This well placed hotel in the southern resort of Playa de las Americas has several big pulls with which no other hotel can possibly compete. It has, in our opinion, by far the best animation setup as well as the most agreable outdoor public spaces including ponds, greenery and even animals. Having excelled in both these respects it would perhaps be harsh to expect the rooms and catering facilities to reach such lofty standards. The former are reasonable enough and charming in their own way, however our experience of the restaurant is one that we'd prefer to forget. And that is a shame, as otherwise, this is without doubt one of the finest places to spend a family holiday in Tenerife.
The Park Club Europe, in the southern resort of Playa de las Americas, has an excellent location both close to the beach (Playa del Camisón) and at the very heart of the town centre, just yards from the multitude of shops, bars, cafés and restaurants. You'll want for nothing outside the hotel complex with everything within walking distance meaning zero hassle and 100% relaxation. The hotel does not have a car park, however you shouldn't have any trouble finding a spot in the main street just outside. The island's southern airport is 12 and a half miles away while the northern airport is just over 50 miles away.
This hotel, like several others, really puts the emphasis on animation and providing quality entertainment for the whole family. However, where it is unlike the others, is that it does the above to such a high quality and with a great degree of professionalism. If keeping the little ones occupied is a priority for you then there is no question that the Park Club Europe will be a godsend. Another way in which the hotel distinguishes itself from the rest is that it closes at around the same time every year for between two and three weeks, without exception, to carry out maintenance and refurbishment works. Not only does this mean that there are no surprise closures throughout the year preventing you from taking your holiday, but it also ensures that the premises are in tip top condition all year, every year.
The entrance to the Park Club is unique in its full on Andalucian décor, with typical tiling, terracotta-coloured flooring, stone work and many examples of regional furniture. At the centre of the lobby stands the reception which occupies a gazebo-type structure which can get very busy at times (people here seem to have more queries than guests at other hotels!). Around the welcome desk are several seating areas, each with a little surprise such as an old wooden cart and Andalucian pottery. Also in the hall is a shop selling supplies and souvenirs. But it is the exterior parts of the hotel which set the Park Club apart from the rest. The main pool, around which there reigns a jovial atmosphere, is blessed with heaps of sunbathing space and surrounding greenery and is also the location of the hotel's information point - a place where you can pose questions, seek tourist information and book excursions. Between the main pool and the second pool (which is the only one on the island to be surrounded by sand and which has a couple of slides, great for kids) is one of the two real selling points, in our opinion, of the hotel: lush gardens, bridges over coy-filled ponds, cages with animals such as parrots and rabbits and several mini clubs, as well as quiet places to sit, relax and soak up the sun away from te hubbub of the swimming pools.
The second main pull of the hotel is its animation. There are several different mini clubs, each one in operated by a different tour operator and in theory only for kids on holiday with that company. However in practice all kids are welcome at each of the clubs where they will be looked after superbly be the quite excellent animation team who also entertain grownups during the day, with, for example, paella-making demonstrations by the pool. It's in the evening though when the team really comes into its own and wows the audience with its spectacular shows. Taking place on a professional stage with an impressive sound and lighting setup, the wide variety of shows last up to an hour and include the team's own takes on famous musicals as well as medleys comprising songs from well known artists. The English contingent of the team had all just left professional dancing school which means that the overall quality of the shows as well as the instruction to the rest of the team is of a high quality. The high number of people in the team means not only a greater variety of entertainment but also a better timing between performances and a more spectacular choreography. The stage area is used too for big sporting events such as Formula 1 racing and football matches.
The hotel has a small, basic fitness room with decent machines and a flatscreen television. While there is no spa as such, there are wellness provisions in the form of a sauna, a Turkish bath, several types of shower and a fridgidarium (a cold room which replaces a cold water pool). Other facilities at the hotel include a five-a-side football court, a tennis court, ping pong and giant chess.
Although the rooms at the Park Club don't quite reach the heady standards of the animation and gardens, they are nonetheless comfortable and functional and overall quite spacious, even if the bedroom itself is a little snug. This latter features attractive brickwork above the beds, wicker furniture in the form of bedside tables and headboard, wardrobe and safe (13? per week). You'd probably though, because of the space available, spend more time in the living area next door which comprises a sofa/bed for one person, a coffee table, desk with regular television and, if requested a fridge (15? per week). Each room will have either a balcony or terrace (for those on the ground floor) with solid garden furniture and a view to the hotel's interior or the island's interior. The bathroom, in black and white marble, is pretty standard with bathtub with shower, toiletries in sachets and hairdryer (but no bidet). It's a shame that the rooms don't mirror the other strengths of the hotel as otherwise this could be one of the top places on the whole island.
This, unfortunately, is where we feel the hotel falls down. Our experience at breakfast left a lot to be desired. When we arrived at the hotel's buffet restaurant it was extremely busy and there was simply not enough space for everyone to sit. We ended up sharing a table and although not the end of the world by any means, it is nonetheless nice to have your own table first thing in the morning as you try and wake up. The food, which was of a mediocre quality, was at times cold and often trays of food were left empty. The staff members, of which there were certainly sufficient, did little to clear tables and to try and find guests a place to sit. The layout of the room isn't very practical either with the food at one end and the tables at another with the corridor in between also where people arrive at the top of the stairs leading to the restaurant, creating pile ups. At lunch time and dinner a buffet is served in the same restaurant with a themed dinner being put on every other evening. At times, when the capacity of the hotel is high, the Garden Restaurant, situated in the hotel's gardens, is used to serve a barbeque lunch/dinner or international buffet.
In terms of bars at the hotel, there are three options. First is the pool snack bar, Calina, which serves beverages and light nibbles during the day in a small area just by the main swimming pool. Just next door, inside the hotel is another bar open in the evenings which serves drinks during the shows on the stage just by it. It has its own seating area with blue- and yellow-cushioned wicker armchairs although you don't get a great view of the stage from here. You can also seek refreshment at the Info Centre next to the main pool during the daytime.
Supervised and well-equipped, El Camison beach is medium sized and bordered by palm trees. Equipment (extra cost) include beach umbrellas, deck chairs and showers. Water sports and games for children are readily available. Some dykes break the waves, offering quite a calm sea to swim in. We advise you to go to the right side of the beach, towards the yatch club, because there are less rocks. Cleopatra's guests have access to the Beach Club, the bar restaurant of the Anthony Hotel which is part of the Mare Nostrum Resort.
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