Staying At Isla Paraiso in Arenal en Castell
This hotel was both great and a bit of a let down, before I go on you need to know that I stayed here with my mum who is 72 year old and has trouble breathing at the best of times.
We went on holiday with Thomson so we got a coach from the airport to the hotel. There was only a few stops before our hotel so it took about an hour in total.
We asked for a ground floor apartment which is what we got except to get to it from the main road you either go down a set of stairs or a very steep ramp to get to the rooms. There are blocks of apartments all around the little complex with the swimming pool in the middle. Our patio doors were about 10 feet from the pool but this meant that the front door was round the back of the apartment block so when entering or leaving the apartment, we had to walk out the front door and along the back of the apartments. The apartments on the beach side of the complex would go downwards instead of up so the top floor was level with the pool.
The apartments on the main road side went upwards. There are no lifts so if you have any problems with stairs, make sure they know when you book.
The apartment was brilliant, it was very spacious, clean, tidy and everything we needed. the main bedroom is huge with 2 single beds put together to make a double bed and a big built in wardrobe that concealed a safe which you have to pay 14 euros to use but you do get that money back at the end of your holiday.
The bathroom was a good size but be careful of the rail that holds up the shower curtain as we found it was one of those extending poles so don’t pull on it. It has a big bath/shower that is a bit hard to work out at first but once you have it worked out, it’s fine. There is a lovely big mirror as well that has a light above it. The living room had a sofa bed, coffee table, chest of drawers, a dinning table with 4 chairs and a little TV in it. I found the sofa bed was more comfortable than the bed in the bedroom so my mum slept in the bedroom and I slept in the living room. The little kitchen was great, we had a microwave, oven, toaster, cutlery, pots, pans, plates, bowls, cups, glasses, kettle, chopping board, everything that a kitchen should have. The apartment can get quite hot so you’ll be glad to hear that there is aircon, it’s only in the living room but if you keep the door to the bedroom open, the breeze will go in there as well.
The hotel offers half board and self catering options. We did self catering as there is a little supermarket right outside the hotel reception so if you pick self catering, you don’t have to go far for your food. The supermarket had a wide range of everything you will need including fruit, vegetables, drinks, bread, milk, etc.
The restaurant isn’t that great in my opinion. There isn’t much to choose from and then there is some English food which is pizza, sausages, chips, etc which tastes bland. We paid to eat there twice, once for dinner and once for breakfast and both times we wish we hadn’t. You only pay in the restaurant if you are self catering and you pay 8 euros per person. If you get half board then you don’t pay anything.
There are 2 restaurants that I would recommend going to. One is a very short walk from the hotel reception called El Mirador and we went there every other night for dinner. The staff, the food and the view is absolutely amazing, its not really expensive either. I would highly recommend going, they do a set menu as well which is cheap and still great food.
The other restaurant is called Goody Goody and it is down on the beach. It is a huge outdoor restaurant which has trampolines, games, great staff and great food.
The hotel is a few minute walk from the beach, you need to walk down one of two sets of stairs to the road below the hotel and then down a hill to the beach. It really is just a few minutes to get there but it is steep on the way back so might take you a bit longer.
There are 2 big pools and then a children’s pool. The big pools are at each end of the hotel with the children’s pool in-between them. Both are regularly cleaned and have loads of sun loungers all around. as we had a little patio area, we were go and get 2 sun loungers to place in front of our room. The pool nearest the restaurant has a bar above it where you can get soft drinks, cocktails, beers, snacks and food throughout the day.
We ordered lunch one day from the pool bar as we were having a lazy day and I was surprised by how nice it was even though it was just a sandwich and chips, it all tasted freshly made and was cheap. We ordered the food at the bar and it was brought to our apartment.
They have a kids club and entertainment staff who put on something every night. There was bingo, karaoke, quiz nights, live performances like the acrobats we had one night. The entertainment staff put on shows as well, they worked really hard to keep everyone happy.
You can get wifi but you need to pay for it, I’ve put the costs for normal wifi and premium wifi below. The signal is best near the pool bar and reception.
For one log in
Time Normal Wifi Premium Wifi
1 hour 2 euros 3 euros
24 hours 5 euros 6 euros
3 days 12 euros 15 euros
7 days 15 euros 20 euros
For 2 log ins
Time Normal Wifi Premium Wifi
7 days 25 euros 35 euros
14 days 45 euros 55 euros
For 3 log ins
Time Normal Wifi Premium Wifi
7 days 35 euros 45 euros
14 days 65 euros 75 euros
There is a car hire shop right next to reception if you wanted to have your own car or there is a bus stop in front of the Apartmentos Sa Mirada and Sa Mirada hotels which is a few streets away. You walk up the road in front of reception which is a bit of a hill, turn right at the top and keep walking until you see the bus stop.
There is also a shop on the main road near reception where you can get clothes, swimming gear like goggles, arm bands, snorkels, etc, inflatables, shoes, towels, hats, bags, jewellery, novelty souvenirs and more. It’s well worth a look as a lot of people that had kids with the said they found it easier to get the swimming gear from the shop than take their own because they only cost a few euros each and then they could just throw them away at the end of the holiday.
All in all it was a good stay, there were just a few things that kept it from being perfect.