Safes and Wi-Fi aren't free, and the latter can be spotty
Complaints about cleanliness and crowdedness in the pools
Sprawling layout can be confusing
Entertainment is hit or miss
The Gavimar Cala Gran Hotel is a lively two-and-a-half-pearl property spread around extensive -- sometimes confusing -- grounds in the center of Cala D'Or. Its right next to the main beach and a short stroll from dining and nightlife. While some rooms and apartments have sea views, all are dated, and Wi-Fi and safes incur an extra charge. The popular all-inclusive option covers all meals, snacks, and most drinks, and there are four pools including kids and quiet options, though cleanliness can be an issue. All in all, this hotel has some flaws, though still manages to pull repeat guests and families in droves -- in fact, the pools can be downright busy. Alternatively, travelers without kids should consider the adult-only Sentido Tucan -- it's far more modern.
Large and lively resort hotel with dated style set on sprawling grounds
Passing vintage-style lamps, bright magenta bougainvillea, and a tall wall of natural rock -- all of which are a perfectly pleasant welcome to this sprawling resort -- one arrives inside, where things are decidedly less charming. This is a dated hotel that needs an overhaul, and complaints about everything from poor value for the hotel's quality to cleanliness at the pools are numerous. Interiors don't do much to mitigate this underwhelming effect, and include old fashioned furniture, with an incongruous mixture of seventies-look seating and antique-style pieces, while colorful animation schedules adorn walls next to old canvas paintings.
This lively, family-friendly complex is certainly one of the larger in the area, comprising five whitewashed buildings spread around sprawling, sometimes maze-like grounds filled with well-tended local flora. Despite plenty of (mostly pool-based) activities, there's also no shortage of quiet and shady corners in which to relax. While guests are usually families with kids, the hotel is also popular with mature couples -- mostly from Britain, France, and Germany -- many of which are return guests. However, we think it's worth investigating other options in the area -- this hotel's sister property Gavimar Ariel Chico Club Resort has at least some modernized spaces and is a more pleasant option with fewer flaws.
Set in the center of Cala D'or, across the road from Cala Gran Beach
The hotel is located in the center of Cala D'or, a popular resort destination on Majorca's southeast coast characterized by low-rise, whitewashed buildings -- the vast majority of which are hotels and vacation apartments. The location's main draw is the proximity to Cala Gran Beach, which is just across the road, while the smaller and prettier Playa Cala D'or is around five minutes away on foot. The hotel is also a five-minute stroll from the village's pedestrianized commercial center, which is full of eateries, bars, and retail outlets. A train-shaped resort bus can be caught just outside the hotel and connects to various other parts of town, including Cala Egos and Cala Ferrera. Palma de Mallorca Airport is just under an hour's drive away, while it's a bit longer to Palma's quaint Old Town.
Dated apartments with simple cooking facilities; some rooms feature sea views
The hotel has 186 rooms and apartments sleeping up to four guests. Interiors are clean, though undeniably dated, with colorful patterned fabrics, simple wooden furniture, and sea-themed artwork. Most -- but not all -- have glass doors that slide open to terraces or balconies furnished with plastic tables and chairs, offering views of the garden, pools, or sea (some higher-level rooms have partial sea views). Some, however, overlook the parking lot. In-room amenities are basic, and include air-conditioning, safes (for a fee), and either flat-screen or old tube TVs (with a few UK-based channels); intermittent Wi-Fi is available for an extra fee per device. Studios and apartments also have kitchenettes with electric ranges, mini-fridges, and (sometimes limited) cookware -- certain apartments add ovens and electric kettles. Tiled bathrooms are functional and clean, with shower/tub combos, wall-mounted hairdryers, and basic toiletries.
Standard buffet fare, four outdoor swimming pools, plus poolside animation and kids' club
Although optional, most guests choose the all-inclusive plan, which covers buffet-style breakfast, lunch, and dinner in the hotel's main restaurant. Breakfast consists of the usual choice of eggs, bacon, sausages and cold items such as fruit, yogurt, and cereal. There are no live cooking stations. Lunch and dinner is a mixture of local and international fare, and the quality of food is generally good. Self-service drink stations with beer, wines, and soft drinks are available, plus three staffed bars serve mixed drinks. There's also an all-day self-service buffet serving hot snacks such as burgers and french fries.
The hotel has four swimming pools, the largest of which is freeform, with a raised water platform and separate kids' pool above. While most pools can get busy and noisy, one is tucked away near an outer apartment block and is by far the most peaceful (though it doesn't have poolside drink service). Sun loungers are locked until a reasonable hour to avoid early-morning towel reservations -- but many guests complain that there are not enough sunbeds. Cleanliness can also be an issue in the pools. Child-friendly facilities include a kids' club, poolside activities, and a game rooms with video machines, air hockey, and pinball. Sports features include beach volleyball and tennis courts, as well as archery and table tennis. Wi-Fi is available for a fee and can be intermittent. There's also nothing in the way of spa facilities, and evening entertainment is hit and miss.
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