So many reviewers have posted very negative comments about the Palma Bay Club being overrun by Germans, which I was slightly hesitant about before our holiday, having read through the reviews. However, I would now like to point out that there isn't really much truth in this. To say "if you're British, don't go here" is a bit extreme, as I found the pool areas during the day, and the resort at night, to have a good mix of British, Spanish and of course, Germans, not only young groups, but older couples and families. A note to people with these types of views - if you want to be surrounded by Brits, stay in Britain! The town of El Arenal itself, does cater largely to Germans where the pub/club scene is concerned, which we discovered a few nights into our holiday and found to be a bit on the intimidating side to say the least. The best solution to this is stay away from the German bars, simple.
We arrived late, having encountered a 2 hour flight delay and an hours wait on transport to the hotel. The website we booked through were true to their word, and the resort was infact a 15 minute transfer from Palma airport, which was great. Check in was prompt and we were given directions to our room, which was in the Gobi building, across the road from the hotel (people have been referring to these as sister hotels, but they're not, its all part of the Palma Bay Club). Having remembered other reviewers commenting about these "outbuildings" being small and isolated from the main resort, I was immediately disappointed as I thought we had booked a standard room in the one of the main apartment blocks. The room was on the first floor and was very small, with really only enough room to walk round the bed - which was two singles pushed together. I'll never quite fathom why holiday resorts think it's acceptable to pass a twin room off as a double by shoving the beds together! The only other furniture in the room was two bedside tables, a small wardrobe and a desk with a small portable TV on top. There was a small glass door on the furthest away wall, which opened up onto the outside, with a small railing and a view of a brick wall. No balcony and certainly no pool view! We decided to spend the night in the room, as it was late, and went to reception in the morning to see about moving to a larger room.
Reception were very dismissive about our request in moving to a better room, and insisted that we had booked a room in the smaller buildings. They told us that they were fully booked and would be unable to move us for the duration of our stay. This was disappointing, but as we were only there for 5 nights, we figured we could put up with the room and just spend as little time in it as possible.
We really only returned to the room in the evening to shower and change, and then again at night to sleep. The bathroom was small, and the shower was a bit erratic - I could really only use it by removing the shower head from the bracket on the wall. There was always plenty of hot water though, and the towels were changed every day. The air conditioning also worked, which was good, but there was absolutely nowhere in the room to hang wet towels or swim wear. The plus side to our location, being away from the bar areas and streets, meant that we encountered no noise and had no problems sleeping.
There were 5 pool areas in the resort, including one for adults only, which were all quite small but we always managed to get a couple of sun loungers, even at noon when they were at their busiest. To say you would have to be up at 7am to reserve one is a bit on the ridiculous side.
The selection of food on offer was always pretty good, although we can't comment much on breakfast as we only made it the first morning! There was a good choice of hot items (bacon, eggs, hash brown type potato things) and the usual cereals, fruit, cheeses, cold meats, breads and croissants. Juice and hot drinks were available for you to help yourself to (although the "fresh" juice tasted like undiluted cordial, not nice). Lunch was a good selection of hot dishes, including vegetarian options, soup, potatoes, chips, plenty of salads and desserts, and dinner was pretty much more the same. There wasn't any meal time that I couldn't find anything I liked, and the desserts were amazing (loved the profiteroles and rice pudding!) Soft drinks, water and teas and coffees were available all day on a self service basis - although if you're scared of wasps, you might have some trouble :)
There was an indoor snack area which served all day, so if you missed breakfast, or wanted something to eat in between meal times, you never went hungry! There was also a BBQ stall and one of the pool bars had a pizzeria, which served from 12.30pm until 3.30pm each day. Someone told us about a Chinese restaurant in the resort, located in the Copacabana building, which you apparently had to make a reservation for and was still part of the All Inclusive package. We booked at reception for the Saturday night of our stay, and it was fantastic, a lovely restaurant with outdoor terrace, and the food was lovely.
The main bar in the resort was outdoors, where the entertainment stage was, and closed at 11pm. There was another one indoors, opened until 2am, but we went there twice and there was usually only a handful of people after 11pm as no-one wanted to pay for their drinks (even though it was only €1 a drink after 11!) The drinks were fine, although the white wine was so dry I had to top it up with sprite to be able to drink it, and the cocktails were so bland and watery, they didn't really taste of anything, never mind alcohol. The fact that you were only allowed to order two drinks at a time was pretty awful, considering the extremely lengthy bar queues from 7pm onwards, and the fact that the bar staff place 2 large lumps of ice in each plastic cup, meaning that two drinks is really only one! The entertainment wasn't very good, and they seemed to cater more for kids than adults, children's entertainment during the day and the mini disco kicking off at 8.30pm each night for an hour, before the "adult" entertainment, which was pretty poor, but it was something to watch - during our stay we had flamenco dancers, bingo, snake show, magic show and grease tribute show, which was ok. Other comments about the shortage of tables and chairs is fairly accurate, if you're not there early enough, you will struggle to get a seat.
The beach was 5 minutes walk from the hotel, as were plenty of shops, supermarkets, restaurants and bars. El Arenal seemed like quite a run down area, with alot of derelict looking buildings, even along the beach front, and alot of gypsy people trying to sell stuff in the streets. This could be intimidating to some, but they were friendly enough and knew how to take no for an answer. We got the bus to Palma one day which was only a 25 minute journey, and well worth seeing.
My only real negative comment about our stay was the reception staff, who we found to be very unhelpful, unfriendly and rather abrupt on every occasion. We had a few dealings with different members of staff on the front desk, when we made a couple of enquiries about various things in the resort, and also when the key card to our room stopped working a couple of times, and each time we came away feeling as though we had disturbed them and were nothing more than an inconvenience.
Finally, the day we were leaving, we enquired about a room to shower in later in the afternoon, as our flight wasn't until 9pm that evening, and were told that there was nothing available, and nowhere at all that we could shower - after being told when we arrived that we would get a courtesy room to use! Again, we were informed of this in a very abrupt manner, and were told that in no uncertain terms, that the hotel was completely booked up. So after lying in the sun all day, we had to lug our bags up to the pool side, use one of the showers there and get changed in the toilets! For a resort this size not to offer a courtesy room or shower area for late departing guests, is a bit of a let down.
All in all, the hotel is your typical 3 star Spanish resort, the room was clean enough and we had no complaints at all about the food. We got a very good deal on our 5 night break, so our expectations weren't very high to begin with, which as a result, made all the good points seem great. The negative points, mostly niggles, were similar to the views of others, but we didn't let any of it ruin our time away, and would probably return to Palma Bay if similar deals were available.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Satisfaction on 6178 acres.Palma-Bay Club Resort hotel is located in a quiet area in the beach of Palma (Arenal), 350 metres from the beach and 5 minutes from the leisure and shopping centres. It also has a large children’s area and a great entertainment team, who with our staff help you enjoy an unforgettable holidays. The hotel has an area of 25.000 square metres with some restaurants, a snack bar and various bars as well as large gardens and 4 swimming pools It’s only 8 Km from the airport and 10 Km from the capital of Mallorca, Palma. It’s a resort with more than 500 bedrooms, most of them with air-conditioning. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Onthebeach, Booking.com, Jet2Holidays , Hotels.com, Lastminute, Travel Republic (UK), Hotelopia, LoveHolidays, Priceline, Odigeo and Expedia so you can book your Palma Bay Club Resort reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Hotel Palma Bay
- Palma Bay Playa De
- Palma Bay Club Resort Majorca/Playa De Palma