September 1st our family visited Gran Canaria for the first time. We traveled with Fritidsresor (TUI) and our destination was the design apartments at Tres Vidas (Blue Village) in Bahia Feliz. Our initial apartment was by the beach (neighbor with the surf club) with a pretty nice sea view - BUT, it felt kind of dark and narrow, with a tiny terrace. So, we emptied our travel funds and bought ourselves an upgrade ;-). We hoped to get one with a large balcony - but they were all occupied...
The "new" apartment was at the top of the hill (which includes a pretty steep slope to climb each day) - it too was a design room, but the big advantage was the direct-pool-access. Felt really luxury to have a private pool (well, yes - you have to share it with three other apartments. But since this was at the end of the season, only one of them was occupied). Felt like our own. The water was crystal clear. Speaking of pools, not all of the pools felt that clean. The big pool area by the Orquidea hotel was quite nice and clean, but the pool at Blue Village Playa Feliz (nearby) was turbid with quite much dirt in it. I guess that is what you get in a crowded pool.
Cleaning of the room was good, fresh design, dishes washed, new towels almost every day.
Another nice gesture is that all rooms receive a free pass to the Orquidea SPA for 2 people.
The hotel surroundings was very clean and tidy. Green grass, lush vegetation and pretty flowers, something that's quite sparse on the rest of the island. Great entertainment most of the time, both day and night. Here we must praise Thomson (British part of TUI) - they really kept the activities and party going...which is great for the guests. Fritidsresor on the other hand had some great evenings with musical shows, but during daytime they were rather invisible?!?!?
We chose the all-inclusive option which was valid on most restaurants and bars - but not all, which is a bit odd when you think you have just bought all-inclusive. The food was good, but after a few days it felt a bit recurrent. However I think the wine and drinks included was of poor quality, tasteless - specially the different drinks was presented without any passion.
What about beaches ? Yes, the hotel is located right by the ocean, but the beach was boring and uninteresting. Small parts of nice soft sand..but mostly rocky shores. Wind and large waves made the visibility below surface almost zero when snorkeling.
- Free WiFi only in the reception area. WiFi at apartments costs extra.
- Safety box in the room costs extra
- Some of the Fritidsresor staff need to take a training course in service attitude
- The air conditioning had problems to cover all bedrooms - really sweaty some nights
- Very hard and uncomfortable beds =)
- No nearby shopping (except supermarket and some tourist traps)
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