by Red Mezz
Inverness, Scotland, United Kingdom
December 14, 2005
I think your opinion of this hotel would depend greatly on what you go into it expecting. On this trip to Spain, my friend and I booked a package deal, including flights, hotel, and meals (something we rarely, if ever, do.) The price we got for an entire week at this resort and spa in the little Spanish town of Lloret de Mar was what we had allowed for flights alone, not counting the fact that both breakfast and dinner were included. It was an outstanding price, so we couldn't pass it up.
Of course, when you get that kind of deal on a place (this was the off season, and it did mean flying on Ryanair, not the most pleasant of flying experiences), you only hope it's not dreadful. We read a fair amount of bad reviews of this hotel before we landed and were just hoping for a place to sleep that wasn't so horrible it ruined our stay in Spain.
So we were some what astonished when we walked around the corner and saw our hotel. The outside of this resort is stunning. Really beautiful. We arrived a few weeks before Christmas and the entire place was lit up with festive white lights lining the palm trees and waterfalls--I used an entire roll of film before we entered the hotel. The pools were gorgeous (and, of course, empty given the time of year) but would be fantastic at a warmer time. The inside of the hotel was little more than any standard hotel, but very clean, with a fairly friendly and helpful staff.
The food, which had been very badly reviewed by most everyone, was absolutely fine. I suspect if you paid a fair price for this hotel and were expecting a resort and spa, it would be a letdown. But as a budget hotel, it was very very nice indeed. The meal gave you free access to the breakfast and dinner buffet, each running from 8-10am and from 7-9:30pm. They were always packed full with the older Spanish generation visiting to play bingo, but there was always plenty of food served hot and lots of local meals to try. A wide selection was always accompanied by olives, breads, salads, and the local olive oil and vinegar.
The rooms were very standard but clean, with a TV and perfectly respectable bathroom. The showers had the best water pressure and temperature of any hotel I've ever visited, and even our lowest-priced room in the hotel had its own little balcony, with chairs to sit outside. The rooms were heated and cooled with central heat. My only real complaint about the room was that the walls were virtually made of paper, and we spent one entire night laughing at the man across from us snoring loudly. I wouldn't recommend this hotel in the height of summer, but for £89 for a week, including flights and meals, this is an excellent wintertime place to stay.
From journal Preparing for the ups and downs of the Costa Brava