Melia Cala Galdana
40 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Lovely Hotel,in superb position, clean throughout, friendly staff....
"Good choice of Hotel, hard working friendly staff, great being right in front of beach ,food adequate , except short on potato usage .Only two complaints, for a four star hotel, very wrong dress in evenings in both dining rooms ,smart casual it was not , many people scruffy and wearing borderline beach wear ! Spanish guests very noisy returning to their rooms late at night ! Would not stop us going there again though."
- Travel date: Tue 17th of July 2012
Expectations not met
"We have stayed here 3 Times (my Wife and I) Last year we were soimpressed that we booked the same fortnight in June for 2011. The views are fabulous, particularly if on levels 8 and 9 and sea facing. Clean Hotel, Good Staff, Excellent Gym facilities - but we were not so impressed this year and we would not return - so what was different - The Food - we are not fussy on food generally - but the standards have fallen sharply since last year - yes there is alot of choice - but we had some difficulty with the often served Veal and Rabbit dishes - which did not appeal and they subsequently turned up a few days later in a sauce of some sort. Breakfast was adequate - but again very samey with burnt bacon as standard and a very unusual recycled brussel sprouts on one day. The standrad of entertainment was not as good as last year. A positive is the refurbished lounge and bar area - we will be going next year to Menorca - the island is magnificent and the festival in Cieutedella outstanding - but no more Sol Gavilanes for us
- Travel date: Mon 4th of July 2011
A good hotel
"This hotel was very good as were the staff. The buffet meals were excellent. There was so much choice of food for breakfast and dinner you didn't know where to start. Lovely views from the main terrace. It's a must for us for next year."
- Travel date: Tue 28th of June 2011
What a Good Time
"Having just got back from the Sol Galivanes Cala Galdana,I would like to compliment the hotel. Having read reviews before booking I made sure we were above the 5th floor, the sea view we had was across the beach from the side of the hotel which was somewhat disappointing although we could see all we wanted of the beach and sea. The room itself was adequate although if we had children with us it could have been cramped.It was a strange lay out we found as the reception is on the top and rooms go mostly down from there and it took soom time before we were sure of up or down to places. The food was excellent, the service as in some other reviews varied from a pleasant female waitress to 2 long faced grumpy males but if you move further in the restaurant we seemed to get the younger ones who were very good, although when paying for drinks they had to call one of the grumpy ones who took your money without many thank yous. THe evening entertainment was very good with tributes to Jackson Five, Robbie Williams Earth Wind And Fire The Eagles And Bee Gees all were excellent with Robbie the outstanding one with excellent backing from dancing girl backing singers. Bar service wasn't too bad although there grasp of english was poor and wrong drinks were often served, don't know whether they couldn't hear above the noise of the groups or they just couldn't understand.The resort was also very good the service in the hotel supermarket was excellent the staff in there were always polite and always smiling when we struggled getting to grips with the currency. The resort was clean, although when walking out at night the river sometimes gave off a nasty smell, the restaurants were good in the town and the prices for Guiness and John Smiths were reasonable. We went on one trip on our holiday Classic Cruises run by 2 brits, thoroughly recommended but expensive the crew were excellent,food was good and great time was had by all. In all in our opinion a relaxing, well worth it holiday and can't wait to go again. "
- Travel date: Wed 2nd of June 2010
Book Floor 5 and above only
"MAKE SURE You GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR:
Floor 5 and above has the best views in Cala Galdana.
We specified a sea view at the hotel when making the telephone booking with Direct Holidays, now owned by Thomas Cook, as we have a lovely view of trees at home. Happy to pay through the nose for it, as the holiday was Â£400 more expensive than last yearâs.
But when the documentation arrived and the promised 'Sea View' - had mysteriously been changed to:
'Off what? ' I enquired of the Direct Holidaysâ Distinctly Unhelpful Line person.
'A nice brick wall?'.
He told me it wasnât my âjobâ to askâ¦. No â I couldnât work that one out eitherâ¦.
Anyway, Thomas Cook (TC) duly investigated their booking tapes and found that a sea view had indeed been agreed.
To cut a long story short, we ended up with an apology, bottle of champagne and personal letter from a Top Cat director of TC, to say that we definitely had our sea view.
So went off on holiday, happily knowing that when we arrived, there would be upsetsâ¦
We showed the TC directorâs letter and stated âSea Viewâ booking confirmation to the receptionist - who promptly allocated us to a room at the bottom of the hotel (119).
It has a lovely view of trees with what they call a 'sea glimpseâ somewhere in between the branches. In addition, the whole corridor on this floor had a sewage-type smell to it.
So back to reception, where we got......:
'Tough - we are fully booked so there are no sea view rooms left for youâ.
So much for TCâs Top Cat letter.
After some âWho blinks first?â Spaghetti Western-type confrontation, (and some unexpected conciliatory hand-patting from the male receptionist ), the hotel manager was dragged out of wherever he normally hides.... and it appeared that, during our conversation with the receptionists, five rooms with sea views had 'suddenly become available'. We chose one on Floor 5.
So whatever you do - if you like a view of the sea, stipulate Floor 5 and above in your booking. Get it in writing and don't back down- despite the hand-patting.
A la Asda style.... Wide choice, but nothing you really fancy.
Take toothpicks. The meat is tough. The usual strangely tasteless deserts, but also plentiful fruit, as in most other 4-star (lol) Spanish hotels.
Fans of the âFull Englishâ breakfast might like to know that you have a choice of black - or slimy - stringy bacon. Also on offer are fried eggs, and beans. But NO cooked tomatoes and mushrooms - much my OHâs puzzlement. Excellent coffee though.
Ice lollies etc are cheaper in the hotel supermarket than the same ones in the no-display price list snack bar, halfway to the main shops by the steps.
Better in the open sea-view restaurant â or should I say âCanteen in the Blazing Sunâ, than the Bella Vista restaurant, which has thick table cloths, but a lack of air conditioning and closed windows, on the nights we ate there.
But a table was always readily available in both places.
However, my poor OH had his plate taken away twice before he had finished the meal, as they have a tendency to put their thumb on the plate and say: âFinish?â ,when you are just getting down to the nice mulchy bit at the end of the meal, then move swiftly away, leaving the surprised diner mid-mouthful speechless â¦ Which means you have to go and help yourself again. Tut! Such hard work.
All very nice, with the exception of the treeview-allocating receptionist. Some of the waiting staff were a bit long faced â¦ but who wouldnât be with people constantly milling about looking for mushrooms and tomatoes.
Expensive. Around Â£5 for a pint now that the exchange rate is almost an equivalent. Itâs not much cheaper anywhere else.
Medium bottle of table water - 2 euros.
The bar pianist, tends to get carried away and play so loudly that those with hearing aids can safely leave them in their rooms. Still, on the plus side, this means that there was no waiting for drinks, as the bar was almost always empty.
Eight seats - at 3 euros half an hour and 4 for the hour.
When you work it out, a stay at this hotel costs around Â£60-Â£70 half board per day, a head - after the amount for the plane fare, taxes holiday company fees etc have been taken off.
Bearing this in mind, it is surprising that the âentertainmentâ is anyone better than local, toothless spoon rattlers.
The sound system is ancient, and has a tendency to whistle and blip. But then, during some of the tribute, tribute acts - so did we..
What I will say is that there were performances every night in the âcanteenâ, even if they had a certain amount of unintended comedy in them.
Top prize went to the male flamenco dancer, who seemed a tad uneasy in the arrogant, ultra-butch style of the dance.
He gave us a novel demonstration of flouncy arm-waving semaphore, as made famous by TVâs âMr Humphriesâ in âAre you being servedâ.
The magician was a bit careless with his the box escape, as he dropped the velvet tube at the crucial moment. But the female contortionist who accompanies him was a real star - if you like this sort of thing. And if you like it for more than three minutes.
A bad point is that the stage is very low, so most of the audience can only see the upper half of the entertainers bodies.
So a good job they didnât have a âTribute to Riverdance â¦â.
The tribute songsters El Divo were the overall favourites.
Small and not really that well-used, probably because of the very noisy waterfalls. But it means that you can usually get a sun bed.
The pool doesnât have a deep end and shallow end, as per normal - but deep/shallow divided longways. So it is important establish which bit is the deep half before diving in.
There was also a small childrenâs pool, which seemed to be mainly empty when we passed.
Safe, clean but expensive. 10 euros for a bed and 8 for an umbrella.
People bought an umbrella for 10euros, and were abandoning them at the end of their holiday.
Lifeguards and a first aid place.
Fish around eight inches long can be seen just out of adult depth , with small shoals of litlle fish by the shoreline.
About the size of a large family living room. So not that spacious. Two British news channels and an old film channel on the TV.
DÃ©cor â turquoise and wood, circ 1980âs.
The hairdryer was quite good, so case weight of taking one if you are not fussy. The towels were big enough, but a tad thin.
Reasonable shampoo and bath stuff is provided in containers on the wall.
Hotel beach towels are available for a deposit and 1 euro change fee a day. So you donât have to take your own, unless you object to changing them every day.
Quite good and very quick.
But they do not sweep the balcony, which means that you tramp sand into the bedroom. Iâm an sandy-bed hate freak, so was somewhat surprised to find sand in my bed after if had been re-made, as there wasnât any in it overnight.
Well behaved, with the usual dining room swerves.
Tattoo count low. Mainly Spanish. Brits in the minority.
The lifts do not go to the beach area and there are some 30 or so steps to navigate. There is a ramp down to the beach - but I wouldnât chance it as it is quite steep. Also the divers have their hut next to the ramp and they leave a wet trail on it, which tends to make it slippery at times.
Donât buy the expensive rep trips, book with for the man by the Audax hotel - but do it well in advance as they are popular.
THE HOTEL IN WHICH WE SHOULD HAVE STAYED?
Think we made the right choice, once the view had been sorted out.
The views are the best as the hotel looks out over the bay, rather than across it, as the Audax does. The Audax seemed to have the odd sewage smell one day we passed it, although it had cleared up on another day.
The swimming pool at the Hotel Galdana is on the road and the hotel is also to the side of the bay, although other guests said it is friendlier than the Sol Gavalines. This might be because there seemed to be more British there. Certainly the sound system and entertainment set-up is better. The beer was a bit more expensive but my OH says he preferred it.
THE REP WE SHOULD HAVE HAD?
Thomsons Holidays rep, who was always seemed to be at hand, with the right information.
The TC rep gave us the wrong information about the little train: âItâs always on time at 10.30amâ¦ that was at 10.10am, so we scrambled and rushed off to catch it. But the train doesnât appear to have a timetable â leading to a 45m wait in the heat. We gave up and swimming instead, and went another day from the village, which is easier than waiting outside the hotel. It is 6 euros for a trip round the village. Nice views but a bit short.
Our rep also said she could not tell us what time the return coach was arriving, until five days after we arrived, which was a bit odd as the flight goes the same time every week.
WOULD WE GO THERE AGAIN?
No â once youâve seen Cala Galdana, youâve seen Cala Galdana.
A nice hotel, where they try their best - the trees that block some room views have to remain by local decree - but somehow it lacks a distinct personality.
- Travel date: Tue 25th of August 2009
"What a fantastic hotel. The food is first class and the views from the restaurant are breathaking. nothing is to much trouble for the staff and they are all smiling and happy. having stayed at a number of Sol hotels in the past i have to say that this was definetly the best. Yes Menorca and Cala Galdana are expensive but you get what you pay for and you couldn,t wish for a more beutiful place.
The swimming pool is small but it doesn,t really matter as the sea is so close and the bay is shaped like a horseshoe and you feel like you are swimming in a large lido. the beach is so close and you walk into the lift and press 'P' and you arrive at the beach. There are a few steps down to the beach but they have also built a ramp for wheelchairs and buggies.
I was so sorry to leave after a week and could have happily stayed forever. The only complaint i have is about Menorca in general, there are some fantastic beaches Cala Mitgana and Cala Macarella but these have been completely spoiled by seaweed. i understand that the Menorcans feel very strongly about environmental issues but they really need to clean up those wonderful beaches so they can be enjoyed by all.
Will definetly be going again next year but for 2 weeks next time not 1."
- Travel date: Sun 26th of July 2009
"This has to be the best holiday ive had in years. The hotel was clean, the food was beautiful, the views were amazing and the staff were fab.
We are planning on returning next year
- Travel date: Sun 9th of November 2008
"We went to The Sol Gavilanes after having our holiday changed 3 times!!! Thank you First Choice.... We did not mind too much as we knew the resort and we were going into a 4 star premier hotel - now we have been, we would rate it a 2 star. The hotel is in a good setting but if you have walking problems, do not bother as there are steps to the beach and around the pool areas. The views of the bay are beautiful. The trees need cutting down around the pool area as you only get about 4 hours of sunshine a day. The pool is not heated so was freezing although we did have a dip. We went for the last 2 weeks of the season and knew it would be quiet, we did not expect that the hotel would be practically closed. There were no activities day or night other than a pianist who was really bad. The rooms are spotless and we had clean bedding and towels every day, the maid was delightful. Whilst we were away, my daughter was 18 and I arranged with reception to have flowers delivered, and this was very good. We hired a car for a few days and were told that we would have to pay to use the car park, 3 euros a day. We parked across the road in a car park. Our biggest complaint was the restaurant. We were a party of 7 so we were seated at the far end of the restaurant, no problem but that end of the buffet was closed down further and further towards the end of the holiday. it was like doing a marathon to get your meal. You are only seated on your first day and then it is pot luck as to where you sit. Families of 4 were allowed to sit at the tables for big parties, so very often you had to wait for a table. We did address it with the maitre'd but got no response. The food was either cold or raw!!! On one occasion we had to microwave the meal before we could eat it. The plate warmer was not even plugged in. They had finished half the staff so you had to wait upto 20 minutes for a fried egg. The food was the same every night. We raised the issue with the rep and with the guest relations manager, but we got the impression that because it was end of season, they were not interested. It was almost 10 euros for 2 drinks. The island has gone very expensive and you do not get much for your money. Cala Galdana is a beautiful resort but we will never stay in this particular hotel again. The bus service was very good and worth using to get around. The Cala Galdana hotel is far superior."
- Travel date: Tue 4th of November 2008
We have just returned from a week at the...
"We have just returned from a week at the Sol Gavilanes. This is our 4th visit and we have already booked for next year.
The setting is fantastic, sea views, pine trees and peace and quiet, of course late September is late in the season but the weather was still hot an sunny although the evenings are getting cooler.
We found the hotel staff pleasant and helpful, rooms clean and comfortable,equiped with a fridge and safe at no charge.
This year we have found a big improvment with the food,the only thing in previous years I felt let it down a bit.
My husband enjoyed the daily activities, rifle shooting, archery, pistol shooting etc whilst I was happy on the lovely sandy beach relaxing.
The resort felt very safe and clean and the hotel seems to attract couples and young families.
I am already looking forward to next years visit"
- Travel date: Thu 2nd of October 2008
What a fabulous holiday we had an excell...
"What a fabulous holiday we had an excellant time my husband myself and our 13 year old son spent two weeks in one of cala galdana's villas. What a top room overlooking the bay, beach and the beautifull crystal blue sea. Our maid came in every day and changed the sheets and gave us clean towels.
The staff were very firendly and our first choice rep Damian was excellant, nothing too much trouble he gave us information about the resort and we went on some excellent excursions (Eastern delights a must).
The hotel restaurants were lovely always something good to choose, something for everyone even the very fussy!
The entertainment was first class. The tribute bands excellent.
The pool was lovely and could always find sun beds and parrasols.
You could not fault the resort and the beach is beautifull and very safe as is the resort it self. Find the view point its well worth it.
A great family holiday and well worth a second visit."
- Travel date: Mon 18th of August 2008
H aving just returned from yet another w...
"H aving just returned from yet another wonderful holiday at the sol gavilanes,i will certainly be going again.It is about my 6th time at the hotel,have been going from the year 2000,and i must say in all that time the hotel and resort does not change at all.I have hired cars and seen alot of the island,but i still prefer the tranquil setting of cala galdana.This year was a emotional time for us as the hotel kindly planted a tree in memory of my father who passed away in october last year,my parents have also been coming to the hotel on and off for about 20 yrs.I do however think the indoor buffet food is not as good as in previous years,but there is still plenty of choice to suit most peoples tates.All in all i think the hotel and staff are excellent and we will be hoping to visit the island again soon."
- Travel date: Tue 12th of August 2008
We have just returned from a weeks stay...
"We have just returned from a weeks stay at this hotel, and couldn't have wished for a better location. The hotel affords some fantastic views over the bay. You would never tire of looking at this stunning beach . Twinkling clear turqouise sea that was shallow and very safe for children, no seaweed or pebbles to contend with! We do not believe in returning to places(too many places in the world to see) but we would DEFINATELY go back to this resort. A truly lovely location for only a couple of hours flight.
Upon arrival the reception booked us in within minutes, all very painless. Our room was on the 6th floor, and was plenty adequate in size for the two of us.
We were slightly disappointed with the evening meals. There was not a huge variety of dishes. Some of the recipes were not to our taste. However lots of lovely salad dishes to choose from.
This is not a 'cheapy' holiday for drinks and sunbeds etc....... but a very relaxing one we thoroughly enjoyed. You will not be disappointed with this resort. "
- Travel date: Tue 24th of June 2008