11 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
"Staying there right now and realising that was one of the biggest mistakes I've ever made. I'm a seasoned and frequent traveler, both for business and pleasure and I know my hotels. Customer service is almost non-existent - if you expect a call you have to actually stay next to the front desk and TELL THEM TO PICK UP THE RINGING PHONE!!! After that you have to run upstairs to pick up the transfer. In two days there were over 20 attempted incoming calls and only TWO were connected. I had to carefully orchestrate call timing via e-mails. Even after concierge was MADE to answer the phone 4 times today they didn't understand when a caller addressed them in english or SPANISH and hung up after 5 sec. No info in the room how to call front desk - dialing 0 doesn't work. No info in the room how to call anywhere, period. Wi-Fi is slower then a 14.4 dial-up (if you are old enough to remember ;-)), and doesn't even go to a pool, confined to inside. Statements about private beach is a lie - opened to everyone and gets overcrowded and ugly... Seems like a favourite destination for russian speakers (about 75% of patrons) - and they have no concept of private space, beware! Hotel fails to keep up, packed and overcrowded - common areas get dirty and unpleasant by noon. If you have a stroller forget navigating comfortably. Food is subpar for the price, cheese selection is OK though. Will provide updates if not get tired with crawling and dropping Wi-Fi. "
- Travel date: 14th July 2012
If you do not like children BEWARE
"We stayed at the Gran Hotel Soly y Mar from 1-15 September 08. It is a beautiful, new, modern hotel with excellent rooms. Be aware that 'garden' rooms on higher floors actually look out onto a wall with windows. This hotel was almost exclusively for Spanish families (we did not speak to one English person in the hotel for the two week stay). On our first week there were literally hundreds of children of pre-school/primary school ages. I have never seen so many pushchairs/prams crammed into a dining room and trying to use the lifts was a nightmare at certain times. Dinner was at 8 30pm and if you didn't get in the queque at 8 25pm the dining room became packed. The food was 3* and hot food was rarely hot. Crockery was chipped. Not enough staff to clear tables. All food labels were in Spanish. Breakfast was the usual but, again, rarely hot. The hot water urn for tea was filled with hot water but not plugged in so became gradually colder and colder. Sol hotels would do well to look at the RIU chain of hotels for service/food and customer service."
- Travel date: 19th September 2008
As good as the website shows!
"My wife and myself stayed at the Sol y Mar for 5 days in August and could not fault the hotel. After a long haul from Australia and a missed connection in Madrid we eventually arrived at the hotel at 2 am to find a smiling reception man. We were escorted to our room which was a very new clean and modern room with a lovely double bed and futuristic bathroom. After a good nights sleep we had a coffee bought to our room and sat on the balcony overlooking the beach, sea and the magnificent rock which I think is called the Penion.The hotel was full of holidaymakers but wasa abuzz with fun. Everyone seemed to be getting their loungers and umbrellas set up on the beach for the day. There is a lovely infiniti pool area at the hotel with loungers and a bar area for snacks and drinks. We had breakfast included in the deal which we booked in Australia via Yeego and you could have breakfast delivered to the room if you paid 5 euros which we did a couple of times. We enjoyed the hotel very much and there is a supermarket under the hotel which is handy as you don't get drinks in the minibar. We would definitely return again."
- Travel date: 12th September 2008
Hotel Gran Sol y Mar - knocks spots off the rest
"Have recently returned from a 10 night stay at the Hotel Gran Sol y Mar on a bed and breakfast basis. We booked our holiday independently, flights with Easyjet, accommodation Â£828 with unpackaged.com, which was cheaper than booking direct with the Hotel, we felt that we had good value for money. Our room was superb, full uninterrupted sea view, sitting up in bed looking out at what can only be described as an 'infinity view' of the ocean, no sand or people visible - what a way to start your day. Beautiful bathroom, good quality fittings and fixtures, large very comfortable bed, certainly at the top end of the 4* spec. Maid service was spot on, check-in/reception efficient and helpful. Our room was on the 1st floor and we didn't need to use the lift, a big advantage, people were queuing for lifts. Breakfast excellent, I am a bit picky and always take my own coffee, cereal & marmalade, but didn't need to use it. Loads of choice, good quality food, various individual cereal boxes (Kelloggs), fresh fruit, yoghurts, meats & cheeses and my husband loved the cooked breakfast and omelettes made to order. You do need to be early for breakfast to avoid the crowds, we found that as long as we were in before 8.45 we beat the rush! We noticed queues for lunch and dinner and were glad that we had chosen B & B. Lots of families in the Hotel, mainly Spanish, no noise disturbance, rooms must be very well soundproofed. Hotel pool now open, didn't use it as it was always very busy. Access by lift to the lower ground floor and then underground tunnel or by going outside the Hotel and along the road and round the corner and using your room key card to gain access - not ideal! Beach was a better option for us but sun loungers are pricey at 9 euros for 2, umbrellas not available, we had to actually buy our own (this seemed to be the norm on all the beaches in the area). There were a limited amount of sunbeds in a row under a long tarpaulin type cover, it would cost your 14 euros for 2 people. Beach towels available at the Hotel for a deposit of 10 euros, can be exchanged daily for clean towels & deposit refunded at end of stay. Hotel position was perfect for us, right on the beach and on the edge of the old town. Eating out was a bit disappointing initially, but we did find a couple of little gems, our favourite was Amigos restaurant, Calle Jardin, owned by a Swiss couple, the food is mouthwateringly good and well priced, try the house wine if you go, the red is excellent, we returned 3 times in the 10 nights. We also had a good food experience at Los Zapatos, Calle Santa Maria - worth a visit even if just to meet the eccentric owner. Could also recommend the small rooftop restaurant La Casa, Calle del Mar. For pre or apre dinner drinks there are one or two nice spots in the old town (good for people watching) and there is also Oscars Bar/Restaurant on the main promenade, sea views and usually a singer on. At the end of our holiday we found a traditional British Pub, called Bar Oasis on Calle Blasco with respectable mainly middle-aged clientele (no lager louts), good lively atmosphere, there was actually a darts match in progress on the night that we called, run by a British couple Dave & Tracy, we enjoyed it! Calpe is a resort with something for everyone, we'll be back!"
- Travel date: 3rd August 2008
A comfortable modern hotel - on the beach and in the town
"We needed a relaxing beach holiday in a comfortable hotel but didn't want to have to drive or taxi to restaurants etc. in the evening. This hotel exactly matched our requirements! We eventually settled on the hotel after many many hours of research moving steadily around the coast of Spain using Google Earth and its links to booking.com. This worked very well and we were able to secure our reservation without a deposit, knowing that we wouldn't have to pay until we checked out at the end of the hoilday. It's been open about a year and dominates this part of Calpe -with its nine floors and black glass exterior. It is right beside the beach and the excellent long meandering traffic-free promenade - so no roads to cross! There is also an 'infinity' type pool with bar; accessed by a tunnel from the hotel. We chose a superior room with a sea veiw and that was exactly what we got. The views from the upper floors facing the Penon d'Ifach were stunning and the large balcony proved a great place to sit, watch and listen to the sounds of the sea. The room (729) was beautifully equipped with a huge comfy bed, fridge, a safe large enough for a laptop and an excellent bathroom with full-on shower and separate bath with shower over. The aircon worked well but required a key to be inserted in its holder - which means that unless you have two keys you return to a hot room which takes some time to cool. The breakfast buffet was very good indeed with a remarkable array of choices to suit all tastes but in July it is worth arriving by about 9 am to avoid the mass of guests who appear by 9.30. Room service was good and reasonably priced and the buffet restaurant, which we sampled once, was well stocked but I'm sure would become tedious on half or full board. The small 'gastonomic' Abiss restaurant was, on the other hand, superb. It was fully booked on the Saturday we arrived so we booked for the following Wednesday. Although we were the only diners, the food, service and wine were impeccable. We had a tasting menu of five courses with several surprise extras courses thrown in. It was a truly 'fine dining' experience so if you try it, don't expect large portions with piles of veg! The balance of the food and the overall quantity was perfect - so much so that we returned for another meal on the following Saturday. This was great too, only spoiled slightly by other guests smoking. I'm writing this within an hour of our third visit to the Abiss on our final night and am looking forward to it very much. Car parking at 9 plus euros a night is a bit of a drawback but it is secure with lift access to the hotel and you seem to get even more discount (7 euros) if you buy a ticket from the car park having first had it stamped by the hotel. So overall this is a splendid hotel to which we will return - it even has a supermarket underneath for those necessary little extras!"
- Travel date: 16th July 2008
"Stayed in the Sol Y Mar for four nights and would highly reccommend it. We had originally booked what was called an interior room but when we were advised there was no balcony or outside space we upgraded to a full sea view cost an extra Â£90 but it was well worth it. The hotel is very modern/contemporary and extremely clean in all area's,the staff are very welcoming polite and always cheerful. We stayed on the 7th floor in a superior room which was excellent with a huge bathroom and quality fixtures and toiletries. The balcony was very large with a full sea view, I could have thrown a tennis ball and hit the sea its that close. We had thought long and hard as to whether to stay B+B or include evening meal, we opted to stay HB and I am really glad we did the food is EXCELLENT not only in quality but also presenation and service a real treat with house wine at 10 euro's a bottle. If I had one gripe it was having to pay 9.60 euro's per night parking but at least the car was safe and well,parking on the street is not an option..forget it. Overall if looking for a quality hotel with a little luxury you will not go far wrong here."
- Travel date: 16th May 2008
"Clearly a new hotel and whilst the public areas werenât to my taste the room was excellent. We were on the 7th floor with a sea view. The bed is the most comfortable I have ever slept in, pushed together the measured 7ft across. From the terrace the sea is literally feet away and the dining/bar areas share a similar view. The hotel is central enough for the town which was typically out of season quiet. The bar and restaurant staff were excellent particularly the dining were we ate breakfast and dinner for 3 days. The breakfast was good with a wide variety of choice including omelettes made fresh with ingredients of your choice. The only down side was the reception which at best was casual. I also resent paying for parking at a 4 star hotel."
- Travel date: 23rd March 2008
"Quite stunning hotel, in location and quality. Rooms were huge and modern with every special touch thought of. I suppose while the modern feel may not be for everyone the massive bed and bathroom were right up my street. In the summer i'd ask for a top floor room as i imagine the noise from street and beach may get quite noisy, and ask for a room with a view. Parking offered but found somewhere outside though doubt this would be the case duting the summer. Didn't use the bar or have breakfast but the areas set aside for them looked very nice and spacious. Would definately go there again if in the region."
- Travel date: 3rd December 2007
"Loved everything about the hotel. Also spent a lot of time in the bar next door, "El Chiringuiro Bar", they do a great English Breakfast, and have some good live entertainment. Would recomend this hotel for style and class."
- Travel date: 15th October 2007
"Stayed in this hotel when my sister was visiting from Scotland.We loved the rooms ,spotless and beautiful views over the beach and to the PeÃ±on de Ifach.Bathrooms beautifully designed and a huge comfortable bed.The buffet breakfast was overflowing with choices,very good breakfast available from 7-11 am and we found all the staff most helpful and friendly.We didnt mind the pool wasnÂ´t built yet as free sunbeds and towels were provided for the beach(direct access from the hotel)Going back again in october for the moors and christians fiestas and also liked it so much have booked to have a private function( a big birthday) in november,cant wait!"
- Travel date: 27th September 2007
"My partner and I wanted a weekend away just to laze on the beach. The Solymar is literally right on the beach in Calpe! There is no pool built yet but its not needed anyway as the hotel is in a fantastic location. Beds and towels are provided for the beach by the hotel. We paid around Â£50 a night,same as a travel lodge! What a stunning room! Spacious with a leather sofa and chair in the room as well as a flat screen tv. We asked for a sea view and were given a superb room at no extra cost,but some rooms on the other side overlook a road so be careful what you are booking. I would recommend an upgrade to superior to guarantee a sea view. The bar,lounge, restaraunt and reception are immaculate in design and furnishings. Service and cleanliness are superb as well as the food and very friendly helpful staff. The hotel is all glass fronted and the the views over the beach at breakfast or even afternoon tea are stunning. As we were there only for a long weekend we never tried the Spa facility. Calpe itself is a wonderful town,15 minutes outside the English pubs and bars of Benidorm this really is a hidden jewel. Still very Spanish with no English bars but a wonderful Jamesons Irish bar being the exception. Very much a resort where the Spanish go to holiday with smiling and polite staff not only in the Hotel but in the numerous bars and restaurants in the winding streets. Beautiful clean beach with gently shelving shoreline and the Rock at the towering over one end of the resort. So if you want to find a bit of Spain thats still Spanish. Calpe is a great choice."
- Travel date: 18th September 2007
Top traveller tips for Gran Hotel Sol y Mar
"Check weather reports. Don't go if it is raining."
Gran Hotel Sol y Mar is also called
- gran hotel calpe