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Hotel Port Denia, Review of a Year-Round Hotel on the Costa Blanca

Liz and her husband have stayed in many hotels and like to share their experience to help fellow travellers make informed hotel choices.

Hotel Port Denia

Hotel Port Denia

Why We Chose This Hotel

Thoughts of escaping from the English winter and of recovering after a busy festive season often motivate us to look for a warm-weather break in January. While many people head south to the Canary Islands or further afield, we have noticed that the Costa Blanca on Spain's mainland can be a favored spot for the weather. Admittedly, good weather in January is not guaranteed and the temperatures might not reach the heady heights of destinations further away, but it can be very pleasant there.

An added advantage of choosing mainland Spain is that flight times are shorter from the UK and costs are cheaper. The Costa Blanca is well known for its tourist industry, with hotels in abundance. Supply exceeds demand in the low season, so there are bargains to be found.

My husband noticed Hotel Port Denia was offering good deals and also found cheap flights from the UK to Valencia, the area's main city. Reviews and photos of the hotel online looked good so we booked to stay here for a week.

Hotel Port Denia in relation to its surroundings.

Hotel Port Denia in relation to its surroundings.

Location

Hotel Port Denia is 119 kilometers southeast of Valencia airport and 106 kilometers northeast of Alicante airport. By car, it takes around 1 hour 18 minutes from Valencia airport and 4 minutes less from Alicante.

The hotel is located on the southeastern edge of Denia, a port town with a historic center and castle offering great views. Ferries sail from Denia to the Balearic Islands.

Hotel Port Denia is a 2-kilometer walk from the historic center of the town. The edge of the port is a short walk across the road from the hotel. From here you can choose to follow the scenic coastal route to the southeast or head northwest past the working port, towards the center. A pharmacy and a small supermarket are located along this road.

Cross the road to access the coastal path.

Cross the road to access the coastal path.

First Impressions

The Exterior

We approached the hotel from Denia Port. As we came towards the end of the port area, we noticed a roundabout, with the hotel by the road on the opposite side. A useful cashpoint was located near the entrance. The ground floor with large windows was overhung by the seven-floor concrete structure above it. To the left there was a security gate, leading to an area of covered parking at the side of the hotel. There was a small landscaped area by the entrance, which was accessed via a ramp to the left or by the main steps. Large revolving doors dominated the entrance.

The Interior

The big foyer, with its shiny, light wood-effect floor and high ceiling, was impressive. On one side there was a desk for the older Spanish visitors, 'Mundo de seniores'. The reception was located at a large wooden-topped, curved desk to the right. An interesting 3-D mural on a dividing wall gave the area a focus. A nearby suitcase weigher could have been useful, but it was out of order. Further back armchairs and low tables were set around the supporting pillars. Three lifts beyond reception serviced the seven guest floors above.

Check-In and Welcome

Our check-in was quick and efficient. There was no friendly welcome and we were given a minimal amount of information. I had to return later to ask about a key for our safe and the location of the gym. Initial impressions are important and unfortunately, the welcome at Port Hotel Denia was lacking in warmth and information.

Our Room

The Layout

As we entered room 312, the door to the bathroom was on the right and doors to a fitted wardrobe on the left. Further furniture was arranged along the wall to the left, with the beds up against the wall on the right. In line with the main door, there were patio doors, which took up two-thirds of the opposite wall and slid open for access to the balcony. This was around 2 meters deep and ran the full width of the room. It was enclosed by full-length walls on both sides and not overlooked at all.

Decor

The flooring was a medium wood effect, matched by the wooden furniture in the room. Walls were painted magnolia. The dimpled-effect ceiling was painted white, with a layered effect around the edge, concealing the runner for the curtains. The overall decor was simple but effective.

A little color was provided by the full-length curtains in horizontal stripes of yellow, green, red and orange, which concealed a full-length blackout curtain. The brown/orange theme was taken up by the twin bedspreads with a yellow floral motif. The rest of the bedding consisted of white sheets, a blanket, and a long thin white pillow.

There were two, brown-framed floral prints; a rectangular one above the bed and a square one on the wall to the side.

The patio doors were in a dark brown frame. Walls on either side of the balcony were painted magnolia, the floor was covered in large beige tiles and the barrier was of shaded glass in a dark grey frame.

Furniture

The wardrobe had two large opening doors. There was a high shelf and a rail running across the full width as well as a small three drawer chest on the right.

Beyond the wardrobe, as the room opened out, there was a wooden suitcase stand, with a fixed wooden backdrop behind it on the wall. Next to this, there was a free-standing desk/dressing table with a cupboard below it.

A wooden framed upright chair with a blue padded seat was by the dressing table and another wooden chair stood in the corner beyond, with armrests and a blue padded backrest matching the seat.

Balcony furniture consisted of two chrome framed chairs and a coffee table.

Back inside, a full-width wooden headboard was attached to the wall behind the beds. Two single beds were pushed together below this and made up individually. On either side, there was a free-standing bedside table with two shelves.

Electrical Items

There was a light in the ceiling near the bathroom door. A wall light with a cream shade was above the suitcase stand. This matched similar lights on the wall on either side of the bed. Additional lighting was provided by a free-standing lamp, with a bronze-colored stand and a cream shade, located on the dressing table.

There were two plug sockets near the dressing table and two more, one on either side of the bed by the light switches.

There was a very useful mini-fridge in the cupboard below the dressing table/desk. A flatscreen tv was mounted on the wall above the dressing table/desk and opposite the beds. There was air conditioning in the room.

Tips: Remember to pack adaptor plugs for electrical items.

If you would like the option of having hot drinks in your room take a travel kettle, cups, spoons and flavored tea bags with you.

Additional Items

There was a safe in the wardrobe, which required a key. After enquiring at reception, I paid a 10 Euro deposit and an upfront charge of 1.80 Euros per day was taken.

Tip: Check your travel insurance. It often pays to use a safe, because insurance companies are unlikely to pay out for valuables taken from your room unless they are stored securely in the safe.

A large rectangular, wood-framed mirror was fixed to the wall above the dressing table. There was a useful drop-down drying rack attached to the balcony wall. A telephone took up space on one of the bedside tables.

Outlook

Room 312 was located towards the road and sea end of the hotel. The view below was of a green roof and a patio area with tables and chairs, bordered by plant pots. There was a grassy area with palm trees and sunbeds. To the left, there was a fence and access road with sheltered parking for the hotel. Beyond this was the road, a line of trees with the sea just visible beyond. In the opposite direction, to the right, was the pool area (of which more later). Beyond the edge of the hotel grounds, there were further buildings. The built-up area petered out and the rocky hills could be seen beyond the town boundary.

Thoughts on Our Room

The room was of moderate size, but the balcony was a great asset, offering the option of a further seating area during the warmth of the day. The lights by the bed were not the best for reading by.

Tip: Request a room at the back of the hotel, overlooking the pool, as these have balconies. We could just make out the sea through the trees, but higher floors would afford better sea views.

The Bathroom

Decor

The bathroom was fully tiled and had a traditional rustic feel. Large square, marble-effect terracotta type tiles in a matt finish, covered the floor. Matching large rectangular tiles in a gloss finish went a third of the way up the walls. These were topped by a narrow row of diamond-patterned tiles. Above this, the rest of the walls were covered with large rectangular marble-effect tiles in beige.

Fixtures and Fittings

A decent-sized white bath, with a shower over, ran along the left side of the bathroom. There was a chrome towel rack, attached to the wall, above the gap at the end of the bath near the door. There were two grab rails by the bath and a rack for toiletries. The area was partially enclosed with a moveable glass screen along half the bath length. The seal on the screen leaked, allowing water to escape when the shower was in use. The shower ran off the bath taps and the shower head was on an adjustable chrome rail.

A beige, curved marble-effect top ran along the adjacent wall. It was supported by a chrome plinth, with integral towel rails below the top. A white oval sink was set into the top. A large rectangular mirror was on the wall behind the sink. A hairdryer was mounted on the wall adjacent to the worktop. There was also a plug socket nearby and a light switch for the two lights near the sink area. A further light switch was located by the door. A wall heater, located below the sink area, did not appear to work.

A chrome circular towel rail, white bidet, and toilet were arranged along the adjacent wall.

Toiletries, Towels and Additional Items

Two wall-mounted dispensers above the bath were full of shower/bath gel and shampoo. Bars of hand soap were provided near the sink as well as two plastic cups in wrappers. There was a white plastic stool by the sink and a large white plastic pedal bin near the right wall.

There was a useful bathmat, two hand towels and two bath towels of moderate quality and size.

Thoughts on the Bathroom

We were pleasantly surprised by the size of the bathroom, which was larger than expected in relation to the bedroom. Although the leaking shower screen was a minor irritant, the pressure and temperature of the water were very good. The room was very clean and well-maintained.

Facilities

Lounge Area

Towards the rear of the hotel, near the lifts, armchairs were clustered around low tables and pillars. There was also a room, partitioned off with glass windows, where there were card tables, chairs, and board games. This doubled as a games room and a library.

Bar

The bar was in a large area to the left of the main foyer, with windows looking out towards the front of the hotel and patio doors at the back onto an outdoor terrace with table and chairs. As many guests were on an all-inclusive basis, there was a bottled water dispenser, as well as drinks machines in this area. The bar was set in a curved shape with plenty of staff on hand to attend to guests.

This large area had plenty of low-level comfortable seating and coffee tables. It was the location for entertainment by day and night, with a stage area used to good effect.

Dining Room

The large dining room was at the back of the hotel towards the right, with some windows looking out towards the outside pool area. It was well-laid out with light wood effect modern square tables on a grey solid central plinth and matching chairs with beige padded vinyl seats. These were arranged around a central main servery, which was used for the mains and salads. Another area was used for fruit, cold desserts, and hot desserts, with an area nearer the door for bread and soup or cereals and bakery.

The noise echoed around the dining room with its marble-effect orange mottled floor tiles and its high ceiling. Background music does not tend to be a feature of dining rooms in Spanish hotels. The room was well lit with lights inset in the ceiling and also some lower ones.

Gym

Shortly after arriving at the hotel, I went down to reception to enquire about the gym. I was extremely surprised to be told that it would be unavailable for three days, due to cycles being stored there. I returned three days later to pick up the key and be given directions to head out of the front entrance, around the side of the hotel through a gate to a door in the basement.

On my own, the location felt very isolated. My disappointment was not helped by the state of the equipment. There were two cross trainers, three uncomfortable rickety bikes and a bench with no weights. It was one of the most poorly equipped gyms I have ever tried to use. I wondered if this was a temporary location.

Indoor Pool

The indoor pool was located at the rear of the hotel, with windows looking out towards the outdoor pool area. Although these windows were painted over in white while we were there. This was one of the smallest indoor pools I have been in. At most the oval shape measured 10 meters across the middle. With its two water jets and jacuzzi section, it was more of a spa than a pool for the serious swimmer.

The area was dominated by a small number of Spanish ladies, who were older and larger than me, so it wasn't long before I gave up trying to hold my ground (metaphorically speaking) and made a hasty retreat. I noticed toilets nearby and a bench by the pool, but I did not see changing rooms.

A plus point was that the pool and surrounding area was heated to a pleasant temperature.

Outdoor Areas

Due to work being carried out on the outdoor pool while we were at Hotel Port Denia, the outdoor area was limited to the patio area near the bar and a small area of grass with sunbeds beyond it.

Dining

Dinner

This was our first meal in the hotel. The waiter on the door was inattentive and just waved us through to choose any table. There was a good selection of salads and cold meats. A whole salmon was being carved up. In addition to this, there were two other fish choices as well as chicken and pork. Vegetarian mains consisted of spinach lasagne, vegetable vol-au-vents, and veggie fingers. There was an impressive range of desserts: cakes, cold desserts, apple crumble, custard, yogurts, fruit salad, creme caramel, and fresh fruit.

There was plenty of cutlery and crockery, which is always good to see. It saves taking it from other nearby table settings when you run out. Staff were very attentive and quick to clear tables.

There was a reasonable variety of dishes during our stay. One evening had a Chinese theme, when a heated area near the door was given over to chicken in almond sauce, beef in oyster sauce, spring rolls, rice, noodles with vegetables, prawn crackers and sweet and sour sauce. Another evening had a limited Mexican theme with sauces, chili, tortillas, and chicken in a sauce.

Breakfast

We were waved in to select any table. As is often the case in Spain, cereals were not great and consisted of porridge, oats, cornflakes and sugar puffs. There was a plentiful supply of bread, rolls, pastries, and cakes.

The central buffet had a cold selection of cheeses, tomatoes, cold meats, and tomato spread.

The nearby hot buffet consisted of bacon, sausages, fried eggs, scrambled egg, fried bread, baked beans, plum tomatoes, and tinned mushrooms. This was reasonable, as Spanish breakfasts go, but not outstanding. Some days there were omelets.

There were also yogurts, sultanas, dates, prunes, tinned pineapple and pears, jams, fresh fruit and small pancakes with toppings and cream.

The juice dispenser was disappointing, as the choice of apple, orange and pineapple tasted like diluted squash rather than juice.

There were two hot drinks machines, offering a selection of coffees. You took your chance with the tea bags, as they had very small writing on the tags. There's nothing like putting milk in what you thought was breakfast tea, only to find it was peppermint tea, to get your day off to a good start!

Lunch

This meal was an unexpected bonus for us after we were upgraded. The food offering was good with a choice of two soups, a range of salads, two fish dishes, paella, two meat dishes, and assorted vegetables, as well as desserts and fresh fruit.

Board Basis

We were originally booked on a half-board basis. This covered breakfast and the evening meal. We were given a price list for drinks with the evening meal. A 1-liter bottle of water, usually the cheapest option, came in at 2 Euros. This had to be paid for at the desk, as it was not easy to transfer to the room bill. Once we moved onto the all-inclusive board basis, a selection of soft drinks and locally branded alcoholic drinks were freely available in the bar.

Overall Thoughts on the Food

We were very satisfied with the food offering at Hotel Port Denia. There was a reasonable variety during our week's stay and the quality was generally good. All meals were buffet service.

Board Basis

A Few Issues During Our Stay

The Problems

You might have already noticed that all was not quite as we expected at Hotel Port Denia. Opening the patio door and going onto our balcony for the first time, we were met, not with the pleasant vista of the outdoor pool with landscaped surroundings, but with a large building site. Clearly, there was a major refurbishment in progress. This was further compounded the following morning, a Monday when workmen announced their arrival on the site with the roar of their pneumatic drills!

The gym, which I had planned on using, was unavailable for the first few days.

The final straw was when workmen started drilling in rooms nearby, working on the electrics.

The Solution

We talked to a receptionist, who noted down our complaints about the pool, gym, and drills. She promised to pass them on to the manager, who would not be in until 12.00.

At lunchtime, we debated who would go to see the manager, having decided that we deserved at the least a free upgrade to all-inclusive. Fortunately (as it later turned out) I pulled the short straw and went down. The manager was most unhelpful. His attitude was that the travel agents knew about the situation, therefore it was not the hotel's problem. We needed to go to our travel agent. That was fine in theory, but we had no travel agent, having booked flights and hotel separately on the internet. There had been no notice on the hotel website about the building work. Having hit a dead wall, I headed back to our room, with the parting comment that I would tell my husband.

Returning empty-handed, I related the conversation to my husband, who went straight down to see the manager. He returned a few minutes later, with a smug grin on his face and showing off a new all-inclusive wrist band. " You need to go down and get your wristband", he said!

How to Handle Hotel Problems

  1. Don't suffer in silence.
  2. Decide on a reasonable resolution or compensation as your baseline. That way you are prepared if you are asked what you expect.
  3. Contact reception and explain your problem.
  4. If you are with a tour company or booked through a travel agent, contact a representative.
  5. If there is no immediate resolution, ask to speak to the manager.
  6. At all times remain calm and polite.
  7. Do not give in easily.
  8. Do not be embarrassed to ask 'Is that the best you can do?' You would be surprised how often better terms are offered.
  9. If there are two or more of you, consider splitting your team. Since our experience at Hotel Port Denia, whenever we have a problem now, one of us goes to reception, leaving the other available as a back up later if required.
  10. Remember that it is in the best interests of hotel management to have happy guests. Online review sites can be powerful tools for boosting or harming hotel business.

A Quirky Hotel Poster

You never quite know what you will find in a hotel lobby.

You never quite know what you will find in a hotel lobby.

Our Stay Rating

Final Thoughts

This was not the best hotel experience we have had. Lying on a sunbed, looking at a green barrier whilst listening to the orchestra of workmen's drills was not exactly the relaxing break we had anticipated. Unfortunately, the refurbishment was not restricted to the pool area. On the third evening of our stay, we were surprised to notice that an area of the dining room had been screened off with tarpaulins. Sure enough our breakfast the following day was eaten to the accompaniment of banging and drilling from behind the screen.

It is not unusual for hotels and resorts to make use of the low season as an opportunity to carry out refurbishments. We have just returned from a hotel in Spain, which was about to close for winter in order to carry out improvements. Hotel Port Denia would have been well-advised to do the same.

On the basis of our experience I have had no alternative, but to give Hotel Port Denia a low star rating. Management did little to help avoid this. A note should have been made on the website, warning guests about the disruption to hotel facilities. The management could have been more proactive in offering compensation.

In a recent conversation with a travel company, I was surprised to hear that Hotel Port Denia was their most popular location. When we were in Denia, their clients were far from impressed by the disruption. I can only surmise that, when Hotel Port Denia is running as expected, guests have a much better experience than we did.

This hotel has the potential to be very good. I hope that, with the refurbishment complete, guests can now enjoy all the hotel facilities in peace and quiet.

Hotel Port Denia.

Hotel Port Denia.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Liz Westwood

Comments

Liz Westwood (author) from UK on April 23, 2020:

I am starting to see some articles about what the post pandemic future will be like. It will be interesting to see if the predictions come true. One benefit at the moment is the environment, as emission levels have dropped.

Rosina S Khan on April 23, 2020:

Yes, I understand, Liz. The deadly virus all over the world is the culprit. I hoping and praying everyday this adverse situation will die down and we can breathe normally again. Of course, there will be changes and some of them are hard to predict. Only time will reveal everything. Let's have hope for the future nevertheless.

Liz Westwood (author) from UK on April 23, 2020:

Thank you for your comment, Rosina. It's strange to think that this hotel and many more like it will be empty now at a time when the season should be starting up for them. With no guests and no income, staff will be laid off. The economy in Spain gains a lot from the travel industry because of its long coastline and warm climate. I hope you are keeping well.

Rosina S Khan on April 23, 2020:

This is an excellent hub in which I learned about Hotel Port Denia in Spain with a complete review of the pros and cons both on the interior and exterior fronts. Very beautiful eye-catching images of the hotel and its surroundings. Loved it! Thank you for sharing, Liz.

Liz Westwood (author) from UK on April 20, 2020:

There is talk also of a reduction in business travel. Now that many have mastered the art of video conferencing I wonder how many will continue to use it, saving time and expense on business trips.

Time will tell, but travel will probably change for many. The cruise industry was booming pre pandemic. It's going to take a lot of cut price deals to persuade passengers back onto the ships after the horror stories onboard. I hear one of the last ones docked today in Marseille, France after passengers were last on land 6 weeks ago in Australia.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on April 20, 2020:

Regarding Denise's comment, I guess that it will take a long time for the travel industry to bounce back from this pandemic. Travel, except for business, is generally a luxury. People who have been negatively impacted economically will be spending money on necessary items, and not so much on luxury, at least for a time.

Best wishes to you! Stay safe!

Liz Westwood (author) from UK on April 10, 2020:

You make some good points, Denise. Time will tell how well the travel industry can bounce back.

Denise McGill from Fresno CA on April 10, 2020:

I'm betting that this pandemic is hitting the hotel industry very hard. And even when it is lifted, will the same number of people who used to travel a lot still be wanting to do as much? It has put a good scare into a lot of people.

Blessings,

Denise

Liz Westwood (author) from UK on January 27, 2020:

Thank you for your comment, Peggy. I guess this is a downside and a risk of taking cheaper, out of season breaks. Sooner or later something like this was bound to happen to us. Communication is key. Had we known what to expect, we could have looked elsewhere or at least been prepared for the disruption. Use of an outdoor pool in the winter months, unless heated, is not necessarily expected, but the opportunity to relax on a sunbed by it, weather permitting, with a good book is.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on January 26, 2020:

How disappointing to have to experience all of that construction noise while you were there. I agree that notice should be given when such construction is underway so that potential clients can be informed ahead of time. Your complaint tips are well taken. At least you did accomplish getting a bit of an upgrade. I can well imagine the smile on your husband's face when he was successful with his complaint.

Liz Westwood (author) from UK on January 06, 2020:

Thank you for your comment, Michael. I wonder how narrow the profit margins are sometimes for these hotels. After you take out the different costs of a package for example, I'm not sure how much the hotel receives from tour companies. Maybe this is a reason for trying to stay open all year to maximise profits.

I agree. Negative feedback will prove counter-productive and affect future bookings.

Unfortunately, having stayed in quite a few hotels, we have had to dispense with the quiet, say nothing attitude and adopt a more proactive problem addressing approach.

Liz Westwood (author) from UK on January 06, 2020:

Thank you for your comment, Natasha. I hope that a detailed review is useful for other travellers. There are definitely bargains to be had in the low season, but you have to take your chance with building work it seems.

Michael Duncan from Germany on January 04, 2020:

Yes, a lot of these hotels try to maximize profit by bringing in workmen for jobs that ideally should be carried out during non-operational periods and this negatively impacts on the customer experience.

It may seem like an opportune way for them to squeeze all the earnings they can out of a season, but it only proves to be counterproductive in the longterm, because the guests will not return and neither will they recommend the establishment to others.

I appreciate your willingness to share your experiences in such detail and also for the tips on how to handle hotel problems, which are useful pointers for a travel fan like myself!

Natasha Tungare from India on January 04, 2020:

Wow! Such an amazing and detailed review about a place is simply astounding! I would love to visit this awesome place

Umesh Chandra Bhatt from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on December 19, 2019:

Ya, I also observed this thing in HP. Many articles are very elaborate.

Liz Westwood (author) from UK on December 18, 2019:

Thanks for your comment, Umesh. When I first started writing hotel reviews, I was told that they weren't thorough enough, so I guess I have gone to the other extreme. I try to give as much information as possible.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on December 18, 2019:

Really very elaborate and exhaustive review. Bench mark for the new writers like me. Thanks.

Liz Westwood (author) from UK on December 10, 2019:

Thank you for your comment, Eman. I hope that writing about our hotel experiences will help other travellers.

Eman Abdallah Kamel from Egypt on December 10, 2019:

A very interesting and helpful review as well.

Liz Westwood (author) from UK on December 07, 2019:

Thanks for stopping by again, Bill. I've been away a lot recently, so I haven't had the chance to publish anything. I have an article in progress. Hopefully I will be able to publish it soon.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on December 07, 2019:

Liz, I swear to you, I commented on this when it was first published. I'm positive of it. I just read it again and I remember it clearly. I feel bad about it....I would never skip over one of your articles. Sigh! Well I'm glad I stopped by to see if you had written anything new. :)

Liz Westwood (author) from UK on December 04, 2019:

Thank you for your comment, Nithya. Thankfully it is rare for us to have such a bad experience. A hotel in need of major renovation like this should really shut down for a while rather than inconvenience guests.

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on December 04, 2019:

It is sad that the hotel turned out to be a disappointment, even though it is a popular destination. Great tips on how to handle hotel issues, thank you for sharing.

Liz Westwood (author) from UK on November 26, 2019:

Thank you for your comment, Jason. You are right. There are general principles which can be applied to service issues in other circumstances. This situation was reasonably easy to get a resolution. We saw a manager the same day and got some form of compensation. Often, especially when on a short stay, we are told at check out that the duty manager will email us. This rarely happens. Usually we have to chase matters up and email ourselves before getting issues resolved.

Jason Behm from Cebu, Philippines on November 26, 2019:

You have mentioned very helpful tips in handling problems with the hotel. Some could be used to any problems relating to services.

Liz Westwood (author) from UK on November 23, 2019:

Thank you for your comment, Devika. It was a rare bad experience for us and so avoidable. The hotel should have closed for refurbishment or at least put a note on its website to advise guests.

Devika Primic on November 23, 2019:

Hi Liz you rote in detail and your reason for the one star.. Interesting points and well observed.

Robert Sacchi on November 20, 2019:

Thank you.

Liz Westwood (author) from UK on November 20, 2019:

It's a cost cutting measure to reign in the benefits of the schemes. Years ago IHG ran a 2 nights for the price of one promotion. When it finished one commentator suggested that the recession must have been over. He obviously thought that the offer had run over the years of recession to encourage business.

Robert Sacchi on November 19, 2019:

I wonder if that's a sign of business being good or bad.

Liz Westwood (author) from UK on November 18, 2019:

They are marketting ploys to encourage brand loyalty and entice guests to keep using the brand. Over the years the generosity of the schemes has notably reduced. For example IHG used to have special offers of nights for 5000 points. You are lucky to get any for 10000 now on special offer. Similarly hotel nights that Hilton used to let go for 10000 points suddenly increased nearly 18 months ago.

Robert Sacchi on November 18, 2019:

It does seem very generous of the hotel stays.

Liz Westwood (author) from UK on November 18, 2019:

Several big brands have loyalty schemes. Membership is free, guests collect points, which they can redeem against stays or other offers and often get reduced room rates. To name several I am aware of: Intercontinental Hotel Group (IHG rewards), Hilton Honors, Club Accor, Marriott Bonvoy, Riu hotels.

Robert Sacchi on November 17, 2019:

Do you know if there is any customer loyalty with hotels? I know in the airline industry customer loyalty is zero. The customers and the airlines nickle and dime each other. Judging from the number airline travelers the system seems to work..

Liz Westwood (author) from UK on November 16, 2019:

That's hard to say without knowing what a normal charge would be. Hotel prices in Spain over the winter months tend to be very reasonable because of the over supply of rooms during the off-season. My husband searches around for a good deal each time we go. I would like to think there had been a reduction, but judging from the amount of dissatisfied guests who had booked through a tour company, I suspect there was little if any. It certainly wasn't incredibly cheap compared to other similar stays we have had. We were in a Spanish hotel recently in October. Shortly after we left it was closing for refurbishment over the winter months, which would have been a much more sensible option, but not so financially lucrative.

Robert Sacchi on November 16, 2019:

Another honest, detailed, description of your experience. Was the price of the hotel below normal or were you paying full price to stay in a hotel that was undergoing renovation?

Liz Westwood (author) from UK on October 25, 2019:

Thank you for your comment, Dora. By the law of averages sooner or later, if you go away a reasonable amount, something goes wrong on a vacation trip. The frustrating thing is that so often it is avoidable. Not paying for lunches or any drinks was an unplanned bonus on this trip and we appreciated the warm weather.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on October 25, 2019:

Well, your experience at this hotel was not perfect. Glad you survived it and live to warn others about it. Hope you and your husband had enough good times together to make up for the disappointments. Thanks for sharing this review.

Liz Westwood (author) from UK on October 24, 2019:

Thanks for your comment, Linda Crampton. It was a steep learning experience for us. It's one thing to deal with minor issues, which can be easily addressed, but this was a whole new ball game. The honourable thing to do would have been to close the hotel for renovations. The irony is that, had there been a building site next door, we probably would have read about it in online reviews and gone elsewhere. But the first we knew of the building work in the hotel was when we went onto our balcony.

Liz Westwood (author) from UK on October 24, 2019:

Thanks for your comment, Linda Chechar. Online reviews were good and the images were fine. Nothing prepared us for the view from our balcony or the noise of the drills. I felt sorry for the guests who had booked to stay 2-3 weeks there.

Liz Westwood (author) from UK on October 24, 2019:

Thanks for your comment, Dshibu. I take a lot of photos when we are away, so it's good to be able to make use of them. We learnt a lot from this experience about handling hotel issues.

Liz Westwood (author) from UK on October 24, 2019:

Thanks for your comment, Tory. These things are bound to happen occasionally. I felt sorry for some of the other people there, who were booked in for longer stays.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on October 24, 2019:

I'm sorry things didn't turn out as well as expected, Liz. Your review is very useful for people who stay in hotels. You've given some great advice in your article.

Linda Chechar from Arizona on October 24, 2019:

From a distance the hotel looked OK. Unfortunately it wasn't very attractive. Too bad it was untidy and extremely noisy. At least you won't be staying there next time.

Dshibu from Nairobi on October 24, 2019:

Hi Liz, Sorry to know about your experience. But the pictures taken are really good, and your tips to handle such a situation is very helpful.

Tery Peta from Bulgaria on October 24, 2019:

Sorry for your bad experience. Thank you so much for sharing this useful information with us.

Liz Westwood (author) from UK on October 24, 2019:

Thanks for your comment, Lora. I am sorry to hear about your experience. Cleanliness should be a number one priority for hotels. I completely understand your need to move and reluctance to stay in hotels as a result. It's difficult to know what to expect when booking a hotel as most have a range of reviews. Even the best hotels have an occasional bad report. We tend to go on a majority view, but in this case we were unprepared for the renovations.

Lora Hollings on October 24, 2019:

So sorry that you and your husband had to deal with such noise resulting in a very unpleasant stay at a hotel on your vacation! I remember that my husband and I stayed at a hotel that was very unkept and even unclean. There was no way for us to know ahead of time, and after the first day we just couldn't take it anymore and had to deal with trying to find another and move all of our stuff too. Now, we only deal with Airbnb have had much better experiences. Thank you for these good travel tips in turning a negative situation into a more positive one.

Liz Westwood (author) from UK on October 23, 2019:

Thank you for your comment, Layne. I hope that our experience and the tips we have picked up will be helpful to others. Having lost the option of relaxing in peace and quiet at the hotel we had to get out and explore the surrounding area. At least the weather was better than at home.

Liz Westwood (author) from UK on October 23, 2019:

Thanks for your comment, FlourishAnyway. I was surprised to find how popular the hotel is, but when I imagined how it might be with a nice pool and outdoor area, minus the drills, I could understand a little more. You can't put a price on peace and quiet, especially when you are on holiday.

Liz Westwood (author) from UK on October 23, 2019:

Thank you for your comment, Liza. I am sorry to hear that you have encountered similar experiences. I guess that the more hotels you visit the more chance you have of finding problems. I rarely stay in a hotel, as you can probably gather from the reviews I have written, where everything is perfect. What sets the better ones apart from the others though is how the problems are dealt with.

Layne Holmes from Bend, Oregon on October 23, 2019:

I really enjoyed your tips. I'm sorry to hear that the hotel had all the construction going on . . . that's a huge disappointment. It looks like you made the most of it. Great pictures, too.

FlourishAnyway from USA on October 23, 2019:

That hotel is very modest and the manager’s attitude is a deal breaker. If I can’t sleep I’m really grumpy. Construction at a hotel is not cool.

Liza from USA on October 23, 2019:

I'm sorry to hear you have a bad situation at the hotel, Liz. I agreed with your tips on how to handle the hotel problems. Having traveled and stayed at different hotels, I sometimes have the same issue that you've shared in the article. Nevertheless, I think you and your husband handled the occurrences well. Thank you for sharing your thorough review.

Liz Westwood (author) from UK on October 23, 2019:

Thank you for your comment, Mary. What you say is very true. The best hotels are run proactively, where the management team heads off problems and tries to make them right before guests even have time to complain.

My biggest frustration is in having to chase up hotels, where this doesn't happen. I have lost count of the number of times when emails have been promised by management, but are never received. The onus should not be upon guests to chase up management when issues have arisen during a hotel stay. It is management's responsibility to honour their promises and make things right.

How have you found your hotel experiences? Have they mainly been good or have you come across issues?

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on October 23, 2019:

Too bad. The hotel should have informed you first on their website or at check-in that renovations are going on. You are right about being firm with hotels and your tips are great in how to handle issues but if the hotel is well run, there's no need for this. They'll go out of their way to make your stay a pleasant experience.

Liz Westwood (author) from UK on October 23, 2019:

Thanks for your comment, Eric. Hostels sound interesting. Maybe you could share some of your experiences in a hub. For many years we never stayed in hotels. We tended to take our family for holidays on trailer parks.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on October 23, 2019:

Not Going. I think the place sounds good but unless my boss pays I stay in hostels. How do folks build places but not relationships? Great writing and a bit of everything, thanks.

Liz Westwood (author) from UK on October 23, 2019:

Thank you for your comment, Pamela. Our trip was compounded by a bout of ill health while we were there, having taken troubling English winter coughs with us. It was frustrating, as it was avoidable. The hotel should have closed or at least made a note on the website.

I have got my own back with a smug look occasionally when the roles have been reversed or I have returned with an unexpectedly good outcome from reception.

In the great scheme of things we have put it down to experience. In years of travelling it was a first for us and hopefully a last!

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on October 23, 2019:

I'm sorry to hear of your bad experience.I always feel that a lot of time in planning and the cost of a trip should be rewarded with good results. Your excellent review sounded like it should have been a nice place to stay and maybe it will be when the work is complete. I like the bit of humor with your husband's smug look. I hope your next trip meets your expectations.

Liz Westwood (author) from UK on October 23, 2019:

Thanks for your comment, Bill. I greatly value your encouragement. I get frustrated sometimes trying to find information about hotels I am looking into booking. I often find myself trawling through a lot of brief 'snapshot' reviews in search of answers. So I set out to write definitive reviews and try to include as much information as I can.

If you stay in enough places, the chances are that eventually you will have a bad experience. In this case the honourable thing would have been for the hotel to close down for a few weeks, but management wanted to keep the money flowing from guests.

Liz Westwood (author) from UK on October 23, 2019:

Thank you for your comment, Prantika. I hope that by sharing our experiences and the tips we have picked up from our experiences, we can help others.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on October 23, 2019:

You don't miss a thing when you write your reviews, Liz. Yours are about as comprehensive as I've ever read. In other words, well done! I'm sorry you had a bad experience with this particular hotel. Money is too hard to come by to be wasted on such places.

Prantika Samanta from Kolkata, India on October 23, 2019:

A great read. The section on How to deal hotel problems is well explained.