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Reviewed 7 September 2013

Superb beach and swimming pool facilities were good. First camping holiday in Europe beautiful surrounding areas loved Laredo beach junction 174 I think. Came here with our children from 4 to 16. We arrived later so had only 5 pitches to choose from the whole camp site! Pitch we had was fab just round the corner of park nearest to the laundry area great for our 4 year old who would bike round and we can oversee from our pitch. Unfortunate for us first five days was hell due to the opposite neighbour ( 2 lads, 17 year old German boys, parents were staying in an apartment near the camping site). The two boys attracted gang of British teenagers who would be hanging around there some part of the day/evenings hence we were the victims of having to listen to whatever teenagers rebels get up to at that age (drinking games, hanging out inside their motorhome, listening to their foul mouthed voices). Being woken up by rowdy druken boys/girls, broken bottles and loud music every night. We are quite laid back family so it did take us five days till we actually complaint to company and address the 2 boys. After this it did improve and we did begin to settle and enjoy the site. Ten days into our holidays I needed to buy bits of little fun pressies for my daughter's 16th birthday I decided to go the to campsite gift shop (selling all overprice items swim wear, toys, accessories of camping, towels etc) and after buying 9 items was charge 35.90 Euros. To my dismay I calculated again back in our tent how much I spent even the items that did not have price labels I guessed I may have been overcharged. In my limited Spanish I bravely returned to question this and rightly I was given back 13.00 Euros. With no apologies!! That for me was the end of the Playa Joyel,I lost heart to know that they would try to steal money of holiday makes. So, I suggest you all make sure you know what you are buying and even at the grocery shop they would try too am sure I felt they tried to take 1 or 2 euro as I had to ask at one time.

The Zoo place is just hazard for children touching the animals looked worn out and people walking in pile of animal faeces around the area was not really ideal. Its just a really tired campsite which does it best to accommodate their customers. Mainly for Spanish holiday makers as Spanish cinema in the tennis court is pretty much one man band setting up a screen with two wooden poles with white sheet. Bring your own chair. Problems with projector one night so Smurfs film was cancelled. I have to say our four year old enjoyed it but as for the teenagers not much.

Zumba classes were excellent and really benefitted from the sessions.

If you are going to stay here I would visit Bilbao city and go to the museum.

Our girls liked the campsite and would like to return but if we did it would probably be in another less crowded and quieter campsite although having the beach and beautiful sea was fantastic.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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Thank a r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 September 2013

Approximately 45 minutes from the port of Santander ferry terminal, first impression was the camping pitches looked scruffy with quite a lot of older European vehicles and caravans, pitches are close together with narrow lanes. However if you look through this the site is well organised and well equipped and a superb beach on the door step for body boarding. Good clean facilities, good shop, spit roast chicken and chips counter, decent pool (although our boys were not keen on wearing swimming caps- mandatory) and the beach was more fun. Noja and Isla very Spanish resorts within 10 mins walk. Stayed 5 nights before heading to France as planned and we enjoyed our stay but were ready to move on.

Room Tip: Try Isla for lunch, menu del dia good value deals.
  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank ThePowerNapper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 September 2013

Having initially thought that a large campsite was not really our kind of holiday, we decided to give it a go anyway. We arrived on a Saturday without having made a booking, but the friendly staff did everything possible to accommodate us.
The pitches were large and most of them were well shaded... I would recommend taking a few wind breaks to use as screens if you like a bit of privacy.
Ablution blocks were very clean, thanks to the hardworking and smiley crew of cleaners.
Didn't use the restaurant (other than for a coffee in the morning whilst checking emails) and the shop was great for bread,eggs, etc. We did most of our shopping at the Lupo supermarket, located in Arogonos, just a short drive away. Very reasonably priced, with an excellent selection of fish and a good butcher.
The location was fantastic, with access to an amazing beach and loads of interesting sites and villages just a short drive away.
The kids enjoyed playing and interacting with kids of many other nationalities and we loved that they were able to do so in a safe environment. We were so impressed and hope to be back next year for more of the same.

Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
Thank ExAfrican
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 August 2013

the rating applies to the mobile home rented through Venue Holidays. The mattresses on two of the beds were so worn down that you could feel each of the individual springs, causing backache. Even worse, the mattresses smelled of urine. The smell was so bad that even wrapping the mattresses in plastic did not stop the smell. I finally threw them out of the mobile home. My daughter had to sleep on the cushions that I took from the couch.
The mobile home was not placed horizontally. Walking from one side to the other you noticed you were walking uphill. Doors swung open when not closed.
The camp site itself is OK. Sufficient facilities and quite clean. The staff was cleaning the streets all through the day. The pool is a bit small for the size of the camp site. The shop is very complete, and not to badly priced.
The beach is excellent, as has been said by others. One of the most beautiful I have ever seen. For very small children the sea may be a bit rough. In two weeks time (end of August) there was a yellow flag, warning swimmers, for about 10 days.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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3  Thank Bas S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A L, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Camping Playa Joyel, responded to this reviewResponded 25 April 2014

Dear Venue guest,

We are sorry to hear your comments about Venue Holidays. We have passed on your message to VENUE HOLIDAYS to let them know about their mattresses and mobile homes.
If your holiday was such a nightmare, I wish you had come to Main Reception to let us know about your Touroperator mobile home, and Camping Playa Joyel would have accommodate you in one of our own new mobile homes, because we always have some extra vacant mobile homes in case of an urgency. Venue Holidays is an independent touroperator that has its own cleaning services here and its own representatives on site. Camping Playa Joyel is not in charge of these mobile homes or these employees. We will make sure Venue has read your opinion.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 August 2013

Playa Joyel is a large site with a mix of statics and pitches. We spent 3 nights here and although we were happy with the pitch and facilities, it was probably long enough.

The reception staff were a bit frosty but efficient and we parked up and then were told to go and find a pitch then return to reception with the number. The site is huge but we found a nice space not too far from the second beach entrance and shower blocks.
Yes the pitches are not huge, but we fitted on and it was not the smallest pitch size we had experienced while camping in France/Spain. We fitted on fine with our family sized tent and VW van. Electricity and TV ariel (should you want it) are on the pitch but you have to collect water from a communal point not far away.

People have been commenting that there is no privacy and the pitches are packed together. Well yes in some respects the pitches are next to each other and opposite each other so you are going to see and hear other campers. We found the shrubs between the pitches gave us some privacy and shade but we did not feel that there was a lack of privacy. I mean this is a large campsite, there are going to be pitches next to you and opposite you so what do people expect? The access roads were not overly narrow, there were a large cars width.

Due to the size of the site we found ourselves far away from reception, it would take about 10mins to walk back to the main pool area and shop but we chose to be at this far side as it was 30secs from the gate to the fantastic beach.

Shop was small but useful.

Pool area was nice but simple. There is a great circular children's pool but unfortunately very cold and the coldest of the 3 pools. My children loved it but even in the summer heat the cold water gets to them quickly and they need to hop out to warm up. The other 2 pools were fractionally warmer but out of many campsites we stayed at this holiday these were the coldest and therefore least used pools of any campsite. We often found pools unheated which was fine but these were very chilly! Please note you must wear swim hats in this pool and no shorts. We took some hats with us but you can hire them from reception for less than 2EUROS.

The shower blocks were great. Large and clean. They have fewer larger blocks rather than smaller more numerous blocks around the site. They provide toilet paper but this is on the wall outside the cubicles so don't forget to grab some before you go in.

There is a small children's play area in the middle of the site but it is a bit run down but well shaded.

The location of this site makes it for us. Its only 40mins drive to Santander so we used it as a final site on our holiday driving down France to get back on the ferry. The town is a little walk but we did not end up going in, we spent all our time on the beach. The beach is gorgeous and large. There is a tidal estuary feeding into the beach which provides an excellent place to play and swim but do be warned the currents are very strong when the tide is high and going out or coming in. The sand is soft and plentiful and there is surfing on the main beach.

We would definitely come back here, the pitches are adequate, shower blocks and shop good. The beach is on tap for a final fews days of a long trip when you are feeling more like relaxing rather than cultural visits.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Helsx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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