I have just returned from Marina Parc with my husband and 3 children (13, 10, 5). I was really worried about going based on some of the negative reviews on here but thankfully i resisted the urge to change my holiday as it was fab! We actually played a game in our family every day called " spot the people who will moan on trip advisor!". Yes, there are some negatives but every thing which was negative was easily sorted with a word at reception. No, it is not a 5 star hotel - it is a 3 star!!
Please, also, when you write a review, review the resort/accommodation - not your actual holiday!
We booked a 3 bed apartment as this was only £28 more than a 2 bed. I asked on the forums on here about where they were located and was told they didnt have 3 bed places and that we would have 3 x 1 bed apartments with connecting doors which did worry me a lot so i emailed the hotel who confirmed i did have a 3 bed apartment. WOW! it was a 4 bed house over 2 storeys - definitely worth paying the £28 to upgrade from the 2 bed to the 3 bed! We had a kitchen, living/dining room and a bedroom on the ground floor and then 3 bedrooms (one off of the master bedroom, perfect for smaller children) and another bathroom on the 2nd floor. There was a balcony on the 2nd floor which was accessed by the 2 main rooms. On the ground floor we had a little terrace with table and chairs and we had a small front garden area. On the balcony we also had an airer for drying towels. The kitchen was a proper (basic) kitchen which had an oven, hob, cutlery, crockery, full size fridge and freezer. Fantastic! The living room had a 40inch LG TV which showed disney channels in english, both bathrooms were identical - showers over baths, bidet, toilet, sink, hairdryer & shaving socket. All of the bedrooms had big built in wardrobes with shelving too.
We took our own pool towels but you can hire them from the hotel at a charge of 20euro deposit for the week (i assume this is per towel?) and then 1euro per towel. There is a small complex just 2mins walk from the water park which has a supermarket, 2 souvenir shops, 2 restaurants/bars, car hire place, and a small fun park. You may be able to pick up cheap towels from here.
The supermarket sold everything and was used by the locals - we stocked up on water, crisps and snacks here. You could also post your postcards and this is where you catch the bus to Mahon.
Yes there were ants in the apartment - we woke up on our first morning to a line from the front to the rear of the house. I wandered down to reception (1minute away) and politely mentioned it to the reception lady who sent a cleaner round to zap them - she left the spray so we used it when we found any others. There was another english man in there at the same time kicking off about the ants, demanding to change rooms, hoping to drag me into his moan. I actually made a joke of it with the receptionist and said you get them wherever - it's a hot country! The only negative about the ants was there was no brush in the apartment to sweep up the dead ones.
The beds were comfy and the air con was adequate.
We found there to be no issues with wasps or ants around any of the pools. We also found no issues with cut tiles, dirty pools or slipping over - i did see one or two children slip around the pools but these were children who were running. We did take aqua shoes having read to on here but they were not needed. Save yourself the money!
The waterpark is small but perfect. We spent 2 whole days there. It opens at 10.30am although the queue starts by 10 to get the best sun beds. Be wary if you pick a bed near a tree as they will be in the shade in the afternoon. Yes, the snack bar here is basic (chips, hot dogs, burgers) but you can leave and walk across the road to the main restaurant.
The food in the restaurant was lovely. I am a fairly fussy eater and i found food to eat every night. There is always a pasta, a fish, a meat and chips, salad etc. Kids buffet was a pasta, nuggets, chips and some thing else (normally 6 options). I was shocked by the amount of people who let their kids run around the restaurant unsupervised - one girl used the cheese tongs to stir her tomato pasta and then put them back in the cheese! The restaurant staff were lovely, smiley, friendly, helpful and efficient. not once did they rush us nor were they rude to us. The food was warm, varied and very tasty.
Drinks - now this, for me, was a small negative. Not the plastic cups (would you rather have broken glass everywhere?) - if you ordered from the main bar in reception they asked if you wanted your drinks in glass or plastic as in the restaurant you also had that option. It was the fact they only had one barman on each bar. They served 4 drinks to adults and 2 to children. Yes, the fizzy pop was cheap stuff but then imagine how much of it they get through! the kids loved it regardless. And actually, serving beer in smaller glasses hopefully means you drink more responsibly (when in charge of your children!). An improvement the hotel could make would be to put fridges containing bottles of water around the resort. There were water dispensers at all of the bars and restaurant so you could help yourself to water - we bought bottled water at the shop and refilled it.
In reception there was a corner for leaving your unwanted holiday bits - in here were buckets and spades, parasols, sun cream, inflatables, flip flops.....check it daily.
I do agree with people who have said that for older children there is not a lot to do in the evenings. There are a few pool tables and a few arcade games but not enough. They need something more - i'm not sure what, but something! The younger kids loved the mini disco and the evening entertainment was always enjoyable. The animation team were fantastic - always smiley, always enthusiastic and worked really hard.
There are a few things to spend money on (so be warned) - there are popcorn machines (2 euro), sweet machines, pringles machines, and pool table which eats your money (pop to reception and they sort it out!). in the evening, some people set up stalls outside selling laser pens, hair braids and candy floss (2.50euros). and on Tuesday and Thursday a man appears doing little shetland pony rides for 5euro each.
The beach is a 10min walk and there are some more shops, bars etc there. We had a meal out at El Pirata which is near to the little supermarket and about 2min walk from marina parc - we thoroughly recommend it there.
I do agree that the cleaners could come in more regularly - we arrived on Monday and by Friday the room hadn't been touched but i mentioned it to the rep and within 2hrs the room had been cleaned. Again, you need to ask and it will be sorted.
The first choice reps were visible, approachable and very helpful.
My final words (this has been a long review!) are about the reception staff. Some people have moaned about them on here and this is very unjust. My son lost his beloved teddy on our 4th day and the lovely young blonde spanish lady in reception was so kind and helpful and went out of her way to help us. Sadly, he hasn't been found but she has taken our address and a photo of the teddy in case it turns up. All of the reception staff waved off the coaches as they left too - you don't get that elsewhere!
I would return to Marina Parc and would definitely recommend it for people with children under 12 or if you were a group with a few teenagers who can entertain each other in the evenings.
Ignore the negatives - if people voiced their problems (in a polite way) with reception, they would be swiftly rectified.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- This huge complex packs in a triple helping of pools, plus an impressive waterpark. It’s only a short walk from Arenal’s centre and sandy beach, too. The waterpark is this place’s crowning glory, with pools, ring rides and slides to keep speed demons grinning like Cheshire cats. Watery fun aside, there’s also loads of sports and activities going on. All rooms and the restaurant had a refresh for summer 2016, so you can expect a fresh look and feel during your stay. The buffet restaurant lines up spreads of international dishes fresh-made pancakes at breakfast. There’s a kid-friendly section, too, with stuff like nuggets and fish fingers. There's a poolside bar dishing up drinks and snacks throughout the day. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Marina Parc Hotel Arenal d`En Castell