Summer is over and we’re back with some thrilling stories. This time not our local correspondent Alex went to PortAventura, but manager Sven still had to visit this major European park. What better way to experience the resort by staying at it? Read all about the Hotel Roulette experience!
Barcelona is one of the cities you have to see in Europe. As I had never been, it was time to change that and I can’t of course let Salou and more importantly PortAventura aside. We took the train and arrived at the sunny Spanish coast for this thrilling park.
The day before was already quite important at it was the revealing day of our Hotel Roulette booking. Port Aventura has five hotels of which four hotels are included in the Roulette system: Hotel PortAventura, Hotel Gold River, Hotel El Paso and Hotel Caribe. The fifth Hotel Mansión de Lucy is excluded as it is more expensive than the other four.
But why choose for the Roulette system and what does it mean? This well though concept offers guest the option to book at a cheaper price than the base price of all four hotels. Then, one day before arrival, the guest is informed of which hotel has been assigned for them. That way, PortAventura can easily cover the rooms in hotels with a low occupancy rate and offer guests the chance to stay in one of the best hotels at a cheap price.
We did the test to see with what kind of room we would end up and more importantly which hotel. The result: Hotel Caribe! We were pleased with the result, but had a slight preference for Hotel PortAventura as it is directly linked to the park. However, in the end it had it’s own advantages and we soon discovered that all four hotels are worth staying in.
As we went to the resort on foot from the Salou station (for some reason, there is no connection between the two, except in the summer season…), it is the first hotel that you encounter. In the lobby, you can easily check in and leave your luggage in storage when you arrive before 3 pm.
The most surprising element during our check-in was the card that we received. It was both our access to our hotel room, the park and on top of that, you can keep it! As a fan, it’s a wonderful souvenir but I wonder if it is not a big cost for the park.
Of course, we were anxious to go to the park, especially with this kind of view, even though I could not ride it just yet…
To go to the parks, there is a small train that easily takes you. This is only for guests of the El Paso and the Caribe hotel. Other guests have a direct access to the park.
Beforing continuing about our hotel experience, I can’t resist discussing some of the highlights during our visit. We entered the park around 1 pm and were anxious to do our first coaster: Furious Baco. But we bumped into this sign…
We were there on the 15th so we still had to wait a bit to ride. As we did the rapid in the western area, we heard that apparently the launched wing coaster was open before the hours mentioned on the sign, so we quickly returned to ride. What a launch! But then, that’s where the headache starts… I really understand that no other park wants to build this thing… But visually, it looks awesome though.
The next coaster on the list was Stampida. After refreshing ourselves on the log flume, we needed some drying on this double woodie. We only did one half, the red one and what a strange start already… In the end the ride is a bit bumpy, but the encounter of the two (or three!) trains is fun.
We have to admit however that the main reasons of our visit to the resort both lie in the back of the park: Dragon Khan and Shambala!
We started with the ‘smaller’ one. Dragon Khan was my first sit down looping coaster by B&M. For being 21 years old, it’s still a very good coaster! And a 30 minute wait is not bad at all.
But now one of my favorite coasters I’ve ever ridden is most definitely Shambala! What a machine! The drop is thrilling, the air time on this thing is awesome… It really puts PortAventura on the map. I enjoyed it front seat and on different seats on the train, all of them being equally wonderful.
As the both the pool and the park were open to 7 pm, we had to make a choice. Luckily, it wasn’t very crowded in the park so at 6 we left to go for a dive near our room. We quickly got our luggage and saw on our ticket on our bags our room number. Turned out we were on Long Island!
The room does definitely give a holiday feeling. It has the basics and a nice terrace. The bed was nice and soft, easily the best room we had during our trip.
It wasn’t sunny anymore, but nevertheless we wanted to go for a swim. The pool is not heated as the weather usually doesn’t need it to be. We had the pool almost entirely to ourselves so we could easily cool down.
In the evening, we went for the dinner buffet of the hotel. We hadn’t made a reservation beforehand but as it was not too busy, we could easily get a table for two. For 24 euro (21 pound / 27 dollar) we had a broad choice including a delicious Spanish tortilla!
After dinner, I like to explore hotels in a resort and at PortAventura this was the case. Unfortunately there were two problems. First off, it was raining which made it less pleasant, but we did it nevertheless. Secondly, unlike Disneyland Paris and Europa-Park, there is quite some distance between the three hotel areas. First area is the Port Aventura Hotel close to the park, secondly Hotel Gold River and Mansión de Lucy and finally Hotel Caribé and El Paso. So, the only one we visited was Hotel El Paso.
Compared to Hotel Caribe, it’s quite a different style. The square is nicely themed and in general it has a more hotel feel. We didn’t go as far to the swimming pool, but it seems that this is A+ in all hotels.
So because of the rain and distance, we did an evening stroll around the Caribe hotel instead. Fun fact is that the pool on the other side had sand in it!
There are in fact two restaurants in the hotel, the large one for the buffet and breakfast, and then this one below which is a bit more exclusive and close to the fitness center.
Even in the rain, the hotel does give a Caribbean feel!
After waking up in the morning, you can still enjoy a full day of Port Aventura! As mentioned, No need to bring back the pass of your hotel room and entrance to the park, so in fact there is no real check out which makes it very easy! But before we headed to the park, we had a nice buffet where once again everything was available for a full breakfast. And it’s included in your reservation! After our tummies were filled, back to the park for one final day of fun at the resort! Overall, I would suggest that if you come from quite a distance or even
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