We (2 adults and our 3 year old Son) arrived on Saturday 5th May 2012 for 7 nights. We had a 4 hour flight delay so we were very tired. The reception staff were friendly and the bell boy "Chico" escorted us to our room which was on top 3rd floor overlooking entrance to the beach and just over the road from the rear of the outdoor entertainment stage.
The hotel was exceptionally clean throughout our stay. The living room with two sofa beds was massive with a large sliding wardrobe and sliding door to balcony on side of building. The twin bedroom was also spacious and had sliding doors to a second balcony overlooking the beach. The bathroom was very big with a lovely shower that seemed quite new. There was no bath but this didn't bother us.
The food at the main buffet restaurant and the Pizzeria were both of a very high standard. Yes the food was slightly cold on occasions, more so the first two days. Then they started warming the plates up which made a big difference! The evening meals were always nice and warm. Breakfast was always cold. We still really enjoyed the food. There was loads of tasty stuff to choose from and nothing ever ran out.
The weather was disappointing for the first day, clouds and rain but this is obviously not a reflection on the hotel. I thought I would mention it as if you go in early May you should expect one or two days of possible rain. It cleared on the 2nd day and we had beautiful blue skies for the remainder of the week with temperatures between 25 and 30 I would say. I could feel my skin tingling with the heat! So all in all we were very pleased with the weather.
The main lagoon pools are icy cold when you get in! I did brave it and once you get under and start swimming it takes between 30 and 60 seconds to feel comfortable in it. Not many could brave it and I had the pool to myself most of the time, with the exception of little children around the shallow walk in areas with parents who were not going to brave it. Our son loved bobbing around in his inflatable aeroplane and the cold didn't bother him, even though his lips went blue the first time before the sun really got going and the weather heated up big time. The first sunny day (Monday) we sat in the area opposite the only pool bar as it seemed the only place that wasn't affected by shade of trees at all during the day (a nuisance when you are a sun worshipper like me!)
It was nice and quiet on this day, although the only pool bar was shut and we had to walk up lots of steps to the bar in the Pizzeria restaurant. It was quiet, as expected in early May, so easy for us to take in turns walking up and down while the other stayed with our son.
We missed the first nights entertainment due to our flight delay which is disappointing as we were told by other English that it was the best night of the week by far.
The second evening was the multi-national entertainment team who did the 40 minute children's show from 8.00 til 8.40. Then they went on to do the adult show from 9 til 10, dancing I think. We spent most of the time watching Harry playing on the wide seating steps they have for extra bods to sit during show time. They were empty so all the kids were enjoying running up and down the width of each step and Harry was showing off his dance skills. We did witness a nasty fall by a little German boy who received a nasty bump on the head so it was a bit nerve racking watching Harry. There were loads of free tables on both the first and second night. We were beginning to enjoy our holiday as the weather had warmed up and things were looking to be as we expected.
THEN CAME TUESDAY!!! In the morning we walked over to the main pool area and had to weave in and out of an arrival of HOARDS of German ADULTS. They were all yanking their suitcases down the steps and filling the area around the entertainment stage. None of them were bothering to mind out our way as we came through with Harry. They were all hugging and kissing. We thought it was strange that there was such a massive group of people who all knew each other and were a bit suspicious that things were about to change. Change they did!
We sat in the same place by the pool opposite the bar, which opened up that morning (due to the arrival of Germans obviously). By about midday the small area was starting to fill up and by about 2.00 we were almost beds touching all around. By this time, the group of adult Germans had surrounded and completely filled up the whole of the stage seating area at bottom of lagoon pool and the tables that had been put in the area right by the pool bar opposite where we were sat. If you went in swimming you had them sat and stood all around you overlooking the pool, a little intimidating. The pool bar was forming a queue, as was the Pizzeria bar up the top. At one point I walked around the edge of the pool to get a drink and said excuse me to a bunch of men who were stood talking quite close to the edge. They completely ignored me (may not of heard due to the noisy atmosphere). I had to move around them being careful not to fall in the pool sideways! It was that jam packed around the whole area there was hardly any room to move!! Not a scene I expected in early May in a FAMILY hotel that has a silhouette of a mum, dad and little boy holding hands outside main reception door! They were all wearing T Shirts with a picture of a singer on and also on their cases. They were also singing that song “Who The …. Is Alice” around the FAMILY pool. We thought something big was about to happen and guessed that maybe it was a concert happening just that night. We were quite intrigued to see the person that was going to emerge on stage. I wish it had been Bon Jovi or someone else exciting! When the show eventually opened at 9.00 p.m. it started with a man presenting the show talking in German for about half an hour before.......... a man completely unknown to us came out singing in German for about 20 minutes. We had to push our way through the smoking, drinking, clapping and cheering fans and sit in the inside disco area while it went on as there was no room for us, sitting or standing around the pool entertainment area. We could see the stage through the French doors and it was of little interest to us anyway. We watched Harry play with another Harry on the dance floor. They were playing chase as the room was empty with the exception of a few English families who, like us, could not bear the atmosphere outside.
When Wednesday arrived we hoped that the massive group of fans may be moving on to somewhere else on the Island. Not the case! We found out that it was an 8 day German Music Festival. We were told by one friendly German man that it is held in different locations each year. We had to put up with this type of atmosphere for the majority of our holiday between 3 p.m. and 11 p.m. Then, because our room was right behind the outdoor entertainment area, opposite entrance to the beach, we could hear the fans shouting, laughing and being generally noisy until around 3 a.m. when the indoor disco finishes. On Thursday night I went off to reception at 11.30 p.m. to see about changing rooms as we had been told a beach party was arranged for the fans, due to start at (wait for it) 1 a.m!!!
We changed rooms and were given one that looks out over the big Olympic pool at top of Hotel. It was much quieter! We also used that pool the last two days to get away from the fans. But there was no pool bar. Only a self service fizzy drinks machine that had the shutter pulled over it the majority of the day. Couldn't even get water! We had to take in turns walking around to the lagoon pool bar at other side of the hotel. It's not that far really but if you are a single parent with a small child then it is a problem getting your child out of the pool to come with you to get a drink. You can't leave little children on their own around a pool! We met two people who had this problem. However, the pool was a lot more peaceful and the pool area was a lot safer for young children, even though it had no children's pool as did the lagoon pool. Our son just bobbed around with his arm bands and rubber ring and loved it! The room blocks do shut out the noise completely from the other side of the hotel. At the same time, people who had walked to the beach 10 minutes away could hear the singing, clapping and cheering from along the coast!
We were graced with children's entertainment for 40 minutes each night and we experienced 3 out of 7 nights of international entertainment for families. During these times the music fans would disappear and these were the only times there were seats available for us. On 2 of these 3 nights there were dancers of different nationalities performing to great 80's music (albeit the same dancers both nights). At these times it was how I would have expected it to be all week, with different nationalities watching but alot less of them and mainly families. I have been on holiday many times before in a predominantly German hotel but have never experienced anything like this. Our son played with a little German boy at the top end of the lagoon pools one day, whose mum and dad were very pleasant and obviously at the other end themselves due to the commotion at the other end of the pools. It was still blasting our ear holes out at the other end mind. Approximately 850 OF fans had arrived for it we were told! I spoke to one of the managers who I happened to see walking around in his suit. I asked him why this was going on in a family resort low season. He said "we um cater for um different um what do you call it". I said "tastes"? "Yes" he said. I told him that I like to party with the best of them when not with a small child but that it was totally inappropriate for a family holiday. I said for him to expect lots of complaints from families. He replied with a smug smile "No you are only the 3rd". I was fuming!!! That tells me that the bosses of the hotel probably sat together at some point and thought over whether or not they would get away with this and greed probably took over. They would have known that the families would be the minority, and how many will actually complain was probably what they discussed.
When we were picked up Saturday morning by our rep for our return journey, she told us that the tour operator were completely unaware that the festival had been planned and the entertainment staff at the hotel also told us they had been unaware beforehand. We should have known in advance and been given the option of moving to another hotel (something the hotel's manager also claimed they have as an option when I spoke to him). I told him that it wasn't an option for us when we only found out what was in store 4 days before we were due to go home! I didn't speak to him any further as it was clear he did not care in the slightest. I feel that this probably got planned ahead quietly through pure greed. We booked nearly a year ago so there would have been plenty of time for us to be informed. We also booked for this week as it was my partner's 40th as well as our son's 3rd on the Tuesday that things started to go very wrong. Such a shame it didn't go as it should have. We met lots of other English families that were also very angered by the situation. I even checked the school holiday dates for German and Spanish when we booked to check it wasn't their peak season. We met an English family who had been exactly the same week last year and they said it was completely different, a lot quieter with good family entertainment.
I have given this hotel a 3 star rating due to the excellent cleanliness and the hard work of the staff. However, I would only give our holiday 2 stars as the evening entertainment was something we had looked forward to as much as the day time. We had imagined we would be able to stay out with our son until 10 or 11 watching international family entertainment in a relatively quiet atmosphere. This was not possible most nights due to the music festival.
It is a lovely hotel with lovely surroundings, excellent food and brilliant international entertainment staff (when they are performing). I have no doubt that had the German Music Festival not been taking place we would have had the fantastic OFF-PEAK, FAMILY holiday we believed we would be getting at the time of booking.
I am making a formal complaint through the tour operator and hope this will not be allowed to happen again in a family hotel, especially without guests being informed and offered a change of accommodation!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The IBEROSTAR Club Cala Barca hotel is located in the amazing destination of Sa Barca Trencada, on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea and close to the Mondrago Natural Park in Majorca. This 4-star hotel is a paradise for families with children due to its services and facilities, as it features large family rooms with excellent facilities, eight pools for guests of all ages including a fun pool, tennis classes, diving classes, night-time shows, Miniclub, Maxiclub, and Teenieclub... A bit of everything so that your family holiday is just perfect. Plus, the Club Cala Barca hotel invites you to enjoy an all inclusive stay complete with five restaurants serving international cuisine, four bars, food trucks, ice cream stands, Sea Soul Beach Club, as well as SPA Sensations, free Wi-Fi, night-time shows and direct access to a lovely beach with pine trees. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Iberostar Club Cala Barca Hotel Cala Mondrago
- Iberostar Cala Barca
- Iberostar Cala Mondrago
- Club Cala Barca
- Iberostar Club Cala Barca Majorca/Cala Mondrago