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“Very disappointing -- for a 5-star hotel it had the amenities of a 3-star at triple the price.” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of SENSIMAR Isla Cristina Palace & Spa

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SENSIMAR Isla Cristina Palace & Spa
Ranked #3 of 6 Hotels in Isla Cristina
Boston
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Very disappointing -- for a 5-star hotel it had the amenities of a 3-star at triple the price.”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 May 2011

My husband and I were traveling along the Algarve coast of Portugal and decided to spend a night in this "fancy" 5-star hotel just over the border in Spain. It was expensive but we decided to splurge for one night. The outside was beautiful, as were the lobby and pool area, but the room was a big disappointment. No double beds in regular rooms, only if we upgraded from our already very expensive room to a suite. No tissues in the bathroom, no shampoo just soap in a dispenser on the shower wall, no bathrobes, tiny pillows. The food was good, but also quite pricey. Stay somewhere else.

Room Tip: Stay somewhere else
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  • Stayed April 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
9 Thank cbenson2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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171 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (5)
Date | Rating
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  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Polish first
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English first
Lisbon
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 October 2008

First of all, Isla Cristina is not fun or a beutiful place at all, but, for me it was no problem because I went to Isla Cristina Palace, a 5 stars Hotel to enjoy the hotel it self.
The hotel is quite new or well maintened. The rooms are good and spacious, but a 5 stars hotel is not meant only to be pretty and clean. It's most of all the service, which to be honest was very dissapointing.
The bar's list is very limited, the beach bar is even worst. No natural juices, very limited food option, the plates were presented in very simple/basic way, limited personal with a big lack of smile (some with good will, others not so much), the beach bar closed at 5 pm during summer days, when people stays in beach until 7 pm at least. The pool bar closed at 7 pm but menu wasn't much better.
The buffet restaurant had good variety but some times the quality wasn't the greatest. The buffet breakfast was good. The restaurant "A La Carte" I do not recommend, expensive for the service and quality provided. Some items were just picked up from the buffet and served to you at a higher price.
All in all, I didn't enjoy my stay as much as I was expecting.
I really missed Algarve...

  • Liked — Good, big, clean rooms. Hotel very close to beach. The hote is in front of best part of the beach of Isla Cristina.
  • Disliked — The service and food.
  • Stayed September 2008, travelled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank Catulipe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 August 2007

Stayed for a week on half Board.

The area in which this hotel is located does is not a major Tourist spot, the town itself is very quiet which may suit some, but there is little to do outside of the hotel unless yo are prepared to drive along the coast to other small fishing villages such as Rompido, or for longer journey into Huelva or further to Seville.

Regards the Hotel
Positives:
Location - rear of hotel looks out to beach after Pool and small gardens area, then across a small woodland area through which is a timber pathway to the beach front, so no roads in the way.
The Beach - unspoilt and was not crowded when we were there.
The bathroom in our room (3rd floor) was a very good size with a bath and walk in shower room, double sink area and generally roomy.
Pool was big although cold (some may like that in the intense heat)
Food - Buffet style breakfast and evening meal was very good, although if gets to busy potential for issues re clearing of tables and crowded at food areas. Good selection of foods, had sushi chef and chef specialising in Indian style food also most nights aswell as standard selections of meats and fish cooked for you. Sufficient selection for vegetarians.
Spa - in basement there is a spa which has sauna, steam, plunge pool, range of power showers, small jacuzzi. In the main quite good, relatively well equipped Gym. Good range of treatments, massages etc, similar to UK prices.

Negatives
Insufficient numbers of staff which had impact re not always helpful.
Expect guests to pay for beach loungers which with a 5 star hotel given the price should be complementary
There is a very small eatery at the beach front when you emerge from the path at back of hotel. This is not sufficiently staffed, and would quickly become overcrowded with an increase in numbers. Again lack of staff here creates potential problems regards expectations of 5 star service given that it is part of the hotel. Also it is to expensive
Cost at hotel - overpriced, also in relation to price of drinks etc, they are certainly overpriced. there is a small bar by the Pool does some food, very limited and again that is over priced for what it is.

General comment: Position at rear of hotel is very good and when you arrive at the front which is relativel small with no where for a car to pull up in front you could get concerned given that it is a 5* hotel. Food was very good. If you have a car and intend travelling then fine, if not will be very quite and laid back. a lot of Spanish at the hotel, if not Spanish then German, as a result English not spoken as matter of course, reflected in TV channels, all Spanish and German. For the price I expected more, also as a 5* expect more re service, complementaries. Also got a sense from the Spanish there that not as welcoming as Costa Del Sol area, perhaps that is because they do not want this area to become like that?

  • Liked — Size of bathroom, views (general aspect) from rear of hotel (3rd floor upwards), Food, pool,beach
  • Disliked — Prices, service, more like a good 4* hotel.
  • Stayed September 2008, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
8 Thank Simon41
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Almaty
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 July 2007

The positives:
- good, spacious pool areas
- easy access to beach
- great views to beach from rear of hotel
- friendly reception and restaurant staff
- good variety and quality of food
- good evening entertainment (free)

The negatives:
- pool freezing (including the children pool)
- no entertainment or play facilities or toys for children or adults in any areas (hotel or pool)
- no creche or child care services
- rooms looked tired and basic furnishings
- no complementaries in the rooms (not what you expect for a five star price)
- TV channels limited (no high-speed internet access in rooms)
- only one PC for guest use in the whole hotel!! (constantly busy as you can imagine)
- restaurant times limited (not enough flexibility for a five star!)
- room service menu limited
- hotel parking was expensive
- the sun beds at the hotel beach area were very expensive for Spain (should be free for guests of this five star hotel)

In summary, we enjoyed our stay and met some very nice people but they all had similar negative comments. The hotel should be rated as a four star hotel (although the restaurant food quality probably rates as five star). There are, however, none of the frills and high class services that you would expect from a five star. There are also too few staff in the hotel so you are constantly waiting.

Would not pay the price again. Go to a Parador!

  • Liked — Quite, not over crowded and good restaurant food
  • Disliked — you pay for everything! Not enough staff who had been trained in real customer service
  • Stayed July 2007, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank PetroMychalkiw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Surrey
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 June 2007

My husband and I have just spent a wonderful week here. We had 5 star service from start to finish.We parked outside the hotel door, and our suitcases were whisked up to our rooms as we checked in. All the staff, from the chambermaids up to management were SO helpful, and so friendly. We loved every minute of it! The room had a fabulous view from the balcony, of the pool and the sea, and it was really peaceful. The hotel was luxurious, spotlessly clean, and had everything we needed for a relaxing spa break.
The buffet breakfast was spectacular, and the restaurant staff couldn't have been better. We didn't eat again until the evening! There was lots of choice for the generous buffet dinner, and for a very reasonable price we had an amazing meal in the a la carte restaurant.
The long beach, which is just a few yards away, through the pine trees, is beautifully clean, fine sand. The hotel has a beach bar, and free sunbeds.
We couldn't fault the hotel. WOW!!

  • Liked — The breathtaking view from our balcony!
  • Disliked — Having to leave it!
  • Stayed May 2007, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank EJ13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bognor Regis, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 July 2006

We were very impressed with the look of the hotel. It was finished to a very high standard. The rooms were comfortable and well equiped, the staff helpful and the food excellent. The pool was large and clean though rather cold and the beach had soft sand. We enjoyed the walk through the pines to the beach. We have no complaints about the hotel at all just the area it is situated in. It was quite a distance from Isla Cristina town - okay as long as you have good walking shoes - and a very unattractive walk. There was a lot of graffiti on unfinished apartments and shops. It was as if a lot of money was spent on building up the area and the money ran out and it was just left.

We stayed for a week and were house hunting so had plenty to occupy us but unless you were on honeymoon or a short business stay it would not be a suitable venue.

  • Liked — Decor
  • Disliked — Bar prices
  • Stayed May 2006, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank Huelva
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
birmingham
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 June 2006

We stayed at this hotel, not long after it opened. The rooms are gorgoeus and the bathroom was huge. Big enough for 4 people in the shower! The food was excellent. Breakfast, there was a huge assortment to choose from, and the evening meal, was fantastic. There was a sushi chef, huge amounts of prawns and other seafood as well as a magnificent salad bar and various hot meals. The beach is a short walk through the trees and if you turn left along the beach, you come to some lovely restaurants and quaint Spanish tapas bars. The actual town centre is the other way. It has quaint back streets, banks, bakeries and shops. Although we eat in the hotel every night because we were on a half board basis, the restaurants along from the beach looked lovely. I think that the person who wrote the above review, perhaps didn't find these little gems.... I found the staff to be extremely helpful even remembering our names at night in the main restaurant. There was a pianist playing most nights in the hotel. I'm only in my 30's so yes it probably would be too quiet for some, but for a truly relaxing hotel on a lovely beach with a good book it's ideal.

  • Stayed August 2004
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank kayleighclue
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about SENSIMAR Isla Cristina Palace & Spa

Property: SENSIMAR Isla Cristina Palace & Spa
Address: Avenida Del Parque s/n, 21410 Isla Cristina, Spain
Region: Spain > Andalucia > Costa de la Luz > Isla Cristina
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Ski-In / Ski-Out Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 6 Hotels in Isla Cristina
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:5 star — SENSIMAR Isla Cristina Palace & Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 165
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Sensimar Isla Cristina Palace Hotel is an exclusive recommended for over 18 years hotel in Isla Cristina, Huelva, located on the frontline of Santana beach, and with 5 star services designed to offer maximum comfort in a unique atmosphere. Recently refurbished, it has suites, free WiFi throughout the hotel, restaurant, Chill Out, direct access to the beach... Everything you could wish for. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Isla Cristina Palace Hotel Isla Cristina
Hotel Isla Cristina
Palace Hotel Isla Cristina
SENSIMAR Isla Cristina Palace & Spa Costa De La Luz

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