This is a very poor imitation of an all-inclusive resort.
Accommodation - it's clean, but each room has its own tiny electric water tank - 50 litres - enough for two VERY quick showers, definitely not enough if there is more than a couple in the room. The shower drain was blocked, so I fished out the hair etc.. The bathroom fixtures and fittings are shabby and coming away from the wall tiles.
Pools - clean, cold and plenty of sunbeds. Poolside bars are handy for quite a decent coffee.
Staff - couldn't care less if you are there or not. Maybe it's cultural, but I got the impression that they were so sick of the place, that they thought you were stupid for going there. They were correct.
Food - wow, it is so bad I can't begin to tell you. Truly, truly awful. Don't bother eating in the so-called speciality restaurants - they are worse than the buffet, which I didn't think was possible. If you were wondering how to make every dish bland, tasteless and lukewarm, then there's a masterclass of mediocrity awaiting you in the Sol Dunas kitchens. Amazingly bad. I felt tortured by the lack of any decent food and picked out salad, fresh omelettes (hot, when available) and the bread, all of which actually had some flavour. Really, I am not exaggerating - the food is the worst I have ever experienced.
Drink - beer and wine are ok. Cocktails are a hit or a miss. Pick a bar with a bar-person who can make your drink the way it should be and stick with them.
Entertainment - meh. It was ok. The staff tried hard. The difference between this resort and other proper (Mexico, Dominican Republic etc) all-inclusive resorts and cruise ships is incredible. It's like comparing hooch to 18 year-old Glenmorangie.
Weather - scorchio! A lovely breeze to cool you down, but don't forget your suncream as it is a really raw heat from the sun and can catch you out. Sun cream costs a fortune from the shop in the resort.
I can't stress enough - if you are thinking of booking here and reading this review first, don't do what we did and ignore the bad reviews and read the good thinking "people moan about the small stuff". It really is this bad. I feel like I spent a week in a sunny prison complex and the whole time I was there I wish I had spent a bit more and gone to a resort with decent reviews.
We did try to have a dialogue with the reception staff whilst there about the food, but may as well have been talking to a lump of cheese. Upon checking out we were asked "will you come back?", "no" we replied. No further conversation - that sums it up.
If you've booked here and can get your money back, do it and book somewhere else. If you can't get your money back, take some food treats in your suitcase as you'll really appreciate them when you're there, then grit your teeth and try to enjoy the sunshine at least.
Travel operator: Tui
Hotel tip: Definitely go somewhere else. Cancel your booking if you've already booked and go somewhere else. You won't regret it.
1. Safe not working properly because batteries covered in tape so not secure.
2. Woke on the second morning to find we were covered in bites on the upper body. On checking, there was no mattress cover on the bed and it was stained. Several other guests mentioned that they had suffered from bites from bed bugs and one had been confirmed by a doctor.
3. Only 2 pillows and when covers removed these were found to be heavily stained and not fit to be used. It is our belief that the bites had come from the disgusting pillows. These were replaced before I could photograph them as I was being sick at the thought of lying on filth.
On changing the bedding during our stay it was obvious that the linen was always stained and torn.
4. The top cover (orange in colour) on the bed was stained and badly worn. Again, this was replaced immediately reported before any photographs could be taken. The ornamental cushions on the bed were stained.
5. Woke up one morning to find that the air conditioning unit had leaked water. This leaked over paperwork and makeup on the dressing table. When man came to repair, even he was amazed at the amount of dirt in the unit. Partner has suffered a bad chest and cough since being here which she may have, or at least worsened, because of this fault.
6. Shower dribbles water and not draining very quickly. Tiles on the entrance door to shower were broken and there was a huge gap full of filth from many years of use.
7. The kettle had rust around the spout
8. Bath towels were thin and could only be used once. Also stained and substandard for a 5 star hotel!
9. Restaurants:- The main restaurant Mosaico was basic and generally the food was inedible. We only ate there once at breakfast (no butter and told by staff that was none), once at lunch ( no salad and told by staff this would not be replenished although still one hour left before closing), once in the evening ( handed back to staff, one plate with grains of rice attached, one plate with tomato paste and one plate with a crack) apologies were made but this was rather off putting and we didn’t eat there again.
There are 4 speciality restaurants however the menu does not change over 2 weeks but we used them in preference to Mosaica because of the issues mentioned above. However in Aqua for dinner was served lasagne in a bowl with a huge potentially germ harbouring crack. Also in Aqua for breakfast was served coffee in a mug that also had a huge potentially harbouring crack. Both times this brought to the attention of the restaurant.
10. Outside all the bars there seems to be a policy of playing loud pounding music all day. Between approx. 5pm and 7pm there was especially loud music with particular thumping bass from near Gabi bar regardless of hardly anyone being in the bar.
11. It was not made clear on booking that the Melia Dunas and the Sol Dunas share many of the same facilities:
Both receptions are in the same area and this caused chaos on arrival.
Evening entertainment is located in the Sol Dunas which was too far for us to attend shows after dinner.
It was very difficult most days to get a sunbed on the beach because most were already taken by people from the Sol Dunas very early in the morning. In fact this caused a significant amount of disruption to us because our room (336) was located on the Boulevard and there was a constant stream of people walking passed, some very noisily.
12. Bikini Beach:- There is no mention anywhere that the Melia Dunas hotel has a club/disco/complex situated on a pier nearby. The pounding, loud music was constant all day including late evenings. On the Saturday evening in particular there was a very loud party and pounding music until 4.00 a.m. This resulted in more disturbance when people returned to their rooms, either in Melia Dunas or Sol Dunas, drunk, singing and talking loudly, after the party finished.
All the points mentioned above were notified to the hotel staff/management and to the local Tui rep. Most of the room issues were dealt with quickly by the hotel however not always with a satisfactory attitude or conclusion. THERE WAS A FACE TO FACE MEETING WITH ONE OF THE HOTEL MANAGERS TIAGO WHEN THE ISSUES WERE REITERATED AND A MAJOR INCIDENT FROM THE PREVIOUS EVENING WAS REPORTED. THE INCIDENT INVOLVED A DELIVERY BUGGY SPEEDING UP THE BADLY LIT WALKWAY AT THE EXIT TO OUR ROOM AND THIS WOULD HAVE CAUSED SERIOUS INJURY OR EVEN WORSE KILLED LINDA IF SHE HAD STEPPED OFF THE LAST STEP INTO THE WALKWAY SECONDS EARLIER.
A complaints form was completed and signed with the Tui rep however despite numerous requests a copy has still not been forthcoming. An email was also sent to Tui Customer Services whilst on holiday.
On our departure from the hotel we thought it a good idea that our luggage was transported to the airport prior to our leaving the hotel which is now the norm, however the pick up time was only l hour prior to our flight time which turned out to be too short because there were long queues at the airport and we almost missed the flight.
Definitely not a 5 star hotel and would not recommend.
As seasoned travellers this was our worst hotel experience in 25 years
Travel operator: TUI
Hotel tip: Don't go
We were refused service in both hotels because of the confusion so we ended up having to wear two wrist bands. In the main restaurant the food was not covered so there was often flies on the food. Cats roamed around freely in the food outlets and birds often landed on the tables outside leaving bird droppings on the tables .
The main swimming pool in the Melia had black mould around the swim up bar the steps into the pool had broken tiles. The cushions on the sun lounger pods were very dirty and badly stained. Most of the food outlets had to be booked at a certain time of the day. It took at least 15 minute to walk to the beach from our room there were buggys but you had to go to main reception to board one and often had to wait 5 or 10 minutes.
There is not very much to see on the island a small fishing village a short bus ride away
Travel operator: Thompson
Hotel tip: Dont go there
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