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“A truly French experience”

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Cote Thalasso Banyuls sur Mer
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Banyuls-sur-mer
Reviewed 28 March 2013

It helps to speak French and understand something about French culture to get the most out of this place. This is not a hotel, it is somewhere between a hospital and a hotel, so do not expect luxury accommodation. In fact, the accommodation is quite basic and rather tired in a 1960 retro way, it reminded me of the 1960s terminal at Charles de Gaulle Airport. The whole point of staying here is to take the "cure", which revolves around a lot of sea water therapy from warm baths, to seaweed wraps to being hosed down with cold seawater. There is also a great indoor hot seawater pool with hydratherapy jets and you can have all sorts of beauty treatments.

The clientele is almost exclusively French and I spoke to people who had been coming every year for years and years and loved the place. So, if you want to have a truly French holiday experience this is the place.

Room Tip: This is not a hotel, there is no point staying here unless you are going to use the hydratherapy.
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  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled with friends
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2  Thank Kulturcat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 11 March 2013

This modern looking hotel is really bare bones and needs to be warmed up and updated. It is cold (not temperature wise) in atmosphere and the welcome is very lukewarm. Located high above the village of Banyuls-sur-Mer, it has beautiful views over the water front. But once you've looked at the view, you've about exhausted the charms of the place. The spa treatments were adequate, and going to breakfast in the fluffy bathrobe supplied by the hotel was very pleasant. I saw many people coming in to use the spa on a daily basis, and I think that's the best way to experience the facilities.

Room Tip: Stay away from rooms on the street or on the hallway just outside the lobby. Too much vehicle traff...
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  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled with friends
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2  Thank V0yage4fun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 September 2012

For a short stay in Banyuls, I decided to stay at the Thalacap Catalogne. My reason for choosing this residence was purely based on the fact that it was close to where I needed to be. The hotel is a short walk from the town. It's about 15minutes. You can either take the dangerous route (the road with no real sidewalk), or the steps (which may make some feel like they are far too unfit to be able to do this everyday!). Either way, there is a nice view of the sea as you come down the hill.

Upon arrival, I asked the lady in French if she could speak English. I have never been met with such iciness. That, combined with her sharp features and immaculate hair pulled back tight as tight can be, I couldn't help but think of a modern day witch.
After mumbling about and finding my key, she told me my room number before giving me the directions on how to get there. "You will see "Chambre", that means room in French". Her rudeness and arrogance was completely unnecessary, and if you were a fly on the wall, you would have most likely have noticed me snarling like I was ready to eat her up and spit her out.
Thankfully enough, my experience two days later with the front desk was a lot more pleasant. Two much nicer ladies who, after 20minutes, finally agreed to providing me with a towel. For some unknown reason, the person who came to service the room everyday thought that I didn't want to shower on my last day there, and so they took off with all of the towels. Why, thank you!

The room was sufficient. A bit stuffy and warm but there was an air conditioning system to ease the pain. Thalacap Catalogne is a bit run down. But I did not expect a 5 star hotel in such a sleepy little seaside town. I felt that the state of the hotel actually added to the charm of the place.

The breakfast was shocking. By shocking, I mean I tried to eat it. I really did. But I beg to ask, how old does a fruit salad have to be before it becomes "fizzy" when you bite into it. Fizzy fruit is fruit that is undergoing fermentation isn't it? By the by, I don't think that this restaurant was serving the "fizzy fruit" that you can buy at fizzyfruit.com or using dry ice to fizzyfy their fruit either. It also tasted like it was weeks old.

Apparently Thalacap is also a spa. I didn't have time to visit. Though, from what I saw, it looked like a spa was within the vicinity, especially given that people were walking around in robes.

Overall, Thalacap does the job if you need somewhere to sleep in Banyuls for a few days.

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled solo
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2  Thank hopskipjumptravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 August 2012

I am not sure how the Thalacap Catalogne is selling itself, as its website is only in French, and my French is limited. However I had the impression when I booked it that it was more luxurious, perhaps because it is a "spa".
Once there it is clearly run down, and walls needed painting, and it needed a touch up. Walking down the halls to the rooms reminded me of a ship, or a school boarding house. The rooms are standard hotel rooms, although we did have a balcony and a view. Service was adequate, but not particularly friendly. The spa smelled of bleach, and the sauna and Turkish bath closes at 7pm. Swimming in the sea in Banyuls was wonderful! Breakfast was good.
Overall I was disappointed and would not stay here unless I had a really good rate and it was winter or early spring, so I could make use of the spa in preference to the beach.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with friends
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2  Thank Kengele
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 May 2012

We went to Banyuls-sur-Mer to investigate the start of the GR10 cross-Pyrenees hiking route. My wife was tempted by the possibilities of the thalassa therapy spa.

The hotel is slightly out of town but there is a good off-road 15 minute walking path to get to the town centre. Parking facilities available. The room we hired was basic and not carefully built although quite adequate for our needs.

We were out walking in the hills most of our stay but we used the spa and found it mostly good. Relaxing to swim in the seawater pool. Hamam was good. Sauna was bad: there was a sign in French saying that putting water on the stones was "interdit" - forbidden: this is a massive contradiction in terms. Coming from Finland we know about sauna: the key to it is throwing a little fresh water on the hot stones. Forbidding the users of sauna from using sauna as sauna is totally absurd. I guess most of the people attending this place don't know how to use sauna. So strange.

We enjoyed good breakfasts with panoramic sea view. We also dined in the restaurant one evening. Service was excellent and the food good.

Apart from the non-functional sauna, no complaints. The pricing was reasonable.

Room Tip: Try to get a sea view.
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  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank pleroma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 August 2011

This was my second visit (first in 2003) and my husband's first visit. The resort has been refurbished and this helps to make it more attractive. More reception staff speak English than before (we always try and use our bad French anyway but it is kinder on guests for whom French is one language too far). However, it is still an experience like no other! We both took treatments and my husband regretted spending over 100 Euro more for his Zen treatment than my "Détente & Vitality" just to be emerged in a bath most of the time! I enjoyed the mineral dense pool but we both felt that the massages were nothing more than stroking with oils. We enjoyed the wraps but be careful of the cold wrap for the legs - it is vicious. The evening menu was lovely and the quality of the food / wine was excellent. Service was fast most nights but we found ourselves seated near to small crying children on two nights. That indeed is the issue for two people like us who are looking for a relaxing but serious spa experience. Children of whatever age are usually exuberant and vocal on holiday and why shouldn't they be. The contrast between the treatment areas where children are not allowed and the rest of the resort where they are free to enjoy themselves is too much of a shock and contrast. I enjoyed the stretching and abs classes although be prepared that it is likely to be conducted in French so will fast track your vocabulary on the body and exercise! Gym is adequate but, personally, I wonder why they do not use the external area when the weather is nice and place a couple of exercise cycles there. Accommodation for us was a hotel room but I understand that there are self-contained units. The rooms do have a free internet connection which we appreciated. Soap in bathroom seemed to be rationed, even after requesting some!

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank JannJ28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 July 2011

We stayed here for one night on our way to Spain. Good sea views from the terrace and probably very well equipped as a spa, but for an overnight stay it's expensive. Dinner was not particularly exciting steak a bit tough though the rest was OK. Breakfast had a good selection of breads, meats, cheeses and some cereals. Room was of an adequate size, bathroom was dimly lit. All very 1980s really. Most people there seemed to be there for a spa weekend. 80% walking round in dressing gowns. Parking on site. Reception staff very good. Wifi no problem.

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank grumpydave42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Cote Thalasso Banyuls sur Mer

Address: route de Cerbere, 66650 Banyuls-sur-mer, France (Formerly Thalacap Catalogne)
Region: France > Occitanie > Pyrenees-Orientales > Banyuls-sur-mer
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Banyuls-sur-mer
Price Range: £72 - £160 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Cote Thalasso Banyuls sur Mer 3*
Number of rooms: 68
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Thalacap Catalogne Hotel Banyuls-Sur-Mer

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