This place has mountain views, a beach on the doorstep, and a great choice of pools and restaurants.
Locations don’t get much more dramatic than this. One side of the hotel looks out to Los Ajaches mountain range, the other has panoramic views across the Atlantic. Plus the beach is around 10 minutes away on foot.
Within the hotel grounds you’ll find 4 pools in total, a trio of big ones and 1 just for kids. Plus, there are 4 restaurants. Activities are covered with tennis courts and hiking trails.
TripAdvisor Traveller Rating
Based On 5424 reviews
- Official Rating
All Inclusive - Here's what you get
Full Board buffet meals. 24-hour snacks. Dinner in the international buffet, pizzeria, Mexican or Oriental restaurants.
Unlimited local alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages including beer, wine and spirits 10.00-23.00.
Sports and Activities
All are included except where indicated.
Facilities► View all
3 outdoor pools
With towels, parasols, sunbeds and sun terrace.
International buffet restaurant
Offering breakfast, lunch, dinner with show cooking stations.
Evening entertainment programme
Live music and shows on selected nights.
Rooms ► View all
royal superior twin room with sea view and balcony or terrace
This royal superior twin room features a contemporary design with neutral walls and splashes of colour. There’s room for up to 4 with 1 extra bed in the bedroom. Outside, you’ll find a balcony or terrace with views of the sea. You’ll also find tea or coffee-making facilities. Air-conditioning is available from May to October.
TripAdvisor Traveller Reviews Show more reviews »
Lovely hotel but needs improvement
arrived home Saturday night after a week at Sandos Papagayo, and had paid for the royal elite upgrade. I always read reviews on trip before I go so I knew where the pitfalls were but my husband didn't. Its not that he didnt enjoy the holiday, but he did pick up on all the points that so many reviews have. Upon arrival, very impressive and lovely location. Same as previous reviews, you check in, get given a map and left to find your room. we were in block B room 517 which is the highest floor, which had dated corridors but the room had been updated, and had a stunning view of the small beach and sea. Bottle of cava in the room, and a mini bar with waters, beers and soft drinks... as previous reviews, this isnt restocked, but you did get a bigger bottle of water each evening. Food: Breakfasts - food available in the royal elite lounge looked of smaller choice than the big buffet restaurant but the environment is a million times nicer, quieter, more elegant, table service, and no hustle and bustle. wide range of cooked breakfast choices, plenty of choice of fresh bread, fruit, pastries, meat, cheese, cereal, yoghurts etc. I really enjoyed the breakfast, could just do with some better toasters! Lunches are only served in the main buffet restaurant and Italian pizzeria/pasta... plenty of choices, if a bit of a random mix, did find myself having some weird combination of lunches some days, but so much choice and lots of grilled meats cooked infront of you, pasta and pizza made infront of you. There was a snack bar i only tried out once, burgers, hot dogs, bread, meats, cheeses, pizza, and as per the lunch restaurant, self serve drinks. lack of puddings, lots of brightly colored jelly and ice cream looking things, did have ice cream on some days, but not much choice of cake, cookies, etc. Evening meals - we ate in the royal elite lounge twice which was nice due to the feel of the restaurant and atmosphere, but as with the breakfasts, a smaller choice of food than the larger but louder and not as nice buffet restaurant. Lack of puddings again, but cheese and crackers to enjoy. Tried the oriental restaurant one night and the mexican twice, yes you do have to book for this 'fusion' restaurant but we booked for 4 out of the 7 nights so its not hard to get in. Mexican was miles better than the oriental, was expecting the basics of noodles and rice to mix with some meat options with the oriental, but only had one chicken and veg option then grilled meats to go with the usual salad, veg, etc. lots of 'starter' options so filled up on these. Mexican a lot more organised and what we were expecting and the most enjoyable. self serve drinks of beers, wines and softs, can take bottles of wine to the table, but didn't think much of it so didn't bother again! I thought the food was nice, was plenty of choice and what i did have was nice, my husband did enjoy the actual food... but just didnt enjoy the way its done, a bit of mix and. We've stayed in AI in mexico a few times so used to a la carte and don't see why this cant be rolled out here. its such a big hotel with so many restaurants available, a limited a la carte menu would be nice to have even if you could only book in for one night a week as a treat, its just nice to chose a meal rather than pick out parts of meals. we ate out only one night, because we had paid Â£1660 for a week including flights from gatwick so we didnt want to have to spend more money going out for food, but we would have eaten out for dinner more if we had the money, just to avoid having to queue up with your potatoes and veg getting cold while you wait in line to get meats to go with. Bars we used the top level royal elite lounge the most, yes it has a strange airport lounge feel, and could do with a bit of a livelier atmosphere, but being able to pour your own drinks, of which there were a massive choice of beers, wines, spirits, softs etc and a lot nicer wines than the other bars, was lovely. There is another royal elite lounge that is inside more, but we preferred the top terrace one as it had amazing views and spent every night watching the sunset here, and even afternoons just watching the sea view. Outside terrace chill out bar in the evening wasn't great. the white party on Sunday was amazing, with fireworks and dancers, but the rest of the week was either a guy playing various music instruments to backing tracks and other nights with singers... neither of which were great. considering the hotel was full (or thats what we were told when we asked for a later check out) I would've assumed the level of entertainment to have been better. there were shows on each night, we never made it to see any of these as we preferred the royal elite lounge terrace. we did watch the lion king on Friday night, well, stood at the very back as the room was packed, which was a great performance, even if the words were all in spanish and the songs all in english, was worth a watch. there are 3 big pools at the hotel, one adult only which we used the most, just found the location the best for the bar and the loos and also the sunbeds more comfortable. Seen lots of reviews about having to get up early to reserve sunbeds... well, yes, if you want a particular spot every day, but every day i saw stacks of sunbeds you could just help yourself to and position where you want. also lots of lovely seating areas to enjoy the sunshine. went to use the gym on day 1, absolute minimal equipment, jumped on the treadmill, was the most jolt-y piece of equipment ive ever used, feared for my safety on it, so instead we chose to use the path along the coastline for our work out. Its a 1.25mile distance to the marina, which in parts is hilly, but the views are amazing. Its also a 2.6mile distance from the hotel into the main town of playa blanca... and a really easy path to walk along the whole way, except for the first tiny bit between sandos and the hotel next door, considering this is between a 4* and a 5* hotel would be nice to have a path made, walking across sand in sandals or heels is a no no!! Heard lots of people round the pool saying they never leave the complex... why?! yes its all inclusive but the coast line and the marina and playa blanca is beautiful, it needed to be seen! take some drinks with you from the AI bar and some snacks and get out and see the place!! never had a problem with any of the staff as per some previous reviews, all friendly and helpful, some of the bar tenders chatty and helpful when trying to learn a few spanish words. the chef in the pasta area was lovely and friendly. The entertainment team were great at the white party and doing the lion king show. overheard people round the pool saying 'the entertainment team are so fun, they just pick random people up and throw them in the pool' which is not everyones cup of tea, i would be fuming, not everyone is there to get involved, some people like a quiet time, which is why the adult pool was better. wasnt able to get a late check out due to it being fully booked but were able to book a courtesy room for half hour on the day you check out. once again, given a map and left to find the room. it was the opposite side of where we were, we had never been up that area as there are no bars or restaurants so no need, so when we were told we had to be back in 30mins, we hoped we were allowed travelling time to and from the room!! we did have a lovely week away, I personally cant fault the hotel, i would definitely recommend the upgrade to royal elite, because personally if we hadn't have had this, we wouldn't have been happy in the canteen feel buffet restaurant for breakfast and dinner, the wine and spirits option was better for us in the royal elite, and having to queue at the outside terrace bar was just a bit of an effort some days, yes it was only 15mins or so to queue but felt like one of us was always queuing if we were in that area, rather than sitting enjoying time together. I would recommend it, but just read the reviews. like i say, i did and i knew what to expect so i didn't have any nasty surprises.More
Having read previous reviews we booked this hotel as a last minute getaway - although it was by no means cheap, we paid more for this at short notice than for a planned holiday to another 4 star hotel in playa blanca earlier in the year. Reviews were fantastic so we were really looking forward to it however we found our holiday somewhat lacking, and feel some simple measures could make it a much better experience. Good points Room was spacious, our air conditioning worked effectively (although other guests weren't so lucky), clean and bed comfortable. TV had BBC, ITV and other British channels. Good choice of pool areas with Location excellent with amazing views and lovely walk to marina and Playa Blanca along promenade Staff very friendly. Late checkout facility was excellent well worth the â¬30 as meant we could enjoy the last day of sunshine. Average points Food was just ok, we ate out 3 of the 6 nights we were at the hotel as we really didn't find the food to be great, not sure if they've changed menus with hotel being quieter but the food at times wasn't very appetising and meats greasy - although the roasts were usually good as were the Canadian potatoes when they had them on. Some days the choice was limited too. We were really disappointed with Mexican and Chinese good selection of starter type dishes but not much in way of main courses. Menu planning - a little more though into the meals, they had a lovely roast pork one day with gravy but no potatoes, my choices were chips which believe it or not, not everyone likes, rice Spanish style, pastas with sauces and salad - they had Canarian potatoes at most meals (often with roast potatoes too) so why not in this day. No tea and coffee facilities in rooms, however if you are close enough to snack bar you can get it from machines in paper cups. General customer care seemed to be lacking. Have someone meeting and greeting at all restaurants this is the first hotel we've been to that doesn't have this, I know it's not a big thing but it does make a difference to your perception. Poor Drinks were not good for us - vodka tasted more like aniseed and we weren't the only ones to think this, wine was awful both in main restaurant and in the fusion. Cava was ok but for some reason was only available in main restaurant at breakfast! I've never been on an all inclusive holiday where I drank so little and I mean no alcohol at all in the early days until I discovered Bacardi is good or you can pay 1â¬ for Smirnoff. We found a list in the bar on 3rd floor outlining what drinks were included. I know we could get branded products if we went Royal Elite but we don't feel the cost was justified as we don't drink lots and again, if we were paying privilege prices we would want more than a buffet at mealtimes, which is what you'd usually get. Water - unless you were Royal elite you couldn't get bottles of water so you had to refill your own. I appreciate this may be for environmental reasons but if people have to seek out their own water it would be useful to have water fountains in each block Poor choice of desserts at mealtimes compared to other hotels, ok if you like sponge cake though. Lack of information in general - few examples, no information leaflet in room (so no explanation of what's included, what's available at extra cost etc). Give more information to guests about services either in a booklet in room or leaflet on check in. In relation to the above when we went to fusion we were greeted and asked if we wanted tequila then sat at our table. We waited as in other hotels waiters came and took drinks orders/food orders in their speciality restaurants, thankfully the couple next to us told us to get a bottle of wine from the fridge then help ourselves to buffet otherwise we would have waited a long time. A simple explanation of this when we entered would have helped greatly and set our expectation. Many people were struggling with their cases and looking for their rooms, we are fit and healthy so this was ok for us but we helped one couple who seemed to have mobility issues and we're looking very disorientated, this again is unusual for a 4* hotel particularly given the distance of some of the rooms, a concierge service would help greatly if people need it. More information needed in restaurants we arrived late at night and were directed to snack bar but didn't have a clue had a member of staff been there greeting people they could have explained that there was a microwave to heat hotdogs up, and sandwich toaster to make your own toasties. A member of staff did pop his head out once we'd worked it out, other people were walking in looking, some confused, and just walking out again, first impressions count for a lot! As I said we didn't have a bad holiday as the room was good, pool was lovely and the terrace overlooking the bay was fab for sunbathing but once evening came when we ate in hotel, coupled with poor drinks available we were thankful of the good TV channels as there was no incentive to stay in bar areas. We have never spent as much on an all inclusive hotel as we were eating out a lot(our choice as the food was acceptable it just wasn't great) We don't have unrealistic expectations as have stayed in slightly cheaper but better hotels than this with equally good pool areas and views but with better food and branded drinks, and a lot more customer focus. We were not unique in our views as these views were echoed in poolside conversations overheard from both Royal elite and standard guests. As I say maybe things have been scaled down and changed because peak season is over. The hotel has so many good points it's such a shame that our experience has been marred, and I feel a few simple things would make a big difference with the whole customer experience. More
Well the first thing I must say is that all the staff at this hotel are amazing they are so hard working so friendly and helpful I wish I could name them all because they are the best of all hotels I have ever stayed in second is the food wonderful for choice and quality we have all eaten far to much but it was all so lovely tge cooked breakfast was the best we have had in all inclusive and other board types this hotel clearly has some very good chefs my daughter loved the made to order pasta station there was always meat like steak pork chops etc being freshly cooked on grill as well as fish the gravy for the roast meats was so well seasoned we stayed in a junior suite with Royal Ellet and my daughter and partner also had the same the were lovey the coffee machine was a lovely touch with coffee pods everyday also normal coffee and lots of types of tea sugar milk replaced every day also large bottles of water the roof terrace and other royal elite bars were very good with help yourself premium drinks also plates of sandwich and nibbles and cakes we could take bottled water with us drone the fridge from what I saw I don't think people without Royal elite were given bottled water and I think this is wrong as other all inclusive hotels give everyone bottled water from the bars everyday at o extra charge I think it would be nice if the Royal elite could have their own pool area As it would be nice to still be able to have the premium drinks that you have payed extra for also the Royal elite restaurant doesn't serve lunch which I think is not right some of the outside public areas do need a clean but it was probably because we were there only a week after the kids had gone back to school and the hotel will have been very full all in side was very clean indeed all in all a very good hotel indeed once again thank you so much to all the lovey staff More
Birthday Treat all inclusive
All inclusive premium good value, the pool was very cold, the spa was also very cold, good selection of fitness equipment, good clean rooms, the adult bar for premium paying guests was a bonus value, there did seam to be a two tier system as some guests have a franchise deal through regular visits over periods of time, the themed nights were very good but need to be booked in advance to get a table. plenty of choice at meal times the food was of high standard and quality, clean rooms, close to the beach with plenty water sport on over, very accommodating at check in and check out, a little disappointed with spa facilities, staff were welcoming and friendly, room service was excellent. overall I would recommend the all inclusive superior stay for that extra spot of luxury, with a luxury room.More
Dated hotel - one to avoid- but beautiful Playa Blanca
We were so disappointed when we arrived in our room. We were allocated E939 which was accessed by walking along scruffy corridors and through two fire exits. The room itself is dated with chipped furniture, damp marks on the walls and is next to a security fence and metal fire escape. The receptionist on our first night was rude and unwelcoming and advised we may be able to change rooms the next day but would have to bring our cases and leave them at reception by 11am then a room would be available after 2pm. The next day we still had not unpacked and reception were unable to tell us where we would be moved to. We offered to pay to upgrade but were told there was no availability. Just to note if you go to this hotel and pay for Royal elite I am sure you will have a better experience. However if you are paying that much there are better hotels where standards are maintained across the premises. The state of the corridors etc did not fill us with confidence to go to the hassle of changing rooms and waiting around for what would be a full day into our holiday so we took the decision to grin and bear the location and condition of the room. We made the best of our week- found the adults pool to be cleaner and more akin with a 4 star hotel. Food was ok although a canteen rather than restaurant feel. Make sure you book Fusion restaurant well in advance - this alternates between Chinese and Mexican. We loved the views from the pool / terrace bar and enjoyed our first visit to the resort of Playa Blanca- especially Playa Dorada beach and Rubicon Marina. As much as we loved Playa Blanca I would never return to this hotel due to the mixed and in places unacceptable standards- not 4 star if you don't book Royal Elite. Please choose carefully who you put on reception to welcome your guests as first impressions count! We made the best of our time here by literally only returning to the room to get changed and sleep! There were also baby lizards in our room which you would expect around the grounds but freaked me out a bit sharing a room with them. Being generous with 3 stars!More
sara L, 186478
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