When I started looking for our Summer holiday a few months ago as Archie is two and a half and won’t sit still we thought it was a better option to pick somewhere with a shorter flight like we did last year. I went onto the Thomson website and as we have stayed at two of their 5* Sensatori resorts before in Crete and Tenerife I thought the Sensatori Ibiza one would be great location wise and the only thing that worried me was the size of the rooms in the photos. The rooms/suites we had before at the Tenerife and Crete hotels were lovely, spacious and what a proper 5* room should be like. I rang the Thomson help line and they reassured me that a double/family room would be big enough.
So on Saturday the 8th of July, the day after Oscar broke up from school we flew from Luton to Ibiza. Prior to our flights I had booked the Luton Priority Lane which I couldn’t recommended higher especially if you are travelling with children. For only £3 per person you can use the Priority Lane dedicated to getting you to Security and into Departures faster. It literally took us five minutes to go through with no queues at all. I will be using this every time we fly from Luton from now on without a doubt! You don’t have to pre book you can pay £5 per person on the day to use the priority lane.
Our flight was at 7am so we arrived at the Sensatori Ibiza resort at about midday. The transfer from the airport was only 20 minutes which was great! Our rooms weren’t ready until 3pm so I grabbed the swimming stuff out of one of the cases and we headed to the main buffet restaurant for lunch. As it is an all-inclusive resort you can eat and drink as much as you want and there are a couple of extra payable restaurants on the resort if you wanted to book. There are also …. other restaurants that are included in your package which you can book at the kiosk in reception. We went to the main pool and had a swim and some drinks and then walked down to the beach to see what it was like.
One thing we picked up on immediately is that there are hills everywhere! Anywhere you want to walk to on the resort involves walking up a hill. When we got to the beach it is beautiful, the sea is crystal clear, you can hire jet skis and book water sports and there are some lovely restaurants in the cliffs and on the beach.
Once our room was ready we headed to our room which was in block 9 furthest from everything except the retreat which was only up the hill which we used for the whole holiday instead of the main pool anyway. More about that in a minute. There are also no lifts in the blocks, luckily we had a ground floor room so everyone with rooms upstairs had to leave their pushchairs outside the blocks.
So we got to our room and I was genuinely shocked at how small it was and then on further inspection how filthy it was. I complained at reception and asked to change rooms but as it is peak season they had no rooms to move us too. A few days into the holiday we were offered a family room with a sliding door for an extra 800 euros, we went to look at the room at it was no bigger just configured differently with a sliding door so the boys would be separate. How they can justify asking 800 euros for literally a sliding partition door is a joke and we turned it down. To be honest after a few days we got used to it but as Oscar is at private school we can get our holidays cheaper as its outside of state school holidays and when I did a comparison and it would have been almost £6000 for the identical holiday in August I would not have been happy with the room at all if we had paid that sort of money. Even for us paying a bit less than that is too much in my opinion for the standard of the hotel compared to Tenerife and Crete!
Now on a positive note just up the hill is the retreat. You can also get a free shuttle bus from reception if you don’t want to walk anymore hills. The retreat is fantastic! It has two normal swimming pools, a children’s splash pool, tennis courts, archery, football pitch, kids playgrounds and a spa. Also at the retreat is a buffet restaurant so if your there all day you can get lunch there too. The lunch is the same most days so if you want to change it up a bit you can go to the main buffet which has loads of choice. Also by the children’s splash pool is a big freezer full of ice creams and the kids can just help themselves (obviously after asking us first) to an ice cream. The retreat also do water orb sessions that you can book on to and we also booked the tennis courts for an hour as well which is all included. The prestige spa is amazing and I had a Swedish massage and it was one of the best I’ve ever had. Massages are around 90 euros.
They have a nursery and kids club on site but I can’t give you a review as we didn’t use them. There is also a kids sleepover club once a week and a movie club in the evenings. If you children like kids club then there were a lot of activities on offer.
Opposite the retreat is a supermarket that sells inflatable toys, gifts, clothes, snacks and drinks which is great and about half a mile down the road is a pharmacy if you need it. There is also a doctor on site that is 90 euros a visit, I got an ear infection after diving in the pool and you can claim the money back once your home on your travel insurance.
In the evenings there is a play house live show which is indoors for the younger children but Oscar who is 7 didn’t want to go as it was a bit young for him. The evening show then didn’t start until 9.45pm and really they could do with putting on a little show/disco for children aged 5 upwards to enjoy as there is nothing really to entertain that age group in the evening without putting them into a club. The main shows in the evening are hit and miss, when they bring in tribute acts; we had Robbie Williams and Jesse J they were great but the Sensatori shows weren’t great. We often left half way through.
We booked one of the extra restaurants included in our package, the Trattoria La Torre restaurant which is an Italian, the food was lovely. The food in the main buffet and the retreat was always good and tons of choice in the main restaurant as well. Other restaurants on the resort are the Sunset Mediterranean restaurant, the Pan-American restaurant which in total are the four restaurants included in the all-inclusive package and at an extra cost you can book the T-Beach restaurant and the Le Souk restaurant. You can look on the Thomson website as to what restaurant serves what type of food.
On one evening we booked the Cotton Club restaurant which is on the cliff by the beach. It is a beautiful restaurant and is famous for having the best sunset on the Island. The food was amazing and the sunset was fantastic. If you go to the reception in the hotel they will book it for you. It is a bit on the expensive side for a family of four with no alcohol it was around 200 euros. It was a lovely treat!
On three occasions after dinner we got a taxi from reception to Ibiza town which is 80 euros there and back and takes 25 minutes to get to, but well worth the trip. There is a beautiful port with some fantastic super yachts docked in it. There is also a beautiful square in the town with lovely shops and places to get a coffee. On all three occasions we went and sat outside of the Cafe Montesol Ibiza where we had ice cream and coffees. It’s a beautiful hotel! On the way back the taxi driver showed us a few of the gigantic night clubs that we drove past. We couldn’t get over the size of the club called privilege that can hold over 10,000 people at any one time! Crazy!
Overall we had a lovely holiday and the boys loved the water slides at the retreat and spent all day long in the pool. The hotel rooms in my opinion were not up to scratch and I am surprised that they claim they are a 5* hotel. The food was great, the staff were lovely especially in the restaurants, they were so friendly. The cleanliness of the rooms is awful, in fact after a few days we only let the maid change the sheets and towels and we cleaned the floor with floor wipes (the floors were black with dirt) and cleaned the rest of the room ourselves. Location wise it was good and the beach is beautiful. I would defiantly go back to Ibiza as the island is beautiful and we loved the town but I wouldn’t stay at the Sensatori resort again unfortunately. Next time when I book a Sensatori holiday I will do more research on the rooms etc as after going to the other resorts in Crete and Tenerife we expected the same level of luxury and room size which Ibiza doesn’t offer.