We booked this hotel through Lowcostholidays - and ryanair - as we looking for a fair priced all inclusive half term getaway in the Canaries to celebrate our 21st anniversary, Valentines Day and a birthday all at the same time. We mentioned this in our submission and also asked for a quiet room, upper floor and a sea view. The deal seemed fair enough so we upped the reservation to a superior room.
The reviews here didn't raise any causes for concern either so we thought that if we got 50% of what we asked for, then that would be a result. On arrival on 12th February, we were offered a ground floor room next to the lift. We could have had a sea view after the 20th but seeing as we only there for 5 days, it didn't seem right to wait. Did the lady on reception expect me to say "OK, we'll come back then." I wondered if the hotel staff had even taken the trouble to read the requests which would cause me concern had I been disabled, having special needs or small children in tow.
We were offered the same deal but in room 423; no sunshine and a view of the sea if you peered like a sniper through some overgrown pine tree branches. This room was in an adjoining apartment block and not the main hotel, A "superior" room gives you an option of air conditioning she said. It's February remember.
Anniversary and birthday counted for nothing here. We didn't get so much as complimentary glass of sangria but their thinking probably is "well, they're on all inclusive anyway" - but a gesture would have been nice. Well. I say we were "all inclusive". Except you're not quite.
During the day you are can get drinks at the pool bar from 11am until 1pm. Then the restaurant opens so you are expected to go there if you wat to eat and drink. One afternoon we fancied a snack as advertised on our liitle timetable and were offered some cheesey sandwiches in cling film that had come, it would appear, directly from a 1973 British Railways buffet car. The bar then opens again from 3.30 until 5pm and you can have half a plastic cup of beer and a bun whilst those who pay on the day get table service and a proper full glass - despite the fact that we are all sat next to the same pool. This is almost segregation or reverse discrimination by another name and god only knows how that works in summertime.
For the punter fancying a drink after their evening meal, there is the terrace bar until 10.30. This is out of doors as the indoor Royal bar apppears to have been franchised out to a health club of sorts. Bear in mind its February and that Gran Canaria has experienced snow on the other side of the island. In their infinite wisdom, the management graciously provided outdoor heaters. Out of the 4, just 2 were working and the punters hovered under these as moths flicker under the street lighting. Fancy a warm coffee or hot chocolate? No chance - the bar has no provision for hot drinks to be made - not so much as a kettle. Unbeleivable in this day and age.
I would not have bothered with this bar facility at all after the first experience were it not for the efforts of Melanie to act as translater between the nationalities and keep us all socialising and smiling. If there were a medal for bar staff who provide a service in the face of adversity then I would nominate her for one of the highest honours.
I took some reading but the hotel doesn't provide so much as a shelf for punters to swap books so take plenty of reading - books in town are between 6 to 10 euroes apeice.
It was only in passing that I asked about heating and was informed almost by default that the air conditioning doubles up as heating. This is only in rooms that are superior or above but it will cost 50 euroes deposit for the remote. Other expenses are 20 euroes up front to use a phone, safes are 12 euroes for a week with an addtional 12 for a key and a late room on the last day a further 20 for good measure. So if you are coming here for 2 weeks and think that you need all of the above, come prepared to hand over a staggering 176 euroes up front.
There are 3 pools around the complex. One is in the forecourt bar area, one in the concrete canyon at the rear of the hotel and one on the terracing; none of these are large enough to swim any distance in. Sunbeds? - around 30 or so around the complex of mixed design and of wood or plastic. Foam mats to go on the above? 15 I'd say.
Srangely enough and again almost by default, we found sunbathing areas on the roof - no signage to indicate they were there. We found it was warmer on the roof than on the ground floor and using the walls strategically there was a bit of a sun trap. So on the last day, we took a leaf out of the Germans form book and secured beds, mats and preferential shelter space on the roof.
We'd only been gone for 5 minutes and when we returned, the few mats on the beds had gone! We soon found out why when the manager appeared with what appeared to be his superior. We'd presume - possibly - that the pool attendant had been ordered to gather all the foam mats around the complex to adorn those beds on the terrace in order to create, I'd guess, a good impression. We went down to the beds and retreived a couple back anyway.
The whole point I'm trying to make is that this hotel seems to have minmalist attitude to provide any of the small gratuities that make you sit back at the end of a stay and say "yes - the hotel went the extra mile for us and we will consider going back."
Everything else about the hotel - the food, cleansliness, room cleaning service, location, restaurant staff are all worthy of good 3 star or even a mild 4 at at a pinch. Its just the untrusting claw-back mentality of some of the faceless mandarins higher up in the management structure that are spoiling it in my opinion.
We took a kettle as one is not provided. However, a superior room [aka apartment] does have a good quality fridge and is sufficiently spacious. The TV had 6 channels of which the only English was Sky News. Despite Jodrell Bank being bolted onto the side of the hotel, digital, it would appear, has not reached the Canaries yet.
FL Hotels, I'll tell you what. Convert the front pool to a swim up bar and end the discrimination. Spend some money on new sunbeds and mats. Encourage staff to read requests and put a book shelf up in reception. Put a decent pool on the terrace. Wise up on debit cards and digital TV. Let me know when you have done this and I will return.
Meantime, promote Melanie up to Manager.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Centrally situated in the area of Playa del Ingles, only a few meters away from the main beach and a few minutes walk from the shopping centers “Kashba”, “Yumbo” and “Cita”. You can find several bars and shops in the direct surrounding of the hotel.The hotel consists of 56 tastefully designed rooms in the main building and 65 Apartments in two neighboring buildings. Facilities include a lobby with reception, lifts, internet corner and wireless internet access (against charge), a restaurant with smoking area (on the terrace), bar and terrace. At the sheltered backside of the hotel you will find the swimming pool with sun terrace. Another fresh water swimming pool is located in the apartment complex belonging to the hotel. Sun beds and umbrellas at both pools are included. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with TripOnline SA, Evoline ltd and Cancelon so you can book your HL Sahara Playa reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Sahara Playa Hotel Playa Del Ingles
- Sahara Playa Del Ingles
- HL Sahara Playa Gran Canaria/Playa Del Ingles