Hotel staff very good & friendly outside areas in hotel grounds very good. Rooms as well as all indoor areas in dire need of refurbishment. Cleaning was exceptionally well done and staff more than friendly. Our room had to be visited by the maintenance engineer 3 days running to fix 9 glaringly obvious faults, which were quickly sorted but the the room should have been quality checked prior to our arrival. The beach is fantastic, but you need to visit Ayamonte to find any life in this area. Ferry trip to Villa Real in Portugal well worth it. Restaurant and food was very good, entertainment ranges from good to very poor - computerised bingo 2 nights out of 6 not what we call entertainment. Need to up their game all round. We stayed @ the Melia Atlantico 4 years ago much better hotel all round including location.More
Bob R, Wolverhampton, United Kingdom
Nice hotel, shame about the restaurant
We have just returned from a 2 week Thomson holiday at this hotel. Check in was reasonably quick and staff friendly and informative. Our room was on 4th floor with small balcony but lovely view of gardens and beach. Unfortunately it smelt strongly of cigarette smoke and had a sign to say smoking was permitted. The hotel was full so no other room available but we were given a very efficient air freshener and the smell went within 12 hrs. Hotel and room were kept very clean although lighting was poor and it was very gloomy in places. The gardens are lovely and immaculately kept, pool area is spacious with adequate sunbeds.
Isla Canela itself has been ruined by overdevelopment. The beach is fabulous and stretches for about 4 miles it's kept very clean and there are a few beach bars though some were closed. Only 1 small but good supermarket was open. The Barcelo is midway between Porta Modal and the Guardiana River so good beach walks either way or there's the prom - not so nice. Between the Barcelo and the Melia Hotel in Modal there are about dozens of residential blocks which are empty and deserted they stretch right along the beachfront and although occupation may be higher in the summer months there are not enough local facilities to give that impression. tThe area was obviously massively overdeveloped when the economy was booming and a once natural habitat ruined. Even the flamingos are going elsewhere.
The Barcelo restaurant is like a works canteen. It was overcrowded, extremely noisy and the tables were too close together. We found mealtimes extremely stressful, it was impossible to talk and at times difficult to negotiate the buffet area as it was badly designed and there was a bottleneck. Fruit and salads were plentiful and fresh but at times there was a long wait for hot dishes. Breakfast was not a relaxing start to the day and it was impossible to find all the items required at the same time, there was always a long wait for eggs and the chef walked away when my husband asked to have egg flipped. To make a cup of tea took determination as cups were in one place, T bags in another, milk with the cereals and the hot water the other side of the restaurant. Due to the overcrowding a lady had soup spilt on her and I nearly had a hot drink tipped over me. Although we varied our eating times it made no difference to the quality of dining experience.
We have been on many Thomson holidays and this was our only disappointing one.More
gpguerin, Bedford, United Kingdom
Quiet holiday in classic styled hotel
A classic (definitely not boutique style) hotel, traditional Andalaucian style building, with central garden with fountains & waterfalls, leading to two swimming pools linked by a channel. Very clean and well maintained throughout hotel and garden areas. Close to magnificent sandy beach. Cycle way and promenade walkway side by side link to marina at Punta de Moril (about 1 hour walk), also possible to walk on safe pathway to Ayamonte. Hourly bus service (senior rates) link both locations on circular route. This strip development a mix of aparment blocks & hotels but none above 6 x 8 storeys. Beach cafes etc at each end of promenade. Easy link by ferry to both Isla Christina (not a lot to see except beaches) and Vila Royale, Portugal side of River Guardiana (time differnce of 1 hour!). The coastal dunes and development strip of Isla Canela is separated from the mainland by a huge sea marsh and two wide canals a distance of some 3.5km. A fantastic nature reserve changing at every tide. We were lucky to see flamingoes and many other types of wading birds. Stand and watch the effect of the changing tide levels (approx 2.5m) on the sea marsh streams and channels, an amazing sight. A wilderness in the raw, but scattered with smallholdings, views across to Ayamonte and the mainland of Spain & Portugal. A tourist hotspot this is not, but enjoy this part of Spain that is as yet still very Spanish without being spoiled by mass tourism. The Baracelo hotel was as we anticipated by researching the web site and delighted in the classic Andalucian style of architecture (it has the feel of a Roman villa - where was the senator and his entourage). Yes the bathroom ensuite was very dated and in need of a refurbishment, but the room and balcony with supurb views of the gardens, swimming pools and sea, was as we wanted and not disappointed. Yes, we have had many bigger rooms etc but also paid a lot more for them. Large double bed was very comfortable and we were never disturbed by any external noises. Yes again, as mentioned by others, the air con. unit was not particularly efficient, but adequate. One major plus for this hotel are the staff, without exception from reception, bar, restaurant and not forgetting the cleaners, we were greeted, smiled at and received first class attention and service throughout our stay of two weeks. (We have travelled extensively to all continents and stayed in small B & B'snto 5â + hotels, the service and smiles here were second to none! Maybe its because we also smile and attempt pleasantries in the local language!! Many of the staff were keen to assist in the correct Andalucian pronunciations. Ah well keep trying. The restauranr and meals were buffet style and opening times over extended periods for all 3 meals times. Of course the fare is for the mixed international clientele not just for the British palette. Always a large choice of hot and salad type foods. Again certain nationalities want to eat as soon as the restaurant opens and at this time a queue forms but quickly disappears. Advise wait a short while for first eaters to disperse and enjoy a less hectic experience. The food counters are constantly refreshed and we never experience any shortage of foods. The servers worked frantically in their areas and quickly served our drink orders and cleared used plates. This certainly is not al la carte but good and varied food to provide for a mixed international clientele. A good holiday not spoiled by the mixed weather unusual for this time of year.More
Wait, eat later 8.30 ish for pleasant meal. Food good ,choice ,heat etcetera. Weather disapointing,but we enjoyed the river cruise today. Shame about rough sea /jelly fish. Evening entertainment ok abba flamenco both enjoyable.yes there was bingo. Barcelo hotels are of a good standard.More
We booked this hotel via Thomson (avoid this tour operator) for 2weeks. I caught a severe ear infection 4 days into the holiday,directly after using their pool (of course they denied any responsibility). You are situated in wasteland with hotel complex after complex and no amenities. Which believe me, you will need if you're left in the same situation we were. We were offered a free lunch as a sorry, which we denied since I couldn't eat, then free alcoholic shots (that I couldn't drink due to antibiotics). We spent over 400 euros on buses,taxis, medical bills and pharmaceutical products. Emotionally speaking we lost our entire break and we were left stranded with this situation in a foreign country with little direction to medical help. I was ill for the remainder of our stay and unable to fly unless I took full responsibility for the chance I could lose my hearing altogether. I took the risk as I couldon't stand to spend a day longer in this place. The food got bland really quick,they don't cater for food allergies/intolerances but they did guide me on what I could and couldn't eat which wasn't much. The room was substandard (not 4 star) but it was cleaned well throughout our stay, shower was dark and dingy. The Anamation team were rather annoying as they tried to recruit people for daily activities, we felt pestered. We had a horrific holiday, wasted money and couldn't wait to get home. I would not recommend this hotel to anyone and urge you all to steer clear. If you wish to visit this area which I think is lacking any Spanish culture whatsoever and you just want to relax then use the hotel Melia, this looked more professional and at least had a pharmacy nearby. We are emotionally scarred from this experience and out of pocket big time. A holiday this was not, AVOID THIS HOTEL.More
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