them being there.

Room Tip: Pool view, good view with sun and corner suites have large L shaped balcony.
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  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank D W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oswestry , England
Level Contributor
17 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 August 2014

We have just returned from a week's stay in this hotel.
I wasn't sure what to expect after reading mixed reviews on here, but we found it to be fine.
The food was was nice with the biggest choice I have experienced so far, including proper english breakfasts.
The rooms were clean and tidy, as was the whole hotel. I found all of the "Viva" hotel staff efficient and friendly. The Thompson's rep's were also very professional and better than some that I have encountered in the past.
The evening entertainment was quite a bit limited although the unintentionally comic `spanish bingo caller was a welcome distraction!
The pool was nice if a little crowded, but the beach was only 2 minutes walk and was lovely.

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank TheOGradys
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Burton upon Trent, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
33 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 August 2014

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! :-)

Room Tip: Quiet Rooms are roadside, but you obviously won't have much of a view.
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  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank PerfumePrincess
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Essex, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
20 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 August 2014

The Rey Don Jaime was an excellent hotel. The transfer from the airport took about 40 minutes although we dropped off 3 or 4 groups before we got to our hotel. The staff are so friendly and helpful, the hotel is very very clean and the food is the best I have eaten on an all inclusive holiday. REAL BACON! lol The room we had was not exactly large but was big enough for the two of us, although there could have been more wardrobe space. There are not too many rooms overlooking the pool as it is at the end of the hotel rather than one side or the other. The beach is a 2 minute walk up the road. There are plenty of bars and shops very close to the hotel with plenty sports bars for the footie. The only thing that was not 100% was the entertainment although we had three good nights in there over the week. One was with a magician who was very good and the other two were a Tina Turner impersonator but the best night we had was with a group called La Bitles who were probably the best Beatles tribute band I have ever seen. Other nights at the hotel were having your photo done with a group of parrots??? and a miss viva competition which was not the greatest beauty contest, and bingo every night for about half an hour. We would definitely go back again as they are refurbishing it next year with bigger and better rooms. The hotel is billed as a 3 star but we thought it should of had a 4 star rating, thats how good we thought it was. So if you like clean rooms good food and being very close to the beach then this is the hotel for you. By the way, it was a little noisy in the middle of the night due to people checking in at all times but you cant legislate for people who dont care about others trying to sleep when they first get to the hotel. Overall it is a great hotel and we would definitely go back.

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank raynkerry p
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
england
Level Contributor
26 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 August 2014

This was a return visit to the hotel as we were so impressed last year with the entertainment team.
However this year the entertainment was rubbish. The three staff were very inexperienced to the point I doubt they had ever done the job before, and one who was Spanish called the bingo even though he was difficult to understand. There seemed no enthusiasm or wish to get guests involved, unlike last year when about 200 people were doing party dances in the pool.
The Don Jaime hopes to become a 4 star next year but they really will have to sort out the entertainment if they are going to achieve this. My advice therefore would be to not take the all inclusive package but instead go out and find your entertainment and buy you own drinks.
To be fair the location is good , the food is adequate if a bit repetitive , and the rooms are comfortable. Sunbeds are a problem unless you get up at 6.30 to put down a towel although the lifeguard did take off some towels which had been there unused.
We still had a good time but wouldn't go back as we like to be entertained if we are all inclusive

Room Tip: Go for a higher room at the back of the hotel if you like to go to bed early so you are not disturbe...
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  • Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank GrahamEssex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
edinburgh
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 August 2014

stayed here august 2014, 1 week all inclusive. Hotel and staff fantastic. Rooms although dated, were spotless. Staff couldn't be anymore helpful, thompsons reps fantastic,Kat , Aiden,David and Leigh.Wouldn't hesitate to return to this outstanding hotel. Hygiene couldn't be faulted. On site entertainment good, great salsa bar nearbye, well worth a visit.

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank kathyburg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Zafiro Rey don Jaime

Property: Zafiro Rey don Jaime
Address: Gran Via Del Puig Major, 4, 07180 Santa Ponsa, Calvia, Majorca, Spain (Formerly Viva Rey Don Jaime & Spa)
Phone Number:
Region: Spain > Balearic Islands > Majorca > Calvia > Santa Ponsa
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Spa Hotel in Santa Ponsa
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Santa Ponsa
#3 Luxury Hotel in Santa Ponsa
#4 Family Hotel in Santa Ponsa
#5 Romantic Hotel in Santa Ponsa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Zafiro Rey don Jaime 4*
Number of rooms: 419
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
Zafiro Rey Don Jaime Santa Ponsa, Majorca

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