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Villa Romana, Salou
We recently had a cheap and cheerful break at the Villa Romana hotel in Salou on the Costa Dorada in Spain, booked through TUI. Here’s what we thought…
What was the pool like?
The pool was a great size, and had deeper and shallower areas to suit everyone. It was freezing cold – perhaps it would be warmer later in the season – but the kids didn’t really care! There was also a paddling pool area which was great for younger children.
Each day they rotated an inflatable waterslide with a float game across the pool – my two adored the float game they call ‘wipe out’. The staff were fantastic with the kids and would play with them – pushing them in, wobbling it etc. They looked forward to it every afternoon.
They also hosted activities like water polo, which Finn really enjoyed. This place was never short of entertainment! There were always staff and lifeguards around too to keep an eye on everything.
Down the side of the hotel, there was a children’s play area which led to a flume section at the back. They were a bit tame for Finn and Lola (who prefer the big Eurocamp slides!) but it offered a bit of extra entertainment.
What was the entertainment like?
The staff were a real credit to the hotel – they organised pool games, bingo, ping-pong tournaments and all sorts during the day. There was a kid’s club too, though ours didn’t attend, and the team were so nice. A big shout out to Tony and Julio – Finn and Lola thought they were lovely, and they were always busy organising some sort of fun for both the adults and the kids.
The entertainment in the evening was good too – a mix of singing, acrobatics and a gameshow on the evenings that we were there. The bar area also had pool tables, which we enjoyed playing on with the kids. On one of the days it rained, so having the inside space to spread out and keep busy was great.
Location, Location, Location
The location was really handy – it was only a short transfer from the airport, after which everything could be reached on foot. A five minute walk took us to supermarkets and a town area, and it was a ten minute walk to the seafront. The hotel is also just around the corner from Portadventura Theme Park if you fancy a day out on the rides!
In the other direction, it was around a ten minute walk to the train station. This was super handy as we had a visit to nearby Tarragona and went to Barcelona for the day – which was one the reasons we picked this hotel / area.
It was around 1.5 hours on the train from Salou to Barcelona, and cost around €60 for the four of us for a return trip – around €15pp. It was a simple journey and the trains ran every few hours.
Whilst in Barcelona, we visited the most amazing gluten-free bakery – Jansana!! If you’re GF like me (or even if you’re not!!) you HAVE to visit if you’re ever in the city – it was the best cake we’d ever had! We also went to have a look at the Sagrada Familia, though we didn’t go inside as it was quite dear.
We also took a trip on the Telefèric de Montjuïc cable car which offered us fab views over the city – though it was a bit pricey for what it was (€52) as the journey was actually very short. We did have a nice wander around the castle at the top though, and have a look at the views over the port.
For more info, have a look at my article: How to do Barcelona on a budget with kids!
What about the food?
We were really impressed with the food. Again, all of the restaurant staff were lovely (whoever hires the staff here is great at their job!) and there was a huge variety of food to choose from at every meal – you’d have to be super fussy not to find something that you’d like.
Each day they cooked meat and fish on the grills in front of guests too, and they had a giant paella on the go! The food was a buffet so you could try whatever you fancied and have a bit of everything which we enjoyed.
I’m gluten-free, and each night the chef would walk me around the restaurant to tell me what I could eat. The food was hot and tasty – and we ate way too much of it every night! 😂 In the mornings, the kids had pancakes cooked in front of them and, alongside a big buffet, you could have a custom made omelette too.
Was the accommodation good?
The room was basic but absolutely fine and we were comfortable. The kids’ bed, which was supposed to be for both of them, was too small for two of them at their ages – so we had Lola in bed in between us and Finn had the other bed. Our bed was large so it wasn’t a problem.
The room was cleaned and the beds were made up each day. Towels were regularly changed too. The room had a TV with quite a few English channels, and there was a small fridge which was a fab added bonus for snacks and lunchtime food as we only had breakfast and dinner included.
There were no hot drink facilities in the room – luckily we knew about this after reading other reviews so we took a little travel kettle from Amazon and it was a god-send – so make sure you pack a kettle!
The bath was lovely and long, so we made the most of some nice bubble-baths before tea every day! The only issue with the room was the noise from other rooms above and next door which could be annoying when people were moving around late at night. The entertainment was fairly loud but it was indoors and it didn’t finish too late so that wasn’t too bothersome.
Was it good value for money?
We don’t usually do package holidays, but this was too much of a bargain not to! We took advantage of a free child place, and also a TUI offer of £100 off which was running at the time of the booking. For us, this deal was really cost effective – we paid around £1000 for the four of us for a 7 night holiday. This worked out about £250pp which included the hotel, flights, transfers and half-board.
We thought it was great value for money for everything that was included, and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this place if you’re looking for a good deal on the Costa Dorada.