We are regular visitors to Vilamoura but decided on a change this year. After much searching, we made a late booking for the Gran Vista based on, what appeared to be, a reasonable half-board deal with Thomson Holidays and the previous reviews of the hotel on this site.
Overall opinion is that, with a little bit of TLC to the rooms, it could be an excellent hotel.
It certainly has the grounds, facilities and people (special mentions below) to be just that.
What's not so good?
- Rooms are not that large, particularly with a 3rd bed added.
- Beds are singles pushed together, even if booked as a 'double' room.
- Rooms (221 and 224) are a little dated and could do with a bit of a refresh and some minor issues attended to (broken toilet seat, tarnished shower fittings, wall damage).
- Strange glass door to shower-room that did not lock and had gaps at each side.
- Key card to room 224 failed to work on each of the first 4 days (frustrating for the person who had to keep returning to reception to have card 'activated' - not frustrating for reception who could "activate it each day, it's not a problem").
What is so good then to make it almost excellent?
- Nicely presented hotel with easy reach (across road) of bars, restaurants and shops.
- Short (5 minute) walk to excellent beach (with sun loungers and water sports available).
- Extensive grounds with choice of pools (including toddler and indoor pools) and shaded areas if desired.
- Lots of sun loungers available (some set by pools, many available to move to locations within grounds).
- Free towels provided for sun loungers and changed every other day.
- Despite hotel being full for last few days, it never felt crowded or noisy around grounds during the day.
- Variety of sports facilities available (tennis, volleyball, crazy putting, table-tennis, etc).
- Good daytime activity selection (children and adults) with no pressure to participate.
- Good breakfast buffet selection (cereals, fruits, breads, jams, cheeses, cold meats, pastries, eggs, bacon, sausage, juices, tea, coffee etc).
- Good evening buffet selection with 'special' days during each week (salads, soups, fish, meats, pastas, breads, desserts, etc).
- Poolside Bistro serving good selection of reasonably priced food and drinks during the day.
- Despite initial concerns over buffet style half-board, all food was of good quality and even the fussier eaters in our party always managed to find something they enjoyed.
- Above all though, the thing that made the holiday special for us was the atmosphere created by some of the hotel staff. All those we had direct dealings with (notwithstanding the issue with the key card for room 224) were polite, friendly and extremely hard working. This goes from the waiters in the restaurant and lounge, to the bistro and entertainment team.
- We have to mention the excellent waiters Pepe, Paul and Jose who all made us feel particularly welcome. Despite the hours these guys put in 6 days a week, they always had a smile on their faces and a friendly word or two - even helping us out with some Spanish lessons.
- A very special mention must go to David. It's hard to believe that someone you've only known for a few days can have such an impact. There were tears all round as we left and, needless to say, we will stay in touch.
- It's a hotel primarily aimed at the German market (I believe Tui have 80% of the rooms) but this was never an issue for us as the staff spoke English and most of the announcements and entertainment were stated in German, English and Spanish. However, it did appear that for the younger kids club everything was in German only (this may have been down to only German kids participating, or may have been why only German kids participated).
- Some of the evening entertainment wasn't great, but you can't cater for all tastes, and it's up to individuals to make the most of it.
- There's a rooftop lounge bar that's apparently very good, but we did not make use of it as we preferred to remain in the lounge bar (where Pepe and David work).
- We are already looking at options to return next year and if the hotel spruce up the rooms a bit and if our star waiters are there, then we will most certainly chose Gran Vista over Vilamoura for our next holiday.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- 400 M away from the Can Picafort beach. Wellness & fitness Spa. Attractive relax and health programmes. Rooms & Apartments: air-conditioning. Sat-TV. Minibar. Terrace. Apartments: Living room with sleeping-couch and kitchen. Sport & Leisure: swimming pools. Children's pools. Swimming lessons. Bicycle Center. Tennis courts. Minigolf. Miniclub. Evening shows. Gastronomy: Theme buffets. Show Cooking. Pool-Bistro. Panorama & Lounge bar with terrace. Special Services: Discounts on green fees at several golf clubs in Mallorca. Car rental. Internet. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Grupotel Gran Vista Hotel Ca`n Picafort
- Grupotel Gran Vista & Spa Ca'n Picafort, Majorca