from Maidenhead, United Kingdom
Submitted on 21-06-2016
The Invisa Figueral Resort has two hotel names and sends very confusing messages to its guests.
All of the facilities of the Cala Blanca Hotel and the Cala Verde Hotel (I will refer to them as the Blanca or Blanca ‚??area‚?? and the Verde or Verde ‚??area‚??) are available to all guests and in addition to actually looking the same ‚?? same brickwork and room layouts - both share the same children‚??s playing areas; have the same animation team; the same bus shuttle and even have the same respon...
The Invisa Figueral Resort has two hotel names and sends very confusing messages to its guests.
All of the facilities of the Cala Blanca Hotel and the Cala Verde Hotel (I will refer to them as the Blanca or Blanca ‚??area‚?? and the Verde or Verde ‚??area‚??) are available to all guests and in addition to actually looking the same ‚?? same brickwork and room layouts - both share the same children‚??s playing areas; have the same animation team; the same bus shuttle and even have the same respondent to these Trip Adviser reviews.
Having spent a leisurely break experiencing the restaurants, exploring accommodation and enjoying much of the entertainment, my wife and I feel well qualified to offer an unusual, identical, ‚??double‚?? review to each establishment. It is hoped that our findings, related here, will help resolve some of the present misunderstandings that clearly confuse their guests. Apologies in advance for anything that was not actually as it appeared to be so to us ‚?? but we are pretty confident!
On this huge resort the Blanca area is sprawled around the lower part of the hill and the Verde area confined to the upper part of the hill. A seriously well-organised children‚??s area more-or-less divides the two. The resort is located in what only can be described as being ‚??miles from anywhere‚??. The location cannot be described as being part of any lively Ibiza scene! There is little normal daily existence within the proximity. The nearest (real) built-up area (some 20mins journey away) is the town of Santa Eul√†ria, a very pretty seaside resort with some interesting sights and a lovely beach. The Invisa runs a free daily bus shuttle to this town.
Guests in the Verde told us that their travel agent, Thomas Cook, told them that the majority of English are accommodated in their area and the foreigners ‚??down the hill‚??. We booked through First Choice and being English ‚??down the hill‚?? did find us to be a little in the minority, to the German and French nationals, but this proved to be no problem, whatsoever.
Accommodation is, as already mentioned, of very similar design throughout both areas. Modern furniture, flat screen television, basic but absolutely adequate amenities, including a useful fridge. Rooms numbered in the 8 & 9 000‚??s, in Blanca, overlook the road that divides their blocks from the main area and were not very popular, for that reason. Our room (6215 ‚?? within the main Blanca blocks) was clearly much brighter and airy then our findings on our visit to 5249 (in Verde) although the latter offered a great sea view, being at the top of the hill. The former had only a disappointing half-size balcony, surrounded full-size neighbouring balconies, with a narrow view of a pool. In our Premier room, a safe key deposit was payable and Wifi available in the room was chargeable, but free in the reception area. Room cleaning was interesting with cups (from the tea-making facility) often not even being washed and no tea/coffee/sugar refurbishment at any time throughout our stay. A note, by the kettle, states to enquire with reception if additional requirements are needed but this only results with those staff (on reception) trying to contact the room maids and a vicious circle developing. The only way found to attain requirements was to result to ‚??borrowing‚?? supplies from one of the restaurants!
Confusion really sets in when trying to understand the restaurant situation. The majority of guests are staying on an All Inclusive basis. On arrival, at either reception ‚?? there is one reception for each area - guests are told that there are three (3) restaurants ‚?? one being the main restaurant and two speciality restaurants, which need to be booked ahead. In fact there are four (4) restaurants! There is a main restaurant for each area and one speciality restaurant for each area. All four restaurants are available to all guests but the speciality restaurants are subject to booking ahead. That said, at Blanca‚??s speciality restaurant (La Marine) we could, and noticed that Verde area guests did also, visit for breakfast and lunch without booking and only for the evening meal was it needed to book earlier the same day between 9:30 ‚?? 12:00. Then, for the evening meal, there was stringent checking with a ‚??full-up‚?? response given to non-bookers. With the Verde speciality restaurant (La Brasserie) we were told that we needed to book the day before, and did. On arrival, however, we found there to be no checking for a reservation whatsoever. It appeared that almost anyone ‚?? paying guest or not ‚?? could also just take a table and self-serve. The ambiance of La Brasserie was by far the best of the four restaurants with space between tables and a number of tables set-up for couples. The menu choice however, at La Brasserie, was ‚??not good!‚?? (perhaps an understatement). Hotel guests were seen taking plates of food from the main Verde restaurant downstairs to the dining tables of the speciality restaurant. Even at the main restaurant in Verde the choice was extremely limited. The main restaurant in Blanca (more of a school canteen setting ‚?? see photo) had the best selection, but even there the choice, for such a large complex, was most disappointing. I am still trying to understand some of these reviews saying how good the selection is. Based on my experience (and many personal hotel reviews) during my time there (June 2016), I feel it necessary to emphasise that, for its size, the selection is disappointing: Limited choice; chips with everything, even with breakfast cereal; regular offerings of veal; repetitive desserts.
The Invisa is marketed as a family resort and by golly it was! I would estimate the ratio of children to adults to be close on 50/50. Great, I suppose, if one is holidaying with children ‚?? there was plenty to occupy them; children‚??s clubs; even a children‚??s food area in Blanca main restaurant, plus an endless supply of highchairs. For couples, like us ‚?? with ‚??those days‚?? long behind us ‚?? it did not perhaps add too much to the enjoyment of the holiday. The noise was incredible and lasted well into the night. All know what tired children are like, except, it would appear, some of the parents. A room overlooking a general pool did not offer a great relaxing experience.
There were certainly sufficient pool options. Verde had a large double ‚?? general with a shallower children‚??s one adjacent ‚?? Blanca had three. Two general and one for adults only. The adults only proved to be very popular - an oasis!
The beach was soft sand and shelved gently into the sea. There was an issue with seaweed ‚?? please see my photos ‚?? but overall it was very pleasant. Sand castle building contests (for children) and volley ball matches (all ages) took place on the beach. The pedestrian route to the beach would not be suitable for those with mobility issues. Quite a drop and many concrete steps from Blanca and, basically, a cliff face from Verde. Verde had many guests moaning about ‚??all the steps‚?? to get to their accommodation (please see that photo) let alone to get to the beach! For being All Inclusive and marketing itself as a beach resort, I did find it most annoying to be charged extra (‚?¨14 per day - <¬£100 for a week) for beach beds (2) and a parasol. I do not take kindly to this exploitation and non-revelation of AI ‚??extras‚??. Interesting, it came to light that Verde hire out second-hand parasols at a ‚?¨1 daily rate, direct from their reception.
The staff at both resorts are fairly friendly ‚?? particularly so in the case of Mel & Wiandra at Blanca reception (most helpful also) although those working on the grills, well‚?¶ hot plate surfaces, need to look more as if they are enjoying their roles. One morning the egg-fryer was particularly quite sour-faced. I tried to make her smile and‚?¶ ‚??if looks could have killed ‚?¶‚?¶ etc.‚?? Entrance host Pier at the Blanca restaurants was a genuine ambassador for the company. He made everyone feel welcome and controlled bookings very well.
The animation team were exceptionally good. Between them they covered all the language variations required, although the English translation was much easier to decipher at the announcements at Verde. Visiting evening acts complemented the team‚??s productions. The team‚??s productions consisted mainly of dancing routines to a musical backdrop and their enthusiasm was very much contagious, although with so many children around, and the demand for their parents‚?? attentions, much of it was not fully realised by the audience. The Sketches (show) routines were particularly well thought through to appeal to all nationalities present.
So, in summary: Not a cheap holiday ‚?? plus hidden extras for the ‚??All Inclusive‚??; A big resort requiring a reasonable level of agility to navigate; Some bright and airy accommodation; An ability to appreciate the ways some children behave nowadays; Not for demanding or good-food lovers ‚?? or even those mildly so - and a need to travel some distance to appreciate what Ibiza has to offer. PS. Great for kids.