When we stayed here via a timeshare exchange in November 2011 we said we wouldn’t return and one of the main reasons was our negative opinion of the terrible beds.
Well 2½ years on we did come back for a few days and the beds are still horrible – we don’t understand why owners at this resort are not putting pressure on the managers Ona Group to improve them. We ended up staying here because when we were putting together our trip just after easyJet released their summer season flights last September 75% of the hotels and apartments listed on booking.com were showing no rooms available. So we panicked and just rebooked Alanda since we knew the area. Turns out we were booking too early and most places hadn’t released their rooms to the online agents – but they did so later. So that was a lesson to learn – don’t try and book holiday rooms too early!
When we stayed in 2011 we were in a 2 bed 3 bath unit that was really spacious. This time we did an online hotel booking for a 1 bed 1 bath apartment and the difference in size was incredible – these 1 bed apartments are tiny in comparison and in ours, the only bathroom was ensuite to the bedroom, so that’s hardly useful if you try and pack the maximum 4 people into the unit. Also, there was just about enough storage space for the 2 of us and none at all in the lounge area by the convertible sofa bed. Don’t know what that’s like as a bed but it’s not very comfortable to sit on for any length of time.
The flat screen TV had a reasonable choice of UK channels including the BBC so it looks like Alanda’s sorted out the problems after recent satellite changes. Based on the floorplan on the wall, the 1 bed units have been reconfigured to put the kitchen along the entrance area but there’s no breakfast bar and no room for a table, so whatever you do, avoid these 1 bed units in winter if you want to self-cater, otherwise you’ll be sitting outside on the patio in the cool or cold Spanish winter evenings, nights & mornings.
There is no charge to use the in-room safe. In the 2 bed unit the ancient air conditioning was unuseable – this time the 2 standalone air-con units were good, and quiet too. In our last review we criticised Alanda for being charged a whopping €40 for electricity – well we take that back. It seems that’s a charge imposed by Interval and not Ona Group.
We suspect that’s because Interval are releasing some getaways into the exchange system and the charge subsidises the amount they have to pay Ona for the rooms – so if you’re thinking about swapping to Alanda you need to be aware of Interval’s extra charge. As a hotel booking we weren’t charged an electricity surcharge.
In the bathroom you’ve still got the old 1980’s coffee coloured sweet, but the overbath shower is good, fed from a good size hot water tank taking up one of the bedroom cupboards. Alanda still hasn’t changed the ancient and poor tube type hotel hairdryers that were around in the 1970’s, so take your own hairdryer if you want an efficient one. We had very good quality bath towels but they’re only the small size bath towels not the larger bath sheets. Get tickets from reception for huge, good quality pool towels, which you get from the socorrista on duty at the pool.
Ona Group have now taken over the running of the restaurant but it’s obvious they don’t understand what people who stay in self catering apartment might want as it was almost empty most of the time and it’s overpriced. While we were waiting to get into our apartment the first day we decided to have some lunch. We couldn’t believe that omelettes (which were small but fine) were actually being served with ready salted potato crisps – well, you’d expect a salad but not crisps and for €6 plus. We ordered a tiny portion of chips on the side for £5.50 and they were terrible – hard and greasy.
If a restaurant can’t even cook chips they’ve got no chance. But not to worry, there are plenty of good places to eat reasonably close by and one of the best restaurants in the area just across the road. We’ve posted some restaurant reviews for Elviria, but just be thorough if you want to check out reviews generally because TA has some of them listed under Elviria but plenty more are just listed as Marbella, which is a bit confusing and less than helpful of TA. We’ve suggested they sort out this issue and hopefully they will.
So, nice looking complex, nice location just at the end of the bridge over the A7 at Elviria, but having returned to Alanda, we’re now more certain than ever that we won’t come back unless we know the beds have been renewed, and the new ones are good enough for us to fork out to stay here again.