We decided to take a confirmed 'Late Booking’ as advertised by Booking.com for a Villa managed by Arenas de Son Bou. Unfortunately matters didn’t really get off to a good start on this holiday for within 24hours before we were about to leave for the Airport the following Monday morning to catch the first flight out, we were surprised to receive an Email directly from Arenas owner’s Head Office in Mahon telling us that the villa would not actually be available as there was "a problem with it" and we'd have to take an alternative Villa location in an entirely different part of Minorca 40 miles away. They forwarded details to us of a rather old and drab looking villa in an urbanisation at Cala’n Bosh and on paper, it didn’t look very appealing. Then a second Email saying that 'their office will be unmanned over the weekend'. So quickly recovering from the shock and with very little time to spare, I got on to Booking.com to ask them to find out what had actually gone wrong with our confirmed booking. After some time it transpired that the Management Team had mistakenly (double booked) i.e. had an overlap in occupancy dates and therefore it wasn’t available to us on the date as promised. After further anxiety and 12 hours later (with bags packed and Passports ready) we were told the issue had finally been sorted out locally by the Company's Son Bou manager and that the current occupants had agreed to move out earlier than planned.
Some days before we were actually due to move in we decided to visit Arenas de Son Bou Reception desk to ensure all was as promised and heard that the original occupants had been induced to finish their holiday in Rooms at the Complex.
When we picked up the keys from reception the problems over our booking were discussed.
When we arrived at the Villa we were disappointed to find it in a rather neglected state. The patio areas were unswept and double glazing panels were incapable of being secured internally, therefore all shutters had to be locked and bolted from the inside whenever leaving the Villa unoccupied to provide any degree of security. Several lights had failed in and outdoors and grass was growing through the joints in the patio. Internally several corners and cupboards were dusty with remnants of hair lying about. The pool had no means of clearing away floating leaves and debris was visible on the bottom of the pool. Although reported to the Complex Manager (Marco) an effort to improve the general appearance of the external areas was made by staff, but it was minimal and still took me 3 hours to complete properly. The paintwork was cracked in places and the wall at the front had clearly suffered a heavy impact some months earlier and was left unrepaired.
It was very clear that the Villa was run as a rather distant 'after thought' and was not a priority for 'So Bou Arenas Apartments’ Management to address, whose main business appeared more focussed on the provision of full board ‘all-inclusive’ accommodation for their predominantly Italian clientele in the main Complex just a short distance away.
The advert photos of the Villa, as shown on Booking.com, were clearly taken when it was new and did not represent the condition of the Villa in Sept 2016. I took many photos to show how it actually appeared during our stay. The TV was unwatchable as very few channels worked and those that did were in Spanish, Arabic or presumably Italian. Most of the channels showed just a blue screen ‘No signal reception'
In short it was not a pleasant experience and not worth £1,060 per weekly rental charged
To make matters somewhat worse on returning home I discovered an Email that had been sent to us by the Arenas de Son Bou team in Mahon on the day of our departure (therefore it was too late for us to read it, as we left home at 0300 hrs) They apologised for the error and offered us by way of compensation, full access to their Restaurant for the duration of our entire stay. Unfortunately this offer was not made when we first went to reception nor made known to us whilst we were at the resort, neither by the Manager or Reception Staff or during our daily visits to the complex.
So in summary, we were left with a rather disappointing view of the Villa at Arenas de Son Bou.
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