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Tell me about first choice holiday villages, please

(42 Posts)
stovies Thu 03-Feb-11 14:36:54

They look great on paper but wondering what they are really like. They are actually quite expensive, at least by my standards, to go in school holidays so wondering if they are worth the money. I've just been quoted 6.5k for 4 of us to go in Aug to the one in Rhodes. It just seems a lot.

I've been on tripadvisor and the reviews seem very mixed. Though some of them have far better reviews than others.

The stuff for the kids is the main attraction but wondering if its anything special.

So, has anyone been? If so to which one and would you recommend them? TIA

stovies Thu 03-Feb-11 16:19:28

bump

MarioandLuigi Thu 03-Feb-11 17:03:32

They are brilliant!

We have been to the ones at in Paphos and Benalmedina and I cant fault them. The programmes for the children are great and there is so much to do. The food is much better than alot of All Inclusives we have done before.

If you are looking for a relaxing holiday then I would steer clear, but if you want to be doing stuff then they are great.

6.5k sounds expensive. Its costing us £3200 for 5 to got to Holiday Village Aliathon next Easter - is yours for 2 weeks?

stovies Thu 03-Feb-11 17:30:07

Hi Mario, yes that's for 2wks. Thanks for the info. Not looking for quiet and relaxing as I think that would be fairly impossible with 3kids under 7!

I want somewhere that's clean and with reasonable food. I don't really care if the rooms are slightly dated or shabby as long as they're clean. And the pool is clean.

Which of the two did you prefer? I was just looking at the Mallorca one which seems nice too. Online, that came out at 4k so slightly cheaper than the Rhodes one but maybe older with less to do?

MarioandLuigi Thu 03-Feb-11 19:39:42

I think that the Rhodes one is more expensive than Benalmadina because of the difference in areas (in general). All the Holiday villages are fairly new, and there is definately plenty to do at Benalmedina. I prefer Paphos and we are returning next year - DS1 (who is 9) says its the best holiday he has ever had, though he did also enjoy Benalmedina. We took our three - they were 8, 2 and 18 months at the time and they all had a fab time. The other thing is the plane journey which is much shorter to Spain.

We are thinking of doing the one in Lanzarote next

stovies Thu 03-Feb-11 20:20:41

Thanks, that's great. I'll look at the one in Cyprus. Though I am tempted by the short flight to either Spain or Mallorca.

The Lanzarote reviews I read weren't great. Lots of complaints that one pool wasn't big enough for the size of the complex etc. That was a disappointment becasue its position right on the beach looked fab.

stovies Fri 04-Feb-11 16:43:25

Anyone else with experience?

stovies Sat 05-Feb-11 16:26:41

.

potplant Sat 05-Feb-11 16:54:28

Benalmadena is nice, although I'm a bit shock at that price. Kids activities looked great but not so much for preschoolers. Ours were happy to paddle in the shallow pool all day so not a big problem for us.

Foods great although the daytime snack bar is a big limited. Try and get a room as far away from reception as you can as it's very very noisy.

stovies Sat 05-Feb-11 17:15:24

Thanks, Potplant. The prices at the holiday villages literally double during school hols. I do worry that the one on the Costa would be mad busy at that time.

stovies Sat 05-Feb-11 17:36:55

Meant to add that it's the highropes etc that we're interested in. Can't find anywhere else that does a similar thing.

Did you find it tacky at all? That's what DH is worried about.

stovies Sat 05-Feb-11 17:37:50

Good to hear the food was good though, as that's the other worry. Thanks again, PP. smile

potplant Sat 05-Feb-11 19:03:04

This is the first year I have booked a holiday in school holidays so I'm still shock at how they get away with the price hike.

Tackiness - low to med. The entertainment is cheesy, macarena and agadoo type of thing but it was mostly aimed at the kids. DTs were 3.5 at the time so we didn't go every night. Restaurant had theme nights ie Spanish night, Italian night so it was always different. The kids counter was chicken nuggets and sausages tho.
It was all families when we went certainly no stag do vodka shots for breakfast types. I would imagine the cost would put them off anyway.

Very clean and not at all scruffy but that was 4 years ago.

Lala241280 Mon 07-Feb-11 15:41:41

I am a travel agent and would never pay 6.5k to go on holiday . You would be better off looking at Lara Beach or Belek in Turkey . Quality hotels , good food and fab facilities for the kids we went last year and looking to go back this year as nothing can compete against it . Had a friend who went to the one in Lanzarote and hated it .

stovies Mon 07-Feb-11 15:51:45

Thanks, Lala. Obviously someone is paying it as there isn't much availability already.

So, would you recommend Lara Beach over most others for a family with 3 kids aged, 7, 5 and 3? Is there somewhere you'd recommend in the Balearics?

I'm not looking for child care but do want lots of clubs etc for the kids to do. The HVs just seemed to fit the bill because of the high ropes and raft building etc.

We haven't been on this type of holiday before so I just don't know where to start looking. Thanks

stovies Mon 07-Feb-11 15:54:46

Meant to add, Where specifically would you recommend in Lara Beach? It has taken me a while to convince DH so I want to avoid anywhere over-crowded or tacky. TIA

stovies Mon 07-Feb-11 15:58:00

Ok, just looked at the Concorde hotel on Lara Beach for 2wks school hols and again, it's over 6K. What am I doing wrong?

notheroldie Mon 07-Feb-11 16:05:50

We went to the Lanzarote one - flamingo beach- and it was brilliant. However we went out of season (end of Nov-dec) so it wasnt full of the British but Scandanavians who are much better behaved!
AS it was out of season it was mainly under fives. We went with a 3 yr old and 2 yr old and there was enough to do, various pools, the beach, kids clubs (tho my 3 yr old didnt go to any).

I read really bad reviews before I went and was surprised how wrong they were. Admittedly we went out of season, but there were 3 big pools and 3 little ones. The rooms were fab, the food catered for all and even tho ther weather wasnt brill that time of year it didnt put us off. We paid £1200 for 4.

Wanted desperately to go again this spring but PG so cant!

I think you have to go with an open mind and possibly put up with somethings that might not suit you.

stovies Mon 07-Feb-11 16:14:30

Thanks, notheroldie. smile

I think a lot of the bad reviews for Lanzarote were based on peak summer jammed at the rafters type of thing. It put me off a little bit.

I am fairly open minded. I don't mind the room decor being dated or anything like that. I do want somewhere clean, with reasonable food and I want lots and lots for the kids to do. The ropes and climbing caught my eye because it's different. The price hike in the summer is huge though.

I just don't want to choose somewhere that will put DH off for life. It can't be full of loud mouth Brits who want Britain in the sun IYKWIM.

notheroldie Mon 07-Feb-11 16:23:18

That was my DH's thought too. But out of season it was fine. The reviews were full of "tattoed loud mouth brits" etc and some said it wasnt clean, but it was spotless. Also as there is food available all day you dont have to go when it is mega packed.

I would be wary going anywhere mid season tho!

stovies Mon 07-Feb-11 16:33:33

Thanks. I have 2 in school and I teach so it must be school holidays.

I'd be more inclined to pay more money this year just to avoid putting DH off. Though paying more doesn't always mean you escape the loud, rude people.

stovies Mon 07-Feb-11 19:08:35

Does anyone know of another company that does a similar thing so I can price them? If not, I may just have to take a chance.

JimmyChoo17 Mon 07-Feb-11 19:40:54

My work mate goes to these each year I'll ask her for her opinions. She also said these have been the first holidays she's been on where she has not argued with her other half as kids were less stressful to be around as were so well occupied. I know she chooses them as she has always found the food and cleanliness very good.

stovies Mon 07-Feb-11 23:02:36

Thanks, Jimmychoo, that's good to hear. Any info would be really helpful.

I think they're either going to be fantastic or really bad! confused

Gorran Tue 08-Feb-11 14:37:19

We decided against a holiday like this due to the fear of 'Brits Abroad'.

I do think that AIs+kids clubs+Europe tend to attract a certain kind of personality (*sometimes*!) and the price doesn't really put them off...

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