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“Excellent Hotel even better staff”
Review of IFA Catarina Hotel

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IFA Catarina Hotel
Ranked #28 of 134 Hotels in Playa del Ingles
GreenLeadersGold level
Douglas
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Excellent Hotel even better staff”
Reviewed 9 September 2011

My wife and I travelled in late August to the IFA Catarina along with our 6 year old twins. We had a great holiday and I will try to give our views of the good and bad points as we saw it. Don’t forget, this is a four star hotel. I’ve stayed at some better hotels, but an awful lot of worse ones. If you want 5 stars, you won’t get it at this price however, there is a RIU hotel next door which you can book for about 2-3 times the cost.
Cleanliness / upkeep
The hotel is in a decent state of repair. There are some areas of threadbare carpets in the corridors etc and a few very minor issues with peeling paint in our room, but the maids do a really good job for Lopespan and the rooms and communal areas are immaculately cleaned. Towels are changed regularly, as is the bed linen, all soaps and toilet rolls are replaced efficiently. Getting up early in the morning, its impressive how many staff are tending the gardens and pool areas.
As mentioned before, the mattresses are quite firm, however the settee bed however is well sprung so we demoted the kids to the double bed. Ha Ha.
Facilities
The hotel is set in lovely grounds with a main pool, Jacuzzi pool and small pool although to be honest, they are all part of the same pool (quite well designed). There is a separate child’s pool with water slide about 20 meters from the main area. My only gripe with the main pool is that it is only 1.2-1.4 meters deep. Nice and safe for the kids but too shallow to dive into. The rest of the grounds include a very picturesque pond complete with impressive Coi carp, an aviary with some parakeets, and some quite secluded areas for quiet sunbathing. There is also a kiddie’s playground with soft rubber flooring, a decent gym, tennis courts, shuffleboard areas, and indoor play area.
You pay extra for Wi-Fi access, but honestly, if you just want to check your e-mails / facebook / BBC news once a day, use the internet cafe. (One Euro gets you 20 minutes)
A couple of top tips already mentioned in other reviews:
Leave a Tesco / AA / ID card in the slot by your door to keep the air con running.
The fridge is enclosed in a small cupboard which means it doesn’t work, pull it out about 6 inches to let the air circulate and you’ll have cold water (the fridge holds about 6 bottle btw).
Invest in a ‘double’ travel plug. We could only find 2 sockets in our room.
Location
The Catarina is right next door to the RIU hotel which gives access to the sand dunes through a public access roadway. It took us about 15 minutes to walk across the dunes to the beach, but beware, the first area you come across has acres of naked flesh (it’s a nudist beach). Turn left here and you will soon find yourself in a more typical beach area! Turning left out of the Catarina, the CITA centre is a easy 5 minute walk, and the Yumbo centre about 15 minutes. There are plenty of restaurants and bars in the area, but it’s not as busy as the main area of Playa del Ingles.
Food
It was actually quite good. Attentive staff serving drinks, chefs cooking fresh grilled meats etc, chefs making fresh smoothies, a good selection of salads, cheeses and cold meats. There’s something for everyone really. If you want chips and steak every night, you can. Like most all inclusive holidays, you feel the cuisine becomes a bit ‘samey’ and it gets hard to motivate yourself to eat (especially when hot), but be a bit adventurous and try the continental salads and breads. Lunch can be taken in the same restaurant, but a lot of people ate at the poolside (chicken nuggets, hotdogs, and very nice sandwiches) with cake and ice cream from the ‘slushy’ bar after 3pm. Waitress service at the poolside tables is good in proper glasses and plastic if you are taking drinks back to your sun bed. I must admit, I like a nice drop of wine but the house wine was nothing of the sort. The beer was very drinkable, but as I don’t drink a lot of beer, I spent the fortnight demoted to spirits (it’s a hard life) and the wife was quite happy with whatever (hic).

Entertainment
The animation team done their very best keeping the little kids and big kids entertained.(Thanks to Monica, Monica, Noami, Jeffrey and Inca) Throughout the day there were opportunities to compete against other holidaymakers in various (non-energetic) games such as shuffleboard and darts, or aqua-aerobics and dancing for the ladies. Many people chose not to, and the staff were by no means pushy. Kids club was enjoyed by my two, and it’s amazing how relaxing those two hours were for us each day. The animation for the children after dinner was pretty much the same every night, but the kids seemed to enjoy it, (they like routine I reckon).
We were a little disappointed with the evening entertainment, a couple of the nights were OK, but some (bloke on a keyboard, bloke on a computer playing songs from an I-Tunes list, bloke singing) were a little lacking in imagination. Ah well, early nights beckoned on occasion.
Germans
Yes! There were lots of Germans at the hotel. And quite a few of them are on our Christmas card list now (or Facebook friends). Honestly, just play a game or two with them, start smiling in the morning, say ‘Hallo’ and pretty soon you’ll discover they’re just the same as us. We had a great time with our German friends and the war wasn’t mentioned once. Guten Tag to Frank, Sasha, Messi, Thomas, Rudiger, Stephan et al.
Staff
They say that any organisation’s greatest asset is its staff. Well the Catarina has some great assets. From the very friendly general manager, the various middle managers down to the restaurant and bar staff and housekeepers. I got the impression of a whole group of people happy in their jobs who wanted to make your holiday experience a happy one. I’m rubbish at names, so wrote a few down. I’m also rubbish at remembering things so left my list in a draw in my room. However, Mira stands out as one of the loveliest barmaids it’s been my pleasure to meet, as was Amid. Samira was a star in the dining room along with another young lady whose name escapes me (but she did tell me her name was Greek), and our cleaners? Well I wanted to take them home with me, they were so friendly. (I can’t remember their names, but room 176 from the 22nd August should give the management a clue and maybe a bonus for the girls involved?)
Overall
I’ve tried to be honest with this review as a guide to others thinking of going here and reading it through, it might seem that I’ve been unnecessarily picky, however, don’t let this distract you from the good points of this hotel, and there are many. Nearly every place we’ve visited have had some things that could be improved, but the Catarina is one of the few hotels that I would have no hesitation in visiting again. A big thank you to all the staff for a very enjoyable holiday.

Room Tip: I can only comment about our room (176). Nice ground floor room right by the Koi Carp pond.
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  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank stephen D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Nottingham, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 1 September 2011

Great hotel and location, I stayed in this hotel 25 years ago and i am pleased to say that it is still as good as ever. Staff were very helpful and friendly and the rooms were spacious and very clean,the maids came everyday.

Food was great with lots of choice, this was the first time that we have ever done all inclusive so don't really have anything to compare it to however there was plenty to choose from and catered for all food types. Dress code in the evening was 3/4 length shorts or smart shorts to the knee.

Waiters were very attentive and couldn't do enough for you.

Gardens were stunning for a quieter time and the pool area was busier which did get filled up quite quickly however it was peak season.

Would go back we all really enjoyed our stay here especially our 7 year old.

Happy to answer any questions that anyone may have.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Sarah B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
12 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 August 2011

We stayed in the hotel from 19th - 29th August and it was our first time to Gran Canaria. The hotel looks very nice and all rooms are furnished to a very good standard however, we stayed in a room 155 the first night and it was the worst night of my life. We got to the hotel around 6pm after spending all day traveling. I asked for a nice room on checkin and i was told room 155 was a good room. When we got to the room i found it very nice, but only until the evening came. There is a night club called Duke's right under this room and they were playing metal music the whole night. When the music started playing, it was too late to change the room and reception only told me that the club is opened until 4.00AM. As there was nothing we could do and the receptinist wasnt very keen on giving us any other options we had to stay in that night. The next morning we were fortunately moved to a room on the 5th floor with the beautiful view of the ocean and the dunes and after that everything was amazing! We stayed in room 514 and i would recomend it to anybody.
And i have also couple of more things to mention - not many people speak good english at reception and the service at reception wasnt exactly the best. Receptionists spoke spanish about me while i was waiting for their reply and that wasnt very nice as they could say anything to my face whilst i couldnt understand what they were talking about. We also had to pay for many things that i would normally expect from a 4* hotel (such as iron and ironing board, beach towels, internet, etc.). To recap it all - very nice and clean hotel, excelent choice of food, beautiful room and facilities of the hotel, but service at reception was not up to standards of 4* hotel. There were few nice people at reception, but not all of them really cared about their guests.

Room Tip: dont take room 155 under any circumstances; room 514 was perfect
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  • Stayed August 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Pav Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 August 2011

Good choice of food and plenty of it; staff very helpful. Try alfresco area; more pleasant to eat in this area not so manic.

Pool a bit small for number of people but very clean; staff in pools every morning (early) cleaning the tiles down.

Rooms are larger than average and a/c adequate; rooms / towels changed every day and bed sheets once per week.

Entertainment is poor but if you have a dry sense of humour you can have a laugh; not enough tables and chairs in the drinking area during the evening. The young families tend to capture the tables after a early evening meal so the kids can have a sing along etc. We very often sat on the sun beds; drinking local beers and cocktails.

Rented a car from Auto Drago; a nightmare. Drove car up the mountains across to Morgan Town. Burning smell from car plus shuddering from gear box; the clutch was riding across gear changes and whilst driving at a constant speed. Car was unsafe for mountain roads. Managed to get family back to hotel safely and returned car early to agent. Not sympathetic at all; gave me lip service only. Then after a heated discussion they told me they would meet me at the hotel and cover my fuel cost of 20 euros(before i fly home). Surprise! Surprise ! they didn't turn-up.

Get yourself out of the hotel; we were all inclusive but had two nights on the town eating out and it was good value all round.

Porto Rico; nice safe beach for everyone. Option to hire sun bed on harbour side; diving into the sea. Good Fun

Porto Morgan; known as little venice. If you go on Friday you can let the wife off the lead for retail therapy and you can go off to the tapas bars for a drink. Lot's here, good food, good safe beach and interesting fishing harbour.

Also, water park is good for the kids; 1st visit 25 euros for adults and 15 euros for kids over 4 years but 2nd visit only 8 euros per head with free sun beds. Sore backside from the slides but good fun.

Bus rides are value for money; 4 adults and 1 child only 13 euros to Porto Rico.

September will obviously be less manic with the kids back to school; so for the couples with no children the holiday should be even better.

Either way; we had a great time; would we go back to the hotel? no. Why? we like to try something new each time but as hotels and apartment go the hotel Catarina was better than most.

Anyone that moans about this hotel is hard to please.

Hope this review has been helpful; have a nice holiday

Room Tip: Go for the 2nd floor (257 - 268) ; it's in the second block of the hotel but still very convenie...
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  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank sjppotts
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
egiersbergICA, Manager at IFA Catarina Hotel, responded to this review, 29 August 2011
Dear Guest,
Thanks for taking your time to rate the hotel and the destination of Gran Canaria. It will be very helpful for ohters visiting the Island.
We are sorry not to see you again as a guest in the IFA Catarina but we have several properties on the Island so we hope to keep you loyal to the company.
Regarding the Rentalcar, we will try to hand over you comment that we think is to be taken seriously.
Hope to welcome come you and your family next year on Gran Canaria!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
dundee, Scotland
Level Contributor
41 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 August 2011

Just back from relaxing week at the Catarina. Stayed on all inclusive basis, but check price before you book if not booking directly with hotel as you can upgrade when you get there for 18 euro per person per night. Also be aware that snacks are only available until mid afternoon and the bar is free between 11.00am - 11.00pm. Good mix of nationalities in hotel and meals choice seems to relect this with something to suit all tastes. Untilke some hotels you can get bottled water with you meals or alcholic drinks if you wanted too. Hotel groungs are massive and sunbeds all over the place. Unless you wanted to be beside the pool not need to reserve bed as allways beds free. Entertainment is OK but you may want to leave the hotel a few nights as must better shows all over the resort.
Pro's:- Clean Hotel, nice location, friendly staff, good location near the dunes. Bus stop at one end of the hotel and a taxi rank at the other. Cita shopping centre next to hotel and free bus to beach. Cons:- No bar inside hotel, beds not the most comfortable. I summary had a great time in the hotel and would stay with the Ifa hotel chain again. Playa del ingles hovever has seen better days and is getting rough around the edges. I would go back to to the area again but stay in maspalomos instead

Room Tip: Taxi service very cheap. There were four of us and it would have cost more to get a bus round the re...
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  • Stayed August 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank servite
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
egiersbergICA, Manager at IFA Catarina Hotel, responded to this review, 31 August 2011
Thanks for rating us and for taking your time to write. It helps the property as well as many other guests that planned to visit the Island.
For your information, we do have a bar open in the evening until 01.30 am with a nice terrace looking to the pool area. All in service until 11.00 pm but bar still open.
We hope to see you again at the IFA Catarina or other IFA Hotel and for further information for your next stay you may contact us via web page.
Best regards
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Glenrothes, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 August 2011

Stayed a week in July/Aug. Room was tidy and cleaned everyday. Poolside was lovely with ample sunbeds. Food was of a good standard and not like your usual cattle market to get near anything. Can't really fault this place at all.

Room Tip: room 352 - 3rd floor above the main pool with view of the whole poolside area
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  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Robert G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 August 2011

Just back today. Was a repeat visit. Had a 4th floor dune view 3 years ago, this time pond view 3rd floor. we were in room 372. Air conditioning was awful. cooler at night with patio doors open. Didn't complain as another party told us they were same so assumed the worst. Public areas in hotel, and restaurant same. Aircon not working. You can eat outside the restaurant at both breakfast and dinner and its cool and shaded. We tried this 1st every day but sometimes there was a q.18 euro for the all inclusive upgrade from half board is worth it if you drink a lot. The food available with AI is in the main junk food. Hot dog, chips, minced chicken nuggets,pizza,cheese croquetts. There were also sweetcorntuna and cheeseham sandwiches supplied as single sandwiches wrapped in clingfilm in a chilled cabinet next to hot food. When I heard the upgrade to AI from full board was only 8euros, it makes me now think I was paying 10 euros extra for that awful buffet. The AI at canaria needs rethought. The poolside meals available all day are lovely. AI meals are not meals. They are low quality snacks. AI guests get treated as 2nd class. Waiting staff preferentially serve paying guests 1st. Paying guests order cocktails and get all the parrots sugar laced rims and fruit edges. AI get plastic cups with cocktails dispensed from a vending machine.11pm AI end is also poor as bar close nearer 00:30-01:00
If I could turn the clock back I would not upgrade. I'd have made better use of he 3 happy hours ant ordered poolside meals in afternoons.
The prepaid room card system the hotel uses for paying for drinks non AI purchasers is great idea. They offer 5% discount when using also. All receipts show what you have left on card. Top up at reception when nearing zero euros. It's a pity near 50% of the time the waiting staff forget to apply the discount. Main restaurant always applied discount. Must be a better till setup. Main restaurant food good but not 4* Omelettes and eggs slapped on plates left to go cold not 4*. These should be made to order. no back bacon in mornings and only one type of sausage.

  • Stayed August 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank mak911s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
egiersbergICA, Manager at IFA Catarina Hotel, responded to this review, 23 August 2011
Dear Guest,
Thanks for taking your time for rating us in the Tripadvisor. It is important for us to now guests comments to be able to improve our service performance.
Just for information: we serve all drinks in plastic ware if you are taking it to the pool area and you are not sitting at the bar terrace. According to the Canara rules&regulations, we are not allowed to serve with glass ware in pool and areas of sunbeds. Sorry for that and not beeing informed about this regulations.
Regarding our snacks, we do not offer only "junk" food as you mentioned. We also serve fresh fruit cutted or as salad and sweet pastry.
We hope that you let as show our improvements in your next stay and please feel free to contact the hotel for any further comment or suggestion.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about IFA Catarina Hotel

Property: IFA Catarina Hotel
Address: Avenida de Tirajana 1, 35100 Playa del Ingles, Maspalomas, Gran Canaria, Spain
Region: Spain > Canary Islands > Gran Canaria > Maspalomas > Playa del Ingles
Amenities:
Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#3 Green Hotel in Playa del Ingles
#19 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Ingles
#20 Family Hotel in Playa del Ingles
#22 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Ingles
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — IFA Catarina Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 402
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Ifa Catarina Hotel Playa Del Ingles
Ifa Catarina Playa Del Ingles
IFA Catarina Hotel Gran Canaria/Playa Del Ingles

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