Good holiday but not great and very bad news about next year.
The hotel gives a great sense of security in wonderful peaceful grounds where children can be children. The facilities in the play area though are meagre – one piece of climbing/slide equipment. The pool is segmented with a childrens section – no seperate children's pool or the splash pool mentioned in previous Thomas Cook brochures as “planned” (sharp practice mentioning it at all or genuine inability to build one?).
The food whilst varied was geared towards carnivores with vegetarians an afterthought begrudgingly. The all-inclusive option was good but besides morning coffee in a pot at breakfast it wasn't great cafe. Between meals snacks were school dinner level of 30 years ago. Fruit juices were out of a machine and of not consistant quality and often ran out at peak times. Likewise the cocktails at the bar were machine generated and suffered as a result.
However the staff were genuinely pleasant all round, very helpful indeed with a ready smile.
The Thomas Cook Kids Club was very worthwhile and the reason we came back two times. The Iberostar provided children's entertainment just wasn't up to Tcs – children could wander off as they pleased whereas TC kept children safe and contacted parents/carers (by mobile in our case) if there was a problem.
The Ting Ting train (land train) picked up around the corner from the hotel was brilliant at providing easy access to C'an Picafort's shopping and gorgeous beaches. 3 euros adults and 1.5 for children it offers a 45 minute round trip which can be broken once – there is a long afternoon pause in the service though.
10 to 15 minutes walk to Son Baulo and the nearest beach. The hotel do infrequent 7-seater trips to and from the beach which can get very popular meaning several trips and therefore quite a wait.
Accommodation for our 5 member family was in a 1 bedroom apartment with convertible sofa and a double bed where the table and chairs would normally be in the kitchenette. It wasn't ideal and the décor was dated but the air conditioning worked well and besides with all inclusive and the shows the accommodation isn't a big concern.
Mini disco at 2030 was loved by the children and more adult shows at 2130 were also still child friendly. All this 7 days a week.
All round good holiday BUT …
We checked prior to the holiday the prices for next year and Thomas Cook were advertising a very big hike in prices to the point where we discounted ever returning. It did seem very steep but then maybe the big investment Thomas Cook made in the 3 years we came - where staff numbers increased greatly – had to be paid for!
A big disappointment on Friday 9th August while we were there was the cancellation of Thomas Cook Kids Clubs in the afternoon and evening at little notice – the children were most upset. This was supposedly for the staff to have a meeting – read on …
SHOCKED to find, despite earlier this summer Vell Mari bookable through Thomas Cook in 2014 it is now only available through Thomson!!!! WAS THIS THE MEETING OF TC STAFF ON 9/8 TO TELL THEM KIDS CLUB WAS NO MORE? And with Thomson only the hotel run kids club is available which our experience says wasn't good enough. Prices very steep for half board – if you choose this option and want to do some self catering shopping you will not find it a pleasant experience in that heat with a supermarket 15 minutes away! Added to which a family of 5 now seem only to have a 2 apartment option – family rooms don't feature!
It has to be said that the Thomas Cook staff this year did seem quite glum.
Unless major improvements are destined for Vell Mari for 2014 it simply is not worth it.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Vell Mari Hotel&Resort is located in Ca'n Picafort in the north of Majorca, just 700 meters from the beach of San Baulo with protected white sand of 17 km in length and has an excellent Mediterranean weather almost all year. The Hotel offers its guests a free shuttle to the beach. Over 30,000 m2 of facilities make Vell Mari spectacular Resort for family travel or sports enthusiasts. This Hotel is recommended for fans of Cycling and Golf. Vell Mari puts at the disposal of its clients agreements with the major Golf Courses and clubs of cycling. In addition account with 4 paddle courts, 1 tennis court, 1 minifootball field, mini gym, spa and massage area. This resort consists of 211 apartments of different categories with beautiful views of the lake 2 swimming pools surrounded by full nature. Spacious apartments in small buildings of 3 floors with facilities for handicapped people and private parking for their customers. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Iberostar Vell Mari Hotel Ca`n Picafort
- Iberostar Sa Coma
- Iberostar Hotel Vell Mari
- Vell Mari Hotel & Resort Ca'n Picafort, Majorca