The bad news first, we have never returned to a foreign holiday hotel ever, until we found the super Grand Sol hotel in Cala Bona, Majorca. I have waxed lyrically about the 4 fourth (top) floor rooms in this 36 room hotel, with their extended sun trapping balconies, interesting views over the beach, and the adjacent Levante and Levante Park Hotel's pools areas (all in the same group of hotels), to the distant hills and headland. As normal I had dropped the hotel group an Email requesting a fourth floor room with the normal, subject to availability reply, we thought all would be well. On arrival at the hotel on Saturday the 9th June 2012, we were warmly welcomed, cocktail included, only to be informed that we had been assigned room 305 (third floor)!! On asking weather if we could have a 4th floor room we were told they had already been taken. On asking how this had happened, we were informed that Thomson Holidays were taking exclusivity to the Gran Sol hotel and they had changed the classification of the rooms and the new classification did not fit our requirement, apparently this change was reversed but it was to late to re-assign the rooms after they had been allocated. The room we received was well maintained, but the sun was sadly masked from mid-day by the balcony above and the balcony was tapered and less roomy than those on the 4th floor or the direct sea side ones. Due to the limited vision and reduced sunlight, we made much less use of the balcony. With respect to room allocations we were also told by another guest that they had requested and paid for a sea view, but was allocated a room overlooking the traffic free road outside the hotel, they were given compensation and later they were offered an alternative sea view room, but they rejected it. A second guest also requested and was given a room transfer. We have been spoiled by the 4th floor rooms, these suit our particular requirements, but I am sure the direct sea facing rooms on all the floors would also have kept us happy. The staff at this hotel are exceptional with their friendly and attentive service, and the guests are always of all ages and have friendly but not to pushy disposition. The small pool area is now requiring some upgrading with splints easily finding their way from the rickety decking to bare feet and any other exposed fleshy parts, the outside showers were down to a dribble and the broken sun loungers from last year were still in evidence. On the terrace ants were in abundance as were some small insects entering our room. The cleanliness of all areas was second to none but the supply of replacement toiletries and replacement pool towels was a constant lapse, this requiring trips to the reception for replenishments. The entertainment had increased from one night to two! A pianist one night and a singer and guitarist the second. Normally their is an abundance of entertainment at local hotels and bars, but generally the bars had curtailed the entertainment in preference to the numerous televised football matches on offer. The arrangements for the England v Sweden match in the Gran Sol could have been organised as the un-comfortable lounge chairs were still at right angles to the TV screen, requiring the guests to re organise them .
The financial woes of Spain gave the impression of reduced numbers taking their holidays in Majorca, however the cost being charged for goods and services were high, generally with obvious price fixing (E3.75 for a coke - E3 for a cappuccino - E2.50 for fresh orange).
My satisfaction with Thomson Holidays has deteriorated, value for money has reduced, now only E tickets, no luggage labels, reduced luggage allowance this year, extras charge for allocation of seats together, extra luggage weight, additional leg room, a drink and/or snack. The aircraft attendants don't speak apart from the obligatory safety talk if not on the video and the sales spiel on the goods for sale. The partly controlled rules on one piece of hand luggage per person, which now includes hand bags, not applied on the way home. A couple on the way home were overweight as they had brought some presents for their family, they had to discard on the floor, a pair of flip flops, cardigan, a pair of court shoes, a beach bag and some other odd items in order to get the weight below the limit as they couldn't afford the excess cost. On the outward journey to Palma, we had to wait an hour to get to disembark the plane as the second set of steps and the coaches were unavailable. Limited staff fail to give directions to the coaches as they were in the bus parks, not the terminal, find it if you can. No accompaniment on the transfer. On the return journey again no representative was at the hotel or on the transfer, it took 1hr to check in at the Thomson desk, it was chaos, at the boarding gate there was a screen stating the passengers at the rear of the plane were to board first, but this was ignored and not controlled. The take off was delayed 45 min. with the comment from the pilot that the airport was rather busy. On arrival at East Midlands Airport the air crew didn't get the opportunity to say good by to the passengers as they were too busy talking to each other!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The hotel is situated in front of the sea, in Cala Bona, a fishing village, where fishermen can be seen heading out to sea from its pretty harbour.The totally renovated hotel has all modern commodities available for their client’s enjoyment. A PERFECT PLACE FOR A REST. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Gran Sol Cala Bona, Majorca
- Gran Sol Hotel Cala Bona