11 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
COCKROACHES… Big ones!!
"COCKROACHES… Big ones!!
We have been to the “Lopesan Baobab, Gran Canaria” many times BUT… No more.
We were about to go to bed when my wife was horror-struck to see something very large scurrying up the curtains, I initially thought it was a giant spider and caught it in a large wine glass.
With lights turned on I was shocked to find I had caught a very large cockroach, it’s body was at least 8cm with antenna projecting almost twice that length.
We thought this was a one-off and entered through the balcony but, after a sleepless night and jaded day we discovered more cockroaches, differing in size signifying a breeding population, that appeared from wardrobes or units in the room.
We went straight to “Customer Relation” and was astounded to be told “there are lots of cockroaches on the island, we are sorry but we can’t keep them out of your room”, this was obviously not acceptable and after a prolonged argument we were offered another room or fumigation, as we were on the SIXTH floor we decided the fumigation option would mean an end to our misery as we considered these would not be infesting just one room in one block in this vast resort.
Due to these indifferent attitude of Customer Relations, we reported the infestation to the TUi rep, but this was just another waste of time… first complaint he had heard and then told us cockroach traps were all over the resort?
We returned to the room less than three hours later to a faint smell of insecticide and a slip from “Enrique Montes” hotel manager stating, “we hope you will excuse us for it”, we didn’t believe a fumigation could be effective in that short time, so, purchased cans of insecticide and sprayed everywhere frequently, especially our luggage.
A letter of complaint was ignored for two weeks until a follow-up email prompted a response from Mr Montes…
This is the response from the manger;
“We would like to inform you that due to the humid and tropical climate of the Canary
Islands Cockroaches can be common. Mostly between May and September, eliminate this
plague becomes a matter of the first order, especially for the hospitality industry. Our
rooms and common areas arc fumigated regularly in order to avoid the presence of these
insects however we cannot guarantee nor seeing them… Enrique Montes”.
If you are prepared to tolerate these unwelcome guests you will mostly find first-rate friendly staff, excellently kept gardens and pools. The hotel, rooms and dining rooms are designed to be dark and the rooms are getting a bit tired, the food choice is very good but, dining experience has become horrendous due to the amount of people and acoustics.
Shame about the indifferent attitude, although Mr Montes did invite us to leave a review.
We have the said apology slip and email confirming the above to be true and correct.
We now need a holiday.
- Travel date: Tue 1st of May 2018
Already good - could become great when 100% ready
Hotel still not 100% ready (gym, spa and some other facilities, and quite a lot of guest rooms) in November 2009, but if you are OK with some construction workers around (making not too much noice actually), you will find great space and service at the pool area and restaurants, in a very good location in Meloneras (close to everything)!
Wheter you like the somewhat "rougher" style of luxury in a hotel with African theme, or not, is a question of taste. (Not talking about the guest rooms - they are not rough at all - but some of the architecture and furniture in public areas etc. are in rough woods etc.)
For honeymoon or couples holiday in the same area, I would still prefer Gran Hotel or Villa del Conde, but for a family holiday I would choose the Baobab as it feels more suited for children.
+ Very good staff in specially restaurants, but also pool bar, cleaning, reception etc.
+ Great(!), and as it seems well dimensioned, pool area.
+ Restaurants / buffÃ© were really good, even if I sometimes missed a few things that "should have been there".
- Bad organisation of the reception (and not only because the hotel is new, I would say)
- Information about the facilities (gym? spa? child pool? etc) and evening activities was bad or non existing
- Pool cleaning could have been better (lots of trees / flowers around the pool though, so I can understand that it's a tough job)"
- Travel date: Sat 14th of November 2009
Interesting work in progress
"I rely on Tripadvisor. You probably do as well. To have credibility, I feel I need a bad experience to balance the generally good reviews I have submitted. Things got off to a good start. We were kept waiting at check in, our booking direct with the hotel group was lost, the air conditioning and telephone in the room didnât work and the TV picture fragmented.
The raised glass sided entrance walkway surrounded on three sides with water walls/falls, the glass doors and lighting to show it all off to good effect is impressive. The safari lodge theme works well with many imaginative features and the pools (especially the lazy river) very enticing. The rooms are fine, the staff are pleasant and breakfast was more than adequate.
The dÃ©cor is superb in many respects (particularly the many ways wood is used) but the wallpaper in the corridors is terrible. I can foresee the response that it was used in little Suzyâs childhood bedroom and she is now the head of Tate Modern and Iâm an ignoramus who probably prefers Banksy to Picasso and thatâs all true (well Iâm not certain about Suzy) but the wallpaper is awful. What was the designer thinking? The good news is that itâs not terribly well put up so it may come down and leave the opportunity to paint some African landscapes or murals of the Nile.
The local area is good. The beaches are large and popular with occasional sand storms, challenging waves and mini tornadoes to keep things interesting. Head to the nearby promenade, turn left and go beyond the lighthouse. The older and bolder should go a little further towards the pristine dunes.
The hotel is nearing completion and it appears the childrenâs area and sporting facilities will be ready soon. There seemed to be no provision for water sports and only a single court was being developed for football/tennis/basketball etc. I guess sporting types will be referred to a sister hotel for some activities but this doesnât cut it for me. I like to feel I'm in the best hotel, not just some extension to a main hotel.
The shows were very good. The Michael Jackson show was excellent; the 70âs music show featured a singer who could sing Carpenters hits perfectly and songs from other groups passably and the Vanessa May inspired show was well done.
You will find it hard to escape smoke. Its presence was felt on the bedroom balconies, in the restaurants, pool side, at the shows etc. I have no wish to incur the wrath of the smoking lobby and, I know, little Suzyâs parents smoked and it did her no harm so I apologise if this seems intolerant but it came as a disappointment. It is true that I could always take evasive action but moving room, restaurant table, show seat, sun bed every day is a little tiresome.
In summary, I believe inspiring design, good music, caring staff all compensate for a number of irritations and this wonât be able to be my bad review. Letâs hope the next holiday is bad.
Some costs. Taxi airport transfer. 50 euros each way. Bus to Las Palmas, 6 euros each way. Las Palmas open top bus trip 18 euros. Filling meal out with drinks 10 euros. Good meal out with drinks. 20 euros."
- Travel date: Wed 11th of November 2009
For the price paid - fantastic!
"Just back yesterday from my stay at the Baobab and i had a brilliant time. The hotel is rather dark, especially by the lifts during my first couple of nights, but then on my last day they actually started installing lights there so you could see to press the call button.
My room was good, no problems apart from the flashing light strip - but i discovered it only flashed when the light was off, so just left it on! Only one downside room wise, they could do with more english speaking tv channels - only Sky News at the moment.
There are 2 free towels in the closet to use by the pool, and the room safe is 10 euros to use. If you can, request a pool view as the others overlook the road. at the moment there is free wireless internet available in the reception area and bar by the reception. No internet in the rooms at the moment. I didn't encounter many other Brits, mainly German and Spanish, but the majority of staff are fluent in all 3 languages.
I had a great deal via Travelzoo, b&b for 208 euros, i added dinner one night and had room service on my first night, plus had lots of wine at the bar during the nightly entertainment, and it all came to 248 euros, so very cheap! I would deffo stay there again, but it's very pricey at their usual rates so would need to save a bit harder!"
- Travel date: Tue 10th of November 2009
Terrible - a disgrace to Lopesan
"It is quite incredible that this hotel has 5 stars. I was here for only for a night, and it really ain't up to much. Problems started when I couldn't checkin at 4pm (checkin is FROM 2pm), I had to wait until 5pm before I could access my room. Staff didn't apologise or offer an alternative. Showed no courtesy. This was despite others around me being checked in to their rooms. When I enquired why this was so, I first got shrugged shoulders!! THIS IS A FIVE STAR HOTEL I burst out shouting!!! To the surprise of the person behind the desk, and to those waiting in a line behind me (yes, the line was long and I had waited for 20 minutes myself). Apparently they were part of a package tour and their rooms were put aside. Pervious reviewers are right about the "theme". It's like walking into the Animal Kingdom hotel at Disney's park in Florida. Except much more tacky and no theme park. They opened this hotel way way WAY too early. No signs in walkways directing you to your room. Inoperable elevators. Wires hanging from holes in the wall. Serious health and safety issues with electrics. Dusty and muddy boot prints everywhere from workmen. No lights (in the walkways and outside the main entrance) at night. Fire escapes full of large piles of wood! It has to be seen to be believed. Germans... loads and loads of Germans! Which, of course, equals cheese and meat for breakfast. Someone made a serious error allowing this hotel to open now. It's just NOT ready. And unless someone does some serious training with their front end staff, it'll never be a five star experience. A complete disappointment. Especially when there are cheaper and better hotels, that are closer to the beach, and don't have wires hanging from ceilings, within a 30 second walk from the front door. Don't come here. I wish I didn't."
- Travel date: Mon 9th of November 2009
'Faulty Towers' would be a more appropriate Hotel name !
"We obtained a 'promotional offer' from the hotel website, we were a little apprehensive having.been open a few weeks. Having enjoyed a faultless week, two years ago in the sister hotel Villa Conde we felt confident that the Lopesan Group would not let us down. My wifes first impression as we approached was 'oh no they have still got scaffolding up'...this turned out to be the wooden structures on the room balconies which from an aesthetic point of view was not very pretty. We drove to the front of the hotel and were told that a car park was not available so we had to find 'on street' parking. The Reception area ( reached via wooden and glass walk ways) was dark and gloomy, very busy with people queuing to check-in, check out, and quite obviously from their expressions lodging complaints.
It was slow and reasonably courtious, 'check-in', on first impressions the room was modern, spacious and well designed befitting a 5 Star establishment..............but as time went on we noticed small but niggling issues.
We had no plug for the bath, the wardrobe rails were very high, not designed for 'smaller' people, the balcony lights did not work and the LCD lighting constantly flickered when it was turned off, telephone didnt work. Through pure chance, we found that all the hotel information was stored in the interactive TV, as we had not been informed and no info was in room, but we found most information 'not available. We reported the problems twice at the reception, and at the third time of asking and a lot of waiting around over two days a friendly young maintainence man came to the room......we pointed out the problems....the plug for the bath was replaced, the phone hand set had been plugged in the wrong socket which he fixed...so we thought ! and the LCD lights were disconnected , the room standing light was lifted onto the balcony because in his words they were 'kaput,this meant the main area of the room was now gloomy.........all the while his mobile phone was constantly ringing.....we asked if he had a long list of problems to which he gestured 'massive'.
On a positive side the pool areas were in the main very nice, if not fully completed, with a small army of workmen busying around finishing things off. I found the pools that were tiled in dark colours less inviting and the constant 'loop' of african themed music from discretely hidden rocks with speakers in them drove me to distraction and you could not escape it.
The restaurant was trendy but the service lacked co-ordination and the food was often cold...a bread toaster eventually arrived on site on our last day. The A la Carte was not open nor was any snack bar or ice cream sales area other than in the main bars.
We gave up on room service after further phone problems and trips back and forth to reception.....the moment had gone by the time someone knocked on our door to take an order. The only restaurant open was self service, the african 'themed' and a la carte had not opened, so we ate out at the very nice local restaurants.
Twice during our stay the room card did not work as the code had apparently been near a mobile phone or electronic equipment...the receptionist said the room cards were not '5 Star' in jest but I was fed up with trips up and down 4 floors.
To sum up this stay at this hotel I would say that they have been over ambitious with the technology which blatently has major problems....The general lighting in the public areas needs upgrading, particularly around the walkways which have a serious health and safety implications.
The hotel needs to get its act together quickly otherwise the Lopesan name for 'Quality' could take a blow...............5 Star should be the standard from the doors opening and not in a years time."
- Travel date: Sun 8th of November 2009
Nice hotel but too dark!
"The 1st word to sum up this hotel is BROWN.It is very dark and gloomy inside and some of the decor looks as if someone handed a chimp a set of crayons with instructions to scribble on the walls.(I'd sack the interior designer!!)There is no where near enough lighting,making some of the walkways,stairs and glass sliding doors quite dangerous-One lady fell into the water from a walkway while we were there and I,myself lost my footing on the stairs,fortunately only taking a slight tumble and grazing my knee.
The hotel has literally just opened.We had a cracking deal ,paying less than a quarter of the price to go there,so we can't say we didn't get value for money!
Several areas of the hotel are incomplete and being worked on.The work being done was not noisy or intrusive and did not spoil our stay.The children's area was almost finished but there are plenty of pools and space for children to play in the meantime-The outdoor area is the nicest thing about the hotel.Although the place was full,we never felt crowded.Lots of sunbeds,umbrellas and space and the pools were lovely.
The rooms are huge and very comfortable with all mod cons (except,of course,a kettle!)
Everything in the room worked.The toilet,sink and bath/shower are in 3 separate areas which added to the spacious feel of the place.I did look suspiciously at the shower,thinking that it would flood but it didn't.There was always plenty of hot water,clean towels ,bathrobes and toiletries and the room was kept spotlessly clean.
The prices for drinks etc are what you would expect for a 5 star hotel without being excessive.Can't comment on the food as we ate out.
Staff are friendly,helpful and well aware of the hotels teething troubles.
Most of the guests were German or scandinavian.Few English but this was never a problem as everyone was catered for.
Check in and out proceedures are fairly chaotic-no where near enough staff at busy times.It was also entertaining trying to fill in the forms in terrible light standing on tiptoes at the desk (and I'm 5ft 5!) When you check in you are given a hotel map-very useful as the place is huge-and mealtimes but there is a general lack of all other information and nothing in the rooms about the hotel,area etc except what is hidden in the incomplete services directory on the tv set.Infact they have a helpful customer services dept who will book trips,sort hire cars,taxis and give you good information but you have to find all this out for yourself as they don't advertise the fact!
Melonares itself is a nice,upmarket area without the overly noisy bars and tacky shops
and I would definately go there again.Would I stay at this hotel ?Although I think it will be a good hotel once they have had chance to get fully open and organised,I prefer somewhere with a bit more light ,like their sister hotel over the road.The rooms may be smaller but the feel of the hotel is brighter and more welcoming.The Boabab was just too BROWN for my taste but an enjoyable experience never the less."
- Travel date: Tue 3rd of November 2009
"We have just returned from a week at the Baobab, we were unsure as to what to expect having seen the reviews previously posted. our holiday objective was relaxation and to enjoy the weather having left two kids in their early 20s at home.
Having arrived late in the evening our first impression from the outside was "it is dark", you cannot park at the hotel so we dropped cases and parked 200yds away on the roadside. The entrance into reception is very impressive with palms, waterfalls and a great view of the african hut straight ahead. Arrival at reception was not a great experience, there was no real greeting , welcome drink etc, we waited 5-10 mins and were given a photocopy of a site plan showing us where we were to find our room and where breakfast would be served. emerging from the lift we were taken aback by how dark it was, almost pitch black.
Rooms are great, high quality furnishing albeit our television was on a strange angle and looked as though it was about to fall. we settled for our 1st night only to be woken by our lights flashing every 2 minutes this continued all night (they were switched off), we advised reception next morning and they responded by disconnecting the lighting for half of the room, this is how it stayed for the duration. Were also woken at 7am each morning by builders loading their tools onto the floor above us. A view of the road from our balcony is not quite what you would anticipate from the promo material on their website.
Breakfast was ok with a reasonable selection, albeit the staff were running around but not managing to keep coffeee and tea flowing, many guests were wandering around trying to get their attention. As the week progressed things did seem to improve slightly albeit they do seem to struggle to keep the food hot, the queue for items was slightly frustrating.
Pool area is great, slow river really relaxing, or it would be if it wasnt for the noise of the builders grinders and the knocking from the ongoing building work. You will become aware of the african music which plays incesantly , the same music at breakfast and around the pool area which is emmitted from rock speakers planted in the gardens all day long. You will hear the same music constantly, this drove us to distraction, I even got a towel to place over the speakers close to where we sat. Im sure if they sold copies of the cd at reception it would be a million seller as visitors would want to burn a copy!
The building work is ongoing and you can find spots around the pool area that our out of the way, we were disappointed that the dust, dirt and footprints along the corridors to our room got progressively worse as our week progressed.
Overall, I would say that the hotel will be great when it is finished, an odd looking place but a really ambitious project creating an enourmous hotel with a real difference to the norm. Day by day you can see the improvements taking place and the staff are generally courteous, pleasant and hard working. The majority of visitors are German / Scandinavian (not a problem). Service is something that needs real work, the hotel in our opinion is a long way from 5 star status in its current state. We booked late and got the week for 524 euro and therefore would be content that we got value for money, however if you have paid "full wack price" I would consider options if going soon.
Meloneras, is a nice place and we would definately return to the area."
- Travel date: Tue 3rd of November 2009
One for the future
"A lovely hotel which will get better over time as staff find their feet and building work is completed.
At dinner drinks service can be slow as staff rush around trying to cover a wide base.
Breakfast was the best meal with lunch and dinner i would say below par compared to other 4* hotels in the canaries particularly the main course variety."
- Travel date: Mon 2nd of November 2009
Disappointing: a 3-star stay at a 5-star price
"This is a monumental hotel project. Lopesan are building/have built an enormous African-style hotel, decorated, one might even say 'themed', throughout using excessive quantities of wood and a peculiar sense of sub-Saharan decoration that neither looks realistic nor has that innate sense of grandeur you look for when entering a 5-star hotel.
Staff all wear, essentially, safari-leader uniforms (a straw hat wouldn't be out of place); communal seating is made from wicker and dark wood; and an odd smell of treated/varnished timber that wafts through the corridors caused concern as a source of headaches.
Its doors have been open for a mere three weeks, and yet the corridors, pools, bars, cafeteria and (the only) restaurant seem full to the brim. Even in its half-finished state, the hotel manages to seem crowded (the reception staff were inundated when we arrived - with a line of 2 or 3 customers deep waiting to check in). Unlike the Lopesan Coasta Meloneras across the road (which we think is better), a 4 star hotel, this property left a lot to be desired in relation to other Lopesan properties we have stayed at, including the one aforementioned.
On the whole we found staff to be hassled, rushed and quite unhelpful. Nobody seemed to be aware of what was going on. The hotel is still being built - credit granted - but they seemed to have little in the way of sympathy for those of us disturbed by building works, room and service faults.
Our hope is, in a few months time when staff routines have been established, this hotel will be wonderful. Certainly the best feature(s) was the quality of the pool(s), but that didn't make up for what was, essentially, a 3-star stay at a 5-star price."
- Travel date: Sun 1st of November 2009
Will be excellent - but too many snagging issues!
"We have just returned from a weekâs stay at the Lopesan Baobab, unsure of what to expect with the hotel being so new and there being no reviews yet! We arrived 10 days after the hotel had opened and our first impressions were very good â the hotel itself is quite spectacular, with the African theme running throughout.
Overall, we had a very nice holiday and I have no doubt that in 6 months time, the hotel will live up to the standards of its sister hotel, the Villa del Conde, where we have always previously stayed, but our general feeling was that the hotel had opened too early. There were too many areas of the hotel which were not complete and we had quite a few problems with the rooms.
The main pool areas are finished to a high standard and we spent relaxing days around them. The slow river pool was my personal favourite; you are pushed around in a light currant which was very relaxing (although the lifeguard, who ruled the pool with an iron fist, ensured the âno inflatableâ rule was strictly followed!). The pool areas are also lovely for children, gently sloping from the shingle beach areas. This was a plus, because the childrenâs pool has not been completed â the holes are dug, but thatâs about it, so I would say this is a month from completion at the least.
Only one restaurant was open while we were there, which was the buffet restaurant. We went on a B&B basis and breakfast was fine â the type of buffet you would expect. I was glad we didnât go for half board, as the hotel is very well places in Meloneras and there were lots of nice restaurants nearby to choose from.
Our main problems stemmed from issues with the rooms â we had to move rooms three times in the first three days!! In the first room, we awoke to find water coming through thea light fitting in the ceiling!! We reported it to reception and they told us it couldnât be fixed, so we would have to move. Now with a baby and all the equipment that comes with her, this was a nightmare having already completely unpacked! So we moved rooms, unpacked again, only to find that the TV didnât work and again â could not be fixed! So to our frustration, we had to move again. You would think at this point it may have a been a good customer service gesture to upgrade us to nicer room, for all of the trouble we had been through, but when I suggested this, the reception staff were not at all interested and simply said that if we wanted a better view, we would have to pay a supplement! So we moved to the third room, unpacked (again!), only for the air conditioning to fail the following day! There was no way we could move again, so having been promised it would be fixed the following day, we spent an uncomfortable night with the patio door open, having to listen to the traffic below. We are reasonable travellers and understood that these things go wrong in new hotels, but a little more generosity in terms of customer service and apologies at this point would not have gone amiss.
The rooms themselves are nicely decorated and comfortable. We had requested a cot for our baby and it was lovely. We did have to laugh that in all of the rooms we were in, the taps on the bath had been plumbed in the wrong way round! So we had hot water from the cold tap and voice versa. Housekeeping was rather hit and miss â our room was not cleaned at all on two of the days we were there and we had to report it to reception at 6pm â however, because the phone in the room was not yet working, we had to make the long trek downstairs each time!!
One thing I did think was quite misleading, was the description on the website which says that all rooms have a lovely view â either of the sea or the tropical gardens. In reality, the hotel faces the sea which means that half of the rooms have a nice pool or sea view, while at the back of the hotel â i.e. the other half of the rooms, have a view of the main road through Meloneras and the other hotels that line the road. I think if they are referring to the strip of Astroturf directly in front of the hotel, the term âtropical gardensâ is not quite accurate!
The area of the hotel which looks like an African Lodge, opened on our last day and likes it will be a bar (although I wonder whether they are still waiting for a delivery of furniture as it was quite sparsely furnished!) The lower floor of the lodge is not yet complete â Iâm not sure what it will be used for. There is still work going in inside the cuboids shaped structure you see above the main entrance. At times, this was quite heavy metal work so did cause some noise. There were also areas within the hotel which needed to be finished â there were numerous holes in walls and ceilings of corridors which had bundles of wires hanging out.
In fairness, we were surprised how quickly work was being competed during our week at the hotel, so I would that all of these snagging points will be picked up and finished pretty soon.
The hotel have an in house band who play every night who were very good â and there are various other shows which run throughout the week â the children really enjoyed a surprisingly good performance of the Lion King by the entertainment staff!
So, all in all, we enjoyed our holiday and can see that this hotel is going to be an excellent choice for a holiday in a couple of months time. We were perhaps a little unfortunate that we went so early and would have hoped that the customer service would have been better, given all of the problems we encountered. However given time to âbed inâ, this hotel will be a great choice for a five star holiday and if they continue to offer good deals, we would return again next year."
- Travel date: Tue 27th of October 2009