Archive for the ‘Puerto de la Cruz’ Category

Costa Adeje Palace Hotel Tenerife coronavirus outbreak

February 25, 2020

I feel very sorry for the hotel guests in lock down in Costa Adeje Palace Hotel Tenerife following one guest testing positive for coronavirus.

The authorities are to be praised for acting promptly, that have taken appropriate action, the hotel has been cordoned off no one allowed in or out.

The only way we can slow if not halt the spread of coronavirus is through containment.

It is a pity we have not seen prompt actions elsewhere. Slow to act, too little to late.

All flights should be suspended to destinations with confirmed cases of coronavirus, and that should now include Tenerife.

Anyone returning from Tenerife quarantined.

At the weekend Tenerife was hit by a dust storm, flights grounded, tourists sleeping on the floor of the airport. Every single one of those returning should be quarantined.

The guests I feel most sorry for are those who are on holiday with tui. Tui has a duty of care, which they fail to discharge. Guests can expect no help from tui, tui will lie, tui will fall over backwards to not pay compensation.

Several years ago I was in Tenerife, noravirus was spreading through the island like wildfire, new arrivals would go down with it, those leaving to spread far and wide.

The hotel I was staying at everyone, guests and staff, were falling sick with noravirus.

I was one of those to fall sick. And it was not pleasant

Luckily I was warned by a fellow guest who had fallen sick, therefore I knew what to expect, to stay in my room to stop it spreading. Not that I was in any fit state to be going anywhere.

I was also given salts by my fellow guest, which helped a lot.

Tui has a duty of care, not only did they fail to warn guests of the outbreak and advise what to do, they refused to, and even  worse accused those who raised the issue of scaremongering.

At a briefing for new arrivals, no mention of noravirus. It should have been the first issue raised. Then when raised by a guest, that the hotel was badly infected with noravirus, they tried to silence the guest and accused of scaremongering. Blatantly lied, claimed there was no noravirus outbreak.

I had a meeting with the hotel manager. He was shocked by the response of tui. All hotels had been advised of the outbreak, tui had been advised, but they were not in turn advising guests and advising what to do if fell ill and to halt the spread.

We draw up a plan:

  • guests informed hotel had noravirus infection
  • guests advised of importance of personal hygiene
  • guests with infection to remain in their rooms
  • bed linen to be changed daily and washed twice separate from that of other guests
  • the same for face flannels and towels
  • public areas, entrance to hotel and restaurant, hand sanitise
  • fluffy white towels to be removed from all public washrooms

Noravirus outbreak was not the only occasion of tui failing in their duty of care.

A couple of years ago, at a hotel in Tenerife, hotel was a building site.

Tui was knowingly sending guests to a building site. To date, no compensation from tui. Attitude of tui was sue us if you wish to recover your money. They repeatedly lied, as they did during the noravirus outbreak.

The failure of local environmental health officers is a cause for concern.

I have recently observed:

  • Toby Carvery Lincoln bar girl sneezed twice into her hands then handed over two glasses of water
  • a recently opened upmarket fish n chip shop waitress sneezed into her hands wiped on tea towel then used to wipe glasses and cutlery
  • village pub no soap in the toilets
  • toilets on trains no soap or running water

Crass comments by Health Secretary Matt Hancock no need to suspend flights to China because Italy did and they have coronavirus. Italy has no idea how the area in lock down became infected, have been unable to find Patient Zero.

Italy has suspended public gatherings.

UK should suspend public gatherings. People should be encouraged wherever possible to work from home.

The only way we can slow the spread of coronavirus is by containment.

There are now more cases of coronavirus outside of China than within. The number of countries added to the list growing daily. One of the latest to be added is Greece.

The problem travellers have is the failure of FCO to issue advice not to travel to infected countries. Without they cannot cancel a trip and not incur financial penalty.

Thomas Cook collapse

September 23, 2019

0200 this morning 178-year-old travel company Thomas Cook went bust.

Over the weekend zombie travel company Thomas Cook kept afloat by the banks had been desperately trying to obtain over £200 million to stay afloat.

Up until the crash senior management had been happily pocketing hefty bonuses and massive salaries.

The crash came as no surprise.

Thomas Cook, outdated businesses model, package holidays.

Last week the failing Cyprus industry looked to tour companies to come to their rescue. It beggars belief they are still operating in the 1960s, failing to obtain direct bookings.

UK government has mounted a rescue exercise. But why charter planes, why send out CAA and Foreign Office staff? Why not use the grounded Thomas Cook planes and crew, the staff located overseas? It would have been cheaper.

A moot point should the government have bailed out Thomas Cook, would have been cheaper than the rescue, on the other hand sends out the wrong message and creates a dangerous precedent to bail out bankrupt companies, as they then become reckless, knowing taxpayer will pick up the tab.

Strange no mention why Thomas Cook found itself in this parlous state, saddled with massive debt with no hope of repaying, unable to service the debt, or criminal behaviour of a former chief executive.

Holidaymakers being threatened by their hotel, money demanded, should not pay. The claim of the hotels is against the administrators of Thomas Cook not holidaymakers who have already paid for their holiday.

With the collapse of Thomas Cook, tui will have a monopoly, they will screw clients, screw hoteliers, not that they have not been doing that for years. Tui must be broken up.

Hoteliers should grasp the opportunity Thomas Cook collapse offers for innovation, move to direct bookings, cut out the middle man who is screwing everyone, receive payment end of stay not end of season, but need to move fast otherwise companies like tui will step into the void and exploit the situation.

Already airlines are profiteering from the collapse, hiking air fares.

 

Satomi Morimoto

December 31, 2016

I had the pleasure of meeting Satomi Morimoto a couple of weeks ago.

I saw her at Teatro Timanfaya where she played jazz with ST Fusion, then a couple of days later when in a classical trio  OpenART Ensemble she played music from the film Amelie and the modern tango of Astor Piazzolla.

She is an amazing jazz and classical pianist, and has an incredible voice.

Film is at her house, then centre of La Laguna.

Exposición de Belenes en Casa Ventoso

December 26, 2016

The typical nativity scene is a stable, a manger, a few forlorn figures looking on.

Not in Puerto de la Cruz.

In the centre of Puerto de la Cruz, on the south side of la Plaza Concejil is dominated by la Casa-Palacio y Torreón de Ventoso (18th century). Formerly (c 1750) the house of a merchant engaged in the import export trade. The lower half of the house also served as a warehouse, hence its substantial construction. In the 19th century the house served as the Bremen Consulate. La Palacio Ventoso is now the San Agustín religious college.

At the back of this house can be seen a tower – Torreón Ventosa. It is an outstanding example of its type, the only other comparable tower is at Garachico. The tower has recently been reconstructed, though not open to the public. The original purpose of the tower is reputed to have been to enable the merchant to see approaching ships before anyone else, nip down to the harbour and strike the best deal – probably a tall tale.

Casa-Palacio y Torreón de Ventoso is not not usually open, but currently open, entrance free.

Within, in different rooms, streets, workshops, markets, workers, streams flowing through.

Open until early January.

Admission is free, but please give a donation.

Thomson website on Hotel Be Live Tenerife bears no resemblance to reality

December 21, 2016
sun terrace

sun terrace

Thomson website gives a description of Hotel Be Live Tenerife. Only one problem, it fails to match reality.

The Be Live Tenerife Hotel is reserved for adults, so a peaceful environment’s guaranteed.

Thomson are dumping clients on a hotel that is a building site.

The noise is horrendous.

Apart from the noise of the building work, which gives you an early wake up call, there are other major problems of noise.

Around the pool, unpleasant arrogant entertainer blasts guests out with loud music, deafening at midday, plus shouting on a microphone.

In the lounge, noise from dire so-called entertainment, plus entertainer shouting on a microphone.

Impossible to relax either in the lounge or by the pool. Clients are driven out of the hotel or up to their rooms.

Peaceful environment guaranteed, must be Thomson’s idea of a sick joke.

There’s a buffet restaurant with outside seating.

There is a buffet restaurant. There is no outdoor seating.

There is a reserved area of the restaurant, for which clients have to pay 15 euros per person per day to sit in. It is not outside.

The hot meals leave much to be desired. Often cold.

Dishes are labelled. Often the labels are wrong.

Restaurant  is unbearably hot. Either no air conditioning or it is not working.

At night, chefs rustle up meat and fish to order. 

No food is cooked to order either by chefs or at night.

At dinner in the evening meat, fish and poultry is cooked on a hot plate. Often  it is under-cooked, blood in the interior, a serious health hazard. When cooked, it is piled up on a metal tray to get cold. The tray balancing on a metal  rail from where it could easily topple over onto the client scalding with hot fat.

The fish is not labelled other than to say it is fish.

Every couple of days meat dish is disgusting processed meat.

If you fancy a workout, the hotel has a small gym you can use.

Dilapidated equipment in the gym.

There’s an L-shaped pool and a handy bar to complete the scene.

Yes, there is a pool. No mention of guests packed in like sardines due to building work, no mention the water is cold, or the loud music blasting out around the pool, deafening at midday, or the brain-dead entertainer shouting on a microphone. Impossible to relax.

No mention of the grassy area beside the pool, for which clients are being charged 15 euros per person per day to use. Threatened by an aggressive lifeguard and ordered to leave should you venture into this area.

Away from the pool, there’s a first-floor terrace where you can take in the sun.

view from room of sun terrace

view from room of sun terrace

Yes, there is a sun terrace only cannot use because the hotel is a building site.

A good-size pool offering a sun terrace, sunbeds and parasols.

Define good-size pool. It is quite small.

You will be lucky to get a sunbed even luckier to grab a parasol.

When it rains, each sunbed covered with a pool of water. No one bothers to tip up the beds drain the water, wipe the beds dry.

The sun terrace is not not by the pool, it is in another outdoor area and out of use because it is a building site. As a result clients packed like sardines around the pool.

The resident band usually gets people on their feet.

There is no resident band.

The so-called entertainment does an excellent job driving people out of the lounge.

Lounge

Yes, there is a lounge only unusable due to noise in the lounge from so-called entertainment and entertainer shouting on a microphone.

The reason the nuisance  in the lounge, ballroom  is sealed off, ceiling has collapsed, rubble on the floor, scaffolding poles holding up concrete beams.

wifi

No wifi in rooms. There is wifi in reception lobby. It is not free. A charge of 4 euros per hour to use.

Free wifi in local bars and coffee shops for the price of a drink.

library

No there is a not a library. There is a room with a few books that guests have left. Room unusable due to noise from so-called entertainment and entertainer shouting on a microphone.

garden

Adults Club

Adults Club

There is a grassy area beside the pool for which clients are charged 15 euros per person per day to use. If you access without paying, ordered to leave by an aggressive lifeguard, who otherwise sits in the pool bar all day.

Puesta de sol sobre Tenerife

December 11, 2016

Friday evening, sunset over Tenerife.

Hotel Be Live Tenerife entertainment excellent at emptying the lounge

December 10, 2016

Thursday night, the appalling entertainment at Hotel Be Live Tenerife did an excellent job of emptying the lounge. Not a single person in the lounge.

The entertainment would normally  be in the ballroom, but the hotel is a building site, large areas out of use, including the ballroom where the ceiling has collapsed, rubble on the floor, concrete beams held up by scaffolding poles, and all this week, noise of power tools hacking away at concrete columns.

Usually seats in the lounge are at a premium, after dinner guests fighting to find a seat, but not anymore.

It is not possible to relax, read a book or chat with friends. Guests go to their rooms or go out to escape the noise.

Entertainment this bad is to insult the guests, who as can be seen, vote with their feet.

Why not simply heed the wishes of guests and scrap this awful entertainment?

But then that would require competent management, a recognition of the need to be client focused, something that is lacking at Be Live.

 

 

 

 

Hoja de Reclamación

December 5, 2016

In Tenerife, indeed anywhere in Spain, every shop, bar, restaurant, coffee shop, has to have Hoja de Reclamación, official complaint form.

There has to be a prominent display telling you of its existence

If requested, it has to be given to fill out. If refused, they claim they do not have, do not know where it is, an offence is being committed, and should be recorded on the complaint form that it was refused.

If you have a problem, bad service, then please request the Official Complaint Form.

Fill out, or on separate sheets, you keep one copy, one goes to the establishment, two copies to government for further investigation.

Should you have any problems obtaining, inform the local tourist information office.

When Hotel Be Live Tenerife, currently a building site, but still open to clients, was asked by several different guests for the Official Complaint Form, they were given the hotel client survey form.

El Rastro en El Mercado

December 3, 2016

Every Saturday and Wednesday a market, fruit and vegetables, books, wine, cakes, bread, tools, clothes, honey, junk, everything you could wish to find.

Wednesday is smaller than Saturday, though last Saturday very small due to heavy rain all morning.

Parque de atracciones

December 3, 2016

A middnight wander around around all but deserted fun fair beside the harbour in Puerto de la Cruz.