Hotel - When you arrive at this hotel it has the wow factor for sure. Stunning attention to detail with imitation wood, suspension bridge, clear glass lifts, aviary and turtle section. For some reason the hotel was so cold (Feb 2012). Either they were saving money by not running the heating or had the air con running. Either way we were grateful for the heating in our room and sadly as no entertainment was put on that is where we spent most of our time whilst at the hotel. On our second day we had to report that a bird had passed away in the aviary having got its foot stuck in the black lining they had put around the edge.
The reception staff were friendly and happy to assist us when we asked where we could go for some entertainment (as the hotel had none). When we checked in I did ask if we could have a jacuzzi room but were told that these were fully booked for the weekend. Instead we had a room overlooking these rooms and observed only two occupants of the 6 rooms on view from our balcony. Not sure why the hotel were holding these back as this would have been a nice birthday treat and travel agents didn't seem to offer these as part of online booking. The outdoor pool was cold and the kids pool and jacuzzi had not been cleaned in some time. The smell was unbearable and therefore no guests stayed very long within this area of the hotel (this is also where the childs play area is). The train line runs right next to the sun terrace but they only run every now and again so not a big problem. Our room was nice and kept fairly clean during our stay. Unfortunately our balcony was closed off unlike some which are glass fronted so we were not able to enjoy the view without standing up.
Location -The hotel is located between Torremolinos and Fuengirola. Both can be visited by bus or taxi. Taxi costs around e14. You can walk along the beach to Fuengirola, the beach starts just up the road from the hotel. The hotel is quite remote and located at the top of a steep hill. The hotel runs a bus service but this will only take you to the parameters of the hotel and back.
Food - The food was ALWAYS cold with the exception of the cooking station where fish/meats are cooked. Sadly on our third night I choose salmon which had been seared only and the inside was raw. I am faily tolerant but the microwave was a godsend as the food was unusually cold. I have eaten buffet meals all over the world and no-where has been as bad as the Polynesia. The all inclusive white wine option was as good as paint stripper in my opinion and various other guests seemed to agree judging by the left overs. On the plus side saturday night came out a chocolate fountain, marshmallows and profiteroles (very nice indeed). I had expected a bottle of water to the room each day but this was limited to one on arrival only. No self serve areas exist for soft drinks within the all inclusive option. No mugs or cups were provided in our room so we requested these at reception and were delivered to our room quite quickly. The kettle was little use without these.
Entertainment - If sitting in a cold room with a keyboard and karaoke singer are your thing then you will love the entertainment. As an alternnative we got a cab to Fuengirola one evening. We did make use of the bowling facilities in the hotel for one game as there was nothing else to do but this is all charged additionally. There is a club house but this was closed for our entire stay. No sign of any club reps and trips were not actively offered to keep guests entertained (maybe just because our stay was out of season but it was half term).
Amenities - The beach club was closed and I imagine this would be nice when in season. The hotel had an indoor pool and sauna + gym (which other guests can look in on whilst you work out - attractive). The hotel charges by the half day or full day for these facilities and closes part way through the day. We had intended to book some beuaty treatments to celebrate my birthday but the recpetionist/therapist did not make an impression and the costs were too high in my opinion (having had treatments elsewhere both at home and away). The restaurant can only be accessed by walking through a passage within the hotel going outside and walking along the side of the pool. This could be quite slippery and cold. Don't expect to be greeted at dinner pull up a seat and if you are lucky a waiter may come to offer you a drink before you finish your meal. The hotel plays loud music around the restaurant and outdoor area by the pool. Sadly this can be heard as farr up as the 4th floor (our room). It starts at 8am yes 8am and isn't turned off until 12 midnight. I guess they call this the entertainment.
Flight - We flew with Monarch airlines. Overhead cabins were rammed full of people's travel cases so my bag and my travel companions ended up on the floor. We experienced heavy turbulance coming in to land and our plane was hit by lightening. When we got our transfer from the airport the heavens opened and we feared our holiday was doomed. Due to the number of bags in overhead lockers it took some time to depart the plane. On our return flight a dog could be heard barking from storage most of the journey and the family in front of us didn't think their child needed earphones to watch/listen to Dora the Explorer for most of the flight.
Weather - Despite a rainy and stormy first day the sun came out duing our stay and we enjoyed some lovely and much needed sun. Temperatures ranged depending on where you were and if you could find a wind break managed to get up to 23c.
Shopping - Torremolinos was best for shops. Be warned that street sellers are everywhere I always find the best approach is to ignore if you are not interested. Make any form of noise and conversation persists until you buy or lose your temper. Lots of tourist type trinkets to choose from and tobaconists.
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- Also Known As:
- Holiday Polynesia Benalmadena, Spain - Costa Del Sol
- Holiday Polynesia Hotel Benalmadena