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“A glance of elegance with some local signs”

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Occidental Isla Cristina
Ranked #2 of 5 Hotels in Isla Cristina
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersBronze level
Reviewed 26 August 2014

Last year, I had an opportunity to spend my summer time in Andalucia, Spain. I felt amazingly enchanted to see beautiful white horses running across the huge orange rocks which were not so far away from the cities with their unusual white houses. I also tried to dance flamenco - my blood became "red" again.

Barcelo Isla Cristina is a flamboyant hotel located in the tiny Isla Cristina, close to the border with Portugal (80 km from Faro). Situated on the Atlantic Coast of Spain it offers a variety of paysages - well known in Andalucia. First of all, it is good to praise B. I. Cristina for this location. The heart of Isla Cristina can be reached within walking distance and, although it is hard to find a night life there, I recommend you going to a local restaurant in order to try something traditional, e.g. fish or tapas. Silence lovers will feel satisfied. One minus - the beach is not near the hotel and you must go by the road and promenade to meet the ocean. It is dirty and visited by jellyfish.

Barcelo Isla Cristina looks good not only from the front side where is a beautiful swimming pool area hidden in flowers and palms. Inside, you will be charmed with elegant furniture and sublime columns. The rooms are big and spacious. And the hotel restaurant is well-organised, full of tables (that is why the hotel doesn't seem to be overcrowded) and space.

Actually, according to the restaurant, I can say that the food given there is fantastic! You can try thousands of different kinds of cheese, starting on blue French, ending on local Spanish. Dishes are various every day, made thanks to Spanish and continental recipes. The staff working in the restaurant is frendly, however people rarely speak English there (the same thing in the swimming pool area, in the bar).

Now, I must tell you about the animation service. Animators did a great job. What a pity that the games were leaded in Spanish only!

Barcelo Isla is a really good hotel. I like it because of the traditional spirit, food and elegance.

~*~ If you want to read more of my reviews, click here: http://kkopiaszrecommendations.blogspot.com/

Wish you had great holidays!

Stayed: September 2013, travelled with family
8  Thank Klaudia K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 19 August 2014

Isla Cristina Review

The hotel is located in the small town of Cristina on the Atlantic Coast of Spain, approximately 80 Km ( an hour and half) from Faro. The transfer could be shorter depending on the drop offs prior to the hotel. The hotel faces the Atlantic and can be accessed via the gates around the boundary fence. It's a short walk along the boardwalk to reach the beaches. I would recommend turning left out the gate and walking 100 m or so before taking one of the many boardwalks. This is a really popular beach with locals and has lots of beach bars, WCs, and places to hire sea stuff...and of course the obligatory beach sellers hawking their wares.

The town offers few facilities that cater for foreign tourists. Hardly any of the shop keepers spoke English and there were none of the usual array of embarrassing bars, shops, restaurants and night clubs often associated with more popular Spanish destinations popular with some of the usual clientele seeking the sun, sex and sangria of this lovely country.

The hotel is classed as a four star standard which it fulfils well. It is fairly large, about 300 rooms, one large and one small pool. One inside and two outside bars, a large indoor and a smaller outdoor restaurant. There are cafe areas and for a more personal touch a separate eating area by the pool for serenading. There is a reasonably well equipped gym for a holiday hotel but without air con it was a challenging environment! The road between the hotel and beach is very popular with jog germs in the morning. The decor is appealing, fresh and the whole hotel is clean and tidy. The staff were all very helpful, cheerful and spoke reasonable English.

The key thing to know about this hotel is that it is very popular with Spanish people and especially families. This is not necessarily a bad thing but it can make a difference if you want a particular type of holiday. There are definitely benefits including the range, type and standard of food served in the buffet restaurant which was great. Lots of fish and seafood, specific spanish dishes that perhaps you wouldn't encounter normally, reasonable wines and interesting entertainment too! Furthermore, by understanding the diurnal rhythm of most Spanish people enables you to eat in the restaurant with few crowds a round. And crowds there were if you decided to fall in with the local rhythm of feeding times, so be warned as there were queues later on. There were no English guests apart from ourselves for the week, and very few our nationalities one might normally share the sun loungers with either. That said, we felt welcomed, well cared for and enjoyed ourselves for the week.

There were lots of children around although many were either taken by their parents to the beach or occupied by the animation team so they often didn't appear until after 4.00pm in the afternoon.

The rooms are well appointed and spacious with a good air con and ceiling fan to make sleeping bearable. The en suite is equally well appointed with good shower and bath. There was a flat screen TV but only news channels which I find irritating when it is advertised as 'satellite'. There is a fridge but it barely kept the beer cool.

We wanted to have a week of relaxing in the sun, chilling out and taking it easy. We did this and enjoyed it. It was very hot but cooled by a continuous breeze from the ocean. We never had to battle for a sun lounger as many people were still eating at 10am or off to the beach. We have no complaints about the hotel, recommend the staff and the area. We read many of the reviews before leaving and as usual there was a wide range of opinions although some of the comments about the surrounding area were ridiculous. Sometimes you have to see for yourself.

Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
2  Thank Colin T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 August 2014

One more time, me and my family chose Barcelo Isla Cristina for one week family vacation. Once again, it was a fantastic week where we could enjoy the pool, the food, the beach, the animation with a fantastic weather.
One special mention to the animation team that was amazing! They managed to animate the pool, the children and the evenings and everybody loved!
The food is great.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank Isabel M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 July 2014

Arrived 25/07/2014. Check in very easy and pleasant. Room clean and airy. Meals varied but
Always had to join a long line! Most of guests Spanish! Outside in town streets not paved in gold but paved in dog poo! Not many shops or restaurants but loads of Spanish bars! Streets could be cleaned more. And one thing no buses in town and few taxis! Have to say would not come again

Room Tip: Choose sea view
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Spike696
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 July 2014

Stayed 2 nights in June on Business -deove by Hire Car from Faro
Overview
Location looks better on the web site (Jet 2) -but the Hotel is located in a semi urban area with a road between the Hotel and beach
On entry the reception looks dated -but the decor is of the era of dark tiles
Rooms are a good size -but again its obvious the hotel has been open for some years
There are swimming pools/bar in the grounds with plenty of "animations" for the children
The clientèle were predominantly Spanish families and couples
Restaurant
Buffet service was of a good standard -but it can get very very busy-with long queues after 21:00
Breakfast was also good -eggs and bacon if you wanted it avaialble
Location
There is an extensive sandy beach across the road -but it was quite wind swept when I was there
Overall
Staff were very friendly and the hotel was always kept clean
Parking is an issue
I enjoyed my stay
Recommended

Room Tip: Ask for Seaview 3rd Floor
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled on business
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5  Thank SKYLOW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 June 2014

2nd visit to Costa de la Luz,great hotel with mainly Spaniards & Portuguese.lovely room with pool & sea views.It was very quiet during the week and busy at weekends,but there were so many sunbeds we could move around to suit.
Could not fault the food, plentiful and all fresh with lots of variety.
On first impressions of Isla Cristina weren't great especially the dog mess on the pavements( soon got used to avoiding it)! there are some nice plazas and shops but not many.
Islantilla along the coast, where we revisited, has a nice promonade but we were "ripped off" on the return taxi fare so it left a bad impression, although it's still nice.
No fault of hotel but there's no rep,no book and we had to find out from reception on our last day when we would get picked up for return to Faro.
Final very good point, Spain is much cheaper than Portugal, and on our flight from Edinburgh we were the only two going to Spain. The animation guy said we made the right choice!
Try hotel Barcelo if you want some where very Spanish and not touristy.

Room Tip: Sea view is worth paying for but we spoke to folks who were upgraded on arrival.This may not apply i...
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank bunt0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Director B, Director General at Occidental Isla Cristina, responded to this reviewResponded 23 June 2014
Google Translation

Estimado Bunt0 . Gracias por su amable comentario y por valorar su experiencia , pese a algunos detalles quer comenta , tan positivamente e imparcial . Tomamos nota de lo que podamos mejorar y agradecemos los comentarios sobre la animación y personal .
Sobre los puntos externos al hotel , estamos intensamente informando a las autoridades locales de éste problema para intentar buscar la solución definitiva y que realmente repercute sobre el destino.

Gracias

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 October 2013

Stayed here for a week in September, on an all inclusive basis. Overall, it was very good - not fantastic, but reasonable value for money. The first few days the hotel was quite busy. Around the pool it was quite noisy with children. Our recent holidays have been to adult-only places, so this was a bit of a shock. There was always plenty of beds though, and we never really struggled for shade. The hotel has a "no bed blocking" policy, and say they'll move your belongings if you are away for 30 minutes. We never saw this happen, and we were away for longer over lunch without an issue.

The food was reasonably quality, but pretty repetitive. Salads, breads, and cooked meat and fish. The turnover was quite quick, and while the food wasn't outstanding it was more than adequate. Eating at a buffet while there's lots of kids running around adds a certain excitement to getting your food back to your table.

The all inclusive covers beer, house wine, soft drinks and some spirits. You can pay for the things that aren't covered, and the "extras" are at a reduced price. In the week we were there, we were fine with the drinks that were included. At the pool bar is a beer tap and soft drinks that you can serve yourself. The bars could be quite busy and service was slow. The free drinks end at 11.30, which is quite early for a holiday place.

The room itself was fine, clean and serviced daily. We hardly used the balcony, and the sea view was a bit pointless really. It's a very wide beach, so the sea is quite a way from the hotel. Only a couple of English channels, but that wasn't much of an issue. The wifi in reception was quite good, and almost reached the room on the third floor.

Gym is a bit basic, one running machine, a cross trainer and some weight equipment. It was really warm in there too.

Couple of minor moans - the corridors are long, and it can be a bit of a trek from the lift to your room. They're also dark, the lights come on with motion sensors and were a bit slow sometimes. The gym is closed on a Sunday, which we found annoying for a holiday resort.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank MikeJefferies
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Occidental Isla Cristina

Address: C/ Doctor Delgado Carrasco s/n, 21410 Isla Cristina, Spain (Formerly Barcelo Isla Cristina)
Phone Number:
Region: Spain > Andalucia > Costa de la Luz > Isla Cristina
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 5 Hotels in Isla Cristina
Price Range: £71 - £249 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Occidental Isla Cristina 4*
Number of rooms: 343
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Occidental Isla Cristina**** hotel (belonging to the Barcelo Hotel Group and formerly the Barcelo Isla Cristina) is located on the seafront at the wonderful Isla Cristina beach in the province of Huelva, which is surrounded by a protected natural area. Its proximity to the airports of Faro (Portugal) and Seville, and the most interesting places in the area, make this holiday hotel a perfect spot. The 233 rooms and 110 apartments boast spaciousness and quality features, and include all the facilities and services you could need for a pleasant stay and an unforgettable holiday. The Occidental Isla Cristina has a buffet restaurant and bars with the All Inclusive option, some of which feature poolside terraces. The facilities include a massage room, fitness studio, sauna and meeting room, as well as golf clubs and paddle tennis courts in the vicinity, hiking, cycle track and a long list of other activities to make sure you won't get bored this holiday. A professional entertainment team provides guests with a complete range of sports and leisure activities for all ages. Youngsters will experience a real adventure in the Barcy camp, sleeping in a large tent in the hotel gardens, as well as enjoying numerous fun activities especially thought out for children of all ages. The Occidental Isla Cristina is a fantastic hotel for a dream family holiday on the Costa de la Luz. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Barcelo Isla Cristina Hotel Isla Cristina
Isla Cristina Barcelo
Occidental Isla Cristina Costa De La Luz

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