We stayed here as a couple a week or two ago in early/mid September 2017. We were a little pensive having read some poor recent reviews of this hotel but to be fair, there really isn't too much to moan about for a 3 star, although I obviously recognise that everyone's experience is different.
We checked in with little fuss and were directed to our room, which overlooked the one-way road outside from block C, we could see most of the Maspalomas resort and town in the distance and the coast; I think the higher levels, looking in the same direction also feature views of the dunes in the distance. There was a bit of road noise from the aforementioned road and also the nearby motorway but I think I would have preferred this over a room overlooking the main complex as it was loud all day with loud music playing from the bar and also the stage. This is all down to personal preference though of course. I was very fearful that the room would be too hot as the hotel, as is well documented, does not have air-conditioned rooms. Not all rooms will have the same characteristics of course, although I believe they all have ceiling fans and these do provide a small draft above the bed but I think without the fan that we brought with us it would have still been pretty uncomfortable. So my advice...We stayed here as a couple a week or two ago in early/mid September 2017. We were a little pensive having read some poor recent reviews of this hotel but to be fair, there really isn't too much to moan about for a 3 star, although I obviously recognise that everyone's experience is different.
We checked in with little fuss and were directed to our room, which overlooked the one-way road outside from block C, we could see most of the Maspalomas resort and town in the distance and the coast; I think the higher levels, looking in the same direction also feature views of the dunes in the distance. There was a bit of road noise from the aforementioned road and also the nearby motorway but I think I would have preferred this over a room overlooking the main complex as it was loud all day with loud music playing from the bar and also the stage. This is all down to personal preference though of course. I was very fearful that the room would be too hot as the hotel, as is well documented, does not have air-conditioned rooms. Not all rooms will have the same characteristics of course, although I believe they all have ceiling fans and these do provide a small draft above the bed but I think without the fan that we brought with us it would have still been pretty uncomfortable. So my advice would be to bring a fan with you if you have one. There didn't appear to be a lot of English TV apart from some world news channels but let's face it, if the TV is a big priority for you then you are probably wasting your holiday. The bed was comfortable enough and the shower was very good. The room was very clean and it is cleaned every day if you wish. The mini-fridge was a bit disappointing however as it doesn't ever seem to get particularly cold. This probably isn't helped by the power frequently being off in the room of course, which is also a common theme with modern hotels, that once you take the keycard out of the slot, the power to the room is cut off. You do get two key cards though (keep them in a different pocket to any mobile phones as this interferes with the signal) so unless we were going to be out for a day, we tended to leave one in powering the room. We only really kept water in the fridge anyway though so not really an issue for us. Also worth noting, is that there are no tea and coffee making facilities in the room, but there are always such things available in the public areas of the hotel.
The restaurant can get very busy and we noticed that it appeared to get busier during the latter half of our stay. I imagine in peak season it must be really crowded as there was a proportion of the restaurant not in use whilst we were there. It is mostly manageable though and the food is reasonably varied. The main area of buffet in the middle, as other people have said, can get repetitive but it is an all-inclusive 3-star so you really shouldn't expect a lot more. If there is something you can eat then there isn't really a problem. There are a couple of other hot food areas too to the left and the right of the live cooking area that provide different options. To the right tended to be pasta, which was pretty nice and to the left it changed daily, but often it wasn't used. The live cooking is the best area, there always seems to be a fish dish being prepared and one other meat. The entrecote on one night was really good and surprisingly not overcooked. There was also an essentially roast knuckle of pork that was good with plenty of crackling to help yourself to on the night I had it. There is also plenty of bread to help yourself to also. All the soft drink options are available plus the self service San Miguel and the wine. The only difference is that in the restaurant you can have a glass instead of the plastic cups. I usually stuck to lager. I tried the rose wine one night and it was so sickly sweet I couldn't drink it and the white wine wasn't much better. I didn't brave the red; again all personal preference I suppose. I can't comment too much on the lunch selection as we ate out at lunchtime on all but one day but I think it is generally the same fare. Breakfast was a little less impressive. The live cooking area is where the fried eggs and omelettes get cooked and the eggs are cooked to your liking, which is good. The queue here can get lengthy at peak times though. The queue for the toast machine was also always very busy so I never bothered with toast. There are of course plenty of continental options that I have to say I didn't try, such as the usual croissants and cereal etc. The bacon is that sort of fatty streaky bacon you seem to get in these Spanish all inclusive resorts, which I actually quite like but I know my partner doesn't and I'm sure plenty of others don't either. The sausages on offer were, or very similar to, Frankfurters. Not my, or I should imagine, most other people's idea of a breakfast sausage. Most mornings I had eggs and bacon and a bit of bread. The juices are out of a machine so predictably average and the tea and, I would imagine the coffee, is likewise. One thing that does irritate me though, and this happened last year in Majorca too so perhaps it is a cultural thing; is that the nice selection of cooked meats and cheese that they put out for breakfast are not on offer for lunch when I would think more people would want that sort of thing to create makeshift sandwiches and baguettes etc. Maybe it is just me. The staff in the restaurant, as in the rest of the hotel are efficient and courteous enough. There is an official dress code set out in the guidelines in the pack you get in the room stating that only long trousers and shirts with sleeves are allowed in the restaurant. This does seem excessive and thankfully I never saw it enforced. As long as people have tops on and aren't dripping wet I think it seems to be ok.
The bar opens at 11am and the self service features soft drinks such as 7up, Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Tonic, and the KAS orange and Kas Limon. The San Miguel on self service seemed fine to me and the same 3 wines available in the restaurant are available, but like I said, I wouldn't recommend these. Sangria is also available on tap, but I don't drink this so I cannot offer an opinion. There is also water and tea and coffee plus an all-inclusive freezer with small ice creams in, with the usual Vanilla, Strawberry and Chocolate flavours available, which were nice on occasion and great for kids I should think. I'm sure I can't cover the entire all-inclusive menu with regard for drinks but we were pretty happy with what we had. The all-inclusive cocktails are, as usual, out of a machine, so don't expect a lot there. The basic, I assume local, variety of spirits is also available so if you want Gin, Rum, Whiskey, Vodka etc. it is available on all-inclusive. We frequently had Rum & Pepsi, Whiskey & Pepsi and Vodka & Lemonade and the staff behind the bar do not hold back on the alcohol, so don't worry about being fobbed off with weak drinks. The staff behind the bar are great and even in the busy times of the evening you never seem to be waiting long to be served. All-inclusive does apparently stop at 11pm, which didn't affect us as we tended to go up to our room once the evening entertainment finished, which was usually shortly after 10:30. Adjacent to the bar is the sort of fast food bar, which appeared to be really good, with burgers, hot dogs and chips available and also a small salad bar at the end. Despite fully intending to try some food from here, for one reason or another, we never did apart from a plate of chips once which were fine.
The pool is a decent size but the larger pool and jacuzzi is on the slightly cold size, which when the weather is hot I suppose is refreshing, although I think most people expect the jacuzzi to be warmer. The pool that the slide leads into, down the bottom end of the complex is far warmer though. The sunbed situation is a well documented issue in almost all busy hotels like this. There is again a rule stating that you are not allowed to reserve sunbeds but everyone seemed to do it and get away with it. We were not to fussed about access to sunbeds anyway but I understand this is a massive priority for some people. We walked down to breakfast around 9:00 most mornings and it was pretty rare to see a sunbed or certainly two sunbeds next to each other that weren't either occupied with people or towels. There is an area around the back of block C however that is quieter. There aren't a lot of sunbeds here but whenever we walked out of our room we had a clear view of this area and there were usually a handful free. This is though the area near the kids pool with the pirate ship and some of the daytime activities such as darts and ping pong take place nearby so it is still not totally peaceful. I'd rather put up with a couple of annoying kids over a couple of hundred annoying adults anyway! Of course, there will be more of both in peak season I am sure.
The evening entertainment ranges from cringey to good fun. The animation team do most of the shows and the ones where they are doing things like simply miming to a shortened down version of the We Will Rock You stage show are rather tacky but I suppose credit goes to them for the hard work they must put in learning the routines. Other things like Karaoke and the Mr. Dunas show with volunteers from the guests are more entertaining, depending on I guess, the participants. The couple of professional shows we saw were ok and included an acrobatic dance team sort of thing and a guy with snakes who, although there are questions about the morals of having animals in cases, was a really funny guy. The mini-disco is fun for kids I am sure and that lasts between 8:30 & 9:00 every evening, with the same appalling but annoyingly catchy songs every night. It will be a few days after your holiday before you get these out of your head...'agadoo doo doo, push pineapple shake a tree, agadoo doo doo'... see what I mean. Anyway, the animation do work extremely hard throughout the day and are really good at what they do. With regard to seating around the bar, it does appear that they have increased this by making adjustments to the pool as the photos widely available on the internet show a slightly bigger pool area than it is now. This said, the seating is an issue but there really is nothing that the hotel can do about it. It is a busy hotel and they have only the space that they have so I don't what people expect; no there are not enough sunbeds nor enough outside tables to cater for the volume of guests but they have to strike a balance between the two and this they seem to have done. If you get there by 8ish you should still get a table at this time of year it seems but we did notice that later in the evening nearly all the sunbeds with a view of the stage were occupied and plenty of people were also standing. However, if getting a seat is a priority to you then get there earlier. We did and we never failed to get a seat in the evening. You know the situation so adapt to it to suit your priorities.
In all it is a very clean hotel; they always seem to be cleaning during the day, which is good. There is the occasional smell of drains in the evenings when the wind picks up in the right (or wrong) direction, which is slightly unpleasant but really nothing to get your knickers in a twist about. The thing that got on ours and I would think on the nerves of most non-smokers is the abundance of smoking that goes on around the hotel grounds. I don't know what the laws are in Gran Canaria but it really does go on everywhere, around the pool, under the canopy of the bar etc. Obviously it can't go on in the rooms as there are smoke detectors and it is forbidden in the restaurant but other than that it is really difficult to escape it. I don't mind the ambient smell of smoke at all but when it is constantly being blown in your direction so you can see it and feel yourself directly inhaling it it becomes invasive. It really is people being inconsiderate that is the problem. One night a group sat near us who between them were constantly smoking all night and it really gets on your nerves. There is an area just outside the lobby below the small pool that would be ample space for a smokers area and I personally think this issue needs addressing. Again I suppose this is a personal opinion but one shared by many non-smokers I am sure. On the flip-side, I am sure this is great if you are a smoker, but if you are, try to take note of where your passive smoke is going.
Local facilities include a Chinese restaurant next door and one or two other restaurants and bars in adjoining and nearby streets within a 5-10 minute walk but we didn't visit any of these sadly. There is a shop in the hotel with water and other basics but again we didn't use it to be fair. The local Spar in the one way road next door has a good selection of food and drink and the shop next to it sells English newspapers and souvenirs etc.
The free bus or coach that goes to and from the beach can get full but in our instances they always sent another one very shortly afterwards if this was the case. The taxis are so organised too. If you ask reception to get you a taxi, sometimes by the time you are outside and the up the steps waiting it has already arrived.
Overall, if you expect what is to be reasonably expected from a 3 star hotel you shouldn't be too disappointed. Simply, if you expect more than this then go somewhere else really, don't stay here and be surprised and complain about it not offering 4 or 5 star facilities. I'm sure there are better 3 star hotels out there of course and the fact that this hotel is very busy won't appeal to everyone. I think based upon expectations of a 3-star and the fact that you could never really rank a 3 star as a 5 out of 5 a 3.5-4 out of 5 is a fair rating for this hotel. We had a good holiday and a decent stay.More