Showing posts with label Spain. Show all posts

Everything You Need To Know About Estival El Dorado Holiday Resort

No comments
When it comes to booking a holiday, we are always very cautious, as holidays are just so expensive. We usually make sure that wherever we go it has either been recommended to us or scores very high on TripAdvisor, even then we still worry that it may not meet our expectations. In the past, we have been lucky to always choose a holiday that has met our needs and we’ve always had a great time. Browsing holidays is always a minefield there is so much choice and as we are a family of three adults and one child finding accommodation is quite tough and in some places, it almost doubled the cost as it added an extra room. After hours of searching, we stumbled across Estival El Dorado on Jet2 Holidays. It looked perfect. There was a choice of a family room which looked big enough for us all, the complex looked stunning and it was reasonably priced compared to others that we’d seen. It seemed too good to be true, however, a quick look at some reviews and I knew instantly that this was something I wanted to book with the overall TripAdvisor rating of 4.5 out of five from nearly 2,000 reviews. 

pool at estival el dorado

Estival El Dorado is a Hotel, Sports and Spa holiday resort based close to Cambrils town, Spain. It's extremely quiet but only a short walk or taxi ride from Cambrils and then further on Salou. Estival El Dorado Hotel, Sports and Spa resort is suitable for all the family. 

entrance to estival el dorado

Check In
On arrival we were were greeted by a friendly receptionist who spoke very good English. She showed us a map of the resort, including our accommodation block, where we could grab some lunch as it was lunch time and gave us our all inclusive bands. She explained how our all inclusive worked and gave us some general information about the resort.

Rooms are usually ready around 2pm on check in day. 

standard room at estival el dorado

standard room at estival el dorado

standard room at estival el dorado

standard room at estival el dorado

standard room at estival el dorado

There are two main accommodation buildings located within the complex numbered 1 and 2. We were located in building two, and all the amenities and facilities were no more than a five minute short walk away, including the beach.

Our accommodation was a family room. This consisted of two standard rooms with an interconnecting door in between. The rooms where really spacious, clean and modern up-to-date. If felt like we had booked a Crown Plaza or Hilton as the rooms had that type of feel to it especially in the bathroom with lots of toiletries.

A standard room has two large single beds push together to make a double and there was also a single bed underneath which could be pulled out should it be needed. We had one full hanging wardrobe space plus four large shelves, one which included a large safe. 

There was a desk, chair, drawer and another cupboard. There was a separate unit with a drawer, tea and coffee making facilities and a fridge underneath.

The bathroom had separate a toilet, walk in shower and sink. There are no baths in standard rooms. 

The balcony was quite spacious with two chairs, a table and a clothes dryer. There are walls either side of the balcony so we were not overlooked at all.

The interconnecting room next door was the exact same, so as you can imagine, this was a really spacious accommodation for three adults and one child

All Inclusive
We chose to book the all-inclusive package as we thought this was better value for money. We’ve been on all-inclusive holidays before and we know that they have restricted times for snacks, ice creams and only serve cheaper local beers and wines but we were happy with that. However, we were pleasantly surprised that the all-inclusive at the Estival El Dorado felt completely different. 

Meals are served in the main restaurant. 
Breakfast is served between 7:30am and 10:30am
Lunch between 1pm and 3pm
Evening meal between 7:30pm and 10pm

The buffet style meals offered a choice of hot and cold foods at every meal time, salads, meats, fish and a wide variety of gluten free options too. Plenty of choice even for fussy eaters. 

The children's section offered pizza, chips, burgers, fish as well as anything from the main buffet. 

Desserts where always a hit with a huge choice of cakes, sweets, ice cream and fruit.

Drinks are self service and included tea, coffee, fresh juices, water and soft drinks. Sangria and Estrella beer are on tap and you can just pour yourself. You could choose to have wine also which is brought to your table, or you could pour the local branded wines yourself from a machine.

If however, you did not feel like you wanted to eat in the main restaurant there is a snack bar which is located at the splash park pool. This is open 11am till 8pm every day. It offers a wide range of hot and cold foods, fresh fruit and desserts again. All drinks are self-service including the beer Estrella and sangria. You can also ask for any cocktails or drinks and they will make them for you to you as part of your all-inclusive package. Cocktails included PiƱa Colada, Mojito and more. You can also enjoy other drinks but they will be charged. However we found they pretty much covered every drink we wanted, even Baileys so didn't need to buy any. 

There is also an option to fill cones and tubs of crisps, chips, toasties and pizzas at the snack bar and take them to you sun lounger. You cannot take plates of food you have to use the paper cones and tubs. 

Ice cream is available all day, every day. All you need to do is go to main bar or snack bar and you will be presented with a box, full of Walls  branded ice creams such as mini milks, cornettos, feasts and other lolly ices. 

There really was no limit to how much food and drink you could consume at Estival El Dorado. I felt we were not given cheaper versions of drinks or ice creams, which we have sometimes received elsewhere. Really thought it was the best choice for us and would definitely recommend it to others considering all inclusive.

sports bar at estival el dorado

sports bar at estival el dorado

bar area at estival el dorado
bar area at estival el dorado

As well as the main restaurant, snack bar and main bar there is also a Sports Bar on site. The Sports Bar shows live sport events or highlights all day. It’s quite spacious inside with a fully stocked bar and again it is included on your all-inclusive.

There are 3 pool areas at the Estival El Dorado. Each pool has something different and would depend what you are looking for. Firstly all pools open at 10am to around 8pm. There are plenty of sun loungers. There is no panic of a morning to pop your towel on a lounger as there is enough for everyone and no matter what time of day you head to the pool you will get a lounger. Umbrellas are not really needed around the pools as the trees provide natural shade areas which we found really good.

sports pool at estival el dorado

The Sports pool is a large pool including two swimming lanes. It is located by the main reception area. It has a separate baby pool. 

As well as sun loungers the Sports pool has day beds situated alongside the edge of the pool, which I would say if you did want a day bed then you would probably have to get there a little earlier than opening. However they seemed pretty pointless to us so we decided a normal sun lounger was ideal for us. The sports pool is around about 1.2 to 1.4m deep.

splash park pool at estival el dorado
splash park pool at estival el dorado

splash park pool at estival el dorado

The Splash Park pool is another large pool and is where we spent most of our time. It includes a lazy river, Jacuzzi bubbles and a Splash Park with slides alongside. 

The Splash Park pool is quite deep and ranges from 1.4 to 1.6m, which at times was really difficult as I was unable to stand up and neither could little J. It normally wouldn't be an issue however it is where the Entertainments team do most of the activities such as Water Polo and Water Basket.  

Little J and I could not join in with these activities as we couldn’t stand up and it was pretty pointless being involved. It does go shallower along the lazy river which is a nice addition to the pool and was able to give our legs a rest.

The Jacuzzi has plenty of space to sit and it was never overcrowded. The bubbles come on intermittently so you just need to keep an eye out. They are not off for longer than 10 minutes.

splash park  at estival el dorado

splash park  at estival el dorado

splash park  at estival el dorado
Alongside the pool is the Splash Park. Here you will find a shallow pool and a 4 slides. It never felt particularly busy or overcrowded at any time.  Although probably just for kids we did see some adults going down with smaller children. Little J really enjoyed it and said it was lots of fun.

Speaking of fun when you’re on holiday, you would usually bring balls, lilos, bucket and spades to enjoy in the pool, however these are not permitted in the pools at all. To be honest we didn’t miss playing with a ball at all as there was so much to do and I often think lilos take up too much spcae in the pool. If you do decide to take a ball, lilo or rubber ring you’ll be quickly told to remove it by one of the various lifeguards around the pool.

There is a shop on site which will also remind you of this rule. It does sell pool toys but the signs clearly do state if you want to buy them and use them you will have to go to the beach.

activity board at estival el dorado

activity board at estival el dorado
The Entertainment Team
There is plenty of entertainment at Estival El Dorado.  Miniclub for younger guests, Maxiclub for slightly older, then adults separately. Daytime entertainment is mainly around the splash pool. However, there are also activities that take place in the clubs for the specific age ranges. Everything is highlighted on boards around the resort so that you don’t miss out on any activities.

We didn't use the kids club facilities but we did join in with quite a few maxi and Adult games. Activities usually start around 10am open till about 12:30 and then there’s a break and they normally come back around about 4pm till 6:30pm.

One thing that I found really bizarre about the entertainment is that mini disco starts at 6:30pm. Whilst I think this is a great time for little ones to enjoy dancing and singing along with the entertainment team, there’s actually no more entertainment on the stage until 10 pm. This means there is a 3 hour wait from when mini disco ends till the evening entertainment begins. 

As we don’t have little ones it didn’t really affect us. However I just think that is such a long wait from 7pm till 10pm. We used the time until 10pm to finish off in the pool, chill before dinner then get ready for the evening. 

Each night the entertainment team do come out around the stage area at 9 pm to offer little ones the chance to get their face painted to get a balloon.  I found this was quite repetitive as one day you could get your face painted the next you could get a balloon and repeat. There was also only two options of balloon, a sword or a dog. 

I really do think the entertainment for little ones was a bit rubbish and there should be more for the children to enjoy, especially after they’ve had their evening meal, and they’re looking to keep busy until the entertainment starts at 10pm.

hawaiian dancers

With regards to the evening entertainment, we saw the usual acts you see on stage when on holiday such as acrobats singers and Hawaiian dancers. The entertainment would usually finish between 11pm and 11:15pm which again is quite late especially for little ones. Having said that as the resort doesn’t really get going until 10am in the morning, there is really no need to be waking up too early.

promenade over looking the sea

boy swimming in the sea
The Beach
The beach is located less than a five minute walk from Estival El Dorado. You can access it through a gate which will put you on the promenade overlooking the sand. 

The beach was never overcrowded or busy. We always seemed to get a spot with our towels, and there was plenty of sea for everyone to enjoy.

There is a Nautico Club centre which offers you the choice to hire sun beds, kayaks, paddle boards and more however we didn’t use this facility. 

The beach is really clean and there are little coves that you can use to relax and be away from others. However like I said it really isn’t overcrowded at all and it’s very very spacious. There are rocks within swimming distance out in the sea. Great to swim too and see lots of fish.

The Promenade
The promenade again is really clean and really quiet. The nearest town is about a 25 to 30 minute walk away called Cambrils. It is a flat walk along the front to the town where you will find more restaurants, shops and also McDonald’s. It’s also has more of a resort feel to it in Cambrils with street entertainment and a port.

Games Room
There is a small games room located next to the Sports Bar with two pool tables, some small arcade games, and a few grabby type machines. All take one euro coins and the bar area will change notes for you.  This was popular with some children to try and win something, however we really enjoyed the pool. Its 2 euros per game and although theres no queue system and the area isnt supervised everyone was fair in taking turns so that everyone got to play when they wanted to.  Its also cool in the room which gives a break from the heat of the day if you are looking for something different to do.

We had every intention of playing Minigolf while we were at Estival El Dorado however, time got the better of us and we just never seemed to have the time. However, I would recommend it as it is free to play.

The Minigolf isn’t actually on site. It’s a small short walk away from the hotel. However we seen lots of people heading up there so it was a popular choice.

Indoor Spa
Again, this was in a facility that we used as we just didn’t seem to find the time. The spa and wellness centre  is overlooking the splash park pool. There is an indoor pool, spa, Jacuzzi, whirlpool and other spa facilities. It didn’t really seem popular and never seemed overly busy, however, you can book treatments but we just didn’t use this facility.

children playing football

hotel at estival el dorado

man and boy looking out to sea

Anything Else
As I mentioned it earlier, there is a small shop on site which offers a variety of toys, swimming essentials,  beach goodies and a small selection of toiletries. It is open until 8pm daily.

I just wanted to add that it does not sell any snacks or drinks which I found quite strange. However, there is a supermarket just a stone throw away from the hotel main entrance. The  supermarket is only small in comparison to other supermarkets we’ve seen on holiday resorts in the past however it has everything you may need including bakery items, chocolate, crisps, other snacks, ice creams, and a wide range of non-alcoholic and alcoholic drinks.

We absolutely loved our first visit to Estival El Dorado. We loved everything about the resort and also the area was so peaceful but close enough to Salou if we wanted to visit restaurants, shops and a different beach. 

Estival El Dorado is part of the Estival Group and I am very interested in seeing what other resorts Estival have to offer for next Summer. 
Read More
Copyright © Playdays and Runways. Blog Design by