In my last article I highlighted the top 5 attractions pulling people towards a visit to my favourite theme park, PortAventura, this year, and I also mentioned that the trip is an especially easy one with cheap flights available to Reus airport. The process becomes even easier then, when you consider that PortAventura has its own set of four hotels on site. Here’s a run-down of what each has to offer.
Hotel PortAventura is the headline hotel at the resort, and is also the most generic. While supposedly theme around a small fishing village, this case it’s supposedly a small fishing village, it’s minimalistic to say the least, and there’s no cartoonish, over-the-top scenery to be afraid of here. The 500 rooms are spread across a wide area in the style of villas, mainly surrounding the centrepiece swimming pool, which is split up into multiple lagoons and beautifully surrounded by flora.
The hotel also offers a sauna and a jacuzzi, and for the fitness addicts it houses a gym and a tennis court. The selection of restaurants is impressive; there are two buffet-style outlets, perfect for the kids, an Italian that is open for lunch and dinner, a pool side cafe for lunch time snacks, and the very classy Cascada, which is ideal for couples. Like all the other hotels, the park is just a few minutes’ walk away, although Hotel PortAventura is the closest of all of them by just a small margin.
Like Hotel PortAventura, Hotel Caribe also carries little theming, the main idea obviously being that you are on an island in the Caribbean. The principle of the hotel is relaxation, and the main pool is surrounded by a realistic white sandy beach to get you in the holiday mood. The Wellness Centre & Spa is probably the biggest attraction of the hotel; it’s fantastically equipped, with a heated indoor pool, sauna, jacuzzi, gym and volleyball court, as well as beauty and massage treatments on the side.
The whole principle of rest is a perfect contrast to the hectic experience you’ll no doubt have in the theme park; it can be a welcome break to come back each evening to the pool or sauna. There is also an area called "Club San Juan" that is an exclusive corner with particularly secluded and lavish rooms. The range of restaurants is once again fantastic; a buffet, tapas, an Italian, the poolside snack bar and there’s even a bar called Tinglado, all of which will help unwind after a long day at the park. Hotel Caribe is also the closest to the fantastic waterpark, which is open in the summer months.
Hotel El Paso
Like Hotel Caribe, Hotel El Paso boasts readily of being a 4 star hotel, and unsurprisingly it is themed to a bustling Mexican town. The crystal clear pool is complemented by a beautiful set of gardens, which are perfect to unwind in, or for the kids to explore.
It does seem that El Paso is geared slightly more to the children than PortAventura's other hotels - there are many adventure play sets dotted around, and the pool is clearly more child-friendly. There are fewer restaurant choices here, but the main one; Merida, is massively varied. It serves breakfast outdoors, a classic and authentic Mexican indoors and even a meal in the stables. The poolside bar is particularly lavish here, known as Club Maya, and there is an a la Carte restaurant called Coyote, which attempts to bring the magic of the big screen to life.
Hotel Gold River
Hotel Gold River is the newest of PortAventura's hotels, and by far the most impressively themed. The theme is the gold rush of the American west 200 years ago. You’re immersed in the town of Sullivan, once a small, sleepy town, now a vast gold empire full of frolics. The variety of rooms on offer is simply amazing; there are cabins, which reflect the humble origins of the town, there are standard rooms which occupy the City Hall, the train station and even the cemetery. Finally you can stay in the exclusive Lucy’s Mansion, (Lucy being the founder of Sullivan) an exclusive mini-hotel with its own private restaurant and pool, in addition to the other three pools in the rest of the hotel.
There are three other restaurants on offer at Hotel Gold River; the main Grand Hall, a buffet, the more majestic Opera House, and the cowboy-style New Texas grill. One particular point to note is that, unlike the other three hotels, which enter the park in Mediterranea, Hotel Gold River enters in the far west section. This can be especially useful early in the morning when trying to fit in some rides before other guests reach certain parts of the park.
Overall, the resort truly has something for everyone; clearly with the themes the hotels are generally aimed towards delighting children, but with spas and upmarket restaurants adults shouldn’t be put off at all. All four hotels are a great way to set up your fantastic stay at the resort and allow you to visit the park time and time again.