Reviews summary

( 1811 reviews)

12 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog

What a disappointment

Reviewed Wed 15th of July 2009

"Me and my family was looking forward to two weeks of relaxation and tranquility in beautiful Montenegro. 1)When we arrived we copuldn`t believe our own ears. A huge appartment complex (Mirax)was being built very close to Bellevue. A terrible noice was "polluting" the area 24 hours a day 7 days a week!!!
2)In the brochure it was said that the hotel offered free sunbeds around the pool..
All guests were informed that it was not allowed to reserve a sunbed, when not being there..however, as from 6 am in the morning alot of the guests ran down with their towels and other personal belongings and spread it on a number of sunbeds and left for many hours. The number of sunbeds is approx 250 and the hotel was fully booked, meaning that about 1100-1200 persons were looking for a sunbed for some time during the day. When most of the sunbeds (99%) were being reserved by people who wasn`t there, others had no chance of having even one during the whole day.
Many of us (norwegians, germans and french ) were complaining both to the reception(3 times) and to the management, but they were not willing to do anything about the situation.. This was a great disappointment.


Holiday details

  • Travel date: Tue 14th of July 2009

Loved the Garden -shame about the hotel

Reviewed Thu 13th of December 2012

"We spent a week on an all-inclusive basis at this hotel in September 2007 - our first visit to an Iberostar Hotel. We were generally disappointed. To experience our holiday try arriving as we did on a Sunday evening at 8.45 pm after a flight from the UK and a 2 hour coach journey and savour at first hand the rather unpleasant checking-in experience.

No welcoming smiles at reception or even a plan of the hotel –just an all inclusive bracelet and the room number. Our room was 2335 -avoid it at all costs! No explanation that keys were to be given you in another block).

No help in finding your way to Block B, stumbling through the entertainment show in the dark with 2 heavy cases. One of the guests finally guided us to the correct Block.

Dash to the dining room at 9.15pm, (it closes at 9.30) where we were clearly unwelcome and with no–one willing to help.

Return to the room 2335 to find a tree covering the complete view from the balcony (and I do not exaggerate –the tree was actually blocking out most of the light and there was absolutely no view except for a square foot of lawn immediately below the balcony-the full horror of the situation only becoming apparent next morning).

Return to reception desk in Block B to complain, only to be told to report next morning at Block A reception.

Retire to the bar only to be told that the hotel had run out of beer! (How can that happen?).

On Monday at report to the reception to ask if we could change rooms. No problem says the man behind the counter- come back on Wednesday at 9.00am and you will have a new room.

On Tuesday, speak to the Cosmos representative, who has been told that we cannot move rooms.

Return immediately to the reception to be told by the manager of Block B that she is un-aware of the problem and has no idea who we spoke to on Monday (must have been a guest impersonating one of the employees).

Plead and beg (willing to pay extra) to get any room with just a hint of sunlight and any view other than just tree).

Finally succeed and move to room 2315. 100% better, although tree here obscures quite a large part of the view-but the room is light and sunny.

Savour in this room the cobwebs in the bathroom – judging from the size they must have been there some considerable time. The curtains hanging off the curtain rack add an extra touch, as does the lack of a fridge; no draw space for your clothes and a towel rack hanging off the bathroom wall. Frightened to complain again – didn’t want to upset the manager having just been moved.

Enjoy the cold scrambled eggs and sausage at breakfast and sip the most watered down orange juice available in Europe.

Sit around the delightful pool in the wonderful gardens on thin and threadbare cushions.

Retire to the outside bar at night but remember to take a coat or jumper because it can get very chilly. If you are an all-inclusive customer and you want to take advantage of the all-inclusive drinks, you have to sit outside (how many hotels I wonder do not offer a warm and welcoming bar to all the guests?).

Have an early night on holiday because the bar stops serving at 11.00 p.m. –perfect for a holiday!

The pool and gardens are excellent- pity about the hotel.We will not be returning."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Tue 2nd of October 2007

Great All Inclusive Package

Reviewed Mon 5th of November 2012

"Having just returned from the Iberostar I could highly recommend this clean, efficient and modern hotel. We encountered none of the 'sunbed wars' as described in some of the reviews we read but that could be because we went slightly out of season (w/c 16th Sept). The staff were all very helpful, the food was good and plentiful. The only slight complaint would be that the wine isnt very nice but you can buy it by the bottle if you would rather. I couldnt complain about the hotel at all, however the area around it isnt the most pleasant (but there is plenty to do within the complex - tennis/table tennis/boules/3 pools/organised activities etc). Becici did seem slightly run down but a trip to nearby Kotor is well worth the visit. We went on the 'Montengron Tour' which went to Kotor and through the surrounding mountains and then on to Cettigne - which I would highly recommend."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Sat 22nd of September 2007

First all inclusive experience

Reviewed Tue 18th of December 2012

"We have just returned from a family holiday at the Iberostar with our 2 children 14 and 10 years and thoroughly enjoyed the facilities. We agree with much that has already been said about this hotel and resort.
Didn't enjoy playing sunbed wars! The hotel rent towels for a 10e deposit. Most people get up before 8am to reserve their beds by the pool! (and they don't appear until mid afternoon) We heard cases of people removing towels and cashing them in for 10e at the reception! Perhaps serves them right for trying to reserve beds but as the staff seem to do nothing you either play the game or are without a sunbed! My advice would be to take your own towels!
Food is ok, seems good enough on the first day but there is little variation on a daily basis. Wine is off a pump and not good even if you're not too fussy!
Hotels in this resort seem to 'own' roped off areas of the beach and rent out beds and parasols. This leads to rows upon rows of people packed on like sardines, some sections wouldn't even allow you to take your own sun shades on. The hotels' part of the beach is in the shade by mid afternoon.
Evening entertainment is by reps. and even the kids thought it was awful. Depends what you're into and expect but was best when just music to dance to. The main bar for evening is outside which was great in Aug but perhaps not at other times of the year.
Well equipped, comfortable, airconditioned rooms, very clean, maids thorough. Terrific pools, loads of space in water even when busy, second pool slightly shallower for older kids, small pool in shade for toddlers. Daytime activities encourage participation without pressure, water polo, beach volley ball something for everyone and kids of all ages. Not may Brits there but reps. good at encouraging friendships by getting kids involved, even our reticent 14 year old daughter! All inclusive drinks quite comprehensive selection. Barmen will make up cocktails of your choice (local spirits seemed ok as long as you're not insistent on a 10 year scotch malt) and juices for kids (no tonic to go with the gin though !) We felt the facilities were a little undersold on the website infomation and brochures. There is also an indoor pool, jacuzzi , gym(included) sauna and treatments (extra).
More like a holiday village than hotel with 3 blocks (yes the restaurant on the 3rd floor has better service and is quieter) set in beautiful surroundings. You could go and not leave the complex but it would be a shame as the area has lots lovely places to visit.
Resorts seem to be growing quickly with some places in danger of over development. Budva beach is a very 'young' and lively resort and Becici is heading that way.We prefered the resort of and Petrovac which is worth a drive down the coast.
Drive from Dubrovnik airport 2 hours but a lovely coastal run with stunning views and pleasant 10 min ferry crossing."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Wed 5th of September 2007

Air-conditioned ????

Reviewed Mon 5th of November 2012

"My wife and I stayed for a week in July.
The Hotel has everything necessary to be a great hotel, but fails to live up to its potential.
On the positive side:
The hotel is clean, well maintained and has lovely gardens leading to the pools and the beach beyond. There are a several bars and two restaurants within the complex.
On the negative side:
•The air conditioning is turned off at night – when we first arrived it went off at midnight, but the hotel relented after a number of complaints and left it on until 2am. The impact was that the room temperature never dropped below 24 degrees and was as high as 27 degrees at daybreak.
•Reception staff are not always helpful.
•The hotel does not cater for guests arriving after 9:30 pm. Guests were left to negotiate directly with the restaurant staff to get something to eat after a long day travelling.
•No information was given about the bars and restaurants (we discovered a restaurant on the first floor in block C on day two – which we thought was the best)
•The cold buffets were always very good. The hot food was good but tended to be casserole based. The juices were reconstituted. Avoid the eggs – a fried egg that reaches 6 inches in diameter is generally less than fresh.
•I am sure that there were more than enough sun beds, but he scramble for sun beds and mattresses was dreadful with some guests reserving beds in more than one place around the pool, and towels out before 6 am.
We were transferred to the Iberostar as our original hotel was ‘overbooked’. We encouraged Cosmos to let us stay on an all inclusive basis, having read comments on Tripadvisor. We are very pleased that we did, as the hotel is simply not equipped to deal with half board or bed and breakfast. Most of the bars do not have the facility to take cash or charge to the room, and there is nowhere to purchase a mid-day snack.
In summary:
If you are scheduled to go to this hotel, don’t panic, its OK. Oh but what a shame! With a little bit of effort and with very little cost, it could be absolutely great."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Tue 21st of August 2007

Just returned from 2 wonderfully relaxin...

Reviewed Tue 14th of August 2007

"Just returned from 2 wonderfully relaxing weeks all inclusive at the Iberostar Bellevue in Budva, Montenegro (2 x 14 year olds, 4 parents, and 2 grandparents).

Flight delay meant we didn't get to the hotel until 10:30pm and so missed dinner, however we were pleasantly surprised to find rolls, ham, tomatoes, and olives in our rooms.

The hotel is large, over 500 rooms but the grounds are spacious and we never felt really crowded, including in the pools, except at peak times in the dining rooms (however see below for tips on this aspect). The backdrop of the mountains makes the view amazing.

Everything is kept spotless, rooms, communal areas (including toilets), grounds, pools, and beach. Any issues were dealt with promptly (broken shower) by both reception and maintenance staff.

The main pool is large enough to never be crowded and there was always space to play ball, swim, or use the lilo. There are 2 other pools, one mainly used by children (although it is deeper than the main pool) because it has small bridge you can swim under and jump off of and a toddler pool.

There are plenty of sunbeds and parasols around the pools and on the beach (the ones on the beach have to be paid for, 2 beds and a parasol are 6 Euros a day) but as usual the 'best' positions around the pool do tend to get 'reserved' early. This didn't concern us too much because I didn't mind getting up at 6am to get sunbeds and then go for a early swim or run as the sun came over the mountains, wonderful.

The grounds are dotted with palm trees and include space for the regulation boules, shuffleboard, aerobics and other activities run by the animation team.

There are 3 floodlit clay tennis courts that were very popular and free from about 9am to 4pm.

The beach is sand and shingle with small stones as you enter the water, which was beautifully clear and warm.

The hotel is in fact on the end of the Becici beach and it is only a half hour stroll (or catch the bus or mini train) into Budva which has an old walled town with lots of shops and bars or in the other direction is Becici itself with some nice restaurants and beach side bars.

There was plenty of choice food wise, all buffet style. Breakfast the standard - cereals, bread, rolls, pancakes, jams, honey, cake, fruit, cheeses, meats, and hot fare. Lunch and dinner consisted of a choice of 2 soups, at least 8 hot meals (with 3 always the same - spaghetti with tomato, cheese or bolognaise sauce), veg, chips, a huge array of salads and cold sweets, fruit and 6 different ice creams.

Needless to say we never went hungry.

We found the best place/time to eat was 7:30pm in the block A restaurant as that is when they open up a quieter section on the left of the stairs which also has a balcony with 12 or so tables.

The all inclusive deal gives you local beer, wine, spirits and soft drinks at 2 bars during the day and 3 in the evening, as well as beer, wine and soft drinks at meal times. Even though the wine comes out of the same drinks machine that gives you coke it is perfectly acceptable (red better than white in our opinion).

Some of our party went on the Montenegro Experience trip which is a coach tour stopping off at several places, one for lunch, and gives stunning mountains views winding up/down steep zig-zag roads.

The other trip we did was one to Skada lake, a huge inland lake, for a boat trip and lunch on an island - a very relaxing trip. Other trips we heard were worth doing was a boat trip from the beach round the coast for an hour to swim in another bay, a trip across the border to Albania and a long trip into the mountains to white-water raft, which one family said was the highlight of their holiday - but bear in mind it is a 4 hour coach ride each way!

The animation team work hard during the day and run all events efficiently; in particular the water aerobics is very popular. You could keep active all day with aerobics, darts, boules, volleyball, shuffleboard, table-tennis, water polo etc etc.

The evening entertainment was very varied from musical shows (all mimed by the team and not particularly good) to local singers, folk music and dancing (good) to an It's A Knockout and Mr Iberostar 'silly games' evening which were great fun.

This area is certainly up and coming and hotels like the Bellevue show what is possible with investment (interestingly the Russians are the biggest local investors, just see the million pound cruisers in Budva harbour) - however get here early as I expect in 10 years time it could be swamped with development unless the local authorities are strict.

All in all a great holiday."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Tue 14th of August 2007

Fantastic views

Reviewed Wed 28th of November 2012

"My wife and I spent the middle two weeks of July in this Hotel, and had a wonderful time, although the weather in line with many other Mediterranean countries this year was extremely hot.

We were allocated a room on the 6th floor in the centre block of three buildings of which the hotel comprises, The room was a comfortable size, well maintained and the cleaners did a splendid job not just in our room, but in the hotel as a whole.
Perhaps the best part of the room was the truly breathtaking views of the pool, beach and Adriatic Sea that we had from our balcony.

We like most of the other guests stayed on a fully inclusive basis, and found the food to be hot, varied and tasty, with a decent selection of courses. A minor irritant was that whenever we went to the Restaraunt we usually had to wait a few minutes for a table to be cleared and reset. this was probably due to the fact that we went at a peak time and the hotel was fully booked, although perhaps one or two extra staff on duty could have made a difference.

We can recommend the Montenegro Tour that we booked through the Thompson rep at the hotel. This takes you through the incredible steep roads that wind through the vast mountains, stopping at an typical village for lunch, and occasionally stopping at advantageous spots to admire unbelievable views of the country, especially the view coming down the mountains and overlooking the fords of Kotor. It also stops for a while in the old town of kotor. Another must place to visit is Sveti Stefen and view this incredible island joined to the mainland by a narrow strip of land.

Montenegro is full of history, culture, tradition, good weather , clean air, beautiful nature, and the blue Adriatic Sea .

We are already looking forward to ou next visit to Montenegro."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Tue 7th of August 2007

Great hotel

Reviewed Tue 18th of December 2012

"We stayed here last year, with my mother and 2 children. The room was nice, the aircondition worked well despite the temperature being 37C, the pool area was lovely, the mini club great for the children with great leaders. Also the food was good. On the negative side was the trouble getting sunbeds, had to get up at 5 in the morning to beat the germans to reserve a bed with your towel. Then most beds were empty all day. There should be more sunbeds. All in all thu\ough, my favourite mediterranian hotel!"

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Mon 6th of August 2007

a good spot for relaxing - if you can compete for a place in the sun

Reviewed Wed 28th of November 2012

"My wife and I are just back from two weeks at the Iberostar in Budva. The hotel provides a good headquarters if you want a mix of sun, surf and scenery.

The Iberostar is one of the few hotels in the town that has large grounds reserved for hotel guests - definitely a plus during July and August, which are the peak months for holidays.

The rooms - in one of three buildings - are well equipped and very well maintained. As far as we could see, all the rooms in A building, and most of the rooms in B building, have a lovely view of the grounds and the sea. The C building, however, is at a right angle to the beach, so the only way you can take in the view is by stretching your neck out from your balcony. (And by all means if you are in the C building, try to avoid rooms on the two or three lower floors - the noise level from the bar can get rather high.)

The all-inclusive plan is a good deal. The food is quite tasty, changes from day to day, and there is sufficient variety. At peak hours, there may be a short wait for a table, but the staff seem to be rather efficient about clearing the tables and making room for more people. Between about one and three pm, the bar in A building serves pizzas (which tend to disappear immediately they are set out by the staff.)

The all-inclusive plan applies to the dining room, the bar at the pool, and one bar each in the A and the C building. In addition, there is a piano bar on the reception level of the A building, and another small bar in C building, where you have to pay for the drinks (and which are the only place here where you can get an espresso or cappucino). At all of the all-inclusive spots, you can get good local beer, drinkable red and white wine, various strong drinks (locally made rum, brandy, vodka, gin and so on) as well as mixers - but for some reason no tonic to go with the gin.

The gym and the spa in A building were taken over by a private company in 2006. Using the reasonably well-equipped gym costs 5 euros a day, or 25 euros a week. The view from the window, while jogging in place on the treadmill or using the stairmaster, is superb. The spa offers a good selection of treatments, but be warned - payment must be made in cash (i.e. can't be charged to your room or to a credit card).

There are two main pools, but both can get rather crowded with swimmers, and the main pool is taken over for a half-hour both during the morning and the afternoon by guests engaged in group water exercise. And the main drawback of the resort is the fact that there are never enough lounge chairs for all the guests. We discovered that in particular the German guests would get up at 5 am (!) in order to reserve their favourite spot - and by the time breakfast was being served, at 7 am, just about all the spots were already taken.

Our own experiences with the staff were solely positive. All those with whom we came into contact were very helpful. For example, ten minutes after we mentioned a slight problem with our shower, two maintenance men had it repaired. The "animation" staff also seemed to be doing their best to provide entertainment for those thus inclined - and our impression was that they were doing an excellent job in particular with the children.

Most of the guests seemed to be from Montenegro, Serbia, Russia and Germany (in that order), with some Belgians, British and Nordics thrown in.

Budva itself, which is a ten minute walk away (and 30 minutes to the old town), is quickly explored. Once you've seen the old town, that pretty much is it. There is little by the way of shopping and, incidentally, apparently no foreign newspapers are available anywhere. However, since just about everyone comes here for the sun, the beaches and the bars, that's hardly a problem. Snacks and beer tend to be cheap (local beer, for example, is 50 cents in the shops and 1,50 on the beach), and some of the restaurants - such as the Jadran, or, in the old town, the Secret Garden, offer quite good sea food (in particular), with the price (including local wine) running to around 20 or 30 euros per person.

For sightseeing, we agree with other posters that a trip to Kotor or across the border to Dubrovnik is in order. Kotor is only a half-hour's bus ride away. Buses run every half-hour or so, and the one-way fare is 2.30."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Wed 4th of July 2007

Some good, some bad.

Reviewed Wed 31st of October 2012

"We booked with Thomson Holidays. It was classed as all inclusive but beware you have to pay for drinks in the only decent lounge bar. This restricts your all inclusive drinking to two outside bars and a pizza cafe. We had to buy our mixers from the local supermarket, you cannot get lemonade or tonic water unless you pay in the lounge. The hotel is clean and the gardens well kept. The pool area is very nice and there seemed to be plenty of sun loungers available. The food was good, but repetitive. We found the reception staff not very helpful, our questions were often greated with a shrug of the shoulders, they never appeared to be friendly. The area is outstanding, Budva old town is worth seeing and has many places to eat and drink. There are a few places near the hotel overlooking the bay into Budva. Prices are reasonable except for the Tropikana Bar where drinks were almost double the price of other local bars. We took a boat trip along the bay of Kotor. This is not to be missed the scenery is breathtaking. We also took the bus from Budva to the old town of Kotor, the fare is cheap and an ideal place to spend a morning. A trip to Dubrovnik was also good, however we had hassle getting through the border and then drove around the Bay of Kotor to pick people up. This was a 12 hour day with the round journey taking 8 hours. A three hour boat trip from Becici beach to the upmarket town of Petrovac via the unique island of Sveti Stefan was well worth the 15 euro fare. Overall an enjoyable holiday in a beautiful country."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Tue 12th of June 2007

fantastic hotel

Reviewed Thu 13th of December 2012

"we have just arrived back from holiday lovely stay at the hotel really clean super views location good ,food good restaurant ,all inclusive drinks basic but ok strange that no lemonade in the all inc package *** also entertainments finished at 2300 hrs the resort of budva is great really reasonable for drinks the harbour bar is super location and lovely drinks on offer at reasonable prices excellent value all around hotel staff were friendly and helpful we will definetly return to the iberostar bellevue"

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Tue 29th of May 2007

Good but

Reviewed Fri 12th of October 2012

"I stayed in the Iberostar last June with my boyfriend for a week.
We were looking for a resonable but nice hotel (which is not that difficult in Montenegro), and I guess thats what we found.
The hotel itself was nice, front desk and bar and the room we stayed in was lovely and spacious, much nicer then most I've seen in package type hotels.
The hotel is right on the beach, though the setup of the hotels in the area is rather strange. They're not easily found from the road and are a bit intermingeled. There are watersports o the beach too and the view from the water is amasing.
The pool area is great, 2 large pools, bar by the pool and lots of deck chairs and its very pretty.
The hotel is in becci, about 5 min drive from Budva old town, but there's always taxis available.
There were lots of activites in the hotel, kids discos at night and sports and fitness at the pool during the day.
The main negative I had with the hotel, and it was a big one was the restaurant. We chose to go half board (breakfast and dinner included) as it was not much more expensive then Bed and breakfast so if we had dinner there 1 or 2 nights it would be cheaper. We soon found out why. The restaurant is buffet, which is fine, but it was almost like a canteen with tablecloths. The tables were fine, but the food was not. It was displayed as you would in a college canteen. Salades/soup for starters and then the hot dinners were usually choice of lasange/mousaka and some meat in sauce dish with chips or rice.
If you wanted lunch it was the same story.
Also the hotel was really set up for people on full board which also included lunch and alcoholic/non drinks all day. And it seemed to be mainly organised trips booking in. They only had house drinks. Spirits, beer, sodas, wine everything was just own brand stuff so even if you wanted to pay more you couldn't get anything else, even in the bar and at the pool.
It was so weird because the hotel looked lovely. The pool area and the rooms were great, but it really took from it that we couldn't get a snack in the hotel during the day, or even get a proper drink.
We did enjoy the trip, though after being in Croatia I wouldn't really recommend montenegro in general. We had rented a car and went out and explored and got lunch for an hour or 2 every day which was fun. If you dont have a car your kind of stuck in the area. If you want to stay i'd do B+B and not enter the restaurant after breakfast. There is a shop across the road so you can get snacks for the pool. If you dont mind the canteen food idea its for you beacuse the rest is lovely"

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Wed 21st of February 2007

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