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Faro, Portugal; Great Expectations, Oustanding View, But A Disappointing Breakfast Buffet

Harune Restaurant - AP EVA SENSES HOTEL Av. da República, 1  8000-078 Faro, Algarve, Portugal  Phone: +351 289 540 100 Email: book.eva@ap-ho...

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Xlendi, Gozo (Malta): Decent Deal On Oceanfront Room, But Froze Our Buns Off Without As Much As An Apology

San Andrea Hotel
Xlendi Promenade
Xlendi, Island of Gozo, Malta
Phone: (+356) 2156 5555
Prices: €€€€

OK, so we paid $72 for a double seafront room with breakfast included. I should be jumping up and down, right? Well I am not and here is why ...

I found the place through for $72 per night, but the guy at the front desk said to book it through him and we would get a better deal because they have to pay commissions to, but the price he quoted (€60) translates to $71.61, a whopping savings of 39 cents ... WHOOPEE! We were there, so I booked the room through him, but after paying the €120 for two nights, we were told that we would have to pay an additional "environmental charge" of €2 at check out. No biggy, so we went to the room.

The room had a fantastic view of Xlendi Bay, a gorgeous inlet in a cute little town on the Southwest coast of Gozo, but two people could barely fit on the small balcony overlooking the bay. The room was extremely small, big enough for the king size bed (two singles pushed together) with a nightstand on each side, that was it. There was barely enough room to move around the room on the three sides of the bed without scraping the wall. The bathroom was decent size.

The weather was chilly by Gozo standards and the sea very rough because of the high Westerly winds blowing directly into the bay. Our room was FREEZING! I like a cool room, especially when I sleep, but this was ridiculous. I set the thermostat on high, grabbed a big comforter out of the closet and snuggled up on the bed, dosing off for about an hour. When I awoke, the room was even colder and I was shivering like a leaf, so we dressed and went down for dinner in their restaurant. I told the front desk clerk, a nice woman from Milan, about the problem with the heat and she said they were on top of it. There were three other people there and we were told that we were not the only ones with the problem, but it was Sunday night and their maintenance man was doing what he could.
We went to the restaurant for dinner, €16 each (hotel guest price - €21 for others) for a fixed price menu. My wife had the vegetable soup, meatloaf, and coconut tart with vanilla ice cream. I had the spaghetti Bolognese, pan fried chicken breast with tomato sauce and melted cheese, and apple pie with vanilla ice cream. Our server, Merriam from Belgium, could not have been nicer or more attentive, she was the highlight of the meal.

My wife's pureed veggie soup was bland and what can you say about meatloaf (polpettone) other than it was meatloaf and OK. The grilled veggies and roasted potatoes accompanying our meals were pretty good and her coconut tart was tasty.

My Bolognese was lukewarm and the sauce way too sweet. My chicken had the same sweet tomato sauce on top and was also not very warm. The apple pie was decent, but not as good as most you would find stateside. At €16 ($19) a pop, I guess we could not complain too much, it was a decent deal even with all of the flaws.

That night and the next morning our room was still freezing, so we went to breakfast. The same guy who checked us in was at the desk, so I asked him if our heat was going to be fixed that day and he assured me it would, but added "I don't know why your room was the only one with no heat when the hotel has central heating". Well, our room was NOT the only one without heat as confirmed the night before, so I said "why don't you tell me then" and we went to breakfast. Not only did we not receive an apology, he acted like we were nuts. Give me a break!

Breakfast was actually pretty good with eggs over medium, English-style (undercooked) bacon, and pork and beans. They also had fresh, local bread, salami, ham and cheese as well as yogurts, cereals, and two types of cake. You had to get your own coffee out of an automatic coffee machine, but it was decent. The only drawback being some rather large eggshells in the scrambled eggs on our final day that my wife nearly choked on. Anyway, we left immediately afterward for a day full of sightseeing and when we returned that night, the heat was finally working ... BRAVO!

The hotel is nice for a 3-star and $73+ for a seafront room ain't a bad deal, but here is why I am deducting stars (Bombs):

1. He should have given us a better price for booking directly through the hotel and he did not.

2. We froze our asses off and not only did we not get an apology (or a comped dinner or discount on our room), we got a smartass remark.

3. The room and balcony were tiny.

4. Dinner was a bargain, but was poorly done with bland, cold food.

5. Eggshells in the scrambled eggs ... unprofessional and unsavory, even dangerous

With all that being said, I can only give them an average rating, even with the excellent price ...

CombatCritic Gives Hotel San Andrea 6 Bombs Out Of 10 ... More Bombs Are Better!

Six Bombs Equates To:

Translation for Civilians: "Good To Go"

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Title: Xlendi, Gozo (Malta): Decent Deal On Oceanfront Room, But Froze Our Buns Off Without As Much As An Apology

Key Words: Xlendi, bay, Gozo, Malta, oceanfront room, hotel, hotels,, 3-star, accommodation, CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, restaurant, menu, review, Yelp, Zomato

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