We have thought very hard about this review as it is difficult giving negative comments - our experiences are usually really positive. However we wanted to give a fair review to help others looking for accommodation and hopefully also the B&B to make some changes that would make a lot of difference.
We stayed for 3 nights as part of a longer trip around Puglia, so we feel that we stayed long enough to assess and have experience of other accommodation aiming at the same market at the same time. On that basis, our thoughts are:
- Location - the accommodation is about 10 mins walk along the front from the old town, which makes it perfect for a walk in to explore or for dinner. It is also directly opposite a little beach area. However, our warning would be that the beach is quite small and was very overcrowded every day that we stayed. We went for one morning but it certainly wasn’t relaxing and there are no sunbeds or umbrellas. There is also a beach club directly across the road from the hotel. On the first night we stayed (a Sunday) it was playing very loud music from about 4pm through into the night - loud enough that we could hear it from near the old town. We weren’t disturbed in our room by either that or the road noise as our room was at the back but we chose not to sit on the roof terrace that evening as the music was that loud.
- Room - the room was beautifully decorated and was kept very clean. The bed and pillow appeared to be memory foam, and there were dressing gowns and slippers provided. Save for the comments below, we were very happy with the room.
- Roof terrace - this was a lovely addition. The pool was small and very shallow - not suitable for swimming but nice to sit in to cool down a bit. There were enough sunbeds for everyone there and were tables to sit out on an evening.
- Bathroom - this was incredibly impractical. We were in the ‘Comfort’ room which was the smallest one, which we knew when we booked (however even that was 150 euro per night!). This room had a fairly small bathroom with a jacuzzi bath that took up 1/2 to 2/3 of it. Whilst it looked impressive, it was way too big for the room. The bath wasn’t sealed in so every movement splashed water all over the floor. This was particularly difficult when the only shower in the room was part of the bath - trying to wash my hair sitting down and without splashing water everywhere was very uncomfortable. Even putting the bubbles on wasn’t great as the room was so small you were just sat starting at a wall (unnecessary given that there is a jacuzzi on the terrace which anyone can use and was usually empty). After a day in the heat, it was far from a pleasant experience. Overall, to make that room comfortable, the bath has to go and be replaced with a good quality shower.
- Air conditioning - this was pretty much pointless. It was a minimum of 30 degrees outside when we stayed and the air con barely cooled it at all. Indeed even leaving it on all evening and through the night cooled the room no more than a couple of degrees below what it was generally. The lowest we saw it go was 23.5 degrees, still way too hot to sleep comfortably.
- Breakfast - this was one of the biggest issues for us. We often waited at least 5 mins to be greeted, let alone brought any breakfast (there were never more than 2 other couples eating at the same time). As a result, our hot drinks arrived near the end of the meal and on the first day, my husband’s cappuccino was more like hot milk with a small dash of coffee. The food was very disappointing. The main provision was a platter of fruit, some cold pastries and then another plate which contained half a toasted sandwich (cold), one slice of cold meat, cold grilled courgette, cold grilled peppers and some form of egg. On the first day it was a small (cold) omelette between the two of us. On the second it was an indescribable pile of what we can only assume was fried egg, which was covered in oil and looked dreadful. Again it was cold. Everything was clearly pre-prepared and was both cold and completely insufficient for 2 people. I should add that on our third and last morning, there was a fresh and warm omelette, some mozzarella and a selection of tea. We weren’t able to judge if that was just that day or a longer term change, but it was a good start at making the breakfast a lot better. Our advice would be to offer fresh eggs/omelettes to order along with the standard platters improved slightly - it wouldn’t be too difficult for just 5 rooms.
General atmosphere - the other thing that we found disappointing was the atmosphere of the B&B. The staff were generally pleasant so we don’t share the complaints of other reviewers about that. However the sheer volume of rules and tone in which they were given to us was very unexpected. We were told that loss of a room key (they were electronic cards) would lead to a charge - the plastic rule list in the room explained that this would be 100 euro! Presumably just to reprogramme another piece of white plastic that wasn’t even branded. We spent the entire time terrified about losing one. There was a 100 euro charge for having anyone else on the hotel, a 2.50 euro charge for coffee (no machine or kettle in the room) and even a 1 euro charge for any water (there was none provided free in the rooms and the warnings included not to drink the tap water). We were given one bottle of water per couple at breakfast and that was all. The hotel reception was only staffed between 9am and 9pm. When the accommodation itself was quite expensive for a B&B (and we had the cheapest room!), extra touches are necessary to make it worth it. Overall, it left us feeling entirely like the accommodation was focussed on making money rather than the experience of their guests.
Overall, the general appearance of the accommodation was beautiful but we were left disappointed with this B&B having had high expectations from the details online. It wouldn’t take much to make this accommodation really special but it is falling short of that based on relatively small issues. We stayed at another small B&B on our trip that was in a similar coastal town and also only had 5 rooms. It was run by just 2 people. That place had really strong air conditioning, a jacuzzi bath (the same one!) but also a shower, a coffee machine in the room with 4 free pods a day and a continental breakfast with eggs/omelettes cooked fresh to order. We paid about the same per night that we did here for a much better room and experience. All of the above changes could be done easily and relatively cheaply, and it would make a huge difference to Playa del Mar. Without the changes, we wouldn’t recommend it in terms of value for money.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC