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Me and my girlfriend have just returned from Gran Canaria which we booked through Airtours. The flight was through Spanair. We stayed in the Buenaventura hotel in Playa del Ingles for 2 weeks.
The hotel was nice and clean, the food was nice and the rooms were cleaned everyday. The only problem with the hotel was the pool didn't seem to be very clean, but apart from that I would say even though it was a three star hotel it was nearly as good as the Bahia Princess which was a four star plus that we stayed in two years ago in Tenerife.
The hotel seems to be extremely popular with german guests and all the waiters/bar staff/receptionists can speak spanish and german, they also speak english but some not aswell as they can speak german. The hotel also lets you add credit to the credit card type key for your room so you can use it in the bars and the restaurant, this then gets you 10% off everything and 50% off at happy hour! Prices seem to have gone up since euros were introduced (eg 3 euros for a coke) but with the discount the prices become a little more bearable and prices seem to have increased everywhere else across the resort.
The only problems with had on the holiday was with Airtours themselves, we wanted to book some of the excursions but our rep never turned up once for the first week - we eventually got them booked through the rep in the second week, but compared to rep in our last holiday who was there 8 hours a day, 5 days a week (Thompson). Seeing as though there wasnt many english guests Airtours most probably thought it wasnt worth making sure the rep was there!
We booked the island tour, the reps cabaret and camel capers and I would have to say they were possibly the most expensive and the worst excursions ever! They justify the high price by saying the food was included but I dont think I could ever convey how awful the food was! I would have to recommend that you take your own food as I can guarantee you will still feel hungry as you will not eat any of it. The worst excursion was definitely the Island tour as we didnt actually see much of the island and then had to endure the worst 'meal' ever. For starters it was chicken soup (actually noodle soup as it had no chicken in), then a thin chop with six or seven chips, followed by a scoop of banana ice cream, all washed down with 'euro cola medium'.
The entertainment on the reps cabaret was ok, the food was bearable and the free bar which was the main selling point wasn't very good! We were looking forward to the fact that the bar was free as an excuse to get p***ed but only the beer was drinkable as everything was house spirits only, my girlfriend the vodka tasted weird and the wine didn't seem to be up to much either!
The camel capers was enjoyable, even though the camels can be a bit scary when the start sniffing you and stuff! :) This had food included and was pretty as awful as the island tour, which was a hotdog, a cripsy chicken leg, some chips and some lettuce on a plate with either water or sangria. Again im not sure if many people ate much more than the chips!
All in all the holiday was good and we had a really good time, but I would not recommend any of the excursions that Airtours offer, especially at the price that they wanted! Airtours are part of the MyTravel group so there may be a chance that anyone traveling with either Direct holidays, Aspro, Escapades or Cresta who are in the same group may receive the same shoddy tours - but if the reps main selling point of the excursions is the 'free bar' or 'excellent three course meal' then just ignore them and go and book with some one else in the resort!
Also in the Airtours brochure the hotel is described has having a 'genuine english pub', this actually incorrect as the hotel has a german type tavern.