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“no fire and no smoke alarm in Marbella Senator Hotel - you could die in your sleep”

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Senator Marbella Spa Hotel
Ranked #30 of 70 Hotels in Marbella
Reviewed 19 November 2011

TOXIC SMOKE FILLING THE NEWLY OPENED HOTEL SENATOR IN MARBELLA IN THE EARLY MORNING HOURS OF 19 NOVEMBER 2011

On Friday the 18th November 2011 our family with a 3 year old toddler and a 15 month old baby checked into the SENATOR Hotel in Marbella for a one night stay.

We knew that the Hotel SENATOR had only recently opened and indeed everything seemed brand new and glitzy.

After the usual check in fomalities we finally got to our room on the 4th floor which was OK in every respect other than perhaps being a little on the small side.

After returning from dinner we immediately went to sleep as we were very tired.
At probably between 3 and 4 am I woke up and I thought there was a bad smell in the room.
At first I gave it no further attention and went back to sleep only to wake up again and now identifying the smell you get when you turn on an electric heater that has gathered dust. Both my wife and children were completely asleep.
As the smell got worse and now clearly was no longer a smell but serious toxic smoke that started to fill the room I woke my wife and she immediately realised that this was smoke from a fire.

Then our baby started to cough very badly.

I immediately opened our balcony door and to my amazement saw three fire engines and at least three police cars on the front side of the building with firemen entering the Hotel.

At this moment images of flames coming out from the balconies entered my head. However only smoke could be seen everywhere.

We immediately put on some clothes grabbed essentials and run out of the room only to find that in the hallway smoke was pouring from what seemed to be a fire sprinkler.

Another couple opened the safety exit door to the escape staircase and there we found that the smoke was much less apparent. So we went down into the reception which was smoke filled and out into the road.

Heavy smoke came out from a basement access into the road. Another guest told us that apparently the fire had started in the newly opened Sauna.

By now more guests had decided to leave the hotel for the safety of the street and we were all huddling about in the cold expecting some news about what was going to happen to us.

The manager of the Hotel could be seen on top of the Hotel stairs smoking a cigarette.

Eventually we requested some explanation and information about the situation as obviously everybody was tired and did not want to remain in the street for ever. The Manager almost casually said that the fire had been put out and that everybody could go back to the rooms as it was now only a simple matter of getting rid of the smoke which he estimated would take about an hour.

I made it clear to the manager that both our 3 year old toddler and our baby could not go back into a room where smoke would still be present for at least an hour. He agreed but provided no alternative. So I asked him whether it was safe to retrieve our car from the garage which he said it was and we left.

The following questions need answering both by SENATOR Hotels Group and by the local authorities:

1. Why was there no alarm? We might not have woken up perhaps never because as is well known most people do not die from fire but from the toxic smoke it produces. My wife and my children in particular our baby and 3 year old were fast asleep in our smoke filled room. The fact that there was no alarm which was queried by other guests surely implies that either there was a serious breach of procedure or an inadequate safety system in the Hotel. Fire and smoke procedures are subject to extremely serious inspections by the local authorities in all countries. In fact a hotel normally cannot open or will be closed down if any of these procedures are inadequate, faulty or non existent.

2. There were communications over loudspeakers outside the hotel. We could not hear the words spoken on the 4th floor and it seemed that this was more of communications between the police and the firemen. Apart from that we assume that the communications were in spanish and therefore could not be understood by the foreign guests in any case.
There seemed to be no call to evacuate the hotel as some guests were still waving from their hotel balconies.

3. That the guests were told to go back ot their rooms even though smoke was still pouring out and would be for at least one hour also indicates a complete lack of understanding of the serious health risks of smoke particularly to children.

4. Nobody gave any explanations or assistance to the guests which included many children. We were all required to stand in the cold of the street for over one hour.
You would have thought that a Hotel would have a program in force for such an event including a reciprocal arrangement with another close by hotel for the guests to be able to wait in the reception and be able to use the toilets and get some refreshments in particular for the children.

5. To clear the dining room of thick smoke an industrial fan was brought to the door to literally blow the smoke out of the windows.

6. The penultimate safety question must be: why would a fire in the sauna of the wellness centre of the SENATOR Hotel produce smoke that pours out of every ventilation and airconditioning outlet right up to the top of the hotel?

7. The ultimate safety question must be: why does the SENATOR Hotel in Marbella have no smoke alarms?

We are concerned about the possible longterm effects on the health of our children. When cleaning our noses we were worried to notice that our tissues were black. How much of this has gone into our baby's and toddler's lungs? What is the toxic composition of this smoke?

We are waiting to hear from the SENATOR Hotel group as to compensation for our nightmare and what they will do to prevent this ever from happening again.

Room Tip: check with the local fire authority that the fire and smoke alarm are in working order
See more room tips
  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled with family
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12  Thank smokevictim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
P-Stor, Gerente at Senator Marbella Spa Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 6 December 2011

Dear Guests,

Thank you for taking the time to provide your feedback regarding our hotel. I am certainly disappointed that your stay was not all that it could have been.

At dawn on Saturday, November 19, I exactly get a call at 3.40 a.m. from the hotel. A fire has been localized in the area of the Spa, specifically in a sauna. The receptionist had previously called for the fire service. The firefighters arrived at the hotel at 3.45 a.m., and they didn´t evacuate it was easy to control focus and was situated far away distance from the clients area. As you know the fire services have the authority to decide to displace the hotel, and in this case the firefighters advised to stay in the room.

At anytime there was flame outside the hotel, only smoke, but it wasn´t enough quantity to make the life of any host running danger. In these circumstances it is difficult to stay calm and comings and goings of customers opening doors did that in the corridors you penetrate the smoke that had gathered in the hall. Since the fire brigade arrived to the hotel, we were informing each client so that it remained in his room, I personally by the switchboard of telephones to meet all calls and they and the staff of the hotel in plants informing customers.

Once extinguished the fire, the firefighters gave me instructions to inform all customers who were on the streets, which they could return to their rooms. At the same time I was talking to you personally. You will recall that said me that I wanted to leave.

I inform you that all the security systems worked correctly. The hotel is equipped with all the means to prevent and extinguish a fire, such as diffusers of water spray fire, doors fire, signalling of evacuation and all the security measures required with the rules.

We regret not covering your expectations and we will be delighted if you offer us the opportunity to return to have you back in any of our establishments.

Miguel A. Piedra
Gerente Senator Marbella Spa Hotel

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Additional Information about Senator Marbella Spa Hotel

Address: C/ Principe Alfonso Hohenlohe, s/n | Parcela 97, 29600, Marbella, Spain
Region: Spain > Andalucia > Province of Malaga > Costa del Sol > Marbella
Amenities:
Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #30 of 70 Hotels in Marbella
Price Range: ₹ 4,235 - ₹ 11,792 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Senator Marbella Spa Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 186
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in the heart of the Golden Mile of Marbella, next to the Exhibition and Congress Centre and just minutes from Old Town, surrounded by shops, restaurants, bars and nightclubs of Marbella's best to live the glamorous nights on the Costa del Sol If anything distinguishes the hotel Senator Marbella Spa is a spectacular hall dominated by a magnificent pendant. This magnificent large hall can be seen from its two panoramic elevators that rise to the rooms. The hall is the starting point for the rest of the Hotel.: Outdoor pool located on the 7th floor with the best views in Marbella, restaurant, bar, lounge, pub. ... more   less 
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