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 Spain, Costa Brava, Calella

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casaianda

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PostSubject: Spain, Costa Brava, Calella    Fri Apr 01, 2011 4:12 pm

Had a most enjoyable 8 night stay in Calella last month (9-17 March) when we met up with friends from the UK.

Only booked 3 weeks before departure but got good value flights Malaga-Barcelona with Vueling Air (highly recommended) and reduced price transfers from ResortHoppa using promo-code MCTRAVEL.

Booked the 4 star HTop Hotel Amaika on an A.I. basis - simply as it was hardly any dearer than Half Board!

Flight was bang on time and private transfer was waiting for us as we came out of Arrivals. We were at the hotel before 11 a.m.

Checked in and were told that our room would be ready by noon. Were given a photo ID Credit Card for purchasing A.I. drinks and meals - meals usually start with Dinner on your first evening and end with Lunch on your day of departure but we had previously arranged to start with lunch and end with Breakfast on our last day as we would be leaving around lunchtime.

Due to Ians poor health I had previously emailed the hotel to request a quiet room and we were given a lovely spacious room on our own at the end of the top floor corridor - best view possible and spotlessly clean. 2 x Queensized beds pushed together with the most comfortable mattresses we have ever had in a hotel, more than ample wardrobe space, flat screen TV with British channels and a superb bathroom with both overbath shower attachment and separate shower cubicle, hairdryer, good quality toiletries etc. All in all a very pleasant room to be allocated.

Our first meal was Lunch and - what a surprise - the Dining Room was beautiful! Lovely decor, white linen tablecloths and napkins, excellently trained staff and lots of room between tables. Food quality and choice was very good and drinks were waiter served at your table - wine by the bottle and good quality mineral water for us but all other drink options also available. Food was equally good at all other Breakfasts, Lunches and Dinners - the hotel sure has a good fish cook as the selction was excellent. Only repetition was the Soup that was a variation of ´Sopa de Verduras´ every evening!

Drinks at the bar were local brands - which we are used to anyway - or you could upgrade to well known brands for around 50 cents to 1.50 per drink. Coffee was always on tap in the bar to help yourself as were sandwiches if you could manage to eat anything between the mega-meals.

Calella itself was much nicer than expected - Ian had stayed there back in 1969 on his first ever foreign holiday but had no memory of it. It is very Spanish with a long, wide beach of good sand and an excellent shopping centre. The old town is charming centered around a lovely old Church. Our hotel was only 2 minutes walk from the beach.

One day we tood the local train to Barcelona - just over an hours journey time for a little over 7 Euros per person return fare. As Ian cannot walk much we bought tickets for the HOHO bus and did two routes - red and blue - that showed us most of the cities ´must see´ sights; we were on the buses for over 3 hours so good value at €26 per person. Our friends wanted to eat on La Rambla and hate to say it but the meal was a total rip off. €5 for small beers!!! A very mediocre one course meal for 4 of us with 4 drinks (3 beers and a water) came to nearly 80 Euros - would advise anyine to give the Jules Verne restaurant on La Rambla a miss.

Although the weather was hit and miss - luckily our trip to Barcelona was on one of the dry days so we were able to sit on the top deck of the HOHO buses - we had a wonderful holiday and will certainly return to the Amaika in the future.
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beeech
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PostSubject: Re: Spain, Costa Brava, Calella    Fri Apr 01, 2011 4:19 pm

Sound lovely Brenda !

Glad you had a good time Very Happy
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delboy
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PostSubject: Re: Spain, Costa Brava, Calella    Fri Apr 01, 2011 4:21 pm

Thanks for a super review Cas, Callela was my first place in Spain that I visited back in the sixties, I bet it has changed a lot since then
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Hayzer
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PostSubject: Re: Spain, Costa Brava, Calella    Fri Apr 01, 2011 4:46 pm

Great stuff Brenda, if I had known you were off to Barcelona I could have warned you about the prices on Las Ramblas

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Last edited by Hayzer on Fri Apr 01, 2011 6:01 pm; edited 1 time in total
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casaianda

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PostSubject: Re: Spain, Costa Brava, Calella    Fri Apr 01, 2011 4:54 pm

Thanks Hayzer. We knew that we would be ripped off but our friends really wanted a meal there. Don´t think they will go back though!!!
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Daryn
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PostSubject: Re: Spain, Costa Brava, Calella    Fri Apr 01, 2011 5:12 pm

Great review many thanks

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WirralScouse
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PostSubject: Re: Spain, Costa Brava, Calella    Fri Apr 01, 2011 5:38 pm

Really appreciate the review Brenda.Especially interested in any Spanish AI Hotel that has high standards and it certainly seems you found one there.Re Costa Brava-how did Calella as a town/resort compare with Tossa de Mar where you went last time on Costa Brava I think?
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casaianda

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PostSubject: Re: Spain, Costa Brava, Calella    Sat Apr 02, 2011 6:39 am

Not easy to compare the 2 places WS as we were in Tossa in high Summer and Calella in March but hope the following goes a little way to answering your question.

In Tossa most visitors were French or British whereas in Calella over 90% were Spanish (all ages).

Restaurant and Bar prices were MUCH cheaper in Calella but this could be due to the time of year. Saw several places (all Spanish run) offering a Beer or glass of Wine at 60 cents or glass of Cava for €1.10. Restaurant choice and quality equally good in both resorts.

Beach far nicer in Calella - much finer sand - and far nicer/upmarket shops with surprisingly far less tourist tat shops than Tossa but again this could be seasonal.

Scenically Tossa wins hands down.

Public transport much better in Calella even in Winter - the high season bus service in Tossa finishes on 31 August so we struggled to get about when we arrived on 1st September!

For a Summer break I would recommend Calella for people wanting a beach holiday or Tossa for those looking for scenery. In Winter I don´t think Calella could be beaten for atmosphere - even in the torrential rain we had some days; being a working town there is so much more open year round than in Tossa that relies on tourism.

Due to the much higher number of hotel beds in Calella (high number of 4 star hotels) it must get very busy in Summer so we personally wouldn´t want to visit June to late September but we would like to try it in May sometime when, hopefully, the weather would be better and not too crowded; we are already planning to return the same week in March next year - as are our VERY picky friends.
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Mick
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PostSubject: Re: Spain, Costa Brava, Calella    Sat Apr 02, 2011 6:58 am

Great review Brenda & I am glad you both had a great time. Did you take any photo's by the way?

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WirralScouse
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PostSubject: Re: Spain, Costa Brava, Calella    Sat Apr 02, 2011 2:38 pm

Thanks Brenda for the well-balanced comparison.As I am now more bargain-conscious I will seriously think about it for our April holiday next year (going to Pto Pollensa on Thursday).And EZY fly daily to Barcelona from Liverpool.As you know Mrs WS and I have been to Tossa before (not together).Was fancying Llafranc on Costa Brava but that looks pricey.Looks a lovely place though.
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casaianda

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PostSubject: Re: Spain, Costa Brava, Calella    Sat Apr 02, 2011 3:09 pm

You would certainly get good value WS - we paid a total of €580 (about 500 Pounds UK) for the 2 of us - flights Malaga/Barcelona, transfers and 8 nights A.I. accommodation.

Hope you and the lovely Mrs. WS have a great time in PP.
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