Hotel Best Cambrils Review : We spent the last two weeks at the end of August in Best Cambrils and I wasn’t going to write about it. Yet have decided to share our experience so that other holiday makers know the lay of the land before they arrive and don’t have to figure it out like we did! As information is minimal espically from our tour rep and I have never stayed in a hotel where there is so little information in the actual room. Don’t get me wrong we did enjoy our time on the Costa Dorada and got up to all sorts of things, including visiting PortAventura, Caribe Aquatic Park and Barcelona Zoo. I wrote about other local things to do with kids in my Top ten things to do in Costa Dorada so I won’t go into it again here.
For us the hotel is very well placed halfway between Cambrils (3.5km)and Salou (3.2km) which with a four year old takes about an hour to walk in along the beach. If that sounds like a lot of effort then you can pick up a bus directly outside the hotel. The bus stop outside the Plana Bus Company tourist office will take you into Salou and costs 2€ regardless of how long you stay on for. The otherside will take you along to Cambrils. If you are planning on using the bus a lot then you can buy a card from the bus company which is for 3.50€ and then only pay 1.20€ a ride.
The hotel itself has 400 rooms and offers all inclusive, half board and room only options. We stayed all inclusive so please bare that I mind when reading this. It’s a short transfer time from the local airport Reus so ideal if you are traveling with young children.
The things we loved
- On the way to the hotel we were advised by the tour company that under Spanish law you can not check in until sometime between 1pm and 4pm with most check in times happening around 3pm. Bearing in mind we had an early start at 2am and arrived at the hotel at 9.30am. The hotel gave us our room key at 12.30pm considering check out is midday that’s a quick turnaround and we were very grateful.
- Big positive that there is a fridge in the room, so you can keep things such as bottled water cold. Not so great that other than arrival they don’t stock it – see below in additional info on drinks.
- Rooms are clean and functional, with a good size bathroom. We caught Monkey washing his hands in the bede when we first arrived! Shower pressure isn’t bad. We managed to wash both kids in the bath by pushing the glass shower screen back.
- The maids try and get the rooms done during the breakfast period which means we were hardly ever distrubed.
- All the staff are polite, friendly and helpful apart from the gruff lady we got at reception on arrival. I would just say that all the front of house staff work really hard. Monkey made friends with a couple of the bar staff which made his stay that little extra bit special. The restaurant can get busy yet they always worked hard to find us a seat even at those most busiest times.
- I was a little nervous about the food as there was no a La Carte option. But I need not have been as it was very good. Every morning there was a wide range of cooke options, fruit, bread, pastries and basically anything else you could want for breakfast. Lunch consisted of a wide range of salads, traditional Spanish dishes, fish and meat options, paella, cold meats and cheeses, fruits and breads. Dinner was themed each night, while we were staying we had a Mexican night, catalan night, prawn night (I have never seen so many!), mussels, pitta breads and randomly pate and blue cheese (which was my favourite). In addition they had lots of other options if you didn’t fancy what was on offer. There was also someone making fresh pizza and someone on the grill for meat, burgers, hot dogs etc. There was pasta and rice each night as well. And the chocolate cake actually tasted like chocolate cake!
- Under all inclusive you can order drinks from a little table at the entrance to the food, it took us a little while to realise we could order wine by the bottle and sangria by the jug. Obviously with young children we spent a fair amount of the evening in the room and it was a faff having to go down to the bar to order drinks. Having a bottle avoided this.
- The entertainment was good, in the lobby of the hotel was a notice board which told you each night what was on, we enjoyed the shows we saw – including flamenco and parrots doing tricks! The majority of the entertainment took place on an outside stage which was nice as it meant you could sit outside and also you could sit far enough away not to disturb a sleeping baby. Due to the culture the kids entertainment didn’t actually start till 9.30pm so for really young ones like Monkey it was a bit late.
- There is a small play area which kept Monkey entertained along with the pool tables which cost 2€ each
The things we were disappointed by
- Welcome information is sparse, the tour company boards and folders are past the reception just before you go into the restaurant and worth looking at for local info
- Ask for the all inclusive list when you check in – this information was not volunteered. You will be given wrist bands the adult ones loose their colour and eventually go white. Needless to say Kipper was covered in blue dye quite a bit in the first few days. Sounds picky but the kids red ones are fine so surely it’s possible to fix? I’m hoping the dye will wash out of his clothes.
- Cocktails! I think we have been spoilt on previous all inclusive deals. Now neither of us are big cocktail drinkers and we did not go on holiday to get drunk every night those days are gone. It’s all about the kids. However on the odd occasion where I fancied one we were a little put out by the fact we had to pay an additional 2€. I wasn’t asking for premium spirit long Island ice tea, all I wanted was a bit of lime and mint for a mojito. Don’t get me wrong when we paid it was really nice but their all inclusive cocktails were basically flavoured/coloured sugar syrups (I know this as they gave Monkey one out of the same machine). We watched many a holiday maker go up to the measures and make them alcoholic twice over!
- There is an additional cost for the safe, it worked out at 60€ – 30€ a week. In this day and age I don’t expect to have to have to pay to keep my passport safe especially when we have paid to go all inclusive.
- It happens everywhere and to be honest the hotel does try to stop it, but people come down and put their towels on their sun beds and then disappear! The pool although large for the area is small by comparison to other all inclusive resorts (i.e. Turkey) so its a tad annoying when you need shade especially for a four month old. The pool opens at 9am you can not access it until then, the lifeguard comes on at 10am and this is when the umbrellas become available from a room by the small pool. There probably are not enough umbrellas so best to get there around ten.
- The main bar doesn’t open till 2pm but you can get a drink from 10am at the pool bar.The pool bar shuts at 7pm but then reopens somewhere around 9/9.30pm after they have cleaned the pool area with bleach.
- Bottled water – the main bar does small bottles, you can get large bottles at lunch and dinner only in the restaurant, it’s not offered at breakfast. The pool bar offers mineral water on draft (natural water) only. So make sure you stock up on bottled water at dinner and lunch for trips out.
- There is a wide selection of soft and alcoholic drinks as you would expect. Generally you are expected to help yourself as much as possible from the pool bar where they have beer, sangria and all the main spirits on tap and measures against the wall.
- Soft drinks – also on tap at the pool bar, you can only get cans and bottles out of the pay for vending machines. On arrival we had a small bottle of orange and lemon Kaz. But the fridge was never refilled. When we asks for it to be refilled we got told it’s free at the bar so we should help our selves. I understand their point but it doesn’t help if you want drinks to take on trips etc. Of course you could buy a fridge pack if you wanted from 12.5€.
- During lunch, dinner and at the bar hard boarders get table service. If you have gone all inclusive you ‘self serve’ as such.
- Lifts!! To be fair to the hotel they have put up little posters listing when the restaurant and lifts are most busy. We did try to avoid these times but sometimes you can’t which did mean that it could take a while to get a lift. Having a buggy did not stop people pushing in front of you it was a little dog eat dog which did grate a little towards the end of our stay.
- You can hire towels from the hotel lobby at 10€ each
- There are two shops in the hotel selling nick nacks and rip offs of designer brands, however there is an additional shop just outside the hotel which sells more useful items such as parasols, beach towels, buckets and spades etc.
- For things such as nappies and toiletries there is a supermarket five minutes walk towards Salou, although 22 nappies size 3 cost 8.95€
- We had a hotel room which over looked the road on the 3rd floor, the balcony was a good size and we could just about see the sea. However rooms on the other side of the hotel can overlook the railway line and although the trains are not frequent they are loud enough to keep you awake! There were times when we were sitting in the restaurant and you could hear the train…
- If there heat of he pool gets to you, there is definately more of a breeze on the beach
Things we would look for next time:
- A hotel with a private beach area/bar that does sandwiches etc as it was a real faff to pack up to go to the beach to then have to race back for lunch. If we hadn’t had the kids it wouldn’t be an issue.
In summary we enjoyed our stay at the hotel and would have enjoyed it a lot more if we had been given more information at the beginning.
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