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★☆☆☆☆

“The Bella Vista Hotel should NOT, for any reason, be...”

Written on: 16/01/2010

The Bella Vista Hotel should NOT, for any reason, be listed as a 4 star hotel. We were supposed to get a double room, which had two SINGLE beds. That proves very challenging for couples, since there is always a gap between the beds, even when put together.

Upon arrival, the room smelt strongly of cigarette smoke, which to us indicated that rooms are either not properly aired or cleaned by smoking personnel.

In an attempt to make our sleeping arrangements more comfortable, we lifted the mattresses once and were shocked to discover two pornographic magazines. This again goes to show the deplorable level of care when cleaning the rooms. Other evidence of the shortcomings was the unclean bathtub, the residues around the washbasin gutter, and the stain on one of the walls of a dead mosquito.

Bedding left a lot to be desired as well. Duvets had no covers and were stained. Bed covers had cigarette burns.

No toiletries were offered, and particularly, no drinking water, which had to be purchased from the local store. Normally, when tap water is not drinkable, as was indicated in this case by the sign over our leaky tap, water bottles are provided.

The issue with the water reminds me of the question of the real all-inclusiveness of the package. Crisps were not included in the package, which seems a bit ridiculous. Neither were maps of the area or some of the "games".

At this point I would like to address several of the reasons we think this hotel should not be a 4 star hotel. They advertise a "game room" that does not exist. Four slot machines and a pool table are not a game room, and certainly were not included in the all-inclusive, since they were all 50 cents a game. They also advertise a SPA, which is a jacuzzi left in a dark basement, with broken temperature controls. The pool is far from clean. They advertise internet, not included in the all-inclusive if you have no computer with you, that works only in two corners of the bar and the reception. There is none in the rooms.

Speaking of the food, the quality had some very low points. Breakfast was always the same: fried eggs, sausages, and beans. Cold meat and cheese was usually available. Bread had to be toasted on one extremely slow machine that would more often than not burn the bread. No fruit was offered, except for badly cut apples, which were kept god knows how long in water, to the point where some of the wedges were actually turning into puree. Juice was definitely watered down, because it had no substance at all. The rest of the meals were usually fine, if a little redundant, but tended to become quite cold in their containers. One could tell that some of the food had been recycled from the previous day.

The disposition in the restaurant was far from amicable. Tables had no real mantelpiece. Dishes were kept on stacks and one had often to discard two or three that still had stains from poor washing. The same happened with cutlery and glasses. Drinks were ordered after one came in and often took half a meal to arrive.

Finally, the personnel were far from friendly. With a few counted exceptions, staff displayed what seemed to have a merely tolerant attitude towards guests. Chambermaids were the worst of them all. They walked into rooms, opening with their own key without waiting for an answer from the inside. Beds were never made properly, and plates or glasses never collected. Greetings were mostly beyond them. Staff working at bars was rarely friendly and usually distracted. Several times drinks that weren't ordered were handed and exasperation was shown when the mistake was pointed out. On two occasions we witnessed complaints from other guests that were dismissed, only to be followed by a rapid exchange of looks, eye-rolling, and verbal diatribe between staff members.

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