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Caleia Mar Menor Golf & Spa Resort, Spain


~ Disclaimer - this hotel stay was completely paid for ourselves. In the past I probably wouldn't of shared the experience as I don't want my blog to be negative, but I feel it's only fair to share my experiences whether they are good or bad ~

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After my excited post the other day (see the post here) about our upcoming stay-cation it unfortunately turned out not to be the relaxing hotel stay we were hoping for and very much looking forward too.

We have actually stayed at this hotel before, but when it was an Intercontinental and we weren't really that impressed back then. To the point we didn't even stay the night, just came back in the morning to check out of the room!

When we saw the hotel had changed brands we thought we'd give it another go. Because it is a lovely looking hotel with an amazing pool area, which is just what we needed with the scorching temperatures at the moment.

I think we've been drawn to this hotel because the whole complex really reminded us of where we used to live in Dubai. Lovely houses, on well kept streets surrounded by a golf course.

And it's only half an hours drive away from where we live.

Mark and I love a cheeky hotel stay. We love to be able to use the hotels pools in the summer time and even in the winter months it's nice to be able to chill in a fancy hotel (see here when we stayed in La Manga for Marks birthday). Staying in a hotel for us is more then just a room for while you're on holiday. We enjoy the whole experience and to have that so close to home is just perfect.

On Monday just gone we got to the hotel a couple of hours early, check in's at 2pm, we weren't expecting to be able to have our room any earlier, even though it should of been unoccupied for 24 hours previous due to the new Covid hygiene rules. We thought we'd be able to use the pool, or at least sit by the pool and wait for our room.

We were very unimpressed when the hotel told us that not only were they waiting for our room to be cleaned, apparently it had been empty the night before, but just not cleaned until that morning. They also told us we weren't allowed to go and use the pool area, as they didn't want inbound and outbound guests crossing over.

Mark and I were really annoyed and confused by this as not all guests are checking in and out on the same days. The hotel is on a golf course which has golfers coming through who aren't staying at the hotel. There is also a restaurant/bar beside the pool area which again you don't need to be staying at the hotel to use. There will also be hotel guests that have checked in days previous to us and will be continuing their stay after us.

We tried to explain our point of view that people at the restaurant would be in contact with guests by the pool, so what is the difference with us being there too, when we were actually paying guests at the hotel. Nope they weren't having it and sent us on our way until the room was ready. This totally set us off on the wrong foot, we were just lucky to live close by and had our car. Could you imagine if we had flown in that morning, got a taxi to the hotel and then would be sent away for two hours. Not the treatment you'd expect from a 5 star hotel.

We didn't go all the way home in the end. We stopped off at a mall Dos Mares which is about half way between the hotel and home. We had a coffee and a little mooch around the shops and then headed back to the hotel.

Our room was ready. The guy on reception did give us a pool view instead of the golf view we booked, so that was a nice gesture I guess. But when we got to the room it was awful! Room 307, was on a corner and the room was just all wrong. The TV was to the side of the bed and the bedside tables were not bedside tables, they were tiny lamp stands. One had a lamp on and the other the phone. The bathroom was really tatty and the room was really dark and dingy.

We phoned reception and asked to move rooms, we just wanted the one we booked. I mentioned the lamp tables and got the reply they have to remove items because of Covid, which I get, but there was still one lamp in the room so that doesn't make sense and with or without Covid the lamps barely fit on them anyway!

Room 307

Back to reception we went. Fairly annoyed now as you could imagine, we just wanted to get in the pool and chill. They gave us the key for room 109, a pool view again and to be fair it was much better. It was the room we were expecting. Oh and it had proper bedside cabinets both with a lamp on!

We headed straight to the pool to chill.

The pool is beautiful, which really was one of the main reasons for us booking the hotel. We wanted to have a little stay-cation too, as like most of us at the moment overseas holiday plans have been put on hold.

We did have a lovely afternoon. Swimming, sunbathing and just general splashing around in the pool.

Feeling a little frazzled we headed back to the room around 6pm chatting about where to go for dinner and whether we should book the hotel breakfast for the morning.

I jumped in the shower first, then I heard Mark, 'oh for f's sake!'. Yep pretty much every room in the hotel have adjoining doors. We always request in our bookings not to have a room without adjoining doors. Just our luck to get a noisy family next door with screaming kids who were so loud they might as well have been in our room. We just knew from previous experience we wouldn't have a good nights sleep and they would just completely ruin our relaxing night away.

We made the decision to still go for dinner, at Route 66 just outside the hotel, which was lush by the way, definitely one we will be returning too! But after dinner we would head home and sleep in our own bed with our fur-babies.

The next day we got up fairly early to head back to the hotel. The pool was open at 10am so we made sure we were prompt so we could make the most of the morning before we would have to check out at 12pm. We had a lovely morning by the pool and were a bit gutted when it was time to go. We just looked at it as super expensive pool days! Very annoying, but you live and learn.


Round up

Best bit - the pool for sure, it really was lovely, but I'm not sure how much of the new hygiene guidelines they are following. The tables for the sunbeds on the Tuesday morning were dirty and considering the pool area is supposed to be disinfected the night before I wonder if this actually happened as the tables shouldn't be dirty should they? A lot of the sunbeds were falling apart too, again not really 5* standard

Worst part - lack of customer service and even though room 109 was a thousand times better then room 307 they were still very dark and had the adjoining doors too.

Stay again? - No ~ even though we loved the pool and the guy on reception did apologize for any confusion the day before, The Caleia Mar Menor Golf resort & Spa just didn't have that 5* standard that we expected it to have.

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Have you ever had a bad experience at a hotel or it not being up to the standard you'd expect? I hope this post hasn't come across too negative, but as I stated at the beginning of the post I think it's only fair that I share good and bad experiences with you guys.

x Heather

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