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We have just returned from out first holiday away with our 3 month old & 23 month old. We had a wonderful time & the facilities were absolutely perfect for our eldest & would be even more so in a year or more's time. The splash pool & pirate ship was a big hit, although the lack of umbrellas to shade the kids was a bit of a pain.
The staff were great, the food was fine (not fancy, but very edible) & great for the kids.
The beach is a long walk & not so great when you get there, but the pools at the hotel are good enough for this not to be an issue.
Evening entertainment for the children doesn't start until 8.15, which is a bit late for the little ones, but we managed it a few times & it was very good (although seating close enough could get a bit limited).
Our transfer to & from the airport was 1.5 hours, which was quite difficult with 2 hot & tired kids. Obviously nothing they can do about this, but it's a consideration!
When we arrived at about midnight, there was food & water in our fridge & the air con had been put on ready for us. A lovely welcome, and a very accommodating hotel & team. We will definitely consider going again
We loved this resort last year, so much so we booked again for this year, unfortunately we were disappointed. Last year the food was outstanding so when we arrived we booked for 7 days breakfast & evening meals. We had since found out that the resort had changed (within 12 months) & had now the option to booked all-inclusive, (they also had a special offer on where you could buy all-inclusive for 1p per day!). It has totally cheapened the resort, with obviously more people drinking as much as they like, its not exactly what you want with young children. They shouldn't have made it all inclusive.
We felt that the meals were not as good, and cancelled ours after 4 days. Last year the entertainment was excellent, it was on mainly for the children, with one act on for the adults. This year there was not as much, and they have started doing 'BINGO' need I say any more!! (Boring) The surrounding areas are lovely, the rooms are clean. I am very sorry to report these comments because we loved it last year, but would we visit again, sorry no we won't be.
Overall, a great hotel if you have small children. Fantastic for them with the pirate pool. Food was very good in the main and the hotel was very clean. Location excellent and Cala Bona itself is just a short walk away.
Only issues would be as follows:
1. Sunbeds - No control at all on people reserving their sunbeds the night before. Whilst I despise the practice you can do nothing else but get up at 7 oc clock in the morning and put your towel down. Otherwise... thats it for the day. Absolutely no control by the hotel. Was the worst part of the holiday. Why they could not have someone removing all towels put down at c2am (because people would learn quickly!).
2. Im a meat eater but my wife is a vegetarian. The balance of meat dishes to veg is about 5 to 1. May dishes could have been vegetarian but then have a completely unecessary sprinking of meat or fish on top. For meat eaters the foo is superb.
3. Entertainers were first rate. Although personally I hate audience participation. Makes me absolutely cringe dragging people onto the stage to make twats of themselves. Quite a bit of this so be prepared!!!
Other than that.... a very good choice for a package. However, would I spend 2k for 7 days in the sun again during half term? There are probably more thrifty ways of spending money in these hard times. Im absolutely staggered by how high people prioritise holidays (especially as this was just a half term) in these hard times (bearing in mind the average take home pay).
We stayed here in the May half term. The hotel is very family friendly with lots of well thought out features to make parents' lives easier. The pool is really big with a proper 2 metre deep end, and there is a brand new splash park on site too. The entertainment was good if a little cheesy and the food was verynice though we were a bit fed up of the repetition at the end of 2 weeks. All the staff ( hotel and thomson) very very friendly. Special mention should go out to the swimming teacher, Ruth, who was excellent and improved our daughter's swimming unbelieveably in a 5 half hour sessions
We have just returned from 10 days at the Bonaire and have had the best family holiday we have ever had. Why? Well all the credit has to go to the reps who made our holiday the most relaxing it could have been with a 5 year old and 2 year old. The kids reps were just so caring and full of energy and fun. So much so my little girl cried at the airport because she didn't want to leave them. We left our 2 year old with the creche team for a few sessions while his sister was in Tots club and he loved the creche girls and made some lovely artwork to bring home. We in turn had just under 2 hours every day to enjoy the sunshine leaving us refreshed for the rest of the day. The Bonaire itself is immaculate. I have never been to a hotel where so much care is taken even down to the smallest detail. We went All Inclusive and really felt we got great value for money. The kids ate really well at each meal time as there was so much choice and we never had to say no to "another ice lolly or drink". I was told that the drinks were quite expensive if you had not gone All Inclusive so might be worth thinking about this option. The new pirate ship splash area is perfect for young children as they can walk into the water and most slides are suitable from walking upwards (under supervision). There's plenty for older kids too with slightly bigger slides. This is a great additon to the Bonaire. Cala Bona itself has some lovely restaurants and bars and there is a lovely beach about 20 mins walk away.
For us the only tiny negative was the fact there are only 1 bed apartments which mean for a family of 4, 2 have to sleep in sofa beds. They were reasonably comfortable but just not quite as comfortable as a bed would have been.
We would definitely return to this fantastic Thomson Family Extra resort.
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