34 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Daylight Robbery and Nightime Too...
"OK objective ratings first:
Hotel Cala Blanca Beach House Palma Nova H/B 8 nights from June 23rd:
Location **** (right on the beach 10m)
Accommodation Roadside *** (fairly large room - in need of a makeover)
Food & Dining Area **** (Good ambience food above usual 3* fayre)
Poolside Area *** (not big enough - no sunbeds after 7am)
Internet Wifi * (terminals available from 1â¬ WiFi in room 30â¬ 1 week)
Bar Prices * (3.10â¬ for a can of pop and up from that - obviously no queues at the bar)
Hotel Security Zero Stars: Non Existent. No CCTV anywhere.
Below is a summary of the attempted robbery from our room at around 0230am on July 1st 2014 the morning we were due to leave (a more detailed account has been sent to Melia hotels and Gabriel Escarrer Chairman & CEO of Melia Hotels 10 days ago - I'm still awaiting a reply).
After hearing a door card entering the lock, my wife (who luckily is a light sleeper) woke up screaming "There's a man in the room, THERE'S A MAN IN THE ROOM". I jumped out of bed and saw (as we had left the light on by the door) a tall (1.9m) blonde man aged about 25yrs dressed in a grey T-shirt and shorts had taken 4 paces into the room. As I walked towards him, I assumed he had stumbled into the room by mistake and I said, "What's going on? Come on now, you're in the wrong room". As I walked towards him, I noticed a shorter (1.65m) dark haired girl with long hair stood in the doorway holding the door open. I then ushered out the man with an outstretched arm and he said, "I definitely think I am in the wrong room" in English - with an accent possibly Northern/Eastern European (not a native English speaker and not a Spanish/Mallorcan accent) he started acting drunk at this point and left the room without me touching him. I made sure the door was firmly closed. We then went downstairs to the reception. As we walked towards the desk, (Miguel?) on reception said my name and room 126 and looked down at the hotel guest list. I said yes. He then said "A couple came in and said they had lost their key and gave your name and it's room 126, this happens sometimes". I said, "How did they know my name and room number?". He said it is "just a coincidence and a mistake", he seemed unconcerned at this point, so I said, "We will take this up with the hotel manager when he arrives at 9am". About 1hr later, my wife went down to speak with the night receptionist. He was by this time getting quite agitated, and in front of guests (who asked my wife if she was OK) he raised his voice to her, saying, "You are not harmed, it is just a mistake - think about my reputation". At this point he confirmed the couple he had given a copy of our room key to "Are not guests at this hotel", although he said to my wife, "They were English - it happens sometimes, they forget their keys".
Questions that need to be answered:
1. Why is the night receptionist handing out copies of guests room keys to people walking in off the street with no identification. They should be made to wait until daylight when a member of staff/security can escort them to the room and confirm they are legitimate guests. When we arrived at the Sol Cala Blanca, we needed passports and a hotel reservation.
2. How did a couple walking in off the street (according to the night receptionist) know my name and room number. I can only assume this is an "inside job" and your staff are selling guests' personal information to outsiders (professional thieves?) to earn extra income. Are your paying guests aware of this?
3. Are your paying guests being made aware that their safety and lives are being compromised by the policies of the hotel?
4. Where is the CCTV footage of the couple entering the hotel at approximately 0230hrs on July 1st?
5. When the room is locked from the inside, why does the key card override it - and unlock the door?
6. Why were the Police not called immediately by the hotel receptionist?
7. I have just done a quick check (0400hrs) of the hotel reception/bar areas/room corridors and there are NO CCTV cameras anywhere. Easy target for criminals - as there is no evidence against crimes being committed.
8. 0850hrs (10 minutes before our taxi is due to arrive). The hotel manager Sebastian Darder arrives. He had already been made aware of the incident. Very nice of him to "rush" into work I thought - to comfort his guests who have been up all night. After some handshaking and back slapping and much apologizing by Sebastian, I asked him about security at the hotel, specifically, the "lack of CCTV". He said "It is because some men want a room without their wives knowing about it and they don't want their images capturing!". He declined when I asked did I need to pay for the room last night as we spent all night chasing robbers from the room and arguing with staff as, "He was not in charge of the money at the hotel", but what he could do, was "When we return next year, we can have a Sea-View room at no extra cost". Although how this can be authorized by Sebastian when, "He is not in charge of the money at the hotel", I'm not quite sure.
9. 0900hrs. At this point, our taxi arrived and I settled the bill for the full 8 nights.
Crimes can be committed against guests here and there will be NO evidence that it ever happened. I will NOT be taking up the hotels' offer of a free sea-view upgrade as there will be no next time. If you are traveling here DO NOT leave anything of any value in the room and try not to get a room near stairwell/lift. DO NOT leave your hotel guest card detailing your name and length of stay on view in the room and hide your passports."
- Travel date: Sat 26th of July 2014
"just returned from a weeks stay in the cala blanca,never to sure what to expect on arrival, but what a wonderful surprise large airy rooms,great food,lovely friendly staff & great location, cant wait to return."
- Travel date: Tue 21st of September 2010
"I was one of four 'mature'gentleman staying on a four day golfing holiday. The hotel was ideal being only 10 minutes drive from the golf courses we played.
Our rooms on the fourth floor were very comfortable with excellent air conditioning, thank goodness as outside temperature was very high.
Service was very good. Pool area is a little small for the size of hotel with mostly morning sunshine but great view of the bay.
The beach is excellent and better to lie on than the sun beds, I found swimming in the sea better than the fresh water pool.
The food was exceptional both at breakfast and dinner. I have travelled the world over many years and have not had as good a selection or quality in any comparable hotel. The odd dish could have been warmer but was usually quickly replaced.
The evening entertainment was enjoyable for us but not geared to the younger generation and unfortunatley not well supported. Perhaps partly caused by the expensive drinks which I assume are priced to recover the entertainment costs.
Hope they keep up this standard in spite of the effects of the recession. "
- Travel date: Tue 8th of September 2009
We holiday in Palm Nova twice a year and...
"We holiday in Palm Nova twice a year and always stay at The Santa Lucia but having found a good deal for Sol Cala Blanca decided to give it a go as we have always thought it looked nice.We were not disappointed.We had a lovely room on the shops side of the hotel,my only gripe being that to have a seaview we would have to pay 21euro per night at reception.The furniture on the balcony was so comfy that you could have slept all night on it,the room was large and comfortable.The afternoon sun on the balcony was lovely for topping up your tan.We enjoyed breakfast more than dinner especially sitting outside on the terrace to eat but overall the food was good.Nice touch with having large pot of coffee or tea bought to your table at breakfast rather it coming out of a machine.As always Diana Beach bar was great for daytime and evening,always the same friendly staff especially Adrian.What can i say we are staying at Santa Lucia as usual in September but next year we will struggle to choose between the 2 hotels."
- Travel date: Fri 13th of June 2008
We stayed for a four day break in Januar...
"We stayed for a four day break in January the hotel was great, our room was very clean, we were overlooking the sea couldnt be better
As a Hotel Services Manager Iam not a easy person to please but I have to say the food was good the housekeeping was good and I would return to this hotel agian.
A most relaxing break, staff were most helpfull .Hope you try it"
- Travel date: Sun 4th of May 2008
Fantastic holiday, Lovely hotel! Visite...
"Fantastic holiday, Lovely hotel!
Visited with my elderly parents, three of us in a room, still very spacious..
Staff all very friendly. Great location...
Have already booked to go back...
Food fantastic, although layout of dining room could be better. Serving area all one side in corner. Reminded me a bit of butlins, everyone standing in line, abit annoying, especially when someone pushes in...
If you time it right, when the dinning area is not so busy, then it is much better...
But still did not spoil our stay..
- Travel date: Tue 29th of April 2008
We have stayed at the Cala Blanca for th...
"We have stayed at the Cala Blanca for the last 5 years fantastic location, super staff always made welcome , friendly, from reception to cleaners. Rooms lovely and big, great balcony & large bathroom with an array of toiletries. Food has improved at one time not 4* quality but management took on quests comments, recently refurbished for the better.Booked again for September 2008 can't wait."
- Travel date: Thu 27th of March 2008
This year for Christmas, we decided to t...
"This year for Christmas, we decided to try Majorca as we had noticed that it appeared in a few tour operators brochures.
Majorca is NOT a winter/Christmas destination in the usual way. At least 75% of the island's attractions and hotels were shut. The only bonus was the weather with most days hovering around 16 degrees C. but only for a couple of hours per day.
Enough of this, our hotel the 4* Sol Cala Blanca, in Palma Nova was pleasant enough and the staff tried hard to satisfy all needs. We did feel sorry for them though, as there were no more than 50 guests at any one time and the evening entertainment was watched by maybe half a dozen people at most.
Christmas Eve fun consisted of being handed goody bags filled with streamers and silly hats etc. Food in the buffet restaurant was plentiful and varied, as with lots of other hotels, the buffet was never hot but an old, slow microwave overcame this minor irritation.
Talking about irritations, we were the target of very hungry mossies in the room, so mossie spray or plug ins are recommended even at this time of year.
Unlike mainland Sol hotels, understandably, there was not a Christmas gala dinner.
For those guests with an appetite, Christmas lunch was available at a whopping 58 Euros each. Not many bothered to eat, I wonder why not!!
Palma Nova still had quite a few places open so it didn't have a ghost town feel about it.
A trip to Soller on the tramway did not materialise as the system was on shutdown for annual maintenance, the bus service was still in operation and was well worth the few Euros bus fare.
Palma city was the only place where there was any hustle and bustle. A free exhibition of Rodin's sculptures were on display together with choral singing in the cathedral precincts. A visit to Palma is only complete with a leisurely stroll around el Corte Ingles watching the frenetic buying of presents and the stunning display of goods in the food hall. Locals were buying Serano ham at 149 Euros per kilo as if was going out of fashion.
We made the most of our Christmas break, would recommend this hotel, but would not return at this time of year. "
- Travel date: Sat 29th of December 2007
This is a truly lovely hotel! Staff are...
"This is a truly lovely hotel!
Staff are wonderful and really helpful; nothing was too much trouble for them at all.
Hotel clean, spacious and airy, superb meals and super facilities.
The only thing that let it down was the evening entertainment, but all in all it's something you could live with!
Would certainly go to this hotel again in the future.
- Travel date: Sun 28th of October 2007
I visited the Sol Cala Blanca for 3 nigh...
"I visited the Sol Cala Blanca for 3 nights on a spur of the moment trip with my friend. We are both 19 year old girls and wanted to enjoy the nightlife of Magaluf but stay in a nice hotel not too close to all the noise, as we know the resort has a reputation for being rowdy!
This choice of hotel was the best ever and really made our holiday. As the airport transfer bus dropped everyone off at their hotels I was a bit nervous but as soon as we arrived at ours I relaxed, as it looked lovely from the outside. The reception was gorgeous, all marble with a spiral staircase and mirrors.
The room was very spacious and seemed very clean. It faced the front of the hotel therefore our balcony was shaded a great deal of the day but it didn't really matter as we weren't intending on spending a lot of time in the room.
Also our view from the patio doors was a huge palm tree but again it didn't bother us because I noticed many of the other hotels were really close together and not private at all.
The fact that our room was in the shade also meant we rarely needed to use our air conditioning. Our towels were changed regularly.
I can't believe how close the beach actually is! It is a really nice, clean beach and we spent most of our day there. It was so handy knowing we were so close to the hotel. We actually didn't lie at the hotel's pool area once. It was nice enough but there weren't many sunbeds and the sun seemed to disappear fairly early in the afternoon.
Because we were out most of the night I'm afraid I can't comment on the breakfast as we were never up in time; however the evening meal was alright. There are always safe options like soup, salad, and pizza on the menu if you fancy something quite plain.
Alternatively there are themed nights such as Mexican. I can't say it was the best food I've ever tasted but it was quite nice.
The location was amazing (obviously because of the beach) but also it was a short walk to Magaluf and all the bars and restaurants of Palma Nova.
If we return to Palma Nova next year (which we probably will!) we will definitely stay at the Sol Cala Blanca again. Although I mentioned a couple of negative points overall the location, decor, and our spacious room really impressed us."
- Travel date: Mon 15th of October 2007
This was our second holiday to Majorca,...
"This was our second holiday to Majorca, and were glad we chose the Sol Cala Blanca.
Our room was on the first floor, and although the view was restricted by the closeness of the palm trees, this was not a problem considering the short amount of time we spent in the room. We could have requested a sea view room at an extra Â£3.50 per person per night, but decided not to bother.
The room was very spacious with good-sized beds, and the bathroom had all the toiletries supplied. The room was made up daily, and the towels changed on a daily basis as well. The maid was only too pleased to supply us with extra pillows. The safety deposit box required a 20 euro deposit per week - 3 euros of which were returned on checking out.
There was no shortage of food - and good food at that. The choice was amazing, with a different theme most nights - Mexican, Italian etc. We never once dined in the restaurant - always opting to sit outside with a cracking view out to sea.
We would definitely recommend this hotel, and hope to return ourselves in the not- to- distant future.
- Travel date: Sun 23rd of September 2007
Had lovely holiday, we stayed on fourth...
"Had lovely holiday, we stayed on fourth floor overlooking sea. It was excellent, plenty going on to watch.
Room spacious and air con was great to have, clean rooms but rugs could do with a change.
Staff friendly, food excellent ,great choice and variety to choose from, lovely seating areas too including one outside by beach which is a stoneâs throw away, loads of shops in area and bars cafes etc.
Wish I was back there now!"
- Travel date: Tue 18th of September 2007