Let me start out by saying that you will never find anything perfect. Never. Also, bearing in mind that most people only write reviews to make complaints about things, I am trying to be as balanced as I can. I stayed here between 19th December 2012 and 3rd January 2013, in a party of 6 (5 adults and one child)
The location is in the quiet area of the island as far as the English population is concerned. Most here are German or Italian which isn't a problem as they are generally very friendly but you always get one idiot - so its no different from the English really. We even had an England vs Germany football match on the roof that ended 8-8 - which was one of the best laughs I can say I have had on holiday.
The hotel is kept very clean and tidy, as is the pool area. There are people that reserve sunbeds with their towels but to be fair it was mostly the English doing this, but there were always plenty of sunbeds about, and once someone found one, you generally got to keep it for the holiday without any problems.
The bars all ave a great selection of drinks, although you can occasionally end up with the wrong one. But when you only have 2 bar tenders serving for 200+ people, that will happen as they were constantly rushed off their feet. Those two were not just serving, but also had to do the cleaning up, collect the glasses, wash them up, etc so sometimes there were few glasses about and only one person serving while the other went and got them. Some nights there was only one person on and the manager had to some down and work.
The restaurant was good, but nothing spectacular. The hot food was rarely hot though - chips and potatoes were sometimes raw in fact, but that depends on how lucky you are to what time the food it put out. I was always at breakfast when it opened at 7.00am, and the food was always very hot then. My only issue was that neither the eggs or pancakes had been done by then. Lunches and dinner were the same, the hot foot was often cold, but it never really affected me too much. There was always plenty of meat, pasta and rice available at all meals. The only downside was the constantly cold chips, and lock of cold meat (ham, etc) to make a roll with in the evening. The gala meals were very good though.
Also, there were never enough tables. We were told by the manager to go to reception and reserve ours as we needed one for 6 people, which they did after te 4th day, and we had it for the entire stay. But many people were being told off for sitting in a closed area, even though there were no tables available. On the second day, a waitress cam up to my dad and just picked his plate up while he was eating. It was disgraceful. You couldn't complain as none of the staff there spoke English. On the 30th, there were queues out the door for people wanting to get in but couldn't, even though a third of the tables were empty - but the hotel staff wanted to save on cleaning them. After a while people just went in and sat at them, but the staff got very upset with them. This needs to be sorted. Also on the gala nights when tables were supposed to be reserved, many people just sat down as what ever table they wanted, and refused to move. The hotel just let them get away with it.
The entertainment staff were a mixed bag. There was one German girl who was friendly and brilliant, an Italian girl who was much the same, but the Spanish guy who I think run things was terrible. One night (New Years Eve) they had a competition on stage, and it was only the English who would go up, but this guy wanted to do the hosting and he was the only one who couldn't speak English. He also spent most days going round the hotel doing things he thought were funny, but he was just stupid. Maybe its just my sense of humour that didn't work with him. The entertainment in the evening wasn't up to much, but when you only have 3 people, and no funding, there is not a lot you can do. 3 of the 14 nights we stayed were audience participation nights (four if you count new years eve). The reception staff were great, very helpful and happy to sort out any problems quickly.
We never went down to the beach so I can't talk about that. We were here two years ago, and it was a dangerous walk and I slipped on the gravel and ended up with a big cut all the way up my leg. From what I have heard it has not changed much.
The rooms are basic, but that's the same with everywhere you go. The pillows were terrible though, and I ended up getting the blanket for the wardrobe and using that as a pillow. The tv could only get CNN in English and that didn't work for a week. Eurosport is also in English, but that have dubbed German talking over the top. It didn't bother me as I never watched it, but the older people in our group found it hard to catch up on the news back home. I found it easier just to you by phones internet to read the news.
There is an indoor swimming pool which is nice to use, but if your English, you can't play ball games as it's a relaxation area. The management (well the cleaner really) told us off, but didn't seem to mind letting the Spanish doing them same thing. There are sauna's and steam rooms, but despite the signs, many people still used these naked. Not too much of an issue, but they would walk around the whole swimming pool area like it too. The outdoor pools were ruddy freezing, but that didn't stop some people using them at 6.00am every morning. brrr....
As for being in the middle of no-where, there is a town (Mable Jable) a short bus ride away (cost 1.4 euro's each way). There is nothing in walking distance, but in this day and age, you can check this before you book, and if you haven't - then that's your problem. You can not blame that on the hotel.
Would I stay again? It depends. If we could get into an Iberostar which Thomas Cook seem to have stopped offering in the UK, then no. But if none of them were available, then yes I probably would. If they could make to food warmer, and spend a little more on the entertainment budget, they would have a cracking resort on their hands, but for me, it still needs a little work to make it a must-go place.
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- Also Known As:
- Ambar Beach Hotel Jandia Peninsula
- Ambar Beach Resort And Spa
- Hotel Ambar Beach
- Ambar Beach Resort & Spa Fuerteventura, Spain