Iberostar Isla Canela Park
28 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
The hotel is very clean and the rooms sp...
"The hotel is very clean and the rooms spacious. The food was good with plenty of choice. We went all inclusive which I think was the best option here as there were not many bars and restaurants close by. The pool area is lovely and there was no rush for sunbeds early in the morning. The sea is close by and there is a new promenade built at the rear of hotel which you can walk along in both directions.
I would not recommend this resort for families with older children as I think they would find it a little boring, but for couples and young families it was ideal. The evening entertainment was reasonable. There were dancers some nights and Spanish singers on the other nights. Staff were very polite and helpful. All in all it was a very good hotel which I couldn't really fault in any way."
- Travel date: Wed 18th of July 2007
This hotel is GREAT. We have visited twi...
"This hotel is GREAT. We have visited twice. Once in Sept 2005 and again June 2007. In fairness, the hotel rooms are starting to look a little tatty but nothing a good lick of paint will sort out. HOWEVER everything else is brilliant.
The food is wonderful, lots of choices, fresh fruit, salads, wonderful fresh fish, great desserts for the sweet tooth or even cheese and biscuits. Buffet style which is nice as you can sample. (Be prepared to put some weight on!). There is something for everyone. Book a room with sea view if you can as it is great to sit on the balcony in the evening and look out. A lot of Spanish holiday here and stay in the pool till quite late so the dining room is never packed.
The staff are very friendly, speak good English and nothing is too much trouble. This area is totally unspoilt and if you want a quiet, relaxing break this is the place. The pool is very clean and large enough to accommodate everybody. "
- Travel date: Wed 11th of July 2007
We found the hotel was very well run wit...
"We found the hotel was very well run with the manager very much in evidence. All staff were helpful, pleasant and polite. Everywhere was spotlessly clean and well maintained and the hotel had a very "Spanish" air about it. The swimming pools were great. One small one for children, a medium one and one very large one. We asked for a sunny balcony and got a beautiful view of the pools and the sea.
Food in the hotel was outstanding. The evening meal in particular included lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, local fish and a variety of meat dishes together with pasta, chips, salads, potato dishes etc. Huge selection of sweets and cheeses.
Rooms contained a fridge, useful for providing our own lunches. Food shops within easy walking distance.
The beach was a stone's throw away and was huge, clean and uncrowned. Delightful for walking along! Great for youngsters.
Interesting fishing village nearby at Punta del Moral and the town of Ayamonte a short bus ride away. A market is held there each Saturday. You can cross over to Portugal on the ferry from Ayamonte and it only takes a few minutes.
A relaxing and quiet holiday, very enjoyable. Suited us just fine!
- Travel date: Fri 22nd of June 2007
NIce hotel in traditional Spanish resort
"My girlfriend and I are 27 and 28 respectively and we stayed at the Iberostar Isla Canela during the first week of June 2007. We found the hotel to be clean and well maintained, with friendly staff. We booked half board, the buffet style breakfast and dinner had plenty of choices and variety, we were even given sample glasses of sangria and wine on some nights when going in to dinner.
Our room had a seaview and if staying in this hotel I would recommend that you request a room with a seaview otherwise you might end up looking out on to a road or t at he side of the hotel next door. The TV in our room could only pick up Eurosport or German and Spanish channels. Our only gripe about the hotel or room was that our balcony seemed to be smaller than others with space for only one seat whereas the balconies around us had a couple of chairs and a table, but this is a minor complaint.
The beach is less than five minutes walk from the hotel, is sandy and clean and was never very busy, however there didn't seem to be any way of getting any loungers. The pools at the hotel were clean and even although a lot of people sunbathe around the pool you could always get a couple of sunloungers during any part of the day.
There are a small number of bars and restaurants 10 minutes walk from the hotel around a marina. The closest town is Ayamonte which is 20 minutes on a bus. The bus stop is just outside the hotel. Ayamonte has a number of restaurants and more bars.
We also took a bus to Seville for the day, you can get one from the bus station in Ayamonte. Seville is an amazing city, we really loved the architecture, narrow streets with small cafÃ©s and bars, the orange trees lining the pavements and of course the tapas.
I would recommend a holiday in Isla Canela at this hotel if you are looking for a quiet break at more tradionally Spanish resort."
- Travel date: Wed 20th of June 2007
Absolutely fantastic if you're looking f...
"Absolutely fantastic if you're looking for a typically Spanish holiday and a quiet week away! Gorgeous hotel, the animation team are fantastic - there is always something they are trying to get you to do!
There are about 6 restaurants in the local area (within 10 minutes walk) all of which are great, especially Bella Napoli (great Italian with Australian/new Zealand owners).
There are lots of hotels and shops being built along the coast but you can't hear anything from the hotel, just a few cranes in view thatâs all!
We didn't eat at the restaurant in the hotel as we were self catering, but it looked lovely - breakfast, lunch and dinner available. Our rooms were great - we had 2 x 2 bed roomed apartments, each with 2 bathrooms and 2 balconies - they were huge. Great sea and pool view!
There's a huge room where all the shows take place - which some shows were great, some where a bit lame, but at the end of the day it's still entertainment!
I would highly recommend anyone go to this hotel. Its nice now, and in a few years it may be too 'English' like Benidorm - so make sure you get there soon to see its true beauty!
- Travel date: Sun 17th of June 2007
Lovely 4 star hotel
"We stayed here in May and our party consisted of 2 adults and a 3 year old. I have to say we really enjoyed our stay. The hotel is lovely very impressive when you walk in. The staff were all helpful
and any problems that we had were quickly rectified ( Our safe was not working correctly and maintenance were there within 30 minutes). The same eveing that we had a problem with the safe reception rang to make sure everything had been sorted out.
The rooms were very clean and the public areas were also very clean.
We thought the food was very nice, there was not that many salads but a lot of choice in the main dishes. They always had local specialities to try and when we stayed we never saw empty food trays. the chefs and the restaurant manager always seemed to be on the ball when it came to things like that.
The restaurant was nice with a relaxed atmosphere but it was not like a canteen.
My 3 year old though the hotel was great the animation team were great with the children "Smilie the dog" would come out to welcome the children on a morning to the mini club and they would do the Smilie dance after the mini disco. He had his face painted played beach and pool games etc.
In the restaurant they made a real fuss of the children giving them kinder Eggs and Smarties for their desserts.
The entertainment we found was fine they had Flamenco shows aswell as the animation shows, it was not Broadway but of a fairly good standard for hotel entertainment. During the day you could join in activities if you wanted but the animation team was not too pushy.
The pool areas are fine we did not find them dirty at all there is no way I would let my 3 year old play in a dirty pool. We saw them checking the pool every couple of days. I can't comment on the indoor pool as we did not use it. My husband did use the gym and there was plenty of machines and weights.
We stayed half board and the only gripe we had was that the snack bar did not seem to have light things such as sandwiches, so we used to walk to the Marina where there is a small selection of restaurants and snack bars.
There is still a lot of building work going on you can see quite a few cranes but it did not spoil our holiday at all.
You have to remember that Isla Canela has a lot of Spanish holiday apartments and the Spanish do go there for weekends (but hey it is Spain and they do have a right). It is not full of lager louts and not very English (do take a phrase book). I was reading a newspaper for Costa del Luz and it said that they are trying to keep the area more upmarket.
The promenade is very flat and if you walk towards the marina you come across a samll fun fair with crazy golf, bouncy castles etc.
There is a frequent bus service to Ayamonte that cost less than 1 euro per person. There are a lot more shops bars and restaurants in Ayamonte. From here you can get in to Portugal which costs about Â£1pp on the ferry (it takes 10-15 mins). We found the prices for tourist things a lot cheaper tshirts etc.
Ayamanote also has a lovely park with a small amount of animals there.
I would definately go back to the Iberostar Isla Canela the area is very quiet but we enjoyed it."
- Travel date: Tue 5th of June 2007
Poorly Maintained & Managed
"To be fair the public areas and reception are pretty impressive but there the illusion of being in a 4* hotel ends.
We changed our room twice before out of sheer exhaustion accepting the third one which was far from perfect. The first stank of cigarette smoke. The second was dark and gloomy and the patio doors wouldnt open and even the one we eventually accepted had 3 lights not working, the patio doors only half opened and the aircon was totally pathetic. In the end we just left the windows open all day and night in an effort to keep cool.
The safety deposit box kept malfunctioning meaning we couldnt get access to our belongings trapped inside.
The staff were friendly and efficient and maintenance men were always there within half an hour of a problem being reported.
The food was a bit disappointing in that the buffet was not replenished often enough and very often there would be empty food trays where there should have been food. The quality was ok but nothing special.
The swimming pools were digustingly dirty during our stay - so much so that after my first and only swim, I refused to go in them.
There were plastic bags and thousands of flies floating on the surface and lots of dirt and tissues on the bottom. I reported this to reception and they apologised but the pool was not cleaned during our stay.
The resort is small and there is still building work going on but that did not trouble us at all. The main problem is that the hotel is poorly managed and maintained (the steps into one of the pools were STILL wobbling and unsafe....according to earlier reports they have been like this for a long time).
I would really struggle to recommend it to anyone.
A big plus is that in May there were no mosquitoes at all !!!!"
- Travel date: Wed 23rd of May 2007
"Stayed at this hotel in Sept 2006 with my husband and teenage son. We were warned that we would possibly hear some noise from the building work next door and didn't know what to expect. As it happens all we heard was what sounded like an old train from a distance very infrequently, so no problem there.
The hotel is of a moorish style which I absolutely LOVED. It's one of the prettiest hotels I think I've stayed in and was completely impressed.
We went on an all-inclusive basis which I have to say was one of the best we've had. We thought the food was excellent and plently of choice but the drinks menu put everything else in the shade. Have never had such a choice of drinks on all-in before and they were excellent. Spoilt us for future all-in's I think!
The surrounding area is in the process of being developed so it is quiet at the moment but I think all that will change in a few years but I've been told it will never be like Benidorm and Marbella as they're not allowing high rises etc. Don't know if its true or not but it would be nice if it retained its spanishness.
There is a lovely promenade and beach right next to the hotel and there are restaurants and shops a short walk away. We actually liked the aussie bar as it was lovely to sit outside and have a drink overlooking the marina.
We also enjoyed the entertainment that was put on and we've seen some dismal things over the years on all-in (esp in turkey) but these acts were fine.
My son didn't have any complaints about the pool and spent most of his time in it. There's a lovely bar overlooking it too.
The room and bathroom were totally acceptable with a balcony and side sea view and we didn't have any problems with the air-con.
All in all a good holiday and we would go back."
- Travel date: Wed 9th of May 2007
Good choice for a relaxing break
"My husband and I stayed at the Iberostar for a week at the end of September. We were looking for a nice relaxing break in a good hotel - and thats what we got! The hotel has lots of plus points, being right on a beautiful sandy beach is definetly one of them. Although its a public beach, it was very quiet, even over the weekend. Sun beds/parasols are available to hire (6 Euros per day for two). The hotel's two outdoor swimming pools and one indoor pool are also in good condition. My husband used the gym too - which was adequately equipped for a hotel gym. The food was average. There was lots of it though, so we were never left hungry! We were on half board, which was just as well as there are not many other places to eat nearby. Cost of wine with dinner was from 8-14 Euros per bottle.
It is a very underdeveloped part of Spain - nothing like Benidorm for example! Most of the other guests were either Spanish or German. All very friendly, as were the hotel staff.
There was evening entertainment from 9.30 each night. Mostly local entertainment shows, but a good way to end the day.
Few notes about the hotel room. It was a clean and spacious bedroom, with a nice ensuite bath/shower room. There was a safe, but this was at at extra cost of 14 Euros for the week. There was a fridge in the room, but no mini bar. This suited us as we just bought drinks from the local mini-market (5-10 mins walk away) and kept them in the fridge. We didn't pay extra for a sea view, but were given a side sea view room. It seemed we had the smallest balcony in the hotel! Just big enough for a couple of chairs. Other balconies were larger, with a table too. There was a tv in the room, but just two english speaking channels - Eurosport and CNN. The air con was fine for us. During our stay at end of Sept/early oct the temperature was about 26 celcius during the day.
The local town of Ayamonte is just 15 mins away by bus. There is no courtesy bus, but a public bus stop is less than 5 mins walk from the totel and it costs less than one euro to go into Ayamonte. The town is very picturesque and I'm told typical of Spain. It has a marina and a ferry port too, from which you can catch a ferry to Portugal for a couple of Euros.
All in all we had a pleasant stay at the Iberostar. We would return to Costa de La Luz again."
- Travel date: Sat 21st of October 2006
Good mix of relaxation and culture if you hire a car
"We had a great holiday. The hotel is in a quiet location but that was ideal for us because we combined it with some great trips out in the car.
Behind the hotel the promenade runs down close to the marina about 10 mins walk away. Alongside this the wide sandy beach continues for miles and was almost deserted when we were there - a lovely, relaxing place to walk.
We don't usually stay at this type of hotel or even go half board but we wanted a bit of late sun without spending too much money. We we were a bit worried that the buffet food would be more about quantity than quality and also concerned that the hotel would be a bit too much 'sun and fun' style. This was not the case. The food was great , the area felt very Spanish and the animation team didn't push you if you didn't want to join in.
There was another restaurant apart from the buffet which was open one night a week which served a fixed menu. The food was very good and it was great value as for a small supplement (7 euros each) the price included sherry, lots of red and white wine, coffee and mineral water.
Our room was fairly basic but comfortable and we slept really well. There was a fridge In the room rather than a mini bar which we preferrred as we could stock up with water from the supermarket near the marina. The air conditioning could have been a bit better though and the safe often took a few attempts to open but other than that the room was fine.
We drove into Seville one day; we went to the cathedral, Alcazar and had tapas for lunch. As you'll see on the Seville forum there are loads of roadworks there at the moment but it's still a fantastic place and well worth a visit however we were pleased to get back to the quiet of Isla Canela afterwards. On another day we drove to La Rabida, near Huelva, where there is a monastery and replicas of the three ships that Columbus sailed to America.
We could have used the car to go out more eg Ayamonte or the Algarve but we enjoyed spending the rest of the time just relaxing by the pool.
All in all we were very impressed as we thought this holiday was great value. We have now booked to go to another Iberostar hotel in Lanzarote as we are hoping it will be of the same standard."
- Travel date: Sat 7th of October 2006
"Just returned after a week at a so called 4 star hotel, never, never a 4 star hotel. No complaints about the staff or the food. They need to do repairs to the fabric of the building. We were on an all inclusive deal - the best way if you are staying here. Don't drink the water and take plenty of mossie repellant. We knew it was going to be a quiet resort but it was the lack of transport that bugged us. There was an hourly bus to Ayamonte and the last bus back to the hotel was about 8pm. Like the previous review says, take the taxi to Ayamonte. From there you can take the ferry to Vila Real in Portugal for 1 euro. 20cts, or there was a ferry from Canela to the Isla Christina for 6 euros return. That was the total sum of transport. We took an excursion to Seville 62 euros each. Wonderful town, pity about the gypsies (be aware of your purse/wallet at all times). It was 95 deg., on a Wednesday afternoon in late September, so go prepared for the heat. Beautiful countryside which is going to be spoilt with all the construction work that is being carried out. They have even built on a nature reserve next to the Iberostar."
- Travel date: Mon 2nd of October 2006
A good break ?
"I read mixed reviews of this hotel before I left the UK and was in two minds about what to expect.
When we checked in the staff were very friendly, the room was adequate and comfortable and was as described.
We only stayed on a B&B basis but I have to say the choice & quality of the food that we experienced was far better than some hotels that we have stayed in.
The hotel was clean & very friendly but the entertainment in the evenings was a real let-down. Mostly provided by the hotel's in-house entertainment staff I personally thought it was very German orientated - unfortunately I do not share the German sense of humour and from the entertainment staff I spoke to they all seemed to be German.
The location is a bit isloated, the shops & bars are a 10-15 minute walkaway and are located on either side of the marina.
The Sugar Reef is a local bar that served snack food until 7pm but showed the Ryder Cup & English Football matches so was always popular. Give the Australian Outback a miss - the "a-la-carte" menu is overpriced and you can get better food elsewhere.
Most popular seemed to be Bella Napoli which served a good range of food from snacks and lunchtimes to pizza, pasta, steak, chicken, etc run by a couple from NZ/Australia who make you feel instantly at home and the staff were all friendly too.
We only stated for 7 nights, that was far long enough - other people we spoke to were there for 2 weeks and said they were thoroughly bored by the lack of things to do.
Nearby town is Ayamonte & is a 10 minute cab ride away for 9 Euros, a lot of shops but not a lot to buy and the Saturday market was disappointing too unless you want to buy a shoe & then spend 15 minutes hunting for it's other one!
Tip : Don't waste time with the bus - we were second in queue and couldn't get on and as it's only an hourly service it's worth spending extra on the cab fare.
We wanted a nice relaxing week and that is what we got.
Good weather - around 30C all week with a few showers on a couple of days.
We would go back but give it 5 years to let the area develop. There are a lot of brand new apartments and hotels still being built and a lot of vacant shops/restuarants so plenty of room for improvement.
If you like Benidorm & Marbella don't go to Isla Canela but if you want a shot break for some rest & relaxtion then there are far worse places to be."
- Travel date: Sat 30th of September 2006