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Casino Royale Costa Brava

Casino Royale Costa Brava

I am always a bit surprised to see how many bad reviews the H Top Casino Royal Hotel gets on various travel websites, as family members stayed there several years ago and I don’t remember them uttering a bad word about it (and believe me they would have, if they had had half a reason!)

The Casino Royal is one of several all inclusive hotels in Lloret de Mar owned by the H Top company. The hotel is open all-year round, or has been every year up until the time of writing.

I recently had the opportunity to give it a thorough going-over when a friend came over and booked in the Casino Royal for a five day stay. Needless to say, after all the dodgy reviews we had read, neither of us were expecting much I we had to agree the room that was allotted to my friend had most definitely seen better days.

The curtains were missing a few rings, so they kind of sagged in places when drawn, and the bath had stains that were obviously too deep to be removed, but hey, having a shower instead of a bath for five days is no big deal, and other than that the room and bed linen was clean. Although the cigarette burns in the top cover were rather worrying and led us to check out the nearest emergency exit, in case of a fire.

The bar area is pretty large, and the bar staff were friendly enough, considering it was the end of the season, and most people who work with the public in Lloret are extremely bad-tempered by the time the end of the season arrives. I mostly put that down to the amount of  drunk tourists they have to deal with during the season and the fact they are not trained in any way on how to deal correctly with the public.

There’s an area leading off the bar that looks over the pool, which was quite pleasant when the sun was out. We did not go down to the pool, as it wasn’t warm enough for that , but like a lot of things in the hotel the sunbeds did look as though they had seen better days.

The food? Not bad considering what most of the guests have paid. There was plenty of choice at each meal; my friend is vegetarian but was quite please with the selection of salads, omelets and vegetables available.

In fact, all was going well enough until my friend’s third night, which happened to be a Friday. Several groups arrived, some French, some British, and then basically all hell broke lose. There was screaming and shouting in the corridors which began about 3 am, when the bars close and the noise continued until dawn. While we didn’t bother complaining, I did ask the receptionist (out of curiosity) if this was normal, or had she just got unlucky?

He laughed and said that was nothing – that in the summer the place could be absolutely wild depending on who they had in, and they just didn’t have the staff or means to control it. If things got really out of hand they would call the local police; but basically the police were not keen on coming out as they claimed the hotels should employ more security staff to control hooliganism, or take measures not to rent them rooms in the first place.

My Summary: The good thing about the Casino Royal hotel is the location. It is directly opposite the Lloret de Mar bus station, from where you can take a bus to Barcelona city centre (55 minutes), neighbouring Blanes or Tossa or to other local attractions such as the Go Karts or Waterworld. The beach is about four minutes away, and additionally the hotel is situated at the top of the “Disco Street” so the nightlife of Lloret is literally on your doorstep.

However, you don’t actually hear street noises in the Casino Royal because the rooms over look side streets, and therefore night revelers making a racket on the street is not a problem. The hotel is situated by the main road, so a hum of traffic is constant, but it is not noisy enough to bother most. A noise problem only arises if other guests are a problem. Shopping areas (for what they’re worth) can be found just a few minutes away.

Review written by Toni McDonald, Lloret de Mar resident since 2001

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