The Hotel Santa Monica in Calella is not the most attractive of hotels.
Nor does it have the best views in town.
Nestled between the main Calella road, wasteland used as council storage and a Youth Hostel it really does not sell itself.
Check in is from 12pm, I arrived quite a while after this as I was still at Barcelona El Prat airport at 11.30am and then had to walk from the coach drop off point, however checks still had to be made as to whether my room was ready. If check in is from a certain time, then the room SHOULD be ready at that time.
My passport was held onto, something that I have not experienced in many years.
I am not sure what the hotel was trying to achieve with the decor, I kept expecting HAL (from 2001:A Space Odyssey) to speak to me.
Despite the futuristic type decor, the hotel still uses keys rather than key cards. Also, every hotel that I have stayed in supplies a lock and anonymous key type contraption for the in-room safes, again the Santa Monica supplies a key with a big room number key tag. I know that some of the holiday makers take the tags off as they do not want to advertise their room number incase they lost their keys.
The black key type thing works the electricity in the room, this was not explained to me and I spent a good 5 minutes when I made it to the room, the lifts are quite slow, trying to work out how to put the lights on, I had to prop the door open with my suitcase.
The room felt quite small, the twin beds were made up separately but had to be pushed together to fit into the room.
There was limited clothes storage too, I was on my own and ended up putting some things in the cupboard under the television, so two in a room would really struggle for space.
The bathroom was a good size, no bidet though, and the towels were stored over the toilet, generally hand towels are by the sink and bath towels over the bath at the opposite end to the shower.
The shower was strange too, the head was on a pivot, so too much pressure and it shot up and just sprayed the opposite room, so if you wanted a bit of pressure in your shower you had to hold the head down and wash with one hand, the other option being that you had a very weak shower.
The room definitely needed some TLC.
The balcony was not swept until the day before I was due to leave, presumably ready for the next guests. The shower curtain was also changed.
There is a tv in the room, but there are no English language channels, most hotels offer at least BBC News 24 or CNN.
Wifi is available but has to be paid for.
The hotel offers room only, bed and breakfast, half board, full board and all inclusive. The restaurant is laid out in military type straight lines with tables joined together in groups of 2 or 3. Each meal time you have to show your dining card to the greeter, you are then given your table number and a hand waved in the general direction of the table.
Although it clearly stated 1 person on my dining card, I had to confirm that the table was for one every time. Being a single traveller meant that I filled gaps in the seating, being stuck in the middle of groups and families made for uncomfortable eating so despite paying for half board I only suffered through breakfast choosing to eat elsewhere for dinner.
There was entertainment in the bar every night, with children's shows starting at 8.30 and adults at 10pm. And it was loud! Luckily it could not be heard on my floor which was 4 floors above.
There were events during the day for both children and adults too, all of these, apart from the ones centred on the swimming pool, were held underneath my balcony, so no siesta then.
The swimming pool was a decent size, though the strange shape made lap swimming pretty hard, and there were plenty of sun beds and chairs around the pool and outside bar. I do not know what time the pool opened as when I left to go to the beach, generally around 10am, it was still being cleaned.
Most of the staff were pleasant, including the lovely Scottish lady who was on reception one day, the only person letting the team down was the restaurant seater.