27 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog

Just returned after 14 nights, initial c...

5
Brilliant
by
Reviewed Sun 19th of August 2007

"Just returned after 14 nights, initial concerns were this was not a cheap holiday compared to others - had I paid too much unnecessarily? NO! not at all - you get what you pay for. Hotel staff from cleaners, bar staff to a number of managers (there seemed to be a manager for everything) were 100% helpful and friendly, nothing was too much. Cleanest hotel I have stopped in, food was excellent and the restaurant was open from 6 - 9 so did not have to worry about getting back to early and rushing to eat in a 1 hour window.

My one down point would be to say there were not enough bar staff for the evening entertainment.
The entertainment team were fantastic and worked really hard during the day to get mums, dads and kids of all ages highly amused. Compared to other teams I have seen, it was obvious they really enjoyed their work and it was not 'just a job'. They also put on some of the best evening entertainment over the 2 weeks with their version of Grease and other funny shows. Cal a dor is a beautiful resort with lots to offer.

Will definitely return to same hotel - hopefully the entertainment team will be the same as they were the cream on the cake. Thanks to all for a great holiday."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Sun 19th of August 2007

Just returned from the Sa Marina Apart/H...

4
Good
by
Reviewed Fri 15th of June 2007

"Just returned from the Sa Marina Apart/Hotel after our second stay here. Our first visit was in Oct 2006.

The rooms are spacious, very clean, and comfortable. The TV has only one English channel but I think we only switched on once curious what the headlines in the UK were!

Unfortunately, even though the pool is beautiful we were unable to get a sun lounger. All the beds were reserved with towels by the time we surfaced at 10am, even though there are signs to say not to do this.

It’s a shame because the rest of the hotel is excellent, the breakfasts are very good and lots of choice, the staff are lovely and most helpful, the gardens pretty, the maids are the best I have encountered regarding cleaning the room and all in all a super place to stay.

We hired a car and decided to explore some beaches, Cala Mondrago is definitely worth a visit, about 20 mins by car, it’s a national park so has lots of trees and un developed land, the beach is lovely.

Another real find is the beach called Es Trenc; this is about 40 mins drive from Cala D'Or and 3 kilometres of fine white sand, truly beautiful and relaxing. Note of caution to those not predisposed to naked bods, it’s a nudist beach so there is plenty of dingle, dangle dongle if you know what I mean, I didn't join in I hasten to add!

There are so many excellent restaurants in Cala D'Or you will be spoiled for choice and the food quality is superb, we would recommend Barloviento, a fab place to eat. We will return to Cala D'Or as the place is excellent all round.

Sa Marina is a family place really so we will try another place next time as there are just the two of us. It’s worth noting this as couples may find the number of small children a challenge! That said, for families it is unbeatable."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Fri 15th of June 2007

This was a last minute deal that we book...

5
Brilliant
by
Reviewed Mon 9th of October 2006

"This was a last minute deal that we booked and we had a fabulous holiday. The apartments were clean and spacious and the hotel pool was very clean and safe for children.

There was entertainment throughout the day with activities which included water aerobics, water polo, bingo and walking tours all of which we took part in and really enjoyed. The entertainers were really great fun and the shows which they performed were very good, the children’s disco was especially a big hit.

We would definitely visit this accommodation again next year as it was very central with a short walk to the local shops and the beach."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Mon 9th of October 2006

Not a great experiencel - this is not a 4 Star hotel

1
Awful
by
Reviewed Fri 16th of November 2012

"This is certainly not a 4 Star hotel and I have to say that Thomas Cook are having a laugh by including it in their Finesse brochure.
On arrival as we walked to reception our first impressions were "oh no". Why?, well the pool was heaving and it was clearly far too small for the number of people using it - more on this later.
The reception area is small and to one side is a bar area that is also small, during our stay we never saw this open. At the reception we were given our room key and when I enquired about towels for the pool I was informed that these would cost 15 euros each (60 euros for our party of four). The safety deposit box was 33 euros with 3 euros returned if the key was given back! Hardly 4 star!!
The apartment was spacious and we found it to be acceptable. However, it was not cleaned on a daily basis, which is poor.
The view was dreadful as we overlooked a building site - this is where an additional 23 apartments are being built along with an additional swimming pool, which is certainly needed (opening in 2007). Thankfully, actual building works were not taking place and having seen the views from some of the other apartments eg a public carpark, shop etc, we got off lightly.
With two young children, who like to mix with other kids, we always select a hotel with a kids club. The Sa Marina's kids club is a joke. There is no signing in or out, it is inadequately staffed and the activities are deadly dull. The safety aspect is of particular concern and the following example shows why.
I was sitting in the hotel grounds (I could not be bothered to get down to the pool at 8 am to secure a sunbed hence why we were in the garden) when just one child entertainer went past followed by 20 or so children. A small child (about 5 years old) was at the back and she fell off the path and started to cry but the child entertainer did not see this as she was at the front of the group and having turned the corner was now out of sight. It was left to my wife and I to comfort / calm the child and then to go and find her parents. This example illustrates why signing in is so important and with the numbers of children involved having one person undertaking the important job of caring for children is woefully inadequate.
The restaurant was a joke. It was far too small and tables were so tight that it was extremely hard to get between them.
The system for getting in to the restaurant is to give your room number to the person at the resturant door. The next step is to find a table yourself ie there was no one to find a table for you.
All meals are buffet style with waiter / waitress taking orders for drinks in the evening and coffee in the morning. Sticking with the evening meal the staff were a pretty mixed bag with some being pleasant while others were less so. Drinks service ranged from slow to non existant as on 3 occasions after waiting 5 minutes I had to go and find someone to take the order.
The evening meal was not a relaxing experience it really was like being in a staff restaurant - infact I would say that it was not as good as the restaurant that I have access to at work. It was very noisy (the cramped tables not helping), there were often queues for the food but to top it all at 9pm if you had not finished your meal a woman would come round and tell you that the restaurant was now closed!! So although we were told that the restaurant was open until 9pm what they actually mean is that it closes at 9pm so if you roll up just before 9 you would not be able to sit there until 10, not that you would want to anyway.
The food was not great. Chips every night and sauces with everything. 50% of the evening starters were exactly the same as the cold selection for breakfast.
Breakfast was poor. It was lacking in imagination though if your idea is bacon and eggs every day (I like egg and bacon but not every day) with baked beans you might like it. That said, unfortunately the eggs and bacon were generally not available at the same time so you would get one of the aforementioned items or, if two were wanted, then one item would get cold as you wait for the other one to be cooked. Again, the reason for this is too many guests for the facilities available. With the additional appartments being built I sincerely hope they are going to double the size of the restaurant or it will become completely unbearable.
What we also did not like is having to carry cash with us around the hotel, this is because the hotel does not offer a room account facility. So, when you have your drinks at dinner, buy a drink at the bar, icecream or use the extensive poolside eating area (6 tables) then you need to have your money available.
Turning to the pool. The pool is open between 9am to 7pm. However, if you roll up at around 9 expecting to be able to get a sunbed you will be disappointed. Why?, because they have been 'bagged' by people who have got up early to secure the beds. Now people securing beds before breakfast is nothing new but what makes the Sa Marina different is that if you don't do it you will not get a bed by the pool period. The hotel receptionist told me that they do not have enough sunbeds for all of the guests and that's with the sunbeds being spaced just 4/5inches (8/9cms) apart. I am not a sun bed towel placer myself but on this holiday I had to change the habit of a lifetime and I did so on 5 occasions (we were there for 14 days). I found that I needed to be at the pool no later than 830am and then I had to remain with the beds until the fountain went on at 9am. Some people did not do this and their towels were removed so when they returned later they found other people sitting on the beds that they had reserved, there were a couple of ugly exchanges as a result.
Just one further experience. The telephone in the apartment would not work for an outside call. My wife went to reception and they said she could use the reception phone and then promptly charged her 20c! That about sums the Sa Marina up.
I do appreciate that many other trip advisor contributors have found the SA Marina to be very good but I think this is due to most of those people not going at peak season. I suspect that out of season the SA Marina would be more bearable but from mid July say to end of first week in September I strongly suggest that you steer clear.
My final words are for Thomas Cook. From the hotel description in their brochure, to their lack of help when one of our suitcases did not arrive, to the rudeness of their staff, I can go on but I won't, they are hopeless. The first and last time I will travel with them.
I'm off now to get some brochures as I need a holiday!!"

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Fri 1st of September 2006

Four Star? They're Having a Laugh!

1
Awful
by
Reviewed Thu 6th of December 2012

"Let's start with the good points...

First impressions of the Sa Marina are very positive. Staff are attentive and rooms are very spacious and amongst the cleanest that we have experienced.

Right, that's that bit now for the bad (how long have you got - suggest you get a cup of tea and sit down for this....)

The hotel has expanded since it was constructed in 2000. Unfortunately, someone forgot to tell the manager that if you double the number of guests, you have to increase the size of the pool area and dining facilities. The pool is VERY crowded in August. We knew it would be busy, but this place can take "sardines" to a new level. This problem is compounded by the lack of any other open space within the complex, because they have built on almost every square inch (and guess what, there's a new extension being built right now!).

Did I mention the dining facilities? Oh yes, what a pleasure that is. For breakfast you can have bacon, you can have eggs, but you've got to be very lucky to get both together because they are cooked as "display cookery", which means a chef who cannot multi-task and fries eggs and bacon ten minutes apart. Tables within the restaurant are very close together, so that actually getting up from your table to reach the buffet can be a problem if you don't co-ordinate your timings with the couple sat behind you. You can, of course, reduce the breakfast/dinner hassle by getting up early, but this is your holiday isn't it?! (and anyway, whilst you're in the restaurant for an early breakfast, the "Towel Police" will be removing your towel from the unattended sunbeds).

Ah, the Towel Police - a good policy really, but it does mean that if you want a sunbed (I mean REALLY WANT a sunbed, because the experience is hardly a pleasure), then you must get to the poolside before 9.00, and babysit your towels against unwanted attacks from the hotel staff - however, whilst you're doing this, the restaurant is gearing up to almost fever pitch for the morning bacon frenzy.

Now (and here's the most concerning part of all), there's the Koko Loko hotel-run kids club. If you are used to putting your beloved offspring into the local kids club/nursery back at home (you know the drill - sign in/sign out procedure, and don't forget the emergency contact details), well, think again! The sign on the kids club door will lull you into the false impression that you face two whole hours without "Wee Jimmy ", safe in the knowledge that he is kept amused and under safe supervision. Well then, imagine our surprise when we returned to collect our daughter to find her returning from the swimming pool with no supervision and no sun cream - she had apparently been abandoned by the kids club rep after 1 hour, because the club does not operate for two hours as stated, but only for one (thanks for telling us Sa Marina!). What's more. the hotel is surrounded by a number of fairly busy roads - a younger child could have wandered off with potentially catastrophic consequences. The response of the hotel management to this? A letter posted on the Kids Club door stating that "This is not a babysitting service" (This issue is currently under investigation by Thomas Cook, as a formal complaint was raised with them during our holiday).

Anyone interested in Health & Safety? Nope, well neither is Sa Marina (in some regards, anyway), so it could be the place for you. Firstly, there is no lifeguard on duty around the pool. Not a legal requirement in Spain you may say, but you'll find that many other 4* (or even 3*) hotels in Spain and the Balearics recognise that the need to protect the safety of their customers is actually fairly important. Ah, you'll see signs around the pool telling you not to dive, not to jump from the ornamental fountain, not to run, etc... but you needn't worry because guess what - because there's no lifeguard, there's no-one to enforce the rules. We witnessed several "near misses" as children jumped from the fountains to grab the side of the pool - not comfortable to watch. Worried about glass around the swimming pool where your nippers are walking around with bare feet? Well carry on worrying, because they do not have any plastic glasses, so all drinks around the pool are in glass.

Oh, whilst I'm on the subject of Health & Safety (it's kind of a hobby of mine), check out the railings on the balconies. Now we all know that horizontal rails are dangerous don't we? (kids can climb them and jump over the top) - Sa Marina wouldn't be so daft as to build a hotel in the 21st century like that would they? Of course not - they sensibly opted for vertical bars... ...and then ruined it all by adding some little ornate swirls, which provide just the foothold Little Tommy needs for a head dive over the top (and a palm tree or two with branches that are a tantalising two inches out of his reach, just to make sure he really wants to climb). How many tour operators from various countries have inspected these facilities and failed to identify any of these risks?

Still, you can always retire from the overcrowded pool area to the peaceful sanctuary that is your hotel room (well you can, can't you?). Well no, actually you can't if (like us) you get a room at the rear of the main block - overlooking the aesthetic delights of the local taxi rank and the Sony Gallery - oh, and a short term pay-and display car park right below your balcony to ensure that doors are banged and engines revved at literally all times of day and night. If I could attach some of my holiday snaps of this view to this website (and believe me I'v got some belters), you'd get the general idea.

Entertainment - well if you consider a bunch of kids (the animation staff) dressing up as the stars of "Grease" and miming for 45 minutes as entertainment, then you'll probably love it - I, on the otherhand, found it an insult to the intelligence of the audience.

So that's it, you should have the general impression of tranquility (not) that is a fortnight at the Sa Marina. I know this was an August holiday, so you expect "busy" in the school holidays - maybe some of the other guests who have posted more positive reports on this website had a cheaper, more relaxed and safer experience off-peak, but my report above is, I believe, a truthful and balanced overview of my stay."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Sat 26th of August 2006

clean hotel

3
Average
by
Reviewed Tue 23rd of October 2012

"stayed at the sa marina hotel for 10 nights till 18/8/06, booked direct with hotel for 2 adults and 1 child costing £1500 hb. spoke to some guests who had paid doublt the price with thomas cook, thing is with this hotel you only pay for how many are staying, none of that under occupancy rubbish. many of the guests are in there mid 40's with young children, so it is really packed in peak season. sunbeds are a real problem here, got up early one morning and people were sitting on sunbeds at 6.30a.m, ridiculous.

entertainment was a bit dull, but the entertainers were fantastic for the wages there paid. service in the reastaurant was very poor, on 3 occasions given the wrong change, with no apology, watch them. meant to be a 4 star hotel this, its very clean but your rooms aren't cleaned every day. if you want sunbed towels you have to pay a 15 euro deposit on each one and the safe is 3 euro's a day. bar downstairs is very small and of a night when it's busy you are often standing and looking for a waiter. snack area is also not adequate for a hotel this size, 6 TABLES UNDER 2 PARASOLS. when you get a table you then have to play find the waiter.good hotel but your paying top money when you can go to much better hotels for the prices some people had paid."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Fri 18th of August 2006

We booking for 2007

5
Brilliant
by
Reviewed Fri 16th of November 2012

"[--]

We stayed in the Sa Marina for 10 days from 14th July and had a fabulous time. So if you are planning to stay there soon for the first time I am confident you will not be disappointed with either the hotel or its location. Here are some notes from the holiday:

- Booking: We chose to book direct with the hotel which meant we simply had to pay a (20%) deposit upfront and the balance during our stay. We booked our flights with Thomson Fly, which were competitively priced, and had decent flight times, i.e. not at some ridiculous time in the evening or morning.

- Taxi: We booked the taxi through the hotel and it was 57 EUR – the hotel has a fixed set of prices for various journeys so you know the price being quoted is consistent and fair for everyone

- Room: The room was exactly as stated on the website. It was very comfortable with lots of storage (for my wife’s excessive luggage) and extremely clean. The rooms also include free internet access should you be inclined to use it.

- Staff: All the hotel staff, from the hard working pool attendant to the manager, were extremely helpful, friendly, and professionally presented. In fact, during my stay I became aware I had not been given the correct room rate and also a child discount had not been applied to my bill. The manager promptly refunded this and provided a couple of complimentary bottles of wine.

- Pool: Both the pool and surrounding terrace were very clean indeed. However, there is one important rule you must be aware of….in the morning if you place your towels on the sun loungers and then leave before the pool opens at 9am then the pool attendant removes them. So my advice is stay with your towels before 9am if you want save you spot.

- Food: The breakfast and evening meal were served buffet style, with the variety you expect from a 4 star Spanish hotel. Again, the restaurant was extremely clean and professionally managed. The food was beautifully presented and tasty too.

- Location: The hotel is located about 100m from a main pedestrianised area containing bars and restaurants. This area is very much geared to families and couples who prefer al fresco dining. There are also a couple supermarkets near by - prices generally seemed cheaper than th UK so avoid the temptation to pack the kitchen sink.

Hope this helps and you have a great time, Gary ! !"

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Sat 29th of July 2006

Great Hotel

4
Good
by
Reviewed Fri 21st of December 2012

"A superb freindly VERY clean hotel with excellent food and great service. Excellent air conditioning which is a must as it gets very hot by the poolside as there is not much shade. Recommended for famillies with young children as the small freindlyness of the hotel makes it very safe. Will visit again for the wonderful pool and 5* food."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Fri 28th of July 2006

Lovely hotel !

3
Average
by
Reviewed Mon 24th of December 2012

"I stayed at the Sa Marina for one week with my husband and 8 year old son.
The reception staff were very pleasant and helpfull.
The restaurant was spotless with lots of lovely food. Catering for all tastes.
The pool area was nice. Could be a bit bigger because quite packed when the hotel is full. The swimming pool was very clean and very cold !
The rooms were brilliant. They are apartments so you have a fridge and cooking rings. Fridge very handy for drinks.
I only stayed in the hotel to watch the entertainment once and what i saw was very good.
The resort is only a few minutes walk away. Plenty of shops , bars and restaurants.
There are a few beaches around the resort of Cala D'or but are more like coves. Beautifull sandy beaches with clear water. Very safe for children.
Would recommend the Starfish glass bottom boat which goes from Cala Gran beach every day at 2.10pm. 18 euros for an adult and 10 euros for children. 3 hour trip up along the coast and the chance to swim in the sea for half an hour with all the fishes.
All in all a lovely holiday and would definatley return in the future."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Tue 4th of July 2006

We have just returned from a weeks holid...

4
Good
by
Reviewed Mon 26th of June 2006

"We have just returned from a weeks holiday at the Sa Marina in Cala D'Or, Majorca. This is the first time we have travelled with our 18 month old Daughter and were quite apprehensive before going. However everything was fine.

The Sa Marina is a lovely hotel. Very Clean and Tidy and safe for children. The apartments are really nice and the kitchen is well equipped. Tele is mostly in German/Spanish channels but who goes on holiday to watch TV? The food was good and there was much variety. Entertainment was on offer during day and night although some evening shows were a little strange. The kids disco was a big hit.

Drinks in the hotel bar are reasonable. The pool area is nice and there were plenty of sun beds available, although limited Sunshades so I’m afraid we joined the towel brigade and reserved our places so we had some shade (you are not really allowed to do this but nobody complained). All in all the hotel is great and well worthy of its 4* we would go again.

The resort of Cala D'Or is geared towards Families and couples. It is very relaxed and very quite during the day. There are plenty of bars and restaurants and nice shops to wonder round, visit 'The Little Tavern' and see Deb & Steve for a couple of drinks you will be made more than welcome. The beaches are spread out quite a lot but there is a little train which runs round resort to transport you to them. The resort is quite hilly so if you like exploring remember to wear good footwear and take a drink! - Nice resort worth a visit."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Mon 26th of June 2006

A really good hotel

5
Brilliant
by
Reviewed Tue 6th of November 2012

"This hotel was very good and we had an enjoyable holiday. It is an aparthotel, so you get the benefits of apartment accomadation combined with a hotel. The rooms are really big and have a lounge/kitchen area with tv, sofas, table and chairs, etc. The kitchen is basic but it has two cooking rings, a sink and a fridge. There is a seprate bedroom and a large balcony. The food at the hotel is wonderful. It is buffet style with lots of choice and the wine is reasonably priced. The staff are very friendly and helpful as well. The pool area is good size although not huge. The downside is there are not to many sunbeds and pool area can get quite busy. Also the half the area is in the shade in the afternoon. This is probably the only downside of what otherwise is a great hotel. There are some really nice beaches in the area so there are alternatives. The resort is quite commercialised and there are plently of bars and restaurants. Overall Cala D'or is nice resort particularly for families."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Fri 5th of May 2006

The best

4
Good
by
Reviewed Thu 6th of December 2012

"my family and i stayed at the sa marina last may and we are returning this year, it is a fabulous hotel with the beauty of self catering accommadation too, although you done need to cook the food is fantastic. The childrens entertainer was fab my little girl had a wonderful time.
The staff are very polite and professional. Definitley a place to go."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Sun 30th of April 2006

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