put a damper on, but on arrival we were a bit disappointed with the cleanliness of the reception area with carpets past their sell by date.
Our room was in block 6 on the extremities of the hotel which allowed for minimal noise but longer walk to facilities and onward to the park, which in the heat starts to take its toll on you. The room was well proportioned and enjoyed the requirements of 4 star.
The hotel pool is standard with much less features than its sister hotel but on the positive side the temperature was excellent and never a shortage of sunbeds and even though it sells itself as family orientated does not allow children to have any inflatables or balls, which did not hamper us as our son was nearly 16, but may have been offputting for younger families.
As an earlier subsciber has stated wherever you were inside or outside you were continually pestered by flies but I believe this is a problem Salou wide so ensure you pack any pest repellants and bite creams.
The hotel restaurant offered quite a good range of food but unfortunately it was never very hot and unless you got in early resulted in queing so if you wish hot food take advantage of the dine around system, which offers 20 euros per adult off themed restaurant meals in the park.
The new beach club is reached by one of the hotels small trains and we would highly recommend you go but get on the 10.15 train to ensure prime seats and be prepared to run as soon as the train stops!!( this will allow you to beat the queue jumpers and those who take dramatic shortcuts of jumping fences etc, we thought get a life )The beach club also allows you a paddle in the sea as it is located near one of the quieter beach spots.
The hotel staff apart from reception and guest services were very reluctant to give you a smile or even speak and we felt they were very disorganised which was the main factor in delays at restaurant,bar and snack outlets. As stated earlier due to the fantastic price we paid overall our holiday was really good but had I paid the normal price we would have expected the much higher standards of service previously experienced at the portaventura hotel which we would still rate as our favourite for this resort.
Travel operator: First Choice
The choice of food is very good our only complaint was that the eggs and hash browns at breakfast were not kept hot.The hotel has tried to organise the breakfast so it is not too busy by issuing cards with a time slot on them this would work very well but again some holiday makers just turned up whenever they felt like it.The pools were very good and even with a 5 year old I feel the banning of inflatables is a great thing as you don't get loads of loutish kids messing about.The pools had lots of lifeguards around who kept things in check when people got too boisterous and this really helped to make it a relaxing atmosphere around the pool.The beach club is also very nice and it was an added bonus that we were able to use this as originally in the brochures this was not part of the deal when staying at the El paso.Again plenty of sunbeds and amazingly very few people were reserving beds by putting towels down so you could pretty much get one at whatever time of day.It did seem it was only the Brits that reserved beds I think we are the new germans!!
Location as I said was excellent only a 20 minute walk to the Salou promenade which we thought was very nice and 5 minutes from the park.All within walking distance but if you wnated there were plenty of little train/buses to take to places.
Travel operator: first choce
All the staff that we encountered were helpful and very friendly without exception.
It obviosly helps if you try to speak a bit of Spanish, which they appreciate.
The rooms were kept clean and replenished.
Unfortunatly there were a few fellow Brits staying there who couldnt control their football shirt wearing children's language or behavior.
Also, they took no notice of the Hotels request of NOT hanging towels on the balconies which then gave the appearance of a 1 star Benidorm Motel!
You know who you are, sort yourselfs out & have a bit of pride!
Travel operator: Thomas Cook
Travel operator: First Choice
Travel operator: direct holidays
Travel operator: First Choice
Feel obliged to mention that for us, the big disadvantage of the El Paso is that it doesn't allow access to the private beach club. Staying at the Port Aventura & Caribe Hotels does, I guess this is because the El Paso is the cheapest of the three. We chanced our arm by going to the beach club with our friends who were staying at the PA Hotel and managed to sort of follow them in, but I was worried all day about being thrown out! It was a superb facility with 7 swimming pools, including two infinity pools, a pool with a sandy beach, kids pools, pool with sunbeds in, lots of sunbeds, although not many parasols, all in a beautiful setting. Nice restaurant. If you wished to go down on the public beach they would put a wrist band on you so you could get back in. Lovely place. I would have paid to go in if that had been an option.
Last time we stayed at the El Paso we were on the ground floor in Quetzal Block which we found noisy and the room needed a re-furb, this time we were on the 2nd floor, Room 3214, Iguana Block, this was much better, freshly painted and quieter being the top floor. There is still the problem of when people return from the park at 1am after the fireworks the coridors are like echo chambers. Goodness knows why folk can't keep their voices down after midnight! The coridor carpet was dirty and needs replacing (yuck!).
We had a large double bed and the kids a full sized bunk bed. Beds were very squeeky. Plenty of storage for a weeks holiday for 4. Free air-con & payable safe. Clean towels every day and sheets every couple of days. Maid service was good. We had no bath plug, reported it and one was brought within 20 mins. Excellent.
Food is good for this type of hotel. It has 500+ rooms that sleep 4, so if full serves 2,000 covers a night! It's catering on a mass scale. People were moaning about having to queue outside the restaurants, but it meant you were always shown to a clean, set table. Would they rather find their own dirty one & wait hopefully for it to be cleared? We never waited for more than 10 mins, often less, and the hotel was full.
Only had 6 evening meals due to First Choice getting us to our hotel at 11pm which was two hours late (plane problems at Gatwick). Ate at the Port Aventura Hotel buffet 3 times with our friends, we prefered this, same food, but the consevatory area and outside seating were superior to the El Paso. We ate at the Caribe as one of the children wanted to go to the themed Chinese night. It took an hour before we were served drinks, we were on dessert by the time we got them, it was cramped and frantic, due to poor layout and the food horrible. If you wish to change hotels for your evening meal you must do so at your hotel reception prior to 6pm on the day.
Breakfasts at the El Paso were fine, breads, pastries, cereals, pancakes, preserves, fruits & juices, eggs & other hot selections. Very busy after 9am, if you want it more relaxed go earlier.
Location is a 7 min walk uphill to the theme & water park and 25 min walk to Salou. There is a free wally trolley to the theme park, good if it's there, but not worth waiting for unless you have walking difficulties.
The few members of staff we dealt with were fine. The only exception being the woman serving at the El Paso pool bar who ignored my children for 15 mins whilst they tried to buy an icecream, serving Spanish and adults who came up after them, in the end I had to go over and speak to her. She didn't ignore them after that.
The pool is superb a humongous lagoon with many lifeguards who do a good job. Although it's cold even in August. Still don't like the beach bit as they don't seem to bother to get the fag ends out of it properly each night.
Didn't see any hotel entertainment we ate from 8pm till 9.30ish then followed our kids up to the theme park most nights. When it switched to Sept the park started to close at 8pm instead of midnight.
We had a 15, 14, 13 & 12 year old in our group and I would say this was an ideal holiday for them. The combination of a not too formal hotel and access to the theme & water park is made for this age group. It felt safe enough to let them go to the theme park on there own for half an hour, then met them at a pre-arranged ride or show. The complimentary water park entry is good & they let us change our day to go with our friends. Fast pass is helpful, but they didn't have it for Furius Baco yet. Our friends said it was one of the best holiday's that they had ever had.
Would I go back to the El Paso? No. Because, if I go back my kids ages will mean I pay for 4 adults. The El Paso is good value if you pay kids prices as you only need one family room. My friend let me look round both the rooms she had in the Port Aventura hotel and they were nicer, also I would want guaranteed access to the Beach Club.
Reus airport is a dump. Heaven forbid you get delayed there. At least with our delay going out from Gatwick we have access to the Exec Lounge. Reus didn't have an Exec Lounge to go in. LOL.
Travel operator: Eclipse Direct
Room very clean, towels are changed when you leave them in the bath and bedding changed twice a week.
Good selection of food, especially at breakfast.
It was literally a 5 minute walk to the parks, you have to go to boyh parks, they're brilliant, even if you don't like big rides. Our rep gave us wrong info on a couple of things, she said lockers in waterpark were 1 euro but they were actually 7 euros and you got three back.
Staff were great but very long queues in bar at night, the staff were very good at dropping glasses as well, so don't let children run around without shoes.
Pool lovely, kids mini disco good, overall we had a brilliant holiday
Travel operator: first choice
Hotel is in a good position, on the doorstep of the park but quiet at night. We put our kids into the club and they loved it. (aged 4 and 6)
Thought it was bad that you had to pay for drinks at dinner, even the water, although fairly cheap.
Bunk beds in the room very noisy and not ideal if kids are not used to it.
Looked like a nice pool but closed as out of season.
Queues for restaurant gets a little tiresome and very busy around the restaurant at peak times. We tried to go when it was quiet, you do get a 3 hour time slot.
Travel operator: first choice
The grounds are beautiful, however due to the time of year we didn't get the chance to make full use of them as the pool was closed. We did however make full use of the theme park which is excellent and in my kids opinion much better than Disneyland Paris.
Our only complaints were the queues at the hotel you had to stand in line for everything, mealtimes, bars, even a 45 minute wait to check in!
The rooms are small but kept clean my children weren't too keen on sharing a bed but that's often the case on holiday.
The meals were good, with plenty of choice and nobody came home with a funny tummy so I'm assuming hygiene was up to scratch.
The First Choice reps were absolutely rubbish, one rep, Steve, promised us a birthday cake for my son and then told us he had been unable to obtain one due to it being Good Friday and the shops being closed. However we went into Salou ourselves to find all the shops open and managed to get a cake from the first supermarket we came across. Likewise, the other male rep, Nick I think he was called, was blatantly rude to guests and almost had a riot on his hands on the last night when he insisted that we should board the coach to return to the airport despite half the coach load still stood in a queue for the evening meal. This was in my opinion very poor management, surely it would have made sense to open the restaurant a little earlier to allow people to eat before the coaches departure - a poor show there First Choice!
Talking of poor shows the entertainment in the hotel was either cancelled and therefore none existent or held outside in the cold and therefore poorly attended, this should be rectified too.
Now I don't mean to sound negative, I would visit this hotel again just a little later in the season when everything is up and running.
The fast passes on the park were very useful and the location to the park great so if you are booked in enjoy!
Travel operator: first choice
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