Gran Melia Palacio de Isora Resort & Spa
9 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Excellent hotel but not 5 Star food and the Red Area makes for two class clientele
"Just back from a holiday stay at the Thompsons Sensatori in Tenerife. This is a beautiful stylish hotel in a good location with lovely gardens and comfortable clean rooms, just be aware that the lower garden rooms because of the dense shubbery can be very dark. The facilities for small children would appear to be excellent by the numerous families who were there during our stay. There is only one large adults' only pool but it can be difficult to aquire a sun bed as it very popular.The interior of the buffet resturant where breakfast, lunch and dinner is served is stylish and ultra modern but it is more on the lines of an up market cafeteria which is excellent for children but certainly does not serve 5 Star quality food. There are various resturants for evening meals but one had to book a table in the morning and preferably before 8a.m. for the most popular. We did not appreciate the "class culture" imposted by the Red Level Areas."
- Travel date: 20th March 2013
Great hotel - few teething problems but would definitely return
"Just got back from the Tenerife Sensatori. After having had a manic first year with our baby we wanted somewhere to just relax - which we did. In terms of hotel buildings and pools it actually is even better than the photos - it is stunning. The pools are gorgeous (they have two family pools to ensure that the non families get child free relaxing), the chill out areas are brilliant and the rooms are great (although be careful paying for a sea view - there are hardly any and so most of us there had to either move or get refunded). We had our baby (13 months) in the afternoon nursery which was brilliant - it got him out of the heat and gave him somewhere to play - the nursery nurses were really lovely. They had even booked us an evening session so that we could have a meal together - he absolutely loved that! The down side is that the staff were not ready to deal with the volumes of visitors that thomson brought to the hotel (actually owned by club melia) and therefore there were some less than five star moments in the restaurants. However the reps were very responsive and really were making improvements as we were there - extending opening times etc. I would have no doubt in going back - they need to make adjustments to make it 5 star service - but am sure they will do - and besides it does not cost real 5 star money!"
- Travel date: 20th May 2010
Fabulous hotel, terrible service but has potential - Take note Thomson!
"I'm so not surprised about the terrible reviews for this hotel. The hotel itself is fantastic, great rooms (junior suite for 2 people) gym great, pool out of this world, location remote but nice as we wanted time to relax so was happy with this but then it starts to fall. The restaurants are terrible, flies all over the food, cold food, terribly slow service, people having to que for 20 mins in the morning just to book into a restaurant which I wouldn't class as 5 star. If you want to dine in a 5 star restaurant than you have to book into the Dani Garcia which will cost you the best part of Â£150.00, which I do not believe in paying for as we went full board BUT the hotel have driven us to this expensive as they cannot provide the 5 star service they promised. If this hotel focuses on hiring more staff, improving restaurant standards- service, quality and interior then maybe we would consider returning as it is I would not return and Thomson need to take note of all these reviews. I did complete the questionnaire at the resort yet I do not think the questions asked on this are relevant to the problems on site hence the reason I am writing this review. Also take note I this hotel is new to Sensatori but is actually 2 years old. Also when we checked out I had several charges to my room which were not mine. The reception did take these off, but watch out for these kind of errors as they seemed quite a common mistake among other quest also."
- Travel date: 20th May 2010
"Our family stayed here in May 2010 when the Palacio had just opened its doors to Thomson customers under the 'Sensatori' branding. The hotel itself is simply stunning - the setting is breathtaking, the grounds are superbly designed and maintained and the rooms were extremely comfortable with massive beds! There was a sofa bed tucked round a corner for our 4 year old to sleep on - I had been a bit worried about how we were all going to sleep if she could see us in bed as she does like to chat! but it was fine. They now have a new indoor Nursery for little ones staffed by British nannies which you can pre book (and I suggest you do as it was full when we got there) if you want a few hours a day to yourself (and why wouldn't you - the giant infinity pool is wonderful!). The staff were brilliant, can't praise it enough - my girls ran to get there every morning! There is also a Kids Club which looked fantastic for older children. It was honestly better than their nursery at home! However, as an earlier review pointed out, the staff there are simply NOT yet ready for the massive increase in visitor numbers that the partnership with Thomson involves. We had to queue for almost every meal (on one horrible day, we stood for 20 minutes in the full mid-day sun with our 1 and 4 year olds waiting for a table at the poolside restaurant), and the waiting staff were very inexperienced - we sometimes had to ask 3 different members of staff just for a teaspoon to feed the baby with. Having said that, the food was absolutely superb and the buffet restaurant - the choice was a bit overwhelming but excellent. It most certainly is a luxury family resort, so if you are looking at places like Pine Cliffs Sheraton, Forte Village, Almyra etc you'll like it here. But it was not always 'family friendly': - Signposting around this huge resort was poor. There are no signs at all to the kids pool, which we found on day 1 and then lost again until day 3. - Access to pool areas is poor - all lifts are in the main buildings and so there were lots of families carrying buggies with children in up and down stairs. - There are not enough high chairs at peak times - There are no baby changing facilities anywhere in the main hotel - you have to go back to your room, which could be some way away - The sinks were sat on benches in the washrooms, so even if you picked a child up it was almost impossible to get them near a tap to wash or dry their hands. It's these litte things which can knock a hotel down a point or two in a review... Other than that, I've said what I loved about it, here's what I didn't like: - It's marketed as a 'cashless' hotel, but the hotel shop is not linked to the main system so you DO need cash if you want to buy any drinking water or spend 10 Euros to pay by card - Some of the food and drink prices verge on extortion - if you are not going full board you could technically pay around 50 Euros a head for a 3 course lunch and even a burger and chips is around 15 Euros - Hotel needs to master meeting the needs of conference and vacational guests at the same time - there was a big conference on and at some points holiday guests were excluded from main areas (like the Oasis bar area) without any advance notice so the conference guests could have a nice little pre dinner drink..... - Most evenings, we sat in the bar and no-one came to take a drinks order from us! Last thing - no one hotel can be all things to everyone. The hotel is trying to attract childless couples under the 'Red level' adults only zone idea - but if this is what you are looking for please do be aware that you WILL need to share the same breathing space as children if you want to eat in one of the restaurants. I actually found it quite upsetting to see older couples without families glaring at my baby because she threw a bit of bread on the floor and at my 4 year old for laughing with delight when we brought her a huge ice cream cone. I didn't bring them along to ruin your holiday you know! Would I stay there again? Most definitely. All of the things I've mentioned can be sorted out - and I do hope they do as it has the potential to be amazing!"
- Travel date: 19th May 2010
Avoid, Avoid, Avoid
"Although fairly remote, this was not a downside for us as all we were after is some luxury R&R, and the hotel does not disappoint. We paid extra for a sea view, I would not recommend this as we had to use smoke and mirrors to catch a glimpse of it - this was just the start of my disappointment. There was no poolside service and no where to get snacks. There is no where open between 5pm and 630pm for an earlier dining option and if you want to pay for a beer, the only options you have are those that come free with the dining package i.e. Dorada, San Miguel & Heineken. Having organised a baby sitter, wanting to go out for 7pm we had no choice other than room service for the children for dinner. There was nothing on the room service menu for children and we ended up paying 50 euros for 2 ham sandwiches, a plate of strawberries and 2 apple juices. The childrens pool is woefully inadequate for the volume of people and unless you were out by 9am there was no chance you would get a sunbed. There is a culture of booking sunbeds here that I havent seen at any other 5 star hotels and is prevalent at all the pools. There is a dress code for the buffet restaurant which I dont quite get, and in my opinion they need to sort out the service levels before enforcing an unnecessary dress code in what is essentially a holiday resort. Of the a la carte dining options the only one that had appropriate services levels and nice food was the poolside restaurant. If you are after local food or some good seafood think again. The food is samey where ever you eat and is not brilliant, apart from buffet breakfast which was very good. It wasnt until our last night there that they had Mexican night in the buffet restaurant, which was lovely and a much needed change after 6 days of the same thing. The childrens menu was the same at all restaurants apart from the buffet with about 6 items on the menu. While I have to give credit where it is due, the hotel were making changes to dining options throughout our stay, but I cant help but feeling like we were treated like guinea pigs. Given that Thomson and the hotel knew how many people were due to visit I cannot understand why they didnt have appropriate staffing levels trained to a 5 star standard. After all my moaning about the negatives, some plusesâ¦ although the kids club sessions are a little short, the staff and play house are both fantastic. There is lots of entertainment for those wanting something to do. When its open and staffing levels have improved the ocean club bar is awesome. The hotel and sensatori guest relations staff onsite are all very helpful. Overall I think that just because the hotel looks nice doesnt mean its worth the 5 star rating. The full board package doesnt work and I wont be returning and wouldnt advise anyone used to 5 star holidays to this holidays."
- Travel date: 18th May 2010
Lovely facilities with great potential but needs work on service
"I'm not surprised to see the mixed reviews here. There is no doubt that the hotel, as a building and facilities, is top class. It's just let down by the service. It's not comically bad (well, not all the time) but little things like incorrect charges appearing on room can leave a sour taste. The Thomson reps, to the credit, were great at sorting things out, but I would rather not have to have something sorted out in the first place. However, I'd advise the reps to stop spinning the 'teething problems' line because I didn't pay for teething problems - I paid for a good holiday. Some sort of discount should be offered during the initial opening period, or at least a discount on a future Thomson booking. The location: Perhaps I have low expectations, but I really don't expect to leave a resort much at all, so it didn't bother me that the local village was fairly quiet and traditional, and that the beach isn't really a beach you'd want to go to. Everything I needed was in the resort. The hotel and the room: I was really happy with our room (a base level room which had a nice view over the grounds - no problems with overlooking a road for us), although the layout's a little weird with the sofabed being put at the foot of the main bed. The bathroom is gorgeous, though, with a bath that can comfortably take two people. The noise from the room above is ridiculous when the coffee table is moved (which is has to be, to get the sofabed out). We were unfortunate enough to be kept awake one night while the people above us, who must have arrived late, scraped their heavy furniture across the tiled floor, making a fingernails scraping on a blackboard kind of sound. Not at all relaxing. The hotel staff are lovely and friendly, and very welcoming of kids. They always make a point of greeting you and smiling when you walk past. The food: I ate with my family in the buffet restaurant every night since having a young child makes planning in advance, which you have to do to get a booking at one of the other restaurants, difficult. I'm generally not a fan of buffet restaurants but there was such a variety of decent quality food that I surprised myself by not getting fed of the food. This was probably helped by the fact that I love fish and you can get fresh fish grilled on demand. They're not stingy either - I asked for more prawns than is strictly decent on top of a few fillets of other fish, and the chef even encouraged me to get more. The other restaurants are ok, although as another review said, there can be limited choice as part of the not-quite-all-inclusive deal. I think the staff are lovely (apart from one waitress who slammed our drinks on the table with a glare, just because we had dared to suggest that waiting more than 10 minutes for them wasn't on) but the service suffered because they're so unused to dealing with the volume of people coming through. I'm sure that once they staff the restaurants properly, that side of things will get sorted. Children: The children's pool was great for my 3 year old daughter but by the end of the week, as more guests arrived, it was clear that they're going to struggle in the school holidays because the sun loungers get taken up very quickly. One thing that would help is if the hotel clamped down properly on people putting their towels down before the pool opens. It always makes me laugh when the English joke about Germans doing it because whenever I've suffered from it, it's English people who are the culprits, as they were here. There were a lot of disappointed children who turned up only for their parents to have to take them to the main pool because so many adults had selfishly taken up large numbers of sun loungers for their families. This, alone, makes me hesitate to take my family again. We did a session at the nursery facilities and, since it was the first week of opening, the place looked pristine. It looked well set-up for kids, though, and the nursery worker we chatted to was lovely. The nursery is run to English legal standards. It's worth noting that the nursery for Sensatori guests is separate to the open-air one by the kids' pool. In the evenings, there's a show put on 6 nights a week, which is great for the little ones. My little girl certainly adored the presenters, and they're really great with the kids. In conclusion, I think my wife would be happy to come here again. I'm not so sure - partly because I'm miffed that Thomson saw fit to charge full price for what is essentially a bedding-in period, and partly because of the issue with people reserving spots at the kids' pool. That said, having stayed at one of Thomson's supposedly 4-star resorts during an enforced extra day's stay due to the ash cloud, I'll happily keep paying extra for Sensatori hotels."
- Travel date: 17th May 2010
Stunning Hotel, Needs Improvement but sod it just enjoy it!!
"Just got back from staying here. My husband, 19 month old son and I had a fantastic time. Reading the other reviews, yes I agree there are things that need sorting out. From what we heard they were acting on this very quickly. We had a room which we weren't happy with, when we mentioned this to the reps they quickly sorted us out and we were moved to a room the next day which was really stunning. The hotel itself is amazing, but we did our research and knew that it wasn't on a swimmable beach and was at the end of a village. The hotel had everything we needed for a week. Food was improving as we left, we found Pangea (buffet food) to be really nice with a good selection of different meals, especially with the little one. There are things that I could nit pick on such as pool service for drinks etc, but I think if you are staying here you have to keep in mind that this a relatively new hotel, which is coping with a different clientele than they are used to. When you go, just enjoy the hotel for what it is, mention what you think needs improving because it was very clear that the hotel is swiftly acting to rectify the concerns of some people. I want to keep this review positive because we did have an amazing time and all aspects of the hotel have been rewarded very highly."
- Travel date: 15th May 2010
Fabulous hotel and resort but restaurant service needs improving
"I stayed at Sensatori Tenerife for a week with my husband and 3.5yr old daughter. We were one of the first Sensatori guests as Thomson have only just opened this resort in their Sensatori brand. The hotel itself is about 2 years old and is stunning. The facilities are second to none and the rooms (we were in a junior suite which is actually just one room and a private bathroom) are great. We had to use the sofa bed for our daughter but when it was out it meant that there was no room to squeeze through from one side of the room to the other which was a bit of a pain. The facilities for kids are truly superb. Our daughter spent hours in the kids pool which has great water slides and a pirate ship. Don't bother to take your own inflatables for the pool - they provide them all apart from arm bands. The Sensatori nursery is brand new and the nursery workers were all fabulous and very caring. We didn't leave our daughter unsupervised but we did take her along to the stay and play session which they hold on Fridays and she had a great time playing with toys, painting, sticking and having her face painted. One BIG hit with our daughter was Playhouse Live which is a show for kids which takes place in the theatre at the hotel every night apart from Tuesday. The presenters - Danny, Alex and Jodie are all fabulous and our daughter absolutely loved every minute of it. Luckily for the adults, they change the content of the show each night. One thing which really lets this resort down at the moment is the service in the restaurants. It's pretty evident that this hotel isn't used to the volumes of guests which Sensatori is now providing them with and the staff are rushed off their feet, stressed out and service can be very slow. The worst culprit was the Market Grill where we had to get our own menus, constantly chase our food and deserts were served to everyone on our table apart from a 3.5yr old - cue many tears! If this hotel can improve their restaurant service quickly and get more staff in, this will be quite easily overcome. We ate in the Pangea (buffet style restaurant), the Italian in Plaza Atlantica, Market Grill and the Ocean Restaurant. The food is very good and the selection especially in Pangea is excellent. Although Thomson bill this resort as all-inclusive, it's actually not. It's full board plus which means all meals plus soft drinks, wine or beer with your meals. I would really recommend this place, it's an amazing resort but I hope they can get their staffing levels sorted out quickly before high-season."
- Travel date: 15th May 2010
If you are looking for 1 star masked as 5 star stay here!!
"Today is the last afternoon of my weeks holiday in what is supposed marketed as 5 plus according to Thomson's own ratings. I would maybe give Sensatori Tenerife a 1 star rating and that would be for the chambermaids and the groundsmen who both do their jobs commendably. Nothing else is worth rating positively. From the moment we arrived it was clear that the hotel may look like a 5 star but is certainly not run as one. It is not possible to tell from the web pictures but the hotel is actually located at the bottom of a village and therefore has a road running around it's perimeter which significantly detracts from many of the views from the rooms. Had we not paid for an upgrade to a sea view room we would have been very disappointed as it was we had to ask to have our room changed as our view did encompass an unsightly road. The newness of Sensatori operating in the Gran Melia was palpable from the start. Don't expect welcome drinks, complimentary water in the room or competent staff as part of your 5 star experience. Throughout the week that lack of planning on Thomson's behalf was evident. The dining options changed so frequently that it was impossible to keep up. The only restaurant serving decent food anything up to the standard you may expect paying all inclusive in a 5 star was the Ocean restaurant which was open for lunch at that start of the week but now is only open for dinner. This is a great pity as it is significantly better than the other restaurants. The Oasis had a fairly comprehensive menu for the all inclusive Sensatori people at the start of our week but again this changed and now you have a choice of 3 starters or main and 2 dessert options, and nothing on that menu is worth writing home about. So if you don't wish to eat the same food everyday you could go for a classic burger and chips type affair in the Market Bar and Grill but again if you were hoping for decent Spanish cuisine then look again. Finally the option is to go to the Pangea restaurant which is a buffet restaurant where I believe they really want you to eat making the other two options for lunch so unappealing. If you are lucky you can get served undercooked chicken there!!! At night should you wish to eat in the only decent restaurant i.e. The Ocean then you have the inimitable pleasure of ensuring that you rise to queue with the masses in at 10am in the hope that you will be one of the chosen few who can secure a booking for an evening meal. We managed to do this once in the week the rest of the time it was booked up. Given there are over 600 rooms and this is the only option on the Sensatori all inclusive option worth dining in it is very disappointing. The service is breathtakingly bad. Imagine being left queing for extended periods, having to get up and get your own condiments etc, having staff as rudely as possible take your order after you have already spend significant energy trying to grab their attention, they are all skilled in avoiding eye contact and remarkably everyone seem to be quite deaf, having bottles of drinks slammed on your table with no offerings of a glass and certainly nothing as luxurious as ice and lemon in your non existing glass. If you then think that perhaps the reps will do everything in their power to make things more enjoyable or at least try to compensate you for your experience to date, think again. What you can expect are vague promises to make things better for future guests, comforting indeed when this is your holiday and an address to write to customer services in the UK. No mention of what could be done in the here and now to improve your situation. The rep I had the pleasure of speaking to couldn't even be courteous enough to maintain eye contact with me as I was speaking to him. I could keep going which is a real shame but I feel exhausted when I think of what a disappointing experience this week has been, how appalling the service was and how inept the response from the Sensatori team was to our complaints. This hotel may look very pretty on the web but remember all that glitters is not gold and nothing about this hotel is gold. As for the Wow moment your rep will ask you to look out for the only Wow moment we had was Wow could this place get any worse? Day after day the answer was to coin a phrase - Yes it can."
- Travel date: 14th May 2010
Gran Melia Palacio de Isora Resort & Spa is also called
- Sensatori Resort Tenerife
- sensatori tenerife
- hotel sensatori