28 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
"I have visited this hotel many times and normally go in May and again in August. I travel with my little girl who is 7 and my parents. We have always had a great time, all the staff from the cleaners up to the management team are very friendly and helpful, can't do enough for you in fact. The food is very good, they quite often have a themed night as well, with Mexican, Chinese, and sushi are just a few to mention as well as your other choices. Breakfast is very good, with champagne if you wish! The hotel is very clean, there are 2 pools (one indoors) the spa is also lovely, I have had a back massage and a foot massage and both were superb. The room was lovely (sea view) with a lovely sized balcony. The entertainment team were fab most of them speak English (at least enough to have a conversation) in particular Manu, Gabriella, Neuza, Luis, Elena and Andres were great and no pressure to join in! They run the mini and maxi club which offers a wide range of activities for the children. The entertainment is varied from Flamenco to a Michael Jackson tribute act, the team normally do 2 shows per week (Lion King is good) and the rest of the entertainment is brought in from outside. The beach is lovely, (very clean also) and doesn't get too busy, there is a small amount of water sports. The Marina is just a short walk with a few bars and restaurants. I always go all inclusive which is fab at this hotel, you get the proper brand spirits (not local stuff) I drink vodka and always had Smirnoff my Mum drinks Bacardi and that's exactly what she got (not white rum) In between the restaurant opening hours there is also a fridge stocked up with sandwiches, cakes, croissants and fruit...you can also have tubs of ice creams, crisps and nuts for free. There's a small train that runs in the evening from one end to the other which is fun for the children. I highly recommend this hotel, especially for families, can't wait to book up for May next year :)"
- Travel date: 25th September 2014
Glad to be home
"Flew back from Iberostar Isla Canela on 30th June after a two week holiday, and haven't been as glad to get get home since being on a rat infested camping holiday 24 years ago... Harsh, yes, but after paying nearly Â£3000 for a holiday you do have expectations. First, I have to point out the good , 1. The staff â all of them helpful, friendly, and give 100% from early morning until last thing at night. These guys work hard. The entertainment guys in particular deserve a mention. If you join in, great, but if you don't there's no pressure but don't ignore you either. They have it to an art, through sheer hard work, hats off to them. 2. The food â top quality, extensive range of meals every day, served up by the excellent team in the lovely restaurant. Every taste catered for, never struggled to get a table, beautifully set and with attentive waiting staff. Then the bad... The location looks lovely â but it's in the middle of a marshland and has the worst mosquito problem I've come across. First night out at the beach bar (heavily recommended by Emily the Thomas Cook rep at the welcome meeting ) resulted in our 2 daughters having over 100 bites on arms & legs between them, which needed medical treatment. Iberostar management, there are anti mosquito technologies available and you need them! The maintenance budgets for the building have obviously been cut to a bare minimum, and it shows. In the public areas there are broken tiles, missing plaster, cracks in walls, poorly lit gloomy internal corridors, lighting on motion sensors which don't work, the buildings are crumbling around the hard working staff. At the pool area there are loads of beds but not enough parasols. Half the beds and parasols are broken and held together with tape and wire.. not exactly safe. We saw people trip on loose boards on the little bridge, which were still loose when we left. Then our rooms (3407 and 3408). At the entrance to 3407 there were huge cracks around the door frame and I'm surprised the wall didn't disintegrate as the door needed slammed to close properly. A loose broken tile in the middle of the room which could slice open a bare foot... but we walked around it...wardrobe doors which stuck until my husband fixed them onto the runners properly... numerous broken tiles on the huge balcony, and again huge cracks in the external walls around doors and windows.... then the real deal breaker.... THE SMELL. It started a few days into the holiday with a whiff of bad drains inside the bedroom and gradually got worse over the next few days, it reeked of sewage. By the second week we walked into the room and were almost sick with the smell of sewage so went to complain. A maid was promptly sent to clean the floor with disinfectant ! So we complained again, and told the lovely reception girls that we couldn't sleep there, we were told it was just the air conditioning or a change in the wind direction but we're both in the construction industry and know a sewage smell. After insisting on that point were moved to a 2 bed apartment. The entrance to the apartments isn't great, more cracked tiles, dark corridors and crumbling plaster, but as the lovely reception girl pointed out, at least there wasn't a smell. Sorted? I wish â¦ After I put the shower head onto the shower hose myself, and my husband fixed the wardrobe doors onto the tracks so they would close we settled in. Later when the girls were trying to get to sleep we heard a dripping in their bathroom.. onto the metal suspended ceiling tile. That's when we realised that each of the 2 bathrooms had a few water stop valves in funny places... obviously they know the place has leaks but they moved us in there anyway! My husband lifted a ceiling tile and turned off the water. Good job he's a builder!! It was fixed properly by the technical staff the following day. So many little things, but they shouldn't happen in what is sold as a 4 star hotel package. No amount of friendly staff or good food can make this any more than a 2 star if the place is falling to pieces around them. "
- Travel date: 1st July 2012
O K hotel
"Just returned from one week at this hotel on a half board basis. Good points: Staff are A 1 location is very good, rooms are clean. Bad points Food repetative and running out of choice every day, bar is awful more like a concert hall. If you are prepared to walk to the local marina then the bars and restaurants there are good. Go to this hotel if you are happy with good clean basic accomodation but dont expect 5 or 4 star qaulity"
- Travel date: 6th October 2011
Absolute perfect week
"Stayed a week in this hotel at the end of September, and it has been splendid. Great hotel, great staff, booked a room with a view and what a view it was. Food was great, lot's to choose from and some things even made right in front of you. Deserts a bit less, but haven't had a decent desert in spain, ever, so that was perfectly on par. And with the all-in formula, you really can't go wrong. Location was a bit remote from everything, but since I was there to relax, it didn't bother me at all. Great pool by the way. Animation was the best I ever had. Ismael and Scott from the animationteam were brilliant. Every evening there's a show of some kind, so you never get bored. It's not the cheapest of hotels, but it was worth every penny!"
- Travel date: 17th October 2010
total relaxation in great surroudings
"Just come back home Sunday 21st Aug after a week at this hotel,well tanned and feeling relaxed and good. The room was on third floor and looked out onto the marsh. fantastic view,lots to see.fish jumping,gulls,birds etc,looking towards Ayamonte and Portugal. The room was clean and fresh with plenty of space. Each day the room was cleaned and beds made. There was just three of us ,My Daughter Grandson and me. Half board. The choice of food in the resturant was unbeleveable ,so much choice ,well cooked in nice surroundings The staff very attentive and helpfull. grand pool and not far away an idilic beach. This hotel was first class and would recommend it you. such a friendly and happy hotel ,even though my Spanish was very good ,it was not a problem"
- Travel date: 24th August 2010
Fantastic - just right for a relaxing break
"We have now stayed here for three years running and it is always a lovely relaxing holiday. If you want lots of nightlife and shows etc, then don't come here. There are restaurants and bars a few minutes walk away but it's not suitable for anything other than relaxing really. The bus service into Ayamonte is cheap, there's a small zoo in Ayamonte as well as shops, banks and the ferry across to Portugal. The ferry trip is fairly short and not expensive. We went as foot passengers, although you can take the car if you wish. The beach near the hotel is very sandy and a shell collectors paradise! I've never seen so many different ones. The food is very good and the staff are extremely helpful and polite. We normally hire bikes from a place near the Marina, it is mainly level ground so ideal for cycling and you can lock the bikes up outside the front entrance of the hotel."
- Travel date: 2nd June 2010
I had to laugh when reading some of the ...
"I had to laugh when reading some of the negative comments made here, as it really couldn't be further from the truth! We have just returned from a one week stay, All Inclusive at this hotel and we have had a fantastic time! We arrived late due to a delay at East Midlands (no change there then) and had missed the lunch service, however we were offered sandwiches, cakes and drinks to keep us going. Whilst on the subject of food, we have been to 4* All Inclusive hotels all over Europe and North Africa and we really did think this hotel offered a great standard of service. Breakfast, lunch and dinner buffets were brilliant; there is a great selection and the food was always cooked to perfection. The head chef came out into the restaurant every night to ask if we'd enjoyed our meal, so I think that says a lot. Food was also available in between meal times at the pool bar; both in the help-yourself fridge and a sit-down menu. The drinks service was partucularly good; there are self service points dotted around the bars, pool and restaurant with wines, beers, fizzy pops, or if you prefer you can have waiter service. We found the All Inc service included everything you'd want, from cocktails to shorts. Some named drinks were included at a supplement, but most were free. With regards to the hotel itself, it was spotlessly clean and very efficiently run. The majority of guests were Spanish, some Germans and a few French. There were about 5/6 British couples there this week, if that. The area is VERY quiet; we loved it as we needed total relaxation, but there were some very bored looking teenagers around the pool so it is not for them! All in all, a lovely holiday at a lovely hotel! "
- Travel date: 1st September 2008
I loved the pictures of this hotel in th...
"I loved the pictures of this hotel in the brochure so I persuaded my boyfriend to holiday here with me. It was fab! Honestly - reading the reviews others have left and having been myself now I can honestly say that this hotel IS a 4 Star rated hotel. The pools are big and the hotel was very clean and tidy. Maids came into our room everyday to make sure we had enough clean towels etc. Staff very poliet and welcoming. Activities during the day were excellent - beach volley ball, shooting, water polo, darts, bingo to name a few. Kids activities were excellent and seemed fun. Only down side was that the majority of guests were german (however they did not take all the sunbeds so there was no rush to grab one). Nightlife is low key and a good 10-15 min walk away but bars and restaurants are nice - outback is an australian bar/restaurant and nolans bar is irish - the couple who run that are lovely. Theres also Cindys bar - nice english bar and a lovely italian. Well worth a visit. P.s - hotel must be good so dont listen to any of the negative comments people have left from their visit years ago - I went THIS YEAR and it was spot on! A famous spanish football team stayed when we were there - Athletica Balbao (Have I spelt that right???) so must be good for them to have booked it too. "
- Travel date: 28th July 2008
Lovely hotel, beautiful foyer area. The...
"Lovely hotel, beautiful foyer area. The staff were very helpful and friendly. We went b&b and the range of food for breakfast was incredible. The area is great for walking and cycling because it's so flat. We hired bikes from along near the Marina and used them daily to go backwards and forwards. There are a few Restaurants near the Marina to the east of the Hotel and even more selection if you go along the coast to the West. This was our first visit to the Huelva region and the area on the whole is less commercialised than other parts of Spain. We loved it to bits and are going back again this year. We only had one complaint really and that was because the indoor pool was shut for maintenance for almost a week - the outdoor one was crowded because it was the Spanish school holidays and we couldn't get near it!"
- Travel date: 17th April 2008
Perfect quiet location for relaxing holiday
"We stayed here with our two year old daughter and my sister, her husband and their 16 year old daughter on a half board basis. We can have absolutely no complaints what so ever. From the moment we arrived the staff were friendly and helpful. Rooms were of expected standard for a 4 star hotel and there was always a good range of food on offer. Dinners in the evening were particularly good with a wide range of food to suit everyone from the plain eaters to the more adventurous. The head waiter was particularly attentive to our daughter and greeted her by name after the first day. The lunch menu at the pool side bar was good value and tasty. The kids pool is ample and was cleaned on our second day there. The entertainment staff were super and there was always something to keep the kids going if that is wht you want. The kids mini disco was a big hit with our disco diva! The town itself is quiet with a beautifully clean marina 15 mins walk away. There are several bars which seemed quiet but we were happy to stay in the hotel in the evening for the shows. The beach is within 5 mins walk of the hotel and again is fantasically clean and relatively quiet in comparison to other busy resorts in the more popular tourist areas. All in all this was a most relaxing and enjoyable holiday for people who just needed a beak from it all. Not too many other brits but we weren't really bothered by that."
- Travel date: 31st July 2007
Our 'Four Star' experience......???????
"Well, we booked the Iberostar through Airtours for 2 weeks half board staying in early July. We had seen the mixed reviews, but as always we decided, after doing some digging of our own, to make our own minds up once we got there. We really looked on the fact that the resort was not 'too developed' and was a favourite retreat for the Spanish very much as positives! However.... Location: Not Ayamonte as listed. Isla Canela is a 'resort' a couple of miles away from the Iberostar, in the district of Ayamonte; not massively developed and created out of the marshland/canals that emerge from the locality of Ayamonte and the Rio Guadiana. The Iberostar is actually located in Punta del Moral, a 9 euro taxi ride from Ayamonte. It is surrounded by water, sea to the front, marsh and canal to the rear. The area around the hotel, and all the way down towards the marina is heavily residential with large apartment blocks mixed in with the existing 3 main hotels - Iberostar, Playa and Riu. Others under construction are a mix of hotel and residential again. Lots for sale or for rent. Hotel: Very impressive at first glance. Moorish design, huge reception area, large wrought iron chandelier. Reception staff friendly and welcoming, and graciously respond to any attempts to speak spanish. Our room was not the standad room as seen in the brochure;but, it transpired, the second bedroom of an apartment as all rooms seem to have been constructed this way. Where there are parties of 3 or more, 2 'rooms' are allocated and although numbered separately have a single adjoining door that is unlocked and used as one. We had the second bedroom, and so no lounge area; our table and chairs were crammed in to the room leaving very little space to access the balcony. We did not stress too much about this as we did not intend to be in the room too much anyway, but in comparision to other hotels we have stayed in, the room was significantly smaller than we had expected. It was clean, although a little shabby. Obviously recently repainted, the ceiling was half finished with roller stripes clearly evident. The biggest surprise, given the 4 star emphasis, was that there was no minibar...the fridge in the room totally devoid of anything including shelves, oh and power! Beds were comfortable and the standard pushed together option. Maid service was daily, and you had the option to complete a form detailing the latest times you wanted the room cleaning (0800-1600) After 4 days of waiting for the maid to take the form, I actually handed it to her personally as we were in the room at the time she came. She took it albeit reluctantly it would seem.After this, we did manage on nearly every remaining day to have the room cleaned while we were out. The maid service was fairly good; although, we did not get fresh/spare toilet roll as may have been expected, nor did she replace the sanitary bags after the one and only one provided was used.Not ideal! Half board/Hotel Restaurant: Hmmm, this was a major problem area for us. We have used buffet style hotel restuarants before so thought we knew what to expect. However, we were very concerned at the poor choice and poor quality of the food provided during our 2 weeks. Having paid for half board, we ended up eating out alot in our second week as we couldn't face the lukewarm, undercooked or simply cold food. Various delights such as 'fish in sauce',' meat in sauce', 'sausages in sauce', '3 delights rice' aka rice with the remains of the scrambled egg, ham and local 'bacon' from breakfast. The final straw for me came when we went down for breakfast to be met with the unbelievable stench of 2 trays of Brussel Sprouts on 2 consecutive mornings. Did I mention the chips and potato wedges that also featured as part of the breakfast option??Not wishing to sound like a food snob, but in a 4 star rated hotel, this was definately not what we had paid for. I am always concerned when the temperature of the food is not as it should be or where there is obviously persistent recycling of dishes. The day after the Brussel sprouts, we had 'cream of vegetables' soup...dark green and smelling significantly of the obvious. As for the restuarant service...I think as another reviewer had mentioned, the waitresses oftened cleared your plate immediately as you finished or in my husbands case, before he'd even finshed, fork midway to mouth! One morning, we made the mistake of going up to choose our breakfast together, therefore leaving our table having left previously selected bread rolls, butter and full tea/coffee pots, full cups on our table...we came back to find them all gone! The obvious thing here then is dont leave your table together...ever! We made the decision to start eating away from the hotel when we'd reached the point of eating little but bread and jam or pancakes for breakfast, or salad and chips for dinner. However, as we hadnt budgeted for this, we agreed to look into the restaurant each night before heading off into Punta, to see if there was anything to make a decent meal from. Surprisingly, one night we were greeted with a glass of sparkling wine and a major advance on the food front - fresh king prawns, razor clams, mussels, chefs everywhere, the maitre'd actively greeting everyone.. what had happened? The next night, we ventured down again to similar scenes..this coupled with fresh fruit and sangria having been offered to all sunbathers by the pool during the day, lovely..finally, we thought, this is what we'd paid for. The next night, the answer was there, a Management Rep from Iberostar head office getting all diners to complete a questionnaire on their stay in the hotel!! The waiting staff were super attentive, although the cynic in me was thinking they were trying to sneak a peak at the ratings on the forms everyone was actively filling in. But, we reasoned, the corner has been turned, and as the changes had been positive we wouldnt have to breach our budget and eat out again. Wrong. The next day the food situation was back to normal....as previously described and not acceptable. We duly used the hotels comments/complaints process and left a complaint for our Rep.Not that we had any response to either. Airtours Rep/ Resort: At our welcome meeting, we were informed at the outset that the Rep (aka Airtours Airport Manager )thought Airtours had made a big mistake changing the resort and hotel from its former 'fly drive' status.The Rep was based in Portugal and 'only did our hotel as I had a couple of hours free on a Tuesday and Sat'day'...didnt really inspire confidence. He was spot on about the resort though. Used various phrases like "Not really ready for tourists, give it 5 years, infrastructure not in place, local government had banned the progression of an airport at Huelva until the resorts where ready for tourists." We were a bit more concerned with "you're in the spanish holiday season / spanish resort" (as if indicating this was a problem)...He very much said that out of July you'd have the hotel to yourselves, apart from weekends, but basically made us feel as though the fact that the spanish were present was meaning a bad choice for us!?!? .So we were left with very mixed feelings. Resort: not much choice of bars or restaurants. One reviewer recommended the Outback Bar..we would say avoid this one. Food undercooked, minimal portions and very overpriced. However, if it does take your fancy, don't eat inside as the menu is different and more expensive. Bella Italia, food simple and ok, prices ok, service very hit and miss. Best food we had was at the Spanish run seafood restaurant next door to Bella Italia and facing the estuary..good, fresh food, reasonably priced and friendly staff..always busy too. Bars - one we liked the best was Sugar Reef, even if not the cheapest. Cyndis, (owned by Aus couple who owned B/Italia) was ok but little atmosphere. We ate at both these bars at lunchtime and the food was better at Sugar Reef, but nothing outstanding.Quality in both variable. A couple of supermarkets and no more than 4/5 other small bars/restaurants.Lots of empty retail property/potential retail outlets. This is the sum total of Punta del Moral. General: Plenty of building work ongoing, is within earshot of Iberostar. Beach - ok but lots of seaweed on the sand and in the sea, not exactly pleasant to swim through therefore the sea not overly inviting, doesnt smell to good either. Afternoons see the arrival of 'wind' therefore beachlife not too great when being blasted by what can only be called a sandstorm. No real facilities on the beach. We didnt see one single WC anywhere and we walked the entire length of the beach up to and including Isla Canela. It did appear as though something was happening in terms of sun beds,and possibly a beach bar nearer to the Iberostar, linked to the arrival of the 'spanish season'. Hotel pool -nice enough, clean enough. However, as previously reported by other reviewers, the steps in both pools all very loose and concrete surrounds cracked. Not really safe. Smaller pool very noisy and always used for water polo both with the animation team and without.. did actually get fairly rough at times. Sunbeds...this was beyond a joke. Stereotypically, towels out by 0800 and beds often not occupied until late afternoon, which was extremely frustrating. In the end, we joined in with the 'reservation' process and put our towels out before breakfast, maddening as this was. So, overall, we were very disappointed with this hotel & resort. Although we went with open minds and never actually minded the fact that it was not fully developed or that it was the favoured retreat of the spanish population, we did expect more than was actually there. I think it fair to say that the internet sites we looked at prior to going were a little misleading in terms of what was available. The hotel itself was most definatley not up to other 4 star hotels we have stayed in, and ultimately, the food was dire!! We are not child haters, but there were far too many noisy and generally disruptive children around for us. It was not at all peaceful and unless you are prepared to either base yourself solely around the hotel, or transport yourself out to Ayamonte at night, there is not much else within the area. Speaking to other guests, they were all very happy to have only booked one week. We were ready to come home by our second week, and have been left very disappointed with the holiday. We would not return to either this hotel or the resort again. We have been left wishing we had spent our 2 weeks somewhere else!"
- Travel date: 20th July 2007
This certainly was not a 4* Hotel. Our r...
"This certainly was not a 4* Hotel. Our room was smelly (drainage) so was the next one they offered us but the 3rd room was okay. The furniture in the lobby was worn out, there was no massages happening, the bar shut at 12am not 1am as stated in the brochure. On arrival we were offered scraps because our flight was delayed and we arrived after just 12am. I managed to grab a drink at the bar just as it was shutting thanks to a very friendly waitress. Because we were delayed we didn't get up for breakfast and the only food offered to us between breakfast and lunch was stale bread with ham or cheese and cakes in a fridge that was left open most of the time so the birds could peck at it. The Spanish were everywhere as they were offered cheap weekends away before July 1st, then from July 1st the staff started (occasionally) offering complimentary food around the pool (Okay for self catering or half board but no big deal for All Inclusive holiday makers). The A La Carte restaurant doesn't open until 1st August so we didn't get a look in there. The Germans have invaded the sun loungers once again, they were quite friendly but if you want a lounger then get up at 7am and put your towels out (this was not the case in the reviews I read before departing for my holiday) most of the loungers were broken and the covers were pretty dirty. I will not be returning to this hotel."
- Travel date: 19th July 2007
Top traveller tips for Iberostar Isla Canela Park
"Dont let them put you in room 3407"
"Upgrade to superior room with sea view, try eating out occassionaly"
"I am seriously thinking about going there again next year"
"Agreat place to chill out"
"Ralaxing, not really for kids"
Iberostar Isla Canela Park is also called
- Iberostar Isla Canela Hotel
- iberostar hotel ayamonte
- isla canela park iberostar