As initially reported by tourism portal TravelGossip

Well-renowned travel provider, Jet2holidays, has taken a decisive step, withdrawing from a popular hotel located in Puerto Rico de Gran Canaria during peak summer season. Tourists who had previously made reservations at the three-star establishment are being presented with alternate lodging options.

 


Expressing concern for customer satisfaction, Jet2holidays officials have been reaching out to individuals who were scheduled to stay at the hotel over the coming weeks, offering travellers the opportunity to transition to alternative accommodations without incurring any additional charges. The hotel is now conspicuously absent from Jet2holidays’ roster of available bookings on their official website.

In an exclusive statement provided to Travel Gossip, Jet2holidays stated, “Our commitment at Jet2holidays lies in consistently delivering exceptional package holidays, and our product portfolio undergoes continuous evaluation to ensure that our patrons receive the VIP experience they rightfully expect. In alignment with this philosophy, we have identified concerns regarding the hotel in Puerto Rico, Gran Canaria, that have led us to conclude that it does not meet the elevated standards we strive to uphold.”

The spokesperson continued, “The enjoyment of every single customer’s well-deserved holiday is of paramount importance to us. Consequently, we have taken the decision to present customers with bookings in August with the option to transfer to a more suitable alternative accommodation. However, should guests choose to remain at the hotel, that option remains available to them.”

The spokesperson further elaborated, “Furthermore, we have halted all reservations for stays at that hotel from September 1st onward. We are actively engaging with all affected customers, taking proactive steps to discuss various solutions including rebooking at alternative accommodations. We deeply apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused.”

While Jet2holidays made this decisive move, other UK travel operators continue to send their clients to the hotel without interruption, with TUI holidays still taking bookings for 2024.

Members of the 100,000-strong Puerto Rico de Gran Canaria group, which is made up of repeat visitors, first-time holiday makers, residents and business owners, have been generally positive about the hotel, with many of the best reviews seeming to come from those in the premium rooms.  However there have been a number of negative reports that appear to have stemmed from some of the cheaper yet-to-be renovated accommodation having continued to be used when needed during high-occupancy.  As with most other hotels, on the west hill overlooking the resort town of Puerto Rico de Gran Canaria, there are a mixture of opinions.

In many respects, most people accept the cost of the holiday is likely to reflect the standards of accommodation to be expected, so comparing and contrasting becomes important before making that cut-price booking.  There are a wide range of hotels to choose from in Puerto Rico, but in this instance there are also apparently still some rooms that do not meet the expectations of some of their guests, with Jet2holiday guests being the ones who appear to have voice the greatest disappointments.  There have been mentions of some native insects being found in some of the rooms, which in a subtropical environment is really not very easy to control.

The award-winning hotel recently underwent a multi-million euro refurbishment, including the complete replacement of the island’s first and only funicular cable car system which offers panoramic views across the popular resort town and along the Costa Mogán.  However it seems the renovations were not fully completed, which the owners put down to complications caused by the pandemic. Their subsequent decision to continue utilising the more dated accommodations may well have played out against them in this instance, as the general reports from clients who stay there seem most often to be full praise.

Maribel Araguas, the Commercial Director of Riversun Touristic, the owners of the establishment, candidly acknowledged to Travel Gossip that the hotel, akin to others in the industry, has faced occasional complaints. However, she underscored that the proportion of Jet2 customers expressing dissatisfaction was notably higher —tenfold— compared to other operators. This difference was attributed to Jet2’s presence of a dedicated representative at the hotel, whereas many of the other large tour operators, nowadays, do not provide full time reps anymore making themselves available in the hotel reception areas with regularity.

Of course the suggestion is that this may well also reflect on the standard of rooms being booked by customers, perhaps seduced by images of the newest parts of the building while being offered the lower cost rooms.

Araguas shared insights into the hotel’s challenges, citing the lingering repercussions of the pandemic. “The onset of the pandemic disrupted our efforts to conclude renovations in the hotel’s communal areas, which were underway in March 2020. The subsequent prolonged closure and resultant financial strain compelled us to defer the completion of renovations, including the refurbishment of several rooms that suffered damage during the closure, including instances of flooding,” she explained.

As a result, the hotel’s renovation plans have been delayed, particularly regarding room improvements, stairways (all exterior), and unfinished upper-level spaces. Araguas acknowledged the extended timeline for these enhancements, stating, “Our current focus remains on gradually improving room quality, stairwells, and the incomplete upper floor—a process that will necessitate more time than ideal.”

Nevertheless, Araguas sought to correct misconceptions, emphasising that the hotel itself is not a subpar establishment. She cites TripAdvisor reviews, where the hotel has received a four out of five rating. “While it is accurate that negative reviews number 190, the complete picture reveals that among the 2,481 reviews, 844 guests have rated their experiences as ‘very good,’ and an additional 838 as ‘excellent.’ This translates to an overall rating of 4 out of 5, which is certainly respectable,” Araguas stated.

Araguas attributed the occasional misalignment of guest expectations to the high overall rating, suggesting that travellers might presume the hotel is equivalent to a four-star establishment. “This disparity in expectations, especially in the post-pandemic era, arises from the fact that Riosol is officially categorised as a three-star hotel,” she clarified.

One particular issue identified by Araguas pertains to air conditioning availability. Notably, air conditioning is exclusively installed in the more premium rooms, while other guests can request portable units for a supplementary fee. Araguas justified this approach by stating, “Our dedication to sustainability guides our energy usage practices. Benefitting from the natural cooling effect of the sea breeze, our hilltop, sea-facing location obviates the necessity for widespread air conditioning.”

Concluding her remarks, Araguas asserted that their hotel has successfully met all health and safety audits, emphasising the high regard accorded to the hotel’s gastronomy and swimming facilities. She expressed optimism about ongoing improvements, acknowledging, “Our gradual transformation is ongoing, and while it may necessitate a longer timeline than we desire, we are steadfastly committed to enhancing the experiences of our multitude of customers, who, fortunately, continue to entrust us with their holiday plans.”