Vacances Menorca Resort
60 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Lovely family orientated aparthotel
"We have just returned from a last minute holiday to Blanc Palace, with 2 children ages 11 &13. The aparthotel was lovely, equipped with t.v. with several UK channels, kitchenette with microwave, hob and fridge. A good size bedroom and bathroom. The whole hotel was immaculately kept and maintained, and staff were friendly and helpful. There was entertainment each evening and the entertainment staff were brilliant each afternoon arranging water polo or a game for the kids of all ages. The pool was lovely, with plenty of sunbeds and parasols but was never overcrowded. There was also a good size childrens pool.
The resort of Sa Caleta was fairly quiet, ideal for us but not for anyone looking for nightlife. There were several bars, bowling, a chinese restaurant, and Cituadella a historical town was easily reached by a 20 minute walk. There were bus stops outside the hotel where you could go to Cituadella or nearby resorts for a few euros. The scenery is beautiful and the island is very green and clean.
We would highly recommend Blanc Palace for a family holiday."
- Travel date: Mon 2nd of June 2008
butlins in menorca
"(the only reason why i am writing this review is because i do not want to put the place down, but to tell people with teenage children that this place is only suitable for people with children under the age of 10)
the place was very clean and in a quiet area. the local shop, what they open the side gate to, is ver over-priced compared to the other shop on the other side of the complex, which you are not directed too. everything was geared towards young children and i wish we had known this before booking as we would not have taken our 14 year old son. plus the night entertainment was naff!
besides that the hotel was very clean and very friendly, and for the right people, a lovely hotel."
- Travel date: Mon 2nd of June 2008
First Foreign Holiday With Babies
"We are a family of 4 - 2 adults and 13 month old twins and have just returned from our first foreign trip with our babies. The holiday has been harder work than we were expecting purely because we were away from home and away from our routine, but the hotel facilities did not make it particularly easy to enjoy being away with young children. First of all, the apartments are tiny. The main living room is very cramped and we had to keep re-arranging the furniture until we had enough room to let the girls crawl about. The bedroom was not much better by the time we had 2 cots in there. The positioning of the cots in the room meant we couldn't use the wardrobe, which therefore meant suitcases on the floor with our clothes in. The bathroom was off the bedroom, so when the girls were in bed we had to creep through and use the bathroom without the light on so as not to disturb them. The swimming pool area was nice and big, plenty of room for everyone and lots of sunbeds and parasols but the pool was that cold that no-one hardly went in! The pool itself was huge so I expect this had something to do with why the water never heated up. There is a snackbar by the pool which had great staff, in the main, and the food there was good. Not a great deal of choice but still was ok. We only tried the restaurant twice - the first time we were there for opening at 6.30pm and the second time we took the food back to our room to eat. Quality not great, choice was ok but again the staff were nice and the presentation was good. We didn't try any other restaurants nearby so can't comment on those. The actual resort of Sa Caleta was practically non-existent! There were 2 small supermarkets a couple of minutes away which were well stocked and there was a hypermarket about 20 minutes walk, where we did most of our shopping. There isn't really much to do around there if the weather is bad, so going out of season with young children is a bit risky! We didn't try any of the evening entertainment so can't comment on that. The place was nice enough and all said we did enjoy the holiday, it just wasn't what we were expecting having read other reviews and the holiday brochure."
- Travel date: Tue 13th of May 2008
Going back next year!! Excellent!
"We chose to go to the blanc palace after reading the reviews on here and with the recommendation of our travel agent.
This was our first family holiday abroad so we wanted it to be perfect, and it was we cannot find 1 fault.
We took our two kids of 2 and 5 with us just out of peak season the hotel wasn't quiet but it certainately wasn't crowded. There was always room around the pool no matter what time of day.
The whole place was spotlessly clean throughout our stay.
The location was lovely, you can really get a feel of the way of life over there, donot go here if you want British fry ups etc you wont get it, We saw this as a plus as why go abroad if this is what you want!! They are a few lovely restaurants right near the hotel or in sa caleta, the steak house in a cave was great, so was the ocean oh and the chinese!!! We never had a bad meal. If there isn't enough for you to do there is a very good bus service that can take you to cala n bosch or ciutadella both are lovely.
We went to the water park which was ok but not a whole days outing, we also wanted to do the boat trip around the island from cala n bosch, the day we chose though the sea was to rough so we were advised not to take young kids on there, this was dissappointing so we just hired a car ourselves which was very funny!! We found a few lovely unspoilt beaches and had a lovely day.
The beach by the hotel was lovey the sea was so lovely and clear we spent alot of time there, there is a snack bar and loungers to hire.
The kids club was great our 5 year only went once though as we couldnt get him out of either the pool or sea!!! We used the creche on the Sunday night for both kids and they were the only two in there with 4 carers, we had a gorgeous meal in the hotels a la carte restaurant, the food, drink and service couldnt have been better and it was so nice to have a few hours off!!! We never made it to the evenings entertainment due to our kids being so tired from the days events!!!
We have already booked to go back next year around the same time the weather was lovely and hot the place was lovely and quiet just what we wanted!!! Do not think we could have found a better place!! EXCELLENT!!"
- Travel date: Thu 4th of October 2007
"We had an excellent week at the Blanc Palace and I can honestly say I dont think there is anything I can fault.
The pool was lovely, very big with plenty of sun loungers. The whole place was extremely clean, room was a good size for the two of us with decent self catering facilities. We ate at the pool snack bar which was good, reasonably priced and basically just what you would expect it to be. We didnt eat in the restaurant or watch the entertainment but there was something on every night.
The staff were very friendly right through our stay, when we first arrived we had a problem with our air conditioning. When we told the reception they were great about it and it was efficiently fixed as soon as the repair man started his shift a couple of hours later.
As for the resort, yes it is small but not completely 'dead' as I was slightly worried it would be before we went. There are a couple of bars, a chinese, a large gift shop and a snack type restaurant at the commerical centre along the road. A further walk around the bay brings you to Santandria with a few more eateries and a couple of bars so there was enough to keep you occupied.
However the bus service was excellent and so efficient, we used it nearly every day. The stop was just outside the hotel and we travelled to Ciudadella and Calan Bosch with no problems. The buses ran fairly late into the evening so we never found we needed to spend money on taxis to get back to the hotel.
We also hired a car which I would highly recommend. The roads were very quiet and simple to navigate, we encountered no crazy driving anywhere and felt perfectly safe on the roads. It was a great way to see some other parts of the islands.
All in all a fab holiday, although the hotel is geared towards families we went as a young couple and found it catered for our needs perfectly and so would recommend to both couples and families alike."
- Travel date: Sat 22nd of September 2007
"wat can i say blanc palace possibly cleanest apartments stayed at pool excellent staff couldnt do enuff for us nice location too.
local bar the odeum cheap n very good company the two girls who run it are just great hosts el garbell restraunt next door has a good menu to get by on not 2 pricey ,but a short journey to calan bosch by bus and everything is there 4 u try PICOLLA RESTRAUNT calan bosch fabulous food good staff
overall a great time if you have kids under 10 you will love blanc palace your kids just disappear said one guest we met"
- Travel date: Sat 15th of September 2007
"Returned from the Blanc Palace at the end of August and can not find anything negative to say about the whole holiday, the standard of service from Airtours was excellent the reps did a fantastic job and our two girls (5 & 6 years) had a wonderful time the quality of the staff at the hotel was exceptional and their standard of English put us all to shame (however did find that if you do try and speak a little Spanish you do get preferential treatment).
The place is spotless the resort is very quiet but has a lovely restuarant next door called the Ocean (sea bass is great). It's only a short walk round to another couple of good restuarants including Sa Quadro steak house ( my children took a shine to this place) and there is a very good bus service which stops nearly outside to take you to other nearby resorts.
If you want to eat pie and chips at the local Karaoke bar DO NOT go to the blanc palace, if you have young children and you want a fantastic relaxing holiday and be able to sample some Spanish culture in nearby towns then book a holiday here. My wife and I spent most of the holiday thiking something had to go wrong as it was too perfect, fortunately it didn't and we are even considering going back next year (something we said we would NEVER do)."
- Travel date: Thu 6th of September 2007
Incredibly clean...but a four star ?
"Returned from the Blanc Palace on 17th August. We booked primarily as a result of the positive reviews on this site and the fact it was a four star. Mostly I would agree with the reviews, the place (and Menorca) is impecibly clean and the people friendly but I cannot see how this hotel is a four star, good as it is ? Little things count to achieve such a grading and, for example, there was no outside light on the balcony which makes the use of it a little bit impractical when you have children in the room trying to go to sleep. There was also very little information provided in the pack in the apartments. As others have said the hotel menu was not that impressive.
A short ten minute walk to Sa Nacra at Santandria is well worth it. Very clean and safe beach, fantastic snorkelling for all the family, several good restaurants, and the sunset at the Sa Nacra is lovely, but book a table outside if you want to see it !
The short bus trip (1.25 euros each on on very clean buses !) into Cuitadella is well worth it if you don't particularly fancy the pretty standard "Butlins" entertainment. at the hotel. It is a beautiful old city with fantastic tapas bars, espeically by the Cathedral. The port area is lovely but the restaurants are understandably quite expensive.
There are no cashpoints in Sa Caleta so if you need one then Cuitadella is the place (banks are by the bus terminus) or Cala Bosch."
- Travel date: Sun 2nd of September 2007
"Great location - nice and quiet.
Nice welcome gift (milk, bread etc).
Good family entertainment - well done Kristina and Disco Stu!! and all the others).
Restaurant in hotel only average - good restaurants in Cuitadella and Cala En Bosc (easy bus rides away).
We hired a car for one of the weeks we were there and it's a pretty easy place to drive around (some one way systems can be a little confusing)."
- Travel date: Sat 25th of August 2007
Excellent Family Holiday
"Just got back from a 2 week stay and can only repeat what others have said this is an excellent family holiday, lots to do for the young ones but a bit limited for teenagers, having said that our 13 year old was quite happy with the large clean pool - and the daily water polo sessions.
Spotlessly clean - the cleaning team never seemed to stop. All staff friendly and helpful. The resort itself is a bit limited, a couple of restaurants & Shops but a short bus ride gets you to Cal en Bosh or Cuitedella where more can be found."
- Travel date: Fri 24th of August 2007
1st Worst Holiday Of My Life!
"The services and goods advertised in the brochure for all inclusive were; 3 meals, early dinner for children, snacks inbetween, icecream all day, cocktails, sangria, beers, spirits, wines, soft drinks, spa, sauna, poo tablel, table tennis, kids club, toddler time, playground, 2 swimming pools each for adults and children. Also parasols and sunloungers by the pools. (There was also a photo of soft play in the brochure, which we assumed was part of the all inclusive too as it was used to advertise the holiday at this hotel).
We arrived at the Blanc Palace at 3pm on the Friday. Lunch was finished, the only snacks available were biscuits. When I asked politely for these for my hungry children I was ignored. There was no icecream, no cocktails, beers were small. (Only one beer at a time per person). Dinner was at 7:30pm and when we saw what it was we were dissapointed.
The next day the breakfast was not much better. Snacks were calamari and cheese. (Not a child friendly snack, not much selection). Lunch and dinner were disgusting.
Here is a list of the foods available at meal times;
Breakfast - bread, boiled bacon, beans, chips, frankfurters, hard boiled eggs, fried eggs, cold processed meats, processed cheese, tomatoes, garlic mushrooms, cakes, crossants, biscuites, sugary yoghurt, sugary cereals, fruit.
Lunch - dogfish, burgers, frankfurters, chicken, pork chops, carrots and peas, broccolli, vegetable lasagne, iceberg lettuice, standard tomatoes, tinned sweetcorn, olives, pickles, hard rolls, packet soup.
Dinner - mushy paella, pasta, dogfish, pork, fish fingers, chicken nuggets, beef, chips, vegetable lasagne, iceberg lettuce, standard tomatoes, tinned sweetcorn, olives, hard rolls, packet soup, broccolli, carrots and peas. Soup was made from the packet, (there were undissolved lumps of soggy powder still floating in it).
All was on a daily rotation and extremely salty. Most was stewed or mushy. Desset was jelly, angel delight and ice cream.
I complained to the rep and the hotel management on a daily basis and all was very stressfull. Staff were rude and ignorant. I had to keep going to see the hotel manager to get anything done. (I was carefull to be polite and diplomatic with my complaints as I did not wish to appear rude).
The pool and table tennis had coin slots, the spa and sauna had to be paid for. If we wanted cocktails we had to pay for them. (This had all been advertised as part of the all inclusive we had purchased).
The English kids club was really good and the kids club reps were excellent. As we have a 2 year old and a 3 year old we wanted the soft play area, but it was non-existant. My 2 year old was not old enough for kids club, there was no toddler time as advertised.
Only one adult and child swimming pool was open. It took 2 days to open the playground. Half the wooden decked sunbathing area around the open pool was closed off as it was dangerous. The reason for this was a baby and a child had got huge splinters in their feet and a doctor had to be called out for them. It took 3 days to get parasols to shade the children, as they were locked away in storage.
Half of the hotel was not fully built yet. We were supposed to be in the Blanc Palace 2 but got put into the Blanc Palace 1 as it was not yet built. That is why not all of the pools were open.
The water was off on the Monday between 9am and 2pm. When we went to shower in the evening the water was cold and brown. The air conditioning was not working anywhere in the hotel, it was very warm and uncomfortable.
Other guests and myself managed to get the dinner time moved forward to 6:30pm by complaining again and again. (There was far too much of a gap between lunch and dinner for all the children at the hotel and all the parents were complaining). If the childrens' option was open for early dinner as advertised this would not have been neccessary. Oddly the hotel 2 managers that I spoke to denied being the managers. Icecream at snack time before lunch was available by the 5th day. Snacks had also got better, but were still only biscuites in the afternoon. The pool bar didn't open until 3 days into our holiday. Cocktails were finally available on the last 2 nights. It took a visit from the Thomas Cook manager to sort things out a bit. The terms and conditions from the brochure had to be brought to the meeting. The hotel manager was refusing to budge for the rep and that is why it was neccessary for the Manager at Thomas Cook to attend.
My 3 year old daughter managed to lock herself into the toilet at the pool side. I was panicking. I kept asking for the key. Staff didn't seem bothered and took a full 10 minutes to get the key. We were all very distressed by this time. I was consistantly and deliberately ignored by staff. When I asked for Sangria the bar lady made it with just wine and soda. I explained how it was made, (obvioulsy with spirits), she pretended not to understand. I said that she was Spanish and as it was a Spanish drink she surely knew how to make it. She understood that and promptly accused me of being racist which I was very upset about. (I am not racist and was not trying to upset her). I had to call the manager and then Sangria started to be made properly..
I was really ill with a stomach upset for 2 days due to the food and my blood pressure was high due to all the stress and uneccessarily overload of added salt to the food. (I suspect all the salt was thtown at the food to disguise the fact that the ingredients were of poor quality and not fresh). Too much salt is also very dangerous for young children.
The beach had excessive seaweed. (It should have been cleaned for the holiday makers in time for the holiday season). We therefore could not use the beach. I was told by another holiday maker that the beach further up was the same. There was wasn't much in the way of shops, bars, restauraunts, ect.
By the end of the holiday I was stressed, ill, depressed and exhausted. It was not a holiday at all. We spent a fair amount of money on this and we are bitterly dissapointed. I can safely say that it is the worse holiday I have ever had in my whole life. I am in no doubt that we were definately miss-sold.
I took photos and submitted a complaint in writing to Thomas Cook. I was informed that it would take 4 weeks for an acknowlegement and 6 weeks to even begin to investigate. When I enquired as to why it takes so long the answer I got was "I don't know".
Please note that I was not the only customer complaining, we all were. (Especially the ones with children as everything was stressfull and lots of things were dangerous. One baby was sick all night from the food. My son was also sick all over the table in the dining room after eating the breakfast. Two children got splinters from the decking). Many customers were unhappy and the rep was receiving many, many complaints. This is the reason for the management meeting with the hotel management and the Thomas Cook manager. Everybody I spoke to were also complaining about this holiday on their return.
I have had some lovely holidays in Spain in the past, some all inclusive, some half board, some full board. I have never experienced food, drink, service and amenities of such poor service on any of my previous holidays. The paella that I have been served in Spain before has been very good and the meat, fish, poulty and salad have been exceptionally good. The salads have been varied and all the ingredients have been fresh.
Thomas Cook informed me that this hotel had been taken off of their books some time ago after many complaints and a lengthy investigation. The next summer Thomas Cook had signed this hotel back up to their books.
Now in the June of 2012 I have noticed that the Head Chef of The Blanc Palace in Menorca has tweeted some new photos of the food. I am glad to see a definate improvement. It looks great! (I just wish the food was of that good quality when my family stayed there). Also somebody tweeted me that stayed in the Blanc Cottage next to the Blanc Palace and said that he had a great time. I am glad that things are improving.
My complaint has been lodged with the Directors Office and is currently being investigated.
The Official Complaint
I took my detailed letter and photographic evidence to Thomas Cook in the High Street the day after I got back explaining what had happened. I was told that it would be sent to Customer Services on the Monday and would not arrive until Wednesday. I was informed that it takes 4 weeks to asknowledge a complaint in writing and a total of 6 weeks to even begin to investigate a complaint. When I asked why this was, the reply I got was "I don't know".
I emailed customer complaints along with the address of this blog. I got a response on the Monday informing me my complaint had been esculated and is apparently being urgently investigated now. I explained further that nearly all of the English holiday makers on that particular week at the hotel were unsatisfied with the holiday and many of them have said that they will complain on there return. (Other people were taking photos also).
I also contacted www.holidaytravelwatch.net/ who were very helpful with legislation and advice. Holiday Travel Watch told me that I have done everything correctly and that I certainly am entitled to compensation as I have definately been miss-sold. Holiday Travel Watch also told me that the blog was a good idea. I was also informed that Thomas Cook have a total of 28 days to respond properly to my complaint.
I have been informed by the Directors' Office at Thomas Cook that there is indeed a CEO and a several Directors at Thomas Cook. I was told by the female member of staff at the Thomas Cook shop in the High Street that there were none???I was also told by the Directors. Office at Thomas Cook that Thomas Cook have 14 days in which to acknowledge a complaint and 28 days in which to respond from the receipt of the complaint. (Not 4 weeks to acknowledge and 6 weeks to begin an investigation as stated by the female member of staff at the Thomas Cook Shop in the High Street). The Directors' Office at Thomas Cook apologised for the missunderstanding and incorrect information and advice given by the female member of staff in the Thomas Cook shop in the High Street.
After two offers of compensation from Thomas Cook, I have accepted the third offer in the form of a cheque.
I have had apologies from Thomas Cook for advertised goods and services paid for in the all inclusive deal being with held and charged for again by the hotellier. I have also had apollgies for the fact that the hotellier was not ready for holiday makers at the beginning of the holdiay season.
Things are a lot better now for other holiday makers who use this hotel and I have also had tweets from the chef with photographs of the food which has improved vastly. "
- Travel date: Mon 3rd of August 2015
"We booked our first holiday in over 10 years to go to Menorca and as Blanc Palace was recommended through our travel agent, and the brochure looked quite good we went for that. We booked a 14 day holiday, self catering. We were told that we would only be allocated an apartment on arrival but as all the apartments in the pictures looked ok, we were happy with that. However, the apartment that we were given to us on arrival was a filthy dump. These apartments did not even feature in the brochure! The bathroom was moldy and filthy, the kitchen utensils were dirty and we had to wait an hour for them to get the apartment ready even though we arrived at 13:00. It was very disappointing for us as a family as we were really looking forward to it and also we had to stay there for 2 weeks! I did go and complain but we were told by the Thomas Cook rep that "Sorry, were really full and so we cannot move you to another apartment" and that was that, case closed #from their side#. If you're planning to go to Blanc Palace then just be careful of the "allocation on arrival" thing. Thank goodness the island was really beautiful and we spent most of our time out and about. Also beware of the all inclusive deal, we had lunch there at the restaurant #buffet lunch# when we arrived while waiting for our apartment, and the food was awful. It was so bad that my children would not eat it and they are not fussy eaters. We ended up having buttered bread rolls but luckily we did not have to eat there every day! Also, my Italian husband was able to chat to the receptionist at Blanc Palace 1 (which is much nicer) and he was told that they put all the British people in BP11 first, and only when they get full, the overspill goes to BP1. They usually place the Italians, Germans, etc. in BP1 because they demand good quality service! "
- Travel date: Tue 9th of September 2014