I'll try to be balanced from the objective of the 3 star status. Last years holiday for me was at the Gran Canaria Princess. That was my first experience of All inclusive and it is was fantastic.
Right The hotel.
Set about 200 yards from the main area, it's nice and quiet. The entrance is literally next to the beach, with the front seating area, with small snack bar/cafe, looking directly over the beach. While I'm on the cafe subject, forget ordering Cappaccino's, it's coffee (no milk) with a layer of UHT canned cream squirted over the top. Yuk
Turn left out of the hotel and you walk up a path overlooking the beach and along the road that runs along next to the beach. You can see the main front ahead and a collection of flags where you can catch the buses to Salou or elsewhere. Then follows a collection of cafes etc etc with the usual Tat shops. A 5 minute walk brings you to the Aquapolis water park (25 euro's per adult, about 19 for kids). That was great fun, but I recommend going on any day that is overcast. We made that decision and had a free run of the park with no queuing. We paid the extra to return a second day ( 6 euro's), that was a sunny day, the park was packed, so we just watched the dolphin show and left.
Out of the hotel door cross the road 10 yards and you are there, a small but convenient shop. With a bigger one near those flags I mentioned. So no aching arms or mangled fingers from carrying bags.
8 floors and it looks very smart from the outside with it's glass balcony barriers. Reception area with just a couple of sofa's. Reception staff nice and polite. Thomson staff just over to the right as you enter, nice friendly bunch. Internet corner over to the left ,1 euro for 10 mins. But the nice surprise was free wifi, you just get the code from reception. It works in reception and up in the first floor bar area near the pool. So take that Ipad, ipod etc with you.
The restaurant area is on the ground floor and opens for breakfast and evening meals.
Tea coffee and fruit juices etc included at breakfast, but you have to buy your drinks in the evening. Both help yourself buffets, drinks are ordered via a waiter who will attend your table. You pay for the drinks on exit.
The food is a good standard, and plenty of it with variations to cater for all, including the kids.
The first floor bar area.
Never packed, plenty of room, but probably the worst bar service, I've come across while on holiday. The bar staff are not as bright and bubbly as I have been used too. The same goes for the 2 chaps on the front cafe. However the restaurant staff are fab.
Forget 'all inclusive', it has time constraints and a never ending list of what's free and what's not, along with price reductions . It's a lot of hassle it seems for a top price, the actual drink prices are very good with the local beers etc amounting to about £2 a pint. The only expensive item seemed to be slush drinks that the kids love 2.50 euro's, for something that probably costs 10p to supply.
The bar spreads around to an area, pool table and so on. This leads to a narrow but long terrace, where they do the main of the activitives, table tennis, darts, shooting etc. This is a nice quiet area to escape to.
Now my kids love swimming and spend countless hours splashing around. They spent about an hour in this small pool (saltwater) and never got in it again. The pool and small area around it is a huge let down. So if you want to relax by the pool and watch the kids, forget this hotel, it's awful. However in the evening it's more than adequate for the show's.
Don't panic, all is not lost, I hate the beach, so does my wife, and the kids are'n't too keen either. But here you have a fantastic clean beach (cleaned everyday). It's vast with lovely soft fine sand. To the right is a break water and fenced off private area so the kids can't wander off that way. The breakwater provides a very gently sloping sand base for the kids to paddle off into. 50 yards out and it's still only waist deep on adults. The breakwater leaves no waves of note with very little current. The further left you go up the beach the bigger the waves will get but the same gentle slope exists. The beach goes on for as far as you can see, with loads of space for everyone. The sea looks like it's got gold glitter in it. It really is a pleasant experience and the kids loved it. I had no wories about them being in the sea, it's as about as safe as I have experienced and probably the nicest beach I've been on.
Hence many of the hotel guests just head for the beach to relax.
Our room had a double bed with 2 singles but in the booking they gave us an interconnecting room which had 2 single beds and it's own bathroom. The room was much like any other re package holidays and no complaints there. For a 3 star it was better than I expected. The air conditioning worked in both rooms too, that's a first. Loved the shower, no hot water issues (another first). We were on the 8th floor which was no issue as the kids loved the glass enclosed lifts. Rooms cleaned every day by a pleasant friendly maids.
The evening entertainment was good for most days. I wish I knew what Jaqueline, one of the hotel entertainment team was on, I want some, barking mad but great fun. Take some ear plugs, as it's bound to be someone's birthday and her belting out happy birthday, would have Simon Cowell screwing his face up.
When I got to the hotel and saw the pool area, I though OMG I hate this, but after a few days, I loved the area. But for the pool area alone I will never go back there.
I loved Salou very clean and bustling with life. It was much nicer than Playa de Ingles in Gran Canaria. But hotel wise The Gran Canaria Princess is a world apart from the Golden Donaire.
So in short. Area nice. Beach fantastic. Food good, rooms good, reasonable prices, forget all inclusive. Pool area, absolute pants. Transfer time from the airport nice and quick (Reus).
If you love beaches you really won't beat this hotel for that. Oh and just to add, the football and volleyball is played on the beach which is great fun. Away from the waterfront, there is a vast expanse of sand, so there is no lacking of space to do anything that the kids want.
Oh and finally. In the Aqualpolis you will only go on the boomerang ride once. When you are so terrified that the scream doesn't come out, you know not to get on it again. Even my Kamikaze son refused a second go. It's safe but stomach churning.
For the pool area and general area check out satellite map sites. Compare that to Princess hotels pool areas and you will see why I am whinging.
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel Golden Donaire Beach
- Golden Donaire Park
- Golden Donaire Beach La Pineda
- Golden Donaire Beach Hotel La Pineda, Costa Dorada, Spain